Understanding Class 3 Electric Bikes | Macfox
    Learn about Class 3 electric bikes, their speed, legalities, and key features. Discover how they compare to other e-bike classes.

    Understanding Class 3 Electric Bikes: Speed, Regulations

    • By Macfox Bike
    • Jul 01

    Class 3 electric bikes, commonly referred to as speed pedelecs, are ebikes designed for higher speeds and greater utility.

    They are an ideal way to navigate urban travel.

    These bikes feature an electric motor to assist the rider while pedaling.

    E-bikes that fall into this category have specific features that distinguish them from Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes. If you want to learn more about Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes check out our article.

    How Fast Can a Class 3 Electric Bike Go?

    Class 3 Electric Bikes | Macfox

    With motor assistance, Class 3 electric bikes can reach speeds of up to 28 mph (45 km/h).

    Class 1 e-bikes provide assistance up to 20 mph, significantly outpacing them in speed.

    Class 2 e-bikes also boast maximum assisted speeds of 20 miles per hour but include a throttle feature for greater control.

    Class 3 bikes offer higher speed capability, making them a top pick for longer commutes and efficient urban transportation.

    What is Considered a Class 3 Electric Bike?

    A Class 3 e-bike is defined by several key features.

    The motor only provides assistance while pedaling.

    At 28 mph, motor assistance ceases.

    Class 3 e-bikes do not feature throttle controls.

    Class 3 e-bikes must include a speedometer.

    Class 3 e-bikes are used primarily to provide faster and more efficient transportation in urban settings.

    Regulation and Legality


    Class 3 electric bikes are legal to ride in California but subject to specific regulations.

    Riders must be at least 16 years old.

    All riders are required to wear helmets.

    Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from using bike paths and multi-use trails unless local laws permit otherwise.

    Automobiles are generally allowed on roadways, bike lanes and separated bikeways.

    California Vehicle Code SS24016 specifies that all electric bicycle categories are exempt from motor vehicle financial responsibility (DL), registration, and license plate requirements.


    Texas allows Class 3 electric bikes, under certain restrictions.

    Riders must be 15 or over; however, younger riders can use Class 3 e-bikes if supervised by an adult.

    No state-mandated helmet law exists for riders of electric bicycles; however, local ordinances may vary in this regard.

    Class 3 e-bikes can be legally used on roads and bike lanes, though certain bike paths and trails designed for non-motorized use prohibit their use.


    Florida allows Class 3 electric bikes under certain rules and guidelines.

    No minimum age requirement exists for riding Class 3 e-bikes; however, those under 16 must wear a helmet while using them.

    Class 3 e-bikes are typically allowed on roads and bike lanes, though certain local regulations may limit their use on certain bike paths or trails.

    New York

    New York legislation regulates Class 3 electric bikes as being legal to ride.

    Riders must be at least 16 years old.

    Helmets are mandatory for all riders and passengers on any motorized vehicles, including motorcycles.

    Class 3 e-bikes can be legally operated on roadways and bike lanes, but must remain off bike paths and trails unless authorized by local authorities.


    Maine Legislators established Class 3 electric bikes as defined in their Electric Bicycle Act.

    According to 29-A MRSA §101, §22-B, a Class 3 electric bicycle features a motor that only provides assistance while pedaling and stops as soon as it reaches 28 mph in speed.

    Class 3 electric bikes may only be operated on bike paths if permitted by the municipal, local, or state authority responsible.

    Riders aged 16 or over may operate a Class 3 electric bicycle.

    Individuals under 16 may only ride as passengers if the bicycle has been specially designed to carry multiple riders.


    Colorado legislation defines a Class 3 electric bicycle as one that only provides assistance while pedaling, with motor operation ceasing at 28 mph.

    All Class 3 electric bikes must include a speedometer.

    These bikes cannot be operated on bike paths and sidewalks unless they are part of a street, highway, or are approved for operation by their local jurisdiction.

    Individuals under the age of 16 cannot legally operate a Class 3 electric bike unless they are passengers.

    All riders aged 18 or younger must wear helmets while cycling.

    Washington State

    Under Washington State Law RCW 46.04.169, all Class 3 electric bikes must be equipped with a speedometer.

    These bikes provide assistance only while pedaling and stop doing so when reaching 28 mph.

    Class 3 electric bikes can be operated on both bike lanes and roads.

    Bicycle paths or sidewalks typically do not permit them unless there are no other safe alternatives available.

    How Do I Convert My Class 2 Electric Bike to Class 3?

    Moving a Class 2 electric bike up a class requires several steps.

    Before purchasing, it is essential that the motor can support up to 28 mph speeds.

    Upgrade the bike's controller in order to account for increased power output.

    Install a speedometer to meet legal requirements.

    Verify that all components and modifications comply with local regulations.

    Before making any modifications to your bike, it's advisable to seek advice from either an expert or its manufacturer, in order to ensure safety and compliance with local laws.


    Class 3 electric bikes present an appealing option for urban dwellers seeking faster and more efficient modes of transport.

    Understanding the specific regulations and characteristics of Class 3 e-bikes is essential to making informed decisions and complying with local laws.

    No matter if you are interested in purchasing or simply exploring Class 3 e-bikes, this guide offers an excellent introduction into their features and legality.

    Further Reading and Resources

    When considering a Class 3 electric bike, it's also beneficial to explore related topics to enhance your understanding and make informed decisions.

    For instance, you might want to learn about the different types of bike handlebars and the role of Hall sensors in electric bikes.

    Additionally, researching the best budget electric bikes under $2,000 and understanding the differences between 750W and 1000W e-bikes can be very helpful.

    Finally, comparing the advantages of 48v vs 52v batteries will provide you with comprehensive knowledge to choose the best e-bike for your needs and preferences.


    How fast can a Class 3 electric bike go?

    Class 3 e-bikes can reach speeds up to 28 mph with motor assistance.

    Are helmets required for Class 3 electric bike riders?

    Yes, helmets are mandatory for all Class 3 e-bike riders in most regions.

    Can Class 3 electric bikes be ridden on bike paths?

    Regulations vary, but generally, Class 3 e-bikes are restricted from bike paths unless local laws permit.

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