Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)
  • E-bike conversion kit
  • Premier Icon mlke
    Free Member

    I dare not push my N+1 or D-1 bike acquisition limit by buying an e-bike for work.
    I’ve started to look at conversion kits.
    I’ve a neglected Salsa Vaya so am thinking of fitting a mid-drive legal conversion kit.
    I’m not brilliantly mechanically skilled so may try to get a bike shop involved.
    Can anyone share their experiences of which kit to buy or company to fit?

    thanks in advance

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    These guys have been going a while and the Bafang kits are good quality, I think.

    https://www.brightonebikes.co.uk/

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    If you are converting then you can just fit a ‘twist-and-go’ throttle and not bother with the pedelec stuff.

    Premier Icon scruff9252
    Free Member

    “If you are converting then you can just fit a ‘twist-and-go’ throttle and not bother with the pedelec stuff.”

    Really? Are conversions not subject to the same regulations around pedal assist only?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    Are conversions not subject to the same regulations around pedal assist only?

    they are. You could lose your driving licence if you a throttled e-bike.

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    Really? Are conversions not subject to the same regulations around pedal assist only?

    they are. You could lose your driving licence if you a throttled e-bike.

    you could try reading the link to brighton ebikes as that also confirms that conversions do not need type approval.

    The Department for Transport has today confirmed to Pedelecs that an ordinary cycle, already ridden on public roads as such and subsequently converted to a ‘twist and go’ electric bike, will not require type approval.

    from

    DfT: Pedal cycles converted to ‘twist and go’ exempt from type approval

    and

    The full response from the DfT reads:
    “In response to your email about converting a normal pedal cycle which has first been used on the public road as a pedal cycle, I am pleased to report that type approval does not apply – it only applies to new vehicles, not converted ones. Therefore if you convert a pedal cycle which has already been ridden on the road to “twist and go” operation, it does not become subject to type approval. As previously noted, the regulations will be directed at the manufacturers and so riders making conversions are not committing an offence. Manufacturers are permitted to sell kits of this nature but would need to ensure they are in line with regulations if sold as EAPC kits (EAPC power and speed limits).”

    from

    https://www.brightonebikes.co.uk/blog/dft-clarify-e-bike-laws-regarding-twist-and-go-throttles

    And I also mailed the Dft some years ago to confirm that.

    If you have an old bike that has been in use already, then you can convert to plain twist-and-go.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    you could try reading the link to brighton ebikes as that also confirms that conversions do not need type approval.

    I did.

    I’m still not convinced, tbh, there doesn’t seem to be any case law I could find to back the assertion that converting a secondhand bicycle into an electric motorbike removes the need for type approval..

    Premier Icon tinribz
    Free Member

    That’s useful info, I was also under the assumption it was when the kit was fitted.

    And by old I am assuming they are talking about 2016, when the new regs came in.

    But, I’m sure the speed limiter is programmed into the lcd/led, without one even a 250 watt will exceed 15mph.

    Premier Icon petrieboy
    Free Member

    Surely the pertinent point is that type approval aside, you’d have made a motorbike so would require registration and insurance which I expect would be a headache you could live without

    Premier Icon tinribz
    Free Member

    Not under 15mph you don’t.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    +1 Petrieboy

    Type approval doesn’t seem to have anything to do with riding an uninsured motorbike

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    Not under 15mph you don’t.

    That 15mph is the speed at which pedal assist on an e-bicycle has to cut out, not a limit for a throttle controlled e-motorbike.

    this is what mean, as soon as you look at specifics suddenly it looks less cut and dried than ‘adding a motor (electric or petrol) and a throttle to an old bike is fine’.

    Premier Icon mlke
    Free Member

    Thanks for the responses.
    I’d hate to lose my house or liberty over a bike project and a bit of bad luck with an old dear on a shared path so am thinking I’ll try for entirely legal or damn close to it as I can get.
    I’ll have a look at the bright one bikes. I know these things are available for not too much cash on Ebay/Amazon but I’d rather go through a company which cares about its reputation

    Premier Icon Teedertodder
    Free Member

    Not sure if its relevant for you, but according to DfT guidance, a non-pedal assist bike (therefore a powered transporter in legal speak) “…is currently illegal to use on a public road, without complying with a number of legal requirements, which potential users will find very difficult.”
    Also
    “It is illegal to use a powered transporter in spaces which are set aside for use by pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders. This includes on the pavement and in cycle lanes.”

    I see folk on cycle paths everyday using the revandgo bikes and totally understand you n+1 predicament!

    I guess it comes down to whether or not you get caught 😉

    Be reet!

    Premier Icon tinribz
    Free Member

    with a number of legal requirements, which potential users will find very difficult

    Has pedals.
    Has max motor of 250watts.
    Power cuts off at 15mph.

    How difficult is that?

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    They mean for a non-pedal assist bike. I.e. if it’s not a pedal assist bike then your bike would need to meet the regs for being a motorbike – insurance, indicators, mot, etc.

    Premier Icon petrieboy
    Free Member

    The law is pretty clear. If it’s got a motor of any sort then it’s a Mechanically Propelled Vehicle (MPV) unless it fits the specific definition of a pedal assist bicycle for which there is a special dispensation.

