Skip to main content
HomeE-Bikes: Info & Club Policy

E-Bikes:  Information, and Club Policy

last updated:  Jan. 12, 2022     
For questions on, or changes to, this help page, contact:    


The rapidly increasing technology, pervasiveness and acceptance of electrically-motorized bicycles is an issue that will only grow with the future. The EBC will, on this page, set forth some information and agreed-upon club policy for the usage of these vehicles.  We expect that this page will evolve steadily as the technology evolves, and our club will try to proactively keep pace and meet any issues associated with these bicycles head on. Look for relatively frequent updates to this page.

Education & the Inherited Laws

E-Bike / eBike Definition

An electric bicycle (e-bikeeBike, eMTB, etc.) is a motorized bicycle with an integrated electric motor used to assist propulsion. Many kinds of e-bikes are available worldwide, but they generally fall into two broad categories: bikes that assist the rider's pedal-power (i.e. pedelecs) and bikes that add a throttle, integrating moped-style functionality. Both retain the ability to be pedaled by the rider and are therefore not electric motorcycles.

E-bikes use rechargeable batteries and typically travel up to 25 to 32 km/h (16 to 20 mph). High-powered varieties can often travel more than 45 km/h (28 mph). In some markets, such as Germany as of 2013, they are gaining in popularity and taking some market share away from conventional bicycles,[2] while in others, such as China as of 2010, they are replacing fossil fuel-powered mopeds and small motorcycles.[3][4]

Depending on local laws, many e-bikes (e.g., pedelecs) are legally classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles. This exempts them from the more stringent laws regarding the certification and operation of more powerful two-wheelers which are often classed as electric motorcycles. E-bikes can also be defined separately and treated under distinct electric bicycle laws.

E-bikes are the electric motor-powered versions of motorized bicycles, which have been in use since the late 19th century. Some bicycle-sharing systems use them. {paraphrased from}

E-Bike Classifications (Illinois)

  • Class 1:  An e-bike equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
  • Class 2:  An e-bike equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
  • Class 3:  An e-bike equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Illinois' E-Bike Law

Local eMTB Law

All E-bikes regardless of class are not allowed on any single track at Palos Forest Preserves. This is by order of The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, which is the Land Manager with jurisdiction over the entire trail System. Violators have been given tickets that require a court appearance. Here is the link on the FPDCC Website:   FPD E-bike Ban .


EBC-Specific E-Bike Policy

EBC eBike and eMTB policy sits on top of, and inherits policy from, the Illinois Rules of the Road for Bicycles, which inherits from the Illinois Rules of the Road.  Additionally, EBC policy inherits local county eBike and eMTB policy, such as that listed above. That is our club starting point for any EBC additional eBike and eMTB policy.

Specific to our club, the EBC has decided upon the rules and guidelines listed below. (We will assign a Forum thread on our website's Forum page for this topic, thereby avoiding bogging down the general e-mail list server.) :

  • Class 2 e-bikes (see the definition above) are banned from participation in all club rides*   *Members who already own such a bike on or before Jan. 12, 2022 are exempt from this ban.
  • Ride Leader (RL) latitude reemphasis:  We maintain total RL discretion on e-bike participation. There are legitimate reasons why an RL of a fast ride requiring advanced pace line skills may want to disallow all e-bikes on that ride. ...Just as they should be able to forbid cyclists to use aero bars in a pace line for example.  RL's are the "captain of the ship" and will maintain a wide latitude in what they require of their riders, especially with respect to safety considerations. 
Designed by the Elmhurst Bicycle Club. All rights reserved world wide. Copyright 2001 - 2024.