proposed new law worse than the old

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby trailgumby » Sun May 08, 2011 12:13 pm

I'm siding with Joe on this one.

What you want is already available. You just have to be licenced and have the moped (which can be either electric or gas) registered.

Are you for some reason unable to qualify for a licence or afford registration? I think you would get a better hearing in other forums (that is, not BNA): I notice that I am not in anything like a minority when I say that I am amply satisfied with the current proposals.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby sogood » Sun May 08, 2011 12:17 pm

stolennomenclature wrote:I get the hint. Everyone but me likes it. Well its good I suppose if most people like the new regulations - it means most people will be happy.
How does that sci-fi film put it? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - or the one (me).

250W is effectively the FTP of a trained D grade club rider, one that's more than enough to tackle Sydney hills. Any more power would just turn it into a please-get-off-the-bike-path motor scooter. The only reason for more power is to go faster than a trained D grade rider, and that's already no slow coach. As for going faster for the elderly, given the progressively slower reflexes as one ages, may I suggest that it's safer for the elderly to go slower, a speed that's more manageable for their physical abilities. So in other words, the "elderly excuse" is utterly invalid.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby sogood » Sun May 08, 2011 12:21 pm

cachexian wrote:As an ebike commuter for the last five months I would personally prefer the upper limit to be higher than 25kph. 30kph would be fine. 35kph would be great.

30km/h is a respectable sustained pace for a trained rider. Train your legs if you want that kind of pace. eBikes are meant to assist, not take over. With 250W assistance, you just need to put in a measly 100W and you'll stress a lot of riders with bulging leg muscles.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby trailgumby » Sun May 08, 2011 12:31 pm

sogood wrote:
stolennomenclature wrote:I get the hint. Everyone but me likes it. Well its good I suppose if most people like the new regulations - it means most people will be happy.
How does that sci-fi film put it? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - or the one (me).

250W is effectively the FTP of a trained D grade club rider, one that's more than enough to tackle Sydney hills. Any more power would just turn it into a please-get-off-the-bike-path motor scooter. The only reason for more power is to go faster than a trained D grade rider, and that's already no slow coach. As for going faster for the elderly, given the progressively slower reflexes as one ages, may I suggest that it's safer for the elderly to go slower, a speed that's more manageable for their physical abilities. So in other words, the "elderly excuse" is utterly invalid.

Nailed it! :D

If what you want SN really is a "need", I suspect the bigger picture is that you really have another need that would be served better by having much less power, in fact zero: maybe you need to lose some weight? And if that is not possible through injury or disability, get a licence and buy a moped.

And then ride on the road.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby cachexian » Sun May 08, 2011 1:29 pm

sogood wrote:
cachexian wrote:As an ebike commuter for the last five months I would personally prefer the upper limit to be higher than 25kph. 30kph would be fine. 35kph would be great.

30km/h is a respectable sustained pace for a trained rider. Train your legs if you want that kind of pace. eBikes are meant to assist, not take over. With 250W assistance, you just need to put in a measly 100W and you'll stress a lot of riders with bulging leg muscles.


Don't get me wrong sogood I don't want to be superhuman.

I can sustain a pace of 35kph on the flat and 30kph on slight incline (on my heavy ebike with my work bag). So a maximum assist speed of 25kph is a little annoying when I'm riding with all my gear and get to a medium level hill. As I said, for me I'd love the power to gradually kick in to help me hold that speed (30kph) as I continue to pedal hard. I don't coast on the ebike - I AM trying to train my legs.

As I have written elsewhere, because my bike assist is about 25kph, when I hit a medium incline I slow down. This is probably irritating for any other riders that I might have overtaken on steeper hills where I have the advantage. They catch me up on the small-medium inclines because they have less weight to heave. I don't want to be one of those annoying ebike riders. That overtakes then slows down directly in front of the person just overtook. (What I usually do, to be polite, is to slow down if I know that the unassisted rider in front of me will want to overtake me again soon). With an additional 5kph of assist this would not be an issue. I do think that 250W is plenty because 200W is actually almost fine.
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proposed new law worse than the old

Postby sogood » Sun May 08, 2011 3:08 pm

cachexian wrote:I do think that 250W is plenty because 200W is actually almost fine.

