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Why i feel 30mph is Safer than 20mph on an ebike

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    Why i feel 30mph is Safer than 20mph on an ebike

    There have been a lot of satety discussion in other threads and i wanted to start a topic and see if you guys agree with me. And also get the other side of the argument which i know many of you have. I just strongly feel a fast ebike is safer than a slower ebike...here is why:

    In san francisco where i use to ride my ebike on the street every day it has a big bicycle community and bike lanes etc and has 20 bike fatalities a year.

    Most of the fatalities on bikes comes from being hit by a car from behind.... i am not sure about this statistic...but its what i remember.

    A the beginning of electricibke.com I was doing a lot of reviews of 20mph store bought bikes....and to be honest i have never felt so in danger on an eibke as riding those things in SF traffic. . I thought it was ironic given i had a 40mph monster bike at the time that most people would perceive as dangerous. I definitely thought my bike as much safer than a 20mph bike....a lot safer.

    Also lately with rampant texting i think its more dangerous time than ever for slow moving vehicles. Lately even omish horse drawn carriages are getting slaughtered by getting hit by a passing car. How could you not see an omish horse drawn carriage? answer is easy...Texting and driving is turning into a bigger killer than drinking and driving.

    Anyway for sure I have always felt safer on my ebike when i am out on my own road....riding agressively and not being passed if i can help it. if there is a swarm of cars coming i will usually just let them pass.

    The way i see it the closer i am to the speed limit the less cars that are going to be passing me. And the more I am passed the more in danger i feel.

    So i have always thought the safest speed for an ebike is around 30mph.....its fast enough where you dont count as a slow moving vehicle, and not too fast too where you are going to get in trouble with police etc.

    #2
    I agree entirely. Today I was riding at 20 where there was a bike lane, but when the bike lane ended and I was with the cars, I sped up to 30 and took the whole (car) lane. This way cars didn't try to squeeze by me and didn't need to.

    I also don't feel safe going 40, especially until I upgrade to ebike tires.

    Comment


      #3
      Distracted drivers are a serious problem, but increasing the speed of an ebike as a work-around is probably not the best way to go. With more power and speed will come regulations and restrictions, taxes, and licensing. The freedoms that currently exist to discreetly ride an ebike just about anywhere are going to disappear. You can bet on that.

      If your local environment has decayed to the point of being too dangerous for a bicycle, then accept it. The bicycle is engineered for the input of a human power source. Like anything mechanical, increasing the stress load affects the overall design. At some point, which I think has been reached, instead of doing a Rube on a bike it would be wiser to just buy a small motorcycle or scooter. That will make even more sense when the bureaucrats apply their ebike laws.

      Comment


      • Eric Luna
        Eric Luna commented
        Editing a comment
        point taken thank you.

      #4
      But I dont thnk anyone sees 30mph as that fast.

      I think law makers and law enforcment sees 30mph as the top end of what a pedal bicycle can do.

      Comment


        #5
        If we had brakes designed and capable at those speeds I'd be at least more sypathetic. Teasing my brake improvements has shown me we can improve braking, but how many of us do that. Riding two wheels at any speed puts the rider at higher risk of not bring seen. Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taught this for years. Fast eBikes increase the error in judgement. Drivers expect a bicycle to be coming at them at bicycle speeds. Increasing errors in judgements. I've never had as many left turns in front of me until I went from scooter, with modulating headlight, to eBike. I wish I had a modulating light on my bike many days. On my to do list.

        Comment


          #6
          I have to say that I don't like cycling with traffic at all. But when I do I like the ability to be able to keep pace. Perth also has quite a few bike versus car fatalities on average one every 2 months. It's always on the news when this happens almost always hits from behind.

          So I'm in favour of the faster the better. I do like the rush that I get from it though.

          One paticular stretch of road on my commute to work had no lane dedicated too cyclist. In the morning I just open the bike up. It was sunrise around 5.30 am and it was just good to be able to just open the bike up without the worry of cars overtaking. If I judged it right at the lights and let the cars go I could travel this 5k stretch of road without any cars catching me on the next change of lights. On the return trip I cut though a park which opens at 8.30am.

