Why Class 3 is such bad legislation...

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
actually, it’s expressly legal for motorcycles in CA since 2017 or sometime shortly after the passage of AB 51.
I hadn't realized the practice had finally been codified. A motorcycle using the shoulder when traffic is stopped is illegal. Or at least it was when my friend tried it and got busted a couple of years ago. It remains expressly legal only in California, with an apparently slightly different allowance (called 'filtering' this time) being signed into law in Utah. If this source is to be believed, its in the process of being legalized in a half-dozen other states.

 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Malcolm Currie, PhD lobby efforts were expressly designed to benefit his company, Currie/eZip/iZip. Without a doubt he was a pioneer and did his job well. Currie made heavy, inexpensive lead acid battery powered, 250 watt brushed motor electric bikes that went ~15 miles per hour for approximately 6 to 12 miles. That was high tech in its day. The world, ebike technology and regulations have dramatically changed in the last 25 years, from a few thousand legally defined low power ebikes to now millions of high tech, fast, long distance ebikes all wanting to use infrastructure that has barely changed in that time.
So removing the requirement for blinkers, break lights, speedometer, etc. from a low speed electric bicycle was only intended to benefit his company? That is simply wrong. That simplification and pulling the legal purview from the NHTSA provided the regulatory foundation that has helped the entire industry. You can watch his testimony to congress and he clearly wanted HR727 to define a electrified bike that would be considered a bike and allowed to be ridden as a bike (there are bike traffic laws going back decades in all states). By the way it makes no sense that all those state congress members voted that it was OK to remove the speedometer requirement at the federal level and then over 12 years later states are now saying that a speedometer is required on Class 3 ebikes (strangely Specialized doesn't put one on their top road ebike - the turbo Creo but maybe you can explain that to everyone on EBR). Did speedometer technology change so much that the went from not being essential on an ebike to being essential?

I have seen videos of people riding the EV Warriors and the top speed was in the ballpark of 25mph (as stated in this video...
). Again you are making a claim that is simply wrong (I'm not trying to be mean but I want everyone to know the facts). Oh, and by the way it was throttle only and it this LSEB was ridden as a bike all over the country prior to the 3-class legislation and I certainly do not remember any legit issues being reported to justify the 3-class legislation.

I also don't think you regulate what is a legal ebike because there are more of them sharing infrastructure. What we need is smart regulations that enable ebikes to get more people out of cars for the energy and health benefits. I realize that is threat to the oil and auto industries and that is why they pay for legislation that keeps the neutered to keep them in the recreation and leisure use realm.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
the irony of the fact that all this time ken has been railing against crooked self-interest from various groups regarding three class while dr currie was also the founder of an eBike company at the time he was involved in the drafting of these definitions is almost too thick to believe.

it’s the danger of ad hominem arguments writ large. already nearly undetectable credibility totally shot.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
the irony of the fact that all this time ken has been railing against crooked self-interest from various groups regarding three class while dr currie was also the founder of an eBike company at the time he was involved in the drafting of these definitions is almost too thick to believe.

it’s the danger of ad hominem arguments writ large. already nearly undetectable credibility totally shot.
Consider that Dr. Currie was a highly paid CEO of two large companies and had enough money to donate $25 million to USC. It was like he had a late life epiphany to do something a bit different (Larry Pizzi said that Dr. Currie was very excited about the future potential of ebikes ... I think he even knew people got a smile on their face after riding one). I was trying to have a chance to meet him to ask some questions about HR727 and his intent. I have talked with the lawyer that worked with him on this legislation and he had an extensive history of fighting for more bike infrastructure in California so I believe their intents were not isolated to the bike company. People need to understand that before HR727 any bike with a motor was considered same as a motorcycle and under the regulatory purview of the NHTSA. Convincing them to release LSEBs to be regulated by the CPSC was a big win for the bike industry .... and no so great for the auto, oil, and insurance industries.

