A Guide to Class 3 Ebikes
If you’ve been considering buying an ebike you may have run into a question: what are electric bike classes? Ebikes have been divided into three classes based on their speed and motor capabilities. It’s important that you choose the class that’s appropriate for you and adhere to any local rules in regulations.
With this in mind, we’ll explore the different classes of ebikes and ultimately answer, what is a class 3 ebike?
A Guide to Class 3 Ebikes: How they Compare to Class 1 2
Before we dive into class 3 ebikes, let’s put on the brakes to first explore the other two: class 1 and class 2 ebikes.
Class 1 ebikes
Class 1 bikes only have pedal assist and reach a maximum speed of 20 MPH. For those who need a refresher on terminology, pedal assist is exactly what it sounds like: the electric motor is engaged only while the rider is pedaling. The level of support provided by the motor can be selected by and by adjusting your PAS settings.
To give you a hand with tackling larger hills or rounding out a 55-mile Sunday ride, pedal assist can kick in and get you up to speeds of 20 MPH before automatically cutting off the motor power. Since the speed is limited, class 1 ebikes are permitted on bike paths, bike lanes, and the road.
Class 2 ebikes
Unlike class 1, class 2 ebikes both have pedal assist. This means that the motor can be engaged while pedaling and also by twisting the throttle on the left side of the handlebars (no pedaling required).
As both the throttle and pedal assist are limited to top speeds of 20 MPH, class 2 ebikes can also be ridden anywhere a traditional bike could—the bike path, bike lane, and road.
Class 3 ebikes
Many class 3 ebikes can be considered as a juiced up version of a class 1 ebike. This means that, while pedaling, a rider can reach higher speeds than those offered by class 1 and 2 ebikes.
This higher level of power makes a class 3 ebike a popular pick for commuters, especially those who’ve been known to press the snooze button repeatedly. They’re also well-suited for adventurous types—those with the need for speed!
However, with higher speeds comes additional responsibility. It’s important to recognize that 28 MPH is a speed regularly traveled by a car—and much higher than the speed of pedestrians or those riding a conventional bike.
As such, class 3 ebikes may be restricted from certain bike paths and bike trails. Some states have different requirements (helmet, insurance, etc.) for class 3 ebikes, while others have age limits for those who can operate one. It’s best to check local laws before purchasing a class 3 ebike
What About Blix Class 3 Ebikes?
Blix currently has two ebikes that can toggle between class 2 and class 3: the Ultra and the Dubbel.
As a class 2 ebike, both the Dubbel and the Ultra can use PAS and throttle to reach speeds of up to 20 MPH. As a class 3 ebike, pedal assist will enable maximum speeds of 28 MPH, while the throttle will top out at 20 MPH.
This makes this duo ideal ebikes for those who like a little excitement now and then, but still want to be able to share the bike path with traditional bicycles.
Class 3 Ebikes: Try Before You Buy
Want to experience a class 3 ebike before you make an order? Check out Blix test rides near you. And be sure to stay up to speed with all things Blix by following us on Instagram and
California Legal eBike Classifications Guide
California adopted new laws for legal eBikes in 2015, breaking the bikes down into three classes. The classifications are primarily based on where they are allowed to operate.
AB 1096: Electric Bicycles
This is the law that defines electric bicycles as those with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. It also creates three classes of electric bicycles based on their motor speed and level of electric assist. Electric bikes subsequently fell into classes 1, 2, and 3.
Important note! CA State AB1096 established a default framework – where a local jurisdiction (city, county, etc.) had not put any form of ordinance in place for electric bikes. A local jurisdiction (city, county, etc.) may enact an ordinance to allow or restrict electric bike usage for their area that may differ from the State default.
Class 1 eBike
A Class 1 eBike, or low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycles, is equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph. These e-bikes are legal on any paved surface that a regular bike is allowed to operate.
Class 2 eBike
Class 2 eBikes, or low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle, are equipped with motors that can exclusively propel the bicycle, but that cannot provide assistance when the bike reaches 20 mph. These e-bikes are legal on any paved surface that a regular bike is allowed to operate.
Class 3 eBike
A Class 3 eBike, or speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle, is equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph. Operators of Class 3 e-bikes must be 16 or older and wear a helmet. Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from Class I multi-use bike paths unless specifically authorized by a local ordinance.
Below is a simple visual infographic for determining what class your eBike falls into:
What happens if I modify my eBike?
The bill prohibits tampering with or modifying electric bicycles to change their speed capability unless the classification label also is changed.
Do I need a license or special registration to operate an eBike?
E-bike operators do not need a driver’s license, registration or license plate to ride them, though they do need to abide by existing traffic laws.
We’re here at the shop every day to meet you and discuss anything you have questions on regarding specific models and legal classifications. Come see and test ride the different classes for free to see which fits you and your lifestyle the best!
