Electric bikes

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  • That's really stupid, but it looks like the other manufacturers are going the other direction.
    https://ebiketips.road.cc/content/news/e­-bike-industry-moves-to-prevent-people-h­acking-their-e-bikes-for-more-speed-3375­

    “We know there are different influencers who have a view on changing this. In my view, they forget we may lose this status of the e-bike within the bicycle framework. We must remain without licence and insurance requirement, with bike path access.”

    It's especially frustrating in countries like the UK without any enforcement. I cycle a lot on the Thames path to stay away from traffic but since the last year it's getting crazier, every day there is this horde with the high powered e-scooters, some unrestricted DIY ebikes. Then about once a week kids on stolen motor scooters and the occasional deliveroo twat on one.

  • Don't think it's that crazy of van moof. They see the huge gap in the market for replacing two stroke engined mopeds, if you look at Chinese cities no one is riding a two stroke anymore.

    "European laws also require owners of s-pedelecs to obtain liability insurance and registration. They must also hold a moped-class driver’s license" - this is 100% right and they should be recognised as motorcycle replacements not e-bicycles and legislated as such.

    Also think they are targeting the largely un-regulated US market.

  • The impression I was getting from TheVerge and this T3 piece was that the journalists saw these as something that could run in cycle lanes away fron the nasty traffic rather than on the road with cars...I am all for them acting as an alternative to cars and motorbikes (less pollution, less noise, less waste) but dont want to see this come at the expense of human powered vehicles

    n't think it's that crazy of van moof. They see the huge gap in the market for replacing two stroke engined mopeds, if you look at Chinese cities no one is riding a two stroke anymore.

  • Liz has one of those slowly paddling it’s way over from Holland as I type.


    1 Attachment

    • F6CB9C72-E7BF-4648-9447-E16F9ADB424C.png
  • Can we at least all agree that it looks great...?

  • In Europe, or at least in the EU, I'd argue it's impossible that any ebike capable of more than 25km/h will ever be allowed on cycle lanes. I can see it happen in places like America though.

    I agree they're a good alternative to the classic 2-stroke motorcycle, but I don't think there's any gap in the market at all.
    2-strokes were replaced by electric mopeds everywhere - where I live, a tiny city in Portugal, mopeds were always very popular and these days you don't see any ICE ones at all, they're all electric. The same thing happened in Chinese cities much earlier. That gap has been filled already. I don't think there's even public interest for ebikes with higher speeds aside from vanity projects or sports, certainly not for transport.

  • I don't think there's even public interest for ebikes with higher speeds

    There certainly is if they don't have the regulatory burdens that mopeds have. In London there are already shitloads of electric bikes and scooters that go well over 20mph with no rider assistance.

  • As anyone who's been watching delivery riders knows, e-bikes already are the new mopeds. They're easy to delimit and lots of people do it, as aggi says. This will continue to be a problem with these things (and with e-scooters), and enforcing lower speeds would require massive police resources that won't materialise. So, yes, the best route is probably to put them in the same regulatory bracket as mopeds, i.e. requiring a driving licence and all that.

    As for 'gap in the market', ultimately it just comes down to practical factors like cost, durability, how far can they go on one charge, how comfortable are they, what kind of social cachet do they possess, etc. It doesn't have to be a clearly-defined gap in the market, just overlap or narrow slots will do, and of course it's entirely possible that e-bikes might eventually out-compete traditional mopeds if they were put on the same footing. They already seem to have out-competed them in London owing to the lack of regulation; it would be interesting to see what would happen were new regulations to come in. Both mopeds and crank-driven bicycles are, after all, bicycles, that is, 'two wheels, of which one is steerable, attached to a rigid frame'. As Mike Burrows says, in engineering terms the really significant innovation made by Karl Drais is that he found that you can stay upright on a narrow, single-track cycle through steering. All the other stuff, whether crank drive or any kind of engine is secondary to that in importance, but given that the basic concept is always the same, these secondary things will make the difference when people choose what model to buy.

    Needless to say, I prefer the kind of bicycles on which I am the engine, but I'm not too worried about e-bikes as such, as they do have sensible applications, such as cargo e-bikes, e.g. as shown by Pedal Me. What really worries me is how many young people ride them. Sure, some of them may ride them much greater distances than they would on a non-engined bike, and some may 'replace' cars by e-bikes, or switch from public transport, but the evidence suggests that very few do that, and that most people merely become less active than they were before. This negates what up to now has been the single biggest benefit of cycling.

