Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason: they’re speedy, cost-effective, and good for the planet.
But what are the rules around using them? With the legality of e-scooters so frequently talked about, you might not be sure when and where you can ride a private electric bike. So, we’re taking you through everything you need to know about e-bike usage in the UK, as well as how Halfords can help to get you on the saddle.
What is an e-bike?
Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are bicycles that come equipped with an onboard motor to assist with pedalling. This means that as you pedal, the battery-powered motor supplies additional power to propel you further along, allowing you to ride further and faster, for longer.
E-bikes are available in many different styles to suit varying types of riding. From mountain bikes and adventure bikes to folding bikes and hybrid bikes, there’s an e-bike to suit every rider, and every ride.
Are e-bikes legal?
While the legality of electric scooters has been big news in recent years, with developments and changes to the legislation now a frequent occurrence, e-bikes have faced much less scrutiny.
E-bikes are classified as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’, or EAPCs, and are perfectly legal as long as they meet the EAPC rules set by the DLVA. These include the need for the pedals to be in motion for assistance to be provided, a maximum power output of 250W, and the stopping of electric assistance over 15.5mph.
You don’t need a licence to ride one, and the bike doesn’t need to be registered, taxed, or insured. There is, however, an age restriction: you must be 14 or over to ride an electric bike, that being two years younger than the moped age restriction to accommodate the reduced power of an e-bike.
Where can you ride them?
If an electric bike meets the EAPC requirements, then legally it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. That means that e-bikes are legal to ride on both private and public property and can be ridden anywhere that a standard bicycle is allowed.
Thanks to the diverse range of e-bikes on the market, you can find a model to ride just about anywhere, from mountain bike trails to the daily commute. For mountain and adventure riders, the added boost of the motor make climbs a breeze, meaning more of your day is spent doing the fun stuff.
As for commuting, e-bikes offer the perfect compromise between driving and riding a standard bike. You’ll still be getting the fresh air and freedom of cycling, but the motor takes away the strain of the ride to leave you feeling fresh and ready for your day. Plus, you’re able to nimbly navigate traffic and accelerate away from congestion and junctions more easily.
For some ideas about where to ride, check out our blog on the best family cycle routes in the UK here.
So, e-bikes are a sustainable, easy way to get around, and can be used anywhere you’d ride a standard bike. If you’re thinking about making the switch, Halfords has got everything you need for electrifying riding, from bikes and servicing to accessories and clothing.
If you’re still not sold, why not book a free electric bike trial? Take a Halfords electric bike for a free trial run and experience all the benefits of riding an e-bike first-hand – just choose your local store and desired bike from the list of our trial fleet and collect it on the day.