Best Pedal Free Electric Bike for 2023
Electric and motorized vehicles are becoming all the rage these days. Many people have swapped their traditional bicycles for Segways, electric unicycles, and motorized scooters. Others are even learning how to build a drift trike by themselves for a more exciting motorized riding adventure.
Despite these awesome technological marvels, the bicycle itself is not completely dead. On the contrary, it has evolved just as much as any other vehicle in the form of a pedal-free electric bike.
While pedal-less ebikes aren’t exactly in the same league as electric mountain bikes, they still serve a purpose when commuting. They’re way more compact and versatile.
Below I have the best electric bikes without pedals that will give you the best of both worlds of cycling and electric riding.
Buyer’s Guide for Pedal-Free Electric Bicycles
In case you’ve never owned or ridden a pedal-less electric bicycle before you can use this section as a primer of sorts. Just like with ordinary bikes, there are a few important factors to keep in mind so that you can select the one that best suits your needs.
- For many people, speed is the most important factor. This is in regard to either a restricted top max speed for younger ages or for those looking to satisfy their rush for adrenaline. Different pedal-free electric bikes have different batteries and motors which will provide different rates of max speed or acceleration. You want to make sure you get a pedal-free electric bike that is neither too slow nor too fast for you. This category is so important that I have ordered the list below according to speed, going from slowest to fastest. If you’re looking to buy something more exciting for a younger rider like a child, you may want to consider getting a kids’ electric dirt bike.
- No one likes a weak battery, which is why how many miles you get per charge is one of the first things anyone should figure out when selecting a pedal-less electric bicycle. The more juice you can squeeze out of a full battery, the better.
- Comfort and safety are arguably the biggest things to pay attention to. Adjustable seats are a great component, but responsive brakes, especially hydraulic disc brakes, are even better. Taillights and front lights ought to be bright for riding during the night but not too powerful that they end up draining the battery too quickly.
Extra Features – The Cherry on Top
It’s reasonable to expect complicated machinery to have equally complex capabilities as these are the features that really distinguish one electric bike from the next. This can be anything from cruise control functions to alarms. Smartphone app compatibility is a big plus for many people as this is how you typically access speedometers or battery life statistics.
These are the most important factors, but the reality is that there is much more to a pedal-less electric bike. A stylish-looking ride is important to just about anybody whether that’s due to the paint job or the structure of the frame. Maximum load capacity matters as well since you don’t want to ride something that cannot safely support your own body.
With all that said and done let’s finally take a look at our top four best pedal-free electric bicycles that you can get right now.
Swagtron 200W SwagCycle
Verdict: Overall, the is a very solid first choice for anyone looking for a dependable electric bike without pedals. The Swagtron ebike has some minor issues but it is still a good value product and works great for anyone on a budget.
- Affordable price range
- Comes in several colors
- Heads-up display
- Collapsible neck and frame
- Dynamic front light
- Back tire has been known to pop
- Non-adjustable seat
- Below average battery life
- Max speed of 10 mph and a max range of 9 miles makes this a good choice for people looking for their first pedal free e-bike
- A great budget e-bike for anyone trying not to break the bank
- Available in multiple colors
- Reliable battery life
- Max load capacity of roughly 260 pounds
The first pedal-free electric bicycle I want to talk about is the. This is a cheap electric bike on my list and would be an ideal choice for anyone looking for a beginner electric bike.
The SwagCycle 200W can achieve a max speed of 10 mph. This velocity wouldn’t satisfy any daredevil but it is still very satisfactory for anyone who just wants the leisure of cruiser electric bikes. It has a maximum load capacity of 264 pounds which is impressive considering the entire unit weighs roughly 30 pounds.
What I Liked About the SwagCycle
Two things I really enjoyed about the Swagcycle that I didn’t expect, were the collapsible frame and the digital display on the handlebars.
This is one of the most portable pedal-free electric bicycles I’ve ever ridden and being able to fold it up neatly only makes it easier to put away for storage or while charging the battery. I really enjoyed the heads-up display as checking on my speed and remaining battery life was very useful.