          Yes good brakes are important and on my Raptor I fitted Shimano Saint brakes with ice rotors. The tyres that I selected were Schwalbe marathons plus tyres. What are Ebike rated tyres rated to. 25 kph Is the european limit.
          http://www.schwalbe.com/en/tour-read...thon-plus.html

          Comment


            #7
            I agree with Eric. Safer at 30mph. You can start from a stop with the cars and mostly stay in the flow of city traffic. Still need to ride with extreme defensive intensity. Trust no other drivers. Assume nothing.

            I think the new California law that is slowly taking hold across the USA recognizes this and has the new Class III ebikes at a legal 28mph - unfortunately, PAS only. Class III ebikes need a Class III sticker applied by the manufacturer or distributor to make it easy for the cops. DIY ebikes kind of get a pass on this as there is no manufacturer/distributor per se.
            Last edited by PoweredRide; 06-12-2016, 05:27 PM.
            Do something that is good for your health, good for your wallet and good for the planet - get an e-bike.

            www.poweredride.com

            Comment


            • CraigAustin
              CraigAustin commented
              Editing a comment
              Well said. Keeping pace with traffic is much safer but you must ride as though nobody can see you - hyper-alert, hands ready at the brakes and prepared to shift your weight back quickly.

              While 15-20mph may feel safer that way, it's really very risky and you would be wise to stay off the main roads. Every single car will somehow pass you and some will not care about your well being or even see you. That's how really bad things happen. The scariest thing about bike commuting is the cars behind you.

            #8
            Was in the center of the lane today, going 35 in a 30, but got passed by a car crossed into the opposing lane. You do the math.

            Comment


              #9
              If you ever do fall off the bike at 30 mph, try to have a full face mask and elbow pads.

              Comment


              • Eric Luna
                Eric Luna commented
                Editing a comment
                yes good idea to have full faced helmet whenever riding in traffic with cars i think.

              #10
              I have just started riding my new ebike(s) and haven't quite figured out the best speeds with traffic (when no bike lanes). I can hit 30 mph with my MP5, but don't want to necessarily go that fast. So my normal speed would be around 20 - 25 mph, not quite fast enough to keep up with traffic.

              I also used to ride motorcycle, so of course would ride completely in a car lane (usually on the left side of a lane), but, with my ebike, would be holding up traffic if I did that (not to mention the unwanted attention). And if I ride on the right side near 30 mph, I find myself too often right beside a car. Would rather have them pass me, than drive beside me.

              Also, found that crossing lanes in traffic to make a left turn is really tricky. I just have a helmet mirror, and think I might want to get a handlebar mirror as well. I don't like driving in traffic, but unfortunately where I live to get to my airport where I keep my plane, I have about to travel about 4 blocks on a multi-lane street and cross over to make a left turn. So I still haven't quite worked out the best way to do that. And don't want to have to resort going across a cross walk at an intersection and riding on the sidewalk. But I don't want to get killed either.

              Comment


                #11
                I am in SF. I have 20 years on a pedal bike (commuting by bike before it was cool around here), 20 years on a motorcycle, and about 3 years now on an ebike. My max speed on ebike is probably only 20 mph. One of the few places I can do that is in Golden Gate Park on wide smooth roads with few obstacles.

                On Market St, which is an auto, pedestrian, bike, ebike, pedestrian, and bus clusterfu*k, big time, i would not want to go 30 mph. Any one of the thousands of potholes, manhole covers, rail lines, potheads, methheads, crackheads, cars or buses can take you out. Actually, the most dangerous are other cyclists themselves. Other Ebikes going 30 mph are actually the worst, mofos! It is difficult at times to keep my speed down to the same as other cyclists, but every time i try to push it, I am just risking my own life. I catch myself doing stupid things like weaving between a bus and cars, and i realize how foolish i am being. What to save 10 seconds to a meeting? In motorcycling, we call these crazy lovely people their own names like "squids" and "organ donors".

