Street-Legalize Your Ebike With A Magnet

Getting into e-biking is a great hobby. It can get people on bikes who might otherwise not be physically able to ride, it can speed up commute times, and it can even make hauling lots of stuff possible and easy, not to mention it’s also fun and rewarding. That being said, there are a wide array of conflicting laws around what your e-bike can and can’t do on the road and if you don’t want to run afoul of the rules you may need a programmable device that ensures your e-bike is restricted in the appropriate way.

This build is specifically for Bafang mid drives, which can be up to 1000 W and easily power a bike beyond the speed limit where [Tomblarom] lives. A small microcontroller is housed in a waterproof box on the bike and wired between the motor’s display and controller. A small hall effect sensor and magnet sit by this microcontroller, and if the magnet is removed then the microcontroller reprograms the bike’s controller to limit the speed and also to disable the throttle, another feature that is illegal in some jurisdictions but not others. As an added bonus, the microcontroller also handles brake lights, turn signals, and automatic headlights for the bike as well.

While the project page mentions removing the magnet while getting pulled over to avoid fines and other punishments, that’s on you. We imagine this could still be useful for someone who wants to comply with local laws when riding on the road, but still wants to remove the restrictions when riding on private property or off-road where the wattage and speed restrictions might not apply.

98 thoughts on “Street-Legalize Your Ebike With A Magnet

      1. Are you sure? What about pedestrians, other cyclists, or even motorcyclists? Cyclists going the regular 15-20mph can already be dangerous. Not to mention cars crashing other cars or pedestrians while suddenly trying to avoid hitting such a jerk.

        It’s like saying it’s fine to walk across red light because you’re just a pedestrian and you’re only hurting yourself if there is an accident.

        1. If you magically restrict ALL HARD, jerks would just buy alternative things to do their business. But you will destroy freedom of choice, and degrade responsible people to babies. These babysitters rule the world now, sadly.

          1. I simply said that “only hurting yourself when you crash on your ebike going 40mph” is not true. I’m not talking about restrictions, I’m talking about having a little bit of imagination and ability to predict what could go wrong.

          2. bbp: Don’t be completely daft. You should legislate the BEHAVIOR, not the tools.

            Pirating movies and putting them on the net is bad. So let’s make all decryption tools illegal. That type of thinking gave us the DMCA.

            Murder is bad, so let’ make guns, knives, and large rocks illegal. Yup, that will certainly stop people.

            Don’t make throttles illegal, just make reckless driving illegal. It will be just about as effective, but have the advantage of not punishing the innocent.

          3. Not really—–if they crash their bike because the speed is a cause, the cyclists wants someone to pay his/her medical bills if they cant afford it. Open your wallet because the responsible folks are going to pay one way or the other.

      2. As an avid motorcyclist this entire thread cracks me up, danger is everywhere be smart when you enjoy your freedom and stop trying to project your personal insecurities into others

        1. I agree next they’ll wanna restrict speed on motorcycles because we don’t have a and b pillars. This is nuts, if you can ride a bike at 100k that’s awesome but I’m sure the bikes limits and your own will prevent you from getting to 100kph. Just because. Yes a few will have the balls to try it like myself,but I was a bmx racer and i now in my driving career I’ve logged about 6milkion km so let me be free

          1. I agree with this guy people will do what they want whether illegal or not. But people are reading into the original statement or topic in this article which was if you’re going to be on private roads or property and want to have a little fun you can do whatever and get more performance out of your bike. I used to race bmx and motocross so I’m definitely looking for that extra excitement. People need to stop over reacting especially when they are wondering off topic. Good article

      3. I road a mountain bike through 2 national forest in Oregon from Portland to Ashland coming down off those mountains I didn’t need a Ebike to reach speeds of 45-55 mph gravity did it for me, it would have been over 60 mph if I didn’t use the brakes to keep it under control and if I tried to stay below 30 mph I would not have had any brakes left at the bottom! Bike can’t engine brake. This whole Ebike thing is BS if you know what your doing and when and where it’s ok to ride fast your at no more risk of getting hurt than riding a Motorcycle at least with a Bicycle you don’t have a 500 lb + machine landing on top of you if you go down.

  1. I’d recommend something that Officer Plod doesn’t need an EE degree to understand. Like having only one battery out of two physically plugged in. Or a big red switch that can’t be set to high power without a key being inserted.

      1. No, he’s got it spot on.

        Having a “cheat switch” with the possibility to increase power, speed, and disable the pedal sensor without swapping out essential components (a jumper wire doesn’t count), turns your bike into an illegal unregistered motorcycle which runs afoul of several laws and can get your driver’s license suspended for insurance fraud in many countries, particularly in the EU.

        The unfortunate side of the story is that you have to prove to the law-enforcement that your bike is legal, and that is only practically possible if it’s a) store bought, b) made from a kit that adheres to the local laws. You need some sort of paperwork that shows what the proper configuration is, that it’s legal to begin with, such that you haven’t made illegal modifications to it.

