Montréal, located in the province of Quebec, is the second most populous city in Canada. A vibrant city and hub for culture, art, tourism, education, film, and much more, Montréal is a very popular tourist destination!
If you’re thinking of exploring Montréal by electric bike, this article will help guide you and answer all the questions you may have about e-biking in Montréal,
E-biking rules in Montréal
In Montréal, electric bikes are officially known as “power-assisted cycles”. To be classified as such, vehicles must meet the following requirements:
- An electric motor of 500W or less and a rechargeable battery
- A maximum speed limit of 32 km/h (20 mph)
- Handlebars and fully operable pedals
- 2 or 3 wheels that touch the ground
More information about Montréal’s e-bike rules can be found here!
Additionally, e-bike riders are required to wear a helmet that has a rigid shell, a padded interior, and is equipped with a chin strap. Failure to comply can result in fines. Helmets must meet one or more of the following standards:
- CAN/CSA-D113.2 (Canadian Standards Association)
- 16 CFR Part 1203 (U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- ASTM F1447 or ASTM F1898 (American Society for Testing and Materials)
- EN 1078 (European Committee for Standardization)
- B-90 and B-95 (Snell Memorial Foundation)
Lastly, e-bike riders must obey all the road rules that apply to traditional cyclists. As such, e-cyclists are allowed on all public roadways, except highways and their access and exit ramps. Read more about Montréal’s road rules here.
Read also: Best known electric bicycle brands in Canada. And, Rules & regulations for traditional and speed e-bikes in Canada.
If you are planning to take your e-bike on public transit, here’s what you need to know. First, Montréal’s transit system is called the STM (Société de transport de Montréal), but is colloquially known as the Métro. This system includes both trains and buses. Bicycles are allowed to be brought on trains, but there are a few rules surrounding this:
- Bicycles are only allowed from Monday to Friday from 10AM to 3PM, and after 7PM; all day Saturday and Sunday, and on legal holidays; and may not be allowed on trains during certain events
- Bicycles are only allowed in the front car of the train
- The front car of any train will only allow a maximum of six bikes
- Cyclists must allow other passengers to enter or exit before them
- Bikes must be held close to cyclists at all times, and cannot be rested against seats or other metro facilities
Currently, e-bikes and bicycles are not allowed to be brought on board buses. However, some buses are equipped with bike racks.
Is Montréal e-bike friendly?
Montréal is a very e-bike friendly city, with tons of trails, parks, and other infrastructure in place for cyclists!
Some top cycling routes include Lachine Canal path, Trans Canada Trail, La Route verte, Mount Royal Park, Parc Jarry, Parc Jean-Drapeau, La Route de Champlain, and Parc Maisonneuve. Montréal also has a vast infrastructure of 889 km worth of bike lanes throughout the city, in parks, and alongside rivers. Visit Bonjour Quebec for more information about cycling routes in the city!
To charge your e-bike in the city, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, visitors should note that Montréal has a network of Electric BIXI bikes. BIXI is a bicycle-sharing system that allows riders to rent a bike from BIXI’s network of bike docks throughout the city. Electric BIXIs charge at their stations and riders can look at this interactive map to locate a sufficiently charged e-BIXI to rent (this is indicated by a lightning icon that represents the battery level).
However, if you are using a non-BIXI electric bike, you may be able to charge your e-bike at one of Montréal’s electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, some locations of which include Palais des Congres de Montréal, Place Montréal Trust, Hopital General Juif, and Vieux-Port de Montréal. Visit Chargehub for more locations!
Bicycle stands for bike parking are also available throughout the city, many of which are located near Metro stations. You can find a directory of bicycle stands here.
If you are interested in renting your e-bike when visiting Montréal, there are a few options for you. Including the aforementioned Electric BIXI bicycles, you can also visit Quantum E-bikes, Ca Roule Montréal On Wheels, and DYAD Cycles to rent your e-bike.
How is the weather and city traffic in Montréal? Is it fun to ride an e-bike in Montréal?
In Montréal, rush hour traffic takes place in the morning between 6:30AM to 8:30AM, and in the afternoon between 3:30PM to 6PM. As such, we recommend cyclists avoid roads at that time, if possible. Additionally, festivals that take place during the summer months mean more road closures, so be aware of that if visiting in the summer. Visitors should also keep in mind that most street signs in Montréal are in French, so it is worth learning the signs and their meanings ahead of your trip!
According to experts, the best time of year to visit Montréal is between March and May and September to November. This is because the weather is still warm but not too hot during the spring and fall seasons, and accommodations are not as expensive or booked up. Just be sure to bring extra layers, as evenings may get chilly! We recommend avoiding visiting in the winter months (December through February) as Montréal can get quite cold, snowy, and icy during that time.
Summertime is considered peak tourist season, and if you are interested in checking out annual events like the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival, MURAL Festival, Comiccon, Festival Bloomsday Montréal, and more, this is the time for you to visit! Be prepared, however, for high levels of humidity, busy crowds, and high room rates. Be sure to book in advance.
When visiting, don’t forget to check out the many sights Montréal has to offer. This includes Mount Royal Park, Old Montréal, Notre-Dame Basilica, Montréal Botanical Garden, Musee des beaux-arts de Montréal, Jean-Talon Market, Old Port of Montréal, and Pointe-a-Calliere – Montréal Archaeology and History Complex.
Montréal city landscape, the best type(s) of e-bikes to ride in this city
Because the city of Montréal ranges in its landscape, from flat and paved to hilly and unpaved, the type of e-bike you get will depend entirely on the types of routes you are planning to take.
If you are looking to take primarily flat routes, a city cruiser or commuter e-bike will be fine! However, if planning to venture into areas like Mount Royal and other parks, an electric mountain bike (eMTB), fat tire e-bike, or hybrid e-bike is recommended for maximum stability and safety.
Where can I buy an e-bike in Montréal?
To buy an e-bike in Montréal, you can choose from a few options!
Next, Bicycles McW allows customers to choose whether they want to pick up their e-bike in-store, curbside, or free home delivery (if living in the Montréal/Laval or Ottawa/Gatineau regions). DYAD Cycles also has three physical locations in Montréal, but similarly offers the option to buy an e-bike online, and pick it up in store or get the e-bike shipped to you. Lastly, Quantum E-bikes offers delivery or in-store pick-up!
Where can I repair an e-bike in Montréal?
Some of the previously mentioned e-bike companies will also provide repair services!
Quantum E-bikes, which has a location in Montréal near Atwater Market, offers personalized repair services for electric bicycles. Velofix, a mobile bicycle shop, also provides services like tune packages, bike fittings, and more.
Where can I recycle e-bike batteries in Montréal?
To recycle your e-bike batteries in Montréal, Canada’s Call2Recycle program offers a locator map that will show you locations to drop off your batteries. Some locations in Montréal include Proxim, La Source, Jean Coutu, Canadian Tire, Metro Richelieu Inc, Uniprix, Add-Tronique Inc, and Depot Varennes.
Now that you have all the information you need to prepare for your e-bike trip to Montréal, we wish you a happy trip!
Read also: Check out Canada’s best travel destinations by electric bike.