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Is there a "fuzzy edge" to e-bikes?

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Is there a "fuzzy edge" to e-bikes?

Old 06-13-21, 08:41 AM
  #26  
Doc_Wui
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Motprcyle? That's Cookoo. Throttle with pedal assist. About 18 mph max on 36V. Smooth as silk though. Climbs a local hill out of a park that has everyone else on regular bikes walking.
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Old 06-13-21, 09:22 AM
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As others have said, consult your local laws. Here in Minnesota they must have operational pedals, less than 1,000 Watts, motor cuts out above twenty mph, and motor disengages when braking.

Now, for this next one consult an attorney. If it does not qualify as an e-bike, it is probably a motorized bicycle, and those require license and registration.
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Old 06-23-21, 03:26 PM
  #28  
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The "fuzzy edge" seems to come into play when people "push the envelope" and ignore a few rules and regulations.
AFAIK in Canada the regulations may differ from province to province, but I don't believe there are local laws that are applicable.
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Old 07-19-21, 06:51 AM
  #29  
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I'm not sure. Perhaps it's the fear of going OTB.
One of the disadvantages of e-bikes is the resulting influx of new, inexperienced riders. For them, OTB could be a legitimate concern.
Whatever the reason, every week when I ride in city traffic, I'll see at least one.
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Old 07-19-21, 07:03 AM
  #30  
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I've seen quite a few of them on regular bicycles (CITIbike), too..
Usually when folks pay more attention to their phone over where they are headed with their bicycle.
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Old 07-19-21, 02:39 PM
  #31  
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I do not see overpowered e bikes on bike paths as a big problem stateside. I think it's much more of a contrived problem from people with an overactive mind whom are not very pragmatic. The stateside e bike laws were written very cleverly and are essentially self governing. I personally have encountered more 4 wheelers on bike paths than illegal e bikes running 30+ mph.

The major difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle is the weight and strength of the components. Bicycles use bicycle components and tend to get sketchy above 25 mph. Motorcycles use motorcycle components and tend to look like motor cycles and are still stable well above 25 mph. The components are enough different that you know its a moped or a motorcycle just by looking at it. Bicycles don't look like motorcycles. Motorcycles get harassed on bike paths and get off pretty quickly. Bicycles don't.

How is it self governing you ask? Two fold. Motorcycles are easily identified and shamed off the bike paths. Illegal e bikes made from bicycle components don't last very long and have very poor range. They are a one shot pony. They either scare the bagasse's out of the rider, run out of batteries or fall apart before they become established as a regular bike path choice. Ergo I say they are in reality, a non issue and exist only in the minds of story tellers and people with too much time on their hands.
Go on line. What you will see in the DIY forums in everybody trying to solve a major issue with their DIY overpowered e bike. The problem usually cannot be solved due to the very design of the components being used. For that matter, look in these forums and you will see people asking how to get a decent more powerful e bike that looks like a bicycle. It's a pipe dream. It reminds me of a bunch of puppies chasing their tails.

If there is any fuzzy area at all it's in the cargo bike category where bicycle components can be heavier duty.
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Old 07-19-21, 04:36 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
If there is any fuzzy area at all it's in the cargo bike category where bicycle components can be heavier duty.
While it’s not especially heavy duty, I built up my ecumbent cargo bike “Blutus” from a [sparkle blue] RANS Stratus XP incorporating dual Bafang 500W hub drives. So it kinda exceeds the legal limit but as I’ve got the cutoff set to 16mph and only ride on the shoulders of public roads, doubt I’ll ever be hassled. Am currently putting together a red Stratus LE with a TSDZ2 OSF and 20” Bafang 500W front hub, “Redundo” (because that model supports wider tires as well as a front fairing) whose speed I’ll similarly restrict.

