Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Jdsk
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby Jdsk » 24 Aug 2020, 10:49am

No, I can't. We hear occasional anecdotes but I'm not aware of any serious evidence.

Jonathan

PS:I hope that the eScooter trials are designed to provide some.

kwackers
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby kwackers » 24 Aug 2020, 11:14am

Jdsk wrote:But on the mixing.... would "using imagination" be considering a transport system very different from what we currently have? Many of us would like that but it would take a lot more than the change supported in this petition...


And this is another of my "bugbears".

We all want a better transport system but fail to see that the system will only change incrementally.
There are not going to be any revolutions, only evolutions.

And because we don't like the next step of evolution we vote against it and progress stalls.

I want a cheap, lightweight, usable class of vehicle that is attractive to lots of people and to make it attractive we need to change some things.
My argument against "electric mopeds" is they offer no advantages over a motorcycle requiring all the same documents and hassles to keep them on the road despite being a bicycle in all but name.
So why choose one?
There's a reason illegal electric bikes abound but very few electric mopeds exist.

If folk want to maintain the status quo then fine - but stop whining about it because "you" voted for it.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 24 Aug 2020, 11:32am

Hi,
Yesterday for a 5 mile walk, waiting to cross the road road I know very well, used to ride that road six times a day.
While waiting to cross the road saw vehicle coming towards me and a car following it they were moving out what I would regard as normal road speed.
It was a cyclist not peddling going downhill I estimate they were doing least 30+ miles an hour.
If I was on my pushbike then in on any bike at any time I would come down that hill flat out.
45 years ago are used to draft double decker buses up hills and down hills, on this road.
Even unassisted I know I was hitting 35 miles an hour probably, when I ran out of steam up the hill I would stand up and top of the hill on top gear.
It's not hard. to recognise an electric bike, they normally sit upright have incredibly low cadence no cadence at all and moving at vehicle road speed/sort of speed someone would do bent over the handlebars would normally be doing if they were relatively fit.
A few seconds later another cyclist came along in the other direction going uphill this time sitting upright on a hybrid, I would be head down on the drops at this point selecting the right gear to go up the hill, The rider look like they've just got on the bike and gone down the road two minutes ago.
The first was definitely illegal the second was probably not, you can normally tell by this speed effort body position and the size of the hub.
If the speed limit is raised then you can guarantee Every Tom Dick and Harry you owns an electric bike will be upgrading to the new limit very quickly/will start seeing 2 kW units commonplace?
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

hamish
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby hamish » 24 Aug 2020, 11:49am

kwackers wrote:
Jdsk wrote:That line of the argument against is that there would be more people doing something undesirable and dangerous.

Jonathan

Can you quantify how dangerous?
I suspect you can't.

Lower speed isn't always safer - try cycling at 5mph on busy roads during rush hour.
In fact one of my bug bears about roads in general is they only really support young, fit cyclists.


But I believe this issue isn't about the safety of ebikes on roads it's about treating an ebike in the same way as a bike. All other motor vehicles are tightly regulated. Ebikes aren't as along as they comply with the 'rules' . The rules limit the power and speed of an ebike so that it remains compatible with other cyclists... It's about protecting people from the impact of fast Ebikes.

hamish
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby hamish » 24 Aug 2020, 11:56am

kwackers wrote:
Jdsk wrote:But on the mixing.... would "using imagination" be considering a transport system very different from what we currently have? Many of us would like that but it would take a lot more than the change supported in this petition...


And this is another of my "bugbears".

We all want a better transport system but fail to see that the system will only change incrementally.
There are not going to be any revolutions, only evolutions.

And because we don't like the next step of evolution we vote against it and progress stalls.

I want a cheap, lightweight, usable class of vehicle that is attractive to lots of people and to make it attractive we need to change some things.
My argument against "electric mopeds" is they offer no advantages over a motorcycle requiring all the same documents and hassles to keep them on the road despite being a bicycle in all but name.


So why choose one?
There's a reason illegal electric bikes abound but very few electric mopeds exist.

If folk want to maintain the status quo then fine - but stop whining about it because "you" voted for it.


The reason there are illegal electric bikes around is that they are easy to disguise. Yes change is needed and is incremental - but raising the speed of ebikes by 5 mph isn't a game changer for ebikes but will alter the dynamic on shared use paths, making life worse for non ebike uses.

