All about bicycles, electric-assisted bikes, technology and safety in the press

The most common safety risks that we come across in our daily work around bicycle safety, technology and operating instructions are also published by us in articles in the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR (Europe's road bike magazine no. 1), BIKE (Europe's mountain bike magazine no. 1), MYBIKE and EMTB in order to make this information, which is important for the industry, available to a wider public.

For many years now, the Eurobike Show Daily, trade fair magazine of the annual Eurobike Show, has also given us the opportunity to publish our view of major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent expert presentations about all areas of bicycle technology and the bicycle market. In addition, we are quoted by further special-interest magazines of the industry and the trade as well as increasingly by radio and television in their media reports, which shows us that we are spot on with our advice. The section "News" informs you about the latest news from our specialist areas. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to areas of interest.


A few weeks ago the first revision of parts of the ISO standard 4210 in force since January 2015 and binding since August 2015 was published. At first sight, the latest edition of the ISO 4210 deviates only in details from the EN standards which have been valid for bicycles so far. However, as it is so often the case, the devil is in the details and therefore there is the need for some modifications compared to the previous test procedure, i.e. to the order.

The assessments regarding the classification of cracks and breakages have changed a little and hence improved allowing extended test scenarios with the same component. We took this as an opportunity to question our previous test criteria including Advanced+ which had (already) been extended beyond the standard and to improve them once again.

As we have been performing the tests for you in accordance with the ISO standard for a rather long period of time in our laboratory, these extended, type-specific requirements have already been tried out sufficiently. This benchmarking carried out internally provides you with certainty about the validity of the results. Now it is time to publish the respective price lists. The good news is that the prices for some test procedures for components have decreased, e.g. the Advanced and Advanced+ tests of mountain bike frames.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for all components. For this reason a plea from my side: We typically perform complete, i.e. fully standard-compliant tests. Therefore, take a closer look when comparing prices and check whether the big number of complementary requirements per component are actually tested by other providers. Otherwise you’ll compare apples with oranges.

I wish you a pleasant Advent season in the name of the entire team,
Dirk Zedler



ISO – pros and cons

Often tests in accordance with the standards are viewed with a great deal of suspicion, as is the case with the still young ISO 4210. This suspicion is, however, unfounded. Based on the time-honoured DIN 79100 standard originating from the nineties, the EN standards were brought into force in 2006. Under the umbrella of the International Organization for Standardization these standards were converted with moderate modifications into the internationally recognised ISO standards 4210 and 8098.

After nearly one year of ISO testing we draw a positive balance. In other words: If all bicycles were tested in accordance with the ISO requirements and had passed these tests successfully, the five bicycle experts of our experts department would be less busy.

In several cases verification tests under standard requirements revealed that components which had failed in the field also failed on the testing system with repeat accuracy. The accidents that have happened as well as the entire handling including the costs incurred for the claim could have been easily avoided.

The important thing in this connection: The combination of fatigue, overload and impact test must be tested in an intelligent order and, in addition, entirely with one component. This is the only way to ensure reliability. For this reason we preferably perform complete tests.

Permitted, but fatal: It is permitted to carry out every individual test with a new unit under test. Be sure not to exploit this gap in the standards hereby undermining the reliability of your products.



ISO + EN = safe?

An important fact to know: It is not enough to only fulfil the bicycle-type-specific ISO requirements, if

  • bicycles are used hard or as sports equipment,
  • a higher total weight than the implicit ISO standard weight of 100 kg is permitted and
  • the target group sets specific requirements (parents’ taxi with trailer, bike couriers, All-Mountain, Enduro etc.).

We therefore complement our Basic, Advanced and Advanced+ requirements beyond the standard in the load types which are specific for the target group. As a consequence we apply for example more loads to the drive train of a road bike where the highest loads are acting in reality as well. Breakages actually occur in the area of the chainstay and in the area of the bottom bracket.

The same applies to pedelecs which are currently to be tested in accordance with the EN 15194 standard. We do not believe, we actually know that the tests in accordance with the standards are not sufficient.

Which pedelec including rider does actually weigh only the standard-based 100 kg? Considering the fact that a bicycle weighs 25 kg, there remain no more than 75 kg for rider and luggage. Hand on heart, this is a weight that most of us already easily exceed.



ISO = worldwide standard = release from liability

When visiting bicycle test laboratories in the past years, you typically came across forces and load cycles from the previous EN standards. This means that the standards most advanced in their day had already been accepted and were worldwide in practice.

With the ISO standard there has not been much substantive change. The standard’s significance as component for the manufacturers’ release from liability in possible claims, however, may have increased a lot. The reason for that is the participation of many countries in the standard committees. With Australia, the USA, Brazil, China and us Europeans, representatives of four continents are represented.

For this reason the standard is accepted worldwide and has been strengthened considerably. In other words, there’s no getting around the "basis", i.e. the successfully passed and per component specific requirements from the ISO standard.



Comfort seat posts in Europe’s number 1 mountain bike magazine "bike"

Issue 12/2015 of the German bike magazine published a seat post test with comfort demand – with interesting results.
Not only for the determination of the measured stiffness values, but also for the operational strength tests Europe’s biggest mountain bike magazine relies upon the competence of the laboratory team at Zedler-Institut.

In particular, the operational strength test clearly illustrates the current realisation of the balancing act between standard-based safety and actual operational strength. On the basis of the ISO, tests are performed with higher loads, of course in reduced number and mixed sequence.

The loads are mainly introduced into the saddle dummy. That’s how it is laid down in the standard which is basically okay. This is extensively sustained by the measurements of the loads occurring during the ride – keyword: real data collection – that we accompanied among others for the German magazines of Delius Klasing Verlag. However, measurements, in particular in the case of mountain bikes, also revealed that loads are occasionally introduced into the saddle nose. Alternating loads are particularly harmful. If these loads occur during real cycling, this must be tested, otherwise the test does not result in a fair assessment of the components.



Heroes of the new mobility

Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Winfried Hermann, presented the certificates (and material prizes) to the prize winners of this Regional Prize which was awarded this year for the first time.

Right in the middle Dirk Zedler, who was awarded for his long-standing commitment for the safety and user-friendliness of bicycles and pedelecs.





You want to get in touch with us?

On January 21 and 22, 2016 Dirk Zedler will hold a lecture at Battery University.



At the vivavelo conference of the cycle sector in Berlin on April 18 and 19, 2016 you can also join lectures by Dirk Zedler.

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