Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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The 7 Best Places to Ride Your E-Bike in California


California is one of the most amazing places to ride your e-bike in the U.S. thanks to the weather, beautiful views, and wide bike paths. Exploring scenic California on an e-bike gets you to places you never could have on a standard bike.

There are seven incredible bike paths to ride your e-bike on in California, each one with stunning views and a wide, paved path. These paths include coastal and forest trails in southern, central, and northern California, including ones in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Monterey. I’ve researched and put together a list of the best places to ride an electric bike up and down the state of California.

Here are the seven best places to ride your e-bike in California:

California Bike PathsSouthernCentralNorthernCity
Rincon Bike TrailXVentura
Monterey Bay Coastal
Recreation Trail
West Cliff Drive Bike Path XSanta Cruz
The StrandXLos Angeles
Joe Rodota Bike TrailXSanta Rosa
American River TrailXSacramento
Pacific Beach BoardwalkXSan Diego

Learn about each of the trails below so that you know what to expect before you go. And make sure to check out the E-Biking “Thumbs-Up and Thumbs-Down” for each place mentioned in this list.

Rincon Bike Trail

One of the best places to ride your e-bike in California is on this beach path

Thanks to the installation of a paved bike path running alongside the 101 highway (instead of on it!), this California route is now a fantastic 10-mile bike ride between Ventura and Carpenteria.

With a nonstop view of the coast, a wide bike lane, and your electric bike, it’s also an easy and comfortable ride. Watch the surfers and playful dolphins as you cruise.

You can start in either Ventura or Carpenteria. However, there is a parking lot at Rincon State Beach in Carpenteria that makes for easy parking and a State Beach to hang out on before or after your ride.

And the other great thing is that you can enjoy a fantastic meal or snacks on the beach at either end of your ride.

Try fish and chips on the Ventura Pier or tacos in Carpenteria. Further, you can stop in the middle at the famous Cliffhouse Restaurant, which overlooks the ocean. It’s pricey, but you can always stop for a nice appetizer as well.

I haven’t stopped here myself, but I’ve read that there is a Fire Station (Number 25) along the route in Faria Beach where you have access to a clean bathroom, drinking water, picnic tables, and even a bike pump and tool station. So, keep an eye out for it!

E-Biking Thumbs upSince it’s mostly flat, you can really get moving fast on your e-bike (but do watch for people walking)!
E-Biking Thumbs DownIf you’re going to use low pedal-assist for exercise or to take it slow, you may want to bring your own snacks since there isn’t anywhere to stop in between the two cities.

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail

View of the ocean from Monterey Coastal Recreation Trail

Monterey is one of my absolute favorite places in California (one of my kids graduated college here). It’s well-known as one of the most scenic coastlines and has a multi-use trail that you can ride your e-bike on for 18 miles.

Also called the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, you can begin riding the trail in Castroville and continue down the coast to Pacific Grove, following an old Cannery Row railway route.

Your breath will be taken away by the unique cypress trees and rocky coastline. Even the iceplant along the path is amazing, turning fall colors and blooming majestically.

Stop to view the sea lions along the way, or perhaps catch a glimpse of a sea otter or even a pod of whales Just be sure to turn off your e-bike’s motor while you enjoy them.

And there are plenty of other places to stop along the way. Take a few hours at the well-known Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove.

You’ll find great places to eat and people watch in both Monterey and Pacific Grove. But be sure not to get lured into complacency because of the surrounding beauty. You still need to lock up your e-bike tight!

But don’t let the end of the Monterey Bay Coastal trail stop you. Once it ends in Pacific Grove, you can continue to ride to Carmel and get on the famous “17 mile drive”. If your electric bike’s battery can keep it’s charge for 40+ miles, you just might make it!

E-Bike Thumbs UpCan’t beat the Monterey peninsula’s scenery and you can take it all in because you’re riding an e-bike!
E-Bike Thumbs DownIt can be cloudy and chilly, so come prepared wearing layers (but trust me when I say that the scenery is amazing on almost any day)

West Cliff Drive Bike Path

View of the West Cliff Drive Bike Path in Santa Cruz

Even though this is a short 3-mile path, this bike trail has a ton to offer for a day of sight-seeing on your e-bike.

Since the path is so short, you may even just wish to rent an electric bike when you are in the area. You can do this at Pacific Ave Cycles, just a short block away from the trail.

You can start your ride at the San Lorenzo River and head north to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where you’ll find the classic California amusement park with carnival games, rides, and more.

Then use a little pedal assist to climb up the cliffs to Lighthouse Field State Beach and the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Naturally, you can watch the surfers crash through huge waves here.

Finally, keep going up the stunning coastline while keeping an eye on the kelp beds for floating sea otters. And, in the Spring, you may even catch the whale migration! You’ll reach the end of the trail at Natural Bridges State Beach.

Park your bike on the sand, being careful not to throw sand all over your bike and its electric parts, and take a relaxing break while enjoying the beauty.

E-Biking Thumbs UpYou’ll have no problem tackling cliffs on your e-bike, and even riding around the more hilly areas of Santa Cruz.
E-Biking Thumbs DownIt’s a really short trail on an electric bike, but plan on stopping frequently to enjoy the views and activities.

The Strand

E-bike on the Strand bike path in Los Angeles, California

The Strand (aka the Marvin Braude Bike Trail and the South Bay Bicycle Trail) in Los Angeles is a busy place, like many in Southern California.

But this path is like no other, especially on an e-bike. It’s 22 miles long and passes through multiple classic Los Angeles coastal cities including Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Manhattan, and Redondo Beach.

If you start at Torrance Beach, you can ride your e-bike north all the way to Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades. Stop along the way for lunch at your choice of numerous on-the-boardwalk, ocean-view eateries.

Although this paved trail is abundant with bikers, walkers, runners, skateboarders, electric scooters, and people maneuvering the crowds with large surfboards, it’s still quite roomy and easy to navigate. Just watch out for other people moving fast and not paying attention!

The path is well-maintained and has markings on the ground and on signposts making it easy to see where you should be riding your e-bike.

People-watching is in abundance here. You’ll find people playing volleyball, sunbathing, skating, biking, and doing any number of things you may never have seen before, especially in Venice Beach!

Plan on spending some time checking out the restaurants and shops in Venice and Santa Monica. Plus, you won’t want to miss the Santa Monica pier with its roller-coaster and carnival rides.

Because you can literally ride and explore all day on your electric bike, make sure you have a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen… you’re in sunny southern California after all.

If you don’t have an e-bike with you, there are a number of bike rental shops where you can rent an electric bike as well.

E-Biking Thumbs upPlenty of interesting people and sights to discover all day long
E-Biking Thumbs DownVery crowded on weekends… pick another day during the week or be prepared to move slowly on your e-bike through the more crowded areas (like Santa Monica and Venice Beach)

Joe Rodota Bike Trail

This is an 8.5-mile bike trail that runs between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. It’s hard to believe that this trail, even though paved, offers a variety of landscapes to view, all which are super easy to take in on your e-bike.

Start the path between West 3rd Street and Railroad Street at the Prince Memorial Greenway in Santa Rosa. Throughout this bike trail, you’ll follow an old railway and pass three bridges, a huge wetland area home to over 200 animal species, and agricultural land.

Because it’s in the low lands, make sure you’re prepared after a rain… you and your electric bike might get wet. So, wear your rain boots and bring a towel to dry off your electric components after your ride.

Grab a variety of local eats in Sebastopol at The Barlow Center, an upscale farmers market.

E-Biking Thumbs UpBecause it’s relatively flat, you can get great exercise by turning off your e-bike’s pedal-assist or keeping it on low
E-Biking Thumbs DownI’ve read complaints of homeless encampments along the trail, so if you’re concerned, make sure to check on this situation before you go.

American River Trail

The American River Trail travels though inland California and is one of the longest, paved, two-lane bike paths in the United States at 32 miles! This is why it’s perfect for e-bike riders, as most people couldn’t make a 32-mile ride on a standard bicycle.

Start in Sacramento’s old town at Discovery Park. Because this path follows the snow-fed American River, and meets up with the Sacramento River, swimming spots can be found throughout the route.

Although you can’t beat having access to the river, you’ll be happy to know that there’s also plenty of places to get fresh drinking water, have a picnic, and take a restroom break.

This American River Trail was even named “Traveler’s Choice” on Trip Advisor in 2020. With its immense wildlife and stunning scenery, the ride goes by quickly. Bicyclists report seeing deer, egrets, herons, and even turkeys, along with Steelhead trout and Chinook salmon during spawning season.

Further, there are parks, restrooms, and water fountains along the way, making what could be a very long ride without amenities, easy.

And Because you’re in Sacramento, there is no shortage of places to grab a bite to eat or to take in California history when you’re done riding.

E-Biking Thumbs UpMultiple swimming spots along the way… bring your swimsuit and water shoesE-Biking Thumbs DownBecause it’s a very long trail, consider your fitness and health before setting out… of course, you can always choose to ride just a portion of the trail

Pacific Beach Boardwalk

Cassic wooden rollercoaster on bike path in San Diego

In San Diego, California, the Pacific Beach Boardwalk (which connects to the Mission Beach Boardwalk) is a place not to miss. Although the boardwalk is only a little over 5 miles long, you’ll want to bring your e-bike along.

