A little troubling happening in the e-bike world...

smitty

Active Member
I noticed today, when checking out some e-bike videos on YouTube, that there is a lot of interest in "speed"where e-bikes are concerned. While that is perhaps well placed, I am concerned that before long we will all have to register, license, and insure our e-bikes...adding measurably to the cost of operation and increasing the aggravation factor where time and money are concerned. In addition the current hodgepodge of current state laws regarding e-bikes will likely be codified to some degree, but to what end? And of course, lighting, turn and brake signals, will all come under the umbrella of safety and licensing. I guess it will likely all become "part of the deal" but from this vantage point, it will take a little bit of the fun out of what many of us enjoy now. Those of us who got started early in the e-bike world have indeed been fortunate in this regard...
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Yes one group is pushing the limits. Sadly itwill end badly and likely with more regulations. You a actually be banned from their facebook page by questioning the judgement.
 

fxr3

Active Member
I noticed today, when checking out some e-bike videos on YouTube, that there is a lot of interest in "speed"where e-bikes are concerned. While that is perhaps well placed, I am concerned that before long we will all have to register, license, and insure our e-bikes...adding measurably to the cost of operation and increasing the aggravation factor where time and money are concerned. In addition the current hodgepodge of current state laws regarding e-bikes will likely be codified to some degree, but to what end? And of course, lighting, turn and brake signals, will all come under the umbrella of safety and licensing. I guess it will likely all become "part of the deal" but from this vantage point, it will take a little bit of the fun out of what many of us enjoy now. Those of us who got started early in the e-bike world have indeed been fortunate in this regard...
We have been very fortunate!
Going forward, would you trade reg., insurance, and blinkers for dedicated 28mph roads(paths)? Along with more ebikes, more rules, and less cars on the road- there is a fair chance that dedicated mini roads are possible.
We are lucky now, all the good things about bicycles with speed of mopeds, only restricted by our own compass. Sweet
 

smitty

Active Member
fxr3...not really...we can't even begin to take care of the roads we have now in this Country, so building new mini-roads seems highly implausible. And, for sure, it is very unlikely that there will be less cars on the road. Outside of major cities, one could probably count on the fingers of one hand those cyclists who have given up their car for an e-bike. I love the current freedom we enjoy and having a bicycle that exceeds a speed of 28mph is of little interest in my biking world. I guess that we will simply have to "wait and see", but I remain a bit troubled by what building "faster" bicycles portends. Thank you of weighing in on this subject...time to go for a ride...
 

pmac

New Member
I believe it is probable that as ebike speeds increase there will be a division between bicycles that provide some minimal assistance to the rider via an electric motor, with normal bicycle speeds and used like a bicycle, and something that more that travels at a higher rate of speed. In most of Western Europe, which has a much more developed cycling culture than the US, I believe the legal assist level tops out at 15 mph. My guess that is an attempt to keep ebikes speeds generally in line with the regular bikes that are sharing the same space.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of normal bicyclists are relatively slow and very seldom exceed 15 to 20 mph for any distance on normal rides. Once you have something that can exceed 25 mph for sustained distances, regardless of conditions, terrain, elevation, etc, you really have something that is no longer a bicycle in a traditional sense. That is not necessarily bad, but it is much more likely to treated as a slow motorcycle by governmental agencies, with all the things like licensing, etc that come with a motorcycle.
 

PTFC Brian

New Member
I noticed today, when checking out some e-bike videos on YouTube, that there is a lot of interest in "speed"where e-bikes are concerned. While that is perhaps well placed, I am concerned that before long we will all have to register, license, and insure our e-bikes...adding measurably to the cost of operation and increasing the aggravation factor where time and money are concerned. In addition the current hodgepodge of current state laws regarding e-bikes will likely be codified to some degree, but to what end? And of course, lighting, turn and brake signals, will all come under the umbrella of safety and licensing. I guess it will likely all become "part of the deal" but from this vantage point, it will take a little bit of the fun out of what many of us enjoy now. Those of us who got started early in the e-bike world have indeed been fortunate in this regard...
Very good points, and we'll have to watch the process as it unfolds.

