Best Class 1 E-Bikes with 20 MPH Top Speeds
Electric bicycles (eBikes) come in three classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. In this article, we’ll discuss the best Class 1 eBikes, which are pedal-assist bikes that always require some form of pedaling in order to move.
The power output is restricted to 20mph (32km/h), after which you can only accelerate by pedaling.
What is a Class 1 eBike?
Class 1 eBikes are limited to 750-watt motors, 20mph max speed, with pedal assistance only (Without a throttle)
A Class 1 eBike is much like a standard push bicycle but includes a small battery and a lightweight motor, usually between 250W and 500W.
A Guide to Electric Bike Classes: Class 1, 2 3 Explained
Electric bike sales have soared over the last few years due to their rise in popularity. Bicycles with motors on.
The motor only provides mild assistance with pedaling, helping to reduce the effort required to propel the bicycle. In order to cycle, the rider must still pedal using the crank and drivetrain just as one would a normal bike.
The motors on Class 1 eBikes are limited to 20mph (32km/h) due to regulations. Once you reach this speed, the motor will no longer provide assistance.
Class 1 vs Class 2 eBikes
Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes are very similar in design and are both limited to a maximum speed of 20mph (32km/h). However, Class 2 is an electric bike with a throttle, meaning you can accelerate from the handlebars without having to pedal. Class 2 still benefits from pedal assistance, particularly if you want to save battery, but it isn’t a necessity in order to move forward.
Best Class 2 Electric Bikes You Can Buy in 2023
A Class 2 e-bike is the only legal class of electric bike with throttle and pedal assist as a standard. Using.
Class 1 vs Class 3 eBikes
The main difference in a Class 3 eBike is the maximum speed, which is increased to 28mph (45km/h). Like a Class 1 eBike, the Class 3 has no throttle and must be operated via pedal assistance. This means it’s actually more similar to a Class 1 eBike than a Class 2 eBike but it can just go a bit faster.
Best Class 3 E-Bikes You Can Buy in 2023 [28 MPH Top Speed]
Image source: Trekbikes.com Class 3 e-bikes or speed pedelecs (short for pedal electric cycles) are the most.
Best Class 1 Electric City Bikes
Co-op Cycles – CTY e1.1 – 1,599 2. Gazelle – Ultimate T10 HMB- 3,800 3. Brompton – C Line Electric Explore – 4,050 4. Cannondale – Treadwell Neo 2 EQ – 2,175 5. Electra – Townie GO! 7D Step-Through – 1,750
Co-op Cycles – CTY e1.1
Probably the best value class 1 electric bike for everyday commuting
Weight: 48 lbs | Motor: 250W | Torque: 45Nm | Battery: 450Wh | Range: 40mi
- Frame – Aluminum
- Derailleur – Shimano Altus 7-speed
- Brakes – Tektro hydraulic disc
The CTY e1.1 is an electric pedal bike from Co-op Cycles and one of the best-value eBikes on the market. Despite falling in a relatively average price range, the CTY e1.1 is packed full of reliable components and weighs a moderate 48lbs.
For the motor, Co-op Cycles chose a full Bafang system including a 250W hub motor with 45Nm of torque and a 450Wh battery. The battery can be removed for easy overnight charging. A fully charged battery will take you about 40 miles with pedal assistance, so you’ll easily have a full day of cycling.
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Whoever is not familiar with Co-op Cycles should know that they are REI’s in-house bike brand. Their bikes have.
To support the motor, riders get a 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, providing strong braking at high speed and more than enough gear ratio for steep hills. 1.95″ Schwalbe puncture-resistant tires ensure plenty of comfort and traction on varied terrains.
Choose the Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 if you want an affordable Class 1 e-bike that’s perfect for urban riding.
Gazelle – Ultimate T10 HMB
One of the most powerful Class 1 eBikes with Monoshock spring fork
Weight: 51 lbs | Motor: 250W | Torque: 65Nm | Battery: 482Wh | Range: 30-70mi
- Frame – Aluminum
- Fork – 30mm, Monoshock spring suspension
- Derailleur – 1×10 speed Shimano Deore XT
- Brakes – Shimano BR-MT hydraulic disc
The Gazelle Ultimate T10 is one of the most powerful Class 1 eBikes available, with a 500W motor that kicks out a full 65Nm of torque. This is quite impressive for a Class 1 pedal-assist electric bike as most have 40Nm or less torque.
The Bosch Performance motor, mounted where the bottom bracket usually sits, is one of the best mid-drive electric bike motors on the market. The aluminum frame features a 30mm Monoshock spring fork which isn’t exactly a suspension fork but it certainly helps to smooth out the road vibrations.