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Hi Mike, Federal law HB727 AND California AB-1096 define eBikes as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. A bike over 750w would therefore qualify as a “motor-driven-cycle” and require DOT approval, license etc. Additionally, 28mph ebikes (class 3) may not have a throttle at all in California. California law AB-1096 specifies: ” A “class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour, and equipped with a speedometer.” Full text of California ebike law California AB-1096 Please note – Rated motor Watts are not as important to hill-climbing and acceleration as torque. For example, a 350W high torque (70NM) mid drive will significantly outperform an inefficient, low torque (50nm) 750W hub-drive motor in most situations.
Hello, I’m doing comparative research on dockless mobility and how it is applicable to California’s Vehicle Code. It seems like devices like URB-E and the Wheels e-bike (e-bike share in San Diego and Los Angeles) fit more under Class II because of the low-speed throttle feature, but these two devices both have pegs instead of operable pedals. Would these and other e-bike looking devices still be considering e-bikes or motorized scooters. Does the definition prioritize the ability to pedal vs. the capable speeds of the device?
While we are not legal experts, a low speed motor-driven cycle without the ability to pedal would likely fall outside the definition of an e-bike. Such vehicles would be more akin to a NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle) or electric skateboard.
Hi Richard, I’m sorry, we’re not legal experts here. But, most of the top companies that produce electric drive systems, brand names like Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, offer strong motors that are rated at 250-500 watts. In most case, the torque rating is more important for hill climbing than “watts”. Cheers,
Hi Mike, Can you show me where this is cited? “Additionally, 28mph ebikes (class 3) may not have a throttle at all in California.”
E-Bike Classifications. All You Need to Know
Electric bicycles have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional modes of transportation. However, with the growing number of electric bicycle options, you might be confused about the different classifications of these vehicles.
In this blog, we will here explore the various types of electric bicycles available on the market, and why there are different classifications of e-bikes.
Classification by Riding Pattern
The way of riding can be divided into two types: electric self-propelled and power-assisted.
What is the electric self-propelled type? It means that the rider does not need to exert himself. When the rider twists the throttle, as long as the power is connected, the electric motor on the electric bicycle turns and drives the electric bicycle through the transmission device. The speed can be controlled by the handle or throttle, and the speed can be changed stepless from 0 to 20km/h.
The power-assisted type is a combination of human power and electric power, with human power as the mainstay and electric power as assistance. Once the rider provides pedal force to the motor when pedaling hard, the amount of assistance can be transmitted to the computer chip in the controller through intelligent sensors, which directs the motor to apply the corresponding power to make the e-bike travel at the desired speed.
Why Are The Classes Classifications Used in E-Bikes?
For the sake of riders’ and other people’s security, each state or country in the U.S. publishes local laws and regulations to determine the classifications of e-bikes, which are based on the top speed or the operating pattern of the e-bikes. To distinguish the e-bike and motorcycle, the feature of ebikes must follow:
What Are The Classifications of E-bikes?
That’s said above, we can generally say that the classifications of e-bikes will be determined by whether to utilize throttle or pedal assistance.
Class 1 Electric Bike:
The Class 1 e-bikes will provide assistance powered by the motor when you pedal, and it will cut off the power output to limit the e-bike speed rise when you reach a maximum speed of 20 MPH. It is ideal for bike paths or any recreational riding.
Class 2 Electric Bike:
The class 2 e-bikes are equipped with both pedal and throttle, you can pedal it up in the same way as class 1, or you can only utilize the throttle to free your feet. And whatever the way you choose to ride, the maximum speed is 20 MPH the same as class 1.
Class 3 Electric Bike:
The Class-3 e-bikes are somehow the same as Class-1 e-bikes in terms of riding way. It also utilizes pedal assistance and peaks at 28MPH. Of the high acceleration brought by the powerful motor of class 3 e-bikes, generally, it is banned to ride on bike paths.
Here is a table that clearly showcases the different features between various of classes e-bikes
What Are the 3 Classes of E-Bikes?
Electric bicycles (eBikes), which have long been popular in Europe, are becoming more and more well-liked in the United States as a mode of mobility. The most seasoned cyclists and those who haven’t ridden a bike since childhood can both ride them. E-bikes have the potential to increase cycling’s appeal to new demographics and enable lifetime cycling for users.
However, considerable ambiguity regarding how and where to ride e-bikes is limiting their potential for expansion, and as an emerging technology, they require clear laws to govern their use and foster market stability.
How the 3 classes of electric bicycles are defined?
All classes limit the motor’s power to 1 horsepower (750W).
Classes and Access
Class 1 eBikes are legal to ride wherever bicycles are allowed, including bike lanes, highways, multiuse trails, and bike-only paths in some states, much like traditional mountain or pavement bicycles. Mayor de Blasio of New York City recently declared that Class 1 eBikes will be officially permitted in the city. We believe that Class 1 pedal-assist eBikes should have the same rights and obligations as traditional bikes and should therefore also be allowed on non-motorized mountain bike trails, as is the case in Europe, even though New York City’s decision has nothing to do with singletrack trail use for electric mountain bikes (eMTBs).
throttle-assist class 2 Although some states and towns are choosing to impose additional limitations, eBikes are frequently permitted in most places that a standard bicycle is permitted (e.g. New York City Michigan State). Class 2 vehicles may not be appropriate for singletrack mountain bike routes because studies have shown that the throttle-actuation causes more physical harm to the terrain. Multi-purpose off-road vehicle paths made for more challenging off-road vehicles might be better suited for Class 2.