Unlike an electric scooter, the SwagCycle is nice and comfortable, though due to its relatively small size, it would be an ideal fit for someone around 5’8′. The seat is not adjustable which could be a slight problem for taller riders. The brakes work well though they take a couple of seconds to reach a full stop. They’re reliable but not the most responsive brakes I’ve ever used.
The front light of the SwagCycle is neat as it automatically lights up during nighttime. This is a feature I wish more pedal-free electric bikes had. The SwagCycle also comes in four different colors: blue, red, white, and black. They’re standard choices but each one looks sleek and fits in well in just about any environment.
My least favorite aspect of this bike was the battery life. You can only get nine miles per charge and each charge time took me roughly four hours. Not being able to get even a single hour of use while going at max speed was a bummer.
If you’re looking for an electric bike cheap enough and won’t break the bank, this is the one to consider.
Ancheer Folding Electric Bicycle
Verdict: The Ancheer is a great bike with very few flaws but many great features to set it apart from the competition. The Ancheer electric bike is worth every penny and could very well be the best for its asking price.
- Stylistic frame
- Comfortable seat
- Foldable neck
- Strong rear hub motor wattage
- Bright lights
- Cruise control
- Max range of 12 mph and maximum range of 12 miles gives it solid stats for anyone looking for daily use, including commuting or more intense riding and exercise
- Relatively lightweight, coming in at 27 pounds
- Very unique and stylistic build makes it much more appealing to look at than the average bike
- Cruise control function is extremely useful and will prove to be more addictive than anticipated
- Powerful headlights make this a great e-bike purchase for evening rides
- Folding frame makes this easy to store at home or put away while on the go, including indoors or in cars
- Bluetooth compatible app unlocks multiple useful features, such as speed setting, motor locking, mileage recording, and more
Next up we have the Ancheer Folding pedal-free electric bicycle. This is a mid-price vehicle that really shows off the cool features and potential of an electric bicycle that does not rely on pedals.
Starting off with basic stats, the Ancheer has a max speed of 12 miles per hour. It also has a max range of 12 miles meaning that you can get an hour of usage going at max speed. Thanks to the 350W motor, it only needs three hours of charge time to reach 100%.
The first thing I noticed about the Ancheer was its fascinating frame. It only comes in black and white colors, but despite that I found the bike’s center of the frame to be stylistic with its swerving design.
It looks like an average-sized electric bike but it is surprisingly lightweight coming in at only 27 pounds. It has a very soft leather cushion that is both comfortable and firm. It has a very bright LED screen and instead of a bell, it has a horn that is button-activated. The front lights and rear lights both shine very brightly after dark and will easily make you visible to anyone in an automobile.
Cool Features of the Ancheer Electric Pedal Free Electric Bike
Easily one of the best features of the Ancheer is its cruise control function. Once you throttle to a certain speed you can press the green button and the bike will automatically run at that speed. I loved using this feature as I could set it to a comfortable pace and just enjoy the ride. Eight or nine miles per hour is the sweet spot for cruise control and taking advantage of that is necessary to get the most out of this pedal-free electric bicycle.
The Ancheer has some good build quality despite being lightweight. I found it quick to accelerate, though this may vary depending on your own body weight. My biggest gripe with this electric bike is that it doesn’t feel as responsive or stable when making sharper turns at max speeds. The dual-disc brakes work great though so I never felt like I was doing anything rash even when going at 12mph.
Swagtron SwagCycle Pro Folding Electric Bike
Verdict: The Swagcycle Pro is basically the original SwagCycle but faster and more advanced. It is more suited to intermediate or professional riders, but if 18mph doesn’t scare you off then you will be satisfied with this pedal-less electric bicycle no matter what.
- Dual braking levers for front and rear tires
- Long battery charge
- Exhilarating max speeds
- App support
- Durable wheels
- Fast top speeds of 18 mph make this a great choice for riders who need to arrive at their destination in a jiffy
- 350 watt electric motor and 30 pound weight
- Dual braking levers apply to both front and rear tires
- Smartphone app gives you control over speed, GPS, and tracking of your location
- Incline climbing goes up to 12 degrees
Our second Swagcycle Pro is going to introduce some more high-octane aspects to this list. If 10mph isn’t enough to satisfy your speed needs then you will definitely want to see what this rad power electric bicycle has to offer.
