CLASS 1 EBIKES: A VANISHING BREED?

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
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.
I think @jabberwocky is correct that there are more class 1 mtn and off road ebikes than road bikes, especially in bike shops. I'd consider putting street tires on class 1 and class 2 off road bikes if enforcement matters, but so far it doesn't.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Sondors, Luna, and Bolton don't sell in Canada?

Can't speak for Sondors - maybe? I've only seen one on the roads here in Toronto. :)

I haven't looked into it in a while (over a year?), but getting a Luna shipped to Canada is prohibitively expensive, and Bolton will only ship Biktrix to Canada (probably directly from Biktrix in Canada).

By law, any e-bike coming into Canada needs to be limited to Class 1/2, even if derestricting is as easy as changing a menu option, though that might be getting trickier as well...

Transport Canada has also changed its policy re: importing e-bikes, as of February this year. I'm not sure if/how it's affected anyone in the real world, but the way it's written, it seems they want to crack down on more powerful e-bikes.

 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
I don't get the title of this thread, "A VANISHING BREED"?

"CLASS 1 EBIKES" pretty much the industry NORM and here to STAY.

(If the OP used CAPS, then surely I can too.)
 

jabberwocky

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.
OK. I'll note that I think Haibikes current EMTB lineup is class 1 (or mostly class 1; I can't find anything other than class 1s on their website for the USA at least). Luna and Bolton seem to cater to the "rules don't apply to me" market, which, fine, but if the OP was in that market he wouldn't be trying to find actual class 1s over class 3s in the first place.

Just noting that for the most part you're going to find a lot of class 1s in the EMTB realm, and if you want an upright general purpose cruiser an EMTB with slicks should work just fine.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You would think that a wide open Country like Canada that should care about the environment would realize that limiting ebike assist speed to just 20mph essentially reduces the merits for commuting. But hey, if you are getting money from oil and gas then you don't want ebikes to reduce that dependency you want to neuter their capability.

The US federal definition is actually a great specification 750W below 20mph but limited power above 20mph to what sustains a 170lb (average when written but weight on level surface a minor factor) on a level surface. Few really understand this actually well written specification. It allows more power below 20mph for utility bikes while eliminating the rediculously dumb assist cut-offs. The power limitation above 20mph provides for a bit more speed but actually controls the typically riding speeds in the range of traditional bikes.

One big obstacle in the US is that local land managers and officials really lack the technical knowledge to rationalize that low speed electric bikes compliant to this specification were to be "use" regulated as a bike. Sadly 3-class legislation promoted by People for Bikes (with lobby money mainly from Bosch (the largest car parts producer in the world)) has been trying to supersede the original federal definition and a lot of riders have drank their koolaid that it was clarity and safety (both are lies). It was 100% regulatory capture not intended to help the adoption of ebikes whatsoever.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I don't get the title of this thread, "A VANISHING BREED"?

"CLASS 1 EBIKES" pretty much the industry NORM and here to STAY.

(If the OP used CAPS, then surely I can too.)
I have a petition with the CPSC to preempt the 3-class legislation on the grounds that it violated interstate commerce laws. You can search for this petition on the EBR forum. Few care to take the time to really learn the facts of regulations (too busy watching the Kardashians or Duck Dynasty). Read HR727 and understand that was in place for over 12 years and no issues before PFBs started pushing the 3-class nonsense that has created problems. Learn what allowing the assist to continue past 20mph that would sustain a 170lb rider on a level surface at 20mph really means - it means an assist of 300-350W is allowed but that is quickly negated by aerodynamics above 20mph. All I can do is guide people to what the facts are ... I can not do the learning for them.
 

Gordon71

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.
After riding the trails for over a year the associated camp grounds opened for the first time since covid struck so I was able to talk to a ranger for the first time. The trails were all marked 20MPH and Class 2&3 prohibited. I have a Rad Rover ST and had always just unplugged the throttle prior to riding the trails which makes it function like a class1. I asked her if that was OK and she said it was. The one thing I forgot to ask her was why the 20MPH speed limit. The trails are 8' wide gravel with lots of sharp corners and hills and I don't think there was any place on them where it was safe to go that fast. In any case there are plenty of class 2 bikes out there which are easily converted to class 1 when necessary.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I am not going to speculate about the motives of PFB or Bosch, but land managers need a reason to allow ebikes and face the inevitable complaints from walkers, runners, and horse riders. By banning some, but not all bikes, from trails they can seem to be doing something for each group.
The alternative is to just ban all ebikes.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
After riding the trails for over a year the associated camp grounds opened for the first time since covid struck so I was able to talk to a ranger for the first time. The trails were all marked 20MPH and Class 2&3 prohibited. I have a Rad Rover ST and had always just unplugged the throttle prior to riding the trails which makes it function like a class1. I asked her if that was OK and she said it was. The one thing I forgot to ask her was why the 20MPH speed limit. The trails are 8' wide gravel with lots of sharp corners and hills and I don't think there was any place on them where it was safe to go that fast. In any case there are plenty of class 2 bikes out there which are easily converted to class 1 when necessary.
A good question for the ranger is why only Class 1? They'll mumble and stumble inarticulately. Does that ranger even understand that a cadence-assist ebike is essentially closer to a thottle-assist than what most of use consider a "pedelec" (there the priority programming logic is on crank torque)? Any engineer could explain to that ranger that it would be easy to design an assist system that power was controlled by the throttle but the throttle would only function if there was some crank cadence (ie the rider was required to be pedaling). I just get frustrated that people with little or know understanding of the tech are making decision policies that focus on trail access when the world needs a great urban mobility solution that simply will not happen if the industry prioritizes on Class 1 and Class 3 (which can't have a throttle yet is only allowed on the roads where every other vehicle has a throttle - not that is maybe the dumbest regulation of all).

