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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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New guidelines on parts replacement

When it is about changing parts on e-bikes, workshops often falter: What may be changed? When is the manufacturer’s approval needed?

Since 2015 already, the cycle industry has been dealing intensively with the topic and published recommendations for use in 2018. Now, time had come for an update. Leading institutes and associations have adapted the recommendations in a working group to provide orientation and safety for bicycle workshops as well as for consumers. The work group parts replacement on e-bikes and EPACs/EAPCs consists of the umbrella organization for German industry guilds BIV, TUEV Rhineland, the test institute, the German service and bicycle association VSF, Zedler-Institut as well as the German bicycle association ZIV.

The new recommendations are intended to provide orientation and safety for bicycle workshops and consumers.

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 are therefore subject to particularly strict regulations. As is the case with motorcycles or motorcars, the law provides specific regulations.

The following points must be kept in mind when replacing parts on e-bikes and speed pedelecs:

25/15.5 e-bike (EPAC/EAPC)

  • 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.

45/28 e-bike (fast speed pedelecs)

Unlike 25/15.5 e-bikes, fast e-bikes 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 parts manufacturer. Furthermore, the information given in the manufacturer documents has to be checked prior to working on the vehicles.

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.


Guidelines parts replacement 25/15.5 e-bike
Guidelines parts replacement 45/28 e-bike
Risks of e-bike tuning
Risks of retrofitting e-bikes

Author: Daniel Hrkac
Photo: velobiz

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