Another factor to consider when selecting an e-bike is where you’ll be riding. Do you plan to mostly cruise country roads, zoom down urban lanes or go off-roading in the mountains?
In this chapter, we’ll explore the differences between e-bikes for on and off the road. We’ll also look at e-bike regulations to help you prepare for a safe ride. If you’re not sure which bike suits you, contact us at Avadar Bikes and we’ll help you find the best e-bike for your terrain.
Electric Bike Regulations
E-bikes are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the sake of product safety. This means that the federal government only regulates the condition of an e-bike for sale, and not how it’s used. Federal law defines an e-bike as a low-speed electric bicycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts, and which does not go faster than 20 mph when powered only by a motor. Federal law does not specify the max speed for traveling using a combination of human and motor power.
To know e-bike laws that apply to you, you have to check with your state. State traffic laws vary and determine how e-bikes can be used within the state. The majority of states define electric bikes in their traffic laws, but some states do not. Also, some states have specific laws that apply only to e-bikes. For example, some states require a license to operate an e-bike. Other states apply the same laws to e-bikes as traditional bikes. A good place to learn about the e-bike laws in your state is to click on your state at Peopleforbikes.org.
Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk?
Like e-bike laws in general, bike sidewalk laws also vary by state and local governments. For example, New York does not have a statewide law prohibiting sidewalk bike riding, but a person cannot ride a bike on a sidewalk in New York City unless permitted by a sign. To look up your state laws regarding sidewalk riding, check out your state on Bikeleague.org.
What Age Can You Ride an Electric Bike?
Age restrictions also vary by state. For example, in California and Utah, an individual under the age of 16 may not operate a Class 3 electric bike. Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming have no age restrictions to ride any class of e-bike.
Download GuideChapter 3: What Will You Be Using Your Bike For?Chapter 5: Pedal Assist or Throttle Control?