Sport with your stroller: TFK developed together with TÜV Austria the Sport+ Test with appropiate demanding features
TÜV has relaxed the criteria for the use of buggies for sports purposes. Previously only models equipped with a fixed front wheel were officially permitted for use for sports purposes (jogging, inline skating, etc.). Anyone who had a buggy with a rotatable front wheel was not allowed to use it for sports purposes, i.e. jogging or skating. Trends for Kids (TFK), a company known for its innovations and ideas with regard to buggies for sporting use, was the only buggy manufacturer to pass the sportiness test introduced by TÜV with flying colours with its models. However, times have changed. By introducing amended criteria, TÜV has paved the way for other manufacturers to use some of its models for sports purposes. Although competition stimulates business and also offers the consumer more selection options, a bad aftertaste still remains here...
Models with a rotatable front wheel can now also be used for sports purposes
Previously, anyone who had a buggy from TFK with a fixed front wheel was on the safe side when it came to sporting use. TÜV had approved these models for sport-related use after the successful completion of an explicit sport suitability test. It goes without saying that this did not necessarily please the competing manufacturers, but rather was a thorn in their eye. Now the rival manufacturers have intervened at TÜV
with regard to this and have got their way, with a new sports test involving different requirements to the previous test being used as a decision-making criterion for the use of buggies for sports purposes. However, an aspect that catches the attention is that criteria established for this matter now appear to permit the use of buggies with a rotatable front wheel for sport-related use in future as well. Previously, this was not permitted; as a result, TFK, as the constant forerunner with respect to buggy models for sports use, categorically ruled out sport-related use of a buggy with a rotatable front wheel.
In the newly structured TÜV sport suitability test (EK2/AK2.3 14-02:2014), the following criteria must now be fulfilled:
- Tilt safety up to 15°.
- The five-point belt must have a load-bearing capacity of 250 newtons.
- An additional 36,000 cycles must be completed on the moving belt at a speed of eight kilometres per hour.
- The hand brake lever must prevent the buggy from setting off (with a person weighing 90kg on inline skates) on a gradient of 5.7°.
- It must be ensured that the wheels are fixed onto the buggy.
- It is essential that the back rest impedes impact of the head.
- The seat and the frame must be permanently connected to each other.
- A hand loop or a dead-man brake must be present.
TFK and TÜV Austria have developed their own test with stricter criteria
However, TFK will not subject its Joggster Twist, Joggster Lite Twist and Twinner Twist Duo models to this TÜV test for the time being. The criteria are simply far too slack, argue the buggy manufacturers from Ergolding. Instead, the buggy manufacturer has developed the so-called Sport + Test in collaboration with TÜV Austria. The technical tests according to the EN1888 standard, which are compulsory for all relevant models of the buggy manufacturer based in Ergolding, as well as the criteria from the new TÜV sport suitability test EK2/AK2.3 14-02:2014, act as the basis for this test. However, in addition to these test criteria the buggies must now also complete additional tests in the Sport + Test:
- Moving belt tests at 15 kilometres per hour.
- Brake tests with inline skates at 15 kilometres per hour.
- Driving dynamics tests.
- In addition, the buggies must have an active brake on the rear wheels as well as fixed front wheels with adjustable directional stability.
Sport + Test optimises safety of use for the end consumer
This Sport + Test sets the bar explicitly high compared to the "slack" TÜV test. The criteria to be fulfilled are so challenging that, in reality, only models with a fixed front wheel manage to complete this test successfully. With this test, really all imponderables with respect to sports suitability are ruled out. In practice, then, the company implements a plausibility check in order to guarantee the consumer corresponding safety when using TFK buggy models for sport-related purposes.
Light sporting activities such as fitness walking, etc.: Here, too, TFK offers the appropriate models
So, anyone who wants to do sport (jogging, inline skating, etc.) really effectively should use exclusively buggies such as the Joggster III or the Joggster Lite, which have passed the "strict" Sport + Test with flying colours. On the other hand, anyone looking for a buggy for only light sporting activities, such as fitness walking, does not necessarily have to opt for one of the highly sport-suitable models. TFK offers for this purpose models with a rotatable front wheel, which are outstandingly suitable for outdoor use and allow correspondingly light sporting activities.