Interesting article about ebikes on BLM in SW Colorado from Durango Herald


Local time
4:20 AM
Jul 13, 2020

Apparently the Durango-area newspaper questioned David Bernhardt (Head of Dept. of the Interior) directly about ebikes on BLM and NPS.

There are a couple of interesting paragraphs in the article:

"In an interview Tuesday with The Journal, Bernhardt said his policy helps to standardize the definition of a bicycle on federal lands so it is more in line with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The commission defines a bicycle as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle solely human powered, or a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 horsepower) with a maximum speed on a paved, level surface when powered solely by the electric motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds is less than 20 mph."

Unfortunately, "The Order" says that Class 3 ebikes are also allowed, and Class 3 assist up to 28MPH. The CPSC, as far as I can tell, does not recognize Class 3 ebikes as "electric bicycles". They fall into a kind of regulatory Purgatory, which is appropriate give that this interview was in Durango, near the Purgatory ski resort!

I'm guessing that this confusion, and Burnhardt's comments, will be used as leverage to delay the implementation of "The Order" by some branches of the Dept. of the Interior, most likely the SE Utah offices near Moab.
Since Class 3 is PAS only, it can fall within the "powered solely by the electric motor" bit and still assist until 28mph. As long as someone says the motor can't push a 170lb rider faster than 20mph, you can set the PAS cut out at 1,000mph and it's still a legal ebike under the CPSC.
That's pretty sweet. I should make a couple dozen sets of really high rolling resistance tires and sell them to ebike manufacturers who want to game the regs.
No need to game the regs, the doors are wide open to anything with pedals and a "750w" controller setting.
For aero road bikes, 750 watts can probably get you to 28mph. For MTB, not so much due to tire rolling resistance and the upright riding position drag.

Even a 50cc moped, which can do 28-30mph, was 3hp (2250 watts).

So 750 watts is 750 watts, regardless of the speed limiter, can only go so far on a MTB.

So an unrestricted Class-3 eMTB (for which there are none being made) and a Class-1 (which they all are) would appear to behave the same to any outside observer as there is only maybe a 3 mph difference in top speed.
Uh, what?

750w to go 28mph on an aero road bike? No. Not even 500.
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And that's only 350 watts, less than half what is allowed. Doesn't seem like they matched up the watts allowed to the top end cut-off allowed very well.
Gaming the regs is old hat in the aviation world, to this day. Put a placard on the panel of a 180 HP Carbon Cub (something to the effect of do not exceed this speed) and you have a legal LSA aircraft, though it can easily go faster then the LSA regs apply. Sounds like the same deal will happen with higher powered ebikes. long some asshats don't totally abuse the entire gaming of the regs thing, it shouldn't be a problem, at least it hasn't been in the aviation world.
Just because you borrowed a buddy's 250w derestricted Levo and couldn't get it up over 22 doesn't mean it's a universal truth.

"Hello I have de-restricted my bike with a peartune. I can get to about 30mph easily and my legs are moving pretty good. I bought a 38th chainring to replace the 32th and it is in the way of my chainguide so to use it I will have to remove the guide. Has anyone done this to a 2019 Levo successfully? Im also curius of the top speeds you guys are hitting derestricted. Also has anyone tried a 12speed setup with a big chainring? I think that may be my next step but not sure if a big chainring and big rear sprocket will be compatable."

In the US, the 750w is considered the nominal wattage, and according to the CSPA, it's undefined how that is determined, and there are no requirements for certification. Like 250w ebikes in the EU, there isn't any limit on peak wattage. A 250w EU ebike today commonly peaks at over 700w, a 750w US ebike will peak over 1500 - 2000w. Not at all like your Levo.
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Ultimately, I've found that speed on a e-bike is limited by the trail more than the motor. With few exceptions (climbs not withstanding) I'm always faster on my Remedy than my Levo.
Yeah, but he’s not going 30mph on a trail, more likely a paved road or maybe a high quality gravel road in a straightaway.

30mph is pretty fast on a trail unless it’s straight and wide.

I can hit 30mph on a downhill on my enduro bike , but I’m also a good rider and I’m on a long travel bike set up for going fast downhill, not a heavy ebike with mediocre suspension.

I've ridden my wife’s Shuttle at top speed when I ran a shuttle, probably hit 25mph on a paved road, but once I hit gravel things got loose and I slowed down.
That guy is peddling hard. My test was via motor alone in shuttle mode. Of course you an make any bike go over 22 mph if you pedal hard.

I tested a 2019 Giant E+2 up a 10% grade hill, and could not go above 13 mph as a 64kg rider. So these bikes are not going to be going up steep trails at 20mph.
On a slight downhill coming back on the road from my ride, I can hit 26mph above the cutoff, at an indicated 600 watts of rider power alone so I think that 28mph is realistic for that Bulls Class III eBike; which puts out a peak of 530 watts with the rider contributing another 200 watts.

I agree that the bike will slow down considerably going uphill; thats why it has a 30t granny gear.