Bicycle frames ready for testing

EFBE Prüftechnik GmbH | Engineering for Bikes

EFBE. The leading lab for mechanical testing of bicycles, e-bikes and their components.

EFBE, based in Waltrop, Germany and Taichung, Taiwan, has been the leading test laboratory for mechanical tests on bicycles and components since 1995. Our expertise is reflected in both international safety standards and our own stringent EFBE TRI-TEST®. All frames and components certified to our, International ISO and European EN standards guarantee the maximum possible safety for you as manufacturer – and for your customers, the cyclists.

Our service portfolio guarantees world-wide certified safety for you and your customers:

Test service. Ensuring quality right from the start.

  • Safety tests according to international safety standards
  • Quality tests according to EFBE standards
  • Certification with recognised test seals

Test stands. Testing technology for your development and quality assurance.

EFBE test stands can be used to perform testing in accordance with ISO, EN or EFBE standards. EFBE test systems are used all over the world by leading bicycle and component manufacturers.

Consulting and services around safety and quality.

Manufacturer audits, training courses, measurements of operational loads and equipment calibrations.

We are there for you wherever you need us: EFBE tests and services in Waltrop, Germany and Taichung, Taiwan, according to internationally recognised and accepted standards. Strictly neutral and independent. Contact us now.

EFBE. Bicycle test lab and safety institution.

In theory we are just a test lab that performs mechanical tests on bicycles and their components. But in reality we are a little more than that. We see ourselves a kind of “proactive guardian angel” for cyclists. We make sure that cyclists can rely on their bikes with no risk to life or limb.

At the same time, we also provide manufacturers with the reassurance – and clear conscience – that, as far as humanly possible, their products pose no danger to other persons, but provide pleasure cyclists can rely on.

Besides our function as guardian angel, we still remain dedicated engineers who insist on absolutely relevant and valid parameters for every test. Of course it’s possible to test anything to destruction; but that’s not the aim of the exercise. We therefore devise realistic test criteria based on our expertise and experience – taking into account the «foreseeable use» and overload conditions above and beyond the intended use. These test criteria have proven to be so closely related to practical field use that they have been incorporated into European safety standards and are even regarded as de facto industrial standards. Of course this makes us a little proud. And it also makes cycling that little bit safer.

The reference test: EFBE TRI-TEST®

Our EFBE TRI-TEST® is the reference in bicycle testing, and goes far beyond the tests prescribed in the existing standards. Each test program is built from the three modules fatigue tests, maximum load tests and overload test in various load cases, all of which together replicate the stresses of a whole bicycle life. A frame must undergo a minimum of five and up to eight different test stages, in order to be awarded the EFBE TRI-TEST® seal.


Reasons why the world’s leading manufacturers rely on EFBE.

As long-term partner to the bicycle and e-bike industry, we not only know the market, but also continuously feed back new impulses to our customers. We contribute to European and international standardisation, we conduct trainings and seminars and organise workshops for the supply chain – in order to not only provide our know-how and experience in monitoring the product, but also to offer guidance throughout its design and manufacturing process.

Comprehensive service package throughout the whole process.

Prevention is better than cure – we help manufacturers to achieve a high quality standard during production and to prevent faults from occurring in the first place. In order to specifically improve the production process, we analyse potential sources of error and develop on-site solutions to improve quality already during the process. In this way, production waste can be minimised and the safety and profitability of the end product can be increased accordingly.

1. Quality management support

EFBE help you to improve QM systems throughout your supply chain. We provide training for your team and your suppliers, we enable them to carry out and interpret tests, help setting up safe and compliant laboratory facilities and audit them.

2. Development of quality standards

EFBE helps you in setting up your supplier requirements and guidelines and in monitoring them. We support you in optimising your processes in-house and strengthen knowledge and skills with your staff and suppliers.

3. Production and quality research

EFBE continuously researches and highlights potential for improving processes and to enhance production methods. Wether welding and heat treatment of aluminium or draping and curing of carbon fibre – the goal is to eliminate problems before they occur.

Science as fundamental requirement.

We only use testing methods that meet scientific standards, i.e. the validity, repeatability, and objectivity of the process must be guaranteed. The most obvious testing method is not always the most reliable and informative. We do not, for example, run durability tests of an entire bike on a roller bench. We apply particularly stringent standards for the EFBE TRI-TEST®.

