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

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

Postby kwackers » 8 Nov 2020, 3:49pm

Nigel wrote:Selective quoting, again. <SNIP - unnecessary>

DaveP made it clear he was talking about Speed Pedal Electrics; ie. those capable of about 28mph under power.

Where did he mention 28mph?
He just said "faster".

It's the standard view: anyone going slower than me is holding folk up, faster and they're reckless - because everyone believes they're "mummy bear".

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

Postby Cyril Haearn » 8 Nov 2020, 5:21pm

Going slower is fine, I happily wait or stop on shared paths
Happy to let speeders by too, but not on the inside :?
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DaveP
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby DaveP » 8 Nov 2020, 7:04pm

kwackers wrote:
Nigel wrote:Selective quoting, again. <SNIP - unnecessary>

DaveP made it clear he was talking about Speed Pedal Electrics; ie. those capable of about 28mph under power.

Where did he mention 28mph?
He just said "faster".

It's the standard view: anyone going slower than me is holding folk up, faster and they're reckless - because everyone believes they're "mummy bear".


I deliberately avoided mentioning any specific speed because I think that the important isue here is the type of use or, if you prefer, the intent of the rider. My impression is that most people purchasing pedelecs intend to travel as a cyclist . A fast cyclist maybe, but staying within the range of cycle speeds that can currently be observed. On that basis I personally would be quite happy for them to be legally classed as cyclists with the same priveledges and duties that we currently enjoy. FWIW I have observed much worse "road manners" on the part of people whizzing round town centres and supermarkets on electric invalid carriages than I have ever seen from an e bike rider. So far.
On the other hand, people who want to be allowed a speed limit of 28mph clearly aren't going to fit into that scenario and probably don't want to. As I said earlier I don't have a problem with this per se. There are millions of people travelling on the UK's roads faster than I do. Most of them heavily armoured. If some of them are willing to leave that armour at home I could expect to be that much safer.
However, we all know that increased speed is associated with increased risks and for that reason alone I think that this category of users should be required to accept a similar regimen to those using fossil fuels on two wheels. The merits of training should be apparent, and I can see no reasonable grounds for objecting to being held accountable - specifically identifiable -for your actions or for making sure that you can meet your liabilities in the event of accident.
Another way to put this would be to point out that most of us don't tend to regard motorcyclists as cyclists, even though they travel on two wheels and encounter similar problems and the main reason for this is that they travel at trafffic speeds and can interact with the four wheel traffic in a way that cyclists generally cannot. In that context I do find myself wondering where this figure of 28mph originally came from. It's a curious number to choose, surely? Fast enough make a spill much more painful. Not quite fast enough to keep pace with even law abiding urban traffic raising the prospect of being constantly overtaken at a very slow relative speed. Not a speed that I would choose to hold.
Could it be, I wonder, a cunning ploy to avoid regulation? "Oh it's not really fair, after all we can't even reach 30..."
I know - Conspiracy theories - but with the Tangerine Wonder heading into history, we all need some new ones, right? :D
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby Nigel » 8 Nov 2020, 9:19pm

DaveP wrote:
............ I do find myself wondering where this figure of 28mph originally came from. It's a curious number to choose, surely? ......


28mph =~ 45km/hr. The speed comes from regulations in various European countries.

This website gives a reasonable overview of different types of electric bike in European countries. The fine detail on the 45km/hr class will be different in each country:
https://www.stromerbike.com/en/moments- ... ready-know

In the UK, a 45km/hr bike and rider need to meet the moped regulations. There are retailers offering such machines.



Local to me, we've just had the speed limits reduced over the whole local authority. If its a town or village, its 20mph. So, 28mph/45km/hr is perhaps irrelevant for urban use.


- Nigel

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

Postby kwackers » 8 Nov 2020, 9:57pm

DaveP wrote:I deliberately avoided mentioning any specific speed because I think that the important isue here is the type of use or, if you prefer, the intent of the rider. My impression is that most people purchasing pedelecs intend to travel as a cyclist . A fast cyclist maybe, but staying within the range of cycle speeds that can currently be observed.

