UK - legality of thumb-throttles in DIY conversions

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Excellent. It would be good (and presumably easy?) therefore for you to actually back up what you claim with hard evidence?

Look - I'm certainly not putting myself forward as an expert in this particular matter, I really don't have any in depth insider knowledge of what makes the Netherlands tick. However I'm often involved in having to analyse data and proposals etc, and as I mentioned earlier, what you are doing would be regarded as bad and invalid practice, because you are only presenting one version or possibility, when others might exist.



That is indeed one possible connection.
However here's another equally plausible one
"when 2/3 of the population engage in sporting activity every week, they are used to exercise and so are much more likely to participate in cycling"

Just as possible as your argument, no?
If you are sure, then posting some hard evidence to back it up will be the easiest option, and I'll gladly accept valid data. Otherwise, you're just presenting an opinion as fact, and that's bad science!


Again, you're using a circular argument. There might very well be other social, political and historical issues that cause these differences and they might be the ones that mean cycling is far more popular over there.



You might be right, you might not. Again, if you have hard evidence to back this up, I'd be interested to see it.
From my perspective and the area I live, I see more casual cyclists than racers in Lycra. And I've never, ever spoken to anyone who has expressed the opinion that they are put of because of this, its always because the hills are too steep, the weather is not great, and motorised traffic frightens them.




I'm intrigued to find out how you think those figures 'kill my opposing arguments stone dead' and back yours up.
They are just stats as to how many people cycle. There is no information there whatsoever saying WHY the statistics are as they are!

It was fascinating to see Malta as being bottom of the list.
A 1 min google on 'cycling in malta' comes up with a host of proposals as to why cycling in Malta is a bad idea. Let me cut and paste from one site
http://www.howtomalta.com/2012/01/7-reasons-why-cycling-in-malta-is-a-bad-idea.html
1. There are no cycle lanes.
2. Cars go fast.
3. The streets are too narrow.
4. The streets are often full of holes.
5. If it rains deep pools form along the side of the road in seconds.
6. In summer it’s too hot.
7. Many drivers show a scant regard for the letter of the law.

Strangely, I don't see anything there saying "cyclists wearing lycra puts normal people off ...."
??
Although ironically, www.visitmalta.com/en/cycling has two images on the main banner, one showing a racing cyclist in lycra, and the other a mountain bike rider with proper kit on ..... :)
There is indeed some that is subjective about my opinions, as there is about your proposed alternatives. But much of what I express is from long experience.

I joined the trade in 1950 having already been cycling for some years, and back then cycling as transport was the norm for Britain as much as it was for mainland Europe. Over the years as a lifelong cyclist I've watched all the changes take place and seen their causes at first hand, both here and in some European countries,

Therefore I'm not just looking up what Wikipedia has to say, though also taking into account everything said about cycling in the other countries, including the Netherlands.

So overall I'm trusting my own experience and judgment as well, and unlike you, my interest is only in utility cycling and what affects it. Indeed there are other factors than the image I speak of and I've already acknowledged that so don't understand why you repeat those. But as I also said, most of those other factors we can't readily change or change at all so why address them?

Our efforts are best put on what can be changed, and the image of cycling here is the main impedance for utility cycling among those. I maintain that utility cycling the way so many do it here, dressed up as pseudo roadies, is very offputting to many of the remainder who might adopt utility cycling otherwise. That for me is a major factor among the things that are preventing so many from cycling.

The easiest evidence I can offer for that is that our utility cycling is at a far lower rate than even many of the countries which are far from being universal cycling paradises, having all the disadvantages we have. I used to be able to find a chart of worldwide cycling rates which supported that, but have been unable to find it again despite earlier searches.

