New law will say yes to the 30 mph electric bicycle

stromer speed pedelec

It looks like European law is finally about to catch up with a new breed of faster electric bicycle. And it’s about time, too. While the uptake of electric cars remains painfully slow, the popularity of the 30 mph speed pedelec is soaring. Sales in Holland increased by over 30 per cent last year alone.

One such speed pedelec is the Stromer ST2, a 30 mph- bicycle that allows you to control three levels of assistance from the electric motor as well as the degree of regenerative braking. Thanks to an efficient motor and a battery capacity of 983 watt-hours, the ST2 can cover up to 180 kilometres before it needs to be recharged.

stromer speed pedelec

With a price tag of around £6,000 the Swiss-made Stromer ST2 is the Rolex of the fast pedelecs world.

As the speed pedelecs market grows, so too does the range of bike styles on offer. High-speed electric bikes are now available as town bikes, MTBs, folders and adventure tourers. The Riese & Müller Charger GX offers assistance of up to 275 per cent at a speed of up to 45 km/h. And even when walking the bike when its racks are laden with panniers, the Charger GX helps with an assisted ‘pushing mode’.

charger speed pedelec

How is European law on speed pedelecs changing?

There are two categories of electric bicycle in type-approval L1e-A is for powered cycles with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and maximum 1 kW of power. L1e-B includes speed pedelecs with maximum 45 km/h and 4 kW.

It is not yet clear which conditions for use of these vehicles will be imposed by individual European member states. According to reports, the German and Dutch transport ministries are in favour of making motorcycle helmets mandatory when using speed pedelecs moped helmet. By contrast, the Belgian minister has been advised that a bicycle helmet should be adequate.

ETA cycle insurance

Cycle insurance for electric bicycles

Should the law in Britain change in line with Europe to accommodate the speed pedelec, the insurance industry will be quick to offer cover. For the time being,  electric bicycle insurance is limited to those with a 250 W motor and an assisted top speed of 15.5 mph. Such cover is available from the ETA, recently voted to be an ethical company by The Good Shopping Guide.

The policy covers electric bicycles as standard and includes a breakdown service for your bike and you that will take you up to 25 miles if you suffer a mechanical problem or puncture. Your battery is covered against theft as standard. ETA cycle insurance has a low standard excess of 5% (minimum £25) and prides itself on a genuine new-for-old policy. Unlike other providers who devalue bikes, however old your bicycle, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.

Every cycle insurance policy you buy helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future.

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Comments

  1. Christopher Juden

    Reply

    Please stop pretending that speed pedelecs are something like a normal pedal cycle. These have 1kW, that’s FOUR TIMES the power output of a reasonably well-tuned ‘human engine’, so no comparison really. It’s time to call a spade a spade: they are electric mopeds pure and simple.

    • Nick Firth

      Reply

      Call it what you like, who cares?

      • Bob

        Reply

        Exactly, the law is an arse I really do not care for it. It doesn’t give a shit about safety, just stopping progress. If the tech is there, let it be, if cars are manufactured and can be purchased that can do 0-60 is 2.5 secs, and top speeds of 200mph+ then I see no argument for the ‘safety’ of limiting an e bike.

        • gary harding

          Reply

          i can do 50+mph down any steep hill with no motor on any cheap bike with shit brakes thats dangerous.

      • Peter Bilton

        Reply

        No one is pretending. Speed pedelecs are pedal assist, which means you must pedal pretty hard in order for them to reach top speed. The 1 kw, referred to, is the size of the battery, not the motor. The motors are usually anywhere from 250 w to 750 w power, and the pedal assist for speed pedelecs cuts out at 28 mph, not 30 mph.

        • Graham

          Reply

          1kW does not refer to a measurement of a battery.
          Battery capacity is measured in amp-hours (Ah) or kilowatt-hours (kWh).

          There is absolutely no point in restricting the capacity of a battery.

          The 1kW is referring to the power output of the motor i.e. 1,000 watts, just like the 250w UK ruling refers to the motor power.

        • Chris Elias

          Reply

          This is wrong. Battery is measured in amps and volts. The power (watts) is the consumption of the motor to do a certain amount of work.

          • Mike

            I have taken to using an electric bike as I have a dodgy hip. It lets me do distances I can’t do on a normal bike but the problem with the 15mph limit is that it’s got built in hysteresis, go a smidge over 15mph and you then have to drop down to 11.5mph before it kick back in. It’s like riding a roller coaster and not a good feature. I am aware that this might be because of the bike design/controller, but I would have liked a much more progressive method such that the power is removed proportionately to the upper speed.

            However, I also agree 15mph is too slow. I would regularly go at 20mph on the flat on a normal bog standard hybrid on the flat on a road. As for the issue about higher speeds on point use paths, that’s not about the bike, it’s about the idiot rider. I slow down, pull over and use my bell or horn. It’s not rocket science.