Even unloaded, when climbing some of the steeper hills around here on Blutus, the 860C displays will occasionally report over 700W each, if only for a fraction of a minute. Once though, while attacking a wall in Catskill, a loose XT60 caused the rear hub to fail, and the front’s display hovered over 800W for the couple minutes it took me to reach the summit and address the electrical connection. Not a big deal I guess, but worry that should I ever venture beyond a 25mi radius from home, might encounter hills both equally steep and considerably longer than encountered locally. In which case, dunno how long Blutus could sustain the output needed to maintain a cruising speed of 12mph. So my ultimate ecumbent build will likely entail 1500-2000W continuous power, through some combination of hub/mid drives, not sure yet which. Preference would be dual 750 or 1000W hubs, but AFAIK front wheels of that power are only available fat, D’oh!

Last edited by andychrist; 07-19-21 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 07-19-21, 11:24 PM
  #33  
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It's pretty easy and inexpensive to construct a 35 mph DD ebike as I've had one, manufactured with a $200 kit and $400, 52V battery for six years. It just developed a problem in the display that will be elucidated someday, but not now since I've eschewed road riding for the present. Not worried about 35 mph since my wife and I (grandparents) were riding our Santa Cruz MTB's that fast off road over the weekend (she may have topped out slightly slower since I passed her).
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Old 07-20-21, 06:00 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
It's pretty easy and inexpensive to construct a 35 mph DD ebike as I've had one, manufactured with a $200 kit and $400, 52V battery for six years. It just developed a problem in the display that will be elucidated someday, but not now since I've eschewed road riding for the present. Not worried about 35 mph since my wife and I (grandparents) were riding our Santa Cruz MTB's that fast off road over the weekend (she may have topped out slightly slower since I passed her).
2old, you completely missed my point. A Sur Ron will do 35 mph all day long if you have enough batteries. In the interest of self governing, how long would you really last at 35 mph on a bike path before you would cook the bike, get a bit wary of the bike or develop range anxiety.
Have you done 35 on a bike path or was that a short spurt on the street? It's a bicycle right? Do you feel self governed for speed on it? What speed would you do all day long on a bike path?
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Old 07-20-21, 06:12 AM
  #35  
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Real question is: is 35 mph really necessary for e-bikes?
How often do you need to sustain 35 mph on your e-bikes?
How much motor/battery do you need to sustain 35 mph for extended amount of time?
Does traffic pattern where you ride allow sustained 35 mph operation safely?

I've been riding motorcycles for over two decades, pedaling for over three decades.
I understand the thinking behind "go big or go home" when purchasing e-bikes, motorcycles or motor vehicles in general.
The need for ever faster capability is never ending for vehicle operators, but in reality, most of us don't have the environment, skills or experience to safely operate vehicles at high speed for extended amount of time. With exceptions of those who have operated vehicles in closed-circuit race tracks or public sanctioned cycling race events.
Personally, I'm no stranger to going fast on 2-wheel, motorized or human powered, took tumbles and survived to tell the tale.
Speed is not my priority when I'm traveling or commuting on 2-wheel, there will always be someone faster until someone has crashed, injured or dead.
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Old 07-20-21, 07:11 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
While it’s not especially heavy duty, I built up my ecumbent cargo bike “Blutus” from a [sparkle blue] RANS Stratus XP incorporating dual Bafang 500W hub drives. So it kinda exceeds the legal limit but as I’ve got the cutoff set to 16mph and only ride on the shoulders of public roads, doubt I’ll ever be hassled. Am currently putting together a red Stratus LE with a TSDZ2 OSF and 20” Bafang 500W front hub, “Redundo” (because that model supports wider tires as well as a front fairing) whose speed I’ll similarly restrict.

