Ebike Discussion: Speed, Cheating?, Laws, Post good articles...

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Yep, Irene, it's no rumor; those have been around for a few years and some of those tiny motors that can fit inside a frame are actually pretty strong and very expensive. Saw two different ones at Interbike about 4 or 5 years ago.
 

irenewg13

Active Member
Yep, Irene, it's no rumor; those have been around for a few years and some of those tiny motors that can fit inside a frame are actually pretty strong and very expensive. Saw two different ones at Interbike about 4 or 5 years ago.
It's all new to me, haven't ridden the Trek for 10 years :~P
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
In a sense, most everyone is cheating now. It's a great topic, but it will probably make people uncomfortable. The original rules were something like "An ebike is just a bike if it goes less than 20 mph". A couple of years ago, they came up with an excuse to allow 28 mph ebikes, sort of. Most states have laws that are very different from each other.

So most people are buying bikes that are outside the 'old' rules. I don't think anyone cares all that much about what they are doing. I don't want the legal liability of riding something way outside the rules, so I respect 20 mph and my bikes are set up that way.

It's not cheating to ride an ebike, but a lot of people aren't riding 'ebikes' within the rules that exist. Most people who are within the rules are pointing at people outside the rules and saying "Why can't I do that?".
 

irenewg13

Active Member
Hi George,

I was thinking about the way "real bikers"tell us that ebikes are cheating, being lazy, not working, as on a "real" bike.

But what you are saying, adds to a whole other idea of cheating. I did notice the reference to 20+ miles, in many articles and ebike specs. I didn't think of it so much as cheating, but speeding using the throttle. As I am new to this, I had forgotten that going 20+ is in pedelec/pedal assist. And, that many bikes don't have a throttle (right?).

- Irene

In a sense, most everyone is cheating now. It's a great topic, but it will probably make people uncomfortable. The original rules were something like "An ebike is just a bike if it goes less than 20 mph". A couple of years ago, they came up with an excuse to allow 28 mph ebikes, sort of. Most states have laws that are very different from each other.

So most people are buying bikes that are outside the 'old' rules. I don't think anyone cares all that much about what they are doing. I don't want the legal liability of riding something way outside the rules, so I respect 20 mph and my bikes are set up that way.

It's not cheating to ride an ebike, but a lot of people aren't riding 'ebikes' within the rules that exist. Most people who are within the rules are pointing at people outside the rules and saying "Why can't I do that?".
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Well, there is no clear way to look at it after you go over 20 mph, on the flat, with motor assist. The difference between throttles and pedals disappears if people are using the pedals. They are both pedal assist. My state is clear. the motor must cut out at 20 mph. My bikes do this. I mean, they don't just turn off the motor, but they don't push the bike past 20 mph.

If someone says they use pedal assist and it's legal to go over 20 mph, it basically a con game. It's not written anywhere in the Federal stuff. California is trying to legalize 28 mph ebikes, but they won't be bikes. Saying they are bikes has the virtue of simplicity, but now some ebikes will be banned from bike paths. I love the way the industry separates out ebikes with throttles, but it's not in the original law, and their interpretations are kind of weird.

I was riding this morning on my ebike. My bike computers show I average about 15 mph, so lets say I was doing that. On a modest downhill, I saw a cyclist, a 'lycra', gaining on me. Eventually he passed and we were smiling. I run my BT speaker, and there are wires on the bike, the big hub in front. He seemed to have this moment where he accepted me for what I was doing, and I admired what he is doing. He moved on and pretty soon he was out of sight, but we'd shared that moment.

I don't think this happens when I tear by him at 28 mph.

The speed pedelec is probably going to ruin ebiking, but it won't ruin it for me. I just hope ebikes are always the bikes that go less than 20 mph, and the regular cyclists respect them because there is nothing that threatens them.
 

NYC Rider

Member
Don't worry, as populations in industrialized nations age and become poorer, as transit infrastructure fails to accommodate growing demand, e-bikes will fill the gap. The public will demand it. The minority food delivery people in NYC, a good 50% of them, are on ebikes and electric scooters. The cops make token crackdowns in the dense and affluent upper east side, but ebikes are part of the landscape, despite being declared illegal. I have been spending time in the Bronx lately and one can see a scattering of minority e-bikers who clearly are not delivering food. One was delivering a child to day camp. The Arrow mountain bike is the standard, it costs $1400 and runs all day on a single charge. Arrow-26A.jpg arrowNY-AY466_BIKESj_G_20110516172731.jpg