An individual on a 2022 Specialized Turbo Como ebike.

5 Ebike Etiquette Tips for a Safer, Happier Ride

There’s nothing like riding on an electric bike – enjoying long rides in the sun or getting out for a quick workout. There’s a lot to love about ebikes, but electric bike riders also need to follow unique etiquette when on the trail for the safety of themselves and other cyclists.

These 5 ebike safety tips will make your next ride more enjoyable for everyone on the trail.

5 Ebike Etiquette Rules to Help You Cycle Safely

#1: Check your equipment.

Proper ebike etiquette and safety start before you even leave your driveway. Before setting out, check over your equipment to ensure it’s in good working order. A low battery or low tire pressure will ruin your ride, and faulty safety equipment like lights or a bell could be a hazard.

Make sure your tires are inflated, check your brakes, and check your battery charge. Making sure your ebike has adequate power before setting out is important to ensure you’ll have enough juice for your ride and that the power will be able to run safety features like lights.

#2: Know local regulations.

Before hitting the trail, make sure you fully understand the regulations impacting ebikes where you live. These can impact where you ride depending on your bike type, so it’s crucial to read up on your state’s laws.

For example, in California, there are three classes of ebikes, each with different requirements and regulations.

  • Class I: These ebikes have a top speed of 20mph, pedal-assist motor, and are permitted on conventional bike paths, lanes, and routes.
  • Class II: Like Class I bikes, these ebikes have a top speed of 20mph and are allowed on conventional bike paths. However, they have throttle-assist rather than pedal-assist.
  • Class III: The fastest of the three classes, these bikes reach speeds of 28mph and pedal-assist motors. They are allowed on streets, roadways, and bicycle lanes where authorized. However, they’re not for use on multi-use bike trails, hiking trails, horse trails, or recreational trails.

Knowing which class of bike you own and where you are permitted to ride is important for the safety of both yourself and other trail users.

#3: Be visible.

Make sure you’re visible to other cyclists and motor vehicle drivers, particularly if riding in low light. This is crucial for all cyclists and doubly so for ebike riders since electric bikes can travel faster than traditional bikes. Wear bright, reflective clothing and use front and rear lights or reflectors when riding.

#4: Be mindful when passing.

Use a bell or announce yourself by calling “on the left!” when passing on the trail. If other riders or people out for a walk are not paying attention, a bicycle zipping past can startle them or even cause a crash.

By making use of a bell or announcing clearly when you’re passing, you can help keep yourself and other trail users safe.

#5: Be cautious at intersections.

Many bike collisions happen at intersections. An intersection has unique hazards for cyclists; cross-traffic can include other cyclists or pedestrians who may not look when crossing the intersection or even automobiles! An ebike flying through an intersection at 20 miles per hour can easily cause an accident. Slow down and pay attention to cross-traffic at intersections.

Ebikes are a ton of fun – they provide a great workout and allow you to ride faster and further than a traditional bicycle. Following proper trail etiquette allows you to enjoy your ebike safely. Want to chat ebikes and bike safety tips? Get in touch with the team at Roseville Cyclery.

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