E-bikes - too restrictive?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.

How restrictive should e-bike legislation be?

Not at all - if it has 2 wheels and hasn't got an internal combustion engine, then it's a cycle
1
3%
A lot more lenient - somewhere between "More lenient" and "Not at all". Maybe allow 500W, or 25mph, for example.
2
7%
More lenient - legislation should aim for an overall result roughly in line with an unassisted cyclist (in terms of weight/speed/power), but it doesn't matter whether or not the rider is pedaling
8
28%
It's about right - legislation should aim for electric assist, but keeping the overall result roughly in line with an unassisted cyclist
15
52%
Stricter - somewhere between "It's about right" and "Strict". Maybe require a higher level of human input, or reduced power limits.
0
No votes
Strict - if it's got a motor, then it's a moped and should be licensed as such
3
10%
 
Total votes: 29

rfryer
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E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby rfryer » 13 Nov 2017, 1:59pm

Following on from the "E-bikes: depressing or what?" thread, I was surprised at the degree to which we seem to be embracing e-bikes. Taking the perspective of them as a transport solution, the current legislation seems unnecessarily restrictive - almost as if it were pandering to existing cyclists who wouldn't want motorised imposters sharing their facilities. What do you think?

kwackers
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 13 Nov 2017, 2:29pm

My thoughts.
1st. Remove the speed restriction but leave the power. Speed is inherently limited by power anyway, but I don't see any good reason for the assist to suddenly turn off at 15mph.

2nd. No good reason to enforce pedalling. Enforced pedalling potentially restricts their use with the very people they can help the most.

3rd. There should be a 2nd class of ebike. 750 or even 1kw. Perhaps weight limited but with compulsory insurance (but no registration or MOT. K.I.S.S) This would make for a massively more interesting alternative to a car.

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barrym
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby barrym » 13 Nov 2017, 2:33pm

What do we think about what? Pandering... or a solution?

Personally I am seriously considering one as a transport solution.

I'm not enjoying the best of health now and have very low level of energy, but still enjoy getting out on the bike for short trips. Generally 5 miles or so.

I recently replaced my car with a very small one but it seldom gets used. I keep thinking an ebike could easily provide my transport needs for the majority of the time. On the extremely rare occasion that I had to go further than the range or the weather was too inclement I could borrow the wife's.

My 2p worth.
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Mick F
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Mick F » 13 Nov 2017, 2:43pm

Why E bikes?
Why not have electric transport instead?
Legalise Segways and those hoverboard things and any other electrically powered pedestrian device.

I was in Plymouth last week at Cap'n Jaspers snack bar, and at a table next to me was a gent who had arrived on a sort of wheel with foot-rests. No doubt it was gyroscopically stabilised or something. It looked small enough and light enough to carry. I think it had a carrying handle. I looked at the name of it, and totally forgot to make a mental note of it, but it looked fun and useful ............... but illegal for use in public.
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby mjr » 13 Nov 2017, 2:50pm

Mick F wrote:... a gent who had arrived on a sort of wheel with foot-rests. No doubt it was gyroscopically stabilised or something. It looked small enough and light enough to carry. I think it had a carrying handle. I looked at the name of it, and totally forgot to make a mental note of it, but it looked fun and useful ............... but illegal for use in public.

An Airwheel Q series? As I understand it, most Airwheel's products are claimed to be e-bikes or scooters of various types, but I don't know if they have the relevant UK approvals to make them so legally.
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 13 Nov 2017, 2:53pm

Mick F wrote:Why E bikes?
Why not have electric transport instead?
Legalise Segways and those hoverboard things and any other electrically powered pedestrian device.

The problem with Segways is you can't fit brakes to them. They're good fun though.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Mick F » 13 Nov 2017, 2:55pm

Airwheel?
I can't remember, but I seem to recall the word "flight" in it.
Googling images of Airwheel, it wasn't quite like that, though the principle is the same.
450-3.jpg
450-3.jpg (20.61 KiB) Viewed 841 times
The one I saw had the tyre more exposed and didn't look so sleek.

The point is though, why not make these things legal?
I know they can't be because the existing regs don't cover that sort of thing. If you can have a mobility scooter, why not other powered devices?
Mick F. Cornwall

Ruadh495
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Ruadh495 » 13 Nov 2017, 2:59pm

mjr wrote:
Mick F wrote:... a gent who had arrived on a sort of wheel with foot-rests. No doubt it was gyroscopically stabilised or something. It looked small enough and light enough to carry. I think it had a carrying handle. I looked at the name of it, and totally forgot to make a mental note of it, but it looked fun and useful ............... but illegal for use in public.

