Policy Statement on Riders Using Electric Bicycles on
BRBC Group Rides
E-Bikes are the latest revolution in cycling technology much like index shifting, carbon fiber frames, suspension systems, disc brakes, 1X drivetrains and other innovations over the last 20-30 years. The E-Bike developments during the past 5 years and even more so in the last 18 months have been exponentially better as battery life is extended, weight is reduced and redistributed, and drive systems are focused upon the cranks instead of the rear wheel.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission differentiates E-Bikes into three classes as follows:
Class 1 - Pedal assist up to 20 mph. No pedaling means no motor assist. Most e-bikes 2 years or older fall into this category.
Class 2 - A bike that can be solely powered using a throttle up to 20 mph even if it has pedals. Pedaling reduces the motor load and/or allows the bike to exceed 20 mph.
Class 3 - Pedal assist up to 28 mph. No pedaling means no motor assist. Many newer, fairly expensive, e-bikes fall into this category. From a distance they look like a normal road bike.
Our Club insurance covers only Class 1 and Class 3 e-bikes hereafter called e-assist bikes since the cyclist is assisted in generating power via the onboard battery and motor. Given the insurance exclusion of Class 2 e-bikes, they are not allowed on BRBC group rides.
BRBC welcomes experienced group riding cyclists on its group rides whether they are riding a pedal only bike or an e-assist bike. Success keys for group riding like consistent riding patterns, excellent communication skills, self-sufficiency, and riding within one's abilities to safely complete the ride apply to all participants. Since e-assist bikes are still in the minority and many riders may not have ridden with an e-assist bike cyclist, please inform the ride leader the first time you plan to join a Club group ride so that the leader can inform all participants. You will likely be asked many questions about your e-assist bike as most of us wanting to continue riding in our scenic, challenging terrain area will be an e-assist cyclist one day.
A couple of years ago an early adopting e-bike riding Club member penned an article for the monthly Newsletter. He stressed knowing one's machine well, riding consistently, and respecting the group dynamics by not pushing the pace nor smoking people on every uphill. His advice is still valid today.