Ebike Classes Explained. Trek class 2 ebike

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Demo Days Coming to Bicycle Garage Indy North

Interested in electric assist bikes but are overwhelmed by all the different information out there? Good news, we are doing Electric Assist Demo Days at our North location!

We will have lifestyle and hybrid style e-bikes from Trek, Giant, Electra and Momentum available for you to test out. If you’re interested in a bike to ride with family, around the neighborhood or even the park, these bikes are the answer.

In order to demo our bikes you will need to wear a helmet, sign a waiver (on site), as well as have an ID and credit card. You will be able to demo as many of the bikes as you would like. Each demo ride will be a MAX of 20 minutes long and you will be able to ride through a small course we will have set up.

Electric-Assist Bicycles Make Possible

E-bikes let you go farther and faster, and help you do more by bike. There’s an e-bike for everyone, no matter if you’ve never had a bike before, are coming back from an injury, want to keep up with faster riders, or just want to have fun on every single ride. E-bikes flatten hills, let you carry heavier loads, and help you cut back on car trips. The best part? You still get the benefits of a traditional bike, like exercise, time outside, and not having to sit in with traffic jams or find parking.

Sometimes you’ll ride for fun, sometimes you’ll ride for fitness, and sometimes you’ll ride just to get from A to B. No matter how you spend time in the saddle, e-bikes offer unique solutions to the challenges of any ride. These bikes are all about possibility.

Even if your ride varies from day to day, an electric bicycle always gives you the option to do and experience more.

Electric Bikes Are For Everyone

Ride with friends Farther. Faster. Don’t sweat the commute Climb any hill Have more fun A clean solution for a messy world No learning curve Get out there

The Federal E-BIKE Act is Back and Needs Support!

Action Item from League of American Bicyclists:

Let’s get more people on bicycles: the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act creates a tax rebate for people buying electric bikes similar to the tax incentive for buying an electric car.Use this page to encourage your federally elected officials to co-sponsor the bill. If your representative or senator is already co-sponsoring the bill, a thank you note will be sent instead! A bill introduced Tuesday, March 21, 2023 would offer Americans up to 1,500 off a new e-bike. The basics:? E-bikes, e-cargo bikes, and e-trikes are eligible? Bike price capped at 8,000? Max credit of 1,500 or 30% of purchase price? Income cap of 150k for singles or 300k for joint filers? Eligible e-bikes must be certified for safety (a nod toward fire risk from cheap, imported models)

E-Bike Articles

“We should invest in bike lanes, not subsidies. Indeed, safety is the biggest hurdle to getting more people to bike. But bike lanes are cheap! The biggest constraint isn’t money, but politics. e-bike owners.- people demanding bike lanes

“E-bikes are already popular. Why subsidize them?”.- Because not everyone can afford 1-2k to buy one.- Because they create positive societal externalities (lower emissions, better health, etc), so we should encourage their use

“Why not subsidize pedal bikes?” Pedal bikes are great. But in the US, adult pedal bikes are frequently used for recreation, rather than transportation. That limits their ability to replace car trips. E-bikes are more likely to do that.

“Won’t 1,500 off a new e-bike just make rise 1,500?” This is a fair concern, especially since many car companies jacked up EV after Biden signed the IRA. But the e-bike market is much more fragmented – which helps keep down.

“I can’t use an e-bike where I live. Why should I care about them?” Because e-bikes pollute far less than even an electric car. Converting car trips (including others’ car trips) onto e-bikes helps slow climate change, which benefits all of us.

Electric-assist bikes amplify your own pedal power. The electric-assist bicycles Bicycle Garage Indy sells are pedal-assist bikes, which means there’s a motor that helps the pedals turn when you’re riding, but no throttle like a motorcycle or dirt bike. When you’re pedaling, the e-bike gives you a boost. When you stop pedaling, the bike stops assisting.

Here’s what you need to know about how e-bikes work and the parts that make them unique.

