proposed new law worse than the old

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:40 pm

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Supposing I was actually interested in this (proposed) legislation and wanted to read it (for myself) and see just how much "worse" it is than that old legislation.

Where in this whole thread (6 pages so far) can I find any actual reference to the legislation? Such a link to it so that I could read it?

This is the closest I can find, in the OP.

Has anyone read the "power-assisted_pedal_cycles-proposal_for_a_new_ab_vehicle_definition-may_2009" pdf, the document submitted to the Government by the RTA proposing a revision to the current electric bicycle law? A document more devoid of any rationality you are unlikely ever to see. Lots of clever sounding rhetoric, but zero common sense.

That's of no use at all.

And which parts of the legislation eg a paragraph or a clause or a section do people find objectionable? What are the actual words? How do they differ to the "old" legislation?

Do any of the objectors actually KNOW what they are objecting to?

It seems that rather than being too lazy to change gears, some people are too lazy to do real research.

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by BNA » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:10 pm

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:10 pm

Sogood nailed it a few pages back, ebikes are very definitely not green compared to a regular bike due to the pollution in manufacture and toxic chemicals in exhausted batteries. I haven't got anything against ebikes and have thought about a simple bolt on motor as a last ditch get home measure for commuting if i'm too tired (which IMO is the entire point of an ebike and the intention of them). As many have said already, what a few people on this thread seem to have in mind is transport that is as fast as a car, but with no, or very little, physical exertion required, no requirement for rego etc, and the perceived ability to use bicycling/pedestrian infrastructure to which such a device would be completely and dangerously unsuited.

If people want a cheap form of transport that requires no effort then get a 50cc petrol scooter, they can be ridden on a car licence (in QLD at least). Note i said cheap not green, they might use a fraction of the petrol a car would use but the emissions controls don't come close.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:26 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Sogood nailed it a few pages back, ebikes are very definitely not green compared to a regular bike due to the pollution in manufacture and toxic chemicals in exhausted batteries.


As the number of e-vehicles (not just bikes) increases the need for materials to build the batteries will increase, and it will probably become increasingly economically viable (and possibly even imperative) to truly recycle batteries, not just dump them "safely". When the oil shock comes, there'll be a huge rush on e-vehicles and market forces will ensure that at least initially the shortage of raw materials will drive up the price, and the increasing cost of transporting and processing raw materials will probably maintain the price, keeping recycling to the front.

Look at what happened to the way old tyres are now recycled, compared to 20, or even 10 years ago. Some people have made millions.

http://www.molectra.com.au/


Good old free market economy. :mrgreen:

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Fed DoI have 250w/25kmh leg'n now, Bicycle Vic on ebikes grr

Postby alan101 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:32 pm

Joe Blake asked about a draft of the proposed PAC (power assisted cycle)legislation. The NSW Road Traffic Authority spent about a year coordinating the PAC proposal with all state RTAs to up allowable power from a current 200w to 250w, with the proviso that ebikes comply with the EU 250w/25kmh motor cutout regs. Bicycle NSW and Bicycle Vic both unquestioningly supported this recommendation. Any research that was conducted was designed to support the EU shoe fit. Eg the average speed of 1080 bicycles (incl bmx's?) was measured, and the top 15% eliminated to then come up with '85% of bikes travel below 25kmh', so a 25kmh max is OK.

The May 2009 draft legislation by the NSW Centre for Road Safety is located at this URL:
http://www.bv.com.au/file/file/RTA%20May%2009.pdf

Fed Dept of Infrastructure's Vehicle Safety Standards Division haven't released a draft copy for public comment, despite sitting on the "power-assisted_pedal_cycles-proposal_for_a_new_ab_vehicle_definition-may_2009" proposal which the NSW RTA gave them for over a year. Their 'It's not a priority' excuse offered for most of the past year is wearing a bit thin. Someone who's had to deal with them recently told me they have little comprehension of what ebikes are and how they work. For example, max torque in an ebike motor is right when it goes to take off, whereas in a petrol motor it's probably closer to 65% up the rpm range. Max horsepower is about half way through the rpm range, and fades to about nil on my ebike at 32kmh. Electric motors draw a lot more power than their rating at startup or on hills, so how does that count for a 250w rating? Hence, rather than think about it we'll just adopt the EU standard; probably the lowest common denominator that 25 EU countries' transport ministers could agree to at a time when NiCad batteries were interesting.

This month, when I replied to a Bicycle Victoria (BV) annual subscription renewal notice to the effect that they're working against my ebike interest (speed limiting of motor) so I'd have to think whether their RideOn magazine is good enough to offset this, I received the reply below. I regard their input on ebikes as a rubber stamp, with little consideration for current ebike manufacturers/retailers or ebikers. I put a 13p paper to their Board with 40 reasons why 25kmh speed limiting was taking ebikes in Australia backwards or being irrelevant, and their Board took 5mo to reply with a 'we're not changing' response. They are hardly transparent with their ebike policy, other than acknowledging it was invented in Europe. This BV letter is rather more informative, and follows:

Bicycle Victoria to me on ebikes, 7/11 (unabridged):
The Euro and Japanese 25 kph standard (and soon to be China standard) is supported for a number of reasons.

