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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #991
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    sure. the licensing & registration regime can pay for the inspections and enforcement.
    Enforcement of a ban on those settings would be at the retailer level, not on the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Enforcement of a ban on those settings would be at the retailer level, not on the trails.
    You're kinda talking as though these things were cars, and we could impose regs on them the way we do cars. (ABS and airbags and pedestrian-safe exteriors, etc.) But the only way we can actually make those things stick (at all) with cars is because we require people to register cars, inspect them every so often (in larger jurisdictions) to make sure that people haven't screwed them up, and have a mountain of red tape and bureaucracy behind the ability to register a car. For cars it's doable--the costs get folded into a bunch of different parts of the car buying process, and can hide in a $20k+ purchase. Actually enforcing requirements on ebikes would be just as hard, except there's no real prospect (or desire) to have a similar licensing and registration system for ebikes, and there's no way the costs could hide in a purchase of only $1k or so. "At the retail level" isn't a magical solution because 1) people will buy them online and from sketchy places overseas 2) we can't really enforce much at all at the retail level. (There's no people to do the enforcing and no desire to pay for same. You get some level of customs enforcement at the border, but they're much more interested in drugs than improperly labeled ebikes.) Major retailers have to worry about liability, so you won't see blatantly mislabeled stuff at walmart, but it won't make the things hard to find in a major metro area and reprogrammers for otherwise-legal purchases will be even more available than they are for cars (which aren't hard to obtain these days). Most of our regulations depend on people doing the right thing voluntarily, which isn't an answer when people are actively looking for ways to go faster and don't GAF. It certainly hasn't stopped people from making illegal modifications to their cars, even if they have to back it all out to pass an inspection. The main difference is that it'll be easier on an ebike (and people won't have any hesitation caused by worries that that they'll screw up an enormously expensive status symbol if they do it wrong).

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    Lots of food for thought. Me -- I just don't like people racing by at high speeds on any bike...past me, past pedestrians-- heck past cars.

    I haven't been overseas much. I imagine in places where bikes are commonplace, speeding runs the gamut. Is Mumbai bicycling very different from Amsterdam, speed wise and responsibility -wise? Probably the more folks ride any kind of bikes, and the bigger the city the, the more bad behavior you'll have.

    And as the price of ebikes comes down eventually, probably the poor behavior will go up.

    Regulation on trails- I can't see that happening. On the streets and city sidewalks- possibly.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Congratulations on 100 [expletive deleted] pages of this [expletive deleted] thread.

  5. #995
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    You're kinda talking as though these things were cars, and we could impose regs on them the way we do cars. (ABS and airbags and pedestrian-safe exteriors, etc.) But the only way we can actually make those things stick (at all) with cars is because we require people to register cars, inspect them every so often (in larger jurisdictions) to make sure that people haven't screwed them up, and have a mountain of red tape and bureaucracy behind the ability to register a car. For cars it's doable--the costs get folded into a bunch of different parts of the car buying process, and can hide in a $20k+ purchase. Actually enforcing requirements on ebikes would be just as hard, except there's no real prospect (or desire) to have a similar licensing and registration system for ebikes, and there's no way the costs could hide in a purchase of only $1k or so. "At the retail level" isn't a magical solution because 1) people will buy them online and from sketchy places overseas 2) we can't really enforce much at all at the retail level. (There's no people to do the enforcing and no desire to pay for same. You get some level of customs enforcement at the border, but they're much more interested in drugs than improperly labeled ebikes.) Major retailers have to worry about liability, so you won't see blatantly mislabeled stuff at walmart, but it won't make the things hard to find in a major metro area and reprogrammers for otherwise-legal purchases will be even more available than they are for cars (which aren't hard to obtain these days). Most of our regulations depend on people doing the right thing voluntarily, which isn't an answer when people are actively looking for ways to go faster and don't GAF. It certainly hasn't stopped people from making illegal modifications to their cars, even if they have to back it all out to pass an inspection. The main difference is that it'll be easier on an ebike (and people won't have any hesitation caused by worries that that they'll screw up an enormously expensive status symbol if they do it wrong).

    I don't see any way to stop people from doing this DIY or black market. I was addressing the earlier comment, which was about a setting being sold at a retail store. I assume most ebikes will end up purchased from chains and from standard online sources. I don't know how expensive spot inspections of non-chain LBS will be, but given that localities will be getting significant sales tax revenue from this, I think that pot of money could be used, if this actually becomes an important issue. Otherwise I am not sure what mechanism you suggest - just ban all ebikes everywhere? Given that most currently are difficult or impossible to clearly distinguish from human powered bikes, I think enforcing that would be more costly and less effective.

    To recall this particular back and forth started with jabberwocky saying class rating is pointless. Not 100% effective /= pointless. I won't belabor you with examples, I am sure you can fill that in yourself.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 02-14-2018 at 02:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    To recall this particular back and forth started with jabberwocky saying class rating is pointless. Not 100% effective /= pointless.
    I share the evaluation that the class system is pointless. I understand that advocacy and industry folks have invested a lot of effort in it, but it's futile.

    And I think I've been pretty clear what I think the alternative is--ban them anywhere they would be mixed with people on foot. (No sidewalks, no trails.) Allow them to run on streets and dedicated cycle infrastructure. Trying to be more flexible than that with a class system than nobody but true believers will care enough to understand is a waste of time.

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    I recently saw a tweet pointing out that most ebike-riders are not former manual bike-riders, they are former drivers. Former drivers* don't want to worry about DIY modifications - they want to go to a retailer and buy something, and they want to take things back to that shop to get them fixed. Former drivers aren't daredevils -- they realize the first time a door opens and almost knocks them over that they need to be careful of such things. Former drivers don't run reds (I mean, they run "oranges" but they don't stop at a red then go while it's still red). Former drivers don't blow through stop signs (they slow and kinda almost stop, just like they do in cars).

    (*These generalizations are, of course, rough generalizations. Of course there are a few who don't fit the mold, but they're a minority).

    In other words, ebike riders are more likely to be more cautious than the typical manual biker, and regulation through the retailer is more likely to be effective. Add to that the fact that ebikes are not the multi-ton, person killing machines that cars are, and some regulation through shops should be enough for generally public safety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Congratulations on 100 [expletive deleted] pages of this [expletive deleted] thread.
    I'm only up to 50. Half the pain.

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    Alls I know is that them Jump bikes are pretty fun to ride. The current offer code for anyone that wants to get some experience riding a pedelec to help form their arguments that e-bikes are great or evil is JUMP4WABA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emm View Post
    Oh god. Limebike just launched dockless e-scooters. . I can't tell if they plan to launch in DC though...The website is a bit confusing.
    How in the heck do dockless e-scooters get charged? I wonder if they'll ever be like those robotic vacuum cleaners?

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