Right off the bat, the differences between this SwagCycle Pro and the previous ones become obvious. We’re now working with a 350W motor and a stronger battery. The SwagCycle Pro can attain a max speed of 18mph and has a max distance of 15.5 miles per charge. This is considerably faster than 10mph, but is it too fast?
My answer is a resounding no. It may just be me but I’ve always found faster electric bicycles without pedals to offer more freedom. Having the choice to go either slower or faster makes any journey have more variety and excitement.
I often lamented the lack of a cruise control function with this bike but that thought usually went out of my mind whenever I was going 15mph or faster. If you’re like me looking for a faster vehicle, try checking out the Segway Ninebot Gokart Pro. It’s not an e-bike, obviously, but it will definitely give you the adrenaline rush you’re seeking.
In terms of looks, the SwagCycle Pro looks very similar to the other model. It only comes in two colors this time but otherwise, the physical specifications are nearly identical. It weighs 30 pounds, has a max load of 264 pounds, and the brakes and kickstand operate in the same fashion and are even in the same places. The throttle grips here are actually a bit smaller but they are also more ergonomic and thus feel more comfortable.
What the “Pro” in the title is for
Arguably the biggest addition the brings to the table is smartphone compatibility. While there is a battery life indicator on the right-hand side of the handlebars you can also download a Swagtron app on your iOS or Android device. This app gives more detailed information like how many miles you’ve traveled, how fast you are currently going, and GPS support. Since everyone brings their phones with them anyway it was a Smart decision to have this software deliver you the data instead.
E-Bikes, E-Scooters E-Mobility Devices
E-scooters are a popular mode of “micro-mobility” transportation in cities across America and now in Colorado Springs. The City of Colorado Springs has completed a one-year pilot program beginning October 2021; with the pilot program ending Lime has decided to stay on as the sole Scooter Share operator in Colorado Springs.
Read the Colorado Springs Public Radio article on the completion of the year long pilot project here
Veo’s departure at the end of this summer left two electric ride share companies for customers in the Springs: scooter company Lime and PikeRide, a local e-bike nonprofit.
The City of Colorado Springs revised Chapter 10 of our city code, taking additional steps to further define bicycles, E-Bikes and other E-Mobility Vehicles as well as on-street infrastructure developed for these uses. These update better address mobility devices, and…
Colorado Springs EBike Reference information
This City Urban Trail reference and Map describes types (tiers) of urban trails, note that some of these examples are inconsistent with the current trail network.
COS EBike Reference
The city EBike Page shows that some trails are open to e-bikes by name, excludes their use on “multi-use” trails, with a definition that is inconsistent with the Urban Trail descriptions. There is no definition of “system trails”, typically thought of as more narrow, soft surface walking/hiking trails in places like Palmer Park, Pulpit rock, etc.
TOSC Bikeway Map
This document was first produced by TOSC as a map showing where EBikes are allowed on Colorado Springs Trails. The map has since been change to the Urban Trail Map but is currently the clearest understanding that we have of where EBikes are currently allowed in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs E-MTB Trails
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Most trails within Cheyenne mountain State Park in the southwest corner of Colorado Springs allows E-Bikes including E-MTBs. According to state park policy ebike are treated as bicycles and allow on the same trails as any bicycle. Policy quote below
Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed the same access as road bikes and mountain bikes, while class 3 e-bikes are only to be allowed on roadways and in designated bike lanes.
Cheyenne Canyon/Ntl Forest
Aside from state parks the only Colorado Springs singletrack Mountain Bike (MTB) trails that officially allow Electric Mountain Bikes (E-MTBs) are those that also allow Motorcycles. This includes the iconic Captain Jacks trail that stretches from North Cheyenne Canyon Park into the Pike National forest.
State County EBike Reference information
Colorado State EBike Law
Enacted in January of 2018 the State of Colorado adopted regulations defining ebikes and where they are allowed. While the state defined these rules EBike regulations are ultimately controlled by local jurisdictions.
Unless otherwise restricted, Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles, and scooters are allowed on the same bicycle and pedestrian paths as conventional bicycles.