Err, yeah. As a cyclist (and not a young one at that) I can average 20mph for a few miles, so what's wrong with wanting to average 20mph over my entire commute?

From my pov it's moot anyway.
The e-bike experience for me was always borderline, I spent 2 years doing 40 miles a day, 10,000 miles a year until I was knocked off at the end of last year.
Saved me over £2k a year but was slower than the car.

In the end I decided the negatives outweighed the positives and simply bought an EV so now the savings are minimal.

Sure I could have bought a faster e-bike but why on earth would I want the hassle of registration, tax, mot, insurance etc when I already have all that on my car (and motorcycle)?
The whole point of a bicycle is to keep it simple. Remove that and you suddenly have huge complexity to save 15 minute each way on a journey - who wants that!?

As I said above you have to decide what you want things to look like.
Making e-bikes complicated or pointless is self defeating *if* you want folk to swap cars for them. The more useful they are the more likely someone is to use them.
OTOH if your view of them is simply as a way of getting pensioners out and about when they can no longer turn a peddle then it doesn't matter, just don't complain that folk should be using bicycles instead of their cars.

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

Postby DaveP » 9 Nov 2020, 1:57am

I see that I have been guilty of two sins: I have been allowing myself to use the terms pedelec and e bike somwhat loosely thus causing myself a little confusion, and further, I have allowed myself to become out of date. Last time I took an active interest in electrically assisted cycling it seemed to be practically impossible to legally use bikes that did not conform to the pedelec requirements in any public space because type approval could not be obtained for these "motorised vehicles" thus precluding any possibility of registration, licencing or insurance. And I actually read something recently which although undated, appeared to be recent and referred to this state of affairs as current. My bad.
Classifying the faster electric bikes as mopeds would seem to be everything I was advocating, and although I appreciate that this might be less cocnvenient than a complete lack of regulation I don't think that this will seriously discourage people from taking to their use, especially as petrol starts to be phased out. Well, apart from the cost of acquiring a licence - I toyed with the idea of getting a motorcycle licence about a year ago and decided not to bother.
As for raising the speed limit for pedelecs... being able to sustain 20mph for a few miles certainly places you towards the faster end of non competing riders. I think I would be on safe ground in suggesting that you have developed this ability at least partly by spending a lot of time in the saddle and while doing so you have also acquired, since you are still with us, the necessary judgement to survive. Good luck to you, and long may you keep it up.
But I feel a lot less sanguine about the prospect of a novice walking into a shop and riding out at that sort of speed. The truth is that it doesn't make any difference what speed limit is set, there will always be someone trying to make a case for faster. With that in mind, why alter a limit that appears to be fitting in reasonably well with more traditional types of cycling?

Sorry to read about your accident, BTW. I missed it at the time because I was not actively reading here. Glad you made it!
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Re: Petition to increase the 25kmh limit on electric bikes in the UK.

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2020, 9:57am

DaveP wrote:Classifying the faster electric bikes as mopeds would seem to be everything I was advocating, and although I appreciate that this might be less cocnvenient than a complete lack of regulation I don't think that this will seriously discourage people from taking to their use, especially as petrol starts to be phased out. Well, apart from the cost of acquiring a licence - I toyed with the idea of getting a motorcycle licence about a year ago and decided not to bother.

If you can't be bothered with getting a motorcycle license why would you be bothered getting a license for a pedelec?

If you want to force complexity on people then I don't understand why you think they'll suffer that complexity for a very simple vehicle.
If you *have* to have a license, *have* to have an MOT and *have* to have insurance - why bother with a 20mph bicycle? Why not simply get a motorcycle? (It's not as if pedelecs are even cheap!).

Electric motorcycles are fast becoming a thing, you can import a reasonable one from China now for the price of a decent pedelec. Riding a bicycle on the streets is hard work, avoiding the idiots, continually being harassed and cut up and that's true of assisted ones too.
If I was recommending a 'fast' pedelec or an electric motorcycle to someone I'd tell them to get the motorcycle every time.
I did enjoy the extra exercise I got from the pedelec but in the end it just can't compete with other forms of transport.

