How do Land Managers account for real fire threats from Cheap eBike Batteries?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How do Land Managers account for real fire threats from Cheap eBike Batteries?

    This is not meant to start a flame war, this is an honest question and I am looking for positive discussion.

    In the wake of recent fires started by cheap ebike batteries (we are not talking about Turbo Levo's here), how should Land Managers approach this.

    Let us use the example of a California State or Regional Park where Class 1 Electric Bikes have been permitted on the Multi-use trail system. That way there is ZERO discussion about land access and "it has a motor".

    How does the land manager now determine if a pedal assist class 1 eBike is going to have a good solid battery that will not set fire to itself?

    I think we can all agree that if the fire in the first post of the thread linked below happened in a dry brush area a huge brush fire could be the result.

    Note: http://forums.mtbr.com/general-discu...e-1053671.html
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    They're not going to be making any determinations. And if and when it becomes a problem the path of least resistance is to ban all bikes, those with motors and bicycles included. Land managers are woefully underfunded, understaffed and many are not fully up to speed with emerging trends until long after the fact. The wheels of government roll slowly.
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    Really good question especially since AFAIK a fire could be precipitated by the battery receiving a hard bump, say in a collision or might even start with no apparent cause. I've never heard of a battery from a major manufacturer burning, but obviously this has happened with "no-name" brands. As many have stated, in some riding areas there is little or no policing, so somewhat of an enigma. If there was a sign outside the riding area that said any riders were responsible for the cost to extinguish any fires they started, I would ride only a name brand there. Don't know whether they can make the rider responsible for problems though.

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    Are they searching the pack of every hiker for "strike anywhere" matches, just in case they drop their pack?

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    I think all batteries present a potential risk, even Bosch, Yamaha, etc. Look what happen with some phones.

    A possibility could be a ban when the fire danger is high?

  6. #6
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    A good question that should have an ebike owner thinking about as well; maybe more so than a bureaucrat. That ebike on fire at the beach: thinking back to when I brought my Fiero GT out of 1 year storage and taking her down the road for a ride; I noticed smoke coming from the rear driver side tire. Pulled over to the side of the road and found the brake caliper had suffered some seized caliper pistons, turning the rotor a bright cherry red, igniting the grease filled Constant Velocity joint. What to do? Had no extinguisher with me and in a matter of seconds that fire started to take off. Visions of my plastic bodied sports car melting into a blob of plastic on the side of the road.

    So I got to tossing handfuls of dirt in the patches of grass by the side of that road until the grease fire was starved of oxygen. Lithium Ion is a bit more tricky, for that dirt could have had some moisture in it; not good when tossing onto a burning battery pack. But beach sand is relatively dry and it'd be worth a shot in containing that fire on the beach. That is what I personally would have done rather than letting my bike burn to the ground!

    This discussion had me thinking about the battery for my Yamaha powered Haibike Full FatSix, so I broke it out, expecting an Underwriters Laboratory sticker on the back side, or a CE designation. None. The battery charger is UL approved and also has a "BC" in a circle designation. No clue as to what that was, so I looked it up. Here is the info on what BC stands for: CEC BC Mark: Labeling and Marking Guide | ACS

    So the question remains: what does my high tech Yamaha battery have in regard for design and safety standards for this type of battery? Are there any standards written for batteries of this type? Are these standards a requirement of all ebike batteries, from the high end manufacturer's to the lower tier, no-name battery packs? Where does UL and BC and CE stand in setting Ebike battery design and safety parameters? How are those standards "policed"? A great thread starter question that now has me asking more questions about how Ebike batteries are regulated.

    And finally on another front; I wonder if some creative person is readying a Class D mini-fire extinguisher for deployment on an ebike; for sale and distribution. Wondering too, how much of a problem battery fires have been on ebikes.....what brands have been noted as being of questionable and reliable service.

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    Really simple as to what to expect. I deal with lithium cells daily.

    Until cheap batteries and corresponding electronics are banned (which they should have been a long time ago) the threat is going to continue.

    The problem isnt the batters themselves in lithium ion cases (18650s and the like, many different sizes, same chemistry) especially cells made by the brands. Panasonic, LG, Samsung and so on. The higher quality cells dont catch fire, they vent. Unless of course the metal housing of a cell is breached and water or metal gets inside.

    Cheap cells on the other hand will ignite fairly easily in comparison. Too long in the sun/heat exposure, slightly over charged, being shorted at all and they go up.

    But the biggest cause of fires is the chargers. Improper chargers overcharge the cells causing them to basically explode.

    Biggest problem is consumers. They believe they can buy this cheap garbage and it will be as good as anything else. I saw several cheap electric hybrids at the campground we stayed at last weekend. Not a single brand name ebike of any sort. And all of the owners had huge campers and so on.

    Cant blame people, they dont know any better. Shops sell them to people.

    I can see these creating access issues but at the same time it may finally force the government to ban those cheap and dangerous lithium powered products coming out of asia.

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    I know in the RC world, people tend to use fireproof bags to store and charge batteries, though they're somewhat limited as far as fully containing fire in the event of a failure. Lots of videos online of tests.

    I'd imagine with a little design, the e-bike batteries could be enclosed pretty well with a similar (but improved) containment system. I think it would have to be something that manufacturers are mandated to include by default rather than anything that users or LMs should have to deal with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Thi..

    In the wake of recent fires started by cheap ebike batteries (we are not talking about Turbo Levo's here), how should Land Managers approach this.
    How will they approach it. 1) Do nothing. All will be well unless there is a fire and it starts a forest fire. 2) After the outrage of fire all bikes are banned because it is easier then policing the type of bike.

    This not the right approach, but is probably what will happen.