Local jurisdictions have the authority to prohibit the operation of electric bicycles and scooters on any bicycle or pedestrian path under its jurisdiction.
Local laws pertaining to electric scooters must be no more restrictive than those pertaining to class 1 electric bicycles.
El Paso County Parks EBike Regulations
EBikes are allowed on primary and secondary trails within the El Paso County park and trail network.
El Paso County EBike Regulation Text Class I and Class II Electrical Assisted Bicycles may use El Paso County Parks Primary and Secondary trails up to a maximum speed of twenty miles per hour. Class III Electrical Assisted Bicycles are not permitted on any County trail.
Colorado State Parks EBike Regulations
E-bike use on CPW Lands – Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed the same access as road bikes and mountain bikes, while class 3 e-bikes are only to be allowed on roadways and in designated bike lanes.
BLM/National Forest EBike Regulations
In August 2019, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt issued Secretary’s Order increasing recreational opportunities through the use of Electric Bikes (e-bikes). While the BLM intends for the rule to increase accessibility to public lands, e-bikes would not be given special access beyond what traditional, non-motorized bicycles are allowed.
The rule provides that authorized officers may authorize, through subsequent land-use planning or implementation-level decisions, the use of Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes on non-motorized roads and trails. The rule does not, by itself, open any non-motorized trails to e-bike use.
EBikes are an ever growing part of the bicycle market globally, in the US, as well as in the Colorado Springs Market specifically. EBikes and E-Mobility devices (Electric scooters, one wheels, Electric skateboards, Etc.) are also a growing piece of the urban mobility puzzle world wide and make a lot of sense in Colorado Springs. EBikes are an efficient, cost-effective and fun way to travel, and have been shown to change transportation habits. Nationally, 45% of all vehicle trips are 3 Miles or less, while trips over 6 miles account for 40% of all trips. This data shows that there is a large percentage of vehicle trips that are well within the range of an average bicycle rider, a distance that is that much more reasonable for people using an EBike. This is especially true in our city as we do have some challenging topography, EBikes remove that barrier as can be seen with the growth and success of PikeRide ever since our local bike share provider introduced EBikes to their fleet. EBikes make it possible to travel longer distances in less time, making EBikes a great solution for the sprawling nature of our city with fairly large distances between destinations. It’s been shown that EBike riders ride more frequently, which is one of our goals at Bike COS. EBikes remove barriers making bike riding more attractive so more people do it.
Official Colorado Springs E-Bikes, E-Scooter, and EPAMD Definitions
Below are the official vehicle definitions as outlined in the February 2021 revision of the Colorado Springs Traffic Code
BICYCLE: A vehicle propelled by human power applied to pedals upon which a person may ride having two tandem wheels or two parallel wheels and one forward wheel, all of which are more than fourteen inches in diameter.
ELECTRICAL ASSISTED BICYCLE: A vehicle having two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and an electric motor not exceeding seven hundred fifty watts of power. Electrical assisted bicycles are further required to conform to one of three classes as follows:
- CLASS 1 ELECTRICAL ASSISTED BICYCLE: An electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.
- CLASS 2 ELECTRICAL ASSISTED BICYCLE: An electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling but ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.
- CLASS 3 ELECTRICAL ASSISTED BICYCLE: An electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty-eight miles per hour.
ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICE or EPAMD: A self-balancing, nontandem two-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person that is powered solely by an electric propulsion system producing an average power output of no more than seven hundred fifty watts.
ELECTRIC SCOOTER: A device:
- Weighing less than one hundred pounds;
- With or without handlebars;
- That is powered by an electric motor; and
- That has a maximum speed of twenty miles per hour on a paved level surface when powered solely by the electric motor.
“Electric scooter” does not include an electrical assisted bicycle, EPAMD, motorcycle, or low-power scooter.
Please be aware, if your vehicle does not fall within the guidelines above it is not classified as a Scooter, E-Bike, or EPAMD below are definitions of other vehicle types covering addition electrically powered vehicles.
LOW-POWER SCOOTER: A self-propelled vehicle designed primarily for use on the roadways with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, no manual clutch, and either of the following:
- A cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters if powered by internal combustion; or
- A wattage not exceeding four thousand four hundred seventy-six if powered by electricity.
