Quicky Cycles

Introduction to E-Bikes

Aventon’s top performing ebikes are relaxing and fun to ride. Our powerful motors propel you faster and further than traditional bikes. Choose between our Class III models that go up to 28 MPH on pedal assist, plus 20 MPH throttle, or Class II models that go 20 MPH on both pedal assist and throttle.

To put it simply, electric bikes, also commonly known as ebikes or e-bikes, are like traditional bicycles, but have a battery-powered motor. Electric bikes can help riders climb hills easier, ride at faster speeds, transport cargo and other essentials, or ride further distances without tiring quickly due to pedal-assist or throttle features.

E-Bike Classes, Explained

Electric bike classes are regulatory designations that help riders determine where and how they can use their e-bikes. Different classes typically have different restrictions when it comes to using bike lanes, bike-only paths, certain mountain bike trails and other off-road terrains, and more. So let’s learn about how your electric motor, pedal assistance, throttle, and maximum speed all contribute to your e-bike’s class, as well as how to customize and change classes to best suit the way you ride.

In this article, we’ll explore the history and define the e-bike classification system: what is each e-bike class and how are they different? Then we’ll help you choose the right e-bike class for your riding style.

A Brief History of Electric Bike Regulations in the US

What Are E-Bike Classes?

What Are The Key Differences Between Each Class?

Which Electric Bike Classes Does Magnum Offer?

How Do I Know Which Class My E-Bike Is In?

Which Is The Best Electric Bike Class For Me?

Federal Electric Bike Classification And Regulations

In 2002, Congress enacted HB 727 to amend the federal definition of electric bikes. It classified low-speed electric bicycles as, 

“A two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.”

A few things to note here:

1. “When powered solely by such a motor” is a key piece of the puzzle.

This means that the use of a throttle-only approach (where the motor power is the only energy: the rider doesn’t pedal) is capped at 20 mph. Any e-bikes with the top speed listed at 28 mph achieve that with a pedal-assistance system! Those are Class 3 e-bikes, which we’ll get into later. 

2. How about that “electric motor of less than 750 watts”?

Some e-bikes seem to have higher wattage capability than that, but let’s dive deeper. The Magnum Metro 750 has a motor nominal output of 750W. “Nominal output” is the wattage the motor can produce regularly without causing damage. When looking at this bike’s specs, you’ll also see a higher number of 1000W! That’s the motor peak output — the wattage the motor can produce in short bursts when needed. With e-bike classes, only nominal output matters! All Magnum Bikes have nominal motor outputs of 750W or less, so they all fall within the federal definition of an e-bike.

3. Lastly, “ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds”?

This just means that the e-bike may go slower or faster than that if the rider is heavier or lighter than 170 pounds… e-bike users don’t have to be exactly 170 pounds! 

Beyond the federal level, 44 states plus the District of Columbia have their own e-bike regulations, including many county and city laws enforced by local authorities. Most of these incorporate the class system when determining which e-bikes (if any) are allowed on certain types of roads and trails.

What Are E-Bike Classes?

The three main classes of electric bikes mostly have to do with your e-bike electrical system — how your motor, pedal assist system (PAS), and throttle (if your e-bike has one) work together to power your e-bike.

Any e-bike model can become any class with modifications — in fact, all custom-ordered Magnum e-bikes can be configured to any class you like! It’s all about the features you choose.

Keep in mind that different classes come with different regulations.

Learn your local e-bike regulations to ensure you’re riding safely. Pictured: Magnum Nomad.

Class 1 Electric Bikes

Class 1 e-bikes are those with a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour. You can go faster than 20 mph, but the bike won’t provide any motor assistance beyond that speed. 

These bikes use pedal assistance only; they can’t have a throttle. 

  • Pedal Assistance: Yes
  • Throttle: No
  • Max Assisted Speed: 20 mph
  • Speedometer Required: No

Class 2 Electric Bikes

Class 2 e-bikes have a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour, just like Class 1. However, Class 2 electric bikes have a throttle and may also have a pedal assist system. In the case of Magnum Bikes, all of our e-bikes built to Class 2 specifications come standard with both throttle and PAS.

An e-bike with a throttle but no PAS is typically considered a motorized vehicle. This usually means that a Class 2 e-bike is not permitted on bike trails or multi-use paths.