          • Denis

            Sorry, Chris, you are wrong. The AH (amp-hour) is a measure of electrical capacity 1Ah = 3.6 Kilocouloms.
            KWh (Kilowatt hours) is a measure of energy 1KWh = 3.6 MegaJoules.

            The Voltage of a battery is dependent on the battery construction, The Current in a circuit is proportional to the voltage and inversely proportional to the resistance in that circuit.

            The only thing you got correct was that the power of a motor is, indeed, given in Watts

    • Marek

      Reply

      What the h…. Are you talking?
      A bit sensitive aren’t you?
      30 mph is OK and completely should be legal, no problem

    • Andrew Hague

      Reply

      But you really need to factor in that pedelecs are double the weight of an unassisted bike. So you pay a huge premium in normal circumstances. I’m 60 plus with a lifetime of cycling behind me and the fastest that I can get on the flat (or false flat maybe) is around 17 mph and that not for long. Admittedly the weight helps downhill and I quickly get to the upper 30’s. And that’s the point. A higher limit would only mean you could go uphill and on the flat a bit faster and therefore would make E bike rural commuting (e.g. 10 to 20 miles) a bit more achievable and tempting. By all means impose a sensible limit on bike paths and enforce it for ALL bikes.

      • Harry

        Reply

        On the point of weight helping downhill. It shouldn’t – according to Newton. Force = mass x acceleration. The force pulling downhill increases proportionally with weight. So does the mass. The acceleration remains constant = Force/mass.

  2. Stephen Plowden

    Reply

    I am very wary about the idea of fast electric bicycles. The important thing is that there should be no conflict between any kind of power assisted bicycle and ordinary pushbikes. If electric bicycles are going to go faster than anyone except they fit young cyclists can go, then it is important that they should be fitted was some kind of speed governor, so that they can share cyclists’facilities, especially in towns

  3. Matt Hodges

    Reply

    I am very concerned that if these speed pedelecs are allowed they will be used at high speed on Cycle Tracks and shared footways. They will cause a backlash from pedestrians but it will be voiced against all bikes not just against high speed electric bikes.

    • Nick Firth

      Reply

      I’m very concerned about the baggage retrieval system at Heathrow. Worried, worried, worried.

      • Mark Adams

        Reply

        I like traffic lights, but only when they’re green.

    • Marek

      Reply

      Concerned?? Are you for real?
      Riding fast is normal on footpaths…
      You are just too sensitive about it and touchy

      • Bob

        Reply

        Exactly, the law is an arse I really do not care for it. It doesn’t give a shit about safety, just stopping progress. If the tech is there, let it be, if cars are manufactured and can be purchased that can do 0-60 is 2.5 secs, and top speeds of 200mph+ then I see no argument for the ‘safety’ of limiting an e bike.

    • Bob

      Reply

      Exactly, the law is an arse I really do not care for it. It doesn’t give a shit about safety, just stopping progress. If the tech is there, let it be, if cars are manufactured and can be purchased that can do 0-60 is 2.5 secs, and top speeds of 200mph+ then I see no argument for the ‘safety’ of limiting an e bike.

  4. Eric Robertson

    Reply

    I too would be very concerned if these high speed bikes were allowed to be treated as normal pedal cycles. There are already too many inconsiderate cyclists on normal bikes who travel far too fast on shared use routes and I hate to think what the situation would be if these particular electric bikes were allowed to use these routes too.

    • fred

      Reply

      There are already too many inconsiderate motorists and look how fast they can go!

  5. Nicholas Dewey

    Reply

    I am highly in favour of this change in law. Maybe making it so that restricted speeds down to 15.5 MPH for cycle pathways and 30 MPH for road use would make sense as well as an age restriction on higher speed bikes.

    • Andrew Hague

      Reply

      as well as an age restriction on higher speed bikes.
      I suppose you mean you can’t buy one unless you’re 60+ where you need the extra power.

  6. Helena

    Reply

    Switzerland here. Speed pedelecs are here allowed everywhere where regular bicycles are allowed (only if mopeds are forbidden we must shut down the support but that is not very often the case). And due our hilly topography, every 4th bicycle is now already sold with electric support (3/4 only the slower 25-km/h version, 1/4 are speed pedelecs)

    And it works quite well. Yes, my speed pedelec CAN assist up to 45 km/h but I cannot remember if I ever made that speed! It is very exhausting to reach such a high speed, and within a city I usually make 25 km only because there are too many red lights, pedestrians et cetera. Only when there is a total empty cycle path or road i can go faster. And that means usually 35, 38 km/h!

    Speed pedelecs can replace a car very easy and they are great for longer commute. If you think there could be problems with other cyclists, make a speed limit maybe if you think that would help. I would have no problem to cycle 25 km/h within a city if I am allowed to go faster outside.

  7. Mats Jacobsson

    Reply

    Sweden here. Just thought a little bit about regular bicycles without motors. Some such bicycles actually go very fast totally without electric assist. I have on numereous occasions spotted bicycles that seem to be travelling at speeds of more than 45 km per hour inside towns.

