Why Class 3 is such bad legislation...

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This is a dead topic. At the turn of the last century the automobile industry started selling cars. Not much of an industry, just a few hand built models. We had laws governing horse and wagon traffic in cities, these few new horseless carriages had 4 wheels and weren't very fast, so we are good to go!

"Statistics kept by the nascent Automobile Club of America recorded that in 1909 there were 200,000 motorized vehicles in the United States. Just seven years later, in 1916, there were 2.25 million."

2.25 million might be a problem!

"In 1917, Detroit and its suburbs had 65,000 cars on the road, resulting in 7,171 accidents and 168 fatalities. Three-fourths of the victims were pedestrians."
(Link to quoted excerpts)

Cities and states passed laws to govern these vehicles. It was their town and they needed to put something in place to govern use given these millions of new vehicles were traveling on infrastructure designed horse and wagon.

In 2000 there were a few thousand 'modern' electric bikes. Simple bike regulations would probably work. 2022 there are millions of much more powerful ebikes in the public's hands. Expecting States, cities and towns to regulate millions of power assisted bikes as push bikes is never going to happen.

I love ebiking and have owned them for more than 8 years and tens of thousands of miles. I was already a cyclist and a bike commuter, this just made cycling better. Ebikes aren't bicycles. I've been a cyclist for a very long time and I cannot ride a bicycle the way I can ride an ebike. 99% of people half my age cannot ride a bicycle like I can an ebike. It's like trying to send a text message on a rotary phone.

I'm just dealing with the realities of what we have. Is any of it what I would put into law if I were King? Nope. No matter what we have it pretty good. These are the good ol' days.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Show me your way forward and spare the finger pointing. What do you want to see? What’s your definition of eBike?
oh god.

96290._SX318_[1].jpg
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
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?
Ok. Without HR727 pulling the regulation purview of ebikes from the NHTSA there could be no 3-class legislation and yet some seem to the 3 definitions to supersede the definition in HR727. Simply put it is far more important than the 3-class system promoted by People for Bikes (I'm not anti PFB but they do not want to engage in a conversation on this - I was riding two ebikes (A Polaris Diesel and an Izip Express) that are compliant to HR727 that are not compliant to the 3-class system that is in place in Colorado. They were not grandfathered to my knowledge. I contacted People for Bikes (I live 20 minutes from their location) and they would not even discuss this subject. I never stopped riding them anyplace that bikes are allowed because in reality HR727 has a preemptive clause that is very rare that few are even aware of.

While I know the definition of a Low Speed Electric Bicycle in HR727 is a bit awkward it makes great sense if you understand that is allows full 750W rated power below 20mph (this makes great sense for utility / cargo ebikes) and limits the power above 20mph which is a FAR BETTER way to limit the speed of an ebike than an assist cut-off (power to the pedals is what has always limited bike speed).

I'm not intent on pointing fingers but I find it strange that anyone would down play the importance of the years of effort put in by Dr. Currie to get HR727 passed. If you enjoy riding an ebike without being required to have registration and insurance then you should grasp how beneficial it was. Without it ebikes would be motor vehicles.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
This is a dead topic. At the turn of the last century the automobile industry started selling cars. Not much of an industry, just a few hand built models. We had laws governing horse and wagon traffic in cities, these few new horseless carriages had 4 wheels and weren't very fast, so we are good to go!

"Statistics kept by the nascent Automobile Club of America recorded that in 1909 there were 200,000 motorized vehicles in the United States. Just seven years later, in 1916, there were 2.25 million."

2.25 million might be a problem!

"In 1917, Detroit and its suburbs had 65,000 cars on the road, resulting in 7,171 accidents and 168 fatalities. Three-fourths of the victims were pedestrians."
(Link to quoted excerpts)

Cities and states passed laws to govern these vehicles. It was their town and they needed to put something in place to govern use given these millions of new vehicles were traveling on infrastructure designed horse and wagon.

In 2000 there were a few thousand 'modern' electric bikes. Simple bike regulations would probably work. 2022 there are millions of much more powerful ebikes in the public's hands. Expecting States, cities and towns to regulate millions of power assisted bikes as push bikes is never going to happen.

I love ebiking and have owned them for more than 8 years and tens of thousands of miles. I was already a cyclist and a bike commuter, this just made cycling better. Ebikes aren't bicycles. I've been a cyclist for a very long time and I cannot ride a bicycle the way I can ride an ebike. 99% of people half my age cannot ride a bicycle like I can an ebike. It's like trying to send a text message on a rotary phone.

I'm just dealing with the realities of what we have. Is any of it what I would put into law if I were King? Nope. No matter what we have it pretty good. These are the good ol' days.
Yea. An bikes have been present for well over a century and states have long standing traffic laws that apply to the USE of bikes (these USE laws also apply to ebikes regardless of the power level but they still have to be compliant to HR727 to be sold in the US).

Lots of people imply that ebikes are more dangerous than traditional bikes but there really isn't any data indicating much of a difference. What has not changed is that bikes and ebikes can achieve the fastest speeds going down hills and that is where the data would almost certainly indicate results in the most risk or injury.