    So a pedal assist that’s been modded so assistance continues at a higher speed = motorbike

    Home built throttle controlled = motorbike

    Of course, it’s a very quiet motorbike so there’s a solid chance you’d never get caught, but all it takes is an accident where someone gets hurt and suddenly you’re in a world of pain

    Premier Icon tinribz
    Free Member

    unless it fits the specific definition of a pedal assist bicycle

    See my previous post.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Full Member

    This morning coming through the park , on a footpath was a lady on a proper Vespa type scooter.

    When I mentioned she was riding a motorbike on the path her reply was “ but it’s electric”. Someone who sells these things needs to have an obligation to point out what is and what isn’t legal.

    I can’t see a reason to sell a non pedal, non approved electric bike in this country.

    Premier Icon tinribz
    Free Member

    Polution would be one reason. Petrol scooters on cycle lanes in Amsterdam is a massive problem.

    Wonder if these are road legal:

    vintage ebike.

    This high speed 1,000W e-bike has the look and feel of a vintage motorcycle

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I can’t see a reason to sell a non pedal, non approved electric bike in this country.

    Same reason you can’t legally ride a non pedal, non approved petrol powered bike in this country.

    Just because it’s a bit more middle class than allowing your kids to ride those horrible minimoto ‘pit bikes’ down the cycle path doesn’t actually make it any different.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Full Member

    My cove hummer is fitted with a bafang bbs01b kit, battery and aftermarket front bling ring and cranks i bought from darren at Brighton Ebikes  , very helpful on the phone and the bafang kit is a doddle to fit (if you have ever changed a BB then it’s similar).

    I never bothered fitting the gear change/brake lever sensors that cut power when you brake/change gear as they’re superfluous if you have an ounce of mechanical sense, the thumb throttle works well enough and darren programmed the bafang motor/head unit with a middle of the road setting and selected power delivery from 1 through to 9 so there’s no chance of burning anything out, i get approx 15-20 miles out of a charge using the throttle and a max throttle speed of 17-18mph before it cuts out, I imagine you’d get a lot more milage using the pedal assist function but i can’t pedal so that’s not an issue for me, it’s a simple crank revolution sensor so as long as the cranks are turning then the motor will assist you.

    Premier Icon guandax
    Full Member

    Take a look at the TongSheng TSDZ2. Comes in various wattages from 250 to 750.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    See my previous post.

    Your previous post said:

    Has pedals.
    Has max motor of 250watts.
    Power cuts off at 15mph.

    How difficult is that?

    The problem is that what you’ve written is not all the requirements. The regulations also say for it to fall into the exemption it must be a pedal assist:

    pedal cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250 W, where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling

    A twist and go doesn’t cut out when you stop pedalling. It doesn’t matter if it still has pedals – if the pedals don’t control the throttle then it’s a motorbike and probably very difficult to ride legally (indicators, insurance, registration plate, etc).

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    The term Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) includes vehicles that are capable of being propelled either by pedalling or by electric power, but does not include more powerful electric bikes (over 250W), those which can exceed 25km/h (15.5mph) (“speed pedelecs”) or those which cannot be propelled by pedal, all of which are treated as mopeds or scooters in UK.

    Before the regs change in 2016 it was possible to buy a twist-and-go ebike that met those critera and it would be classed as a EAPC.

    After the regs came in the pedelecs site puslished this page :

    DfT: Pedal cycles converted to ‘twist and go’ exempt from type approval

    which says

    The Department for Transport has today confirmed to Pedelecs that an ordinary cycle, already ridden on public roads as such and subsequently converted to a ‘twist and go’ electric bike, will not require type approval.

    The DfT further clarified that type approval ‘only applies to new vehicles, not converted ones’.

    The latest guidance on conversions follows on from news that electric bikes manufactured as a ‘twist and go’ from January 2016 will require type approval.

    Their response reiterates that ‘twist and go’ type approval requirements are directed at the manufacturers, meaning that ‘riders making conversions are not committing an offence’ (with regard to type approval requirements).

    It is also our understanding that, since not all cyclists are technically proficient in fitting conversion kits to a bike, that conversion can also be carried out by a business, so long as the bike in question has been ridden on public roads before conversion (i.e. the bike is not considered ‘new’).

    and the quote from the Dft

    Currently, new electric bikes fulfilling the definition of an EAPC (electrically assisted pedal cycle, limited to 15.5mph motor assistance/250w) are exempt from requiring the manufacturer to type approve before retailing. However, ‘twist and gos’, electric bikes manufactured with a throttle that can independently propel the bike forward without the rider needing to pedal, fell through the legislative cracks of type approval exemptions since motor assistance isn’t cut off when the rider ceases pedaling:

    And my private email reply says, with regard to that page and the first opinion (from Pedelecs) :

    my colleagues in International Vehicle Standards have confirmed that the website have correctly reproduced their comments and the person writing the website has understood correctly.

    whether you interpret that as meaning you need the motor to cut out when not pedalling or not is another matter as it is a little ambiguous possibly.

