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

Asher

Well-Known Member
Ken aside, I think it would be interesting for someone to challenge the registration requirements in court in DC. I'm not sure if you'd have to be cited first, or just sue unilaterally. But probably unwise for something that may come eventually and is flying under the radar now anyway
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
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.
When they told you no trottle ebikes where they referring to the more powerful off-road ebikes (more like motocross motorcycles than bikes) or truly CPSC compliant ebikes? It seems to be a common assumption that a throttle is utilized on the more powerful electric motorcycle-like ebikes. If like NY, they may have been reacting to non-compliant ebikes.

I explained my view is that a "low speed electric bicycle" is to be considered just a bike. I don't believe they would ban all bikes but could.

The DOI order is to allow all 3 classes as bikes unless there is significant cause to not (this does not allow them to just say they don't like throttles per my understanding - data, public hearings, etc.).

Does Oregon have any trail restrictions that you know of? I'm just wondering. How about any of the other states that utilize the federal definition as just a bike?
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken aside, I think it would be interesting for someone to challenge the registration requirements in court in DC. I'm not sure if you'd have to be cited first, or just sue unilaterally. But probably unwise for something that may come eventually and is flying under the radar now anyway
I don't know of any registration requirements in DC. My opinion is the DC ebike law is just an adoption of the federal definition and not 3-class which some are claiming in this tread (there is no recognition of classes so some interpret the 20mph motor alone statement to be consistent with Class 1 and 2 combined but that does not mean they adopted the 3-class system.

I do believe that my argument for 3-class preemption is legally robust but I'm not a lawyer so I could be wrong. I do appreciate the dialog but some of the points have been a bit strange in my opinion. The CPSC does take the defense of interstate commerce pretty seriously and they do possess the power to preempt state law when that is impacted without a few special conditions being met.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
I don't know of any registration requirements in DC. My opinion is
Ken: "Of course it's night time! Just look how dark it is here, you fool!"
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BEC111

Active Member
I actually tested my class 3 against some popular local strava segments (recreated as ebike segments) back when I first got it, and my times would have easily taken a KOM on every one of them without even using max assist. Some of them have thousands of riders and the leaderboard is full of extremely fast and fit locals.
It’s interesting that on your class 3 bike you apparently ride as fast or faster than an analog road bike user. My Vado SL is class 3, but I can rarely reach even the 28 mph cut off speed (need to be on a flat or decent with little to no headwind).

I am regularly passed by folks on road bikes, going as much as 10 or more mph faster. And one of my regular riding buddies rides an older analog hybrid as fast or faster then I go.

My usual average speeds are around 12-15 mph. On my previous analog bike the speeds were 10-14. For me, the “2X you” assist means I can easily ride 20 miles where before even 10 miles was a challenge. I think the whole speed based class metric is odd. Mostly because of the confusion about maximum assist speed with rider speed capabilities.

OTOH, it seems there is a typically American desire to not only go fast, but to surpass the limits of their vehicles by modification or acquisition of non-compliant machines. Hot rods and super cars today, thoroughbreds and chariots in the past.

The laws seem to be intended to deal with the e-cycling hot-rodders. It comes down to, “those darn kids”!
 

BEC111

Active Member
Yes, I have a class 1 as well. If you have the legs you can pedal any ebike faster than its motor cutoff, sure. But you're doing so at a huge handicap (extra weight and resistance). If you're someone who is capable of cruising on a class 1 at a meaningful faster speed than its cutoff, you're probably someone who would be equally capable of pedaling a non powered bike around those speeds.

No, the world hasn't decided that 28mph is too fast to be allowed (it is the limit for class 3 bikes which are made by most major mfgs and the fastest class of bikes that a majority of states allow). I definitely think that theres a consesus that 28mph is too fast for some places that normal bikes are allowed. I personally agree with that; I love my Revolt and think class 3s have a solid place in the ebike world, but I also think its unacceptably fast for some bike infrastructure. I do not agree that average speeds on a class 3 will fall within normal unpowered bike speed ranges (very, very few cyclists are averaging north of 20mph on anything).