“Low-power scooter” does not include a toy vehicle, bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, wheelchair, or any device designed to assist people with mobility impairments who use pedestrian rights-of-way.
LOW-SPEED ELECTRIC VEHICLE: vehicle that:
- Is self-propelled utilizing electricity as its primary propulsion method; B. Has at least three wheels in contact with the ground;
- Does not use handlebars to steer; and
- Exhibits the manufacturer’s compliance with 49 CFR 565 or displays a seventeen character vehicle identification number as provided in 49 CFR 565.
TOY VEHICLE: Any vehicle that has wheels and is not designed for use on public highways or for offroad use. “Toy vehicle” includes, but is not limited to, gas-powered or electric powered vehicles commonly known as mini bikes, “” bikes, kamikaze boards, go peds, and stand-up scooters. “Toy vehicle” does not include electric scooters, off highway vehicles or snowmobiles.
Below is the updated Colorado Springs city code related to the use of bike lanes
The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to bicycles, and/or electrical assisted bicycles, and/or electric scooters, and/or low-power scooters, and/or EPAMDs and other authorized users of bicycle lanes and, in a bicycle lane and/or protected bicycle lane.
Electric Bikes vs Electric Scooters: Which One Should You Choose?
Micromobility has arrived. Personal electric vehicles are solving last mile problems and replacing car trips as major cities move away from car-centric infrastructure. Increasingly, commuters are realizing how much faster and easier it is to get to work on an electric scooter or e-bike than it is to sit through dreaded rush hour traffic or live at the mercy of unreliable public transportation systems.
When it comes to which personal electric vehicle is best, the choice between an e-bike or e-scooter might already be made for you by some critical factors, including portability and storage capacity. Can you fit a full-sized electric bike in your tiny studio apartment? Carry one up the stairs in your building with no elevator? If not, you’re probably leaning toward a scooter or a maybe a small, folding electric bike.
But there are many other considerations, especially if you’re just figuring out how to transition from more traditional modes of getting around.
Some other points of comparison include the need to access other modes of transportation easily or to carry larger loads; the distances you typically have to travel; or a desire to get some optional exercise along the way. Both energy-efficient options are excellent choices in their own right, but these are very different kinds of vehicles, as we’ll see.
Comfort and Convenience
If you asked 3-4 people to name the ideal personal electric vehicle you might get 3-4 different answers. Bodies and needs vary. Some people might find riding an electric bike challenging or impossible. For others, standing and balancing on a scooter or skateboard can be too difficult. For a number of riders, an electric bike may simply be the most comfortable option.
Most electric bikes have large frames and tires to accommodate the added weight of the battery and motor. Electric mountain and hybrid bikes also include full or partial suspension systems, which are as useful on bumpy, potholed city streets as they are on the trail. If comfort is your main concern, you might consider the huge range of electric bikes, which do come in lighter, folding options to better meet a need for portability.
That’s not, however, to say that electric scooters don’t offer a comfortable ride—they do. Many high-performance models even feature large pneumatic tires and suspension systems, though at the cost of a larger vehicle that may not be easy to fold or carry and can weigh as much as an e-bike. For most people, these heavy add-ons defeat one of the primary reasons for owning a scooter—convenience.
Most lightweight, durable scooters like Unagi’s Model One—which comes in at under 30 pounds in both its single and dual motor versions—ride smoothly and comfortably over level pavement and can easily be folded and stowed in a closet or carried onto public transportation. Electric bikes, on the other hand, can weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds.
But convenience is a relative term. If you plan on using an electric vehicle to do your regular shopping or move kids from place to place, there’s no better choice among the range of options than a heavy-duty electric bike with a large rack, extra seating, and cargo capacity. If you want to pound the pedals and get a workout on your commute, a lighter-weight electric bike might suit you best. If your ideal mode of transport is weaving through the traffic, traveling light, and having the option to easily grab a taxi or hop on a bus or train, a lightweight folding electric scooter should be the clear choice.
