DIY Mechanical Dongle

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
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Basildon
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?
It's you that's not getting it. Since most ebikes can have the limit speed changed, that would render them all illegal. It's the interpretation of what that means that we're discussing. The capability to derestrict is available for every electric bike ever made. That doesn't change simply because the owner doesn't know how to do it.

"Under the rider's control". Is that while riding the bike or in the rider's garage before setting off, or is it when he hands in his bike to a dealer, knowing that the dealer has the capability to change it? Obviously, the latter is absurd as far as a conviction is concerned, but I come back to the point. What does "Under the rider's control" mean? All we can do is express our own interpretations of what we think is reasonable, but that's not how the law works.

Let's take the example of the Gocycle, which can be reprogrammed at the touch of a button from a nearby smartphone. There are several levels of parameters that you can change, each protected by passwords that are available in the public domain. Do you break the law by riding the bike, riding the bike while in possession of the phone app, knowing the password, or what? I don't think anybody would disagree that riding the bike with the power and speed set to the legal parameters is legal, but what if the rider has their smartphone in their pocket with the app on it? Bear in mind that all the power profiles that you can change on the user level are legal. The only thing hiding the illegal ones is a password, which may or may not be in the rider's head.

Then there's the discussion of whether the legal position is changed depending whether the phone is mounted on the handlebars for easy access, in a pocket where it can be easily removed and operated with one hand while riding the bike, or zipped in a pocket that can only be accessed when the rider stops for a break.

What starts as a simple concept "off road button" is easy to understand, but actually very complicated to define, whatever the clever EU politicians have in their minds about what's right and wrong.

We're all agreed that to ride a bike with the cut-off set above 25 km/h +10% is illegal.
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
11,137
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Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
I think flecc infers that riding a bike equipped with an 'off road button' is illegal even if you don't activate this 'off road button'.
I think that as long as your motor cuts out at 25kph, you don't break any law.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
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3,787
I think flecc infers that riding a bike equipped with an 'off road button' is illegal even if you don't activate this 'off road button'.
I think that as long as your motor cuts out at 25kph, you don't break any law.
well you are wrong as the law states if there is any way to access the settings and change the speed limit the bike is not uk road legal as also classed as a of road switch the fact you can access this if it is changed or not even if the owner knows nothing about it is still classed as non uk road legal under technical specifications of uk law as it can be accessed!

if you tried to fight this in a court of law you will lose.
 
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ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
301
82
We're all agreed that to ride a bike with the cut-off set above 25 km/h +10% is illegal.
And the regulations are attempting to stop that happening by restricting the capabilities of ebikes rather than eg imposing speed limits on ebikes.
We see this elsewhere, for example with speed restrictors on HGVs. They can be worked around of course, most things can, but I doubt whether there are many people claiming that all HGVs are illegal.
Can you think of a better way of implementing the cut-off speed limitation?
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
11,137
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Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
well you are wrong as the law states if there is any way to access the settings and change the speed limit the bike is not uk road legal as also classed as a of road switch the fact you can access this if it is changed or not even if the owner knows nothing about it is still classed as non uk road legal under technical specifications of uk law as it can be accessed!

if you tried to fight this in a court of law you will lose.
since when someone is taken to Court for having a bike whose wheel diameter can be changed to smaller than reality in his LCD?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,763
18,667
It's you that's not getting it. Since most ebikes can have the limit speed changed, that would render them all illegal. It's the interpretation of what that means that we're discussing. The capability to derestrict is available for every electric bike ever made. That doesn't change simply because the owner doesn't know how to do it.

"Under the rider's control". Is that while riding the bike or in the rider's garage before setting off, or is it when he hands in his bike to a dealer, knowing that the dealer has the capability to change it? Obviously, the latter is absurd as far as a conviction is concerned, but I come back to the point. What does "Under the rider's control" mean? All we can do is express our own interpretations of what we think is reasonable, but that's not how the law works.

Let's take the example of the Gocycle, which can be reprogrammed at the touch of a button from a nearby smartphone. There are several levels of parameters that you can change, each protected by passwords that are available in the public domain. Do you break the law by riding the bike, riding the bike while in possession of the phone app, knowing the password, or what? I don't think anybody would disagree that riding the bike with the power and speed set to the legal parameters is legal, but what if the rider has their smartphone in their pocket with the app on it? Bear in mind that all the power profiles that you can change on the user level are legal. The only thing hiding the illegal ones is a password, which may or may not be in the rider's head.

Then there's the discussion of whether the legal position is changed depending whether the phone is mounted on the handlebars for easy access, in a pocket where it can be easily removed and operated with one hand while riding the bike, or zipped in a pocket that can only be accessed when the rider stops for a break.

What starts as a simple concept "off road button" is easy to understand, but actually very complicated to define, whatever the clever EU politicians have in their minds about what's right and wrong.

