SKS News 12th July 2012
SKS banks on mudguard testing which is as production-oriented as possible
As a leading manufacturer of mudguards, in collaboration with Velotech director Ernst Brust, SKS has been figuring out how to safety-test OEM mudguards in a way that is as production-orientated as possible. Sven Kordes, development director of the traditional Sauerland-based company, no longer considers the tests required by DIN EN 14764 to be in keeping with the times. Thus, in close collaboration between Sven Kordes and Ernst Brust, an optimised method has been developed.
The aim is to simulate the folding of the front mudguard, as can happen when, for example, a stick gets caught in the spokes, based on the tangential test according to DIN-EN 14764. This stick could get stuck in the struts of the mudguard and thus cause the wheel to jam, which, in the worst case, can cause an accident.
This safety hazard has been known for a long time: SKS was quick to offer its own safety systems such as the Secu-Clip or the ASR. These systems ensure that in case the mudguard causes the front wheel to jam, the struts of the mudguard are released. For a long time, however, it had bothered Sven Kordes that the only way of testing these systems was an extremely unrealistic contraption which used a falling weight coupled via a belt to a “stick substitute”. This test setup resulted from a time before today’s technology was available.
The new test is based on the roller drum test rig “Streetbull 2” developed by the company Velotech, which was put into operation in November 2011. In this test, a wooden stick is stuck between the spokes of a running wheel, protected by a pane of safety glass. It is even possible to run the test at different speeds. The findings are recorded by camera and evaluated afterwards, and thus serve the further or new development of the safest possible mudguard systems.
“Unfortunately, we as manufacturers are often only able to carry out a general quality control on our mudguards” said Sven Kordes. “Factors such as tire pressure, tire profile, or the connection of the struts to the frame also have a significant impact on safety though. This data is, of course, often not available to us as suppliers, and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For this reason, we offer our customers the service of testing their complete wheels on our roller test bench” Sven Kordes explained.