The U.S. Forest Service also considers e-bikes to be motorized vehicles, and users must stay on motorized routes, said recreation planner Tom Rice. Photo credit: Jim Mimiaga
The BLM has heard reports of riders illegally using the e-bikes Christenson said, adding that riders have a questions about where they are allowed.
BLM Tres Rios Field Manager Connie Clementson said the BLM plans to add signage at popular non-motorized trailheads like Phil’s World and Sand Canyon to inform the public that e-bikes are not allowed there. Local rangers also have been made aware of the rules, she said.
But there is plenty of territory where e-bikes are welcome. They can be used anywhere motorized travel is allowed, including Forest Service and BLM roads and local streets, county roads and highways. They are allowed on ATV routes.
E-bikes are equipped with battery-powered motors and come in commuting, touring and mountain biking models. A Class I bike provides electrical pedal assist up to 20 mph; Class II provides electrical power when the rider is pedaling or not up to 20 mph; and Class III provides electrical power up to 28 mph, and are not allowed for riders under 16.
They are recharged using a regular outlet. Range of most e-bikes varies between 10 and 40 miles depending on how much a rider pedals, model and battery size. Prices have been falling and generally run between $1,000 and $5,000 for quality models. E-bikes handle similar to a regular bike, but they weigh more, typically around 50 pounds.
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