E-bike speed restrictions (agree or disagree )

Tamas

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To follow on form @Kernow 's point, i think that a limitation on the power output, and actually not a speed limit is the key issue, and that actually using speed as the distinguishing factor is the wrong metric.

I would quite happily ride a lower powered motor with no limit, versus a higher powered motor with a limit.

It seems to me that the bikes should be classified on power rather than speed.

I agree that there does need to be classifications in place to protect out trail access etc etc, its just that speed is not the right way to do it.
But at the moment 250W continuous power and the 15mph assist speed limit together are the classification requirements. Personally, I don't see it changing for the better in the foreseeable future and if the trail access is someone's concern then disabling the assist limit is working completely against it.
Just as a side note, most of the systems are cutting off nicely @15mph. Even Shimano with the 4.5.1 firmware improved a lot and in Trail mode, the assist cut off is barely noticeable.
 

Kernow

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I don't know what Verderers is like but using probably the most well known red graded trail centre descent in the UK as an example. ie. Spooky Woods @Glentress.
If you don't know it it's 3/4 of a mile long and only drops around 200ft. is smooth hardpack motorway style surface has 24 (mostly bermed) corners, around 20 jumps, 3 drops and a few small rock features.
It's clearly not a steep trail but is rollable chainless (if you can pump well)
a decent rider averages right around 15mph down the descent meaning cornering speed is below the assist cut off but as soon as you leave the corner you pedal back above it. Every single corner. Most of Glentress' Blue and red trails are around the same gradient and all of the blue is similar smoothness and because of this a restricted Ebike is less fun than a non-Ebike to ride there.
Disclaimer: I know all of GT really well and if you GAF about Strava I'm top 1% on most of GT Red's descents riding a lightweight 100mm travel 4X hardtail. so YMMV
Ps.apologies for strava humblebrag. If it's any consolation it makes me cringe too
Got to agree that spooky woods decent is a perfect example of where the limiter could become a complete pain in the ass , in comparison I rode round the verderers trail last weekend at Fod and there wasn’t anywhere memorable where a limiter would have been a problem , the lovely long decent back to the start tends to flow above or under the limiter and there’s no jumps . However I wasn’t trying very hard as I was using it calm my nerves after trying to ride the enduro stages .
The red at Fod is also very different , more rooty narrower more technical , most of it well under 15mph I would say , or downhill rolling .
 

Doomanic

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I rode round the verderers trail last weekend at Fod and there wasn’t anywhere memorable where a limiter would have been a problem
On any normal ride I'd agree with, but as I said, I was on a mission in boost mode trying to flatten my battery in one lap.
However I wasn’t trying very hard
There we go. :)
the lovely long decent back to the start tends to flow above or under the limiter and there’s no jumps .
It is a lovely section, but I disagree about there being no jumps, I can get air is quite a few places there.
 

Kernow

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On any normal ride I'd agree with, but as I said, I was on a mission in boost mode trying to flatten my battery in one lap.

There we go. :)

It is a lovely section, but I disagree about there being no jumps, I can get air is quite a few places there.
A bit misleading that description , you can get a little air over the crests on the rollercoaster , and Iam sure I would get more on a second run but in comparison to the spooky wood i am comparing it to their are deliberate small jumps there , and just before or after fast corners .
I remember the lower blue at glentress ha img the most jumps with a choice of line on each , very good for a blue and quite fast .
 

Mountie

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We have a 32kph limit here in North America I’ve actually reduced it down to 26 ish so I get out of assist quicker and my battery lasts way longer now. My average trail speed is 22 kph
 
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I wonder if this would be an issue if it was 30 kph ?

I have e mountain bike but also a Merida e 800 i ride on the road, I have de restricted the Merida only because it’s very windy here in Perth and 30kph is the speed I sit on when it’s not windy I can now do both. ?
 

Krisj

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The strange thing about this debate seems to be all the people who are against the derestriction of Ebikes have either said they would never do this , they don’t Feel the need to do this or there dangerous at that speed.
They reach the same speed as a normal mountian bike only slightly faster up hill. Sorry to be honest that’s not true either because they don’t perform the same as a non assisted mtb they are erratic in performance compared to a normal mtb unless it’s derestricted then it performs perfect.
It would make more sense for people who comment to at least have a proper go on an derestricted ebike like a full day and then pass judgement. I’m sure most would seriously think what is all the hype about.
It doesn’t turn it in to a mx bike Seriously it doesn’t. ?
On the flip side people who are wanting a derestriction have witnessed it from both sides chipped and non chipped.
Don’t people realise if the E mtb comuntiy is split like this what chance have we got of ever having the derestriction lifted in the future , we should be sticking together and I mean all cyclist because after all we are all just riding pedal bikes.
If the restrictions were lifted people who needed it would be happy and people that don’t feel they need it no problem either.
Ebikes get enough bad press from non educated people please don’t contribute to that bad feeling if your riding an ebike.
 

