In the United States, the minimum age to ride an electric bike is 14-16 years. However, some states don’t have any age requirements, but they do have other laws.
Such discrepancies exist because US states are free to make their own laws regarding electric bikes. Moreover, states also have the power to change these laws depending upon their needs.
Once your child has reached the prescribed age for riding an electric bike, one of the things you should consider is safety. You also need to ask whether or not your kid needs to ride a bike?
How Old Do You Have to Be to Ride a Bike?
Besides state laws, a factor determining the right age for an electric bike is the three-tiered classification system.
Some states may have minimum age limits if children are riding a bike with pedal assists at 25 miles per hour.
Sadly, not many states have reviewed their laws regarding electric bikes. Therefore, it’s probably better to guess whether the minimum age is 10 years or 17 years.
However, even if you deem your child fit for riding an e-bike, it is important to consider state laws.
State Wise Age Requirements for Electric Bikes
|US States||Minimum Age Requirements.||States Requiring License|
|Tennessee, Hampshire, New Dakota, Alaska, Michigan, Alabama.||14||North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska.|
|Illinois, Arkansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, PA, West Virginia, Vermont, Washington DC, Rhode Island.||16||West Virginia, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Idaho.|
|New Jersey, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota.||15||New Jersey, Indiana, Hawaii.|
Unfortunately, some states recognize electric bikes as mopeds, motorcycles, or motor vehicles. These states require their citizens to get a license before riding an electric bike.
Are E-Bikes Good for Children?
Electric bikes are a great way to give your kids their daily dose of exercise. It allows them to commute safely and independently.
Electric bikes are powered by a motor, which assists the riders as they pedal. Moreover, when going uphill, the rider doesn’t have to pedal harder than necessary.
Furthermore, electric bikes are convenient. They have a rack to hold your child’s backpack, books, and other school supplies.
Also, the added weight of the school supplies won’t make it difficult for your child to ride. E-bikes have the option to enhance pedal-assistance, thus helping people reach their destination faster.
Interestingly, e-bikes are a great way to increase your cardio exercise. Moreover, it is an amazing hobby that keeps children away from the screen, thus keeping their mental health in top shape.
Electric bikes are just as good for adults, as they help save money that could’ve been splurged on gas or car maintenance.
Moreover, the pedal assistance feature helps your children keep up with you while riding. When riding together, you don’t have to slow down or wait for them to catch up.
How Old Should a Child Be to Ride an E-Bike?
Let’s suppose your kid is legally eligible to ride a bike. But, do they really need to ride an electric bike? E-bikes and e-mountain bikes are heavy and much more costly than regular bikes.
Objectively, handing over a bike with a heavy motor to a child isn’t such a good idea. Furthermore, there aren’t too many e-bikes for kids. Therefore, you are bound to purchase the one for adults.
Your child should be old enough to understand the following before riding a bike.
- They should know the traffic rules in the state they reside in.
- They should be attentive and they must have good hand-eye coordination.
- They should have a genuine need of riding a bike, like going to school, if they don’t have anyone else to drop them off.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your child will follow traffic rules, wear a helmet, or keep themselves safe on the road, don’t get them an e-bike.
After all, there is nothing more important than their safety.
How About Class 3 Electric Bikes?
In many states, the minimum age to ride a class-3 bike is 16 years, even if age limits for riding an e-bike aren’t determined. Therefore, if your child is younger than 16 years, they should only ride class one or class two e-bikes.
These bikes have a maximum speed limit of 20 mph, provided it is allowed by the law in your area. Moreover, the motor wattage should be reduced to 250 watts.
As discussed above, the safety of your children is of utmost importance. The maximum speed limit of a class-3 e-bike is 28 miles per hour.
E-Bike Safety for Children
As discussed above, bikes are a great form of workout for kids, and it also allows them to explore their surroundings.
However, as a parent, you can’t help but think about their safety. Of course, you must educate them about the importance of wearing helmets and safety gear.
The reason why parents are skeptical about buying their kids electric bikes is that they are faster than normal bikes.
The truth is, electric bikes are just as safe as normal bikes, as long as your child is wearing the right safety gear and following the traffic rules.
Sure, you will take more precautions for your 10-year-old child, as opposed to a kid that’s 17 years old. It is your job to make them realize the importance of following safety rules, and wearing safety gear while riding an e-bike.
What Kind of E-Bike Are You Looking For?
Before purchasing an e-bike for your child, there are a few things you must consider. One such factor is the kind of bike you need.
There are two main types of e-bikes; pedal-assisted and throttle-assisted.