    The right approach is more complicated and will be mine field of politics rather than facts. Remember cell phones can burst into flames and create a forest fire to. Thankfully most don't. However arguments can be made creating a real mess. There area ways to try to classify bikes by risk, but that is hard. No so much to class, but to enforce. There is no easy solution if you want to both allow e-bikes and prevent fires. The odds are low, but un like things like cell phones the volume of batteries makes the fires bigger and more destructive. The true solution is make better batteries, but that does not solve problems of today.
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  10. #10
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    The whole idea seems a stretch at best?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    The whole idea seems a stretch at best?



    That they catch fire or that land managers address the risk?
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    Simple answer: they don't.

    If bikes start causing fires then they'll just ban them all.

    Didn't they attribute one fire being caused by pedal strikes? Could use that as justification to revoke bike access and it was something they were considering.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

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    Wow, there is some serious grasping at straws going on here.

    It reminds me of the quote attributed to various people:

    First they ignore you
    Then they laugh at you
    Then they attack you
    Then you win


    This quote applies to the history of bicycles, cars, airplanes, helicopters, video games, personal computers, snowboards, cell phones....all of which went through all four of the phases.

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    Posted twice for some reason.

  15. #15
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    FYI - in case you did not read the link, this is what the eBike in question looked like at full blaze"

    How do Land Managers account for real fire threats from Cheap eBike Batteries?-ebike-fire.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'd imagine with a little design, the e-bike batteries could be enclosed pretty well with a similar (but improved) containment system. I think it would have to be something that manufacturers are mandated to include by default rather than anything that users or LMs should have to deal with.
    Or they can do what Boeing did, go back to Lead Acid batteries. They are far more durable and don't need the heavy containment and protection. We all know that won't happen...

    Li-ion cells, dry tinder, and a highly likelihood of abuse (heat, drops, punctures, etc) are a recipe for a fire. It is only a matter of when. At that point everyone will go into full reactionary mode and its a question of who gets banned: all bikes or just ebikes. I think MTBs are established and have a long history of fire safety so the ban will be limited to eMTBs. Like watering your lawn, we'll probably have a system for where you can ride your eMTB in CA based on fire risk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Like watering your lawn, we'll probably have a system for where you can ride your eMTB in CA based on fire risk.
    Brush Fires in SoCal (and anywhere with long dry seasons and lots of wild tinder) are no joke. Every year Lives are lost and millions in damages are the result of wildfires.
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  18. #18
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    After an uptick in firearm started wildfires the BLM imposed regional limits on target shooting (but not hunting) on lands they manage.

    Not a stretch to consider the same thing happening to e-bikes or even regular bikes (if there's another "pedal strike" fire)

    blm-central-coast-field-office-temporarily-limits-target-shooting-due-extreme-fire
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    Interesting for this East coaster. I realize there are some big fires in CA but never knew it was such an issue for outdoor rec. We will get a brush fire some times in the summer but not huge, 10-30 acres or so sometimes bigger.

  20. #20
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    They don't and couldn't.


    All they could do, and what is actually reasonable...

    is when a manufacturer issues an official product recall, then land managers
    could ban that specific make/model/version from the trails.

    ------------------------------------------------------
    as far as bad battery packs and the risk of fire, the legal mechanisms are already in place to initiate a recall. Once a recall exists, then it is very simple to deal with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    After an uptick in firearm started wildfires the BLM imposed regional limits on target shooting (but not hunting) on lands they manage.

    Not a stretch to consider the same thing happening to e-bikes or even regular bikes (if there's another "pedal strike" fire)

    blm-central-coast-field-office-temporarily-limits-target-shooting-due-extreme-fire
    Had a fire started on the USFS shooting range about a mile down the road from me.

    Guys were shooting tracer rounds (which usually have a burnout distance of 800-900m) at targets that 25m away, if that, with a berm/forest backstop 50m away.

    They then cut and ran once they realized what they had done was incredibly stupid, and a violation of the posted rules.

    It's almost like they make rules for good reasons, or something.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Brush Fires in SoCal (and anywhere with long dry seasons and lots of wild tinder) are no joke. Every year Lives are lost and millions in damages are the result of wildfires.
    as someone from NE, every time I visit CA (san fran, san jose, big sur quadrant) I am shocked that anyone is even allowed to live in those dry-ass vegetation hills. everything is bone dry all the time. I don't know how the place doesn't just ignite at random constantly

    (EDIT: yes it does ignite at random constantly)
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    To the OP's question. Land managers don't account for lipo fires at all since my guess would be they aren't aware of any potential danger, I've not heard of it even coming up in discussions.

    As has been stated, most of the danger is with cheap cells and while charging, although you can get them to short at any time. I haven't read of problems with any of the battery packs on OEM bikes, I'd assume they're using better batteries from reputable sources.

    It's really anything using these batteries, cheap chinese bike lights for example are also a risk.

    Search youtube for ebike fires and they're all cheapo batteries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Interesting for this East coaster. I realize there are some big fires in CA but never knew it was such an issue for outdoor rec. We will get a brush fire some times in the summer but not huge, 10-30 acres or so sometimes bigger.
    I'm a native of CT and spent a few years in NC. Now I'm living in SoCal. When I moved here it wasn't long after that the "Station Fire" happened. It was one of the biggest in CA history, burned for weeks and left the trails in ruins for years. Some trails are just now being re-opened 8 years later. After a fire like that you have to let the environment recover and there are huge safety risks: mudslides when it does rain, deadfall trees, landslides from no vegetation holding the land in place, and even Poodle Dog (poison ivy but 10x worse...it thrives post burn). Fires are no joke, even if they never come close to populated areas.

