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.

BIKE 05/2014

Comment

"In the mid-nineties the thin aluminium mountain bike flatbars weighed 300 grams in the beginning and then all of a sudden less than 150 grams. For us as experts broken handlebars were part of the day-to-day business.

Subsequently, the manufacturers added about 50 grams and then levelled out step-by-step at 170 grams, a weight which was considered as acceptable. These dark times of careful approaching are fortunately behind us. However, not all suppliers in design and testing have kept pace with the rapidly developing sport. Today’s loads are clearly higher and the number of riders exploring their limits has increased. Handlebar breakages in the area of the lock-on grips, brake lever clamps or stem failure, as created by the test stands on some of the handlebars tested still happen in practice. By testing only according to what is required by the standard does provably not result in safe and durable products. For us, handlebars must be designed in a way to withstand for example regular events, such as falls.

The test results show that the best handlebars remain very long unaffected even by the strongest loads. It is certainly amazing for many people that of all things carbon handlebars show highest durability. The potential of the material is huge, the risk of making mistakes, as well. Carbon handlebars are fabricated by manually inserting the fibre mats. Therefore, each single component has to be checked for quality at the plant, otherwise risky products come on the market. Everybody who chooses weak handlebars with a large variance from the test field in addition should replace consequently after every fall for safety reasons!"

Author: Dirk Zedler, graduate engineer, bicycle expert

Editorial: Dirk Zedler’s institute for bicycle safety is considered one of the best addresses when it comes to laboratory tests. Even the German foundation for comparative product testing (StiWa) has meanwhile come to this conclusion. For this reason they visited the bicycle expert in the Swabian city of Ludwigsburg. Zedler had directed massive criticism against StiWa for their Pedelec test and presented on this occasion realistic alternatives to the StiWa testers. Our handlebars laboratory test was also performed at the Zedler institute, as for BIKE the practical relevance of the test procedure takes top priority, too.

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