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Old 04-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #61
teizms
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Originally Posted by ranmafan View Post
And I agree with that, of course. But the point I was trying to make, in a few words, is that without the certification itself, there's no way to tell if the gear you buy is the same as the gear that was tested.
actually with the certification also there is no way to prove.. absolutely no way!
as velocitygear said earlier, there is no method to maintain compliance. So, you could create some very high-end samples and get certified through them and then slap the certification label on a much inferior production versions. Nothing can stop you from doing this - there are absolutely no checks for this. The certification is one time thing - after that it is the honor system that you will continue to manufacture in the same manner as the test samples.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:58 AM   #62
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actually with the certification also there is no way to prove.. absolutely no way!
as velocitygear said earlier, there is no method to maintain compliance. So, you could create some very high-end samples and get certified through them and then slap the certification label on a much inferior production versions. Nothing can stop you from doing this - there are absolutely no checks for this. The certification is one time thing - after that it is the honor system that you will continue to manufacture in the same manner as the test samples.
It's true that there are no on-going checks (although, if I understand correctly, random tests do happen). You are, however, taking on a much greater legal risk. Should someone get injured and decides to complain, and the incident gets found out, I doubt you'd get off lightly. I'd say that's quite a difference, compared to having pretty much no legal obligations whatsoever for a fashion garment.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:06 AM   #63
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It's true that there are no on-going checks (although, if I understand correctly, random tests do happen). You are, however, taking on a much greater legal risk. Should someone get injured and decides to complain, and the incident gets found out, I doubt you'd get off lightly. I'd say that's quite a difference, compared to having pretty much no legal obligations whatsoever for a fashion garment.
actually that is also not correct. all manufacturers will say somewhere on their site that use at own risk - no responsibility will be accepted for injuries caused while using this equipment.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #64
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actually that is also not correct. all manufacturers will say somewhere on their site that use at own risk - no responsibility will be accepted for injuries caused while using this equipment.
What you can say and what you real obligations are... are very different things. Same as with EULAs and similar pseudo-legal BS.

I'll look up more specific PPE regulations regarding this later. At any rate, I doubt that any European court will take kindly to selling non-certified PPE with a misused CE tag after it leads to an injury.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:06 PM   #65
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actually with the certification also there is no way to prove.. absolutely no way!
as velocitygear said earlier, there is no method to maintain compliance. So, you could create some very high-end samples and get certified through them and then slap the certification label on a much inferior production versions. Nothing can stop you from doing this - there are absolutely no checks for this. The certification is one time thing - after that it is the honor system that you will continue to manufacture in the same manner as the test samples.
An excellent example of this was Exxon-Mobil selling Mobil 1 motor oil that didn't meet the API/ILSAC certification testing requirements for the Starburst labeling the bottles wore. After well more than a full year of this nonsense, a competitor finally outed them, publicly (after going to XOM directly to say they wanted them to comply with the certification requirements). What happened to XOM? Nothing. At all. Absolutely, positively nothing.

XOM is the largest corporation on the planet, and a member of the certifying body whose mark they were improperly using. Is it at all surprising that nothing happened to them?

Later on, the same certification body threatened (and I believe actually initiated?) legal action against some microscopically-small bottler(s) for their similar improper use of the certification mark/labeling.

Is anyone, anyone at all, surprised it worked/works this way?

That's why, in just one example, 'certification' is unimportant to me. 'Certification' is almost universally used as a tool for the strong/big to beat down the small/weak in defense of their market. It's about money.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #66
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An excellent example of this was Exxon-Mobil selling Mobil 1 motor oil that didn't meet the API/ILSAC certification testing requirements for the Starburst labeling the bottles wore. After well more than a full year of this nonsense, a competitor finally outed them, publicly (after going to XOM directly to say they wanted them to comply with the certification requirements). What happened to XOM? Nothing. At all. Absolutely, positively nothing.

XOM is the largest corporation on the planet, and a member of the certifying body whose mark they were improperly using. Is it at all surprising that nothing happened to them?

Later on, the same certification body threatened (and I believe actually initiated?) legal action against some microscopically-small bottler(s) for their similar improper use of the certification mark/labeling.

Is anyone, anyone at all, surprised it worked/works this way?