To keep the motor turning, Gazelle has included a removable 500W battery neatly integrated into the downtube for a sleek appearance. The 10-speed Shimano Deore XT drivetrain is one usually reserved for performance MTBs, so you’re guaranteed to have no trouble with gearing in tough conditions.
To ensure safety at all times, Gazelle has fitted the Ultimate T10 with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and eBike-specific Schwalbe Energizer tires. This excellent combination of top-quality brakes and puncture-resistant tires won’t let you down, no matter the weather conditions.
Brompton – C Line Electric Explore
Class 1 electric folding bike
Weight: 38.3 lbs | Motor: 250W | Torque: N/A | Battery: 312Wh | Range: 20-45mi
- Frame – Steel (hand-brazened)
- Derailleur – 2×3-speed Brompton (3 internal)
- Brakes – Brompton rim
Electric bikes are very convenient while cycling but more often than not, they’re heavy and awkward to transport or store.
Introducing the Brompton C Line Electric Explore – an e-bike that folds up for easy indoor storage or loading on public transport. The lightweight and durable build makes this one of the best folding e-bikes on the market.
Despite its miniature size, the C Line Electric Explore packs a punch with a 250W motor fuelled by a 300Wh removable battery. When fully charged, you should be able to get up to 45 miles of pedal-assisted cycling out of the battery.
11 Best Folding Electric Bikes — Top Models to Consider in 2023
Folding bikes have long been the go-to choice of cyclists who often use alternative transport, such as city.
The folding frame is built from tough hand-brazened steel and comes with a front mount for luggage accessories. Not only is it easy to transport and store but it’s practical and comfortable to ride too.
With 16×1.35″ Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires and lightweight Brompton rim brakes, you’ll be able to stop reliably in dry conditions. At just over 38lbs, this is easy to carry when you’re jumping between public transport and riding.
It’s not the cheapest eBike on the market, but if you really need a folding Class 1 electric bike, you’ll struggle to find one better.
Cannondale – Treadwell Neo 2 EQ
Class 1 e-bike with a fully-equipped setup
Weight: N/A | Motor: 250W | Torque: 40Nm | Battery: 250Wh | Range: 47mi
- Frame – SmartForm C3 alloy aluminum
- Derailleur – MicroSHIFT 8-speed
- Brakes – Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc
The Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ is built for maximum convenience and comfort. The modest 250Wh battery is fully integrated and delivers up to 47 miles on a single charge.
The frame is built from Cannondale’s proprietary SmartForm C3 aluminum and features a super comfy saddle and rigid aluminum fork, providing both strength and responsiveness. Built into the crank is a Hydrive MRC-250 250W hub motor that delivers a decent 40Nm of torque.
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For pedal assistance and a bit of extra speed, you get an 8-speed MicroSHIFT drivetrain complemented by its popular Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc brakeset.
Maxxis DTR-1 47mm tires give this bike plenty of traction and shock absorption on bumpy terrain. Finally, fenders, a front-mounted basket, and a kickstand are also included.
Electra – Townie Go! 7D Step-Through
One of the most affordable class 1 electric cruiser bike
Weight: 47 lbs | Motor: 250W | Torque: 40Nm | Battery: 250Wh | Range: 16-40mi
- Frame – 6061-T6 aluminum
- Fork – High tensile steel
- Drivetrain – 1×7 speed Shimano
- Brakes – Radius CX-7 mechanical disc
The Townie Go! 7D Step-Through is a highly affordable beach cruiser women’s electric bike with a relaxed feel and laid-back style. It features fat 2.35″ tires that absorb any bumps or vibrations on the road and Patented Flat Foot Technology that ensures a comfortable ride.
The 250Wh battery will take you up to 40 miles on a single charge if you pedal a lot, and at least 16 miles if you take it easy. It integrates conveniently into the frame for a sleek finish. With a lightweight step-through frame and steel fork, the Townie Go! 7D weighs a moderate 47 lbs, making it easy to maneuver and mount.
The 250W Hydrive rear hub motor has 3 power modes that increase as you pedal, with support from a basic 7-speed Shimano drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes. This setup is simple and not particularly powerful but perfect for lazy days cruising along the seaside. It’s a great, budget-friendly bike for those who just want to take it easy and enjoy sunny days riding in the park or along the coastline.
