E-bikes have revolutionized how people can move around by allowing riders to go to terrains they couldn't before. They also allow riders to sustain speeds they could never achieve on traditional bikes.
Did you know that traditional bikes are now referred to as analogue bikes? E-bikes have taken biking into a digital age, allowing faster commutes and the ability to carry bigger loads. But do e-bikes come with governing rules? Can you ride an e-bike too fast and break the law? Read on to understand the laws governing e-bike riding.
What is the recommended e-bike speed limit?
In the UK, the recommended speed limit for e-bikes is 15.5 mph. That is because electric bikes are classified as 'power-assisted pedal cycles, which means that they are limited to a maximum speed of 15.5 mph. However, this doesn't mean that you can't go faster than 15.5 mph on an e-bike - it just means that the motor will cut out at 15.5 mph. So, if you're looking to go fast on your e-bike, stay within the speed limit!
There're consequences for breaking the speed limit on an e-bike. Not only is this illegal, but you could also invalidate your insurance policy. And, if you're caught speeding, you could be fined up to £1000. So, it's not worth breaking the law!
E-bikes are a great way to get around, and they're becoming more and more popular in the UK. So, make sure you know the speed limit before you head out on your e-bike!
You will also need to have a moped helmet with a similar design as a traditional bike helmet but made more challenging to withstand any possible impact while travelling at 15.5 miles per hour.
How Do You Know If You're Going Too Fast On An E-bike?
Two conditions determine if you're going too fast on an e-bike. The first condition that determines if you're going too fast is if you exceed the recommended speed of the e-bike class you are riding. Based on your region, your e-bike could be limited to either 15.5 miles per hour or 28 miles per hour. If you are travelling past these speeds, you are going too fast.
Secondly, you must consider how comfortable you are at your riding speeds. Are you in total control of the e-bike? How fast would you react to stop when an emergency occurs? You will go too fast if your speed can endanger you and other road users.
Can I Buy An E-Bike That's Faster Than The Speed Limit?
Several e-bike companies make e-bikes surpass the prescribed 15.5 miles per hour. These companies, however, warn their e-bike users to only use these e-bikes on restricted private land where they do not expose other road users to the dangers of high speeds.
E-bikes with speeds of 15.5 miles per hour and above are seen as vehicles and require registration in different regions of the world. That means you should consider spending more money on registration.
Taxation matters also come into play, with some governments taxing e-bikes that fit into the moped category. While the British government exempts e-bikes under 15.5mph from taxation due to their ability to reduce carbon emissions, you need to look into this based on your region.
You also need to consider that such e-bikes come at a premium much higher than regular e-bikes, meaning you can pay twice or thrice as much as you would for a standard e-bike.
Are There Exceptions to E-bike Speed Limits?
Some bikes can exceed e-bike speed limits though you need to ride them away from human contact. These e-bikes come with a race track mode that you are advised to set when on private land.
You can reset the e-bike to the standard setting, which limits it to 15.5 miles per hour in regular traffic. Remember, you cannot ride such e-bikes in bike lanes but need to use regular roads because of the reach of their speeds.
E-bikes can also exceed set speed limits based on the riders riding them. Since pedal assistance or throttle response tops at 15.5 miles per hour, you can have skilled riders pushing their endurance past this limit. They can pedal fast enough to give the e-bikes another boost which pushes the e-bikes past their speed limit. A rider can only do this for a limited time.
Some e-bikes also have the option of derestricting their 15.5 miles per hour limit to 28 miles per hour.
The terrain you ride in can also alter your e-bike's speed limit. If you go down a hill and use pedal-assisted riding and pedal hard, you will go well beyond the specified speed limit.
You must exercise caution when riding in such terrain and beyond recommended speeds, as you can hurt yourself if you fall. Also, exercise caution to ride away from other road users to avoid accidents.
Are There Any Penalties For Breaking The Speed Limit On An E-Bike?
Regions with high e-bike usage have laws regulating the use of these e-bikes. If you derestrict your e-bike, you could pay a hefty fine for this crime. Regions with such fines include the US and Europe. Manipulating your e-bike goes by several names, like chipping and derestricting. Chipping your e-bike is an illegal activity punishable by law.
While authorities cannot tell a chipped e-bike just by observing it while you're riding it, the truth will come out if it exceeds the speed limit or gets involved in an accident. At such times you will not just have to worry about law enforcement but also have to contend with having voided the manufacturer's warranty as you tampered with the e-bike illegally.
Derestricting an e-bike also puts more load on the e-bike's system. This extra load on the motor means more power to perform as you need it to. It also affects the circuitry and can cause it to overheat as it works harder than designed.
E-bikes have brought a convenient way of doing what you need to do. They, however, bring the temptation of getting a lot of speed from them. Manufacturers limit their speed to protect both the riders and other road users. You should visit Eskute if you are looking for a legal e-bike that you can ride on bike trails and parks, as well as on your regular commute.