“Can I ride my E-bike there?”


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:



Please participate in the 30 Day Public Comment Period!

The National Forest Service is currently in the process of clarifying and creating policies regarding e-bike usage and guidance on National Forest System lands.
Over the last several years, e-bikes have been growing in popularity, due to the fact that they create opportunity for many people, particularly the elderly and disabled. Currently, e-bikes are not allowed anywhere on Forest Service roads, trails, or areas where motorized vehicles are prohibited. The newly proposed rule amendment, separates e-bikes into three separate classes. Each class of e-bike will have regulations in place to dictate their usability on Forest Service Land. As they are in the process of defining and creating all of these new regulations, the Forest Service has opened a public commentary on the issue. We would like to encourage all of you to submit your comments on the matter! All comments must be in before October 26th, 2020.

Submit Comments Here

Release of Public Commentary

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

Reference: https://coloradosprings.gov/ebike

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.

Reference: https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/E-Bike-Rules.aspx
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.

E-bike use in Fremont County
Currently, e-bikes are only allowed on ‘motorized’ trails in Fremont County.

Bikes and motorized vehicles ARE allowed wherever motorized recreation is:
  • Penrose Commons
  • Seep Springs
  • Texas Creek
  • Rainbow Trail
  • Tanner / Stultz / East Bear / Lion’s Canyon

E-bike use in Teller County
As of right now, most of the trails are considered “Non Motorized and do not allow E-bike usage.

  • Cripple Creek and Victor have ordinances which allow for OHV travel on city streets
  • County roads in southern Teller County do not allow OHV travel
  • The rural roads are great places to ride (Gold Camp Rd, Phantom Canyon Rd, Shelf Rd, and Skaguay Rd)

US Forest Service:

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.

Reference: https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/psicc/recreation/bicycling

Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service:

The Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks Service opened public commentaries back in April of this year to encourage public feedback on the usage and regulations of e-bikes. The commentaries were open for 60 days and allowed public feedback until the second week of June. Responses were recorded and both entities are currently in the process of releasing amendments to previous rules in place. Currently, both of these entities do not have universal rules in place and vary from region to region. These new amendments will be consistent across the country and provide clear regulations for this growing activity. Currently, the regulations for both BLM and NPS vary from area to area. Click on the links below to see each entities official current standing.

National Park Service

Bureau of Land Management

“The regulation would define the term “electric bicycle” and allow superintendents to provide for e-bike use in a similar manner to the current e-bike policy. The intent of this action is to address an emerging technology in a manner that accommodates visitors and increases opportunities for the public to recreate within and travel through the National Park System, while at the same time protecting the resources and values that draw millions of visitors each year.” -National Parks Service

“a formal decision that e-bikes should be treated the same as non-motorized bicycles, expressly exempt those e-bikes from the definition of off-road vehicles. This proposed change would facilitate increased recreational opportunities for all Americans, especially those with physical limitations, and would encourage the enjoyment of lands and waters managed by the BLM.”
-Bureau of Land Management