Well, good that we agree on the primary issue brought on by the OP.

As for the issue of progressive power assistance on hills. I think that's more of an issue of intelligence in power delivery rather than an issue on absolute and max power assistance. I am sure the intelligence will come in as the technology matures but that'll take time to evolve.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby im_no_pro » Mon May 09, 2011 11:07 am

sogood wrote:Can the mod combine this and the other thread on effectively the same subject?
viewtopic.php?f=51&t=40335
Done. Posts will merge based on time so some may appear to be out of order. OP: please keep it to one topic.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby stolennomenclature » Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am

Joeblake wrote:
stolennomenclature wrote:
The method used to determine the required power output of the PAPC appears to be completely theoretical


This particular sub-forum is about e-bikes. I suggest that what you are arguing for is not covered by its ambit.

If you disagree with the law why not put your energy into lobbying those people who actually make the law? I would have thought that by now you should have realised that you are very much in a minority.

Joe


As to approaching the people who make the law, I thought it might be better to first sound out out people interested in e-bikes to find out how they viewed the situation, to see if my views had any popular support, and to double check my reasoning to see if I had made any errors of judgement or fact before approaching any officials. Is that wrong? Besides, the proposal to change the law that I am critical of has already been submitted to Government, so I think I have missed the boat in that area.

It may well be the case that very few people agree with me - certainly it seems to be the case so far. But so what? I have never held to the view that the majority is always right. Most of the major advances in society have come from individuals with insight who were often ridiculed by the majority at the time, but later proved to be right. Just because most people don't agree with me does not make me wrong by default. I am quite happy to be in the minority, and fundamentally it does not matter if people agree with me or not - this is simply a forum for expressing ideas. Its not a court of law.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby sogood » Tue May 10, 2011 11:15 am

stolennomenclature wrote:It may well be the case that very few people agree with me - certainly it seems to be the case so far. But so what? I have never held to the view that the majority is always right. Most of the major advances in society have come from individuals with insight who were often ridiculed by the majority at the time, but later proved to be right. Just because most people don't agree with me does not make me wrong by default.

You are not wrong there and is well ahead of the curve. Cars are being electrified and I am sure it'll come to motorbikes. When it comes (>250W, 60km/h), you just need to ride the road with your license, not shared/bike pathways.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby stolennomenclature » Tue May 10, 2011 11:36 am

sogood wrote:
stolennomenclature wrote:It may well be the case that very few people agree with me - certainly it seems to be the case so far. But so what? I have never held to the view that the majority is always right. Most of the major advances in society have come from individuals with insight who were often ridiculed by the majority at the time, but later proved to be right. Just because most people don't agree with me does not make me wrong by default.

You are not wrong there and is well ahead of the curve. Cars are being electrified and I am sure it'll come to motorbikes. When it comes (>250W, 60km/h), you just need to ride the road with your license, not shared/bike pathways.


I have never ridden on a shared/bike pathway. Did'nt know there were any. If they do exist they either are very small in number, or I just happen to be unfortunate and live in the one area that has a bike path shortage. The only reason I would like to ride on a bike path is to avoid dicing with the traffic on a major road - and that would not be anywhere near such a problem if the bicycle could keep up with the traffic - something it would do much better if the law allowed a motor powerful enough to propel the bike up inclines and at a higher speed. Its rather a catch twenty-two is'nt it. People using bike paths are (quite rightly) concerned about having very powerful ebikes whizzing past them at a dangerously high speed, yet these fast e-bikes would have no need to be on the bike path in the first place, as they would have the performance to stay on the roads. After all you would'nt find a full sized motorcycle riding wanting to ride down a bike path, now would you?

