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

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Maybe because the old term "speed kills" comes into play. When more and faster bikes hit the roads there will be more accidents and the faster the bike is going the worse the outcome of those accidents will be. Whenever a product leads to deaths and injuries is when the regulations start to happen. There's no need for a bike to go that fast. If you ride to get to work leave a little earlier.
I have no idea how many times I have explained this. The federal definition is NO FASTER than Class 3 because of the way power is limited.

The physics of this are basic. At 20mph the power is limited to that level (ie what would sustain 20mph) which is typically around 300-350W (below the peak power of most speed pedalecs / class 3 models). If you run simulations with typical rider input with that power provided by the motor the typical top commute speed will be from 24 to 28mph. That is not a "speed kills" scenario (pretty much same result as class 3) but those that don't understand this will hyperbole. One definition is better than 3 and I can guarantee insurance will hit class 3 if PFBs is successful at it's regulatory capture game.

The one factor that will continue to provide the most speed for biking is going down a hill. Gravity is a huge power factor but that gets ignored constantly (they literally hit upwards of 70mph during the professional bike races going down hills and most everyday riders are probably hitting 30mph+. It's frustrating when people only look as the assist as a speed factor when it's not even the biggest one.
 
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Gordon71

Well-Known Member
I have no idea how many times I have explained this. The federal definition is NO FASTER than Class 3 because of the way power is limited.

The physics of this are basic. At 20mph the power is limited to that level (ie what would sustain 20mph) which is typically around 300-350W (below the peak power of most speed pedalecs / class 3 models). If you run simulations with typical rider input with that power provided by the motor the typical top commute speed will be from 24 to 28mph. That is not a "speed kills" scenario (pretty much same result as class 3) but those that don't understand this will hyperbole. One definition is better than 3 and I can guarantee insurance will hit class 3 if PFBs is successful at it's regulatory capture game.

The one factor that will continue to provide the most speed for biking is going down a hill. Gravity is a huge power factor but that gets ignored constantly (they literally hit upwards of 70mph during the professional bike races going down hills and most everyday riders are probably hitting 30mph+. It's frustrating when people only look as the assist as a speed factor when it's not even the biggest one.
I think I once hit 25mph going down a hill and that was scary fast on a bike. I usually pump my brakes going down hills. If I wanted to go fast on two wheels I would have kept my motorcycle.
 

McApple

Member
I think I once hit 25mph going down a hill and that was scary fast on a bike. I usually pump my brakes going down hills. If I wanted to go fast on two wheels I would have kept my motorcycle.
I've hit over 50mph, once. At that speed, if you have a reflector attached to your spokes, the rpms are enough to throw your wheel out of balance and your handlebars will start to shudder, you will feel a similar vibration through your seat, as the rear wheel is also out of balance. It is then that you realize, if for any reason, you have to swerve, or stop quickly, you are going to crash.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I think I once hit 25mph going down a hill and that was scary fast on a bike. I usually pump my brakes going down hills. If I wanted to go fast on two wheels I would have kept my motorcycle.
So if no bike or ebike speed is limited going down a hill why is it so important to have a 20mph cut-off when I explained how poor that methods is. Safe speeds are most regulated on bikes just because riders are vulnerable so anyone with a brain is not going to be going stupid fast regardless of assist. Keep in mind, I've only suggested we riders support the federal definition over the poorly conceived 3-class system.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Maybe because the old term "speed kills" comes into play. When more and faster bikes hit the roads there will be more accidents and the faster the bike is going the worse the outcome of those accidents will be. Whenever a product leads to deaths and injuries is when the regulations start to happen. There's no need for a bike to go that fast. If you ride to get to work leave a little earlier.
I think this is where things get lost in translation. :)

The idea of governing speed, as I understand it (and Ken can correct me if I'm wrong) :) is that once you hit approx 20mph, the motor gradually lowers the amount of assist until you hit 25-28mph. This is all based on level surfaces and IIRC a 170lb average rider's input.

This would end up being MORE restrictive than a current "Class 3" because of that "motor of diminishing returns", as opposed to the hard cutoff currently felt in a "Class 3" bike.

