Wirtschaftsbrief Ludwigsburg 02/20

Hidden champion of bicycle technology

For more than 26 years for sustainable and health-promoting mobility in Ludwigsburg - “Who needs that” was the comment at the CCI in Stuttgart when Dirk Zedler presented his activity as a bicycle expert in 1993 applying for the public appointment and swearing in. A job description that the founder still active as managing director brought to life in times of the mountain bike boom. Reliable expert’s reports for the courts, insurers, lawyers, manufacturers and private individuals helped the bicycle to a fair treatment and a better standing. Today, five experts are still in charge of analysing accidents in Ludwigsburg, the orders are however placed from the USA, all over Europe to Israel.

As early as by the end of 1994 the young engineer Dirk Zedler built first testing systems to classify the riding characteristics of a bicycle by means of parameters. Initially, this very technical approach was opposed by the cycle industry which in these days was focused on craftsmanship. But then it established itself as industry standard. Today, 26 years later, no one in the cycle industry seriously doubts that these test criteria still in application have raised bicycles to a higher use and durability level.

Under the impression of multiple failures and accidents caused by the misbehaviour of the users in the mid 1990s first user manuals were prepared. Thanks to comprehensible manuals and technical competence the user value of bicycles could be increased and defects as well as serious falls caused by improper operation could be avoided. Meanwhile, the manuals have been translated in more than 40 languages and supplied to about 80 countries.

The thousands of analysed bicycle claims and the human suffering in the archives did not let rest the team that had grown to 7 members. Dynamic testing systems that were able to simulate a bicycle life within a short period of time have been developed from 2009 on. Another generation of test set-ups can simulate accident scenarios well known from the automotive industry. Ordered tests for manufacturers are carried out on the currently 70 testing systems built by the company itself. The tests are performed in accordance with the standards, but also include loads with specific test routines generating damage in operation which are however not included in the recognized standards. “Zedeler testing”, as described by Chinese people has meanwhile become works standard in many big companies acting for European or US American manufacturers as extended work bench in Asia.

In short, 26 staff members make a lot to make bicycles and pedelecs better. What they do not is manufacturing, repairing or selling the bikes. But it is not only in their core business that the Zedler-Group is committed, as proves a number of Baden-Wuerttemberg prizes. They were awarded among others with the prizes “Most bicycle-friendly employer”, with the “Medium-Sized Company Award for Social Responsibility”, with the “Hero of the new mobility” and the “Grand Prix of Small and Medium Business”.

Author: Wirtschaftsbrief Ludwigsburg 02/20

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