  • Pedal Assistance: Optional (may be throttle-only)
  • Throttle: Yes
  • Max Assisted Speed: 20 mph
  • Speedometer Required: No

Class 3 Electric Bikes

Riders looking for high-speed electric bikes will love this class. These e-bikes can provide assisted speed of up to 28 miles per hour! 

Class 3 e-bikes usually do not have throttles, and that’s reflected in most state definitions of a Class 3 e-bike. But at Magnum Bikes, we build e-bikes that can provide pedal assistance up to 28 mph with throttles included.

While this higher speed restricts riders from using them on most bike paths, it can be an advantage for commuters following traffic flow in the streets.

Given their high speeds, Class 3 e-bikes are required to have a speedometer.

  • Pedal Assistance: Yes
  • Throttle: Optional (may be pedal-assist only)
  • Max Assisted Speed: 28 mph
  • Speedometer Required: Yes

Class 4 Electric Bikes

A relatively new addition, Class 4 e-bikes actually aren’t considered e-bikes — they’re motor vehicles, like a moped. Class 4 e-bikes have nominal motor output above 750W and aren’t limited to any max speed. They may have any combination of throttle and PAS.  

  • Pedal Assistance: Optional (may be throttle-only)
  • Throttle: Optional (may be pedal-assist only)
  • Max Assisted Speed: No limit
  • Speedometer Required: Yes

What Are The Key Differences Between Each Class?

Here’s a summary of the main differences.


Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4





Optional (may be PAS-only)

Pedal Assist System (PAS)




Optional (may be throttle-only)

Max Motor Nominal Output




No limit

Max Assisted Speed

20 mph

28 mph

28 mph

Over 28 mph

Typical Regulation Level

(varies by location)

Low or None




Which Electric Bike Classes Does Magnum Offer?

When ordering a custom Magnum e-bike, you can ask us to configure any model to Class 1, 2, or 3!  

If you order a Class 1 electric bike, your Magnum e-bike won’t have a throttle. You can purchase a throttle separately if you want that flexibility later on. To change between Class 1 and Class 3, go into your display settings (hold down the M function button) and toggle your maximum speed.

If you order a Class 2, your Magnum e-bike can easily switch between all 3 classes. To make it a Class 1, remove the throttle. Hold down the M function button on your display controller to toggle maximum speed.

Use your Magnum Display to toggle between speed settings. Pictured: Magnum Cosmo.

How Do I Know Which Class My E-Bike Is In?

Not all e-bikes can move between classes. Many manufactured e-bikes come with a label designating their default class, and some states require e-bikes to be manufactured or sold with a label designating their class.

If your e-bike doesn’t have a sticker or label designating its class, check for 2 things:

  1. Does your e-bike have a throttle? If so, it’s most likely Class 2, but it may be 3 or even 4. So, next…
  2. Check the settings on your e-bike’s display. What maximum speed does your e-bike allow? 
  • If 20 mph, it’s Class 1 without a throttle or Class 2 with a throttle. 
  • If 28 mph, it’s Class 2 with a throttle or Class 3 if there isn’t a throttle. 
  • If higher than 28 mph, it’s Class 4 or not classified as an e-bike. 

Which Is The Best Electric Bike Class For Me?

Who you are and the way you like to ride may give you some clues as to which of the three classes is your perfect match.

Young Riders

Depending on your location, riders under 16 are often prohibited from operating Class 3 e-bikes. In some cases, young riders are prohibited from operating e-bikes at all! 

So if you’re a teenager or parent of a teen, be sure to carefully review all your local legislation and restrictions when buying your e-bike.

Casual Ride

If you mostly ride for fun on flat, paved roads or bike trails, a Class 1 e-bike is perfect for you. As long as having pedal assist above 20 mph or using a throttle isn’t at the top of your wish list, you’ll love the freedom of riding your Class 1 e-bike in most of the same places that a regular bike is typically allowed, including multi-use trails.

City Commute And Bike Lanes

When it comes to riding in the road with the flow of traffic, you usually won’t face restrictions on an e-bike — just avoid high-speed roads where e-bikes can’t keep up!

However, some cities, counties, and states only allow regular bikes and traditional cyclists to use bike lanes and multi-use paths. Class 1 e-bikes are most commonly allowed, and so are Class 2 in many places; just be careful with Class 3 if that’s where you plan to ride.

E-bikes are typically permitted in street bike lanes — but always check your local e-bike regulations to be sure. Pictured: Premium 3 Low Step.