    So the phenomenon of bicycles irritating pedestrians with high speeds already exists. So the suggestion from my Swiss colleague is excellent – put speedlimits for bicycles i.e. all bicycles with and without motors being ridden in towns, villages and cities, why not, what responsible cyclist wants to go at high speeds on trails shared with pedestrians – I don´t anyway.

    I am aware of the fact that some carowners who like to drive their cars 300 yards from their apartment to the shopping mall get irritated if they when they exit their cars 10 yards from the shopping mall happen to be passed by a cyclist who perhaps is making such a high speed as 22 km per hour. From the big socieatal perspective it is obviously the carowner who is the big problem. He is not, generally speaking, getting enough excercise, he is getting fat, inrurring taxpayers bills for hospital care and he is contributing to climate change.

    The slight irritant of having to regulate the speed of speedbikes in sensitive urban areas weighs very lightly compared with the accumulated damage to society and and the environment caused by drivers of combustion engined cars.

    • David Redford

      Reply

      “I have on numereous occasions spotted bicycles that seem to be travelling at speeds of more than 45 km per hour inside towns.”

      TL;DR – Improve infrastructure, don’t impose speed limits!

      UK here – our urban speed limit is 30mph/48kph, (don’t know about Sweden, sorry!) so to me a cyclist riding (safely) at 45kph (28mph) is nothing to worry about. I have even been that cyclist on a few occasions. A more normal flat-road speed for me might be 22-25mph (35-40kph).

      To me, cycle paths should be designed for a speed of at least 20mph (32kph), with appropriate curve radii, sight lines and junction markings. Yes, that’s right, exactly the way one would go about designing a new road. Not, as is currently the case, by taking an existing 2.4m wide footway, covering 1.2m of it in red paint and hoping for the best.

      If there is a perceived (or real!) danger from cyclists riding at ‘normal’ speeds (ie 15-20mph) on cycle paths then that is a reflection on their poor design, not a justification to impose unrealistically low speed limits. Otherwise the benefit of these paths for fitter cyclists must be considered marginal.

      This wouldn’t matter so much if there were not a number of people who seem to think cyclists should be compelled to use paths (however shoddy) where provided. Combine these schools of thought and you suddenly have cyclists legislated off ‘proper’ infrastructure and compelled to crawl around on ‘painted pavements’ at 10mph, or whatever snail-like rate the non-cycling legislators see fit to impose…

  8. K Matthews

    Reply

    Hi 15mph is to low l bought a 250watt Volt with throttle & pedal assist expecting i could keep up with mates having knee problems thought it was just what I needed I loved it but could not keep up with my friends. Relatively fit lads but were they were clocking average 20mph + on the flat long roads. Going down bank I would go over u would go over the limit and hold your own, but the the assist would cut out and your waiting for the bike to slow down before u hit the 15mph at some point after the decline before at which point they have gained some distance on u hitting the next rising incline mind u it did breeze up the inclines. Would have to be 20 to 25mph.

  9. mickey mouse

    Reply

    I love my speed bike and if I don’t see people near by .I go 28 mph but it is hard work to reach that target but slow down near people and dogs not on leads .Thank you focus jarifa

  10. Brian

    Reply

    Ireland here. Ireland is quite a rural country with many people living in small villages and towns outside major cities.
    Even with ordinary bikes, we need to travel on single carriageway roads with speed limits of 80km/h. Irish car, van and truck drivers are terrible, and will go around corners on these roads where they cannot see slow bike traffic ahead around corners. Don’t even ask about safe bike lanes. They are and will almost certainly remain almost non-existent.
    In towns, I think we really need a minimum of 50km/h to avoid cars honking horns and travelling very close behind.
    To persuade more Irish to get out of cars and onto electric bikes would require them to feel safe in traffic and that would be perhaps 60km/h in my opinion – but 30mph would be a start at least.
    Yes, I would agree to a proper motorbike helmet and compulsory insurance for these bikes.
    How about a button/switch to swap between “city” and “regular” mode, with city limited to lower speed assistance?
    Could we request EU to lower speed limit for single carriageway roads with no central barrier to 60km/h please ?

    • Stewie

      Reply

      Also Ireland here. Stop talking about ludicrous slow limits, like some Amish throwback. The human race tries to go forward not revert.
      We have long distances to cover, have to reach our work, Quickly and Safely.
      Quite clearly we need electric bikes that bridge the gap between cycles and motorcycles. S-Pedalecs as they are being called. 80km range to be useful and 65kph capable *for any rider*, tyres to suit, crash helmets arguably some protection, TRAINING. No cyclist should be in the public road untrained.
      It’s only 40mph for goodness sake and can then mix perfectly safely with 100kph traffic and hey 60mph is already pretty slow much of the time.
      Suggest that 15kph has no place outside the city, frankly in the city either, 35kph is the sweet spot in town.