Start your ride at the beginning of the boardwalk at Law Street Park. As you head south, enjoy the beautiful white, sandy beaches, surfers, and people-watching.

It can get pretty crowded during the summer and on weekends, so consider whether you can ride your e-bike on this path at a better time.

South of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach offers restaurants and bars, as well as a classic wooden roller-coaster (fully restored) and other carnival rides at Belmont Park. Plus, it’s fun to people watch (check out the serious sand volleyball players), shop, view the beach houses, and get a bite to eat or drink.

Watch out for other fast-moving skateboarders and bicyclists. And slow down to keep the walkers and runners safe.

Since you can probably go much further than the five miles on the Pacific Beach Boardwalk on your electric bike, feel free to go up and down the boardwalk more than once! Or head into Pacific Beach using the bike lanes to find a great place to grab an ice-cold beer.

E-Bike Thumbs UpIf you’ll be in San Diego more than one day, there are lots of other inland trails to ride your e-bike on.
E-Bike Thumbs DownYou’ll probably need to ride slowly as it’s often a crowded boardwalk.

Traveling by car? Find the right bike rack here!

Is It Legal to Ride My E-Bike on Bike Trails in California?

Before you head out on all of these amazing rides, many of which you might do while on a California road trip, you probably want to know if it’s actually legal to ride your electric bike in certain places.

Fortunately, California is very e-bike friendly. E-bikes can generally follow the same rules and laws as standard bicycles. However, each bike trail, city, or location can have its own limitations.

Read here to find out more about electric bike riding rules in the United States’ National parks, State Parks, and public lands.

Often these limitations have to do with your e-bike’s classification and use of the throttle or pedal-assist.

Check out each location, prior to driving a long distance, to find out if there are any limitations. And watch for signs on the trails. Some trails will exclude bikes entirely, while others won’t allow the use of the throttle.

The primary reason for e-bike trail limitations in California is to keep these trails safe for all using them (including hikers and walkers) and to minimize damage to the trail itself.

So although California encourages e-bike riding, you should always know the local laws and rules before heading out on a ride on any bike trail or multi-use path.

How to Safely Store an E-Bike: Outside vs Inside


Due to its costly and sensitive electrical equipment, an e-bike carries a bigger responsibility for properly maintaining it and keeping it safe than most other bikes. So, it’s natural to question whether it should be stored outside.

You can keep your electric bike safely stored outside if there is low humidity, mild weather, and it has a durable, weather-proof protective cover. Before storing, you should clean it, remove the battery, and keep in a cool, dry location between 32 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Properly storing your e-bike also depends on how well it’s prepared for storage beforehand and your own concern about protecting it from thieves.

When Is It Safe to Store Your E-Bike Outside?

It’s generally safe to store your electric bike outside when it is cool and dry. So, let’s define exactly what “cool and dry” means.

As mentioned above, “cool” temperatures between 32F and 68F are ideal for safely storing your e-bike outside.

Some manufacturers actually state that you can store your e-bike down into the negative temperatures, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.

The electric components are very sensitive to cold. So chances are that below-freezing temperatures will damage these components, as well as increase overall wear and tear on your e-bike.

It’s further suggested that your e-bike is best stored where it is “dry”. In general, this means that you should avoid storing your e-bike where there is high humidity or lots of moisture in the air.

Humidity above 50% is considered to be “high”. Humidity above 70% is even believed to cause damage to your home. Therefore, any level of moisture in the air above 70% could damage your e-bike as well.

So you’ll really need to take e-bike storage seriously if you live in a place with heat and high humidity year-round, such as in Florida, Hawaii, or any tropical location.

If you live in one of these areas, or where it rains a lot, such as the states of Oregon or Washington, you should strongly consider storing your bike inside if you want to keep it safe from the elements.

Otherwise, your e-bike can probably be safely stored outside (consider getting a GPS tracker in case it’s stolen). But do follow directions for preparing it, storing the battery, and giving it a protective cover.

How to Prepare Your E-Bike to Be Stored Outside

There are two things you should do when preparing your electric bike for storage.

1. First, remove the battery from the bike. Since the battery is what ultimately makes your bike move, you should take good care of it so that it retains its ability to charge.

To prepare it, apply a thin layer of “terminal” grease on the battery contacts to protect them from rust and corrosion.

Keep reading below to learn how to take care of and safely store your e-bike battery.

2. Next, you should clean it, even if you don’t see any dirt. In fact, you should clean it every time you put it away, no matter whether it is for one day, a week, or several months.

This is especially important if you’ve been riding in the sand, dirt, or mud.

Wipe down your e-bike with a slightly damp rag to clean it before storing it.

To clean your e-bike, wipe it down with a damp rag to remove abrasive particles and to ensure that it stays free from rust. Don’t forget to wipe down the battery connectors at the point where they attach to the bike.

How to Safely Store Your Battery

Once you’ve removed the battery from the bike before storing it, it’s important to take good care of it.

  1. First, keep it inside!

    Just like the e-bike itself, the battery needs to be kept in a cool and dry location. Ideally, it should be kept closer to 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit, even though recommendations are to keep it above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The slightly warmer temperatures will ensure that it lasts longer.

    Whatever you do, don’t keep it anywhere below freezing! You’d be lucky if it still had power after lengthy storage. Further, make sure that the battery is warmed up a bit before charging it to avoid damage.
  2. Second, your battery should be stored with the correct charge.

    Storing a battery at either a 0% charge or at a 100% charge can reduce its life.

    Instead, take the middle ground and charge your battery between 30% and 70-80% before storing it.
  3. Only use the charger that came with your battery as the wrong charger could destroy your battery or at least damage it.
  4. Keep your stored battery safely away from flames and flammable objects, especially if it’s lithium-based.

    You might also wish to have it near a smoke detector and fire extinguisher just in case.

    When in doubt about how to handle your e-bike’s battery, read the manufacturer’s instructions which will provide the exact procedures to take care of your particular battery model.

Get a Durable, Protective Cover for Your E-Bike

When you’ve decided to store your electric bike outside, you need to find a high-quality, well-fitted cover to protect it.

Although an inexpensive cover may be good enough for a standard, non-electric bike, you’ll probably need to pay a little more in order to get one that will take good care of the motor and other electrical parts.

The cover should be strong and durable, protecting from dust, water, and UV sun rays. A good cover will not only sit snugly on top of your e-bike but will securely fasten underneath.

Note: If humidity is a concern, then putting a cover on your bike may actually do more harm than good as it’ll allow moisture to build up inside the cover.

Another interesting idea to cover your e-bike outside is to use a bike storage shed. They’re just big enough to fit your bike, so they won’t take up a lot of room. They can be made of a hard protective material like plastic or metal (the same as any regular size shed) or a durable, waterproof vinyl or “tent” fabric.

The great thing about the solid bike sheds is that they can be locked up more securely to prevent your bike from theft. After all, they’re not easy to cut through like a plastic cover.

Safety from Theft During Outside Storage

One more huge concern to consider before storing your e-bike is keeping it safe from theft.

You’ve most likely thought of this already but brushed the thought aside, assuming that it’s very unlikely. However, electric bikes are generally expensive and therefore very valuable to thieves.

And, anytime you leave your e-bike outside, it’s more prone to getting stolen.

Keep your e-bike safe outside at home with these tips:

  1. Put up a “Beware of Dog” sign (in front of where they could get to your bike).
  2. Cover it or camouflage it behind bushes or yard junk.
  3. Alternatively, keep it in an area that’s well lit with security lights, security signs, and even cameras.
  4. Most importantly… lock it up to keep it safe, even if it’s in your own yard! Use the most secure locks including, U-locks, D-locks, and heavy chains (which require more than one cut and are hard to hold while cutting).
  5. And don’t be shy to use multiple locks. Use them all! And lock your bike to the toughest pole or metal object around.

When to Store Your E-Bike Inside

There are many good reasons to store your electric bike indoors if at all possible.

  1. If you live in a really cold location or it’s a cold winter, easily getting below 32F overnight, then you shouldn’t store your bike outside.
  2. Or if your humidity is frequently 50-70% or more, you’re better off storing your e-bike inside. If you have to store it outside temporarily, at least keep it in the shade and away from direct moisture, such as under a big patio cover.
  3. You may wish to store your bike inside if you live in a high-theft area or you’re unable to secure it safely outside.
  4. Keeping it indoors also makes it much easier to jump on and ride when the weather turns nice for a day or your car won’t start and you need to get somewhere.

When you can’t store your e-bike outside due to weather or security issues, then you’ll need to find a way to store it inside.

Of course, storing your e-bike indoors means you’ll have to take space and location into consideration. Do you have a spare room to keep your e-bike in? Or can you fit it into your bedroom, hall closet, or family room?

My husband and I actually keep our bikes in our home’s entranceway. We don’t have to worry about the weather or keeping them clean. Further, we don’t have to unlock, untie, or pull out from the back of the garage.

Yes, they’re kind of in the way, but we do have the option of folding them up to save space.

Want to learn more about our Rad Mini Foldable Bikes? Check out this article!