HR727 and 16 CFR Part 1512 says that a low speed electric bicycle is a bike (there is nothing that states for the safety requirements only as all bike types are defined in the same section of 1512).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
A note: I think if you care about an idea or position you should be willing to engage and even challenge it yourself continuously. Obviously I have put my opinion on the 3-class legislation out there and I think it's not just bad but was created with negative intent on the adoption of ebikes for urban mobility. I get hammered consistently on this but rarely does anyone really assess HR727 vs 3-class and the idea of 1-class that an defined LSEB is a bicycle as the best foundation for wider adoption of ebikes for urban mobility.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
A note: I think if you care about an idea or position you should be willing to engage and even challenge it yourself continuously. Obviously I have put my opinion on the 3-class legislation out there and I think it's not just bad but was created with negative intent on the adoption of ebikes for urban mobility. I get hammered consistently on this but rarely does anyone really assess HR727 vs 3-class and the idea of 1-class that an defined LSEB is a bicycle as the best foundation for wider adoption of ebikes for urban mobility.

...You've made this claim numerous times in your eleven billion threads on this, but I've never seen it really explained how the 3 class system is somehow the devil incarnate created solely to make ebikes suck, but the HR727 definition is amazing and the greatest thing ever. The motor power definitions are identical between them (750w) and the throttle cutoff is the same (20mph). The main difference is the 3 class system has multiple definitions, and is governed by speed cutoffs, whereas HR727 is vague on speeds and just says that the motor can't provide more than the power it would take to propel a 170# rider 20mph under motor power alone.

I've argued several times that there is an advocacy benefit to having bikes governed by speed; its an easier sell to skittish governing agencies to just say the motor stops at some speed versus not really being able say how fast they would go in pedal assist. I've also commented that its very useful to have a class of ebike that cuts off at a lower speed and doesn't have a throttle for places where access is difficult (like almost all natural surface trail systems). You've bounced back and forth between "the government should force access!" and "if we lose that access thats acceptable to me to get my preferred definition governing things". The first says you are completely ignorant of how access works in this country, and the second just says you aren't a serious ebike advocate and are totally focused on your own wants.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
...You've made this claim numerous times in your eleven billion threads on this, but I've never seen it really explained how the 3 class system is somehow the devil incarnate created solely to make ebikes suck, but the HR727 definition is amazing and the greatest thing ever.
I've never said it like that at all. I've explained why I feel HR727 is a better regulation definition (keep in mind it was pretty much in place in all 50 states for 12+ years). You seem to think 3-class is better because it's easier for politicians to understand an assist speed cut-off than allowing power limit speed even though power has limited bike speeds since they were invented.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
I've never said it like that at all.

Ok. Well, you have straight up said that you think the 3-class law was cooked up by the car industry as some sort of back door to making ebikes not tenable for urban transportation. So I guess I'm just wondering why the differences between that and the CPSC definition you champion somehow changes ebikes from useful for urban transport to deliberately-crippled-by-bosch. I don't really see a massive difference between them.

I've explained why I feel HR727 is a better regulation definition (keep in mind it was pretty much in place in all 50 states for 12+ years).

It was in place when e-bikes were a tiny fraction of what they are now, and also at a time when they were not actually allowed on most bike infrastructure. I know your point of view is that the CPSC overrides any and all local/state control of infrastructure they manage, but thats not actually the case and never has been. I can remember friends on WABA arguing for e-bike access to the major MUPs in the area as recently as 2015-2016.

I think you mistake "nobody knew what the rules were and ebikes were such a tiny group that nobody could be arsed to enforce them even if they knew or cared" with "the rules were more favorable back then". They weren't actually more favorable, they just weren't enforced because so few people owned and rode ebikes.

You seem to think 3-class is better because it's easier for politicians to understand an assist speed cut-off than allowing power limit speed even though power has limited bike speeds since they were invented.

Its probably not what I'd come up with if I was king for day (to paraphrase JR) but I think its generally better than the single CPSC definition you like. Governing via speed cutoffs is easier to understand and enforce, and having a minimal level of granularity lets us have a class that motor-and-throttle-averse places are comfortable with while still letting other bikes exist with higher speeds and throttles.

I mean, I totally get thinking the 3 class system isn't ideal. It probably isn't. I just find your obsession with constantly crapping on it in favor of the HR727 definition (which is in almost all important aspects extremely similar!) very strange.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The motor power definitions are identical between them (750w) and the throttle cutoff is the same (20mph).
The motor power definitions are the same and are a "rating" not a peak power limit...few seem to understand motor power ratings and it's a subject all it's own.

