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The dangers of unclamping on an electric bike

Many users want to boost the performance of their VAE without necessarily being aware of the repercussions of this type of modification.

Anything to increase the power of an e-bike is legally illegal.

The idea may indeed seem attractive and affordable, but it has the effect of premature deterioration of your bike as well as a tenfold risk of accident and fall . We have therefore written this article in order to alert consumers to this practice.


1. Legal/legal aspect

It is impossible to detect if an e-bike is jailbroken except by testing it. On the other hand, in the event of an accident resulting in bodily injury and/or material damage, the bicycle will be handed over to an expert who will detect the fraud.

If legal proceedings are initiated as a result of this accident, the unlocking of the VAE may turn against you. Moreover, if you have taken out insurance for your VAE, it becomes null and void when the latter is unbridled.


2. Premature wear

Electrically assisted bicycles fall into the cycles category when they meet the following technical criteria:

  • The motor no longer provides assistance as soon as the speed exceeds 25 km/h
  • Motor power must be less than 250 watts

As with thermal vehicles, it is possible to increase these limits on an e-bike by modifying the engine parameters or by obtaining an unclamping kit . But be careful because this practice is illegal and the user is exposed to legal risks!

The unclamping of a VAE amounts to transforming it into an unapproved moped and therefore leads to legal sanctions which we will explain later.

But the heart of the problem with this practice is the endangerment of the user. Indeed, the safety elements of the bike (brakes, suspensions, etc.) are not made to withstand greater stresses and will therefore be ineffective.

It is essential to adapt the bike's equipment to the speed . The faster the bike goes, the more it will be reinforced in strategic places (wheels, fork, brakes, chain). If this is not the case, you will risk falling and damaging your bike.


3. Beware of resale!

If you are on the buying side , know that it is possible to know if the bike you want has been unlocked. Just have it appraised in an authorized store. This will cost you a few tens of euros but will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises...

For sellers , know that the unclamping is registered in the motherboard of the bike. The dealer/store has access to the entire history of the bike (speed, battery cycles, temperature, etc.). The Bosch system, for example, allows this type of expertise.

4. Cancellation of the guarantee

Of course, any unbridled vehicle is no longer under warranty. Unclamping is a modification prohibited by the manufacturer , which therefore leads to the cancellation of the warranty by the manufacturer and the retailer.

In the event of engine failure, overheating of the battery or breakage of an element on your bike, all repair costs will be at your expense. As a reminder, unclamping primarily alters the motor and the battery , which are the two most expensive elements on a VAE.


5. The risks involved

For a user:

Failure to comply with the published regulations for pedelecs entails the following penalties :

  • A fine of €750 for not declaring an unrestricted pedelec (unclamping transforms the pedelec into an unapproved motor vehicle, which must then be declared to the Ministry of the Interior to be registered and insured).
  • A fine of €7,500 for not registering the vehicle
  • A fine of 1500€ for not presenting the insurance

For a reseller:

The sale or rental of an unapproved moped entails :

  • Six months' imprisonment and a €7,500 fine for non-professionals
  • Two years' imprisonment and a fine of €30,000 for professionals

You are now alerted and informed about the dangers of jailbreaking, which exposes you to heavy penalties. The regulations set pedaling assistance up to 25 km/h.

If you want to move to a higher category, there are speed bikes, which can go up to 45 km/h . They are authorized but fall within the regulations of a moped and therefore of all the obligations that go with it: registration, helmet, gloves, insurance, respect for the highway code...

If you buy a second-hand bike, have it appraised by an authorized shop to have peace of mind. Moreover, it is totally illegal for a dealer to sell you an unbridled e-bike. This practice exposes him to serious legal proceedings.


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