I for one would be more than happy to have e-bikes banned from using bicycle paths. E-bikes might be based on bicycles, but they are different, and different enough perhaps to make them unsuitable for sharing bike paths with normal bicycles. I don't see why that should be a show stopper. If it was legal to buy a 1 kilowatt e-bike that you could not ride on bike paths, I would happily buy it and ride it on the road.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby sogood » Tue May 10, 2011 12:58 pm

stolennomenclature wrote:I have never ridden on a shared/bike pathway. Did'nt know there were any. If they do exist they either are very small in number, or I just happen to be unfortunate and live in the one area that has a bike path shortage. The only reason I would like to ride on a bike path is to avoid dicing with the traffic on a major road - and that would not be anywhere near such a problem if the bicycle could keep up with the traffic - something it would do much better if the law allowed a motor powerful enough to propel the bike up inclines and at a higher speed. Its rather a catch twenty-two is'nt it. People using bike paths are (quite rightly) concerned about having very powerful ebikes whizzing past them at a dangerously high speed, yet these fast e-bikes would have no need to be on the bike path in the first place, as they would have the performance to stay on the roads.

Looks like your point of view was born out of your biking needs, in an areas devoid of bike/shared paths. Unfortunately this present law is one that is state wide, one that will have direct impact on areas with bike/shared paths. So it's no surprise the RTA/govt is going in the present direction, one that takes into account of all possible situations.

High powered eBikes on the road? Without registration? It'll make the roads even more chaotic! Just go to one of the S/E Asian countries where there are motorscooters. Utter chaos and high accident/death rates for the 2 wheeled users.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue May 10, 2011 1:07 pm

stolennomenclature wrote:It may well be the case that very few people agree with me - certainly it seems to be the case so far. But so what? I have never held to the view that the majority is always right.

You really don't get it? It's not about it not being OK just because a majority don't want it. I don't want to wear pink leotards but no-one will argue against you wearing them. Unlike pink leotards, what you want affects the rest of us a lot, unlike, say, seeking alternate sexual preferences. And as many have pointed out, what you are after is available - but it has financial, safety, regulatory, training and tax obligations you have to meet. Meeting your "need" as no more warranted than allowing people to make their own rough-and-ready cars with the expectation to drive it on the roads without any need for a license, rego, safety considerations, crash-worthiness, signal lights, emission standards, etc.

stolennomenclature wrote:Most of the major advances in society have come from individuals with insight who were often ridiculed by the majority at the time, but later proved to be right.

An element of truth, but seldom resrted to except as the fall back position of many more failed causes. Every quack scientist for example. Water divining, orgone energy in Peter Brocks cars, etc etc etc etc.

I don't know what you expect in the way of honest advice from retailers. In WA they will not even tell the buyer that they are illegal to ride with the motor engaged on the cycle ways. Please don't insult us by reporting back that they think the laws as they stand are too negative. Please.
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Re: new RTA proposal too conservative?

Postby Joeblake » Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm

stolennomenclature wrote: I thought it might be better to first sound out out people interested in e-bikes to find out how they viewed the situation, to see if my views had any popular support,

...

fundamentally it does not matter if people agree with me or not ...


So you want to find out what other people think ... but you don't care what other people think.

:?


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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby jet-ski » Tue May 10, 2011 10:51 pm

50cc petrol mopeds do not require a special license, cost less than some ebikes and go 60kph.... why doesn't the OP just go and get one?
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby elStado » Tue May 10, 2011 11:44 pm

Just give it some time. There might just be a place for higher powered e-bikes on the road and limited power e-bikes on cycle paths.

We'll see what happens when the price of fuel goes (and stays) over $2 a litre. Lot's of people who aren't in much shape to be riding but are going into debt trying to pay for fuel will be very eager for a easy, low cost alternative.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby jet-ski » Wed May 11, 2011 12:03 pm

You can buy electric mopeds that meet the ADRs. You can also convert one yourself. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I believe the OP just wants to be able to stick a bigger motor on a pushbike and then say 'but it's OK I'm only riding it on the road'.

ADRs are there for a reason and they come with a weight penalty. If you want to go 60kph then your vehicle needs more gear (suspension, better brakes, indicators, horn, lights, speedo) in order to be safe to use.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby stolennomenclature » Thu May 12, 2011 3:22 pm

herzog wrote:
stolennomenclature wrote:Seems the regulators have forgotten about the elderly and infirm with their ebike legislation.


I think this line of argument is a furphy.

It's not like the eldery/infirm were exactly queuing up to buy ebikes under the existing rules...

