Pedelec Law - The Details

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
888
357
All these more complex arguments will come to nought once a case is referred to a senior court such as the high court, appeal court or supreme court. There one or more senior judges, often with the assistance and advice of a master at the high court, will decide what the spirit of the law is. i.e. What parliament intended.

That can only have one outcome since the spirit of the law is contained within its title:

Electric Assist Pedal Cycles

i.e. The electrical element is only there to help the rider propel the bicycle, so merely spinning the pedals does not constitute the rider propelling the bicycle with the motor assisting.
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Therefore, can I get away with it if "In use", I only engaged the 15.5mph limited throttle after I started pedalling, and disengaged the throttle shortly before ceasing pedalling? It's illegal according to the letter of the law, but might not be in it's "Spirit". But I'll leave my throttle disconnected for now, despite all the agony from my damaged and aged knees while starting at lights, or after a sudden stop at high gear, or on very steep hills etc.
 
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Michael Price

Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2018
235
159
If I installed a 250w mid drive kit onto a bike made in 2006, can I legally use the throttle exclusively to propel the bike to 15.5mph?
Others have talked about several reasons why not
but also - the pre 2016 regulation allow for a throttle BUT they also limit the power to 200W rather than the current 250W
So - another no

I do miss my throttle on my old bike - but the extra power is great!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,040
26,760
Therefore, can I get away with it if "In use", I only engaged the 15.5mph limited throttle after I started pedalling, and disengaged the throttle shortly before ceasing pedalling? It's illegal according to the letter of the law, but might not be in it's "Spirit". But I'll leave my throttle disconnected for now, despite all the agony from my damaged and aged knees while starting at lights, or after a sudden stop at high gear, or on very steep hills etc.
I doubt you need worry about this law on throttles since it clearly isn't being policed. The DfT only introduced the change in the law in 2015 to tidy up the old anomaly on power ratings, so while they were about it they decided the easiest thing to do was to fully align with the EU law which banned fully acting throttles.

One year later we had the referendum which eventually took us out of the EU, a cruel irony!

In the interim period before departure, the DfT introduced a bureacratic way to allow throttles by going through a single vehicle approval test. That was in response to a consultation when we made it clear we wanted our throttles back. However, since that still breached EU law it was a rather silly move, but obviously they meant well to try to please us.

We can see that they are not in any way against us having throttles but have got themselves into a political trap. Despite Brexit, our politicians want to keep legal alignment with the EU on key factors like transport since it makes any future agreements so much easier to reach, so that makes it difficult for the DfT to reverse out of what they did in 2015.

Meanwhile the roads have thousands of e-bikes with throttles, some legally, some illegally and the police have no idea how to tell which is which. All that really matters is to have a 250 watt rated e-bike that cuts power at 15.5 mph, 17 mph in practice since the DfT have confirmed that the usual 10% tolerance is allowed. These two things are what the police can easily check so that's all they are likely to do.

So it's up to you whether you want to take a miniscule risk by using a throttle. In the unlikely event you did get pulled over and that is found, just act innocent and surprised, saying you had no idea it wasn't allowed. All that will happen then is they'll give you a warning to disconnect it since everything else about your machine is legal.

But again, even the chance of that happening is vanishingly small. The police really do have better things to do.
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vidtek

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 29, 2015
278
135
71
Bournemouth BH12
Therefore, can I get away with it if "In use", I only engaged the 15.5mph limited throttle after I started pedalling, and disengaged the throttle shortly before ceasing pedalling? It's illegal according to the letter of the law, but might not be in it's "Spirit". But I'll leave my throttle disconnected for now, despite all the agony from my damaged and aged knees while starting at lights, or after a sudden stop at high gear, or on very steep hills etc.
I have not had a problem, chatting to police on the ground on the prom, they were quite interested in the bike and we discussed the throttle issue. I was not at all surprised by their complete ignorance of the law regarding throttles, they did not have a clue. They also have more important things to concern themselves with all the trippers dossing down on the beach in Bournemouth at the time.

I think it is basically a non-issue and it will only be fully resolved when there is an accident and the bike involved is forensically scrutinized after a serious incident. In the meantime I will continue to use my throttle to help me start off particularly on an incline. I won't concern myself over some obscure legal nicety especially where my safety is concerned.
 
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Fozziebear40

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jun 20, 2021
13
9
I have not had a problem, chatting to police on the ground on the prom, they were quite interested in the bike and we discussed the throttle issue. I was not at all surprised by their complete ignorance of the law regarding throttles, they did not have a clue. They also have more important things to concern themselves with all the trippers dossing down on the beach in Bournemouth at the time.

I think it is basically a non-issue and it will only be fully resolved when there is an accident and the bike involved is forensically scrutinized after a serious incident. In the meantime I will continue to use my throttle to help me start off particularly on an incline. I won't concern myself over some obscure legal nicety especially where my safety is concerned.
I've not cycled for 20 years (I'm 59 now) due to a back problem which left me with a weak left leg. My wife wanted a bike to learn to ride (don't ask :)) wanted electric to cycle with her friend. Couldn't find one, Covid etc and not being able to shop, so we ordered a cheap Chinese fold-up, Fiido D4S. I had to give it a go :p ....... amazing, I'm back on 2 wheels! The throttle is the key, kick start, pedal away. Use the throttle at the start, let it go when cycling. My wife said never seen me smile like that. Suffice to say I've ordered a Wisper Wayfarer (legal throttle) for my 60th birthday and as we are moving to Shropshire, country lanes, bridleways here I come.
 

Tim@Wisper

Trade Member
May 6, 2021
13
4
I've not cycled for 20 years (I'm 59 now) due to a back problem which left me with a weak left leg. My wife wanted a bike to learn to ride (don't ask :)) wanted electric to cycle with her friend. Couldn't find one, Covid etc and not being able to shop, so we ordered a cheap Chinese fold-up, Fiido D4S. I had to give it a go :p ....... amazing, I'm back on 2 wheels! The throttle is the key, kick start, pedal away. Use the throttle at the start, let it go when cycling. My wife said never seen me smile like that. Suffice to say I've ordered a Wisper Wayfarer (legal throttle) for my 60th birthday and as we are moving to Shropshire, country lanes, bridleways here I come.
Great to hear! We hope you enjoy your bike! All the best, Tim
 

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