All about bicycles, pedelecs, technology and safety in the press

In our daily work as we deal with bicycle safety, technology and user manuals we come across lots of safety risks. The most frequent ones are published in articles of the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR – Europas Rennrad-Magazin Nr. 1, BIKE – Das Mountainbike Magazin Europas Nr. 1 and E-Bike – Das Pedelec-Magazin to make this information important for the sector accessible to a wider public.

For many years now the Eurobike Show Daily accompanying the annual international Eurobike Show has given us the opportunity to publish our perspective on major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent lectures about all topics relating to bicycle technology and bicycle market. In addition, we are regularly cited by further special-interest magazines or trade journals as well as more and more by radio and television and in their media reports, which shows us that we are completely right with our information. The section NEWS informs you about the latest news from our specialist fields. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to topics of interest.

News

Eurobike Show Daily 2016 - day 1

Germany's pedelec replacement parts guidelines - overkill or a necessity?

Bicycle retailers are used to swapping out bike parts to satisfy the wishes of a customer. lf the customer wants a softer ride or a more upright seating position, for example, it's always been a simple matter to put on wider tires or replace the handlebars.

With pedelecs, however, things are not so simple. The EU laws and regulations governing pedelecs mean that replacing a set of handlebars or another component on a pedelec, if not done properly, could open a retailer up to a civil lawsuit – or even criminal prosecution.

The regulations that govern typical European pedelecs - electric bikes with 250-watt motors that provide electric assistance up to a speed of 25 kmh (15 mph) - come from Brussels and apply equally in all EU countries. They are contained in the machinery directive of EN 15194, the European standard for pedelecs.

Although pedelecs are considered to be bicycles under traffic laws, they are treated much differently than conventional bicycles under product safety laws and regulations. Unlike a conventional bicycle, a pedelec is subject to mandatory CE marking because of its electric motor. The CE mark is the manufacturer's certification that its product meets relevant European health and safety standards.

(...)

A group of German organizations have developed a more pragmatic solution: They have developed guidelines for replacement parts that spell out when retailers must use original parts, and when they can use similar parts.

The guidelines, published in 2015 and updated this year, are the result of a collaboration between Verbund Service Fahrrad e.V. (VSF), a German service and bicycle association; Zweiradindustrieverband (ZIV), the German two-wheeler industry association; and Bundesinnungsverband (BIV), the umbrella organization for german industry guilds.

(...)

The replacement parts guidelines classify pedelec components in four categories, from most to least critical. Category l, for example, includes components that should never be modified and should be replaced only by original replacement parts. All electric components of the motor fall into Category l.

Retailers have a little more flexibility for components that are classified as Category 3. These are parts that can be replaced by similar components from the same manufacturer, as long as the dimensions are the same.

For example, a Shimano Deore 10-speed chain and sprocket can be replaced by XT-series components and vice versa, as long as the chain width and sprocket range are identical.

The newest version of the replacement parts guidelines explains the restrictions on replacing certain components.

Retailers still need access to a variety of original parts, which means bike manufacturers need to keep these parts in stock. Bike manufacturers, in turn, have to work with their suppliers, such as stem and handlebar makers, to ensure that their retailers have access to CE-compliant replacement parts even after a particular pedelec model is discontinued.

We recommend that retailers consider the availability of such replacement components when deciding which brands to carry in their stores.

(...)

Read the entire article here.

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News

IHK Magazin – Wirtschaft 10.2019

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