The Reason for Limiting the Speed of E-bikes

The Reason for Limiting the Speed of E-bikes

The United States must share parks and other public spaces where outdoor enthusiasts gather. The federal government restricts the speed of e-bikes to keep everyone safe. The fact that each state can determine how and where an e-bike can operate makes the situation even worse.

E-bike enthusiasts in the United States, however, are fortunate. When a bike is powered solely by a motor, speed is limited by federal law. If the cyclist is pedaling, there is no requirement concerning speed; however, most of these bikes are made in Europe, so they come with a speed restriction component already installed.

This frustration is partly the result of The National Council of Conference of State Legislatures distinguishing pedal-assist operation from throttle-only operation, and few other countries take this into account. A pedal-assist e-bike can travel as fast as a motorbike using a combination of cyclist and motor power. Throttle-only classification refers to the maximum speed an e-bike can travel under motor power alone.

With these classifications, the Consumer Product Safety Commission requires manufacturers to place a speed limit of 20 mph (32.2 km/h) on e-bikes when in throttle mode alone, and no speed restriction when combining human power with the motor.

Bicyclists are often unaware of the speed restriction placed in the controller box of their electric bikes, or they are aware of it but question its necessity since few cyclists use the throttle only. Due to this, even though federal law says the speed restriction is not required when riders use pedal-assist mode, there appears to be no easy way to remove this speed restriction.

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