Electric BikesNews

Bicycle industry fights e-bike ‘tampering’

CONEBI, the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, is pulling together industry bodies and companies across Europe and further afield to ‘self-commit’ to increasing measures to prevent rider tampering of electric bikes.

The Confederation has secured the signatures of 15 national bicycle industry associations and 68 companies taking a ‘strong stance’ against riders manipulating their e-bikes. Those organizations have pledged to meet , or continue to meet: “all applicable anti-tampering requirements” and to “continuously evaluate and improve existing standards as well as to raise awareness about this illegal practice.” The list of signatories includes the UK’s Bicycle Association, Wisper and others.

CONEBI define tampering in the above document as “e.g. to increase the performance or the maximum supported speed.”

Whilst CONEBI acknowledge that “the large majority of e-bike riders do not tamper with their bicycle” they cite concerns about the potential negative effect on the “innocent many”.

The organisation says the equal treatment of e-bikes and bicycles has been fundamental in the rise of electric bike use, but see rider tampering as threat to this “stable framework”. CONEBI say this is “strong motivation for the bicycle industry to fight tampering.”

Erhard Büchel, President of CONEBI: “The Bicycle Industry takes the topic of tampering very seriously and has started several actions to curb this dangerous practice. This self-commitment is only one pillar of our overall strategy. Moreover, market surveillance must be strengthened at national level supported by European legislations.”




I think thatraising the assist limit to 20mph would stop many people from tampering with their ebike, 15mph is just too slow. I very often find myself traveling above this limit when on a long run then I'm having to drag the heavy motor and battery around to boot.
    Why not use a nice light bike on your sportier outings and keep the EAPC for commuting/shopping/whatever else you do in normal clothing without raising too much of a sweat? I more often ride the EAPC than my other bikes lately, but at least I'm cycling.
    • R
    • November 3, 2021
    Absolutely agree - with the 250W power limit there are diminishing returns on how much the motor can add since the energy needed for higher speed goes up exponentially (hence only being able to do about 38mph on a 1.5K motor e-bike). My own testing as a fairly unfit person allows me to get up to about 20 miles an hour on the flat without headwind on a derestricted 250W motor. That allows me to keep up with average cyclists (in London) which is ultimately my goal, to keep up with the flow of (cycle) traffic despite having weak knees and legs.

    I would hope the government does a few pilot projects to learn more about this - it's all about risk management in the end.
    • P
      Patrick 26581012
    • November 19, 2021
    20mph is common sense. Allows one to avoid the often fearful overtaking that cars vans etc do to cyclists travelling at 15 mph or less . Got to overtake as Traveling not quite fast enough.
    • M
      Mike Grain
    • November 30, 2021
    Many towns in Scotland now have a 20mph speed limit in residential or busy streets such as past schools. It seems far more sensible to allow cyclists on e bikes to ride at the same speed as other vehicles to prevent frustration and overtaking. It takes far too long now for cars to overtake (within the speed limit). Raising the ebike limit to 20 mph would resolve that issue.
    • S
      Speedy Schofield
    • December 17, 2021
    Yep, I wrote to my MP about the 15,5mph limit who forwarded it on to the minister responsible. Clearly, nothing has changed though!
  • J
    James Wilson
  • November 9, 2021
A pathetic excuse to lock-in software, make parts proprietary, and ultimately generate more revenue at the expense of consumers. Discouraging modification encourages replacements, which is beneficial for the manufacturers bottom line, but expensive for users and damaging to our environment. I hope the market is smart enough not to accept that and embraces the right to repair (and tinker) movement. We've gone through this with electronic devices already. Let's leapfrog it this time and go straight to open-source, modular, parts. If it can't be modified, don't buy it.
When I wrapped myself around a lamppost at 15mph when a cat ran out in front of me in an alleyway, I ended up in a&e for the night, it was not pretty and quite painful. Took me months to heal. 20mph is too much.
  • K
  • January 5, 2022
illigal? its not bloody illigal to modify your own property what a load of crap

if i wanna take a ebike that i purchased and tinker with it and make it go faster or have extra features or play the zimbabwe national anthem i can do what i like its my bike my property

now of course if i made such modifications and wished to use it on the roads that may be illigal but me modifying it is not illigal

what they should be doing is instead of meeting up and holding confrences on how to be narcs how about they campaign the goverment to drop there out dated laws and start making changes for the future

all this talk of climate change and how we gotta do more and yet theres thousands of people who would ditch cars and other gas guzzling means of transport for greener electric transports lie ebikes and escooters and the goverment wont even allow it

i guarentee though if they can find a way to tax it theyll have the laws changed over night

which is fine but if they do i expect the next 10 -20 years to involve HEAVY overhall of the current cycling lane networks to suit tax paying users