Are Electric Bikes Legal In Colorado – E-Bike Laws in Colorado

We’ve scoured the latest laws and legal updates state by state to confirm e-bike laws in Colorado. Electric bikes are now legal in Colorado with a few distinctions we’ve covered below.

Legal Disclaimer: We are not giving legal advice and you shouldn’t take this as the law. This is just a collection and summation based on what we interpret from local laws. We aim to keep it up to date but can’t guarantee anything.

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Colorado?

Yes, Colorado passed a full set of updates to Electric Bike law in August 2017. Electric Bikes are now legal in Colorado and use the recommend three class system for speed and some extra regulations.

The bill was excellent because it also gave E-Bike users the same rights and access as standard bicycle users. The only drawbacks are a few restrictions on Class 3 use, plus some restricted trail access.

That being said local towns, cities, and trails can make their own rules and outright disallow E-Bikes – though very few have. Check your local laws first.

What Class Electric Bikes Are Allowed In Colorado?

All three classes of Electric Bike are allowed in Colorado – though there are some restrictions for Class 3.

“Class 1 electrical assisted bicycle” means an electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.

“Class 2 electrical assisted bicycle” means an electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling but ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.

“Class 3 electrical assisted bicycle” means an electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty-eight miles per hour.

E-Bike Laws Colorado - Electric Bike Classes Colorado
All classes of E-Bike are allowed in Colorado with few restrictions

All three classes need two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and a motor up to 750 Watts of power. The bike also needs a label with the class, speed, and watt power.

For more on Class 1, 2 + 3 read – What Are Electric Bike Classes?

Top Watt Power For Electric Bikes In Colorado

The top power in watts for E-Bikes in Colorado is 750W, which should be plenty. This applies to all three classes.

How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go In Colorado?

You can go up to 28 mph on an Electric Bike in Colorado. However, if you go for a Class 1 or 2 E-bike 20 mph is the limit – but with much better access to bike paths and the sidewalk.

Do You Need A License Or Plate For E-Bikes In Colorado?

Colorado doesn’t see Electric Bikes as motor vehicles so you don’t need a driver’s license to ride one. This means no road tax, registration, plates or anything else is necessary.

Do You Need Insurance For E-Bikes In Colorado?

Electric bikes do not need to be insured in Colorado though we absolutely recommend it. You can get Electric Bike insurance that covers you for personal liability, as well as for theft, damage, and accidents.

What Is The Electric Bike Minimum Age in Colorado?

There is no minimum age to ride an Electric Bike in Colorado for Class 1 and 2. For Class 3 the minimum age is 16 for riders though passengers can be younger

Do You Have To Wear A Helmet When Riding An Electric Bike In Colorado?

You do not have to wear a helmet on an E-Bike as a passenger or rider in Colorado. The only exception is for anyone under 18 on a Class 3 E-Bike in public, whether they are a rider or passenger. Take a look at the best Electric Bike helmets for Class 3 E-Bikes.

Please do wear a helmet regardless. E-Bike accidents tend to happen at higher speeds and in more dangerous places than standard bicycles.

Can Electric Bikes Carry Passengers In Colorado?

Yes, E-Bikes are allowed to carry passengers on dedicated seats. However, anyone under 18 on a Class 3 must wear a helmet in public even if they are a passenger.

Are E-Bike Laws Different To Standard Bicycle Laws In Colorado?

E-Bike riders have much the same access and rights as all bicyclists do in Colorado. Outside of the restrictions for Class 3 E-Bikes, you are basically seen as a cyclist.

The caveat is that local areas are allowed to make their own laws and regulations. This can lead to certain places with harsher rules or even no access for E-Bikes.

Notably, Boulder County has a few restrictions on where E-Bikes can go. Class 1 and 2 E-Bikes are all that are allowed. As an example, Boulder Canyon Trail does not allow E-Bikes. You can see all restrictions here.

Denver also restricts E-Bike use, specifically seeing Class 3 E-Bikes as like Motorbikes for access.

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Colorado - E-Biking in the wilderness
Why would anyone want to get outside in Colorado? Oh yeah.

Are Throttle Electric Bikes Legal In Colorado?

Yes, you can get a Class 2 E-Bike with throttle and it’s totally legal to use in Colorado. There’s no need to pedal (though they must be there and usable) and you can go up to 20 mph – though you still need usable

Do You Need A Speedometer On Electric Bikes In Colorado?

Only Class 3 Electric Bikes need a speedometer in Colorado. The speedo must be in miles per hour.

Is There A Weight Limit For E-Bikes In Colorado?

Colorado has no weight limit for riders, passengers, or cargo on an E-Bike.

Can You Get Fined For Riding An Electric Bike In Colorado?

There is a specific fine for modifying or creating an electric bike that falls outside of the state rules. If a person “violates regulations pertaining to the manufacturing standards and classification” you could get a class B traffic infraction and a fine of $15 plus a $6 surcharge.

You can also get fined for the standard traffic violations that bikes and other vehicles can.

