Be aware, pedal-assisted bikes are NOT ebikes

Joezheng

New Member
I am one of the bike team members riding all Specialized Levo bikes and would like to get you aware of the new restrictions on ebikes imposed by Santa Clara County, CA and open spaces preserves. Newly installed “Ebike not allowed” signs everywhere in many bike trails in the county and many open space preserves. The motivation behind these signs is that an ebike runs by itself, a bicycle version of motorcycle, and can cause traffic accidents on trails by running over hikers.

Legally, all Specialized ebikes are now banned from these trails, which potentially wipes off the “ebike” market in US. Technically, Specialized's Levo and Como are pedal-assisted bikes, neither has the power or mechanism to go on its own. They stop whenever there is no movement on pedals. They are not really ebikes by its mechanics, just pedal-assisted bikes. “Ebike” is used as a fancy technical term to promote these pedal-assisted bikes but now makes these bikes practically useless on normal bike trails. I strongly suggest all bike manufacturers reclassify these bikes precisely and educate the government officials the difference between pedal-assisted bikes and real Ebikes before all bike trails prohibit these otherwise wonderful bikes.
 

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onlineaddy

Well-Known Member
I don’t like seeing ebikes banned from trails any more than anyone else here. But, pedal-assisted bikes with electric motors are ebikes. The distinction you’re making is in regards to the throttle function (or lack thereof). They are nevertheless ebikes. You can’t have it both way: reaping the benefits of using the terminology for sales and promotional purposes but, on the other hand, distancing yourself from the terminology when it hurts their legal use on trails.

I do, however, agree the law needs to be more specific in determining legality.
 

BET

Active Member
I don’t like seeing ebikes banned from trails any more than anyone else here. But, pedal-assisted bikes with electric motors are ebikes. The distinction you’re making is in regards to the throttle function (or lack thereof). They are nevertheless ebikes. You can’t have it both way: reaping the benefits of using the terminology for sales and promotional purposes but, on the other hand, distancing yourself from the terminology when it hurts their legal use on trails.

I do, however, agree the law needs to be more specific in determining legality.
e bikes are bikes under state and Federal law just as non assisted pedal bikes are. The problem does not lie with sellers or users of e bikes but with ignorant local politicians and others who decided to restrict these places without good reason. Citizens should use their political power to change these arbitrary rules. BTW assisted bikes with a throttle are no more dangerous than assisted bikes without a throttle.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
Word games, word play. Everybody here knows an Ebike is a pedal assisted bicycle, whether it has a throttle or not; as defined by federal laws and standards set to define the 3 classes of ebikes. Instead of playing word games, people connected to Specialized as well as every other ebike manufacturer selling in the US, should be proactive in taking these fiefdoms like in Santa Clara County, to court. Serving a lawsuit to these little Hitlers should be education enough. And it's long overdue that the industry starts fighting back against these people in local governmets.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Word games, word play. Everybody here knows an Ebike is a pedal assisted bicycle, whether it has a throttle or not; as defined by federal laws and standards set to define the 3 classes of ebikes. Instead of playing word games, people connected to Specialized as well as every other ebike manufacturer selling in the US, should be proactive in taking these fiefdoms like in Santa Clara County, to court. Serving a lawsuit to these little Hitlers should be education enough. And it's long overdue that the industry starts fighting back against these people in local governmets.
Problem is that these fiefdoms exist everywhere. Maybe next week they’ll start charging “special use fees/taxes” on ebikes, like they are starting to in many states on electric/hybrid vehicles.
 

Gordon71

Active Member
If it has an electric motor then it's an electric bike. The trails I ride on don't ban E bikes but do ban class 2&3 Ebikes. Mine is a class 2 so all I need to do is take a few seconds before entering the trails and unplug my throttle and I have a class 1.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
The motivation behind those signs is some self centered righteous jerk on an analog bike wanting to cut the amount of traffic down on HIS bike trails - who is whining to more uneducated officials regarding his concerns with absolutely no evidence to back his concerns.

Proof is the fact Florida has recently passed laws completely derestricting all 3 classes of ebikes on bike trails. They're allowed anywhere a bicycle is allowed.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
It’s a local use thing, IMO. Cali may be doing this a lot but stuff like this is happening all over.
To be fair though, it's mostly Cali.

