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

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
My own guess is that this statement is unlikely to accomplish anything at all, and if it does accomplish anything it is unlikely to benefit e-bikers.
This, a thousand times. People complaining about the 3 class system and the proponent of somehow using the CPSC to throw it out in states that have adopted it have been extremely vague about what the actual benefit would be to e-bikers if that were to happen.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
This, a thousand times. People complaining about the 3 class system and the proponent of somehow using the CPSC to throw it out in states that have adopted it have been extremely vague about what the actual benefit would be to e-bikers if that were to happen.
Maybe someone should have to state what the actual benefit to e-bikers was with the adoption of 3-class. Class 1 & 2 are essentially the same (the argument that the power is delivered differently is not tangible when you consider that most cadence pedelecs are just on/off switches for assist) and class 3 is still in the traditional speed distribution for human powered bikes. Are there reports of problems in the states that have not adopted the 3-class legislation? Are multi-mode ebikes blurring the lines on how enforcement of the class system will ever be possible?

When an bike advocacy group claims they are promoting the 3-class system for "clarity and improved safety" I simply think that should be true. The idea of a one class definition of a complaint ebike to be regulated for safety & "use" is simple, it's enforceable, and it makes logical sense. The definition was there since 2002 and nothing but a harmonization effort was behind the 3-class legislation. That is not what was best for the industry or the riders. Instead of claiming this is just another complaint of the 3-class system I would like you to provide reasons it's the right path forward (don't just say because it's what 26 states have adopted).
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Maybe someone should have to state what the actual benefit to e-bikers was with the adoption of 3-class. Class 1 & 2 are essentially the same (the argument that the power is delivered differently is not tangible when you consider that most cadence pedelecs are just on/off switches for assist) and class 3 is still in the traditional speed distribution for human powered bikes. Are there reports of problems in the states that have not adopted the 3-class legislation? Are multi-mode ebikes blurring the lines on how enforcement of the class system will ever be possible?

When an bike advocacy group claims they are promoting the 3-class system for "clarity and improved safety" I simply think that should be true. The idea of a one class definition of a complaint ebike to be regulated for safety & "use" is simple, it's enforceable, and it makes logical sense. The definition was there since 2002 and nothing but a harmonization effort was behind the 3-class legislation. That is not what was best for the industry or the riders. Instead of claiming this is just another complaint of the 3-class system I would like you to provide reasons it's the right path forward (don't just say because it's what 26 states have adopted).
How power is delivered is of massive importance when you're talking to land managers of off-road trails, just as an immediate example I have experience with. Anything with a throttle is an absolute non-starter for MTB trails. So if you toss the 3 class system and go to a single definition of ebike that allows throttle, the legal access to off-road trails I enjoy on my class 1 is almost certainly gone, in both MD and VA. We would be starting from scratch again pushing for legal access (undoing a lot of work), and without the ability to limit ebikes to non-throttle its unlikely that we would ever get legal access again to the trails I ride again. The fact that you handwave the distinction away says you've never spent even a minute doing actual bike advocacy.

As for why the 3 class system is the right path forward, its simple enough to be understandable but has enough granularity that it allows for access to facilities and systems that would otherwise be a hard sell under a "one size fits all" approach? Its not like anyone is saying the 3 class system is perfect, but I think its a reasonable enough compromise, and with both industry and advocacy groups aligned behind it it has opened up access at a pace I would have thought impossible a few years ago.

You still aren't really making an argument in favor of ditching it, other than "1 is simpler than 3" and "mumble mumble industry bad".
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
I think the equivalency for cars would be to have class one be cars with max speed of say 75 mph, class two would be any car with cruise control and three would be any car with max speed over 75 mph. Instead, all cars must follow local and Federal laws whether it be a Hyundai or a Lotus.
That's not entirely accurate, as a (well-designed) e-bike can be pedaled beyond the motor's maximum speed. A car doesn't, unless you're trying to bump start it going down a hill. :)

In the real world, multiple classes have little impact on rider behaviour, just like cars being able to go 150mph have little impact. A pedal cyclist can for stretches go faster than the class 3 definition of an e-bike, so it makes sense to have a single classification for assisted speed (let's be generous and say 28mph), and 20mph for throttle assist.