Best Class 1 Electric Mountain Bikes
Santa Cruz – Bullit MX CC – 8,449 7. Norco – Fluid VLT A1 – 5,199 8. Cannondale – Moterra Neo 4 – 5,900 9. Devinci – EP 29″ Deore – 5,999 10. Haibike – ALLMTN 5 – 6,800
Santa Cruz – Bullit MX CC
One of the best class 1 mountain eBikes
Weight: N/A | Motor: 250W | Torque: 85Nm | Battery: 630Wh | Range: N/A
- Frame – Carbon CC
- Fork – 170mm, RockShox ZEB
- Rear Shock – RockShox Super Deluxe Select 170mm
- Derailleur- 1×12 speed SRAM NX Eagle
- Rear Tire – Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5×2.4″
- Front Tire – Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″
- Brakes – SRAM Guide RE Hydraulic
The Bullit CC may have a motor but that doesn’t make it any less of a professional MTB. With a superlight carbon frame, top-class suspension, and a killer SRAM drivetrain, this eBike has everything that a pro MTB rider needs – plus a little extra assistance.
While most pedal-assist mountain bikes FOCUS on entry-level riders, the Bullit is an aggressive trailblazing beast with 170mm of front and rear travel. On the back is a top-quality RockShox Super Deluxe Select shock complemented by a RockShox ZEB fork upfront.
In line with its original Bullit trail bike, Santa Cruz has placed a 27.5″ tire on the rear with a larger 29″ upfront, providing a mix of obstacle-hopping speed and tight cornering abilities.
While the 85Nm of torque from the 250W Shimano EP800 motor will help out on the uphills, the true pedal power comes from the 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain. This will help you go far beyond the 20mph (32km/h) Class 1 speed restriction, with confident stopping power provided by SRAM Guide RE brakes.
Yes, the price tag is hefty but so are the components, from the Maxxis Assegai/Minion tires to the Cane Creek headset. This is no simple work commuter eBike… unless your job is a high-speed bicycle courier in the Himalayan mountains!
Norco – Fluid VLT A1
A full-suspension trail eMTB
Weight: N/A | Motor: 250W | Torque: 85Nm | Battery: 540/720/900Wh (Sold separately)
- Frame – Aluminum
- Fork – RockShox 35 Silver 140mm Travel
- Rear Shock – RockShox Select R 130mm
- Derailleur – Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed
- Tires – Maxxis Dessector 29×2.4″
- Brakes – Shimano BR-MT420, 4-Piston, 203mm rotors
The Norco Fluid VLT A1 is a moderately-priced Class 1 eBike that more than delivers the goods. The first thing you’ll notice is the exquisitely crafted aluminum frame that gives this bike a very professional appearance. With a neatly integrated battery and a barely noticeable mid-drive motor, this doesn’t even look like an eBike at first glance.
However, to keep costs down while still delivering a quality eMTB, Norco has chosen a few cheaper components. The RockShox 35 Silver fork has a decent 140mm of travel but is more commonly found on cheaper MTBs.
Pedal-assist power comes from a Shimano EP8 motor that provides an impressive 85Nm of torque, helping to reduce fatigue on those steep climbs. Braking is supplied by powerful 4-piston, 203mm rotor Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, which are more than sufficient for trail riding, particularly when combined with thick-treaded Maxxis Dissector tires.
A single charge of the large battery will give you up to tons of range and can be easily removed to charge overnight. To keep the battery lasting longer, you get a Shimano Deore drivetrain with a 1×12-speed setup, the perfect accompaniment for this level of MTB. Overall, this Class 1 eMTB offers good value and will provide the rider with hours of weekend fun.
Cannondale – Moterra Neo 4
Enduro e-MTB with pro-level capabilities
Weight: ~41 lbs | Motor: 250W | Torque: 85Nm | Battery: 630Wh | Range: 75mi
- Frame – SmartForm C2 Aluminum
- Fork – RockShox 35 Silver R 150mm
- Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select R 150mm
- Derailleur – 1×12 speed SRAM SX Eagle
- Tires – Maxxis Rekon, 29 x 2.6″ EXO
- Brakes – TRP Slate G4 4 Piston hydraulic
This eMTB from Cannondale is a super-capable enduro bike that allows you to race to the top over and over with its powerful electronics.
With an aluminum frame, RockShox suspension, and an SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, this bike delivers in all the right places. Niner has aimed this bike at enduro riders who need speed, so it uses a punchy Shimano EP8 motor and 630Wh downtube battery. This means you can save your legs on days when you just want to crush the downhills. The SRAM SX drivetrain is a little disappointing given the price of the bike.
The WTB STX i25 TCS tubeless-ready rims are wrapped in two tubeless-ready Maxxis Rekon 2.6″ tires. With stopping power provided by off-brand TRP Slate hydraulic brakes with 200mm rotors, you’ll feel confident shredding through the backcountry at high speed.
