E-bikes have been a subject of controversy since their creation. Here in the City of Colorado Springs, our downtown bike share program, PikeRide, has changed out to a full e-bike fleet making it even easier to get around! (See Details about PikeRide HERE.) At the Summer Outdoor Retailer Demo Day, I (Becky) tried my first e-bike to see what all the hype was about and I was sold!
E-bikes have been in the news again lately, as our federal land managers wrestle with how best to classify them for use on public lands. So we thought it might be helpful to share how e-bikes are designated here locally. According to our research, the following best explains current regulations:
Local Land Managers’
E-Bike Definitions and Regulations
City of Colorado Springs:
Colorado Springs allows Class 1 e-bikes to operate on Urban Trails. These trails are typically described as local commuting and recreational trails which traverse neighborhoods and connect to the core of the City of Colorado Springs.
At this time e-bikes are not to be operated on what is commonly known as multi-use trails. These trails are always soft surfaces and are part of large Regional Park or Open Space property infrastructure.
Class 1 E-bikes permitted on the following trails:
- Cottonwood Creek Trail
- Homestead Trail
- Midland Trail
- Pikes Peak Greenway
- Rock Island Trail
- Sand Creek Trail
- Shooks Run Trail
- Sinton Trail
- Stetson Trail
- Templeton Gap Trail
- Woodmen Trail
- Foothills Trail
- Skyline Trail
- Rockrimmon Trail
- Mesa Valley Trail
Colorado Parks and Wildlife:
What’s considered an e-bike? An e-bike is a vehicle with:
- two or three wheels
- fully operable pedals
- an electric motor not exceeding 750 watts of power
All e-bikes must meet the conditions for 1 of the 3 designated e-bike classes:
Class 1 E-bike
Equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour.
Class 2 E-bike
Equipped with a motor that provides assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling but ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour.
Class 3 E-bike
Equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 28 miles per hour.
Where you can ride:
E-bike use on CPW Lands
Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed the same access as road bikes and mountain bikes, while class 3 e-bikes are only to be allowed on roadways and in designated bike lanes.
E-bike use on State Park Lands
Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed on roadways and designated bike lanes and on multi-use trails and other areas (e.g.,campgrounds) that are open to non-motorized biking.
Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed on designated roadways and designated bike lanes.
E-bike use on State Wildlife Areas
In State Wildlife Areas, e-bikes are allowed on designated roads and within designated camping or parking areas where motorized vehicles are allowed.
They are prohibited in all other areas.
E-bike use on State Trust Lands
Public access on State Trust Lands is restricted to hunting, fishing and watchable wildlife activity. E-bikes are only allowed for use on designated roads when being used for these activities.
US Forest Service Land Regulations:
Like other motorized transportation, E-bikes can be used on numerous roads and trails open to motor vehicles. Free Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available. These maps indicate which roads and trails are open and to what type of vehicle.
E-bikes are not allowed on trails designated for non-motorized use. Non-motorized trails include trails like hiker, horse, or mountain bike trails. E-bikes, like other motorized transportation, also are not allowed to travel cross-country off trail. There are no exceptions.