A well-designed e-bike CAN be pedaled faster than that purely on human power.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Ok, I'm still confused. But from what I gathered...

- What Ken M is proposing is, three class system is too many, so let's just one class of ebike.
- What will this new definition of ebike will be? Will it be the current Class 3? (28mph?) or combination of Class 2 and 3 (28mph + throttle?)
- I don't think destroying Class 3 and keeping everything Class 1 or 2 is a good idea, Tora (owner of Juiced Bikes) said that Class 3 is what made ebikes popular, and option to go fast really brought people into thinking ebike as a serious car/motorcycle alternative.
- Rad Power no longer allow people to adjust top speed for 2021 models (and some 2020?), they're locked to 20mph. If you check out Rad Power Forum, people are trading older Rad Power controller and display on eBay for really good money. The demand for higher top speed is very clear.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
How power is delivered is of massive importance when you're talking to land managers of off-road trails, just as an immediate example I have experience with. Anything with a throttle is an absolute non-starter for MTB trails. So if you toss the 3 class system and go to a single definition of ebike that allows throttle, the legal access to off-road trails I enjoy on my class 1 is almost certainly gone, in both MD and VA. We would be starting from scratch again pushing for legal access (undoing a lot of work), and without the ability to limit ebikes to non-throttle its unlikely that we would ever get legal access again to the trails I ride again. The fact that you handwave the distinction away says you've never spent even a minute doing actual bike advocacy.

As for why the 3 class system is the right path forward, its simple enough to be understandable but has enough granularity that it allows for access to facilities and systems that would otherwise be a hard sell under a "one size fits all" approach? Its not like anyone is saying the 3 class system is perfect, but I think its a reasonable enough compromise, and with both industry and advocacy groups aligned behind it it has opened up access at a pace I would have thought impossible a few years ago.

You still aren't really making an argument in favor of ditching it, other than "1 is simpler than 3" and "mumble mumble industry bad".
Have you even read the DOI order that all classes to be treated as a bike (only if land managers can prove there is an issue with the order can they deny access to a class)? Isn't that the same as having one definition???

I'm an engineer and I could easily create a throttle-assist ebike that only allows the throttle function if the pedals are being used. Is that pedal-assist or a throttle-assist (it's not motor alone theoretically if the pedals are rotating)? I understand there are land managers that think how power is delivered is of "massive importance" but maybe the best way to deal with that is via some education instead of pandering to the ignorance. I've done volunteer trail maintenance and anyone that has knows that water erosion is by far the biggest issue for trails - the impact of a pedal-assist vs throttle-assist is just a convenient smoke screen (the impact difference is negligible).

I did not say or imply the industry is bad - I'm as big of advocate as anyone for ebikes. I absolutely believe 3-class was derived with some intent to reduce adoption or urban mobility ebikes because when people get out of cars that powerful industry looses some revenue. Maybe you gain from lower adoption because you have not provided support for 3-class legislation (claiming in it's absence no one will be able to ride an ebike on trails is a nice scare tactic but it's pure speculative). The trouble is there is still this mindset that ebikes are "motor vehicles" - the federal definition is supposed to be the equivalent of a bike (that was the intent and it's been distorted by those still claiming they are motor vehicles).