In fact I don't think I have ever seen such a person riding one.


Maybe none of them have even heard of electric bikes. So far I have not yet met a single person who has, other than those on e-bike forums on the internet. I have never seen an e-bike add on the television.

Or maybe none of them lives within walking-frame distance of one of the handful of e-bike shops in the Country.

It is generally hard to buy a product which virtually no one sells.

I would also imagine that not many older persons are regular internet surfers who may have stumbled on an e-bike on the web.

Or then again maybe no elderly or infirm person would be able to effectively use an Australian e-bike with its pathetically low powered motor that would barely be able to crawl up even a moderate incline without grinding to a halt or overheating.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby stolennomenclature » Thu May 12, 2011 3:36 pm

jet-ski wrote:You can buy electric mopeds that meet the ADRs. You can also convert one yourself. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I believe the OP just wants to be able to stick a bigger motor on a pushbike and then say 'but it's OK I'm only riding it on the road'.

ADRs are there for a reason and they come with a weight penalty. If you want to go 60kph then your vehicle needs more gear (suspension, better brakes, indicators, horn, lights, speedo) in order to be safe to use.


I just think that if you are going to allow an electric motor to be put on a bicycle, then at least make it one that is big enough to make a real difference. One of the biggest deterrents for people using bicycles for transport (as opposed to recreation) is coping with hills, especially steep hills. If en e-bike could solve the hill problem, then the electric bicycle might become useful enough to encourage people away from cars and public transport, and help the environment and ease the pressure on the dwindling oil resources. I personally don't think that 200 watts is enough power to really make a big enough difference on hills.

Opposing strong headwinds is another issue where a larger motor would be a significant advantage. These are both situations which have nothing to do with a faster top speed, which people seem to be so hung up about.

Of course more power would theoretically lead to a higher top speed on the flat, but this could be dealt with by requiring a speed limiter, technology which is readily available and used in other countries to control top speed of electric bicycles.

And to those who would say that I am wrong and that 200 watt motors can indeed I go up hills quite well, I would like to mention that there is strong evidence that most e-bikes of nominally 200 watts power output do in fact put out much larger amounts of power in reality. The 200 watt power rating is just there to appease the authorities.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Kalgrm » Thu May 12, 2011 7:51 pm

One of the biggest deterrents for people using bicycles for transport (as opposed to recreation) is coping with hills, especially steep hills.

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Really? I love hills. Give me one of these hills and I'll show you a man who is encouraged by hills rather than deterred.

Have you heard of gears? They let you climb just about any hill.

I know you're somewhat incapacitated, but as long as you're prepared to accept that it takes time to climb a hill, motor assistance on a geared bike will let you climb anything.

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby trailgumby » Thu May 12, 2011 8:52 pm

stolennomenclature wrote:If en e-bike could solve the hill problem, then the electric bicycle might become useful enough to encourage people away from cars and public transport, and help the environment and ease the pressure on the dwindling oil resources. I personally don't think that 200 watts is enough power to really make a big enough difference on hills.

What hill problem? Hills are great :D

Sorry, gotta side with kalgrm and jet-ski. The options are already there if you want more power. What you want (more power and no licensing/registration) isn't on the menu, and in the light of the likely abuses that everybody but you can see that would result, that's a good thing. You pays your money and makes your choices.

I'm coming to the view quite rapidly that you need to harden up.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu May 12, 2011 9:38 pm

stolennomenclature wrote:Maybe none of them have even heard of electric bikes. So far I have not yet met a single person who has, other than those on e-bike forums on the internet. I have never seen an e-bike add on the television.


I work I work in housing industry with bureaucrats, not the recreation industry or fitness industry or transport industry. And without doing a survey, I'd bet a house on the fact that many of my non-cycling friends know of electric bikes. It's not beyond comprehension that more people I know know of them than not.

Stolen, if you honestly know no one who knows of e-bikes, then I suggest that you need to get around a bit more. I am finding it harder and harder to read your factoids without thinking that they are simply pulled out of the air to support your argument.

btw, I have occasional senior citizens passing me on the pathway on regular bikes - prime candidates for e-bikes apparently.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby cachexian » Thu May 12, 2011 10:20 pm

Hi Stolen,

You're wrong. 200W does make a significant difference on big hills.

