Class 3 Bikes: What Do Manufacturers Know That We Don't Know?

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The entire state is open. More miles of trails and acres of state land than any other state. Very clear.
I knew better than this. We have a large crowds of guys regularly making the trek to northern Mi for ATVing and snowmobiling. Every one of them saying there is no (or not enough) PUBLIC land available.

Regardless. It's off topic and a mostly moot point anyway. Lets move on, shall we?
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I mentioned this in another thread, but different states and municipalities can create their own spin on the definition of class 3 or any other class.

"New York will define Class 3 bikes as those with a throttle-activated motor (and allowed only in New York City) with a maximum speed of 25 mph before turning off." Reference:


My class 3 bike also has a throttle.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Uh, yeah. I know people who spent nearly 20 years pushing to build a single trail (or open access to an existing one). Ebikers do need to understand that we've had it really good in how rapidly we have gained access and to how much. It isn't perfect, but its gone (and continues to go) really well.



Sure, all groups are open to more members, and all groups work to get and maintain trails. I disagree with your assertion that there is a widespread "drawbridge mentality". IME you have the most success with advocacy when you build relationships with those existing groups. Their concerns (that these trails were built with non powered use in mind and we would like to bring powered vehicles onto them) are not irrational. Most of them have zero experience with ebikes. If you come in and demand access and try to force it, it isn't going to go well. As I said, a lot of trails were built and are maintained by those groups. Probably 80% of the mtb trails I ride were advocated for, built by and are maintained by the local IMBA affiliate. They do several thousand man-hours of trailbuilding and maintenance per year and have for decades now, and they have tremendous trailbuilding knowledge. That gives them clout. Meeting up with leadership members of that org (I'm friends with a few of them) and letting them ride my ebike is worth more than ten letters to the CPwhatever or a million words typed onto a forum.

As JR has said a few times, land managers are not the enemy. They generally are really passionate about the trails they manage and want to see them being used by the widest range of people possible. Their concerns about ebikes are legitimate. Doesn't mean I think ebikes shouldn't be allowed access, I obviously do. But the process isn't to try a top down forcing of the issue, its to do it the way everyone else does. Build the relationship and demonstrate that we can be good trail users and stewards.
I think we're on the same page, but saying it differently. The bigger idea is to increase the number of bike riders, whatever it takes. There's also the piece though, that should include people with ALL abilities. Anyone that want to ride should be encouraged/allowed to do that. Maybe increased awareness of the potential for easy to get "permits" allowing class 2 bikes to be ridden legally? If the popularity of that permit were grown, perhaps that might lead to an increased awareness of the number of people using them?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I knew better than this. We have a large crowds of guys regularly making the trek to northern Mi for ATVing and snowmobiling. Every one of them saying there is no (or not enough) PUBLIC land available.

Regardless. It's off topic and a mostly moot point anyway. Lets move on, shall we?
I want to move on because this is silly, I have never said any other state is wrong, I didn't mention your state. We tried to get class 2 included with class 1. I've worked for access and we've had success. It was never going to be a complete overnight success.

One complete statement, one complete thought that includes an 'and'.
The entire state is open. More miles of trails and acres of state land than any other state. Very clear.
A thousand acre forest without a trail doesn't help.

Edit: We want the same thing. Because I report what is going on, it doesn't mean i necessarily agree.
 
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RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I don't believe that ebike laws are the main factor holding up ebike adoption in the US. The average person doesn't even know what the ebike laws are before they become interested in buying an ebike and maybe not even after they buy one. It is mostly a cultural thing. Infrastructure may help. If there is a bike trail between their house and office, it might make them think about it. Or if a coworker is commuting with an ebike, it could get them interested. However, how many of your coworkers exercise regularly or would consider getting wet riding a bike to work in the rain? How many people that you know get in their car to drive half a mile to 7-11?
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
even the worse ebikes out there right now, and there are some clunker/hacks/crap that is out there that should, would have to have MAJOR body counts to even do the damage of automobiles, so lets keep things in perspective. Anything ebike is always better than automobile, its quantifiable!

the problem, of course, is that while cyclists are less unlikely to hurt anyone else, they are incredibly more likely to be hurt than someone in an automobile.

lots of interesting statistics here, with references: https://bicycleuniverse.com/bicycle-safety-almanac/#Cycling_risk_and_deaths

some interesting ones - it's three times more dangerous to ride against traffic. cyclists are 3 to 11 times more likely to get killed per mile than motorists, and around 5 times as likely to be injured. riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous than riding in the street.

the answer is that the united states needs MUCH better bike infrastructure if we want to expand cycling. expanding it too much in it's current state (by, let's say, cheap eBikes that allow absolutely anyone to zip along at 25mph) would likely have the result of killing and maiming lots of people. a bit of a chicken or egg problem here, but some progress is being made in many cities.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
Not everyone lives in a warm climate year round, regardless of the infrastructure. I ride an e-bike often from about May to Sept, especially June to August. But I never commute for various reasons. I do not see many other people biking at all during those months, and I can't imagine ever seeing many people riding bikes outside of that time frame when it's cold.
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
i concentrate my efforts in the trails close to me and my areas of interest. that is also where i can have the most success and direct impact snd be an integral part of the solution. i don’t put my own time against issues in other regions or at the national level because my influence and impact potential goes down exponentially.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
I think we're on the same page, but saying it differently. The bigger idea is to increase the number of bike riders, whatever it takes. There's also the piece though, that should include people with ALL abilities. Anyone that want to ride should be encouraged/allowed to do that. Maybe increased awareness of the potential for easy to get "permits" allowing class 2 bikes to be ridden legally? If the popularity of that permit were grown, perhaps that might lead to an increased awareness of the number of people using them?

