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E-bike industry moves to prevent people hacking their e-bikes for more speed

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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 9 months ago

@open_roads apparently every car sold in the EU after 2022 must have a speed limiter installed, but I can't find any speed limit anywhere. Volvo is already limiting all their new cars to 180 km/h (lol).

2 years 9 months ago

My average speed going to work over 7km is a little over 25kmh, so it's unlikely I would get there any faster. Raising it to 30, the purposed speed limit inside cities in the EU, would make a lot more sense to me.

2 years 9 months ago

It wouldn't hurt for ebikes to go a little faster...but the industry are doing the right thing here in stopping the dodgy hacks that are going on.

The sort of person to do this is exactly the sort of person to ride like a muppet and put other people in danger. I've seen too many examples of this...and while I don't care if they're putting themselves in danger on the road I do care when they do it on a narrow cyclepath - thats the problem. 

When I rode in Holland a few years back the mopeds (allowed on cycle paths) posed the same problem - there's too big a difference in speed for the space available...and even the most considerate riders (and many were fine) would make a misjudgement now and then and that's when the problems ("accidents") start...

2 years 9 months ago

The problem with limiting ebikes to 15.5mph is it creates too many 'maybes' when considering whether it's worth using an ebike over a standard bike. If the limit was 20mph, those maybes would disappear and an ebike would be significantly faster for the vast majority without question.

2 years 9 months ago

Was cruising along a bike path (wide & straight) at 30kmh, which isn't that slow, and a hacked e bike bombed past me (easily doing 45kph).  Might be OK on a road but if there's a serious accident on a bike path, ALL cyclists will bear the brunt of public outrage.  Seen this bike before and the rider is right up there with inconsiderate motorists; doesn't slow down for anyone and weaving through pedestrians.

2 years 9 months ago

I think the ebike industry is wise to recognise that if the performance of ebikes significantly exceeds parity with typical able-bodied cyclists then the legislative treatment will have to recognise the disparity.


So I find it amusing that in their marketing they go out of their way to create the impression that their latest offering has "more power" than the last, despite both already having reached the same 250W legal limit.

2 years 9 months ago

It seems very strange that there is so much focus on restricting the speed of 20kg bicycles to 15mph when it is still legal to manufacture, sell and use on public roads 2000kg cars with a top speed exceeding 260 mph.

It's almost as if the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of road deaths world wide every year we're the result of excess speed by eBikes.