High Performance Motor

The e-bike motor is located around the pedals in the bottom bracket area. Depending on the model, the motor has a power output between 250 and 350 watts and provides assist up to 20 or 28mph.

Long Life Battery

Electric-assist bikes run off lithium-ion batteries. They’re waterproof, durable, and can be recharged on or off the bike at any household electrical outlet. How far it will get you depends on the level of assist, type of terrain you’re riding, and your weight.

Easy-to-Control Assist

A handlebar-mounted controller lets you choose your level of assist, plus it tells you how fast you’re going and how much battery you have left. You’re in control of the whole experience without ever having to take your hands off the handlebar.

Ebike Classes Explained

Electric bike sales have soared over the last few years due to their rise in popularity.

Bicycles with motors on make great commuting bikes for those who don’t want to arrive at work sweaty, as well as opening up cycling as a hobby to those who otherwise might not be able to access it.

But with new technology comes new territory for lawmakers, and in 2020, the USA announced that electric bikes would not be considered motor vehicles.

This meant that e-bikes would be able to ride on certain trails and areas they weren’t able to previously.

This change saw the clarification of ebike classes, which now run from 1-3 for e-bikes, and anything higher is identified as an electric moped.

These classes of ebikes help manufacturers to understand the limits of what they can produce, and for consumers to understand what type of capabilities the bike they’re buying has.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the different classes and discuss the capabilities and limits of each one.

E-Bike Classes Explained

Class 1: have only pedal assistance up to 20mph.Class 2: have pedal assistance up to 20mph throttle assistance up to 20mph.Class 3: have pedal assistance up to 28mph may or may not have throttle assistance up to 20mph.Class 4: may have a top speed of over 28mph and motor wattage over 750W.

Why is the legal limit 750W?

750W = 0.75kW = 1 horsepower

Class 1 eBikes

These Co-op electric bikes have pedal assistance of 20mph and don’t have a throttle, so according to eBike classification, they are class 1 eBikes.

Class 1 eBikes are bikes that use pedal-assist to a maximum assisted speed of 20mph.

This means that they are pedal-assist-only eBikes, and they must be without throttle controls, i.e. you must pedal the bike to engage the e-bike motor. They’re also called Pedelecs, (pedal electric cycles) and they must adhere to the class 1 electric bike speed limit of 20mph.

From October 2020 this was written into legislation in the United States and has helped to clarify the confusing market of eBike classes and assistance levels. It also helps to clarify where these bikes can go. Previously, they were unable to be used on certain mountain bike trails and bike paths as they were in a grey area of motor vehicle status. Now, however, they can be ridden in more areas and not just on the road.

Main Features of Class 1 eBikes:

  • Pedal assistance
  • Assisted speed up to 20mph
  • No assistance without pedaling
  • The motor must be less than 750W
  • Mostly have the same rights and access privileges as regular bikes

Class 2 eBikes

Kracken Adventure Bikes produces 750W eBikes with a throttle.

Class 2 electric bikes also have a maximum assisted speed of 20mph.

However, unlike class 1, they can include throttle assistance without the need for pedaling. This of course doesn’t mean the assistance cuts out if you do start pedaling, but the option is there for you to not pedal and use the throttle. Class 2 e-bike max speed is the same as class 1, at 20mph, and as with class 1 bikes, you can ride them as ‘unassisted’ bikes, i.e. with the motor off, and in the same places.

Class 2 bikes generally look similar to class 1 bikes, except they have the inclusion of a throttle assist. This is usually on the handlebars so can look quite subtle.

Main features of class 2 eBikes:

  • Throttle assistance can be activated through a trigger, button, or twist-grip
  • Can be ridden without pedaling
  • May also have pedal-assistance
  • Maximum assisted speed is 20mph
  • The motor must be less than 750 watts
  • Mostly have the same rights and access privileges as regular bikes

Class 3 eBikes

These Trek class 3 bicycles assist you up to 28 mph.

Class 3 eBikes are slightly more confusing.