  11. Paul

    Reply

    I think 15.5 is to slow considering if i was on a non electric bike i can get up to higer speeds on the flat and it is assisted at the end of the day

  12. John

    Reply

    Keep wondering why they can’t have a compromise of say 35 km/h instead of doubling the speed to 50 km/h – keep to standard bike helmets and they would be more in line with normal bikes

  13. Geoff Thomas

    Reply

    If speed limits are to be imposed on bicycles does it not follow that there will be a legal requirement to fit an accurate speedometer to every bicycle? If not, how will you know if you are riding within the speed limit? Then, perhaps an “mot” style yearly mechanical test will also be necessary to ensure compliance.

    • The ETA

      Reply

      As far as we know, all speed pedelecs are equipped with a digital display that includes speed.

  14. Dinny

    Reply

    I used to ride road time trials and could do 25 miles in 1 hour 5 minutes. That’s an average of 23 mph legally on the road on an ordinary bike. It is absolutely ridiculous that a electric bike should be restricted to 15.5 mph. Have the law makers never seen sporting cyclists out on the road. 20 to 30 mph is the norm. It’s time to get real instead of repressive. It would be far more sensible to make the restriction at 25 mph. It is my belief that the accident rate would not up go up but the take up of electric bikes would increase.

  15. Billy

    Reply

    There is nothing dangerous or worrying about an e-bike, you could be just as reckless on a normal bike if you wanted to. It simply comes down to humans obeying the laws and having some level of common sense about what they are doing. Shared pathways should be used safely, road speeds need to be higher, limiting e-bike speeds is a very, very dangerous thing in road traffic.

  16. Phil Spencelayh

    Reply

    As regards road time trials. When you are driving down the A1 at 70mph and come across dozens of cyclists doing 23mph its no joke. It seems quick on a bike but its an absolute menace to be on a dual carriageway. I ride a bike myself but on suitable tracks .

    • Alex

      Reply

      What’s really needed are cycle-paths down every dual carriageway. There’s a great one on the A64 from Tadcaster to York which I take regularly and is normally pretty quiet and nice to ride along.

  17. Nicklaus

    Reply

    I have had conversations with friends and colleagues at work who would definitely look at an E bike for a daily commute but all think that a maximum of 15.5 mph is just not high enough to warrant spending the high price for a half decent E bike. We see and hear of endless talk on the tv & radio about how we should all be looking at electric vehicles instead of combustion engines when there are still only a handful of charging stations for the masses so an E bike where you could charge up at work or home easily would be a massive benefit to society and the planet. Let’s stop thinking negatively that anyone on an E bike capable of speeds above 15.5 mph is out to race the planet and mow down padestrians like skittles. ” There, I have had my rant”

    • andy gardener

      Reply

      yes, there would clearly be more of an uptake of ebikes if the ridiculous restrictions were lifted to a sensible level, such as 750 watts (only 1 horsepower), as in the usa. and even that is arbitrarily restricting peoples liberties, when motorists are essentially free to buy ridiculously powerful cars as long as they promise to stay under a speed limit and not be reckless. the motor industry does not want people to use bikes, whether ebikes or not, and the oil industry does not want anyone to use e-vehicles. unfortunately the uk government is bought and paid for by these interests through donations, bribes and other corruption and through all the shills and puppets in place to do industry bidding. everyone knows government is a revolving door between industry and policy making. so it is no wonder ebikes are limited to a boring 15mph. but its worse. industrial civilization generally is just an exercise in burning fossil fuel. everything that encourages burning stuff is encouraged and will be until its all been burnt. and things and behaviours that are not, are ignored or not rewarded. when is the last time you’ve seen a tv ad from a cycle maker telling folk to ditch the car and buy their bike instead. never. all you get is bradly wiggins selling out by saying ‘all his best moments’ were in his car. when were bike based businesses encouraged. never. the safety argument falls apart immediately when you factor in global warming and oil depletion. with cars unbanned, we are on course for 6c warming plus. cars waste energy required for keeping humans fed into the future. all this stupidity guarantees the deaths of billions of people. it could be successfully argued that driving a car is now 100’s of times more evil than what the nazi’s did as the death toll will be astronomically higher than the second world war. resource wars for oil to keep cars running will also probably lead to a nuclear war to add to our predicament. so ‘safety’ is clearly not an issue taken seriously by any government on earth, the uk one included. also the immediate death toll from cars ieven with tests etc, is astounding. government uses ‘the safety card’ when it suits them, and thats when it benifits the interests that own them.

  18. Jason

    Reply

    £2000.00 to do 15mph.prices need to drop a lot for people to buy into.Then if it does become popular,the government will obviously realise they are set to lose millions in road tax and congestion charge and so on.so they will just sit down and think up more ways to tax people more money for goin green.Its never goin to end.

