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eBike Legal Status and Classification System - USA

Be sure to check the class of the electric bike you are considering. The laws vary depending on the country you are in. In Europe, e-bikes are generally not allowed to go above 15mph on their power-assist modes. In the United States, they can go up to 28mph. Within the country, however, some states don’t conform to the norm. 

Check out the People for Bikes website, which is a handy resource for gaining a better understanding of these, sometimes nuanced, regulations.

In general, the Classes are broken down as follows within the United States:

CLASS 1 E-BIKES

  • Max speed of 20 mph
  • Pedal-assist motor only
  • In some areas, the motor can be no bigger than 250w
  • Generally no restrictions on where they can be used in the US

CLASS 2 E-BIKES

  • Max speed of 20 mph 
  • Pedal-assist mode or thumb throttle function
  • Motor usually no greater than 750w

CLASS 3 E-BIKES

  • Max speed 28 mph (often referred to as speed pedelecs)
  • Pedal-assist function only
  • There are restrictions in certain States on where these can be used – always check
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