CLASS 1 EBIKES: A VANISHING BREED?

timacn

Member
I am contemplating getting an ebike with an "upright rider orientation." I really like the Cannondale Tesoro, the Specialized Turbo Vado SL, and the Kona DewE DL. I would like to be able to ride this bike on bike trails, most of which seem to have a 20 mph limit for ebikes. For the record, I think many riders can exceed 20mph on a regular bike, so I don't "get" the 20 mph ebike speed limit, but the law is the law nevertheless, regardless of how much sense it makes to me or how rigidly it is enforced. That being said, I'm trying to narrow my search exclusively to Class 1 20mph ebikes and that takes the Specialized Vados out of the running, as they are all Class 3 bikes. The Cannondale Tesoro, which is the one I was leaning toward, had an X3 model which was a Class 1 machine but I have now discovered that as of 2021, all Cannondale Tesoro ebikes will be Class 3s. That leaves the Konas, which are great bikes. But I am not real fond of the light green color. I know it shouldn't matter, but there it is. A Cannondale rep told me that some Cannondale Tesoros that were made for Canadian distribution (Canada also reportedly only allows Class 1 machines) might be floating around but I haven't found any. To sum up, I have two basic questions: anybody know of any other good Class 1 ebikes with an upright rider orientation and does anybody know if the laws regarding Class 3 ebikes have changed recently? Thanks for your help.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I think my bike, the Como 3, is the only class 1 bike Specialized sells in the USA now. OTOH All the Canadian Specialized bikes are class 1. It's a mess.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Have you looked at Yamaha CrossConnect? It is a Class 1 ebike.

 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
To sum up, I have two basic questions: anybody know of any other good Class 1 ebikes with an upright rider orientation and does anybody know if the laws regarding Class 3 ebikes have changed recently? Thanks for your help.
Of course Trek has a variety of very good class 1 ebikes. The Allant family specifically. We have two Allant+7 that my wife and I love, one a Lowstep and the other a high step.
FE772961-7629-4AB8-B8FF-549C3215E983.jpeg
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Of course Trek has a variety of very good class 1 ebikes. The Allant family specifically. We have two Allant+7 that my wife and I love, one a Lowstep and the other a high step.
wow nice background. Looks like Bilbo Baggins might live there. What state?
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
I have a Trek Allant 8s. I'm waiting for the day I get stopped on a bike path, the officer whips out a magnifying glass to read the bike serial number, types it in on his phone to see if it's class 1 or 3. IOW, not going to happen. I think manufacturers understand that for the USA market, these limits are in theory, not practice.

I'd like to hear of one example of someone riding a class 3 sanely on a restricted bike path that got stopped. Haven't heard of even one case.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I have a Trek Allant 8s. I'm waiting for the day I get stopped on a bike path, the officer whips out a magnifying glass to read the bike serial number, types it in on his phone to see if it's class 1 or 3. IOW, not going to happen. I think manufacturers understand that for the USA market, these limits are in theory, not practice.

I'd like to hear of one example of someone riding a class 3 sanely on a restricted bike path that got stopped. Haven't heard of even one case.
i doubt that’ll happen.

however, at some point someone riding a class 3 eBike on a MUP is going to hit a pedestrian, cause injury, and be subject to significant uninsured liability when the attorneys for the other parties go after them.

that said, i ride a class 3 eBike on mixed use paths, carefully, and turned off. it’s a bit silly and i take the risk to be almost astronomically low with caution and common sense.
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
i doubt that’ll happen.

however, at some point someone riding a class 3 eBike on a MUP is going to hit a pedestrian, cause injury, and be subject to significant uninsured liability when the attorneys for the other parties go after them.

that said, i ride a class 3 eBike on mixed use paths, carefully, and turned off. it’s a bit silly and i take the risk to be almost astronomically low with caution and common sense.
I'm sure you're right. But I think the liability will be from careless operation (negligence) in hitting the pedestrian, not in breaking a local prohibition against class 3! But what do I know? I'm not an attorney.

