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  1. #1
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    (CANADA) Province To Allow E-Bikes On Ontario Roads

    Was checking the weather report on my local news/weather combo channel (CityTV) and saw this flashup on the screen. I freezed the tube then checked thier website for backup of this story and found it.

    http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_4108.aspx

    Looks like now we can get those e-motors and power up the bikes for those hills or just keep the motor handy when you're in a bad zone and out of bio-juice to ride and can kick on the motor to speed away from danger. Does anyone in Toronto know if you need a driver licence or insurance to own one of those? I'd like to get one of those motors on my bike as a security factor when riding at night or in bad area when you see some sketchies trying to walk your way after you climb a hill and don't have the bio-juice to power away then you can kickt he motor on and pedal away quickly at speed.

    I was just checking out some of the E-bikes at Curries as well. Those NIMH models are lighter thent he SLA models by 50%. A 50lb bike should not be too hard to move around as my bike right now with my normal bag carry is about 35-40lbs already extra plus my body weight.

    http://www.currietech.com/html/izipC...pMainProd.html


    Zero_Enigma

  2. #2
    DoB
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    I've ridden electric bikes (both normal bike with a kit and purpose built Giant) looking at them for a friend with some mobility issues. From that experience:
    I think your plan for an electric bike from a kit for occasional use won't work. The batteries and motor, even with NiMH batteries is going to add 40 to 60 pounds to your bike....which probably already weighs 30 pounds. I think once the gear is on, the bike will be far too cumbersome and tank like to run on human power alone. Two miles with any of these will be a workout with the motor off. Also, from my experience I found the bikes mass to affect them on bad pavement in a negative way. I can get my body off the seat for expansion joints and potholes, but these 70 to 90 pound bikes just seem to slam into every obstabcle in a jarring way.

    I also looked at the Giant "Lite" which is about the lowest weight electric on the market at 50 pounds and costs about $1000. It is a comfort style bike with an upright position. The bike senses pedal effort and then the motor "helps" you along by assisting the cranks. The drive is through a Shimano 8 speed internal gear hub. I actually liked this bike a lot. It's fairly rideable with the motor off. With the motor on, you can bike along at about 15 mph while pedaling with what feels like about 10 mph worth of effort. You won't outrun anybody though....the motor phases out to zero assist as you reach 18 mph. I think this would be a perfect bike for an older person with arthritis or a bad back, or perhaps an obese person.

    My regular bike with loaded (commuting) panniers is nowhere near as heavy as these bikes to start with. And if I was commuting on an e-bike I'd still need to carry the clothes and lunch I'm carrying now. I think they just don't have much advantage for anybody who is reasonably fit.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    I hate the Lafree bikes(now owned by Giant), you are better off equiping your favourite electric bike compatible bicycle and fitting it with a kit. They are not as cumbersome as some people make them out to be, and I have the SLAs. Or maybe I just got used to them. I don't think you will want to only use human power, you have to use the motor. You can use it to help you accelerate and turn it off once you are up to speed. I do this all the time. Unless you are a long distance commuter(you should have a road style bike anyway, which isnt conductive to e-bike applications), an electric bike is a good thing.

    Regardless, check out revopower.com, they are coming out with a gas powered hub motor model and I think you can probably register it as a moped in Ontario. It only adds about 15 lbs vs more than 35+++ for an e-bike. I'm gonna get me one once they become available next spring.

  4. #4
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    I never understood Ontario Traffic Act in this regard: on the one hand it states clearly in the Act that electric-assist bicycles (the terminology is something like that) are street-legal, with essentially same rights as bicycles; on the other, the ministry of transportation always said in no uncertain terms that such bicycles are not permitted on the roads. Well, at least I guess now they are going to be allowed. Good.

