Given the increasing use of e-bikes there is interest in creating a formal NCCC policy for e-bike riders. The State of California classifies e-bikes into three categories. Class 1 and Class 3 e-bikes require the rider to be actively pedaling for the electronic assist to engage. Class 1 e-assist cuts out at 20 miles per hour, and Class 3 e-assist cuts out at 28 mph. Class 2 bikes do not require active pedaling but have a maximum cut-off speed of 20 mph.
Only Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on all routes, including separated bike paths such as the San Luis Rey bike trail. Class 3 e-bikes are NOT allowed, by law, on separated bike paths.
Note that both CA Class 1 and Class 3 e-bikes are allowed on rides per our NCCC accident insurance ($10,000 per accident secondary insurance), because their technical specs are within those specified by the US Consumer Products Safety Commission.
NCCC policy is to allow e-bikes on NCCC rides provided the following:
- The e-bike rider must have approval prior to the ride by the ride leader.
- The e-cyclist must have completed the League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling class and demonstrated not only safe riding with traffic but also integrating with other cyclists safely.
- Only Class 1 or Class 3 e-bikes are allowed on official club rides. California Class 2 e-bikes are specifically prohibited on NCCC rides since they can run by hand throttle alone without pedaling.
- Since Class 3 e-bikes are not allowed on any portion of official NCCC rides that travel on separated bike paths, ride leaders will need to provide alternative routes in those cases.