What Are Electric Bike Classes and Why Do They Matter?

I'm rather familiar with broken bones & getting better at avoiding them.🤪 I try to ride in a safe, courteous manner
which is more than can be said for some.
Last edited:
It is you, John. Unluckily, many people are not as experienced or kind as you are. To some extent, Poland is in the "Wild West" phase of development even if we have so many new roads, highways and bike lanes. I could see the difference when I was sight-seeing Berlin with a rented electric scooter and rented e-bike. Wherever you ride in the street you feel absolutely safe there. The German people are perfectly organized and they hate "gefährlich" or unsafe situations. They do not hesitate to instruct you in the public you're doing something wrong and they are quick to call the police in. The Polish are mostly reckless and don't want to obey rules. Although it slowly changes for good with ever growing cycling community here.
The U.S. has yet to become a 'civilized' nation, but there are a those who are trying to accommodate a more cyclist/pedestrian
oriented infrastructure. Unfortunately much of our leadership still dwell in a bygone century & remain stubbornly
attached to fossil fuel & obsolete technology. I have seen what the Dutch have done. Statistically they cycle 760 kilometers
for every man, woman & child in the country each year. They are far healthier physically & mentally than my countrymen.
I can perceive a better future for mankind if we could conquer our greed. It in our power to create paradise on earth
or turn it into a desolate wasteland. I am not overly optimistic given the rise of dictatorships on so many countries.
Reading your opinion with real interest. The Dutch and the Danish are the "cycle nations" and these have to be treated exceptionally. I must say EU did a lot to promote cycling and that happened much thanks to actions of cycling activists. I live near Warsaw but we are not inside the metropolitan area. Still, you can see new bike lanes growing everywhere here. Cycling has become a national fashion in Poland although it is still not at the level of the Netherlands, Denmark or Germany. The e-biking is not very much popular here. The reason is the high price of e-bikes compared to the income. The price of very much used but a decent car is half of a good e-bike here. When I learned about e-bikes, I asked my facebook friends about e-bike recommendation. Out of several hundred of people nobody had an e-bike! What to say if a good but inexpensive Czech Lovelec e-bike costs the same I had paid for my car...
Almost 250 years ago an American patriot, Thomas Payne, put it all in one simple sentence:
"The world is my country, & my religion is to do good."
Tell me about it, I've been hit 4 times. Luckily only one led to a near death experience & serious injury.🤪
Make that 5; I was literally run over once as a pedestrian but got only a few bruises. I'm hard to kill.
Last edited:
John Peck , i drove a motorcycle for 30 plus years. I have been hit a few times and run over once . I cannot imagine being even more vulnerable on a bicycle all those years lol
It is you, John. Unluckily, many people are not as experienced or kind as you are.

I'm not at all kind to those I perceive as unjust or a threat to the future of life on earth. I am curious;
how did you come to have such a fine command of the English language, Stefan? Yours is better than a
great many in my village. Education in this country is in a sorry state of decline.
John Peck , i drove a motorcycle for 30 plus years. I have been hit a few times and run over once . I cannot imagine being even more vulnerable on a bicycle all those years lol
Of late there have been a couple or deliberate attempts to hit by a little red car, but I know who & why. I was attacked while
riding by their pitbull. I reported it & the dog was taken. It's fortunate it was me & not some child on a bike. I;ve been attacked
by a pitbull before & have a good sized scar as proof. My ebike saved me. I appreciate that they loved their dog; they should
have been more responsible & not let it run loose. I've had a few dogs come after me on a bike since I was a kid. Most here
know me & are friendly. I don't think they'll do it again; it would be very foolish to try. I've been shot, stabbed, hit in the head
with a crowbar, fallen off a cliff, & survived at least 3 deadly diseases. Like I said, I'm very hard to kill.
I am curious;
how did you come to have such a fine command of the English language, Stefan? Yours is better than a
great many in my village. Education in this country is in a sorry state of decline.
Thank you!
I am a process engineer, John; our professional language worldwide is English; I remotely work for a Norwegian company and we market and sell American engineering software. I have been using English in real life for almost 30 years. Recently, I took greater care to write even better. Yet, you would be badly surprised if you met me. I often work by phone and no issues here; same with face-to-face meetings. However, I cannot understand languages (having troubles with my native Polish, too) while confronted with ambient noise. The words and sentences "crack" in my mind. I feel like an idiot in, for example, London where I hardly can communicate with local folk at grocery. Or in Tampere, Finland. A guy asks me if I need a bag and I can understand nothing. Same with movies as all of them have music or noise in the background.