Their maximum assisted speed is set to 28mph making them quite high-speed electric bikes. They must also be equipped with a speedometer to let you know how fast you’re riding. The complicated part is the addition of a throttle. Some states don’t allow throttles at all on the bike (such as California), whereas others only allow the throttle to be used up to 20mp/h, but the pedal assist can continue to 28mph.

Additionally, the motor must have a capacity of less than 750W, and you cannot ride these on bike paths that exist outside of the road. To get around this, manufacturers apply a limit to the throttle speed (20mph). Some speed pedelecs can be adjusted so if you want to ride on a multi-use trail, for example, you can switch the throttle assist to max out at 20mph, and remove the limit when you ride on the road.

Check with your local legislation before using a class 3 eBike to figure out where you’re allowed to ride it.

Main features of class 3 eBikes:

  • Pedal assistance
  • Max assisted speed is 28mph
  • Equipped with speedometer
  • The motor must be less than 750W
  • Restricted from multi-use paths
  • Mostly with an age limit. Depending on the state, the rider must be at least 14, 15, or 16.
  • Optional throttle with 20mph assistance

Class 4 eBikes

QuietKat eBikes are class 4 when bought with over 750W motor.

Class 4 eBikes are not permitted to be used on the road and thus are deemed motorized vehicles which need to be insured and licensed.

This class of bikes use motors more powerful than 750W and class 4 ebike speeds are over 28mph. Some are even capable of being 50mph electric bikes, hence why they need to be licensed and insured. They are in a similar category to electric dirt bikes, with the main difference being the inclusion of pedals on a class 4 eBike.

As class 4 eBikes are only permitted to be used off-road, there is a more limited scope for the type of bikes you will find in this category.

Main features of class 4 eBikes:

  • Throttle and/or pedal assistance
  • Top speed 28mph and over
  • The motor can be more than 750W
  • Mostly need registration and licensing

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Your First Electric Bike

Camping. Remote work. Electric bikes. Each of these activities have gotten more popular since 2020. The latter is a triple-whammy, one that moves you around in an efficient manner, gets you in better shape, and – given that many American households now spend 5,000 per year on gas – can save you a bunch of money. That explains why more people now want an e-bike than an EV, even though 78 percent have never ridden one.

These statistics offer an important takeaway: An e-bike doesn’t just cut down your gas bill and carbon footprint, but owning one also means you have a built-in group of people who have a similar interest and a built-in activity. It’s therefore not out of place to say that riding an e-bike makes you a better all-around person. In order to help you be your suavest self on-stead, here’s everything you need to know about electric bikes before hopping on.

How Much Are Electric Bikes?

Like automobiles and traditional bikes, the cost of e-bikes ranges based on factors including the brand, its intended use, and how well-equipped it is. Visit your local bike shop in autumn and you very well could find a basic commuter e-bike for 600-800 that the owner simply wants to get out the door before the season changes. Top-quality e-bikes run above 5,000, with some hitting 8,000 or more. As a first-time buyer, you want to come in somewhere in the middle. Plan to spend 1,500 to 2,500 for a good quality, middle-of-the-road e-bike that will last you for a decade or more of regular use.

How Do Electric Bikes Work?

At first glance, e-bikes look like any other bicycle. But the defining characteristic means that they don’t act like one: There’s an electric motor that assists the rider in spinning the wheels that’s powered by an electric battery mounted somewhere on the bike itself (generally in the rear or attached to the chassis). The motor is restricted to 750 watts, but this is plenty of power to speed by traffic during a gridlocked rush hour commute.

Electric mountain bikes work the same as traditional e-bikes in that they offer battery assist. Beyond that, they’re closer to traditional mountain bikes with fatter tires, shock absorption, and a design optimized for dirt and rock trail riding rather than paved paths or roads. While they make for an easier way to ascend uphill trails, electric mountain bikes are actually prohibited on many trails, particularly those that don’t allow motorized transit. Before heading out on one, check regulations posted by your local trail operator or see the Bureau of Land Management regulations before riding on public lands. The good news is that the percentage of mountain bike trails open to electric mountain bikes is growing each year.