Even unloaded, when climbing some of the steeper hills around here on Blutus, the 860C displays will occasionally report over 700W each, if only for a fraction of a minute. Once though, while attacking a wall in Catskill, a loose XT60 caused the rear hub to fail, and the front’s display hovered over 800W for the couple minutes it took me to reach the summit and address the electrical connection. Not a big deal I guess, but worry that should I ever venture beyond a 25mi radius from home, might encounter hills both equally steep and considerably longer than encountered locally. In which case, dunno how long Blutus could sustain the output needed to maintain a cruising speed of 12mph. So my ultimate ecumbent build will likely entail 1500-2000W continuous power, through some combination of hub/mid drives, not sure yet which. Preference would be dual 750 or 1000W hubs, but AFAIK front wheels of that power are only available fat, D’oh!
Your post is a prime example of explaining how the regulations are actually written. The regulations are written as 750 watts motor output.. What you are saying is that "I briefly pull over 700 watts from the battery". 700 watts pull from the battery is not motor output, its battery draw. Motor output has to do with how fast the motor is actually turning and how big is the load on the motor. If you are at 16 mph and pulling 700 battery watts on each motor you were probably more like 300 watts motor output and 400 watts of heat being produced. Once the bike tops out in motor rpm, the load would drop and the amperage would go down and you would settle in around the 70-80% motor efficiency range. That being 70-80% of the battery watts are being used to drive the bike and 30-20% are dissipated as heat.
What I am saying is that the regulations were written to allow lots of battery watts draw for torque at low speeds where the total motor output cannot exceed 750 watts. to exceed the actual 750 watts motor output the bike usually has to be north of 25 mph on the level. Essentially, the regulations govern the top sustainable speed, not the low end torque for climbing. If the bike tops out with gearing at 28 mph, its hard to bust the regs.
My bike with full batteries can deliver a battery draw approaching 1700 watts. 750 watts motor output will be reached about the time the bike hits 24 mph. At that point the motor exceeds the 750watts output. The bike will reach about 28.5 mph at which point the battery draw goes way down as the bike reaches its max speed possible with the stock BBSHD controller. I could exceed this quite a bit by setting the display to kilometers vs mph and saying my wheel size is 18". the problem with that is that the BBSHD can overheat in 10 minutes or so even at 28 mph. I have plenty of battery to prevent serious sag at 28 mph but is had better be pretty cold weather for biking to actually sustain 28mph for very long.
So I can pull 1,700 watts from the battery but what can I actually sustain? I can actually sustain about 23-24 mph for 60 miles or so. The motor will get very hot to the touch but not overheat. I can only sustain this because I have a very huge battery bank. With a single 720 watt hour battery I am going to be hitting the voltage sag limits at about 16-18 miles.
The point is, although I technically have this "Illegal" bike, it is a bicycle and is pretty much self governing below the legal limit. That is with me trying to push the limits upward and go faster for longer periods. I can easily be stupid and exceed the legal limits but not for long. The motor will overheat or I will break something. Even stupid is self governing. .
So andychrist, I would not worry to much about your dual motor bike. You still will not be able to actually sustain an illegal output for more than a few seconds to a few minutes. The guys whom thought up the regulations actually knew how to write-in the cutoff between an e bike and a motorcycle without unduly burdening themselves on their own fun factor. Real pragmatic pros, not politicians.

Look for bikes in the future to really be able to spike the torque at low speeds with high battery draw (1000 watts+) for climbing and still be under the 250 watt motor output limits for Europe. 250 watts limits the bikes top speeds to around 18-20 mph on the level but does not actually limit battery watts draw. . 750 watts limits the top speeds to around 25-28 mph.

Still the most likely candidate to be going to fast on a bike path is a well heeled commuter with a brief case, not a teenager. Teenagers still ride Walmart push scooters, skate boards and bmx bikes for the most part. They are still a hazard on those.
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Old 07-20-21, 07:31 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
Real question is: is 35 mph really necessary for e-bikes?
How often do you need to sustain 35 mph on your e-bikes?
How much motor/battery do you need to sustain 35 mph for extended amount of time?
Does traffic pattern where you ride allow sustained 35 mph operation safely?
Yes, I would like to sustain 35 mph
I would like to do it on a regular basis
Putting enough motor/battery on a real bicycle requires more than you can easily buy or safely hang on bicycle type equipment. If its safe and robust at all, you will not have something that looks remotely like a bicycle.
Traffic patterns in my area, on roads, allows for 35 mph
I don't want a motorcycle, I like to pedal in quiet harmony. I would not buy a motorcycle that would do under 70mph

