Colorado State Electric Bike Laws

Colorado State Electric Bike Laws

How does Colorado define what an electric bike is?

The state of Colorado (CO) statute has three classes of electric bicycle: Class I is for pedal assist with maximum of 20 mph electric assist. Class II is for bikes that provide electric power whether or not the rider is pedaling, but stops providing power when the speed reaches 20 mph. Class III is for bikes that continue providing electrical power up to 28 mph.

Do you need a license, insurance or registration in Colorado?

Electric bikes in Colorado do not require licensing or registration. However, Class III electric bikes can only be operated by those who are aged 16 or older. Since each town, city and borough have the authority to make any ordinance not inconsistent with the state law, make sure you consult your local ordinance. 

What are the restrictions on Motor power or throttle in Colorado?

Electric bikes should have an electric motor not exceeding 750w of power.

Are there any age restrictions to riding an electric bike in Colorado?

A person under 16 years of age can't ride a class 3 electric bike upon any street, highway, or bike or pedestrian path, only as a passenger. 

What are the laws around helmets in Colorado?

Colorado requires a helmet for both rider and passenger for electric bikes in Class III only. Certain local ordinances do require helmets for persons aged 18 and under.

What are the rules for riding on the road in Colorado?

Electric bikes are allowed on roads and bike lanes. Electric bikes are allowed on bike and pedestrian paths, but may not engage the motor unless allowed by local ordinance. The City of Boulder is currently the only city to allow motors to be engaged on bike paths. Electric bikes must be ridden on roadways and are prohibited on sidewalks. Also note that Class III electric bikes are restricted to riding on public roads only (no bike paths or pedestrian paths).

Additional notes: 

  • Every electric bicycle should have a lamp on the front emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front.
  • Every electric bicycle must have a red reflector, which shall be visible for six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.
  • Every electric bicycle when in use should be equipped with reflective material of sufficient size and reflectivity to be visible from both sides for six hundred feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle or, instead of reflective material, with a lighted lamp visible from both sides from a distance of at least five hundred feet.

Disclaimer:

Laws and policies can change at any time rendering the above information outdated and non-applicable. EVELO strongly encourages checking with City, County, State and other local agencies for the most recent laws governing the proper, legal use of electric bicycles in your area.

Source:

Colorado’s Bicycle Law Now Includes Electric Bikes, August 10, 2017
ColoBike Law
Colorado DOT – Bike/Ped/Manual
LexisNexis – Colorado