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E-Bikes Regulated As Traditional Bicycles: Pro E-Bike Legislation Moves Forward In California, New York

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Raleigh_E-bike_0009

One of the most massive challenges for e-bikes in the United States is the patchwork of diverse policies governing them from state to state. Depending on where you live, an e-bike with a motor under 750W could face no regulations at all. Over the state line, however, an e-bike could face aggressive regulation, including license and registration requirements or complete elimination from trails, paths, and bike lanes. Complicating the situation are the several different types of e-bikes available on the market, with different drive mechanism styles and top speeds. The lack of certainty governing the use of these bicycles has made it challenging for dealers to stock and sell these vehicles and for consumers to purchase with total confidence.

To address this issue, the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA) has formed an e-bike committee partnering with PeopleForBikes, which has been busy lobbying local governments in the US to help equalize regulation for use of the technology, similarly to how regulations currently operate in Europe. Get the lowdown on e-bike regulation coming to you after the break…

Karlkoff_integrale_e-bike_0001

If the BPSA had their way, they would like to classify E-bikes into three categories:

  1. Class 1 focuses on pedal assist type with a max assisted speed of 20mph. This is 5mph faster than the norm in Europe and was the most common type of e-bike we ran into at Press Camp.
  2. Class 2 denotes a throttle assist type. In this case, the rider has a way of moving without having to pedal. Several brands with throttle power just offer it as a low speed walking or pushing type throttle assist to help users either push bikes up trails or to help walk them down the street.
  3. Class 3 is still pedal assisted power, but the top assisted speed is 28mph.

The model legislation that the BPSA has created would open up Class 1 and 2 e-bikes to all existing bike infrastructure with no age, helmet, or operational restrictions. Class 3 bikes would live in a separate category.

BESV_PS-1_Compact_e-bike_0001

For passionate pedal bike trail users, it is important to understand that BPSA is funding a survey that IMBA is conducting to understand the environmental impact on trail surfaces due to e-bike usage. The leadership position supports 20mph speed pedal assist with no throttle configurations for natural surface infrastructure, meaning that Class 1 would be a go while Class 2 e-bikes could face some natural surface restrictions.

Currently, the organization is most active in establishing this model legislation in New York and California, having managed to engage local and national cycling advocacy and core groups in those areas for input as well as organizational purposes. The goal is to set the stage for consistent models of usage across the US, so that manufacturers, retailers, and consumers can be secure in investing in and adopting the technology for the market.

Currie-Technologies_Yuba_Spicy-C_E-bike_0001

As of July 1st, bills to modernize e-bike regulation have progressed in both New York and California legislatures. The bill working its way through New York does not actually define the classes discussed, but would classify e-bikes with motors under 750W and a maximum assisted speed of 20mph as bicycles. The New York bill S.997-Dilan passed the State Senate 59-3, though an identical bill has stalled until the next session. The bill in California, AB 1096, specifies the three classes as described, has passed the State Assembly and is currently working through the State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. Similar legislation designating e-bikes as bicycles has already passed in Nebraska and Montana. BPSA and PeopleForBikes plan to introduce more legislation in Ohio, Indiana, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, Utah, and Tennessee starting as soon as this Fall.

For more information, visit BPSA.org

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Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

Seeing all these e-bikes pictured off-road isn’t helping in my opinion. E-bikes on the street doesn’t bother me as it says “transportation” assistance. E-bikes on the trails does bother me because its purpose clearly changes and invites danger to other trail users and destruction to trails. Keep them on the streets that are purpose built for faster moving vehicles.

Matt1025
Matt1025
7 years ago

Booooo!

Tom
Tom
7 years ago

For off-road, small-ish motors, pedal assist only, short travel suspension, and tire size limitations, to keep these from becoming faux-motocrossers.

My personal preference is closer to “none, ever, anywhere on dirt” but I suspect that is a losing proposition.

