Outdoor Magazine says the new 28-mph Specialized Turbo pedal-assist bicycle is NOT illegal!
Note the words, “pedal-assist.”
Here’s the legal dodge: “This weekend, the Turbo goes on sale at Specialized dealers in the U.S. How’s that possible? No, they didn’t slow the bike down. They just took a closer look at the law, which states that e-bikes must have a motor of less than 750 watts and an unassisted speed of less than 20 mph. Because the Turbo is an electric pedal-assist bike, meaning you have to pedal to get any kick from the motor, the speed limit doesn’t apply. In fact, the only reason it tops out at 28 mph is to comply with European laws, which restrict e-bikes to 45 kph. Specialized installed a governor on the Turbo that automatically turns the motor off when it reaches this speed.”
Of course, the Turbo is exceeding one legal limit for most cyclists. ‘Cause you have to rob a bank to afford one: It has a $6,000 price tag.
But wait, there’s other pedal-assist companies. Stromer for example is coming out with a new pedal-assist bicycle that will also hit 28 mph. But the Swiss bike company is putting a sticker on the $3,500 bike saying it is only for off-road use, the Veggie Biker was told by Mike Wachler, at the Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, TX.
Mike had Crash Clifford orient the Veggie Biker to the current Stromer pedal-assist and I took a few spins around the parking lot and down the street. It has four settings depending upon your impatience and how far you are going. It was so much more fun than my throttle-controlled Hebb electric bike.
Veggie Biking recommends you rent a bike you want to buy for a day’s ride. There is a huge difference in these bikes. And you have to expect to pay for what you really want.