Minnesota requires ebrakes on ebikes. Does that impact interstate commerce? Should their regulation be preempted? By legal standards it should be but I'm sure you'll defend it because doing so will weaken 3-class. C'mon, take some time to review the history of how 3-class came about (it was for harmonization with the EU model legislation which was really about keeping low cost hub motors from dominating in Europe - to allow some time for mid-drives to get market traction).
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
(claiming in it's absence no one will be able to ride an ebike on trails is a nice scare tactic but it's pure speculative).
Its pure speculative in the sense that I have close friends who have been in trail advocacy for decades who have talked directly with land managers and been told straight out that any sort of throttle assist bike is a hard no. Mountainbikers have been fighting being lumped in with dirtbikes and atvs and the like for decades when it comes to access, so pushing to allow bikes that you don't even have to pedal just isn't going to happen. The nice thing is that people pushing for access can say "allow class 1" (which almost all e-mtbs are anyway) and its an easier sell. No throttle, limited to 20mph; getting people to try one and most of them come away saying "thats close enough to normal MTBs that I'm ok with that".

The worry with trail access is less trail impact (which is sort of a worry since ebikes will be a bit heavier and go a bit faster but not generally seen as significant) and more user conflict, which is already a hot button issue even before you put a motor into the mix. Trail managers (and people who have been doing traditional advocacy for a long time) are coming around on the idea that class 1 bikes are generally ok where normal bikes go, but you come back and say "actually they will go faster and have throttles" and that changes to an absolutely not. Fucking hell, even class 1 has been an endless struggle in some of the trails around here (VA state stuff is still entirely off limits; I'm limited to county parks in VA). Increasing speed and adding throttle to the "what we have to allow" list will not help that.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ok, I'm still confused. But from what I gathered...

- What Ken M is proposing is, three class system is too many, so let's just one class of ebike.
- What will this new definition of ebike will be? Will it be the current Class 3? (28mph?) or combination of Class 2 and 3 (28mph + throttle?)
- I don't think destroying Class 3 and keeping everything Class 1 or 2 is a good idea, Tora (owner of Juiced Bikes) said that Class 3 is what made ebikes popular, and option to go fast really brought people into thinking ebike as a serious car/motorcycle alternative.
- Rad Power no longer allow people to adjust top speed for 2021 models (and some 2020?), they're locked to 20mph. If you check out Rad Power Forum, people are trading older Rad Power controller and display on eBay for really good money. The demand for higher top speed is very clear.
I have not said 3 classes is too many. I'm just stating there are interstate commerce implications to 3-class legislation that are being ignored so I petitioned the CPSC for preemption.

The federal definition allows for assist past 20mph (I have written confirmation from the CPSC to confirm this) and I absolutely want that legal speed to stand. When I read the federal definition it's crystal clear to me that the 20mph / 170 lbs / level surface establishes a power limit that can be provided by the drive system above 20 mph (power is the only parameter left out and it's the only parameter regulated via an ebike drive system). I've run simulations and that allows from 300-350W of dynamic assist to be provided above 20mph which just coincidentally results in speeds from 24-30mph over the range over typical added human power added. So in short, the one definition is very close to encompassing the speed range up to Class 3.

The "off-road" loop hole will continue even if the CPSC preempts the state 3-class legislation which provides Juiced their same method for even faster ebikes but ridding those ebikes on public infrastructure is a liability risk for those riders. Most of us probably will not ride in "off-road" modes if an ebike can legally provide 300-350W above 20mph.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Its pure speculative in the sense that I have close friends who have been in trail advocacy for decades who have talked directly with land managers and been told straight out that any sort of throttle assist bike is a hard no. Mountainbikers have been fighting being lumped in with dirtbikes and atvs and the like for decades when it comes to access, so pushing to allow bikes that you don't even have to pedal just isn't going to happen. The nice thing is that people pushing for access can say "allow class 1" (which almost all e-mtbs are anyway) and its an easier sell. No throttle, limited to 20mph; getting people to try one and most of them come away saying "thats close enough to normal MTBs that I'm ok with that".

