Statement Regarding Potential CPSC Ebike Law Preemption of 3-class Legislation

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I edited my post to reflect that (I asked a friend with a Creo and he says no speedo). Like most people who buy one of those, he rides with a separate cycle computer so hes compliant with VA law anyway. You asked how Specialized handles it, I'm just speculating. They make an external display that works with all their bikes, so maybe at point of sale they just say you either need your own computer or one of those to be legally compliant? The code doesn't say the bike needs to be sold with one, nor does it need to be integral, it just needs to have one you can see during use.

I can speak to Giant at least that they make no class 3s that don't have their display. Orbea, not familiar with but from what I can see on their website they don't sell any class 3s in the US (all listed as 20mph bikes).
So if a REQUIREMENT why wouldn't Specialized install a speedometer on a $10,000+ ebike? I had just read that some other manufactures were also ignoring the speedometer ?requirement? because 3-class has zero standing with what is sold in the US.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
DC adopted class 1 and class 2 in all but name (motor limits and assist speed are identical, they just don't call them class 1 and class 2).
WTF. Are you serious? By your new standard then the federal definition is the same as 3-class as it encompasses all 3 classes so they are same in "all but name alone." This is going way off the rational rails....you are embarrassing yourself. If a state adopts the class system then I think it's fair to assume their will be more than just one common definition for a compliant ebike.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
JR is actually right, I'm a woodworker and paint and finish availability does vary by state. Its not 50 different formulations, but there are some products that you can't get in some states but can in others (or even products that can be bought by the gallon in one state but is limited to quarts in others).

For another area that I have direct experience with, building codes vary state to state. There is one universal code (for residential construction its the IRC, or international residential code), but each state amends it differently when it adopts it. Virginias version is the VRC (the Virginia Residential Code). MD goes one further and each county adopts and amends it on their own, so the code governing construction can be different in Howard County vs Montgomery County.
I'm not going to dive into paint VOC and residential construction codes in this discussion about ebike regulations. Next you guys will question we landed on the moon. I do not just accept that if paint is safety regulated by the CPSC or other federal agency that it would allow each state to have a unique VOC requirement. I just don't have time to deal with every sidetrack claim you guys make.

Hopefully this month CPSC makes a formal decision on the petition request. I'm now very much hoping they preempt 3-class. The funny thing is even if they do you all will still say I was wrong on all this.
 
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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
So if a REQUIREMENT why wouldn't Specialized install a speedometer on a $10,000+ ebike? I had just read that some other manufactures were also ignoring the speedometer ?requirement? because 3-class has zero standing with what is sold in the US.
Because its not a point of sale requirement? The code here in VA just says "All class three electric power-assisted bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour." It doesn't say they are required to be sold with one. Something like a basic Planet Bike or Cateye wheel magnet computer would suffice, as would any of the common GPS devices made by Wahoo or Garmin. I read that as "if you get a speeding ticket on your class 3, you can't use "I didn't know how fast I was going!" as a defense"

The Creo is definitely not marketed as a general purpose ebike, it is designed (and priced) for people who want a high-end road bike experience, but with assist. That crowd absolutely wants a clean cockpit, and almost certainly already have some sort of gps bike computer. I can't speak to how Specialized thinks of it internally or what their market research says, but I'd guess that very few people buy Creos and run it without something that displays speed. Specialized does make a compatible display unit that is relatively (compared to the bike) inexpensive.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
I'm not going to dive into paint VOC and residential construction codes in this discussion about ebike regulations. Next you guys will question we landed on the moon. I do not just accept that if paint is safety regulated by the CPSC or other federal agency that it would allow each state to have a unique VOC requirement. I just don't have time to deal with every sidetrack claim you guys make.

