Schools + Parents
Electric Bikes

There has been a recent increase of electric bikes (e-bikes) in the Beach Cities creating a need for more education around this fast-growing transportation trend.  

Below is some important information about e-bikes, whether you already own one, are considering buying an e-bike or are looking for resources as a rider. Check out this flyer for safety tips.

Local Data

In March 2023, Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) surveyed the local middle and high schools to compare the number of traditional pedal bikes to electric bikes. E-bikes made up 66% of the total number of bicycles on campuses. For more information, view our E-bike count report.

Local Laws

At the September 5, 2023 meeting, the Manhattan Beach City Council adopted an urgency ordinance amending the Manhattan Beach Municipal Code (MBMC) establishing a speed limit, safety and operational standards, and location restrictions for bicycles, e-bikes and motorized bicycles.

The urgency ordinance became effective on September 6, 2023 and contains safety rules such as:

  • Prohibits riding on City sidewalks, plazas, grass areas, the Strand, parking structures owned or operated by the City, County, or State, and Veterans Parkway.
  • Prohibits riding at speeds over 15 miles per hour on the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (i.e. Beach Bike Path), and maintains the current “Walk Only Zone” on both sides of the pier.
  • Requires wearing of properly strapped helmets for all riders under 18 years of age;
  • Requires riders to use bike lanes where possible, and on streets without bike lanes, to ride close to the right curb or edge of roadway.
  • Requires riders to ride in single file and not more than two abreast.
  • Prohibits riding on the back of a bicycle or e-bike without a seat.
  • Prohibits speeding, racing, or stunt activity.
  • Reaffirms requirements to yield to pedestrians at all times.

Read more here.

Hermosa Beach Municipal Codes:

  • E-bikes may only enter the Strand walkway, Pier Plaza, or beach if the motor- or electric-propelled power is not in use
  • When riding on the Strand, speeds for all wheeled devices may not exceed speeds greater than 8 miles per hour
  • Prohibits users of any wheeled vehicle or device, propelled by human or motorized power, including bicycles, skateboards, roller skates and electric personal assistive mobility devices to ride on or over any sidewalk or part of a sidewalk in commercial zones

Redondo Beach Municipal Codes:

  • It is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle, skateboard, or roller skates on any sidewalk properly posted or signed prohibiting such riding
  • Signage has been posted around Redondo Union High School in areas where riding on the sidewalk is prohibited

 For updated information, please check municipal codes for your city.

About E-Bikes

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are bicycles equipped with an electric motor that assists and/or propels the rider. The motor gets its power from a rechargeable battery mounted on the bike. 

Here is information on the 3 types of e-bikes: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3.

Class 1:

  • Pedal-assisted (e-bike only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling).
  • E-bike will not accelerate any faster than 20 mph.
  • Typically allowed wherever regular bicycles are allowed.
  • Helmet required for under 18.

Class 2:

  • Pedal or throttle-assisted. When using the throttle, a rider can be propelled forward by the motor without pedaling.
  • E-bike will not accelerate any faster than 20 mph.
  • Typically allowed wherever regular bicycles are allowed. 
  • Helmet required for under 18.

Class 3:

  • Pedal assisted (e-bike only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling). 
  • E-bike will not accelerate any faster than 28 mph.
  • Some restrictions on where they can be ridden.  
  • Rider must be a minimum age of 16 years. 
  • Helmet required for all ages.
Benefits of E-Biking
At a Glance

Electric bikes have a lot to offer riders of all sorts. Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint or take advantage of this new technology on bike trips, here are some general benefits that come with e-bikes.

Click on the title below to expand on the topic.

Positive Environmental Impact

E-bikes help reduce the effects of vehicles such as air pollution, traffic and noise. An e-bike is a zero-emission form of transportation which doesn’t burn fuel or release any emissions. In addition, e-bikes can offer relief for road traffic conditions such as noise, congestion and air quality. (Elliot Fishman and Christopher Cherry, “E-Bikes in the Mainstream: Reviewing a Decade of Research”)

Enhance Physical and Mental Health

E-bikes are an effective way to get more people to enjoy the outdoors. Spending time outside improves your memory, lowers stress levels, reduces eye strain, lowers blood pressure, reins in your focus and boosts your immune system. In addition, e-bikes remove the physical barriers from cycling – hills, wind and sweat – and open the activity to more riders than regular pedal bicycles. E-bikes reduce muscle and energy exertion which in turn allow riders to exercise more often and longer. (Billy Sperlich et al., “Biomechanical, Cardiorespiratory, Metabolic and Perceived Responses to Electrically Assisted Cycling,” European Journal of Applied Physiology 112, no. 12 (December 2012))

