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Types of Electric Bikes Defined

Accurate definitions of electronic bike types are helpful when selecting the right ebike to ride. Three standard e bike classifications are set forth in California bill AB 1096 on the basis of modes of operation and top assisted speeds. Find out more about the types of electric bikes available for sale and distinctive features such as pedal assist and throttles for full-electric operation.

Type 1 Electric Bikes

A rider must pedal a type or class 1 ebike for the motor to operate. Type 1 ebikes have a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour and can provide this feature for relatively long distances on a 750W max motor. If you are interested in riding a relatively standard cruiser or touring bike with greater ease, compare the pedal assist specifications of type 1 ebikes.

Type 2 Electric Bikes

Ebikes on which the motor is controlled by a throttle are considered type 2 bikes. These bikes still have pedals, but it is not necessary to use them for the motor to run. The more you pedal, the more energy you’ll save for assisted pedaling or throttle use. Whether you are riding with pedal assist or using a throttle for full-electric operation, type 2 ebikes top out around 20 miles per hour. Furthermore, full-electric operation greatly reduces operating times and powered mileage.

Several mens ebikes exemplify the features of type 2 bikes. The AroundtheBlock 250W is capable of functioning in pedal assist mode with a top speed of 24 miles per hour or in full-electric mode with a thumb throttle maxing out at 15 miles per hour. The battery in this type 2 electric bike can support 15 minutes of full electric operation or about 1.5 hours or 15-30 miles of riding with pedal assist.

Hybrid-style EVRYjourney bikes bridge the gap between cruising and touring bikes and between types of e bikes. This model is available with either a 250W or 500W battery. The 250W model reaches a top speed of 24 miles per hour with pedal assist or 15 miles per hour full electric and can travel approximately 15 miles exclusively on electric power or 15 to 30 miles with pedal assist. The 500W EVRYjourney models boast top speeds of 28 miles per hour with pedal assist or 20 miles per hour full electric and can travel approximately 20 miles full electric or up to twice as far with pedal assist.

Type 3 Electric Bikes

The fastest ebikes travel up to 28 miles per hour with pedal assistance. The third type or class of electric bikes may or may not have a throttle. Unlike the other types of powered bikes, type 3 ebikes are restricted to riders ages 17 and older and helmets are required for legal operation in most states.

Two of the best ebikes in the type 3 class are the AroundtheBlock 500W and EVRYjourney 500W. The AroundtheBlock model is a cruiser with a rear hub drive motor that can reach a top speed of 28 miles per hour with pedal assist or 15 to 20 miles per hour full electric. The seven-speed EVRYjourney 500W is a touring cruiser bike that can travel up to 28 miles per hour with pedal assist or 20 miles per hour full electric, with a motor that allows for about 20 miles of full electric riding or up to 40 miles of riding with pedal assist.

In the United States, electric bikes are regulated like bicycles rather than mopeds or scooters. This means that no registration, license or insurance is required to operate an ebike, even a class 3 electric bike. Be sure to check local regulations regarding where ebikes can be operated.


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