J-Red
J-Red
7 years ago

I don’t think New York State has anything on the books (at least not in the Vehicle and Traffic Law) about electric bicycles at all. New York City, on the other hand, bans any wheeled device with handlebars capable of being propelled without human power (either by electric motor or gasoline). So this legislation wouldn’t do much immediately, it would just establish protections and futureproofing for e-bikes. But the big hurdle will be repealing the bans on “motorized scooters” and motorized pedicabs (and 4-person quadricycles and triplet tandems, let’s fix that) so that people can actually lessen dependence on cars (I actually think the Taxi commission was a big supporter of those bans). This also explains why the police are going to start cracking down on motorized scooters, they might lose another cash cow if more legislation like this goes through.

JoeLee
JoeLee
7 years ago

Call them “assist” all you want but it’s still an electric MOTOR and unwelcome on any trail system that doesn’t allow MOTORIZED VEHICLES.

What happened to the rule of common sense?

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

Roads yes.
Trails no. Maybe if you have a handicap exception/sticker.

Dinger
Dinger
7 years ago

“My personal preference is closer to “none, ever, anywhere on dirt” but I suspect that is a losing proposition.”

That was the preference of hikers and equestrians regarding Mountain bikers too.

colorblind
colorblind
7 years ago

In Park City, where these photos above originated, there was an E-mountain bike race hosted by E-bike makers that consisted mostly of off road MTB trails.
The E-bike racer was racing up hill at speeds much greater than any typical ascent and collided head on with a descending non E-bike rider.

Blood was spilled, tempers flared and E-biker was shamed

MTB’ers have come a long way in the US and there is a pretty strong sense of trail etiquette out there. We yield to climbers out of respect for the hard work they are putting in and the low speeds at which they climb.

This will change, a new culture will evolve and the dark internet will thrive

Gregorio
Gregorio
7 years ago

Yes, agreed that E-bikes provide a good alternative and eco-friendly form of transportation compared to traditional vehicles. I am 100% for alternative transportation in the U.S.

If they are allowed on our trails this would be very, very sad indeed. I am emphatically against any motorized transportation options on our bike trails. OHV trails, sure, but all other trails NO! I just see this increasing user conflict and getting all bikes discriminated against and kicked off more trails. These E-bikes in no way will allow more trails to be open for mountain bikes, it would most likely do the opposite. I am very sad and surprised to see Lapierre and others jumping on this E-bike thing.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

The BPSA could have done it the easy way, promoting the EU regulations which have been in place for years (added benefit: cross-pond unified market) – but no, they had to do it the US way – faster, stronger, more like a motorbike. 750W is seriously powerful.

benzo
benzo
7 years ago

Very simple: no MTB e-bikes, it would be the end of any trail accesss

stefanroussev
stefanroussev
7 years ago

No E-bikes on trails.Can we start a petition against that? Trails would be ruined, would encourage more accidents with other trail users (hikers, bikers, dogs) because would allow non experienced riders to go fast in the mountains and of course inevitable crashes would follow which in turn would exacerbate hiker-biker conflict even more. BAD IDEA pushed down from our throats e-bike manufacturers. Politics.

Fjork
Fjork
7 years ago

A mountain of naysayers with zero evidence showing that these bikes will have negative effects on trail systems.

#bikerumoratitsfinest

Odellio
Odellio
7 years ago

First, I don’t own and haven’t ridden an e-bike.

And, I think the Anti e-bike side of this ongoing argument is egotistical and fear based. I have to agree with the pro side of this. The down sides are IMO imaginary . I’ve seen them on trails, they are quiet, non polluting, and not much faster than me without a motor. I really could care less if a guy with a spare tire gut passes me with an electric assist bike. The world will keep spinning. The trails will not magically disintegrate. Hell won’t freeze over.

I’ve heard the whole “it’s a MOTOR” thing. And it is, but Does that really matter if it’s limited. We don’t put limits on the watts pro riders can put out on the trail and I doubt these will be different enough to matter.

