New York, which is often referred to as New York City, is the most densely populated major city in the United States and is known as one of the world’s most populous megacities. It is renowned for being a cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and is a rich hub for entertainment, commerce, technology, tourism, art, fashion, sports, and much more.
If you are interested in exploring New York by electric bike, this article will answer all your questions!
E-biking rules in New York City
As of November 2020, Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes are permitted in New York. Here are the specifications your e-bike must meet to ride on the city’s bikes lanes and streets:
- E-bike must not exceed 20 mph (25 mph for Class 3)
- Riders must be 16 or older to operate
- Riders are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet for Class 1 and 2 e-bikes and are required by law to wear one for Class 3 e-bikes
To learn more about e-bike rules in New York, visit this webpage!
If you are planning to take your e-bike on transit with you, here is what you need to know about New York transit. The city’s primary rapid transit system is called the MTA, which is comprised of buses, trains, and commuter rails. Bicycles are permitted on the subway at all times, and cyclists are encouraged to board their bikes on either end of the subway car.
Read also: What are the rules & regulations for electric bikes and speed e-bikes in the USA? And, Best known e-bike brands in the USA.
However, bicycles are not permitted on most NY buses, with the exception of a few which are equipped with bike racks (S53 and S93 in Staten Island, Q50 in Queens, and Bx23 in the Bronx). On commuter rails, a maximum of four bikes are allowed per train on weekdays, and on the weekend, the maximum is eight.
Bikes are also allowed on the Staten Island Ferry free of charge but must follow certain rules when doing so, which you can read more about here. For further information about bringing bikes on NY transit, visit MTA’s Bikes webpage.
Bicycle parking in the city is abundant, with cyclists being able to choose from options like CityRacks, Bike Corrals, Bike Parking Shelters, and Bikes in Buildings.
CityRacks are free bicycle parking racks on the sidewalks and can be found throughout all five boroughs of New York (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island). In areas where there is not enough sidewalk space, the Bike Corral Program offers bike parking on curbside lanes; standard corrals can hold 12 bikes, but this number may vary per location. Bike parking shelters are also located throughout the city, with each shelter containing stainless steel bike racks for up to eight bikes.
Lastly, NYC’s “Bikes in Buildings” law offers tenants in commercial office buildings indoor parking for their bicycles. For more information on bike parking locations in New York, visit this webpage here.
Is New York e-bike friendly?
New York is a very bike and e-bike friendly city! Some of the top recommended bike routes in New York include the Hudson River Greenway, Ocean Parkway Bike Path, Governors Island, Bronx River Pathway, Pulaski to Williamsburg Bridge, Rockaway Ride, Central Park Loop, Prospect Park Path, Wards Island Bike Path, and Pier 84 to City Island.
To charge your e-bike in the city, visit NYSERDA’s website to see where the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are located. You may also be able to charge your e-bike at various cafes, restaurants, or hotels.
If you are looking to rent your e-bike in NY, here are some options! Lime is an electric vehicle sharing company, where riders can download the app and rent e-bikes.
Currently, Lime is operating an electric bike pilot program in the Rockaways and Staten Island. Unlimited Biking provides e-bike rentals in 2-hour, 4-hour, DayPass, or long-term increments.
Cycle Central Park allows cyclists to rent for 2 hours, 4 hours, or the full day. Fancy Apple allows rentals for 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, all day, and 24-hour increments. NYC Adventure Bike Tours offers luxury e-bike rentals at hourly and daily rates.
Lastly, Whizz offers monthly e-bike subscriptions, which may be an ideal option for longer-term visitors; similarly, the company Zoomo is also available in New York and offers both weekly and monthly subscriptions.
Interested in taking an e-bike tour? Check out Unlimited Biking for their “Best of New York eBike Tour”, NYC Adventure Bike Tours for their “Sightseeing”, “Food”, “Art”, “Specialty”, or “Long-Distance Greenway” e-bike tours, and Blazing Saddles for a guided “Brooklyn Bridge E-Bike Tour”.
How is the weather and city traffic in New York? Is it fun to ride an e-bike in New York?
Traffic in New York can be quite heavy, particularly in Manhattan. To avoid periods of high congestion, we recommend cyclists do not ride between 8 – 9 AM and 3 – 7 PM, as these are rush hour times.
According to weather and tourist trends in New York, the best time of year to visit tends to be between June – August, March – May, and September – November. While winter is also an exciting time to visit New York, we recommend cyclists avoid this time of year due to cold weather and snowy conditions.
Summertime (June through August) is the hottest season in New York, with temperatures rising to the 80s Fahrenheit (25 – 30 degrees Celsius). This is also the most popular time of year for tourism, however, so if you are looking to avoid dense crowds and high accommodation prices, this may not be the best time for you.
Fall time (September through November) sees a decline in hotel rates and temperatures ranging from the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (15 – 25 degrees Celsius). Bear in mind, however, that Thanksgiving weekend in November sees an onslaught of visitors for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Spring (March through May) sees a rise in temperatures from the winter season, ranging from the high 40s to the high 60s (8 – 19 degrees Celsius). Rain is common at this time, though, so plan ahead for the wet weather if you are thinking of taking your e-bike trip in spring.
While you’re visiting New York, don’t forget to check out all the sights this abundant city has to offer! Some of the top attractions include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Skyline, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and Times Square, Broadway, and the New York Public Library.
Additionally, if festivals are your thing, be sure to visit ILoveNY’s homepage to learn when certain festivals and annual events take place. View the full list of NY’s top attractions on Trip Advisor!
New York City landscape, the best type(s) of e-bikes to ride in this city
While boroughs like central Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are primarily flat, Upper Manhattan becomes hillier, and the Bronx is known to have a fair share of steep inclines.
Depending on where you are planning to cycle, you should choose your e-bike accordingly. If you will mainly be taking routes on flat terrain, a city cruiser or commuter e-bike is perfect for your trip. However, if you are planning on venturing into areas that have more hills and inclines, we recommend a hybrid e-bike.
Where can I buy an e-bike in New York?
There are a number of places where you can buy an e-bike in New York!
Where can I repair an e-bike in New York?
If you are looking to get your e-bike repaired in New York, there are a few options.
First is Bicycle Habitat, which offers Bike Assembly & Frame-Up Builds and Wheel/Tire services for electric bikes. Next is Best Deal Bike which offers full repair services for e-bikes. Lastly, Greenpath Electric Bikes also offers full-service e-bike repairs.
Where can I recycle e-bike batteries in New York?
If you need to recycle your e-bike battery while you are in New York, you can access a list of locations through the Call2Recycle program. Some of the locations listed on the webpage include Master Bike Shop, Trek Bicycle Upper West Side, Staples, Ashley Miller, and Hilltop Bicycles.
Read also: Check out USA best travel destinations by electric bike.
New York programs to develop cycling infrastructure
New York is a city that greatly encourages its population to use bicycles, due to this mode of transportation’s efficiency, affordability, and sustainability. The NYC Government currently has a cycling infrastructure plan called Green Wave, which is a long-term citywide plan for improving cycling safety and riding experiences for cyclists.
Now that you’re equipped with the resources to plan your New York trip, we hope you enjoy your e-cycling experience in the city!