FATIGUE AND STATIC TESTING – MOAB
All Ritchey products are tested to exceed ISO 4210 safety requirements. Many of these tests are performed on our unique testing machines (MOAB I & II) located directly inside the Ritchey Asia product development department. This location gives Ritchey development and quality control staff immediate access to all in-house testing equipment during the business day, which allows us to improve the ability to regularly monitor all testing activity and make any adjustment as needed.
Prototypes as well as random production samples undergo fatigue and static load testing 24 hours per day to maintain the highest level of safety. This is done not only for our pre-production products but also to help maintain consistently high quality in all products during normal production. In addition to managing our own in-house testing lab, Ritchey also works extensively with SGS (a Swiss company that provides independent inspection, verification, testing and certification services) and other European-based independent testing laboratories to ensure Ritchey products meet the high requirements mandated by governmental agencies, standardization bodies and Ritchey customers.
In-house Impact testing is conducted on all Ritchey forks and wheels to exceed ISO safety requirements for impact resistance. This means that weights are dropped from various, increasing heights simulating a frontal impact. Ritchey wheels and forks are regularly tested and tuned during the development process to ensure that in the unfortunate event of a frontal impact, the likelihood of a catastrophic failure is minimized. We consider this to be one of the most crucial tests conducted at our testing facility.
Although it is not an ISO Safety required test, we do also subject both road and mountain handlebars to severe drop testing. Large weights are affixed to the ends of the handlebar, or in the drops in the case of a road bar, and the bar is dropped from various heights onto a solid striker, bringing the bar to an immediate stop, which forces the bar to absorb and dissipate the impact energy. The ability of the handlebar to effectively absorb and dissipate this energy is a key attribute that is used to develop some of the safest handlebars currently available. We conduct drop testing in conjunction with fatigue testing to test prototype and production products at the highest stresses possible.
In order to replicate ‘real world’ forces acting on wheels in a lab environment, Tom Ritchey designed his own wheel testing machine named JOBST - an homage to his mentor Jobst Brandt. JOBST assists Ritchey on a daily basis to test wheels under various weight loading, resistance, speed and road conditions to monitor performance during the development process and test wheels to their limits in a controlled environment.