Because bikes frequently travel on shared paths, bike riders have to travel in the same performance envelope as a pedestrian and runner. High speed e-bikes on shared trails would lead to pressure for the exclusion of bikes on these paths. Your tales of tail wind adventures on the Fed trail are guaranteed to make public liability insurers very nervous.

Throttle controls are excluded because they result in e-bikes accelerating away from lights at a faster rate than human powered bikes, resulting in crashes. Hence the pedalec requirement.

But the main reason is that the Australian bike retail network is not interested in non-standard e-bikes, and until they are, we will not see big take up of e-bikes in Australia.

We want to see a full range of e-bikes in every bike shop, with simple controls, and reliable and durable equipment that the everyday man and woman in the street will use with confidence. There needs to be full ranges of spare parts, batteries, accessories and so on, backed up by trained and knowledgable staff.

The bike industry has made it clear that it won't do all these things until the standard is introduced so they can use the same models as they sell in the major e-bike markets.

Like you, we want to see e-bikes take off in a big way. But it won't happen unless there is a powerful commitment from the bike industry. At the moment they are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the government to finalise the standards.

I know that there are passionate individuals with knowledge and technical expertise who are keen to have regulations which permit their individualistic e-bike builds.

But our concern is with the mass of cyclists. We want to see a huge uptake in e-bikes, and that requires an industry wide response to an internationally accepted standard.


By way of rebuttal, I'd say (if they didn't have 'no reply' in their email address'):
This doesn't address middle and outer suburbanite's and country folks' need to travel long distances, and the 25kmh cutoff adding about 20% to trip time compared to my legal 200w ebike now. In my report, I said I normally ride 28-34kmh but this could rise to 45kmh in a 25kn tailwind. The absence of cyclists on the Fed trail is a far greater concern than my doing an occassional 45kmh; and top speed to date on my road bike (unassisted, downhill) is 67kmh.

The reference to insurers offers insight. Bicycle Victoria inherited a bicycle insurance scheme from the Vic govt when Mr Kennet was privatising all the govt institutions he could. As a BV member, you get insurance cover for what the RTA and Medicare schemes miss. I'd say that keeping cyclists below 25kmh would suit their insurance interest just fine, and is perhaps a front runner reason in why a group purporting to represent cyclists would work against their interests. We can also see that ebikes are being tied to pedestrian speeds, which may be appropriate in the inner suburbs with a network of tracks but is a stretch out here in the 'burbs where I mostly travel on-road of necessity. At no time do they allow for ebikers having a brain and driving to suit prevailing conditions. In traffic, I'm safest when I travel closest to car speeds - and in busy traffic cars often do 40kmh and I can ebike at 32kmh. A slow cyclist dodging in and out of parked cars is the greater hazard, and I've heard of major arterial road disruption when a slow cyclist asserts his/her right to be on-road.

My thumb throttle lets me get across busy 4-lane highways quickly. No way is a slower pedalec start beneficial to my health.

It's retailers that want the EU standard, so they can access a greater range of western brand ebikes (eg Gazelle). Not entirely unreasonable, but - a big flaw here, is that the existing ebikers and ebike manufacturers/retailers have been actively ignored. It's like Pol Pot promising an agrarian Utopia, and excuse me I'll just put this plastic bag over your head. I bought my ebike 3 years ago, and I have bought a replacement throttle and battery (to increase distance) in the last 6 mo, so my ride does have a standard or parts would be different. If EU 250w/25kmh standard ebikes are so sh*thot, let them sell on their own merits. Don't tell me I now need a motor cutoff pedalec throttle on a 200w ebike because there might be a pedestrian on the Fed Trail. And I'm going to pay a subscription for this advice?!

UK's Pedalec forum lists 41 ebike reviews in their 'Bike Directory' on <http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/content.php?r=189-Electric-bike-reviews>. Are all 41 ebikes standard, why? Why would you say my ebike is unstandard? The Jamis Coda Sport EVS ebike has been around at least 3 years that I know of, and I'd bet $10 it's 200w would take out any of the 250w EU ebikes in a race. The 250w/25kmh EU adoption proposal in Australia has both ebike customers and rbike etailers sitting on the fence waiting for an outcome. Rather revealing that the govt espouses green credentials and yet allows 2 years to pass to copy another region's ebike standard, without so much as a discussion paper from the current authority (fed DoI). An ebike moves a person using 1% of the caloric energy in fuel that it takes using a car.

As noted, my ebike is an established model of Australian build, using a 14:1 reduction planetary gear drive Bafang motor hub. There are millions of these drive units around the world, including China, Europe and Australia. BV completely ignore the existing ebike landscape in Australia, and basically sound like vacuum cleaner salesmen. BV promise an ebike in every bike shop, with an electronics engineer to service it. Yeah, right! And from discussion with a Qld ebike manufacturer/retailer 10y in the business, Bicycle NSW pedal the same line, wouldn't discuss core engineering issues, motor drive through the cranks advantages, etc.

