Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by craigsj » Oct 30 2018 8:57am

wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 3:19am
And in that sense, a bicyclist has an unconditional right to occupy a lane in the roadway while a driver does not.
Was with you up until that point. A cyclist has no requirement to register his vehicle but that doesn't mean he has an unconditional right to the lane. This is a false choice fallacy.

I have cited specific law that proves that isn't so, at least in my, and Chalo's, state.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by craigsj » Oct 30 2018 9:16am

wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 3:37am
In Texas, the main restriction is on speed. The other restrictions is on the bike's weight (100 lb max). I actually like the Texas ebike law better than what is typically put forth with the three classes that are being pushed by People for Bikes. My one complaint is that I think the max motor assisted speed should be 25 mph, not 20 mph. I like the simple unambiguous nature of the Texas ebike laws
I agree that the code in Texas is preferable to other, higher profile states and I suspect it is similar to other areas of the country considering the history. Texas law changed ~20 years ago along with many other states in anticipation of e-bikes. These changes were likely authored by the same group and they were thoughtfully made.

I would correct one point. In Texas there is no "max motor assisted speed", there is only a max "throttle only" speed (although not stated like that). The motor can continue to assist as long as you pedal. For that reason, I see nothing wrong with the 20 mph value since a bicycle is a human powered vehicle.

A 30 mph, 1500W pedalec is perfectly legal in Texas provided it doesn't have an unconditional throttle override. A 120 pound "e-bike" with vestigial pedals is not. Perfect.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by donn » Oct 30 2018 9:26am

Chalo wrote:
Oct 30 2018 2:35am
These rules aren't meant to serve you specifically. They are for keeping the peace and representing the interests of the public. Keeping the streets free of unregulated, uninspected, non-engineered, improvised homemade motor vehicles is in the public interest-- mine and yours, too.
So the sooner we have rules that make sense and really do represent the interests of the public, the better. I don't expect that to happen by supinely accepting the rules we have today, in my state, and I gather in Australia and much of Europe.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by donn » Oct 30 2018 9:53am

craigsj wrote:
Oct 30 2018 9:16am
I would correct one point. In Texas there is no "max motor assisted speed", there is only a max "throttle only" speed (although not stated like that). The motor can continue to assist as long as you pedal. For that reason, I see nothing wrong with the 20 mph value since a bicycle is a human powered vehicle.

A 30 mph, 1500W pedalec is perfectly legal in Texas provided it doesn't have an unconditional throttle override. A 120 pound "e-bike" with vestigial pedals is not. Perfect.
You make a good case for the motivation behind this pedelec requirement, but not the idea itself. When you talk about pedaling here, would you make a distinction between just going through the motions of rotating the cranks, vs. providing a significant human input power? And if so, would you be able to draw the line somewhere, as to how much input power?

I'm not saying anyone does this today (and as I have no experience with pedal assist, I could be way off about the possibilities), but I could imagine this system "evolving" to a 30mph, 1500W pedelec where you "mock pedal" to control speed. You could call my setup a 30mph 1500W bicycle, and I sure do pedal. Usually, I have no way to know for sure but I think my input is very loosely in the 100W range. Reported inputs from the motor routinely vary from 0 to 700, occasionally much higher. At the higher end, the motor input dwarfs my human input, so whether I'm pedaling or not at that point has very little to do with anything, practically speaking. Whether it's 100W or 2W, for practical purposes I'm a mime.

If we had the option to write the rules, would it be sensible to require that the bicycle can practically be operated with the battery disconnected? That somewhat addresses weight, vestigial pedals, etc. and goes straight to "is this a bicycle." I wouldn't require the operator to be the one to prove it either - I think it's fair to let people who for example have fewer than the usual number of legs to operate an e-bike within the same limits as the rest of us, i.e. as long as it's a bicycle.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by Chalo » Oct 30 2018 10:20am

craigsj wrote:
Oct 30 2018 8:51am
[...]and considering that you know nothing of the code that actually exists, it's clear you're uninformed.
I've been to court to have bunk anti-cycling charges against me thrown out by a city attorney who, like me, knows the applicable law better than cops do. So I'm informed enough to get by.

If I decide that there's too much garbage near the curb, or that visibility is impaired over there, or the trees hang too low over the roadway, or that cars will attempt hazardous passes if I don't ride in the lane, I ride out in the middle of the lane. It's my right and I know the law. Most of the time, there's room for everybody on the routes I use. But I decide what is practicable.