FWIW I'm not advocating 30mph bicycles here, my biggest gripe about pedelecs are two fold. The need to peddle them continually - which is nonsensical (just idly turning the peddles on mine gives full assist anyway, plus it had a thumb throttle) and lastly the motor cut out.
The motor cut out would occasionally catch me unawares in traffic leaving me in situations I'd rather not have got into - bad decision on my part? Probably, but it can happen to the best of us.
Removing the motor cut out doesn't result in 30mph bicycles, 250w (1/3hp) is nothing like enough to achieve that but my experiments with disabling it showed that it made it possible to average 20mph and allowed it to avoid sudden loss of power particularly when overtaking slow moving queues of traffic.

My final point is why is it all or nothing?
Why not remove some of the requirements, a half way house. No license requirement, no MOT, no reg plate but have insurance for example? I've no problem insuring a bike, even a pushbike. But I don't see the need for a license to a vehicle that's no faster than a bicycle or the need for an MOT to such a simple vehicle.
That way there's no real barrier to entry, insurance will be a few quid a year.

As I said though, it's moot now.

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

Postby hamish » 13 Nov 2020, 11:21pm

kwackers wrote:
DaveP wrote:Classifying the faster electric bikes as mopeds would seem to be everything I was advocating, and although I appreciate that this might be less cocnvenient than a complete lack of regulation I don't think that this will seriously discourage people from taking to their use, especially as petrol starts to be phased out. Well, apart from the cost of acquiring a licence - I toyed with the idea of getting a motorcycle licence about a year ago and decided not to bother.

If you can't be bothered with getting a motorcycle license why would you be bothered getting a license for a pedelec?

If you want to force complexity on people then I don't understand why you think they'll suffer that complexity for a very simple vehicle.
If you *have* to have a license, *have* to have an MOT and *have* to have insurance - why bother with a 20mph bicycle? Why not simply get a motorcycle? (It's not as if pedelecs are even cheap!).

Electric motorcycles are fast becoming a thing, you can import a reasonable one from China now for the price of a decent pedelec. Riding a bicycle on the streets is hard work, avoiding the idiots, continually being harassed and cut up and that's true of assisted ones too.
If I was recommending a 'fast' pedelec or an electric motorcycle to someone I'd tell them to get the motorcycle every time.
I did enjoy the extra exercise I got from the pedelec but in the end it just can't compete with other forms of transport.

FWIW I'm not advocating 30mph bicycles here, my biggest gripe about pedelecs are two fold. The need to peddle them continually - which is nonsensical (just idly turning the peddles on mine gives full assist anyway, plus it had a thumb throttle) and lastly the motor cut out.
The motor cut out would occasionally catch me unawares in traffic leaving me in situations I'd rather not have got into - bad decision on my part? Probably, but it can happen to the best of us.
Removing the motor cut out doesn't result in 30mph bicycles, 250w (1/3hp) is nothing like enough to achieve that but my experiments with disabling it showed that it made it possible to average 20mph and allowed it to avoid sudden loss of power particularly when overtaking slow moving queues of traffic.

My final point is why is it all or nothing?
Why not remove some of the requirements, a half way house. No license requirement, no MOT, no reg plate but have insurance for example? I've no problem insuring a bike, even a pushbike. But I don't see the need for a license to a vehicle that's no faster than a bicycle or the need for an MOT to such a simple vehicle.
That way there's no real barrier to entry, insurance will be a few quid a year.

As I said though, it's moot now.


I am not sure that something should be deregulated just because people can't be bothered to do it because of the rules. And just because fast ebikes exist it doesn't mean that it's a good idea to let them loose on the general population in an unregulated way.

If you had a class of ebike that was excluded from shared use and cycle paths then I'm sure most people would accept them on the road. My point isn't that we shouldn't have a fast ebike category, rather than fast ebikes do not mix with normal bikes and walkers in a range of non traffic settings.