Haters will hate… But if these are fun and safe they will stick around. And our sounds like they are both.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

Fjork,
Do you any evidence that shows they won’t? What is the difference?
Without evidence, educated guesses can be made in an attempt to prevent issues before they can become a safety issue. 20 mph(+) on a singletrack trail is incredibly fast, when other users are going much slower. 750W of power (or even just 300W) and high torque can destroy trails that otherwise hold up to human powered efforts.
Then there is just the argument that these are motorized vehicles – there is no way around that definition. Why are motorized vehicles now being considered on trail systems that prohibit motorized traffic?
Finally, non-bikers do not see the difference between e-bikes and regular bikes. There is already conflict given speed discrepancy on the downs. Add that to being buzzed on the way up and bikes are going to get a bad name fast. Not to mention the safety aspect of potential collisions of 50+ lb bikes with pedestrians or other cyclists.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

“they are…non polluting…”

no they aren’t

Odellio
Odellio
7 years ago

Jbikes-… Research and evidence is a good idea, and your examples may prove to be true. We’ll have to wait and see. I think it’s just going to happen and it will be worked out as this new format gains a foothold. I don’t think you have to be scared of them though. I don’t know the full story about how is going with e-bikes in Europe, but it sounds like it’s far from being the boogyman that many folks are making them out to be.

I can’t keep people from having nightmares of chunky riders doing 20mph on they’re local singletrack. However, I don’t think it’s realistic to think most people will push beyond there speed /comfort level. Of course there will be exceptions, stupid people are ubiquitous.

I was initially against e-bikes on trails by the way, until I saw someone riding one and realized I was making it into way too big of a deal.

I concur with the prediction that is going to move forward, in spite of many mtb’rs luddite tendencies.

scentofreason
scentofreason
7 years ago

I have ridden an e-bike. It had three modes. Light pedal assist, medium pedal assist, and full scooter mode. Mountain bikers, as a whole, have put in decades of effort to get trail access and build trails. Letting motor scooters have access to these trails under the premise that they are ‘bikes’ will only end up in more conflict, more trails closed to bikes, and more trail damage. Let’s be honest, I’m sure a small percentage of old or injured people could use these type of bikes to extend their ability to ride longer in life, but the reality will be most users will be ‘thrashers’ looking for the speed boost, up and down. I mean the industry knows the kids will be using the motors to go faster on the downhills right? I find it sad that this website (and most other bike related websites) even consider supporting these types of bikes on trails. Oh the power and influence of the almighty dollar…

Jack
Jack
7 years ago

If they end up being made legal (speaking as a NY’er) I would like to see them registered as motorcycles, with the same helmet laws and mandatory insurance as motorcycles have. They definitely need liability insurance – they’re regularly on protected bike paths doing 20+mph.

Speaking as a BICYCLE mechanic – take them to the motorcycle shop. I won’t work on them. Period. Just like I won’t tune up your 250cc dirt bike. I do this as much for love as money, and I do not love your 750w Bosch DUI bike.

TheFunkyMonkey
TheFunkyMonkey
7 years ago

There are people actually on the pro-side of this debate? Clearly they have not had to fight for trail access. If you don’t have the balls for a real motocross bike, then go get yourself 50cc pit bike with a governor.

Richard
Richard
7 years ago

I don’t get people who don’t see a downside. We have trouble enough with trail access as it is. We’re finally beginning to see some progress in getting bike access to designated wilderness areas. If we get it, the first time some Sierra Clubber sees an e-bike on the trails, it’s over. Trust me, hikers and equestrians won’t understand, and certainly won’t be bothered to learn, the difference between a “pedal-assist” bike that won’t do over 20 and a 40mph electric motorcycle (plus, just because a bike is limited from the factory doesn’t mean it will be once in a consumer’s hands). They can’t even tell the difference between a fully armored downhiller and an XC rider in spandex – to them we’re all tearing up the trails.

As much as I love the idea of people being able to enjoy MTB even after an injury or age takes away some or all of their ability to pedal, I’m against e-bikes. How will they be able to enjoy it if trail access is denied to all bikes?

Jeffy
Jeffy
7 years ago

I clearly see lots of upsides to ebikes for commuting and simple transportation. I can think of days when I was bike commuting that it would be nice to have an ebike (sick or not having time to change clothing at work).

I think the trail ebikes issue is much murkier.