A UK pedalec friend said to me in Sept 2010, 'It's sad isn't it Alan, exactly the same as the sort of reply we get in Britain, "Thanks very much but we'll just carry on as we intended", so you already know what to expect in their full reply. This sort of governance makes a mockery of democracy, just blocking any participation in decision making, no matter how well informed'.
Last edited by alan101 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Fed DoI have 250w/25kmh leg'n now, Bicycle Vic on ebikes

Postby Joeblake » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:43 pm

alan101 wrote:Joe Blake asked about a draft of the proposed PAC (power assisted cycle)legislation. The NSW Road Traffic Authority spent about a year coordinating the PAC proposal to up allowable power from a current 200w to 250w, with the proviso that ebikes comply with the EU 250w/25kmh motor cutout regs. Bicycle NSW and Bicycle Vic both unquestioningly supported this recommendation. Any research that was conducted was designed to support the EU shoe fit. Eg the average speed of 1080 bicycles (incl bmx's?) was measured, and the top 15% eliminated to then come up with '85% of bikes travel below 25kmh', so a 25kmh max is OK.

The May 2009 draft legislation by the NSW Centre for Road Safety is located at this URL:
http://www.bv.com.au/file/file/RTA%20May%2009.pdf




Thank you.

At last.

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Bicycle Victoria's - party line

Postby alan101 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:10 pm

To show how Bicycle Victoria could nearly be called party hacks, I put up this contrast:

BV on helmets: Helmet laws positive: new study
<http://www.bv.com.au/general/bikes-and-riding/10218/>

14 July 2011. 'A major study into the introduction of helmets laws in NSW in 1991 has revealed that head injuries immediately dropped 29 per cent. ... the most comprehensive analysis yet into head injury risk after mandatory helmet law introduction. But the repeal of compulsory helmet laws cannot be justified, the researches have concluded'.

Contrast that with these two Copenhagenize references (below), provided as examples of how over-regulation can work to kill off an innocuous, healthy and environmentally friendly activity (cycling). In pushing for people to wear helmets, publicity implies that cycling is unsafe. It may be more unsafe not to cycle, as you leave yourself open to lifestyle diseases.

How helmet promotion and laws affect cycle use
URL: <http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1020.html>.

'Almost everywhere that cycle helmets have been promoted, cycle use has fallen. Where promotion has been strong, or the use of helmets made mandatory and the law enforced, falls in cycle use have often been substantial. Taking account of the wider health benefits of cycling, the consequences of deterring people from cycling are far-reaching in a climate where most people lead sedentary lifestyles and illnesses such as obesity are reaching epidemic levels. The people who are likely to suffer most are young people. Teenagers are most easily dissuaded from cycling by cycle helmet promotion'.

And this essay by Sociologist Dave Horton of Lancaster University,UK
Fear of Cycling 03 - Helmet Promotion Campaigns
URL: <http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/09/fear-of-cycling-03-helmet-promotion.html>.

'Like road safety education, campaigns to promote the wearing of cycle helmets effectively construct cycling as a dangerous practice about which to be fearful. ... Helmet promotion is hugely controversial among UK cycling organisations (Hallett 2005). The 2004 Parliamentary Bill was unanimously opposed by the cycling establishment, with every major cycling organisation and magazine rejecting helmet compulsion (Cycle 2004)'.

For the record, my helmet works fine.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:19 pm

There's a dedicated "Helmet" thread under safety.

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:01 pm

I had a read through the proposed legislation and found one or two points of interest.

Firstly, I did a "keyword" search through the document and the word "recumbent" doesn't appear. The research talks about "upright" and "racing" positions. If the legislators aren't careful, they could find that recumbent machinery might be exempted from this legislation. :lol: :lol:

However, the most worrying thing I found is the concept of "pedelec" control - ie power is not supplied unless the rider is pedalling.

The last paragraph on page 8 says:

Requiring a pedal or throttle activation is seen as an unnecessary design restriction with no proven road safety benefits, therefore the motor activation mechanism will not be specified in the definition, although a condition for its activation could be specified. For example, a throttle control can still be used on a PAPC which motor can only provide assistance when the rider is pedalling.

If, as is suggested the "condition for its activation" is specified, the following should be taken into account.

On page 22 the following appears:

Literature review on bicycle safety

A consequence of the proposed change to the PAPC definition may be to increase the number of cyclists on the roads by allowing a greater variety of products that can provide an increased assistance to the cyclist. A literature review has been conducted to better understand the circumstances of crashes involving bicycles and the effect of increasing the number of vulnerable road users on the roads.

The Centre for Automotive Safety Research (2008)22 studied bicycle crashes in South Australia. The following findings concern pedal cyclist casualties aged 16 and over in the period 2001-2004:
• 87 per cent of the pedal cycle crashes in the dataset involve a moving motor vehicle. (A
great number of cyclists who are injured without a motor vehicle being involved do not
report their crash.)
• The majority of casualties occur at intersections.
93 per cent of casualties occur on roads where the speed limit is 60 km/h or lower.
• Crashes termed ‘right angle’ were the most common. Going straight ahead at the time of the right angle collision was the most common movement of both the pedal cycle and the motor vehicle.


