City of Sioux Falls has survey on E-Bikes

While I do appreciate this survey, I’m not sure the questions really encourage E-Bike usage, but I did like the question about who speeds the most on the bike trail (the winning answer is regular bicyclists NOT baby strollers).

But there still seems to be some misinformation being spread about E-Bike classifications;

E-bikes come in four classes: 1, 2, 3 and “out of class.” Class 1 e-bikes allow assist up to 20 mph, which means you have to be pedaling for that to work. Once you hit 20 mph, the assist stops, and you rely on your own power. Class 2 allows for a throttle-based system, meaning you don’t have to pedal for the assist to work, but it still cuts off at 20 mph. Class 3 is pedal assist, but it goes up to 28 mph. Anything outside of those parameters is considered “out of class.”

While there are classes they vary much more then this. If you have a Class II or higher you can actually control the speed with what level you are locked into. So if I want to go below 15 MPH (the bike trail maximum speed) I can lock that in. While I get the premise of ‘out of class’ that really only applies to actual electric motorcycles that can usually top out at 80 MPH. While they are getting more affordable and powerful they are still a long ways from being mainstream. Anything that is a class II or higher is really just a moped despite the rhetoric;

“Anything that doesn’t fit in that class system and goes more than 20 mph with a throttle only is a motorcycle,” according to Chad Pickard, owner of Spoke-N-Sport. “It’s going to need insurance and have a licensed rider and mirrors and headlights and turn signals and anything that a motorcycle has. I don’t think people realize that.”

Moped classification under state law is simple, anything under 150 CC is classified as a moped and only requires that the operator have a valid driver’s license (not motorcycle). While you don’t need a license plate on the vehicle it is wise to have it covered under your homeowners insurance.

Comparing CC to electric output can be difficult, but there are horsepower comparisons. It really comes to maximum output. At full charge an electric class II bike can really have a lot of torque, similar to when you hit the throttle on a moped. It is really what is the maximum output of the moped NOT based on a speed or power source.

I love my E-Bike and encourage people to buy the safest and most powerful one you can get for maximum usage and let Pierre try to figure out what a moped is and what a motorcycle is.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 02.09.23 at 6:39 am

“Safest” in more ways than one:

#2 D@ily Spin on 02.09.23 at 8:25 pm

Distinguishing between motorized and peddle power is complex. For example, a collision on the bike trail (public thoroughfare) could be considered a moving violation for any motorized vehicle including E-Bikes. Must you have license, registration, and insurance? This whole matter deserves lawyer tiny print on bike trail signs. Something that means nothing because it’ll be years in court until everyone gets tired and there’s no conclusion.

#3 l3wis on 02.09.23 at 9:03 pm

I know I have said it a thousand times, but the issue on the bike trail isn’t strollers or e-bikes, it’s speed. Personally I would just put up signs that say, ’15 MPH. NO E-BIKE throttling.’ This is how they handle it in other cities instead of banning e-bikes they simply dictate speed and throttling. This isn’t a complicated thing to remedy. It will be interesting to hear the recommendations from the new bike/ped committee.