It's clear that you are one of the cyclists who's image I'm speaking of so are never going to agree with me in the slightest. Therefore there's no point in continuing with what is a fruitless discussion and we must agree to disagree.
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GLJoe

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Our efforts are best put on what can be changed, and the image of cycling here is the main impedance for utility cycling among those. I maintain that utility cycling the way so many do it here, dressed up as pseudo roadies, is very offputting to many of the remainder who might adopt utility cycling otherwise. That for me is a major factor among the things that are preventing so many from cycling.

The easiest evidence I can offer for that is that our utility cycling is at a far lower rate than even many of the countries which are far from being universal cycling paradises, having all the disadvantages we have.
But that is not 'evidence' !?! that's the point I'm making. You have an opinion, which is fine, but you're trying to provide statistics that could have been caused by a myriad of different things to somehow validate your view, which is not.

It's clear that you are one of the cyclists who's image I'm speaking of so are never going to agree with me in the slightest.
Now this is an example where you are totally wrong and another example of you presenting an opinion as a fact.
"it is clear ....". These are classic weasel words used to subconsciously persuade the reader to accept something without questioning it, because its fact, right? it must be. Its 'clear'. 'I mustn't question something that's clear' ... classic manipulative text.

The reality is that its not clear at all. And if you can provide me with hard evidence (and that does NOT include things like those numbers that you have currently presented) then I'll gladly accept fact for what it is. Honestly. I'm very open to the truth. It probably won't change anything _I_ wear, but it might very well help me understand the psychology of others and how I discuss cycling with them.
 

anotherkiwi

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But that is not 'evidence' !?! that's the point I'm making. You have an opinion, which is fine, but you're trying to provide statistics that could have been caused by a myriad of different things to somehow validate your view, which is not.



Now this is an example where you are totally wrong and another example of you presenting an opinion as a fact.
"it is clear ....". These are classic weasel words used to subconsciously persuade the reader to accept something without questioning it, because its fact, right? it must be. Its 'clear'. 'I mustn't question something that's clear' ... classic manipulative text.

The reality is that its not clear at all. And if you can provide me with hard evidence (and that does NOT include things like those numbers that you have currently presented) then I'll gladly accept fact for what it is. Honestly. I'm very open to the truth. It probably won't change anything _I_ wear, but it might very well help me understand the psychology of others and how I discuss cycling with them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands

The internet is a wonderful place. Get out and about and make some friends from the Netherlands, they might just tell you flecc is reasonably correct in his appreciation of the situation there.

Can we talk about cycling in Denmark now?
 
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flecc

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But that is not 'evidence' !?! that's the point I'm making. You have an opinion, which is fine, but you're trying to provide statistics that could have been caused by a myriad of different things to somehow validate your view, which is not.



Now this is an example where you are totally wrong and another example of you presenting an opinion as a fact.
"it is clear ....". These are classic weasel words used to subconsciously persuade the reader to accept something without questioning it, because its fact, right? it must be. Its 'clear'. 'I mustn't question something that's clear' ... classic manipulative text.

The reality is that its not clear at all. And if you can provide me with hard evidence (and that does NOT include things like those numbers that you have currently presented) then I'll gladly accept fact for what it is. Honestly. I'm very open to the truth. It probably won't change anything _I_ wear, but it might very well help me understand the psychology of others and how I discuss cycling with them.
I think you made it clear that you dress in the image I speak of?

I think it extraordinary that you might believe that many of the remaining general non-cycling public will not be deterred by the image that's so overwhelmingly common in Britain. Those who have adopted cycling have accepted it, some of those who could adopt cycling might be independent enough to dress differently anyway, but there will be those who won't stick their neck out and be different from the mainstream, and I think their numbers are significant.

Yes, that's an opinion, but so what when all you offer in return is further opinion? This like so many areas of life is where adequate statistical information isn't available. Since I won't be able to satisfy you in this respect this will be my last post on this subject.
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GLJoe

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands

The internet is a wonderful place. Get out and about and make some friends from the Netherlands, they might just tell you flecc is reasonably correct in his appreciation of the situation there.
You don't seem to understand. I'm not questioning flecc's appreciation of cycling in the Netherlands at all. No doubt its lovely. No doubt they are fitter than us. The data all points to it being massively more popular there than here. Its possible that a vast percentage of the population ride along hand in hand, and maybe there are even Unicorns on Unicycles over there, farting out rainbows as they wizz along under permanent cloudless skies.