I think I have said my bit now so will shut up!

kwackers
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby kwackers » 24 Aug 2020, 12:18pm

hamish wrote:The reason there are illegal electric bikes around is that they are easy to disguise. Yes change is needed and is incremental - but raising the speed of ebikes by 5 mph isn't a game changer for ebikes but will alter the dynamic on shared use paths, making life worse for non ebike uses.

I think I have said my bit now so will shut up!

No, the reason there are illegal electric bikes around is because there is a demand for them.
If not they wouldn't exist.

Raising the speed by 5mph isn't a game changer but it is incremental.
Incidentally I don't believe in changing the speed limit, merely removing it and letting it be determined by the 250w motor. I think the "on/off" speed limit is in itself inherently dangerous.
Before someone points out that having no speed limit means folk will be whizzing round at 40 and 50mph I'll just point out 250w is 1/3hp - that's about a tenth that of a genuine moped and they struggle to hit 30mph on the flat.


Shared paths are worse for pedestrians anyway.
Loads of discussions on here about pedestrians that won't keep left or step out into the path of an innocent cyclist.
If making life better for a group of people is our goal then shouldn't we remove cyclists from shared paths?


Anyway we've walked this road before a few years ago before ebikes were a thing in this country (thread is somewhere buried in the tea-shop).
I pointed out I thought they had a place, most (but not all) others said they didn't. They'd make life worse for cyclists and they weren't really needed so why bother.

How wrong they were.
The only thing I got wrong was I assumed they'd be no use to me - but once they existed even that turned out not to be the case.

PH
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby PH » 24 Aug 2020, 12:37pm

kwackers wrote:Lower speed isn't always safer - try cycling at 5mph on busy roads during rush hour.

Yet you seem happy to increase the differential on cycle paths and shared use facilities. It isn't a lack of imagination that suggests this, it's what this petition is calling for, if you want a new class of vehicle that is faster but excluded from cycling infrastructure, that's a different discussion. I'd have no objection to it, though I can't see it happening without licensing and regulation.
Although you make the case why a faster e-bike might tempt you out of the car, I'd suggest your circumstance isn't typical in many respects. The thing deterring more people from taking up cycling, assisted or otherwise, is not the cut off speed of the assistance.
The growing popularity of e-scooters comes as no surprise to me, they address some of the issues faced by e-bike users. Even though the majority of those I've come across are travelling in the 10 - 15mph range (Yes I'm aware some are capable of much higher speeds)

kwackers
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby kwackers » 24 Aug 2020, 1:14pm

PH wrote:Yet you seem happy to increase the differential on cycle paths and shared use facilities.

Not at all.
Is everyone on a shared path travelling flat out? I've never been flat out on a bike on one - have you?

Shared paths aren't roads. The roads most cyclists travel along on have 30-40mph limits and you expect vehicles to be doing at least that.

PH wrote:It isn't a lack of imagination that suggests this, it's what this petition is calling for, if you want a new class of vehicle that is faster but excluded from cycling infrastructure, that's a different discussion. I'd have no objection to it, though I can't see it happening without licensing and regulation.

Personally I have no objection to the faster class of ebike being excluded.
My objection is when they're tied up in all the red tape such that they're not really any better than any other motor vehicle, all the disadvantages and none of the advantages.

It's not a difficult thing to get our heads round.
If you want to get people out of cars then give them a reason.

Cheap and cheerful transport is that reason. With limited power you could remove the licence conditions - there's a potential future benefit right there since less license holders mean less demand for cars.
No reason to need an MOT either, limited power means limited weight means much lower risk.

You mention escooters but again just a quick look through these forums show no shortage of folk naysaying them and trotting out the same arguments we see here.
Worse the government "trials" seem to be designed to fail. License requirements, hire only etc etc.

Or we could just continue the way we're going.
Same old path, more and more cars and us complaining about them.

PH
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby PH » 24 Aug 2020, 10:14pm

kwackers wrote:Is everyone on a shared path travelling flat out? I've never been flat out on a bike on one - have you?

I don't often, then only if there's no one about. But plenty of riders of all sorts from brakeless teenagers to full kit roadies, come whizzing past me on the cycle path after I've slowed down for other users.
Shared paths aren't roads. The roads most cyclists travel along on have 30-40mph limits and you expect vehicles to be doing at least that.

So just what speed do you want these e-bikes to be capable of?
It's not a difficult thing to get our heads round.
If you want to get people out of cars then give them a reason.