Longer and Faster Travel

When riding an e-bike, the motor will help you pedal longer and faster than a traditional pedal bicyle. Since you put less effort into riding an e-bike, your commuting experience is more comfortable and pleasant thus allowing the rider to travel a long distance. (John MacArthur, Michael Harpool, and Daniel Scheppke, “A North American Survey of Electric Bicycle Owners” (Portland, Oregon: National Institute for Transportation and Communities, March 2018))

Increasing Mobility Access

E-bikes make cycling an option for a broader segment of the population. This can allow for people with different skill level and abiltities to ride and ride together.

Considerations and Risks of E-Bikes
At a Glance

E-bikes provide an exciting new way to get around, but they also come with injury risks, can be more expensive, require more technical maintenance and be more prone to manufacturing defects.

More Severe Collisions

Studies have found that people riding e-bikes were more likely to experience injuries that require hospitalization in comparison to those riding traditional pedal bicycles. In some instances, e-bike accidents can be as severe as motorcycle accidents. Furthermore, electronic bike-related injuries often involve a collision with a pedestrian when compared to powered scooters or pedal bicycle accidents (Comparison of Injury Patterns between Electric Bicycle, Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021. 3359. 10.3390/jcm10153359.)

Battery Catching Fire

Most e-bikes are powered by lithium rechargeable batteries. They can provide great amounts of power for a relatively long period of time in a very small volume. With so much energy packed in that small volume, if there is a defect or stress, these batteries may become dangerous. Defects or contamination in the manufacturing process can eventually lead to short circuiting or other failures that can lead to fires. For more on this, visit the Battery and Equipment down below.

Product Defects  

Like automobiles, e-bikes can malfunction or be subject to defects. It’s important for all riders of e-bikes to make sure their bike is regularly serviced and maintained according to manufacturer guidelines in order to ensure their safety.

Costly Maintenance and Repairs

E-bikes have the traditional makeup of pedal bikes, and therefore require about the same, if not more, basic maintenance as a pedal bike. Compared to a pedal bike, an e-bike is heavier, stronger and more complex, there are additional maintenance considerations. It is recommended e-bike owners set up a regular maintenance schedule.

This is a recommended maintenance schedule for the average rider: 

Every 300 Check-Up / Minor Service
Every 500 Tune-Up / Basic Service
Every 1,000 Overhaul
Safety Tips
At a Glance

As e-bikes become more popular in the Beach Cities, the risks and dangers that come with them also increase. Research shows that e-bike accidents happen about three times more frequently than traditional bicycles and can be more severe (Comparison of Injury Patterns between Electric Bicycle, Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021. 3359. 10.3390/jcm10153359). E-bike riders must take the time to familiarize themselves with the potential dangers e-bikes present to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Most e-bike accidents, and the most severe, are correlated with riders that do not follow safety recommendations.

Click on the title below to expand on the topic.

Always Wear a Helmet

Bicycle helmets are essential and can save lives, they are also required by law to be worn by anyone riding a bike under the age of 18. Helmets reduce the risk of injury due to impacts to the head. They perform three functions: reduce the deceleration of the skull, spread the area over which the force of impact applies and prevent direct impact between the skull and impacting object. Below you will find information on how to properly wear your helmet.

Follow Best Practices & Traffic Laws

When riding an e-bike, it is very important to follow traffic laws and signals to ensure your safety and that of other road users. This means obeying stop signs, traffic signals and lane markings. In addition, use hand signals to communicate your intentions when turning or changing lanes (see the Rules of the Road section for detailed information). Keep in mind, e-bikes are considered bicycles and are subject to the same traffic laws and regulations as traditional bicycles.

Below you will find some best practices that will help you avoid collisions and increase safety measures. 

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Use lights on your electric bike 
  • Use caution when riding near pedestrians
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing
  • Avoid weaving in and out of traffic
  • Stay in the designated bike lanes or on the side of the road
  • Maintain a safe distance from other bicycles/vehicles
  • Avoid riding on sidewalks
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Avoid speeding 
  • One rider per e-bike
Avoid Distracted Riding  

It is very important to keep your focus on the road while riding an e-bike. Distracted riding is one of the top causes of collisions. When riding, avoid using your phone or other electronics. Keep both hands on the handlebars, avoid listening to music or wearing headphones, and anything else that can distract you from your surroundings.