        You can’t write such paperwork for yourself, so the status of DIY e-bikes is that they’re technically illegal because they cannot be proven to be legal in the absence of some sort of registration and inspection protocol which is not required or available for bicycles.

        1. “The unfortunate side of the story is that you have to prove to the law-enforcement that your bike is legal”

          The Fortunate side to the story is that the cops do not believe you when you say your potentially deadly contraption is “safe”.

          1. Why it is unfortunate; even if your DIY bike was legal, you have no way of showing it.

            When the police has no way to differentiate the legal from the illegal, they tend to assume the former and start to hound you until they have an excuse of “reasonable suspicion” – and then they take your stuff away regardless. Even if they lose the case in the end, you get to fight it.

        2. Um Yah. Which is why what he is clearly trying to do is to trick the cop. Thus the magnet that he discreetly pockets when pulled over. If he is trying to make the bike actually BE legal then he can’t have these options at all can he?

          If he makes it so that “Officer Plod doesn’t need an EE degree to understand” then he is essentially busting himself.

          I’m really not interested in commenting one way or another whether this is a GOOD idea. I’m just saying I don’t think either of you actually understood the idea.

          1. No. The idea is perfectly clear.

            Back in the day, Honda made pit bikes (mopeds) road legal by inserting a low-pass filter in the electronic ignition box to limit the engine speed. The “fix” was to put a green LED across certain wires in the connector, and you would put a pull string on it to yank it out if you were stopped by the cops.

          2. I do. The giveaway is the existence of the throttle, and the part numbers of the motor and controller that can be looked up on the internet in 20 seconds. The bit about “now the microcontroller restricts it” is non-obvious to the cop at the side of the road with you. So there is doubt, so they’ll impound it at the side of the road. Whereas, if you say “yes officer, it’s a 1000W motor, but as you see here, it’s only connected to half the voltage *points to plug hanging out of second battery, or not unlocked and enabled big red switch* ” In which case you might get the benefit of the doubt of intending to be legal on the road.

            I mean if you had this sneaky defeat on a Mercedes speed limiter and cop pulls you over saying he clocked you at 150, and you say not possible, it’s factory limited to 130 (or whatever it is) he’s still gonna give you a ticket and/or tow the car.

          3. >big red switch

            Having the police believe that the big red switch has ANY effect on the case depends on some sort of authority that recognizes that the red switch actually does anything, and then some sort of verification that the switch is installed as it’s supposed to be. Same thing with the battery wires hanging out. In effect, the police have no way of confirming what you’re saying to be true – they have to impound your bike anyways.

          4. @Dude, Exactly. You pulled the LED so he wouldn’t understand what was going on. RW’s comment was to make it so that the officer DOES understand what is going on. It’s pretty much the opposite.

            @RW, I don’t know how European laws are enforced but your idea seems to be “don’t try to hide that your bike has an illegal ability b/c you will fail. Instead show the officer that you turned the illegal ability off”. Isn’t that kind of like saying “have a throttle but show the officer that you weren’t pushing it”? I’m not saying that the author’s plan will or will not work. But they are trying to be sneaky and where I first replied to you it sounded like you were suggesting they could be more sneaky but not being sneaky at all. Which doesn’t make any sense.

          5. It’s that the whole process of traffic stops is guilty until proven innocent. You’ve got a license? Prove it… you’ve got insurance? prove it… your bike looks home modified, and the components look oversized in relation to legal limitations, if you meet those limitations, prove it. The not an E-E bit is that cop is not going to sit on the side of the road and disassemble your code to see that it does indeed limit you to legal output and speed.

          6. >You pulled the LED so he wouldn’t understand what was going on.

            Oh he did. It’s just that with no physical evidence left behind, they couldn’t say it was illegal. Even if they took the bike in, there would be nothing on it.

            Meanwhile, your DIY e-bike starts out by having EVERYTHING on it, the police have no idea what it is, and you have to prove that it’s not doing things that it’s not supposed to do.

    1. Even if Officer Plod was an EE in his past life, that doesn’t help you, because reality is what is reported to the system. It’s not the place of the officer to judge whether the motor you built adheres to the law – that is up to the MOT or equivalent authority who inspects and registers your motor vehicle, which is not done for electric bicycles.

      The police have no reference to decide whether your bike is legal; for all they know you just printed “250 W” on the plate of a 1000 Watt motor. How would they even check it?

  2. “That being said, there are a wide array of conflicting laws around what your e-bike can and can’t do on the road and if you don’t want to run afoul of the rules you may need a programmable device that ensures your e-bike is restricted in the appropriate way.”

    Kind of like mopeds. Even worse if you run into law enforcement that don’t know their own laws.

    1. If everyone was afraid of Darwin we’d still be naked hiding in the brush and starving to death. Oh wait …someone had to be the first to try eating oysters. :-)

      1. The difference is, we don’t have to do that anymore.

        E-bikes are in the position of being legal to drive on pedestrian roads, which is why they’re generally limited to whatever a “normal biker” can do, so the accidents they inevitably cause wouldn’t be any worse than what we already get. When idiots cheat the law, they tend to do two things: make nice things go away for the rest of us, and injure or kill other people.