Hopefully this month CPSC makes a formal decision on the petition request. I'm now very much hoping they preempt 3-class. The funny thing is even if they do you all will still say I was wrong on all this.
The point is that there are all kinds of national standards, but states still have the final say in most things. It is, for better or worse, a fairly universal feature of our system of government that states have pretty wide leeway to do their own thing regardless of what the fed says. It the way things are in a wide variety of industries, from building to education to vehicle codes.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Because its not a point of sale requirement? The code here in VA just says "All class three electric power-assisted bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour." It doesn't say they are required to be sold with one. Something like a basic Planet Bike or Cateye wheel magnet computer would suffice, as would any of the common GPS devices made by Wahoo or Garmin. I read that as "if you get a speeding ticket on your class 3, you can't use "I didn't know how fast I was going!" as a defense"

The Creo is definitely not marketed as a general purpose ebike, it is designed (and priced) for people who want a high-end road bike experience, but with assist. That crowd absolutely wants a clean cockpit, and almost certainly already have some sort of gps bike computer. I can't speak to how Specialized thinks of it internally or what their market research says, but I'd guess that very few people buy Creos and run it without something that displays speed. Specialized does make a compatible display unit that is relatively (compared to the bike) inexpensive.
Are the class modes a point of sale requirement? I'm sure the OEMs are not going to allow the states or consumers to have open access to programming the controller so sure seems like those modes are an element of the ebike when it comes out of the box even though the CPSC does not require it and it's more stringent than the federal definition.

Obviously a speedometer can be added to any bike after 1st sale but tell me how the programming for the classes can be added. Do those 3 classes improve product safety? Are they really justified for "use" regulations just because some make that claim while other states like Oregon get by without them? I really think you guys are trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. My petition just brings up what I think is state legislative capture of a product that CPSC product regulates and the states are suppose to just stick to regulating its "use" (they did not need to redefine more stringently for that purpose and if they did why did it take them 12+ years to decide they needed to?
 
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Asher

Well-Known Member
WTF. Are you serious? By your new standard then the federal definition is the same as 3-class as it encompasses all 3 classes so they are same in "all but name alone." This is going way off the rational rails....you are embarrassing yourself. If a state adopts the class system then I think it's fair to assume their will be more than just one common definition for a compliant ebike.
Lol at this vitriol for pointing out basic facts.
why did it take them 12+ years to decide they needed to?
Why are we still passing new regulations on cars if they've been around for a century? Why didn't we stop in 1920 with new rules?

Ken is starting the ebike version of the Sovereign Citizen movement. When law enforcement confronts him he will loudly invoke the CPSC and resist citation, which then escalates to arrest and impoundment.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Really....that is an answer. So you think different programming for each state would not be an interstate commerce issue (if not for a few then different for each no issue either...right?). What if I wanted to ride the same ebike across the country?

By the way some of the states not adopting 3-class allow a less stringent 1000W rating but no OEM is actually going to produce a model just for those few states that allow it (it's just a rating anyway and not really a peak power limit which few seem to understand).

I'm not going to look into the VOC claim but my guess is you are wrong. No paint company is going to formulate 50 different paints so each state can have their own regulation of paint. That is exactly why the preemptive power of the agencies exist. The supremacy clause and the federal enumerated right to regulate interstate commerce can absolutely trample state rights if that is what you want to call it.

I have asked for a response on very specific things and I get gobbly-gook responses like you just sent. Trying to remain serious on this but irrational claims are pushing me to call out nonsensical statements.
I'm sorry, I'm not getting into the insult game with you. If you don't have time for, or can't understand answers don't ask questions.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Lol at this vitriol for pointing out basic facts.

Why are we still passing new regulations on cars if they've been around for a century? Why didn't we stop in 1920 with new rules?

Ken is starting the ebike version of the Sovereign Citizen movement. When law enforcement confronts him he will loudly invoke the CPSC and resist citation, which then escalates to arrest and impoundment.
The CPSC has updated bike regulation 4 or 5 times. I have never said it a static document

If I'm riding a CPSC compliant ebike that is not 3-class compliant (as I do have 2 as detailed in the petition) and I was issued a ticket for not riding a class compliant ebike I would argue the ticket in court. I actually was considering that direction prior to finding out that the CPSC allow for anyone to file a petition for preemption to get them to review if there is a problem.

Everyone should be happy I did this because it could result in the federal regulation being changed to recognize the 3-class system or it could result in the 3-class system being preempted. I believe they CPSC based on past decisions and the standards they operate under will preempt because to not preempt will open up other issues for them. It would have been oh so easy for PFBs or the states to reguest an advisory position on 3-class before just assuming they could legislative capture a product already regulated by the CPSC. They could have requested a exemption as well. They did neither because they assume 3-class was consistent and not an impact to interstate commerce.
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
I know it's part of PFBs model legislation document but I have not noticed if a speedometer is required in every state adopting 3-class. Just because it's in the primer doesn't mean it's automatically in the state law.

