BIKE 06/2017

Interview with Dirk Zedler, bicycle expert for bicycle technology and safety

Why is a classification important? 

Because the field of use and the requirements between the different mountain bike categories couldn't be more diverse. It’s the same thing with add-on parts such as for example handlebars: It is clear that downhill handlebars must be more resistant than marathon handlebars. As the customer wants to use the product for jumping high drops with the one and to spare weight and ride unchallenging trails with the other one.

In how far are manufacturers with the classification on the safe side in terms of liability?

The sticker and the description are considered as guideline. In a lawsuit this is a major factor. It is, however, no free-ticket for manufacturers. Each case must be considered individually.

Am I right that the classification is not prescribed by law?

Yes, but existing court judgements have a similar effect. Which means there are judgements which make bike manufacturers look bad. If someone takes legal action in a similar case, the court will come to a similar judgement.

Enduros of category 4 are limited to a drop height of 1.22 metres. Not really high.

Correct. Of course, manufacturers place the bar rather low to be on the safe side.

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