Devinci – EP 29″
Class 1 eMTB with a good mix of affordability and quality
Motor: 250W | Battery: 504Wh
- Frame – Aluminum Optimum G04
- Fork – 140mm, RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air
- Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select R 130mm
- Derailleur – 1×11 speed Shimano Deore
- Front Tires – 29×2.6″ Maxxis Minion DHF
- Rear Tires – 29×2.6″ Maxxis Minion DHR II
- Brakes – Magura MT30 Hydraulic
The EP 29″ is an electric off-road bicycle from the popular Canadian brand Devinci. It offers an adequate mix of affordability and quality, using mostly mid-range components and materials. The bulky aluminum frame has 130mm of rear travel and a large downtube that houses a Shimano 504Wh battery and 250W STEPS motor.
This motor has been known to kick out up to 60Nm of torque, although Devinci hasn’t clarified the exact level of torque that the EP 29″ experiences. Still, it’s a well-trusted and popular motor that is guaranteed to deliver decent power on steep ascents.
It’s not the lightest combination of parts but features excellent suspension, with a RockShox Silver 35 rear shock and a 140mm Deluxe Select R fork. Gearing is sufficient for a mid-range MTB, using a 12-speed Sunrace cassette and a Shimano derailleur, crankset, and chain. Magura hydraulic disc brakes provide a more than a reasonable level of stopping power for your average trail or cross country rider.
All this is held up by two 29×2.6″ Maxxis Minion tires that give you excellent grip and control when steering with solid road ground contact on the back for high speed. All-round, this is a nice bike at an acceptable price and suits a variety of All-Mountain, trail, and XC riding styles.
Haibike – ALLMTN 5
Motor: 250W | Torque: 75Nm | Battery: 625Wh
- Frame – Aluminum
- Fork – Rockshox, Lyrik Ultimate RC2 160mm
- Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select RT 150mm
- Derailleur – 1×12 speed Shimano SLX/XT
- Tires – Maxxis Minion DHF, 29 x 2.5″ and DHR II 27.5 x 2.8″
- Brakes – Shimano XT hydraulic discs, 203/180mm rotors
The Haibike ALLMTN 5 is a Class 1 electric-assist bike powered by a combination Bosch Gen4 Performance CX 250W motor with an integrated 625Wh battery. The motor delivers an impressive 75Nm of torque, which you will certainly be grateful for when struggling up steep ascents.
The stylish aluminum frame has a striking appearance, with a skinny top tube contrasting against the extra-thick downtube.
The rest of the components are a mix of high quality parts mixed in with some cost-saving additions. The 12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain is an excellent gearset often seen on competitive MTBs and includes a low-profile, slap-free Shadow derailleur.
A Rockshox, Lyrik Ultimate RC2 160mm fork and Deluxe Select RT 150mm rear shock provide plenty of support on enduro-style trails.
Luckily, the wheelset is killer, combining strong DT Swiss H1900 rims with two Maxxis Minion tires for a solid grip, speed, and agility under any conditions. Mixed wheel sizes of 29 x 2.5″ and 27.5 x 2.8″ deliver a balance of rolling speed and rear-end agility.
Supported by Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes, you’ll certainly feel confident attacking rocky mountain paths or muddy backcountry lanes on the Haibike ALLMTN 5.
Best Class 1 Electric Road Bikes
Bianchi – Aria – 6,500 12. Diamondback – Current – 4,100 13. Bianchi – Impulso – 4,950
Bianchi – Aria
An exceptionally fast and lightweight eBike
Price: 6,500 Backcountry
Weight: 27.2 lbs | Motor: 250W | Battery: 250Wh
- Frame – Carbon
- Fork – Aria E-Road Disc carbon
- Derailleurs – Shimano Ultegra R8000
- Brakes – Shimano Ultegra R8070 hydraulic disc
It seems odd talking about road racing in relation to a 20mph electric bike but don’t fear, you’ll hit far higher speeds on this beast. Built upon the design of Bianchi’s ever-popular Aria road bike, this is a serious contender for the best value Class 1 road bike on the market.
Crafted from premium carbon the Aria features an integrated Inner Power Drive system with a 250Wh battery and rear hub motor.
Overall, it weighs an impressive 27.2lbs which can be reduced with the removal of the battery and motor if you want a regular performance road bike. Pedal power comes from a pro-level 11-speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain in combination with a set of hydraulic disc brakes.
To keep weight down even further, Bianchi has fitted the Aria withVision Trimax disc rims wrapped in Vittoria Rubino IV 28mm tires.
Naturally, this degree of top-quality components makes the Aria one of the most expensive eBikes on the market in this price range. Unlike standard eBikes, it’s aimed at experienced road riders who intend to shred up the tarmac and build endurance while reducing fatigue and impact on their joints.