Laws change, but cyclists' right to the road has not. Every so often a locality tries to curtail cycling rights more than state law allows, and it only stands until somebody bothers to challenge it.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by Alan B » Oct 30 2018 10:41am

The new ebike laws, adopted in an ever increasing number of states due to pressure from manufacturer sponsored groups, allow 28mph pedelecs at up to 750W.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by wturber » Oct 30 2018 12:23pm

craigsj wrote:
Oct 30 2018 8:57am
wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 3:19am
And in that sense, a bicyclist has an unconditional right to occupy a lane in the roadway while a driver does not.
Was with you up until that point. A cyclist has no requirement to register his vehicle but that doesn't mean he has an unconditional right to the lane. This is a false choice fallacy.

I have cited specific law that proves that isn't so, at least in my, and Chalo's, state.
In the broadest use of the word, pretty much everything is conditional. What I'm trying to point out is that in the past at least, Chalo explained (assuming I'm remembering correctly) that his use of the term was narrower/different than what I was inferring from his comment. In the broadest sense of the word, everything is conditional. For instance, you have no right to use a lane if you are an escaped felon, illegal alien, - or if you are dead. We can take it further and observe that being alive is a required condition to having the right to almost anything.

Personally, I think using "unconditional" in the way I think Chalo is using it is a bit misleading and confusing. But I can't say it is wrong any more than I can say that the way you are using it is wrong. In the end the point is to try to get at what people actually mean. So making sure that people understand how others are using a word is useful.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by wturber » Oct 30 2018 12:29pm

craigsj wrote:
Oct 30 2018 9:16am

I would correct one point. In Texas there is no "max motor assisted speed", there is only a max "throttle only" speed (although not stated like that). The motor can continue to assist as long as you pedal. For that reason, I see nothing wrong with the 20 mph value since a bicycle is a human powered vehicle.
Yes. You are correct. I misread the description. At first blush, this makes the law much better. But it also opens things up to 3000 watt 45 mph pedelecs built on a mountain bike frame. I'm not sure I'd call that a "perfect" law. It seems like a law that allows unlimited speed so long as you are pedaling creates a pretty big loophole.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by wturber » Oct 30 2018 12:34pm

donn wrote:
Oct 30 2018 9:53am
If we had the option to write the rules, would it be sensible to require that the bicycle can practically be operated with the battery disconnected? That somewhat addresses weight, vestigial pedals, etc. and goes straight to "is this a bicycle." I wouldn't require the operator to be the one to prove it either - I think it's fair to let people who for example have fewer than the usual number of legs to operate an e-bike within the same limits as the rest of us, i.e. as long as it's a bicycle.
Such dependent conditions can get complicated fast. That's why I'm inclined toward supporting simple maximum assisted speed limits. It is pretty easy to test and pretty easy to estimate the probability of someone breaking that rule by normal observation. I'm not for absolute maximums since that would limit an ebike to speeds slower than a conventional bike in some conditions. In other words, it would be fairly easy for LEOs to make good judgement calls and testing would be pretty straightforward.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by donn » Oct 30 2018 2:19pm

wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 12:34pm
Such dependent conditions can get complicated fast. That's why I'm inclined toward supporting simple maximum assisted speed limits. It is pretty easy to test and pretty easy to estimate the probability of someone breaking that rule by normal observation. I'm not for absolute maximums since that would limit an ebike to speeds slower than a conventional bike in some conditions. In other words, it would be fairly easy for LEOs to make good judgement calls and testing would be pretty straightforward.
Earlier you wrote that 25mph would be a good limit, and I think at that point, it would work fine. If the limit is high enough that are only some fairly obvious circumstances where bicycles are going to be seen exceeding that speed without assistance, i.e. down fairly steep grades. As the limit gets lower - as it usually is, isn't it? - the call seems harder to make.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by wturber » Oct 30 2018 3:23pm

donn wrote:
Oct 30 2018 2:19pm
wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 12:34pm
Such dependent conditions can get complicated fast. That's why I'm inclined toward supporting simple maximum assisted speed limits. It is pretty easy to test and pretty easy to estimate the probability of someone breaking that rule by normal observation. I'm not for absolute maximums since that would limit an ebike to speeds slower than a conventional bike in some conditions. In other words, it would be fairly easy for LEOs to make good judgement calls and testing would be pretty straightforward.
Earlier you wrote that 25mph would be a good limit, and I think at that point, it would work fine. If the limit is high enough that are only some fairly obvious circumstances where bicycles are going to be seen exceeding that speed without assistance, i.e. down fairly steep grades. As the limit gets lower - as it usually is, isn't it? - the call seems harder to make.
The 25 mph limit would be the motor assisted limit. After 25 mph, the motor needs to stop assisting. So you could go as fast as a regular bicycle down steep grades. But if you were going faster than 25 mph uphill, then a LEO would have good reason to be suspicious that your bike isn't being operated legally. Likewise, it would be pretty clear that a bike going 35 mph on flats with a rider pedaling casually is getting motor assist well past the legal limit. OTOH, if the rider is in full sprint mode, maybe not. But these are reasonable judgments that most LEOs should be competent to make.

