Fully UK road legal ?

Nigel Jarman

Just Joined
Nov 5, 2014
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I came across this earlier on Ebay, but looking at the video one thing puzzles me:


I get the impression its not fully pedelec UK regulated on the basis that the motor can turn the wheel when the pedals are not turning, is that correct ?

But doesn't the design also mean you can turn the pedals without the motor being on and it not causing any drag/etc...

Can you have a UK pedelec design that does, only engage the motor when the pedals are turning, and yet not cause any drag in the system when you are pedalling without the motor on ?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,763
18,667
Perfectly legal under current UK law Nigel, since that permits independent throttle control as well. The DfT intends to retain that benefit for the UK in the forthcoming harmonisation with EU law.

Most e-bike motors are disengaged when only pedalling, internally geared hub motors and crank motors both have integral freewheels which only engage when the motor drives.

The type that doesn't is the direct drive hub motor which basically makes the wheel the motor so it's engaged all the time. They are the minority, usually easily recognised by their much greater diameter hub.
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Nigel Jarman

Just Joined
Nov 5, 2014
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But I thought independent throttle control was only for the E-Bike class, and not the Pedelec class ?

Eg. Pedelec's you must pedal when the motor is engaged.

E-Bikes you do not have to.

But, you can't convert a bicycle to an E-Bike without a couple of issues, namely that it now becomes an E-Bike and you need a driving license, and the bike itself has to undergo expensive road worthy tests.
 

KirstinS

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2011
2,708
692
Brighton
But I thought independent throttle control was only for the E-Bike class, and not the Pedelec class ?

Eg. Pedelec's you must pedal when the motor is engaged.

E-Bikes you do not have to.

But, you can't convert a bicycle to an E-Bike without a couple of issues, namely that it now becomes an E-Bike and you need a driving license, and the bike itself has to undergo expensive road worthy tests.
I'm afraid you are misinformed

As flecc said independent throttles are and will continue to be legal in the UK as long as other EPAC regulations are met (ie 15.5mph speed limit and max 250w nominal motor)
 

Nigel Jarman

Just Joined
Nov 5, 2014
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It's good to be misinformed. :)

I don't suppose anyone has any handy links to further prove the case, as that would be most helpful.

Meanwhile I shall dig around in my notes to find the references which from what I recall say otherwise, so we can be completely sure!

As I don't wish to risk my velomobile being trashed by the law because of a small error in the rules I/others didn't understand correctly.

A thank you to the replies so far, as I endeavour to get to the bottom of the issue.
 

Artstu

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2009
2,307
865
Most e-bike motors are disengaged when only pedalling, internally geared hub motors and crank motors both have integral freewheels which only engage when the motor drives.
I must admit I didn't fully study my Bosch motor whilst it was apart, my main concern was getting it back together as quickly as possible. However I'm fairly sure when the motor is off all the cogs and gears including the motor are still turning all the time, adding a little bit of drag to the bike, which adds to the difficultly of riding the bike above the cut-off speed.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,763
18,667
The motor is definitely disconnected Arstu. With the older large chainwheel Bosch I believe the chainwheel is entirely independent like the Panasonic units, so no gears or motor engaged when pedalling with power off. The new unit with the small chainwheel of necessity has it's own orbital gears engaged to gear up the pedal cadence to compensate for the tiny chainwheel, but that's all.

If the motor was engaged, believe me you really would suffer since it's geared up from the chainring so much in that direction. That's easily assessed with an internally geared front hub motor. Spin the front wheel forward by hand and it will run for ages. Try to spin it backwards and you'll meet all that geared up resistance and it won't spin on at all.

I'm afraid almost all e-bikes have drag in themselves without any drive unit contribution, it's the total weight and tyres etc which add up to more rolling resistance so perceived drag. Also the power stopping quite suddenly at circa 15 mph emphasizes the difference.
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JohnCade

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2014
1,486
735
That is a big plus of the Kalkhoff Impulse I think. It tapers off and finally cuts out almost unnoticably at a bit over 17 mph. Compared with the Woosh I had before which in standard form felt like it hit a wall at 15.5 mph.

Changing that to 30 kph or just over 19 mph made it a lot more pleasant.
 
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