A non restricted mid motor pedelec would travel at 30mph in the right conditions such as smooth flat cycle paths. I can ride my tourer on the flat at 25mph without problem. Add a mid motor and you would be able to maintain high speeds as long as you have the gears.

The 'hybrid drive' nature of pedelecs is the whole beauty of the system. I have a Bosch powered cargo bike. You have to pedal it and it encourages you to pedal with a bit of enthusiasm because it is more fun. I think that throttle based ebikes are essentially more akin to motorbikes and I am glad that they aren't afforded the same dispensation from regulation as pedelecs.

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

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2020, 10:20am

hamish wrote:A non restricted mid motor pedelec would travel at 30mph in the right conditions such as smooth flat cycle paths. I can ride my tourer on the flat at 25mph without problem. Add a mid motor and you would be able to maintain high speeds as long as you have the gears.

An unrestricted 250w e-bike can't get close to 30mph not without a lot of effort.
I can hit 25mph on my tourer too (although not for long) but I struggle hitting 30mph even with the limits disabled on the same bike (and that's mid motor powered).

On a good day, with no wind and on the flat but without human effort it will eventually get to 20mph. With a moderately fit cyclist on you can get it up to 25mph - about the same speed as you claim you do. (Although the realistic average is more like 20mph)

So basically what you're saying is "it's ok for me to do 25mph on a bicycle but other people shouldn't".

I wonder how you'd feel about that if in a couple of years you're struck down by something that made it difficult for you to even hold 10mph for any length of time.

hamish wrote:The 'hybrid drive' nature of pedelecs is the whole beauty of the system. I have a Bosch powered cargo bike. You have to pedal it and it encourages you to pedal with a bit of enthusiasm because it is more fun. I think that throttle based ebikes are essentially more akin to motorbikes and I am glad that they aren't afforded the same dispensation from regulation as pedelecs.


More "it works for me so it's fine as is" nonsense.
There are plenty of people out there who'd benefit from a throttle.

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

Postby hamish » 14 Nov 2020, 12:56pm

kwackers wrote:
hamish wrote:A non restricted mid motor pedelec would travel at 30mph in the right conditions such as smooth flat cycle paths. I can ride my tourer on the flat at 25mph without problem. Add a mid motor and you would be able to maintain high speeds as long as you have the gears.

An unrestricted 250w e-bike can't get close to 30mph not without a lot of effort.
I can hit 25mph on my tourer too (although not for long) but I struggle hitting 30mph even with the limits disabled on the same bike (and that's mid motor powered).

On a good day, with no wind and on the flat but without human effort it will eventually get to 20mph. With a moderately fit cyclist on you can get it up to 25mph - about the same speed as you claim you do. (Although the realistic average is more like 20mph)

So basically what you're saying is "it's ok for me to do 25mph on a bicycle but other people shouldn't".

I wonder how you'd feel about that if in a couple of years you're struck down by something that made it difficult for you to even hold 10mph for any length of time.

hamish wrote:The 'hybrid drive' nature of pedelecs is the whole beauty of the system. I have a Bosch powered cargo bike. You have to pedal it and it encourages you to pedal with a bit of enthusiasm because it is more fun. I think that throttle based ebikes are essentially more akin to motorbikes and I am glad that they aren't afforded the same dispensation from regulation as pedelecs.


More "it works for me so it's fine as is" nonsense.
There are plenty of people out there who'd benefit from a throttle.


No I'm not saying that. It's not normally ok to do 25mph on a shared use path. Non ebikes can't normally do anything like 25mph for the majority of the time they are being ridden. I am just saying that it not true that a mid drive motor can't do 20 or 25 or 30 mph by suggesting that if an unpowered bike can reach 25mph, add a motor that doubles your output and you will soon be up beyond 20mph. Indeed my exact same bike, sold in different countries, can do 20 or 25 mph. Your assertion that derestricting an ebike and saying that they won't go very fast is, I think, inaccurate.

If I find myself in the position of being unable to ride at speed, my present bike would still work.