Speed and Range
It’s true that the majority of electric bikes will outperform most lightweight e-scooters in top speeds, though there are, of course, exceptions. In order to keep weight down, scooter manufacturers equip their vehicles with smaller batteries and motors. Most electric scooters tend to top out at speeds of 22 mph, where electric bikes may reach speeds of up to 30 mph or more. But if you’re riding in heavy traffic or on crowded city streets, speed may not be a foremost concern.
E-scooters are sleek and nimble and can easily maneuver around cars and other vehicles that slow cyclists down. In a comparison between several different personal electric vehicles, one Electrek reviewer writes, “I rarely felt like needed to go faster than the scooter’s top speed because I had to slow down to pass cars anyways. With such a thin vehicle, it was easy to slide between and around cars that were stuck in traffic when on streets that didn’t have a bike lane.”
It’s also true that electric bikes will generally have much longer ranges and will therefore work best for longer commutes and adventures, though their larger batteries can take more time to charge. Many people who choose to purchase an electric bike live in low-density areas with lots of roads and trails and longer distances to cover. Scooter buyers, on the other hand, might tend to live in large cities where lower speeds and ranges are worthy tradeoffs for convenience, portability, and maneuverability.
Cost and Safety
Cost is certainly not the least consideration when deciding between an electric bike and electric scooter. If you need to haul things, spending the extra money on an electric bike may be the preferable (or only) option. That said, not all e-bikes cost more than high-end electric scooters (just as not all e-bikes are as harder to carry and store). The amount of money you’re willing and able to invest in a personal electric vehicle will greatly depend on your specific budget and transportation needs.
Price differences tend to be negligible between higher-cost electric scooters and lower-end electric bikes. On the other hand, some high-performance, specialty, and cargo electric bikes can set you back several thousand dollars. You can purchase an electric scooter of similar quality and durability, like the Unagi Model One, for under a thousand dollars. It’s also worth considering that the scooter will be far more theft resistant.
Electric bikes are at a much higher risk of theft because of high resale and because they must be left outside on most trips. This makes cost of ownership go up due to expensive bike locks and e-bike insurance. Electric bikes also require far more maintenance than well-made e-scooters, which may need no more than a battery replacement every few years.
When it comes to riding safely, an electric bike can be a better option on the road than an electric scooter. There are several reasons for this, some having to do with the design of the vehicles themselves: scooters are lower to the ground and their wheels are much smaller, so they don’t handle bumps and jolts nearly as well. Scooter riders are also less visible to drivers than cyclists are.
However, some significant reasons for the disparity come down to rider behavior, as the Electric Scooter Guide points out. We are conditioned from early childhood to take bike safety seriously, but “for 20 years we have ridden kick scooters” like the Razor “as a toy, and all-of-a-sudden we see one on the street, not realizing these new devices are more akin to a motorcycle than the toy we used to know.” Maybe for this reason, e-scooter riders are much less likely than cyclists to wear helmets, and thus more likely to be seriously injured.
As we’ve noted, the choice between an electric bike and an electric scooter (if you have to choose!) can depend on a number of variables that differ widely between individual riders. No personal electric vehicle is designed to meet every possible transportation need. When it comes, however, to cost, convenience, and ease of use, electric scooters might just be the best option for the majority of urban commuters and riders-about-town.
Is an Electric Bike a Moped? (Differences Explained)
Electric bikes have motors just like a moped but there are some big differences, especially when it comes to the legal side, that separate electric bikes from mopeds. In this article, I will explain what those differences are and clear up any confusion!
No, an electric bike is not a moped, even an electric bike with a throttle. Electric bikes can be ridden like a regular bike and have gears just like a regular bike. Modern mopeds are simply low-powered scooters.
Mopeds were originally two-wheeled, gas-powered, bikes that had pedals and a chain but the pedals were mostly used to crank start the motor.
This is a cool old school style gas moped
You could actually pedal an old-school moped like a regular bike, but is nearly impossible and just didn’t work very well.
So basically the term “Moped” is a pretty confusing mess and mopeds these days are really nothing like electric bicycles.
Quickly Ride to a Section.
What Is the Difference Between an Electric Bike and a Modern Moped?
