Cool! A new way to kill yourself!
Reader Michael recently sent me a link to a rather spectacular e-bike, a high performance, low production European model capable of 40+ MPH. This e-bike by Trifecta boasts 4,000 watts, an 85-pound weight despite plenty of aluminum and carbon fiber (it’s mainly the battery), a 14-speed automatic transmission, and a price tag starting at $25,000 smackers. Yep, you read that right. Many one-off e-bikes have been built with even more power and even higher top speeds, but the Trifecta differs in that it’s no one-trick pony. Seeing this Lamborgini on two wheels prompted some thought, which in my case is always an invitation to mental chaos.
Federal law here defines e-bikes as common bicycles, as long as they have electric motors no bigger than 750 watts and top speeds of no more than 20 MPH on flat ground. And Federal law trumps all state and local laws. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at laws and ordinances that have been passed in some jurisdictions.
My Evelo Aurora helps me get up those long grades. My only potential lethality with it is pedaling hard enough to give myself a heart attack.
Look at New York, for example. New York State has banned all e-bikes, period. In that state, their motors disqualify them as bicycles, and because there is no provision to register them as motor vehicles, they are legally Read more…