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The most common safety risks that we come across in our daily work around bicycle safety, technology and operating instructions are also published by us in articles in the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR (Europe's road bike magazine no. 1), BIKE (Europe's mountain bike magazine no. 1), MYBIKE and EMTB in order to make this information, which is important for the industry, available to a wider public.

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SAZbike 01/2016
Reading time 2:30 minutes

Selling e-mountain bikes – allowed or not?

Pedelecs need to be provided with a CE-marking before being sold. Prerequisite for this CE-marking is that the vehicles have a lighting equipment suitable for being used on road roads. Normally, e-mountain bikes are not equipped with the respective lighting. What consequences may this have?

A CE-marking is mandatory, when machines are put on the market. Therefore, it is mandatory for e-mountain bikes, as well. The requirements of the Machinery Directive must be fulfilled. In addition, e-mountain bikes need to have a lighting compliant to the German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) to be used in road traffic. Dirk Zedler of Zedler Institut is of the opinion that the compliance with German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations must be fulfilled at the moment of sale, as the temporary use on public roads is foreseeable, if not inevitable. For this reason an e-mountain bike must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, starting from the German StVZO over ISO to the Machinery Directive. Otherwise the conformity will expire.

"As a result thereof there will be no CE-marking without lighting and thus no selling. It may be possible to obtain an exemption in this regard, but I’m currently unaware of such an exemption,states Zedler. Ernst Brust of adds that strictly speaking an e-mountain bike without MOT approval must not be used on public roads. Which means that it may only be used on private ground or in the terrain, where the road traffic regulations are not in force.

Whereas an ECEI 13 compliant lighting is prescribed for e-mountain bikes with an assist up to 45 kmh, the lighting being already produced by some manufacturers, the situation for e-mountain bikes with an assist up to 25 kmh is still a little unclear. As a matter of fact only front lamps compliant with German StVZO including K-number are approved for mounting. "Even a glare-free front lamp with K-number were permitted." According to Gregor Arndt, COO of Supernova, you then don’t take advantage of the big e-bike-battery. Another point is that an StVZO compliant lighting alone does not make the e-mountain bike entirely StVZO compliant. Although there is currently no specific e-mountain bike lighting on the market, there are already interesting solutions of the lighting manufacturers on the market which provide smart integration of the lighting into the e-mountain bike concept.

There are for example Sigma lamps which can be connected via USB port offering the possibility of being charged and used at the same time. Bosch and Shimano system users, for example, can use a handlebar mount as well as a saddle mount offered by Busch & Mueller to mount a lamp. "We have a wide range of dynamo lights in all sorts of variants which can be connected to the battery. This is only a question of mounting – the e-mountain bike rider can decide whether he wants it permanently mounted or not", says Sebastian Goettling, Marketing and Sales Manager of Busch & Mueller. An ideal position, a solid front lamp housing and a protected cable routing are additional important preconditions. "After a fall no one should be forced to be left in the dark", mentions Arndt.

Author: Thomas Geisler

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