                I think the safest speed is a medium speed. Not too slow and not too fast. I use the Ebike, not for outright speed but for comfort. So i can arrive without my face and my clothes covered in stinky sweat. I also ride it for convenience to avoid traffic. Instead of sitting in traffic, i am on a nice bike ride. Avoiding traffic headaches means taking routes you would never take on a motorcycle, such as park paths, sidewalks, and crosswalks. In the worst case scenario on an Ebike, I can just pull over, stop, and just walk the bike. I cant think of a situation where more speed is better.

                I think Luna's motto should be, "Enjoy the ride!" IMHO! :D

                Jae

                Comment


                • jc2eb
                  jc2eb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  One of the biggest recent changes are all the dedicated bike lanes. It is quite amazing to me, how much influence the local bicycle coalition must have to pull off these changes including raised bike lanes, painted green lanes, and literally removing a car lane in exchange for a dedicated protected bike lane. Even today, i will ride the same routes and discover a new dedicated bike lane with fresh new green paint. Amazing! ;)

                  https://www.google.com/search?q=san+...=lnms&tbm=isch

                • CraigAustin
                  CraigAustin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is amazing, good for them (good for everyone). Hopefully they'll do Columbus St as well. I gave up doing that commute, so dangerous and my reward at the end was a 4 block climb up Russian Hill in a suit. Maybe if I had an ebike...

                • jc2eb
                  jc2eb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not sure about Columbus st, as that is outside any of my normal commutes. I usually prefer going around the outside of the city, along the embarcadero, marina green, and market st. since those are relatively flat. traversing the inner city tends to be more complicated and hillier like u say.

                #12
                On a slightly different note, while riding the 1.5 miles to my mailbox last night, at 20 MPH, the stealthiness of the bike allowed me to surprise a couple of deer as I came over a rise in the dirt road. Then they just stared at me for about 15 seconds from about 50' away before bolting. Try that on a motorcycle! The quietness of the e bike is one of the things I enjoy most.

                A bit over 30 is my preferred speed in town.

                Comment


                  #13
                  speed is addictive :)

                  Comment


                    #14
                    I agree that it is best to have a street-ebike that is "capable" of 30-MPH. Its so funny when this discussion comes up, many people are annoyed that someone wants an ebike that can go this fast. I have a car that can do 120-MPH, and when I only do the speed limit, everyone is happy. But...mention that "even though" I normally do 20-MPH, they are shocked that I want to be able to blend in with the side-road traffic at 30-MPH, when the issue comes up.

                    California law recently acted in a surprisingly reasonable manner by saying that: PAS ebikes can run up mto 28-MPH with no licensing or insurance requirements. Speeds above that, and you would have to meet the moped requirements.
                    Last edited by spinningmagnets; 06-18-2016, 04:17 PM. Reason: spelling

                    Comment


                      #15
                      I've been commuting on a bike for over 20 years and here are the most common ways to get hit by a car, in order of likely hood.

                      A car approaches you from behind, realizes that they want to turn right up ahead, instead of waiting a couple of seconds for you to pass it, they speed up and pass you, then turn right cutting you off. Drivers base your speed on that of a one legged 8 year old with training wheels, what they don't realize is that you are only going a couple of miles an hour slower than they are, so in their mind, they are way past you when they turn, when you are often sitting right on their bumper. This happens A LOT.

                      A car pulls up on a side street on the right, looks to their left, right at you and pulls out anyway. Drivers look for cars, you are not a car so they either don't see you or underestimate your speed like above.

                      Drivers buzz you or hit you intentionally because they believe bikes should be on sidewalks and not on roads which they think are car only.

                      Distracted drivers

                      Increased speed won't solve those problems, although you will piss people off less, those who would hit you intentionally if they have to slow down less to pass you. Increased closing speeds would require you to be more alert since drivers will not be, you'd be far more likely to be cut off IMO. Drivers are more distracted on roads that are straighter with less stops, they will text like crazy on divided highways, less on small side streets. My recipe for survival has been using bike paths whenever possible, side streets and try to avoid anything with a lot of traffic. Everyone I know that rides road bikes has been hit, some run down intentionally, I've been only hit once. I am super visible, I wear neon and use lights, I figure they will either see me or it makes me a bigger target, lol.

                      Be careful out there.

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