And to be clear, the point of the unlimited speed without assist isn't that e-bicycles should go slower uphill. The point is that e-bicycles should not be any limited in their speed any more than a regular non-assisted bicycle. The expectation is that most of the time the e-bicycle would be travelling in the mid-20 mph range. The point of a 25 mph assisted limit is to provide a distinction between when the e-bike shifts from being more bicycle-like to being more like a motorcycle or scooter.

I have zero problem with faster electric bikes. I just think that at a certain level of speed they need to be regulated and treated more like cars, motorcycles or scooters, and not like bicycles. My experience ( as a car driver, motorcyclist, cyclist and e-bicyclist) and gut tells me that this transition should occur in the neighborhood of 25-30 mph or so.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by MadRhino » Oct 30 2018 5:16pm

I have read in the news that France is thinking of a mandatory registration card for bicycles so they are considered as vehicles like motorcycles and cars.

Soon to come, a registration and operating licence for shoes...
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by wturber » Oct 30 2018 6:18pm

MadRhino wrote:
Oct 30 2018 5:16pm
I have read in the news that France is thinking of a mandatory registration card for bicycles so they are considered as vehicles like motorcycles and cars.

Soon to come, a registration and operating licence for shoes...
That doesn't appear to be the intent of the proposed legislation which is part of a large plan to increase the use of bicycles for transportation. It appears to be similar to a car title.

"French cyclists would have to register their bikes on a national database under a proposed law aimed at increasing cycle use and reducing thefts.

Bike owners would be given a “certificate of ownership” similar to car documents to be either presented to the police if the bicycle is stolen or transferred with the bike when it is sold."


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ter-thefts
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by MadRhino » Oct 31 2018 1:15am

The purpose is to force cyclists to have ID, so the police can ticket them quicker.
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by Chalo » Oct 31 2018 1:51am

Stolen bicycles are ones of the primary commodities of the street. They have become that way not only because they are useful and easy to sell, but because they are difficult or impossible to trace and because the police don't care about them at all.

Having a universal registration system can't keep bikes from being useful and sellable, but it can make them easier to trace of they're stolen, and it can make them more interesting to the cops. Those are good things. Unless you think some hypothetical freedom you get by using an unregistered bike beats having an opportunity to recover it when it's stolen (and an opportunity to catch a bike thief).
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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by craigsj » Oct 31 2018 8:49am

donn wrote:
Oct 30 2018 9:53am
You make a good case for the motivation behind this pedelec requirement, but not the idea itself. When you talk about pedaling here, would you make a distinction between just going through the motions of rotating the cranks, vs. providing a significant human input power? And if so, would you be able to draw the line somewhere, as to how much input power?
I wasn't trying to make a legal definition but a practical, functional one. Bicycles are traditionally human powered, so electric bicycles are still human powered but also, or additionally, electric powered. Yes, significant human power should be expected above certain speeds, but how to require that is a challenge. That's why throttles get banned.
donn wrote:
Oct 30 2018 9:53am
I'm not saying anyone does this today (and as I have no experience with pedal assist, I could be way off about the possibilities), but I could imagine this system "evolving" to a 30mph, 1500W pedelec where you "mock pedal" to control speed.
Yes, that happens. People even brag about it here. It doesn't happen with proportional assist.
donn wrote:
Oct 30 2018 9:53am
If we had the option to write the rules, would it be sensible to require that the bicycle can practically be operated with the battery disconnected? That somewhat addresses weight, vestigial pedals, etc. and goes straight to "is this a bicycle." I wouldn't require the operator to be the one to prove it either - I think it's fair to let people who for example have fewer than the usual number of legs to operate an e-bike within the same limits as the rest of us, i.e. as long as it's a bicycle.
In my opinion, the industry should focus on optimizing PAS and controls so that throttle override is never needed. Then I'd adopt more strict weight limits. Without weight you can't have big motors and batteries and won't have high speeds because the range will be gone. I think requiring proof the device is operable with pedals doesn't help since fairly offensive examples with functional pedals already exist. PAS only helps because it is fairly enforceable AND it's hard to gear a bike at 60 mph, assuming you could address the ghost pedaling issue. I'd like to require proportional assist but that seems hard from a legal standpoint.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by craigsj » Oct 31 2018 8:58am