    The first quote at the top has the word “or” in it implying that you do not need to pedal if the motor power is limited and only powers up to a certain speed. The later quote about the motor cutting out is from the EU regs, whcih may or may not override the EAPC definition in this country.

    But the basic premise of that web page was that if doing a conversion it was OK as long as you met the regs from prior to 2016, and the Dft has confirmed that is a correct interpretation.

    Print that lot out and show it to an average copper that might pull you over for not pedalling and he will send you on your way as his head will be spinning from reading all that – based on the times I’ve asked police about the legality of EUCs and many didn’t even know that mobility scooters had a speed limit on the road and pavement.

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    pedal cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250 W, where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling

    That”s from the EU regs, but the “Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) in Great Britain” information sheet for the 2016 change linked to from the Brighton bikes site also says :

    Because of the particular benefits for elderly and disabled users, pedal cycles providing electrical assistance without use of the pedals – usually called “Twist and Goes” – are included in the above GB classification provided they are capable of pedal operation and comply with the above restrictions on maximum motor power and assistance cut-off speed

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    Looks like i’m wrong about Pedal elecs. I found a fairly comprehensive document from the government:
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780603/electrically-assisted-pedal-cycles.pdf

    It has a paragraph specifically covering what we’re talking about:

    Because of the particular benefits for elderly and disabled users, pedal cycles providing electrical assistance without use of the pedals – usually called “Twist and Goes” – are included in the above GB classification provided they are capable of pedal operation and comply with the above restrictions on maximum motor power and assistance cut-off speed.

    However, under European law5 new “Twist and Go” vehicles will, from January 2016, have to meet a range of technical requirements before they can be used on roads. This will normally be established by “type approval” at the manufacturing stage but importers and individuals will be able to seek an individual approval for vehicles that have not been type approved.

    Since DFT are saying you don’t need type approval, i’d say you’re home free as long as the power cuts off at the right speed (15.5mph) and the power is correct (max continuous power 250w).

    The worry isn’t about getting stopped by the police – I doubt they’d care – it’s if you hit someone or something and then insurance got involved. Any 3rd party cover you might have would be out the window if you were breaking the law.

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    it’s if you hit someone or something and then insurance got involved. Any 3rd party cover you might have would be out the window if you were breaking the law.

    things like that don’t seem to worry people on here – look at all the recommendations for bike racks that will cause obstruction to the number plate and/or lights. If people woere worried then the high-mount racks would all get recommendations, but they never seem to.

    Premier Icon chvck
    Full Member

    [strong]guandax[/strong] wrote:

    Take a look at the TongSheng TSDZ2. Comes in various wattages from 250 to 750.

    Are there any UK sellers that sell these? I couldn’t find any.

    Premier Icon tinribz
    Free Member

    v That
    v

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    Actually, it may not be as clear cut afterall….

    Being exceedingly dull, i’ve just looked at the EU regulation that we aligned with in 2016 – here

    It says that twist and gos are only excluded if they can’t exceed 6km/h. The clause that it all seems to rest on is that member countries can still approve individual vehicles. So what that pedalec post is resting on is that DfT are effectively providing a blanket individual approval – which is kind of contradictory. I guess you’d probably be ok, but if you killed someone on one and serious money was involved (from a liability point of view), it doesn’t seem exactly bulletproof.

    You may also be ok if the bike you’re converting was manufactured before 2016, as the EU regs aren’t retrospective.

    On a side note, that EU reg is quite a good illustration as to why Brexit isn’t easy!

    Premier Icon TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    You may also be ok if the bike you’re converting was manufactured before 2016, as the EU regs aren’t retrospective.

    not even sure the bike that you are converting needs to be from before 2016, don’t see that stipulated anywhere, just that it is a conversion of a bike that has been used on the road.

    And I don’t think may comes into it either. if you are limited in power to 250 and that power won’t take you over 15.5mph – which you can still pedal above – then you are OK.

    I rode a brompton conversion which was like this and there are many advantages, particularly in London :

    – you need not breath heavily at all as you can just rely on the motor – hence not breathing hard in the awful, and often illegal, air of London. Also, at a junction, you might have diesels accelerating away from you, at the time when they chuck out cr8p at their highest rate.

    – pulling away from junctons/lights on a twitchy folder is safer as there are no async pedal forces

    – the weight of the motor in the front wheel also helps with stability.

    Premier Icon tails
    Free Member

    I’ve come across a brand called swytch that make simple electric conversion kits, might get one myself as a cheap way of trying them out plus it’ll make commuting more enjoyable. Ultimately I think the ones with Bosch or shimano motors are the best.

    In regards to the laws, just don’t be a **** obviously going down a cycle way used by people with children at 45mph is stupid.

    Premier Icon siwhite
    Full Member

    Like the OP, I’m thinking about converting an old commuter to eBike spec – not owing to distance or lack of fitness, but so that I can arrive at work in reasonable time without needing a shower and a lie down.

    Brighton is some distance from me for a test ride with Brighton Ebikes – has anyone local to Reading or Basingstoke (or Suffolk, for that matter…) got a Bafang equipped bike they’d be willing to let me sling a leg over?

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