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Spring 2009 Test: 21 Pedelecs rated “Very Good”

Almost 13,000 kilometers in two weeks! And all 28 pedelec models from 22 manufacturers survived the strenuous 3-step test: ergonomics test, test rides by the masses and 10-day test rides with measuring equipment. With 21 bikes rated “Very good”, and 2 bikes rated “Good” the Test is mainly representative for the upper segment of the European electric bike market.
 

 
The ExtraEnergy Spring 2009 Test was conducted in three phases between April 24 and May 7, 2009. 28 models were submitted to the test (in duplicate) by 22 German and foreign manufacturers (from Finland, Hungary, Taiwan, China, The Netherlands, France, and Switzerland). All in all, just over 30 bikes were tested, because some manufacturers submitted models with different frames.

"All bikes made it through our strenuous, multi-phase test.  A total of 350 test riders rode an average of 439 kilometers per bike––a testimony to solid technology”, said Hannes Neupert, president of ExtraEnergy. “We noticed a clear improvement in the quality over 2008,” he stated.

21 “Very Good” Ratings
Except for a few bikes of lower price and quality level, purchased by ExtraEnergy and tested for comparison, the bulk of the test models represented the upper product segment of the European market––with an average price of 2,400 Euros for the 28 models.

21 pedelecs finished the test with a “Very good” rating. These were: Biketec Flyer C8 Premium, Flyer L9 Premium, and Flyer S-Serie Street, Diamant Zouma Elite E, Dolphin express, EPS BionX PL 250 HT drive unit, Gepida Reptila 1000 Pedelec, Giant Twist Comfort CS, Heinzmann estelle Comfort, Helkama E2800 and TE2800, Kalkhoff Agattu Pedelec F and Agattu XXL Pedelec C, Kettler Layana Hybritec, Koga-Miyata Tesla Tour, Matra Sports i-step racer, Raleigh Dover 40, Sparta Ion GLS, riese und müller Delite hybrid 500 HS and Jetstream hybrid, and Vital Bike City Pedelec.

The pedelecs ave Tour and Helkama E2300A were rated “Good”. Flying Cranes Recovery Plus and Rabeneick Vitality Elite 8-gear received a “Fair” rating.

The models AS VIVA as-B005, Leviatec E02, and Schmidt Sylt got the lowest rating in the test: Don’t buy! This rating was given mainly due to unsafe and illegal components.

All bikes in the Spring 2009 Test

Average Range over 46 Kilometers
Looking at all bikes tested, the average range on the approx. 4km long “Tour” stretch of the test track was 46.1km; with 26.4km being the lowest range and 83.2km the highest. On the uphill stretch, the average range decreased to 17km. The average assistance factor showed less difference between the “Tour” and “Hill” sections. It was 0.9 on the “Tour” stretch and increased to 1.2 uphill. The assistance factor indicates how much extra power the electric system provides. An assistance factor of 1 means the human pedaling power is doubled by the electric drive system.

Since the test track for the measured rides was changed in 2009, this year's results are not directly comparable to the results of previous tests. But they will be comparable to future tests, because the track will remain unchanged from now on.

Full Test Reports
Unfortunately, preparing the full test reports for publication took longer than we expected and we were not able to put them online on 13 June as announced. ExtraEnergy apologizes for the delay. The download will be online next week. It is best to sign up for the  ExtraEnergy Newsletter service on the left. Then you will receive the download link as soon as the full test report is available. Thank you.

Test Seal
The products rated "Very Good" and "Good" will be awarded ExtraEnergy Test Seals, which come in a new design this year. The manufacturers may use this official quality rating to market their bikes.

More about the Test Seal

Test in three Steps
The first phase of the test was conducted in the context of an electric bicycle fair in Lorsch near Heidelberg and ran over two days. Here the ergonomics of the bikes were tested by 100 test riders, who rode a total of 582 test rides over 1,764 kilometers. The riders passed through a number of stations, where they had to pass obstacle tests, eg. find the batteries which fitted to their bikes in a heap of batteries, load their bikes on an auto-mounted bike rack, carry their bikes up a flight of steps and heave them onto a ramp. After riding a test round, the testers completed questionnaires with their evaluations.

Photos from Lorsch

The second phase was a mass test at the Spezi (fair for special bikes) in Germersheim, also near Heidelberg. At this one-day test, 239 volunteers rode a total of 4,800 kilometers, without doing the obstacle tests and without completing questionnaires. At the Spezi the aim was simply to get as many people to ride the bikes, to see how stable and robust the frames and technology were. All bikes survived this strenuous day.

Photos from Germersheim


The third phase of the test was conducted over 10 days in Tanna, where 11 test riders (ages ranging between 29 and 75 years) covered a total of 6,200 kilometers with all test bikes on a 18-kilometer-long test track. The track included uphill and downhill stretches, tarred streets, copper stone roads and single-tracks through the forest. Everything a bike would meet in every day use was included. Even rain and cold. Every test bike was ridden over the track by 5 different testers and had complex measuring technology on board.

Over the 13 days of the test, the test bikes covered a total of 12,746 kilometers, for an average of 439 kilometers per bike.

At the end of the 10 days in Tanna, the test riders all had their personal favorite bikes, which varied widely, due to the different demands that people over the age spectrum have for electric bikes. One motor was mentioned time and again and could be identified as a clear favorite, namely the BionX.

Diary and photos of the test rides in Tanna
More about the measuring technology

The Test continues
For the first time this year, the bikes will now be tested in the laboratory. From Tanna the bikes will go to Schweinfurt, where the firm velotech.de will test them extensively for their mechanical strength and stability. The results of the velotech.de tests will not flow into the overall results of the Spring 2009 Test. This year tests are simply conducted to prepare for next year, when velotech.de will award a GS Certificate as an optional extra to the ExtraEnergy Test Seal.

The final testing will be done by the firm SLG in Chemnitz, which will test the bikes for their conformity to regulations and standards - their so-called electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

ExtraEnergy, SLG and velotech.de have together invested 230,000 EUR in the technology and groundwork research for this multi-phase test.

More about the testing method
A visit to velotech.de

More about the Test


Text: Christoffel Volschenk and Susanne Brüsch
Photo: Patrick Knappick


Last changed: 16 June 2009

 
 

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