Distance Biking

You may benefit from higher assisted speeds or a throttle if you crave long-distance rides. These features can provide relief during your travels without compromising your progress. Consider a Class 2 or Class 3 e-bike for amazing long-distance rides. 

Trails And Off-Road Bike Paths

Class 3 e-bikes face heavy restrictions in state parks across the country, and Class 2 e-bikes aren’t far behind due to their throttles. And when it comes to national parks, e-bikes of any class are considered motorized vehicles — which means they aren’t allowed on pathways meant for mountain bikes and other regular bikes.

Your best bet for a trail-ready e-bike is a Class 1. We hope to see restrictions easing up in the coming years.

E-Bike vs. Regular Bike: What Are The Differences?

At a glance, many regular bikes and e-bikes appear practically identical to one another. Frames, wheels, tires, pedals, saddles, stems, handlebars, and even brakes can all look pretty much the same. 

But the unique parts — the ones that make the e-bike riding experience so much fun — do look different from what you’d find on a typical bike. Learning to recognize these parts can help you tell e-bikes and regular bikes apart when you’re out and about. And you can better understand your e-bike’s electric system by learning about them, too.

Those parts are:

E-Bike Display

Electric Bike Battery

E-Bike Motor

Electric Bike Controller

Let’s see what each of these parts looks like and what role they play in your e-bike’s functions. 

E-Bike Display

Although they’re generally small in size, display screens are one of the most noticeable differences between a regular bike and an e-bike. 

But not all e-bikes come with displays! Some are designed to work with apps on your phone instead — with varying success. 

All Magnum Bikes feature premium backlit LCD display screens.

Some of the main functions of a display include:

  • Engaging and adjusting the levels of your pedal assist system (PAS)
  • Tracking distance, speed, wattage, and battery life
  • Turning your front and rear lights on and off
  • Changing unit settings (imperial vs. metric)

For more about Magnum Displays, check out our Display Support Page.

Power on the display and take a ride on the Magnum Scout.

Electric Bike Battery

Batteries on an e-bike may be either integrated (permanently built into the frame) or external (removable). 

Once you learn to recognize the look of an external battery, it can be an easy way to differentiate a regular bike from an e-bike at a glance. 

But “external” placement doesn’t always mean the battery is visually obvious, juts out from the frame, or detracts from the design. Instead, it just refers to the fact that the rider can remove their battery from the e-bike frame for charging, transit, or storage. 

Conversely, integrated batteries can’t be removed from the frame for transit or storage. And when it’s time to charge your battery, you can’t remove it; you basically need to plug in the whole bike.

At this time, all Magnum Bikes feature external batteries for optimal convenience in transportation and charging.

Learn more about e-bike batteries in these posts:

The external battery on the Magnum Cosmo X blends seamlessly into the frame.

E-Bike Motor

Rear-hub motors and front motors are pretty inconspicuous and tend to blend in with derailleurs on many e-bikes. 

But mid-drive motors usually feature a distinctive large casing that adds some visual heft to the crankset (the area where the pedals connect to the bike chain). That makes this motor design the most visually obvious. Whether that’s desirable or not just depends on your opinion!

Beyond the looks, some riders feel the central, low-to-the-ground placement of the mid-drive motor better contributes to their center of gravity while riding. Mid-drive motors also tend to be lighter in weight overall.

However, hub motors are less expensive to produce; those savings are passed on to the consumer in retail pricing. What’s more, when it comes to maintenance and repairs, hub motors are also cheaper to maintain and simpler to access (particularly for DIY maintenance). 

And while all mid-drive motors are primed to work with your e-bike’s gear system, which can help you take advantage of extended range on your rides, some rear-hub motors also offer geared integration with your chain.

As of this article’s publishing, all Magnum Bikes feature rear hub motors — some direct-drive (meaning they turn the wheel itself, bypassing the gears) and some geared (meaning they turn your chain/crankset and work with your bike’s gears).

We’d want the help of a powerful e-bike motor right about here… Wouldn’t you? Featured: Magnum Summit 27.5”

Electric Bike Controller

Physically, the controller is a very small piece of the e-bike. Depending on the design of your e-bike, you can’t even really see it when the bike is fully assembled. You may have to look at your e-bike manual to locate it!

But without a controller, you might as well be riding a regular bike. The battery, motor, and display screen can’t do much without it!

That’s because the controller is like the brain of your e-bike.

