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ADAC Calls E-bike Test Results Disastrous

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MÜNICH, Germany – Yesterday, the powerful German Automobile Tourist club ADAC and the consumer organization ‘Stiftung Warentest’ published dramatic test results for 16 e-bikes. Overall, 9 of the 16 electric bikes were classified as ‘poor’, only two of the test models earned the test result ‘good’.
During the tests frames, handlebars and rear fork ends broke. - Photo ADAC
During the tests frames, handlebars and rear fork ends broke. - Photo ADAC

The e-bikes of the manufacturers Kreidler, KTM, Sinus, Flyer, Top Velo, Fischer, Victoria, Leviatec und Raleigh were among those who failed the tests.

Two e-bikes qualified as 'good'

Only two models, the Stevens E-Courier SX and the Kettler Obra RT were qualified as 'good'. The Stevens E-Courier SX was convincing with low rolling resistance, short charging time and a good range. According to ADAC, the shifting performance and luggage carrier leaves room for improvement. The Kettler Obra RT was positively evaluated as comfortable while the handlebar position allows for easy cycling.

ADAC stated that the reasons for the disastrous results is due to deficiencies of important parts like brakes and no compliance with the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements.

EMC

During the tests frames, handlebars and rear fork ends broke and in three cases the brakes were defective. One e-bike, the Raleigh Impulse iR HS was sending such strong interfering waves that radio services of police, fire brigade and rescue services could be disrupted massively. Also the Pegasus and Kalkhoff e-bikes exceeded the limits of the EMC requirements slightly, but they were still qualified as 'adequate'.

Across all models the range varied 25 and 75 kilometers. The Kalkhoff and Raleigh impressed the ADAC with a range of 75 kilometers.

German Industry Organization ZIV

When asked for an official response Siegfried Neuberger, MD of the German bicycle industry organization ZIV said, "we are in contact with our member companies to collect all information we need to publish an official statement."

DIN EN 14764

In an official response, handlebar manufacturer Wilhelm Humpert GmbH openly questions the measurement specified in the EN 14764 standard. Humpert states: "we have carried out numerous tests with handlebars and stems specifically designed for use with e-bikes in our laboratory. It clearly showed that the city and trekking bike standard requiring a maximum total weight of 100 kilogram as specified in the DIN EN 14764 fails at higher gross weight of 120 kilogram and more."

"However the weight of an e-bike averages 20 to 25 kilogram meaning that only 75 to 80 kilogram is left for the rider and his luggage. No doubt that this weight often clearly exceeded by many e-bike users even without baggage. Therefore we have developed a very strong type of alloy. This 'Micro Alloy Steel' has been used for two years now."

by Jan Willem van Schaik

3 comments

  • # 1

    matthy

    I'd like to see thee test results, because I can not believe that among all the names of the bikes, the Flyer had a bad result. It is amusing to see that two German brands did pass the test.
    Matthy Briers
  • # 2

    Jan-Willem van Schaik

    The only information on the ADAC e-bike test results is available on http://www.adac.de/infotestrat/tests/fahrrad-zubehoer-sport/pedelec_2013/default.aspx?ComponentId=172958&SourcePageId=31968
    (in German only)
  • # 3

    Ruud

    I can not believe this.
    Also think that the ADAC must make the results completely public, including the testing methods.

    Ruud Worm

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