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Material and Component Testing on the Bike

DEKRA Expert Tip

Accidents involving bicycles, e-bikes, or e-scooters in road traffic are happening ever more frequently. The question of who is to blame for the accident and must compensate for the damage cannot always be clearly established. Was there an operating error on the part of the rider or does the manufacturer bear the responsibility? As for all other motor vehicles, DEKRA also offers damage assessments for two-wheeled vehicles as a service.

At the accredited Laboratory for Materials Engineering and Damage Analysis, DEKRA has the laboratory equipment for material and component testing in order to reconstruct the course of events that led to damage.

material tests

The flow of the testing is always similar: The bicycle to be tested or the components responsible for the damage, such as the fork, the handlebars, or the saddle, are sent to the Testing Laboratory for Materials Engineering and Damage Analysis of DEKRA Automobil GmbH in Saarbrücken, where they are subjected to a material analysis. Depending on the component, the material technicians subject the samples to a macroscopic analysis or carry out chemical analyses and hardness tests as well as bending tests. Fracture surface analyses with the scanning electron microscope are also part of the test scope.

With these tests, the DEKRA experts can reliably reconstruct whether, for example, the selection of a fastening screw that was too short was the reason for the fastening element coming out – a typical design or installation error. The testers also track down material fatigue, stability problems or errors in the surface coating as well as stress cracks due to corrosion – all classic product errors. The typical user errors, such as overloading or erroneous behavior in use, which lead to forced fracture, can thus be reconstructed.


Karsten Zech

Karsten Zech

Director Laboratory Saarbrücken


DEKRA Automobil GmbH

Untertürkheimer Str. 25

66117 Saarbrücken

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