The popularity of electric bikes has grown rapidly over the last five years, so we thought it was time to put the pedal to the metal and break down everything you need to know to hop on the trending method of transportation.
What is an e-bike?
Electric-assist bicycles look very similar to an average bicycle, but feature a battery. Some have added technology to sense when a hill is approaching or when the rider needs a little boost from a stop.
The state of Indiana defines an e-bike as:
- An electric assisted bicycle equipped with a motor of 750w or less
- Motor may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle and stop when it reaches the speed of 20 mph
What are the rules of the road?
E-bike riders have to follow regulations just like standard bicycle riders + motor vehicle drivers. In Indiana, e-bikes are regulated like traditional bikes, which means the same road rules apply to both.
E-bikes can be ridden on bike paths and in state parks, unless if an exception is posted. Class 3 e-bikes (See e-bike classifications) are not allowed on a bicycle path or multi-use path, unless it is within or adjacent to a highway or roadway, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction.
They are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks and should not be ridden on natural surface trails (aka mountain bike paths).
Where can you buy or rent them?
- Pedego Electric Bikes, 850 Mass Ave., Ste. 125 | You can buy or rent an e-bike at this Bottleworks location. It offers rentals for $25 for one hour, plus $30 each additional hour or $95 for the full day. It’s the perfect location to hop on the Monon Trail nearby.
- HandleBar Hangar, 501 Madison Ave. | Grab a friend or a date + rent a tandem e-bike to experience the city in a unique way — tours include a charcuterie and wine picnic platter to enjoy a break at a park.
- Wheel Fun Rentals, White River State Park | Another perfect spot to go for a spin downtown, this rental also offers self-guided tours if you want to explore on your own.
- The Bike Line, 6520 Cornell Ave. | This Broad Ripple bike shop sells e-bikes that you can test ride before making a decision.