  19. HOWARD

    Reply

    My main concern is the UK legal max speed of approx 3.7mph on throttle alone, ie, without peddling. This is slower than electric disability mobility scooters.
    Older people, in particular, may have difficulty balancing on a bike below 4 mph and the max throttle speed should be increased to at least 6mph to encourage older poeople, particularly living in hilly areas, to make use of the fantastic fitness possibilities an ebike can offer.

  20. Niall

    Reply

    I share the thoughts of others here that the limits are too low. Reaching 30 to 40 mph on a bicycle may sound excessive to motorists but I think mostly out of their own idleness. I cycled the 11 miles from City to Airport for 3 years. Kept me fit and weight where it should be. Being knocked off 4 times in that time (no the car drivers did Not stop), has put an end to it. Riding for one terror filled mile along the A96 and even along the B9039 road, the speeds being done and behaviour shown by impatient drivers who value a few seconds over someone’s life are ridiculous. Never a policeman when you need one! So if those of us who take an interest in our environment, want to stay healthy and don’t clog up the roads (will in those cases be less of a burden on society), are able to go a little faster why should anyone complain. We would be out of your way more quickly! Incidentally ‘road tax’ is Not the only taxation which goes toward road upkeep, or in reality lack of it! So stop complaining that we are there. Before any panties are twisted over my comment, I would suggest an age limit for using these bikes. Preferably also a motorcycle licence holder too, the advantage is the road sense gained which so many other motorists do not appear to have. As for pedestrians the vast majority of cyclists use common sense and perhaps people on foot could be less interested in their phones whilst walking around. To the ignorant, light jumping, foolish cyclists…. you’re buggering things up for the rest of us!

  21. Niall Macrae

    Reply

    I share the thoughts of others here that the limits are too low. Reaching 30 to 40 mph on a bicycle may sound excessive to motorists but I think mostly out of their own idleness. I cycled the 11 miles from City to Airport for 3 years. Kept me fit and weight where it should be. Being knocked off 4 times in that time (no the car drivers did Not stop), has put an end to it. Riding for one terror filled mile along the A96 and even along the B9039 road, the speeds being done and behaviour shown by impatient drivers who value a few seconds over someone’s life are ridiculous. Never a policeman when you need one! So if those of us who take an interest in our environment, want to stay healthy and don’t clog up the roads (will in those cases be less of a burden on society), are able to go a little faster why should anyone complain. We would be out of your way more quickly! Incidentally ‘road tax’ is Not the only taxation which goes toward road upkeep, or in reality lack of it! So stop complaining that we are there. Before any panties are twisted over my comment, I would suggest an age limit for using these bikes. Preferably also a motorcycle licence holder too, the advantage is the road sense gained which so many other motorists do not appear to have. As for pedestrians the vast majority of cyclists use common sense and perhaps people on foot could be less interested in their phones whilst walking around. To the ignorant, light jumping, foolish cyclists…. you’re buggering things up for the rest of us!

  22. Mark Clark

    Reply

    The more I read the more I share peoples thoughts. I commute 10 miles to work but it is hard going and takes 45 minutes which is fine but time is SO precious. I wanted to buy a LEGAL eBike but my average speed is much higher than 15.5mph so I can not see the point in buying one. So that is less VAT being paid, less time I will use my bike (I drive mostly) so less benefit to the environment.
    Basically I can’t see the point in buying one. 25kph max assist is rubbish unless you have never peddled in your life.

  23. Wayne

    Reply

    I have a speed bike and am so glad i did not get a slower one. The motor drag and heavy weight of the think makes it next to impossible to go much faster than the assisted speed unless downhill. I pedal like a loon everywhere and have only averaged about 20mph on my 20mile commuter. the greatest benefit is going uphill, I have a fairly long and steep hill (2miles as part of my daily travel and I can go up up it averaging 16mph trying as hard as I can but only about 7mph on a normal road bike. Adversely I can only max out at 44.5mph going down it on ebike but 48mph on a normal bike. 10 mile each way, 25mins there, 30 mins back, thats at least 15min quicker than the car or bus options, says £10 per day parking as well and i can get those speeds with full paniers carring wet weather kit, laptops etc. It a much better option.

  24. Anthony Steele

    Reply

    Being able to merge with traffic feels way safer to be honest

  25. Andy Blance

    Reply

    I’m in my late sixties and I’ve certainly served my time on conventional bikes! I have the use of a top of the range R&M Delite and I thoroughly enjoy riding it in seriously hilly areas, both on and off road. I even managed a black run climb in Keilder. It rolls back 30 years for me. However 15.5mph is way too slow on flat roads – you reach it quickly enough in traffic but then there’s nothing more, which is dangerous. I can still manage to average around 18mph on a conventional touring bike on flat roads. I can and do still hit over 50mph on a conventional bike down West Country hills – no helmet required.
    I’ve been borrowing a Speed Pedelec and it’s brilliant. I can average 20mph on rolling terrain. I’d be happy to comply with speed limits on shared paths but I would not want to wear a heavy, sweaty motorcycle helmet whilst exerting myself. As I can go faster (down hill) on a conventional bike, I see no necessity to be compelled to use anything more that a conventional cycle helmet.
    Unless something sensible is decided by Government, riding a Honda Wave 110cc step through (as millions do in South East Asia) will remain the cheapest and greenest option for commuting.