The worry with trail access is less trail impact (which is sort of a worry since ebikes will be a bit heavier and go a bit faster but not generally seen as significant) and more user conflict, which is already a hot button issue even before you put a motor into the mix. Trail managers (and people who have been doing traditional advocacy for a long time) are coming around on the idea that class 1 bikes are generally ok where normal bikes go, but you come back and say "actually they will go faster and have throttles" and that changes to an absolutely not. Fucking hell, even class 1 has been an endless struggle in some of the trails around here (VA state stuff is still entirely off limits; I'm limited to county parks in VA). Increasing speed and adding throttle to the "what we have to allow" list will not help that.

The land managers remember the ATV issues and equate throttles with off-road motorized dirt bikes. I understand their concerns but we should focus on what a 750W continuous power rating can do to trails with pedal-assist vs throttle-assist. Is what they think more important that reality or vice versa?

Trail conflict due to speed? World class sprinters can come close to 28mph so should we worry about their top speed potential if on a trail? Yes there are potential issues with hikers and bikers and that is probably not actually made worse allowing ebikes on those trails. I would like to see real data not just hysteria.

Remember I believe the original intent of the federal definition was that a compliant "low speed electric bicycle" is the same as bike, so if the state of VA is so scared of ebikes on trails they would have to ban all bikes from trail access. We don't need parse 750W with allowance of some assist past 20mph into anything other than a "bike" and just have the bike "use" laws regulate how and where they can be ridden. Keep the politicians away from thinking...they are not good at that.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Its pure speculative in the sense that I have close friends who have been in trail advocacy for decades who have talked directly with land managers and been told straight out that any sort of throttle assist bike is a hard no. Mountainbikers have been fighting being lumped in with dirtbikes and atvs and the like for decades when it comes to access, so pushing to allow bikes that you don't even have to pedal just isn't going to happen. The nice thing is that people pushing for access can say "allow class 1" (which almost all e-mtbs are anyway) and its an easier sell. No throttle, limited to 20mph; getting people to try one and most of them come away saying "thats close enough to normal MTBs that I'm ok with that".

The worry with trail access is less trail impact (which is sort of a worry since ebikes will be a bit heavier and go a bit faster but not generally seen as significant) and more user conflict, which is already a hot button issue even before you put a motor into the mix. Trail managers (and people who have been doing traditional advocacy for a long time) are coming around on the idea that class 1 bikes are generally ok where normal bikes go, but you come back and say "actually they will go faster and have throttles" and that changes to an absolutely not. Fucking hell, even class 1 has been an endless struggle in some of the trails around here (VA state stuff is still entirely off limits; I'm limited to county parks in VA). Increasing speed and adding throttle to the "what we have to allow" list will not help that.
One last point.... If allowing a handicapped person to enjoy the trails ridding a CPSC compliant throttle-assit ebike upsets the trail managers I really don't care. Maybe they are the ones that need to adjust their way of thinking (maybe by watching less Duck Dynasty and learning about how 750W is the average power of a 2 slice toaster and it's not going to ruin the trails). The suggestion that the slightly heavier and moderately faster ebikes are creating issues that non-ebikes don't have really hasn't been proven and any issues with ATVs and dirtbikes are mutually exclusive in reality.
 
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@Ken M you don't seem to appreciate the fact that its the land managers who are in charge. Period. Furthermore, there is not an office of Land Managers where there is a head honcho who can send down an edict to the rank and file. these are entirely dispersed among a myriad of local agencies, and worse still, the laws in place for determining land use already grant those managers the right to veto ebike use on an individual, case by case basis.

You are creating a giant problem that no one will want to deal with. When in doubt the bureaucrat says no. They already do that. Its hubris on your part to say they have to be the ones to change to suit your ideology... while we all suffer through the consequences.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
@Ken M you don't seem to appreciate the fact that its the land managers who are in charge. Period. Furthermore, there is not an office of Land Managers where there is a head honcho who can send down an edict to the rank and file. these are entirely dispersed among a myriad of local agencies, and worse still, the laws in place for determining land use already grant those managers the right to veto ebike use on an individual, case by case basis.