You won't find much disagreement on this forum about that. But survey after survey has asked people why they don't cycle and the reason is rarely time.
Cheap and cheerful transport is that reason. With limited power you could remove the licence conditions - there's a potential future benefit right there since less license holders mean less demand for cars.
No reason to need an MOT either, limited power means limited weight means much lower risk.

No disagreement about that either, the only thing we differ on is where that limit is placed. The 15mph wasn't plucked out of thin air, it was considered the speed that would be comparable with most cyclists. I know you don't like this argument and cite your own experience to repudiate it, but were cycling enthusiasts and most cyclists aren't. I've taken part in cycle counts and it's never been more than 30% fit that enthusiast image. The more popular cycling, the smaller that percentage.
You accuse others of the same old... yet that's exactly what the faster, faster mentality is. That's why despite every form of transport getting faster, commute times have got longer. For millions of people, using an e-bike, as they are now, would cut their commute time, why they're not doing so is what we should be addressing.

thirdcrank
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Aug 2020, 8:03am

If the limit is governed by any sort of policy, it must be which riders/ potential riders are to be encouraged?

I'd say that doesn't include Fabian Cancellara imitators or those who want a lightweight motorbike without the hassle.

It's people who need a bit of extra assistance with ordinary cycling. They are likely to be new to cycling and unfit, or perhaps losing a bit of strength through aging. One thing's for sure, no matter what limits were imposed, there would be those wanting to raise them further, either by rule changes or flouting them

hemo
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby hemo » 25 Aug 2020, 10:31am

This has been discussed many times on here before and on the Pedelecs forum and I expect other forums, there are other classes should one want speed and that is the speed pedelecs, like mopeds they require licencing, insurance etc,etc. The requirements fall inline with the rest of the EU and even out of it we will still harmonise with most of the EU.

For UK pedelecs one can be riden assisted up to 17.08mph/27.5km/h legally as this is the allowance for a reading error of 10%, this has even been confirmed by the DFT via a written reply to Pedelec member ' flecc' who knows pedelec law inside out and has been a e-bike rider for over 25years. Once over the cut off speed there, the only limit is the riders ability.

kwackers
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby kwackers » 25 Aug 2020, 10:31am

PH wrote:No disagreement about that either, the only thing we differ on is where that limit is placed. The 15mph wasn't plucked out of thin air, it was considered the speed that would be comparable with most cyclists. I know you don't like this argument and cite your own experience to repudiate it, but were cycling enthusiasts and most cyclists aren't. I've taken part in cycle counts and it's never been more than 30% fit that enthusiast image. The more popular cycling, the smaller that percentage.
You accuse others of the same old... yet that's exactly what the faster, faster mentality is. That's why despite every form of transport getting faster, commute times have got longer. For millions of people, using an e-bike, as they are now, would cut their commute time, why they're not doing so is what we should be addressing.

The limit wasn't plucked out of thin air? Really?
It absolutely is arbitrary.

There's simply no need for it, even as an experienced cyclist I find it jarring and difficult to deal with when (for example) I'm passing a bus or a car and it decides to start moving, I put some effort in and suddenly the bike stops accelerating.
IMO that's simply not safe. Perhaps its fine for your average granny or grandad who's pottering around at 5mph and thinks they've entered warp speed once they get to 10mph but for a commuter on busy streets it simply doesn't work.
Hence why I think it's an arbitrary choice simply because in the real world it's a positive liability.

250w is self limiting, there's no need for a hard limit.
With the speed limit removed on my bike it will struggle to hit 20mph under it's own power and even then requires no wind and no hills.
Why have an "off" switch at 15mph?

Incidentally surveying people as to why they don't cycle is the most pointless exercise ever and if you're using it to determine policy then cycling is never going to happen.
People will simply invent excuse after excuse as to why they don't do it.
If you want to get them cycling then it has to offer some advantage and at the moment the only advantages it offers is that's it's cheap. When you stack the disadvantages against that it very quickly loses it's lustre. In contrast ebikes at least remove the "effort" disadvantage from the list.
That's why this is only a teeny part of the whole "vision" I have but everything I read on here suggests that far from being progressives cyclists are so conservative that they won't approve of anything that changes the status quo (but they'll whine like stuck pigs about how the status quo sucks).
You should dig out the old ebike thread in the tea shop to see evidence of this, folk were very anti-ebike so even the current state was seen by many as being unnecessary etc etc.

IMO we're just a few years from the next transport revolution(s) what we do now is more important than ever and cycling is in danger of becoming irrelevant.