        1. I disagree with the “generally limited to whatever a “normal biker” can do”, they are more limited to what joe averages mom can do on the bicycle. A normal cyclist easily can outrun what’s good to do on pedestrian roads given the idiot and how they use them (four wide with kiddies on bikes etc)

          1. Still the same point though.

            People just going around places on bicycles behave more like Joe Average’s mom, because it takes effort to ride hard, it gets your pulse up and your breathing becomes ragged, and you sweat like a pig. A normal cyclist can far exceed even 750 Watts for a short period of time, but it’s not as easy or comfortable as pressing a button and zooming off, so for the most part people just don’t do it.

          2. For a short while, yes, but sustaining over 25 kph gets you sweaty and tired, and you have to dodge other road users constantly. Even while many people can do it, most people don’t do it.

            > For cyclists in Copenhagen, the average cycling speed is 15.5 km/h (9.6 mph).

            The limitation is your sustained power output. Walking requires about 60 Watts, and for the same effort the average rider will reach about 15 kph on level ground. 100 Watts begins to feel like work and doesn’t get much faster because the power requirements increase in the cube of velocity. Any incline will increase the power demand considerably as well.

        2. “E-bikes are in the position of being legal to drive on pedestrian roads”
          Are they? Seems like a very stupid move. Certainly not allowed in the 2 countries best known for cycling (Netherlands and Denmark. Germany and Belgium it’s forbidden too afaik)

          1. It depends on how the city has laid out their streets. Mixed paths are usual for long connecting routes between suburbs. If there’s a sign for it, you can even drive a moped through there, because the moped can’t go on the main road with a higher speed limit.

            Closer to the inner city, you have divided roads where there’s just a line drawn between walkers and cyclists. A line on the ground doesn’t keep people from walking on the cycling lane and vice versa.

          2. When people think of the cycling infrastructure, they think of inner cities which always have a road for cars next to a sidewalk or other footpath for pedestrians, so the bikers either go with the cars, or on the side of the road behind a white line, and not on the pavement where the pedestrians walk.

            However, to get to the city, and often within the city, you travel through detached paths which are narrow surfaced roads that go through parks and neighborhoods, and up and down the side of a motorway separated by a ditch or a fence. If cycling was forbidden here, the cyclists would have to go the long way around, or have no route at all using the motorways because they’re not allowed there either, so cycling along these roads is almost universally allowed and it is mixed with the foot traffic. Here the limit is 25 km/h because that’s about the maximum speed that most people will sustain for long distances on regular upright bikes built for the casual urban commute.

            In places like the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium… the standard rules for cycling apply for e-bikes under 25 km/h, which means they can go with the pedestrian traffic. Electric bikes with a top speed of 45 kph cannot go there.

    2. i think at some level of performance it would simply be better to call it an electric motorcycle and deal with the paperwork/insurance. and while you are at it throw in a more robust frame and wheels.

      1. That’s the thing though. People do this to avoid the insurance, tax, registration fees, license requirements, and the requirement to wear a big motorcycle helmet while riding it.

        The insurance companies also don’t like bicycles turned into motorcycles, so they’ll slap you with €500 per year fees. All the different fees, payments, and mandatory add-ons turn out to cost you the price of a car by the end of it.

  3. Wouldn’t it make more sense if you got caught exceeding the posted speed you got a ticket then if that speed you got caught at exceeds the limit for an electric bike then you get a second ticket for having an illegally modified bike and then you could go to court and argue the second ticket. Do the speed limit and they leave you alone unless they can prove with radar.

  4. Why limit a 180lb person on a bike going tops 35ish mph, who will most likely only hurt them selves, and ignore the 4000 lb truck with the limit of probably 120 mph who will likely survive while killing anything it feels like hitting?

    1. Everyone always wants to fuel the fire by advertising the things the responsible manufacturers didn’t want the irresponsible consumers to know. Isn’t that the whole point of developing something that is safe and economic? 🤫

    2. I don’t think you have thought this out. If a bike rider cuts in front of your car, do you just run them over because “they should be there”? I hope not. So you try to avoid him, and maybe plow into another card. Now how to do you feel about letting that bike rider do whatever he want because “he is only going to hurt himself”?

      1. I don’t think I implied the rider could do what ever he wants. I’m talking about being able to better keep up with traffic to be a lesser risk. As a cyclist I never cut in front of cars because I don’t want to die. I follow the rules of the road like a car. I wish people in their safe metal boxes would afford me the same respect as I make the effort to keep the air cleaner for all of us.
        I admit there are some irresponsible cyclist out there, and it sounds like you’ve had bad experiences with them in the past. Sorry about that.

    3. Key word being “likely”. Collisions between cyclists and pedestrians are a thing, and sometimes people die. And btw, are not big trucks restricted in many city centers?

