It’s important to know what the law says about electric bikes - they’re new and modern, which is why they’re a grey area when it comes to rules and obligations. We have written everything you need to know about the Connecticut state electric bike laws, but make sure to consult the local authorities for any additional information and possible changes.
How does the state of Connecticut declares what an electric bike is.
Connecticut defines an electric bike as a “motor-driven cycle.” This state says that the seat height must be equal to or greater than 26”, and the motor shouldn’t exceed 750 W of power. In addition, they have to be equipped with brakes that can fully suspend the motor, and the greatest speed such bikes should be allowed to reach is 20 miles per hour.
The Connecticut state electric bike laws also have a specific bike classification:
- class 1 - electric bikes that are pedal-assist only, with no motor assistance when the bike reaches 20 miles per hour
- class 2 - electric bikes that can be run on electricity even when you’re not pedaling, but the motor stops assisting at 20 miles per hour
- class 3 - electric bikes with a greater power support, but the speed limit is 28 miles per hour
How powerful can my bike be? Most importantly, you should worry about your bike not exceeding the mentioned 28 miles per hour.
Do I need a license or insurance? There is no need for any license, registration, or insurance. Still, the local authorities might issue local regulations - make sure to ask around before you get to go on new adventures.
Do I need to wear a helmet? Connecticut law has issued a must-have helmet regulation for people of all ages, no matter the electric bike class.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? The beforementioned class three bikes can be quite fast and dangerous, which is why no person under the age of 16 can’t ride on class 3 on their own. They can be a passenger, though.
Can I ride on the road? There is a no-tolerance policy when it comes to riding on sidewalks. Highways are also prohibited unless stated otherwise with traffic signs. It’s worth mentioning that, when riding on roadways with a maximum speed higher than the bicycle's maximum speed, you must ride on the far right. Take care - class three bikes are not allowed on regular bike trails, paths, or multi-use trails either!
Can I modify my bike? You can modify it visually, but you should not surpass the maximum speed or power after the modifications have been done. You should also have a white light lamp on the front, a red reflector, and some reflective material.
Are there any forbidden stunts? Ensure to avoid pedestrian surfaces in all situations - this behavior is strongly condemned by local authorities and deemed dangerous.
What about mountain bikes? Depending on which class your electric mountain bike falls into, you might want to consult local authorities. On federal land, you are essentially considered driving a motorized vehicle. Class 1 electric bikes are allowed on multi-use trails.
Connecticut state electric bike laws recognize three bike classes and urge you to consult your local authorities if you want to ride safely. Also, make sure to have your bike’s info nearby, as you might be prompted to give some info on the bike’s power to determine the class.