Colorado State Electric Bike Laws

Today we discuss Colorado state electric bike laws in hopes to clear up all possible confusion you might be feeling. Electric bikes are relatively new, modern vehicles that the law hasn’t fully cleared out in all situations. To avoid unsafe practices and possible fines, we suggest following the guidelines provided below.

How does the state of Colorado declares what an electric bike is.

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The Colorado state electric bike laws say that electric bikes differ from scooters and mopeds, and they’re vehicles that provide up to 750 W of power.

There is a more detailed classification useful for Colorado laws:

  • class 1 - electric bikes that have a pedal-only assist and ride only up to 20 miles per hour
  • class 2 - electric bikes that can use motor assistance no matter whether you’re pedaling, but the upper-speed limit remains 20 miles per hour
  • class 3 - bikes that use continuous support from the motor while you’re pedaling, but follow the maximum 28 miles per hour speed regulations

Colorado-Electric-Bikes-Laws

Key Points

How powerful can my bike be? When it comes to power, you should never exceed 750 W, but when it comes to speed, you have to figure out which electric bike class you belong to. If you have a class 1 or 2 bike, you shouldn’t ride faster than 20 miles per hour, while class 3 bikes shouldn’t exceed 28 miles per hour.

Do I need a license or insurance? You don’t need to have a license, nor do you need insurance or registration. However, some documents might be needed for those who ride class 3 bikes, depending on the local authorities.

Do I need to wear a helmet? Although all riders and passengers of bike three classes need helmets, others bike classes don’t have the same regulations. That aside, it’s still safe to wear helmets and local authorities might pursue helmets for those under the age of 18.

Are there age restrictions to look out for? If you are under 16, you can’t ride class 3 bikes, and you can only be a passenger.

Can I ride on the road? Colorado state electric bike laws consider electric bikes a good sport - they are allowed on roads and bike lanes. They can even ride on bike and pedestrian paths, but without motor assistance. Make sure to follow local guidelines and check whether you can ride your class 3 bike on specific roads - they’re not allowed on bike paths or pedestrian paths. 

Can I modify my bike? Bikes can be aesthetically modified, but they shouldn’t be changed in speed or power. You have to get a front white light, a red reflector, and reflective materials. This will give you leverage for the local authorities and possible changing guidelines.

Are there any forbidden stunts? Make sure to watch out when you’re nearby pedestrians - you should not engage the motor in those situations.

What about mountain bikes? Mountain bikes have access to motorized trails on federal lands. You can always contact the BLM Colorado State Office to get more info, but keep in mind that electric bikes are allowed in state parks where regular bikes are allowed. Motor power in such parks is a gray area.

Conclusion

Colorado state electric bike laws aren’t complicated, but they’re constantly changing. Make sure to ask for additional help and guidelines whenever you’re confused - you don’t want to be fined.

Sources:

Colorado e-bike laws PDF.

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