What You Need to Know About eBikes

When there is as much terrain to cover as there is around Mammoth Lakes, a little extra push is always welcome.

In the past decade eBikes have gone from mostly being made in garages by biking enthusiasts to being manufactured by some of the largest biking companies in the world. The increased popularity has resulted in more products and more access, but that doesn’t mean more information about eBiking. To help shed light on eBikes, the team at ASO Mammoth has put together a quick guide for basic eBike information.

Whether you saw someone riding an eBike for the first time and want to know more or are researching your first eBike purchase, check out our list of basics to start your journey today!

What is an eBike?

If a bike has an engine, isn’t it a motorcycle?

Not exactly. The reason is that ebike engines perform different functions with different rates of power that make it incorrect to call an eBike a regular bike or a motorcycle.

For example, in California there are three main classifications of eBikes. Class 1 is an eBike that is equipped with an electric motor that only puts out power when the cyclist is pedaling. For this reason, class 1 bikes are often referred to as pedal-assisted. Class 1 bikes also stop putting out power once the bike is moving at over 20 miles per hour. A class 2 bike has an electric motor that can power the bike on its own. Accordingly, a class 2 bike has a throttle but will not put out any power once the bike reaches 20 miles per hour. Lastly, a class 3 bike has an electric motor, throttle, and will power the bike all the way up to 28 miles per hour. Due to their power, class 3 bikes come with separate laws and regulations.

Who Should Ride an eBike?

Anyone who can ride a regular bike can ride an eBike with a little practice, but their power makes them ideal for people who use a bike to commute on a daily basis. eBikes are also a great option for cyclists who have suffered an injury or have aged to the point where they cannot ride as far as they would like.

It should be noted that eBikes are often heavier than regular bikes, so you should always consider whether you’ll be able to ride, carry, or push your bike without power in case your battery dies before you complete your trip and know your bikes range before you hit the road.

Where Can you Ride eBikes?

For the most part eBikes are allowed anywhere regular bikes are. However, class 3 bikes come with special rules which can be reviewed here.

Can I Ride an eBike on Mountain Bike Trails?

It depends. eBike regulations vary from trail to trail, so always check beforehand to see if there are specific rules preventing powered bikes from the trail you want to ride. For example, Mammoth Mountain Bike Park rents eBikes and allows them on the trails, but other trails away from the park may not allow powered bikes at all.

A better question is, “should I ride an eBike on mountain bike trails?” eBikes open up more terrain and features by allowing riders to travel faster for longer, but if you’re not ready to ride advanced terrain you may be putting yourself and other bikers in danger. Always consider whether or not you could pedal yourself back to the trailhead if your battery died and be considerate of other riders by not riding recklessly. If you do, you’ll keep everyone safe and protect the trail at the same time.

Where can I buy an eBike?

ASO Mammoth carries ebikes and we are happy to answer any and all questions you may have!

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