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    STOP IT! <<rant on>> Quit praising ebike laws. Quit looking for ways to reprogram your bike. The laws are fundamentally flawed. No law says you have to reprogram your Tesla.

    Imagine getting off the freeway in your Tesla and then having to reprogram to 30mph top speed and 10 horse power before going on surface streets. Then getting to your neighborhood and having to push the car because the condo association or CC&R says no e-cars.

    We act like an ebike is more dangerous than fully auto machine-guns. Transportation, especially environmentally friendly transportation needs to be protected from local whims. What is wrong with speed limits on bike paths and trails? I am all for slowing down the young whippersnappers running me and my dog over, but they feel entitled to raise Cain because their equipment is legal. <<rant off>>

    Interesting points. I feel I need to be EXTRA nice, and slow, and considerate, since my equipment is NOT explicitly legal. I see your point about 'entitlement' that may come with legal status.

    "What do you mean, startled stroller pushing mom, I'm ALLOWED to go 20!"

    OTOH, the posted max allowed speed on the bike paths around here is 10 mph. I hope they never start enforcing that.


    The laws aren't telling us to reprogram the bikes depending upon where we are. The laws are trying to limit each classification of bike to only one use case. They don't want us to be able to switch classifications; they want the bike to be certified for a single classification, and stay like that. 'Manufacturers tag stating use class must be permanently affixed'...., etc. Switching programming on the fly isn't endorsed, in fact, I believe they intend to prevent it.

    Discussion about changing programs on the fly is a reaction to this, a hopeful workaround, I think. But not something the legislators want. A controller designed to skirt the classification rules may be explicitly outlawed - our draft law in MI seems to have that intent, at least. That's why I suggested, in the new controller discussion, not having a simple button or user menu option to change power/speed class, but instead making it a build option, like a jumper pin, etc. So it's not a 'user cheat' but a build configuration option selected to be legal for the intended kit application. That may be okay.

    Like many things, rather than making the operator responsible for his operation of a vehicle, legislators seem to be very willing to take manufacturer's recommendations to break up ebikes into a few different 'it just can't go faster than xx' segments, for which only manufacturers can build 'certified class use' bikes. Money drives that. Who's paying for the lobbying?

    I think this is more about driving commercial 'class certified' bike purchases, and integrating ebikes without wrecking govt. budgets, rather than smart regulations.

    I HOPE that being nice, safe and responsible on our ebikes will continue to suffice, in practice, but I FEAR a day where there's a dude with a ticket book checking all the trailheads, handing out prizes and sending people home.

    This happens at ORV trailheads now. I've been sent home, from Ohio back to MI, without even riding. Turns out you need some paper I didn't have.....which can only be obtained weekdays, locally. My equipment was fine, I met the noise limit and 'Home State Registered ORV' requirements, but there was a 'fee' I had to pay, about $10. That looked good on paper, when they tacked it onto the law, I'm sure.....

    I went back to MI, flabbergasted, and I simply don't plan any rides in Ohio anymore. Their loss; our group of guys spends hundreds locally on a trip weekend.

    Bike Destination areas may drive similar reactions if they decide to cater to manufacturers 'captive market' dreams, instead of riders needs. Also towns by big parks, etc. State parks and Recreation areas in my state ban DIY ebikes? OK, so I quit buying park tags for all my cars and ride elsewhere. Minus about $100 bucks a year from me, and two fewer ebikes out there. Maybe that's what the legislators want, but I bet the owners of the restaurants and bike shops in town, who they represent, would think differently.

    Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.


    • Rix Ryds
      Rix Ryds commented
      Editing a comment
      Well said JP!

    Nice to see another who it thinking about this. I went for a ride and I feel better now. In truth I have only been one place all summer with no ebikes rule. I have never had a single bad encounter on the trail. Just read Karl's thing about Miss Manners, pretty good, I do all this. I never pass people on the hills because I climb trails they can't even dream of riding. ;-)

    His bit about reducing erosion with fat tires is good because it goes to how we can add facts. I switched to a mud tire and read in regular bike stuff how this increases erosion. However they assume the rider is breaking loose at every opportunity. I find the mud tire allows me to break loose less often. If a rule came up against mud tires, it might be right for bikes, but be counterproductive for my ebike.

    However I still go crazy at the idea of regulating the machine.


      I think in the end it comes down to power/speed.

      There are different permits, insurance, technical /safety requirements for a regular bike, a moped and a motorcycle.

      If you agree with that, it is hard not to think that an electric bike that has the power of a moped or a motorcycle could avoid these same requirements.

      As much as I would love to be able to legally ride a multiple kW ebike on the road without these requirements, I don't see how that will happen.
      Last edited by scrambler; 10-08-2017, 12:27 PM.


        The ebike laws giveth, the ebike laws taketh away. Being written by the ebike manufacturers, they would naturally be written in their favor. I don't know why they didn't start at the top though and introduce 1500w or 3000w as an upper limit, which I think is reasonable and still way less than a moped.


        • scrambler
          scrambler commented
          Editing a comment
          In the US, a Moped is normally limited to 30mph, with an engine limited to 50cc or 4kW.

        "the law is a ass" Mr Bumble in Oliver Twist


          Originally posted by scrambler View Post
          There are different permits, insurance, technical /safety requirements for a regular bike, a moped and a motorcycle.
          This is important and I would say reasonable. I am not opposed to a similar approach because it goes in a reasonable direction.

          Mopeds and little motorcycles can't keep up so they are not allowed on the freeway. E-bikes are motorized according to most people and most importantly the National Forest Service who only allows them on motorized roads. The result is I have to walk my dog on fire roads with no speed limit so motorcycles and quads are going wide open and shifting gears around blind corners while small children run for cover. Too wordy?

          The ebike laws put a slow vehicle in the fast lane, moped laws keep them safe in the slow lane.