DIY Mechanical Dongle

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,497
28,373
I guarantee that it can be done. I've seen it working.
About the same time the DfT was ruling against "off road buttons", the EU were making changes outlawing any method of altering e-bike motors from the legal settings. I believe it was member shemozzle999 who posted the details on that. Bosch were the first to comply.

If it's true that the current Bosch units can have the assist speed changed by button presses alone, then they too are technically illegal under the EU wide rules. Those rules apply here too since, apart from the DfT rulings, we were an original signatory to EN15194 technical standards. They will continue to apply here since the Great Repeal Bill has written EN15194 into UK law.
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Gringo

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 18, 2013
1,317
826
Northampton
So before removing my contraption I thought I’d bike the 6 miles to work this AM at full tilt (25mph) strangely I didn’t see a sole let alone a police man. Probably because at 5:30am nobody’s daft enough to be on a disused railway, just me and the rabbits
Needless to say, for the 1/4 mile of normal road I rode sedately ;)
My journey home will be a mix of bridal-ways and woodland trails and I’ll be lucky to get into double figures, due to the terrain (again I don’t expect to see many people, perhaps the odd horse rider (most horse riders are odd anywho imo)
 
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youngoldbloke

Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2018
69
25
74
South West
The vehicle inspectorate's simple time over distance check. 25 instead of 15.5 mph will be very easy to detect.
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It is relatively easy to propel my Orbea Gain without assistance for long distances above the cut-off 15.5mph, so how can anyone determine whether or not the cut-off speed had been tampered with?
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
1,501
2,507
North Wales
I guarantee that it can be done. I've seen it working.
I will take your word for it, I can't see any reason why you would make it up. I would think though, altering the software of a Bosch motor would be beyond the capabilities of 99.9% of pedelec users so Bosch are complying with the law by making it virtually impossible to hack their software.

If it was an easy thing to do then no doubt instructions would be all over YouTube and other places on the net.
 
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Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
1,501
2,507
North Wales
It is relatively easy to propel my Orbea Gain without assistance for long distances above the cut-off 15.5mph, so how can anyone determine whether or not the cut-off speed had been tampered with?
Its not just the speed that is recorded the system also records if the motor is powered up or not. So in your case lets say the system is recording that you have done 20 mph, it will also record that the motor was not powered up at the same time. At least that is I think how it works, but I am sure some of the experts will provide a more detailed reply.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,623
5,189
I will take your word for it, I can't see any reason why you would make it up. I would think though, altering the software of a Bosch motor would be beyond the capabilities of 99.9% of pedelec users so Bosch are complying with the law by making it virtually impossible to hack their software.

If it was an easy thing to do then no doubt instructions would be all over YouTube and other places on the net.
if he cant post any proof of this or how it is done then not much point saying you can do it and provide no proof of this.

the only thing i can think of is changing the wheel size which i can do on my bike with the old display but if you went to far would get a 503 error.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,497
28,373
how can anyone determine whether or not the cut-off speed had been tampered with?
Depends on the bike. Some only have rotation sensing to get the motor running so the tester could just spin without effort.

Those with pedal effort torque sensing to deliver power tend to be easy to roughly detect when the power cut off occurs, certainly within about two miles an hour. It's when the hard work begins. So any worthwhile defeat amount is easily detected.
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,497
28,373
the only thing i can think of is changing the wheel size
Which is a modification so illegal anyway, departing from the CE approval specification.

Owners are caught both ways by the type approval exemption conditions. If a setting is possible with rider's button presses to increase the speed, it's illegal. If the change requires tools it's an illegal modification from specification.

And in all circumstances using the increased speed breaches usage law.
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soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,623
5,189
but all it got you was a couple of mph more and if you kept going would just throw up a 503 error.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,950
Basildon
If it was an easy thing to do then no doubt instructions would be all over YouTube and other places on the net.
This is exactly the point of discussion. The question is how easy does it have to be to be illegal? what you've done is express your opinion on what you feel is reasonable.

In my opinion, it's a daft clause in the regulation. It should be eliminated. The rule should be that it's illegal to ride a bike with a cut-off over the legal limit and nothing more. The problem is how to prove that somebody was doing that. The guys that wrote the clause about the deristriction switch probably had in their mind a simple binary switch that was easily switchable with a simple press of the button, but now that's being interpreted in different ways, so we have to answer whether it's OK if you have to press two buttons, or three, or four, or how many?
 
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Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
16,904
14,778
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
The question is how easy does it have to be to be illegal?
TBH, if you derestrict your bike, you make it illegal.
Put a 4-digit password to lock the LCD's settings does not make it any more robust nor to make any difference.
 

Gringo

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 18, 2013
1,317
826
Northampton
I sorry to bring this thread back on topic but i never intended opening the legality of increasing the cutoff speed debacle, I mean how many times dose this come up and has anyone had there opinion changed by other people’s comments, probably not.
Anywho, my bike is now back to standard. Fun as it was blitzing around the country side at speed, it reminded me of my happy scrabbling days, then I remembered the broken bones and they don’t heal so well now that I am a closer to 60 than I am 16.
For anyone interested in the numbers, riding in sports mode and keeping to around 20/23 mph with the cutoff at 25mph I’d nearly flattered my 500wh battery in 28miles.
The same conditions in sports mode but with 15mph cutoff and keeping to 12/14mph and I would expect 40 to 50 miles
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,623
5,189
i get about 25-30 miles depending what mode i use mostly turbo so the lower end on avg.

now you cant have range and speed and at £700 for a new batt aint cheap but now jimmy can recell them for £300 is a more viable option esp if you can get 5 years of use out of them.

and my motor has never had a problem either so voiding a warranty because of doing damage to a motor is total nonsense if a dongle is fitted lol.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,497
28,373
The guys that wrote the clause about the deristriction switch probably had in their mind a simple binary switch that was easily switchable with a simple press of the button,
Absolutely not so. Both the EU and the DfT have made it absolutely clear that any available method under the rider's control is illegal, since the pedelec itself then doesn't comply with the type approval exemption.

Why is it that you cannot understand this simple concept?

A pedelec has to be a bicycle in essence, propelled only by pedalling and restricted to power and speed appropriate to average utility cyclists.

The assist power is made available to maintain just that, not to turn cyclists into sport riders and that is the stated basis of the law, first explained that way by the Japanese and later adopted by the EU. You may disagree with the power and speed maximums set, but they are what they are with good reason.
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soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,623
5,189
braking news uk police seize all technicality illegal ebikes that can have the speed limit changed. :p
30522
 
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