Omni - Safety

Safety Testing

TriRig's radical frame design has been thoroughly tested and passed all of the latest ISO standards for safety. It has also been approved for use in all ITU non-drafting events. Note that Omni was already legal in all USAT, Ironman, and Challenge events, but ITU requires independent ISO certification for "non-traditional" bikes. Not only did Omni pass ISO certification, but it's much, much stronger than the tests require. We ran all the tests on just one frame sample, even though ISO allows up to five fresh samples for various parts of the test. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Here's some more background and information on testing and safety.

ISO Testing Background

ISO (the International Standardization Organization) is an independent, non-governmental organization that helps to develop a system of standards for a variety of industries. While CPSC and EN testing has been used in the past, ISO has become the legal and de-facto body for developing standards related to bicycles. Moreover, the current ISO standards for bicycles are the most stringent in the industry, setting the highest bar for safety. ISO has published a comprehensive list of standards related to the function and safety of bicycles. Manufacturers who want to ensure their products comply with best practices for safety and performance do well to ensure their products meet the ISO standards. Unfortunately we can't simply publish what all of those standards are, as this is the proprietary work product of ISO. Any manufacturer wanting to conform to the standards needs to first purchase the publication from ISO (it's about $800 to purchase the bicycle testing standards). But we can describe these tests in a general way.

So what is the ISO testing process like? It's quite brutal. The process involves a variety of strength tests (single, high-impact events) as well as fatigue tests (medium-strength forces applied hundreds of thousands of times). The strength tests are designed to simulate crash-type events, to ensure that a part will remain intact and not shatter or fail catastrophically. The fatigue tests are designed to simulate a larger rider (say 300-350 lbs) using the part in a normal fashion over a lifetime of use. The fatigue tests are generally the more stringent of the tests, because they require that absolutely no visible damage be present after hundreds of thousands of testing cycles. Even a single hairline crack after 200,000 testing cycles means that the part fails testing.

At TriRig, these tests are integrated into our product development process. Our production facilities have ISO testing equipment in house, so that we can ensure our products are safe before moving from prototyping to full production. Moreover, we test even beyond the ISO standards, using higher forces than the tests require. Not only does this ensure we have robust and safe products, but also means that when we have our products sent for certification testing by independent testing facilities, we know beforehand that they will pass easily.

Testing for Omni

In the case of Omni, we knew that this testing was important not only on its own merits, to ensure customer safety, but also to provide concrete evidence that our radical frame design didn't introduce any structural or safety weaknesses. So we refined the carbon layup schedule for Omni until we could consistently pass testing at about 120% of the ISO safety standards. This makes for a VERY robust and VERY strong bike.

So, before we sold a single Omni, we knew that it was extremely safe and reliable. So when we proceeded to pursue independent certification, we decided to throw an additional challenge at the bike. We instructed the certification lab to run all tests on just a single sample for each frame size. Normally, ISO allows up to five fresh samples for various parts of the test. For example, after undergoing a couple hundred thousands of fatigue cycles, you are allowed to swap in a new sample for the high-impact strength tests. And generally, you can use fresh samples on each high-impact strength test. We asked the lab to do ALL fatigue AND strength tests on just a single frame of each size. The lab warned us that we were asking for a pretty tall order - virtually no bike could pass all tests on a single sample, and advised that we shouldn't expect Omni to do so. Nevertheless, we persisted. And Omni passed. Each size - Small, Medium, and Large - passed all ISO testing with just a single frame. TriRig is very proud of this achievement, and it means that Omni is among the safest and most durable bikes on the market.