  5. #5
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoB
    I also looked at the Giant "Lite" which is about the lowest weight electric on the market at 50 pounds and costs about $1000. It is a comfort style bike with an upright position. The bike senses pedal effort and then the motor "helps" you along by assisting the cranks. The drive is through a Shimano 8 speed internal gear hub. I actually liked this bike a lot. It's fairly rideable with the motor off. With the motor on, you can bike along at about 15 mph while pedaling with what feels like about 10 mph worth of effort. You won't outrun anybody though....the motor phases out to zero assist as you reach 18 mph. I think this would be a perfect bike for an older person with arthritis or a bad back, or perhaps an obese person.
    I just sold (read gave) my Giant "Lite" to my brother. I bought it for strength training while recovering from a broken neck. I love that bike. It's still my preferred choice when dragging a trailer full of groceries home from the store. If you have to do consistent heavy hauling, it's something to consider.

    --A

  6. #6
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    This is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC NEWS!!!!

    It was a long time coming, but it finally happened. I'm so excited!!!

    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  7. #7
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Just so everyone is clear on this: this is a 3 year pilot project, so don't assume this is a done deal!

  8. #8
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    I don't understand why on Earth the ministry would ever prohibit electric bicycles. They are just like regular bicycles, you know, just a little faster sometimes (and yeah, slower sometimes ). Nobody in Ontario (except clueless motorists) ever questions the fact that regular bicycles can use the road, and if there are any concerns about the bikes' being there, it's not usually that they are too fast. So how are electric bikes really that different, for God's sake? What's the logic behind allowing one on the road but not the other?

  9. #9
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy
    What's the logic behind allowing one on the road but not the other?
    You're thinking about it back-wards. Its not that some things (e.g. electric-assist bikes) are specifically banned; rather, anything NOT defined as allowed is the HTA is banned. To allow a new class of vehicle on the road it must be specifically added to the HTA.

    As to why it took so long, hey, this is the government!

  10. #10
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patc
    You're thinking about it back-wards. Its not that some things (e.g. electric-assist bikes) are specifically banned; rather, anything NOT defined as allowed is the HTA is banned. To allow a new class of vehicle on the road it must be specifically added to the HTA.
    I understand, but I guess my point is that electric bikes are so similar to regular bikes, they are almost in the same class. But yeah, I understand though - there is no particular logic to these things. Vodka is legal, tobacco is legal, marijuana isn't even though the damage inflicted is comparable - that's life.

    In broader terms, I don't understand this need to list specific classes of vehicles. It doesn't really matter so much WHAT it is, does it? What matters is what it DOES. So it would make so much more sense to just define a set of criteria that a contraption must satisfy to be allowed on the road (you know - dimensions, braking capabilities, stuff like that) to ensure everyone's safety and convenience (obviously something 10 metres wide capable of max speed of 5 kmph shouldn't be allowed... ) But I know, I'm getting logical and reasonable again and that's not the way it works.

    Seriously though - it is sad. There are so many wonderful machines: human-powered, engine-powered or a combo - that have so many cool applications and unique features and are fun to ride. Yet they are artificially restricted from using public roads which makes them impractical. The world would've been so much more fun if people had more transportational choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by patc
    As to why it took so long, hey, this is the government!
    Too true, too true...

  11. #11
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy
    I understand, but I guess my point is that electric bikes are so similar to regular bikes, they are almost in the same class. But yeah, I understand though - there is no particular logic to these things.
    That's called bureaucracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by chephy
    Vodka is legal, tobacco is legal, marijuana isn't even though the damage inflicted is comparable - that's life.
    That's called politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by chephy
    Seriously though - it is sad. There are so many wonderful machines: human-powered, engine-powered or a combo - that have so many cool applications and unique features and are fun to ride. Yet they are artificially restricted from using public roads which makes them impractical. The world would've been so much more fun if people had more transportational choices...
    Governments are too busy second-guessing each other, staging media sound-bytes, and canceling the Court Challenges Program to, you know, do any work to keep up with the changing world.

  12. #12
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    OK, you tell me. How can we differentiate a 'motorized bike' from a 'moped' or 'motor scooter' or even a 'motorbike'? Now, it is intuitive that there is a difference, but there has to be some sort of definite, objective criterion--otherwise some leather-clad greaser on his Harley-Davidson can claim that he's just riding a 'motorized bicycle'.

    Now, one may argue that the local governments' definitions are 'off', or too restrictive, but that there has to be some 'bright line' should be obvious.

