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‘Souped-up’ e-bikes are being seized by City of London Police

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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 road.cc and has also had a parallel (largely lapsed) career writing about cricket for various publications.

14 comments

2 months 3 weeks ago

Souped up? More like soup! In a sealed container. These look like the standard cheap hybrids with battery kits off eg Amazon gaffer-taped into the main triangle, feeding a hub motor – as used by 95% of food delivery riders. 

2 months 3 weeks ago

You can legally have an EAPC with a throttle that you don't need to pedal (I've got one). But yep, a lot of these bikes are illegal as the power assistance continues beyond 16mph. 

2 months 3 weeks ago

I am on the City Centre Community Council in Glasgow, (& note that the article isn't quite clear - EAPC MUST be pedalled to get electric assistance) ANY machine which solely uses a throttle is a Class Q moped, and to ride this it MUST have a form V5 (registration number), the machine MUST be insured as any other motor vehicle, the rider MUST be over 16, and have a driving licence
Current e-scooters are a liability as they can ony operate as mopeds. The technology does exist (used for electric assist wheelchairs) that can link to assistance provided with the user scooting with a foot on the pavement
We do have purges in Glasgow too - one confiscated moped was tested to 38 mph
We should be asking :
Who is buying these expensive machines - I hardly think the riders can afford them
Why aren't legislators going after the principals behind many of these riders (Just Eat, Uber, Deliveroo) who 'employ' them & set targets for delivering hot food &c
Dominos Pizza was nailed after a fatal crash in USA when a casual driver killed on a delivery run
If the Principals (who make a profit from the free use of the roads & low cost labour) had to be licensed, and ensure that riders were insured, with records of who was riding when & where we might make a bigger impact?    

2 months 3 weeks ago

The whole of the pedestrianised area in Glasgow is dominated by illegal e-bikes and the police do nothing

2 months 3 weeks ago

Well, at least we can all agree they aren't EAPCs. I also think it's a great shame that the class of ebikes legal in, for example, some American states with 45kph maximum, apparently can't be insured in the UK, because I can see how they could fit in great, especially if GPS could limit their speed on cycle lanes, shared paths etc. But the main problem is apparently riders (of dodgy lash ups)' employers exploiting them so they have to ride that way.

2 months 3 weeks ago

"Intelligence led, proactive... "

Is he saying these are the ones who took a wrong turn into the police station precinct, and stopped to ask directions. Or was he being serious - 140 was a good shout?

2 months 3 weeks ago

'Chief Superintendent William Duffy, of the City of London Police, said: “This is good, intelligence led, proactive police work removing these dangerous bikes from our roads and streets.'

do wot guv? All you got to do is stand out in the street and you can see loads of these 'dangerous' eBikes. Is that what the Supe means by 'intelligence led, proactive police work'? 

2 months 3 weeks ago

I drafted a mobilty scooter at 22km/hr this morning on a shared path, acceleration on that thing was awesome...

Alex Bowden's picture
2 months 3 weeks ago

Our position is they're still electric bikes (or e-bikes) Geoff. They're just not EAPCs.

Some electric bikes are EAPCs. Some electric bikes aren't and require type approval. Some electric bikes are shonky deathtraps that could never be legal in any vehicle category.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Illegal unregistered MOTORCYCLES! Please stop calling them bicycles, even if you get the illegal bit right.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Five a week is a pathetic response given the number in use and number of officers on patrol in the City.

Sit outside Mansion House at lunchtime and you'll easily see 100+ illegal eBikes in just one hour in one location. Sit outside any of the takeaway outlets around Liverpool St and you'll see hundreds more parked / pulling up.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Ribena, you are sadly wrong on almost all counts there. The laws on electric bikes in the UK are very clear in that the motor cannot have a motor output of more than 250W (nominal) and that if its fitted with a throttle, it cannot provide assistance for more than getting the user "off the line", and is limited to 6mph. 

The proper UK legislation can be found here relating to power output - https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

Our own guide can be found here - https://www.e-bikeshop.co.uk/blogs/info/ebike-law-and-you

2 months 3 weeks ago

Ribena, it is the 'Rated Continuous Output' bit that matters. Many aftermarket kits have motors way inexcess of that. Even the top of the line motors from brands like Bosch still only have a 250w R.C.O. despite having a maximum output figure higher than that.

Then regarding the throttle, the laws state that since 2016 new bikes with a throttle must be type approved. This is to ensure that they do indeed cut out at the required speed/output. Again, the aftermarket kits that most of the delivery riders use are not compliant.

We've all seen plenty of riders flying around well inexcess of 15.5mph without any pedal input whatsover. It is these sort of bikes that the Police are (correctly!) targeting. Things may change if the Gov't eventually sort the legislation to catch up with current technology, but unitl then we have to accept that, like it or not, a good nuber of these bikes are simply illegal.

 

2 months 3 weeks ago

Do they actually understand the law? Their webpage says "The modified bikes have been illegally converted to have a motor greater than 250 watt and include a throttle that means the rider no longer needs to propel the pedals to trigger the power assistance. " All of that is perfectly legal, even the throttle! It's the speed cutout that's the important bit. If that is in place, then a 500w, or even 1000w motor is legal because it won't consume more than 250w continuously when ridden on the flat at it's max assist speed. Bosch, Shimano, Brose etc all make motors putting out more than 500w on emtbs (if you ride up a steep hill they will do it continuously).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrically-assisted-pedal-cycles-eapcs/electrically-assisted-pedal-cycles-eapcs-in-great-britain-information-sheet