One of the first questions Jennifer and I asked when we got our ebikes was, “Where can you ride an ebike?” Here is everything we learned…
Are you curious about the latest outdoor and camping trend: ebiking? RVers everywhere are turning to these incredible bikes to work out and cover more ground than they might otherwise be able to.
And recently, we've been testing out a foldable ebike from Lectric. We heard about them from many of our RVing friends and Lectric reached out and sent two of them to us – right to the campground where we were enjoying our Meetup on the Mississippi. Take a look…
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That is why I figured it is high time to write about these incredible bikes, and why you should consider getting one for your own RV lifestyle!
The following is my comprehensive guide covering what an ebike is, where exactly RVers can expect to ride an eBike and the benefits of owning an ebike.
Hey, if you buy something through my links, I might get a little something-something as a thank you. No extra cost to you, promise! Read our full affiliate disclosure here.
What Is an Ebike?
An ebike is another term for an electric bike. They look and feel like regular pedal bikes. But they have one major difference: a motor will assist your pedal power.
You still use your legs to pedal the bike and propel you forward. However, a motor that is attached to the pedals or the sides of the bike can help power your ride.
Most ebikes have different settings, allowing you to choose how much the motor will augment your ride. If you only need a little assistance, you can choose a lower setting. If you need more while you are building up your cardiovascular and muscle strength, then you can set it higher.
The motor will add power to the bicycle as you pedal. It still feels like you are pedaling a bike, but like you have turbo-charged legs when doing so.
Ebikes are only meant to help offset some of your pedaling power, not reach super speeds. That is why when you reach certain speeds, the motor will stop powering you.
The most efficient ebike are ones that combine the motor with the bike’s gear system.
3 Classes of Ebikes (& Where You Can Ride Accordingly)
Class 1 ebikes have motors that offer only pedal assist. The motor is also limited and will stop assisting at 20 mph.
Class 1 ebikes can typically ride wherever bikes are allowed
A Class 2 ebike has a throttle, much like the ones you find on a motorcycle. The motor’s primary function is to still assist in the pedal power. But you have the option of using a throttle for an extra boost of on-demand power.
Class 2 models also stop providing assistance when the bike reaches 20 mph. They are typically allowed wherever bikes are allowed.
The big difference between Class 3 and the other two classes is the speed allowance. The motor will not cut off assistance in a Class 3 until the bike reaches a speed of 28 mph.
These bikes only offer pedal-assist power but can still help shave off a little travel distance time.
Class 3 ebikes are regulated more often, limiting where you can ride them. In those cases, you usually can't ride them on sidewalks, certain trails, etc.
There are certain legalities involved when operating an ebike. There are legal speed limits set on how fast an ebike can operate a bicycle alone. That is 20 mph.
However, when self-peddling, an ebike is allowed to travel at a faster speed than that. That is why a class C motor does not cut out until it reaches 28 mph.
Where Can You Ride an eBike?
Now that you know the legal speed limitations of riding an ebike, you might be wondering where you can ride it. States, national parks, and even your local RV park may each have their own rules regarding how and where you can ride an ebike.
State Rules and Regulations
Each state has its own laws regarding how and where an ebike may be ridden. When traveling, you must check each state’s requirements so that you do not get ticketed for breaking the law. Big thanks to People for Bikes for putting this resource together!
The following states require an operator's license or registration to operate an ebike:
- Hawaii (requires registration & fee)
- New Jersey (operator's license required for Class 3)
Note that laws are regularly changing regarding e-bikes. So, it's best to click on this link to check specific states or, better yet, check that state's official transportation websites.
The National Park Service (NPS) published ebike regulations in November 2020 about the use of ebikes in national parks. In general, ebikes may be used wherever regular bikes are allowed to go unless stated otherwise.
The NPS also uses the same classifications of ebikes as noted above. They state that parks may limit certain class use to comply with state law. Or, to ensure the safety of park visitors.
HOWEVER! Before heading to a national park with your bike, do yourself a favor and check its website for any updates. Since ebikes are still an emerging trend, laws and rules are still changing quite frequently.
How Old to Ride an Ebike?
Minimum age requirements for riding bikes depend on the state and ebike class. Class 3 ebikes, for instance, usually have higher age requirements. Some states don't have an age requirement, while others set restrictions at various ages.
It's best to check state transportation websites for the most accurate information. However, searching by state by clicking here is the easiest method and is quite reliable.
Benefits of eBikes
There are two main benefits of using an ebike: better health and the ability to cover more ground.
Studies show that riding an ebike most definitely has health benefits. It is true that it may not require as much exercise in certain conditions as a regular pedal bike. However, it still provides improved cardiovascular and blood sugar health.
An ebike can also be a great option for those who are not quite fit enough to start cycling on their own. The added motor assistance can help them start cycling and improve their health before they would otherwise be able to.
It is a fun way to improve your health if used consistently.
Cover More Ground
In addition to the health benefits of riding an ebike, you can also enjoy covering more ground. In other words, you can see more on an ebike than a regular bike.
Let’s say that at your current health, you can comfortably pedal for five miles on a regular pedal bike. Using an ebike will allow you to exert the same amount of energy but you can travel farther with the help of the motor. And in the case of our own Content Director, she can cover 17 miles very easily with her Lectric 2.0.
Instead of only being able to pedal for five total miles, you might be able to go 7.5 miles. The ebike’s motor can help you go just a little farther and cover more ground than a regular bike.
We recommend you go Lectric for your RV Lifestyle
You know we love our RAD Power bikes – and have featured them for years, but we recently tested out and LOVE our new Lectric foldable ebikes. Being able to fold them up allowed us to put them in our Wonder rear garage area for a recent RV Lifestyle Gathering. You can check out our experience with them right here on our YouTube Channel.