How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go?

Speed is where e-bikes really begin to differ from one another — and from traditional bicycles. According to regulations adopted by most states, e-bikes are broken down into three classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.

Class 1 e-bikes: Commonly known as “pedal-assist” or “pedelec” bikes, this is generally what people are talking about when you hear them refer to hybrid e-bikes. These bikes have a top speed of 20 mph, and while there’s a rechargeable battery on the bike, the rider must be pedaling for it to kick in. When browsing e-bikes at your local shop, most are likely to be Class 1, both because these are more affordable and because most people simply aren’t looking to ride over mountain passes on a regular basis. Most newer models of Class 1 bikes offer various settings of pedal assist ranging from a gentle boost to a “turbo mode” that makes climbing small hills a breeze, as long as you’re willing to pedal. If you want to commute from point A to point B with ease while still burning a decent amount of calories, a Class 1 e-bike is the way to go.

Class 2 e-bikes: This set adds a handlebar-mounted throttle to the equation. The battery still won’t push you above 20 mph, but the throttle allows the power to kick in even when you aren’t pedaling. This is a great option for commuting to work without looking like you stopped for a gym session, or fell into a puddle, on the way.

Class 3 e-bikes: Riding one of these is like driving one of those scooters in Mario Kart. The battery assist works up to 28 mph without pedaling, and the bike must have a speedometer. Most have a throttle, though some states, like California, prohibit throttles on these bikes, apparently for fear of people confusing them with a motorcycle. Either way, you can typically only ride a Class 3 e-bike on paved roads, whether you’re in traffic or in a designated one-way bike lane. The National Conference of State Legislatures breaks down each state’s regulations into a handy guide.

Best Affordable E-bike for Finding Your Footing: Gotrax Alpha

Cruising on the Gotrax Alpha is reminiscent of that classic bike you learned to ride on as a kid. Its thicker tires make the Alpha comfortable whether you’re riding through town or along the beachside path. You can ride up to 15.2 miles per charge and cycle between three distinct speed settings. The Alpha is ideal for running quick errands because it’s easy to lock (just use a bolt lock, not a cable and chain lock) and blends in easily with traditional bikes, saving you from stressing too much about it sitting outside while you shop.

Best E-bike for All-purpose Riding: Schwinn Healy Ridge

Officially an electric mountain bike because of its thicker tires, the Schwinn Healy Ridge is an excellent introduction to Class 2 e-bike riding at an approachable price point. The bike has an 18-speed shifter and a 25-mile range that makes it perfect for lapping mellow trails and for stopping by the brewpub afterward for a pint with the guys. Its throttle provides a welcome boost for riding home after a long day – or when you’re carting around a toddler who’s eager to get back to horsing around.

Best E-bike for Longer Commutes to Work, School, and Around Town: Gazelle Medeo T9 City

Gazelle makes e-bikes ideal for regular commuters. The Medeo T9 City is perfect for cruising bike lanes, roads, paved paths, and even smooth pebbles as long as they’re well-packed. The bike features a Bosch Active Line motor and battery pack cycles through four settings ranging from Eco to Turbo mode, and 50 mm of suspension travel up front means you can smoothly transition from pavement to dirt and back again. I’ve put hundreds of miles on my T9 City this year without incident, pushing it as far as 52 miles on a single charge.

Best E-bike for Everything on Your Agenda: Trek Townie Go! 5i EQ Step-Over and Step-Thru

Trek electric bikes are known for durability, and though they aren’t cheap, you get the tried-and-tested Trek name behind a product you’re going to drop a 4-figure amount of money on. Trek electric bikes range in price point from 1,599 to over 10,000, but the best option for the discerning e-bike commuter is Trek Townie Go! 5i EQ. The Townie Go! Is a great hybrid e-bike that comes in two varieties: the Step-Thru, with a more compact frame that’s easier to get on and off of, and the Step-Over which is a tad more high-performance and looks less like a beach cruiser. Both feature Bosch Active Line Plus System that cycles between the same four settings as the Medeo and Electra’s Flat Foot Technology that provide comfortable pedal assist to make getting around a breeze. But, you’ll still work hard enough to maintain the dignity required to call yourself a bike commuter.

