Is an LSEB defined as a Bike or not???

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
Not sure if any ebike rises to the level of being overly complex but I do tend to favor simplicity. I have yet to ride any pedelec / pedal-assist with the array of sensors (torque, speed, cadence, heart rate, etc.) that provides the desired assist under all riding situations. I do think they provide a more traditional bike riding experience but the simplicity of throttle-assist just makes more sense since the rider then is always in complete control of the level of assist. Sorry programmers, I just think I know what assist I want better than any algorithm you can develop for an ebike.

That said, the federal definition written by a PhD Electrical Engineer is more elegant than what the spandexters at People for Bikes came up on the 3-class system. It makes no sense at all to have separate classes for pedal-assist and throttle-assist with everything else being equal. I will also argue that not allowing throttles on Class 3 is just bizarre when they are in most cases being use regulated to streets and road side bike lanes where every other vehicle they are moving with has a throttle / pedal. There was no reason that the "simple" federal definition of a LSEB as a bike was not better for the industry but People for Bikes got lobby money and they did what Bosch wanted.
Personally I look at throttles as a safety feature. I'm only familiar with my own bike (Rad Rover) so I don't know if this is true of all Ebikes. If I have to come to a stop in 6th or 7th gear on any kind of upward slope it is extremely difficult to get rolling again without a throttle. I only tried to once while on a bike trail where my throttle was unplugged to comply with the "only class 1 allowed" rule. I was on an upward slope and tried to get going in 6th gear (only shortly after owning the bike) lost my balance , tipped over, and lost about a quarter inch patch of skin on my arm. In hind sight I should have turned around to go downhill and lower my gears and then turn around again. These days the only time I use the throttle is to get rolling from a dead stop but I'm still glad I have one.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
and legally keep us from properly utilizing or maintaining anything we own
Until now yes, looks like the right to repair is currently up for a change in order to allow us to repair our devices however we see fit.

 

Comfortably Numb

Active Member
Why is that I can never get anyone to provide an opinion on this topic or the regulations. It's as if everyone is afraid to research and form their own opinion these days.
Speaking for myself , I can't be bothered to do any research; especially since I'm Canadian and it likely doesn't even apply to me.
I have no idea regarding whatever it is and don't care at all to find out. I didn't even read beyond the second or third post of this thread. I have a bike, I ride it....end of story. CN
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
I’m not sure if the original post here is merely a rant or a request for solidarity and to take action against some perceived injustice.

Instead of telling us to read something AND telling us what it means AND how we should interpret it, AND how we should feel about it. Plainly, clearly, concisely and unemotionally make your case…. Instead of yelling at us to go read something… convince us why we should read it….

1. what is the problem

a. (my shorthand notes: two approaches exist for classifying ebikes, those approaches appear to be in some sense of conflict as one definition is more granular than the other, resulting in some states adopting one and other states adopting the other, you’re promoting legislation to eliminate the 3 class rule)
b. (my questions: why is this an issue? why should i care if my state says i have a class 2 ebike or my state says i have a “bike”…. why is this a problem, for me or for humanity?, what is the direct harm or impact of this?)
c. you’ve stated on several occasions that the 3 class is a violation of interstate commerce laws but this is an opinion you hold, and i don’t recall you making the case for how the 3 class system is excessively burdensome for interstate commerce. i live within a few hours drive of 6+states and each state has its laws, taxes, requirements of its citizens but none that i see as excessively burdensome. each state has its rules about how public paths and lands are used, some allow off-roading on class 6 roads, some prohibit off-roading altogether and some permit off-roading only on specifically designated trails…. states and the citizens manage these paths and lands so if i’m an out of stater i have to follow the local rules. this is very common. “house rules” as they say.

