Bicycle accidents follow a particular course and are therefore comparable to the accidents of motor vehicles to a limited extent only. In addition, materials such as high-alloy aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (carbon) increasingly used in modern bicycle construction are often characterized by low fracture strain, sometimes they even have no fracture strain at all. As a result it is hardly possible to understand the procedures during the failure of a component.
When drawing up an expert's report on the reconstruction of a bicycle accident, we analyse the bicycle or pedelec damage, compare the nature of damage with the described course of damage or the possibly documented traces on the road and calculate the riding dynamic parameters. An essential issue is the identification of old damage, because such kind of damage occurs to a type-specific extent depending on the type of bicycle.
Our power of judgement in this respect is based on the practical experience of our team members. They commute daily by bike or e-bike and in their spare time they also use their bicycles for cycle trips and other activities, such as training or competitions in different disciplines. On the other hand we are able to draw on 20 years of experience as technical bicycle experts and numerous concluded expert's reports as well as documented loss incidents. In addition, we are able to reliably assess durability and typical bicycle and pedelec component damage on the basis of thousands of fracture patterns. The latter were created during tests (until failure) in our in-house laboratory and are recorded in our company archives where they are accessible at any time. Our wealth of experience is particularly large in the case of bicycle components made of carbon; in case of damage their overload behaviour differs basically from that of components made of metallic materials. The basis for that was laid by company founder Dirk Zedler in 1986 with his first practical and scientific works. The expert knowledge of fibre-reinforced composites has continuously grown since these days.