We're all agreed that to ride a bike with the cut-off set above 25 km/h +10% is illegal.
Nonsense from end to end. The EU for example was, as I posted,adamant about "any method". They also ruled that systems should have defeats incorporated to prevent clever methods of bypassing the restriction, hence the difficult Bosch unit. So stop trying to pretend there are degrees of those rulings.

Little wonder you are a fan of "Tommy Robinson". Like him you'd argue the hind leg off a donkey to try to prove the law doesn't apply to you.
.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,763
18,667
I think flecc infers that riding a bike equipped with an 'off road button' is illegal even if you don't activate this 'off road button'.
I think that as long as your motor cuts out at 25kph, you don't break any law.
There are two laws involved here.

As you say, if one doesn't exceed the assist limit the usage law of the EAPC regulations isn't breached.

But if the pedelec is supplied with controls readily available to the rider which can allow it to exceed the assist limit, its construction no longer conforms to the type approval exemption conditions.

It becomes a motor vehicle, so is not a pedelec exempted from normal motor vehicle law. As usual in our law, it's existence is entirely legal and its legal to sell such a machine, but it becomes illegal if ridden, whether the speed limit alteration is used or not

The EU have taken that seriously with their rulings, as have Bosch with their units since.

These are public safety protection laws, necessary in the absence of the usual motor vehicle protections of tests of driving competence, possession of third party insurance and registration with number plate for identification.

As Soundwave has posted, any defence in court on the basis proposed by vfr400 will fail, since the law is very clear.
.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
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Basildon
Nonsense from end to end. The EU for example was, as I posted,adamant about "any method". They also ruled that systems should have defeats incorporated to prevent clever methods of bypassing the restriction, hence the difficult Bosch unit. So stop trying to pretend there are degrees of those rulings.

Little wonder you are a fan of "Tommy Robinson". Like him you'd argue the hind leg off a donkey to try to prove the law doesn't apply to you.
.
You didn't reply to a single point because you're still not getting it. Instead, like the extreme right lefties in their response to sound arguments and discussions, all you do is try and shout them down. In this case what anybody thinks about Tommy Robinson has absolutely no relevance. Why have you brought it into the discussion. this is about ebike law, not about your extreme right politics. Also, I have never said that I'm a fan of Tommy Robinson. You can discuss that in the Brexit thread if you think otherwise.

I try to explain the point one more time. We all understand what the legal limit is. We all understand that the regulations intend that a bike with a means of tampering with the speed limit is also illegal.

Now if you want to redeem yourself, answer these simple questions. that's if you're able to.

1. Is a Woosh bike illegal to ride on the road because you can change the speed limit by pressing a few buttons on the display, even if the owner doesn't know about that?
2. Is a Freego bike illegal because you can join two wires in the controller compartment to change the speed limit, even if you haven't joined the wires?
3. Is a Gocycle illegal because you can change the speed limit any time by a simple smartphone app if you have the app on your smartphone in your pocket?
4. Is a Bosch bike illegal to ride because someone knows the secret way to change the speed limit whilst riding?
5. Were you riding your Ezee bike illegally regarding the speed limit and speed tampering regulations, as that would be in the same category as the Freego above?

Four simple questions. Can you give four yes/no answers with explanations why?
 
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Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
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If one day, the EU mandates that all the bikes must have enforced speed limiter, then it's not difficult to add an 3-axis accelerometer to the controller to work out if a dongle is used.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
301
82
If you have a dongle fitted but not activated, your speed reading is still correct and limited, the bike itself stays legal.
But the bike's construction no longer conforms to the type approval exemption conditions, therefore it's illegal.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
1,867
432
Basildon
I think they are all illegal when you derestrict your bike.
We've already all agreed on that. The question is whether it's still illegal if you haven't derestricted it.
If you have a dongle fitted but not activated, your speed reading is still correct and limited, the bike itself stays legal.
This is the bit that's not so clear. My opinion is that this is a very muddy area of discussion and not possible for us to answer. Everybody can probably agree that an on/off speed limit button doesn't comply, whether you're using it or not. The question is how complicated does it have to be to be to actuate it before you can say that it's not under the rider's control, since, basically, every speed limit tamper device/method is under the rider's control and every bike has a backdoor into the speed limit.

It's a similar thing with the 250w rated power limit. At first, people were making up their own rules about what they thought that meant. Even you had invented your own rule of 14 amps at 36v until you became wiser. Now, you can see that it doesn't mean anything, and everybody's figured that out, so actual power goes up every year. Instead of power, everybody uses torque. With the same max speed of 25km/h, we've gone from 40 Nm to 110Nm and the power is still 250W. How does that work?
 
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Amoto65

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2017
208
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Cheshire
"Why have you brought it into the discussion. this is about ebike law, not about your extreme right politics. Also, I have never said that I'm a fan of Tommy Robinson. You can discuss that in the Brexit thread if you think otherwise."
Actually this discussion was not about ebike law, it was about a clever set up that someone had made in their shed and as usual the same few people jumped on their soap boxes and hijacked it......
 