    The landscape where I ride is usually very dry and dusty. The ground is not the wet loamy stuff of CT. A fire here will spread fast and can be started with a pedal hitting a rock.

    An eMTB starting a fire is a very real risk. I have seen what happens when a Li battery gets abused (I also fly RC aircraft). A hot day, pushing the pack, and a crash can be all it takes to get that pack to turn from battery to volatile source of energy. They will get very hot very fast as they burn up. A properly made battery and designed eMTB would be relatively safe. However a cheap Chinese battery, modified system (to go faster), hot day, and aggressive riding can be enough for a pack to go into thermal overload and become a smoking mess. The rider will certainly get nasty burns and chances are a fire will start if they ditch the bike off trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    It's really anything using these batteries, cheap chinese bike lights for example are also a risk.
    Yes, though there are some differences. The main difference is lights are used at night when temps are much cooler in these fire prone areas. Here in SoCal it is common to have 90F+ days and 65F nights. That temperature difference has a big impact on lithium batteries. In some RC testing I did the packs ran much hotter under the same load when testing at 75F and 90F. Heat is the #1 enemy of these batteries (assuming you don't physically damage them).

    Will land managers and politicians get this, no. So maybe after the first eBike fire in the forest, lights will be banned to because they also use batteries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    A fire here will spread fast and can be started with a pedal hitting a rock.
    no, i do not believe that is true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    no, i do not believe that is true.
    With magnesium common in pedals it could very well be a possibility.

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    Anyway, back on topic.

    I have yet to see any suggestions as to how Landmanagers can allow safe eBikes on the trails (Turbo Levo, etc...) and keep off the cheap stuff?


    Forget speed conflicts, trail use or any other argument. If one eBike causes a forest fire I foresee blanket bans on ALL eBikes on the trails.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    With magnesium common in pedals it could very well be a possibility.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...Qbvdpn03G77BUA
    Marks on the rock and bits of metal indicated that a spark from a pedal strike ignited the cheatgrass.

    That is far from conclusive IMO..... also, the article pointed out that this would be a very uncommon way for a fire to start.
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  30. #30
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    Sounds like its already happened.
    https://www.bicycling.com/rides/envi...ldfire/slide/4

    There used to be a sustained downhill around here that required you to stop, open up a cattle gate, go through, and close it again, and finish your downhill run. The gate was at the bottom of a particularly steep and sustained section, so you were hard on your brakes all the way to the gate. One time, I laid my bike down and the smoking hot (crappy avid Juicy brakes and rotors) brakes got the grass I laid the bike down in to smoking. Luckily it didn't blaze, but it was damn close.

    Now unfortunately, I can't figure out a way to make this story come out in such a way as to portray ebikes as worse than regular bikes in this instance...but if anyone has any ideas, feel free to chime in. (Oh, I know! ABS ebrakes generate more heat than regular brakes! See, evil).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    That is far from conclusive IMO..... also, the article pointed out that this would be a very uncommon way for a fire to start.



    Stray sparks ignite wild fires all of the time, trailer chains, welding etc. Not as unlikely as you would believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Stray sparks ignite wild fires all of the time, trailer chains, welding etc. Not as unlikely as you would believe.
    It is not the stray sparks that I have trouble with. I have seen sparks from Trailer chains dragging on the road as well as welding sparks. I have hit my pedals on hundreds of rocks over the years and never had one spark..... I don't believe all pedals are made of magnesium... so for that to happy it really has to be the perfect combination of circumstances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I have hit my pedals on hundreds of rocks over the years and never had one spark..... so for that to happy it really has to be the perfect combination of circumstances.
    I have seen sparks at least 3 times on my rides in the last 10 months (since my friend and I started riding flats). I have video of at least one. We watched it frame by frame once because we didn't believe it was really sparks. It was a pretty big hit with aluminum pedals. I don't know if it was the aluminum or steel spikes that sparked, but something certainly did.

    We had a fire last year that was caused when a lawn trimmer hit a rock. Sparks ignited the brush he was clearing and burned a few hundred acres. You can still see the bare hillside when driving along the 210. The local FD was very active in educating people the dangers of a single spark last year. Sure its unlikely, but it can and does happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Anyway, back on topic.

    I have yet to see any suggestions as to how Landmanagers can allow safe eBikes on the trails (Turbo Levo, etc...) and keep off the cheap stuff?


    Forget speed conflicts, trail use or any other argument. If one eBike causes a forest fire I foresee blanket bans on ALL eBikes on the trails.
    They can't, and its probably why eMTBs would be banned in some places where fires are likely and containing them very difficult and costly. Want to ride there, bring your pedal bike, or just remove the battery and ride it man-powered (...you can do that, right?).
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    The hardened steel pins in flat pedals could cause a spark if it hit the right kind of minerals, think flint and steel, while magnesium burns, you'd also need a spark to set it alight, it wouldn't ignite because of friction.

    I have a friend who is a fire chief in a rural district here in colorado and he says that all his wildfire calls, and there's many, are caused by idiots with campfires, shooting, cigarettes and broken glass in that order.

    There's no practical way to keep kit bikes out and let OEM bikes in without someone there to check at a trailhead and we know that's not going to happen. The only restrictions I could see would be there could be a periodic no ebike ban, like a no fire ban when the danger is high and that would only happen if ebikes were proven to be a significant risk. Which I really doubt.

  36. #36
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    I doubt very highly the big boys are gonna stop production of their money makers over fire risk. You won't see the cheap shit on real mtb trails. The mentality of someone who buys that stuff I doubt will have the skill set to ride the trails, maybe bike paths. When's the last time you saw a Walmart bike on singletrack? Me, never where I ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutch View Post
    You won't see the cheap shit on real mtb trails. The mentality of someone who buys that stuff I doubt will have the skill set to ride the trails, maybe bike paths.
    Same people who buy cheap carbon bars or frames on Amazon. In th RC hobby we see people spend thousands on their aircraft only to use cheap batteries which they abuse.