Finally, you can keep your e-bike safely stored in a garage or shed, as long as the temperatures stay over 32F and the humidity is below 70% (and preferably 50%).

Your First Ride After Storage

When you’re ready to ride your e-bike again, give your bike a thorough visual inspection.

Check to see that the motor and other important equipment like your headlight, GPS, and helmet are in good condition.

Then fully charge the battery before riding. Make sure your battery is warm and hasn’t been damaged before charging. Give it a quick visual inspection for leakage or damage to the charger.

This is also a good time to check your tires for tread wear and proper inflation. The inner tubes are likely to have deflated during storage and you don’t want to damage your tires by riding them without the correct psi inflation.

Finally, take a short ride. Test the brakes and gears by riding down your street or around the block. Don’t plan a major ride before you’ve done this. If you find anything wrong, you can fix it instead of getting stranded miles from home.

Riding Your E-Bike in the Sand: Tires & Maintenance

Woman riding e-bike in the sand

One of the great things about electric bikes is that riding in different terrains, such as in sand, can be much easier than if you’re riding a standard bike. However, there are basic tire and maintenance requirements for riding in the sand.

You can ride your e-bike in the sand if your bike has the right tires and you know how to take care of your bike, especially the electric components. You’ll need wide tires that grip the loose ground and good-sized fenders that keep the sand from flying up.

Further, knowing how to care for your sandy e-bike is essential in order to keep it in good condition.

What to Consider Before Riding Your Electric Bike in the Sand

If you’ll be riding in the sand, it’s most likely because you’re on a beach or in a desert. Either way, sand can be quite damaging to the motor, battery, and other components of your e-bike.

Think about what it’s like to get a mouthful of sand. It’s gritty and hard to spit out completely, right?! This is what it’d be like if sand gets into your electric motor or internal components.

Grains of sand are so small that they can get wedged in tightly where they don’t belong, like in bearings and brackets. And unless you have the skills needed to repair your own e-bike, you’ll be shelling out more cash pretty quickly.

Not only might you have to buy new parts, but you’ll have to pay a professional bike repair service to clean it all out for you.

Another concern about riding on the beach in deep sand is what lurks below the surface. Sharp objects such as shells, glass, and other things left behind by humans, can puncture tires.

So, you might want to keep a tire repair kit handy. This, of course, is a good idea anytime you’re riding far from home.

Different ways to patch your bike tire

Additionally, decide where in the sand you want to ride. Riding on compacted sand will be easier for you and better for your e-bike overall. You’ll be able to maintain better control and there isn’t as much loose sand to fly up into your bike (and your face!).

Your ride in the sand will improve by keeping a lower tire pressure than you would on the pavement. Lowering your tire inflation will help you stay on top of the sand instead of buried in it.

On a fat bike tire, which we’ll discuss in a minute, you can test out the right pressure by letting out a little air at a time, down as low as 10 psi. But make sure to re-inflate your tires inner tubes to around 20 psi before getting back onto a harder terrain.

For the greatest ride through the sand, just relax and keep as much weight over your back tire as you can. That’ll help keep you from getting thrown off your bike head first (just being real here).

Get the Best Tires for Riding Your E-Bike in the Sand

Truthfully, being able to ride your e-bike comfortably in the sand, especially deeper, loose sand has a lot to do with having the right tires for it. And you don’t have to buy an expensive bike to have the right tires.

So, what tires are recommended for sand riding? First and foremost you’ll need wide tires, most often called “fat” tires.

bike with fat tires

Although you can get bikes with 8 inch wide tires, this will be overkill for most riders. A 4-inch fat tire is pretty standard and can be ridden on most surfaces including sand.

The great thing about bikes with fat tires is that they provide a lot of traction due to their width and because they make more contact with the ground. Plus, a fat tire is extra-thick, making it strong enough to cover rough terrain without getting damaged.

Read about our own fat tire ebikes: “The Rad Mini 4 Folding E-Bike: Is It Any Good for Adults?”

When buying an e-bike that you want to ride in the sand, make sure you read the reviews that discuss the tires and whether they are good in sand.

You won’t do well with an electric “road” bike that’s made more for speed and long distances. Instead, consider a mountain bike, fat tire bike, or hybrid. The fat tires on these electric bikes will get you over rough terrain and sand while still performing well enough on the road.

How to Maintain Your E-Bike and Clean It After Riding in the Sand

Although cleaning your electric bike after every ride in the sand is a good idea, nothing beats preventative maintenance to keep your e-bike in good shape. Anything you can do to prevent damage to the electric bike parts is well worth it.

How to Prevent Problems from Riding Electric Bikes in the Sand

  • Avoid riding in the saltwater, especially if it looks dirty (like is often the case at a beach inlet).
  • Keep your chain clean and lubed. Make sure the lubrication is fully dry before riding so that sand and salt aren’t attracted to it. A teflon lube is generally recommended.
  • Lubricate other aluminum parts like the connectors on the wheel spokes and the sprockets of the pedals.
  • Get a professional tune-up. You’ll need these more often if you ride in the sand or other extreme elements often. If you ride frequently, you may want to get a tune-up 2-4 times per year.
  • And riding in the sand means you should probably have a professional clean out the sand from the drivetrain. You can do this at the same time as your tune-up.

    Good maintenance will protect your bike’s important parts and make your e-bike easier to clean as well.

The Best Way to Clean Sand Off Your E-Bike (Sorry, it’s not the easy way)

After every ride through the sand…

  • Take a dry rag and wipe off all of the sand you can see on the entire bike. Sand is much easier to remove when it’s dry. Then you can use a slightly damp rag to clean it further, again wiping down the whole bike.

    Make sure to get into all of the crevices you can without putting pressure on delicate components or getting water into the electrical parts.
  • Don’t spray or hose off an electric bike. I’ve seen bicyclists on forums suggesting that you hose off your bike after riding on the beach. However, for an e-bike, this can actually spread the sand (and salt) as well as damage the electrical components.
  • Re-lubricate important metal parts so that they’ll be dry and ready for your next ride in the sand.
  • If you won’t be riding on the sand the next time you take out your electric bike… inflate your tires back to their standard air pressure. Assuming you have fat tires, inflate them to around 20 psi.

Saltwater and Electric Bike Parts

Okay, so the general advice here would be to avoid directly riding in saltwater at the beach. Rust and corrosion will happen quickly, even if you clean your bike after each ride.

However, just riding on the sand at the beach (or even on the beach boardwalk) will get you sprayed with salt water from the wind and waves.

We once took our bikes on a 45-minute boat trip to and from Catalina Island. When we got home, we put our bikes away. A couple of weeks later, we went to ride our bikes and they were completely rusted!

So you probably can’t avoid potential salt damage to your bike if you’re going to ride it at or near the beach. And in addition to rusting, you’ll experience additional wear and tear on your electric bike.

Both sand and salt can make your chain stretch and break down other important parts. But if you follow the cleaning and maintaining advice discussed above, your e-bike will stay in good shape for longer.

If you haven’t yet purchased a fat tire e-bike, consider looking for one that has an internal gear hub (so the motor isn’t exposed) and an enclosed chain if possible. These will help prevent rust and other damage from sand and water spray.

Rules for Riding Your E-Bike at the Beach or in the Desert Sand

It’s always a good idea to find out the laws and rules in any location before you ride your e-bike.

Obviously, you should take caution if you’re on a populated beach or non-motorized trail, even if you think you’re far out into the desert.

But you should also find out if the land you’re riding on has electric bike limitations, as many do. You might think that riding in the sand dunes or desert where no one is even around is okay. But laws are laws and you could get fined.

Also, be careful of the electric bike riding rules you hear word-of-mouth. Much of what people are saying online oppose each other.

Don’t pack up your bike for a day at the beach without checking the local rules to find out whether you can legally ride there. Further, each state, county, and landowner can have its own rules.

Read “Legal E-Bike Riding: Where to Ride in the USA”

The RadMini 4 Folding E-Bike: Is It Any Good for Adults?

Black Rad Mini Electric Bike from Rad Power Bikes
The RadMini Class 2 e-bike with throttle-assist

When you’re shopping for an electric bike online, you want to know if it’s right for you before you spend a lot of money. So I’m here to help you decide whether the Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 electric bike is good for all adults or whether you’d be better off looking elsewhere.

Although it looks a little like a dirt bike or a moped, The RadMini 4 is a good, if not great, e-bike for most adults. Not only is it sturdy, quiet, and easy-to-ride, it has loads of other desirable features grown-ups want (like folding small enough to get in the car or store in a small space).

Some of the other things adults will love are its comfortable wide seat and fat tires that let you roam on and off trails, in the dirt, or on the road. And it has added safety features that grown-ups will appreciate, including a smooth throttle as well as front and rear lights.

Here are some of the key specs you might like to know about Rad Power Bikes Rad Mini 4 (but there’s so much more covered below):

Basic Info
Weight68 lbs
Frame6061 Aluminum Alloy
Tires20″ X 3.3″ wide
Motor750 Watt Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Battery48V, 14 Ah, Lithium-Ion
Range25-45+ Miles per Charge
Max Speed20 MPH
Payload Capacity275 lb

With so many other features and benefits adults can truly appreciate, read on to find out how the RadMini 4 foldable electric bike might fit into your life.