Here are a few segments on the W&OD (MUP near me). Its probably about the most speed friendly multiuse path in the DC area (10ft wide, old railway so very straight and generally very flat). Both are slight climbs 1-1.5% and decently long (1.35 and 2.46 miles)
In 181,453 attempts, the fastest average speed ever was 23.8mph.
In 103,709 attempts, the fastest average speed ever was 22.3mph.
I'll note that both of those were very likely with a friendly tailwind (its a famously windy path and most KOM hunters try and time attempts to when they get a strong wind assist). in 10+years and over a hundred thousand attempts, the best unpowered cyclists barely beat class 1s max assist speed as an average.

I just think that "28mph is totally within the average speed range of non ebikes" is a huge exaggeration. Sure, a fit roadie can go surprisingly fast, and protour riders can go insanely fast. Average cyclist speeds on most paths is nowhere near even class 1s cutoff.
My MUP and rider speeds experience.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
It’s interesting that on your class 3 bike you apparently ride as fast or faster than an analog road bike user. My Vado SL is class 3, but I can rarely reach even the 28 mph cut off speed (need to be on a flat or decent with little to no headwind).

I am regularly passed by folks on road bikes, going as much as 10 or more mph faster. And one of my regular riding buddies rides an older analog hybrid as fast or faster then I go.

My usual average speeds are around 12-15 mph. On my previous analog bike the speeds were 10-14. For me, the “2X you” assist means I can easily ride 20 miles where before even 10 miles was a challenge. I think the whole speed based class metric is odd. Mostly because of the confusion about maximum assist speed with rider speed capabilities.

OTOH, it seems there is a typically American desire to not only go fast, but to surpass the limits of their vehicles by modification or acquisition of non-compliant machines. Hot rods and super cars today, thoroughbreds and chariots in the past.

The laws seem to be intended to deal with the e-cycling hot-rodders. It comes down to, “those darn kids”!
You are touching on the same points I have been trying to make. So many seem to think that it's just so easy to cruise at 28mph on a class 3 250W ebike but the rider has to provide significant dynamic power to achieve that and sustain that speed.

You also touched on that "those darn kids" everyone mentions riding around on super fast ebikes are not riding compliant ebikes. I don't want that to impact the product regulation debate because the federal definition addresses that via the power limiting constraints of 20 mph / 170 lb rider / Level Surface. Allowing the power level that would sustain 20 mph per those constraints is a clever way to ensure that "low speed electric bicycles" can be effective urban mobility solutions while keeping them in the traditional speed range of bikes. I do think riding an ebike can significantly increase most rider's average travel speeds but the top speed typical for most riders is not actually increased (no one seems to consider the difference of improved average speed and the top speeds achieved by most riders on a typical ride which is in the 28-32 mph range if just because of some decents and tail winds).
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
It’s interesting that on your class 3 bike you apparently ride as fast or faster than an analog road bike user. My Vado SL is class 3, but I can rarely reach even the 28 mph cut off speed (need to be on a flat or decent with little to no headwind).

I am regularly passed by folks on road bikes, going as much as 10 or more mph faster. And one of my regular riding buddies rides an older analog hybrid as fast or faster then I go.

My usual average speeds are around 12-15 mph. On my previous analog bike the speeds were 10-14. For me, the “2X you” assist means I can easily ride 20 miles where before even 10 miles was a challenge. I think the whole speed based class metric is odd. Mostly because of the confusion about maximum assist speed with rider speed capabilities.

OTOH, it seems there is a typically American desire to not only go fast, but to surpass the limits of their vehicles by modification or acquisition of non-compliant machines. Hot rods and super cars today, thoroughbreds and chariots in the past.

The laws seem to be intended to deal with the e-cycling hot-rodders. It comes down to, “those darn kids”!
I'll note that the Vado SL is using Specializeds lightweight low assist motor. I'm riding a Giant Revolt, which uses Yamahas full power motor with more than double the peak assist torque as the SL (at the expense of more weight and power consumption).