Signals sent from your PAS or throttle need to reach your battery and then your motor in order to deliver the boost you asked for. But the battery and motor on their own aren’t smart enough to decide how much energy to give based on your inputs. 

The controller has to interpret the signals from your PAS or throttle to decide how much energy you’ve asked for. Then it passes that decision along to the battery, which powers the motor appropriately to get you going faster.

So the next time you spot an e-bike, you’ll know that its exhilarating speed isn’t possible without its small but mighty controller!

You can’t actually see it, but the controller is responsible for giving this rider the right amount of power! Featured: Magnum Metro X

Is It Better To Buy An E-Bike Or Regular Bike?

An e-bike’s display, battery, motor, and controller all work together to form this essential difference:

A regular bike can only power ahead with as much energy as you put into it. It can only go as far as you can. With a regular bike, it’s just you and the road.

But an e-bike can jump in when you’ve been riding for hours, when you’re hesitating at the bottom of a giant hill, and when you want to push through for a just few more miles. It can be the reason you get outside more, keep up on rides with friends and family, and hit your goals.

The choice between a regular bike and an e-bike is completely up to you. In our opinion, anything that gets you moving outside is a great choice!

But an e-bike can help you ride farther — especially when the going gets tough. 

And we’d pick that option any day.

Tips For Ebike Commuting

Sales of bikes, electric and conventional, have soared since the beginning of the lockdown back in March 2020 and, compared to March 2021, sales of ebikes are up nearly 200%. Not to mention the momentum has continued to climb into 2022. Those who now own ebikes are realizing many of the benefits of having a motor there to back them up and, as we discussed previously, riding an ebike is not cheating.

With people navigating their new workscapes or returning to the workplace, whether part-time or full-time, some may be eyeing their new ebike and wondering if they should ditch their regular commute and join the increasing number of people cycling to work. We’re here to say that you definitely should, and to make it even easier for you we’ve created this guide for commuting by ebike so you can be sure that you’re ready for anything! You’ll find a range of e-bike commuting tips that will help you avoid traffic, improve your level of fitness, and allow you to choose the appropriate gear according to the weather and other factors.



Fail to prepare and prepare to fail is what they say, and you do need to think of a few more things when you’re cycling by ebike. Preparing for your cycling commute is best done the evening before and once you’ve done it a few times it becomes second nature. Read on to learn the top tips for commuting by e-bike that will help you save time commuting and enhance your ride.


Charge your battery

Put your ebike battery on charge the night before to ensure that you have enough juice to get you to work. Many people make this part of their routine when they’re putting their ebike away so they don’t have to even think about it. You should also charge it at work and Aventon’s easily removable batteries make doing so a breeze.

Wear the right Clothing

When riding an ebike you are outside and, unfortunately, the weatherman isn’t always right. Wear the right clothes for the season but pack many, thinner layers rather than a few bulky ones as this enables you to always be comfortable on your ride. Ensure that you pack a rain jacket because it’s never nice to be caught in the rain. Also, when you’re riding, make sure you’re not wearing pants which dangle. You run the risk of getting them caught in the chain; this can be dangerous and will ruin your choice pair of pants!

Prep your bags or cargo

Pack your bag the night before with everything you need: layers, bike lock, water, repair kit, laptop, work items, etc. This leaves you less to think about in the morning. Ditch the backpack and find some cycle bags which work for you, there’re many configurations which you use to attach bags to your ebike and you’re sure to find one that fits your work bag and your needs. When packing these bags make sure that you’re balancing the weight correctly. You can take a look at some options here.


This list isn’t extensive but completing these tasks the night before means that you will have a hassle free morning and an enjoyable commute no matter what the world tries to throw at you.




Safety is a very important factor whenever you are cycling and the commute is no exception. Because this is also a time when there are more cars, bikes, and people on the roads and pavements safety should be at the top of your agenda. Luckily you can increase the safety on your next ride by following these simple e-bike commuter tips.


Wear a Helmet

Always wear a helmet when riding a ebike. Get one that fits snuggly on your head and you’ll have peace of mind. Shop Helmets.

Mount head & tail Lights

Get lights for the front and back of your ebike. When the days start to get shorter you’re sure to get surprised one suddenly dusky evening. Once you’ve purchased these lights fix them on to your ebike, leave them there year round and you’ll never get caught out again. Shop head and tail lights.