I want to say something because I'm being painted as someone intent on harming the industry or just wanting to question the state 3-class state regulations. Knowing that ebikes are truly the most efficient way for a human to go from point A-to-B every created (more efficient than riding on a fully loaded passenger train) and riding them improves both mental and physical health I want the regulations to maximize their adoption for transportation (I understand that their are riders that love eMtn bikes but how they are regulated and used are not really in my interest scope). I believe it's clear that HR727 is better legislation than 3-class legislation so I do desire it to define what is a legal ebike to ride as a bike on all public infrastructure. It will provide the performance (without being unsafe) to get more people out of cars. I never claimed that 3-class was pushed by crocked self-interests but it is a fact that the largest car parts producer in the world put a large sum of money behind the lobby effort.
 
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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
MN was HR727 without the weight stated. Now we’ve been pooched.

“low-speed electric
bicycle' means a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable
pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose
maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a
motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20
mph.”
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
MN was HR727 without the weight stated. Now we’ve been pooched.

“low-speed electric
bicycle' means a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable
pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose
maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a
motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20
mph.”

it does not seem to be a good definition to me. what does weight have to do with maximum speed? largely irrelevant. only relevant to acceleration. you could just say the power is limited to ___ w, which would de facto do the same thing since it's not like any bike is actually measuring the power draw at 20mph when not being pedaled and then using that as a limit above 20mph if the rider happens to be pedaling, which would incrementally increase the top speed. the way it's written has resulted in people implementing it as a cutoff, which may not be the intent.

"a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and electric motor system capable of no more than 750 watts of sustained power consumption, with no more than 300 watts of power consumption at speeds above 20 miles per hour."

this eliminates the cutoff (although you'd have to taper from 750 to 300 as you approached 20mph to avoid a lurch), allows going faster than 20 if the rider is capable (e.g. a rider adding 200 of their own watts could do 25mph, or a more aero bike, or downhill, etc), does not limit acceleration or hauling capacity the lower EU power limit does, doesn't imply that the bike somehow understands "paved level surface." if you wanted to eliminate throttles, you could add "the electric motor system will only deliver power when the pedals are being operated," but that's a different debate.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
it does not seem to be a good definition to me. what does weight have to do with maximum speed? largely irrelevant. only relevant to acceleration. you could just say the power is limited to ___ w, which would de facto do the same thing since it's not like any bike is actually measuring the power draw at 20mph when not being pedaled and then using that as a limit above 20mph if the rider happens to be pedaling, which would incrementally increase the top speed. the way it's written has resulted in people implementing it as a cutoff, which may not be the intent.

"a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and electric motor system capable of no more than 750 watts of sustained power consumption, with no more than 300 watts of power consumption at speeds above 20 miles per hour."

this eliminates the cutoff (although you'd have to taper from 750 to 300 as you approached 20mph to avoid a lurch), allows going faster than 20 if the rider is capable (e.g. a rider adding 200 of their own watts could do 25mph, or a more aero bike, or downhill, etc), does not limit acceleration or hauling capacity the lower EU power limit does, doesn't imply that the bike somehow understands "paved level surface." if you wanted to eliminate throttles, you could add "the electric motor system will only deliver power when the pedals are being operated," but that's a different debate.
I'm for KISS, HR727 without the weight stated.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
it does not seem to be a good definition to me. what does weight have to do with maximum speed? largely irrelevant. only relevant to acceleration. you could just say the power is limited to ___ w, which would de facto do the same thing since it's not like any bike is actually measuring the power draw at 20mph when not being pedaled and then using that as a limit above 20mph if the rider happens to be pedaling, which would incrementally increase the top speed. the way it's written has resulted in people implementing it as a cutoff, which may not be the intent.