Who Is the RadMini 4 Folding E-Bike Good For?

Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 is good for almost all adults. Don’t let its cool, sporty look fool you into thinking it’s only for adventurous young adults. My 50-something husband, Marc, absolutely loves his RadMini!

The sleek frame and fat tires that make it look so awesome actually make it more comfortable and more flexible in how and where you can ride it.

And who wouldn’t love its ability to fold up? Just unhook it, fold it, and put it in the car so that you ride in a new place, including out on a bumpy dirt trail.

Being a folding e-bike, it’s also useful for people living in tight places or even those who want to store their bike indoors but out of the way.

The RadMini 4 is a great electric bike for young adults through senior citizens. Even people with disabilities, chronic injuries, aches and pains, and lower fitness levels can ride the RadMini.

But, the number one reason that this electric bike works great for most adults, young and old is that it has multi-level pedal assist and a twist throttle.

In fact, the RadMini 4 has five (5) Pedal-Assist levels, which means that anyone can pedal as much or as little as they need or want to. Further, this electric bike has an easy-to-use twist throttle, instead of a difficult “push” throttle (which you usually need a strong thumb for).

So not only will you get help with pedaling, you’ll get an extra push and an easy start-up by using the throttle.

Sadly, not all electric bikes have a throttle, which is very unfortunate. Having a throttle makes riding easier and more fun! My RadMini Step-Thru just wouldn’t be the same without one.

And, although kids can ride electric bikes legally starting at age 12, I don’t recommend the RadMini 4 for them… it’s just too much bike. Not only is it powerful and quite valuable, but they’re unlikely to appreciate the care that’s needed to keep it in shape.

Practical Features Adults Will Appreciate

Headlight mounted on Rad Mini e-bike
Rad Mini 4 80 Lumen Headlight and Front Fender

Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 Foldable e-bike has so many practical features that make it comfortable and safe. So, I’ve made a list of the most important ones (and you can read more details below):

Foldable Frame: Of course, this is the most unique practical feature of all. Fold your bike to store it or load it into your car and take it anywhere you want to ride.
Bright 80 Lumen Headlight: An important safety feature… Turn this on day and night to make yourself more visible. Adjust the direction as needed.
Rear Brake Light: This will light up every time you apply the brakes.
Puncture-Resistant Fat Tires: Each 3.3 inch fat tire has an integrated internal liner to protect from punctures due to glass, thorns, and other small objects. Plus, these wide tires let you ride comfortably on even rough terrain because they make more contact with the ground).
Wide, Padded Seat with Adjustable Mount: This plush seat is wide enough for comfort but designed to avoid chaffing
Powerful Lithium-Ion Battery: High capacity battery weighing only
7.7 lbs and centered on the frame for a balanced ride. It’ll take you 25-45+ miles on every charge, depending on your ride. You’ll need 5-6 hours to fully charge it!
Multiple Mounts to Add Racks & Accessories: Front, back and then some.
Adjustable Handlebars: Raise or lower the telescoping handlebar stem for your comfort or to make it smaller for storage.
Full-Size USB Charging Port to Charge Your Phone: Yes, this is real! Plugin your phone when its battery gets low (the bike has to be turned on of course).
Easy-to-Understand LCD Display: Readable Backlit display shows you your speed, mileage, trip mileage, current pedal assist level, wattage, and more.
Easy-to-Use Twist Throttle: 750 Watts of power will propel you forward with a gentle twist.

RadMini 4 Features Adults Will Love

Rad Mini 4 rear fender
Rad Mini 4 Large Rear Fender Protects from Flying Debris

Okay, not everything needs to be practical! Here’s a list of features that make the Rad Mini 4 electric bike fun and adventurous:

Geared Hub Motor: This hub motor packs 750 Watt power to get you moving fast! You can make it up hills that would’ve otherwise limited where you can ride. And you can get to a speed of 20 mph so you don’t need to be into racing to go fast. This is because it’s a geared hub motor that supplies power assistance at different levels.
Large Fenders: Front and rear fenders protect you from flying debris, making dirt roads and sandy trails more accessible.
Shimano 7-speed Shifter: Adjust the Shimano SL-TX50-7R thumb shifter to any of 7 speeds to go faster (defaults to the lowest speed)
Twist Throttle: Not only practical, but the twist throttle also makes riding your RadMini 4 super fun! Get your electric bike started quickly, accelerate over bumpy ground, or accelerate to get going up a hill or around a corner faster.
Fat Tires: Practical for comfort, yes. But these big fat tires are what get you into open space and on nature trails for your adventures. Not every e-bike tire can make riding this fun!
Blue and yellow banner telling veiwers to take a look at the Rad Mini E-Bike
Find out more about Rad Power Bikes and The Rad Mini!

You Can Ride the RadMini Off-Road (and pretty much everywhere else)

The RadMini 4 folding fat tire electric bike is also suited for most adults due to its hybrid nature. This means that it gives you the advantage of a “road” bike and a “mountain” bike. So you can comfortably ride it on just about any type of terrain.

First of all, like a road bike, it’s comfortable to sit on due to upright handlebars and large padded seats. This makes it easy to ride on streets and in cities.

But it also rides like a mountain bike thanks to the Rad Mini’s extra-wide tires. These “fat tires” grip loose dirt and provide a cushion on unpaved trails.

So, you can ride this electric bike pretty much anywhere.

However, it’s a good idea to test out different types of terrain before heading out on a 20-mile ride. And follow Rad Power Bikes suggestions for tire pressure and inner tube size because it does change depending on the ground you’re riding on.

The RadMini 4 is a Great Value for Adults

Wondering how to know that your electric bike is well-built? Take a look at the parts. Cheap e-bikes will have parts from companies no one has ever heard of.

But the RadMini 4 from Rad Power Bikes is built with high-quality parts: Shimano gears, Tektra mechanical disc brakes, and Kenda fat tires (3.3 inches!). Plus, some of their parts, like the front suspension fork, are custom-made just for the Rad Power Bikes brand.

And at only $1499, it’s kind of surprising that they use so many well-known company parts. This is definitely a good value for the money.

Further, since we’re talking about the Rad Mini 4, you guessed right if you think that it’s numbered “four” because it’s the fourth version re-built over several years. So, it just keeps getting better.

I really appreciate knowing that the kinks have been worked out over time and I think most adults would agree.

Here’s some additional advice about getting great value: Don’t buy a cheap e-bike if you can’t find any reviews. It probably means that it is relatively new and there’s no way to really measure its quality or value. Further, it’s assumed that they’ve used cheap parts to bring the cost down.

Rad Power Bikes electric bikes have loads of reviews to read before buying.

Cons of The RadMini 4 Folding Electric Fat Bike

Why is this electric bike not so good for some adults? Well, there is really only one reason I can think of.

It’s heavy!

Unfortunately, all e-bikes are heavier than regular bikes due to having the added weight of the motor, battery, and as in this case, the big tire size.

So, yes, the RadMini weighs in at almost 70 pounds (68 to be exact)! Now let’s get real for a minute… if you’re a small-framed female rider (like myself at 5’2″) , lifting up 70 pounds into the car is just not happening, even if you’re pretty fit.

The heavy weight will also be a challenge for many older, injured, or disabled adults, especially if you plan on putting it into the car or onto a special e-bike car rack.

But, there are a few ways that you can overcome this con:

  1. First option… have a strong biking partner to help you load it into the car or RV if you’re going to be traveling with it.
  2. Second option… consider investing in a ramp to roll it into the car. One for wheelchair access or for a dog would work well.

Keep in mind that you’ll still have a bit of weight to contend with even if you’re just rolling it up a ramp.

And finally, if you’re only riding from home, then the weight of this e-bike shouldn’t be a problem for you anyway.

There is one other possible con I should mention: The RadMini is so popular that it may be on backorder. So plan ahead and order early!

Are Folding Electric Bikes Really Any Good?

Foldable E-Bike in Back of Car
Folding RadMini from Rad Power Bikes saves space and fits in the car easily!

Although the Rad Mini is a folding e-bike, and that’s one of the features that makes it so special, you might be wondering if they’ll hold up and provide the long-term value you expect.

Like we discussed above, a folding bike is convenient: Easy to store and easy to transport.

But there are some other things you might like to know before making a decision as to whether a folding bike is for you. And I think you’ll discover that it’s good news!

A folding electric fat bike is not a new concept. However, until now, they never seemed to get very popular for adults. But teens and young adults have been using folding scooters to make it easy to get around town and to school or college for years.

And that’s exactly what a folding e-bike can do for you. It’ll give you way more flexibility in transportation and where you ride.

So, here’s the good news, you can get a well-built folding electric bike like the Rad Mini 4 without it being overpriced or breaking easily as you might expect.

In fact, the part of the bike that folds has “multiple safety redundancies” to keep it securely locked when needed but also to prevent accidental unlatching (according to Rad Power Bikes).

In addition, it’s good to know that an electric bike isn’t heavier just because it folds. It’s heavy anyways because of the added motor, battery, and other components.

Finally, there’s nothing about the RadMini 4 folding e-bike that makes it slower or less solid than other non-folding bikes. You can go fast, far, and have a ton of fun!

