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Reply To: Electric assist bikes?

Jason Stoller, January 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm

[quote quote=1298855]I found doc that has e-bikes classified by capabilities which I think is useful. Both RAGBRAI and the Iowa law only allows class-1 e-bikes which I think are reasonable. RAGBRAI I think could benefit by making it clear what is and in particular what is not allowed on RAGBRAI by publishing the classes and what class is allowed. The basics are below (classes 1-3 have 750 watt max):

class-1: Require pedal assist & 20 mph max before motor cuts out.
class-2: same as class-1 but pedal assist not needed as a throttle is introduced.
class-3: same as class-2 but max speed now at 28 mph.
class-4: same as moped or motorcycle. watts > 750, speeds well over 28 mph but must have proper motorcycle/moped license plate and operators license.

I think RABGBAI limiting e-bikes to class 1 is reasonable but should make very clear what is and is not allowed. The only issue, very difficult to enforce. But e-bikes are coming to RAGBRAI no matter what any ones says.[/quote]

Mootsman since we are going to start classifying then we should apply it to all. Shouldn’t there be limits on gearing allowed? For example 7 speed, 8 speed, 9 speed, 10 speed, 11 speed and so on? Does chain ring size ( tooth count matter and should it be restricted)? Can we regulate pace line or individual rider speeds somehow? At least you are seeing with mass marketed e-assisted bikes such as Shimano based there are limiters built in that doe cut out the motor at a specific speed but that is not all e-assist bikes. We also are quite aware that there are people who own e-assist bikes and that are manually able to pedal much faster than those speeds set by those e-assist limiters. Let me ask this mootsman just for fun. How fast do you think a Velomobile can travel when its set up properly? How would you classify or regulate that? Is it a bicycle or something else? It is Human powered? Also some of them have e-assist as well. Do you see the can of worms being opened up here.

Isn’t the best solution to just ride your own bicycle and stop worrying about what everyone else is riding? If some has a Mercedes or some other brand of automobile they drive on the street or hwy and it has electric windows instead of roll down does that bother others? I am sure it does. Its like people who envy others who own cars who have heated seats in the winter or remote start when their cars don’t. If people with e-assist are not hurting anyone then why all fuss about it. If it enables more people to participate in Ragbrai that wouldn’t then why knock them just because they do it different than you. I would think we would all be glad they are contributing to Ragbrai and helping to continue to be the great event it is. A celebration of people who enjoy getting together and enjoy bicycle riding no matter what they ride.

Instead it seems there are people that want Big Brother to step in and regulate E-assist Bicycles, just as they have attempted to do with Automobiles, Motorcycles, and other forms of transportation in our lives. Please tell me whats next and when is it you neighbor stops looking at what you own and operate and complaining that is not fair because I do not have one.


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