E-Bikes Without Pedals: Are They Legal in the US?

E-Bikes Without Pedals

E-bikes without pedals offer a different twist on the classic biking experience. They use electric power, not pedal power. They are growing popular for those who want an easier way to get around.

However, it's not as simple as just picking one and hitting the road, as the legal status of e-bikes is quite murky.

Consider important things. These include the law and if these bikes fit your needs. In this guide, we'll look at electric bikes without pedals. We'll cover their pros and cons and some legal issues.

We'll also show you some alternatives that come with pedals and why they might be a better fit for you.

What Are E-Bikes Without Pedals?

Pedal-less e-bikes are electrically powered bikes without pedals or human power. That's why they're sometimes referred to as electric mini bikes without pedals. They operate solely on electric power, and the rider cannot pedal to propel the bike manually.


  1. Ease of Use: These bikes are simple to operate without the need to pedal and may be suitable for those who want a less physically demanding mode of transportation.
  2. Accessibility: They can be especially beneficial for those with certain disabilities or physical limitations that make pedaling difficult or impossible.
  3. Convenience: Ideal for short commutes or errands, they provide a quick and easy way to get around without breaking a sweat.
  4. Maintenance: Fewer mechanical parts (like chains, sprockets, and derailleurs) may result in lower maintenance requirements compared to traditional bicycles or e-bikes with pedals.
  5. Design Flexibility: Manufacturers have more freedom in designing these vehicles as they're not constrained by the need to incorporate a pedal drivetrain.


  1. Legal Restrictions: Pedalless electric bikes often fall outside the legal definition of an e-bike in many regions, which could lead to restrictions on where they can be ridden or require additional licensing, insurance, and registration.
  2. Exercise: Riding a bike with pedals can provide significant cardiovascular benefits, which pedal-less electric bikes do not offer.
  3. Range Limitations: Without the ability to pedal, you are entirely dependent on the battery; if it runs out, you can't pedal to continue your journey.
  4. Classification Issues: They may be classified as mopeds or electric scooters, which might not have the same access to bike lanes and trails as pedal-assist e-bikes.
  5. Cost of Operation: While generally cheaper to operate than gasoline-powered vehicles, pedal-less electric bikes might incur some costs in terms of electricity for charging and potential registration fees, unlike traditional bicycles.

Are Electric Bikes Without Pedals Legal in the United States?

In most cases, electric bikes without pedals on public roads are illegal in the United States.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) classifies e-bikes as "low-speed electric bicycles" if they meet specific criteria. These criteria include:

  • Maximum power output of 750 watts
  • Maximum speed limit of 20 mph
  • Operable pedals (This is a key requirement)

By requiring pedals, the CPSC indirectly restricts pedal-less e-bikes because they wouldn't qualify under the "low-speed electric bicycle" category. This classification is important because it exempts these e-bikes from stricter regulations like registration, licensing, and insurance.

Here's how the class system works:

Class 1 E-bikes

  • These e-bikes are equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling.
  • The motor assistance cuts off at a speed of 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour).
  • Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on most bike paths and trails where traditional bicycles are permitted.
  • They are often considered traditional bikes in terms of legal regulations and may not require additional licensing or registration.

Class 2 E-bikes

  • Class 2 e-bikes are equipped with a motor that can provide assistance, even without pedaling, using a throttle.
  • Like Class 1 e-bikes, their motor assistance also cuts off at a speed of 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour).
  • These e-bikes can also typically be used on bike paths and trails where traditional bicycles are allowed.
  • Depending on local regulations, they may require additional licensing or registration due to the presence of a throttle.

Class 3 E-bikes

  • Class 3 e-bikes have a motor that assists the rider only when pedaling, similar to Class 1 e-bikes.
  • However, the motor assistance for Class 3 e-bikes can continue up to a speed of 28 miles per hour (45 kilometers per hour).
  • Due to their higher speed capabilities, Class 3 e-bikes may have more stringent regulations regarding where they can be ridden.
  • They may not be permitted on certain bike paths or trails that are designated for slower-moving traffic.
  • Depending on local laws, they might require additional licensing or registration.

Most states have adopted similar classifications to the CPSC, often using a class system for e-bikes. These classifications mandate functional pedals.

For more information on electric bike regulations in the US, check out this page, which highlights all state rules and regulations.

Can You Make an E-bike Without Pedals Legal By Registering It?

Not really; registration alone doesn't necessarily make electric bikes legal in all contexts.

While registration might be a requirement in some jurisdictions for certain types of electric bikes, such as those with higher speeds or power outputs, there are typically other legal considerations as well.

Here are factors that can affect the legality of electric bikes, even if they are registered:

  • Classification: Different jurisdictions have specific classifications for electric bikes based on factors like motor power, speed capabilities, and whether they have pedals or a throttle. A registered electric bike must still meet the criteria for its designated class to be considered legal.
  • Licensing: Depending on the type and classification of the electric bike, riders may need to have a valid driver's license or a specific type of endorsement to operate it legally. Registration alone may not suffice if the rider doesn't have the appropriate license.
  • Safety Requirements: Some jurisdictions have safety standards that electric bikes must meet to be considered roadworthy. These standards may include requirements for lights, brakes, reflectors, and other safety features. Simply registering the bike doesn't guarantee compliance with these standards.
  • Usage Regulations: Even if an electric bike is registered, there may be restrictions on where it can be ridden. For example, certain bike paths, trails, or roads may be off-limits to motorized vehicles, including certain types of electric bikes.
  • Local Laws and Regulations: Local ordinances and regulations may impose additional requirements or restrictions on the use of electric bikes within a particular area. These rules can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another.


