Parts replacement on e-bikes must fulfil particular requirements
Both the replacement of wearing parts as well as individual adjustments on bicycles have long been a matter of course. In the case of e-bikes it is necessary to have a closer look. Certain components may not be replaced just like that. One reason for the fact that e-bikes with motor assistance of up to 25 kmh (15.5 mph) must comply with the requirements of the CE conformity needed EU-wide. This certificate ensures consumers that the product complies with the legal requirements. If parts are replaced or newly installed that may impair durability or change the riding behaviour, this can lead to an expiration of CE conformity and the loss of warranty of the manufacturer. In addition, speed pedelecs with a motor assistance of up to 45 kmh (28 mph) (45/28 e-bikes / speed pedelecs) require particular attention. They are considered motor vehicles and therefore subject to particularly strict regulations. As is the case with motorcycles or motorcars, the law provides specific regulations.
To be on the safe side with this complex topic, leading institutes and associations have compiled their expertise in a “Work group parts replacement on e-bikes and speed pedelecs”. In two tables for 25/15.5 e-bikes (EPAC/EAPC) and the speed class of 45/28 e-bikes (speed pedelecs) the parts replacement is treated in different categories. The key points:
- Parts that may only be replaced after the vehicle manufacturer / system provider has given approval. Examples: Motor, operating unit on the handlebar, rechargeable battery, etc.
- Parts that may only be replaced after the vehicle manufacturer has given approval. Examples: Brake system, rigid or suspension fork, etc.
- Parts that may be replaced after the vehicle or parts manufacturer has given approval. Examples: Tyres, brake pads, handlebar-stem-unit, front lamp, etc.
- Parts that do not require specific approval. Examples: Pedals, rear light, kickstand, bell, etc.
- Accessories with specific notes for mounting. Examples: Child seat, trailer, additional pannier rack, etc.
Unlike 25/15.5 e-bikes, speed pedelecs with motor assistance up to max. 45 kmh (28 mph) are considered motor vehicles. They are either subject to the EU Directive 2002/24/EC or the EU Regulation No. 168/2013. As with other motor vehicles, strict rules apply in this case.
In detail, the list includes the following categories and/or topics:
- Parts that may be replaced upon presentation of a valid test report (parts approval ABE, EC, ECE) or part certificate). Examples: Brake system, handlebar-stem-unit, front lamp, rear mirror, horn, pedals
- Parts that may be replaced in consideration of particular conditions. Examples: Tyres, saddle, chain/toothed belt
- Notes on mounting accessories. Additional battery-operated front lamp or bar ends, child trailers and trailers without respective connection certificate are for example not permissible.
Parts that are not included in the list must only be replaced by original spare parts of the vehicle and/or the parts manufacturer. Furthermore, the information given in the manufacturer documents has to be checked prior to working on the vehicles.
Quotations underlining the purpose of the guidelines
According to the participating institutes and associations, “The present guidelines for the parts replacement on e-bikes are to primarily provide clear orientation for the workshops, but also for consumers and to inform and/or sensitise on a broad basis in the interest of the safety of all parties involved.” In many cases, it is not clear what one should pay attention to when replacing and what can be done without problem. The specifications of the manufacturers and the statutory regulations are about ensuring safety in long-term use. “The permanent loads acting on e-bikes are often much higher than that on bicycles. Approved parts are tested and released accordingly.”
Fast 45/28 e-bikes / speed pedelecs with a motor assistance of up to 45 kmh (28 mph) considered motor vehicles therefore require particular attention.
Cooperating institutes and associations:
The following institutes and associations are involved in the work group parts replacement on e-bikes and EPACs/EAPCs: The umbrella organization for German industry guilds BIV, TUEV Rhineland, velotech.de, the German service and bicycle association VSF, Zedler-Institut, German bicycle association ZIV.
Author: Press release ZIV