Doomanic

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Where would you suggest the nay sayers ride a derestricted bike, given some are worried about the legality?
Off-road? There’s the concern for access.
On road? They become speed pedelecs and require registration, insurance and certified helmets.

Of two, there’s less personal risk off-road as all it potentially impacts is access right for every single eBiker. On road, caught with no insurance? That impacts your car licence, your car insurance and possibly your job.

You are right that the issue is divisive, but there is no easy way of bringing derestricted bike to the massive.

And if you think the clockwork riders are going to support derestriction you are clearly reading very different forums than me.
 

ccrdave

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With the landowners permission you can ride a derestricted bike leagally just need to have a deal with a local farmer, i did!
 

MattyB

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I’ve said it before (I think in this thread)... The authorities are not worried about the demarcation point between ebikes and clockwork bikes; it’s not a vote winner or revenue generator. It is the legal difference between an ebike and a moped/motorbike that is key - they do not want people switching from taxed and insured IC powered bikes to uninsured and untaxed ebikes with similar performance. That is why it is highly unlikely we will see any change to the 25kph limit for class 1.

The more likely result of a campaign to raise the limit would be mandatory speed limits and insurance for all cyclists; the Daily Fail would love that, but I don’t think cyclists of any persuasion would welcome it, and it would definitely have an impact on participation even though it’s essentially unenforcable. Be careful what you wish for!
 

Doomanic

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With the landowners permission you can ride a derestricted bike leagally just need to have a deal with a local farmer, i did!
What sort of terrain was that?

I used to have an MX bike, I know what fast off-road feels like. What people are saying is that derestriction improves their normal rides. To test that we need to be riding familiar trails.
 

mark.ai

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The strange thing about this debate seems to be all the people who are against the derestriction of Ebikes have either said they would never do this , they don’t Feel the need to do this or there dangerous at that speed.
They reach the same speed as a normal mountian bike only slightly faster up hill. Sorry to be honest that’s not true either because they don’t perform the same as a non assisted mtb they are erratic in performance compared to a normal mtb unless it’s derestricted then it performs perfect.
It would make more sense for people who comment to at least have a proper go on an derestricted ebike like a full day and then pass judgement. I’m sure most would seriously think what is all the hype about.
It doesn’t turn it in to a mx bike Seriously it doesn’t. ?
On the flip side people who are wanting a derestriction have witnessed it from both sides chipped and non chipped.
Don’t people realise if the E mtb comuntiy is split like this what chance have we got of ever having the derestriction lifted in the future , we should be sticking together and I mean all cyclist because after all we are all just riding pedal bikes.
If the restrictions were lifted people who needed it would be happy and people that don’t feel they need it no problem either.
Ebikes get enough bad press from non educated people please don’t contribute to that bad feeling if your riding an ebike.
Playing devils advocate, what about derestricted ebikes which have a more powerful motor? Are you only in favour of allowing derestriction for motors up to 250W? Would you still have a limit for say 1000W motors? And what would the limit be :) People with 1000W emtbs are still part of the emtb community.
 

ccrdave

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What sort of terrain was that?

I used to have an MX bike, I know what fast off-road feels like. What people are saying is that derestriction improves their normal rides. To test that we need to be riding familiar trails.
Mate of mine used to own a farm in Dorset and there was a small wood where he used to ride his off road motorbike. It was in the days when i didnt understand what derestricted meant it was an eye opener and made me realise derestricting did not make the bike any faster and i still had to pedal like f**k to get anywhere fast
 

Doomanic

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Presumably you've ridden both round the FoD? How much difference does it make? Did you take note of your average speeds?
 

ccrdave

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Yes i have didn't note the speed but just smoother when derestricted didnt keep losing power when i needed it its not so much it was faster just smoother and no stuttering when i hit the limit the last bit of the verderers is a prime example
 

