The ExtraEnergy Pedelec Awards premiered in Germany on 10 April, when Dirk Hilbert, mayor of Dresden, handed trophies to six manufacturers whose products had impressed in the October 2009 Test. At the same time and venue, volunteers were conducting ergonomic tests on bikes (photo) in what was the first stage of ExtraEnergy's multi-stage Spring 2010 Test.
In Dresden the ergonomic test provided an interesting backdrop to the award ceremony. Mayor Hilbert handed eight trophies to six manufacturers for excellence, while the ergonomic testers took a short break to witness the event.
The eight categories represent eight product groups, known as Easy, Business, City Comfort, Holland, Tour, Sport, Wellness and Family Pedelecs.
The product groups were identified on the basis of client wishes and demands, which were then given different weightings to emerge with categories which help consumers when they search for their dream bikes. For instance, to the family man reach and support is typically more important than a bike's design, while power and the sporty look will be absolutely essential to the sporty rider.
The father should go for a Family Pedelec, while the young man should search in the category Sport for his ultimate bike.
With roughly 100 volunteers testing over two days, the ExtraEnergy ergonomic test is the biggest of its kind in Germany. On the 10th and 11th of April the latest models of pedelecs and e-bikes were taken through their paces, with more than enough volunteers turning up in Dresden, despite the chilly weather.
The ExtraEnergy test team noticed with interest that the average age of people interested in pedelecs and e-bike was on a clear declining trend. They took this as a sign that the image of pedelecs was improving among younger consumers.
This time around, most testers were between 25 and 45 years old. The young volunteers were like a fresh breeze in the gym hall in Josephinen street, which had been converted into a test venue for the 2-day event. Even mayor Hilbert didn't let the opportunity slip past to take a bike or two on a test ride.
Apart from test-rides, the volunteers had to conduct portability, battery-removal and -replacement tests, to name a few. All tests had to be conducted without the benefit of user handbooks, to test the intuitive user-friendliness of the bikes in the test.
The ergonomic test signalled the start of the multi-stage Spring 2010 Test, which will continue in Tanna on 19 April with intensive test-riding with advanced measuring equipment strapped to the bikes. Later the bikes will go for extensive safety tests in a laboratory.
Copy: Nora Manthey
Photo: Susanne Brüsch
Translation: Christoffel Volschenk
13 April 2010