However, wasn't the argument for s-pedelecs (28 mph), that a well-conditioned bicycle rider could maintain these speeds on a standard road bike? If that is the case, then the argument for more regulation would be to limit speed of all bicycles. Why penalize pedal-assist? I have gotten into many discussions in my office regarding the 'cheating' issue. My response to them is to ask if there bike has gears? If so, isn't that cheating using technology? Shouldn't they have to remove their gears, since the gearing allows them to go faster? It's a mechanical technology, but nevertheless, it's a technology.
 

fxr3

Active Member
Come to the Netherlands. Licence-plate recuired, insurance recuired, helmet recuired. For ebike limited to 45 kmph. Other ebikes (limited 25 kmph) are regulated as if standard bikes.
How much does insurance and license plate cost annually?
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I noticed today, when checking out some e-bike videos on YouTube, that there is a lot of interest in "speed"where e-bikes are concerned. While that is perhaps well placed, I am concerned that before long we will all have to register, license, and insure our e-bikes...adding measurably to the cost of operation and increasing the aggravation factor where time and money are concerned. In addition the current hodgepodge of current state laws regarding e-bikes will likely be codified to some degree, but to what end? And of course, lighting, turn and brake signals, will all come under the umbrella of safety and licensing. I guess it will likely all become "part of the deal" but from this vantage point, it will take a little bit of the fun out of what many of us enjoy now. Those of us who got started early in the e-bike world have indeed been fortunate in this regard...
As an avid eMTBer, my concern isn't speed, it's POWER. Several US ebike companies and bloggers tout thousands, if not tens of thousands, of watts on their ebikes and kits. Their blogs and posts often ridicule "underpowered" but much more singletrack-appropriate eMTBs. As gas-powered dirt bikes are apt to do, however, throttle-equipped "eMotos" tear up trails, scare hikers, horses and wildlife, and only serve to reinforce traditional MTBers' prejudices against much lower-powered pedal assist bicycles on "their" trails.
Yes one group is pushing the limits. Sadly itwill end badly and likely with more regulations. You a actually be banned from their facebook page by questioning the judgement.
I was chastised last year on YouTube for questioning the durability of regular knobby bicycle tires shown going 40+ MPH on pavement. They were lower-end fatbike tires, Kenda Juggernauts I believe, and I simply asked if they were rated for continuous use at such speeds. There's definitely a safety factor - why else would automobile tires be speed-rated, among other things? I envision death-by-blowouts at high speeds on these things! My YouTube query was met with derision and subsequently deleted.

My main problem with too-powerful ebikes is TRAIL ACCESS in the long run. I'll call'em out by name: Luna, Hi-Power Cycles, Stealth and Optibike "peddle" 3000W and much more! Sure, they generally disclaim their off-road eMotos as "for use on private land only," but we all know folks ride them wherever... the videos show this!
 
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Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
My main problem with too-powerful ebikes is TRAIL ACCESS in the long run. I'll call'em out by name: Luna, Hi-Power Cycles, Stealth and Optibike "peddle" 3000W and much more! Sure, they generally disclaim their off-road eMotos as "for use on private land only," but we all know folks ride them wherever... the videos show this!
Straight up attacks on anyone that doesn't ride a 40MPH bike. It is exactly what will bring the regulations we may not like and exactly why the MTB trail builders are upset. Clubs spend ten of thousands of meters hour developing trails. Tens of thousands of hard earned dollars. Thousand of hours supporting High School MTB clubs and some self aggrandizing self righteous rider on a crazy bike rips up the trails and feels they have every right. I've long spoken out about throwing motors of ANY size on Walmart and big box store $150 bikes. But until there's a tragedy... typically that's what it seems to take. I remember my long conversations with an OSHA inspector. A hated guy in many circles. But every stupid rule was a result of an incredibly stupid act. There a reason for not standing on the last rung of a ladder. But some feel entitled. Almost as frustrating to me as those that think forum conversations are covered by the first amendment and freedom of speech.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Come to the Netherlands. Licence-plate recuired, insurance recuired, helmet recuired. For ebike limited to 45 kmph. Other ebikes (limited 25 kmph) are regulated as if standard bikes.
Welcome!
It makes sense and because the eBike crowd is so small here and without much clout, it could happen here too. It's obvious here that bicycle peddles are just a mask for a small electric scooter or motorcycle.
 

jazz

Well-Known Member
I have both speed limited ebikes and super fast ones. I generally don't ride my fast ones on the street or near populated spots, that is what my e-motorcycle is for. Living in the NW there are plenty of off-road places to go.
That being said, I think they both have their places if used responsibly. I know "responsible" isn't always the case, but this can be said about most anything. People do have a need for speed and if it has a motor someone will find a way to make it go faster.

One of the biggest issues I have is lack of gear, namely helmet and/or pads, protection. Wrecking on an ebike going 30mph can potentially do a lot of harm to your body.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
"I think they both have their places if used responsibly."

SPOT ON!