What I am questioning is his attempt to foist upon us his views that the low cycling takeup in the UK is largely due to people being put off by existing cyclists going fast and dressing in cycle specific clothing!
If he can provide some data to back this up, then fine, I'll accept it, but he can't, he's just posting statistics that only give figures about cycling numbers, not WHY it is as it is, and worse than that, he's now phrasing things in ways that are deliberately manipulative and using words that academic researchers are specifically told to watch out for and avoid!
 

anotherkiwi

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How does one scientifically measure the effects of peer pressure?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/31/10-things-that-put-people-off-cycling

https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/campaigns-guide/women-cycling

"So why is it that whilst slightly fewer women than men learn to ride a bike, women ride with much less frequency?
The sad reality is that women are judged more on their appearance than men; thus within the context of cycling being seen as sweaty, nerdy and just a lot of hard work in a hostile environment, the perception is simply going to be that cycling will mess up your appearance. Sustrans’ research showed that aside from an intimidating traffic environment, women’s other big concerns were age (17%) and lack of fitness (8%), followed by a range of other issues around appearance."

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/blog/why-dont-more-women-cycle
 

flecc

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What I am questioning is his attempt to foist upon us his views that the low cycling takeup in the UK is largely due to people being put off by existing cyclists going fast and dressing in cycle specific clothing!
If he can provide some data to back this up, then fine, I'll accept it,
Naughty, I did not say largely, only that it's a major factor while acknowledging there are many others, often though that we can do nothing about.

Of course there can be no data on such feelings, polls being as useless as they are for such purposes. For many matters it's necessary to use commonsense, relevant experience and judgement, and that is what I've been doing here.

Even when available, too much dependance on statistics isn't necessarily wise, the adage "Lies, damn lies and statistics" exists for a reason.
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GLJoe

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Naughty, I did not say largely, only that it's a major factor while acknowledging there are many others, often though that we can do nothing about.
I used 'largely' in the context of you giving the impression that is was a (very) large reason. You did indeed use the term 'major factor'.

Although if it WAS a major factor, then one would imagine that it would crop up time and time again in these articles. Yet it doesn't.
Even in those interesting links by Anotherkiwi, nowhere does it it explicitly have your 'major factor' listed. So far, I've looked, but failed to find any reports that back up your claim. Maybe they are out there, but I've seen half a dozen or so articles now about why people don't cycle in the UK, or what we need to do to improve cycling, and none of them have people being put off by fast riding lycra individuals as the things we need to change! Its always about OTHER things such as safety, and availability of suitable routes.

Of course there can be no data on such feelings
Nonsense. Of course you can get data. That's what surveys, questionnaires etc are for! And it seems lots of research HAS been done. One would think that if the 'lycra' issue was a 'major factor' as you are making out, it would surely have been picked up by now?
 

flecc

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Nonsense. Of course you can get data. That's what surveys, questionnaires etc are for!
But not reliable data. When asked about things they don't normally have in mind the results can be be very unreliable.

When asked, 52% of the English say they are Christians. That's news to the C of E who claim 1.5% are churchgoers. The widespread view on this outcome is that people often respond with what they think is the most acceptable answer.
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Ajax

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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?
My controller has wires for varying the power output, so i set a three pole switch to that. I can use the throttle on the lowest setting to start, and then switch to the higher power once Im pedeling and under way, to stay compliant. ;-)

The switch also help save on the battery if i want to pedel with more effort.
A switch with resistors to limits the max volts from the throttle would be another option.
 