Ultimately though it's all moot because if you believe these pages pretty much every ebike out there is whizzing along at illegal speeds and lets be honest, there's no way ebikes are going to be policed other than by the occasional bit of bad luck for one person in every million but that odd bad case will generate DM headlines and give ammunition to the anti-cycling public.

thirdcrank
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Aug 2020, 11:49am

kwackers wrote: ... 250w is self limiting, there's no need for a hard limit. ...


Why stick at 250w which is presumably also arbitrary?

kwackers
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby kwackers » 25 Aug 2020, 12:53pm

thirdcrank wrote:
kwackers wrote: ... 250w is self limiting, there's no need for a hard limit. ...


Why stick at 250w which is presumably also arbitrary?

(Ignoring the fallacy of "false equivalence")

Why not?
From experience I think 250w isn't much different to an average cyclist and thus by definition it firmly brackets ebikes into cycling territory.

hamish
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby hamish » 25 Aug 2020, 2:23pm

kwackers wrote:
PH wrote:No disagreement about that either, the only thing we differ on is where that limit is placed. The 15mph wasn't plucked out of thin air, it was considered the speed that would be comparable with most cyclists. I know you don't like this argument and cite your own experience to repudiate it, but were cycling enthusiasts and most cyclists aren't. I've taken part in cycle counts and it's never been more than 30% fit that enthusiast image. The more popular cycling, the smaller that percentage.
You accuse others of the same old... yet that's exactly what the faster, faster mentality is. That's why despite every form of transport getting faster, commute times have got longer. For millions of people, using an e-bike, as they are now, would cut their commute time, why they're not doing so is what we should be addressing.

The limit wasn't plucked out of thin air? Really?
It absolutely is arbitrary.

There's simply no need for it, even as an experienced cyclist I find it jarring and difficult to deal with when (for example) I'm passing a bus or a car and it decides to start moving, I put some effort in and suddenly the bike stops accelerating.
IMO that's simply not safe. Perhaps its fine for your average granny or grandad who's pottering around at 5mph and thinks they've entered warp speed once they get to 10mph but for a commuter on busy streets it simply doesn't work.
Hence why I think it's an arbitrary choice simply because in the real world it's a positive liability.

250w is self limiting, there's no need for a hard limit.
With the speed limit removed on my bike it will struggle to hit 20mph under it's own power and even then requires no wind and no hills.
Why have an "off" switch at 15mph?

Incidentally surveying people as to why they don't cycle is the most pointless exercise ever and if you're using it to determine policy then cycling is never going to happen.
People will simply invent excuse after excuse as to why they don't do it.
If you want to get them cycling then it has to offer some advantage and at the moment the only advantages it offers is that's it's cheap. When you stack the disadvantages against that it very quickly loses it's lustre. In contrast ebikes at least remove the "effort" disadvantage from the list.
That's why this is only a teeny part of the whole "vision" I have but everything I read on here suggests that far from being progressives cyclists are so conservative that they won't approve of anything that changes the status quo (but they'll whine like stuck pigs about how the status quo sucks).
You should dig out the old ebike thread in the tea shop to see evidence of this, folk were very anti-ebike so even the current state was seen by many as being unnecessary etc etc.

IMO we're just a few years from the next transport revolution(s) what we do now is more important than ever and cycling is in danger of becoming irrelevant.


Ultimately though it's all moot because if you believe these pages pretty much every ebike out there is whizzing along at illegal speeds and lets be honest, there's no way ebikes are going to be policed other than by the occasional bit of bad luck for one person in every million but that odd bad case will generate DM headlines and give ammunition to the anti-cycling public.


This thread has some legs...

I know I said I'd shut up but here goes...

Firstly, in my opinion, telling people that they aren't progressive, etc just because you don't agree with them isn't the most productive way of debating the issue. Your experience of the issue may vary significantly from others and they may see your in instance on the deregulation of ebikes as counterproductive in terms of progressive transport policy.

A legal 250W ebike motor can peak at significantly more than the nominal average 250. My cargo bike would continue on well into 25mph territory without a cut off. I know that because I can pedal it up to 20 + mph with ease in the flat. Give it the 350% assist and it would fly.

The argument about cut off above 15.5 doesn't convince me either as the cutoff is soft, with the assist facing out gradually .

I feel that, on our current infrastructure, allowing fast ebikes on the cycle paths would put as many people off as it encourages.

To be progressive, the U.K. would introduce a whole new category of quadricycle/velomobile/fast pedelec with infrastructure and legislation to suit. That infrastructure would keep them separate from cyclists and restricted ebikes.