Other Rad Power Bikes For Adults

Blue and yellow banner telling veiwers to take a look at the Rad Mini E-Bike
Did you know that Rad Power Bikes has a low-step Rad Mini?! Get on and off easier!

Although my husband and I love our RadMinis, Rad Power Bikes has several other models you might love just as well. And although each one has a lot of the same awesome features, they all have their own character and primary use.

They categorize them into the following based on what they do best:

So, if you want a bike primarily for commuting to work or school, you’ll probably want a city bike that has cargo features as well.

However, if you live in the country and ride all backroads, or on the beach, you’ll definitely want one that has bigger tires for off-roading.

But of course, many of the models are a hybrid of these categories, like my RadMini Step-Thru, which also folds and rides well off-road and in the city. This is why the RadMini really have the best of everything… you can even add cargo racks, water storage, and more.

These models range in price from around $1100-$1700, which is a very reasonable cost. Some e-bikes go into the $4000-$8000 range, while less expensive bikes are sold under $1000. This is probably why Rad Power Bikes are popular... they’re priced for leisure cyclists but their parts and build are still high-quality.

Conclusion: Is the RadMini 4 e-bike any good for adults?

Well, if you’re looking for a folding fat tire electric bike, the RadMini 4 and RadMini Step-Thru are the only options at Rad Power Bikes. Fortunately, they’re great e-bikes and my husband and I have a ton of fun on them! Thankfully, they’re perfect for adults of all ages.

Their other models are fat tire electric bikes with even bigger tires that don’t lend themselves to folding. All foldable bikes will need to have this smaller tire size and the same features to make it work.

But no matter which powerful and fast e-bike you choose from Rad Power Bikes, you still get high-quality parts, build, and customer service.

How to Ride an E-Bike Without Pedaling: Pedal Assist vs Throttle


Riding an e-bike is a truly exciting and new experience for many. And learning how to ride an e-bike can bring up so many questions about using the basic electric bike features like pedal-assist and throttles.

One of the first questions you might have is whether you can actually ride an e-bike without pedaling. Yes, you can, as long as your bike also has a throttle. A throttle will give you power with a simple twist of your hand or a push of the thumb, depending on which kind of throttle it is. Even if you’re not pedaling, the throttle will get power from the motor and propel you forward.

But the truth is that all electric bikes have pedals and only some have throttles. And how to ride using one or both features requires a little more understanding, which we’ll discuss in this article.

Should You Ride Your Electric Bike Without Pedaling

Truthfully, your electric bike wasn’t meant to be used without ever pedaling. Although it can be done, let’s first talk about “pedal assist” vs “throttle” and how they each will benefit your ride.

First, both of them get power from the electric motor on your bike. And the purpose of both of them is to move your bike forward.

How Pedal Assist Works

When using pedal assist, your feet give power to the motor by pedaling. Your feet basically tell the electric system to move the bike forward with a pedaling movement. It feels as though you’re getting help to move along easily and naturally.

On most e-bikes today, you also have the choice to increase your pedal assistance. My e-bike from Rad Power Bikes has 5 levels of pedal assist and boy do I fly when I increase the levels! But I do have to keep pedaling to make the bike go or it will eventually slow to a stop.

How a Throttle Works

Twist throttle on an Electric Bike
Twist Throttle

On the other hand, a throttle allows you to continue pedaling if you wish but engages the motor by an action from your hand. Some throttles can be twisted with your whole hand (like a motorcycle) or pushed with your thumb.

If you throttle your bike, you’ll go forward even if you’re not pedaling. However, gentle turning of the throttle will move you faster and faster. So, you don’t need to go zero to 20mph in a second! But it will get you started much faster than by just pedaling.

What Happens If You Don’t Pedal

The less you pedal, the more battery you will use. So, if you’re riding your bike using only the throttle to move you forward, then your battery will run out very quickly.

You’ll also hear more noise coming from the motor, making it sound more like a moped. And this can be a problem if you’re riding on a path that wasn’t meant for motor vehicles.

Yes, you may get some dirty looks when people think you’re riding a moped. But you might also get stopped by the authorities. And who wants a ticket for riding a bike?

So, you might think about riding your e-bike without pedaling only when you’re on a roadway or where there are no other bikers or walkers (if they’re the zombie kind, you’ll be thankful that you can pedal… and even more thankful if you have a throttle).

Just so you know, if you decide to pedal using pedal assist, this will decrease your battery further. So, using this also takes more energy from the motor, thus decreasing your battery power.

And, if you’re using pedal assist and the throttle, and going up hills or through rough terrain, your battery time will be cut even shorter. So make sure to plan ahead by fully charging your battery and knowing how far you can go on that charge.

Finally, here’s an option. If you don’t want to pedal ever, for whatever reason, you could just get a moped or motorcycle.

But I get that you might want something that doesn’t go as fast as a moped and that you can ride on bike paths and trails, or wherever other bikes can go. On a moped, you’re pretty much stuck riding on the road.

Can You Go Uphill Without Pedaling?

I’m just going to say this right now… if you want to ride up hills, you should plan on pedaling your e-bike or getting that moped.

As mentioned above, going up hills with only a throttle will drain your battery fast.

Further, you can go faster and climb steeper grades if you use pedal assist. A throttle may get you started but it won’t take you up a hill like pedaling.

You have to remember that electric bikes are much heavier than standard bikes. So don’t expect a throttle to be able to make a climb all by itself. You’ll end up slowing down more than you’d like and then wasting your battery.

The Best Way to Ride an E-Bike is By Pedaling

Older man riding in the city by pedaling

How you choose to ride your bike is really up to you. But it seems kind of pointless to buy an expensive electric bike and not want to ever pedal it.

How to Use Pedal Assist Effectively

So the best way to ride one is to use varying levels of pedal assist and your throttle if you have one. Pedal at a low-assist level until you need more power to get you up a hill or because you’re tired. It’s easy to power up one level just by pushing a button.

Turn down pedal assist when you’re goin down a hill. You don’t need it. You might also want to switch your bike into lower gear.

Then use your throttle when you need a quick start, like at a street intersection with other fast-moving vehicles. And use it when you’re tired and need to give yourself a “push”.

Spend some time riding in places without too many people or traffic. Then you can really check out the different levels of pedal assist and how to use the throttle if you have one.

Caution is advised when first beginning to ride. E-bikes are heavy. So, you need to learn how to use the brakes to stop quickly. And you should know that slowing down takes a bit longer than on a regular bike.

I almost ran into my daughters car on my first ride because I wasn’t prepared to stop!

You also need to be comfortable switching gears, adjusting pedal assist levels, and using your throttle.

Pedaling Your E-Bike is Great Exercise

No matter whether you’re riding a standard bicycle or an electric bike, pedaling one will be great exercise for any fitness level.

Not only will you strengthen your legs, but you’ll also get some great cardio if you take a long ride or find yourself pedaling up hills.

And, no, you’re not cheating by riding an e-bike. Instead, you’re giving yourself an excellent means to getting more exercise by riding longer and farther than you would on a regular bike.

Take a look at some of the research from the National Institute of Health. You’ll probably be surprised to find that even though riding an e-bike is less intense, it’s still considered moderately vigorous and can burn around half of the calories as compared to riding a standard bike.

This truly is not a bad thing if having an e-bike gets you out exercising more and for longer periods!

And as long as you don’t exclusively use the throttle and high levels of pedal assist during your entire ride, you’re going to get a workout.

Riding an E-Bike Without Pedal Assist or Throttling

Can it be done? Yes it can.

First option, just don’t turn on the electric system.

You can ride your bike manually by doing this and save your battery as well. But make sure to keep your key with you and your battery charged. Riding a very heavy e-bike manually can tire you out quickly. You might just change your mind in the middle of a ride.

Or, keep your bike on “zero” pedal-assist, if your bike has this option. This is a good choice because you’ll be able to increase power to the bike any time you need it, whether you suddenly get tired or you need to get away from those zombies fast.

Why It’s Still Great to Have a Throttle on Your E-Bike

Even if you plan on pedaling, you’ll love having a throttle if you want to have an e-bike that starts up quickly and goes fast when you need it to.

It’s especially helpful if you’re riding the roadways to work, school, or to run errands. Starting up quicker with other fast cars around will get you out of the middle of the street faster and get you to where you’re going quicker.

If you’re super adventurous, you can even use the throttle to help you jump rocks and bounce down bumpy paths without pedaling. Just don’t try this until you’re an experienced rider!

And did you know you can even get an electric bike that only has a throttle, like the Jetson Bolt?

And, honestly, having a throttle is just plain fun!

Top 12 Things to Know Before Buying a Cheap E-Bike


The prices of e-bikes are finally dropping, thanks to the growing interest in e-biking. But that doesn’t mean that you should buy a cheap e-bike. I’ve taken a look at all of the things that can go wrong when buying a less expensive bike and when it might be okay to save your money.

Most electric bikes cost between $400 and $4000, although some e-bikes go up to $5000 and more. So, it’s fair to say that anything under $1000 can be considered as cheap.

However, there are a lot of things to know about e-bikes in general before deciding on which bike to buy. And saving money by buying a cheap bike may leave you unhappy and feeling as if you wasted your money entirely.

So, before you buy a cheap electric bike just to save money, take a look at the 12 things you should know before buying one.

