California Electric Bike Laws


New member
Local time
7:50 AM
Apr 27, 2020
The California Electric Bike Laws state that Class 1 eBikes with a max assisted speed of 20mph are allowed on Class 1 Bike Paths. However, Class 3 eBikes with a max assisted speed of 28mph are not allowed on Class 1 Bike Paths.

On my bike commute I have to ride a small section of Class 1 Bike Path. The other option is a section of road (which is deadly) or a freeway (which is illegal).

Does this mean I have to buy a Class 1 eBike to legally ride this very small section of Class 1 bike path?

Can I voluntarily detun a Class 3 ebike so that I am legal for this section of bike path? Or can I just go slower than 20mph in this section without using any electric assistance to stay legal?

Only the top speed is allowed but you can de-tune your ebike to lower the max speed. I have 3 settings 400W, 750W and then the maximum which by my calculations is 58V x 30A = 1740 Watts. The police will only look at the power of the motor stamped on the engine. So my BBSHD shows 750W even though it can put out up to 1740 Watts. It is possible to modify the controllers to get the BBSHD to output as much as 3000W and yet the engine stamp will still say 750Watts.

My conclusion to your question? Ride at the speed limit and don't be silly and you will be fine. If you go over the legal speed you will eventually get caught. Be smart and ride safe!
Exactly what @MaxWell said, stay under the 20mph and you will be fine or even turn off the power assist when riding that part of the path. With most electric bike displays you can also limit the maximum speed in the menu. When entering that part of your commute, just set it to 20mph and you'll be fine. Then reset it back after that section.

The only difference between a Type 1 electric bike and Type 2 is the speed if I understand the policy you posted. Just don't be stupid and you'll be OK.