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Are Electric Bikes or E-Bikes Street Legal?

Before you drop money on a brand new e bike, spend some time getting to them. The last thing you want is to ride onto the road and make a mistake. That would leave a bad taste in your mouth and wallet. If you’re ready to learn more, please continue reading below. 

This article from Sandel Law Firm will have everything you need to know before you get your e-bike! 

Electric bike vs. Motorbike vs. Regular Bike

One can certainly spot the physical differences between these bikes. However, it’s much more difficult to spot the technical differences that matter in the eyes of the law. Below, we’ll describe the specific differences between electric bikes (e-bikes), motorbikes (motorcycles) and regular bikes. 

Regular Bikes

We all know a regular bike well. Most road bikes are very similar to kids’ bikes. The main difference is they typically have a complicated gear system to give riders an easier time traversing terrains. However, the differences rarely go beyond that. 


A motorbike (motorcycle) is any motor vehicle with a seat for the operator designed to travel on two wheels. (Regardless of weight or horsepower.) However, for one to be technically street legal, it must have: 

  • A brake light
  • A tail light 
  • A headlight 
  • Front and rear brakes 
  • A horn 
  • Turn signals 
  • Two mirrors

Electric Bikes

Electric Bikes

Bicycles with a max speed of 28 mph and power output of 750w (or less) are considered e-bikes. An e-bike normally has an electric motor to assist you while pedaling. For more information on e bikes in Ohio, please visit this resource.

E Bike Safety

Now that you understand what an e-bike truly is, you must understand how to stay safe on one. Since e-bikes can reach speeds of up to 28 mph, things get dangerous if you don’t take precautions. 

Avoiding E Bike Accidents

  • Always obey traffic laws. Traffic laws are meant for everyone– not just motorists. As you’re riding (at any time of day), always stop and obey traffic signs. It’s the best way to ensure you’re safe. 
  • Use bike lanes whenever available. Bike lanes are there for your safety. And they help keep cyclists and motorists at a safe distance. For your safety and enjoyment, use them as much as possible. 
  • Always wear bright clothing. No matter how vigilant motorists are, they’re bound to miss a thing or two, which could lead to an accident. Always wear bright safety clothing to give all motorists a better chance of seeing you. 

Hazards on E- Bikes

  • It’s dangerous to use too much throttle. Like motorbikes, it’s hard to control an e-bike if you use too much throttle from a dead stop. Use only enough to get going at a safe speed.
  • Failing to care for your e-bike can be dangerous as well. E-bikes have more moving parts than your typical bike. So be sure you read the manual and know how to ensure each piece works appropriately. 
  • Defense on E bike AccidentsSilent and fast. E-bikes are fast, but they’re also quiet. That means that pedestrians and motorists often have no idea you’re approaching. To ensure you don’t hit them, maintain a safe distance. You might even consider putting a bell on yours.  

Defense on E bike Accidents

If you’re in an accident, despite the tips above, be sure you get the right defense on your side. Doing so is the only way to ensure the weight of the accident isn’t placed on your shoulders. 

Sandel Law Firm is ready to help. Contact us today with a free consultation.

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