The impossible dream.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:12 AM
  #38  
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Have you operated 2-wheel vehicles at 35 mph among motor vehicle traffic for decent amount of time?
How long can you or do you want to sustain 35 mph among motor vehicle traffic?
Most traffic pattern have you slow down or stop at traffic lights within a few miles;
highways or interstates do not allow non-registered vehicles to operate on them.

I've built my own e-bike about 8 years ago that's capable of 50 mph on pavement.
Built with my DH MTB, that is meant to operate and take the abuse of excess speed.
The high speed operation gets old pretty quick, lack of warning sounds, headlight, turn signals & brake lights makes you even more "invisible" to drivers.

When the "impossible dream" of high speed capable e-bike becomes reality, you'd likely learn from operating it among traffic is that the need for higher speed is really just unnecessary.
The flexibility of a small vehicle like an e-bike or bicycle is that you are able to go places where motor vehicles are not allowed, and those places most likely do not allow safe operation of vehicles at sustained 35 mph.
E-bikes & bicycles do not require vehicle registration or insurance to operate, that's the main reason that I use my e-bikes more than my motorcycles; in addition, the need for sustained speed above 35 mph is realistically unsustainable within the traffic pattern that I ride in.
Even among the motorcycles currently own, (8 or 9 of them) the most fun I have is a $1300, 130 lb. Chinese Honda SuperCub clone that speed tops out at 55 mph, it gets nearly 100 mpg and 90% of the time I operate it at below 35 mph.

Riding motorcycle at 70 mph among traffic can become a chore & likely unsafe very quick.

Last edited by cat0020; 07-22-21 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:56 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
2old, you completely missed my point. A Sur Ron will do 35 mph all day long if you have enough batteries. In the interest of self governing, how long would you really last at 35 mph on a bike path before you would cook the bike, get a bit wary of the bike or develop range anxiety.
Have you done 35 on a bike path or was that a short spurt on the street? It's a bicycle right? Do you feel self governed for speed on it? What speed would you do all day long on a bike path?
There are bike path in socal that are empty. I've done 35 there for as long as I felt like it, probably several miles, not all day because I like to pedal. I've done it on the street too, but not in traffic. The point is that it can be done. If I wanted to do it for long periods, I could add cooling to the motor if necessary. I checked from time to time and neither the motor, controller nor battery were hot to the touch. I don't care about range anxiety since I can always pedal the bike. I don't ride on a bike path all day long because it's boring. My point is that it's easy to construct a 35 mph bike and that bicycles can tolerate that speed. Obviously on an MTB that speed can only be achieved downhill, but we have pretty steep terrain where we ride. My Santa Cruz is 16 years old and my wife's is 12; the bikes, which get ridden three times a week, have been doing this for a long time without any modifications except we've replaced the forks and shocks once each.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:21 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
The point is that it can be done. If I wanted to do it for long periods, I could add cooling to the motor if necessary. I checked from time to time and neither the motor, controller nor battery were hot to the touch. I don't care about range anxiety since I can always pedal the bike.
To put credibility to your statement in relation to the original post, one would have to conclude that you are in the center of the bell curve and there are a lot of people out there just like you. I'll bet if I ask your friends, some will admit that you might be an alien.
I don't know as I would feel secure on your bike at 35 mph
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Old 07-20-21, 10:30 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
To put credibility to your statement in relation to the original post, one would have to conclude that you are in the center of the bell curve and there are a lot of people out there just like you. I'll bet if I ask your friends, some will admit that you might be an alien.
I don't know as I would feel secure on your bike at 35 mph
Fortunately you don't need to worry about that since it's not a tandem.
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