Frank
Frank
7 years ago

The elephant in the room is that mountain biking is a physically challenging sport, and off-road e-bikes are CHEATING. Lift-assisted riding is a nice novelty once in a while, but day to day, a mountain biker has to earn their burn.

They can ride these things anywhere a motorcycle is allowed, fine. Double-track and forest roads should satisfy most people who are too lazy or out of shape to just ride a real bike. But never, NEVER on the singletrack. Never.

On the pavement, on the one hand, nothing with a motor of any kind should be on a sidewalk or bike path. On the other hand, if it gets more people out of cars, well, its hard to argue against that.

My compromise would be if you’re going to be on a bike path, you better be pedaling, so Class 1 only. Class 2 can share the bike lanes, sure, otherwise they’re going to get run over, but they need to stay on the streets. Class 3, in the street, just like all the other mopeds.

Maybe we need our own advocacy group: Citizens Advocating Human Powered Travel. For once MTBers and Hikers can unite!

-Rizza
-Rizza
7 years ago

Let the hate flow: the bike industry seeks to squeeze more $ out of the shrinking demographic of aging bro-dudes, hence the onslaught of eBike adverts. eBikes in the US will lead to more regulation of all bikes as the motors disappear into the frames and wheels and un-motorized bikes cannot be discerned from the mopeds…soo ebikes will get to ruin both road and MTB riding, awesome!

wuffles
wuffles
7 years ago

Dear e-bike industry:

I support your efforts to make a cool product, and make commuting without a car a viable option for more people.

But as a mountain biker and a trail builder, if you continue to try and classify your motorized vehicle as a non-motorized vehicle, I am never, ever, ever touching your product and will do my damndest to make sure no one else I know does.

Land access is a tenuous thing at the moment. The BLM already considers e-bikes to be motorized vehicles and has made the appropriate step of banning them from non-motorized trails in Moab. If you succeed in your idiotic crusade, the only thing that will be accomplished is the banning of all bikes. Please stop.

colorblind
colorblind
7 years ago

Its open season on ebikes nation wide.

Kickstarter funding in the works to set bounties and reward for batteries brought in dead or alive

BikeHoarder6
BikeHoarder6
7 years ago

High-end (purely pedal powered) mountain bikes are reaching up to nearly $10k in price.
Adding the eBike drive system to any bike greatly increases the price of given bike.

I believe that the prohibitive cost of purchasing an eBike will drastically limit
their numbers out in the real world, whether they be on roads or trails.

I do agree with those who support eBikes for on street commuting purposes.
Think about those who have a 15 mile commute to work with hills. Ending a long
work day (you’re tired), then having a 15 mile ride home with hills and having to stop
at the grocery store on the way = eBike all the way!

TheFunkyMonkey
TheFunkyMonkey
7 years ago

Others after me have made a much more eloquent arguments so thank you.

I can’t get past the industry using the “keep older people riding” and “new people to the sport”.

Two facts: (1) getting old is part of life and part of life is having to stop doing certain activities when you get old, MTB being one of them. Sorry but it is what it is. My father in law just gave up motorcycling after riding for 58 years – it sucked (he’s my best riding buddy) but he felt it was time. The second fact, is MTBers (those that I know and hang with) welcome new folks to the sport with open arms. If you feel that in order to get into the sport, you require an ebike, you have picked the wrong activity and please go elsewhere. The fact is that MTBers, hikers or equestrians will not welcome you regardless of what Specialized or Trek tells you.

And while understand and support, to an extent, the argument for commuter ebikes, I’m still concerned with the idiots on them. Common sense is no longer common unfortunately. I live in a major college town where mopeds are rampant and it amazing to me the stupid people that feel they are smart enough to ride one.

Ryan S
Ryan S
7 years ago

$$$$$ ~~ Follow the money trail ~~ $$$$$

Industry manufacturers and bike shops (who ultimately lobby and support People for Bikes) are pushing e-bikes because they want more sales. Simple as that. They want to take the sport of cycling away from being a truly recreational hobby and put it into the hands of people who don’t want to actually exercise, even if it means neutering bike trails so e-bikes can navigate them, or overcrowding bike paths/lanes for actual cyclists. These people DO NOT care about us (real cyclists)!!!!!