I again encourage every ebiker to read and understand HR727 in that a compliant "low speed electric bicycle" was intended to be just a BIKE and use regulated by the states as a bike (the AG of Mississippi reviewed the statutes and even concluded that in a public statement ... sadly the only one with the courage to make a public statement with getting money from a court case which is almost unheard of these days from lawyers).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I am not going to speculate about the motives of PFB or Bosch, but land managers need a reason to allow ebikes and face the inevitable complaints from walkers, runners, and horse riders. By banning some, but not all bikes, from trails they can seem to be doing something for each group.
The alternative is to just ban all ebikes.

That is all the koolaid everyone keeps drinking. A compliant "low speed electric bike" is defined federally as a bike. Those land managers do not have the power to alter that regardless of how big their egos are. If there was any data showing that compliant LSEBs were causing any safety or wear issues on paths I would listen to the land managers but they have NOTHING to back up their position. Telling me they got a complaint from a walker or horse rider is nice and cute but is meritless because we don't know if that ebike was compliant of if the issue was created by them. Many hikers and horse riders want the trails to themselves and feel their experience is ruined if any bikers are allowed. It's just another one of America's great whine fests.

They have the power to ban ALL ikes but that would result in a major backlash. I'd be willing to bet that 99% of all the complaints about ebikes on trails managed by these land managers are not even compliant ebikes but they get lumped in a such because ignorance is rampant.

The fact is the definition in HR727 is intelligently written (it was drafted by a PhD Electrical Engineer named Malcolm Currie and he spoke to congress about the importance of ebikes being passed from NHTSA to the CPSC to be regulated as a bike) and the idiots at People for Bikes should never have pushed 3-ass legislation. or did I mean 3-class....nope.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
I am not going to speculate about the motives of PFB or Bosch, but land managers need a reason to allow ebikes and face the inevitable complaints from walkers, runners, and horse riders. By banning some, but not all bikes, from trails they can seem to be doing something for each group.
The alternative is to just ban all ebikes.
I think OP is located in PA (my home state) and I know some localities are pretty strict about enforcement there, so its not unreasonable to try and find something legal (especially if you're just riding recreationally). To the OP, the big question is what brands your local shop that you like carries (if applicable). I know some of Cannondales entry level bikes use the Bosch active line motors which are 20mph limited. If you have a Giant dealer around, look at the Talon E (designed as a 29er hardtail, but with a tire swap would make a good path cruiser). Kona (also mentioned by OP) has two hardtail emtb models that are class 1 (El Kahuna and Remote) using Shimano motors. Any of the chinese hub motor brands (like Rad) could just have the throttle unplugged and removed too.
 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
The problem I have along with every cruiser bikers, kids on training wheels, dog walkers, joggers, etc, on designated bike lanes, is that I keep seeing punks who think their "e-thing" without a provincial registration plate is also allowed on the same lanes, and that we are all in THEIR way.

I will be voting for the MP that will enforce anything "fast" to require a provincial registration plate.

If you don't like that, contact your MP. Meanwhile, me and all the cruiser bikers, kids on training wheels, dog walkers, joggers, will also contact our MP.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Where is the OP located? I can't see any mention of Canada, though I could have missed that.

Also, OP stated he prefers to be legal, and specifically asked about class 1... Just saying 😉😉😉.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
If I have a multi-mode ebike that can be switched to be either Class 1 or 2 how would any land manager be able to tell what mode I'm riding it in. Add a multi-mode that even has class 3...how would they know what mode the ebike is being ridden in?

I'm just an advocate for the original HR727 definition of a LSEB to be a a bike and use regulated as a bike. It was simple, it was enforceable because it controls what can be sold as a legal ebike in the US. But supporters of the mess that People for Bikes created by pushing the 3-class legislation that Bosch paid them to push created a mess.

I have tried several times on this site to get People for Bikes to engage in the debate on regulations but they will never do that. I think they know that 3-class legislation violated interstate commerce laws and should be pre-empted by the CPSC. They forgot that they were supposed to be a bike advocacy group and not an industry lobbyist for Bosch which gets 99% of it revenue from automotive parts (not ebike motors - sure they want to make money in that segment but they don't want the adoption rate to take too much revenue from auto parts business).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Dude, could you maybe contain your personal crusade to one of the 50 threads you've started on the subject? The person who started this one is just looking for bike recommendations.
Dude....he also asked if anyone knew if the Class 3 bike regulation had change recently.

I didn't even go into the DOI order that all classes be allowed on all federal public land by default.

84% of nearly 750 bike riders surveyed said they would prefer one definition of a compliant ebike, so it's not a personal crusade. It's driven by common sense and the fact that I do not like that fact that People for Bikes got lobby money to do regulatory capture that based on any objective assessment took the regulations backwards in the US (Currie's federal definition for a LSEB was far better for the ongoing adoption rate in the US even if some local trail managers believe a few more pebbles get moved if not class 1 compliant).

I have been in contact with the CPSC on the petition and all I know is that is has not been rejected (that typically happens fast) so I believe preemption of the class legislation is coming. I truly hope so and in time you will understand how important this was. Just the fact that the insurance industry is going to do to class 3 what they did on speed pedelec in Europe will save riders here $billions a year. That is a fact and doesn't even count the DMV registration fees that would like happen on class 3 as well.