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Common questions about operating an electronic bike in California

As more individuals in California abandon automobiles for transportation, electronic bikes are surging in popularity. As a result, many people wonder if the laws for e-bikes differ from those for standard bikes.

Understanding the laws surrounding e-bikes can promote your safety and the safety of those around you.

Where can you legally ride an e-bike?

California laws define specific classifications for e-bikes with a motor capacity under 750-watts to determine where cyclists may ride them. For example, Class 1 e-bikes provide pedal-activated motor assistance up to 20 miles per hour. These slow speeds mean cyclists can usually ride them on roads accommodating standard bikes.

Class 2 e-bikes can move up to 20 miles per hour without pedaling. Also, they do not have pedal assistance at higher speeds. Therefore cyclists may usually ride these bikes on all roads that allow Class 1 e-bikes.

Finally, Class 3 e-bikes can move 20 miles per hour without pedaling and 28 miles per hour with motor-assisted pedaling. These bikes are practical for daily commuting, but cyclists do not have permission to ride them on bike and horseback riding trails.

Can anyone ride an e-bike?

Riders must be at least 16 years old to operate Class one and two e-bikes. However, only riders older than 16 may ride Class three e-bikes. All riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.

Do e-bikes require a license and registration?

Cyclists do not need to have a license or register an e-bike. However, e-bikes requiring more than 750 watts to operate have the same status as motorcycles. Therefore riders must obtain a license and registration to ride them.

Various laws protect cyclists, but when you sustain injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may qualify for damages essential for your physical and financial recovery.