2. what are you proposing as a solution

a. my take: So far all i’ve read in the many posts has been a call to read legal docs and come to the same conclusion you already have.
b: what are the positive and potential negative ramifications of removing 3 Class rule? How might states react if the semi-national standard is removed? Could they pursue their own definition for the purposes of regulating either safety or permitted use in certain ways and paths? What does the average ebike rider stand to gain by the removal of the 3 class system and what do they stand to lose by its deletion?

3. how will it help the situation at large
a. really, what’s next? If what you want to happen, happens. you’re successful. then how does our life change? in your opinion…. and on what are you basing this prediction of a better life? what are the dominoes that will fall?
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
I can appreciate why you and many would want ebikes to specifically NOT be otherwise regulated, and treated ONLY as a plain old bicycle. there is a lot of advantage to that for ebike owners if the definition and also legislation , regulation on use, etc stopped there.

But while the general definition of a “bike” CAN find a way to include both standard bicycles and ebikes on the general terms, 2 wheels, components, pedals, etc, that does not mean the two are identical in operation and use, or identical in max speed, safety, etc…. there may even be situations like age where some might be concerned (6 year old on banana seat huffy vs. 6 year old on “class 3” Super 73 or some such thing)

I’ll admit i’m a pessimist, my worry in removing the 3 Class system is that my state and other states would replace it with their own new and more onerous classification, establishing more significant restrictions on how i use my ebike because i know how govt acts and wants to control things, have a thumb on things, likes to prohibit things….

perhaps i am naïve, but i cannot see the direct harm, to me or other riders in my state as a result of 3 class system thus far. But i can see potential harm if it is removed and replaced by something else that some legislator felt pressure to propose because we lacked any differentiation between the motorized and non-motorized versions, and having that be even less of a national standard than 3 class is as a semi-national standard many states have already adopted .

(having said this i know you will say “there is no difference, the CPSC says so” and i’d agree as it relates to the CPSCs jurisdiction, but i’d also argue that states won’t feel any different about closing/opening trails and ways to ebikes, requiring registrations or insurance, etc. it is the law of unknown consequences.

How can you guarantee nothing but good will come to all of us from removing 3 class?
Aside from a guarantee, why are you so confident that nothing but good can come from it?
What other situations can you remember where govt was involved and where nothing but good came from it?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I can appreciate why you and many would want ebikes to specifically NOT be otherwise regulated, and treated ONLY as a plain old bicycle. there is a lot of advantage to that for ebike owners if the definition and also legislation , regulation on use, etc stopped there.

But while the general definition of a “bike” CAN find a way to include both standard bicycles and ebikes on the general terms, 2 wheels, components, pedals, etc, that does not mean the two are identical in operation and use, or identical in max speed, safety, etc…. there may even be situations like age where some might be concerned (6 year old on banana seat huffy vs. 6 year old on “class 3” Super 73 or some such thing)

I’ll admit i’m a pessimist, my worry in removing the 3 Class system is that my state and other states would replace it with their own new and more onerous classification, establishing more significant restrictions on how i use my ebike because i know how govt acts and wants to control things, have a thumb on things, likes to prohibit things….

perhaps i am naïve, but i cannot see the direct harm, to me or other riders in my state as a result of 3 class system thus far. But i can see potential harm if it is removed and replaced by something else that some legislator felt pressure to propose because we lacked any differentiation between the motorized and non-motorized versions, and having that be even less of a national standard than 3 class is as a semi-national standard many states have already adopted .

(having said this i know you will say “there is no difference, the CPSC says so” and i’d agree as it relates to the CPSCs jurisdiction, but i’d also argue that states won’t feel any different about closing/opening trails and ways to ebikes, requiring registrations or insurance, etc. it is the law of unknown consequences.

