What exactly do you do?
We test bicycles and their components according to EN and ISO standards and also set up test laboratories for manufacturers. In addition, we prepare user manuals, risk assessments and declarations of conformity in accordance with international standards and laws for bicycles and pedelecs.
And when you do that all day long, do you understand where's the catch?
Absolutely, when you do as many surveys as we do and rummage through the waste paper baskets of the bicycle industry, you know what breaks where and when.
What are the trends in terms of quality and the bicycle?
The cheap bicycle from the DIY store is on the retreat, but there are more cheap e-bikes. When supply chains collapsed and bicycle parts became scarce, some manufacturers switched to simpler components — which was clearly noticeable. However, the situation is even more glaring in the cargo bike sector. There is still a lot of uncontrolled growth here: people often build without checking. Overall, however, there is a very positive trend. The sector is becoming more professional at an increasing speed!
And what is the next step in sustainability for the new bicycle industry?
The industry is currently too fixated on hardware. This was reinforced by the bicycle boom during the pandemic. It used to be all about deliverability, new bikes, best components and new hypes. But many new bike users realised: a fancy premium bike is no use if it stays in the basement because of a small defect. Many users have problems repairing their sophisticated bicycles. The high demand for spare parts or workshop appointments can lead to delays and then some people just switch back to their cars. Service, spare parts supply, replacement vehicles in case of repair — all this is comparatively more developed in cars today.
Meaning: The sector should develop more services — and perhaps also get more politically involved?
Read the entire interview in the Guidelines for the Sustainability Code on page 30.
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