Diamondback – Current
High-performance gravel riding experience with a Class 3 motor
Weight: 46.8 lbs | Motor: 250W | Torque: 40Nm | Battery: 250Wh | Range: N/A
- Frame – Aluminum
- Derailleurs – Shimano GRX 810/812 11-speed
- Brakes – Shimano GRX hydraulic disc
The Diamondback Current is a mid-range electric all-road bike built for speed. It features an aluminum frame and fork fitted with an integrated Bosch Performance Line Speed Gen 4 drive system.
Gearing is provided by a Shimano GRX 810 11-speed groupset with matching hydraulic disc brakes, an adequate set of components for an e-bike in this price range.
The Bosch motor delivers 350W of power and 85Nm of torque into the rear hub, giving you a much-needed boost on steep ascents. It’s powered by a 500Wh battery for long days of riding.
The wheelset is a stock standard Diamondback set, using Maxxis Rambler 40mm tires. Overall, it’s a great electric all-road bike and while the components are not top-level, you’ll struggle to find something better at this price.
Bianchi – Impulso
One of the best electric bicycles on the market
Weight: N/A | Motor: 250W | Torque: 40Nm | Battery: 250Wh
- Frame – Carbon
- Fork – Carbon
- Derailleurs – Shimano GRX 810 1×11-speed
- Brakes – Shimano ST-RX810 hydraulic disc
The Bianchi Impulso e-bike is an electric gravel bike designed for hassle-free all-road riding with a bit of extra power. This is a lightweight eBike with a high-quality aluminum frame and a carbon fork.
Bianchi chose a neatly integrated EbikeMotion X35 Plus motor and a battery that is barely noticeable in the downtube.
The frame and fork have integrated cable routing to provide a completely smooth appearance and improve aerodynamics. The Impulso has an 11-speed Shimano SLX/GRX drivetrain, a rock-solid addition to an eBike in this price range.
You also get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes for excellent stopping power and a set of superb Kenda Flintridge 35mm tires.
There is very little to fault about the Bianchi Impulso, a bike that manages to provide excellent without the huge price tag you would expect.
What are the best electric bike brands?
In this article, there are best class 1 electric bikes from brands like Co-op, Gazelle, Tern, Trek, Electra, Santa Cruz, Cannondale, Devinci, BMC, and Orbea. See this article for the overall best electric bike brands.
Can two people ride on an electric bike?
2 person electric bike is not very common but there are some. For example, Pedego has built an electric tandem bike, which is also a class 1 electric bike.
Rad Power Bikes also have one bike model called RadRunner, where you can install a passenger package. According to electric bike classes, RadRunner is class 2 eBike.
How fast can electric bikes go?
Electric bike top speed is regulated by the law and electric bike classification. Electric bike motor can assist you up to 20mph (class 1/class 2) or 28mph (class 3). If you pedal faster than that, motor assistance will stop.
Differences Between EBike Classes 1 2 3 Explained
E-bikes have motors on them. Naturally, an ebike can have too much speed. Now, bikes don’t have proper safety levels. That’s why ebikes are not considered safe rides.
To avoid e-bike accidents, the US has classified ebikes into three categories. The categories are based on speed and driving mechanisms. So, before buying an e-bike you should know which ebike class suits you the best!
Different EBike Classes Explained
E-Bike Class 1
The class 1 e-bike is a pedal-assisted bike. The bike’s motor will support you till 20 mph. Then, the motor will automatically cut its power. A pedal-assisted e-bike means you have to pedal your bike to activate the motor. The throttle won’t work separately.
E-Bike Class 2
A class 2 e-bike is a throttle-assisted bike. But, the throttle will support only 20 mph top speed. A class 2 e-bike has a separate throttle control. So, you don’t have to pedal your bike to activate the motor. Just twist the throttle and your e-bike will run fully on the motor.
E-Bike Class 3
Class 3 e-bikes can be called really speedy. These bikes can reach 28 mph speed. But, it’s a pedal-assisted bike. Therefore, to activate the throttle, you have to pedal your bike.
Differences Between EBike Classes 1 2 3
The primary difference is speed. A class 1 and Class 2 e-bike can be driven at 20 mph. But, a class 3 e-bike can run at 28 mph.
Ebikes are classified into three groups to avoid accidents. So, there are different types of laws regarding these ebikes.The Class 1 and Class 2 ebikes have low speed. That’s why they are considered not so dangerous. You can ride these bikes on trails and sideways.