    It makes no sense but they do it anyway.

  38. #38
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    I live in fire country and have seen my trails burned down before. They won't really do anything till they have statistics. I've been to all the we need to ban bike meetings. They always want statistics.

    The one fire the killed our trails for years was Started by XC guys trying to clean a trail with a Metal bladed weed whacker.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutch View Post
    When's the last time you saw a Walmart bike on singletrack?
    Almost weekly. My local riding area is very close to homes on all sides and highly accessed.
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    If cheapo Chinese e-bikes start catching fire then won't the Govt ban them like they did with those hoverboards or whatever they are called? Media will catch hold and fan the flames so to speak and I'm sure land managers will can all e-bikes as a result.

    Let's face things. Just like if pedals strikes start brush fires in regular occurrence they aren't going to just ban the offending pedal design but bikes entirely on trails. Some e-bikes catch fire then they'll ban them all. There's no fine grained distinction; they just ban indiscriminately. That's just how the govt works.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Almost weekly. My local riding area is very close to homes on all sides and highly accessed.
    Different areas, different results. Where I ride I very ever see Walmart crap. Just goes to show how hard everything will be to regulate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutch View Post
    Different areas, different results. Where I ride I very ever see Walmart crap. Just goes to show how hard everything will be to regulate.


    Not really hard, they'll take path of least resistance and ban all bikes including bicycles. That's how big government governs.
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    I don't believe so. Bicyclists where I live are very much accepted and bring in huge revenues to sorrounding establishments. We have a voice, it's not going to be that simple.
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    I say we make it mandatory to equip all e-bikes with a dry-chem dye packet, similar to the dye packs in ATM machines except with dry chemical fire suppressant included.

    So in the event of a battery fire, the packet goes off, covers the surrounding area in dry-chem and also covers the rider in dye so we can all identify who the idiot on the trail is later.

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    The response to the OP's question is simple: this is NOT an eBike issue. This is a lithium battery issue. So, for those who would simply provide a blanket ban on eBikes because one may catch fire, then you must ban cell phones, RC cars/drones, lights, computers, etc. But then, there are far more instances of a car's fuel catching fire, so now we have to ban everything that carries gasoline (cars, trucks, lawn mowers, tractors, etc.) Obviously, we have to ban matches. That goes without saying. But of course, the common thread with all of these things is humans. So now, we simply need to ban humans.

    This kind of nonsensical reasoning is dangerous. If we accept ridiculous and inconsistent reasoning in one case, we will accept it again in another case... and again... and again. We should always demand rational and compelling reasons for any restrictions to trail access.

    All that said, this is only hypothetical since there is no ban of eBikes based on a fire hazard. So let's just watch closely to see if regulating agencies do begin to talk about one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Not really hard, they'll take path of least resistance and ban all bikes including bicycles. That's how big government governs.
    While I completely disagree with most of your posts, on this I agree with you completely. Big government governs through the path of least resistance. That's exactly why I say that we should ALWAYS create maximum resistance for any potential restrictions of our access to public land. We need to make it clear that the path of least resistance is not by plowing through our rights to use public land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    The response to the OP's question is simple: this is NOT an eBike issue. This is a lithium battery issue. So, for those who would simply provide a blanket ban on eBikes because one may catch fire, then you must ban cell phones, RC cars/drones, lights, computers, etc. But then, there are far more instances of a car's fuel catching fire, so now we have to ban everything that carries gasoline (cars, trucks, lawn mowers, tractors, etc.) Obviously, we have to ban matches. That goes without saying. But of course, the common thread with all of these things is humans. So now, we simply need to ban humans.

    This kind of nonsensical reasoning is dangerous. If we accept ridiculous and inconsistent reasoning in one case, we will accept it again in another case... and again... and again. We should always demand rational and compelling reasons for any restrictions to trail access.

    All that said, this is only hypothetical since there is no ban of eBikes based on a fire hazard. So let's just watch closely to see if regulating agencies do begin to talk about one.
    Strange lack of continuity to your logic.

    Yes it is an lithium battery issue; what percentage of e-bikes use lithium batteries? So during fire season yes ban all e-bikes; better safe than sorry.

    Just like "cars, trucks, lawn mowers, tractors, etc." are presently banned from some areas during fire season. You don't think there's a "compelling reason"?

    And BTW during extreme fire danger some areas do ban humans; i.e. park closures.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Strange lack of continuity to your logic.

    Yes it is an lithium battery issue; what percentage of e-bikes use lithium batteries? So during fire season yes ban all e-bikes; better safe than sorry.

    Just like "cars, trucks, lawn mowers, tractors, etc." are presently banned from some areas during fire season. You don't think there's a "compelling reason"?

    And BTW during extreme fire danger some areas do ban humans; i.e. park closures.
    The consistency in my logic is that if you want to ban eBikes during certain times of the year, you must ban all devices using lithium batteries. This is not an eBike issue, it is a lithium battery issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    The consistency in my logic is that if you want to ban eBikes during certain times of the year, you must ban all devices using lithium batteries. This is not an eBike issue, it is a lithium battery issue.
    I don't think it is. I doubt we will ever see a Turbo Levo catch on fire. They are well made. It is the cheap crap that is un-regulated that seems to be the issue. Besides the disasters of the Note 7, very few phones have burst into flames.
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    What's interesting here is that the OP of this thread is a moderator. He sees fit to raise a controversial topic that is not even an issue with BLM or USFS. He simply looks to rehash an issue from another thread and create controversy where no controversy exists.