1. What is the Reason You Want an E-Bike?

First, ask yourself what you will primarily use an electric bike for. If you plan on riding it for your daily commute to work or school, you probably want a road bike, with tires that work best on the pavement.

However, if you are planning to ride on dirt trails, sand, snow, or mud, then you’ll definitely want a bike with bigger or “fat” tires. Or you might choose a bike that’s the best possible hybrid of both.

Therefore, it’s not a good idea to just buy any bike, especially because it’s cheap, without making sure it’ll do what you need it to the most.

2. Consider How Fast You Want It To Go

There is a big difference in the speeds of e-bikes. If you’re planning on getting somewhere really fast or riding fast just for fun, you can get a bike that has a 1500-3000 watt motor that’ll go upwards of 35mph. But, bikes with these motors will cost you big.

Anyway, most e-bike riders don’t want or need that kind of speed. You’ll probably want to buy a bike with a 250W-750W motor instead. These bikes can still cost more than you want to pay but you can definitely find some cheaper options here.

And most of these bikes will get you up to 20mph easily. Still, make sure you know how fast you can go on a particular e-bike before buying it.

3. Consider How Far You Want Your E-Bike To Go (Super Important!)

E-bike rider traveling a long distance

Knowing your minimum battery requirements is probably the most important consideration when deciding whether to buy a cheap e-bike or not.

Some batteries will take you up to 45 miles and even more. However, a cheaper bike is going to have a cheaper battery and won’t take you as far without a fresh charge.

So if you’re riding 20 miles to work and 20 miles back each day, you’d better know that your battery will last… or at least that you have a safe place to charge your battery every day at work. I mentioned that it needs to be a “safe” place because your battery is very expensive to replace (high-quality batteries cost $500 +)!

4. Take a Look at Maintenance Costs

All e-bikes will need tune-ups to stay in top shape, which can cost $75-$150 every 500 miles. So what you really need to look at here is how often you might need to replace other parts.

And if you buy a cheap e-bike, you’ll most likely be replacing things much more often. Because these bikes are made with cheaper parts, these parts will break.

The good news is that, if you replace the broken parts with more cheap parts, it won’t cost as much. The bad news is that even a new bike tire can cost $30 or more. Further, maintenance cost will be roughly the same for a cheap e-bike as it is for a somewhat more expensive one.

A brake adjustment will still cost $20-$40, no matter what e-bike you own.

5. What Are You Willing to Spend on Accessories?

Yes, you can buy a cheap electric bike. But will you then end up spending more money on accessories that your bike didn’t come with? Or will you want to upgrade the seat because it’s not comfortable enough?

So consider the trade-off before saving $300 on one bike over another.

6. How Often Do You Plan on Riding Your E-Bike?

If you’ll be an occasional rider, a cheap e-bike might very well be a good fit.

But if you plan on riding daily or even weekly, chances are your bike won’t hold up as long as you’d like it to. When making a purchase, you should add potential repair costs into the overall price of your bike. Then decide whether cheaper is better.

7. Are Cheap E-Bikes Safe?

Riding any kind of bike comes with risks. And there really isn’t much of a difference when it comes to the safety of a cheaper e-bike versus a more expensive one.

But, there does tend to be one major difference which is a huge plus for cheaper bikes.

They are usually much lighter in weight! And this is something to seriously consider. Many electric bikes are really heavy… up to 70 pounds. Cheaper bikes generally weigh less because, primarily, their components are cheaper. Buying a $500 bike will keep your bike under 40-50 lbs.

And this will make your cheap e-bike (and your back) safer when it comes to lifting it. In addition, if you fall on your bike, much less weight will fall on you!

8. You Might Like to Have a Throttle

The throttle is on the handlebar and it makes your e-bike move forward quickly
E-Bike with Twist Throttle

A cheap e-bike won’t come with a throttle. As a casual rider, this might not be a big deal. However, if you’re going to ride a lot through busy streets, a throttle is really nice to have.

A throttle will help you get moving quickly, just as a car or motorcycle would. So, instead of starting up slowly through an intersection, for example, you’ll get through it quickly (and thus more safely).

9. Powerful E-Bikes Are More Expensive

Again this comes down to your purpose for riding an e-bike. If you are sticking to flat terrian and city streest, or you are just riding for fun, then you can save some money by getting a bike with a less expensive motor.

This will likely be a “hub motor”. They’re very common and fit almost any bike frame, so you’ll find them on a lot of bikes.

However, if you’re planning to ride a lot, go up hills, or ride on tough terrain, then you’ll need a bike with a “mid-drive” motor… and this will cost you more.

A big difference here is that a mid-drive e-bike motor is well-centered on your bike, therefore giving you greater balance and control over your e-bike. But a hub motor fits either on the front or back only.

10. Is Your E-Bike Adjustable?

The truth is that the more adjustable your bike is, the more comfortable you’ll be. Cheap bikes don’t have adjustable handlebars and seat posts may not go up or down as far. Basically, they’re cheaper because they’re not as hard to make.

This becomes really important if you aren’t an average sized person and might have trouble fitting on your bike. Otherwise, it might not be a big deal.

11. Luxury Features Increase the Cost

Cheaper bikes just won’t have all of the bells and whistles of a more expensive bike, or at least the parts might not be quality (and might not last long!).

For example, if you’re going to ride through dirt or mud, you’ll want large front and back fenders to protect you from flying debris. You don’t want little “half” fenders put on just to look like you have fenders.

And, if you’re going to ride several miles at a time, you’re going to want a wide, cushiony seat. Cheap e-bikes will NOT have comfy seats (or they will be seats that tear and fall apart quickly).

So, just consider what you might be missing if you buy a cheap e-bike.

12. There Are More Cheap E-Bikes To Buy Than Ever Before!

As the popularity of electric bikes continues to increase, more manufacturers are building them. And thus, there are plenty of them to choose from, cheap and high-priced ones alike.

All bikes will have pros and cons. And the chance that you’ll find a cheap e-bike that works for you is growing just as the competition between manufacturers increases.

To Buy or Not to Buy a Cheap E-Bike

You can now easily buy an e-bike at just about any cost. And because it’s easy to purchase one online, it’s also easy to act impulsively. However, I strongly recommend that you read all of the online reviews from previous purchasers before buying a cheap e-bike.

And make sure you’ve reviewed all of the things you need to know before buying one. Of course, e-bike’s are expensive so cost is a huge factor in any purchase. But just don’t buy one that’s cheap to save money. Find out whether it’s right for you first.

How Much is the Cheapest E-Bike?

The cheapest e-bike I’ve found for sale online is priced at $440 from Ancheer. This bike is listed as a “commuter” bike and it folds for convenient storage and travel.

Ancheer has at least 18 different models, all of them under $1000. Since they’ve sold many models at a lower price, this may be a good place to start your search, as each model has a number of personal reviewers. Reading reviews for several bikes from the same manufacturer will give you a good idea about the overall quality of that company’s e-bikes.

Additionally, many other inexpensive e-bikes can be found for under $1000, most within the $500-$800 range. And these are from about 10 different manufacturers, some of them newer than others.

So, before buying any e-bike, especially from a low-priced manufacturer, find out how long they’ve been building e-bikes and whether they have been around long enough to even get reviews. Then read the reviews before purchasing a cheap one!

Legal E-Bike Riding: Where to Ride in the USA


When you’re ready to get out and ride your electric bike, you’re probably wondering where it’s legal to do so. With so many confusing laws and regulations, it’s especially hard to understand where you can ride in the USA.

So, where can you ride your e-bike legally?

You can ride your e-bike in many places that regular bikes are allowed. The chart below shows where it is legal to ride in the United States. These are the places that you can generally ride, but there may be some restrictions based on the classification of your bike or state laws (so read further).

Class 1 E-BikeClass 2 E-BikeClass 3 E-Bike
National ParksYESYES- May Be LimitedYES- May Be Limited
State ParksCheck Each
State Park
Check Each State Park Check Each State Park
Bureau of Land Management (Federal)Motorized Trails/Open OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle)Motorized Trails/Open OHVMotorized Trails/Open OHV
Non-Motorized Trails & Bike PathsMost StatesMost StatesMost States
Roadways (Bike Lanes)Yes, unless classified as motor vehicleYes, unless classified as motor vehicleYes, unless classified as motor vehicle
See Electric Bike Classifications Below

The truth is that there are different regulations for each state, government agency, and the local area. And many of these regulations are based on a classification system for Low Speed Electric Bicycles that many (but not all) states have adopted:

E-Bike ClassPedal-assist: Motor only
assists if rider is pedaling
Maximum Power
Output (Watts)
Motor Ceases
to Assist (miles per hour)
Class 1: Yes750W20 mph
Class 2:No750W20 mph
Class 3:Yes750W28 mph
E-Bike 3-Tier Classification
Image of USA showing general electric bike regulations
Photo courtesy of People for Bikes

The laws are definitely a bit confusing, so continue reading to find out where you can legally ride and when you need to get more information before you do.

You certainly don’t want to get fined because you were riding in a place that you weren’t supposed to.

Riding E-Bikes in the USA: National Parks

National Parks in the United States have finally made e-bike riding legal as of 2019! E-bikes are generally allowed anywhere that traditional bikes have always been able to go.

