Should You Derestrict Your E-Bike? | EMBN Discusses

Should You Derestrict Your E-Bike? | EMBN Discusses


– Well it seems many people want to have their cake and eat it. They want to be able go ride down the road at 45 kilometers an hour, and then turn off onto
a mountain bike trail and continue at the same speed. But clearly if you do that, it’s going to cause a load of conflict. So today we’re going to be looking at the whole of business surrounding de-restricting your E-mountain bike. (electronic whirring) There are many ways to de-restrict your E-mountain bike, and we’ll cover some of them a little bit later on. It’s worth pointing out actually that de-restricting your
E-Bike is actually not illegal. It only becomes illegal when
you take it on the highway. Now, obviously that depends
from country to country. In terms of the E-mountain
bikes on the market, there’s class one, class
two and class three. You have pedal assist
and also throttle assist. You also have Pedelecs,
S-Pedelecs and R-Pedelecs. Now the Pedelecs are restricted
to 25 kilometers an hour. S-Pedelecs to 45 kilometers an hour and R-Pedelecs are
unrestricted E-mountain bikes. Now I think the first thing to cover Chris is where we stand on this. Now, I think we’re quite clear that, and we get a lot of
comments on the channel, is that when you ride on an
E-mountain bike on the road, 25 kilometers an hour can
be, I know what word is. – A bit of a slog, yeah. Riding in porridge.
– It can be a slog. Especially when our
colleagues of GCN are riding at probably speeds of 40
or 50 kilometers an hour. – [Chris] Yeah, definitely. It’s a bit unfair. – It is a bit unfair, but bottom line, I think if you want to ride on a road at 45 kilometers an hour, you actually have to abide by the law. So you can actually go and
de-restrict you E-mountain bike. If you do that, you need to register, you need to license it,
and get it road legal, and then you have a bike which you can perfectly ride on the road
without any worries at all. – 100% legal. – The problem then becomes
if you want to ride it in an off road situation, you need to get it back to a de-restricted bike, because a lot of trails,
especially well here in the UK for example, riding a
bike at 50 kilometers an hour down a forest trail is going to be at odds with maybe a family– – Yeah, or a horse–
– Out riding their bikes. – Horse riders, yeah. Shared trail access. – So yeah, actually
Chris, that’s the first thing to cover is actually trail access. (gentle upbeat music) Now land access is a
massively complex subject, not just for E-mountain
bikers, but for walkers, bike riders and horse riders world wide. Obviously it varies
from country to country. Now recently, America had new rules granted for E-mountain biking, and that’s also done to class one, class two, class three, but that’s down to the different types of
land owner in that country. And it’s the same here in the UK. If you have private land in the UK, compared to maybe forest
lands or National Park lands, there are different laws for different parts of the country, right Chris? – Yeah, definitely. I think if you’re riding on private land, no public access, riding a de-restricted E-bike isn’t a big deal. You know, I’ve done it
plenty of times myself in the right places,
but if you’re riding it in the wrong places, it’s a delicate area and isn’t going to win any favors, you know, with mountain
bikers and E-bikers, and horse riders, you name it,
out in the woods, you know. Going to cause some problems. – Now today we’re actually at Revolution Bike Park in North Wales. It’s also worth pointing out, if you come to a bike park, you really need to discuss this with
the owner of the bike park. It might be a public bike park, it might be a private bike park. Obviously it’s going to cause conflict if you’re going to be using trails in a place which is actually designed around an uplift vehicle. So land access. We could go on for days, months and years discussing it, because it all depends on the country you live in. So make sure you get okay, not only from the land owner, but also to make sure that where you’re riding
your E-bike is legal. (gentle upbeat music) So should you actually
de-restrict your E-mountain bike? Well it actually comes down to you as the rider, and the type
of riding that you do. Obviously if you’re going to be commuting, you might have different needs to somebody who’s going to be riding in technical off road conditions. – Yeah exactly that. I think if you are going to ride off road de-restricted, just make sure you’ve got permission of the land owner, and you’re doing it all legally. If you are going to ride it on the road, something we simply don’t condone. If you do get in a traffic accident on a de-restricted
E-bike, it is a big deal and you’re going to be facing fines, losing license, things like that. So if you are going to
ride one on the road, just make sure it’s all
legal and above board, license, insured, et cetera. (gentle upbeat music) – Now, will de-restricting
your E-mountain bike give you a better or
worse ride experience? Well, from my experience, I recently did Tour du Mont Blanc,
