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Speed and responsibility

Started by mtngrl, February 17, 2022, 08:03:27 AM

Previous topic - Next topic Rad E-Bike April 2024 Promotion

mtngrl

OK, so let me start by saying I love my Radrunner Plus and love to ride. The whole e-bike industry has been a great thing for many riders. But I am trying to understand why so many owners are ready to mod their bikes as soon as they get them to make them go faster. I know, speed is fun, biking is fun. But if you want something that goes really, really fast - buy something designed for that speed, and drive it in a safe and legal way. Every time I turn around I see cities and towns banning e-bikes on bike paths and trails because riders are not respecting speed limits and are causing safety concerns. As an e-bike community, let's make sure our choices and behaviors support the industry and encourage local communities to embrace and encourage e-bike ridership rather than find new reasons to ban us!

I'm sure this post may kick up some strong opinions. I'm all ears and welcome respectful and constructive exchange.

jbfoster

Quote from: mtngrl on February 17, 2022, 08:03:27 AM
OK, so let me start by saying I love my Radrunner Plus and love to ride. The whole e-bike industry has been a great thing for many riders. But I am trying to understand why so many owners are ready to mod their bikes as soon as they get them to make them go faster. I know, speed is fun, biking is fun. But if you want something that goes really, really fast - buy something designed for that speed, and drive it in a safe and legal way. Every time I turn around I see cities and towns banning e-bikes on bike paths and trails because riders are not respecting speed limits and are causing safety concerns. As an e-bike community, let's make sure our choices and behaviors support the industry and encourage local communities to embrace and encourage e-bike ridership rather than find new reasons to ban us!

I'm sure this post may kick up some strong opinions. I'm all ears and welcome respectful and constructive exchange.

I agree with you. Some people love to tinker and mod things. I have no problem people doing that but some don't follow the rules and laws. It's these few that will mess it up for the rest of us. I have a Rdadrover 5 and I personally have no desire to go faster than stock. If I need to go faster I might as well get a motorcycle.

Jim

machina77

To me it is power, not speed that is an issue to me. the EU limit is 25kph (15.5mph) I have no problem with that as i only need assistance, i can use leg power to get faster, but limiting the motor to 250w is far too weak for such a heavy bike (Radrunner) and rider (13.8 stone) surely a minimum of 750w or 500w is more desirable for pedalecs to be of any use in hilly areas?

jcvdd

#3
Quote from: machina77 on February 20, 2022, 10:33:16 AM
To me it is power, not speed that is an issue to me. the EU limit is 25kph (15.5mph) I have no problem with that as i only need assistance, i can use leg power to get faster, but limiting the motor to 250w is far too weak for such a heavy bike (Radrunner) and rider (13.8 stone) surely a minimum of 750w or 500w is more desirable for pedalecs to be of any use in hilly areas?

Hello and question please. @machina77
Are the Rad and all E-Bikes sold in Europe limited to 250 watts ?
Does Rad sell a different type of bike in Europe to accommodate the European market ?
Are the Rad's sold in Europe not capable of increasing their power by the customer within the display ?
Seriously, what would happened if a European had a more powerful bike ? Get arrested / fined by the bike police ?

Veggyhed

I agree with you mtngrl.
The modding and tinkering aspect is kind of fun to do to bikes. I have a mini 4 and Runner Plus but I have not modded any to increase the power.
Pretty much All cars can exceed the speed limit for pretty much everyone respects the posted speed limit. So I guess it's a matter of choice for the speed someone wants to travel at.
My bikes are the way I get around and I have to admit I enjoy the slower pace of life on a bike. Here in Boise there are a lot of people who ride bikes and I get past by non e-bikes all the time.
There are also a lot of e-bikes and I see most of them ride at a respectful speed. I do know one person who has an e-bike capable of 55 mph who rides on the road. Him and I have had some pretty long discussions about this.

I know four people who either race or ride mountain bikes recreationally who hated e-bikes and now those four people own at least one and are  thoroughly enjoying it for commuting. It helps not arriving at work while sweaty during the summer.

The most important thing I think is e-bikes allow many people who would never ride a regular bike to be out there on a bicycle and it seems like these people spend more and more time on their bikes replacing trips with their cars. Less cars on the road is always a better thing.

If everyone is respectful on their e-bikes then they will be no reason to have additional rules and regulations regarding e-bikes.