Why doesn't the Specialized Turbo Levo (their top speed pedelec) have a speedometer? Seems strange they just ignore it.

None of you have answered if this is an interstate commerce impact. Why is that?
.....and you still haven’t answered my questions regarding your gas powered “bicycle” and your true motivations. Does it have a speedometer?....lol
Ken, please correct me if I’m wrong, but haven‘t you mentioned at some point that you have a gas powered ”bicycle” that is no longer legal to ride on streets in Colorado? If so, is this the true reason you’re pushing for this? If so, I doubt many states if any will ever allow this type of ”bicycle” on bike paths/trails and MUPs. But I don’t think you care about that or that what you’re petitioning for could impact access to these areas for ebikes.

I apologize in advance if I’m mistaken regarding you owning a gas powered “bicycle” and your motivation being to be able to ride it legally on streets.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry, I'm not getting into the insult game with you. If you don't have time for, or can't understand answers don't ask questions.
I just don't have time to research the paint VOC regulations and I don't want to just assume you are correct either. It's not that important in this discussion.

There are 3 elements that I believe the 3 class system implies must be on the ebike at time of 1st sale: 1) different programming for cease of assist, 2) class specific labeling, & 3) a speedometer. My fairly simple question is: do the states have the regulatory power to do that when it's a product already regulated for decades by the CPSC?

I simply believe the CPSC will view this as regulatory capture of something they already regulate. It's a very blurry claim to say then needed those 3 elements for "use" regulation given that decades old bicycle use laws were already in place and many status simply use the CPSC definition and "use" regulate ebikes as just a bike. Many claim that the 3-class system was needed but that is clearly not the case of other states are not "needing" it.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
.....and you still haven’t answered my questions regarding your gas powered “bicycle” and your true motivations. Does it have a speedometer?....lol
I have never said I have a gas powered ebike. Where do you guys extract these things. Again I have a Polaris Diesel (same as a PIM Archer) and an Izip Express - both are ebikes!!!! You can see reviews of them on this site.

What is funny is that Izip Express which is faster than class 3 provides does not have a speedometer and was used by the LA Police department for a few years. You can all verify this to be true. Oh but it's easier to just call me liar which is fine with me because truth stands always over lies.

I have said what my motivation is. I do not really care about the decision direct - I just want all states to be 3-class and the CPSC to amend their definition as such so it's required at 1st sale or I want the CPSC to decide to preempt 3-class legislation to kill it's legal standing in the 28 states that have adopted it. I have some intellectual property that benefits from decision one way or the other (that was stated in the petition so I have not hide anything from anyone). I think the federal definition is far better for the future of ebikes so I hope the CPSC does preempt but hard to utilize IP when some states are 3-class and some are using federal definition. 3-class has holes you guys are not even aware of and is just being touched upon by brands incorporating multi-mode functions into their control programming - they can legally do that because the CPSC does not have any consideration of the classes. If I explained the problems I think the trail managers would be in shock and immediately support preemption of 3-class. Now wouldn't that be ironic.
 
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McCorby

Well-Known Member
I have never said I have a gas powered ebike. Where do you guys extract these things. Again I have a Polaris Diesel (same as a PIM Archer) and an Izip Express - both are ebikes!!!! You can see reviews of them on this site.

What is funny is that Izip Express which is faster than class 3 provides does not have a speedometer and was used by the LA Police department for a few years. You can all verify this to be true. Oh but it's easier to just call me liar which is fine with me because truth stands always over lies.
Thanks for clarifying. I must have mistaken you for someone else In another thread....
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Because its not a point of sale requirement? The code here in VA just says "All class three electric power-assisted bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour." It doesn't say they are required to be sold with one. Something like a basic Planet Bike or Cateye wheel magnet computer would suffice, as would any of the common GPS devices made by Wahoo or Garmin. I read that as "if you get a speeding ticket on your class 3, you can't use "I didn't know how fast I was going!" as a defense"

The Creo is definitely not marketed as a general purpose ebike, it is designed (and priced) for people who want a high-end road bike experience, but with assist. That crowd absolutely wants a clean cockpit, and almost certainly already have some sort of gps bike computer. I can't speak to how Specialized thinks of it internally or what their market research says, but I'd guess that very few people buy Creos and run it without something that displays speed. Specialized does make a compatible display unit that is relatively (compared to the bike) inexpensive.
Ok....you wrote: "Because its not a point of sale requirement? The code here in VA just says "All class three electric power-assisted bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour." It doesn't say they are required to be sold with one. You are correct but just seems very very strange that the other 2 classes do not require a speedometer even though assist speed does not restrict how fast an ebike can be pedaled.