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Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
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Southend on Sea
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,763
18,667
You didn't reply to a single point because you're still not getting it.
You really are a chump, I've "got it" ever since you first put your argument, but simply disagree. Why can't you understand that? And if you could read and understand you'd know I've already answered your questions. Did I not say that if the rider could alter the assist speed upper limit without tools, using the available controls, the bike would be illegal? That covers all e-bike models.

However, if your brain cannot derive from that the status of the following models, I've added the answers

1. Is a Woosh bike illegal to ride on the road because you can change the speed limit by pressing a few buttons on the display, even if the owner doesn't know about that?

Yes, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

2. Is a Freego bike illegal because you can join two wires in the controller compartment to change the speed limit, even if you haven't joined the wires?

No, because that is a modification, not a rider control.

3. Is a Gocycle illegal because you can change the speed limit any time by a simple smartphone app if you have the app on your smartphone in your pocket?

No, because that is not part of the bike as supplied, so constitutes a modification.

4. Is a Bosch bike illegal to ride because someone knows the secret way to change the speed limit whilst riding?

I can't answer that with yes or no, since I only have your word that it can be done and many disagree with you. Also since you haven't defined how that is done, I can't know if the method constitutes illegality.

5. Were you riding your Ezee bike illegally regarding the speed limit and speed tampering regulations, as that would be in the same category as the Freego above?

No in restricted mode as supplied, since the link disconnection would be a modification to the supplied e-bike.

I hope that you can"get it" now, i.e. the difference between a modification of the bike as supplied, and rider controls available as supplied.

What ultimately matters in law is the spirit of the law, not the word of it. That is why we have senior courts to determine that, and with this matter the spirit of the law is very clear:

The rider must not be able to defeat the assist limit by only using the bike controls as it is supplied. If that is possible, the bike does not comply with the type approval exemption.

There is a direct comparison with the throttle issue. The type approval exemption does not allow the possibility of motor power without pedalling, so defeating that with a throttle loses the pedelec exemption. Ergo, if the bike is supplied with a rider control throttle already fitted, even if not used, it is not an exempt pedelec, hence it needing type approval. Equally if fitted with rider control capable of raising the assist limit, it loses pedelec exemption.
.
 
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ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
301
82
1. Is a Woosh bike illegal to ride on the road because you can change the speed limit by pressing a few buttons on the display, even if the owner doesn't know about that?
2. Is a Freego bike illegal because you can join two wires in the controller compartment to change the speed limit, even if you haven't joined the wires?
3. Is a Gocycle illegal because you can change the speed limit any time by a simple smartphone app if you have the app on your smartphone in your pocket?
4. Is a Bosch bike illegal to ride because someone knows the secret way to change the speed limit whilst riding?
I'm no lawyer but in the case of 1, 2 and 3 I would say they are illegal to use because facilities have been built into the controllers to allow the cutoff speed to be increased.
In case 4 it sounds as though somebody has hacked the firmware in which case Bosch could not be held responsible but the bike's construction no longer conforms to the type approval exemption conditions, therefore it would be illegal to use it.
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
11,137
8,325
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
Everybody can probably agree that an on/off speed limit button doesn't comply, whether you're using it or not.
I am not sure about this, as it has never been tested in a Court case.
Let's say I make a bike that will still work if the spoke magnet is twisted away.
Is it illegal? As far as I know, EN15194 testing has never mentioned a spoke magnet test that it cannot be removed nor twisted away.
So the spoke magnet is your on/off speed limit button.
There must be at least 10+ million EPACS in use, lots of them use a similar spoke magnet to measure the speed.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
301
82
I think it still does if the dongle is not activated.
the 15194 specifications never mention the dongle nor the throttle.
If you don't activate the dongle, the bike is not modified in anyway.

I believe that if the bike is capable of providing assistance at over 15.5mph by readily activating the device, be it a dongle, a switch, a link, buttons, a phone app or whatever, then the bike's construction no longer conforms to the type approval exemption conditions, therefore it would be considered illegal to use it.
 

ebiker99

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
301
82
I am not sure about this, as it has never been tested in a Court case.
Let's say I make a bike that will still work if the spoke magnet is twisted away.
Is it illegal? As far as I know, EN15194 testing has never mentioned a spoke magnet test that it cannot be removed nor twisted away.
So the spoke magnet is your on/off speed limit button.
There must be at least 10+ million EPACS in use, lots of them use a similar spoke magnet to measure the speed.
This scenario is different to fitting an on/off speed limit button and I think the rider would be riding illegally. This is probably why Bosch and probably others stop assistance when they detect wildly incorrect speed signals.

If I was stopped for doing 85mph on a 70mph motorway but my speedo was reading 69mph I don't think I'd have much of a case.

Or another example, if somebody changes diff ratios or tyre sizes on their car their speedo will read incorrectly but it's still their responsibility to make sure that they don't exceed speed limits.
 
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