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machina77

Quote from: jcvdd on February 20, 2022, 12:12:24 PM
Quote from: machina77 on February 20, 2022, 10:33:16 AM
To me it is power, not speed that is an issue to me. the EU limit is 25kph (15.5mph) I have no problem with that as i only need assistance, i can use leg power to get faster, but limiting the motor to 250w is far too weak for such a heavy bike (Radrunner) and rider (13.8 stone) surely a minimum of 750w or 500w is more desirable for pedalecs to be of any use in hilly areas?

Hello and question please. @machina77
Are the Rad and all E-Bikes sold in Europe limited to 250 watts ?
Does Rad sell a different type of bike in Europe to accommodate the European market ?
Are the Rad's sold in Europe not capable of increasing their power by the customer within the display ?
Seriously, what would happened if a European had a more powerful bike ? Get arrested / fined by the bike police ?

Ebikes in europe are split into groups, 250w @25kph is the legal limit, throttle is limited to 6kph and this class of ebike is called an EAPC (Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle)  you can ride these anywhere that a bicycle can, and need not licence, 14 years minimum age. Certain states in the EU allow faster more powerful bikes, yet her in the UK (EU rules on EAPC were kept after Brexit!) anything above the legal 250w and 25kph is classed as a motorcycle and you are required to have the bike insured, taxed have a certificate of road worthiness and be over 17 with a minimum provisional licence (learners licence) and complete a road theory test and have a CBT (compulsory Basic Training for motorcycles) or a full bike licence. Recently in the UK full throttles were legalised, but the bike must be tested by DVSA and have a certificate issued. Failure to follow these rules would have you arrested and charged with riding a motor vehicle without insurance MOT or license, and could expect at the very least a huge fine and points on your drivers licence. 

here is a link to the UK Govt. website RE; ebikes. https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

mtblair

I agree with mtngrl. In fact this is a topic that I've wanted to bring up in some of the motorcycle forums I belong to. It looks like some of the same things are happening in the ebike world that happened in motorcycling.

There are those that buy a motorcycle and their first thought is "how can I modify this to go faster?". They are the ones that speed through traffic, lane split, zip past me on the interstate and ride through residential areas at twice the speed limit. I assume it's an adrenaline thing and a rebellious nature. But those are the people that give us a bad name. As well as end up in some horrendous accidents.

Whether I'm on my motorcycle or ebike, I follow the rules of the road, am mindful of other riders/drivers around me, keep safe distances and speeds, and just enjoy the ride. Yes, to some that's dull and boring. But, I'm confident that I'll be riding many years because of my philosophies.

I expect that as long as there are people who think that the ONLY important thing is to push the limits, there will be unsafe riders on bicycles, ebikes, motorcycles, scooters, skateboards and anything else that moves.

We are all accountable and responsible for our actions on the road.
Owner of a Rad Power Mini Step-Through 2

Eric7

The biggest danger is missing out on the fun (sort of joking, of course).

I am keeping my bike stock with no enhancements to power or speed.  I ride around 12-15 mph and enjoy being out.  I don't do anything to prolong battery life.  I don't want to think that hard.  If my battery goes, I'll buy another one.  If a regular bike or another ebike passes me, I am OK.  When the tire wears out, I'll buy what is available.  I put some slime in my tires but I don't do research on which one is the best - I just use something.  I don't ride with a repair kit.  If I break down, I plan to hail a car service (an SUV) and get a lift home. I stop for coffee shops.  The ride always end up costing more money on foods and snacks :)  I slow to a crawl when there are kids sharing the road with me.

I don't mind making friends but I am not out to make friends, impress people, or even do group rides.  I am not trying to make a goal of so many miles or how fast.  Sometimes I bring a sketch pad and some pencils but most of the time I take pictures for future paintings. The bike is kept in top shape but I am not sentimental, when it is worn out, I'll get a better one.

I am grateful I can still afford these small luxuries - of not worrying too much.

jcvdd

@machina77

Thanks for the information and the linky. I had no idea that Europe had such stringent laws and regulations regarding bicycles.
Here in the States, I pay for something called uninsured motorist insurance which is in addition to regular car insurance
which essentially buys insurance for those who choose not to properly insure themselves.
Glad that Europe forces all motorist to properly insure themselves and to be financially responsible for themselves.
Be Safe.

Islandcruiser

I'm guessing some communities were going to ban ebikes on paths regardless of mods or speeding. And likely banned all bikes, since you dont need an ebike to speed. I could easily keep up with traffic on my old 10 speed. Speeding might not even be the reason for the ban, some people just dont want bikes on their walking paths.

