Understanding the Distinctions: Classifying Electric Bikes and Exploring Class 2 Electric Bike

Man and woman stand next to a pair of Rad Power Bike ebikes90c121612 2 1

There exist three distinct classifications of electric bicycles. We will examine the disparities among them, delve into the ebike class favored by Rad Power Bikes, and explore the reasoning behind this preference.

What Is the Rationale Behind Different Ebike Classes?

Electric bikes, similar to motorcycles, are segmented into various categories based on their fundamental operations. We shall analyze the three types of ebike classes, as per a widely adopted model ebike law that serves as the foundation for state regulations in most U.S. states.

  • Class 1: Solely pedal-assist; the motor provides support up to 20 mph.
  • Class 2: Can operate via either pedal-assist or a throttle; the motor aids in propulsion up to 20 mph.
  • Class 3: Exclusively pedal-assist; the motor assists up to 28 mph.

Put simply, individuals riding a Class 1 ebike must engage in pedaling (known as pedal-assist) in order for the motor to engage. On the other hand, Class 2 riders have the option to pedal or activate the throttle for a pedal-free riding experience. Finally, Class 3 cyclists can pedal or cruise at speeds of up to 20 mph, but must pedal when exceeding that threshold and reaching a maximum speed of 28 mph. Can electric bikes exceed these speeds? Technically, yes. However, Class 1 and 2 motors disengage at 20 mph, while Class 3 motors cease operation at 28 mph. Any further increase in speed relies solely on the power exerted by the rider and/or a decrease in elevation (such as riding downhill).

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What Ebike Class Do Rad Power Bikes Belong To?

Rad Power Bikes manufactures Class 2 ebikes. In fact, the company has been at the forefront of incorporating both a throttle and pedal-assist into their bikes since 2007. When crafting a transportation solution that is dependable, secure, and enjoyable, Rad Power Bikes meticulously considers numerous factors, including federal and local laws, bike usage, technology, and the experience of riders. The result? Class 2 ebikes that boast an impressive 750 watts of power.

Is Riding an Ebike Ever Illegal?

According to Redwood Stephens, Chief Product Officer at Rad Power Bikes, the decision to produce Class 2 ebikes is a weighty one and is thoroughly considered in the development process for every bike. Initially, Rad Power Bikes ensures that its ebikes comply with safety requirements stipulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), aimed at maintaining consumer safety. These regulations outline limits on motor power and the maximum speed at which a bike can operate solely on motor power.

Man rides on Rad Power Bike black ebike up a steep incline.

Moreover, Rad Power Bikes designs its products to align with state laws so that riders can rest assured that their cycling experience is legally compliant on most roads and bike paths. Stephens confirms, “We design our bikes to prioritize safety and compliance with the law.” In several states, the use of ebikes with motors that provide assistance at or above 20 mph is prohibited on various bike-focused infrastructures. Overstepping these local and state restrictions can result in violating traffic laws and regulations, and potentially entail licensing and registration fees.

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As a rider, it is essential to familiarize yourself with your local laws in the rare scenario where a road or pathway does not adhere to the model ebike laws, which treat Class 2 ebikes similarly to traditional bicycles. After all, what good is owning a bicycle if you cannot enjoy the freedom of riding it?

Regarding Need for Speed

As Class 2 ebikes, Rad Power Bikes are meticulously engineered to perform optimally up to the speed at which the motor disengages, which is 20 mph. Additionally, these bikes are designed to accommodate additional speed when cruising downhill. However, certain ebike brands prioritize Class 3 ebikes. Redwood Stephens elucidates, “To ensure consistent safe travel at higher speeds, the bike frame, brakes, suspension systems, and other components need to be engineered accordingly.” We inquired whether this practice is common in the industry. Stephens responded, “Not always. Achieving higher speeds often necessitates developing new parts from scratch.” He further explained that some brands neglect to upgrade critical systems that are necessary for such speeds.

Mother rides a cargo electric Rad Power Bike RadWagon with two children behind her.

Safeguarding and Technological Advancements

When it comes to Rad’s commitment to designing exceptional Class 2 electric bikes, our primary focus revolves around delivering bikes that not only operate at secure speeds but consistently surpass rider expectations. Ensuring the safety of bike trails and pathways for all individuals is our utmost priority. By adhering to Class 2 standards, we not only fulfill this endeavor but also cater to the diverse needs of riders, including those who ride with children, passengers, or simply for the purpose of fitness and enjoyment.

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Achieving the Class 2 designation requires Rad engineers to strike a delicate balance between affordability, quality, and safety. This ensures that our electric bikes are not only constructed with top-notch components to guarantee safety, but are also legally permitted in most areas, all while offering exceptional value.

The Return to Excitement

Are you ready to experience the thrilling sensation of wind caressing your hair as you cruise on your electric bike? Fantastic! Rad Power Bikes is genuinely devoted to giving all riders an exhilarating experience that puts an undeniable smile on their faces. In order to maintain the joyous grins of our riders, we meticulously design our bikes with paramount focus on safety, making Class 2 electric bikes the epitome of our commitment. Discover the regulations concerning ebikes in your specific state and delve into our blog, where you can explore more about the ebike legislations worldwide.

Man and woman stand next to a pair of Rad Power Bike ebikes.

Please bear in mind that this article should not be considered as an authoritative or conclusive source for ebike regulations in your locality. It is not intended to provide legal guidance. The laws pertaining to ebikes are constantly evolving, so kindly ensure that you consult your local regulations before embarking on a ride to guarantee both legal compliance and personal safety.