  26. Jamei

    Reply

    I have a road race bicycle not electric aluminium frame and carbon fiber forks the bike has 52 tooth front chain ring and 11-36 tooth rear gear cassette and I have to say 30mph+ on that bike is a regular occurance and down hill whilst peddling I can easily obtain speeds over 50mph.

  27. Jamie

    Reply

    Having tested ebikes myself the only difference I find is getting to 15.5mph is just easier their is nothing to say I couldn’t do these speeds on any bike without electric anyone who thinks a faster ebike makes the rider faster is just being ignorant to the facts of people exceeding 30mph as of today with normal bicycles all the time. Its a common practice and has always been that way it’s just that alot of people don’t realise. And with bicycles paths and shared paths with pedestrians their has never been anything preventing a cyclist from doing extreme speeds apart from the cyclist thereselves. Ebikes= get their quicker Bicycle=same speed just takes a bit longer.

  28. Oz

    Reply

    UK and European law needs to address this now! E bikes are here, widely available and lets face it are the future. For Gods sake lets make this practical, we don’t want big number plates, motorcycle helmets and insurance that includes breakdown cover for bikes that do more than 15mph. I want a strong bike that can do 20 – 25mph, it needs good brakes and can accelerate well in moving traffic. I need a ventilated helmet that’s gonna save my head, and a simple way of being registered and insured when out on the road. Don’t think of this as cycling, don’t think of it as motorcycling, this is new generation E biking for cities, commuting, leisure and everything in-between.

  29. Mike

    Reply

    The problem is sharing roads where different vehicles have different limits. On the A9 it is trucks at 50mph criticised for holding up cars that can do 60 legally. if I am cycling at 15mph I will hold up cars wanting to do 30. If you want to do 30mph on two wheels, go and buy an electric moped. However, we need to educate drivers to be sympathetic to other road users. To achieve this I suggest that every driver must spend two weeks of the year using a bike, electric or otherwise, just to appreciate the cyclists perspective and perhaps be a little more patient next time they are in their car!

  30. Andrew Hague

    Reply

    YES – Like the idea of upping the limit by around 10kph. When I was younger I could average 20mph easily on a racing bike – there’s no way you can do that on a pedelec. Just a small rise in the max assisted speed would make rural bike commuting a viable alternative to the car. The effort of pedalling means that m/c helmets are a no no. Could this be the one good thing to come out of Brexit?

  31. B Andrews

    Reply

    I would suggest ebike speed law should address “SPEED” not motor power or battery capacity. Whether the allowed speed is 15, 25, 30mph or whatever there is the necessity to enable an ebike rider to tackle typical hills, not just gentle inclines, at realistic speeds whilst still having battery power to provide a decent range.

    It is perfectly possible to restrict a powerfull motor to a chosen maximum speed, whilst reducing the degree of pedal assistance to reach that speed. It is also possible to automatically switch the motor to a higher power when the bike exceeds a pre determined angle of inclination. Thus if the law is crafted around speed, not motor power or battery capacity the “EBiKE” would become a viable option for both cycling enthusiasts and normal mortals of varying degrees of fitness who need to justify the cost of an ebike before ditching the car.

    The only caveat I would add is that for bikes which can function at motorcycle speeds any law should tie in bike construction and the need to wear a cycle helmet to the allowed speed. ie. brakes, forks, frame, wheels, tyres and chain drive should all be of a type and strength suited to the speed. For example NO “V” BRAKES

  32. Laurie Allan

    Reply

    Hi – FWIW i have 3 ebikes, 4 batteries and 2 spare wiring harnesses to fit to a beachcruiser and any other nice frame i acquire.

    This has cost me about £3.500 in total – about the same as i *was* going to spend on yet another Motor Bike at the age of 61…..

    Instead i did my research.
    Saw that speed and power-restricted shop-bought ebikes/pedelecs were very poor value for money and more to the point did not do the job also i would have had to pay about £3.5k for one half-decent bike…

    Solution:
    Fit your own kit.
    I bought 3x 1kw Bafang motors c/w wiring harness, computer LCD display at £560 each.
    4 x 17.5ah batteries at £400 each.
    2x spare wiring etc kits at £125 each.

    These kits fit the standard 68mm bottom bracket (Bafang make upto 100mm).
    With the aid of a couple of YouTube videos you can fit and set one up in a couple or 3 hours.
    The beauty is that you can remove the motor and chainring in 15 minutes and fit to another frame – longer with the wiring harness but that’s why i have spares. I can also remove from a folding bike to take abroad as a non-electric or with all the gear if the hold baggage allowance is ok.