Even here in Canada, packaging on all sorts of products will have a label that says "According to California this product will kill you and make your baby a mutant, and not the good kind with superpowers."

I didn't know that my socks were that dangerous. :D
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I would suggest getting involved with the local authorities. Go to public meetings, write letters and meet with local legislators, regulators and law enforcement. Ask for help from ebikers here and other places around the net. Ask local ebike dealers to help. Ask for help from cyclists that don't ride ebikes (yet). There's help out there. There are people willing to support reasonable regulations.

Above all, be very cautious what you post online. Whenever regulators research ebikes online they invariably land here. People don't like to be threatened with law suits or called Hitler. It will push them the other way, they'll just dig in.

The 3 class law never applied to any off road venue. That law specifically excluded them. With effort you can win access. If you read through the following threads you'll see access can be won. We aren't losing everywhere. It's not a win for all ebikes though. Class 2 and 3 ebikes are likely off the table for most regulators.


 

Eband

New Member
Here in NY's Hudson Valley, there are many Rail Trails , State Parks and Private Preserves to ride away from vehicle traffic. We ride our Como's with many other riders not typically seen bicycling on the mountainous trails until the Pedal Assist technology became available.

I've been educating all bicyclists who are willing to hear on the distinction of Pedal Assist Class I bicycles vs Electric Motorbikes-class 2 and 3.

The NY State Parks and Private Preserves have prominent signage at parking areas and website banning all but class 1 from the shared trails for trail preservation and safety.:

Minnewaska State Park Preserve “E-bike” Policy
Minnewaska State Park Preserve permits cyclists to operate “Class I” E-bikes on designated Carriage Roads where traditional “pedal” biking is permitted. “Class 2” and “Class 3” E-Bikes are prohibited.
To operate a “Low Speed E-bike” on Minnewaska State Park Preserve, an E-Bike must meet the following criteria:
All users must also adhere to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission Rules and Regulations regarding the use of traditional “pedal” bicycles on Minnewaska State Park Preserve property.
• The E-bike must be identified as a Class 1 with official manufacture label
• Weigh less than 100 pounds
• Be equipped with two or three wheels at least 11 inches in diameter, as well as operable pedals
• Be powered by an electric motor system rated at not more than 750 watts
• Be capable of speeds not more than 20 miles per hour on a level surface when powered by the motor source only
• Does not have the capability of being self-propelled (must be pedaled in order to engage the electric motor)

have fun



MINNW WS.jpg
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Gordon71

Active Member
Here in NY's Hudson Valley, there are many Rail Trails , State Parks and Private Preserves to ride away from vehicle traffic. We ride our Como's with many other riders not typically seen bicycling on the mountainous trails until the Pedal Assist technology became available.

I've been educating all bicyclists who are willing to hear on the distinction of Pedal Assist Class I bicycles vs Electric Motorbikes-class 2 and 3.

The NY State Parks and Private Preserves have prominent signage at parking areas and website banning all but class 1 from the shared trails for trail preservation and safety.:

Minnewaska State Park Preserve “E-bike” Policy
Minnewaska State Park Preserve permits cyclists to operate “Class I” E-bikes on designated Carriage Roads where traditional “pedal” biking is permitted. “Class 2” and “Class 3” E-Bikes are prohibited.
To operate a “Low Speed E-bike” on Minnewaska State Park Preserve, an E-Bike must meet the following criteria:
All users must also adhere to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission Rules and Regulations regarding the use of traditional “pedal” bicycles on Minnewaska State Park Preserve property.
• The E-bike must be identified as a Class 1 with official manufacture label
• Weigh less than 100 pounds
• Be equipped with two or three wheels at least 11 inches in diameter, as well as operable pedals
• Be powered by an electric motor system rated at not more than 750 watts
• Be capable of speeds not more than 20 miles per hour on a level surface when powered by the motor source only
• Does not have the capability of being self-propelled (must be pedaled in order to engage the electric motor)

have fun



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All those regs also describe a class 2 Ebike with the throttle unplugged which is what I do when I ride trails with similar restrictions.
 

BarryS

Active Member
I am one of the bike team members riding all Specialized Levo bikes and would like to get you aware of the new restrictions on ebikes imposed by Santa Clara County, CA and open spaces preserves. Newly installed “Ebike not allowed” signs everywhere in many bike trails in the county and many open space preserves. The motivation behind these signs is that an ebike runs by itself, a bicycle version of motorcycle, and can cause traffic accidents on trails by running over hikers.