      1. For sure. That’s why we (cyclist) need to keep off the sidewalks, and people need to look when exiting their cars. And when we keep off the sidewalks, we need to be respected as vehicles and not run off the road.
        I have lived in MI and now I live in the greater Chicago area, and generally no, I don’t see any signs restricting trucks. 18 wheelers, yes. The 4000lb curb weight I quotes is approx an F150.

    4. If you want your bicycle to go faster, you should to drive it on the road with other motor vehicles, not through cycling lanes and sidewalks, and other pedestrian routes where cycling and e-bikes are allowed. Otherwise YOU become the relative equivalent of a 4000 lbs truck at 120 mph on the road.

      When you do drive on the motorway, you’ll probably also want to add some indicators and lights to be seen properly – so you aren’t rear-ended or sideswiped because you took the other road users by surprise – and a thicker frame with shock absorbers and a suspension that doesn’t twist into a pretzel when you hit the first pothole at 45 mph, and then some thicker wheels for the same point and also for getting through the occasional puddle or a patch of gravel, oh and a helmet and some padded clothes for the eventuality anyways, and then a more powerful motor to make all that move…

      Basically, if you want to drive faster than a bicycle, have a proper motorcycle.

      1. For me biking was a lot more important when I was a kid. I can’t bike to work now because it is too far and the only roads that go that way are too dangerous.

        I grew up in a crappy small town with nothing to do nearby. I spent my summer days and even some snowy winter ones biking to other, slightly less crappy towns and back. All these concerns about bikers zooming around pedestrians were moot because there were no pedestrians between towns. I’d have given a kidney for a “proper motorcycle” but wasn’t old enough for the license. I was always on the lookout for an affordable motor I could fit to my bike but it was the wrong decade for that.

        I get the reason to have some limit but I always pedaled faster than 25 kph. Actually, on the really long trips 25 kph was probably about the speed I ended my return trip at as my legs were tired and ready to give out. Had I been limited to 25kph I couldn’t have gotten to any of the places I liked to go and still made it back before dark.

        This article has me feeling sorry for any European kids unfortunate enough to grow up in a small town.

          1. Um. so then you would be riding your bike faster. But not replacing it with a motorcycle. If it’s fine to pedal faster then why not ride faster with a motor? Maybe the limit should be higher but apply to both.

          2. You can get up to 50-60 kph downhill on a bicycle, but you really shouldn’t. If anything breaks you’re making grooves on the asphalt with your teeth.

          3. > If it’s fine to pedal faster then why not ride faster with a motor?

            Because going fast by pedaling takes effort and dedication, which implies handling and control. You have to push yourself to go that fast, whereas any kid can just push a button and get up to 50 kph without noticing the danger.

        1. When I do touring, I try to average about 20 kph to keep it comfortable. A touring bike is of course heavier than a kid’s bicycle, and ‘m not a kid myself so there’s more drag and rolling resistance.

          The average speed of a cyclist in Copenhagen is 15.5 kph.

      2. Agreed on the first point. That’s why we (cyclist) need to keep off the sidewalks, and people need to look when exiting their cars. And when we keep off the sidewalks, we need to be respected as vehicles and not run off the road. (irresponsible cyclist aside)
        I don’t feel like I need indicator lights to be seen, and I do the hand signals when turning, and I wear a reflective outer jacket, so I should not be taking anyone by surprise. Unless they are texing, and they usually are. I’m also extra cautions because I know drivers look right through me no matter what I wear. Most motorcyclist will tell you the same thing. Drivers could just graciously share the road. That is not too much to ask/require.
        The bikes that are commonly called “road” bikes are the lighter, thinner tired bikes. They are mostly capable of handling an adult rider at the speeds we are talking about. Ignoring the extremes of a 300 lb dude screaming down a large hill on a poorly maintained, old cheap bike from the 1980s.

        1. “That’s why we (cyclist) need to keep off the sidewalks, ”

          I really think this should depend where you are.
          In a big city downtown there can be tons of pedestrians and cyclists around. Sidewalks have too many people for a bike to go safely flying by and drivers should be used to seeing bikes.

          On the other hand there are more suburban areas where you could wait hours next to a sidewalk before anyone even walks by. Cars parked on the side of the road make biking on the road hazardous and drivers do not expect to share the road with bikes.

          Meanwhile kids are growing fat on their couches playing video games.

          People like to make rules that fit well in their own neighborhood and don’t realize how different things might be elsewhere. But those rules end up being applied to whole nations or states when they shouldn’t be.

    5. Because an E-Bike is treated like a normal Bike and those can very often be driven on open places, parks and so on. Some people even use the sidewalk as their own personal race track.

      As long as cyclists don’t really see themselves as a vehicle, the should be limited.

      1. Agreed on all points. I always follow the rules of the road when on my bike, and adults on bikes do not belong on the sidewalk. I see my self as a vehicle, and I would appreciate the same respect from the drivers in their protective metal boxes. And some will cut you some slack because they know it’s more difficult to pedal, and that’s appreciated.

