Safety during the exchange of e-bike parts – information from the bicycle industry and the ZIV

What are bicycle repair shops allowed to change on (speed) e-bikes and for which components and accessories do they need approval from manufacturers or system providers?

The ZIV has been working with leading institutes and associations for many years now and also drawing on its extensive expertise to develop recommendations and publish guidelines. «With these guidelines on the exchange of e-bike parts, we primarily wish to provide clear guidelines for both bike repair shops and consumers, and to inform and raise awareness across the board for the safety of all involved parties,» say the participating institutes and associations.
High demands of replacement parts
A close look must be taken when replacing parts on and making individual adjustments to e-bikes. This is because certain components cannot simply be exchanged. «In many cases, it isn’t clear exactly what you should be sure to pay attention to when exchanging parts and what can simply be changed,» says Tim Salatzki, Head of Technology & Standardisation at the ZIV. «However, both the manufacturers and the lawmakers have rightly set binding specifications for these. These are in the interest of users and help ensure maximum safety in the long term, as the continuous loads on e-bikes are sometimes many times higher than on a bicycle.» Approved parts are tested and approved accordingly. Special attention must also be paid to speed e-bikes with motor assistance up to 45 km/h, which are considered motor vehicles.
Ensure CE conformance and observe manufacturer requirements
E-bikes with motor assistance up to 25 km/h must always meet the requirements of the applicable EU directives and regulations. This is confirmed with the CE marking. «If parts are replaced or added, this can potentially affect the durability and safety, or change the e-bike’s behaviour,» says Tim Salatzki. «The manufacturers’ specifications must urgently be observed here.» In the case of e-bikes, non-observance may lead to non-conformance with legal regulations and loss of the manufacturer’s warranty. The requirements for speed e-bikes are also particularly strict. Similar to motorbikes or passenger vehicles, very specific specifications exist for this class of vehicle as to which parts may be used.

Observe the binding requirements stipulated by the lawmakers and manufacturers!
Tim Salatzki | Head of Technology & Standardisation, ZIV
Guidelines for exchanging e-bike parts
The different types of part exchanges are listed in two tables: one for e-bikes (up to 25 km/h) and one for speed e-bike (up to 45 km/h). To summarise:

E-bikes (up to 25 km/h)
  • Components that may only be replaced following approval from the vehicle manufacturer/system provider, e.g. motor, control unit on the handlebar, battery, etc.
  • Components that may only be replaced following approval from the vehicle manufacturer, e.g. brake system, rigid or suspension fork, etc.
  • Components that may be replaced following approval from the vehicle/parts manufacturer, e.g. tyres, brake pads, handlebar stem unit, headlights, etc.
  • Components for which no special approval is required, e.g. pedals, rear light, bike stand, bell, etc.
  • Accessories with special mounting instructions, e.g. child seats, bike trailers, additional luggage racks, etc.
Speed e-bikes (up to 45 km/h)

Unlike e-bikes, speed e-bikes with motor assistance up to max. 45 km/h are considered motor vehicles. As with other motor vehicles, strict rules apply here, in accordance with EU regulations. The following categories/topics are addressed in the list in detail:
  • Components that may be replaced if a valid test certificate (parts approval) or parts certificate is available, e.g. brake system, handlebar stem unit, headlight, rear-view mirror, horn, pedals
  • Components that may be replaced subject to special conditions, e.g. tyres, saddle, chain/toothed belt
  • Information on attaching accessories. Additional battery-powered lights or bar ends, child trailers or trailers without the corresponding connection certificate are not permitted, for example.
Components not included in the list may only be replaced with original components from the vehicle and/or component manufacturer. Always check the information in the manufacturer’s documents before working on a vehicle.
Links and downloads