The electric bike market first achieved popularity in the early 2000s, and it has never ceased growing. Its market was estimated at $15 billion in 2019, and those figures have risen even higher. It is easy to understand why e-bikes have become so popular. They are an economical method of movement and offer all the benefits of conventional bikes, plus increased speed and smaller exertion. Also, electric bicycles can cover 20 - 50 miles on a single battery.
We totally understand if you are ready to rush off and place an order for an electric bike right away. However, you should take some minutes to read this guide on the classification of electric bicycles. Nobody wants to buy one that's banned in your city. There are electric bike laws that state where an electric bike can be ridden and the type.
Classification of Electric Bikes
These classifications came into existence to provide proper and safe guidelines for the use of e-bikes under local electric bike laws. While some ebikes can be considered low-speed bicycles, others would better be classified as motorcycles because of their speed. For safety reasons, no one wants a bicycle with as much power as a motorcycle on traditional bicycle paths. Due to this, several classes of electric bikes were created to define where and how specific ebikes should be ridden.
There are 3 distinct classes of electric bicycles:
Class 2 Electric Bike
Class 3 Electric Bike
Class 1 Electric Bike
Often referred to as analog bikes or low-speed electric bicycles. This class of electric bicycles uses a motor that renders assistance only when the bike is being paddled. It stops assisting when a speed of 20mph (miles per hour) is reached. You however are not required to paddle vigorously, the throttle would work even with the pedals being free-spun leisurely.
This class of electric bikes is limited to a top speed of 20mph (miles per hour).
This bike has low speed and demands pedaling action to move. Hence, this class of ebikes is legally allowed on all lanes and paths where traditional bikes are allowed. These include bike-only paths, parks, roads, bike lanes, and multi-use trails. They are also allowed on mountain bike trails.
Class 2 Electric Bicycle
This is also referred to as the low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle. The class 2 electric bicycle uses a motor that can be solely used to propel the bicycle. Providing a boost without the need to pedal. This assistance or boost stops when the top speed of 20mph has been reached.
This does not mean the motor of class 2 electric bicycle won't assist you if you choose to pedal. Several class 2 electric bikes allow electrically supported pedaling alongside throttles.
Class 2 electric bikes speed limit is 20mph. The difference being that their throttles do not require you to pedal.
Class 2 throttle-assist ebikes are generally allowed in most places traditional bicycles are allowed. These include all bike-only paths, parks, roads, bike lanes, and, multi-use trails. Class 2 electric bicycles are suitable for single-track mountain bike trails and multi-use OHV trails. These electric bicycles are sturdy and designed for more rugged off-road uses.
If you are looking to purchase a class 2 electric bike, the KBO’s Commuter Electric Bike KBO Breeze is a perfect choice. It allows you to enjoy the best of both classes. The throttle assists without requiring you to paddle, allowing you to take leisure effortless rides. It also benefits from the same rights and access privileges on all paths traditional bicycles have access to. With the KBO 500w Electric Bike, you have little to worry about as it can be used on bike lanes, streets, parks, multi-use bike paths, and generally, anywhere you would take a traditional bike.
Another top choice is the KBO Commuter Electric Bike the Breeze Step-Thru. With its affordable price and surprisingly low shipping fee, you are set to get the best of the world of bicycles and bikes.
Class 3 Electric Bicycle
The class 3 electric bike is equipped with a motor that assists only when you are pedaling. It doesn’t provide assistance when its speed reaches 28mph. This class of ebikes has a speedometer and is an attractive choice for commuters. It however is less popular than the class 2 and class 1 electric bikes because you are still required to pedal.
The class 3 electric bike has the highest top speed of all classes. It can go as fast as 28mph. Because of this fact, it must be equipped with a speedometer and it has limited places it can legally be ridden on.
Class 3 bikes are restricted from all shared or multi-use paths, bike paths, and trails shared with pedestrians. They are mostly restricted to on-road bike lanes. In some cities in Europe, a class 3 electric bike is regarded as a motor vehicle. A special license is required to ride one.
You may also be required to affix an identification plate at the bike's rear, with its use restricted to private property or roads.
While this might seem extreme as a traditional bicycle can achieve a 20-mph speed, a class 3 electric bike can move very fast. It is considered by decision-makers as being too fast for paths used by traditional bicycles and pedestrians.
To summarize, the 3 classes can be distinguished as;
Class 1 electric bike: Limited to 20mph, free access to conventional bicycle paths, PAS.
Class 2 electric bike: Limited to 20mph, free access to conventional bicycle paths, PAS + throttle.
Class 3 electric bikes: Limited to 28mph by PAS and 20mph per throttle, restricted access to conventional bicycle paths.
Do I need a license to ride a KBO bike on the road?
No, you do not need any license to ride an KBO electric bike on road. All KBO bikes comply with the regulations of the US laws. With the KBO Electric Bikes, you have little to worry about as it can be used on bike lanes, streets, parks, multi-use bike paths, and generally, anywhere you would take a traditional bike.
Once you know these classes, you can decide on a quality electric bicycle that will suit you. You must go for a quality ebike with a sturdy frame, built to last, with good suspension, light wheels, and hydraulic disc brakes. KBO bikes are a leading brand for reliable electric bicycles. Their electric bikes combine quality with excellent value and all their electric bicycles come highly recommended.
You can pick the best class 2 Commuting Electric Bike in the market today or the Stealth Road Electric Bike KBO Hurricane today!