    On the other hand, I made a very relevant post where I intended to bring the same issue from several threads and focus them in one thread. In these other threads, I noted that the two major documents that suggest class 1 eBikes are treated as motorized vehicles in irrational, self-contradictory, and most importantly they do not have the weight of a regulation/law. But, this same moderator deemed that this issue was already hashed out and he closed the thread (despite the fact that it did not violate any of the rules of the forum).

    So I question the moderator's motives and objectivity here. I post something that is controversial, unresolved and very relevant but my thread gets closed. He posts issues that are irrelevant, incendiary and creates controversy where none actually exists and that's OK.

    Just as I argue that we should expect more from our government agencies, we should also expect more from our moderators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    He posts issues that are irrelevant, incendiary and creates controversy where none actually exists and that's OK.
    Thanks, I needed a laugh!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    I post something that is controversial, unresolved and very relevant but my thread gets closed. He posts issues that are irrelevant, incendiary and creates controversy where none actually exists and that's OK.

    Just as I argue that we should expect more from our government agencies, we should also expect more from our moderators.
    You posted a topic that has been beat to death and proven over and over again. You want to bring it back up, go re-read this entire section, understand how flame wars get started and then comment in one of those threads with a relevant discussion you can back up with cited posted proof.

    I posted a very relevant topic that was brought up in the General forum.

    Jim - Have you read every single post in every single thread of the eBike forum? I am going to guess that you have not. Please go back and familiarize yourself with all of these threads before making further assumptions.
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    Obviously, you are wrong. The point that I made has not been proven at all. I provided specific arguments as to why your "proof" is not proof at all. Just because you have been duped, doesn't make it proof.

    If a cop pulled you over and gave you a ticket for driving with a red shirt, would you just pay the ticket? No! That's because it's not illegal to drive with a red shirt just because a cop said it is. It must be supported by law. By the same token, class 1 eBikes are not banned just because a briefing paper says it is. And that's the point I have made.

    You referenced me back to a different thread to discuss this issue. But my point was not the topic of that thread. Having off topic conversations in a thread is inappropriate. That's why I started a new thread so as to not continue hijacking other threads.

    Bottom line here is you were wrong to close my thread. But you are too arrogant to admit that you have been duped by a couple of worthless documents. And the outcome here is you'll probably end up banning me because I called you out on your mistake.

    The irony is, I'm arguing in favor of the community your forum is supposed to serve, and you are not only arguing against against it, you are shutting down the discussion.

    Again, we should expect more from moderators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    Obviously, you are wrong.
    Want to take a vote on that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I don't think it is. I doubt we will ever see a Turbo Levo catch on fire. They are well made. It is the cheap crap that is un-regulated that seems to be the issue. Besides the disasters of the Note 7, very few phones have burst into flames.
    The note 7 was a spectacular failure from the world's largest cell phone manufacturer; so it serves as an example of an expensive device from a major well-known company is not immune to this kind of failure.

    The Levo is, after all, made in China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Want to take a vote on that?
    Right is determined by a critical analysis of evidence, not popular vote. If you want to dispute my points, dispute them on their merits rather than on groupthink mentality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    Obviously, you are wrong. The point that I made has not been proven at all. I provided specific arguments as to why your "proof" is not proof at all. Just because you have been duped, doesn't make it proof.

    If a cop pulled you over and gave you a ticket for driving with a red shirt, would you just pay the ticket? No! That's because it's not illegal to drive with a red shirt just because a cop said it is. It must be supported by law. By the same token, class 1 eBikes are not banned just because a briefing paper says it is. And that's the point I have made.

    You referenced me back to a different thread to discuss this issue. But my point was not the topic of that thread. Having off topic conversations in a thread is inappropriate. That's why I started a new thread so as to not continue hijacking other threads.

    Bottom line here is you were wrong to close my thread. But you are too arrogant to admit that you have been duped by a couple of worthless documents. And the outcome here is you'll probably end up banning me because I called you out on your mistake.

    The irony is, I'm arguing in favor of the community your forum is supposed to serve, and you are not only arguing against against it, you are shutting down the discussion.

    Again, we should expect more from moderators.
    Barking up the wrong tree here Mr Jim. Go to the beginning of the forum and read though the stickies. Really. Moderators got a tough job here. You could always go to a pro ebike forum and not deal with the opinions here on the mt bike forum? Just saying. Ranting against the big/ unfair hand of the Government? Good luck with that. Most public land areas have very specific rules on what is allowed and not allowed. Varies from state, federal, county, local jurisdictions. When a post gets shut down, not good to try to start up said post in different post, fyi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I don't think it is. I doubt we will ever see a Turbo Levo catch on fire. They are well made. It is the cheap crap that is un-regulated that seems to be the issue. Besides the disasters of the Note 7, very few phones have burst into flames.
    You have a knack for the irrelevant.

    Even the turbo levo had removable batteries. Nothing prevents a user from buying cheap batteries as a replacement our spares for this bike as with every other device that uses lithium batteries. As I said before, this is a lithium battery issue, not an eBike issue. Posing it as an eBike issue distorts the facts and brings unnecessary controversy to eBikes. Again, this is a disservice to the users that this forum is supposed to support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    You have a knack for the irrelevant.