I just rode up Sydney Rd Manly twice today. The first time I did with a half discharged battery. The motor couldn't do it on its own but with light pedalling (such as required to go 16kph on flat) it went up at 12kph.

The second time with about 80% charged battery and pedalling hard I went up at 20kph.

Now, that's not gonna set the land speed record but without assistance on my normal bike I can only do about 8kph up that hill. So I'd say that the measly 200W is making about 10-12kph difference.

I don't deny that more power = more difference but 200W is actually not bad.

I weigh 65kg by the way and bike 20kg.

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby 10speed » Mon May 16, 2011 6:38 am

A lot of chatter about why you all love the RTA proposal - Have you read it!! Its just dumb. Ebikes arent push bikes. The attraction to Ebikes is that they are easy to ride for all ages and body types,you dont have to shell out on Rego especially if you already pay rego on several other cars and motorbikes and best of all they have the potential to evolve into a environmentally friendly form of transport. They dont have to be as fast or as powerful as a moped or motor bike but the RTA want to make them pathetic enough to put people off bying one. Instead of limiting the guidelines to make an Ebike a bike they should treat it as a hybrid vehicle and go from there, Maybe charge a small registration fee if they have to grab more money than they already do. And stop deluding yourselves about how fast you can ride. Every day i have to put up hordes of fanatical cyclist who think they are as powerful as the stream of cars behind them trying to get passed. Seriously i think those guys need a motor more than a bike.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby sogood » Mon May 16, 2011 9:15 am

10speed wrote:A lot of chatter about why you all love the RTA proposal - Have you read it!! Its just dumb. Ebikes arent push bikes. The attraction to Ebikes is that they are easy to ride for all ages and body types,you dont have to shell out on Rego especially if you already pay rego on several other cars and motorbikes and best of all they have the potential to evolve into a environmentally friendly form of transport...

Why do you have to ride at the same speed or faster than Grade A club riders? If you really want to be environmentally friendly, try walking or use a regular push bike. Batteries, electronic components and electricity are highly toxic to the environment to manufacture and dispose. Current RTA proposal is practical to integrate with current infrastructure and is considerate of existing users. That's all.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue May 17, 2011 10:53 am

10speed wrote:A lot of chatter about why you all love the RTA proposal - Have you read it!! Its just dumb. Ebikes arent push bikes. The attraction to Ebikes is that they are easy to ride for all ages and body types,you dont have to shell out on Rego especially if you already pay rego on several other cars and motorbikes and best of all they have the potential to evolve into a environmentally friendly form of transport. They dont have to be as fast or as powerful as a moped or motor bike but the RTA want to make them pathetic enough to put people off bying one. Instead of limiting the guidelines to make an Ebike a bike they should treat it as a hybrid vehicle and go from there, Maybe charge a small registration fee if they have to grab more money than they already do. And stop deluding yourselves about how fast you can ride. Every day i have to put up hordes of fanatical cyclist who think they are as powerful as the stream of cars behind them trying to get passed. Seriously i think those guys need a motor more than a bike.


No, I haven't read it 10 speed. But I am curious about your assessment of the proposal, leaning apparently on the fact that it absurdly treats e-bikes as , well, power assisted bikes. when they are, indeed, not. So you say.

But I take issue with your apparent belief that e-bikes are NOT bikes but something else quite different. Sorry buddy, twaddle. e-bikes and the initial petrol equivalent were just that and the regulators have written regs that reflect that. afaik they still consider e-bikes to be power assisted push-bike. What some people may WANT is for a different form of motor bike or scooter that is allowed to drive on footpaths and cycle ways and to not be burdened with various annoyances like legislated standards, driver trainihng and licensing, higher costs of purchase and maintenance, etc. But just 'cos you WANT it, it is big jump to then say that they are not bikes. I am inferring from your comment that, contrary to what you may think, the regs are not dumb at all, but that you would be hung on that petard yourself if I follow your rationale for being dumb.

I note that there are not too many car dealerships selling e-bikes, but an increasing number of bikes shops are. How dumb are these shops????
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