On page 23, the following appears

The most common type of crash in which cyclists were fatally injured was the cyclist being hit from behind by a motor vehicle travelling in the same lane in the same direction. …

In both these scenarios, the bicycle rider's most effective evasion technique will probably be to accelerate rather than brake, or change direction.

Many e-bikes come as standard with "flat" pedals, rather than cleats or straps/clips. In a panic situation as above there is an increased possibility that, in an attempt to avoid a collision, a rider may actually lose footing and cease pedalling, if not actually falling over. Thus if the pedelec control requires pedals to be turning in order to supply power, the rider may find themselves without resort to the one thing which might save their life ... instant power on demand. Electric motors have the ability to supply acceleration virtually instantaneously.

Having ridden alongside petrol powered assisted bikes, I know that whilst they may (eventually) reach a higher speed than I do, they are woefully slow to accelerate, and would be of no benefit in avoiding a rear end or side on collision.

Put briefly I believe pedelec control is potentially deadly, and control of activation should be by throttle.

Another minor point to perhaps be considered is that by its very nature, delivery of power to the cranks by the rider's legs is sporadic, with "dead zones" with little or no power, so if the pedelec control is going to be activated by the STRENGTH of the push, then twice in every 360 degree rotation of the cranks there will be areas where potentially the pedelec could become non-functioning.

Other than those points, I see nothing of concern in the legislation and would have no difficulty if it were to be introduced in Western Australia.


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Oldies with pedalec control

Postby alan101 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:07 pm

A major segment of the ebike market is older persons. With advanced years, many have arthritis, knee and hip issues, muscle weakness, etc. If you can't exert full power in your legs, the pedalec ebike won't give you full power. I saw a UK ebike shop owner's comment a year ago that he'd lose half his clients if pedalec (throttling) was enforced there. I've heard that in NZ, you can get an exemption to allow a 600w ebike, if you have a physical disability that won't let you input full power. There are also young disabled people about, and an ebike can be very liberating for them, too; cruising on a bike with mates. Leave the throttle on ebikes!
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Re: Pedaling and distance

Postby Comedian » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:09 am

alan101 wrote:Comedian said, 'Not only are e-bikers too lazy to pedal ...'.

I take it you've never ridden an ebike, with a comment like that. I certainly pedal my ebike, and would have about one-third of the 50km range if I didn't. With a 10Ah Li-ion battery costing about $A700, I'm not keen on replacing it annually due to excessive current drain, either. Although, excessive current drain and recharge battery-cycling is preferable to leaving it in a corner unused for 6 mo stretches.


Cranky Comedians e-bike 101

:mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Pedaling and distance

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:45 am

Comedian wrote:
alan101 wrote:Comedian said, 'Not only are e-bikers too lazy to pedal ...'.

I take it you've never ridden an ebike, with a comment like that. I certainly pedal my ebike, and would have about one-third of the 50km range if I didn't. With a 10Ah Li-ion battery costing about $A700, I'm not keen on replacing it annually due to excessive current drain, either. Although, excessive current drain and recharge battery-cycling is preferable to leaving it in a corner unused for 6 mo stretches.


Cranky Comedians e-bike 101

:mrgreen:

Busted! Well might you grin. :mrgreen:

Though I read your comment as simply an offhand comment of the sort that we make without necessarily meaning them anyway.

I don't know how long ago your story was but I expect that with advances the negatives you experienced will reduce.

Though in that time with the advancing obesity numbers I suppose we will have more lard-butts seeking an easy way to defeat cadell evans too. Oops! Did I say that? I hope no-one takes ME seriously. :wink: :mrgreen:
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby fishwop » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:44 pm

I've read the proposal, and the only problem whatsoever that I have with it is that they decline to specify that the bikes must be electric powered. This is done in case some new technology appears in the future.

My feeling is that if that happens, the standard could be amended accordingly.

I know that they are mandating a compliance sticker for powered bicycles, but I do think the current crop of two stroke-engined aberrations zipping along cycle paths at Cadel-like speeds need to be brought to heel.

The various RTA's have been sitting on this for far too long. It's time we saw this standard introduced. I have no interest in owing an e-bike, but I do think they have a future, and would like to see the European standard adopted here. I have no issue with the pedelec concept, provided it can't be overridden somehow.
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Study found 250w doesn't require a maximum speed

Postby alan101 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:32 am

A couple of comments on the NSW Centre for Road Safety's May 2009 paper. They have suggested that (p.9), 'This level of assistance (250w) does not require a maximum assisted speed for an average cyclist...'. So forcing Australian ebikers to have the 23-25kmh power cutout and pedalec speed control mechanism could be construed as bureaucratic overkill, and contrary to the researcher's conclusion.

(p.13) 'A Monash University study on 1162 cyclists over 5 days across different locations in Melbourne found that the 85th percentile speed of cyclists is 32kmh'. To elaborate, 3 out of 20 cyclists that they speed measured were going faster than 32kmh. Alternatively, those going below 32kmh could have included 10 year olds on bmx bikes.