Chalo wrote:
Oct 30 2018 10:20am
I've been to court to have bunk anti-cycling charges against me thrown out by a city attorney who, like me, knows the applicable law better than cops do. So I'm informed enough to get by.
Sadly, being more informed than the cops doesn't mean you are informed. If you can't demonstrate you are informed then you are not.
Chalo wrote:
Oct 30 2018 10:20am
If I decide that there's too much garbage near the curb, or that visibility is impaired over there, or the trees hang too low over the roadway, or that cars will attempt hazardous passes if I don't ride in the lane, I ride out in the middle of the lane. It's my right and I know the law. Most of the time, there's room for everybody on the routes I use. But I decide what is practicable.
And here you are adding conditions on your "right" despite claiming otherwise previously. Ultimately, it is not you that decides what is "practicable", you are tasked with exercising judgement and understanding the law, something you fall short of, and it is the judge that will "decide what is practicable" and if you met that standard when it comes to it.
Chalo wrote:
Oct 30 2018 10:20am
Laws change, but cyclists' right to the road has not. Every so often a locality tries to curtail cycling rights more than state law allows, and it only stands until somebody bothers to challenge it.
Nonsense. The only right that cannot be changed by law is one that exists outside the existence of government. Since roads don't exist outside of government, a cyclist's "right" to use the road cannot be this kind of right. There is no constitutional right for a cyclist to use the road. Seriously, why bother bringing such ignorant comments?

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by donn » Oct 31 2018 9:11am

craigsj wrote:
Oct 31 2018 8:49am
I wasn't trying to make a legal definition but a practical, functional one. Bicycles are traditionally human powered, so electric bicycles are still human powered but also, or additionally, electric powered. Yes, significant human power should be expected above certain speeds, but how to require that is a challenge. That's why throttles get banned.
That's why throttles aren't going away. When we get to significant motor inputs, like the 600-700W range my system uses when I'm going 18mph up a modest grade, everyone is cheating. The pedelec-only line is trying to make a key distinction out of something of no real consequence to anyone, that small fraction of human input, rather than the things that affect others like speed and weight.

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Post by craigsj » Oct 31 2018 9:20am

wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 12:23pm
Personally, I think using "unconditional" in the way I think Chalo is using it is a bit misleading and confusing. But I can't say it is wrong any more than I can say that the way you are using it is wrong.
I think you can based on what I've read of yours in the past. IMO it's more accurate to say that you won't for political reasons. Your equivocation here is absurd, I've posted actual code where half the text present conditions that Chalo claims don't exist.

It's true currently that bicycles don't require registration in most places, perhaps all, but that's it. Bicycles cannot be universally operated on all roadways everywhere and there are specific examples where they are banned from the road entirely. They can be banned from additional roads at any time, could be banned from ALL roads, and could require licensing. They won't be because that would be stupid, but they could be.

Use of bicycles on roads requires observation of traffic laws everywhere, that's a condition in an of itself. Literally everything about their use on (public) roads is conditional, and not only in the "rider can't be dead" sense.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by Chalo » Oct 31 2018 9:29am

craigsj wrote:
Oct 31 2018 8:58am
Chalo wrote:
Oct 30 2018 10:20am
Laws change, but cyclists' right to the road has not. Every so often a locality tries to curtail cycling rights more than state law allows, and it only stands until somebody bothers to challenge it.
Nonsense. The only right that cannot be changed by law is one that exists outside the existence of government. Since roads don't exist outside of government, a cyclist's "right" to use the road cannot be this kind of right.
I didn't say it couldn't be changed; I said it hasn't been changed. I also didn't say it was a cyclist's right to use any part of the road at any time; I said it was a cyclist's right to use the lane.

One day not too far away, cars will be banned from city streets, and people won't understand why we ever thought it was acceptable to allow them to take over. But bicyclists will still have the right to the road.
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Post by craigsj » Oct 31 2018 9:30am

wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 3:23pm
After 25 mph, the motor needs to stop assisting. So you could go as fast as a regular bicycle down steep grades.
If a bicycle is safe going over 25 mph downhill then it is safe going over 25 mph uphill and on level ground. The problem with what you propose is that it is a logical failure out of the gate and only represents your desire to limit speed, not address safety.
wturber wrote:
Oct 30 2018 3:23pm
I have zero problem with faster electric bikes. I just think that at a certain level of speed they need to be regulated and treated more like cars, motorcycles or scooters, and not like bicycles. My experience ( as a car driver, motorcyclist, cyclist and e-bicyclist) and gut tells me that this transition should occur in the neighborhood of 25-30 mph or so.
I'm curious why, if you're willing to concede that the transition speed may be 30 mph rather than 25, you would use 25 as your assist limit. I would consider 25 mph to be unreasonable as I regularly operate between 25-30 because conditions allow it. If the issue is safety, what you propose is no more helpful than what CA has already.

