Electric assist bikes?

OK, here is something to perk up the forum. We have seen a huge increase in electric assist bikes around here, and I imagine we will be seeing an increase of said bikes on RAGBRAI this July. I have an opinion concerning this, but I am more interested in what the forum community has to say. Is this the beginning of the end? Will this allow folks who would otherwise not be able to ride to make it happen? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between? Are there any “rules” regarding their use on RAGBRAI? What are your thoughts?

396 Replies

mootsman, January 29, 2019 at 1:24 pm

The e-bike classes I listed are from e-bike industry standards and the limits for RAGBRAI are set by the Iowa statute and RAGBRAI. I do not take troll bait so it was a waste of time. I do not even read all of it.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by mootsman.

#1298892

David C., January 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm

The classes are an industry standard as you suggest but currently have no authority in Iowa law.

(Here is an explanation about the classes I found useful: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/what-are-electric-bike-classes-and-why-do-they-matter.22738/classifications)

Essentially RAGBRAI would be making distinctions that the law in Iowa does not make when defining a bicycle if it adopted classes of ebikes and attempted to exclude them on the basis of these distinctions.

#1298904

Larry Klaaren, January 29, 2019 at 3:04 pm

https://iowabicyclecoalition.org/bikelaws/ See 321.234(40)(c)paragraph 2

That paragraph defines which E-bikes fall under Iowa law as being a bicycle.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Larry Klaaren.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Larry Klaaren.

#1298907

Jason Stoller, January 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm

The e-bike classes I listed are from e-bike industry standards and the limits for RAGBRAI are set by the Iowa statute and RAGBRAI. I do not take troll bait so it was a waste of time. I do not even read all of it.

Mootsman, I can see it is probably a habit for you to label anyone that disagrees or presents a different point of view or opinion from yours a Troll. Instead of keeping things on an intellectual level you would rather reduce things to implications, insulting name calling which doesn’t add anything to the discussion. It certainly does not do this forum any good.

If you are going to make an assertion about a source, isn’t it customary to post a link to that source so other readers can reference it? Did you forget to do that? You also asserted that what you posted without a link to source you are quoting has authority in Iowa Law? Where is a link to a Iowa law that shows and validates that authority you are claiming? Mootsman I have no problem accepting what you want to post as fact if you have valid sources behind those facts but please post links to sources to validate them. Do not post information you read part of or that was an opinion of a writer or that was proposed by another just because you happened to agree with it and call it fact. Do we need to go back to the basics and discuss about what was claimed in this forum about batteries again when someone who posted what really not informed or educated about them. I am certainly willing if you are.

Thank you,
Jason

#1298910

Jason Stoller, January 29, 2019 at 3:20 pm

https://iowabicyclecoalition.org/bikelaws/ See 321.234(40)(c)paragraph 2

That paragraph defines which E-bikes fall under Iowa law as being a bicycle.

Thank you Larry

Jason

#1298912

KenH, January 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm

Class 1, as posted above is defined by Iowa law as a bicycle. RAGBRAI policy is to follow Iowa law. Mootsmann is right, calls for sources are just argumentative at this point. They’ve already been given to the extent needed. According to the Just Go Bike podcast 102 the Iowa legislature is currently considering a move to give electric scooters the same rights as bicycles. I have no idea how they define scooter but if they don’t define it we could be riding with electric Vespas as early as next year. I certainly hope they apply sensible industry standards as they have in the case of ebikes.

#1298922

Jason Stoller, January 29, 2019 at 6:07 pm

Class 1, as posted above is defined by Iowa law as a bicycle. RAGBRAI policy is to follow Iowa law. Mootsmann is right, calls for sources are just argumentative at this point. They’ve already been given to the extent needed. According to the Just Go Bike podcast 102 the Iowa legislature is currently considering a move to give electric scooters the same rights as bicycles. I have no idea how they define scooter but if they don’t define it we could be riding with electric Vespas as early as next year. I certainly hope they apply sensible industry standards as they have in the case of ebikes.

Where in the world does it say anything about electric scooters or Vespas? Vespa is a brand name by the way for those who might be unaware and there are competing brands. Since when is calling for a source to validate random statements anyone wishes others to take as fact argumentative? Ken I think you will agree, even when it comes to the law everything is open interpretation. Whose interpretation depends on who is reading it what is written, case, or common law that has established a precedent. So far I am unaware of any precedents that have been established.

Jason

#1298924

mootsman, January 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Larry

The link you posted to the Iowa law appears to define a class 2 e-bike as legal under bicycle laws. TJ described his e-bike experience as a class-1 and those would be allowed on RAGBRAI leaving class-2s as a bit of a gray area for RAGBRAI.

I think the electric scooters they are talking about are the ones so many cities have around now from services allowing smart phone users to rent them. Something that should be considered carefully as in some cities the unused scooters have created a mess.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by mootsman.

#1298925

Jboz, January 29, 2019 at 7:34 pm

Last time I checked, the RAGBRAI takes place primarily (or exclusively) on active Iowa roadways. Meaning that for 40+ years a Harley could technically ride alongside cyclists if the Harley rider really wanted to. Since this obviously has not been a problem even though it technically could have, maybe the cries of “The mopeds are going to ruin RAGBRAI!” should be ignored.

