Not all electric bicycles are made with the same form of motor assistance. Although regulation on e-bikes has yet to become completely standardized across the United States, there are classes into which most may be placed. These allow state governments to control the use of e-bikes in different ways depending on the category a particular model falls into. Familiarize yourself with the different classes of e-bikes so you can get a better idea of what to expect in terms of regulation.
Class 1 e-bikes have a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour and activate their motor power through pedal assistance. When you turn on the assistance function, the motor aids your forward movement only while you actively pedal the bike. Due to the low speed of Class 1 e-bikes, you can generally ride them anywhere you would ride a normal bicycle, as you won’t present a significant danger to others. This includes dedicated bike trails, shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians, and streets.
Class 2 e-bikes possess the same top speed of 20 miles per hour, but they have throttle-assist designs instead of pedal-assist. In order to get help from the electric motor, you twist or press a button on the handlebar. As a result, the bike can propel itself independent of your pedaling. In relation to others around you, a Class 2 e-bike is just about indistinguishable from a Class 1. Therefore, it is also regulated in a similar manner, with the freedom to move anywhere a normal bike might. The one exception might be certain mountain bike trails where the method of assistance could lead to the wheels damaging the ground more than a pedal-assist bike might.
The last of the different classes of e-bikes are those that fall under Class 3. These e-bikes once again use pedal assistance but are distinct in that they can move up to 28 miles per hour. More regulations thus apply to them in order to maintain people’s safety. As a rider, you must wear a helmet at all times and be seventeen years of age or older. Class 3 e-bikes may only travel on roads and the bike lanes of streets alongside full-size vehicles, though you don’t need a license of any kind to use them. Bike paths, trails, and multi-use paths are off-limits.
For a quality riding experience that you can make use of anywhere, contact E-Cells. Our twin motor electric bikes have the ability to be switched between throttle- and pedal-assist modes so you can adhere to the regulations of your area.