    Even the turbo levo had removable batteries. Nothing prevents a user from buying cheap batteries as a replacement our spares for this bike as with every other device that uses lithium batteries. As I said before, this is a lithium battery issue, not an eBike issue. Posing it as an eBike issue distorts the facts and brings unnecessary controversy to eBikes. Again, this is a disservice to the users that this forum is supposed to support.
    OK, so its a lithium battery issue. Just ride without the battery, problem solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Barking up the wrong tree here Mr Jim. Go to the beginning of the forum and read though the stickies. Really. Moderators got a tough job here. You could always go to a pro ebike forum and not deal with the opinions here on the mt bike forum? Just saying. Ranting against the big/ unfair hand of the Government? Good luck with that. Most public land areas have very specific rules on what is allowed and not allowed. Varies from state, federal, county, local jurisdictions. When a post gets shut down, not good to try to start up said post in different post, fyi.
    First, this is an eBike forum.

    Second, moderators having a tough time doesn't excuse them from being wrong about shutting down discussion simply because they may disagree with a person who supports the eBike community.

    Third, you apparently haven't read my posts. My point is not so much about big unfair government. For government to be unfair would imply that they had enacted a law/regulation that I disagreed with. My point is that no law/regulation exists (at least that I have seen). My posts are about those who would act outside their authority and those who would passively watch then as they would do it. And my posts recognize that we only hurt ourselves when we blindly accept anything that is printed in a briefing memo and treat it as if it were law.

    Laws/regulations have a rigorous process to go through before the public may be held accountable to their standards. Any knucklehead government employee can write a briefing memo. Why would we endorse dumbing down our legislative process to one guy who was putting together a power point presentation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    OK, so its a lithium battery issue. Just ride without the battery, problem solved.
    You are only being obtuse.

    But I could accept your ridiculous point if we agreed to use our phones, lights, hybrid cars, computers, etc without their batteries as well.

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    Rules set concerning public lands are just that, rules. They are not set in a vacuum, there is a process, public meetings and comments being a part of that process. Please stop muddying the waters with your inane, off topic rants about the government and its unfair laws.
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    OK, ebike forum, agreed. However, not a pro ebike forum. CA rider, correct ? I would suggest you actually read the rules of your state, lots of info here on that subject. And get back to us, in a correct forum post. I'm all for coherent discussion of facts, and even debating positions. In general ( not you specifically) rants, un truths and distorted facts will get posts shut down quickly, in whatever forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    You are only being obtuse.

    But I could accept your ridiculous point if we agreed to use our phones, lights, hybrid cars, computers, etc without their batteries as well.
    Not entirely. My bike doesn't have a battery. So there's that. Hmmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    Right is determined by a critical analysis of evidence, not popular vote. If you want to dispute my points, dispute them on their merits rather than on groupthink mentality.
    ok, fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    Obviously, you are wrong.
    That is your opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post

    The point that I made has not been proven at all.
    I will agree with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    I provided specific arguments as to why your "proof" is not proof at all. Just because you have been duped, doesn't make it proof.
    You have not provided arguments with any validity. As has been mentioned by the moderator, it is doubtful to be an issue with a Turbo Levo or other decent brand. But this type of technology may well attract the discount Chinese manufactures that produced hover boards that caused fire issues. This has not occurred so it may or may not be a concern. My own guess would be that if there are reports of ebikes catching on fire, there more than likely would just be a ban on ebikes rather than bicycles. But I doubt they would only ban certain manufacturers and not put in place a blanket bike ban. The airlines banned the Note 7s. If enough various brands started causing fires on planes, there would be a larger ban, even to the point of banning all cell phones if it was deemed that much of a hazard. Are cheap ebikes causing fires an issue now? No. Will they be in the future? Maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post

    If a cop pulled you over and gave you a ticket for driving with a red shirt, would you just pay the ticket? No! That's because it's not illegal to drive with a red shirt just because a cop said it is. It must be supported by law. By the same token, class 1 eBikes are not banned just because a briefing paper says it is. And that's the point I have made.
    I'm sure you will deny it but, whether or not you want to admit it, a bike is a vehicle and if it is propelled by a motor it is a motorized vehicle (I'm still shocked that anyone would argue that). So if motorized vehicles are not allowed, unless there is a law or regulation that makes an exception for motorized vehicles that are under X amount of wattage and/or X top speed and require the motor to be actuated via pedaling, they are not allowed. Driving with a red shirt has no parallels to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    That's exactly why I say that we should ALWAYS create maximum resistance for any potential restrictions of our access to public land. We need to make it clear that the path of least resistance is not by plowing through our rights to use public land.
    Have you not seen what people do? I sent photos from my NPS managed park to a ranger a couple or weeks ago showing where someone had spray painted trees and rocks on a trail. He has told me some of the crazy things they find in the woods, voodoo alters etc. Look at what the Gobblin Topplers did, or that "artist" who was painting really bad murals on cliff sides, etc. in National Parks. These examples were all done despite regulation, and now you want to just give free reign to people to do whatever they want?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    the two major documents that suggest class 1 eBikes are treated as motorized vehicles in irrational, self-contradictory, and most importantly they do not have the weight of a regulation/law.
    I'm confused. Are you saying

    a) that CFR is not (literally) the law of the land?

    b) that the cited CFR sections (and the BLM and USFS memos) do not explicitly call out ebikes as motorized vehicles?

    c) that the CFR does say that they are banned, but for some reason that is not enforceable?

    d) something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Rules set concerning public lands are just that, rules. They are not set in a vacuum, there is a process, public meetings and comments being a part of that process. Please stop muddying the waters with your inane, off topic rants about the government and its unfair laws.
    You may not realize it, but you are making my point for me. There is an extensive process that must be followed when setting rules that affect our access to public land. But everything I have seen indicates that this process has not been followed. This process has been skipped and replaced with a briefing paper. That's the whole point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunderland56 View Post
    I'm confused. Are you saying

    a) that CFR is not (literally) the law of the land?

    b) that the cited CFR sections (and the BLM and USFS memos) do not explicitly call out ebikes as motorized vehicles?

    c) that the CFR does say that they are banned, but for some reason that is not enforceable?

    d) something else?
    B is the closest answer, but not exactly right.