It is rubbish to force ebikes to comply with a lower 25kmh limit, when ebikes currently cost $A1600-$2800 in Melbourne. It should be acknowledged that an ebike has more in common with well built and more expensive road bikes and hybrids than with single speeds, BMXs, and mtbs. People are paying money to gain performance, and it's an insult to those with this level of financial commitment to cycling to cripple the ebike's capability.

There is no amorphous 'cycling group', there are diverse communities of cyclists: commuting, touring, mountain biking, road racing, recreational, child mucking about, etc. It is sociological crap to average all of this out, and then say the ebike must comply with the average. It shows a singular lack of insight into cyclists as a community. When statistics are used to represent an average, the 'average' can actually bear little relationship to what's out there. Eg, if 3 kids on BMXs go by at 10kmh and 3 roadies pass at 40kmh and we say the average speed of cyclists is 25kmh it really misses what's going on.

If ebikes are speed limited to 23-25kmh max motor input, they will not travel 30km distance at an average speed of 25kmh. One needs to attain higher speeds to compensate for the time spent below 25kmh, to get a 25kmh average. And keeping the ebike's average speed well below 25kmh is going to considerably reduce their utility for medium and long distance commuting. Riders have a brain, so can drive to prevailing conditions. Inner city routes can be busy, so an ebiker will throttle back to remain safe in these conditions, just like someone on an unassisted bike would.

P.13's chart (Maximum speed in km/h for a given incline) shows that an upright ebike rider pedalling on flat ground with a 250w motor will only achieve 29kmh. I can average 30kmh on a 50km Beach Rd weekend ride on my road bike (unassisted) - because I travel faster than 30kmh to make up for the time where I'm doing 15kmh on hills. I don't believe ebikes should have their innocuous capabilities limited to make them comply with some nefarious 'average cyclist speed'. A $1600 Goldcross ebike weighs >30kg, and the weight alone will keep it's speed to near 25kmh. For $2800 you can get a Jamis Coda Sport ebike that weighs 20kg, and you might reliably attain 32kmh. Major wind resistance >30kmh is the other major factor that conspires to hold down bike speed. We shouldn't be going backwards with ebike capability in Australia, particularly as there isn't a safety issue with 200w ebikes here and now.

It is the bicycle retail industry that are pushing for 250w/25kmh pedalecs, not the existing ebike industry or ebikers. The retailers are also pushing to have 10% GST applied to bicycle part imports worth <$1000, against the interests of Australian cyclists. Bicycle Victoria and Bicycle NSW seem to have stronger links to the retail industry than they do to their members. Consider what's behind the headline story before supporting speed limiting on something as innocuous as a 250w (0.35hp) ebike. The 'average ebiker' is probably over 45y old, and might not bother with 2 wheels without some assistance; and is unlikely to ride provocatively. An ebiker is someone who is not in a car, so deserves some credit and respect.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby fishwop » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:53 pm

I am a reasonably fit 56 year old male, albeit still carrying a 20kg weight penalty. I've returned to cycling in the past 6 months. On my 27km commute, most of it on the M4 motorway shoulder, the best average I can currently hope to achieve without really extending myself is 22km/h, without a tailwind. This is average speed while moving, not counting stopping for lights, etc. Sometimes, on downhill sections, I can achieve 32km/h or even more. The 27km takes, at best, 75 minutes. My bike is quite light (Defy 3), but I carry a backpack and aforementioned weight penalty, and run 25mm Marathon Plus tyres which are not the fastest out there, but marvellous for avoiding punctures.

If e-bikes can do up to 25km/h while still retaining power assistance, this seems a pretty good deal to me. It depends whether those making the laws wish to have e-bikes that travel on engine power at the speed of a strong cyclist (ie club standard) or an average cyclist, perhaps such as myself. They have gone for the latter, and this seems to me a wise choice.
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Re: Study found 250w doesn't require a maximum speed

Postby Comedian » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:40 pm

alan101 wrote:A couple of comments on the NSW Centre for Road Safety's May 2009 paper. They have suggested that (p.9), 'This level of assistance (250w) does not require a maximum assisted speed for an average cyclist...'. So forcing Australian ebikers to have the 23-25kmh power cutout and pedalec speed control mechanism could be construed as bureaucratic overkill, and contrary to the researcher's conclusion.

(p.13) 'A Monash University study on 1162 cyclists over 5 days across different locations in Melbourne found that the 85th percentile speed of cyclists is 32kmh'. To elaborate, 3 out of 20 cyclists that they speed measured were going faster than 32kmh. Alternatively, those going below 32kmh could have included 10 year olds on bmx bikes.

It is rubbish to force ebikes to comply with a lower 25kmh limit, when ebikes currently cost $A1600-$2800 in Melbourne. It should be acknowledged that an ebike has more in common with well built and more expensive road bikes and hybrids than with single speeds, BMXs, and mtbs. People are paying money to gain performance, and it's an insult to those with this level of financial commitment to cycling to cripple the ebike's capability.