Writing is far easier. I mostly read English books to improve English skills as well.
I think London has it's very own form of English.🙂 My conversational English Is not remotely erudite.
So, anyway, kudos, yours is better than most Americans. I've no degrees, just self taught. My Polish
is limited to 'Kelbasa'. My hearing is pretty well shot, especially the female vocal range. I seldom actually
speak with anyone. I've said more here today than I usually speak in a month. Yet I count deafness
as a blessing; I'm developing telepathy. It's shocked a few, but most are not receptive. I've learned
to tune out background thoughts that don't concern me..You maybe skeptical, but even dogs are
capable of telepathy. If I give one dog a morsel in one room the other dog knows immediately
in another part of the house. Wolves use it to coordinate their hunts. It's an atrophied sense
lost when man developed language.
Last edited:
Funny thing is, John, I can hear the water dripping in the farthest bathroom of my home but when talking to someone in the city (in my own language) I have to say "Sorry, I'm partly deaf. Could you speak slowly and loudly?" Luckily, there's no issue of "distinctly" in Polish; most Poles speak very the same language and distinctly. No slur really.
Don't you have a feeling both of us hijacked this thread?
Yeah, but it's okay, Not much left to say about the original topic. 🙂 Seems you & I share very much the same affliction.
Not sure if it;s because of all the noisy machinery I've used or just shrieking shrewish women🤔
It's the female weapon of choice.
My apologies if the thread question of "And why do they matter?" was answered and I missed it. I can understand labeling a bike Class 1, 2, or 3 for the purchaser to quickly understand its capabilities; but what does that matter on a trail? If the bike is restricted to 20 mph, what is the concern whether I pedal to attain that speed or purely use the motor? The other big complaint I hear is why are e-bikes considered a liability on a trail when some people on human powered bikes are going fasted than they are; but that's OK? I would prefer to have a Class 2 bike. Sometimes my joints seem to temporarily go out of place and when that happens I would not be able to pedal and get myself back to the car. In PA there seems to be turmoil on the e-bike issue and rules among agencies are inconsistent with some rail to trail paths restricting e-bikes where they were not restricted before. I really want to get a Class 2 e-bike for my safety but fear that even if I disconnect the throttle to make it a Class 1, because it has a Class 2 sticker, I would be fined for using it on a Class 1 trail. So because it appears I cannot get the bike I want; why does bike class matter on the trails if both Class 1 and 2 are restricted to 20 MPH?
I suspect it's a cultural thing. A bike that doesn't need to be pedaled proclaims its status as a motorized vehicle. People from a cycling background who pushed for the creation of paths and trails for non-motorized vehicles have a visceral reaction that this is a violation. I know, intellectually, that there is no difference between someone pedaling a bike at 15mph and someone on a silent electric vehicle at 15mph, but I feel that there is a difference, and it's hard to surmount that. I have an even stronger instinctive NO! reaction to the idea of throttle-only mountain bikes on my local trails where there are difficult, technical climbs. Pedal assist can only help to a certain extent, and I have no problem with someone who might be able to pedal up a hill at 4mph being able to make 8mph with assist - but the idea that someone could twist a throttle and cruise up at 15mph without pedaling really irritates me! I realize this is irrational, but when trails are created as a space that is reserved for human-powered vehicles, one wants to keep them that way. I know that to some, even pedal assist crosses that line; to me, pedal assist is still pedaling. And I wouldn't care if someone pedaled a class 2 e-bike, with electric assist mediated by throttle, on these trails - it's the throttle-only usage that would irk. Of course it's easier to ban class 2 bikes than to say, "well, you can ride your class 2 bike as long as you pedal!" And it is easier to advocate for opening bicycle paths and trails to e-bike usage when you can point out that e-bikes are basically bicycles, being pedaled by a human, with a boost from a silent electric motor.
I agree, throttle-only mt bikes is no different in terms of use than a 250cc Yamaha dirt bike. I can't keep suicidal
down-hillers from breaking their necks, But it's not a bicycle if you don't pedal it. Therefore the same law should apply
as that for motorcycles. I'll go further to state motorized vehicles, even ebikes, should remain illegal in designated
I have an e-mtn. bike. I'm old, beat up, & have no problem using it to climb, but not on hiking paths. I spent a year
living in Durango, & spent a good part of my youth hiking throughout the San Juans, as well as a considerable portion
of the rest of Colorado's high country, There are just some places where bikes don't belong.
If you are interested, see how the L1e-B (European class for speed e-bikes) registration looks like.
Vital points:
  1. It is a moped
  2. Production year
  3. Axle max load [kilonewton]
  4. F2: Total allowed load [kg-force]
  5. G: Vehicle mass (no battery) [kg]
  6. J: Category (L1e)
  7. K: Euro norm (this one is for bicycles, tricycles and quads)
  8. L: Number of axles
  9. P3: type of fuel, EE means Electric Energy
  10. S.1: Number of riders
  11. A: Registration number
  12. D: Make, model. submodel
  13. E: Vehicle Identification Number