The reality is mountain biking is still an extreme sport. It’s NOT something that every 70-year old is supposed to be able to do with minimal effort. And neither is a 300lbs person being able to instantly ride in a Sunday morning road group ride doing 25mph average.

Of course the counter is always about “people with disability”, but that is a complete lie. I’d bet less than 2% of e-bikes users are actually disabled to the point they cannot pedal a bike.

ScottO
ScottO
7 years ago

Let’s talk basics. Manufacturers want to use the term e-bike or eBike, so BikeRumor just follows along. I DON’T use those terms because a bike is something powered exclusively by a human using pedals.

It has a motor, and can zip along without any human effort. Call it what it is, and STOP COVERING IT HERE.

RC
RC
7 years ago

Can we call these the mopeds that they are and regulate them like mopeds?
E bikes on non-motorized off road trails is a good way to loose all mtb access, let them ride on the ORV (dirt bike) trails like the other motos ride.
In the city, 20mph is too fast for a bike trail, 15mph or even better 12mph pedal assist only, I could support, but only because it will help traffic. Treat them like a moped and we all will be better off.

Where do I contact people for bikes and explain to them that e-bikes are not bikes?

FoolCyclist
FoolCyclist
7 years ago

Anyone know when eBikeRumor.com starts? OR better yet….. MotorBikeRumor?

Emilio
Emilio
7 years ago

Motorized bikes shouldn’t be allowed on bike trails, no matter what motor you put on them. And picturing these e-bikes on the trails is counterproductive.
I am completely in favour of e-bikes for urban transportation (in fact, I am planning on buying one in the not so distant future). But they should be banned in the trails.

Matt
Matt
7 years ago

What happens when they come to a stream crossing?

Hotep
Hotep
7 years ago

eRoadBikes = Fantastic
eMountainBikes = Terrible

CoTeledude
CoTeledude
7 years ago

Has a motor, it’s a motorbike and should be regulated as such. Common sense here. So fine on motorbike trails, not bike trails. Fine on roads…not so much on shared bike paths with walkers, strollers, dogs… It will have it’s place for sure, just have to keep it separated and into it’s correct classification which is it’s a MOTOR bike. License required, lights, the whole bit just like other scooters.

AdventuresAnonymous
AdventuresAnonymous
7 years ago

Ryan S – I agree with most of your thoughts. One major exception: Not all bike shops are in favor of e-bikes. Those focused solely on sales probably are, as e-bikes are being pushed as “just another cycling category” (what a joke!). But there are lots of small shops that are focused on the riding experience, with passionate owners and staff. Just because one sells bikes for a living, doesn’t mean one wants to sell e-bikes too.

Ryan S
Ryan S
7 years ago

AdventuresAnonymous – Fair point and you are right. There still are good IBD’s that carry what people want, are friendly, and do good service…largely because their staff are also avid riders. They’re just getting few and far between these days, which makes generalizations easy to make.

At the end of the day, we all have bills to pay and need a roof over our head. I think if most shops had to choose between selling a potential customer an e-bike versus that potential customer walking out the door empty handed, we’d know which route the shop would take.

Ham jam
Ham jam
7 years ago

(deleted)

Trail Dog
Trail Dog
7 years ago

Serious question to the author:

Was it IMBA or BPSA leadership that currently supports Class 1 e-bikes on natural surfaces?

ZeGerman
ZeGerman
7 years ago

I still don”t get the hate and to be honest I think most reasons against E-Bikes are pure ignorance and jealousy. Im from Germany and I don’t own an E-Bike but have tested a few.
Yes the market is booming now (400% increase of E-MTB sales compared to last year). So its normal IBD’s and bike brands push in that direction. Yes one of the main problems I would say are the regulations you have in the US and that these differ from State to State, clear definitions and rules are necessary.
There have been recent surveys and tests done in Germany that have shown that + tire and Fatbikes damage trails more than E-MTB, also another survey showed that in average there are not more injuries accidents or fatalities with E-Bikes.
For the ignorants who have not yet tested an E-Bike:
E-MTB’s are used mainly from people 25-40, you will not find grandfathers or grandmothers appearing on your trails, people simply buy them to have fun (Isn’t that what Mountainbiking is all about).
Its actually still challenging to ride a E-MTB and you do get tired and sweat a lot, but you can enjoy it more for longer distance (But here I have to say we have a 250W max limit, US limit is way to high).
I will keep riding my mechanical bike and have no intentions of owning an E-Bike, so who cares who rides what as long as it follows legal rules.
Ride on!