        1. > adults on bikes do not belong on the sidewalk

          I refuse to ride on the road because it forces you to ride hard to keep up with the cars, and other cyclists there are jackasses who think they’re training for a race. There’s a constant danger of getting rear-ended by some spandex douchebag who’s leaning so deep on their curved handlebars that they can’t see in front of themselves, and they’re so high on hyperventilating and endorphins than they don’t understand how fast they’re going anyhow.

          When on the sidewalk, just ride slow and keep pace with the pedestrians.

    6. Because the truck has a trained driver (at least in my jurisdiction), better brakes, legally mandated annual tests on roadworthiness, and insurance. Plus it only goes on roads.

  5. I think this is a moot point. Yes, I could see a cop giving you trouble, but really only if you were causing some first… Maybe I’m way off, but if you ride respectfully I don’t see why they’d ever bother to check exactly how powerful it was. Hell, out here people strap small gas engines on their bikes, which yes, is illegal, but they’re still all over the place and I’ve never seen someone getting stopped.

    1. If they’re 40cc and under they’re legal to operate without a liscence on a public way. The upgraded engine, which is an 80 cc needs a liscence to operate. Yet there is no way to establish the difference between a 40 and 80 ccengine. They have conversion kits and the motorbikes are everywhere

      1. It’s relatively easy to detect the modification, because the 80 cc engine would be starved for fuel with the carburetor meant for the 40 cc engine, so you have to replace a bunch of other parts to even make the engine work. The police can see you have a 16 mm carb instead of the original 8 or 11 mm or whatever, and upgraded air filters, and a modified exhaust with all the chokes drilled out… if they stop you and decide to check, you will most likely get busted.

    2. We get the odd one around here. (Ontario) Get the fans of them saying they fit under same rules as e-bikes with up to same power output and speed limitation, (and keeping the pedals) but can’t find the laws allowing it. Though it’s a bit of a problem that the laws are hard to disentangle legalese full of whereases and references to sections all over the place, then the responsible govt department or other public body gives a “plain english” version that is more like a “what we want it to mean” or too dumbed down, covering only the “all the average guy really needs to know” bases but leaving out the 20% either side. Or what some do is state what they wanted to law to be, but couldn’t get that authoritarian dystopia version through because lawmakers had some sense of public service or preserving civil liberties, but despite that, they still maintain that that is what it means.

      1. >the laws are hard to disentangle legalese (…) then the responsible govt department or other public body gives a “plain english” version that is more like a “what we want it to mean”

        That’s the difference between “law” and “regulation”.

    3. > if you ride respectfully I don’t see why they’d ever bother to check

      The police are people as well, and they have their own motivations, and they like to target people who stick out of the crowd. Especially in smaller places where the same people and the same cops see you day after day; at some point they will decide to make a case out of you at any excuse – if you’re not on the right side of the town.

  6. I have 18k miles on two pedal assist e-bikes that I bought late 2016. The throttle assist e-bikes on the bike trails have made the riding dangerous. Young riders especially that don’t even know the basic rules of the road.

  7. Hall-effect sensor? Just use a reed switch. Also only applicable for software adjustments. I still cannot legally ride a motor more powerful than 250W. But I like using a magnet for this kind of “hidden” functionality. Also a good idea when a reset/setup button ruins your IP class.

  8. 1.) most likely he is from germany

    2.) Just a hint: if he also has a drivers license .. he is risking it when caught, because those “cop buttons” aren’t that unfamiliar with “slow” speed motor bikes (MoFa and Moped), cops arent equally unfamiliar with such devices and they can confiscate such bikes and get them to a techlab

    3.) If he gets into an accident with too high speed he is in trouble
    the 25 km/h limit is the limit when you need an insurance for your “bike”

    1. In many other countries as well, you may be accused of driving an illegal unregistered and non-type-approved motorcycle, for which you aren’t licensed for, you aren’t insured for, you aren’t wearing the proper helmet and boots…. etc. and so you get hit with charges for insurance fraud, driving without a license, registration fraud, reckless endangerment… they like to pile up the charges to make a point of it.

      The main reason for this is that the police and the authorities are basically powerless against modified mopeds and e-bikes. They don’t have the resources to keep chasing cyclists, so they let the fear do the policing for them.
      In the end, you may get a slap on the wrist or lose your license for couple months, but they could even send you to prison if you decide to go up against the system.

      For that end, they occasionally catch someone, and then it’s “guilty until proven innocent.” This becomes a problem with DIY e-bikes not built from an already approved commercial kit, because you don’t have any documentation that shows your bike is actually legal. There’s no type spec that says what the parts are supposed to be, how they’re supposed to be connected, how the software should work, etc. that would show the police that this vehicle is in adherence to the law.

      If you HAVE a cheat switch or anything that could be interpreted as such, you’re in deep trouble. The police can arbitrarily decide that what you have is an illegal motorcycle, and then you have to hire legal help to prove that this isn’t the case. It’s easier and cheaper to have your bike impounded, go to court, and accept whatever small punishment they give you than fight it and risk it.