But, if you are riding a class 3 e-bike, then you can’t ride on roadside paths or lanes. You have to ride on bike lanes or roads. over, a Class 3 e-bike has age restrictions and you need to wear a helmet. However, Class 1 and Class 2 ebikes have mild restrictions.
The biggest difference between class 1 and class 2 e-bike is their driving mechanisms. Class 1 is a pedal-assisted e-bike. Whereas class 2 e-bike is a throttle-assisted e-bike. Class 3 bikes have throttles. But, some states (like California) don’t allow throttles on e-bikes.
The Reasons to Choose Class 2 E-Bikes
1) Fewer Law Restrictions
Class 2 e-bikes can go on trails or lanes. This e-bike falls into the category of ordinary bikes. So, it won’t face strict law restrictions.
2) Fully Throttle-Assisted
Throttle-assisted bikes are so easy to drive. You don’t have to pedal and you can ride on inclined areas. Apart from that, a throttle-assisted bike can help you to carry heavy things.
3) Safe Speed Limit
The speed limit of the class 2 e-bike is only 20 mph. As a result, you can drive this bike safely. You can also use the speed limiter option to control its speed.
4) Enjoy A Complete E-Bike Ride
An e-bike means driving on the ability of a powerful motor. A class 2 e-bike gives you every opportunity to enjoy an e-bike. So, to ride an e-bike in real way, you should choose a class 2 e-bike.
When Should You Choose A Class 3 EBike?
Class 3 E-bikes have a good speed level. You can have 28 mph on a class 3 E-bike. Naturally, class 3 E-bikes come with a powerful motor. So, you can take a class 3 e-bike on the mountain or hilly areas. over, if you are a bike speed lover, then you would love a class-3 E-bike.
Class-3 E-bikes have a higher speed level. So, kids should ride them carefully. Only an adult should drive it. Furthermore, a class-3 E-bike should always be driven on the road. You can’t use trails or sidewalks to ride this bike. Hence, you should have proper safety gear to ride the class-3 e-bike.
Rules You Should Follow/Know When Riding An EBike
1) An E-bike driver should always wear a helmet. If the driver is 17 or below 17 years, then he/she must wear a helmet.
2) You should never ride a class-3 E-bike on a bike path. But, you can do this with class 1 and class 2 E-bikes.
3) Many US states don’t allow children to ride E-bikes. So, you should be at least 13 to drive an E-bike.
4) Some US states demand paid registration of E-bikes. In that case, you should find out whether your states have a registration fee or not.
5) An E-bike rider should always abide by the speed limit signs. Even, some narrow lanes don’t allow e-bikes. If you are a responsible E-bike rider, then you should never fail to follow these signs.
6) The motor on your E-bike should never be heavier than 750 watts.
7) California has some strict rules regarding E-bikes. So, if you are going to buy an E-bike in California, then you should check your local laws.
8) Trails and sidewalk regulations can be different in some states. over, some states demand that an E-bike should have a label displaying the class. Your bike should also display the highest speed and motor wattage.
The above rules regarding E-bikes are truly important. An e-bike owner must follow the rules mentioned by the state. Helmet, registration, speedometer, throttle, and more things should be perfect to ride an E-bike. Hence, don’t forget to check out your local laws on E-bike classes.
Ebikes are truly getting popular. These bikes are fast and silent. Though, US states have different types of rules regarding e-bikes.
Some states demand licenses and some states have age restrictions. So, choose an E-bike carefully. Class 1 and Class 2 are good for commuters. But, if you want a speedy bike to climb mountains, then you should opt for class 3 e-bikes. However, an e-bike can give you freedom and you can have your own ride.
E-Bike Classes Explained: 1-2-3, Go!
Delving into the world of e-bikes for the first time brings forth a dizzying lexicon of head-scratching jargon used to describe them: hub motor versus mid-drive motor; pedal assist and throttle assist; watts of power and Newton meters of torque.
The proliferation of e-bikes has spurred the need for rules and regulations about their speed, power, and where they can be safely ridden; (photo/Cero Inc.)
Perhaps the most significant differentiator is the three-class e-bike system.
That’s Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.
If you’ve ever shopped for an e-bike, you’re almost certain to have come across one or more designations. But what exactly do they mean? And where did they come from?
Let’s start with how the U.S. law has defined an e-bike, or more precisely, a “low-speed electric bicycle.”
E-Bike Classes: Legislation and Regulation
Passed by Congress in 2002, H.R. 727 establishes that a low-speed electric bicycle is “a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals.” It has an electric motor with up to 750 W of power output (1 horsepower) and a maximum motor-propelled speed of 20 mph.
The law separates those bicycles from motorized vehicles, placing them under the purview of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates bicycles. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regulates automobiles, motorcycles (including electrics), and other high-speed vehicles.