Drinking / Drug Laws For E-Bikes In Colorado

The same drinking and intoxication laws for bicycles apply to E-Bikes. They aren’t classed as motor vehicles but you can still get a DWI.

A BAC of 0.8% or higher constitutes driving under the influence, with under 21s being 0.02%. A DUI means 5 to 365 days in jail, community service, and a fine of up to $1,000.

Notably for Colorada a test of 0.05 to 0.08 % counts as driving while impaired is also a misdemeanor that can come with 2 to 180 days in jail, community service, and a fine of up to $500.

Further offenses after the first carry heavier punishments. Impairment through drugs counts and there is even a specific THC test in Colorado. Judges also may see E-Bikes as potentially more dangerous than non-powered bicycles.

Where Is It Legal To Ride An Electric Bike In Colorado?

In essence, you can ride a Class 1 or 2 Electric Bike anywhere a normal bicycle can go in Colorado. The State legislation gives you those rights by default but also lets cities and towns make their own rules which come first.

We’re putting the rules for Class 3 later in the answers. Also, check the town or city you are in for restrictions on the below as some don’t allow E-Bikes to use power in certain places.

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Colorado - E-Bikes on Roads In Colorado
Check local restrictions for E-Bikes in Colorado

Can You Ride An Electric Bike On The Sidewalk In Colorado?

Riding on the sidewalk with an Electric Bike is fine in Colorado. Some cities do restrict you to not using power on sidewalks and just pedaling under your own power.

The exception is that Class 3 E-Bikes are by default not allowed on sidewalks in Colorado.

In Denver, you are not allowed on the sidewalk with an Electric Bike unless specifically marked as a bicycle route. In Boulder, you are now allowed on sidewalks at a max speed of 15 mph.

Can You Ride An Electric Bike On The Road In Colorado?

Yes, all classes of Electric Bikes are allowed on roads within Colorado. Class 3 is completely restricted to the road.

Can You Ride An Electric Bike In Bike Lanes In Colorado?

Yes, Electric Bikes in Class 1 and 2 are allowed in Bike Lanes by default. Some cities have restrictions on certain bike lanes.

Can You Ride An Electric Bike On Bike Paths In Colorado?

Class 1 and 2 E-Bikes are allowed on shared-use bike paths in Colorado by default. In Boulder, you are asked to stay under 15 mph and there are certain places that are not allowed.

Can You Ride An Electric Bike On Trails In Colorado?

Trails are trickier but by State law E-Bikes can go on the same trails as standard bikes. Many trails have their own restrictions though. Some don’t allow E-Bikes at all and some disallow certain classes, speeds, and even watt power as in some Boulder trails.

Check specific E-Bike access to trails in Boulder here.

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Colorado - E-Bike Trails In Colorado
Electric Bikes on trails in Colorado are a hot button issue

Can You Ride Electric Bikes In National and State Parks In Colorado?

Colorados’s State parks have their own rules with all parks managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife included. Class 1 and 2 E-Bikes are allowed the same access as any normal bicycle on CPW lands except on specific trails that don’t allow motorized bikes.

Class 3 E-Bikes are only allowed on roads and specifically marked bike lanes.

So essentially all roads, paths, trails (multi-wise or just bikes), campgrounds e.t.c on State or CPW lands are OK for Class 1 and 2. However, there is some local pushback in certain areas. There should be signs up to indicate if they are not allowed.

In State wildlife areas it’s different. E-Bikes are only allowed where motorized vehicles are allowed or where specifically designated. The same goes for State Trust lands. Both require hunting/fishing licenses to access.

All classes of Electric Bike are allowed in all National Parks wherever normal bicycles are allowed. National Parks are governed by the National Park Service (not the state), who are given jurisdiction over E-Bike use.

However, the intent is that E-Bikes should be used (pedaled) like regular bicycles, and exclusive use of a throttle for all riding is prohibited. Put simply you should be pedaling all of the time, though a little throttle use is OK.

Some parks do have their own restrictions so check the specific park you’d like to visit. National Forests also have their own jurisdiction and often restrict Electric Bikes.

Are DIY E-Bikes Legal In Colorado

Yes, DIY E-Bikes are legal in Colorado. That means you can build your own from scratch, add a kit to an existing bike, or modify your Electric Bike for more power, a bigger battery, or better software.

However, you must still stay within the State’s Class system and guidelines, as well as follow standard bike safety laws.

You’ll also need to affix a new permanent label with the new class, top assisted speed, and watt power. The label must be in Arial font of at least 9-point type.

Full Electric Bike Laws In Colorado

The bill that was updated to introduce the Classes and rights of E-Bikes into law was HB17-11151. It was signed on April 4th, 2017, and came into law on August 9th, 2017.

The state guidance for E-Bikes can be found on the Colorado General Assembly website. Definitions for Electric Bikes can be found in the Colorado Revised Statutes under Title 42, Article 1, Article 101, or here.

The standard bicycle laws and regulations can be seen in the CRS under Title 42, Article 4, Article 1412, or here. All of the standard bicycle rules here were updated to include E-Bikes and have some modified bits for the different classes.

Colorado’s rules for E-Bikes on parks lands can be found here.