The thing is, I have ridden alongside many riders using pedal assist, and in every case, my feeling was that it was awesome they are out here working for it despite whatever limitation they are dealing with. If however I happened to ride alongside someone who wasn’t pedaling and was just happily crusing along with zero exertion (I haven’t), I would think to myself “what an idiot”, and I suspect almost everyone else would be thinking the same thing. Riding on full electric power would be utterly pointless, no fun for the rider, and it’s not going to happen. So why worry about it?

#1298930

Jason Stoller, January 29, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Mootsman Please do not send me private messages in regard to this discussion. If you do not understand or cannot comprehend a point I made in the forum then ask about it in the forum so others can participate. I do not need you to explain to me in a private message why you want to refer to me or anyone else as a Troll. Personally I see name calling or labeling as juvenile behavior by someone who is unhappy because either others are not agreeing them or they are not getting their way.

Please respect my request and keep all messages and discussion in the forum.

Thank you
Jason

#1298935

Chad Frana, January 29, 2019 at 8:10 pm

Stop the madnesses!!! If your for them, you win. If against them, you loose. The law is the law and Ragbrai has stated its position. By the way, had to post something just to unfollow this bickering. I am definitely done with this topic.

#1298936

Dell Dembosky, January 30, 2019 at 4:44 am

Get in better shape so “grandma” doesn’t hurt your tiny little ego. 😂😂😂😂

#1298958

KenH, January 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Jason: re-read my post and the rest of this long, long thread. All the answers as well as a ton of opinions, all perfectly valid as long as they address the poster’s own feelings without reading anything into a third party’s opinions, are there.

#1298987

Jason Stoller, January 30, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Jason: re-read my post and the rest of this long, long thread. All the answers as well as a ton of opinions, all perfectly valid as long as they address the poster’s own feelings without reading anything into a third party’s opinions, are there.

Ken thanks for the suggestion and the time consuming exercise but I believe I will pass. It could prove very beneficial for you as you made an incorrect assertion about Lithum without stopping or bothering to consider that there are several different types of Lithium Battery Chemitries and they have different properties. Actually that post is a good example of including only partial information about a subject and expecting others to accept it when it lacks facts and is incomplete. Some might call that sensationalism but I am sure that was not your intention.

As I have stated before in this post, when misinformation is posted it does not help anyone and only ends up confusing readers and the issues. There is a lot more to E-assist and e-bikes than has been discussed in this forum. In my opinion, anyone that has compared them to a Vespa, other band of motorized electric or gas scooter does not understand how they function or work. If they did they would not compare them. Electric scooters certainly do not have pedal assistance, and unless you are starting a Vespa on top of downhill run it’s not going anywhere because you have no pedals and have to apply gas to get moving. I can move an e-assist bike using peddles on level ground and I can also choose to use e-assist if I choose. It depends how the bike is set up. The point is there are options e-assist offers the rider that many are not even aware of. Those options are not used all the time like some people in this forum would like to others to believe. Once again Incomplete and Misinformation being provided to the forum through this discussion by inexperienced people.

Ken there is no reason to drag this discussion on. If you really want to learn about e-assist then you and others can spend the time necessary, dedicate the proper amount of time, and actually do some real homework instead of just reading a few articles. Maybe you will learn about battery chemistry along the way as well as the different types of motors, windings, torque assist bottom brackets, controllers, and other types of accessories available. There certainly is a wide variety of motors and a great deal to learn. You can buy a canned package or build your own if you think you have what it takes.

So Ken I strongly suggest to you politely that you drop this because I am very well informed as far as e-assist goes. I have built an e-assist bike from scratch. I understand battery chemistry. I have also ridden Ragbrai with and without e-assist. I think I have a very good grasp of the issues and how I personally felt prior to riding without e-assist and how others treated me after I rode with it last year for the first time.

Take this for what it’s worth, e-assist bikes are no more of a problem than hand cycles or unicycles are. They are just different.
Jason

This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Jason Stoller.

#1298995

mootsman, January 30, 2019 at 6:47 pm

J Stroller,

Since you asked for doc these are a few of the document links I found on e-bike classes doing a simple google search that I was referring to. Some document 4 classes and others 3. And the person who seems to be cherry picking replies to twist the meaning of what the poster means isn’t Ken, myself or the others you mentioned.

Actually I fully support TJ’s call saying class-1s are fine for RAGBRAI. That the only difference as Larry pointed out is that Iowa law allows class-2s to be considered bicycles and RAGBRAI might have to say something specific about class-2s which do not require pedaling.

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/what-are-electric-bike-classes-and-why-do-they-matter.22738/

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us/experience-ebike/stories/three-class-ebike-system/

https://www.montaguebikes.com/folding-bikes-blog/2018/03/electric-bicycle-types-explained/

https://www.wheelworld.com/articles/buyers-guide-to-electric-bicycles-pg278.htm

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/static.peopleforbikes.org/uploads/E-Bike%20Law%20Primer%20v3%20(1).pdf

And this link is where you can do a search to research for yourself: https://www.google.com/

#1299010

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