  13. #13
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound
    OK, you tell me. How can we differentiate a 'motorized bike' from a 'moped' or 'motor scooter' or even a 'motorbike'? Now, it is intuitive that there is a difference, but there has to be some sort of definite, objective criterion--otherwise some leather-clad greaser on his Harley-Davidson can claim that he's just riding a 'motorized bicycle'.

    Now, one may argue that the local governments' definitions are 'off', or too restrictive, but that there has to be some 'bright line' should be obvious.
    Pedals are one give away, but the usual standard is top sustained speed provided by the motor. The definition varies but the rule of thumb is usually <20 mph. Here in Georgia it is 18 mph or less, in Japan you are not allowed a throttle, pedal activated motor only.

  14. #14
    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    While I would prefer that the federal law would be rewritten from 20MPH/750w to something like, "generally recognizable as a bicycle." Unfortunately, this is would require too much common sense on the part of the lawyers. At least I would like to see the power restriction lifted entirely because 200+lbs. of trailer and stuff will not go 20MPH up some of the modest hills in my area with only 750watts to play with.

  15. #15
    e-Biker
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    Well, if power restriction and assistance were removed, it would be insane. I once built a "way too powerful to be useful" eBike that would easily hit 50 Km/h (About 30-something MPH). The thing was totally illegal and I did it just for fun.

    Do you really want a 100lbs, 50 km/h eBike zipping around the bike trails? I don't think so. I for one like the 20 MPH limit on assistance. But I don't agree with the 750W rating. Suppose you build a trike for fat people and install an assist system to gradually help them get back in shape. 750W is going to have a hard time hauling their 300+ LBS up a hill.

  16. #16
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuser
    Well, if power restriction and assistance were removed, it would be insane. I once built a "way too powerful to be useful" eBike that would easily hit 50 Km/h (About 30-something MPH).
    Cars built today easily hit 200+ km/h and nobody sees a problem with it. Just don't classify this as a bicycle and don't let it go on trails and bike lanes.

  17. #17
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy
    Cars built today easily hit 200+ km/h and nobody sees a problem with it. Just don't classify this as a bicycle and don't let it go on trails and bike lanes.
    If it's over powered you can just tag it as a moped and the streets are all yours.

  18. #18
    e-Biker
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    Transport Canada would never approve on that insane bike I built as a moped. But with a no power or speed limit, it would qualify as an eBike under the law. Which is why I think the speed limit (assistance) is an essential part of the law.

  19. #19
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    Allen, does your Xtracycle have a Stokemonkey? I can't really tell from the picture.

  20. #20
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound
    Allen, does your Xtracycle have a Stokemonkey? I can't really tell from the picture.
    No, it's built up on a Giant Lite/Twist. The motor is right next to the crank.

  21. #21
    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuser
    Well, if power restriction and assistance were removed, it would be insane. I once built a "way too powerful to be useful" eBike that would easily hit 50 Km/h (About 30-something MPH). The thing was totally illegal and I did it just for fun.
    I would rather see a power limit than a speed limit, or make a dual limit: ie. A motor cannot assist more than 100W over 20mph. A lot of drivers very courteously stay behind you on busy streets if you are doing 35kph or so, and traffic is heavy enough. On part of my commute, help getting to 50kmh or 60 kmh would let me take a whole lane to avoid poor condition gutters.

    Even though I average under 20mph cruising, assist up to that speed is not worth the hassle of charging it and the extra weight.

  22. #22
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godspiral
    I would rather see a power limit than a speed limit, or make a dual limit: ie. A motor cannot assist more than 100W over 20mph. A lot of drivers very courteously stay behind you on busy streets if you are doing 35kph or so, and traffic is heavy enough. On part of my commute, help getting to 50kmh or 60 kmh would let me take a whole lane to avoid poor condition gutters.

    Even though I average under 20mph cruising, assist up to that speed is not worth the hassle of charging it and the extra weight.
    That is exactly what the California law does, 1Kw and no more then 20mph on the motor.

  23. #23
    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    All the laws limit to 20mph (or less in some areas)... I'm saying, I'd like them to limit to say 25% extra boost (measured to pedal pressure), or to just 100W extra power, when going over 20mph. This might only boost your top speed only 5mph or so, but that still would help in faster traffic.

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