However, so-called “e-bikes” within and outside H.R. 727’s parameters were — and continue to be — sold worldwide and end up rolling on roads and bike paths throughout the states. So the U.S. bicycle industry took it upon itself to help bring more order to the emerging e-bike market and help individual states. Each state holds authority over bicycle usage on public roads and bike paths and identifies where e-bikes might safely be ridden.
Industry groups like the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) and PeopleForBikes (PFB) worked together to create the three-class system. (Side note: The BPSA and PFB later merged under the PeopleForBikes name to more effectively coordinate on e-bike policy.)
The first beachhead in the campaign, literally and figuratively, was cycling-rich California. In 2015, the Golden State was the first to pass what PeopleForBikes now calls the “Model Electric Bicycle Law With Classes.”
A bicycle with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling. It ceases to assist when the bike reaches the speed of 20 mph.
A bicycle with a motor that exclusively (typically via a twist throttle or thumb lever) propels the bike. It is incapable of assisting when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.
A bicycle with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling. But it ceases to assist when the bike reaches the speed of 28 mph and is equipped with a speedometer.
Power output for all three classes is limited to 750 W/1 horsepower, as outlined in H.R. 727. Class 3 bikes exceed the federal law’s 20mph power-assisted speed limit. But the category is in alignment with the European designation for “speed pedelecs.” This includes e-bikes providing assistance only when the rider is pedaling, with the motor putting out at no more than 45 kph, equaling 28 mph.
‘Reasonable Access’ for E-Bikes
In its role driving e-bike policy, PeopleForBikes maintains that “U.S. laws should permit reasonable access to bicycle infrastructure for the three classes of low-speed electric bicycles, ensure that riders of electric bicycles can enjoy the same duties, protections, and rights as riders of traditional bicycles, and clarify that owners are not subject to vehicle laws that might apply to more powerful devices,” such as licensing.
As of this writing, 39 states have passed the three-class system in one form or another. However, significant variances exist from state to state.
Several states restrict or completely bar Class 3 e-bikes on bicycle paths. And New York — where some NYC food delivery workers riding high-speed throttle electric bicycles on roads, bike lanes, and even on sidewalks have stirred anger — created its own Class 3. This class encompasses throttle e-bikes cutting power at 25 mph (for use only in New York City) but does not recognize 28 mph pedal-assist-only e-bikes.
“The more popular e-bikes are — the more people are out riding on various types of bicycle infrastructure — the more these classes come into play,” said Larry Pizzi, an e-bike industry veteran who has been a critical player in the public policy efforts of both the BPSA and PFB. Pizzi currently serves as a chief commercial officer for Alta Cycling Group (home to bicycle and e-bike brands Diamondback, IZIP, and Redline) and sits on the PeopleForBikes’ board of directors.
As I said earlier in this story, loads of vehicles that manufacturers call “e-bikes” don’t fit the industry definition the federal law or PFB and its model legislation spell out. These vehicles have higher cutoff speeds for pedal and/or throttle assist. Or the motors exceed the 750W limit — sometimes by a lot. Maybe they don’t even have pedals.
often than not, these are products made or sold by brands with little or no track record in the bicycle industry. And they’re a problem for the companies looking to promote the safe use of the low-speed electric bicycles they sell.
“It’s detrimental to the rest of the category because they’re well beyond the power and speed criteria that define an electric bicycle,” Pizzi said, adding that building and selling these noncompliant vehicles exposes those brands to incredible financial risk.
Mislabeling of Class 3 E-Bikes Is Another Problem
Case in point: An e-bike with a 750W motor has a thumb throttle powering the bike up to 20 mph, and it also has pedal assist topping out at 28 mph. It’s stickered as a Class 3 e-bike. Is that correct?
Answer: No, it’s outside the class system. Class 3 e-bikes, as outlined by the model legislation, can’t have a throttle even if it tops out at the Class 2 limit of 20 mph. Still, many brands stack the classifications and call these Class 3s. A customer can remove the throttle for Class 3 compliance, but the stock e-bike is out of class.
Regulators have apparently overlooked this mislabeling practice.
“We want governmental organizations to step up and FOCUS on these issues,” Pizzi said. “Our hope is that they’ll reel them in.”
‘Hungry for Batteries’ Campaign Urges e-Bikers To Recycle
Recycling your old e-bike batteries is critical for public safety (just ask anyone who’s been involved in an e-bike battery fire). One program makes it easier, with a boost from a fresh campaign. Read more…
Electric Bike Classes Explained: What are Class 1, 2, 3 E-Bikes
There are 3 classes of e-bikes that are most common. Each one of them has different functionalities and benefits.
