If you’ve been considering buying an ebike you may have run into a question: what are electric bike classes? Ebikes have been divided into three classes based on their speed and motor capabilities. It’s important that you choose the class that’s appropriate for you and adhere to any local rules in regulations.
With this in mind, we’ll explore the different classes of ebikes and ultimately answer, what is a class 3 ebike?
Before we dive into class 3 ebikes, let’s put on the brakes to first explore the other two: class 1 and class 2 ebikes.
Class 1 bikes only have pedal assist and reach a maximum speed of 20 MPH. For those who need a refresher on terminology, pedal assist is exactly what it sounds like: the electric motor is engaged only while the rider is pedaling. The level of support provided by the motor can be selected by and by adjusting your PAS settings.
To give you a hand with tackling larger hills or rounding out a 55-mile Sunday ride, pedal assist can kick in and get you up to speeds of 20 MPH before automatically cutting off the motor power. Since the speed is limited, class 1 ebikes are permitted on bike paths, bike lanes, and the road.
Unlike class 1, class 2 ebikes both have pedal assist. This means that the motor can be engaged while pedaling and also by twisting the throttle on the left side of the handlebars (no pedaling required).
As both the throttle and pedal assist are limited to top speeds of 20 MPH, class 2 ebikes can also be ridden anywhere a traditional bike could—the bike path, bike lane, and road.
Many class 3 ebikes can be considered as a juiced up version of a class 1 ebike. This means that, while pedaling, a rider can reach higher speeds than those offered by class 1 and 2 ebikes.
This higher level of power makes a class 3 ebike a popular pick for commuters, especially those who’ve been known to press the snooze button repeatedly. They’re also well-suited for adventurous types—those with the need for speed!
However, with higher speeds comes additional responsibility. It’s important to recognize that 28 MPH is a speed regularly traveled by a car—and much higher than the speed of pedestrians or those riding a conventional bike.
As such, class 3 ebikes may be restricted from certain bike paths and bike trails. Some states have different requirements (helmet, insurance, etc.) for class 3 ebikes, while others have age limits for those who can operate one. It’s best to check local laws before purchasing a class 3 ebike
As a class 2 ebike, both the Dubbel and the Ultra can use PAS and throttle to reach speeds of up to 20 MPH. As a class 3 ebike, pedal assist will enable maximum speeds of 28 MPH, while the throttle will top out at 20 MPH.
This makes this duo ideal ebikes for those who like a little excitement now and then, but still want to be able to share the bike path with traditional bicycles.