E-bikes are regulated like bicycles. The same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles.
E-bikes are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.
Texas designates three classes of e-bikes:
Class 1: : Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.
You must be 15 or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike, although a person under 15 may ride a Class 3 e-bike as a passenger, if the e-bike is designed to carry more than one person.
The state department or local authority with jurisdiction can implement certain restrictions, such as on sidewalks and dedicated mountain bike trails. E-bikes generally may not be restricted in places where bicycles are allowed to operate. When in doubt, check for local rules and regulations
On federal, state, county and local trails, e-mountain bike (eMTB) access varies significantly.
Generally, any natural surface trail that is designated as open to both motorized and non-motorized uses is also open to eMTBs.
eMTBs may not be allowed on trails managed for non-motorized activities.
Do not ride your eMTB in areas where the local rules are unclear. Ride legally and only on authorized trails to show that mountain bikers are responsible trail users.
When in doubt, ask your local land manager about access to specific trails. Local land rules change frequently.
TEXAS' E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS
LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
STATE: : Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is currently considering new regulations around e-bike access. Contact the department for the most up to date information and specific trail rules.
FEDERAL: As of August 29th 2019 all eBikes up to 750 watt can now access Federal Lands and natural parks anywhere a regular bicycle can access. The one exception is National Forests, the forests are managed by the Department of Agriculture and these changes are not implemented yet on the forests. Changes are happening to align all Federal land to the recent Order. Contact the U.S. Forest Service Southern Regional Office or Big Bend National Park for more information.
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