Krisj

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When you’ve ridden a derestricted bike you would soon realise that there is hardly any difference at all to the speed ,it’s the ride that’s improved with derestriction , the flow of the ride is totally different ,
I do agree that the motor should never pass 250w totally agree with this.
My wife who has only been riding for 2 years and in her mid forties got her brand new bike and after only 15 minutes of riding thought there was something wrong with it until I explained it’s restricted.
Admittedly she’s does do reds and black trails with me and her riding skills since getting an ebike has improved at a lightning pace. I’m so Proud of her ?
Each to there own I guess and the world would be a boring place without difference of opinions.
Ride on and enjoy what ever you ride ✌?
 

knut7

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Claiming that a derestricted pedelec isn't any faster than a pedelec is wrong. A derestricted pedelec can even be faster than a s-pedelec.

"As part of the German Naturalistic Cycling Study we measured and compared the speed of three bicycle types (conventional bicycles, pedelecs (pedalling supported up to 25 km/h), S-pedelecs (pedalling supported up to 45 km/h)) under naturalistic conditions. Ninety participants, divided in three age groups, took part in our study. Participants used their own bikes or e-bikes. The bicycles were equipped with a data acquisition system, which included sensors to record speed and distance, as well as two cameras. Data was collected over a period of four weeks for each participant. Nearly 17,000 km of cycling were recorded in total. The statistical analysis revealed significant differences in mean speed between all three bicycle types. Pedelec riders were, on average, 2 km/h faster than cyclists. S-pedelec speed was even 9 km/h higher. "
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925753515001976

The limits of the European pedelec class is based on data like this. The pedelec can basically be treated as a bike because it's believed , in the bigger picture, to impacts it's surroundings like a bike. There is some data indicating that the 25kph speed limit is to high, since other road users have trouble distinguishing between bike and ebikes, and therefore misjudge the ebike speed in certain situations/terrain. And increasing the restriction limit doesn't seem to make the ebike rider feel safe:

"The researchers conclude that despite riders’ support for the helmet obligation, it remains a major challenge to safely integrate the speed pedelec in Dutch road traffic."
Bike EU

If we look at the data, the pedelec class makes sense. This is based on road cycling, that's where the pedelec came from. So why is this relevant for offroad use? Well, the pedelec has been allowed on non motorized trails (in several countries) because it impacts it's surroundings like a regular bike. Non motorized legislation tend to be about protecting trails, wildlife, fauna and other trail users from pollution, noise, excessive trail wear and keeping other trail users safe. Sure, a bike is fast and have an increased chance of harming other trail users, but the increased risk is accepted. Possibly because of the positive effects of having a more physically active population. Trail access for bikes is already enough of a problem, having a new and faster ebike class for trail use in Europe doesn't seem very likely.

I seriously doubt the EU will increase the 25kph limit because some people don't like how the bike behaves when the limiter activates. It's more likely the motor producing companies will try to improve the motor behaviour. It doesn't seem to be a big problem though, pedelec sales are through the roof. It seems to me the motor behaviour when being limited is a very small price to pay to have an electric bike that can be used on non motorized trails.
 

Krisj

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@knut7 My opion only dude chill out I’m not losing sleep over it ???
It’s very Simple don’t do it dude ???
 

ccrdave

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I would like to know if all the bikes in those "tests" had the same gearing
 

Krisj

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It’s got to be right Dave the scientific study says so ????
 

Kernow

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Quoting scientific studies especially out of date ones isn’t really helpful , just read a few relevant bits , like 65 year old cyclists were found to be slower etc. Really ?
I think the comments above basically “don’t knock it until you try it “ are the best . Remember most derestrictor can be switched on and off anyway , and no you won’t really go any faster in a trail park , any speed gains will simply be from your ride flowing better and being able to relax and know that when you commit to a roll over or small jump your not going to end up looking like you accidentally put the brakes on at the wrong moment . It’s simply gains in rider control that will perhaps gain you a few seconds on your best times if that matters .
Off road is all about your body wieght distribution and if your moved even slightly forward or back by unexpected increases or decreases in power output your not really in full control .
As an example on a recent trip to afan I was messing with my setting one evening and left the dongle switched off .The next day 2 of us set out together 2 identical bikes with riders with very similar skills and speeds . There a long off toad tarmac downhill from the campsite to the lower trails , it made no difference there ,or on the fire road climb up to the top
Then the flowy trails started and I kept making a mess of things , finding it hard to keep with the flow ,and having a few poor landings etc , I thought I was having a bad day and had forgotten how to ride , we had only ridden these trails the day before , it wasn’t difficult riding , just blues and reds , fun stuff with small jumps a foot or so of air at best probably , then I realised the restrictor was off , my mate was perhaps only gaining a few seconds on me where I would normally be following like a train right on his tail .
I really think that without a derestrictor I wouldn’t bother owning an ebike , I certainly couldn’t ride my motorbike as smoothly or safely if it kept cutting out when least expected
 

