People for Bikes Presents 3-Class as "Voluntary" to the CPSC

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'd agree with Ken's assessment of your comment. It's not a straw man in any way.

The implication is that a Class 3 bike will be ridden at that speed, even on crowded MUPs. There's not a lot of other ways to interpret that. The decision has EVERYTHING to do with the bike.

While I've left this thread and won't be coming back, you are making an honest effort at genuine discussion so I'll respond in kind.

The words are simply not there to make that jump. The implication isn't either, unless the reader ignores the context as was done subsequently, which I made a point of keeping with the original statement by quoting the original.

"Let me give you an example of brain dead policy. They suggest that class 3 ebike be restricted to use on street and road side bike lanes. A class 3 ebike can not have a throttle but every motor vehicle on those streets effectively is throttle controlled so no way can they claim that policy makes sense"

Thats quite a conclusion, even if the logic associated with it is extremely murky. Is the point then, that throttled vehicles are necessary for safety on the road? When analog bicycles have been running on streets for over a century without this concern? I should have walked away then as this kind of logical disconnection is nothing new.

But, knowing how these threads from this author go I still engaged to reconnect those dots anyway. My bad. So... how DOES the decision make sense? Don't focus on the wrong thing (throttles??).

"It makes sense if you count in the 28 mph Class 3 speed limit. I think all of us realize that 28 mph is waaaay too much speed to be carrying when intermingling with pedestrians. So... street-only. The decision has nothing to do with the bike and everything to do with the people walking."

Nowhere do I say or imply that

"...a rider is going to be zinging thru pedestrians at that speed all the time".

And he used that false conclusion to fuel the inflammatory BS that followed. It was a straw man. These threads are a torch carried by one person alone.

Carry on, then.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
While I've left this thread and won't be coming back, you are making an honest effort at genuine discussion so I'll respond in kind.

The words are simply not there to make that jump. The implication isn't either, unless the reader ignores the context as was done subsequently, which I made a point of keeping with the original statement by quoting the original.

"Let me give you an example of brain dead policy. They suggest that class 3 ebike be restricted to use on street and road side bike lanes. A class 3 ebike can not have a throttle but every motor vehicle on those streets effectively is throttle controlled so no way can they claim that policy makes sense"

Thats quite a conclusion, even if the logic associated with it is extremely murky. Is the point then, that throttled vehicles are necessary for safety on the road? When analog bicycles have been running on streets for over a century without this concern? I should have walked away then as this kind of logical disconnection is nothing new.
I don't find that murky at all. I was following the context... :)

When @Ken M calls it a "brain dead policy", your reply seemed to imply that he's advocating for 28MPH throttles (that would be the "28mph is way too much to carry... pedestrians" line).

Ken has been explicit in his advocacy of the CPSC definition, which would absolutely preclude said scenario, as throttles capable of 28MPH do not fit under the CPSC.

The CPSC definition essentially means a law of diminishing (motor) returns above 20mph when pedaling, based on an average rider sustained speed on a flat surface. It's therefore reasonable to conclude that IF an e-bike wants to fit within the CPSC definition, AND include a throttle, that throttle would be limited to 20MPH, as the rider is providing zero power up to that point.

Even if they ARE pedaling while holding the throttle down (a rare scenario), the motor is still defined as having to have that diminishing returns rule, rendering it useless above said 20MPH.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Sadly most legislators are just people paid to have an opinion on something. If People for Bikes gets car parts industry money (like from Bosch who while being in the ebike industry still gets 95%+ of it's revenue from car part sales) to pay legislators to adopt policy that parses classes that in reality negatively impacts adoption rate it's a win for the companies paying PFBs. Bosch isn't trying to kill ebikes but they don't want them to get too many people out of cars and have too big of impact on their much larger car parts business group.

I know no one thinks that insurance will never be required on class 3 ebikes if that becomes the federal definition but that is exactly what they thought in Europe. Anyone that works in the insurance industry will tell you they want every aspect of human life to require insurance - they will never be happy with the % of your money then can get. Common sense says that if I ride an ebike instead of getting in a car that I have insured their claim liability goes down so why wouldn't they provide free liability insurance for ebikes if you insure a car. I asked that question to some insurance agents and they said that would not be the most profitable thing to to (essentially saying they really don't care about what helps the customer). Then bring in the lawyers and my god a perfect storm of sucking cash - I've never met a lawyer with an opinion not paid for them to have. Very sad.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
While I've left this thread and won't be coming back, you are making an honest effort at genuine discussion so I'll respond in kind.

The words are simply not there to make that jump. The implication isn't either, unless the reader ignores the context as was done subsequently, which I made a point of keeping with the original statement by quoting the original.

"Let me give you an example of brain dead policy. They suggest that class 3 ebike be restricted to use on street and road side bike lanes. A class 3 ebike can not have a throttle but every motor vehicle on those streets effectively is throttle controlled so no way can they claim that policy makes sense"

Thats quite a conclusion, even if the logic associated with it is extremely murky. Is the point then, that throttled vehicles are necessary for safety on the road? When analog bicycles have been running on streets for over a century without this concern? I should have walked away then as this kind of logical disconnection is nothing new.

But, knowing how these threads from this author go I still engaged to reconnect those dots anyway. My bad. So... how DOES the decision make sense? Don't focus on the wrong thing (throttles??).

"It makes sense if you count in the 28 mph Class 3 speed limit. I think all of us realize that 28 mph is waaaay too much speed to be carrying when intermingling with pedestrians. So... street-only. The decision has nothing to do with the bike and everything to do with the people walking."

Nowhere do I say or imply that

"...a rider is going to be zinging thru pedestrians at that speed all the time".