which was 350 kilometers. We did 18000 meters of climbing, and I think 20000 meters of descending over three days, and not
once in those three days did I feel a need for a bike that went over 25 kilometers an hour. Obviously, some of you guys out there are going to be commuting. You will disagree with that. Chris, what’s your thoughts? Will it give you a
better riding experience? – Sometimes at like
the private bike parks, I’ve ridden de-restricted E-bike. It will give you that
little bit more speed into the bigger features, and sometimes when you like land flat off a jump and you need a bit more speed for the next feature, you can increase that speed and it will obviously
keep going all the way. On an unrestricted bike, you sometimes hit that lag and you’re like, oh this is just a heavy bike, and you’re working really
hard to get it to up speed. So a de-restricted E-bike
off road in the right place, being legal, I think is a good idea. – But you say that Chris. You do a certain type of riding. You ride some big, big jumps. You’re talking you know
50, 60, 70 foot jumps. A lot of people riding E-mountain bikes aren’t going to be doing
that type of riding. – As you said, I think if you’ve got that technical slow speed riding outside of your front door
where you don’t really exceed that limit too much,
then I wouldn’t de-restrict. – Yeah because after all, we recently did a feature on a Pedelec,
which is 25 kilometers an hour, versus a Speed Pedelec, which went to 45 kilometers an hour. And we took both those bikes into technical off road conditions, and our conclusions were that ultimately, the both bikes were exactly the same when you’re in an off road environment. On the road, big, big difference. Off road, pretty much the same. – If you were commuting on that S-Pedelec, it would literally half your time, but that’s all above board, legal. They had number plates, brake
lights, everything, didn’t it? – But Chris is right, if you’re going to be hitting those big booters, then de-restricting your E-bike is probably going to enable you to get over them, or
if you’re on a 25K one hitting them, maybe not. (gentle upbeat music) What affect is
de-restricting going to have on the motor and the components? – Well Steve, obviously
on a restricted E-bike, as soon as you hit that 25 KPH limit, on the road, the motor’s
going to stop working. So for instance, if you’re riding five miles of road above
that assistance level, then you’re not going to be
putting the motor to work. – [Steve] Your motor’s
going to be put to work. – [Chris] Where as on a de-restricted– – [Steve] Which is a good
thing, which is a good thing. – [Chris] E-bike, that
motor is going to be working 100% all the time, not giving it a break. So bearings, wear on the motor is going to be increased over that. – [Steve] Overheating possibly. – Possibly, and how about battery as well? What do you think it’s going to affect? – It’s going to have a
huge affect on the battery, and I think we should maybe cover that a little bit later on, because
like a de-restricted bike’s going to drain that
battery a lot more, right? – Yeah, and I think the
wear on the components, as you mentioned, the whole drive chain, it’s going to be under a lot more stress the whole time as well. And I think on a de-restricted E-bike, you find yourself in a lot more of the lower gears on
the cassette as well, the harder gears, so you find that you’re going to be burning out those lower cogs on the cassette as well, because you’re normally
in there spinning along, especially on the road
in that hard gear, so. – And of course, you know,
a lot of these motors, I mean not all the
motors, but a lot of them are going to be maybe not designed for being de-restricted, so it’s going to put increased strain on that, which it’s not designed for. (gentle upbeat music) Warranty. What happens to your warranty on your E-mountain bike
if you de-restrict it? – Well if you de-restrict–
– It’s gone, right? It’s gone! – De-restricting a bike
that is in warranty, then it’s null and void straight away. But if you are obviously outside of that warranty period, then
that is your call ultimately. (gentle upbeat music) – Will a shop or a motor brand know that it’s been de-restricted? – Yeah, a lot of those devices are actually removable quite easily. Some of them are just a
simple O ring snap connector, or you can wire them in. You can remove them pretty easily, but once that motor actually goes back to the manufacturer themselves, they can hook that motor
up and actually read the speed limit has been exceeded, and for how long, things like that. Something that not necessarily a shop would know, but a motor manufacturer will be able to pick that up
if they plug that motor in. If they do, who knows? – Right, say that you’ve
de-restricted your bike, can it actually be returned to normal? Is it easy to do that? – You can on some of the settings, yeah, on the Bluetooth connected bikes– – But what I mean is, can
it be returned to normal and nobody will know about it? – No, they will know, eventually, if that motor was to fail. Like you could sell the bike