    There's also the safety problem, although that is secondary to the loss of activity. Still, one of the first consequences of the increase in e-bike sales was a much higher crash rate in countries like the Netherlands and Germany. I was in Germany recently, and it really is a sight to behold how people who are evidently very bad cyclists run into problems through speeds they can't easily control on a two-wheeler. It's not as easy as it looks when people do it who have been cycling all of their lives.

  • but the evidence suggests that very few do that, and that most people merely become less active than they were before.

    Show me the data

  • 45km/h (L1e-B) bikes are allowed in (and required to use where available) cycle lanes in Switzerland and the uptake here is huge. You can't use shared use paths unless you turn the motor off. You need to pay for a registration plate and a nominal annual fee and wear a normal bicycle helmet. But you do not need a moped licence. Also funny, L1e-B bikes must be sold with the brakes 'moto-style' (Right hand front brake) in all EU countries.
    I don't see why a 45km/h bike shouldn't be allowed to use a cycle lane, that's not any faster than a lot of people ride anyway. Yes the brakes need to be maintained well (I heard in the UK it is mandatory for L1e-B vehicle to have a MOT lol) and I agree that riders should have some kind of mandatory training.

  • If anyone wants to know what the general push from the EU industry is, then take a read of LEVA's website and published documents. They represent the interests of a huge number of EU bike brands and lobby the EU to make sensible steps with their legislation.

  • what about insurance?

  • I don't see why a 45km/h bike shouldn't be allowed to use a cycle lane, that's not any faster than a lot of people ride anyway.

    I think the theory is inexperienced riders of regular bikes don't go that fast because on the flat it requires quite a lot of effort/training. So the people that are going quickly should have a bit of a clue and be less dangerous. A bit like how motorbike licences in the UK work with progressive access for big bikes.

  • Everyone in Switzerland is required to have public liability insurance.

  • Is 45kmh the normal speed of a lot of people in a cycle lane? I must be slower than I already thought I was.

  • Not normal, but possible.

  • You are in for a long wait

  • I don't see why a 45km/h bike shouldn't be allowed to use a cycle lane, that's not any faster than a lot of people ride anyway.

    Coming from a mainly utlity cycling perspective (which is where I see the majority of ebikes being used as well), this just seems absurd - 45km/h is way more in line with general motorized traffic speeds (usually 50 km/h in Switzerland). Purely anecdotal, but people without motor assistance are often even slower than the 25km/h ebikes.

  • Yes, that comparison is completely absurd, just because a few people can cycle at 45km/h sometimes is really no reason to allow motorbikes in the same space that can do that speed sustained and under almost any condition.

  • Another consideration I bring up again is that your general eBike user doesn't come from a cycling background and/or hasn't ridden a bike in years and generally doesn't understand basic safety and etiquette. I've lost count of how many times someone on a Rad power has passed me super close, without a word, and on the wrong side.

    Combine this with the speeds at which they generally ride, the greater mass of their bikes and their habit of doing shit like overtaking people around blind corners, etc. and you have a recipe for injury.

  • I don't see why a 45km/h bike shouldn't be allowed to use a cycle lane, that's not any faster than a lot of people ride anyway.

    I've heard this one many times and it's gotten so tired.

    Yes, some people can go 45kph on a conventional bike on the bike path, but A) it's not typical and B) They're generally regarded as assholes too.

  • Can we at least all agree that it looks great...?

    It reeks of "concept bike designed by an Industrial Design graduate who doesn't actually ride bikes."

  • In Belgium high speed pedelec are able to use bike lanes and they do 45kmh?

    Also they don’t just float up to 45 like a moped, you have to work to get over about 30

  • As TM says, S-pedelecs based on Bosch engines are pretty difficult to get to 45km/h too, you certainly don't just sit back and get taken for a ride. I have (illegal) aero bars on mine and it's still a decent effort to keep a high pace.
    I am of the opinion that e-bikes should be able to use the infrastructure designed for bikes. it's possible to ride them at speeds comfortable for everyone, maybe that means mandatory speed limits in certain high traffic cycle lanes. Around me, the cycle lanes aren't jammed with commuters so there's always room to pass with plenty of space.
    With any mode of transport, even walking, there's always going to be asshats who don't have any respect or thought for others.

  • Is it? I don't think I have ever ridden 45kmh in London, outside of a velodrome, race track or Regents Park chain gang.

    I think the road Infrastructure, traffic and pedestrian behaviour may be a lot different in Switzerland than in London.

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Electric bikes

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