Evan
Evan
7 years ago

Thanks for posting this, really disturbing and evocative of the way industry pushed through state law changes to try to sell Segways to public entities. Fortunately here it’s not too late to call bs.on this one. The CA bill info can be seen here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

TRAILSIDECYCLE
7 years ago

Here is just a few things / about road use
1. first off many people can’t enjoy cycling because they do not have perfect race style bodies like some of you !
2. Some people need to get to work with out sweating and don’t own a car.
3.Yep some of us have OWI’s on our record and need a form of transportation.
4. even 20 mph is a more dangerous limitation most of the time SPEED is safety…. you pass me and hit me going 35 mph when I am going 20 its going to most likely hurt me a lot and toss me around you hit me with your 2000 lb car going 35 and I am going 30 mph i can still punch your window and maybe brush off your car and gain control with out getting run off the road.

about trail use?
1. again some of us are not in great shape and want to see the country / woods / have the same fun that you do but maybe we are a bit over our body weight / been hurt in a accident / or just plain are to lazy to get out and work out as often as you awesome in-shape mountain bike racers
2. HMM rain messes up trails more then any wheel turning yep our 50-100 pound bike may move the dirt to the left and right but guess what the next time I ride my path is back to normal why is that? Talking like a bicycle damages trails is like saying rain damages trails lets ban rain. A horse / deer / bear or someone walking can do just as much damage ban every thing how about that.
3. You going 25 miles per hour or more skidding around corners racing around like you are the only person on the trail does much more damage then my safety regulated E-bike at 20mph I don’t even need to skid to slow down from 20 I can hardly get out of my own way!
4. you racing at 30 mph or more and crashing into someone will hurt someone just as bad as a 25 pound more bicycle doing 20 mph.

Ok so anyways Motor vehicle is defined as………
Motor vehicle” is defined in §340.01 (35) as a vehicle which is self-propelled, except a vehicle operated exclusively on a rail. “Self Propelled” is not defined in the Wisconsin Statutes. “Bicycle” is defined as “Every vehicle propelled by the feet acting upon pedals and having wheels any 2 of which are not less than 14 inches in diameter.” “Vehicle” is defined in §939.22(44) as “Any self-propelled device for moving persons or property or pulling implements from one place to another, whether such device is operated on land, rails, water, or in the air.

Although not defined in the statutes, the plain meaning of self-propelled is a vehicle that can move by itself-without human power. For example, a car left in drive, or a lawnmower in gear. Moreover, since §346.63 states, “motor vehicle,” under the plain meaning of the statute,

and this HR 172
Federal Electric Bicycle Law HR 727
SECTION 1. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY ACT.
The Consumer product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2051 et seq) is amended by added at the end of the following: READ IT>…
(d) This section shall supersede any State law or requirement with respect to low- speed electric bicycles

SUPERSEDE any STATE LAW why is everyone fighting over this its so funny! Do you not know what supersede means: verb [ with obj. ]
take the place of (a person or thing previously in authority or use); supplant: the older models have now been superseded.

by the way I will work on your electric bicycle in the shop in fact I enjoy it so if you are in WI check out TRAILSIDE CYCLE.

Matthew
Matthew
7 years ago

@Trailside: TL;DR.

@JBikes, regarding exemptions for users with a note from their doctor: I’m against even this. Just look at some of the people rolling up to Wal-Mart and parking with their shiny new handicap tags. It’s practically trivial to get them. All you have to do is go to your doc and complain about how being physically active makes you get ow-ies.