      1. Also one of the problems I had with my original locally purchased EAPC was replacing the SLAs as the original ones were not available due to them being no longer manufactured so had to replace them with mechanically equivalent “standby use only” 12V Yuasa units.
        Now at least over here if it was legally purchased before 2006 the “grandfather clause” applies but not sure what would happen if I did get stopped and they found out that parts had been replaced with non original components.
        About the only things they could check without taking the battery pack apart would be if the terminal voltage was out of spec or the kerbside weight with lights etc was higher than permitted.
        The motor had a clear sign indicating its original vendor and wattage.
        Thanks to some well meaning muppets in Whitehall the whole question of whether previously road legal EAPCs are permitted or not has come up once again post Brexit.
        My “newer” unit also has non available parts so I am stuck as replacing them with equivalents might cause problems even if they are functionally equivalent ie same controller but different connector.
        Lighting is also a problem as homebuilt or modified units aren’t BS6102/3 approved though unless they are strobing or otherwise distracting I doubt it would be a problem given the number of imbeciles cycling without any lights over here.
        Don’t get me started on insurance companies, the ones I asked wouldn’t even discuss EAPCs.
        What we need is the Government to be a bit more open and transparent regarding “unconventional” transportation methods.
        Incidentally depending on the exact nature of the charge(s) the courts over here no longer allow you to make a statement for minor offences which IMHO is tantamount to a breach of human rights.
        You can nominate a legal representative to do this ($$$$) but again it depends if they are familiar with the relevant issues or not and some judges actually take offence at this and are more likely to throw the book at someone daring to speak out against the system and its inefficiencies.

  9. My bike only goes 15.5 miles an hour. I have added my own turn signals to make it easier, to turn I just press a button. I think it should be compulsory to wear a helmet on an e-bike and a hi-vis jacket. Health and safety is a must on these bikes.

  10. Great way to endanger other cyclists and pedestrians.
    I’m not bothered about the rider.
    If you need the extra power do it legally. Pass your test. Pay for your insurance. Ride responsibly.

  11. This trick would only work to avoid getting caught in the first place.

    In the US, if your motor is over the wattage limit (750), it’s illegal. You’ll also note that the cheapest motors are all over the wattage limit. Limiters don’t cut it, they go by the specs of the motor (and peeling that little sticker off is also illegal).

    Depends where you live in the US, and how cops react to you by default, whether they see you as a target and how well they know ebike law.

    As a matter of safety, of course, limits have their advantages. I can tell you that bikes aren’t designed to go that fast. Even with torque arms (and don’t you ever think you can get away with cheaping out on one), everything on the bike will knocked around by cracks in the road, bolts without Loctite will fall out, wheels will hit their resonant frequencies and scream at you, and any liquids on the road will soak your pant legs, ruining your shoes. You’ll also get better battery efficiency at lower average speeds (full throttle until reaching max speed, release until reaching min speed, repeat).

    As a woman with an inadvisable dirt cheap conversion, my bike is a constant project, needing constant maintenance, but it does serve me well. Can’t afford a vehicle, and, for my city, it makes a great replacement for one. But you have to understand that you’re on the other side of the law. When you see a cop, pedal and lay off the throttle.

      1. I was referring to speeds of over 20mph — that begins to make my front wheel whine, and make potholes, manhole covers, and cracks in the road extremely jarring and destructive. Bolts also begin to rattle themselves free.

        1. That really depends on the quality of the bike, and what it is designed for. Road bikes are good for making speed easy, round here the roads are so bad however that a road bike will be needing new wheels almost every time you ride it, without any assistive power. It is just not possible to avoid all the really bad bits, and dodge the cars actively trying to kill you all the time…

          If you are up for the challenge of getting the hybrid or pure mountain bike to that sort of speed the roads have to be really really awful for it to matter to the bike, and suspension and/or the bigger tyres really does take the shocks out of it for the rider pretty well. Also being tougher from the outset they should survive, or at least survive much better…

          As for liquid on the roads and ruining your shoes, there is one of the reasons I always wear shorts, skin don’t give a crap about getting wet, and can be dried easily. Proper quality waterproof shoes shouldn’t have much trouble either – I used to wear boots most of the time while cycling, usually to the ankle hiking boots, but for a while all I could find that would fit were a pair of steel toe tall work boots (much harder work to cycle in, but still very doable), and done up properly, without something to hold the water at the opening so it can hang around long enough to seep in they all kept my feet comfortably dry most of the time (nothing will help if you go and put your foot down into that hidden by water pothole over ankle level, or saturate your socks poking over the top with the splash)…

          1. I have an old, but reasonable quality aluminum mountain bike. There is no suspension. The non-motorized wheel has been replaced with a shitty mountain bike wheel. I got the bike itself free — but it had been neglected, and the wheels were bent out of shape.

            So far, structural integrity remains at regular max speeds of 27-29mph (rwd, direct drive, 1kw motor) down Michigan city roads. The lack of suspension does cause pain if I don’t stand up on the pedals when I go over a rough patch of road, and I constantly lose the bolts on my rear rack (even with Loctite).

            The water problem can be partially solved by retracting legs when approaching slush or puddles. I’m trying out gaiters, also. I can’t wear shorts, because Michigan winters are too cold and the wind chill makes it much worse, and I can’t always be wearing boots because the bike is my vehicle stand-in, and I can’t wear boots everywhere all the time.