You are creating a giant problem that no one will want to deal with. When in doubt the bureaucrat says no. They already do that. Its hubris on your part to say they have to be the ones to change to suit your ideology... while we all suffer through the consequences.
Maybe I'm confused but the DOI issued and order for all federal land to allow all 3 classes as a bike. I understand that some local land was privately donated and may be under contractual obligations to not allow motor vehicles and maybe even ebikes. I would like to see specific examples that a class 1 ebike is allowed and a class 2 is not. Can you provide a specific example that can be verified somehow.

I want to make sure you understand that the federal "low speed electric bicycle" definition was in place for 12 years prior to the 3-class system. I would also prefer to entirely separate out what is allowed on public infrastructure for urban mobility on "bikes" from that of unique land management situations which could limit adoption of ebikes if we limit all ebikes to what appeases those situations.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
One last point.... If allowing a handicapped person to enjoy the trails ridding a CPSC compliant throttle-assit ebike upsets the trail managers I really don't care. Maybe they are the ones that need to adjust their way of thinking (maybe by watching less Duck Dynasty and learning about how 750W is the average power of a 2 slice toaster and it's not going to ruin the trails). The suggestion that the slightly heavier and moderately faster ebikes are creating issues that non-ebikes don't have really hasn't been proven and any issues with ATVs and dirtbikes are mutually exclusive in reality.
I... dont even know how to process this. MTB trails are not nor are intended to be handicapped accessible. Some trails I ride are barely accessible to people in very good physical shape. We aren't talking about dirt paths from a parking lot to a viewing platform or something. And I have no idea what duck dynasty has to do with anything. Your attitude seems to be "I want it, we will do this and force people to accept it" which is just not how any of this works. Even the Department of the Interior order that supposedly opened trails to ebikes has had much less effect than you'd think, since it still largely defers to local land managers on allowing access (all the MTB trails around Moab and Fruita are still closed to ebikes AFAIK despite mostly being on BLM land because the local managers said LOL no).

What I'm saying is that, whatever your opinion of the 3 class system, its been a pretty effective tool when it comes to gaining access to stuff that I never thought would allow electric bikes 5 years ago. I think you've thus far utterly failed to explain why preempting it does anything of value for ebikers. A single class without limits on throttle or speed doesn't seem to gain anything (sounds like your single class would kind of encompass the 3 classes we have, so its not like it allows something to exist that doesn't already exist now) and it tosses out the granularity that helps gain access where we may not otherwise have it.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
The land managers remember the ATV issues and equate throttles with off-road motorized dirt bikes. I understand their concerns but we should focus on what a 750W continuous power rating can do to trails with pedal-assist vs throttle-assist. Is what they think more important that reality or vice versa?
What land managers think is more important than either of our opinions because land managers are the ones who control access. Again, the stuff you say makes it clear you've never spent any time in the trenches trying to get something built or expanded access granted. Perception is huge (not just the land managers, but the perception of all the user groups who use the trail, because ultimately land managers answer to those users). If you come to them and say "I want to ride my motorized bike with a throttle" the first thing that will pop into your average land managers mind is some asshole whipping by a group of hikers without pedaling, and those hikers coming back to him to demand to know why they allow dirt bikes on those trails now. Because that will definitely happen, and s/he will have to have an answer.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Maybe I'm confused but the DOI issued and order for all federal land to allow all 3 classes as a bike. I understand that some local land was privately donated and may be under contractual obligations to not allow motor vehicles and maybe even ebikes. I would like to see specific examples that a class 1 ebike is allowed and a class 2 is not. Can you provide a specific example that can be verified somehow.