This is very exciting because now almost anyone can see much more of the parks than they ever could on a regular bike. This includes people who otherwise have been limited due to age (seniors or your kids), disability, or fitness. Anyone riding an e-bike can travel farther with less effort!

And e-bikes provide benefits to the parks themselves. They can decrease auto traffic, increase parking availability, improve air quality, and even provide transportation for park employees. Further, more cyclists on the roads will help their visibility and encourage cars to slow down.

But there is one place e-bikes (or any bike for that matter) can NOT go… EVER: Wilderness areas. So, stay on the roads and paths that are designated for bicycles!

And keep in mind that you still need to follow park rules, which can change often due to weather, traffic conditions, and even wildlife.

For example, parks may limit riding based on the classification of your bike (1, 2, or 3). In these cases, Class 1 e-bikes may be allowed on a particular trail, but Class 2 or 3 bikes won’t.

Further, Class 2 e-bikes are not allowed to use their motor exclusively to propel forward. You must ride the bike as you would any other bike… by using the pedals.

Rules of Riding in State Parks in the U.S.

In general, each state has its own e-bike riding rules. Therefore, you’ll definitely want to check with each state and individual State Park before going.

However, many states have updated their e-biking guidelines and have followed the newest classification system.

For example, in California, Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are generally allowed wherever standard bikes are. However, if they’ve been altered or are specifically prohibited (due to their classification, motor wattage, etc.), then they may not be allowed in certain locations.

So, if the state park you plan on visiting doesn’t have specific rules, you might assume your class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike can go where other bikes can.

In fact, many state parks offer “hike or bike” campsites, which are located further away from the crowds. When making your reservation, be sure to ask about the use of electric bikes.

Most importantly, just be kind and respectful. Slow down when approaching others and make sure you know exactly how to ride your bike before going into a populated area. And never ride off trails or in wilderness areas, for your safety as well as to protect the natural landscape which we are all there to enjoy.

One more important note: There are still some states who have not caught up to the new classification system and may view your electric bike as a motorized vehicle, thus making it ineligible to ride on certain paths and trails.

If you live in one of these states, I’d definitely contact the state park you want to ride in before attempting it in these states!

Dirt path to ride e-bike on

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Access to e-bike riding has been extended to public lands. This gives all riders the ability to ride on trails that allow motorized vehicles.

Additionally, in December 2020, an e-bike rule was put into effect which defines e-bikes and determines their use on non-motorized trails as well. This rule allows BLM managers to authorize the use of electric bikes on non-motorized trails but doesn’t actually give the okay to do so… yet.

The good news is that the BLM believes that e-bike usage on public lands is good for all Americans and is continuously working on making public lands more accessible. So, it’s expected that land managers will re-evaluate land use and issue some plans to open more trails to electric bikes soon.

Always make sure to check with each Bureau of Land Management location before using non-motorized trails. Or, plan to stay on already-approved motorized and Open OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) trails.

And make sure to follow posted rules and protect trails by avoiding them during wet and muddy conditions. Further, make sure you have off-road tires or a fat tire bike to ride in sand and dirt!

United States Roadways: Laws for Riding an E-Bike

The United States has its own set of regulations for safety and the manufacturing of e-bikes. And Federal law allows them to go up to 20mph using a motor but states no maximum speed if the bike is operating as pedal-assisted.

However, actual ebike riding laws are left up to the individual states (and local areas) to determine.

This means you’ll have to turn to the legalities of the specific area you’re riding in to determine the road laws. In general, and in most states, e-bikes are allowed in bike lanes or on the roads, just as with any other bicycle.

As mentioned above, most states have updated their e-bike laws and view e-bikes as either “motorized bicycles” or “electric bicycles”. Unfortunately, a few states still classify them as motorcycles, mopeds, or even motor vehicles. So, check with your state and local area to see if you can ride on the roads and in bike lanes.

As ridiculous as that is, laws in these states may be very strict on where you can ride your e-bike.

Riding E-Bikes Legally on Bike Paths and Non-Motorized Trails

Electric bike access to trails and paths can vary significantly in the USA. Again, where it’s okay to ride depends mostly on your state, county, and local trail laws. This is true even for the states with the more advanced laws and using the e-bike classification system mentioned above.

Generally speaking, however, in most states you can ride your e-bike on any path that allows for motorized and non-motorized use (here are some great places to ride in California) (here are some great places to ride in California). And trails that are only for non-motorized use may be acceptable, but you’ll need to check with the county, city parks and recreation, or local trail management.

Any trail that doesn’t allow bikes at all usually has a sign posted at the beginning of the trail. However, who wants to travel to a trail with bikes in tow only to find out they can’t use them?

And if you have an eMTB (electric mountain bike), you’re not automatically given permission to ride anywhere that other other mountain bikes are allowed.

Other Places to Ride Your E-Bike in the USA

  1. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS):

    Permits all 3 classes of e-bikes to ride where other standard bikes are allowed. Your e-bike must use the pedal-assist mode and individual wildlife refuges or FWS lands may have other restrictions.

    Check with your local wildlife refuge before riding.
  2. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR):

    E-bikes are considered “Off-‘road vehicles”. However, the BOR will look for areas that traditional bikes use and may open those areas to e-bikes as well.

    Check with your local office before riding.
  3. National Forest Service (NFS):

    Unfortunately, electric bikes are classified as “motor vehicles”. Therefore, only trails and roads that are designated for motor vehicle use can be ridden.

    In other words, if a car can drive on it, so can an e-bike. But keep an eye out for changes. Currently, there are a couple of locations in the United States that allow only Class 1 bikes on a limited trail system (Durango, CO and Mammoth, CA).

18 Reasons You Should Buy an E-Bike Right Now


After hearing about the electric bike trend, you may be wondering whether an e-bike is something you want or need. I certainly had a lot of questions before buying!

So, before buying my first electric bike, I spent a lot of time researching the benefits of buying one. After all, they’re pretty expensive and I wanted to know that I was making a good decision. And I came up with 18 great reasons to buy one.

Not only will you have a lot of fun riding an e-bike, but you’ll also save money on driving a car and be able to go places you never could on a regular bike before, like up a huge hill and over challenging terrain. You’ll get regular exercise, help protect the environment, and overcome physical limitations.

By the end of this article, all your doubts will be wiped away when you realize what a great option electric bikes are to traditional bikes.

What Are The Reasons You Should Buy an E-Bike Right Now?

Although some reasons for buying an e-bike will be more important to you than others, there are more than enough good reasons to help you make the decision to get one.

Check out all of the 18 reasons I found that helped me and my husband decide to buy an e-bike and why buying one right now is a good idea.

1. E-Bikes Go Fast!

You won’t believe how fast you can actually go on an electric bike. Most e-bikes today go 20mph just by pedaling, while others might go up to 28mph with a stronger motor.

Don’t think of this like a motorized vehicle, however. It doesn’t go anywhere near the speed of a motorcycle! However, it’s definitely faster than peddling regular bikes. On a regular bike, an average person would have to be going downhill to get to 20mph or more.

But an e-bike will get you going 20mph or more on a straight-away or riding uphill. This is thanks to the assistance of its motor, which will likely range from 250 Watts to 750 Watts.

How long will your e-bike motor last? Well, it depends.

2. They’re Easier to Ride Than Non-Electric Bikes

Not only do e-bikes let you ride fast, but you also won’t have to put forth as much effort to ride an e-bike. Just start pedaling and the motor will kick in, propelling you forward with less effort.

E-bikes easily get you moving with this “pedal-assist” feature. This is super beneficial because it helps riders spend more time on their bike. There’s no longer a reason to be afraid of going too far or getting too tired.

Want to know exactly how to ride an e-bike?

3. Your Electric Bike will Get You Up Every Hill

Here’s the truth… you most likely can’t ride a bike up a steep hill without getting overly exhausted or giving up. And it’s no fun having to push your bike the rest of the way up the hill. Or worse, you’ll probably just avoid even trying to get up a hill.

Unfortunately, this really limits where you can ride. I’ve had a really nice traditional bike for years that has barely been used because I couldn’t even get out of my neighborhood. And getting back home was even harder when I was already tired!

Now, with pedal assist, I can ride up every hill I need to. Sometimes I’ve even challenged myself to go up a really big hill just for fun.

From my point of view, this is one of the biggest reasons why you should buy an e-bike right now. You’ll soon be riding places you never thought you could.

A hill you can ride up with your e-bike
You can ride a hill like this, even in the dirt, with a fat tire e-bike.

Did you know you can even ride e-bikes WITHOUT pedaling? Take a look!

4. Buy an E-Bike Right Now for Exercise

What could be better than having fun while you exercise? Don’t listen to the naysayers who don’t understand how an electric bike works. They might tell you that riding e-bikes aren’t really exercising. But in truth, electric bikes have numerous mental health and physical health benefits.

But do you think they’re riding 20-40 miles on their bike in one shot? Probably not. Pedaling takes effort, even if you have a little help from the motor. You will just burn calories over perhaps 15-20+ miles of relaxed biking, rather than hard effort over 3-10 miles.