The LSEB definition just strikes me as a cleaner definition, and something that makes more sense for the end user as well.

Discussion of downhill is irrelevant, because it's possible, and actually easy in some cases, to exceed the speed of the motor's top speed, so the rider would be getting no input anyway.

Throttles would still be limited to 20mph, though that's up to the e-bike manufacturer to include.
 

rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
I’ll stipulate that the LSEB definition is simpler, less restrictive and easier. that’s not my argument.

my sense is that in a post-3 class definition world i don’t really see municipalities going back to the original LSEB definition at all in the face of booming ebike business, increasing speeds, increasing incidents and/or injuries between ebikes and others etc.

i don’t ever see really laws reverting backwards. in the absence of the existing 3 class system i’d expect some other system that distinguishes ebikes from other bikes to be promoted and i’m concerned that new stuff would be worse than what we have today.

TL/DR i’m not convinced we can just make it go away and municipalities across the USA will just revert back to what is essentially no regulation whatsoever.

i’m not asking for regulation, i’m concerned about more.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I’ll stipulate that the LSEB definition is simpler, less restrictive and easier. that’s not my argument.

my sense is that in a post-3 class definition world i don’t really see municipalities going back to the original LSEB definition at all in the face of booming ebike business, increasing speeds, increasing incidents and/or injuries between ebikes and others etc.

i don’t ever see really laws reverting backwards. in the absence of the existing 3 class system i’d expect some other system that distinguishes ebikes from other bikes to be promoted and i’m concerned that new stuff would be worse than what we have today.

TL/DR i’m not convinced we can just make it go away and municipalities across the USA will just revert back to what is essentially no regulation whatsoever.

i’m not asking for regulation, i’m concerned about more.
Please Please Please read up on CPSC regulation and how they are chartered to ensure interstate commerce allows the same products to be sold in all 50 states. The states virtually always just adopt those definitions and establish "use" regulations if necessary which was the case with regular bikes and it worked just fine. States are not suppose do adopt more stringent regulations unless there is some truly exceptional reasons and still the federal safety regulation agencies can't just be ignored.

This effort in not about convincing the municipalities to accept the one definition...it's about hoping the CPSC tells them this is what a compliant LSEB is and it's defined as a bike. If they don't like that they can still ban use of all bikes but they will not do that or they'll be out of work.

You are making this far more complex than it is. This is something that the CPSC really should not have allowed to go this far but they typically only act if someone brings up a complaint which I have done.
 

McApple

Member
So if no bike or ebike speed is limited going down a hill why is it so important to have a 20mph cut-off when I explained how poor that methods is. Safe speeds are most regulated on bikes just because riders are vulnerable so anyone with a brain is not going to be going stupid fast regardless of assist. Keep in mind, I've only suggested we riders support the federal definition over the poorly conceived 3-class system.
For me, the 20mph cutoff is important for bikes on multi-use trails. DW and I enjoy the rail trails in our area, we usually cruise around the 15mph range, encountering multiple groups going near twice that speed would be dangerous imo.

I have no problem with higher speed bikes on city streets and roadways, but I do feel that they should be licensed and have insurance, especially bikes used for commercial purposes.
 

troehrkasse

EBR Webmaster
Staff member
Region
USA
City
Fort Collins
Hey moderators! How many threads about the same topic are you allowing? Give us a break!
The threads have now been merged. Our moderation team is small, we don't create these threads, or have time to manually scrub each of the hundreds of threads created on EBR every day. If there's duplicate threads, feel free to tag me and request that they be merged and I'll make it happen :)
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
For me, the 20mph cutoff is important for bikes on multi-use trails. DW and I enjoy the rail trails in our area, we usually cruise around the 15mph range, encountering multiple groups going near twice that speed would be dangerous imo.

I have no problem with higher speed bikes on city streets and roadways, but I do feel that they should be licensed and have insurance, especially bikes used for commercial purposes.
Why is that trail riders seem to want what they feel is right for trails to define ebike performance. The human scale transportation potential is far more important. Multi-Use Trails can have their speed limit which is typically set at 15mph but don't desire that the assist limit be set that low as it is in Europe.