Ajax

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It was nothing to do with protecting the motor industry, it was solely about keeping a power assist model as a bicycle so it could avoid motor vehicle bureaucracy. The two basic decisions to achieve that were first made in Japan and then largely copied by the EU, whose rules also applied to us.

Those decisions were first that as the motor would only be to assist the rider, power could only be applied when pedalling. That is entirely logical, since if the motor drives without pedalling, one is not cycling but motoring. Second that there would be an assist speed limit to keep within bicycle bounds.

This second one is contentious, since it is so dependent on national views and circumstances. In Japan cyclists have to by law leave the road in many crowded city areas and share the pavements, so low cycling speeds are common there. They set the 25 kph assist limit and also a severe continuous power phase down from 15 kph (9.4 mph).

The EU copied Japanese law but without the severe power phase down, since the 25 kph assist limit matched the common cycling speeds in their cycling countries like The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

The UK law was the toughest of all initially, a real 200 watt limit and a 12 mph assist cutoff. That assist limit was increased to 15 mph in the 1980s to match EU law and then again slightly to 15.5 mph to make an exact match. Eventually 32 years later we got the extra 50 to reach a 250 watt rating.

The problem almost unique to the UK since about 1980 is that many now regard a typical cycling speed as 20 mph, so there's now a mismatch between the law and many cyclist's views.
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How fast can a 'normal' person cycle on 14t gear, assuming 42t chain ring? Its seems to me one should be able to calculate normal cycling speeds given what's known on systainable cadence.

If you think about it, on an ebike with pas and a 14t gear, its hard to go above that limit of 15 - 17 mph.
 
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anotherkiwi

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oyster

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maybe its stuff like weather
Some years ago there was some publicity given to the concept that if you can shift your commute a bit, maybe an hour, the percentage of days on which you would have to ride in the rain is actually quite low. Since commuting myself, despite not having much flexibility, I have perceived the need for wet weather gear to be far lower than I had expected. Despite living in one of the wettest parts of the UK.

Nonetheless, if I believed the weather forecast, I might not have started cycling. Locally, it gives a massively pessimistic assessment of likelihood of getting wet.
 

Benjahmin

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Nonetheless, if I believed the weather forecast, I might not have started cycling. Locally, it gives a massively pessimistic assessment of likelihood of getting wet.
It's that,'constant stair rod rain' that keeps this part of the country the low population density haven it is!:cool::eek:

The Aberporth Met office site is telling me that it is currently cloudy with 20% chance of rain. I'm looking out my wide open kitchen door across miles of sunlit wooded valley. There are so many terrain induced micro climates around here, the weather forecast is only a broad indicator.
 
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flecc

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It's that,'constant stair rod rain' that keeps this part of the country the low population density haven it is!:cool::eek:
Indeed, some of the dense woodlands there have been compared to rain forests due to the growth rates and complex variety of mosses etc that grow in them, unlike anywhere else in the UK,
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oyster

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the weather forecast is only a broad indicator.
Partner laughed and splurted out: "Not even that!" :)

Before moving here, we came on many short holidays and had almost 100% good weather. (One time we had misty and damp for two or three days. That was compensated by things like paddling in pleasantly warm sea water in November.)

Having moved, yes, we see the full range of weathers but it is the wind that probably most affects us.

For commuting, having somewhere dry to put the bike counts for a lot. Even a bit of drizzle isn't too bad to cycle through if the saddle starts out dry.
 
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anotherkiwi

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Apparently my idea of sustainable is 97-105 :D I said 110 in another post but I hadn't changed the wheel size! Careful it becomes addictive that calculator I spend hours searching for the best gearing compromises.
 

robert1976

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6km/hr throttles are completely legal. Most controllers with LCDs have a software setting to change it from 6km/hr to full-range. It only takes a few seconds to change it from one to the other. That's the same with the speed limit.
Hi. What info is needed to find out how to do. I've just bought new bike and it's twist and go. So I've disconnected throttle. But would be interested in activating assisted start. Thanks