Doomanic

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I find it quite amusing that when people complain about pedal strikes they get told to learn to read the trail better but when it comes to derestricting that doesn't seem to be an option...
 

Kernow

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I find it quite amusing that when people complain about pedal strikes they get told to learn to read the trail better but when it comes to derestricting that doesn't seem to be an option...
I think you do learn to live with the restrictor , I didn’t have one for a while , I iether just slowed down on some parts of a trail which was frustrating as I knew I could have more fun on a normal bike , and didn't buy an ebike to go slower . Or you can pedal past the restriction , which isn’t always possible or sustainable , that’s final answer is really why I have an ebike , Iam too old too fat too unfit etc to pedal a heavy enduro bike how I would really like to , or how I once was able to . ?
 

mark.ai

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I think the main problem comes in city centres - how to establish that unrestricted 250W ebikes are as unlikely to be involved in accidents as non-powered bikes.

And when an ebike is involved in an accident then how to make sure the general public don't jump to the conclusion "oh they were riding a really dangerous ebike" etc.

The trouble is in a city centre that average rider + unrestricted 250W motor is always going to have a faster top speed than average rider + no motor in every situation possible. And same for fit rider + unrestricted 250W motor vs fit rider + no motor. So any incident could be more damaging.

If everyone in the city was riding an ebike, and all of them were running speedy trail sections and doing jumps and finding it annoying when the motor cut out, then it would probably be easy to get the limiting changed! (And it would probably be a lot safer cycling in cities as well but that's a different topic ...)

But most people don't ride bikes. Less ride e-bikes. Less ride trails. Less do jumps etc. :(
 

knut7

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I would like to know if all the bikes in those "tests" had the same gearing
Of course they don't, and why would they need to? All bikes on the roads don't have the same gearing.
 

knut7

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Quoting scientific studies especially out of date ones isn’t really helpful , just read a few relevant bits , like 65 year old cyclists were found to be slower etc. Really ?
I think the comments above basically “don’t knock it until you try it “ are the best . Remember most derestrictor can be switched on and off anyway , and no you won’t really go any faster in a trail park , any speed gains will simply be from your ride flowing better and being able to relax and know that when you commit to a roll over or small jump your not going to end up looking like you accidentally put the brakes on at the wrong moment . It’s simply gains in rider control that will perhaps gain you a few seconds on your best times if that matters .
Off road is all about your body wieght distribution and if your moved even slightly forward or back by unexpected increases or decreases in power output your not really in full control .
As an example on a recent trip to afan I was messing with my setting one evening and left the dongle switched off .The next day 2 of us set out together 2 identical bikes with riders with very similar skills and speeds . There a long off toad tarmac downhill from the campsite to the lower trails , it made no difference there ,or on the fire road climb up to the top
Then the flowy trails started and I kept making a mess of things , finding it hard to keep with the flow ,and having a few poor landings etc , I thought I was having a bad day and had forgotten how to ride , we had only ridden these trails the day before , it wasn’t difficult riding , just blues and reds , fun stuff with small jumps a foot or so of air at best probably , then I realised the restrictor was off , my mate was perhaps only gaining a few seconds on me where I would normally be following like a train right on his tail .
I really think that without a derestrictor I wouldn’t bother owning an ebike , I certainly couldn’t ride my motorbike as smoothly or safely if it kept cutting out when least expected
Haven't I made this clear already? The legislators don't care about anecdotal proof. They've got studies based on real life riding conditions over many, many thousands of kilometers. I've found data ranging from 2009 and up til today. Also there are studies showing that riders are poor at assesing their own skills and safety.

"Correlations between skills assessed with the Cycling Skill Inventory and actual measures of cycling performance were mostly not statistically significant. This indicates that self-reported motor-tactical and safety skills are not strongly predictive of measures of actual cycling performance."
 

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