"a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and electric motor system capable of no more than 750 watts of sustained power consumption, with no more than 300 watts of power consumption at speeds above 20 miles per hour."

this eliminates the cutoff (although you'd have to taper from 750 to 300 as you approached 20mph to avoid a lurch), allows going faster than 20 if the rider is capable (e.g. a rider adding 200 of their own watts could do 25mph, or a more aero bike, or downhill, etc), does not limit acceleration or hauling capacity the lower EU power limit does, doesn't imply that the bike somehow understands "paved level surface." if you wanted to eliminate throttles, you could add "the electric motor system will only deliver power when the pedals are being operated," but that's a different debate.
You need to keep in mind that the NHTSA did not want to release regulatory purview if a Low Speed Electric Bicycle could go faster than 20mph. This was a motor only limit. Dr. Currie knew that a 750W motor rating was NOT actually a drive system power limit but he understood power needed to be limited at and above 20mph if that much power was available below 20mph (I think it's obvious he wanted to allow high powered cargo bikes (lets say 2000W peak with a 750W nominal motor rating) to be compliant because they would benefit from the power but most single rider bike designs would not justify higher power if the power was limited above 20mph).

You are correct that some read this definition and interpret it to be an assist limit at 20mph but the CPSC has clarified that it isn't which is why faster class 3 ebikes are actually compliant (although I'm not sure if all of them limit the power above above 20mph).

I think we all know that riding a bike down say a 5% grade can provide a speed well above 20mph without even pedaling so we should not be alarmed it limited assist above 20mph can help achieve higher speeds. If you run simulations it's fairly obvious that this definition still limits speed because of the exponential impact of aerodynamics above 20mph. In fast that is really what has always limited bike speeds so it makes perfect sense to have a definition / specification like this and not a bran-dead assist speed cut-off as required by the Class system.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'm for KISS, HR727 without the weight stated.
While the weight is not a significant factor on level ground it is a constraint that does have an impact. In 2002, 170lbs seems to have been the average adult weight but we in the US keep getting fatter so maybe it should have been future looking.

I think something else that just amazes me is that many people seem to really believe that a PAS ebike with an assist limit at 20mph will do less damage to a trail than a throttle ebike with the same power and assist limit (ignoring that you could design a throttle that doesn't function unless someone is pedaling). This is an example of what happens when no one really wants to think scientifically.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
... (ignoring that you could design a throttle that doesn't function unless someone is pedaling)...

personally, i think they should all be like that. my commuter has a button which basically provides full power when pushed (500w) if you're pedaling. it does nothing when you're not pedaling. but when you're pedaling, it doesn't matter how hard you're pedaling or how fast you're going (up to 20mph of course), you get the full 500w. useful for quick starts, hills, acceleration.

would i want that on my road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike? no. but for an urban commute/errand/kid-hauling implement, it's useful and simple and has never created conflict.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
personally, i think they should all be like that. my commuter has a button which basically provides full power when pushed (500w) if you're pedaling. it does nothing when you're not pedaling. but when you're pedaling, it doesn't matter how hard you're pedaling or how fast you're going (up to 20mph of course), you get the full 500w. useful for quick starts, hills, acceleration.

would i want that on my road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike? no. but for an urban commute/errand/kid-hauling implement, it's useful and simple and has never created conflict.
Does it determine pedaling or just wheel rotation? You mentioned it on quick starts but then neither is happening from a stop so maybe clarify.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
So removing the requirement for blinkers, break lights, speedometer, etc. from a low speed electric bicycle was only intended to benefit his company?

Malcolm Currie, PhD lobby efforts were expressly designed to benefit his company, Currie/eZip/iZip.
Two very different statements.
So removing the requirement for blinkers, break lights, speedometer, etc. from a low speed electric bicycle was only intended to benefit his company? That is simply wrong. That simplification and pulling the legal purview from the NHTSA provided the regulatory foundation that has helped the entire industry. You can watch his testimony to congress and he clearly wanted HR727 to define a electrified bike that would be considered a bike and allowed to be ridden as a bike (there are bike traffic laws going back decades in all states). By the way it makes no sense that all those state congress members voted that it was OK to remove the speedometer requirement at the federal level and then over 12 years later states are now saying that a speedometer is required on Class 3 ebikes (strangely Specialized doesn't put one on their top road ebike - the turbo Creo but maybe you can explain that to everyone on EBR). Did speedometer technology change so much that the went from not being essential on an ebike to being essential?