That's why, in just one example, 'certification' is unimportant to me. 'Certification' is almost universally used as a tool for the strong/big to beat down the small/weak in defense of their market. It's about money.

more example include a ton of "certificates" & "seals" you see on websites. "this cart is safe" (not talking about ssl), "this vendor is great" - pay $300 a month/year and get that label for your site.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:26 PM   #67
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An excellent example of this was Exxon-Mobil selling Mobil 1 motor oil that didn't meet the API/ILSAC certification testing requirements for the Starburst labeling the bottles wore.
Nope, sorry, not a good example at all. I'm not overly informed about the details, but API is a "trade association", meant to include/represent industry members from the start and to work for the industry's benefit.

CEN, on the other hand, is non-profit, has EU states as members, and has entirely different objectives. Ideally, protection of consumers ought to be their higher priority.

Not to mention completely different class of products and direct hazard to consumers, or the fact that, were it not for the API certification, there would have been no case against them at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teizms View Post
more example include a ton of "certificates" & "seals" you see on websites. "this cart is safe" (not talking about ssl), "this vendor is great" - pay $300 a month/year and get that label for your site.
This is even less related. For one thing, I doubt they're making much money after certification is obtained - if anything, it's probably in their interest to fail you and keep you coming back for more tests. The labs themselves are not necessarily the ones who handle certification, either.

At any rate, enforcement is an entirely different issue here. I do agree that they've been too lax so far, especially enforcing the directive regarding "protective" wording in ads. The alternative, however, is essentially no consumer protection whatsoever - not even implied.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #68
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Speaking of certification, I still haven't received a reply from Racer.

Now that I think about it, I don't believe the "Level 2" could possibly refer to EN13594 - would the lab really be testing against a draft standard?

In other words, Racer's gloves may actually be another case of "Level 2 impact protector" and nothing else.

EDIT: Also added Lindstrands boots.

ranmafan screwed with this post 04-24-2012 at 10:44 PM
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:21 PM   #69
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This is even less related. For one thing, I doubt they're making much money after certification is obtained - if anything, it's probably in their interest to fail you and keep you coming back for more tests. The labs themselves are not necessarily the ones who handle certification, either.

At any rate, enforcement is an entirely different issue here. I do agree that they've been too lax so far, especially enforcing the directive regarding "protective" wording in ads. The alternative, however, is essentially no consumer protection whatsoever - not even implied.

R u serious ... what kind of test do you think they are doing? it is as simple as this - you pay a monthly fee for displaying a seal on your webpage. i have deep experience with sort of stuff so i am not going to argue further. yes there might be some providers whose seal actually means something but majority are just paid seals that anyone can get.

bringing the discussion back to riding gear-
in reality, there is no real consumer protection in most cases
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:44 PM   #70
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R u serious ... what kind of test do you think they are doing? it is as simple as this - you pay a monthly fee for displaying a seal on your webpage. i have deep experience with sort of stuff so i am not going to argue further. yes there might be some providers whose seal actually means something but majority are just paid seals that anyone can get.
Sigh. "They" being the CEN and friends, of course.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:02 AM   #71
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my friend reminds me...

My good friend reminds me that U.S.A. actually stands for "United Scam of America." I guess it has now gone worldwide. As one gets "older" it is more and more difficult to believe anything one reads. It is too bad since one goes out and tries to buy gear that will help protect them in a crash.

Oh! Now in Turkey most of the "Turkish Carpets" are made in China...tags cut off...dragged through a field behind a tractor...washed...and you now have an antique Turkish carpet. I guess the same kind of thing applies to testing bike stuff. You pay good bucks and get ??????????????????
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:49 AM   #72
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Oh! Now in Turkey most of the "Turkish Carpets" are made in China...tags cut off...dragged through a field behind a tractor...washed...and you now have an antique Turkish carpet. I guess the same kind of thing applies to testing bike stuff.
...Well, except most gear manufacturers are too cheap to even rent a tractor.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #73
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First of all, I want to say Thanks! to the OP. It is really a very nice service to provide us with this handy list of all certified gear. (I'm currently shopping for better gear, if you were wondering.) Furthermore, it's clear that there's a lot of confusing and/or misleading language out there, and it takes a lot of time to read all the small print and start making sense of it. Thanks for sharing the results of all that work. You've earned a bookmark on my computer :).


I also wish to express respect to Velocitygear for their choices. I am reminded of shopping at my local farmer's market. The real small farms are, more often than not, NOT certified organic. When you ask them, they shrug and say, "we don't use pesticides, we are GM-free, and so on. But we can't really afford the thousands of dollars it costs to get certified." I trust that they speak the truth. And then you go and see who IS certified. Well, the biggest organic retailer in the world is Walmart. Go figure. I hope no-one seriously expects them to give a f*ck about the environment or your health. And a lot of medium-size farms that are run like a professional business. But the certification itself has become big business. It's regulated by the FDA, which is subject to loads of business interests, if you hadn't noticed. Meanwhile, your truly progressive, natural-lifestyle and environment loving friends have already moved way beyond "organic", now that it's been recuperated by big business.