I think it's irresponsible to support fast builds on low quality frames and braking system that are completely inadequate. I'm all for no or little regulation but the crazy stuff I saw supporting builds...
I bought a better than Walmart quality frame and mounted a BBSHD on the fat bike. NO WAY could the disc brakes handle that motor. My upgraded pads and rim brakes are better. And powerful motors are going on even lesser quality frames. Live and let live... I can't help but feel sorry for the poor sucker that smacks it in when he can't stop...
 

Peter Polling

New Member
In the Netherlands it is different I think. It is a relatively crowded country, with a lot of bicycles. Because it is a flat country, and a relatively small country, biking is popular.
That also means that the roads and users are used to bikes, but speed-bikes are new, and people are not used to that speed, su=o you have to be attending.

Insurance is aboot 250 euro a year (all-risk) and licence-plate is one time fee by buying, most of the time integrated in the price while buying.

Here almost everything is egulated, so ebikes are to. 2 different kinds: both only work when you work to. I dont agree that it is an moped, I have to work quite hard tot ge to 40+ kmph. An norml ebaike only works with you till 25 kmph, an a speedbike to 45 kmph.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
In the Netherlands it is different I think. It is a relatively crowded country, with a lot of bicycles. Because it is a flat country, and a relatively small country, biking is popular.
That also means that the roads and users are used to bikes, but speed-bikes are new, and people are not used to that speed, su=o you have to be attending.

Insurance is aboot 250 euro a year (all-risk) and licence-plate is one time fee by buying, most of the time integrated in the price while buying.

Here almost everything is egulated, so ebikes are to. 2 different kinds: both only work when you work to. I dont agree that it is an moped, I have to work quite hard tot ge to 40+ kmph. An norml ebaike only works with you till 25 kmph, an a speedbike to 45 kmph.
45KPH is quite common. The popular Bafang BBSHD is a 48-52KPH conversion. Many are building or attempting to build 65KPH bikes. Normal ebikes are in the 32KPH range. Americans seem to want speed. eBike under 25KPH are not very desirable.

You have many bikes I am very envious of. I have seen so many frames made there that I'd love to own, but they are impossibly expensive to import. Americans could earn much from the Dutch but I'm afraid we're to in love with big automobiles.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
In the Netherlands it is different I think. It is a relatively crowded country, with a lot of bicycles. Because it is a flat country, and a relatively small country, biking is popular.
...I dont agree that it is an moped, I have to work quite hard tot ge to 40+ kmph. An norml ebaike only works with you till 25 kmph, an a speedbike to 45 kmph.
To clarify: many - if not most - of the speedster (over 28mph/45kmPh) ebikes promoted in the USA have throttles and boast that you don't need to pedal to reach top speeds.
 

smitty

Active Member
Come to the Netherlands. Licence-plate recuired, insurance recuired, helmet recuired. For ebike limited to 45 kmph. Other ebikes (limited 25 kmph) are regulated as if standard bikes.

I suspect (conjecture) that the space and bike culture (many more bikes) in the Netherlands is probably responsible for some of the regulation? But there may indeed be "other" reasons...
I have both speed limited ebikes and super fast ones. I generally don't ride my fast ones on the street or near populated spots, that is what my e-motorcycle is for. Living in the NW there are plenty of off-road places to go.
That being said, I think they both have their places if used responsibly. I know "responsible" isn't always the case, but this can be said about most anything. People do have a need for speed and if it has a motor someone will find a way to make it go faster.

One of the biggest issues I have is lack of gear, namely helmet and/or pads, protection. Wrecking on an ebike going 30mph can potentially do a lot of harm to your body.
agree...glad you have the NW to "bike" in...lots of good country out there! And, yes, as many other replies have noted...a little responsibility goes a long ways.
To clarify: many - if not most - of the speedster (over 28mph/45kmPh) ebikes promoted in the USA have throttles and boast that you don't need to pedal to reach top speeds.

My point entirely...they are not true pedalecs and have little place in the world of e-bikes that do not exceed 28mph. It may indeed make sense to register and insure such a vehicle? Throttle on but leave the rest of us to enjoy our e-bikes...
 

RoadWrinkle

Active Member
Not all riders seek the higher watt/volt/amp systems because of a "need for speed". Larger riders with bad knees are one market segment that require more assist than the 250-350w systems can provide. The e-bike speed demons that run illegally on public roads are a danger to themselves and others, and certainly could lead to more regulation. It's all about how and where you use the technology. Your always going to have some people with bad judgment; but that does not seem to effect unit sales in other industries, like say for example, ATV/Jet Ski/Motorcycle sales, in fact safety innovation has produced much better products.