    I am saying that the section of the CFR that was cited does not define what a motorized vehicle is. Rather, it defines what an off-road vehicle is. And it defines it as a motorized vehicle that.... So, in short, the briefing paper that used this section of the CFR would say that a motorized vehicle is defined as a motorized vehicle. The section of the CFR used is simply not applicable to defining what a motorized vehicle is.

    The USFS paper references the Travel Management Rules which defines a motor vehicle as being self propelled. Clearly, while a class 3 eBike would fit this description, this does not describe a class 1 eBike.

    So, while there are a couple papers that exist which makes a conclusion based on existing laws and rules, those conclusions are not supported by the language of the law/rules that they reference. And the paper cannot carry the weight of law or regulation on its own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    B is the closest answer, but not exactly right.

    I am saying that the section of the CFR that was cited does not define what a motorized vehicle is. Rather, it defines what an off-road vehicle is. And it defines it as a motorized vehicle that.... So, in short, the briefing paper that used this section of the CFR would say that a motorized vehicle is defined as a motorized vehicle. The section of the CFR used is simply not applicable to defining what a motorized vehicle is.

    The USFS paper references the Travel Management Rules which defines a motor vehicle as being self propelled. Clearly, while a class 3 eBike would fit this description, this does not describe a class 1 eBike.

    So, while there are a couple papers that exist which makes a conclusion based on existing laws and rules, those conclusions are not supported by the language of the law/rules that they reference. And the paper cannot carry the weight of law or regulation on its own.
    Ok, we have been though all of this before. As mentioned, please go back and read through the existing ebike threads.

    You're either a lawyer (though I'm thinking not) or the reason why we have to have so many lawyers.
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    See BLM Information Bulletin 2015-060.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ok, we have been though all of this before. As mentioned, please go back and read through the existing ebike threads.
    I am going to Quote this and leave it at that. Steer this discussion back to the eBikes Catching fire and how to regulate eBikes based on that topic, or stop posting in this thread.
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    To the original question. Maybe ban certain models or have to get a registration. Doubt it thought.

    I mean the state of CA lets me ride a Fire Spitting 2 Stroke race gas bike in fire season. Only because it's old.

    What kind of logic is that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunderland56 View Post
    The note 7 was a spectacular failure from the world's largest cell phone manufacturer; so it serves as an example of an expensive device from a major well-known company is not immune to this kind of failure.

    The Levo is, after all, made in China.
    good point. Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    You have a knack for the irrelevant.

    Even the turbo levo had removable batteries. Nothing prevents a user from buying cheap batteries as a replacement our spares for this bike as with every other device that uses lithium batteries. As I said before, this is a lithium battery issue, not an eBike issue. Posing it as an eBike issue distorts the facts and brings unnecessary controversy to eBikes. Again, this is a disservice to the users that this forum is supposed to support.

    It is an eBike issue because eBikes use lithium batteries.... pedal bikes do not use them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by #1ORBUST View Post
    To the original question. Maybe ban certain models or have to get a registration. Doubt it thought.

    I mean the state of CA lets me ride a Fire Spitting 2 Stroke race gas bike in fire season. Only because it's old.

    What kind of logic is that?
    very bad logic...
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    So it does seem the legitimate ebikers might have a concern that if ebikes do start to grow in popularity and become the next big fad, these cheap ebikes might end up where every kid gets one under the Christmas tree. Then if they do light up, I would hope land managers would not blanket ban all bikes, but pretty sure they would ban all ebikes, cheap exploding ones and expensive quality ones.

    The high prices of legitimate ebikes will more or less stay somewhat high and keep the numbers down but if "ebike shaped objects" start rolling in, even if they aren't exploding, I think they are the ones that would really cause problems for us all.
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    If I were an e-bike advocate, I'd be working on figuring out how to prevent fires and problems, not carping about USFS memos. But that's just me. If you want to keep up that sort of argument, it's a great way to make neutral folks into enemies, though.

    I sort of like the fire extinguisher/dye requirement idea. You'd be killing 2 birds with one stone - perhaps preventing fires (or at least some fires) and also helping make sure the idiot who started the fire can be caught/prosecuted.

    Realistically, though, what happens when people shooting up some random piece of USFS land start a fire? Yeah, they ban shooting (or motos, or camping, or whatever way stupid people are starting fires) and that's that.

    Side question: if people start dongling/modifying the software on their bikes (or, I guess, they already do...), will we see batteries/motors/controllers pushed beyond what they should be doing to the point that fires are more likely? I'd *guess* that bikes from the bigger companies will tend to be fine, but we've already seen that nobody likes to leave the stock stuff alone (or they're buying something cheap from China in the first place).

    -W

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    If I were an e-bike advocate, I'd be working on figuring out how to prevent fires and problems, not carping about USFS memos. But that's just me. If you want to keep up that sort of argument, it's a great way to make neutral folks into enemies, though.
    100%

    I can't figure out if it's a California thing or what but man, there are some seriously annoying folks playing the e-bike game.
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  78. #78
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    If, say, a Levo started a forest fire and there were significant costs/damage involved (structures, firefighting efforts, etc) could Specialized be held responsible? I sort of assume they could/would be, but I'm not sure how the law works on that sort of thing.

    I assume Samsung recalled their Galaxies for that exact reason - they'd be on the hook for a ton of potential damages if one of their phones killed someone or destroyed some expensive property, even indirectly.

    -W

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    If, say, a Levo started a forest fire and there were significant costs/damage involved (structures, firefighting efforts, etc) could Specialized be held responsible? I sort of assume they could/would be, but I'm not sure how the law works on that sort of thing.