There is no amorphous 'cycling group', there are diverse communities of cyclists: commuting, touring, mountain biking, road racing, recreational, child mucking about, etc. It is sociological crap to average all of this out, and then say the ebike must comply with the average. It shows a singular lack of insight into cyclists as a community. When statistics are used to represent an average, the 'average' can actually bear little relationship to what's out there. Eg, if 3 kids on BMXs go by at 10kmh and 3 roadies pass at 40kmh and we say the average speed of cyclists is 25kmh it really misses what's going on.

If ebikes are speed limited to 23-25kmh max motor input, they will not travel 30km distance at an average speed of 25kmh. One needs to attain higher speeds to compensate for the time spent below 25kmh, to get a 25kmh average. And keeping the ebike's average speed well below 25kmh is going to considerably reduce their utility for medium and long distance commuting. Riders have a brain, so can drive to prevailing conditions. Inner city routes can be busy, so an ebiker will throttle back to remain safe in these conditions, just like someone on an unassisted bike would.

P.13's chart (Maximum speed in km/h for a given incline) shows that an upright ebike rider pedalling on flat ground with a 250w motor will only achieve 29kmh. I can average 30kmh on a 50km Beach Rd weekend ride on my road bike (unassisted) - because I travel faster than 30kmh to make up for the time where I'm doing 15kmh on hills. I don't believe ebikes should have their innocuous capabilities limited to make them comply with some nefarious 'average cyclist speed'. A $1600 Goldcross ebike weighs >30kg, and the weight alone will keep it's speed to near 25kmh. For $2800 you can get a Jamis Coda Sport ebike that weighs 20kg, and you might reliably attain 32kmh. Major wind resistance >30kmh is the other major factor that conspires to hold down bike speed. We shouldn't be going backwards with ebike capability in Australia, particularly as there isn't a safety issue with 200w ebikes here and now.

It is the bicycle retail industry that are pushing for 250w/25kmh pedalecs, not the existing ebike industry or ebikers. The retailers are also pushing to have 10% GST applied to bicycle part imports worth <$1000, against the interests of Australian cyclists. Bicycle Victoria and Bicycle NSW seem to have stronger links to the retail industry than they do to their members. Consider what's behind the headline story before supporting speed limiting on something as innocuous as a 250w (0.35hp) ebike. The 'average ebiker' is probably over 45y old, and might not bother with 2 wheels without some assistance; and is unlikely to ride provocatively. An ebiker is someone who is not in a car, so deserves some credit and respect.


Huh? There is nothing to say that an e-bike can't go faster than 25kph - only that the assistance needs to cut out. The rider is more than welcome to pedal the bike to 35kph if they want. What is the problem? And then they can beat all the unassisted cyclists going up hills.

It's one thing to say that the "average e-bike owner is a responsible over 45 year old" but unless you can guarantee that a throng of 15 year olds isn't going to be attracted to this 500w ungoverned nirvana (which I don't think you can) then I think this legislation is rather good. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Vic Auditor General weighing in on bikes

Postby alan101 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:14 pm

Interesting to see the Victorian Auditor General weighing in on bikes.

http://www.cyclingresourcecentre.org.au ... _transport

Excerpts.
'In August 2011 the Victorian Auditor General's Office released a report that looked at the effectiveness of the 2009 Victorian Cycling Strategy. The audit found that the strategy was a first, important step for Victoria to significantly raise the profile and role of cycling as part of a more sustainable transport system. However, serious limitations in its development and implementation compromised its potential to achieve its goal of transforming cycling into a major form of personal transport'.

'The audit found that strategy was developed in haste without sufficient understanding of either current cycling journeys or what was required to ‘mainstream’ cycling as a form of transport. There was an overemphasis on physical infrastructure solutions, to the relative neglect of other measures essential to achieving the strategy’s goal, such as promoting cycling, educating potential cyclists and reducing the incentives to use cars'.

'In addition, agencies were not well prepared to implement the strategy or evaluate its success, which contributed to the unsatisfactory progress in addressing its limitations. This lack of preparation repeats past audit findings about the department’s freight management strategy and metropolitan bus contracts'.

Age newspaper report (17/8/11) on Auditor General's report:
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bike- ... 1ixdz.html

Age newspaper report (17/8/11)
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/no-wa ... 1iyaf.html
Age article excerpts: 'The $390,000 audit report found that the 2009 Victorian Cycling Strategy was ''a first, important step for Victoria'' to raise the profile of cycling as a legitimate part of the transport system'. However, Auditor-General Des Pearson's report found the strategy had ''serious limitations'', which meant it had not achieved its goal to turn cycling into a major form of personal transport. The report found that in the strategy, the Department of Transport and VicRoads had not:

â– Addressed conflicts and delays where cyclists crossed busy roads, and where cyclists and pedestrians shared paths.

â– Provided any new guidance on the construction and maintenance of shared cycle paths.

â– Improved cycling policy and program co-ordination across the Victorian government.

â– Addressed concerns from councils about the cost of maintaining bike lanes.

A steering committee made up of Department of Transport and VicRoads officers established to roll out the strategy had met only once, the report noted. This committee's one and only action was to disband, because, according to the Auditor-General, ''it considered the strategy inactive since the change in government''.
Last edited by alan101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Nothing to say that an e-bike can't go faster

Postby alan101 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:30 pm

[quote="Comedian"] said, 'Huh? There is nothing to say that an e-bike can't go faster than 25kph - only that the assistance needs to cut out. The rider is more than welcome to pedal the bike to 35kph if they want. What is the problem? And then they can beat all the unassisted cyclists going up hills'.