You can see that, even if you meet all the requirements to make your pedal-less e-bike legal. It's only legal in some areas in your state. You can't use it in areas where other bikes and e-bikes can go.

You might be a little confused because of all of this. It's just another e-bike, after all, right?

Well, not really. The core issue lies in the lack of pedals. Without pedals, these e-bikes don't fit into existing e-bike types. They also don't address safety concerns. These concerns come from the lack of low-speed maneuverability or during malfunctions.

Pedal bikes allow riders to gain a lot of control and stability over their bikes. Some bikes even allow the pedals to function as brakes if they are rotated backward.

Pedal-less bikes have leg rests to provide some support. But, it's far less stable than pedals.

Electric bikes with pedals can function as regular bikes if the motor stops, and if the chain falls, it can be repaired with some effort. However, pedal-less bikes lack these features, and if the engine is damaged or out of power, the bike must be dragged back home, which can be a safety concern for both riders and others, especially if the motor is powerful enough to reach high speeds.



What Can You Do to Replace Pedal-less Bikes?

The next best thing is sticking to pedal-assisted e-bikes. These are the safest and most legally recognized options throughout the US.

You may be worried that they may not have enough power or not take you to the distances you need, but the e-bike market has already come a long way. E-bikes now have up to 2300W monsters with options that can take you well over 100 miles per charge.

Here are some of these options:

1. Juggernaut FS XD MTB

Juggernaut FS XD MTB

E-Bike Specs:

  • 2300W Biktrix Developed XD Coaxial Drive Motor
  • 52V 17.5Ah 910Wh Removable Internal Battery
  • Full-Suspension Frame with 265 Lb Load Capacity
  • Torque + Cadence Sensor
  • Heavy Duty Half Link Chain
  • SRAM NX 11 Speed Trigger Shifter

Standout Electric Bike Features

The Biktrix Juggernaut XD full suspension e-bike stands out with its beastly 2300W motor, which provides torque on demand for tackling steep and challenging terrain.

It's not just the power that impresses; this E-bike combines a robust full-suspension frame capable of handling a 265 Lb load with a high-capacity 52V internal battery.

The sophisticated sensing system offers smooth transitions between pedal-assist levels, ensuring that your trail experience is as intuitive as it is exhilarating.

Why Is It a Great Option

For the adventurer who craves versatility and power, the Juggernaut XD is a perfect fit.

It's designed with a hearty appetite for rugged trails and long distances, thanks to the impressive battery range.

The full-suspension frame provides a level of comfort rarely experienced off-road, absorbing shocks and smoothing out bumps.

The inclusion of a torque sensor also means pedal assistance is more responsive to your riding style, giving you control and power right when you need it.

2. Juggernaut FS ST Fat

Juggernaut FS ST Fat

E-Bike Specs:

  • 1500W Bafang Ultra M620 Mid-drive Motor
  • 52V 25Ah 1300Wh Removable Battery
  • RST Titan Fork and DNM Rear Suspension
  • Tektro E725 Quad-Piston Hydraulic Brakes
  • 26x4" Maxxis Minion Fat Tires
  • Step-Through Frame for Easy Access

Standout Electric Bike Features

The Juggernaut FS Step-Thru sets itself apart with its strong 1500W motor, which provides plenty of power on tough climbs.

The big battery provides long rides without frequent charges, and the bike’s suspension eats up bumps for a comfy trip on rough trails or streets.

The brakes are reliable for stopping quickly when you need to. Its step-through frame makes getting on and off easy, no matter what you're wearing or how flexible you are.

Why Is It a Great Option

When compared with the Biktrix Juggernaut XD Full Suspension eBike, the Juggernaut FS Step-Thru is more wallet-friendly by $1,000.

It doesn’t hold back on performance, though. It offers a solid motor and even more mileage—up to 100 miles per charge.

That’s 40 miles more than the XD. The bike is built to be sturdy, yet it's designed for comfort. You get a reliable ride that will last you through longer adventures without needing a pit stop to recharge.

3. Juggernaut Hub Duo SO

E-Bike Specs:

  • 750W Geared Rear Hub Motor
  • 80 Nm of Torque
  • 330lb Load Capacity
  • 52V 17.5Ah 910Wh Internal Battery
  • Torque + Cadence Sensor
  • On-Demand Throttle

Standout Electric Bike Features

The Juggernaut Hub Duo SO offers a unique balance between affordability and functionality. Its 750W motor, paired with an impressive 80 Nm of torque, is designed to effortlessly push you up hills. The bike's high load capacity means you can take along everything you need without worry.

With its on-demand throttle, riders have the option to ride without pedaling, making it a convenient choice for those looking to take a break from the physical effort.

Why Is It a Great Option

As the most cost-effective option in its family, the Juggernaut Hub Duo SO doesn't skimp on quality or distance. It can take you farther than both the Juggernaut XD Full Suspension and the Juggernaut FS Step-Thru, with a potential range of 140 miles on a single charge with the additional external battery.

While its motor might not match the raw power found in the previous two models, it still delivers solid performance suitable for most riding conditions. This e-bike is a great fit for those looking for a mix of practicality, extended range, and cost savings.

Find Your New Bike Today

While the pedal-less versions have their perks, bikes like the Biktrix Juggernaut XD Full Suspension, the Juggernaut FS Step-Thru, and the Juggernaut Hub Duo SO stand out for being practical and street-legal.

They bring a mix of power and convenience to your rides, and you don't have to worry about whether you're allowed to ride them on your local bike path. With these options, you're ready to hit the road (or the trail) and enjoy your rides to the fullest.

Check out the Bitrix e-bike collection today to find your perfect ride!

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