It does really depend on the segment. I'd probably struggle to take the top spot on some of the flat ones, and any long downhill would be extremely hard. The less climbing on a segment the less of an advantage the ebike gives you, and the longer the segment the more advantage you get on an ebike because your average power output can stay really high. I have friends who are competitive roadies, and even on a slight uphill they could probably destroy me on the Revolt over a short enough distance because their sprint power is nuts. They just can't sustain it for very long, whereas I can stay at that power level while riding zone 2-3.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
When they told you no trottle ebikes where they referring to the more powerful off-road ebikes (more like motocross motorcycles than bikes) or truly CPSC compliant ebikes? It seems to be a common assumption that a throttle is utilized on the more powerful electric motorcycle-like ebikes. If like NY, they may have been reacting to non-compliant ebikes.
No one can understand any of the issues, except you. One of my bikes is a 500 watt Class 2 with throttle. Do your own homework to understand what regulators are saying and doing. I have tried to offer information. It's clear you don't believe me unless you agree with me.

Pennsylvania
"Electric Bike (E-bike) Use
Class 1 E-bikes are permitted on approved mountain bike trails and roads, provided they meet all the following standards:
  1. Electric motor less than 750 watts
  2. Fully functional pedals
  3. Weight not exceeding 75 lbs.
  4. Maximum speed less than 20 mph
  5. Does not have capacity to be completely self-propelled (must be pedaled to engage electric motor)
Class 2 and 3 E-bikes are not permitted on approved mountain bike trails and roads in state forests."

Every Pennsylvanian lives within 25 miles of a State Park, forest or game land. That's a lot of land (big state) open to Class 1 ebikes.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
You are touching on the same points I have been trying to make. So many seem to think that it's just so easy to cruise at 28mph on a class 3 250W ebike but the rider has to provide significant dynamic power to achieve that and sustain that speed.

I'll note that the Vado SL is using Specializeds lightweight low assist motor. I'm riding a Giant Revolt, which uses Yamahas full power motor with more than double the peak assist torque as the SL (at the expense of more weight and power consumption).

Exactly. Ken uses the Vado SL, a notably low power bike, to make a point about the maximum power of an ebike... And on top of that says 250w when the limit is 750w, which is plenty for 28+ mph on flats.

🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 10/10 for Ken
 

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Ken M

Well-Known Member
I
No one can understand any of the issues, except you. One of my bikes is a 500 watt Class 2 with throttle. Do your own homework to understand what regulators are saying and doing. I have tried to offer information. It's clear you don't believe me unless you agree with me.

Pennsylvania
"Electric Bike (E-bike) Use
Class 1 E-bikes are permitted on approved mountain bike trails and roads, provided they meet all the following standards:
  1. Electric motor less than 750 watts
  2. Fully functional pedals
  3. Weight not exceeding 75 lbs.
  4. Maximum speed less than 20 mph
  5. Does not have capacity to be completely self-propelled (must be pedaled to engage electric motor)
Class 2 and 3 E-bikes are not permitted on approved mountain bike trails and roads in state forests."

Every Pennsylvanian lives within 25 miles of a State Park, forest or game land. That's a lot of land (big state) open to Class 1 ebikes.
I honestly don't disagree on the access issue or the perceptions on throttle-assist ebikes (that seems to have come from considering ebikes are motor vehicles...that's all I'm saying). I do question there was any data supporting that there is a difference on trails between class 1 and 2 (while that doesn't matter in reality it's something we should feel is an acceptable question on the access decision).

Did you notice that someone suggested that the class programming isn't really required to be present during 1st sale of the ebike? While that would remove the interstate commerce conflict, I would think you could at least see the problem with that opinion (as one argument counter...do you think any of the big drive system producers would allow buyers to download the programming after 1st sale - that access would likely trouble them).

On the information you sent this is just an observation. Is the maximum speed an obvious reference to top assist speed? There are some federally compliant ebikes sold on Alibaba that do not follow the 3-class system so I'm wondering how they are addressed in Pennsylvania (they must just be illegal to ride anywhere just like here in Colorado - keep in mind I literally own a Polaris Diesel and Izip Express that were compliant for use when I bought them and now they are illegal to use on any infrastructure in Colorado).

While I don't want to imply anything negative on anyone...I think there are issues that just seem to get ignored (trail access a valid concern but so are the potential conflicts of the CPSC federal definition and 3-class).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Exactly. Ken uses the Vado SL, a notably low power bike, to make a point about the maximum power of an ebike... And on top of that says 250w when the limit is 750w, which is plenty for 28+ mph on flats.

🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 10/10 for Ken
I know the 750W rating but that "full" power is not allowed above 20mph. Was that simulation result in MPH or KPH as I could not tell. I'd have to verify similution resutls but I do think that 750W will provide upwards of 30mph but again the question is does the federal definition allow full power above 20mph?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Exactly. Ken uses the Vado SL, a notably low power bike, to make a point about the maximum power of an ebike... And on top of that says 250w when the limit is 750w, which is plenty for 28+ mph on flats.

🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 10/10 for Ken
I accidentally referred to the Vado for not having a speedometer but it was the Creo that doesn't have one. The point was that not all class 3 speed pedelecs have a speedometer. In other words, It was an example of a major OEM top speed pedelec not complying with the state laws on 1st sale. But now some of you are saying that the entire 3-class system is something to be completed on the ebikes after sale. I guess I should not be shocked by any of the logic thru this forum thread but that is some good icing.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
General question: Minnesota requires ebrakes on all ebikes but even most of the big mid-drive brands drive systems don't even support ebrakes. I'm just wondering if anyone views that as a state regulation with interstate commerce impact. Is NY top throttle assist speed of 25mph an interstate commerce issue?
 

kmccune

Active Member
Can someone tell Me what an Ebrake is? The Chinese -English translations and syntax confuse Me often? An Ebrake is not the same as "regen" is it( I love regen on these steep roads it saves the brakes and wind chill when it is cooler)
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
I think they are referring to motor inhibitor brake switches. They are not needed on the “premium” mid-drives because they have no throttle and the power is instantly cut when pedaling stops. Many hub motors have them even if not equipped with a throttle because there is often a noticeable lag shutting power off when you stop pedaling.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
I think they are referring to motor inhibitor brake switches. They are not needed on the “premium” mid-drives because they have no throttle and the power is instantly cut when pedaling stops. Many hub motors have them even if not equipped with a throttle because there is often a noticeable lag shutting power off when you stop pedaling.

That was not the point. I was bringing up that Minnesota requires "motor inhibiting" brakes / ebrakes on all ebikes per there state law. The primary intent of this forum topic was to open a dialog on state "use" laws that I feel are clear violations of interstate commerce policy on something defined and regulated by a federal agency. We all benefit if the same ebikes can be nationally sold and used legally in every state but many people don't seem to want that. Strangely that is something People for Bikes stated was one of the goals of the 3-class legislation. Some claim each state has different situations such that unique ebike definitions are essential for use in that states (no one seems to ever justify it, except to say I don't care about trail access or the feelings of trail managers as if I'm the bad guy for feeling one definition for a "low speed electric bicycle" is best for the industry and insuring they remain as a "bike" for universal use).

The ebrake requirement is just an example I thought everyone would interpret as a violation. For some reason the states (obviously the ones that have adopted the 3-class legislation) feel they can each define what a compliant ebike is prior to 1st sale but the feds own the definition (have since 2002 on "low speed electric bicycles) and compliance thru 1st sale. There are plenty that make the claim 3-class was essential for clarity and safety for the implementation of ebike "use" laws but 20+ states still just use the federal definition (or less stringent) as a bike such that the decades old use laws are utilized for "use"/traffic regulation and that has been working fine (Oregon has the highest adoption rate and they have done this since 1997). I'm just kind of the messenger on this and have pretty much been hammered by many claiming they'll loose trail access if the CPSC preempts the 3-class legislation (pure speculation and it's not true in the 20+ states not using 3-class policy).

I understand that cadence-assist systems do have issues with the power not shutting down immediately when a rider stops pedaling (I've ridden a few ebikes with that issue and the inhibiting brakes do resolve it but not sure if it's that important for safety but I guess it could be if a powerful motor). I just avoid ebikes with cadence only assist systems.
 
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kmccune

Active Member
I think they are referring to motor inhibitor brake switches. They are not needed on the “premium” mid-drives because they have no throttle and the power is instantly cut when pedaling stops. Many hub motors have them even if not equipped with a throttle because there is often a noticeable lag shutting power off when you stop pedaling.
Thank you.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Thank you.
Makes you wonder how many "illegal" ebikes are being ridden daily in Minnisota when pretty much non of the major mid drive systems have motor inhibiting brakes.

Again I bring this information to everyone's attention as a reason why the states are creating interstate commerce issues and the lawyers either don't care or they are not paying attention. Probably a combination of both.