Legally, all Specialized ebikes are now banned from these trails, which potentially wipes off the “ebike” market in US. Technically, Specialized's Levo and Como are pedal-assisted bikes, neither has the power or mechanism to go on its own. They stop whenever there is no movement on pedals. They are not really ebikes by its mechanics, just pedal-assisted bikes. “Ebike” is used as a fancy technical term to promote these pedal-assisted bikes but now makes these bikes practically useless on normal bike trails. I strongly suggest all bike manufacturers reclassify these bikes precisely and educate the government officials the difference between pedal-assisted bikes and real Ebikes before all bike trails prohibit these otherwise wonderful bikes.
You could also Vote these idiots making these stupid rules OUT OF OFFICE: They have proven they are idiots : California limits it's residents water Supply : While at the same time dumping billions of gallons of Mountain Rain And Snow Melt water back into the Ocean : What Idiots :
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Roughly half of regular mountain bikers dislike ebikes and want them kept off the trails. They lobby the local lawmakers to keep ebikes off the trails. There isn't good reason, and the other half that have tried them like them, and are not against them, but you have an uphill battle getting access to regular mountain bike trails in CA.
Hell, even in NM - ALL ebikes are classified as motor-vehicles - you can't ride them on any trails. AZ everything is more or less wide open. USFS still considers ebikes as motor vehicles and are banned on mixed-use trails throughout the country.

Santa Clara area is like a sub-zone of San Francisco. The mountain bikers have worked hard to gain access to trails on mountain bikes in the parks and forests. They don't want to risk losing that access by having eMTB's on them.

Yes, it's a mess. And why I bought a analog MTB for just these situations.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I am one of the bike team members riding all Specialized Levo bikes and would like to get you aware of the new restrictions on ebikes imposed by Santa Clara County, CA and open spaces preserves. Newly installed “Ebike not allowed” signs everywhere in many bike trails in the county and many open space preserves. The motivation behind these signs is that an ebike runs by itself, a bicycle version of motorcycle, and can cause traffic accidents on trails by running over hikers.

Legally, all Specialized ebikes are now banned from these trails, which potentially wipes off the “ebike” market in US. Technically, Specialized's Levo and Como are pedal-assisted bikes, neither has the power or mechanism to go on its own. They stop whenever there is no movement on pedals. They are not really ebikes by its mechanics, just pedal-assisted bikes. “Ebike” is used as a fancy technical term to promote these pedal-assisted bikes but now makes these bikes practically useless on normal bike trails. I strongly suggest all bike manufacturers reclassify these bikes precisely and educate the government officials the difference between pedal-assisted bikes and real Ebikes before all bike trails prohibit these otherwise wonderful bikes.

Welcome to EBR and thanks for posting. ;)

I am very disappointed to see the new eBike restrictions in Santa Clara County, CA where I live and ride.

My experience is that regular analog mountain bikes and horses are a far greater hazard to hikers on the trials.

I'm curious where the new sign was located... Monte Bello Open Space Preserve? (currently closed due to fires)

 

DougC

Member
I am one of the bike team members riding all Specialized Levo bikes and would like to get you aware of the new restrictions on ebikes imposed by Santa Clara County, CA and open spaces preserves. Newly installed “Ebike not allowed” signs everywhere in many bike trails in the county and many open space preserves. The motivation behind these signs is that an ebike runs by itself, a bicycle version of motorcycle, and can cause traffic accidents on trails by running over hikers.

