Ensuring the Safety of Our E-Bikes Through Comprehensive Testing
Updated on October 27, 2023
Whether you are using our electric bicycles to transport your most valuable cargo – such as your children – or simply for your own pleasure, your safety is of the utmost importance to us. We firmly believe that e-bikes around the world must meet high safety standards to ensure that they are truly suitable for their intended use. Even though it matters to us to build cool and versatile bicycles, the safety of our products is our top priority.
In this post, you will receive comprehensive information on how we subject our cargo bikes, which are also designed for transporting children, to rigorous tests. This is done with the aim of ensuring that they are consistently safe and reliable up to the maximum specified load limit.
Development Process of the Urbanox Cargo Bike
In the development process of Urbanox, the first fully foldable cargo bike, we placed great emphasis on defining a specific load limit. This included the maximum total weight of the bike, the weight of the rider, and the usage conditions of the bike.
Load Limit of the Urbanox
The load limit of the Urbanox is essential for its performance and safety. This was defined as follows:
Permissible Total Weight (PTW): 200 kg or about 440 Ib. This includes the weight of the bike, the rider, any passengers, as well as all accessories and luggage.
Test and Development Process
To ensure the robustness of Urbanox, it underwent a series of tests and development phases:
Internal Load Tests: The first prototypes were tested for their load-bearing capacity in the factory to ensure they met the specified requirements. Several rounds of tests were carried out to exclude unintentional opening during the ride.
One Year in Daily Use: The working prototype was tested daily over long distances for a whole year, with many different riders. This feedback contributed to further improvement of the design.
Development of the Second Prototypes: Based on the one-year practical test and feedback from hundreds of test riders, we were able to improve the original concept and test user-friendliness.
Pre-series Frame Tests at EFBE Prüftechnik GmbH: The pre-series frame was finally sent to EFBE Prüftechnik GmbH, a global leader in lifetime testing for bicycles. Here, the frame and forks were subjected to extreme load tests with hundreds of thousands of cycles under multidirectional load.
An Urbanox frame undergoes testing at EFBE.
At EFBE, both the frame and the fork undergo an intensive testing process in which hundreds of thousands of load cycles from various directions are simulated. The unique testing procedure developed by EFBE, the Tri-Test, ensures that these parts are truly tested to their maximum load limits. The EFBE Tri-Test adheres to the current German standard DIN 79010:2020-02, 5.9.3 for transport and cargo bicycles, which allows for a comprehensive and specific assessment of these vehicles. This standard has been developed to take into account the particular requirements of cargo bicycles in comparison to conventional city bikes, and aims to ensure their safety and reliability even under heavy loads. It explicitly refers to the specified load, the weight, and the geometry of a cargo bike. Through this targeted and thorough examination, it is ensured that the cargo bicycles function flawlessly even under extreme conditions.
In the case of a foldable cargo bike like the Urbanox, it is particularly important that the folding mechanism also functions flawlessly under extreme conditions and does not unintentionally open.
The Tri-Test has confirmed the above-average resilience of the Urbanox: the bicycle withstood loads that far exceeded the permissible total weight (GVW).
This testing procedure confirms the robust construction and demonstrates the reliability of the folding mechanism, distinguishing the Urbanox as an exceptionally stable and safe cargo bicycle.
Why is the EFBE Tri-Test such a challenging examination?
The European EN standard for city and trekking bikes sets uniform testing requirements for all conventional city bikes, without adapting them to different use cases. However, cargo bikes, which carry heavier loads, exert increased and altered forces on the bike’s frame and fork. The German standard for cargo bikes takes this into account and requires test forces that scale proportionally to the total weight of the system (bike plus rider, cargo, and any possible passengers).
Against this backdrop, the Tri-Test by EFBE, based on the German standard, proves to be significantly more challenging compared to tests for conventional city bikes. The Tri-Test includes eight intensive load tests, the forces of which are related to the bike’s maximum load capacity. A single bike frame must pass all eight tests, with any potential damage to the frame or fork from one test carrying over to the subsequent tests.
A thorough understanding of the intensity and process of the Tri-Test procedure enables us to confidently state that our bikes are optimally suited to their intended use.