Install Reflectors

Reflectors are not an alternative to lights and should be used in addition to them. The ones you can put in the spokes of your wheels are especially great as they’re visible to people who are seeing you side on, say, as you pass through intersections, and maybe can’t see your lights.

Wear the Right Clothing

You should wear highly visible colors and, ideally, reflective clothings. This becomes even more apparent when the light starts to get low. Not all of your layers need to be this way but your top one should, and this means that your rain jacket should be too.

Use a Bell

“On your left” is the conventional cyclist’s call that has taken over from the bell but with so many people wearing headphones on their commute you cannot be too sure that they’ve heard you. Getting yourself a bell gives you a method of rise unobtrusively above the noise in people’s ears, making them aware that you’re passing.

Brake Sooner

You can travel faster on an ebike and this means that you need to brake sooner to safely slow yourself down. This will soon become second nature, but you also need to remember that when there’s water on the road you need to start braking even sooner because this water provides poor traction and increases your stopping distance.

Know the Laws of the Road

The laws of the road are there for a reason and we wouldn’t break them in a car so why would we break them on an ebike? Give ebikers a good name and protect yourself and others around you by keeping to the rule of law. Remember that some trails don’t allow ebikes, know before you go and give ebikers a good name in the cycling community.

Stay Clean with Fenders

Not just a safety factor, fenders stop mud and water from splashing up onto your clothes and ruining your day just as it has started. They not only stop you from getting wet and muddy before getting to the office but they also stop you from being distracted by such things, and allow you to plough through puddles with confidence. Shop fenders.

Buddy Up

Having a cycling buddy not only makes it more fun but it will also increase your visibility. Your buddy doesn’t have to work with you they just need to leave from, and return to, the same area as you. 


Remember that when you’re riding an ebike it is more important to be aware of your surroundings because you can travel much faster than a regular cyclist and both cars and pedestrians will be caught unaware by your extra power and speed.



Now you’re safe and you’ve gotten everything ready you can get going on your commute. There are many different ways commuting by ebike can be different from commuting by car or by public transport and here’re some e-bike commute tips to optimize your biking experience.


Start Chilly

It sounds a little counter productive but you should be a little chilly when you step out of the house. As soon as you start riding you’ll start warming up and you won’t have to stop to remove layers, but, if you do need to, you can easily add one.

Look out for Busy Roads

The beauty of commuting by ebike is that you don’t have to travel down the busy main roads you may be used to. Not only is avoiding these safer and easier but it can make your cycling, and therefore your commute, more enjoyable too.

Change it Up

Because you’re on an ebike you have more route options available to you. Map apps have a function which display various bike route options, and remember that your commute home usually doesn’t have the same time restrictions that the commute to work does; leaving you free to explore new routes at your leisure. Not only does all this make it more interesting but you might discover something you never knew was right on your doorstep.

Purchase a Phone Mount

As well as being a safety feature, to stop you reaching in your pocket or stopping to look at your route, getting yourself a handlebar mount for your phone means that you can change and monitor your route with confidence and ease.

Aero or Drop Bars

These are two types of handlebars often associated with road or racing bikes. They can be great for commuters for many reasons, all related to a change in your posture. This change makes your ride more comfortable, ensures that you are get maximum power from your legs, and also makes you more aerodynamic, reducing drag and allowing you to travel faster.

Keeping Your Ebike Secure

Get a good, hefty lock to secure your ebike once you get to your destination. A good, hefty lock can deter anyone from stealing your ebike. If your workplace has a garage where you can park and lock your ebike even better, and you can often leave your lock attached to wherever you lock it so that you don’t have to lug around a heavy chain. It is also a good idea to take your battery off and into the office with you, this way you can make sure it’s fully charged for your ride home.


There are many ways to make your commute more comfortable and, as you progress you may find yourself opting for a different seat, wider handlebars or all manner of accessories to enhance your riding experience.

When starting to commute by ebike, one of the best e-bike commuting tips is not to jump into it with two feet. Ease yourself in with a day or two a week and work up to doing it everyday. Not only will your legs thank you but you’ll gain more confidence doing it this way. Remember that your commuter ebike doesn’t just have to be used for commuting and on the weekends, or after work, you can also use it to head out to meet friends or just go for a leisurely, scenic cycle.

Ebikes give you the confidence to get to work without being tired, and with proper planning and preparedness you can save yourself time, money, and stay safe; all while looking after the environment. These simple and easy-to-implement e-bike commuting tips will help you stay safe and secure no matter where your ride takes you.