Class 2 Legal eBike?

LoneCommuter

New Member
Hi everyone!

I am looking for a Class 2 legal eBike (I do not have a license so I want to make sure it is legal). I mainly want to throttle, not interested in PAS.

It seems a lot of eBikes on the market are a mixture of Class 2/3 (throttle to 20mph AND PAS to 28mph), but this does not seem technically to be legal - at least in California.

AB 1096 states (emphasis mine):

(1) A “class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a 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.
(2) A “class 2 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a 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.
(3) A “class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a 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 equipped with a speedometer.

As far as I know there is nothing specifying whether a bike can be BOTH Class 3 and Class 2 at the same time, but it seems such a bike would not legally fit into the Class system.

I am not interested in the argument of "don't be an asshole and you will not get bothered" because if I get in an accident, even if it is not my fault, then if the bike is not street legal I would be in for a lot of problems/stress.

The only bikes I have found that satisfy this requirement are Pedago, which seem a bit lackluster, and Super 73 Z1 but I am too tall for it. Otherwise the motors are too powerful or they combine throttle + 28mph PAS.

Any suggestions?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
You’re right about Pedego, their Comfort Cruiser model is a Class 2 throttle only no pedal assist, their least expensive model, and if your nearest Pedego dealer rents ebikes they likely will sell their ex-rental bikes used for less but still with a warranty. You might also want to look at the RadRunner, it has a more powerful 48v 750w motor than the Pedego Comfort Cruisers 36v 500w motor, the one size frame says it fits riders up to 6’ 2”, the RadRunner is definitely Class 2 legal, the motor is speed limited to 20mph, it’s a single speed so you’ll use the throttle most of the time, it’s more like a moped than most ebikes, and it also happens to be Rad’s least expensive model! Check out Courts review on this website https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radrunner/
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
I mainly want to throttle, not interested in PAS.

I'd consider a bike with a programmable Bafang mid drive (BBSHD or Ultra) and a larger battery. They are relatively inexpensive for a mid drive and you can program the drives to 20 MPH max if you are worried about staying legal while still having lots of power and torque to handle anything with throttle only.

Or look at Juiced bikes with rear hub if you don't have lots of hills. I believe they ship as Class 2.

 
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LoneCommuter

New Member
You’re right about Pedego, their Comfort Cruiser model is a Class 2 throttle only no pedal assist, their least expensive model, and if your nearest Pedego dealer rents ebikes they likely will sell their ex-rental bikes used for less but still with a warranty. You might also want to look at the RadRunner, it has a more powerful 48v 750w motor than the Pedego Comfort Cruisers 36v 500w motor, the one size frame says it fits riders up to 6’ 2”, the RadRunner is definitely Class 2 legal, the motor is speed limited to 20mph, it’s a single speed so you’ll use the throttle most of the time, it’s more like a moped than most ebikes, and it also happens to be Rad’s least expensive model! Check out Courts review on this website https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radrunner/

Good idea about the ex-rental bikes! I thought about Rad but I've read some bad reviews that gave me second thoughts - heard lots of people have had them break down fairly shortly.

I'd consider a bike with a programmable Bafang mid drive (BBSHD or Ultra) and a larger battery. They are relatively inexpensive for a mid drive and you can program the drives to 20 MPH max if you are worried about staying legal while still having lots of power and torque to handle anything with throttle only.

Or look at Juiced bikes with rear hub if you don't have lots of hills. I believe they ship as Class 2.


If you program it yourself is it legal though? I also looked at Juiced bikes and they look sweet but unfortunately they have throttle AND 28mph PAS. Also they are unlockable to higher speeds which has me worried about their street legal status.

EDIT: I just noticed that maybe the Juiced bikes ship as Class 2 and then can be unlocked to Class 3 even though all the Class 3 limits are advertised on the site. I wonder does this make them legal Class 2 bikes even though you can program them to go faster? I see AB 1096 says "The bill would prohibit a person from tampering with or modifying an electric bicycle to change its speed capability, unless he or she appropriately replaces the classification label" so maybe it is legal to have that capability, just as long as you do not use it.
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
If you're programming it to be legal I'm not sure why that would be an issue. On the juiced bikes you just peel off the Class 2 sticker if you want to make it Class 3 (there is a Class 3 sticker behind it).