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E bike speed limit on MUP

Old 04-06-19, 08:03 PM
  #26  
downhillmaster
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't understand why we call them e-bikes. They are motorcycles. Seems like something wanting to be something it no longer is.
You obviously don’t know what a motorcycle is
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Old 04-06-19, 08:09 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
this is what prompted me to start the thread and our group to sort of go on the offensive, equal for all cyclist. But now read some reply's I get the reasoning. After talking to some other folks we are just going to leave it be this summer and see how it goes and if any complications arise. We have good city leaders with out trails and parks so I guess we should give them some credit.

FYI:The three classes are defined as follows:
  • Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2: eBikes that also have a maximum speed of 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted.
  • Class 3: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.
  • Max wattage for all classes is 750/1 hours power.
I would just limit power to 250W on MUP in addition to limiting to Class 1. That is about what a normal human can produce and would allow old, disabled people etc. to use an ebike on the MUP. It would also be an inherent speed control even when the nominal motor power rating can be exceeded.
the speed limiter is just too easy to overcome and 750W (which also can be exceeded) is way too much power for an MUP... and once people have power, they use it. Same way a strong rider will ride faster.

BTW, I'm not against ebikes. The more bikes the better. But above 250W it isn't about being able to ride, it is about being faster.

The throttle-assisted bikes shouldn't really be a bicycle category at all. They are mopeds with pedals (to get you home in case the battery dies). Basically a Hühnerschreck with electric motor instead of a gasoline motor.

Our MUPs in and around the city are paved and are pretty busy with children, walkers etc. and partially curvy. So it is not really possible nor advised to exceed 15 mph. although on some straight empty (depending on time of day and weather) stretches one can go faster and that wouldn't be a danger. Outside the city it is gravel and relatively empty (one biker or walker every 5 minutes?). The gravel and sand keeps speed down automatically and even if one goes a bit faster it wouldn't matter. Enforcement of speed limits would be really hard and inconsistent. Enforcement of a power limit would be easier and also would work outside the enforcement station.
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Old 04-06-19, 09:24 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
You obviously don’t know what a motorcycle is
Look at a 1903 Indian. Look at a modern delivery e-thing. Remarkably similar, extra-heavy frame modified to do what a motor can and human power cannot. Each a good idea in its time - neither a "bicycle" but rather quite literally a motor-cycle.
​​​
Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
The throttle-assisted bikes shouldn't really be a bicycle category at all. They are mopeds with pedals (to get you home in case the battery dies). Basically a Hühnerschreck with electric motor instead of a gasoline motor.
Exactly - they are light motorcyles, remarkably similar to heritage models. And as such a great idea - if treated, operated, and licensed as what they are.
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Old 04-06-19, 09:50 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post

You obviously don’t know what a motorcycle is
A motorcycle is a bicycle with a motor. Doesn't matter whether it's an electric motor or a combustion engine.
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Old 04-07-19, 01:03 AM
  #30  
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It's a non-issue.

For a start. nobody's gonna know if you're doing 15 or 20.

Secondly, e-bikes are not limited to any speed, anywhere - as long as the bike is getting to that speed by the rider's legs. So downhill and on the flats the speed limit is irrelevant. It's a limit for the motor/assistance so it's only in force up hills.
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Old 04-07-19, 05:42 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't understand why we call them e-bikes. They are motorcycles. Seems like something wanting to be something it no longer is.
Try reading the OP. We are talking pedal-assist eBikes, not throttle activated ones. I'm not familiar with a motorcycle that requires the user to pedal in order to propel it. Maybe you are?
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Old 04-07-19, 05:47 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
A motorcycle is a bicycle with a motor. Doesn't matter whether it's an electric motor or a combustion engine.
You are correct--if we are going to ignore common usage and start making up definitions. A motorcycle, as that term is grounded in reality, is a conveyance that is propelled solely by, you know, a motor. The OP concerns a motor-assisted bicycle, which requires the operator to pedal in order to get assistance from the motor. There is a difference. Whether you acknowledge that or not is out of our control.
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Old 04-07-19, 06:29 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'm not familiar with a motorcycle that requires the user to pedal in order to propel it.
Read an e-bike review just the other day. The author said the less one pedaled, the more the electronics+motor assisted. I'm not familiar with any bicycle where the result is disproportional to the rider's input.
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Old 04-07-19, 06:35 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
E-bikes are allowed anyplace in the city but class 1 e-bikes only on the trail. Motor size restricted to 750 wats and must only be pedal assist.
This is enforced by regular inspections, registration and licensing, or the PD is given training and aids in field identification, or does it depend on the citizenry's voluntary cooperation?
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Old 04-07-19, 07:08 AM
  #35  
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Despite what many might think. I have no objection to motorcycles. I used to ride motorcycles long ago. It's just interesting to me that so many really get upset when someone calls e-bikes, "motorcycles". Is it that they have a bad outlook toward those that ride other types of motorcycles but "e-bike" makes it palatable to them?

