UK - legality of thumb-throttles in DIY conversions

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
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If the throttle is programmed to work only AFTER you start pedalling, you lose it's main function - that of hill starts.
I have recently changed my throttle settings to work after only pedal, with KT I barely need 1/8th crank turn for full throttle activation so hills not an issue. However a quick few seconds fiddle can soon have full activated throttle.
 
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2Lazy

Pedelecer
Jul 17, 2013
211
145
Milton Keynes
I’m just glad I bought my Ezee Forza with full speed throttle before all these stupid new regulations were brought in.

I rarely use the throttle but on those occasions when I do use the throttle it gives me a lot more control than would otherwise be the case. As such it is safer for me to have a throttle than not have one. But the powers that be chose to ban them. What kind of nonsense is that?

As for a throttle that only works when the pedals are turning - what’s the point in that? A throttle is most useful from a standing start or in short bursts for low speed manoeuvres.
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
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As for a throttle that only works when the pedals are turning - what’s the point in that?
the throttle can dwell on for a set time after you stop pedaling or brake.
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
16,595
6,470
58
West Sx RH
As for a throttle that only works when the pedals are turning - what’s the point in that? A throttle is most useful from a standing start or in short bursts for low speed manoeuvres.
The reason for it is in the title of pedelecs, they are pedal assisted electric bikes not throttle assisted electric bikes.
Otherwise they would just be classified as scooters and licensing that goes along with them.
It appears only the China kits and OEM bikes have this option.
 
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Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
16,906
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Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
But that's not legal, in which case you might as well have a normal independent one.
that system is not twist and go, you have to pedal first.
 
D

Deleted member 4366

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To be legal, the power has to stop when you stop pedalling.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,502
28,379
I’m just glad I bought my Ezee Forza with full speed throttle before all these stupid new regulations were brought in.

I rarely use the throttle but on those occasions when I do use the throttle it gives me a lot more control than would otherwise be the case. As such it is safer for me to have a throttle than not have one. But the powers that be chose to ban them. What kind of nonsense is that?

As for a throttle that only works when the pedals are turning - what’s the point in that? A throttle is most useful from a standing start or in short bursts for low speed manoeuvres.
Actually the regulations aren't new, these type approval regulations were accepted into law by parliament on 10th November 2003, almost fifteen years ago. Unfortunately the civil service messed up and failed to amend the EAPC regulations to match as instructed, so we appeared to have two versions of the law.

So from then on we had a chaotic situation where suppliers and users did a sort of mix and match of both forms of law and almost all e-bikes on our roads were illegal. All that happened on 6th April 2015 is that parliament finally completed what was supposed to have happened in 2003. So we just got lucky for a while.
.
 
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vulcanears

Pedelecer
May 23, 2018
68
18
40
Can anyone think of a way to implement the following system?

- when not pedaling, throttle limited to 3.7 mph (6 km/h)
- when pedaling, throttle limited to 15.5 mph (25km/h)


cycle-analyst/controllers/anything?
 
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Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
16,906
14,781
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
To be legal, the power has to stop when you stop pedalling.
it does stop after about 30 seconds or if you brake or turn down the throttle sharply, you have to pedal again about 1 second to re-activate the throttle.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,502
28,379
- when not pedaling, throttle limited to 3.7 mph (6 km/h)
- when pedaling, throttle limited to 15.5 mph (25km/h)
An observation on these two speed limits:

1) The 6 kph (3.7 mph) walk assist limit is mainland EU law, in UK law it's 4 mph.

2) The DfT has confirmed that the customary 10% tolerance on speed limit compliance also applies to pedelecs. Therefore the ultimate legal assist limit is 17 mph.
.
 
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GLJoe

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 21, 2017
796
356
UK
To be legal, the power has to stop when you stop pedalling.
Thinking on this - if you then had a cadence sensor based system, but you removed the actual chain, then I guess the bike would still work via the motor, but would this still be legal?
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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vulcanears

Pedelecer
May 23, 2018
68
18
40
I have recently changed my throttle settings to work after only pedal, with KT I barely need 1/8th crank turn for full throttle activation so hills not an issue. However a quick few seconds fiddle can soon have full activated throttle.

i just found this video showing a KT-LCD3 setup and the "P4" setting at 2m25s seems to do what i'm looking for (only enable the throttle when pedals are moving). can anyone confirm that?
 
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D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
I made this bike with double cranks. The throttle turns the crank, so the pedals are always turning when you use the throttle, and when you stop pedalling, there is no power. I don't know whether it's a viable loop-hole. Basically, the pedals turn your feet rather than your feet turn the pedals, though you can pedal without turning the motor because there's a free-wheel on the motor chain.

 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,502
28,379
I made this bike with double cranks. The throttle turns the crank, so the pedals are always turning when you use the throttle, and when you stop pedalling, there is no power. I don't know whether it's a viable loop-hole. Basically, the pedals turn your feet rather than your feet turn the pedals, though you can pedal without turning the motor because there's a free-wheel on the motor chain.

That's really ingenious, but sadly probably still illegal.

In a test case the judge's ruling was that the rider effort through the pedals had to propel the machine. The circumstances of that case were different, but it seems likely the way the judge interpreted the law would also rule against this method.

Basically it's the assist word that counts, the rider is the primary means of propulsion at all times.
.
 

2Lazy

Pedelecer
Jul 17, 2013
211
145
Milton Keynes
The reason for it is in the title of pedelecs, they are pedal assisted electric bikes not throttle assisted electric bikes.
Otherwise they would just be classified as scooters and licensing that goes along with them.
It appears only the China kits and OEM bikes have this option.
They wouldn’t have to be classified as scooters / require licensing and indeed they weren’t until the law was changed. A decision which was most likely based on ignorance and/or a desire to protect the motor industry as opposed to what is or isn’t classified as a bicycle which is in any case somewhat subjective. But I can guarantee if you ask 100 people what they see when you show them a typical ebike with a throttle every one of them will say ‘a bicycle’ and not a single one of them will say ‘a scooter’.
 
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