As the name implies, throttle-assisted e-bikes come with a throttle. When the throttle is twisted, it activates the motor, which is connected to one of the wheels to make them turn.
Such bikes are more comparable to scooters, as opposed to bikes.
The next type is an electric bike with pedal assistance. As you pedal, these bikes give you an extra push. Luckily, it is within your control to monitor the assistance.
The assistance provided by the motor doesn’t go beyond 15-30 miles per hour.
Pedal-assisted bikes are similar to conventional bikes, which makes them a better option for children. The age restrictions for such electric bikes range from 10-16 years.
It is important to note that some bikes are allowed by underage kids, as long as they ride under the supervision of a guardian.
However, it is important to know the local laws regarding young children riding pedal-assisted e-bikes.
Teaching a Child How to Ride
The best way to teach your children to ride electric bikes is by making them do so without any electrical assistance. Before they graduate to electric bikes, they must be able to ride a normal bicycle.
If your kid is new to bicycles, it is better to give them some time so they can learn how to ride a bike properly.
Riding a normal bicycle will provide them with the balance and the confidence they need to control a two-wheel vehicle. As a result, it will be easier for them to ride an e-bike when they get one.
Even if your child is learning to ride a normal bicycle, you should make them wear protective gear. While they ride, it is important to keep an eye on them.
While you’re looking out for your child’s health and safety, encourage them to explore how a bike works.
It is important to care for their safety, but they should learn to rely on themselves.
Moreover, the size of the bike should be appropriate for your child’s age and height. Providing them with a bike too big or too small will elongate their learning timeline.
Sizing the Bike
As discussed above, determining the right bike size for your kids is difficult. While the bike should fit them well, it should also give them ample room to grow, so you don’t have to splurge extra money on a new bike every six months.
You should invest in a bike that allows your child’s feet to touch the ground on both sides. Make sure their toes or heels touch the floor.
If they can comfortably rest their heels on the ground, it is better to shop for a relatively bigger bike. If you settle for such a bike, you will be in the market once again, shopping for a new bike.
The good thing about electric bikes is that just like a normal bike, you can adjust the seat height. As a result, you have a bigger margin of error.
Even if the bike is big or small for your kid, you will still be able to adjust the height of the seat.
Ways to Keep Your Child Safe
Here are a few tips to keep your child safe as they ride their bike.
- If your child is under the age of 16, don’t let them ride a motor-driven e-bike with a wattage of more than 250 watts. There is no need for extra power if it is their first e-bike.
- A wattage of 250 watts or less is just fine for kids under 18 years.
- Before they take off, it is better to conduct a pre-ride safety check.
- Arrange a helmet and other safety gear like knee and ankle guards so they can ride safely.
- Whenever possible, encourage them to ride on a sidewalk to avoid traffic.
- Teach your kids to minimize motor power. They should be able to slow down before approaching pedestrians or other vehicles on the road.
- Your child should know how to use a bell, and how. Teach them how close they must be to a pedestrian or a vehicle before honking their horn. Take them riding with you, and encourage them to mimic what you are doing.
- Teach your children to be polite to pedestrians and other drivers on the road. Make them develop a habit of saying “excuse me” or “thank you” whilst on the road. Such gestures not only reinforce harmony but also help raise better and well-behaved citizens.
- Remind them that they are driving faster than most conventional cyclists on the road. This will help them keep tabs on their pace, thus allowing them to drive safely, and avoid accidents. It will also teach them the difference in operation between a bike and an e-bike.
How Much Do Electric Bikes Cost?
This is a very subjective topic to talk about. The cost of your electric bike depends upon the type, the build, the size, and the brand.
If you want an ordinary electric bike that is better than your bicycle, it will cost around $1000.
However, if your bar goes slightly higher, and you are looking for something high-end, the prices will start around $2000 and they will continue to increase.
If you are looking for a high-performance electric bike, we are talking anywhere from $5000 to $20000.
Riding an e-bike is much easier and more fun than riding a conventional bicycle. The only problem is that the machinery in them makes it a bit tough for children to control them.
Moreover, because of their delicate nature, different states have different laws surrounding kids riding e-bikes.
As a parent, it is better to make sure your kids know how to ride a bicycle before you buy them an e-bike.
Teach them the local traffic rules, safety precautions, and the basic etiquette of driving on the road. Even if they make mistakes, don’t be too harsh on them, as it will shatter their confidence, and that is the last thing you want.
You may like the related electric bike articles:
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- How to remove speed limiter on an electric bike
- 500-Watt Electric Bike or 750-Watt Electric Bike
- Can an Electric Bike Run Without Pedaling?
- How Fast is a 3000-Watt Electric Bike?
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.