I think we've all seen some pretty aggressive, careless riding on crowded bike paths. It's a wonder more accidents don't happen. Personally, I never ride crowded bike paths. No joy in doing so when there's a nearby road, which there almost always is.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Personally, I never ride crowded bike paths. No joy in doing so when there's a nearby road, which there almost always is.

same. i find the roads safer, and generally faster. i use mixed use paths when they go places that the roads don't.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
I am contemplating getting an ebike with an "upright rider orientation." I really like the Cannondale Tesoro, the Specialized Turbo Vado SL, and the Kona DewE DL. I would like to be able to ride this bike on bike trails, most of which seem to have a 20 mph limit for ebikes. For the record, I think many riders can exceed 20mph on a regular bike, so I don't "get" the 20 mph ebike speed limit, but the law is the law nevertheless, regardless of how much sense it makes to me or how rigidly it is enforced. That being said, I'm trying to narrow my search exclusively to Class 1 20mph ebikes and that takes the Specialized Vados out of the running, as they are all Class 3 bikes. The Cannondale Tesoro, which is the one I was leaning toward, had an X3 model which was a Class 1 machine but I have now discovered that as of 2021, all Cannondale Tesoro ebikes will be Class 3s. That leaves the Konas, which are great bikes. But I am not real fond of the light green color. I know it shouldn't matter, but there it is. A Cannondale rep told me that some Cannondale Tesoros that were made for Canadian distribution (Canada also reportedly only allows Class 1 machines) might be floating around but I haven't found any. To sum up, I have two basic questions: anybody know of any other good Class 1 ebikes with an upright rider orientation and does anybody know if the laws regarding Class 3 ebikes have changed recently? Thanks for your help.
If you are fine with only a "semi-integrated" battery instead of one hidden in the downtube, you can the 2020 (or is it 2019) Kona Dew E at some stores in Canada.

Same E6100 motor and 504wh battery capacity. Almost all the specs, including weight (a pretty svelt 43lbs) are the same as the newer model, but...

It's less expensive, and the metallic "root beer" colour looks fantastic.

 

BEC111

Well-Known Member
The MUP I ride all the time is often crowded on weekend, not so much on weekdays. I ride my Vado SL at a good pace, slower when there are lots of folks, faster when there aren’t. The road bike riders are almost always faster than me and often ride in groups. Drafting, passing and zooming along at close to 30 mph. When I think it’s safe, I can average as much as 18-20 mph, but usually ride 12-16. About the speed of most other casual riders, analog or E.

Remember, it’s assist. It requires a lot of effort to ride above 20 mph on the Vado SL. I have to pedal really hard, be on a flat or downhill, preferably with a tailwind to go that fast. As the OP points out, speed based classes don’t really make sense. Especially for otherwise legal bikes.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
I think my bike, the Como 3, is the only class 1 bike Specialized sells in the USA now. OTOH All the Canadian Specialized bikes are class 1. It's a mess.
I don't know what's going on with Specialized here in Canada.

Specialized has had the Vado SL 5.0 on their Canadian site since launch listing it with the 28mph limit no less, but talking to a couple of dealers they said it wasn't coming out here (this was in spring 2020).

It was just the 4.0 (limited to 20mph according to one local dealer, although at the time Specialized site once again said 28mph).

Just in the past couple of days, the 5.0 step thru has been popping up on local retailers here in Toronto (diamond frame "coming soon"), and their descriptions are saying 28mph (though most are probably copypasta from Specialized).
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Pretty much all EMTB bikes are class 1 (thats generally whats allowed on singletrack), so you could look at a hardtail EMTB and just put slicks on it. Any MTB is gonna have an upright riding position.
My 2016 Haibike Full Seven is a class 3. Sondors sells class 2 with reprogramming for higher speed. Luna and Bolton sell eMTB that go faster than 20mph. "Pretty much all" is a broad statement.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Each municipality carries the final legal requirements for the trails they maintain. And no, the national system of 3 classes has not changed recently.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
My 2016 Haibike Full Seven is a class 3. Sondors sells class 2 with reprogramming for higher speed. Luna and Bolton sell eMTB that go faster than 20mph. "Pretty much all" is a broad statement.
The OP was asking about Canada, so "pretty much all" is (sadly) a fair statement.