CLASS 1 EBIKES: A VANISHING BREED?

antboy

Well-Known Member
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 😉😉😉.
Ah... that's my fault.

I misread the OP when they said "...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."

Jumped the gun a bit. :)
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
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.
Up until recently, I would agree with you.

I ride the Pine creek Trail in north central PA with my class 2 e-bike several times a year. Only class 1 bikes are permitted on that trail but up until this spring, enforcement was pretty lax. On my last trip out there in April, I saw DCNR park rangers, in several trailhead parking lots, closely examining e-bikes for conformity. My bike has a throttle which technically makes it a class 2 but I disable it when riding Pine Creek due to the class 1 only restriction. The ranger determined my bike was a class 2 from his list but had no problem when I showed him the throttle was disabled.

The rangers were simply warning non compliant riders at this point but I was told citations would be issued starting this summer. I don't know if disabling the throttle will be acceptable to every ranger in the future though.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
The distinction between class 1 and class 2 is really annoying to me, even though I ride a class 1. A speed limit of 20, 25 or even 30 mph I can see as needed, but how you get to the speed... pedals , throttle, or downhill shouldn't matter. Angry.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
The distinction between class 1 and class 2 is really annoying to me, even though I ride a class 1. A speed limit of 20, 25 or even 30 mph I can see as needed, but how you get to the speed... pedals , throttle, or downhill shouldn't matter. Angry.
Its a perception thing, but in a lot of advocacy that perception thing is huge.
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
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).
I would never ask that question as they don't make the rules
The distinction between class 1 and class 2 is really annoying to me, even though I ride a class 1. A speed limit of 20, 25 or even 30 mph I can see as needed, but how you get to the speed... pedals , throttle, or downhill shouldn't matter. Angry.
So should ATVs and motorcycles be allowed as long as they adhered to the speed limit? There needs to be a cut off point somewhere and they chose it to be anything not human powered.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
A common legal 1 hp vehicle where I live is an Amish buggy. We ride the same shoulder on the same roads.
And some people can't pedal so can't use the trails at all without a throttle. I'd rather they ride a trike or even an ATV then their truck on a Sunday drive.
..
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I would never ask that question as they don't make the rules

So should ATVs and motorcycles be allowed as long as they adhered to the speed limit? There needs to be a cut off point somewhere and they chose it to be anything not human powered.
There are plenty of people in this thread that claim the trail managers have all the power to decide what is legal for use on the trails. I have never agreed with that so please don't lump me into the group of collective thinkers.

An ATV and Motorcycle do not comply with the LSEB definition and therefore they are not "bikes." A LSEB is federally defined as equivalent to other bikes (mtn / road / gravel / trike / recumbent / etc.). If bikes are allowed on a path / road / bike lane / etc. then is seems rational that a LSEB (per HR 727) is allowed on that path (they are not motor vehicles by definition so that mindset must also be changed.

Anyone that says that a compliant LSEB must be differentiated based on if throttle-assist or pedal-assist needs to learn more about the tech because they are insignificantly going impact the trails differently.
 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
There are plenty of people in this thread that claim the trail managers have all the power to decide what is legal for use on the trails.
I have a friend that was a bouncer at an uber popular club, and if he didn't like someone's face, they didn't get it.

Those with the power call the shots.
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
Geez - I feel really sorry for the guy who began this thread simply looking for options for Class 1 bikes - it's certainly gone off the rails with other people's pet peeves!
Yes and no. He learned a class 2 can be turned into a class 1 by disconnecting a cable which greatly expanded his options. To answer his title question I would guess probably. Throttles aren't really necessary but they do come in handy from time to time so if offered a choice between two bikes that were priced the same I think most people would pick the one with the throttle.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Geez - I feel really sorry for the guy who began this thread simply looking for options for Class 1 bikes - it's certainly gone off the rails with other people's pet peeves!
He did asked about regulatory changes and it's possible a big one is possible soon - there is a real chance the 3-class system gets preempted.
 

Jimbo08

Active 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.
Specialized and Shimano dealers can set the speed limit of a U.S. bike to Canadian limit of 32kph if you so desire.
 

Jimbo08

Active Member
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).
You might be looking at the U.S. site, as the Canadian site is in metric numbers, and says 32kph, as far as I can find. They are pretty careful about that stuff. Individual dealer's website might have cut and pasted from U.S. site.
There have been both 4.0 and 5.0 Vado SL and Como SL in our local dealer for a while now.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
He did asked about regulatory changes and it's possible a big one is possible soon - there is a real chance the 3-class system gets preempted.
I don't recall him asking anyone to grind any axes, though🤣🤣🤣.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Specialized and Shimano dealers can set the speed limit of a U.S. bike to Canadian limit of 32kph if you so desire.
Are you sure about that? A US spec class 3 lowered to 32kpm is going to be a lot less money than buying a Canadian spec. And a better selection of USA class 3?
Can you just buy in the USA and carry a bike across the border?
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
A good question for the ranger is why only Class 1? 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

I actually asked this of the park ranger when I was stopped on the Pine Creek Trail in PA. He said it was due to complaints from walkers and other bikers. To quote the ranger, "They see someone tooling along without pedaling and think it's a motorbike or motorcycle. They are afraid of being hit or run over." He admitted the fear is irrational since there are far more people injured by non electric bikes.

We discussed the fact that someone "ghost pedaling" a class 1 bike is essentially the same as using a throttle. The ranger seemed quite knowledgeable about the mechanics of e-bikes. "It doesn't matter. People see you pedaling and either don't know it's an e-bike or just don't feel threatened." He said. "The decision to ban class 2 & 3 bikes was made mainly due to the number of public complaints".

It is indeed sad that the misinformed public as well as ignorant legislators have such a strangle hold on e-bike regulations.

It's also upsetting that a few "outlaw" ebikers, riding in an unsafe manner can have such an effect on the public!
 
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antboy

Well-Known Member
You might be looking at the U.S. site, as the Canadian site is in metric numbers, and says 32kph, as far as I can find. They are pretty careful about that stuff. Individual dealer's website might have cut and pasted from U.S. site.
There have been both 4.0 and 5.0 Vado SL and Como SL in our local dealer for a while now.
Oh trust me, definitely the Cdn site. Specialized make great bikes, but they are NOT "pretty careful" with their online presence. ;)

It took them the better part of a year to catch most of it, but to this day, the Vado SL (4.0 and 5.0) still have US speed and range in the "read more".


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. :)
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I actually asked this of the park ranger when I was stopped on the Pine Creek Trail in PA. He said it was due to complaints from walkers and other bikers. To quote the ranger, "They see someone tooling along without pedaling and think it's a motorbike or motorcycle. They are afraid of being hit or run over." He admitted the fear is irrational since there are far more people injured by non electric bikes.

We discussed the fact that someone "ghost pedaling" a class 1 bike is essentially the same as using a throttle. The ranger seemed quite knowledgeable about the mechanics of e-bikes. "It doesn't matter. People see you pedaling and either don't know it's an e-bike or just don't feel threatened." He said. "The decision to ban class 2 & 3 bikes was made mainly due to the number of public complaints".

It is indeed sad that the misinformed public as well as ignorant legislators have such a strangle hold on e-bike regulations.
I have a longtime friend who is a state park manager in Maryland. Some ebikers think they know nothing about ebikes, when actually they started training and continuing education on our ebikes in 2015 for most employees. They also get regular update bulletins. I also know that the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is very up to date on the issue. They legalized Class 1 and had virtual meetings over the past year to discuss allowing class 2. Authorities aren't in the dark as much as some think.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
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.
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