Archives for August 2021

Ebike Etiquette for Safer Roads and Trails

Ebike riders share the road. Learn ebike etiquette for safer roads and trails at Roseville Cyclery.

Ebike Etiquette for Safer Roads and Trails

Ebike riders are spending more time on the roads and trails. That’s not just hyperbole; a study found ebike riders increased their bicycle use by 340%. Since riders are using ebikes to ride further, faster, and to take more trips, it’s an excellent time to visit the ebike rules of the road.

So make sure you’re following good ebike etiquette to ensure everyone is having a good time while they cycle, no matter what kind of bike they’re using.

Ride Respectfully

E-bikes can go faster than a regular bicycle, with Class I and II ebikes topping out at 20mph. But just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. Be respectful and courteous of other bicyclists and pedestrians and keep your speed in check.

  • Follow posted speed limits
  • Pass politely and only where safe and appropriate
  • Turn your motor off and slow down around horses or other animals

Have a respectful attitude with other cyclists, as well. Sure, you have the power to pass someone on the uphill climb, but that doesn’t mean you need to boast about it, too. Some conventional cyclists still haven’t made up their minds about ebikes; you don’t want to be the person who ruins their opinion for everybody else.

Ride Safely

Making safety a priority is vital for cyclists on any bike, electric or conventional. But when you’ve got a motor in play, you have even more responsibility for your own and others’ safety.

For road ebikes, keep to the same bike lanes and routes used by conventional bikes. Follow the same rules of the road as you would on any other bike, and remember to be safe, courteous, and respectful when riding around conventional bicyclists and pedestrians.

For e-MTB bikes, only ride on trails where ebikes are explicitly allowed. A 2020 ruling allowed ebikes in National Parks. However, superintendents at each park can explicitly limit or restrict ebike access where they deem appropriate. So check your park rules before you go, because you may be allowed on the trails or only on off-highway vehicle areas, depending on the specific park you’re riding.

And, of course, stay on the trails if you’re allowed to use them. Don’t ride through vegetation and wildlife, don’t cut corners, don’t damage trails and wildlife, and don’t take your ebike on a trail where it’s not allowed.

Ride Smart

Lastly, be smart when you’re enjoying your ebike! Check with your local bike shop for a list of the best nearby places to ride your ebike, to find a community of ebike riders to ride with, and to learn more about ebike classifications and etiquette.

Make sure you’re properly geared up and able to stay hydrated on your ride. The pedal-assist motor of an ebike only kicks on when you’re pedaling, and ebike riders get just as much of a physical workout as conventional cyclists. So don’t fall under the assumption that you don’t need fluids for a ride.

Wear bright or reflective colors so you can be seen on the road and trails. Utilize front and back lights if you ride early morning, at dusk, night, when the weather is cloudy, or in any situation when visibility may be poor.

Ready to explore the world on your new electric bike? Ebike etiquette is just as important as conventional bike etiquette. Because of the additional speed you have at your fingertips, it’s even more vital to be a good ambassador for the sport. Be sure to ride safely, respectfully, and smartly when you’re out and about on your ebike.

Want to talk to an ebike expert about where and how to ride your bike safely? Ask the ebike experts at Roseville Cyclery. Visit our showroom in Downtown Roseville, CA, for ebike sales, service, and a supportive ebike community.

SHOP EBIKES

Stop Guessing. Start Riding. Let our team of ebike specialists help you find the perfect bike.

Where Can You Ride an Electric Bike? An Ebike Classification Guide

Electric mountain bikes on national land. Find out where you can ride your ebike and learn about ebike classifications.

Where Can You Ride an Electric Bike? An Ebike Classification Guide

When ebikes first hit the scene, they brought along a fair amount of confusion on where and how they were legally allowed to be used. Should a bike with a motor be treated like a conventional bike, sharing bike paths and trails with conventional bikes and pedestrians? Or should they be treated like a motorcycle or moped, with all of the regulations shared by these two-wheel vehicles?

If you’ve been curious about where you can ride your electric bike, we’re breaking down Federal and CA state regulations for ebikes and the classification system used to categorize ebike usage.

Federal Law States Ebikes Subject to Same Regulations as Conventional Bikes

Electric bicycles have been defined and regulated at the Federal level since 2002. Under Federal law, electric bicycles are subject to the same regulations that govern traditional (human-powered) bicycles. They are not considered “motor vehicles.”

Under Federal law, an ebike is considered a “low-speed electric bicycle” and defined as “a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.”

Federal law does not supersede state traffic laws and vehicle codes. For our CA friends, an understanding of local CA ebike classifications can help you understand exactly where you can ride your ebike.

CA Ebike Classification System

The CA Department of Motor Vehicles breaks down ebikes into 3 categories.

Class I Ebikes
Class I ebikes are equipped with a pedal-assist motor that only provides assistance when a rider is pedaling. These bikes cease to provide assistance when the bike reaches 20 mph. Class I bikes are allowed on the same bike paths and lanes that conventional bikes are allowed.

  • Features: pedal-assist motor
  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Allowed: conventional bike paths, lanes, and routes
  • Restrictions: none

Class II Ebikes
Class II eBikes are equipped with throttle-assisted motors that can exclusively propel the bicycle, but that cannot provide assistance when the bike reaches 20 mph. As with Class 1 ebikes, Class II bikes are generally allowed the same places as a conventional bike.

  • Features: throttle-assist (no pedaling required)
  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Allowed: conventional bike paths, lanes, and routes
  • Restrictions: none

Class III Ebikes
A Class III ebike is equipped with a pedal-assist motor that reaches a top speed of 28 mph. Class III ebikes are also equipped with a speedometer. In some states, Class III ebikes may have a throttle (but not in CA). Riders must be 16-years or older and wear a helmet. These bikes are not allowed on Class I multi-use bike paths (these paths are shared with pedestrians) unless specifically authorized by a local ordinance.

  • Features: pedal-assist motor
  • Top speed: 28 mph
  • Allowed: on streets, roadways, and bicycle lanes (if authorized by local authority)
  • Restricted: not for use on most multi-use bike trails, hiking trails, horse trails, or recreational trails

Ebikes Allowed in National Parks

In 2019, the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a Secretarial Order aimed to increase recreational opportunities for ebikes on public land. The National Park Service (NPS) issued a final rule in 2020 stating that ebikes may go where traditional bicycles are allowed. However, superintendents at each park must give explicit direction to limit or restrict ebike access where they deem appropriate.

Basically, ebike rules may vary from park to park. But generally, ebikes will be allowed on any off-highway vehicle area (roads or trails where motorized vehicles are permitted). And ebikes may be allowed on bike trails, but you should check a park website before you go to to find out which trails are accessible to ebikes. Some parks may also exclude certain classes of ebikes, such as Class III bikes, for example.

Most importantly, ebikes and conventional bikes are never allowed in the wilderness of a national park, so please respect the rules and stay on the trails, regardless of what you ride.

Find Pedal-Assist Ebikes at Roseville Cyclery

Roseville Cyclery is Northern California’s premier ebike sales and service shop, located in downtown Roseville, CA. We carry a wide selection of pedal-assist ebikes from your favorite bike manufacturers, such as Specialized, Santa Cruz, Norco, and more. Visit our shop to find the perfect ebike for your riding needs, or shop our selection of ebikes online.

SHOP EBIKES

Stop Guessing. Start Riding. Let our team of ebike specialists help you find the perfect bike.