Comedian, you're missing the weight of an ebike. You don't get a speed input, without a weight penalty. How far over the 23-25kmh EU cutout to motor do you think you'll be able to pedal a 30kg ebike? Unless you're a bloody bike hero, it won't be much over 28kmh pedal assisted. My 200w ebike does 32kmh pedal assisted flat/calm, so the proposed new standard is taking ebikes backwards. That's the problem!

In bike mechanic world, air resistance over 30kmh increases rather exponentially, too.

And kids don't generally have a lazy $2k in their pocket to buy an ebike. Especially when for $2k they can get a petrol motorcycle that will do 80+kmh, and have a pillion for their boy/girlfriend; or a 1995 Corolla. If kids were going to terrorise you with ebikes, they'd be doing it now. Relax.
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Re: Nothing to say that an e-bike can't go faster

Postby Joeblake » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:09 pm

alan101 wrote:
In bike mechanic world, air resistance over 30kmh increases rather exponentially, too.



If that's a concern for you, perhaps you should grow a big beard and come over to "The Dark Side" and start riding a recumbent. Much less air resistance to worry about. :lol: :lol:

Much more efficient, and relaxed too. You don't raise such a big sweat. (Unless you really want to. Trouble with recumbents is you can travel too far too quickly to get a decent workout.) :wink:


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Coffs Harbour Council bikes vs Aust gov car subsidies

Postby alan101 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:38 am

I slipstreamed a recumbent on Beach Rd last weekend. He was jolly useless for clearing the air in front of me -only my ankles wanted to go faster. Pretty cool how he just ambled up into the bunch, though.

Coffs Harbour Council just added 6 bikes (including a couple of ebikes) to their vehicle fleet. An amazing amount of criticism appeared about what a waste of money ($10k) this was. Ian Cummings made this observation on LinkedIn, 'Referring to the comments, it amazes me that they think you can buy a cheap Aussie made bike, let alone an ebike. Even our car industry only survives because of $1,600,000,000 of tax payer industry subsidies (Yes $1.6 Billion. And add to that $1,100,000,000 of company car tax concessions & $800,000,000 in mining & oil refinery subsidies. from Howard's 2007 Budget figures, GetUp.). Good on the Coffs council for giving it a go. I've heard many other councils are also trying ebikes and bike fleets'.

http://www.linkedin.com/news?viewArticl ... r_66498583
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Bicycle death and injury rates - lack of Aust data

Postby alan101 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:36 pm

My Sorrento based 75y ebiker mate sent me this. It's probably safe to say that there is no evidence at all to support the proposition that 200-250w Australian ebikes require speed limiting (Alan).

'The big increase in cycling injuries could be explained by an increase in the number of cyclists". In the Special Issue in '0n Bicycle Safety', Journal of Australian College of Road Safety in (2010), neither of them could establish the bicycle death and injury rates per distance travelled'.

'The main fault with new research on bicycle safety is the failure to establish the death and injury rates per distance travelled. They do in Denmark, UK and the Netherlands but not in Australia. I pointed out the lack of reliable data many years ago at a bicycle planning conference in NZ. I also talked to the ATSB (then ORS) about the need to collect this data, they were not interested. There was no competent follow-up to this issue by the BFA, hence no research to produce the necessary exposure data like it is for car and truck drivers. Vic Roads negligence is off course the actual reason for this'.

'The kilometres walked and cycled is measured regularly in the Netherlands and we know Dutch pedestrians in 1999 are walking 20% less km than they did in 1990. Fortunately, most of that reduction resulted in a mode shift to cycling and public transport . In Australia and New Zealand there are no robust national data collected regularly for 'all walking' and 'all cycling trips', which makes it impossible to measure death rate per 100 million kms, which is the best indicator of safety. The only time that was measured in Australia was in 1985 (INSTAT 1989). By that measure, the Netherlands was 5.6 times safer for walking and 2.2 times safer for bicycling in 1985'.

'In the Netherlands from 1990 to 1999, the bicycling death rate per 100 million passenger kms dropped from 2.4 to 1.4, and by 2005 to 1.0 and then to 0.5 in 2010'.

I'll observe that over this period the uptake of ebikes has rapidly accelerated, to the point where I hear 30% of bike sales in some EU countries are now ebikes.
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200w/250w ebike + carbon flat bar speed comparison

Postby alan101 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:52 pm

Suzhou Bafang 250w and 200w front hub motor comparison, with an unassisted carbon flat bar result, too.

The test bike was a Jamis Coda Sport 27 speed, and the 200w and 250w motors swapped. Both tests used the same 700c tyre, controller and Li battery.

I found my 250w EU motor was 1.3kmh slower than my 200w unlimited motor on a 0.6km sprint. I did 3 paired rides with each, to counter any wind advantage; and then averaged the 6 rides per motor. In a 0.6km sprint the 200w (28.8kmh, 6 ride av) was 1.3kmh faster av speed speed than 250w (27.5kmh).

