Can a Class 3 Ebike Be Modified to Effectively Make it a Class 1 Ebike?

timacn

Member
Hello. If I find a Class 3 Bike that I really like, a Specialized Vado, for example, can its controller settings be modified to limit its top speed to 20mph, thereby making it legal in all states, on bike paths, etc? Thanks.
 

ki11a

Active Member
That would only make it a class 2, a class 1 means it has no throttle and is only pedal assisted.

But to answer your question, yes; in essence if you can limit your settings you will effectively be changing the classes....except class 1 since that is pedal assisted only.

I dont know what the settings are like on the Vado, but on my Lectric XP there is a setting that is very easy to change on the controller to change it from a class 2 to a class 3 or vise versa.
 

timacn

Member
Thanks for your input. Not sure, but I don't think Class 3 Ebikes have throttles. This would be a modification of a Class 3 bike with no throttle into a Class 1 bike with no throttle.
 

ki11a

Active Member
It depends on the bike, my lectric has a throttle and can be changed into a class 3 from a class 2 BUT the throttle only goes up to 20mph while you have to pedal to 28mph.

But yes I get what you are saying now, if specifically the bike has no throttle and is a class 3, and has the setting to change it to a class 1...it is totally possible.
 

timacn

Member
Something like that makes sense. I've heard that there are "switches" that limit the top speed to 20mph instead of 28mph, the top speed of many Ebikes in the USA. Not sure if these "switches" really exist. It would be nice if they did. If you were in a state or on a bike path with a mandated top speed of 20mph, you could just throw a switch and make the bike compliant with local regulations.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
I like to keep things simple, being a simple kind of guy 🤪 so I think the easiest way of accomplishing this goal is simply not exceeding 20mph; problem solved!

Don't believe we have reached that point where the Safety Control Police are inspecting ebike's power settings and class ratings at the trail head......but give it time!
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
In agreement with Mike. How can you visually tell a class 1 between a class 3?

Many states don’t allow class 3 on the bike paths, so it makes sense to simply keep the speed below 20 while on a bike path. And then save the higher speeds for roads, hills, commuting, etc.

Yes, it’s sometimes difficult not to crank up the speed. For me, I leave my Vado in Eco mode, which requires too much power from my whimpy legs to exceed around 12-15 mph. Then when I’m off the bike path I change to Sport or Turbo mode.

If you plan to ride 100% on bike paths, then why get a class 3? Save some money for cool accessories and simply get a class 1.

Note: class 3 rocks! Speed is addicting.
 

StmbtDave

Active Member
The easiest way to turn a class 3 into a class 1

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Order from Bolton Bikes...
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Depending on where you ride, the regs may frown upon ebikes modified to be different from the class sticker on the bike, so even though you might be making a good faith effort to ride legally, you may still be breaking the rules. Class 1 vs. 3 is stupid to begin with, should be more about speed limits where ebikes can ride, not what ebikes can ride, not to rehash a discussion many times over. That said, if you want a bike you can modify on the fly you can do that with some of the Bafang mid drives but I don't think it's an option with euro spec mid drives unless you buy a class 1 and then buy a derestrictor to bump the speed limit to class 3.