    I have 3 bikes as follows:
    A disc-braked MTB.
    A part Carbon-fibre road bike
    One of 2 folding Bromptons – the complete fold cannot be completed due to the fitted motor but still nearly folds normally. A bungee restrains the back wheel if required.

    The LCD comes with 9 levels of pedal-assist once you have set the wheel diameter.
    The supplied Chainring (only one can be used but rear sprocket stays the same) is 46T which is fine for most applications.
    I have several adapters with rings upto 58T for road use, i have nothing smaller than 46T as i do not indulge in off-road hill-climbs.
    My bikes and cycling are for transport, shopping, pub and mainly birding – i have an adapted basket usable on the Brompton for my little 9kilo dog.

    I have hit speeds in excess of 35mph on flat to undulating ground but i cycle around between 15-25mph on pedal-asisst 4/5 – this gives me 28-38 miles per charge (8-10 hours charging time) depending on terrain, gearing and what bike i am using.

    At present the 1kw is not legal on the road but i am not bothered – you will never be stopped and the legislation is changing but that will only be for shop-bought bikes not conversions like mine.

    I post this information to illustrate that there are ways to get more power, distance and importantly enjoyment from cycling on an ebike. They have improved my range as i can take 1 or even 2 spare batteries in a front bag or panniers.

    The motor and battery weigh in at about 9kilos.
    Sounds a lot but the bike has a lot of power so it is not noticeable.
    The motor is mounted low and as it is not in either hub it is very stable. The battery can be mounted either in the frame or on top of a pannier rack.

    The Govt pay lip service to cyclists and ebikes as they are not important for revenue.
    I have had to pay EU import duty and VAT on everything which is highly irrititating.
    Laws are fine but they have to be enforced – ‘nuff said.
    I get even more satisfaction knowing that i am transgressing the wishes of Westminster…..

    Laurie –

    • James

      Reply

      one word – NICE!

  33. Eddy Jawed

    Reply

    I regularly build and sell my own 35mph bikes for over 8 years! Believe me, although 35mph + is quite fast, going at around 27-30mph is actually safer than riding at slower speeds of 15mph because it discourages the car drivers from overtaking on the smaller roads where that speed is average for most vehicles.

    They will have to allow this law because they can’t stop it anyway.

  34. London LeBeau

    Reply

    My bike is a own-build 1KW 17.5Ah beauty. I’m car licensed and working on my A2 motorbike licence but I don’t plan to get a car or a motorbike given my preferred mode of transport.
    The fastest I’ve gotten with her on a flat is about 25mph but I don’t reach those sorts of speeds usually because I’m sensible about my commute. I fitted her with dipped and raised headlights, running and brake lights and indicators. She is way more safe than the law requires and I think the power limit is insane.
    Cars are capable of going 200mph but never do. You know why? Because that top speed translates to power which translates to torque at lower speeds. Same for e-bikes. We should be limited by speed, but not power.
    Heck, I’d even be happy to pass a CBT on a throttle assisted electric bike so long as I didn’t have to have it classed as a moped and thus be licences, registered, given a number plate and taxed. Plus having to pass vehicle conversion tests etc.

  35. Andrew Hodson

    Reply

    Yes; I think 15½mph(25k) = too slow. Guess some 1 said, ‘let then have ½ that of petrol moped’, but got ½ the speed & not 25cc that might do 20mph(32k). Read somewhere of 350 watt e-bike that’ll do 28mph(45k), but it in fact = the same as a 250 watt, & they can be tricked into going 2 × as fast as they should, = 31mph(50k) & so a little faster. There was a chose on web site; 250w folding e-bike at £299, or 1000w proper 1 for £1999, I chose the cheaper 1, it said it’ll do 20mph(32k) but really even less than 15½mph(25k), I wish I’d bought the dearer 1 now. Bought 1000w kit but not fitted to bike sans problems.

  36. Roger

    Reply

    I think the speed limit on e bikes is pathetic.
    Do the government want to help with pollution, free up road space and road repairs, reduce illnesses.
    How many people stuck in our endless traffic jams leaving hours before they need to be in work would switch to riding if it was set at a more sensible speed. If your worried about bicycle lanes then simply speed limit them to 15/20 mph, add a pavements ban but on 30 mph normal roads allow us to contribute to a cleaner Britain and get fit at the same time whilst being safe to keep up with normal traffic. If people abuse it and ride like idiots then prosecute them as you would in a car. Insurance requirement is fine and safety gear is also a sensible requirement.
    Have you tried walking recently along your main road at rush hour with the current rate of cars, vans and lorries. The fumes are deadly and actually burn your lungs.
    Why does Britain have to be so restrictive when it comes to alternative electric transport, encourage innovation for companies to mass produce a cleaner and healthier way for Britain’s transport and pollution problems. Cry when i burn my rubber tyres, plastics out the back garden , not when i ride along country lanes or roads producing zero emissions because thats what you make people feel like doing when you restrict to a limit that is unreasonable. There i have had my rant.

