Is Cruise Control feature considered Class 1 E-bike? (eg. not throttle?)

gembike223

New Member
I know many e-bikes have the cruise control function whereby you pedal up to a certain speed and you can then "lock" the power and have the purely run on motor. I did notice that many of these don't really advertise this feature. I wonder if it is due to regulations? How does the class regulations define cruise control? Is it throttle, is it not?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Class 1 and 3 are pedal assist only. When a rider stops pedaling, the motor stops assisting. A cruise control assist would be class 2.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
A good question.

If the bike doesn't have a physical throttle (twist, thumb, lever, button, etc), technically, it could be considered a class 1 or a class 3 if it is capable of 28 mph speeds. By rights though, it should be a class 2 bike since it can be ridden without pedaling.

Bikes are supposed to have a class sticker in many states. It would be interesting to see how the bike maker classifies it.

Without a class sticker and physical throttle, it would be difficult for law enforcement to determine whether the bike is legal or not unless you're observed tooling around without pedaling. However, in some states, LEO's use a list of bike make & models to determine it's legal status.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
A good question.

If the bike doesn't have a physical throttle (twist, thumb, lever, button, etc), technically, it could be considered a class 1 or a class 3 if it is capable of 28 mph speeds. By rights though, it should be a class 2 bike since it can be ridden without pedaling.

Bikes are supposed to have a class sticker in many states. It would be interesting to see how the bike maker classifies it.

Without a class sticker and physical throttle, it would be difficult for law enforcement to determine whether the bike is legal or not unless you're observed tooling around without pedaling. However, in some states, LEO's use a list of bike make & models to determine it's legal status.
I'm not in full agreement with the law, but there's little ambiguity. "Only when the rider is pedaling", is clear that a cruise control is class 2.

Class 1 electric bicycleA bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
Class 2 electric bicycleA bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
Class 3 electric bicycleA bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour and is equipped with a speedometer.

 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I sold a bike to a professional bass player. I told him that it is acoustic/electric. It takes what you are doing and can amplify it just like a guitar. You are still riding a bike, but can keep up with the drum kit. He took it on a test ride and when he came back he said, "Where's the Cruise Control"?
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
If you more loosely define cruise control as being active while the rider is pedaling, then cruise control would be legal on Class 1 and 3.

The concept of cruise control doesn't map well into a bike, because on a car your only way to move is via the accelerator, and on a bike it's pedal, throttle or both.

One feature I wanted on my juiced CCS was having the throttle give additional power when depressed, including above 20 mph. I would travel on level 1 or 2 assist mostly, but I wanted bursts of higher power here and there, and it's cumbersome to dial the assist up and down vs using the throttle for a short burst of power.

Evidently the Vanmoof S3 has a lever like this (technically not a throttle).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
If you really watch what is going on the industry is essentially dissing the class system by creating multi-mode and assist boost levers/buttons like on the Vanmoof. The legislation was brain dead from the start but lobby money was able to convince a lot of lawmakers that it was essentially for clarity and safety. In the US the original federal definition used by the CPSC was far far far far far far better. If anyone reads the congressional notes on HR727, as I have, they will understand that the intent of the legislation was that "low speed electric bicycles" compliant to the definition would be "use" treated as the equivalent of a bike (one state attorney general has stated as such ... remarkable because lawyers rarely give opinions outside of being paid for courtroom work).

Full spec drive system power is permitted below 20mph which is important to many applications like cargo bikes and sustaining average speeds up hills (ideal for ensuring commuting merit of an ebike to reduce travel times without increasing top bike speeds). Per CPSC clarification, this definition limits dynamic power that a LSEB drive system (motor alone) can provide - technically limits motor power above 20mph per the maximum sustained speed, nominal rider weight, and level surface constraints. It does not provide a maximum assisted speed for when a LSEB is being powered by a combination of human and motor power as the speed-based power limit effectively limits maximum speed via physical limits of human power to ensure traditional maximum bike speed essentially unchanged.

That is the true interpretation of the definition and if just considered as a tradition "bike" by the states the legislation works far better then the People for Bikes 3-class silliness that was 100% about EU harmonization and not about safety and clarity as claimed.
 

gembike223

New Member
i'm curious about the e-bike business and if people ACTUALLY want Class 1 or rather have a throttle but possibly risk being banned on certain roads/trails. Of course that depends on where you are in the world. i'm focusing on the Canada and US market.

my gut feeling tells me people rather have a throttle... and cruise control would be a bonus
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
i'm curious about the e-bike business and if people ACTUALLY want Class 1 or rather have a throttle but possibly risk being banned on certain roads/trails. Of course that depends on where you are in the world. i'm focusing on the Canada and US market.

my gut feeling tells me people rather have a throttle... and cruise control would be a bonus
I personally do not need or want a throttle on my bicycles. Same goes for “cruise control”. Others feel differently. Choice is good!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
i'm curious about the e-bike business and if people ACTUALLY want Class 1 or rather have a throttle but possibly risk being banned on certain roads/trails. Of course that depends on where you are in the world. i'm focusing on the Canada and US market.

my gut feeling tells me people rather have a throttle... and cruise control would be a bonus
I have nothing against throttles, I have an older bike with one. I prefer a pedelec with torque sensor. For off road paths and trails class 1 is plenty for me. When there's a need for real power and speed I'll hop on the MC.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
My go to bike is a class 2 with throttle. I don't use it much but I'm glad it's there when I need it. If my knee acts up, I can't pedal at all and the throttle with cruise control is the only way to get home. A bike with no throttle and a PAS cruise control would work for me but bikes equipped this way are hard to find. I doubt that such a bike would be considered a class 1 though since it can be ridden without pedaling.

Other than appearance, I don't see the difference between using a throttle or "ghost" pedaling while using PAS.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
My go to bike is a class 2 with throttle. I don't use it much but I'm glad it's there when I need it. If my knee acts up, I can't pedal at all and the throttle with cruise control is the only way to get home. A bike with no throttle and a PAS cruise control would work for me but bikes equipped this way are hard to find. I doubt that such a bike would be considered a class 1 though since it can be ridden without pedaling.

Other than appearance, I don't see the difference between using a throttle or "ghost" pedaling while using PAS.
I can see a future when I’d appreciate a class 2 with PAS and throttle. But not yet.👍