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How Does New York City Law Define E-Bikes?


Definitions of a bicycle in New York City law are surprisingly detailed. Learn more here. New York E-Bike Personal Injury Attorneys Glenn & Robin Herman

E-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular across New York City as individuals and lawmakers move away from automobile traffic and towards more sustainable forms of transportation. With the introduction of CitiBike, Lime, Bird, and other micromobility devices and vehicles that can be used with various apps, e-bikes and e-scooters have also become more accessible to New Yorkers.

E-bikes were fully legalized in New York in 2020, and since then, e-bike injuries have increased along with e-bike traffic. If you are an e-bike rider, traditional cyclist, or pedestrian who has been injured in an e-bike accident, it is important to understand the law surrounding e-bikes.

In this article, personal injury attorney Glenn Herman explains the legal definition of e-bikes as defined by the New York State Department of Transportation.

New York E-Bike Definition

Under New York State law, e-bikes are defined as bicycles 36” or less in width equipped with fully functional pedals and a motor of 750W or less.

There are three legal classifications of e-bikes, which are divided based on how much assistance the vehicle’s motor is capable of providing. These are defined as follows:

  • Class 1 Bicycle with Electric Assist. This class of e-bikes have a pedal-assist motor (meaning that the motor powers forward motion based on the force and speed applied to the pedals by the rider), which stops when the bike’s speed reaches 20mph.

  • Class 2 Bicycle with Electric Assist: This class of e-bikes has a motor capable of propelling the bike forward without pedal action by the rider, up to a speed of 20mph.

  • Class 3 Bicycle with Electric Assist: This class of e-bikes has a motor capable of propelling the bicycle forward up to a speed of at least 25mph. In New York State, Class 3…



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