    I assume Samsung recalled their Galaxies for that exact reason - they'd be on the hook for a ton of potential damages if one of their phones killed someone or destroyed some expensive property, even indirectly.

    -W
    I think it would depend what happened. The issue with the Samsung batteries is that they started to burn for no reason the user could control and in large numbers. Prior to this big recall the odd phone battery caught fire, but numbers were low and people were doing things that caused the problems [bending phone, using generic chargers, etc..].

    If Levo after Levo caught fire for no obvious reason Spesh would have a problem. If on the other hand 1 Levo caught fire [even if it was a big expensive fire] due to user issues...perhaps a crash that damaged the battery, some aftermarket mod to the speed controller, etc... I don't think anyone could come back at Spesh.
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  80. #80
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  81. #81
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    Not exactly a fire story but it relates in regards to the quality control of import battery packs.

    I was out doing some trail work and hauling stuff in a BOB trailer; because of this I was carrying a spare battery and was using it up first. About 1/2 into my ride the e-bike stopped cold; I checked the wiring connections, controller etc and all seemed fine. I assumed a blown fuse but I really wasn't pulling very much power at the time; rather than deal with the fuse (which is in the battery pack) I hooked up the main battery and away I went.

    When I got back to my shop I separated the the battery from its mount so I could get to the fuse. I pulled the fuse (30A) but it was OK. Put it back in and checked the pins and had voltage (hadn't checked for voltage before as it was obvious the was none so I thought) Now that's really weird so I pulled the fuse again and checked for voltage at the fuse socket---zero! But still power at the output pins???

    Time to pull the battery pack apart because something ain't right. Well guess what; the fuse holder wasn't wired into the circuit; never had been---WTF! All this time I'd been running this battery with effectively no fuse at all. Yeah the fuse that will protect me in case of a short that could start a fire.

    Fuse holder, bulkhead, fuse:

    How do Land Managers account for real fire threats from Cheap eBike Batteries?-wp_20170909_056.jpg

    Look Mah; no wires!

    How do Land Managers account for real fire threats from Cheap eBike Batteries?-wp_20170909_054.jpg

    So the real problem was a wire un-soldered itself in the part the battery pack plugs into:

    How do Land Managers account for real fire threats from Cheap eBike Batteries?-wp_20170909_060.jpg

    So 2 hidden faults in the same unit; fairly benign but just as easily could have contributed to a battery fire in the right circumstances.

    FWIW this pack came from Luna and was advertised as having "the best" Panasonic cells. I just noticed they no longer carry this model so maybe they've had other similar problems?
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  82. #82
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    That fuse was just there for show? WTH

  83. #83
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    I can't see eBike forest fires being very common.

    I reckon that most of the people who buy these cheap conversion kits are fairly casual riders who ride mostly around town or tame trails. The guys heading into the trees are more likely to be more serous about their gear and have decent eBikes, with decent batteries and safety features. So it's not a question of how many dodgy batteries are out there but how many are likely to end up in the trees.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I can't see eBike forest fires being very common.

    I reckon that most of the people who buy these cheap conversion kits are fairly casual riders who ride mostly around town or tame trails. The guys heading into the trees are more likely to be more serous about their gear and have decent eBikes, with decent batteries and safety features. So it's not a question of how many dodgy batteries are out there but how many are likely to end up in the trees.
    You have rainy season for 11 months? CA and that whole area in general sometimes get almost no rain for 4-6 months. Tinder dry, lots of fuel, scrub brush and dry grasses. Huge fires all summer are a really big issues. People being burned out of their homes. Giant. like 5-50,000 acre fire happen all the time. It just takes one. FYI.

  85. #85
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    It's not all that uncommon for me to see someone on a Walmart bike on the trail, though I think it is rare to see them more than once. So Walmart level ebikes/conversions would probably not be that uncommon either.
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Huge fires all summer are a really big issues. People being burned out of their homes. Giant. like 5-50,000 acre fire happen all the time. It just takes one. FYI.
    Ok, I see you point. Ban them all! :0)

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    That fuse was just there for show? WTH
    I opened a trouble ticket at Luna; I also posted the report to Luna's in-house forum Knowledge Base and got this reply:

    "That model was discontinued because it did not meet our quality standards.
    The fuses should never have been there in the first place since the BMS itself acts as a fuse and shuts down the pack if necessary.

    It was one of those things where the assembler in China added it as a nonfunctional "feature" with the intent of getting us to pay more to have it wired in when restocking.


    (Please note knowledgebase section of the form is meant for documentation, this post will be moved out of KB)"


    FWIW I have not yet gotten a response from Luna about the trouble ticket.

    I'll keep buying from Luna; but more than ever it's "buyer beware".
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  88. #88
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    They need to regulate the batteries like all other electronic devices we use. How many fires are caused by cars blowing up? How many fires are caused by dirt bikes, literally none. Most fires are caused by people leaving campfires unattended, arson, or natural causes such as lightning.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by outlaws View Post
    They need to regulate the batteries like all other electronic devices we use.
    Agree. Ban them from the forest!

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by outlaws View Post
    They need to regulate the batteries like all other electronic devices we use. How many fires are caused by cars blowing up? How many fires are caused by dirt bikes, literally none. Most fires are caused by people leaving campfires unattended, arson, or natural causes such as lightning.
    Never seen a car fire? Happens all the time. They usually get to it before the pavement catches fire though. Ever seen magnesium rims burn? They need foam to put that stuff out. Dirt bikes and atv's. Why are they equipped with spark arresters? Going to be a huge issue? Likely not. But should still be addressed. I'm thinking a large canister with multiple fire foam ports, sort of like what you see at the gas station. Make good use of those internal hose routing options......

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