Avoid Riding in Inclement Weather

Riding in inclement weather, such as rain, can be dangerous. It is also one of the leading causes for accidents and collisions. Wet roads can make it harder to break, and poor visibility can increase the risk of accidents. If you must ride in inclement weather, take extra caution and reduce your speed. Leave yourself extra time to get to your destination and be aware of the conditions around you.

Pre-Ride Safety Checklist
At a Glance

Before hitting the road on your e-bike, it is important to ensure that your bike is in good condition and fully prepared for your ride. A pre-ride safety checklist can help you avoid accidents, injuries and mechanical breakdowns, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride. In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive pre-ride safety checklist to help you stay safe on your e-bike.

Click on the title below to expand on the topic.

Adjust Your E-Bike to Fit You Properly

Ensure that your e-bike is adjusted to fit you properly. This means the seat should be corrected so that your feet can reach the pedals comfortably, and your knees should be slightly bent when the pedals are at the lowest point of their rotation.

Check The E-Bike Tires

Before you start your riding, it is vital to check the condition of your tires. Check the pressure to make sure the tires are properly inflated, as underinflated tires can affect your bike's stability, and overinflated tires can be prone to bursting. Look for any damage to the tires, such as cuts, punctures, or bulges, as this can lead to a dangerous blowout while riding. It's also important to check the tread depth and ensure that it is sufficient for safe riding.

Check The E-Bike Brakes 

The brakes are a critical component of any bike, and it's essential to check that they are working correctly before riding. Test the brakes by squeezing the levers and make sure that they respond immediately and smoothly. Check the brake pads to make sure that they are not worn out and that they are properly aligned with the rims. A malfunctioning brake system can be extremely dangerous and lead to accidents, so it's important to ensure that they are in good working order before riding.

Check The E-Bike Chain

Like the brakes, the chain is an essential component of any bike, and it's important to check its condition before riding. Check for any signs of wear or rust, as these can weaken the chain and cause it to break. Make sure that it is properly lubricated, as a dry chain can cause friction and damage to the bike's gears. A properly functioning chain is crucial for maintaining speed and control while riding, so it is essential to check it before every ride.

Check The Lights and Reflectors

It's important to check that your bike's lights and reflectors are working correctly and are visible to other road users. Check the battery and make sure that it is fully charged, as this can affect the brightness of the lights. Test the lights and reflectors to ensure that they are functioning correctly and positioned correctly on the bike. Using bright and reflective clothing or accessories can also help increase your visibility and reduce the risk of accidents, especially in low-light conditions.

Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

Wearing appropriate safety gear, such as a helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and reflective clothing is essential for reducing the risk of injuries in the event of an accident. Make sure that your helmet is properly fitted and adjusted and that it meets the relevant safety standards. Wearing gloves can protect your hands in the event of a fall, while knee and elbow pads can help reduce the risk of injury to your joints. Reflective clothing can also help increase visibility and reduce the risk of accidents, especially in low-light conditions.

Verify Battery Charge

Verifying the battery charge of your e-bike is an essential part of the pre-ride safety checklist. Before riding your bike, you must make sure the battery is charged. It will prevent the bike from stalling mid-ride and reduce the likelihood of any accidents. If the battery charge is low, it is recommended that you charge the battery fully before heading out on your ride.

Battery and Equipment 
Use Only Manufacturer-Provided Chargers      

Only use chargers that come with the e-bike or from the manufacturer. Third-party chargers may not have the proper safety features and using them can lead to fires. The manufacturer-provided charger design matches the battery chemistry and voltage requirements. Using a third-party charger may overcharge the battery, causing it to overheat and potentially cause a fire.

Inspect The Battery and Charger Regularly

Regularly inspect the battery and charger for signs of damage, including cracks, bulges or other deformities. Stop using the device immediately if you notice any damage and contact the manufacturer or retailer for assistance. It's also essential to keep the battery and charger clean and free of debris which can cause short circuits and lead to a fire.

Do Not Charge Near Flammable Material

Do not charge the electric bike near flammable materials such as gasoline or other chemicals. The battery and charger can release heat or spark, which can lead to a fire. It is essential to charge the e-bike in a well-ventilated area, away from any flammable materials.

Store The E-Bike in A Cool and Dry Place

When not in use, store the electric bike in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Exposure to high temperatures and moisture can cause the battery to degrade and potentially cause a fire. It's essential to store the bike in a location where the temperature is consistent and does not fluctuate dramatically, such as a garage or storage room.