Of course, even 25 is unreasonable in some locations. That's why what you propose isn't an improvement. If it's a cap on what's reasonable anywhere then it's too low, but such a cap is mostly useless.

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by craigsj » Oct 31 2018 9:43am

donn wrote:
Oct 31 2018 9:11am
That's why throttles aren't going away. When we get to significant motor inputs, like the 600-700W range my system uses when I'm going 18mph up a modest grade, everyone is cheating. The pedelec-only line is trying to make a key distinction out of something of no real consequence to anyone, that small fraction of human input, rather than the things that affect others like speed and weight.
I don't agree with any of this. First off, throttles have already gone away. Many laws mandate their removal. Second, climbing without throttle is trivial, I do it every day as does anyone who has a bike lacking throttle. Third, your claim of a "key distinction" of "pedalec-only" is meaningless, proportional PAS is made to provide proportional assist, not to make any "key distinction". Lastly, many riders specifically desire to provide that "small fraction of human input", not for speed reasons but for health benefit.

It is a total myth that PAS cannot be combined with higher power. I don't find it works well on the trail but works great on the road. If all anyone is going to present is the same old ES dogma, why bother at all?

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by craigsj » Oct 31 2018 10:09am

Chalo wrote:
Oct 31 2018 9:29am
I didn't say it couldn't be changed; I said it hasn't been changed.
You also said "every so often a locality tries to curtail cycling rights more than state law allows, and it only stands until somebody bothers to challenge it" which is interesting for what it implies. If you are now saying that such laws can change, they just haven't yet, then you have no argument at all since you concede there's no inherent, unconditional "right" to the lane. If by "right" you mean what existing law allows, then you aren't using that term properly.

Now, if you claim that state law allows no curtailing of rights, then your previous comment is really curious. Regardless, you've already moved the goalposts. Previously you have claimed an unconditional right to the lane in the USA, whereas now your argument has shifted to localities curtailing rights beyond what the state allows. At least now you acknowledge that its a state matter and that the states do impose conditions.
Chalo wrote:
Oct 30 2018 10:20am
I also didn't say it was a cyclist's right to use any part of the road at any time; I said it was a cyclist's right to use the lane.
Yes that's what you said, but it is unclear what difference this distinction makes. What part of the road other than the lane would make any of my arguments succeed where they would otherwise fail?

It would appear that you are now decending to bickering over words. Cyclists' use of the "lane" is conditional and their only "right" is use of most public roadways without licensing their bike. Even that's not a "right", it's simply the law as it currently stands.

donn   1 kW

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by donn » Oct 31 2018 10:47am

craigsj wrote:
Oct 31 2018 9:43am
I don't agree with any of this. First off, throttles have already gone away. Many laws mandate their removal. Second, climbing without throttle is trivial, I do it every day as does anyone who has a bike lacking throttle. Third, your claim of a "key distinction" of "pedalec-only" is meaningless, proportional PAS is made to provide proportional assist, not to make any "key distinction". Lastly, many riders specifically desire to provide that "small fraction of human input", not for speed reasons but for health benefit.

It is a total myth that PAS cannot be combined with higher power. I don't find it works well on the trail but works great on the road. If all anyone is going to present is the same old ES dogma, why bother at all?
There seems to be some confusion here - by all means, if you like PAS, use it. If there's any ES dogma that says otherwise ... I plead innocent.

By "key distinction" I just mean, a legal framework that constrains motor power to be used only with PAS - "pedelec only". Where what we allow revolves around something that you and other users may like, but is of no consequence whatever to others on the roadway around you. As opposed to other ways of distinguishing legal from illegal electric-motorized vehicles, like speed or weight.

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E-geezer   100 W

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Re: Lines erased E-Bike / E-Scooter / E Motorcycle

Post by E-geezer » Oct 31 2018 11:10am

craigsj wrote:
Oct 31 2018 9:43am
First off, throttles have already gone away. Many laws mandate their removal.
They have? Where? Outside of mountain bike trails which are a small segment of places to ride, it looks like all the laws treat Class 1 and Class 2 bikes equally.
The older I get, the faster I was

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