My feeling is that if you make these e-assist off-road mopeds something that can be attained just by going to a doctor and asking, you might as well not have any limitations at all. Either we ban them outright, or we make them completely unregulated. There’s no middle ground. I choose the outright ban, and personally I will avoid shops and brands that sell them.

stefanroussev
stefanroussev
7 years ago

The devil is in the detail: The bill working its way through New York does not actually define the classes discussed, but would classify e-bikes with motors under 750W and a maximum assisted speed of 20mph as bicycles. How can one describe a vehicle with motor that is NOT a motorized vehicle. The answer is that you have to hire a lawyer that can convince the decision makers that the white color is actually black and the black color is actually white and now you end up with a bicycle that has a motor but is still just a bicycle. LOL. Please hold my beer.

stefanroussev
stefanroussev
7 years ago

… still laughing. It’s a shame.

AdventuresAnonymous
AdventuresAnonymous
7 years ago

Ryan S – I work at a shop. We will close before selling e-MTB, if it comes to that. No joke. We sell bicycles, not mopeds. But I do agree that it’s easy to make generalizations, there are a lot of bad shops out there (I can say that after 20 years in the biz).

ZeGerman, Trailside – The big part of the picture you’re missing is trail access and trail damage due to more use overall. Damage: If, with an e-bike, many more people can access areas they wouldn’t have before, lesser-used trails will become greater-used trails. Often the lesser-used trails are in areas that are more delicate (think high country in the Rockies). A few riders are one thing. A whole bunch of people, not so good. Physical difficulty is a wonderful natural selector for the places you can go and restrictor on the amount of use some areas receive. Access: Land use managers already have trouble distinguishing between moto and MTB. Often, when trails are closed to moto, they’re closed to MTB too. Why in the hell are we blurring that line further?

Finally, you don’t need a perfectly chiseled physique to enjoy mountain biking. What you do need is the willingness to exert a little bit. That’s kind of how this whole bike-riding thing works. And hey, you stick with it, your physique will improve!

Jtree
Jtree
7 years ago

Keep mopeds and e-motos (if there is no need to pedal, it is not a bike) off trails built for non-motorized trails.

PisteOff
PisteOff
7 years ago

“… BPSA is funding a survey that IMBA is conducting to understand the environmental impact on trail surfaces due to e-bike usage. The leadership position supports 20mph speed pedal…” Whose leadership? IMBA? Why in the hell is IMBA co-operating with the eMotorcycle industry? €€€£££¥¥¥ ??? I will be ending my financial support of all bike advocacy groups & bikes shops that support electric motorcycles on single track. All concerned MTB’ers need to contact thier IMBA and legislative representatives now. Let’s hope they still have a soul.

Munich Dadoc
7 years ago

May I add something from the European pov?

We have the regulation, that e-bikes that are supported by an electrical motor up to 25 km/h (approx. 15 mph) so called “pedelec” are treated as normal bikes – everyone can ride them wherever bikes are allowed. No special insurance is needed no license, no helmet, nothing.

Bikes up to 45 km/h support are called s-pedelecs and they require an official plate and insurance and are only allowed where motorized bikes are allowed but they are banned from pure cycle ways and from the nature.

This rule is good and makes sense, the only issue is that it is hard to get all documents and the approval for registering an s-pedelec – so one depends on the factories and there is almost no way for a self made bike.

What we observe here for years already is, that more and more people get on e-bikes and one meets them even in our Alps high up and it feels a bit strange if you get overtaken by a 60 year old pedelc driver in jeans… but hey, its a good thing, because it has mobilized many people that would sit on their sofas and get sick otherwise! And it has created a new “industry” of rentals in our Alp regions – almost every hotel offers Pedelec to theitr guests now.

We have seen this with mtb entering hikers paths, we have seen this with snowboarders entering skiers slopes, we have seen windsurfers entering sailors territory adn so on and so forth. Did we ever stop any development? Did it ever really do any harm to anybody?

Fools are all over, accidents happen but we develop towards a more sustainable and environmentally good technology so why objecting? Get in touch with it, try it, develop an understanding and be respectful and careful and all is good.

Cheers from Munich!

Michael

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