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Quality and safety characteristics

The importance of quality and safety tests is growing in all segments of the bike market. Reasons for this are predominantly due to new legal regulations for product liability and safety. The growing importance of customer satisfaction for brand manufacturers and the requirements for the communication of objective performance data for marketing purposes in the high-end bike market, also play a substantial role.

Out of the numerous quality characteristics available, the following have proven themselves essential when evaluating bikes. They apply to what is often colloquially known as “durability” or “stability”. These four characteristics form the central essence of EFBe’s testing services:

  1. Fatigue strength, often also referred to as “service life”: A construction can already show signs of fatigue after being exerted to comparatively small loads and torques. I.e. micro-cracks are generated, that develop into visible macro-cracks, and finally end in a fatigue fracture (= residue break). This fatigue fracture, which in some cases takes years of use to develop, can occur suddenly without warning and can lead to potentially serious accidents. A component has service strength, if it is able to withstand the loads it would endure throughout its lifespan to a high probability without developing any cracks or fractures. 100% safety can, however, not be ensured. Fatigue tests help to analyse the risk of such fatigue fractures.

  2. Maximum static load: A component must be able to withstand the heaviest operational loads without any permanent deformations. Static tests therefore guarantee that nothing will become permanently deformed under the maximum permissible load conditions.

  3. Overload behaviour: If a component is subject to heavier loads than intended by the manufacturer, it must still, however, behave in a good natured, i.e. ductile (tough) manner. It should bend to show the excessive load and not show signs of any sudden brittle fractures. Static overload or Impact tests can be used to examine the behaviour of a component under excess load conditions.

  4. Rigidity: Under normal load, components bend slightly and spring straight back to their original form when they are unloaded. A component that hardly bends under a defined load is given a high rigidity value. Rigidity measurements are therefore used to identify to what extent a component bends (flexes) under a specific load. Depending from component and load high or low rigidity values (comfort) can be requested.

 The first three tests are presenting the base of the bicycle safety standards EN 14764, 14766 and 14781.