Transparent processes.

The test methods which EFBE apply are by no means top secret, they are actually highly transparent. The methods, test samples and test results are all meticulously documented and recorded. EFBE’s activities are based on the quality management principles of ISO/IEC 17025 for test laboratories.

Precision measurement and control technology.

Small discrepancies in the applied forces of a fatigue test lead to disproportionately large differences in the achieved cycles-to-failure value. Therefore, only exactly defined and maintained testing loads deliver reliable and reproducible results. EFBE measures every single test force at high resolution and actively corrects target value deviations wherever necessary. This allows minor design changes, e.g. in the carbon lay-up or different welding sequences, to be compared with one another.

Evaluation of results.

Whenever benchmarking is practical and possible, our customer receives an evaluation together with the test report. The evaluation shows the results of comparable products in anonymised form. Customers then benefit from EFBE’s extensive experience gained over 20 years and its data pool compiled from many thousands of tests.

EFBE facts

Before it endangers a biker’s health, we’d rather test it to destruction.

EFBE tests bicycle frames and components to precise standards – according to national and international safety standards and the much stricter and realistic in-house EFBE standards. Through our many years of experience, we know what really matters during the tests. This means we can produce – and reproduce – in the laboratory the precise failure modes which will occur – or have occurred – in use. This is almost a predictive capability – but in actual fact it provides ample proof of how accurately our tests model field practice.

These safety-critical components are tested as standard in the EFBE laboratory. We would be pleased to offer other tests on request.

Our test stands simulate roads, trails and downhill runs – plus rider obesity on request:

1. Frame

The pioneers of frame testing offer standard tests based on international standards, the recognised EFBE TRI-TEST® and a range of additional tests, e.g. for full suspension bikes, various electric bikes, gravity bikes and many more. Go to the «Mechanical test of bicycle frames» test order form …

2. Fork

European and international standards together with the in-house EFBE TRI-TEST® guarantee safety – from track bikes to gravity bikes. Go to the «Mechanical test of bicycle forks» test order form …

3. Handlebar and stem unit

Standard tests and the EFBE TRI-TEST® for safe and lightweight cockpit designs. Go to the «Mechanical test of bicycle handlebars with stem» test order form …

4. Seatposts and saddles

For testing children’s and young adult bikes, city and trekking bikes, different MTB and racing bikes and the whole bandwidth of EPAC in accordance with European, international or EFBE test standards. Go to the «Mechanical test of bicycle seatposts» test order form …

5. Drivetrains/cranksets

Crank assembly and drive unit tests in accordance with ISO 4210, EN 15194, DIN 79010 and the comprehensive EFBE TRI-TEST® standard. Go to the «Mechanical test drive system» test order form …

Simply download the linked order forms and send them back to EFBE Prüftechnik GmbH.

Other assemblies and components

Pedals, headsets, etc. – contact us. We shall be pleased to offer a solution.

Material, component and damage analysis

Wall thickness measurement, crack detection and analysis, metallography, spectrum analysis etc.
Go to the »Component and damage analysis« price list …

Find out for yourself what your products can withstand – before your customers find out the hard way.

EFBE test stands for your design and quality control.

The importance of quality and safety tests is growing in all segments of the bicycle and e-bike market. The reasons for this are not only due to legal regulation governing product liability and safety. The growing importance of quality management for leading brands also plays a significant role. Advertising using objective performance data in the high-end market segment is an essential part of the entire marketing concept. The press in particular, uses stiffness as a comparative value when publishing bike tests.

The growing need for tests now makes even more economic sense for bike and component manufacturers to be capable of quickly running their own in-house tests. EFBE provides the bike-specific test equipment necessary for this.

Provided the safety standards contain the relevant regulations, the test stands are compatible with ISO 4210 and European standard EN 15194. They also allow for the application of new improved EFBE standards including the EFBE TRI-TEST®. All test stands are built to customer order.

We offer the following test stands:

  • Fatigue test stands for frame, fork, handlebar, stem, seatpost and drive unit,
  • maximum load and overload test stands and
  • stiffness test stands.

There is no substitute for experience: 25 years of EFBE test stands.