I want to make sure you understand that the federal "low speed electric bicycle" definition was in place for 12 years prior to the 3-class system. I would also prefer to entirely separate out what is allowed on public infrastructure for urban mobility on "bikes" from that of unique land management situations which could limit adoption of ebikes if we limit all ebikes to what appeases those situations.
Those orders - not just the one you quoted - grant local land use managers express decision-making authority to decide based on local conditions whether or not to further restrict/deny ebikes on the land they are responsible for. So my point stands. I am very, very well aware of the federal CPSC mandate, and how it applies to manufacturing standards and not personal use

You are taking the signature piece of legislation that is almost singlehandedly responsible for enabling widened legislative and legal acceptance of ebikes in these United States and throwing a wrench into it. Solely for an academic benefit or a personal sense of accomplishment. This helps no one and addresses a problem that does not exist.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
"Common sense" I agree. What's funny is that the first time I read the federal / CPSC definition and thought it was strange but either written either by an idiot that got lucky or by a genius trying to achieve something (ie maximize performance without alarming the NHTSA who didn't want anything given to the CPSC that could go faster than 20mph). My curiosity as to the source of that definition and it's intent is how all this came about. It truly was intended to allow great utility below 20mph (higher power) while limiting power above 20mph (that power is defined by the dynamic power needed to sustain 20mph with 170lb rider on level surface - this is actually brilliant because it avoids assist cut-off while not enabling ebikes to be exceed historical bike distribution speeds). I've run the simulations to determine that wattage range for various ebikes and it's from 300-350W. Taking that dynamic power and then combining it with human power in the range of say 100 - 400W kind of peaks speed in the 25-30mph when you run the simulations. That's not crazy fast "compliant" speed capability but it's enough to allow wide ebike adoption for urban mobility.

I feel the class 3 was eventually going to require insurance as you also feel. That alone should be enough for everyone to support my desire for preemption.

No one else needs to file the petition. It's scheduled to be reviewed by CPSC's general counsel. I would want others to submit more petitions but I'm 99% certain it will not help.
I'm confused with this simulation.

1) 170 lb of what? Bike + rider? or just rider only? On what bike?
2) I have ridden both fatbike and roadbike (both non-ebike) and there was a tremendous amount of effort needed to propel the bike. I suspect cargo bike will be similar.
3) 300W-350W seem rather low. I know a RadWagon owners who complain how it's barely moving going steep uphill if you put children and baggage. I even think having 1000+W can contribute to safety for cargo bikes.
4) The wattage itself does not determine the real-life data. Some motors have 40nm or torque, some have 160nm, for the same wattage. In addition, motor location, stator, coil, magnet, everything matters. Too many variants. :confused:
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Those orders - not just the one you quoted - grant local land use managers express decision-making authority to decide based on local conditions whether or not to further restrict/deny ebikes on the land they are responsible for. So my point stands. I am very, very well aware of the federal CPSC mandate, and how it applies to manufacturing standards and not personal use

You are taking the signature piece of legislation that is almost singlehandedly responsible for enabling widened legislative and legal acceptance of ebikes in these United States and throwing a wrench into it. Solely for an academic benefit or a personal sense of accomplishment. This helps no one and addresses a problem that does not exist.
Honestly this is not for academic benefit. We have NY redefining a class 3 as a 25mph throttle-assist, Minnesota has banned all use of Class 3 while adding an ebrake requirement for all state use (another interstate commerce issue in my opinion), and keep in mind at least 24 states do use a single definition of an ebike as bike for all public infrastructure use and application of traffic laws. I tried to contact the AG offices in all 50 states to get information on the legislative adoption of the 3-class system and most told me to talk to DMV which I thought just showed everything is in "understanding flux."

The "express decision-making" you refer to requires those local land managers to have data backing their decision and I believe there is also a requirement for public forum debate so they really can't just throw a switch on only allowing class 1.

Here is something that probably no one is aware of. Currently the CPSC definition and the 3-class legislation has a 750W (actually 749W) RATING (typically interpreted as a continuous power rating). Technically this is very ambiguous such that a 2000W peak power drive system (like a Bafang Ultra with an external aftermarket controller as Watt Wagon has as an option) is compliant for class 1 so long as there is an assist cease at 20mph. With all the concern about the extra 8mph that class 3 allows, I wonder how many of those land managers are aware that they have OKed ebikes with far greater peak power than the paper spec of 750W that I am certain can impact trails more then the extra assist speed.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'm confused with this simulation.