How can you guarantee nothing but good will come to all of us from removing 3 class?
Aside from a guarantee, why are you so confident that nothing but good can come from it?
What other situations can you remember where govt was involved and where nothing but good came from it?
The federal definition came from a guy (not a politician) that wanted to bring an ebike to market (The EV Warrior) because he could see the future potential for human scale transportation.
It was in place country wide in reality for 12 years such that compliant LSEBs could be ridden as bikes everywhere bikes were legal to ride. It was working fine but some local land managers did still view ebikes as motor vehicles because they were when under NHTSA regulation. Going back to the federal definition in all 50 states means one very astute specification that both allows good power below 20mph for utility ebikes and a limit power above 20mph (enough to sustain 20mph) so the rider can add some additional speed. Keep in mind over 20+ states never adopted 3-class legislation so the federal definition has been working in those states for nearly 20 years.
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
The federal definition came from a guy (not a politician) that wanted to bring an ebike to market (The EV Warrior) because he could see the future potential for human scale transportation.
It was in place country wide in reality for 12 years such that compliant LSEBs could be ridden as bikes everywhere bikes were legal to ride. It was working fine but some local land managers did still view ebikes as motor vehicles because they were when under NHTSA regulation. Going back to the federal definition in all 50 states means one very astute specification that both allows good power below 20mph for utility ebikes and a limit power above 20mph (enough to sustain 20mph) so the rider can add some additional speed. Keep in mind over 20+ states never adopted 3-class legislation so the federal definition has been working in those states for nearly 20 years.
what’s your point? that things don’t change? i remain unconvinced.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
what’s your point? that things don’t change? i remain unconvinced.
The longer a law actually stands the more tenure legacy it has. If it's working there should be resistance to having it changed. People for Bikes is attempting regulatory capture to get 3-class system as the federal definition (they have stated as such).

If you don't think that if that happens that class 3 ebikes will require insurance and registration you really don't understand how the system works. It's how it happened in Europe and the same underbellies that did it there will do it here.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
i can certainly see class 3 bikes eventually requiring insurance.
That is one of my main motivators. Requiring insurance and registration on Class 3 ebikes will essentially kill that segment and leave only 20mph max assist speed as the only "cost saving" car supplement ebike and I'm sorry but that is just too slow to be effective transportation for many. The federal definition doesn't make ebikes that much faster because the power is limited above 20mph per the constraints (sadly few understand what those constraints in the definition were for because they don't understand the tech as a PhD Electrical Engineer did). What the federal definition really does is eliminate the ridiculously stupid assist cut-offs (not a single ebike rider I've talked to think that is right way to address speed capability).

I can't emphasize enough that ebikers read HR727 and understand the original 2002 federal "one class" definition for a "Low Speed Electric Bicycle". Even Larry Pizzi that chaired the People for Bikes drafting of the horrible 3-class legislation admitted that a LSEB was defined as a bicycle (statement made to Electric Bike Action Magazine...

"In 2002 they were able to effectively get some legislation passed, and a bill signed into law that defined what a low-speed electric bicycle was. It moved from being under the guides of NHTSA to being under the guides of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and it was defined within the definition of a bicycle."
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
good luck getting anyone to continue to look at tech through a 2002 lens.

the reality is that the old legislation needs revisiting based on innovation over the last few decades.

when that happens i don’t expect them to make the same determination that an ebike is only a bike.

what ebikes were around when that legislation was drafted? did we even have 3000w all wheel drive bikes back then?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
good luck getting anyone to continue to look at tech through a 2002 lens.

the reality is that the old legislation needs revisiting based on innovation over the last few decades.

when that happens i don’t expect them to make the same determination that an ebike is only a bike.

what ebikes were around when that legislation was drafted? did we even have 3000w all wheel drive bikes back then?
That 2002 lens was written by a Phd Electrical Engineer that had a vision for the future of ebikes as an effective human scale transportation solution. He was instrumental in pulling them away from the NHTSA (they classified them as a motor vehicle just like a car or motorcycle) which would have left them requiring blinkers, horn, fixed seat heights over 24", VINs, lights, etc. His first model had a 750W rated system (peak higher) and I'm sure the idea of dual motors and higher wattage was well understood by him (understand this was not a politician being paid to not think).

