Looking For A First Ebike

Devon

New Member
Hey, I live in West Virginia and there aren't really any ebike specific laws here, at least to my knowledge... Can anyone confirm this?

I live in the Morgantown area and aside from the walking trail, there isn't much flat ground. Using a normal bicycle for commuting is not very practical unless you're in great shape and can climb hills (which I am/can not). That said, I would like to use a bike to get around town when the weather is nice and was looking into getting an ebike.

I'm still a bit confused on what is/is not legal. I definitely don't want a bike that's illegal as I don't care to get a ticket, but at the same time I'd like the fastest bike possible that has both assistive peddling and throttle.

Can anyone make any recommendations? I'm still just window shopping, so price isn't really an important criteria at this point in time.

Also, is anyone else on here from the area? I'd love to hear what bike(s) you have, how you use them, and if you found a place locally to buy it or if it was ordered online.

Thanks
 

Edvic

New Member
Hey, I live in West Virginia and there aren't really any ebike specific laws here, at least to my knowledge... Can anyone confirm this?

I live in the Morgantown area and aside from the walking trail, there isn't much flat ground. Using a normal bicycle for commuting is not very practical unless you're in great shape and can climb hills (which I am/can not). That said, I would like to use a bike to get around town when the weather is nice and was looking into getting an ebike.

I'm still a bit confused on what is/is not legal. I definitely don't want a bike that's illegal as I don't care to get a ticket, but at the same time I'd like the fastest bike possible that has both assistive peddling and throttle.

Can anyone make any recommendations? I'm still just window shopping, so price isn't really an important criteria at this point in time.

Also, is anyone else on here from the area? I'd love to hear what bike(s) you have, how you use them, and if you found a place locally to buy it or if it was ordered online.

Thanks
In Canada it's 20 miles an hour. It's the same in US. I just ordered a Reise and Mueller Cruiser Mixte. It's a top of the line bike. If you're looking for a high quality entry bike, look at the pro surface 606 Colt
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@Devon, welcome. I'm in PA, not unlike Morgantown. A lot of mountainous hilly countryside. Pretty, safe, but tough to bicycle!

WVA is a tough one for ebikes. No ebike specific laws I'm aware of. PA was like that until October 22, 2014, that's the month I purchased my first ebike. You could call your DMV, they may just tell you it's a motorcycle or moped. You could assume it's a moped and prepare accordingly. You could also just go by the Federal CPSC guidlines, in which case you would want to stay where bicycles are allowed, have an ebike limited to 20 mph and 750 watts (1 bhp). Just in case have a valid drivers license with you as well.

The laws are all over the place in the US. I've read accounts of people getting tickets against their drivers license, but I think that's rare and probably not as probable as it once was in most states. If you're sane, keep your speeds at bike speeds, you probably won't have a problem.

I hope you're able to find what you want. I had to purchase both my ebikes long distance, one online and the other from Crazy Lenny's Ebikes in Wisconsin. That's changing fast, with more ebike dealers popping up all over. Lenny's is a great place for selection and price. I love my 29'er!

While you're doing your research, send an email to your state senator and tell him/her to get off the stick, and legalize ebikes! Worked in PA. Good luck.
 

Devon

New Member
@Edvic, are you referring to H.R.727? From my understanding, that defines what is considered a consumer ebike... it doesn't specifically state that electronic bikes outside of those specifications are strictly illegal or prohibited, does it?

In the USA, it can get very confusing to understand what is legal and what is not, with an electric bicycle. Part of the confusion is caused by the Federal law, which has often been quoted by people selling electric bikes. To begin with, this federal definition applies only to selling an e-bike. As a retailer, it matters to your insurance company whether you are selling a “bike”, a “motorcycle”, or some vaguely defined toy.

For what its worth, if you are selling an e-bike, the consumer product safety act HR 727 defines an e-bike as—

Two or three wheels

Fully operable pedals

750 watts maximum

Maximum speed of less than 20-MPH on the motor only, on level ground, with a 170 pound rider.

-------------------------------

Source: https://www.electricbike.com/electric-bike-law/

Thanks for the suggestions @J.R.

I suppose I should also add that I've very short, I'm only 5'2" so please keep that in mind when making suggestions. I'm not sure if the 29'er would be a good fit for that reason, if nothing else.
 
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Devon

New Member
Thanks, very helpful... as if I hadn't already done that. Laws are not always as black and white as the paper and ink they're printed with, so getting advice from others who have already done extensive research, spoken to an attorney, or made calls to state officials is often far more helpful than the conflicting results you'd find on Google that consist of anything from 12 year old's to 60 year old's and their niece's interpretation of a law.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that you took the time to respond, but it wasn't a particularly helpful response and the lmgtfy links always comes across as rather condescending regardless of the context it's used in.
 
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