Bicycle manufacturer Cowboy validates e-bike for the European market at Sirris

Cowboy’s e-bike enters the European market this year. The company worked together with Sirris on the e-bike design as well as standardised and customised testing.

With its intuitive pedal assistance the Cowboy e-bike can easily achieve a radius of 70 km. Following its successful launch in 2018, the team has been working hard on the second version of the e-bike with a more powerful battery and technological improvements. Cowboy wants to make the maximum improvements in order to introduce it to the European market.

Resistance against shocks and vibration

Cowboy started working with Sirris at the beginning 2019 in order to carry out the validation tests on its e-bike. Sirris has its own test labs and all the necessary expertise to help manufacturing companies test and improve their products. The company called on the coating and plastics experts for advice about a suitable test set-up and how it should be implemented. This way the resistance against shocks and vibrations was tested in a special set-up with the components being inspected when exposed to UV radiation and moist salt spray.

The accelerated life-span tests made it possible to identify possible defects over a short period of barely three months, which would only have appeared after many years of normal use. The information gained from these tests will make it possible for the quality assurance team at Cowboy to make further improvements.

A year in the sun

In order to investigate the effects of the shocks and vibrations on the electrical and mechanical components, the bicycle was mounted on a test set-up as specified in the NBN EN 14764 c.2 standard. The test was carried out at a maximum speed of 18 kph over a period of 29 hours, which was the equivalent to covering 526 km. No defects were identified at the end of the test.

Various plastic components and coated parts of the electric bicycle underwent a UV ageing test in Sirris’s Smart Coating Lab. This test combined a cycle of damaging UV radiation and condensation at raised temperatures in order to provide accelerated simulation of the impact of sunlight (Factor 1:12). At various intervals the components were inspected for signs of degradation and discolouration. Some components displayed discolouration. Cowboy then looked at the possibility of making these components using a different plastic in future.

Sensitivity to corrosion

In accordance with ASTM B117, the entire bicycle, including wheels, underwent a corrosion test in a salt spray chamber for 1,000 hours. Components from various suppliers were also tested in the test chamber thereby serving as a benchmark, or so that they can be used as components in the next generation of Cowboy bicycles. This test provided very useful information about the resistance against rusting of the various components.

Based on the results obtained, Cowboy set to work to put an improved version of the e-bike on to the market. In addition to the tests carried out by Sirris, Cowboy carried out an additional climate test where the presence of condensation in the electronic housing was verified through continuous data logging. The company looks back on a successful collaboration with Sirris and will bundle all the information regarding the tests carried out in order to continue improving the quality of the e-bike.

This blog post is based on a publication in the June 2019 issue of the VOM magazine.

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