Petition for law change - Ebike Assist Limit

winjim

Iron pony
Having seen an e-bike 'dutchie' accelerate, they are quick. I'd have been putting in some power on my fixie (I was in the car and it shot off)...

I don't mind, but I think the limit might be needed on 'road bikes' or 'fast hybrids' but it would need to be bike type specific...
Trouble is it starts to get complicated. Cutoff at a certain speed is at least simple.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
A lot of normal bike riders travel up to 20 mph, I presume you wouldn't be happy for them to have, registration plates, periodic safety examination, compulsory insurance & rider licencing,
(some people think this is a good idea) you still have to pedal ebikes.
Fast roadies who are trophy chasing on Strava shouldn't be using shared use paths or cycle tracks either, IMHO. These facilities are NOT provided as race tracks, they are there to enable people to get from A to B. People who are just out and about either on two legs or two wheels do not want to be constantly getting buzzed and carved up by weekend warriors who are often effectively having a race against the clock. If you just want to ride everywhere as fact as possible, go and do it on a proper cycle race track, and stop inflicting this anti-social behaviour on everyone else. It's not really surprising why a lot of other road users of all types don't have a very high opinion of cyclists is it, when some of them think they've got a God-given right to tear around flat out irrespective of the presence of other people on the highway?.
 

T4tomo

Veteran
I can only quote from my own experience here and give you my thoughts why 15.6 mph is too low, I know you can pedal above this speed but old age and infirmity limit this.

When the Avocet computer appeared in the early eighties,we used it on club runs to keep the speed about 18 mph this was a good group riding speed and IMO still is today, most riders I rode with in those days can still keep these speeds up today, but one or two have dropped to slower groups which is perfectly natural when you cant keep up, but with modern technology we have a solution that would enable them to still ride with their old mates, this requires an higher assisted speed than 15.6 mph above which they would struggle.

In my experience (I know it wont be everyone's) most people ride between 16 to 20 mph average, just above the cut off for ebikes, so a 20 mph cut off makes sense to me.

Lifting the limit won't stop anybody on a normal bike cycling, but it will enhance a lot of peoples enjoyment of ebike's.

Lets embrace the technology and make it work for all cyclists.

I don't own an ebike, but never say never, I am fortunate enough to still be able to average 18 mph on a normal bike.
Yeah But, old club riders wanting to keep up with their mates is a very very small slice of the target ebike market.
Non cyclists on an ebike have potential to be dangerous at speed.
 

Venod

Eh up
when some of them think they've got a God-given right to tear around flat out irrespective of the presence of other people on the highway?.
I totally agree with you, people should ride responsibly, and consider other people, but 16 to 20 mph in the right places is not being an irresponsible Strava chasing hooligan, just as any cyclist, a rider on an ebike needs to consider others and just like the majority of non assisted cyclists I am sure they will, an ebike doesn't make a hooligan, a person makes a hooligan.
 

Venod

Eh up
Yeah But, old club riders wanting to keep up with their mates is a very very small slice of the target ebike market.
Non cyclists on an ebike have potential to be dangerous at speed.
But they won't be non cyclists if they have an ebike and like any new cyclist they have to learn to ride safely and responsibly, as I have pointed out previously any new rider (if they have the fitness) can ride at high speeds.

I am not supporting raising the limit just so old roadies can keep up with their mates, that was just an example.

I am supporting the limit because 16 to 20 is a more realistic speed for a cyclists. IMO
 
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HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
, as I have pointed out previously any new rider (if they have the fitness) can ride at high speeds.
And how do they get that fitness? By riding the bike...... and learning a few skills and acquiring experience.

I have a big problem with the 20 mph limit for the simple reason that I am a reasonably adept & fit cyclist and would have to struggle to hold that speed.

This is a cycling forum, so I expect most members are serious cyclists for whom 20 mph is not a problem.
But the membership of this forum is a subset of people who ride bikes.

Very, very few people on bikes will be able to maintain 20 mph. Therefore, limiting assistance to 20 mph is going to be too fast for those people.

I'll say it again. If you want the limit higher I have no problem - so long as you are denied access to specific bike infrastructure.
 

Venod

Eh up
And how do they get that fitness? By riding the bike
But that's the point there are people who have never ridden a bike who have the fitness to achieve 20 mph easily, the may not keep up that average for long at first but I have seen many newcomers develop rapidly soon riding dangerously at chaingangs speeds with little experience, but with advice learning quickly
.
I have a big problem with the 20 mph limit for the simple reason that I am a reasonably adept & fit cyclist and would have to struggle to hold that speed.
But many people do ride between 16 to 20 mph quite easily, you don't have to ride to the limit on an ebike, its not about being able to ride at 20 mph for the whole ride, IMO its about being able to cycle at a realistic speed that a lot of cyclist ride at which I see as 16 to 20 mph, at the present cut off of 15.6 mph riders may struggle.