Riding e-bikes really is the best of both worlds… you get exercise, even when taking a leisurely ride, that’s fun and doesn’t make you feel like you want to fall flat on your face after doing it.

So, can you really get exercise on electric bikes?

5. One of the Top Reasons You Should Buy an E-Bike: They’re Cheaper Than a Car

You might be thinking that there’s no way you’re giving up your car, and I’m not suggesting you do. But once you start riding e-bikes, you’ll realize how easy it is to get places you would’ve once gone to in your car.

Whether you ride your e-bike to a college campus, work, or the grocery store, you’ll save money in gas, maintenance, and wear and tear on your car. Since your e-bike battery just needs to be charged, you don’t have to buy gas or take your car in for maintenance as often due to less driving.

Although buying an electric bike is a big investment, spending $1500 on one will save you thousands of dollars. Your alternative? Buying a $5000 really old used car that could cost you as much as the e-bike the first time it needs repairs!

Thinking of buying a cheap electric bike? Read this first:

6. Electric Bikes Are Safer Than Regular Bikes

At first impression, many people might worry about the safety of an e-bike due to its motor and speed.

However, riding electric bikes is actually safer than riding a non-electric bike, at least once you know how to use the throttle. This is because you can quickly speed up and get yourself out of a dangerous situation.

This is especially true if you live or work in a big city or a highly congested area with a lot of traffic. You can accelerate at an intersection to go with the speed of traffic after having stopped at a light. This keeps you visible and gets you out of the intersection faster when other cars are speeding up rapidly. And intersections are a common place for accidents to happen.

Here’s another reason that e-bikes are safer than regular bikes that you probably wouldn’t think of. Because it’s electric, it continually pushes power to your attached light, making it brighter and stronger than the average battery-operated light on a regular bike.

Want to learn more about electric bike safety? Read this article!

7. E-Bikes are Better for the Environment

It’s hard not to focus on protecting the environment when the earth is at stake. However, even if you haven’t given thought to an e-bike’s environmental impact, know that it has far fewer negative implications than any motor vehicle or public transport.

Since they’re battery-powered, they don’t release potentially toxic gases into the air.

So, go green! Your electric bike will help the environment the more you ride it… and the less you drive your car.

8. New Laws Make Electric Bike Riding Legal

For so many years, electric bikes were simply misunderstood. Without ever having been on an e-bike, authorities were calling them “mopeds” and assuming they should only be ridden in bicycle traffic lanes.

Fortunately, new e-bike laws have just recently been written that recognize them as bicycles in many states. Now they’re classified based on their power level and allowed on trails and bike paths in many states and federal recreation areas.

Just make sure you check your state’s laws and the area you wish to ride in before assuming that it’s okay.

So, if you’ve thought about buying an e-bike in the past but didn’t because you couldn’t ride it where you wanted to, then you may be in for a surprise. This could be a huge reason why you should buy an e-bike right now!

Want to know where you can ride e-bikes in the USA? Read this:

9. You Can Ride One Even if You’re a Big Person

My e-bike has a 275 lb payload, as do most quality bikes. Further, there are electric bikes to fit every size rider. Most websites have size specifications on their sales page.

If they don’t, and you’re not an average size person, then I’d honestly skip even considering ordering that bike online.

There’s nothing more important than fitting comfortably on your electric bike. After all, you’ll be riding it long distances. If you feel like you’re a giraffe on a toy, then your feet won’t be placed properly on the pedals, making it harder to sustain pedaling.

Further, if you’re a taller person with relatively shorter arms, then you may find your torso is too far from the handles, which means you’ll have to lean over more.

The point is, make sure you find out the dimensions of your bike before buying. You can definitely find the correct size and weight requirements if you look closely.

Are you overweight? Find out if there’s an e-bike for you!

10. E-Bike Are For Short Riders Now Too

Yes, I had to put this reason for buying an electric bike all on its own. I’ve spent my life hearing the bogus “one-size-fits-all” statement. I’m barely 5’2″ and have attempted to drive many cars where I couldn’t safely reach the gas or brake pedals.

So, when purchasing an e-bike, the very first thing I considered was “Will I fit?” I also assumed I’d have trouble finding a bike that works for me. But here’s the good news… there are bikes for shorter riders!

For starters, find a bike that calls itself a “step-thru”. You’ll have no problem with a middle bar that’s too high to step over or that you have to jump off on… ouch!

Then look at the size specifications of each model to make sure your arms will comfortably reach the handlebars and your seat height can be adjusted. Getting a bike with adjustable handlebars is also a huge plus.

Learn about the best e-bike for a smaller person here.

11. You Should Buy an E-Bike Right Now Because the New Generation Ones Are Better

E-bikes have evolved! Many companies that have been around a while have added amazing features to make riding even easier and more enjoyable.

Rad Power Bikes (where my husband and I got our bikes) have actually now created the 4th generation of some of their models, meaning that they are always improving them. Wouldn’t you rather buy a 4th generation model, that also has lots of reviews, than one you’ve never heard of before?

Plus, now bikes have powerful front lights, adjustable handlebars, as well as more powerful motors and batteries. And some bikes even fold up! So, there are a ton of new features to look at.

Black e-bike by Rad Power Bikes

12. Now There Are Many E-Bike Models to Meet Your Needs

Further, you don’t have to choose from just a few different electric bikes. You can spend hours researching them online, trust me.

Besides choosing from different colors and styles, different bikes come with different options. So, you can truly choose a bike that is best for you. You don’t have to settle! A great way to get started is by looking at the type of electric bike that would be best for you: Folding electric bikes, fat tire bikes, electric mountain bikes, or even commuter e-bikes.

13. You Can Longer Rides and Go Farther

Electric bike batteries today are so powerful that they can take the average rider 22-50+ miles on a single charge.

Some can apparently go even further, but it’s unlikely you would need to. But there’s no doubt you can do a full-day outing on most e-bikes without worrying about its battery life.

This means that you can go out on back-country trails and even ride to other towns if you want to. No problem (unless you’re on a standard bike).

Ready to learn how to use an electric bike step by step? Read this:

14. E-Bikes are Easy to Park

No matter where you are or where you go, you can park your electric bike. It’ll almost always be free to park and you can always find a space.

You might drive around a city block for 20 minutes trying to park your car. But an e-bike can often be pulled up and parked right in front of the building you’re going to.

So, not only can you save time (and not have to leave for work 20 minutes early), you won’t have to walk half a mile back to your car when it’s dark.

And, think about how nice it will be to drive right up to a popular park, lake, or beach, without hunting for a spot to park or paying parking fees.

15. You Can Insure an E-Bike

Really, you can! If you’re like me, one of the first things you’re thinking about when considering buying an electric bike is how to keep it safe.

I’m still finding it hard to believe, but you can actually buy insurance exclusively for your e-bike. Just search online for “how to insure an ebike” and you’ll find several listings.

Before buying separate insurance though, make sure to see what your current home and auto insurance offers if your bike was stolen.

16. You Can Ride Your Electric Bike in the Dirt

You don’t need to be a “dirt biker” to take your e-bike off-road. But you do need to have the right bike and tires.

Just like regular bikes, some e-bike models will be better for riding on the road, while some are made for the dirt.

So, if you run out and buy an electric bicycle right now, you definitely want to know what your bike’s main purpose for you will be. That being said, many bikes can drive nicely on the road as well as on a dirt path or in the sand.

Looking for an electric bike you can easily ride in the sand? Check out these top models.

17. You’ll Feel Better

I’m not a healthcare professional, but it’s long been known that exercise reduces stress. And cycling on your e-bike provides enough physical exertion to knock out stress.

And if you commute to and from work on your bike, you’ll get a daily dose of endorphin release, which is what makes you feel like you’re ready to tackle what comes next in the day.

Further, if you’re a senior citizen, you’ll get all of the above plus access to an easy and enjoyable way to get the daily exercise you need… without it being overly strenuous.

Get More E-Biking Pros and Cons for Seniors

18. And the #1 Reason Why You Should Buy an E-Bike Right Now is: You’ll Have a Ton of Fun!

Okay, so perhaps I should’ve listed this as the number one reason for buying an electric bike today. But, sometimes you have to save the best for last.

Seriously though, you might decide to get an e-bike just for fun! I don’t think you’ll talk to anyone, even someone who primarily uses their bike for commuting, who doesn’t think that riding their bike is a thrill.

Why Are E-Bikes So Popular?

E-bikes have become really popular because of all of the benefits of riding one.

They allow access to the world of bicycling to so many people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to ride a bike due to lack of strength, age, or disability. Almost everyone, regardless of physical shape, can ride in a relaxed fashion and get where they need to go in a timely manner.

Further, electric bikes let strong, physically capable people go faster, farther, and have more fun!

What Should I Look for When Buying an Electric Bike?

First, consider your main reason for buying an e-bike. Do you want to commute to work or ride to take care of errands? Or is it for exercise or recreational purposes?

Once you know the answer to this question, you should look for the features that would make riding your new electric bike easy and enjoyable.

So, find an e-bike that’s easy to ride based on size, motor power, and goes as far as you’ll need it to on a battery charge.

Naturally, you’ll want to consider the cost of an e-bike as well. You can find a great bike to ride in the middle price range, one that has a strong company warranty and has gathered lots of valid user reviews over time.