Best Electric Mountain Bike: Cannondale Moterra Neo 5 – 4,550

For the experienced mountain biker ready to put an “E” in front of their “MTB” addition, the Cannondale Moterra Neo 5 is the best way to go. Dual suspension, 60 miles of range per charge, and a Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain make this a dependable option for easy loops and more rugged cross-country terrain. Plus, the bike’s lightweight aluminum frame means that you can actually lift it and cruise easily around tight turns even with the Shimano STEPS E7000 drive unit and battery attached.

Trek unveils two kid-carrying electric cargo bikes, and they sure look familiar

Wisconsin-based bicycle maker Trek has just launched its latest two electric bikes, which are both designed as kid and cargo movers. The new Trek Fetch Plus 2 and Trek Fetch Plus 4 mark Trek’s deepest dive into the cargo e-bike segment yet.

Family-friendly cargo e-bikes

The two e-bikes carry distinct designs, with the Trek Fetch Plus 2 rolling out as a longtail cargo bike and the Trek Fetch Plus 4 taking on less common front loader cargo bike layout.

Long tail cargo bikes have a stretched wheel base with extra space between the rider and rear wheel. Front loader cargo bikes, sometimes referred to by their Dutch name bakfiets, have a long platform or box in a stretched space between the rider and front wheel.

Both categories are becoming increasingly common and we’ve seen dozens of examples from various companies in the past couple years.

But this time it’s Trek that is hankering for a slice of the cargo e-bike pie as the company puts it’s own spin on the two popular e-bike categories.

Trek Fetch Plus 2

The Trek Fetch Plus 2 will use Bosch’s BES3 Smart system with the company’s cargo-specific mid-drive motor lineup. Those motors are rated for a continuous 250W of power, though their 80 Nm torque rating betrays the true higher power of the drive system.

The motors are usually limited to 20 mph (32 km/h) in the US, and the throttle-less design keeps them squarely in the Class 1 e-bike designation.

The Fetch Plus 2 includes Bosch’s 500Wh battery that mounts in the downtube and is removable for charging. That battery is a bit below average capacity for e-bikes in the US, but should still offer plenty of range thanks to the efficient pedal-assist setup of the Bosch drive system. An optional range extender battery will be available for those that want to carry more than 500Wh of battery with them.

The bike is rated for a combined operator-and-passenger payload capacity of 200 kg (440 lb). That puts it in competition with other heavy-hauling electric cargo bikes like the Tern GSD, though it carries a higher entry price.

The Fetch Plus 2 will go on sale in April of this year with an MSRP of US 5,999.

Trek Fetch Plus 4

If you thought the Fetch Plus 2 was pricey, wait until you check out the 8,999 Fetch Plus 4.

The bike uses a similar drivetrain but swaps in a 750 Wh battery. That higher capacity battery is better suited to the heavier Fetch Plus 4, especially considering the obvious kid-carrying front bucket will likely be occupied much of the time.

ebike, classes, explained, trek

That’s a big part of the draw, as Trek’s designer Eric Bybee explained:

Kids were the center point of when we first started designing these. We realized that when a family is going out to buy one of these bikes, the kids have to be the FOCUS.

The Fetch Plus 4 includes a high-end transmission using a Gates Carbon Drive belt-drive system paired with an automatic shifting Enviolo hub in the rear wheel. That’s a fairly significant upgrade over the Fetch Plus 2’s 10-speed Shimano Deore transmission, though even that chain drive setup is nicer than we see on many other cargo e-bikes. Both models carry four-piston hydraulic disc brakes – another nod towards their heavy weight ratings.

While the Fetch Plus 2 looks similar to several other longtail cargo e-bikes we’ve tested before, the Fetch Plus 4 draws from a more European vibe seen in higher end cargo e-bikes like those from Urban Arrow, Riese and Müller, and others.

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