As you are a reasonably "adept and fit cyclist" I presume you will have no problem with a 16/17 average, so why deny an assisted cyclist the opportunity to keep up.
.
 

HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
As you are a reasonably "adept and fit cyclist" I presume you will have no problem with a 16/17 average, so why deny an assisted cyclist the opportunity to keep up.
.
16 mph is 25 kph (converting for me - remember I live in NL)
I am slower than 25 kph on my regular commute, yet faster than almost all the bike traffic I meet (including ebikes)
Therefore, in my experience, an E-cyclist, assisted up to 20 mph will be travelling faster than just about every cyclist on my route.
I am not denying anyone the ability to keep up - I am against assisted cyclists travelling significantly faster than most other traffic.

I think you're focusing on the "serious" cyclist. I am coming from the perspective of the everyday person riding a bike.
 

youngoldbloke

The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
16 mph is 25 kph (converting for me - remember I live in NL)
I am slower than 25 kph on my regular commute, yet faster than almost all the bike traffic I meet (including ebikes)
Therefore, in my experience, an E-cyclist, assisted up to 20 mph will be travelling faster than just about every cyclist on my route.
I am not denying anyone the ability to keep up - I am against assisted cyclists travelling significantly faster than most other traffic.

I think you're focusing on the "serious" cyclist. I am coming from the perspective of the everyday person riding a bike.
'assisted up to 20 mph will be travelling faster than just about every cyclist on my route' - only if they choose to ride at that speed.
'I am slower than 25 kph on my regular commute' - do you mean you never attain this speed, or are we confusing maximum and average again.
I find it very easy to exceed 16mph at times even with b-gg--ed legs - on a 15kg eroad bike if the conditions are right. I'd just welcome a bit more assistance over that sometimes. But round and round we go …..
 

Venod

Eh up
16 mph is 25 kph (converting for me - remember I live in NL)
I am slower than 25 kph on my regular commute, yet faster than almost all the bike traffic I meet (including ebikes)
Therefore, in my experience, an E-cyclist, assisted up to 20 mph will be travelling faster than just about every cyclist on my route.
I am not denying anyone the ability to keep up - I am against assisted cyclists travelling significantly faster than most other traffic.

I think you're focusing on the "serious" cyclist. I am coming from the perspective of the everyday person riding a bike.
I understand, there are more cyclist in NL and riding at generally slower average speeds than in the UK in more cycle friendly conditions, I am not just thinking about serious cyclists (I am unsure of the definition) but IMO 16 to 20 mph is reasonable, I suspect commuters here regularly exceed those speeds, I think ebikes should be for the whole cycling community not just aimed at commuters.
If it's safe and legal to do so, I would have thought travelling faster than the average traffic is a good thing.
 
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HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
I understand, there are more cyclist in NL and riding at generally slower average speeds than in the UK in more cycle friendly conditions I am not just thinking about serious cyclists (I am unsure of the definition) but IMO 16 to 20 mph is reasonable, I suspect commuters here regularly exceed those speeds, I think ebikes should be for the whole cycling community not just aimed at commuters.
I have no problem with Ebikes. 10 years ago, I would have described them as "cheating" without really thinking about it. However, I have met many different people in different places using Ebikes in ways that I never imagined.
Anything that gets people out and about on a bike is good in my book.
However, based on my experience, mixing powerful E-bikes with regular bikes is a recipe for disaster.

Given that 16-20 mph as a reasonable speed is the foundation of your argument, something more than "I suspect commuters regularly exceed those speeds" will be needed to convince me.

If it's safe and legal to do so, I would have thought travelling faster than the average traffic is a good thing.
You see, I don't. A minority of traffic moving faster than the majority? I don't see how that is safer.
And I'm not sure most regular people on bikes are necessarily thinking about speed - they are more likely to be thinking of safety and comfort.

Again, let me state this. I would have no objection to raising the limit, so long as there are limits to where the Ebike can go. If the Ebike is to be on the road, then push for a limit up to 30 mph.
 

HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
'assisted up to 20 mph will be travelling faster than just about every cyclist on my route' - only if they choose to ride at that speed.
'I am slower than 25 kph on my regular commute' - do you mean you never attain this speed, or are we confusing maximum and average again.
I find it very easy to exceed 16mph at times even with b-gg--ed legs - on a 15kg eroad bike if the conditions are right. I'd just welcome a bit more assistance over that sometimes. But round and round we go …..
My experience is that the vast majority of bike traffic travels at less than (an average) of 25 kph (15 mph).

If you want me to agree to raising the limit then you'll need to convince me why it is a good idea to give Ebikers the ability to get assistance to exceed that average speed.

Again, I have no problem with you getting assistance to exceed 16 mph. I just think you should do it in different places to other bikers travelling at a normal speed.
 
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