The "Model Electric Bike Law with Classes" includes this statement: "A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle so as to change the motor powered speed capability or engagement of an electric bicycle."

That sure seems to imply to me that the class 1, 2, or 3 programming must be on the bike prior to 1st sale and the buyer can not modify it after purchase. My point is the 3-class legislation CLEARLY requires an ebike to have defined programming at the time of sale, but guess what the CPSC doesn't say it's required. The conflict does exist and it does impact interstate commerce because some compliant CPSC "low speed electric bicycles are not compliant to 3-class legislation and some 3-class compliant ebikes are not compliant to CPSC regulations. I see no way the CPSC just ignores this after a petition for preemption is submitted. Something needs to be fixed and this was an inevitable issue.

No way Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, etc. would allow a buyer to modify the programming after sale and I find it unlikely they would even allow a bike retailer to do that unless a certified service shop which would rule out all direct to consumer sales.

One last note on this temper statement. There are few multi-mode ebikes (ie switchable from Class 1 to 2 to 3) now on market. These are being legally sold but clearly that is changing the motor powered speed capability so is it 3-class complaint? Who can enforce that?

I even question who is ultimately responsible for putting on the class sticker. I believe some states do state the sticker must be on the ebike prior to 1st sale.

Some 3-class states like Minnesota require ebrakes on all ebikes even though not required per 3-class model legislation. Most of the biggest ebike brands have models without ebrakes so who is going to remove the installed brakes and integrate the ebraking function on a Bosch drive system ebike (that would most likely void the warranty). Note: Minnesota may only allow Class 1 and 2 for use but I've contacted several ebike retailers in Minnisota and they all sold Class 3 ebike models even though they said the did not think they could be legally ridden in that state (I wonder if they tell the buyers that).

Are you ALL paying attention to these issues or just ignoring them? It all started with PFBs pushing 3-class when they got lobby money to do so.
 
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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Are the class modes a point of sale requirement? I'm sure the OEMs are not going to allow the states or consumers to have open access to programming the controller so sure seems like those modes are an element of the ebike when it comes out of the box even though the CPSC does not require it and it's more stringent than the federal definition.
I'd say thats still up in the air. Most of the major OEMs have certainly taken the view that they want things set at the point of sale and made it as difficult to tamper with or change as they can, but thats not universal, and there are a fair number of companies who let you modify things (or even sell non-compliant bikes as "off road only wink wink"). As far as the states seem to care, its "these are use requirements for stuff under our control", so I'd read it as "the bike must meet this to be used", not that it necessarily needs to be sold that way.

I'd say how that holds up will just depend on things going forward. If jurisdictions see a lot of conflicts and issues, you can expect things to quickly get a lot more strict (and I couldn't even guess at what more strict would entail). If things go smooth, a more hands off approach will likely continue. Regulation and enforcement is very "squeaky wheel gets the grease".
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Ok....you wrote: "Because its not a point of sale requirement? The code here in VA just says "All class three electric power-assisted bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour." It doesn't say they are required to be sold with one.

The "Model Electric Bike Law with Classes" includes this statement: "A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle so as to change the motor powered speed capability or engagement of an electric bicycle."

