Classification for Bicycle Usage
Any type of bicycle is designed and built for a specific usage condition. Its frame and components are designed and selected according to the stress they are expected to be subjected to within this condition. It is therefore of great importance to think about what conditions you are planning to ride in before you buy a new bicycle and to select a model accordingly.
To make things a little easier for you we have implemented the international standard ASTM F2043-13* which consists of five different categories. If a bicycle is used in a higher category than defined for this bike by the manufacturer the stress on its materials will increase. This results in a shortened life span of all components and, in extreme cases, can lead to the failure of important components. This means an increased danger of accidents and injury. Therefore it is important to select a bicycle which intended usage condition covers the expected riding conditions. Please also note our comment at the end of the page.
Bike Category 1
This is a set of conditions for the operation of a bicycle on a regular paved surface where the tires are intended to maintain ground contact.
Bike Category 2
This is a set of conditions for the operation of a bicycle that includes Condition 1 as well as unpaved and gravel roads and trails with moderate grades. In this set of conditions, contact with irregular terrain and loss of tire contact with the ground may occur. Drops are intended to be limited to 15cm (6") or less.
Bike Category 3
This is a set of conditions for operation of a bicycle that includes Condition 1 and Condition 2 as well as rough trails, rough unpaved roads, and rough terrain and unimproved trails that require technical skills. Jumps and drops are intended to be less than 61cm (24").
Bike Category 4
This is a set of conditions for operation of a bicycle that includes Conditions 1, 2, and 3, or downhill grades on rough trails at speeds less than 40 km/h (25 mph), or both. Jumps are intended to be less than 122cm (48").
Bike Category 5
This is a set of conditions for operation of a bicycle that includes Conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4; extreme jumping; or downhill grades on rough trails at speeds in excess of 40 km/h (25 mph); or a combination thereof.
Like all manufacturers we try to combine maximum performance at a low weight and maximum durability in our products. The result are high-end mountain bikes which, like all high-end products, require correct and regular care and service. If this work is not carried out at all or not correctly it is possible for small defects to cause expensive and sometimes dangerous consequential damages. Weather and riding conditions dictate how often you need to clean and service your bike. For example: a hard day of downhill riding in extremely muddy and wet conditions means you will need to clean, lube and at least inspect your bike with care at the end of the session – not just our bikes, all bikes! The right set of good quality tools and knowledge on how to use them are of the essence here. If in doubt always contact us or a professional bike shop you trust.
Even though the above riding conditions dictate exact numbers in respect to jump heights and speeds, we are fully aware that nobody rides with a tape measure in their pocket. Nevertheless these measurements show certain limitations which are supposed to help you understand and judge the different usage conditions. Furthermore it is also clear that riding technique – especially if it is not fully developed – and rider weight are big factors when it comes to stress and can easily shift boundaries between two or more sets of conditions. If your riding technique or style is not yet well developed, even a jump of just a few centimeters can cause high stress on the bike and lead to crashes with all the unwanted results that are usually the consequence. Train your riding skills to be safer, become faster and less demanding on your material. Taking part in courses with certified instructors is a good idea even for seasoned riders, as there is always something new you can learn.
*Reprinted, with permission, from ASTM F2043-13 Standard Classification for Bicycle Usage, copyright ASTM International 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428, USA, www.astm.org.