Electric Bikes

Elec­tric bicy­cles (e‑bikes) are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty as an alter­na­tive mode of trans­porta­tion. E‑bikes are great for one’s health, help reduce air and noise pol­lu­tion, and they're fun to ride! Even though they appear new, e‑bikes have been around since the late 1890s!¹ The mod­ern e‑bike came to the scene in the 1990s. Since then, peo­ple have been switch­ing to e‑bikes as a more acces­si­ble way to exer­cise than a reg­u­lar ped­al-pow­ered bike and as a replace­ment for car trips

What is an E‑Bike?

  • Elec­tric bicy­cles (e‑bikes) are either road, moun­tain, or car­go bikes with a bat­tery-pow­ered motor that assists with the ped­al­ing pow­er. E‑bikes give you the abil­i­ty to cov­er mul­ti­ple miles with min­i­mal effort and can reach speeds up to 28 miles per hour. *Dis­claimer: Be sure to check your munic­i­pal­i­ty for speed restric­tions as these vary by area* E‑bikes can help rid­ers of dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties and ages cov­er longer dis­tances and hills that they oth­er­wise would not be able to.
  • There are three clas­si­fi­ca­tions of e‑bikes:
    • Class 1: A bike equipped with a motor that assists the rid­er only when ped­al­ing. This type of e‑bike reach­es a top speed of 20 mph with the ped­al assist.
    • Class 2: A bike equipped with a motor acti­vat­ed with a throt­tle that pro­vides a boost. This type of e‑bike reach­es a top speed of 20 mph with the throttle
    • Class 3: A bike equipped with a motor that assists the rid­er only when ped­al­ing, up to a top speed of 28 mph
Denver E‑Bike Rebates

New e‑bike rebates are to be released every first Mon­day of the month for the city of Denver.

For the stan­dard e‑bike rebate a city of Den­ver res­i­dent is eli­gi­ble for a $400 rebate and a $1200 rebate for income-qual­i­fied appli­cants. Cur­rent­ly, 40% of the e‑bike appli­ca­tions are reserved for income-qual­i­fied applicants.

Addi­tion­al­ly, for e‑cargo bikes, Den­ver res­i­dents are eli­gi­ble for a $900 rebate or a $1700 rebate for income-qual­i­fied applicants.

Moun­tain e‑bikes are not cur­rent­ly eligible.

If your appli­ca­tion for a rebate is approved, you will receive a vouch­er to use at any par­tic­i­pat­ing bike shop in and around the city of Den­ver. There are cur­rent­ly 25 par­tic­i­pat­ing shops.

You need to have an address in the City of Den­ver to qualify.

To stay up to date on rebate oppor­tu­ni­ties sub­scribe to the City of Denver's newslet­ter, and you can find more infor­ma­tion on e‑bike rebates here.

Stay tuned to learn more about a state e‑bike pro­gram, expect­ed to come out in 2023.

 

Price, Range, and Battery
  • Entry lev­el e‑bikes cost about $1,500 and high end e‑bikes can cost $8,000+
  • E‑bike range depends on a vari­ety of fac­tors includ­ing: speed of the bike, rid­er weight, ter­rain style, wind con­di­tions, tire choice
  • Range also varies depend­ing on the brand and mod­el of an e‑bike, the pow­er out­age and bat­tery type, and capacity.
  • Bosch has an E‑Bike Range Cal­cu­la­tor³ that can help you esti­mate the range of your e‑bike based on a vari­ety of factors.
  • On aver­age, an elec­tric bike can go 25–50 miles on a sin­gle charge.⁴
  • E‑bike bat­ter­ies can be charged from a stan­dard wall out­let, and many mod­els allow you to remove the bat­tery for charg­ing or replace it with a longer range battery.
  • Most mod­ern e‑bikes use lithi­um-ion bat­ter­ies, which are the same bat­ter­ies that pow­er most elec­tric vehicles.
  • The capac­i­ty of an e‑bike bat­tery is mea­sured in amp hours (Ah) or watt hours (Wh)
Which type of E‑Bike is right for me?

Road E‑Bike

  • Per­fect for the per­son who wants a sweat-free com­mute to work, does bike-acces­si­ble errands around town, or enjoys city riding.
  • In Col­orado, e‑bikes are reg­u­lat­ed just like bicy­cles; the same rules of the road apply to both e‑bikes and human-pow­ered bikes.
  • Col­orado rec­og­nizes the Class 1, 2, 3 clas­si­fi­ca­tions of e‑bikes.
  • Rid­ers of Class 3 e‑bikes under 21 years of age must wear a hel­met. Per­sons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 e‑bike.
  • Local gov­ern­ments have the author­i­ty to restrict the use of e‑bikes under motor pow­er on bike paths. When in doubt, check with your town, city, or coun­ty for local rules and regulations.

Moun­tain E‑Bike

  • The ide­al bike for an off-road lover or some­one who loves rid­ing where the road bike doesn’t go.
  • Elec­tric mount bikes (E‑MTBs) have a mid-dri­ve motor and bat­tery attached to the frame for bet­ter weight distribution.
  • E‑MTBs are not allowed on all human-pow­ered bike trails. Check with your local land man­age­ment agency before rid­ing your E‑MTB on a des­ig­nat­ed trail.
  • Fed­er­al: On fed­er­al lands, elec­tric moun­tain bikes are con­sid­ered motor­ized vehi­cles and have access to motor­ized trails. Con­tact the US For­est Ser­vice Rocky Moun­tain Region­al Office or the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment Col­orado State Office for more information.
  • E‑MTBs typ­i­cal­ly come with front or full suspension.
  • E‑MTBs are one of the more cost­ly e‑bike types, rang­ing from $1,200 to $12,000 or higher.

 

Car­go E‑Bike

  • Car­go e‑bikes are opti­mal for replac­ing car trips and can car­ry all types of car­go, includ­ing kids!
  • Two basic types: Long­tail and Frontbox
  • Front­box: car­go box between the rid­er and front wheel
  • Long­tail: Extend­ed rear end of the bike to car­ry peo­ple or cargo.
  • Prices range from $1,000 to $5,000 or higher
E‑Bike Motors

Torque is impor­tant if you plan on rid­ing lots of hills or haul­ing heavy loads. The more torque your bike has, the bet­ter it will per­form. Both types of motors have their own advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. Talk to your local e‑bike retail­er to deter­mine which type of e‑bike is right for you.

Hub Motor

  • A hub motor sits on either the front or rear wheel. Hub motors are often less expen­sive and more ver­sa­tile than cen­tral dri­ve motors.

Mid Dri­ve Motor

  • A mid dri­ve motor is incor­po­rat­ed on or next to the bot­tom brack­et of the bicy­cle. Mid-dri­ve motors tend to be small­er and lighter, with more torque than hub motors.
E‑Bike Share Programs

Want to try an e‑bike for your­self? Check out these Col­orado programs!

We Cycle – Roar­ing Fork Valley

eBikes for Essen­tial Work­ers in Vail – Vail

Vail eBike Share Gen­er­al Pub­lic – Vail

Holy Cross Ener­gy rebate for eBike pur­chase – Roar­ing Fork and Eagle Valley

Pike Ride – Col­orado Springs

e‑Cycle to Own Pro­gram – Pueblo

Boul­der B‑Cycle – City of Boulder

Lyft and Lime – City of Denver

Spin – Fort Collins

Zag­ster Bike­share – Merid­i­an Metro District

 

 

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