An Airwheel Q series? As I understand it, most Airwheel's products are claimed to be e-bikes or scooters of various types, but I don't know if they have the relevant UK approvals to make them so legally.


If they can't be driven by the pedals they're not legal. It's not strictly required to have pedals in constant use (in the UK), but they do have to be usable.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 13 Nov 2017, 3:00pm

Mick F wrote:Airwheel?
I can't remember, but I seem to recall the word "flight" in it.
Googling images of Airwheel, it wasn't quite like that, though the principle is the same.450-3.jpgThe one I saw had the tyre more exposed and didn't look so sleek.

The point is though, why not make these things legal?
I know they can't be because the existing regs don't cover that sort of thing. If you can have a mobility scooter, why not other powered devices?

Once again: Brakes?

I doubt you'd ever get something without brakes accepted regardless of anything else.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Nov 2017, 3:01pm

kwackers wrote:
Mick F wrote:Why E bikes?
Why not have electric transport instead?
Legalise Segways and those hoverboard things and any other electrically powered pedestrian device.

The problem with Segways is you can't fit brakes to them. They're good fun though.


a segway is heavy and much wider than a bike and very expensive

they are legal in Germany apparently, I have only seen them a couple of times (a couple too many)

an evening segway tour (90 minutes) costs € 65
Alternative facts welcome .. Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby Mick F » 13 Nov 2017, 3:06pm

I remember seeing online, the availability of a "clockwork" wheelbarrow.

It had a sort of foot operated lever that you cranked up and down to charge up the spring. The wheelbarrow would then be able to move under power some distance in your garden with a heavy load. A terrific boon to the gardener with strength limitations.

If someone could develop a clockwork powered vehicle would they be legal in a public place or on the highway?
I suppose not, because it's "mechanically propelled" even if the rider had wound up the spring in the first place.

What about a pedal powered flywheel vehicle? Get the thing revved up, drop the clutch, and off you sail up the hills! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby mjr » 13 Nov 2017, 3:12pm

kwackers wrote:
Mick F wrote:Why E bikes?
Why not have electric transport instead?
Legalise Segways and those hoverboard things and any other electrically powered pedestrian device.

The problem with Segways is you can't fit brakes to them. They're good fun though.

I've still never ridden one (but intend to put that right soon) but is there any reason they couldn't have brakes fitted? Unlike the Airwheel, where I suspect braking would easily cause a fall, it seems like a Segway could lean back and then return to horizontal as it stopped, when the brake was applied.
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby kwackers » 13 Nov 2017, 3:24pm

mjr wrote:I've still never ridden one (but intend to put that right soon) but is there any reason they couldn't have brakes fitted? Unlike the Airwheel, where I suspect braking would easily cause a fall, it seems like a Segway could lean back and then return to horizontal as it stopped, when the brake was applied.

They're basically weight shift. If you apply the brakes it would instantly fall forward so it can't lean back since you're already ahead of it.

You'd have to make the brake electronic, when you apply it the unit would have to accelerate first to get ahead of you and then brake - but then you'd fall over backwards, plus the latency would be huge, and it wouldn't know how much to move forward by.

Still good fun though. When you have a go, remember it's all about applying pressure rather than actually moving anything. Within a few minutes you can stop, spin 180 and be going back the way you came in a blink.

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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 13 Nov 2017, 4:23pm

kwackers wrote:My thoughts.
1st. Remove the speed restriction but leave the power. Speed is inherently limited by power anyway, but I don't see any good reason for the assist to suddenly turn off at 15mph.

2nd. No good reason to enforce pedalling. Enforced pedalling potentially restricts their use with the very people they can help the most.

3rd. There should be a 2nd class of ebike. 750 or even 1kw. Perhaps weight limited but with compulsory insurance (but no registration or MOT. K.I.S.S) This would make for a massively more interesting alternative to a car.


Absolutely...

The 250w limit is probably reasonable, but that limit is in itself a limit on the speed available...
As for a 'second class' - I'd suggest they'd be most useful with cargo style vehicles - you might struggle with insurance on a vehicle if there is no vehicle registration system...
I wonder if a 'sub moped' classification - without clothing requirements - is a better option?
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Re: E-bikes - too restrictive?

Postby irc » 13 Nov 2017, 6:13pm

The USA has different classes. Fastest - 350W cut out at 28mph is road only, no cyclepaths (some variation between federal and state laws) . I tested a 250W Trek with a 20mph cut out. Fantastic. Up a slight hill and into the wind at 19mph. I'd buy one if they were legal here. Current 15mph limit? Only a marginal gain for me. With a 20mph E-bike I'd consider longer commutes and more frequent use for shopping.

This Trek is the 350W 28mph $4500 version.

6-road_bike__Large_ (Medium).JPG