That said, its important to advocate for the bike community when anything is being discussed regarding biking in your area. Whether its talk of bans, or improvements and more paths. Make sure you put the responsibility for bad behavior on the rider, not the type of bike the rider was using. All cars are capable of speeding, but its the driver that is responsible for it, not the car.

machina77

Quote from: jcvdd on February 23, 2022, 11:28:48 AM
@machina77

Thanks for the information and the linky. I had no idea that Europe had such stringent laws and regulations regarding bicycles.
Here in the States, I pay for something called uninsured motorist insurance which is in addition to regular car insurance
which essentially buys insurance for those who choose not to properly insure themselves.
Glad that Europe forces all motorist to properly insure themselves and to be financially responsible for themselves.
Be Safe.

You're welcome.  Stay safe!

Altema

I mod my bike, but I went out of my way to keep it 100% legal where I ride. More legal than most e-bike manufacturers, as a matter of fact. I also happen to be one of the courteous riders that averages 11 to 13 mph, and slows down further when around pedestrians. Oddly, the riders doing the big violations where I live are regular bikers, not on e-bikes. Here I'm being cautious and friendly, and the guys in spandex are blasting past children at 30mph on a curved trail through the woods. It's the bad behaving riders, not the machines, that will get us e-bikers banned.

So why mod? In many cases it's to improve range and hill climbing capability. In other cases it's to improve safety in areas where you have no choice. Cruising along on a family trail where people are walking dogs and have kids in strollers, you need to go slow to fit in with the traffic. But there are times when you are faced with no bike lanes, no shoulder, and cars going 30mph who think you have no right to be on "their" road, and they WILL run you down and say it's your fault for being in the way. In those situations, going 19.5 mph is a death wish, and I can go faster on my regular bike. My e-bike specifications are far more tame than they could be, and more tame than what the US openly accepts from the manufacturers themselves.

If a bike is modded for hooning and to break the law, that person is damaging the e-bike world for all of us. But a person improving their e-bike and being responsible about it, I would have no issues with.

mtngrl

Hi Altema. Thanks for that explanation - makes perfect sense. I too have seen plenty of regular bikes blasting down bike paths, passing walkers and other bikers, with what seems to be no regard for others' safety. The challenge is how to encourage better road manners for all, since it is too easy for towns to just blame e-bikes. I'm not sure how to encourage better ridership, but it seems like we need to do something.

JimInPT

Quote from: mtngrl on February 26, 2022, 06:13:13 AMI'm not sure how to encourage better ridership, but it seems like we need to do something.

Keep a thick stick in hand to shove into their spokes when they blow by you.   ;)
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.

Slowrider

Quote from: mtngrl on February 17, 2022, 08:03:27 AM
OK, so let me start by saying I love my Radrunner Plus and love to ride. The whole e-bike industry has been a great thing for many riders. But I am trying to understand why so many owners are ready to mod their bikes as soon as they get them to make them go faster. I know, speed is fun, biking is fun. But if you want something that goes really, really fast - buy something designed for that speed, and drive it in a safe and legal way. Every time I turn around I see cities and towns banning e-bikes on bike paths and trails because riders are not respecting speed limits and are causing safety concerns. As an e-bike community, let's make sure our choices and behaviors support the industry and encourage local communities to embrace and encourage e-bike ridership rather than find new reasons to ban us!

I'm sure this post may kick up some strong opinions. I'm all ears and welcome respectful and constructive exchange.

This isn't exclusive to e-bikes or at least not in the USA.  People put ridiculous not street legal mods on their cars here but it kind of goes below the radar.  I'm not against that if they act responsibly. 

The problem with e-bikes  is they're new and with anything new people have fear because they don't know about it.  It's just like when cars came out people were scared that they were a danger to horses and many were against them.  If e-bikes ever become popular or somehow get mainstream attention that's when governments will look into regulating them.  All it's going to take is a fatal accident where an e-biker hits a pedestrian at 50 MPH on the sidewalk and there's going to be some serious motor vehicle like restrictions and requirements to operate one. 

The current class 1, 2 and 3 is a vague outline but isn't even close to being enough.  I think if e-bike companies were smart they would get ahead of this and create better standards as to what is an e-bike and what is an electric motorcycle (e-motorcycle?).  This would keep motorcycles off bicycle paths and allow a better relationship between e-bikers and traditional cyclists.  Right now that's not such a good relationship because of this fear I talked about.  More clear standards and information would prevent this.