1) 170 lb of what? Bike + rider? or just rider only? On what bike?
2) I have ridden both fatbike and roadbike (both non-ebike) and there was a tremendous amount of effort needed to propel the bike. I suspect cargo bike will be similar.
3) 300W-350W seem rather low. I know a RadWagon owners who complain how it's barely moving going steep uphill if you put children and baggage. I even think having 1000+W can contribute to safety for cargo bikes.
4) The wattage itself does not determine the real-life data. Some motors have 40nm or torque, some have 160nm, for the same wattage. In addition, motor location, stator, coil, magnet, everything matters. Too many variants. :confused:
Your variables are why Dr. Currie used 20mph max sustained motor alone w/ 170 lb rider on level paved surface (all those factors and even drive system efficiency is removed). Has anyone even read the federal definition in HR727 that is also in the CPSC 1512 safety regulation of bikes (I sometimes feel like I'm talking a foreign language). It's very very important that everyone be aware of the federal definition and how the CPSC regulates compliance.

The full power "rating" of 750W (which provides for much high peak power) can be provided below 20mph. The 300-350W is the implied estimated power based on the constraints in the specification per simulations I've run. So instead of an assist cease at 20mph, the power just reduces to that range. There is no other way to interpret the federal definition but most that read it think 20mph is an assist speed limit even though the CPSC has clarified that assist can continue so long as the extra speed is create from the human power added. Even People for Bikes has acknowledge this on their website as to why Class 3 ebikes are compliant "low speed electric bicycles" per CPSC 1512.

Unfortunately there is no escaping that understanding the tech is needed to understand the "use" implications. I'm not behind anything to do with the regulations. I'm just aware of both the CPSC federal definition and the 3-class legislation and the fact that 3-class requires the programming to be on the bikes prior to introduction into interstate commerce which historically has been a NO-NO per CPSC policy without some safety tangible reasons for it. Few are even aware the CPSC has preemptive power over the states. I didn't make this up...it's a fact.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
What land managers think is more important than either of our opinions because land managers are the ones who control access. Again, the stuff you say makes it clear you've never spent any time in the trenches trying to get something built or expanded access granted. Perception is huge (not just the land managers, but the perception of all the user groups who use the trail, because ultimately land managers answer to those users). If you come to them and say "I want to ride my motorized bike with a throttle" the first thing that will pop into your average land managers mind is some asshole whipping by a group of hikers without pedaling, and those hikers coming back to him to demand to know why they allow dirt bikes on those trails now. Because that will definitely happen, and s/he will have to have an answer.
Correct me if I'm wrong but has there been an ongoing debate between hikers and bikers on multi-use paths. Even before ebikes came along hikers had issues with rider speeds especially on descents. That is only solved by not having mixed use trails but having them which is probably prohibitively expensive.

I'm going to repeat it would be very easy to engineer an ebike with a cadence sensor that only allows the function of a throttle and this could pass a Class 1 since it requires the rider to pedal. I did not write the 3-class legislation so please don't attack me for pointing out a loophole that could be exploited. The federal definition solves a lot of problems created by 3-class but people have to open their minds and truly read and consider the both regulations (people for bikes claims they are consistent and that is technically false).
 

Oberst

Well-Known Member
That's not entirely accurate, as a (well-designed) e-bike can be pedaled beyond the motor's maximum speed. A car doesn't, unless you're trying to bump start it going down a hill. :)

In the real world, multiple classes have little impact on rider behaviour, just like cars being able to go 150mph have little impact. A pedal cyclist can for stretches go faster than the class 3 definition of an e-bike, so it makes sense to have a single classification for assisted speed (let's be generous and say 28mph), and 20mph for throttle assist.

A well-designed e-bike CAN be pedaled faster than that purely on human power.
I hear what you are saying and it is far from an exact correlation. My point is that with cars, you regulate the behavior rather than the capability.