Electric Bikes in Denver: Rules and Etiquette
Posted Friday, April 8, 2022
Getting around Denver on an ebike is fast and fun. You can ride electric bikes on all Denver streets and bike paths, giving you the flexibility to ride around Denver with ease and efficiency.
Rinding Ebikes in Denver
Denver has an ebike share program, and is adding bike infrastructure like protected bike lanes that ebikes can use, but Denver does not have specific rules for electric bikes. Electric bike laws in Colorado authorize local governments to allow or prohibit the use of electric bikes on pedestrian- and bike-paths.
Follow driving rules of the road on Denver's streets and bike paths. Good etiquette will also ensure electric bikes are welcome - even encouraged - in Denver. Let's keep advancing ebikes as a great alternative to cars for getting around.
Colorado Electric Bike Classifications
Classifications for ebikes in Denver are directed by the law for electric bikes in Colorado.
Class 1 electric bikes are pedal-assist only, up to 20 miles per hour.
Class 2 ebikes also have a throttle that powers the bike even if you are not pedaling, up to 20 mph.
Class 3 ebikes can provide power assistance up to 28 mph.
Are Ebikes Allowed on Denver Streets?
All classes of ebikes are allowed on streets. Riders must be over 16 to ride a class 3 ebike in Denver, and must wear a helmet if under 18.
Obey all the rules of the road you would in a car while riding your ebike, with one exception. Colorado's Safety Stop Law allows bicycles and electric bicycles to slow to 10 mph or less at intersections with a traffic sign and and proceed without stopping if they have the right of way. Don't abuse it - it's not worth getting hit or a ticket.
Give drivers room to pass you when you can. Try to pick routes that have designated bike lanes. 'Share the road' goes both ways!
Are Electric Bikes Allowed on Denver Bike Paths?
Ebikes are allowed on Denver bike paths, so long the ebike is class 1 or 2 (unless otherwise posted).
The speed limit on paths is 15 miles per hour, and speeding on your electric bike in Denver could cost you $100.
Slow down when you are around pedestrians, and give them a little warning if you are going to pass them. They have the right of way always!
Can I Ride Electric Bikes on Sidewalks?
Sometimes it's just scary to ride on the street in Denver, even with the added speed of an ebike. Until every street in Denver has a protected bike lane, there will be times when you want to get on the sidewalk.
Officially, bikes - and ebikes - are not permitted on sidewalks unless they are part of a bike route or you are within one block of dismounting. If you do ride on a sidewalk, slow down to <6mph, cut the power off, or walk your bike when pedestrians are present.
Getting Around in Denver on Your eBike
Denver has miles of bike paths and trails, and a growing network of protected bike lanes. Use this Google Maps filtered map, the Denver Bike Map to plan your routes on bicycle-friendly roads, dedicated lanes and trails.
Author: Andy Gale