Legally, all Specialized ebikes are now banned from these trails, which potentially wipes off the “ebike” market in US. Technically, Specialized's Levo and Como are pedal-assisted bikes, neither has the power or mechanism to go on its own. They stop whenever there is no movement on pedals. They are not really ebikes by its mechanics, just pedal-assisted bikes. “Ebike” is used as a fancy technical term to promote these pedal-assisted bikes but now makes these bikes practically useless on normal bike trails. I strongly suggest all bike manufacturers reclassify these bikes precisely and educate the government officials the difference between pedal-assisted bikes and real Ebikes before all bike trails prohibit these otherwise wonderful bikes.
I grew up in Santa Clara County (Northeast San Jose) in the 60s and 70s. Glad to have gotten out of there in the mid nineties. Although there are lots of great open spaces, and parks and places to hike, there's too many restrictions on where to park, and where you can take your dog, etc. Spent 12 years in Idaho and the last 14 years in Utah. Way different. Lots of open BLM land and National Forest land. Less than 45 minutes from where I live there's an incredible single track system shared by joggers, dog walkers and hikers, backpackers, dirt bikers, horse back riders, mountain bikers and hunters...and Moose and elk and bear and mountain lions and mountain goats and sheep. Amazing place and everybody seems to get along. The horse people are little uptight but I would be too if I was six feet off the ground on a 1k lb horse on single track next to a long way down hillside. So far nobody seems to care too much if you're on an eMtb bike. I've heard of some altercations up the in SLC area but since the older mountain bikers are getting a taste of the eMtb attitudes towards them seem to still be open.

That sign says 1.1 to Alpine Road and 2.0 to Skid Road. That's in Pescadero County park?

Only option for you as has been suggested is to educate the political people on the different class of bikes. Should be no issue whatsoever sharing some of the higher elevation and more remote trails with Class 1 eMtbs. I've been on many of those trails, and dirt roads, off Skyline Blvd in the Santa Cruz Mtns years ago and they're perfect for the eMtb. Particularly the steep dirt roads on the West side of Skyline. Used to hike up to Butono ridge trail from Pescadero County park and sometimes even over to Big Basin, and sometimes the other direction to Sam McDonald park. And in the Diablo range on the East side the trails below Mt. Hamilton and in Henry Coe State park. All those trails should be OK with dogs too but they don't allow dogs.

I think a lot of the control issues with that area are population and demographics related. Lets just say certain groups of people love to party and have caused problems starting in the 60s. Thinking of places like Alum Rock park and Kelly park. And then there's the conservation crowd who are the ecology stewards of the "open" lands. Yeah, lets set aside all this open land from development, but oh by the way, it's very remote and bikes aren't allowed so unless you're really fit it's only going to get used by a specific group of people.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I grew up in Santa Clara County (Northeast San Jose) in the 60s and 70s. Glad to have gotten out of there in the mid nineties. Although there are lots of great open spaces, and parks and places to hike, there's too many restrictions on where to park, and where you can take your dog, etc. Spent 12 years in Idaho and the last 14 years in Utah. Way different. Lots of open BLM land and National Forest land. Less than 45 minutes from where I live there's an incredible single track system shared by joggers, dog walkers and hikers, backpackers, dirt bikers, horse back riders, mountain bikers and hunters...and Moose and elk and bear and mountain lions and mountain goats and sheep. Amazing place and everybody seems to get along. The horse people are little uptight but I would be too if I was six feet off the ground on a 1k lb horse on single track next to a long way down hillside. So far nobody seems to care too much if you're on an eMtb bike. I've heard of some altercations up the in SLC area but since the older mountain bikers are getting a taste of the eMtb attitudes towards them seem to still be open.

That sign says 1.1 to Alpine Road and 2.0 to Skid Road. That's in Pescadero County park?

Only option for you as has been suggested is to educate the political people on the different class of bikes. Should be no issue whatsoever sharing some of the higher elevation and more remote trails with Class 1 eMtbs. I've been on many of those trails, and dirt roads, off Skyline Blvd in the Santa Cruz Mtns years ago and they're perfect for the eMtb. Particularly the steep dirt roads on the West side of Skyline. Used to hike up to Butono ridge trail from Pescadero County park and sometimes even over to Big Basin, and sometimes the other direction to Sam McDonald park. And in the Diablo range on the East side the trails below Mt. Hamilton and in Henry Coe State park. All those trails should be OK with dogs too but they don't allow dogs.

I think a lot of the control issues with that area are population and demographics related. Lets just say certain groups of people love to party and have caused problems starting in the 60s. Thinking of places like Alum Rock park and Kelly park. And then there's the conservation crowd who are the ecology stewards of the "open" lands. Yeah, lets set aside all this open land from development, but oh by the way, it's very remote and bikes aren't allowed so unless you're really fit it's only going to get used by a specific group of people.

I completely agree with your analysis... the problem is California over-regulation, not EBikes. ;)