Guidelines for Electric Bike Use in New York City

In recent years, electric bikes in NYC have become increasingly popular. They offer a sustainable and efficient way to get around, with many of the same benefits as traditional bicycles. New York City is no exception; electric bikes can be seen around the streets daily. However, there are some important laws and guidelines that electric bike riders need to be aware of before hitting the road.

Guidelines for Electric Bike Use in New York City

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind

The Speed Limit is 20mph

The maximum speed limit for electric bikes in NYC is 20 miles per hour. This allows e-bike riders to match the speed with other vehicles in the area and prevents them from going faster than the flow of traffic in a given area, a crucial factor in maintaining a safe street environment.

Additionally, it helps prevent acceleration when entering intersections or making turns riders should lower their speed as needed before turning or stopping at intersections when appropriate.

Riders Must Wear a Helmet if Their E-Bikes Exceed 20mph

One such guideline states that if you are riding an e-bike with a motor that propels it at more than twenty miles per hour, you are required by law to wear a helmet. Furthermore, this rule applies regardless of age; even those under eighteen must wear the protective headgear if their speed exceeds the stated limit. Wearing a helmet allows riders to maximize their safety on the roads and minimize injury if there were to be an accident or collision.

Riders Must Be Over 16 Years Old

The primary guideline is that riders must be over 16 years old, as younger children may still need to develop an adequate understanding of safety precautions and the strength to control an e-bike.

Not Permitted on Roads with Over 30MPH Speed Limits

In New York City, electric bikes are prohibited on roads with speed limits over 30 miles per hour. This means that if you are on a road with a higher speed limit, chances are you will find yourself in violation of the law if you ride an e-bike there.

To ensure you don't find yourself in such a situation, it's essential to know your route before taking off. Make sure to check local signs for speed limit information so that you can make sure that your planned route only includes roads where electric bike use is allowed.

The Motor Cannot Exceed 750 Watts

Regarding electric bike use in New York City, certain restrictions are important to understand and adhere to. One of these guidelines is restricting power output from your e-bike's motor. Under the law, no situation should exist where the motor for your electric bike has an output of more than 750 watts.

This is a relevant part of the legislation due to its connection with other speed and power capabilities restrictions. A motor operating higher than this limit may present risks and safety concerns. Therefore, any electric bike in NYC must abide by this requirement, as failure to do so could potentially lead to costly citations or other legal penalties.

Always Ride in Bike Lanes or on the Street

Electric bike riders must always ride in designated bike lanes or on the street. Never ride an electric bike on the sidewalk.  This is a strict violation of NYC codes and could expose you to penalties like a fine. It's important to familiarize yourself with the streets you will be riding on, including the position of other vehicles and any obstacles that may be nearby.

Safety tips for riding an E-bike

The following tips should always be kept in mind while riding an E-bike to ensure our safety. First, it is important to wear a helmet whenever you are riding, .Even if you are going short distances or on flat roads without much traffic.

Additionally, exercise caution when turning or crossing intersections, and observe speed limits at all times. It is also essential to inspect your bike regularly. Check that brakes and tires are still in good working order; keep lights charged; ensure you have plenty of battery power in case you need to travel a long distance. Ensure all other components, such as control systems and pedals are undamaged.

Finally, it is always better to be on the safe side. Use extra care when negotiating curves or tight spaces with vehicles around you, avoid high-speed rides downhills, pay extra attention when visibility is low due to darkness or inclement weather, and remember that your bicycle will not stop as quickly as a car.


Electric bikes offer a great alternative for short trips around town. If you're planning on using an electric bike in NYC, there are a few guidelines for being at least 16 years old. E-bikes are efficient, sustainable, and fun to ride. However, it's important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding their use before hitting the streets. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you're riding safely and legally. Check out Addmotor’s best electric bike and get one for yourself.