I have seen videos of people riding the EV Warriors and the top speed was in the ballpark of 25mph (as stated in this video...
). Again you are making a claim that is simply wrong (I'm not trying to be mean but I want everyone to know the facts). Oh, and by the way it was throttle only and it this LSEB was ridden as a bike all over the country prior to the 3-class legislation and I certainly do not remember any legit issues being reported to justify the 3-class legislation.

I also don't think you regulate what is a legal ebike because there are more of them sharing infrastructure. What we need is smart regulations that enable ebikes to get more people out of cars for the energy and health benefits. I realize that is threat to the oil and auto industries and that is why they pay for legislation that keeps the neutered to keep them in the recreation and leisure use realm.
I'm not going to go around and around on this dead topic. Currie did some good for the industry. Currie was Director of Defense Research & Engineering in the Department of Defense in the Nixon administration, he also worked for Hughes Aircraft, a subsidiary of General Motors, a company that was under the regulatory jurisdiction of Currie's department of defense. There was controversy.


Currie knew the system and his connections opened doors. He worked the system to remove ebikes from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Department of Transportation to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This expressly benefited his company. The result is a mixed bag, both good and bad. Currie isn't the choir boy you think he was. I appreciate his ebike developments and I'm not trashing him, I'm only adding context due to all the conjecture over People for Bikes and the Bosch conspiracies. The result of Class 3 is a mixed bag as well. On the whole, 3 Class has opened more cycling infrastructure to ebikes. Good or bad it's not going anywhere for many years to come.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Does it determine pedaling or just wheel rotation? You mentioned it on quick starts but then neither is happening from a stop so maybe clarify.
starting to pedal and pushing the button results in a smooth and quick acceleration. pushing the button while not pedaling results in nothing. i believe the rotation sensor is in the bottom bracket.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Two very different statements.
Did you see the question mark at the end of my sentence????? I do not think that HR727 only benefited his company because it allowed ebikes to not be considered motor vehicles regulated by the NHTSA (I highlighted some of the requirements that were removed).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'm not going to go around and around on this dead topic. Currie did some good for the industry. Currie was Director of Defense Research & Engineering in the Department of Defense in the Nixon administration, he also worked for Hughes Aircraft, a subsidiary of General Motors, a company that was under the regulatory jurisdiction of Currie's department of defense. There was controversy.
One of the reasons I said he had a late life epiphany was because of his defense industry background (not exactly an industry known for altruistic en-devours). He certainly used his political capital to pull ebikes away from the NHTSA by a nearly unanimous congressional vote. Certainly it benefited his company but it also benefited any company that was selling or planning to sell ebikes in the US. I had no idea how much effort it took but I have talked with the lawyer that worked with Dr. Currie on this and it took 6 years. HR727 was/is far more important to the future of ebikes in the US than the 3-class state legislation that People for Bikes was paid lobby money to promote. Maybe comment on that controversy.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
A
Maybe comment on that controversy.
To what end? The pooch is screwed. There seems to be more impetus toward a silly class system. States are changing their statutes without input from citizens.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
A

To what end? The pooch is screwed. There seems to be more impetus toward a silly class system. States are changing their statutes without input from citizens.
JR has made HR727 out to be only intended to help Dr. Currie's ebike business but he doesn't seem to want to comment on the intent of the largest car parts producer putting lobby money to get class systems passed in Europe and the US. If not for HR727 we would likely have the same 15mph assist limit speed as Europe for an ebike to be riden as a bike without registration, type classification, and insurance. People for Bikes was a US bike advocacy organization yet they took that lobby money to push an inferior & neutered system. I would like to see a representative with People for Bikes willing to engage in a open dialog about this subject so everyone could assess what their motivation was.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
assess what their motivation was.
And that and a cuppa get us what?

And FFS how does J.R.s take earn a left turn off the issue?

Show me your way forward and spare the finger pointing. What do you want to see? What’s your definition of eBike?
 
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