E-Bikes

Freewheelin now carries Raleigh e-bikes. These are electric-assisted bicycles that require pedaling, and meet all regulations for e-bikes. Below is a summary of applicable law and links to the sources. Our eBikes are class 1 and class 3. We do not carry class 2 e-bikes (which have a throttle and do not require pedaling). For a summary of e-bike classes, click here.

  • Simple operation: Just pedal and the motor helps you. Select the level of assistance you want.

  • No throttle to fuss with. There is no need to coordinate stopping or slowing down with the throttle just slow your pedaling and the motor slows down with you.

  • No extra noise. Other than significantly reduced pedaling effort, you will be unaware of the motor.

  • No gas. No exhaust. The lithium ion battery has a range of up to 40 miles per charge.

  • Extra power when you need it. Going up hill or against the wind requires no extra effort. Just keep pedaling, and the motor supplies extra power to maintain speed.

  • Normal bicycle components. Although Raleigh's e-bikes are built with components that are heavier duty than normal, there are few proprietary parts. The motor is in the crank assembly, not the wheel. This makes most service as simple as on a non-electric bike.

  • No title. No tags. No license. No registration. It's a bicycle.

  • Keep up with stronger riders. If you want to ride with your family or friends, but have trouble keeping up, an e-bike is the great equalizer.

  • You are still getting exercise. It's just not strenuous.

E-Bikes are Bicycles:
The
Wikipedia listing about Federal laws is a good summary. HR727 functions to put the regulation of e-bikes under the purview of the C.P.S.C., and does not allow for any state to treat them as anything other than a bicycle. The law defines what such an e-bike is.
HR727 does not directly address the current e-bikes we carry, as throttle-less electric-assisted bikes were not available at the time the law was written (2002). However, our e-bikes still more than comply with the regulations. The difference is that HR727 speaks to the maximum speed possible when powered solely by the motor, and does not address the maximum attainable speed with motor and pedals combined.

On this page Virginia law defines an e-bike slightly differently:
"Electric power-assisted bicycle" means a vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and (ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 1,000 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. For the purposes of Chapter 8 ( 46.2-800 et seq.), an electric power-assisted bicycle shall be a vehicle when operated on a highway.

Twenty-five m.p.h. is the speed limit in Virginia.
Virginia does not state the maximum speed possible on an e-bike, but does limit the rider to 25 m.p.h. This is similar to having a car that is capable to 90 m.p.h., but a speed limit of 65 m.p.h.
Most of Raleigh's e-bikes are limited to 20 m.p.h., but a few (class 3) are capable of 28 m.p.h., but can be regulated down to 25. With our Raleighs, when the programmed maximum speed is reached, the motor cuts out, joining in again when the speed drops below the setting.
Here is the law that applies, including who may use an e-bike.

As always, we service what we sell. Typically we are happy to work on other bicycles, since parts are rarely proprietary. However, we can work on other e-bikes if what is needed is in no way related to the electric parts of the bicycle, or if the electric parts are readily available.

We do not allow gas powered bicycles inside the store. Although we will sell regular bicycle parts for gas powered bikes, we do not work on them—even if the bicycle was purchased here and then modified with a gas engine. Adding a motor or engine to a bicycle voids your warranty and after-sale tune-up service.

Laws Relating to All Bicycles

VDOT has a normal language page of bicycle laws with links to the underlying legalese.

Here is where to search for all Virginia laws about bicycles (in legalese).
Select "Code of Virginia" under the heading "Searchable Databases." Type "bicycle" into the search field.
[Sorry, previous attempts at linking directly to the results have proved problematic.]

You can find Virginia Beach City Ordinances here. See Chapter 7.

The City of Virginia Beach no longer issues bicycle licenses. A link to the page about that is here. Consider the National Bicycle Registry.