When it comes to electric bikes and the law, we can often get very confused. Why, you wonder? Did you know that each state in America has its guidelines on legal and illegal electric bike usage? Today we discuss New Hampshire state electric bike laws so you can safely ride around this state with no fears.
How does the state of New Hampshire declares what an electric bike is.
The New Hampshire state definition of an e-bike says that electric bikes are essentially regular bikes assisted by a motor that should never exceed 750 W of power.
These bikes are further categorized in three classes by the New Hampshire guidelines:
- class 1 - electric bikes that assist you when you pedal and can reach up to 20 miles per hour for safety reasons
- class 2 - electric bikes that assist you when you engage the throttle, and these can also reach about 20 miles per hour
- class 3 - electric bikes that assist when you pedal, but they can reach 28 miles per hour, which is slightly higher than class 1 bikes
How powerful can my bike be? Due to safety reasons, your bike should not exceed the power of 750 W. No modifications are allowed to exceed this number.
Do I need a license or insurance? Luckily, in the state of New Hampshire, you won’t have to bother with additional registrations and licenses!
Do I need to wear a helmet? Helmets are required for riders under the age of 18, but it’s advised that you wear a helmet if you’re older too.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? Yes, there are! If you are under 16, you sadly cannot legally operate a class 3 e-bike, but you can still be a passenger!
Can I ride on the road? Class 1 and 2 bikes can be used on bike paths and multi-use paths, but you must check in with the local authorities since each district has its own rules. Class 3 bikes are usually not allowed on these paths unless they are within highways.
Can I modify my bike? You can only modify the aesthetics and add practical things (lights, bottle holders). You cannot modify the power or the speed to be above the limit.
Are there any forbidden stunts? It is strongly advised you don’t cling onto cars and other vehicles, and you should also avoid using motor assistance when near pedestrians.
What about mountain bikes? The New Hampshire Bureau of Trails allows mountain bikes where class 1 electric bikes ride. However, the majority of public lands are under the jurisdiction of the American Forest Service. They classify electric mountain bikes as motorized vehicles. You’ll have to contact local authorities for more info about specific parks.
These are the New Hampshire state electric bike laws. If you have any questions and want to make sure that these rules are still completely up to date, you should definitely consult the authorities.