I realize for some, they just want to use a term that is more specific about the type of bike or bicycle. Yes, motorcycle is a bicycle too. Bicycle is a very broad classification for two wheeled means of conveyance.

There are small gasoline engines that have been and still are sold to mount on bicycles to assist with pedaling ever since the days people first started putting motors on bikes. My nephew had one not too many years ago to ride to the university campus where he works. Kept him from showing up all sweaty was his reasoning.

I believe that if we overlook the fact that e-bikes are motorcycles, that we will have more than just battery/electric motor assisted bicycles finding the courts on their side to challenge local rules for bike trails and multi-purpose trails. Once the rational is made for combustion engine assisted bikes on trails, then why not any motorcycle as long as they stay below the speed limit?

Last edited by Iride01; 04-07-19 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 04-07-19, 07:19 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Read an e-bike review just the other day. The author said the less one pedaled, the more the electronics+motor assisted. I'm not familiar with any bicycle where the result is disproportional to the rider's input.
Without having tried one of these pedal-assist bikes, this is really what I'm curious about. With one of those Spesh ebikes for example, can I appear to be pedaling and putting out maybe only 20 watts, but still get the bike up to 28mph?
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Old 04-07-19, 07:20 AM
  #37  
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Be happy that you have a 15mph limit -- Our park system has an 8mph speed limit for the MUP. 35 years ago, it was originally intended to be a bike-only trail, but has since evolved into a MUP. Anyway, the 8mph limit was introduced so as the bike riders wouldn't scare headphone-wearing gaggles of oblivious pedestrians and people walking dogs on leashes. So I ride on the parkway instead.

I'm riding along at a fairly fast clip of around 18-20mph in the roadway, and constantly get yelled at by motorists to get on the 'bike path' - the roadway has 30mph speed limit...
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Old 04-07-19, 07:28 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Read an e-bike review just the other day. The author said the less one pedaled, the more the electronics+motor assisted. I'm not familiar with any bicycle where the result is disproportional to the rider's input.
Try to focus on what I am saying: That doesn't make the it a motorcycle, which requires no human effort to move, unless we re-define the term motorcycle.

Sent via my peach cobbler.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:07 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Try to focus on what I am saying: That doesn't make the it a motorcycle, which requires no human effort to move, unless we re-define the term motorcycle.

Sent via my peach cobbler.
From a bit of reading, this can be an almost meaningless distinction. Some "pedal assist" ebikes evidently operate by means of detecting that there's any cadence value whatsoever of the pedals. So as long as you move the pedals in a circular fashion -- perhaps not really putting any more than a few watts into the effort, combined with setting the electric assist to max, the bike's motor will propel you to the max speed that its class allows.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:35 AM
  #40  
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Where I live, the MUP's have no speed limit for anything. Cook county (CHicago) used to have a 16 mph limit for ebikes on their forest preserve paths, but that no longer appears on their websites.

Fastest thing I ever seen is two kids on electric skateboards, Probably 20 mph, but the consistent hazard is two or three people riding their bikes abreast, chattiing, blocking both lanes and oblivous to traffic.

My wife and I ride our ebikes right around 13 mph on the bike paths in the Chicago area. That's about the median speed for bikers. Hardly ever seen another ebiker here.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:36 AM
  #41  
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15 mph on all MUPs here. It's a good rule, no walker or runner wants to get buzzed by cyclists racing down MUPs.

I've ridden a pedal assist Class 1 on hills and flats. It's like riding any bike, but you have Chris Froome legs. Off of the MUPS of course, you can definitely work up a sweat.

No, it is nothing like riding a motorcycle.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:46 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
From a bit of reading, this can be an almost meaningless distinction. Some "pedal assist" ebikes evidently operate by means of detecting that there's any cadence value whatsoever of the pedals. So as long as you move the pedals in a circular fashion -- perhaps not really putting any more than a few watts into the effort, combined with setting the electric assist to max, the bike's motor will propel you to the max speed that its class allows.
This is what happens when you try to come up with the cheapest possible technology that barely meets the regulations. Sensors and wires cost money, so the cheapest possible e-bike will have the fewest sensors, notably a cadence sensor on the crank. A friend of mine has one of those bikes, and he says it pretty much has a mind of its own for how fast it goes. He got a new e-bike with better controls.

Classic tragedy of the commons. E-bike regulations will have to be based on whatever is the worst possible technology that someone can dream up. This is one of the things that makes conventional bikes so wonderful -- there's a natural speed limit based on physical ability, that varies from person to person, but covers the vast majority of riders well enough.

Perhaps a compromise for the speed limit is to stipulate "when pedestrians are present."
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Old 04-07-19, 08:48 AM
  #43  
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I've never seen a specific sign related to e-bikes. The speed limit varies by the trail and which government entity has control over it here in Orange County, (Southern) California. The Santa Ana River Trail (aka 'SART') is posted for 10mph (very infrequent postings, too), and the local beach MUP (Huntington Beach, CA) is posted for 10mph, 5mph in the busy summer months, and walking only near the Huntington Beach Pier when the flashing red warning lights are on (1/2 mile on either side of the Pier, usually in mid-summer in the middle of the day).

