If you’re looking to buy an electric bike for your kid then you’re probably wondering if it’s actually legal for them to ride an electric bike. This is something that I also wanted to find out so I did some research to find what ages kids need to be to ride an electric bike.
So, how old do kids need to be to ride an electric bike? The answer to this will vary depending on your country and state. If the e-bike is throttle assisted and can be used without having to pedal, then it will probably require a license like a scooter. If it’s pedal assisted then, to use it on the road, the minimum age can range from 0 to 16 depending on your location.
You can find out more about the individual state in various countries and states, on Wikipedia, here. Another good article to look at regarding electric bike laws in the United States can be found here.
The minimum age that your kid needs to be depends on where you are located and in what part of the country you are in. Some locations even consider electric bikes as illegal.
How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Ride an Electric Bike?
If you are considering getting an electric bike for your kid then there are a number of factors that you should consider before going ahead and getting the e-bike. Below will be a number of guiding principles that you can use but to be sure you should find out about your local areas specific laws so that you know for sure. Wikipedia has a good list here.
The first thing that you need to consider is the type of electric bike that you want to get. There are two main types of electric bikes, throttle assisted and pedal assisted.
Throttle assisted electric bikes have a throttle that you can twist to make an electric motor, that is attached to one of the wheels, make them turn. This type of electric bike is more comparable to a scooter than a bike and that is how the law typically seems to interpret it as well. With that being the case it is unlikely that you will be able to get a throttle assisted electric bike for your kid.
The other type of electric bike, a pedal assisted e-bike, might still be possible though. Pedal assisted e-bikes work by giving you an extra push forward as you pedal. You can normally control the level of assistance that the electric motor will provide and they are normally limited to provide assistance up to between 15-30 mph.
Pedal assisted electric bikes more closely resemble normal bikes and with that being the case it may be possible for your kid to use one. The age restrictions on these types of electric bikes can range from between 0-16 years old.
It should also be worth noting that some states allow for younger kids to use the electric bikes under the supervision of a legal guardian but you should check up on your local areas laws to find out about that.
Will The Kid Need a License?
Even if the kid is old enough to use the electric bike it still might be necessary for the kid to get a license.
Many areas classify electric bikes as motorized bikes and as such, in order to use it, your child would have to get a license.
In order to find out about the laws surrounding e-bikes in your area, you should first take a look at the Wikipedia article linked above and then google “electric bike laws in” followed by your state/country.
How to Teach a Kid to Ride an Electric Bike?
The best way to teach your kid how to ride an electric bike would be to start out by teaching them how to ride it without any electric assistance just like you would with an ordinary bike.
With that being said, if your kid has never ridden any bike before then it would be worthwhile to start them out on a cheap ordinary bike that you can use stabilizers with temporarily. That way they can learn how to balance themselves and to control an ordinary, less powerful bike, before moving on to a more powerful electric bike.
Additionally, when teaching the kids how to cycle, it is very important to have the kid wear protective clothing. This means that the kid must be wearing a helmet to protect against head injuries. It’s also important that you constantly monitor the child and that you ensure that the bike is the correct size for the kid.
How to Size the Bike
When buying a bike for kids deciding on the correct size can be somewhat difficult because you need to get one that is the right size for the kid now but will also give the kid room to grow later on.
With that being the case you should pick a bike where the kid can touch the floor on both sides with their toes and the balls of their feet but not with their heels. If they can touch the floor with their heels then it’s probably too small for them and in a years time, it will be even worse.
The nice thing about electric bikes is that, just like with ordinary bikes, you can adjust the height of the seat. This can give you a slightly larger margin of error since if the bike is too small or big you will still be able to adjust the seat, which might be able to make up for it.
Do you need a license to drive an electric bike? Whether or not you will need a license to ride an electric bike will depend on the country and state that you are in. In some areas, electric bikes are classified as electric vehicles meaning that you will need to get a license to ride one.
How much do electric bikes cost? This will depend on the type of electric bike that you want. If you just want an ordinary bike that will be easier to cycle than what you currently have then you might be able to get one for $1000. However, high-quality electric bikes start at around $2000 and if you want a high-performance electric bike then they can go for between $5000 and $20,000.