The is not throttle cut-off stated in HR727 so you must not understand or have read HR727. The power can continue so long as limited to what would sustain 170lb rider at 20mph on a level surface. Even People for Bikes has clarified that there is not assist cut-off specified in HR727. Do you see how I'm continuing to increase your knowledge on this subject?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
places where access is difficult
The reason why some view trail access as difficult is because local trail managers have never really educated themselves about ebikes. They view an ebike with a throttle as the same as a motorcycle. It would be simple to design a peddle assist ebike that provided full power from the start as a throttle can or you could design a throttle that only functions when the pedals are rotating. The 3-class system does not recognize these potential designs while HR727 avoided these problems by having a technical definition that limits power above 20mph and ignores how that power is controlled (way too many ways to control the power so let the designers have that freedom to do their jobs and make better drive systems).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You've bounced back and forth between "the government should force access!" and "if we lose that access thats acceptable to me to get my preferred definition governing things"
Neither of these have I ever said yet you literally put the statements in quotes. Very trollesh.
I have said that if a compliant LSEB is defined and USE regulated as a bike the regulation are much easier to understand and actually enforce. I do prefer HR727 over the 3-class system and I do believe most bikers/ebikers would if they took the time to understand the differences. I think you believe that if there is no Class 1 ebikes everyone would loose trail access. That's a nice scare tactic but you don't know that...keep in mind there are trails that don't allow any bikes and the world isn't going to end.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
totally focused on your own wants
HR727 passed one vote short of congressional consensus. Spare me that it's my own want. In Colorado only 4 state representives were involved with passing 3-class and one of them admitted to me it was 100% done to get Haibike to move their sales head quarters to Denver. No citizens were asked their opinion.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
The motor power definitions are the same and are a "rating" not a peak power limit...few seem to understand motor power ratings and it's a subject all it's own.

The is not throttle cut-off stated in HR727 so you must not understand or have read HR727. The power can continue so long as limited to what would sustain 170lb rider at 20mph on a level surface. Even People for Bikes has clarified that there is not assist cut-off specified in HR727. Do you see how I'm continuing to increase your knowledge on this subject?

The text reads:

(b) For the purpose of this section, the term `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.

I'm not sure how you come up with a reading of that that says that a bike can be powered solely by a motor over 20mph.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'm working on a way to get an ebike's speed up to Warp 10. This will let me travel backwards in time, find whoever invented the internet forum while they are still an infant and throw them into an active volcano.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The text reads:



I'm not sure how you come up with a reading of that that says that a bike can be powered solely by a motor over 20mph.
Never wrote that. I said that the assist to sustain 20mph can continue past 20mph even on a throttle bike so long as the additional speed is achieved by the rider adding power. This is not complicated by everyone wants to make it that way. Why is a 28mph speed pedelec compliant per HR727? Because the speed above 20mph is pretty much always provided by the rider (the vast majority of class 3 / speed pedelecs have 250W continuous rated motors that can't actually sustain 20mph motor alone.

But this is where the topic gets technical
Ok. Well, you have straight up said that you think the 3-class law was cooked up by the car industry as some sort of back door to making ebikes not tenable for urban transportation. So I guess I'm just wondering why the differences between that and the CPSC definition you champion somehow changes ebikes from useful for urban transport to deliberately-crippled-by-bosch. I don't really see a massive difference between them.
The differences are minor but I have a few points: 1) Average urban speeds are typically faster than an ebike assist limited to 20mph. HR727 provides for all LSEBs to assist past 20mph. I think Class 3 ebikes, while assisting faster than 20mph, will eventually require registration and insurance as required in Europe (LEVA has been telling EU governments that the 25kph assist limit on non speed pedelecs is too slow for serious consideration for urban mobility). 2) One of the reasons the power limit (still a rating but lets assume for second it's a power limit as many interpret it to be) was set at 250W was to allow the mid drives an advantage vs the cheap hub drives that dominated China. This has accomplished it's goal because Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, etc. mid drives dominate sales outside of Asia. In reality there is an EU law that forbids regulations from favoring a technology over another but the 250W favors mid-drives. Fortunately, the 750W rating in HR727 is a bit more level field for both hubs and mid drives. 3) There is NO merit to separating PAS and throttle ebikes because there is no common understanding of what a PAS ebike is. Most will say it only allows assist when someone is pedaling but any engineer will tell you that you could require pedal rotation as an imput parameter for a throttle to function so is that a PAS or Throttle ebike? I own an Izip Express that has a small motor generator at the crank that generates a voltage level just like a throttle so you can achieve speeds well over 20mph by just ghost pedaling in 1st gear (funny that Larry Pizzi was working at Izip I believe when this ebike was released).
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The text reads:



I'm not sure how you come up with a reading of that that says that a bike can be powered solely by a motor over 20mph.
You have to keep in mind that the 20mph limit via motor alone came from NHTSA. They were not going to release the regulatory purview of ebikes if they could go faster than 20mph motor alone. Dr. Currie didn't want an assist limit set at 20mph so he set constraints for power (170lbs, level surface) above 20mph. It was a way to keep that level of assist above 20mph. You have to keep in mind this was a 6 year effort to get NHTSA to let go of what they viewed as motor vehicle. It was a bid deal and so many on this forum think 3-class is so much better which ignores that if HR727 is tossed then ebikes go back under NHTSA and 3-class is done for.