And this isn't about me or you, so much as striking a right balance in terms of ebike regulation so that ebikes mix happily with other cyclists and walkers who have enough to contend with already and for whom the shared use paths should be a place of sanctuary rather than danger.

I should probably stop replying because the this discussion is not developing and is now increasingly pointless. Neither of our opinions are going to change the situation.

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

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2020, 2:00pm

hamish wrote:Your assertion that derestricting an ebike and saying that they won't go very fast is, I think, inaccurate.

It makes 5mph difference.
I know because I've tried several times.
Doubling the power doesn't double the speed.

hamish wrote:If I find myself in the position of being unable to ride at speed, my present bike would still work.

"Work" is meaningless, why would I want to make your life worse? Why shouldn't I allow you to have what you once had?

hamish wrote:And this isn't about me or you, so much as striking a right balance in terms of ebike regulation so that ebikes mix happily with other cyclists and walkers who have enough to contend with already and for whom the shared use paths should be a place of sanctuary rather than danger.

Cyclists are already a problem on shared paths, poor riding is the issue here, nothing to do with e-bikes.
Same as the roads, better enforcement or simply remove the right.

But you're right, it is about striking a balance.
Take your cargo bike for example. Why should we allow such vehicles?
It's heavier and therefore more dangerous. Less manoeuvrable, poorer brakes etc etc adding a motor to the mix hardly makes it safer does it? So why do it?

I should add I'm a fan of cargo bikes and making electric versions of them in my opinion is a no brainer.
The reason I believe that is because I want to remove cars from the road as much as possible and anything that can replace nearly two tons of metal is a good thing.
But I'm not so daft that I think people will make the switch without a good solid reason to do so.

Transport is about to go through a huge upheaval. Bicycles offer several advantages over cars, not least being that they're cheap to run but that's about to change.
My e-bike saved me £2k on train fares, over £1k on petrol but an EV has changed that dynamic.
I can now go to work and back for barely more than I spent in consumables on the ebike in a vehicle that's warm, comfy, safer, faster and doesn't require me to spend time oiling, cleaning, adjusting and generally getting dirty maintaining.

That's the reality of the future if it's not what you want then you need to decide how you want it to look and legislate to make it happen.

FWIW, a large percentage of e-bikes on the road are more than 250w anyway or derestricted.
Mine had a bug(?) in the controller, put it on maximum assist and hold the thumb throttle and it ignored both power limits and maximum speeds.
So I suspect that just like e-scooters all the whining about what's legal or not is moot and like most laws only affects the rigidly law abiding (which IME is almost no one).

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

Postby Oldjohnw » 14 Nov 2020, 3:32pm

Some wrote that normal bike can't do 25mph for long. Just a reminder: legal ebikes can't do anything like 25mph either and for the same reason.
John

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

Postby kwackers » 14 Nov 2020, 4:04pm

Oldjohnw wrote:Some wrote that normal bike can't do 25mph for long. Just a reminder: legal ebikes can't do anything like 25mph either and for the same reason.

Of course they can.

I got over 40mph out of mine - before I'd fitted the motor!
Best I ever managed with the motor fitted was 35.

Perhaps fitting the motor slowed it down... :wink:

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

Postby hamish » 14 Nov 2020, 10:19pm

I said I would leave the discussion at the last post but...

My cargo bike is a long tail not a box bike and is as maneuverable as my tourer, it stops better than my tourer due to 4 pot disks and can manage an all up weight of 200kg. I don't use cycle paths much at the moment due to Covid and lack of commuting. But when I do use the paths it mixes just fine as it's restricted. And that's my point really.

I agree that we need to encourage light weight quadricycles, probably fast e bikes and a range of other solutions. But they aren't the same as bikes so need to work to different rules and should not be allowed to make shared use paths and bridleways worse than they are already. Round here they aren't too bad so maybe we are lucky.... but stick an load of unrestricted ebikes on them and they will get worse.

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

Postby Herts Audax » 14 Nov 2020, 10:59pm

What you are describing is a moped and there’s are already laws governing them.