In recent years, the e-bike industry has established a standardized classification system widely adopted in the US. This system consists of three main classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. We have provided a breakdown below to help you understand the distinctions between these classes and the various types of electric bikes available.
Class 1 e-bikes are designed with a maximum speed limit of 20 miles per hour. The electric motor of these bikes only assists when the rider is actively pedalling. They are often called "pedelecs" because the electric motor helps the rider's pedalling efforts. Some Class 1 e-bikes have a throttle on the handlebars, offering an extra power boost. However, it's important to note that on Class 1 e-bikes, the throttle only functions when the rider is pedalling. Pedalling at a moderate pace is sufficient to activate the throttle, allowing for a smoother and more effortless ride. Class 1 e-bikes are permitted on bike paths and bike lanes shared with traditional non-assisted bikes, often called analog bikes.
Like Class 1 e-bikes, Class 2 e-bikes are limited to 20 miles per hour. However, they come with a throttle that can be used even when the rider is not pedalling. This means the electric motor can assist solely through the throttle without requiring pedalling effort. Additionally, most Class 2 e-bikes offer the option of electrically assisted pedalling in conjunction with the throttle. Like Class 1 e-bikes, Class 2 e-bikes can generally be ridden in the same areas as analog bikes.
Class 3 e-bikes have a higher top speed, reaching up to 28 miles per hour. They are required to be equipped with a speedometer to monitor their rate. While Class 3 e-bikes may or may not have a throttle, they can have one as long as it only functions up to 20 miles per hour. Beyond that speed, the electric assistance is solely pedal-assisted. In many states, Class 3 e-bikes are permitted in road lanes or dedicated bike-only lanes situated on the shoulder of the road, known as curb-to-curb lanes.
Understanding these classifications will help you make informed decisions when choosing an electric bike. All Bandit Bikes models are classified as Class 3 E-bikes with a top speed of 20 mph throttle only and 28 mph with pedalling.