On a 1.44km hill climb rising 73m, there was no real difference in av times for 250/200w motors; with 4 ascent rides with each motor: 200w (21.7kmh, 4 ride av) matched the av speed for 250w motor (21.7KMH). The 250w (28.2kmh) av max speed was 0.4kmh faster in av max speed than 200w unit (27.4kmh), although this didn't affect av trip time overall.

My Trek 7.9 carbon flat bar Ultegra 30 speed 23mm tyre bike (unassisted) was even faster (4.4kmh more than 250w) in the 0.6km sprint: 31.9kmh av speed (6 runs) and 34.9kmh av max speed (6 runs). However, it was considerably slower (5.6kmh slower av spd than 250w) on the 1.44km hill climb: 16.1kmh av speed (3 climbs, harder with no motor) and 25.3kmh av max speed (3 climbs).

Both the 200w and 250w used the same 15A throttle controller and 10Ah Li-ion battery in these tests, and same 700c 32mm tyre. Even without a pedalec controler, the 250w motor is built to comply with a 23-25kmh cutoff to motor speed. I'd expected the 250w motor to be perhaps 4kmh faster than the 200w unit's '32kmh power fade to nil' point, but it isn't really even competent to make 32kmh flat/calm.

An untested variable is a medium distance of say 30km comparison. This would be tricky, as weather and traffic differences could affect results. I satisfied myself that I'm better off with my original 3y old 200w motor wheel (than 250 unit). This test took a lot of energy to ride, so I'm content to just get these results up.

I feel confident to say that the EU 250w motor is inferior in speed to a 200w unlimited motor, with no off-setting gain for hills. My Jamis Coda Sport now has it's original 200 w motor fitted as standard, and the 250w EU motor wheel hangs on the garage wall unloved. The test bike is a Jamis Coda Sport 27 spd Deore steel frame/forks, 700c x 32mm tyres, weighing 11.8kg new naked. I'd estimate it's weight as an ebike at 22kg; with mudguards, rack, bell, air pump, front hub motor, controller and 10Ah Li-ion battery. The 3 rigs were tested on different days, about a week apart per bike, so spanned about 2 weeks. There was a 0.06km anomally in speedo reading for a nominal 0.6km course, between the Jamis' and Trek's speedos; so this could involve a 10% adjustment to speed readings when comparing Trek to Jamis results. Speedo and tyre were consistent with ebike testing for 200w ands 250w units.

The unassisted Trek holds some promise as a faster 30km commute ride than the ebike, qualified by the expectation that significant headwinds or hills could potentially see the ebike gain ascendancy. I've been ebiking for 3 years, and have 1 year experience with unassisted biking. I can do a weekend 50km Beach Rd (Melbourne) ride at an av speed of 29.9kmh (on speedo).
Last edited by alan101 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby cachexian » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:55 pm

great review.

Thanks.
Scott Sub 40 with 200W, 36v Ezee geared front hub motor
and...
Trek Madonne 3.1 driven by left leg and right leg
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:33 pm

Why not start a new thread on the topic of comparing the motors? Very few people who are interested in finding out a bit about which motor they should consider would think of looking in a thread about proposed laws.

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Re: 200w/250w ebike + carbon flat bar speed comparison

Postby Comedian » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:25 pm

alan101 wrote:The unassisted Trek holds some promise as a faster 30km commute ride than the ebikes, qualified by the expectation that significant headwinds or hills could potentially see the ebike gain ascendancy. I've been ebiking for 3 years, and have 1 year experience with unassisted biking. I can do a weekend 50km Beach Rd (Melbourne) ride at an av speed of 29.9kmh (on speedo).


I'm pretty sure this is the point that I've been making all along - that if you want to cover ground quickly a good road bike is faster than an electric bike anyway... so why not save the environment (skip the batteries, motors, and electronics) and man up and pedal? Your fitness will get better in time anyway and it will end up being no harder for you than your electric bike now. I'm darn sure that I could outrun and out distance any current (and legal) e-bike I've ever seen on my roadie (unless you have a legal e-bike that can average 30+ over 110k). :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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47 EU bike reviews

Postby alan101 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:26 am

This web page has interesting content on the European ebike scene: <www.extraenergy.org>.

In particular, this item (4th down page) presents 2010 test results for 25 electric vehicles, which were compared with 22 EV tests from 2009. You have to request access (free) to the magazine, and are then sent a link. It downloads as a zip file, and you have to expand (unzip) it: 204p and 65.7Mb expanded.
'ExtraEnergy Magazine No 2 online in English. The ExtraEnergy Magazine, with the results of all the vehicles tested in 2010, is finally available online in English. It is free. Included in the 200-page bumper issue is a special feature on LEV design and test reports of 47 pedelecs and e-bikes'.

The intro certainly makes the European ebike scene look and sound dynamic. Bosch and Shimano have entered the ebike manufacture arena, with mention of SRAM, Porsche and Volkswagen. Worth a look, if only to see pictures of the diverse bikes on offer.
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