Electric Bicycles

POLICY

The agencies that manage the Miami Valley Trails recognize the increasing popularity of electric assist bicycles (“e-bikes”) as well as the many benefits they offer to individuals with disabilities, senior cyclists, and bicycle commuters. For these reasons safe, courteous, and responsible use of Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes (as defined in Ohio law) is welcomed on the Miami Valley Trails.

As always, safe, courteous, and responsible use of bicycles of any kind (including e-bikes) means being alert and sensitive to weather conditions and the physical condition of the trail surface, as well as the number, types, ages, and modes of other trail users. The “Wheels yield to Heels” principle requires slowing to a safe speed, being prepared to stop, establishing communication, and passing in a manner that ensures the safety of those being passed.

CLASSES OF e-BIKES

The classifications of e-bikes as codified in Ohio law are based on industry standards. These classes, drawn from national model legislation, have been adopted in 14 states (as of April 2019). Ohio's law (HB 250, signed by then-governor John Kasich in December 2018) places e-bikes meeting the specifications of one of the three classes in the Ohio Vehicle Code as bicycles. The classes are based on the throttle design and maximum assist speed of the electric motor. The classes are defined as follows:

Class 1 - A bicycle equipped with an electric motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. License - not required. Registration - not required. Helmet - not required.

Class 2 - A bicycle equipped with an electric motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. License - not required. Registration - not required. Helmet - not required.

Class 3 - A bicycle equipped with an electric motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour and is equipped with a speedometer. License - not required. Registration - not required. Helmet - required. Please note: while street legal, Class 3 Electric Bicycles are NOT permitted on the Miami Valley Trails.

ADDITIONAL e-BIKE RESOURCES

The following links are external to this Miami Valley Trails web site, and are provided as suggested resources. The Miami Valley Trails managing agencies are not responsible for the content of the linked sites, and none of these links are to be construed as any endorsement of any kind.

People For Bikes

National Conference of State Legislatures

Electric Bike Review or EBR

Wikipedia

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