They are as big as matchboxes and make e-bikes twice as fast with a few simple operations: clip-on tuning kits, i.e. components designed to manipulate the limited speed of electric bikes. Although e-bike tuning for road traffic is illegal and dangerous, the demand for auxiliary devices pushing the speed is obviously high.
The dangerous thing about tuning is above all the fact that components, such as handlebars, frames or seat posts suffer from “fatigue” and are therefore liable to break suddenly, says Dirk Zedler, Managing Director of Zedler-Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit. This can happen on a normal trip, with no special reason and without notice.” According to Zedler, knocked-out teeth, paraplegia and death are possible consequences.
However, manufacturers of e-bike drives have found a way to put a technical stop to the dangerous business with the manipulated boneshaker bikes: “We offer the possibility of connecting a second sensor via our CAN bus, i.e. the interface for data exchange, which allows the detection of excessive speeds”, explains Horst Schuster, Sales Manager of drive manufacturer Brose. The competitor Haibike also uses a sensor which, according to their own statements, makes manipulations by plug-on dongles impossible.
The Stuttgart company Bosch has integrated a recognition software in recent models. However, online dealers are already offering a new tuning kit that could at least bypass the protective mechanism of Bosch.
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Author: Taylan Gökalp, dpa