          2. What’s wrong with wearing boots all the time? Practical footwear seems like something you really can wear all the time… Plus decent waterproof hiking boots can look rather like trainers, and leather work boots like normal shoes so that hardly seems an issue (assuming you are lucky enough to have feet of normal size and proportions so you can find ones that actually fit).

            If its too cold for shorts and wet surely you have to be wearing waterproof trousers then – wet fabric clinging to you is going to be worse than just getting wet bare legs surely? So just clip them snugly so they cover the top of your boots and stay nice and dry on the inside..

            Here in the UK its never got too cold for me to be unhappy in shorts, but then here it rarely gets below 0C, and while active (like cycling) I’ve been happy in shorts with the wind chill at that. I die in the summer though.. Anything over 20C feels horrible to me personally.

        2. Wtf?

          I spent years commuting by pedal bike. I averaged 20mph over the whole journey, including stops at tragic lights. 20mph on a bike is nothing. The highest I’ve clocked on a pedal bike is 72mph (road tandem, admittedly downhill).

  12. Most common way to go over the 25kmph limit is to play with the magnet sensor on the wheel, to make it believe it has a bigger wheel. At the end of the ride, the total number of KMs will be different then the reality.

    Other hack is to install a dongle in the whole system.

    Yet another one is to reflash the firmware with a one that does not have this limitation.

    For example, Bosch is trying to control the whole flashing procedure via certified shops.

    Their Kiosk system (the one I have on my eBike with a Performance CX engine) runs on FreeRTOS, and use many other OSS components:

  13. I have an e-bike, I actually really like riding bicycles in general, but I 100% cannot stand cycling on anything but in-town roads. I live in a relatively rural area and the roads outside of town have paved shoulders that are at best 1-2′ feet wide, and at worst non-existent past the white line, usually ending in a ditch. On top of that the speed limit outside of most towns is 50-55mph (state highways) with hills and and tons of blind curves. As soon as the snow melts these idiot cyclists in tight spandex “racing suits” on “racing” bikes flock to the roads and it becomes a game of “can I drive normally today or do I have to assume there’s going to be a cyclist in the middle of the lane just around every corner and slow to 30 so as to avoid killing an idiot biker?” Oh and do they ever sit square in the middle of the lane on 55mph roads. Some times two or three next to each other (if not 20-50 in a column) completely blocking the lane. And the entitled attitude they give you when you slow down and wait for them to move, I sometimes wonder if some hit and runs are intentional.

    I have personally seen 4 different instances of cyclists getting nailed by cars going 50+ and am aware of several more in my general area. All of them resulted in serious injury to the biker or death. A few of those I saw were on roads that had massive paved shoulders you could fit a dump truck on, and yet the bike riders were still in the middle of the road. I personally feel like there should be a state wide ban on bicycles on roads with speed limits of 30mph or more. And while yes I do know that the onus is on me as the driver if I hit one of these idiots, I don’t see why they should be allowed to create an unreasonable road hazard.

    Sure you could make the argument that such a ban would make it difficult to travel if you can’t afford a car, but nobody where I Iive uses a bike to go town to town (5-30 miles). It’s always those spandex wearing middle-aged guys from out of state on vacation that do it purely recreationally. The locals know it’s essentially suicide to bike on the state roads and we don’t do it. It’s bad enough we need to dodge moose and deer, we don’t need spandex wearing weekend road warriors also out there potentially ruining their own and other people’s lives.

    Ok diatribe over.

    1. Round here at least advice is to always cycle abreast of each other and in the middle of the lane on such roads, so you are a big wide target the driver will actually notice, and they can’t just try to blow past you when there isn’t the space available.

      Sounds like you probably need some better road infrastructure, as cycling to town shouldn’t ever be suicide (though I’d not say we are any more enlightened here – plenty of roads I’d not cycle on for the same reason – though being a rather built up nation there’s usually lots of other pretty direct routes that are less insane, you just have to study the map a bit or know the area).

      1. 2 things:

        1: the state I live in (NH) does a pretty good job with it’s road infrastructure. South of the notch, that’s franconia notch, the roads are plenty wide with good broad shoulders, but north of the notch is a slightly different story. First off the roads don’t have much of a shoulder as I’ve described before, mostly because most of the roads either follow natural valleys or are cut into the terrain. For obvious budgetary reasons they don’t cut them too wide. Ontop of that the ditches end up really close to the white lines, but these are necessary in the mountainous terrain for dealing with water and flooding. They are still good roads but the nature of the terrain up north doesn’t leave alot of options for bike lanes, or safe cycling in general.

