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Electric Bike Classes

Many people aren't aware that Utah state laws recognize three different classes of electric bikes.  Before buying or riding an E-bike, you should understand the differences. Read on to learn about each class and which classes The Bike Shoppe carries. If you're still unsure which e-bike to get, read our buyer's guide for our whole selection of electric bikes.

Class 1 Electric Bikes

Here's what defines a Class 1 E-bike:

  • Pedal-assist only
  • No throttle
  • Max assisted speed of 20mph
  • Max motor power limited to 750W

Class 1 E-bikes are pedal assist only. The only way to engage a pedal-assist motor is by good old-fashioned pedaling. There is no throttle of any kind.

Depending on the model of bike, riders can choose between three and five assistance levels. Each level assigns a range of output to the motor that can vary based on how hard or fast the rider pedals. For example, the Bosch system offers four assist levels:  Eco, Touring, EMTB, and Turbo. Eco mode will provide up to 40% support while Turbo mode will kick in up to a whopping 250%.  

The Bike Shoppe favors Class 1 E-bikes because they are safe and easy to use while offering an impressive amount of assistance. They provide an excellent workout for riders while nearly eliminating intimidating obstacles like hills. Utah treats Class 1 E-bikes like traditional mountain or street bikes, legally allowing them to be ridden where bicycles are permitted, including bike lanes, roads, multiuse trails and bike-only paths. However, take care in checking specific E-bike regulations for your area as rules can change between local, state, and federal agencies.  

Class 2 Electric Bikes

Here's what defines a Class 2 E-bike:

  • Throttle-assisted
  • Max speed of 20mph
  • Max motor power limited to 750W

Class 2 throttle-assist E-bikes combine pedal-assist with throttle-assist. This class is often subject to additional restrictions and may not be the best option for non-motorized singletrack trails. Studies show that class 2 E-bikes can cause greater damage to trails than traditional bikes or even other E-bikes. The throttle actuation can cause these to be more difficult to ride and less safe than other types of E-bikes. At The Bike Shoppe, we've chosen not to stock any throttle-assisted E-bikes. It's our opinion that pedaling is an irreplaceable part of the cycling experience. However, we understand that certain riders may benefit from a throttle-assist. To support these riders, we can order IZIP and Raleigh Class E-bikes. 

Class 3 Electric Bikes

Here's what defines a Class 3 E-bike:

  • Pedal-assist only
  • No throttle
  • Max assist speed of 28mph
  • Max motor power limited to 750W

We call class 3 the commuter class. Regular commuters absolutely love these E-bikes, and they've proven to be a realistic replacement for a car. They're very efficient at getting a rider from point A to point B quickly, and they still provide an excellent workout. Because of their higher max speed, Class 3 electric bikes are prohibited on trails and paths like the Ogden River parkway. They are permitted on roads and on in-road bike lanes.