Avoid Overcharging

Overcharging the battery can cause it to overheat and potentially start a fire. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for charging times and avoid leaving the bike to charge overnight or unattended for extended periods. Once the battery is fully charged, unplug it from the charger. Do not continue charging your e-bike unnecessarily

Rules of the Road
At a Glance

Each year in California, more than 100 bicyclists are killed and over 10,000 are injured in collisions, commonly caused by bicyclists’ or motorists’ behavior, lack of skill or attention (California Department of Transportation). Although bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and are subject to the same rules and regulations, it is crucial that bicyclists pay attention to traffic signs and signals and follow all rules to reduce the risk of collisions, while on the road.

Click on the title below to expand on the topics.

Obey all Traffic Laws
  • Be prepared to stop for vehicles waiting at stop signs, in driveways or parking spaces, which may suddenly pull out in front of you.
  • Be prepared to take evasive action relating to vehicles that have just passed you and may turn right, as well as vehicles coming the opposite way that may turn left in front of you.
  • Use hand signals before making turns or changing lanes to warn traffic around you. Always have at least one hand on the handlebars to maintain control of the bike.
    • To signal a left turn, look behind you, over your left shoulder, and then extend your left arm out.
    • To signal a right turn, hold your left arm up with your elbow bent.
    • To signal that you are slowing or stopping, extend your left arm down.

Use Lights and Reflectors at Night

Using lights and reflectors at night is the law (CVC §21201). When it is dark outside, bicyclists should avoid wearing dark clothing and must have the following equipment: 

  • A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet.  
  • A rear red reflector or a solid or flashing red light with a built-in reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet.
  • A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet.
  • A white or yellow reflector on the front wheel, a white or red reflector on the rear wheel, or reflectorized tires.
  • Use mirrors only as an aid. Always look over your shoulder to make sure the lane is clear before turning or changing lanes.
Ride In Safe Lane Position

Ride in the same direction as traffic so you are more visible to drivers entering roads or changing lanes in the following scenarios:

  • Passing a vehicle or another bicycle in the same direction.
  • Preparing to make a left turn at an intersection, into a private road or at a driveway.
  • When necessary to avoid a hazard or road condition (for example, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards).
  • When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
  • When approaching a right turn.
  • If the road is one-way with two or more lanes. In this case, a bicyclist may ride as near to the left curb or edge of roadway as possible.
Obey Signs and Signals

Bicyclists must obey STOP signs and red signal lights and follow basic right-of-way rules. Do not cross through an intersection with a yellow signal light if you cannot make it across the intersection before the light changes to red.

  • Keep your eyes on the road ahead.
  • Avoid potholes, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, puddles you can’t see through or other unsafe road conditions.
  • When possible, signal before changing lanes.
  • Slow down when approaching an intersection to ensure there is no oncoming traffic that may not see you.
  • Ride far enough away from parked cars to avoid being hit by an opening door.
Use Bicycle Lanes and Sharrows

A bicycle lane is a designated traffic lane for bicyclists. A bicycle lane follows specific width requirements and is clearly marked as a bike lane with symbols and/or signs. However, motorists must merge into a bicycle lane when making right turns. These lanes will be marked by a solid white line, which becomes a dotted line ending before it reaches the corner. 

Below is a graphic showing what a bike lane looks like.

Sharrows are pavement markings that improve cycling safety on streets that are too narrow for traditional bike lanes. These markings indicate to drivers that the road is a preferred bicycle route, and that they should be prepared to share the road with cyclists. The placement of the sharrow shows cyclists where they can ride to avoid traveling in the door zone of parked cars.

The graphic below shows what sharrows look like.


Make Left Turns Using Traffic Lanes

As you approach the intersection, look over your left shoulder for traffic. If clear, signal your turn and move over to the left side of the lane, or into the left or center turn lane. Use the whole turn lane, and position yourself so that vehicles turning the same direction cannot pass you. Yield to oncoming traffic before turning.

If you are riding in a bicycle lane or on a multi-lane road, look and signal every time you change lanes. Never make a left turn from the right side of the road, even if you are in a bicycle lane.

Making Left Turn Using Crosswalks

Approach the intersection staying on the right. Stop and cross as a pedestrian in the crosswalk or make a 90-degree left turn and proceed as if you were coming from the right. If there is a signal light, wait for the green light or WALK signal before crossing. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.