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10,000 people have reserved VanMoof's 50km/h e-bike

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Alex Bowden's picture

Alex Bowden

Alex has been editor of ebiketips since 2021. He previously contributed news, reviews and more to and has also had a parallel (largely lapsed) career writing about cricket for various publications.


2 years 2 months ago

Not really pedantry, unless you'd consider a moped to be just a petrol assisted bicycle. It is a categorical difference, which is quite different from hair-splitting pedantry. So this vanmoof is well over the other side of the line, it is more akin to an electrically powered moped than an electrically assisted bicycle. The difference is important too, because it draws a line between vehicles which share enough in common with bicycles to fall under the same legislative treatment, from those which don't. Vanmoof is looking to blur that boundary through the language they use, and that needs to be plainly seen, not dismissed as merely pedantic quibbling.

2 years 2 months ago

It's a great looking bike and I have great sympathy for the idea put forward by BMW of all companies that you can have a bike ride at 30mph (or similar) on the roads but then restricted to 15.5mph on the cyclepath. Not sure if the technology is there for that but it would help longer distances commuters like myself...but...

...wouldn't you need a motorbike helmet at 30mph speeds? That wouldn't be so nice on the bike path

2 years 2 months ago

The trajectory of companies eyeing a less car-full (or at least a more electric) future is no more likley to include concern about the wellbeing of people and a pleasant environment for all than they've demonstrated before.  The effects on those not using their products are certainly not that important.

So not really news. If we ever manage in the UK to get a decent number of "ordinary people" on bikes and give them specific infra, obviously some company will be offering a "go-faster" solution or something else that no-one foresaw.  Bit like how the microcars have become a fad among the non-disabled in some parts of The Netherlands.

As to the idea however - mixed feelings. Extra distance in given time could be a real decision maker for some people (I'm guessing commuters). Looks like less negatives than cars (including "emit elsewhere" electric ones). These - like electric scooters - probably don't herald the apocalypse.

But they certainly could be an additional headache just when we don't need obstacles to people cycling / wheeling. I've had illegal electric bikes fly by me in the UK and that was almost less pleasant than cars. Doubtless some of the riders will be ill-equipped to handle the speed and will damage themselves and others.

Not that the market cares nor does anyone care for my thoughts but this doesn't look like the solution to a problem we currently have to me - stick with bikes, pedelecs and s-pedelecs which are legally motorbikes here. We certainly can design for and expect reasonable speeds though. For example I think you might have a reasonable fraction of the cost of a velomobile if you want to go fast and can afford one of these!

2 years 2 months ago

Hmm.  I think your pedantry is getting the better of you here.   e-bike is a generic term the correct terms are pedelec and s-pedelec.  The article is essentially correct in calling it an e-bike.

2 years 2 months ago

We complain about the deliberately misleading headlines in the gutter press, for example over the changes to the highway code. Please don't feel you have to join them with your own efforts - if it falls outside the legal definition of an e-bike then it is not an e-bike, by definition.

The text of the article is not much better and rehearses the same misunderstandings as we read in the MSM about how fast you can pedal on an e-bike.