What Is a Class 3 Electric Bike: A Comprehensive Guide About Electric Bikes Classes?

Electric bikes, often referred to as e-bikes, come in various classes, each with its own set of features and capabilities. These classes are typically defined by the level of motor assistance and speed they provide. Here are the most common classes of electric bikes:

  1. Class 1
  2. Class 2
  3. Class 3

In this article, we are going to explore what is a class 3 electric bike. Before jumping onto class 3 electric bikes, we need to know what classes are in electric bikes.

Electric bikes are divided into different classes so users can determine how these can be used according to local state laws. In the United States, there are thirty-six states those are applying 3 class system of electric bikes.

Class 1 E-bikes:

These are assistance-only bikes that help bikers when they pedal the bike, so they don’t have to put extra effort.

They are limited to a specific speed (usually 20 mph or 32 km/h) to ensure they are still considered bicycles and not mopeds.

These bikes contain a motor that starts assisting the biker when they pedal. These bikes are great for places where we can use traditional bikes. Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on most bike paths and trails.

Pros and Cons Class 1 Electric Bike

Pros

  • Easier Pedaling: Pedal-assist e-bikes make pedaling easier, especially on hills and for longer distances.
  • Health Benefits: They encourage exercise and are an excellent choice for riders who want some assistance but still want to engage in physical activity.
  • Regulatory Benefits: They are often allowed on most bike paths and trails, providing flexibility for riders in various environments.
  • Low Noise: Pedal-assist motors are relatively quiet, making for a peaceful riding experience.

Cons

  • Speed Limit: They are limited to a lower speed (usually 20 mph or 32 km/h), which may not be ideal for those seeking faster commutes.
  • Limited Throttle Control: Pedal-assist e-bikes don’t offer throttle control, so you must pedal to receive motor assistance.

Class 2 E-bikes:

  • Class 2 e-bikes are equipped with a throttle that allows the rider to control the motor’s power without pedaling.
  • Like Class 1 e-bikes, they are typically limited to a specific speed (usually 20 mph or 32 km/h).
  • Class 2 e-bikes may or may not require pedaling to activate the motor.

Pros and Cons Class 2 Electric Bike

Pros

  • Simpler Operation: Throttle-assist e-bikes provide a simple and intuitive way to control the motor, making them accessible for various riders.
  • No Pedaling Required: You can use the throttle to move without pedaling, which can be beneficial for those who need a break or want a faster start.

Cons

  • Similar Speed Limit: Like Class 1 e-bikes, they are often limited to around 20 mph (32 km/h), which may not meet the needs of riders seeking higher speeds.
  • Regulatory Issues: They may face restrictions on where they are allowed to be ridden, similar to Class 1 e-bikes.

What Is A Class 3 Electric Bike:

These bikes will have a speedometer while the other 2 classes will not have a speedometer in most of the models. This bike is the most famous among commuters.

This is also a pedal-assisted bike and assistance is produced by the motor in the bike which will stop assisting the biker once he reaches the top speed of 28 miles per hour.

The difference between class 2 and 3 is that class 2 will have both pedal and throttle assist, but it will not assist bikers when speed exceeds 20 miles per hour. Meanwhile, class 3 will keep assisting till 28mph with pedal assist.

For unites states, the power of class 3 electric bikes is capped at 1 horsepower which is equivalent to 750 watts. This class needs to have a speedometer as a compulsory option and it should not assist the biker when his speed exceeds 28mph. Different states have different age limits for using e-bikes.

Here I want to mention that there are electric dirt bikes that can achieve a top speed of 30mph and you can read about them here Top Electric Dirt Bikes That Go Up to 30 mph.

Now we will talk about the pros and cons of class 3 bikes

Pros and Cons Class 3 Electric Bike

Pros

  • Maximum speed in all classes
  • Power of 1 horsepower
  • Insurance not required
  • The minimum age limit is 16
  • Driver license is not required
  • Pedal-operated
  • A license plate is not required
  • Great bike for city commuters
  • Perfect for night rides and off-road
  • Most of the models will have a cargo rack
  • Luxury and aesthetic looks

Cons

  • Helmet is must
  • Does not work above 28mph
  • Can’t use class 1 bike path
  • Heavy than other classes
  • Age restriction
  • These bikes are expensive
Class 3 E-bikes

If you are from Illinois, then you will be required to register your bike. Connecticut is the state which has imposed that all riders will wear a helmet but apart from that all states have their own helmet laws. In the case of class 3 bikes helmet is required in almost all states. You can use class 3 bikes in both class 2 and 3 lanes but not in class 1 lanes.

There are many class 3 bike models available in the market and prices of them vary according to the power of battery, brand, and quality. These bikes don’t come cheap so we recommend you do research before making any purchase decision.

The choice of e-bike class depends on individual preferences, intended use, and local regulations.

Riders seeking exercise and a bike path-friendly option may prefer Class 1 or Class 2 e-bikes, while those needing faster commutes may opt for Class 3. Always check local e-bike regulations before purchasing and using an e-bike.

Frequently asked Questions

Can I ride a Class 1 e-bike on bike paths and trails?

  • Class 1 e-bikes are often allowed on most bike paths and trails. However, regulations may vary by location, so it’s essential to check local rules.

Do Class 2 e-bikes require pedaling to use the throttle?

  • Not always. While some Class 2 e-bikes require pedaling to activate the throttle, others allow riders to use the throttle independently of pedaling.

Do electric bikes require a license to operate?

The requirement for a license depends on the class of e-bike and local regulations. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes typically do not require a license

Conclusion

E-bikes are the future of the planet as they will be a major step to move from carbon-emitting vehicles to e-bikes. We all can play a huge role by using e-bikes for daily use in the reduction of global emission of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
I hope we were able to answer your query that What Is a Class 3 Electric Bike, please head over to our blog section and electric bikes section to read more about electric bikes. Happy reading.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

Leave a Comment