Choosing which class to buy is challenging because you never know which one fulfills your needs in the most effective way.
In this article, we’ll examine all of them so that you can make the right decision and hop onto your next electric bike, or perhaps the first one.
What are E-Bike Classes
All e-bikes that fit in 3 classes must not have a motor of more than 750W.
What is a Class 1 E-Bike?
In this class of electric bikes, there is an electric bike motor that helps the bike speed up to 20 mph. As these bikes can only provide assistance through the pedal, they are often known as pedelec.
One question that you might be thinking about here in this class is whether you can add throttle to it yourself or not.
You can, but it will work differently than the class that comes with a built-in throttle. Manually adding the throttle will function more like a booster. Before the motor engages, you will have to pedal.
But one critical thing to know is you still can’t exceed the speed limit of 20 mph with the support of a motor in this class because that’s what the authorities allow.
What is a Class 2 E-Bike?
Compared to class 1, class 2 electric bikes have one major difference, which is throttle assist along with pedal support.
When you add a manual throttle to a class 1 e-bike, the motor only starts when you pedal; this e-bike’s motor also starts when you use the throttle. The speed limit is also similar to class 1 i.e 20 mph despite having throttle assistance.
This e-bike is ideal for those who want both fun and fitness.
With pedal assistance, you can exercise and save the battery by doing some of the work by pedaling. On the other hand, if you are tired and don’t want to pedal, you can just engage the throttle and rest while the motor does its work.
If you want an e-bike that gives you both comfort and fitness, then this class should be a good fit for you.
What is a Class 3 E-Bike?
Class 3 e-bikes are significantly different from both class 1 and class 2.
The most significant difference is that it supports speeds of up to 28 mph. Because of the higher speed, class 3 ebikes are also called speed pedelecs.
In addition, all e-bikes in this category are required to feature a speedometer in accordance with the guidelines.
Originally, class 3 bikes didn’t have a throttle. Nowadays, these e-bikes come in both, with or without throttle assistance.
It depends on the buyer which variant suits him/her, but just to let you know that most authorities do not allow throttle on class 3 e-bikes.
If the class 3 e-bike also has a throttle, the throttle assistance can only speed up the bike up to 20 mph.
Also, if we talk about the restrictions, class 3 e-bikes may have more restrictions than the other classes due to their extended speed limit and power.
Because of their speed and no fuel consumption, these e-bikes are suitable for people who want to save both time and money.
In any case, one should use proper safety precautions while riding an e-bike, but if you have or plan to get a class 3 e-bike, make sure you wear a helmet and other safety gear.
Are There Class 4 Electric Bikes?
There are three main categories for electric bikes. However, some electric bikes do not fall neatly into any of these three categories. After that, people often call these electric bikes class 4 e-bikes.
The throttle is a standard feature on most class 4 electric bikes. These electric bikes have usually motors of over 750W and can travel at speeds of more than 28 miles per hour.
In legal terms, these e-bikes are typically categorized as mopeds or scooters due to their high speed and motor power.
Since it moves quickly and has a robust motor, it makes commuting less time-consuming and more convenient. However, in most countries, these e-bikes are not legal unless registered and insured.
Which Electric Bike Class to Choose?
We know it is so overwhelming to have so much information about each class of electric bike.
Making a decision about which of two options is correct is not a simple undertaking. Well, we are not done yet. As a result, you will definitely have clarity about what you should buy when you have finished reading this article.
Reasons to Get Class 1 E-Bike
Class 1 e-bikes are the most similar to traditional bicycles.
Those who are just learning about e-bikes and their different classes for the first time in their lives and are thinking about buying one for themselves should consider getting class 1 for now.
This is due to the fact that class 1 is the most basic class among other classes. You better start off with this class, get some experience and then decide if you need to upgrade or not.
Reasons to Get Class 2 E-Bike
Class 2 is ideal for those who want a dual-purpose e-bike that they can use for both fun and fitness. Additionally, if you are happy with an average-speed e-bike, then this class is the right choice for you.
Also, class 2 e-bikes are perfect for elderly people who may have mobility issues. With class 2 e-bikes, they can ride a bike without pedaling.
Reasons to Get Class 3 E-Bike
Class 3 is for those who want to travel fast because they want to reach their destinations quickly.
They might not get the throttle option in this class but still, it is a viable choice for someone who needs speed.
Additionally, if you live in the US, take a look at our State-by-State Electric Bike Laws article to make sure what rules are in your state.
To that end, we hope this information has been helpful.
With all the right information in hand, you will be able to choose between the most suitable options for yourself when it comes to e-bikes!