Class 3 electric bikes are normally permitted on roads and in on-road bike lanes (also known as curb to curb infrastructure), but not on multiuse routes or bike trails. While a typical bicycle can travel at a maximum speed of 20 mph, decision-makers and agencies believe that a Class 3 eBike’s higher top speed is too fast for most bike lanes and trails that are often used by other trail users.
Common sense guidelines for when and where to ride an eBike will benefit everyone. Law enforcement will know what rights eBike users have and when to enforce the law with clear regulation and updated state laws. They will also be able to quickly identify the class of bike based on its sticker. Bike shops can increase sales by assisting clients in understanding the various applications for each type of eBike. Existing eBike riders will have simple guidelines to follow on where they can ride, and novice cyclists who may be deterred from riding a traditional bicycle owing to poor physical condition, advanced age, a disability, or convenience will have new transportation options.
What Is A Class 2 Electric Bike? We Explain Ebike Class Differences
There are three class types of electric bikes. We break down their differences, discuss which class are Rad Power Bikes, and why it matters.
Why Are There Different Ebike Classes?
Similar to motorcycles, electric bikes are classified into different categories based on their basic functionality. Let’s review the three ebike class types, based on a model ebike law that most U.S. states have adopted as the basis of their state regulatory system:
- Class 1: Pedal-assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph.
- Class 2: Pedal-assist or throttle; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph.
- Class 3: Pedal assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 28 mph.
Can ebikes go even faster? Technically, yes. However, Class 1 and 2 motors shut off at 20 mph, and Class 3 motors shut off at 28 mph. Any additional speed is gained by rider power alone, and/or decreasing elevation (riding downhill).
What Class Are Rad Power Bikes Ebikes?
Rad Power Bikes designs Class 2 ebikes. In fact, beginning in 2007, the company was one of the first to pioneer the combination of a throttle and pedal assist. When designing a safe, reliable, and enjoyable transportation solution, Rad took into account multiple factors: federal and local laws, bike usage, technology, and rider experience. The result: Class 2 ebikes with a full 750 watts of power.
Can Ebike Riding Be Illegal?
According to Chief Product Officer Redwood Stephens, the decision to design Class 2 isn’t a light one, and plays a factor into every bike Rad develops. First, Rad creates ebikes to be compliant under the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) regulations for safety requirements applicable to ebikes. Those regulations prescribe limits for motor power and the maximum speed that a bike can operate when powered solely by the motor.
Second, Rad Power Bikes are designed so our riders are comfortable that their ride is legal on most roads and bike paths, based on state laws. “We design our bikes to be safe, and compliant with the law,” confirms Stephens. In multiple states, ebikes with motors that provide assistance at or above 20 mph are not permitted on many types of bike-focused infrastructure. Riding beyond those state and local restrictions can go against traffic laws and regulations, and potentially require licensing and registration fees.
As a rider, it’s vital you check your local laws in the rare case a road or path is not yet following the model ebike laws that treat Class 2 ebike the same as a traditional bike. After all, what good is your bike if you can’t ride it?
About That Need for Speed
As Class 2 ebikes, Rad Power Bikes are engineered to not only perform well up to the 20 mph (the speed that the bike’s motor shuts off), but also accommodate additional speed that occurs when traveling downhill. However, some ebike brands are focusing on Class 3.
“To consistently travel safely at higher speeds, the bike frame, brakes, suspension systems, and more have to be engineered for that,” says Stephens. We asked Stephens if that was being done in the industry. “Not always. Higher speeds often requires engineering new parts from scratch,” explains Stephens, “but some brands are not upgrading critical systems that such speeds require.”
Safety and Technology
For Rad, our choice to FOCUS on building the best Class 2 ebikes comes down to providing ebikes that not only travel at safe speeds, but meet and beat rider expectations each and every day. Safety is paramount to ensuring bike trails and paths are accessible for everyone. Designing within Class 2 standards ensures that we are meeting that endeavor. It also ensures that when electric biking with your kids, passengers, or just for fitness and fun, a Class 2 ebike is designed to meet those needs.
At a Class 2 designation, Rad engineers strike that perfect balance between cost, quality, and safety. ensuring you get a safe ebike using quality parts; legal to ride in most places; and at a great price.
Back to the Good Stuff
Ready to feel the wind in your hair on your ebike? Awesome. Rad Power Bikes is motivated to give all riders a Rad grin. So as to keep the grins firmly in place, we design our bikes to be as safe as possible. For us, that means Class 2 ebikes. Discover the ebike laws in your state, and read our blog to learn more about ebike laws around the world.
Please note, this article is not a definitive or absolute source for ebike laws in your area. It is not meant to provide legal advice. Ebike laws are always changing, so please check your local laws before riding to make sure you are riding legally and safely.