And he used that false conclusion to fuel the inflammatory BS that followed. It was a straw man. These threads are a torch carried by one person alone.

Carry on, then.
My point of not allowing ebikes resticted to road riding to not have a throttle is a bit nuts given every other vehicle on those roads essentially has a throttle (cars have gas pedal which are essentially a throttle).

I comprehend the logic that maybe throttle ebikes do more damage to trails but I want to see the data because in reality it's not likely true. I use to do some volunteer maintenance on hiking / biking trails and my perception was that the vast majority of trail damage was always water erosion from big rain storms - the bike paths become the run off path for the water inherently.

You get frustrated that I bring up strawman arguments but my opinion overall is quite simple - that the definition of a "low speed electric bicycle" as a bike written by PhD Electrical Engineer Malcolm Currie is best for the ebike adoption rate now and likely moving forward. People for Bikes was UNDENIABLY provided $millions in lobby money to push the 3-class system and it has nothing to do with clarity for use laws or improved safety as they claimed.

I may be carrying the torch for the original federal definition but I have not read a tangible reason as to why anyone thinks the 3-class policy is better (spare me the repeated false claim that class 1 is the only reason ebikes got trail access).

One definition for a compliant ebike that can be sold in all 50 states and use everywhere a bike can ride is BEST for this industry. Simple enough that even legislators should understand it and compliant LSEBs can be made effective as cargo bikes (higher power below 20mph) and commuter ebikes are allowed some assist above 20mph (the constraint set by what sustains a 170lb rider on that particular bike at 20mph on a level surface - that will not result in anything more than what a class 3 pedelec is now if you run the simulations but no one likes facts when they don't agree with the koolaid they were given).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I don't find that murky at all. I was following the context... :)

When @Ken M calls it a "brain dead policy", your reply seemed to imply that he's advocating for 28MPH throttles (that would be the "28mph is way too much to carry... pedestrians" line).

Ken has been explicit in his advocacy of the CPSC definition, which would absolutely preclude said scenario, as throttles capable of 28MPH do not fit under the CPSC.

The CPSC definition essentially means a law of diminishing (motor) returns above 20mph when pedaling, based on an average rider sustained speed on a flat surface. It's therefore reasonable to conclude that IF an e-bike wants to fit within the CPSC definition, AND include a throttle, that throttle would be limited to 20MPH, as the rider is providing zero power up to that point.h
Even if they ARE pedaling while holding the throttle down (a rare scenario), the motor is still defined as having to have that diminishing returns rule, rendering it useless above said 20MPH.
You are correct that a 28mph throttle only assist in not compliant to the CPSC definition. A throttle-assist drive system would need to either cut-off at 20mph or it can also be allowed to govern the power above 20mph limited to what would sustain a 170lb rider at 20mph on a leven surface which is from 250-350W for most ebikes. This would help riders that then decide to add their own power to achieve a higher speed but wind resistance quickly negates the human added power above 20mph such that somewhere from 24-26mph is realistic max cruising speed for most riders (not exactly the speed missile some are claiming the federal definition allows). I think people simple forget that NHTSA didn't want to hand over ebikes (that they considered motorized vehicles) to the CPSC in 2001 unless they were limited to 20mph. Dr. Currie was smart enough to know that a hard cut-off at 20mph would suck (People for Bikes didn't like have any PhD engineers on staff so to them assist cut-offs were the only thing they could comprehend) so he made that motor-alone maximum while injecting constraints for "limited" assist to continue beyond 20mph (this has been confirmed by the CPSC as OK and echoed by PFBs as to why a class 3 ebike is compliant to the federal definition).
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
My point of not allowing ebikes resticted to road riding to not have a throttle is a bit nuts given every other vehicle on those roads essentially has a throttle (cars have gas pedal which are essentially a throttle).

Digging yourself a hole there. Those "other" vehicle on the roads have licensing, insurance, inspection, and registration requirements. The closer bikes get to those vehicles (size, weight, power, rate of acceleration, etc) the more likely all those requirement will eventually come to bear.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Digging yourself a hole there. Those "other" vehicle on the roads have licensing, insurance, inspection, and registration requirements. The closer bikes get to those vehicles (size, weight, power, rate of acceleration, etc) the more likely all those requirement will eventually come to bear.
I was not suggesting the loosening of the federal definition for a "low speed electric bicycle." I just think that creating the 3 classes and then suggesting that class 3 ebikes can only be pedal assist and must ride on roads seem a bit non-nonsensical. The reason those "other" vehicles require licensing, insurance, and registration is for other reasons besides having a throttle - faster, heavier, more powerful, etc.

I advocate good policies for ebikes because we simply need more people riding and not driving every trip they make from the house.

With electric drive systems the difference in a pedal-assist system and a throttle-assist system is a very loose grey line. An engineer can easily create a throttle-assist that only works when the rider is pedaling. They could also have a cadence speed based throttle so the rider could stay in one gear and ghost pedal the throttle assist by varying cadence rpm. The fact that PFBs defined a Class 1 and 2 with the only difference being one is said to be pedal-assist and one throttle-assist leaves a huge technology hole that I didn't dig. They dug it by not really thinking the class policy thru but hey they were getting a lot of lobby money so why think about it too long.

Europe is rethinking their ebike regulations and my guess is they will end up allowing throttles as same as pedelecs. Does anyone really believe that a 750W motor with a throttle is really vastly different than a 750W motor with pedal assist. I know the trail managers like to claim throttles cause more damage but then they tend to refer to much more powerful two wheeled vehicles like motorcycles tearing up the trails. They have no data on trail damage for pedal-assist vs throttle-assist ebikes other than what exists in their heads.
 
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