and no one would actually know, but if that motor fails and had to go back for warranty, that’s when
you could run into issues. – So that is something you actually need to take into account,
maybe if you’re buying a second half E-mountain bike. Right it’s time to turn
then to have a look at the different devices of de-restricting your E-mountain bike. First of all, I want to point out, we actually did a video recently with M1, and they make a bike called the Spitzing, and
that bike’s available as a Pedelec, S-Pedelec and R-Pedelec. It actually uses the same TQ12S motor. The only difference is
that it’s been flashed. The software of each of
the motors is different. So you’ve got one of the bikes
is 250 watt hour average. The S-Pedelec is 500 watt hour average, and the R-Pedelec is I think
about 900 watt hour average. But that is, like I said,
that is an off the shelf E-mountain bike you can go and buy. It can be legal on the
road, but let’s talk about the de-restricted devices which you can buy as
after market products. What have we got here? – So a lot of people think that by de-restricting your E-bike, it actually adds a lot more power to it. Well it actually does none of that. All it does is literally
tricks the computer’s system, speed reading into thinking that the wheel is actually spinning at half
the speed it actually is. So the wheel’s spinning
at 50 kilometers an hour, it thinks it’s doing
25 kilometers an hour. So it will actually just keep
assisting all the way up. – Chris, I think it’s time
to get into the workshop, and can you show you some
of the different devices? Because it’s not just physical things, there are some apps and stuff
like that as well, right? – Yeah, apps. Yeah, things you can wire
in, clip on your bike. It’s going to do the same job. – Take us through a list of them Chris. – Let’s go. So there’s plenty of ways
to de-restrict your E-bike, and there are a lot of
bodgers out there too, which simply won’t last when it comes to an off road situation
with mud and water and things like that. Loads of devices such as these. They all pretty much half the wheel speed. So whichever, you know, they’re doing, they’re not going to increase the power to your bike, they’re just simply halving the wheel speed. So first up, we’ve got
the bad ass E-bike box. It simply clips onto your
speed sensor on your bike. Really easy to install,
and remove that one. Got the speed box. I have a PearTune MSO dongle which is hardwired into your bike. It’s a bit more involved fitting that bike by removing motor
covers, things like that. It can be turned on and off as well using the walk button or the
light button on your bike. So you can choose to have your bike de-restricted, or restricted. And a lot of bike manufacturers try to stop the
de-restriction thing going on, but one thing they won’t stop is the mechanical de-restriction device, because it doesn’t work on the software. It’s just simply on the bike itself. And this is a planetary geared system with an inner magnet which spins slower than the actual rotation of the wheel. And lastly, there’s all the apps, such as Bleevo, things like that, that can connect via Bluetooth
to the older school bikes. You can simply change your wheel speed, sizes, the wheel size itself, and then cruise that assistance the whole way through just
by simply swiping the screen. – So the bottom line of de-restricting your E-mountain bike. We definitely don’t recommend it here on EMBN, but for practical reasons and maybe for enjoyment reasons as well. Now I know that Chris rides
in a private bike park, and does some insane jumps, and he needs that de-restricted bike
to get over the jumps. But I think one of the key things to discuss here is actually
whether you’re going to be riding an E-bike
or an E-mountain bike. Now there is a big difference. On an E-bike, if you’re commuting, that’s got different needs to if you’re out in the mountain. Now we’re here in North Wales. We can ride our 25K E-bikes, we can ride pretty much for days, months on end without even getting up to 25K an hour, right? – True yeah, there’s some pretty big stuff out here, for sure. – Yeah. – But I think if you’re doing it legally and you have got that de-restricted E-bike in the right places, then it may enhance your riding experience. – Or as we said, maybe just go buy an off the shelf E-mountain bike which does 45, 50K anyway. – Exactly. Doing it legally, that’s the main thing. – That’s it. So thanks for watching. I’m sure this will generate a lot of heated discussion, as it did last time. But hopefully it’s given you guys who do not know about de-restriction a bit of an insight into the different aspects of quite a hot topic. – Yeah, and if you want to stick around to check out a bit more content, we’ve got de-restricted
versus restricted down here. Really cool video me and
Steve did out in the woods. Drop us some comments in the box below. Give us a thumbs up if you’ve enjoyed it, and don’t forget to drop
us all your comments on de-restriction and
restriction down below. – In the meantime, we’re going out on our 25 kilometer an
hour Canyon Spectrals and having a good bit of fun. See you later.