London police crack down on rogue e-bike traders

Police in London are cracking down on retailers who sell de-restricted e-bikes or speed tuning kits.

Should the speed limits on e-bikes be increased?

London police and officers from the UK Trading Standards Institute (UKTSI) are preparing to crackdown on e-bike retailers who sell bikes to customers with de-restricted speed or speed tuning kits, which they say is potentially dangerous.

According to industry site Bike Europe, an unnamed e-bike dealer in the capital claims that the authorities told him that while e-bikes and speed tuning kits are safe in themselves, "combining the two items constitutes a new product. If the new product does not fall into any exemption class (for example, EPAC [the European standard for Electronically Power Assisted Cycles]), and has not been tested, it is assumed to be unsafe – irrespective of whether the bikes are used off or on road."

The speed tuning kits are widely available in the UK and abroad, and are often advertised as being suitable for off-road or private road use only.

The dealer added: "The promotion and sale of this untested type of e-bike puts huge pressure on other retailers to follow suit. If manufacturers and distributors allow this trend to continue unchecked, the market for compliant e-bikes will shrink as the public shun products built to legal speeds and choose modified models with no speed restrictions instead."

Similar checks are also being carried out in Germany and other European countries.

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