Our test stands are our core competency and the result of over 25 years’ experience and systematic optimisation. Test stands are designed as a modular system for performing seamlessly documented force and displacement measurements thanks to a high-precision servo-pneumatic control system. We can therefore offer 100% reproducible and cost-effective fatigue tests on all materials used in lightweight structures. We have also made a name for ourselves in testing fibre-reinforced composite materials.

Frequently asked questions …

What tests do I need?

That depends. If you require a simple proof of compliance for a product which is sufficiently covered by an applicable standard, that standard will probably define the route to go. If your product is not fully covered by an existing standard (e.g. due to higher total weight, off-road use beyond usage classification 3 (see EN 17406), innovative designs etc.), the applicable EFBE TRI-TEST may help. Please contact us, we shall be happy to advise you.

What is the applicable National/European/International Standard for bicycles and EPAC?

Here is an incomplete list of the most common bicycle and e-bike standards, not including accessories and sub-assemblies. If you do not find what you need, please get in touch. Conventional (non-E) bicycles for adults (and so called “young adults”) are covered by ISO 4210, which also is the relevant European standard, with the following parts:

  • ISO 4210-1:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 1: Vocabulary
  • ISO 4210-2:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 2: Requirements for city and trekking, young adult, mountain and racing bicycles
  • ISO 4210-3:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 3: Common test methods
  • ISO 4210-4:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 4: Braking test methods
  • ISO 4210-5:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 5: Steering test methods
  • ISO 4210-6:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 6: Frame and fork test methods
  • ISO 4210-7:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 7: Wheel and rim test methods
  • ISO 4210-8:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 8: Pedal and drive system test methods
  • ISO 4210-9:2023-01 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles - Part 9: Saddles and seat-post test methods

ISO 8098:2023-01 “Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles for young children” defines requirements and test methods for children’s bikes with a maximum saddle height of less than 635 mm (635 mm and more are dealt with in ISO 4210) and more than 435 mm (a max. saddle height of less than 435 mm falls under the regulatory framework and safety standard for toys, e.g. European standard series EN 71).

EN 15194:2017 is the harmonised product safety standard for (City/Trekking-)EPAC.

EN 17404:2022 “EPAC Mountainbikes” is the safety standard for E-MTB – in our opinion, up to usage category 3 – see EN 17406:2021.

DIN 79010:2020 is a German national standard for cargo bikes/carrier cycles with and without electric drive. The European standard for Carrier Cycles (a.k.a. Cargo Bikes) is still under development and will come in various parts, such as

  • EN 17860-1 for terms and definitions,
  • EN 17860-2 for lightweight single-track carrier cycles and
  • EN 17860-3 for lightweight multi-track carrier cycles.

Other parts for heavy carrier cycles, electrical aspects, transportation of people and for trailers will follow.

EN 17406:2021 “Classification for bicycle usage” is, like its American counterpart ASTM F2043-13, a system to describe the ride conditions; these standards do not define requirements or test methods. The EFBE TRI-TEST reflects these classes.

EN 14764, EN 14766, EN 14781 are outdated and have been replaced by EN ISO 4210 in 2014. If your documentation confirms compliance with these standards, you probably need new tests …

Outside Europe, you may encounter other (adult) bicycle standards, such as:

Can you send me a copy of the EN/ISO/… standard?

Unfortunately, no. – We usually find that the Estonian Centre for Standardisation and Accreditation offers a good deal for English language European standards to be purchased online. Other than that, your national standardisation organisation will be your first port of call. If you happen to be a student or work for a university, you will probably be able to get access through your library.

What is the EFBE TRI-TEST?

All EFBE TRI-TEST programs do overlap, to some degree, with the tests in the various standards, but typically add or modify some load cases, leave some tests sufficiently covered by EN/ISO methods and change test force magnitudes as and when required.

Any TRI-TEST also always includes a scaling method to account for total system weight beyond the 120 kg we assume are covered by the standards.

And as we do not believe that an indestructible bike or e-bike exists, we think it is even more important to ensure that when a product fails, it fails in a safe, benign way. For this, any EFBE TRI-TEST includes maximum and overload tests. So, the TRI in TRI-TEST stands for the three modules: Fatigue tests, Static Maximum Load Tests, Overload Test.

So, the EFBE TRI-TEST covers all of the standard requirements and some more?