        2: like most states I’m sure, NH Bicyclists are required to abide by the same traffic laws as regular vehicles, that includes not impeding traffic or creating unnecessary road hazards. Part of not impeding traffic, is going with the flow of traffic, that is, if the flow of traffic is generally going one speed, you should be as well and going slow is a sure way to get pulled over. So if cyclists most abide by the same traffic laws as all other vehicles, why then are they allowed to go slower than the flow of traffic and while also becoming an obstacle in the road for vehicles that’s are otherwise abiding by the law? If a regular vehicle was going slower than traffic because it was incapable of going faster then it would be required to A: travel the shortest distance it had to in that situation (like farm tractors and such) and B: use hazard lights and other signals to alert other drivers of the hazard. Cyclists do neither. Which to me says they shouldn’t be on the state roads.

        1. If you acknowledge that tractors, and presumably motorhomes, caravans, all the other slower traffic that will exist on a road has a right to be there why shouldn’t a bicycle?

          If your roads are such that they are too narrow or blind corner filled to ever pass any slower moving traffic that sounds like its the roads problem, not the slower vehicle… On the roads round here when cyclists do that you might spend a whopping 5 mins behind them, inconveniencing you very little – your likely to be stuck behind the slower vans, tractors etc longer as they also block your view more entirely so you can’t see if its possible to overtake as easily…

          As for lights… Well some studies show you are actually more likely to get run into as a 2 wheeler showing bright vehicle like lights – presumably because the moron behind the wheel sees the bright light and assumes rather than actually processing what is in front of them… Clearly need to be illuminated/reflective enough to actually be visible – You can’t blame the driver for missing you if you’re wearing dark, in the dark and don’t even have some reflective stuff to catch the lights, but actually putting warning lights on may not be helpful at all, as idiots in their safe metal boxes often stop paying attention, and will only see what they ‘want’ to.

          1. Tractors aren’t supposed to be on the road, but it’s accepted under the law that they will need to occasionally use them to go between fields etc, and so long as it’s not excessive, it’s tolerated.

            Caravans, trailers motor homes are designed to go at normal road speeds under normal driving conditions. The ones that go slow either are inexperienced, or shouldn’t be hauling/driving them. And if they have to got more than 15-20 (still above biker speeds) under the speed limit the still need to use their hazard lights.

            As far as passing goes, in NH you can’t pass unless you are in a designated passing lane. If someone pulls over and you think it’s clear then you can pass outside a passing lane. So blind corners aren’t a problem for passing because you aren’t allowed to.

            5 mins might be the difference between on time and late. And I think it’s fair to say that if the speed limit is 50 I should be allowed to expect to do 50 and not be held up by spandex road warriors.

  14. Who is getting pulled over by cops?

    Is this common and if so you can basically bore cops to death with technical details until they just want you to shut up.

    I can’t even imagine people are getting pulled over and needing to prove anything

  15. This is all a lot of ado over nothing. I regularly blow right past cops at 30-32mph and I never get pulled over. Why? I upgraded my chain ring so that when the 1000w motor is going full tilt I can still make the bike go faster by pedaling harder. All the cop sees is some crazy lady pedaling her bike like a bat out of hell. I ride in the center of the lane and use the left lane to pass cars when appropriate. There’s really no reason not to when you’re doing the speed limit.

  16. I’m 60. Live in indiana.being a life time bike rider with all my fingers and toes in place I’ll note that I’m still here because of common sense.people who don’t use it don’t ride bikes long.they either trash their bikes or their bodies and sometimes both. I don’t own an ebike yet but will. Thank you for this discussion only reinforces my dad’s advice a fool and his bike is soon parted. Often given on occasion of being grounded.

  17. I think we should all just find our rock to hide under because a common side affect of life is death.. I mean hell, I chopped my finger off cleaning the chain on my cbr929, 9 hours of waiting for surgery and they were able to reattach it! And I wasn’t even riding! Needless to say I was working on the bike the next day.

    My point is, Darwin will teach the stupidity out of those who need to be taught, your level of negligent ignorance will determine the outcome.

    And idk if any of you have ever hit even a stationary car battery driving g down the road, but even stationary – it could kill ya. Even if u don’t hit it, pull a quick hard left goin 45mph u may even flip depending on your vehicle..

    There will always be danger no matter the solution thats came up with. Ppl don’t stop showering because they can drown in an inch of water.. when its your time, its your time. until then – live like today is your last and be free and regretless.

    1. Oh the Karen’s

      I live in the country to avoid all the people who worry about what I’m doing. I don’t care what you do and all I want is the same from you. Of course we need to respect others but not all the BS they push. Try and get along. Mind your business.

  18. Best your going to do is be more transparent. My data including my speeds, GPS are viewable live & downloadable. With a text to me. Which I allow certain access for my ebike. Much is up on my domain with laws in my home area. With specs of the bike. Which had an unusual:consequence”. Requests to help Officers with build for kid , them etc 😂 I never had a problem. I show them on my smartphone. Give them my business card with qr code etc/url. So IF I get ticketed. They can read I am within legal limits. Personally I am not concerned. I insured it best I can. Live life. What I did wasn’t complicated. GPS dog collar with SIM & other devices. Misc etc. I have 3 stages. 1 is up to 14mph. Stage 2 is up to 29mph. 3 I don’t ever use. It’s set at 41. Are we done here?

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