That sure seems to imply to me that the class 1, 2, or 3 programming must be on the bike prior to 1st sale and the buyer can not modify it after purchase. My point is the 3-class legislation CLEARLY requires an ebike to have defined programming at the time of sale, but guess what the CPSC doesn't say it's required. The conflict does exist and it does impact interstate commerce because some compliant CPSC "low speed electric bicycles are not compliant to 3-class legislation and some 3-class compliant ebikes are not compliant to CPSC regulations. I see no way the CPSC just ignores this after a petition for preemption is submitted. Something needs to be fixed and this was an inevitable issue.
At least here in VA, the code section in full says:
"No person shall tamper with or modify an electric power-assisted bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric power-assisted bicycle, unless the label required by subdivision C 1 is replaced after modification."
So legally you can change between classes as long as you put the appropriate sticker on it afterwards. But certainly most of the major OEMs take the point of view that if they sell you a class 1, they want it to remain a class 1.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'd say thats still up in the air. Most of the major OEMs have certainly taken the view that they want things set at the point of sale and made it as difficult to tamper with or change as they can, but thats not universal, and there are a fair number of companies who let you modify things (or even sell non-compliant bikes as "off road only wink wink"). As far as the states seem to care, its "these are use requirements for stuff under our control", so I'd read it as "the bike must meet this to be used", not that it necessarily needs to be sold that way.

I'd say how that holds up will just depend on things going forward. If jurisdictions see a lot of conflicts and issues, you can expect things to quickly get a lot more strict (and I couldn't even guess at what more strict would entail). If things go smooth, a more hands off approach will likely continue. Regulation and enforcement is very "squeaky wheel gets the grease".
Wow, still up in the air? I don't think the CPSC is going to just leave it up in the air because it's pretty clear the programming and stickers are to be introduced on the ebike prior to entry into interstate commerce (that is how they word this kind of regulatory conflict).
.
The EU literally required the drive system manufacturers to do things to prevent post sale tampering and unlocking of the assist speeds. We can disagree on if "these are use requirements for stuff under our control" as you wrote, but it sure seems you are now aware there really is a conflict in the regulations.

Think about this for a second. PFBs has stated they want a bike that is bought in one state to be legal to ride in every state (why shouldn't we be able to buy and ebike and just ride it cross country like we can a car?). We had that before 3-class (but let's ignore that for a second). If I buy a non-class ebike in one of the 22 states not requiring it, can I currently ride that ebike in any of the 3-class states legally (I understand enforcement is lax but that is another issue altogether)? I literally have two ebikes that when purchased were legal to ride in Colorado and are now not legal to ride on any public infrastructure and both are from big brand names. How did that happen because it should not have happened. Note: some will say they were grandfathered but there is zero records on that being true.

You may want to look up how the CPSC views any ebike/bike that is found to be non-compliant. It can not be classified or sold as a bike in the US is my interpretation. Interestingly there is no legal requirement for an ebike to compliant to 3-class prior to sale (even though implied to be on ebike prior to sale).
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
At least here in VA, the code section in full says:
"No person shall tamper with or modify an electric power-assisted bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric power-assisted bicycle, unless the label required by subdivision C 1 is replaced after modification."
So legally you can change between classes as long as you put the appropriate sticker on it afterwards. But certainly most of the major OEMs take the point of view that if they sell you a class 1, they want it to remain a class 1.
Right now there are ebikes being sold that can switch on the fly between modes (a couple seem to have all 3 classes and an offroad mode - the new Sonders ebikes are just one example and they are back-ordered significantly). Do they only need to have a Rolodex sticker function to be 100% compliant to the 3-class legislation.

My prediction is that if the tax rebate gets associated with buying a 3-class ebike we will next see automatic mode switching such that a class 1 model will just flip into class 3 mode when 20mph is achieved and back down again when the speed falls below 20mph. So if ever stopped or have an accident the bike is always in class 1 mode. Do you see anything in 3-class legislation to prevent this?

At least with the federal definition there is an agency chartered to ensure the product being sold in the 50 states is compliant. I have no idea why the states had to claim for their "use" requirements they had to define the classes.

We sit here and some keep injecting that they'll loose trail access (which is totally speculative) if the 3-class is preempted by the CPSC while they ignore all the problems with 3-class because they have been spoon fed that is what provided them trail access. It's truly a bizarre situation.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
We sit here and some keep injecting that they'll loose trail access (which is totally speculative)
No, you sit here and speculate. I and several other members here have actually lobbied for change and access. And we've had success. I've told you numerous times that regulators and land managers have told us that throttle ebikes are not acceptable and they never would have accepted anything other than class 1. Had they known that Ken of EBR needed video testimony to be convinced of the facts I'm sure they would've obliged.

You created a narrative and no matter what information you are provided you're sticking to it. Spin your web.