So, in short, I can have some understanding for what Bryn means. Constant 15mph in Greenway/cyclepath/footpath conditions (i.e. Sustrans ethos) isn't always safe for others and can easily lead to higher speeds - remember that there's no max speed limit on our ("proper") bikes.
Remember, constant 15mph on an ebike means constant pedalling, then above that it's much like any other bike (but probably heavier)
JohnW wrote: Putting a statutory speed limit on e-bikes could be a major (and unenforceable) problem, and would affect us all, because it probably wouldn't end there. This is just my opinion, and I'm not going to enter into debate about it, but for what it's worth I think that if someone really NEEDS an e-bike, rather than just wanting a cheap and easily obtainable (and legal) substitute for a motor scooter/bike/car quadcycle then 12mph powered maximum would be fast enough. A lot of adult utility and leisure cycling won't much exceed 12mph on the level (I'm not talking about competition or events, just cycling).
I don't understand why you think that, after a lifetime of cycling, I should be restricted to assistance up to only 12mph. Most of the cyclists I ride with will be exceeding 12 mph within yards of moving off - leisure cyclists, club cyclists, some in their late 70s and 80s. "(I'm not talking about competition or events, just cycling)".
Do you want me to be condemned to short, slow rides for the rest of my cycling days. As I said before, I can push the speed well above that, but nowadays, now I 'NEED
' the assistance an e-road bike can give me, my leg power alone can't maintain that over longer distances.
Have you ever ridden an ebike?
Today I rode out on the ladywife's e-bike just to remind myself of various features that come with e-bike riding, along with the contrast to riding an ordinary bike. A mere 10 mile ride but including main roads, narrow country roads and lots of hills both up & down (300M climbing and the same in descent). Also through two small villages and a town.
Going up on a wide B road from 96M above sea level to 200M in about a mile, I used the lowest level of assistance but only on the steeper bits. I estimate I was then doing 9-12mph rather than the 6-9mph I would do on an ordinary bike. Not much faster for the same effort on my part, then. On a narrow road with several steep stretches of 50 to 100M, up to 400M, I used the second level of assistance. This too allowed me to go about 3-4mph faster than I would unassisted - well under 15.5mph at all times.
In both cases, I was never going over 15.5mph with the motor on because it switches off automatically at that speed or above.. On the less steep bits I could manage 15.5mph or a bit more but the motor no longer assists then, so the bike becomes an ordinary bike albeit one 7kg heavier than normal. In places, I switched the motor off despite going under 15.5mph as I was still going up at a reasonable speed (under 15.5mph) for an effort less than maximum.
Going back down, I used no assistance at all, since the speed was generally above 15.5mph anyway and there's no need for a motor if gravity is sucking at you rather than pushing you in the face.
I estimate that I went 'round this 10 mile ride about 8-10 minutes faster than I would unassisted. If I weighed a stone less or was a bit fitter, I could have gone 'round on an ordinary bike in about the same time. The ordinary bike, don't forget, is 7Kg lighter than the e-bike.
My overall conclusion from this ride is that an e-bike has the same effect as you yourself losing weight, and/or getting fitter, and using an ordinary bike. I was just as energy-depleted when I got back than I am if I go out on an ordinary bike. The rider of an e-bike can either go faster and make the same effort as on an ordinary bike; or go at the same average speed and pedal a bit less hard to do so.
Those who think e-bikes are some sort of motorbike need to ride one so they can have the experience, when they will realise they didn't know what they were talking about in proposing that an e-bike is some sort of powerful vroomer that will go about running over grannies and children.