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Quality Testing on Bicycle Tires: Schwalbe Relies on Know-How from ZwickRoell

As an environmentally friendly—sustainable and emission-free—means of transport, the bicycle is becoming increasing popular. Whether e-bike, racing, mountain, touring or cargo bike, you can now find the perfect bicycle with optimal tires. With the different bike uses, however, the requirements in terms of quality and development of high-quality and durable bicycle tires are also increasing. Ralf Bohle GmbH, therefore, tests with ZwickRoell machines to simulate the various demanding loads, because nobody likes a flat tire.

Ralf Bohle GmbH

Ralf Bohle GmbH, best known by the Schwalbe brand, is a leading German manufacturer of bicycle tires, tire tubes and accessories that are distributed worldwide. With a wide range of special tire models individually designed for different cyclist requirements, the company—founded in 1922 and headquartered in Reichshof Wehnrath, Germany—offers a large product portfolio. The Schwalbe brand is known for its high-quality tires with innovative technologies such as the SmartGuard tire protection system or the Tubeless Easy system for tubeless tires.
To ensure that all Schwalbe tires meet the highest—and sometimes changing—quality standards, extensive tests are conducted in Schwalbe’s state-of-the-art laboratory during the pre-launch phase, as part of the company standard. The laboratory tests are supplemented by intensive practical application tests before product development for the Schwalbe brand receives final “market-ready” approval for the launch.

Tires: the requirements in terms of quality continue to rise

For example, for cargo bikes the following is clear: due to the wide range of uses and applications, the tires for this type of bike must meet particularly high demands, because sometimes the cargo bikes alone (unloaded) weigh up to 70 kilograms. Therefore, the requirements in terms of quality are as follows: tires must be simultaneously stable, reliable and comfortable both when loaded and unloaded. This is how Schwalbe tests: the tire system along with the wheel is gripped in a special fixture. Various forces are then simulated and applied to the system via the testing machine. The tire contact area is documented and a corresponding force/travel diagram is determined. To thoroughly test all materials for their durability, the testing machines are also subjected to extreme demands, at maximum performance. In addition, the lab performs puncture tests on tires and tire tubes to test their quality.

Schwalbe: improving products with ZwickRoell

“Quality, reliability and accuracy of test results are very important to us when it comes to the testing machines we use. As a premium manufacturer, our goal is to develop high-quality products that set standards,” explains Sascha Ochmann, Laboratory Manager at Schwalbe. This was one of the reasons why the company decided to use ZwickRoell machines for their tests. Most recently, the company ordered a ProLine 30 kN materials testing machine.

“Our challenge in the laboratory is to apply correspondingly high loads and to document the test results in a traceable and reproducible manner. We want to provide our customers with exciting quality products, and therefore rely on ZwickRoell testing machines to help us deliver our promise time and time again. And in terms of IT support, connection to our quality management system, as well as intuitive control or the simple software structure of testXpert, the testing solutions have continued to impress us.”

Sascha Oschmann, Testing Laboratory Manager at Schwalbe

Schwalbe uses ProLine 30 kN materials testing machine

With the commissioning of the ProLine 30 kN materials testing machine, Schwalbe has been able to achieve noticeable improvements. “On the one hand, the workflow is now much more convenient and the test results have become more accurate. On the other, our testing laboratory now has greater insight into how a tire behaves under high loads, which provides engineers and developers with important information and allows them to draw conclusions for quality assurance and continuous improvement of Schwalbe brand bicycle tires,” Ochmann concluded enthusiastically. Ultimately, quality benefits cyclists—whether they ride e-bikes, racing bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes or cargo bikes. Ochmann: “Nobody wants to break up their ride because of a flat tire!”

Image source/copyright: Schwalbe – Ralf Bohle GmbH

Schwalbe uses the following ZwickRoell products for materials testing

for standardized tests
The ProLine is specially designed for function testing on components and for standardized materials testing.
to ProLine
testXpert testing software
Our testXpert testing software is the leading software solution in materials testing. testXpert features simple operation, flexible process integration and a future-proof design. This guarantees reliable and efficient testing.
to testXpert testing software