Electric bikes can be ridden like a regular bike but have a motor that will help assist with pedaling up to a certain speed. Modern mopeds are just low-powered scooters that you sit on and use the throttle for propulsion.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say on the matter –
In my opinion, Wikipedia is not always a great source for clearing things up.
Most mopeds these days just look like regular scooters and some look like motorcycles.
Here is what modern electric mopeds look like
Whereas modern electric bikes are looking more and more like regular bikes as motors get smaller and more powerful and batteries get smaller with longer life spans.
Plus, you can actually ride an electric bike like a regular bike if you really have to. Here is an article all about this → “Can an Electric Bike Be Used Like a Regular Bike?”
Do You Need A License for an Electric Bike?
In the US there are only 3 states that still require a license to ride an electric bike, Alaska, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. In any other state, as long as you have a Class 1, 2, or 3 electric bike, you do not need a license.
Electric bikes are great because you can ride them like a regular bike and don’t need to have a license, registration, or insurance.
This is another area in which riding an electric bike can save you a lot of money.
Here is an article I think you might like → “Can An Electric Bike Replace a Car?”
What is an Electric Moped?
Modern electric mopeds are basically low-powered scooters that have a max speed of around 25pmh, no pedals, and depending upon where you live, may not require a license.
These modern electric mopeds are quite different than the original moped, which was a gas-powered bicycle that you could also pedal like a regular bike if you ran out of gas and you could use the pedals to start to motor.
Mopeds never really gained much popularity here in the US, but in some countries, they were everywhere.
Nowadays, electric mopeds look just like gas-powered scooters but have smaller motors that only supply enough power to go about 25mph.
Electric mopeds do not have pedals and the rider will just sit there and use the throttle to get moving.
Electric mopeds are only legal to ride on roads with a speed limit of 25pmh or less, otherwise, you need to use the bike lane.
I would also test out your new moped on hills, since these do not have as powerful of motors as scooters, you may notice that you go pretty slow up inclines and have to veer over into the bike lane.
Electric mopeds are not like electric scooters. Electric mopeds are designed to be much lower power with speed limit restrictions and allow for some states not to have to require licenses or registration.
If you plan to buy an electric moped, I would check with local state laws first and see what their requirements are.
Are Electric Mopeds Legal to Ride on Bike Paths?
No, they are not. Electric mopeds are considered motorized vehicles and not allowed on multi-use bike paths.
This is something to really take into consideration before buying an electric moped. You will have to ride on the road and most of the time, in the bike lane.
There is a reason that few folks decide that an electric moped is a way to go in the US. You kind of get the worst of both worlds.
They are not powerful and fast enough to ride on most streets in traffic and not allowed on bike paths and multi-use paths so that you take the scenic route.
Should I Buy an Electric Bike or a Moped?
Now that there are many electric bike options that include a throttle, there is really no reason to buy a moped. Even if you have a throttle on your ebike, you will still be pedaling a bit and getting some exercise, which is always good!
With an electric bike, you can use bike paths and multi-use paths to find much better routes to where you need to go.
You will also find, that over time as you pedal more often, you will start to get into better shape and feel healthier.
If you do just want something like an electric moped and your state will require a license and insurance anyway, then I would just look at getting a more powerful electric scooter that you can ride in traffic with.
If price is your main concern, there are many electric bike options that include throttles, that won’t break the bank. My Lectric XP 2.0 was 999 and has a throttle, but you can also pedal it like a regular bike.
For the best options in electric bikes, you should check with your local bike shop and see what they have. Getting an excellent mid-drive ebike from your local dealer is going to be the best ebike experience you can have.
At the End of the Day
I am a big fan of electric bikes and I don’t really see the benefit of an electric moped.
Riding an electric bike can give all the benefits of riding a regular bike without many of the drawbacks.
Riding an electric moped just seems like a slow way to remain stuck in traffic.
If you are still torn between the two, then you can always go to your local bike shop and test ride an electric bike for free. You can also rent electric bikes in just about every major town these days.
Finding an electric moped you really test out before you buy is going to be challenging.
Plus, if you buy your electric bike from your local dealer you will always have someone, in-person, that can help you with any maintenance issues and questions you may have.
As always, stay safe out there and Keep on Riding!