Yeah, I can agree with that. I've talked with friends in my local MTB org who aren't really fans of ebikes themselves but have been very open to allowing them on trails for that reason. The more people out there riding, the better when it comes to pushing for more trail. Though with mtb trail most people want to limit it to class 1, and most emtbs are class 1. Theres a lot of stigma around dirtbikes/atvs and the like on singletrack that goes back decades, so pushing for throttle access from the get go is a difficult sell. Maybe in the future, if people really want to fight for it.

Most paved infrastructure around me is open to class 2/3 already though.
 

Gmanx

Active Member
Region
USA
just because we can't imagine it in the US, doesn't mean that people in other countries don't commute year round in cold weather. A big reason we can't is because of the terrible infrastructure. NO WAY would I drive on these roads with these drivers in the snow / rain / etc without dedicated / protected infrastructure. I can just wear weather proof gear, they make it for a reason.
 

DavidRvR

Member
Region
USA
A big reason we can't is because of the terrible infrastructure. NO WAY would I drive on these roads with these drivers in the snow / rain / etc without dedicated / protected infrastructure.
Obviously you have the wrong bike.

(That was a joke).. sry I couldnt resist ;)
 

Hasaf

Member
just because we can't imagine it in the US, doesn't mean that people in other countries don't commute year round in cold weather. A big reason we can't is because of the terrible infrastructure. NO WAY would I drive on these roads with these drivers in the snow / rain / etc without dedicated / protected infrastructure. I can just wear weather proof gear, they make it for a reason.

I am fine with snow. About the middle of November, I put on my studded tyres. Basically, if I see that I will be riding in below freezing weather, I put them on during the weekend. Yes, I really do look at the 10-day forecast.

That said, if rain is predicted, I will probably drive. I hate riding in the rain.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
I commuted by bike 5 days a week year round for over a decade. The northern Virginia area isn't super cold, but I definitely rode through some cold weather (single digits in the mornings). With appropriate gear it isn't really even difficult or a big hardship. The most annoying thing was the added time to gear up and change at either end, but even that was just a few minutes.

MtXhx8el.jpg
 

DavidRvR

Member
Region
USA
You are more of a sport than I am lol.. Im froze when in the 40's and to hot for me at anything really over 100 degreees..
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I don't care what the infrastructure is. My cut off is about 70 degrees, and I prefer 80+. And most people are far less likely to ride than me. It's not about infrastructure. It's just not going to happen. And despite many thousands of miles of biking that I've done for exercise, I have never once commuted to work. That's not my purpose, and out of hundreds of employees, I've never seen more than a few bikes in the bike rack at any time, even with great weather conditions. It's not happening. People like to drive even in nice weather, let alone in cold weather! lol
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I don't care what the infrastructure is. My cut off is about 70 degrees, and I prefer 80+. And most people are far less likely to ride than me. It's not about infrastructure. It's just not going to happen. And despite many thousands of miles of biking that I've done for exercise, I have never once commuted to work. That's not my purpose, and out of hundreds of employees, I've never seen more than a few bikes in the bike rack at any time, even with great weather conditions. It's not happening. People like to drive even in nice weather, let alone in cold weather! lol

my cutoff is also 80 degrees. but in the other direction. 50-70 is perfect weather for cycling.

i do disagree with the universality of your other point; many people - particularly young people in urban areas - hate driving (in traffic.) commuting by bike has generally been growing in popularity since the turn of the century, although it has recently dipped a bit.

whizzing by gridlocked traffic at 15 mph is a fantastic feeling.
 
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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
whizzing by gridlocked traffic at 15 mph is a fantastic feeling.

My first bike commute was 11.25 miles by bike (9ish on the local mup), and similar by car (mostly highway). At rush hour, it took about 30 minutes to drive and ~40 minutes to ride. I always saw it as trading 20 minutes of my day for 80 minutes of exercise and outdoor time. Totally worth it.

Next commute was 7ish miles, entirely on streets. 15 minute drive, 25 minute ride.

I've thought many time that the ebikes would have been nice, especially on that second commute (some not very bike friendly roads with lots of hills). And ebikes are awesome in the snow. Snow was the hardest to deal with because it slowed you down so much.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I mentioned this in another thread, but different states and municipalities can create their own spin on the definition of class 3 or any other class.

"New York will define Class 3 bikes as those with a throttle-activated motor (and allowed only in New York City) with a maximum speed of 25 mph before turning off." Reference:


My class 3 bike also has a throttle.
These various product definitions by the states should be preempted by the CPSC as interstate commerce violations. The states are suppose to regulated "use." Only if the product is only used in their state or there is very serious safety risks are they really allowed to just redefine federally regulated products.

The fact that NY thinks that some ebike company will just build their 25mph throttle bike just for that state or city of NY is some egomaniac-like thinking.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
my cutoff is also 80 degrees. but in the other direction. 50-70 is perfect weather for cycling.

i do disagree with the universality of your other point; many people - particularly young people in urban areas - hate driving (in traffic.) commuting by bike has generally been growing in popularity since the turn of the century, although it has recently dipped a bit.

whizzing by gridlocked traffic at 15 mph is a fantastic feeling.
You can have the 50 degree weather for riding. lol I'll be driving my car, and there's no 15 mph gridlock in my city.

There are surely some exceptions. I've read articles about a drop in people biking. But around here, I don't see many people biking in the nice weather months, and almost non-existent in the colder months despite not having the traffic issues you mentioned.

Anyway, we're still having 80 and 90 degree weather here, so I'm still biking after I get home from work.