No. In many cases, you will already have a test report of declaration of conformity with the usual EN/ISO standard, so instead of doing all of these tests again, the EFBE TRI-TEST focuses on the most relevant tests and may include load cases which deviate from the standard. If you do not already have a proof of conformity with the standard, please contact us, we will offer a solution which combines the EFBE TRI-TEST with a full proof of compliance with the international, European or national standard.

How many samples are required for testing?

ISO 4210 and EN 15194 strength tests usually ask for a “fresh” sample to be used for each test stage, but also gives the option of doing multiple or all test stages on the same sample. Whereas using “fresh” parts for all test stages makes it easier to pass, it is is perhaps somewhat less realistic. Ultimately, you decide.

The EFBE TRI-TEST, however, follows a defined sequence of fatigue tests and static tests all carried out on one sample only.

How many samples have to pass the test(s)?

The usual national, EN and ISO standards do not define a minimum quantity of samples to pass a test in order to comply. It should be obvious that the statistical validity of a sample size of 1 is very limited. Good practice would start with three data points/samples. Actual industry practices vary.

How long will the tests at EFBE take?

All the standard tests you find on our order forms here are typically completed within no more than 2 to 3 weeks. If you require immediate results, EFBE offer a (chargeable) EXPRESS service option, which will ensure the first test be running no later than 72 hours after receipt of your sample. Reach out, we will find a solution.

What parts are required for testing my frame?

We will need seatpost clamp, headset, dropouts or hanger and a through-axle. For suspension frames, we do not need the shock itself, but all the hardware for fitting it.

Aero frames or any design with non-circular cross-sections should be provided with the actual seatpost. Please also let us know the minimum insertion depth for the seatpost, fork length (and suspension travel), shock length and stroke.

Why do you test frames and forks with the smallest disc/rotor size that can be fitted?

Because it is, in most cases, the harder test. The ratio between the tyre diameter and disc diameter is, first and foremost, leverage, which determines the reaction force at the brake mount.

Do you take photos or videos of the tests?

Yes, we take pictures for inclusion in our test report for every test we do. If you want more detail/resolution or a video, you will find the option on our order forms. Please keep in mind that nobody at EFBE ever won an Academy Award – we are engineers, not artists, and tend to make fairly boring shots from a tripod.

Can we visit and see the test live or take videos and photos?

Yes, we are committed to transparency and we believe in an open lab – as far as we can ensure the necessary level of confidentiality towards our other customers. Please get in touch to arrange a date.

Can I have the EFBE TRI-TEST for my product/category …?

Yes, but we trust you will understand that we need to balance the need for transparency and reliability in our test methods on one hand and the necessity to protect our intellectual property on the other. We shall be happy to disclose our EFBE TRI-TEST for any assembly, subject to:

  • a) a mutual NDA, and
  • b) a downpayment/fee, which will be credited against any future physical testing.

Please get in touch with your full company details and specify for which product/assembly and which category you require the EFBE TRI-TEST.

Where do I find the prices and standard tests?

Most of our standard test charges can be found on our order forms.

Shall I send my parts to EFBE in Taiwan or in Germany?

All the tests you find on our order forms are done in Taichung and in Waltrop – on the same machines, equally well and using the same processes and standards. Both labs charge the same prices (subject to minor exchange rate fluctuations); EFBE Co., Ltd in Taichung in NTD or USD, EFBE GmbH in Waltrop in EUR or USD.

Do EFBE offer other tests as well?

Yes, we certainly do. Reach out for us to discuss how we may be able to help.

My bike is intended to come with a total weight of xxx kg and for a rider weight of yyy kg. How do we scale/adapt the standard tests?

The current EPAC and bicycle standards do not define a method to adapt test loads according to increased rider weights or an increased total weight. As a matter of fact, the standards (with the exception of the carrier cycle standards DIN 79010 and EN 17860) do not even mention the limitations in terms of weight in the scope or anywhere else. It is, reasonable (and widely accepted) to assume that ISO 4210, EN 15194 and the other standards cover no more than 120 kg total weight.

It is commonly done (and quite easy to justify) to scale test forces simply as Fscaled = Fstandard × mtotal ÷ 120 kg. Keep in mind that this is a rather rough assumption, which may create test artefacts.

Why don’t I see a cookie warning on the EFBE website?

Because EFBE and HABICHT+PARTNER made sure that our website does not infringe on your privacy and does not set any cookies!