How Does Electric Bikes Define in Pennsylvania?

Like many states in the United States of America, Pennsylvania has a specific definition of what constitutes an electric bike. Electric bikes should not produce more power than 750 Watts, according to the Pennsylvania state definition of an e-bike. They often reach a top speed of 20 mph. Also, they must have completely functional pedals.

The bike industry has created three categories for them to explain and clarify the capabilities of e-bikes and help the adoption of suitable laws holding the design and use. Local government, in Pennsylvania, similarly adopted these groupings.

ebike laws in pa

The three categories of low-speed electric bikes in Pennsylvania are as follow:

Class 1

These are electric bikes with pedal assistance for low speeds. The only way the bikes will move is if you peddle. They have an electric motor that helps the rider pedal.

When the bike reaches 20 mph, the motor ceases to assist. Class 1 e-bikes are subject to a few rules. The bikes are legal on any paved areas that accept regular bikes.

Class 2

These electric bikes have a throttle but operate at low speeds. The bikes have motors that allow the rider to move forward without pedaling. This e-bike may be started and ridden without using the pedals.

As the speed hits 20 mph, the motor can no longer assist, just like class 1 bikes. Moreover, class 2 bikes are subject to fewer limitations. Many bikes in this category are allowed on paved surfaces where standard bikes are permitted.

Class 3

Class 3 e-bikes, in the industry, are described as bikes with a motor. The engine assists you while you ride, making it effortless. But as the speed reaches 28 mph, the assistance is cut off and is not recognized or allowed to be used. In Pennsylvania, the maximum speed limit is 25 MPH.

The classification of your e-bike will determine what gear is needed, who may operate it, and where you can ride it under the new Pennsylvania law.

Where Can You Ride an Electric Bike in Pennsylvania?

Electric bike riders must understand the regulations governing where these electric motorized bikes want to ride in Pennsylvania. Most frequently, we discover the areas in which they can be operated by the class type mentioned above.

The various classes of electric bikes are allowed to be used in specific locations according to Pennsylvania e-bike rules. You can use all three types of e-bikes on any street that allows regular bicycles, even those with designated bike lanes. Moreover, you can only use Class 2 and 3 e-bikes on trails with permission from the local authority controlling them.

Moreover, you can use Class 1 e-bikes on a linear track having asphalt, crushed limestone, or equivalent surface riders. Municipalities may, however, forbid or restrict e-bikes on particular trails. Last but not least, the law forbids all three types of e-bikes on non-motorized paths. It also applies to mountain biking-specific trails.

Frequently Asked Questions About Riding E-bikes in Pennsylvania

Q: Does electric bike legal in Pennsylvania?

E-bikes are allowed on trails that are already accessible to regular bicycles as long as users abide by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, which states that e-bikes are no greater than 100 pounds in weight. Do not use the motor faster than 20 mph. And have e-bike motors no more powerful than 750 watts.

Q: Do you need a license to ride bikes in Pennsylvania?

No, a rider or operator license is not required to ride an electric bike in Pennsylvania. In addition, unlike a moped or motorcycle, a bike does not require registration or a license plate. Nonetheless, using an electric bike is subject to the same traffic laws as riding a standard bike.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for riding bikes in Pennsylvania?

The rider must be at least 16 years old in Pennsylvania. You can ride an e-bike if you are 16 or older and know the regulations that control its use.

Q: Should I wear a helmet to ride bikes in Pennsylvania?

Helmets are not required for classes 1 and 2, but the age minimum for e-bike use is 16 years. Under-16 riders and anyone operating or riding a Class 3 e-bike in Pennsylvania are required to wear helmets.

While wearing a helmet is not legally compulsory for other e-bike riders, it is advised. In the event of an accident, you are less likely to suffer a severe injury if you are wearing a helmet.


The class of e-bike you ride might influence the choice of your riding site. Now Pennsylvania state e-bike owners have clarification on e-bike laws. Your preferred bike route might be prohibited. When making a buying decision for an e-bike, think about where and how you plan to ride. A Class 1 or 2 e-bike will give you riding freedom on both bicycle routes and public roads without any restrictions.

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