Okay, back to motorcycles. The stakes are a little higher here than whether your tomato was sprayed or not. I love the idea of a "guaranteed to be safe" label. However, as has been pointed out, the label really only means "we dropped a brick on it, and it made a dent of 0.5 mm". Next time you take a fall, try to act like a brick :). (I know, I know, the brick represents the road surface, not the rider.) Some of the tests seem to use impacts that remind me of parking lot speeds, though I haven't read as much as the OP. Then think of helmets, where DOT and SNELL have different opinions on what helmet safety means. Then there's SHARP, which actually publishes rankings and some level of detail. So who's right? All of these labels should be given some weight; generally, I'm inclined to think US tests will be more catered towards business (rather than consumers) compared to European tests, but that may be a prejudice.


Personally, if a manufacturer is able to post actual test results, I will hold that to equally high value (or better) than the certification. Even more so than VelocityGear, MotoPort has come to this forum plenty of times to explain why they think CE is not the end-all, and how they think they know better than CE what's good for you. To me they sound pretty convincing.


As consumers, we have no easy way of deciding what the best option is. Personally, I don't think there are guarantees. I would hold community recommendations, test results, certification, and (with exceptions) price, as factors that increase the likelihood of being protected in a fall. Therein lies the value of this thread to me: it lists all gear that meets one of these criteria. I'd love to see another thread with manufacturer's test results, such as provided by Spidi.

But I don't know. I recently took a 25mph fall on pavement, wearing a $500 Shoei helmet that gets the highest ***** rating in SHARP. I still had a (modest) concussion. Of course it could've been worse with a lower-rated helmet, who knows? (Incidentally, the cheapest helmet receiving the same highest 5* rating costs ... $70: the Nitro Aikido. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either.)


I guess I could've saved you much reading by just saying I'm still confused. "What does it all mean?!"

I wish we could start a Motorcycle Safety Learning Institute solely sponsored by riders' contributions, where we buy loads of stuff from all manufacturers and beat the crap out of it. Or maybe we could bring in all the expertise from private company R&D, such as the Motoport and Velocitygear people, and make a definitive publication on what really matters in motorcycle crashes of various kinds (e.g. off-road vs interstate vs race track), and what tests are representative, and how different gear measures up. The gear would have a rating for ALL important tests (abrasion, impact, seam strength, puncture resistance, tear resistance, am I missing any?), so no-one could get away any longer with touting just one aspect while sucking at the others. (See the example on the Velocitygear website on why impact/abrasion resistance may be pointless if your seams come apart ... includes pictures of ugly flesh wounds.)


This thread is a useful step. As with the "certified organic" label, it doesn't tell the whole story and excludes a bunch of companies with integrity and competence; but it is still a meaningful and helpful instrument.


(getting off soapbox now ...)
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:43 PM   #74
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PS Looking at the velocity gear website -

it says "tested" rather than "certified" everywhere, which seems fair. It doesn't say "certified" anywhere, afaik. In one place, I found "1ST CE GRADE GLOVE", which sounds perilously close to implying certification.

All in all, I think VG is making a good case for themselves and I'd encourage them to do so even more boldly: name all the tests you passed; include a short but clear statement that you didn't actually submit for certification. Publish actual results (numbers, graphs) which you claim to have. As both VG and the OP have pointed out, there's a lot of murkiness in certification land, and I think informed consumers would respect a high level of clarity, and reward it with business. Especially since it looks like you know your business. Again, look at Motoport. They don't have CE, but they are clear about the quality they claim (perhaps erring on the side of a little much boldness ;-)) and they certainly seem to have earned much respect and business here.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #75
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A few things I'm curious about :

* There's a difference between having the entire jacket/pant at a certain protection level; or only the high-risk zones (back, shoulders, etc. have armor or reinforced materials). Is there any data on how important this is? In other words, in how many % of accidents does the rider suffer injury to a non-standard location? (Standard meaning: shoulders, elbows, back, hips, coccyx, knees)

* I wonder about Cordura500, which is still used in many very high-end suits ($1000-2000). Some places tout it as being this awesome protective stuff, whereas others make it seem as passe and no longer good enough. Meanwhile there's cordura 1000 and cordura 2000 out there; cordura 1000 claimed to be 5x stronger than cordura 500 and comparable to competition leather. Is it crap or not?
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