    • Roger

      Reply

      P.S. I am a Car driver, Motor biker, cycle rider and walker and have been for 40 years so my view is from all sides.

      • James

        Reply

        I totally agree with you… I use electric bikes to haul all kinds of stuff along the dedicated cycle routes. Using Lipo batteries from a 250W motor it ‘can’ cope but it takes a while to get up to speed.

        15.5mph is a dangerous speed. Its the perfect ‘goldlocks zone’ for having an accident, i.e. you’re going to fast to be a normal pedal cyclist and too slow for traffic on a 20 mph / 30 mph rod. Hence you have to overtake other cyclists in the cycle lane into rearcoming traffic who think your going just as slow as every other cyclist and can end up rear ending you etc.

        Also pedestrians see a bicycle and they cross right in-front thinking your as slow as non electric bikes completely misjudging your speed. At 20 mph you’d easily overtake their path , at 8 mph they’d easily miss you. And 15.5 mph it’s the perfect speed for a a pedestrian vs. cyclist collision.

        SERIOUSLY, DID SOMEONE ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND WORK IT OUT??

        “HMM, WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST SPEED TO PUT E-BIKES RIGHT AT THE SPEED WHERE THEY ARE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE AN ACCIDENT???”

        “AHH YES, GOT IT 15.5MPH!! , THIS WILL CAUSE AS MANY ACCIDENTS AS POSSIBLE PUTTING IT RIGHT IN THE “GOLDILOCKS ZONE” PROVING THAT ELECTRIC BIKES ARE UNSAFE SO WE CAN TAX MORE ON FUEL AND OTHER TRANSPORT”

        “EXCELLENT, THIS WILL PROTECT OUR PROFITS!!!”

        And what’s this STUPID non-throttle thing…taking away throttle control is STUPID DANGEROUS!!! Gives you lack of control, I don’t want to accidentally knock into pedestrians or suddenly for my bike to shoot into/off the road at traffic lights.

        FYI: I used to be a motorist, but have been riding electric bikes etc. for over 10 years and never looked back. Now restrictions are getting stupid and making e-bikes more dangerous not safer and I have to look back all the time now because of it. IS THAT SAFER??

  37. Kieron

    Reply

    I ride an e bike because I lost my licence due to epilepsy. Its 48v 250w and actually looks like a scooter which is a little unusual tbh and I have had the odd bit of abuse. It’s not just a commuter for me tho, it’s a way to get around while the wife gets the (new) car. I live in Wales which is pretty hilly. My bike will get me about 26km on a full charge depending on terrain and what I am carrying but it’s woefully slow uphill. My std carrera road bike will let me fly around much faster downhill and about the same on the flat, but it’s obviously all my power. Not good to arrive in work or at destination sweaty. On my e bike having a queue of cars is not good for either party(ies). I try to pull aside if needed to let them pass. A bit more power and a bit more speed, say 25mph, would be ideal just to keep traffic flowing. I don’t mind the tax insurance etc it’s the licence issue for me. Please put yourself in my shoes re transport issues. Any thoughts on the law changing?

  38. A K STEELE

    Reply

    my ebike goes 45mph

  39. Peter

    Reply

    I have had to stop using my electric bike as I am disabled with balance problems. The Tricycle I bought is much heavier and although 250 watts is ok on the flat getting up hills is very difficult. All I am asking for is some more power – speed no problem as don’t go faster than 10/12 mph

  40. Daniel R

    Reply

    Hi everyone.
    I think the electric bikes should be allowed to go with 40 miles an hour to encourage people use the e-bikes and help to relieve the problems with climate change and global warming.
    I am sure that many people will give up on their cars for going to work and use e-bikes. But with the stupid limitations of 15 miles/hour people are not tempted to use them.
    Anyway the experienced and fit athletes can ride with a simple bike with 40 miles an hour or faster downhill.
    If you go with the flow in cities the risk of an accident is smaller compared if every car is overtaking you with.
    Ok, they shouldn’t allow the e-bikes to go without some new rules but if they will put in place rules it will be safe to increase the limit to 40 miles.
    Put the following rules in place and allow e-bikes to go up to 40 miles.:
    – not allow them to go on bike paths but on normal roads
    -not allowed to ride on public roads if don’t have a licence
    – not allowed under 16
    -not allowed without a helmet
    Is stupid to limit to 15 miles on hour because anyway most athletes ride anytime faster than 15 miles an hour with a simple push bike.
    A good athlete with a professional carbon push bike can go with 40 miles an hour for quiet long distances with no problems.
    The record speed on push bike on flat surface on roads is 85 miles an hour. So yes 15 miles an hour for electric bike is stupid. Evry fit person goes much faster with a simple push bike.

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