FWIW: I got on the SART yesterday morning about 6:15AM, read the sign at my turn-around point at 6:50AM after 9 miles. The sign also says the trail doesn't open until 7AM, so there were a lot of law breakers out there yesterday morning walking, jogging and bicycling.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:49 AM
  #44  
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I just wonder how long it really will take the 'pedal-assist' makers to design and sell bikes where electronics really have just moved the 'throttle' from your hands to potentially really minimal movement or effort of your feet/legs. Put in what look like regular shifters to control the e-assist on the fly, etc.. As it stands, is there any regulatory limit on how much "assist" a bike's motor is allowed to provide for a given effort in pedaling?
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Old 04-07-19, 08:56 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
From a bit of reading, this can be an almost meaningless distinction. Some "pedal assist" ebikes evidently operate by means of detecting that there's any cadence value whatsoever of the pedals. So as long as you move the pedals in a circular fashion -- perhaps not really putting any more than a few watts into the effort, combined with setting the electric assist to max, the bike's motor will propel you to the max speed that its class allows.
So the throttle of a throttle-controlled eBike, which is typically located on the bars and which takes some "exertion" to manipulate, has been moved elsewhere. I wouldn't call that a pedal-assist eBike, which is what this thread is about. And I still wouldn't call it a motorcycle. Have you ever seen a motorcycle that has pedals and will propel you at max speed simply by spinning those pedal using nominal force?
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Old 04-07-19, 08:58 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I just wonder how long it really will take the 'pedal-assist' makers to design and sell bikes where electronics really have just moved the 'throttle' from your hands to potentially really minimal movement or effort of your feet/legs. Put in what look like regular shifters to control the e-assist on the fly, etc.. As it stands, is there any regulatory limit on how much "assist" a bike's motor is allowed to provide for a given effort in pedaling?
I could design controls that would do exactly what you suggest. Between the cadence sensor and the motor driver, there's a microprocessor. It's just a programming exercise. I work in an engineering facility, and a number of my colleagues have e-bikes. At the top of their wish list is being able to change the control program.
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Old 04-07-19, 09:13 AM
  #47  
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I like the idea of an e-bike-specific MUP speed limit.

I'll state for the record that I also like the idea of e-bikes for many reasons: they're great commuters, they're great for people who want to ride with very fit cyclists but aren't able to, they're great for very fit cyclists to get to places and do things they otherwise wouldn't be able to (e.g. do many laps of a downhill park without needing a shuttle). Also, the more people on bikes of any variety we can get on the road, the more we'll be able to start changing the "roads= domain of cars alone" mentality of this country. E-bikes are great.

Having said that, I'm getting sick of being buzz-passed at 28 MPH on my local gravel MUP by teenagers on cheap, throttle-controlled e-fatbikes with no helmets, basketball shorts and clearly no idea how to handle a bike. They often aren't even pedaling. This is happening more frequently these days. You can buy a cheap, generic Chinese e-bike with 1,000+ watts under throttle control for under $1,000 from Amazon. These are not "bikes", they are fairly powerful electric motorcycles. Defeating e-bike speed controls (if they even exist) is easy and enforcing speed limits on MUPs is basically impossible. A recipe for disaster. Inexperienced and rude riders on similar "bikes" have started to show up at my local singletrack trail center as well. Trail riding on e-bikes is a whole new problem due to complex (and tenuous) access rights issues at stake, extensive maintenance needs of trails and the increased skill level needed.

It's just like anything else: the tool itself is great, the problem is some of the people using the tool.

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Old 04-07-19, 10:16 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Secondly, e-bikes are not limited to any speed, anywhere - as long as the bike is getting to that speed by the rider's legs. So downhill and on the flats the speed limit is irrelevant. It's a limit for the motor/assistance so it's only in force up hills.
This is not true.

In areas where land managers have lumped ebikes in with normal bikes they are limited to the same speed limits that apply to normal bikes. Which is 15 mph on many trails, the posted speed limit on roads, etc.

In areas where the land managers have banned ebikes they are limited from attaining any speed within those jurisdictions.
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Old 04-07-19, 10:25 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by enveous View Post
This is not true.

In areas where land managers have lumped ebikes in with normal bikes they are limited to the same speed limits that apply to normal bikes. Which is 15 mph on many trails, the posted speed limit on roads, etc.

In areas where the land managers have banned ebikes they are limited from attaining any speed within those jurisdictions.
I think he was talking about being limited by the actual bike's electronic limiters. Ever ridden an electric golf cart.. motor cuts out at a certain speed.. but that would be meaningless if you going down a 10% hill.
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Old 04-07-19, 11:35 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Read an e-bike review just the other day. The author said the less one pedaled, the more the electronics+motor assisted. I'm not familiar with any bicycle where the result is disproportional to the rider's input.
What a completely false statement. If you are going to quote an article, give a link or date.
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