He understood the efficiencies of the drive system (battery wattage is always higher than motor wattage due to losses thru the system) so he wrote the definition to remove that from being a problem (this allows some less efficient bikes to still provide equivalent performance). Believe me this guy was way ahead of any politician or even the riders that just refuse to learn the regulations or technology. His wording even eliminated the goofy distinctions of how the assist level is determined - doesn't matter if by throttle, cadence, torque, speed. Right now there are some new models with assist that is varied by heart rate and slope of the trail. That NEW tech has zero impact on his definition of compliance but look at the 3-class system that only recognizing throttle and pedal assist (that is the newer legislation written by non-technical spandexters at People for Bikes and it failed to envision any changes in the technology).

Listen, I know this sounds mean but few ebikers will ever take the time to understand the tech or the regulations. I'm kind of alone in my efforts to keep the original legislation that Dr. Currie wrote. It defined an LSEB as just a bike and if the states just regulated them as a bike (as intended) there would be NO problems like we have in the states that adopted the 3-class legislation - but people aren't even aware of those problems like some continuous trails changing what class can be ridden on the trail across county lines (pure idiocy)).
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
ebike class definition i feel is a horse out of the barn, it’s not going back in the barn.

i really do not see a path where the 3 class definition disappears and all ebikes are just recognized as bikes at the local, usage level related to what can be ridden where.

this is really the part you’ve failed to convince on, why do you think this is possible? how would you see this happening? how would you go about convincing the states and local jurisdictions that there’s zero need to manage ebike use separate from human powered bikes and that everyone is better off just pretending they don’t have a motor…. you’ve dealt with govt entities before right? how do you see this actually happening.

you have to ask yourself, under the 3 class system do you see state and local government struggling? they LIKE the system, they do not think it’s broken, they think it’s convenient, it permits them to restrict access to certain ways based on power/speed. for them this is doing exactly what they want to be able to do. i feel they will be disinclined to give up that level of control once they had a taste of it. how would i be wrong about that?
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
or the system could take a turn into automotive type definitions so sure, all 2 wheeled bikes are bikes, but all bikes require registration and insurance now, and instead of classifying bikes by their power ratings and potential top speed, now certain public paths and trails are speed controlled, posted with speed limits, patrolled for violators, etc…. as faster and faster ebikes come along, there will be someone who wants to regulate them and whether we are co trolling the device or the person riding it, they will regulate it.

ebikes are gaining momentum in the modder community, half the youtube videos on ebikes are about hackjng speed caps, adding more power, bigger motors, more motors to attain faster and faster speeds…. ebikes are literally pulling away from pedal bikes and becoming more like high torque lightweight motorcycles in some areas. this trend is obvious. yet you’re here advocating to turn a blind eye to all of this and pretend my kids huffy bmx bike is the same as an expensive dual motor, high torque ebike.

lol. governments and legislators will see the differences not the similarities when enacting guidance and legislation.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
First off, I know would never be able to convince states to dump the 3-class legislation but certainly appears to be an interstate commerce violation and should be preempted by the CPSC. Keep in mind there are over 20 states that still use the federal definition and they are permitted for use as just a bike and it's working fine. 3-class has pushed the manufacturers to make "multi-mode" models but who really knows what mode they are in at any time - 3-class is a joke in my opinion - so poorly thought out it could only come from spandexters at People for Bikes because they were being paid not to think and just to lobby.

Bikes have a long history of being considered transportation for the under-class so it would be very hard for federal, state, or local officials to decide to demand licensing, registration and insurance but if Class 3 ebikes are not a bike watch what they will do as they did in Europe.

I have never advocated that those hyped up ?ebikes? to be considered a bike - they are NOT legal to the CPSC / federal definition. I have no clue how you come to the conclusion I'm advocating that. C'mon please stay on context and read carefully.
 
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