E-bikes are classified into three types. Classes were designed to decide how to ride e-bikes following local e-bike rules. The three-class system for electric bikes is now used in 36 states across the United States. Most state three-tier systems may differ in certain specifics, but most are relatively similar.
By 2020, the ebike industry and more than half of the US states had converged on a unified, albeit wide, set of classes. Electric bikes are classified into three classes based on their amount of motor assistance, mostly for regulatory purposes. A critical decision point is determining the type of e-bike you require. Among the classes are:
- Class 1
Class 1 electric bikes have a 20-mph peak speed, and the engine only works when pedaling. “Pedelec” bikes with electric motors solely aid pedaling. Class 1 e-bikes are allowed in lanes and routes used by non-assisted bikes, or “analog bikes.”
Electric bikes feature a pedal assist, which activates when you pedal. Without pedaling, the motor won’t start. Class 1 electric bikes can only enhance pedaling speed by 20 mph. Some Class 1 rides are throttle-only. In throttle-only mode, you may ride without pedaling. You may also stop or ride for a while.
Some good examples of class 1 e-bikes are VanMoof S3/X3, Tern GSD S10, and Propella.
- Class 2
Class 2 e-bikes are usually permitted in the same areas as class 1 e-bikes. Because both classes have a top speed of 20 mph for motor assistance. Even though Class 2 e-bikes have a peak speed of 20 miles per hour, they feature throttles that operate even when you’re not pedaling. That is not to say that the engine will not aid you if you want to pedal. Most Class 2 e-bikes include throttles as well as electrically assisted pedaling.
The class 2 e-bike is appropriate for a few more surface terrain types, such as OHV trails. If you’re not familiar with off-road vehicle trails. When deciding whether to buy a class 2 e-bike or another type, look at the specifications of the bikes you’re considering.
Some Exotic examples of Class 2 E-Bikes are Aventon Pace 350, and Super73 S1.
- Class 3
Class 3 e-bikes differ from their equivalents in the other classes in terms of speed. This category of electric bikes continues to be popular among e-bike enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy going on excursions. E-bikes in class 3 provide pedal assistance up to 28 mph, which facilitates faster cycling. Class 3 e-bikes must have a speedometer but are not required to have a throttle. They can travel up to 28 mph. These are legal to use on pathways and multipurpose paths. You may maximize the bike’s performance by changing a setting or removing a specific physical key.
Some examples of Class 3 Electronic Bikes are Aventon Pace 500 and Trek Domane+ sHP.