Philadelphia, which is also known by its popular nickname “Philly”, is located in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. It is the sixth largest city in the USA. This city houses many historical landmarks such as the country’s first library, hospital, medical school, stock exchange, zoo, business school, and more. It is also known for being a rich hub of education, business, politics, entertainment, and sports.
Are you thinking of taking an e-bike trip to Philadelphia? If so, this article will help you plan and answer all the questions you may have beforehand!
E-biking rules in Philadelphia
When riding an e-bike in Philadelphia, riders must first be aware of the rules surrounding electric bicycles in the state of Pennsylvania. E-bikes are defined as pedalcycles with electric assist, and are classified as such if they abide by the following:
- Must not exceed a maximum speed limit of 20 mph (32 km/h)
- Must not exceed the maximum power output of 750W
- Must not weigh more than 100 lbs
- Must have fully operable pedals
Additionally, e-bikes must follow the same road rules as those applied to traditional bicycles.
If you’re thinking of taking your e-bike on public transit, here’s what you need to know: the Philadelphia transit is called SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), which consists of buses, rapid transit, commuter rail, light rail, and trolleybus services. Most SEPTA vehicles accommodate both traditional and electric bicycles.
For instance, each bus and trackless trolley is equipped with a bicycle rack, which can hold up to two bicycles. For the regional rail service, two bicycles are permitted on each car, and must be stored in areas designated as priority seating. If a designated seating area is occupied, riders will be directed to an unoccupied designated area, or will be given a voucher to finish their trip on another train.
Bicycles are allowed on all weekday trains except on trains arriving at any Center City station between 6AM and 9:30AM, and afternoon outbound trains departing from any Center City station between 4PM and 6:30PM. Bikes are allowed on all trains on the weekends and on major holidays. For more information about bicycles on Philadelphia transit, visit SEPTA’s Bike and Ride page.
If you’re looking for bike parking in Philadelphia, there are numerous bike racks and corrals that can be found throughout the city. SEPTA stations also have bike parking available, the locations of which you can find here.
Is Philadelphia e-bike friendly?
Philadelphia is a very e-bike friendly city! With plenty of bike lanes, trails, and parks to explore, some of the top recommended bike routes (which range in difficulty levels) include: Delaware Canal Towpath, Forbidden Drive, Bartram’s Mile, Valley Forge National Historical Park, The Pennypack Trail, FDR Park and The Navy Yard Loop, Horse Shoe Trail, Cynwyd Heritage Trail, Schuylkill River Trail and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Loop, and Blue Marsh Lake. If you’re interested in learning more about trail routes in the city, check out Visit Philadelphia’s webpage.
If you’re looking to charge your e-bike, you can view electric vehicle (EV) charging station locations in Philadelphia by visiting Chargehub. You may be able to charge your e-bike at one of these stations. Other potential spots for charging include bike shops, campgrounds, public parks, libraries, and fire stations – just be sure to ask for permission first!
To rent an e-bike in Philadelphia, you have several options. Wheel Fun Rentals offers e-bike rentals in 1 and 4-hour increments. Included with the rental is a helmet, bike lock, handlebar bag, and a map of where to ride with points of interest. Pedego has a location in Manayunk, which offers rentals for half day and full day.
The rental equipment marketplace Cloud of Goods also offers e-bike rentals in Philadelphia; pricing depends on the duration and location of the rental. Lastly, Philadelphia has a bike share system called Indego, which provides traditional and electric bikes for rent at docking stations throughout the city. To locate an Indego e-bike, riders can download the Indego mobile app or view the online map, where e-bikes are indicated by a green lightning bolt symbol.
Interested in doing an e-bike tour? Wheel Fun Rentals offers a “City Center E-Bike Tour of Philadelphia”, which is a 3-4 hour tour that explores all the main sights to see in the city!
How is the weather and city traffic in Philadelphia? Is it fun to ride an e-bike in Philadelphia?
Rush hour traffic in Philadelphia is the most congested between 7AM – 9:30AM and 3:30PM – 6PM. As such, we recommend e-cyclists avoid riding on the roads during these times.
The best time of year to visit Philadelphia is typically between March and May, during the spring months. Though temperatures may still be chilly, ranging from the mid 30s to lower 70s Fahrenheit (0 to 22 degrees Celsius) as the months progress, there are fewer crowds and more reasonable accommodation rates during this time.
This is also the time when the city’s cherry blossom trees are in bloom, contributing to the lovely springtime scenery. The fall months, September through November, also see similar temperatures, so this is also a pleasant time of year for cyclists to visit and explore the city.
The summer months (June through August) is considered high season, and temperatures range from the lower 70s to mid 80s (22 to 30 degrees Celsius). Many festivals and outdoor events take place during this time as well, but beware of hiked up accommodation rates, which can make visiting in the summer quite expensive. If you’re hoping to check out specific events in Philadelphia during your visit, refer to Visit Philadelphia’s Events & Festivals page to plan accordingly!
Lastly, don’t miss out on the many exciting sights and activities Philadelphia has to offer. Top attractions include the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rocky Steps, Independence Hall, LOVE Sculpture, Reading Terminal Market, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Longwood Gardens, One Liberty Observation Deck, and the Philadelphia Zoo. For more recommendations on things to do in Philadelphia, check out Visit Philly and Trip Advisor!
Philadelphia city landscape, the best type(s) of e-bikes to ride in this city
Since Philadelphia is located in a river valley, the city itself is quite flat in its terrain. However, the northwestern area is considered to be hillier. Additionally, certain bike trails that are unpaved and include steeper hills may require a sturdier e-bike, such as a mountain bike. As such, e-cyclists should plan which bike trails they want to explore ahead of time and choose their e-bike accordingly.
If you are planning to stick to primarily flat and paved routes, a commuter or city cruiser e-bike is suitable. However, if you are planning to venture on more challenging routes, we recommend an eMTB (electric mountain bike), hybrid e-bike, or fat tire e-bike.
Where can I buy an e-bike in Philadelphia?
To purchase your e-bike while you’re in Philadelphia, there are a number of companies you can choose from!
If you’re looking to buy online, Pedego e-bikes can be bought online and shipped to you, or you can visit Pedego – Manayunk to browse their e-bike selection in person. High Country E-bikes’ e-bikes can also be bought online and shipped to Philadelphia, as is the same with Junto Bikes.
To buy your e-bike in person, visit Walmart – Bike Shop at Philadelphia Supercenter to check out their e-bikes, as well as Philadelphia Bikesmith, where you can browse their selection online and pick up your e-bike in store.
Where can I repair an e-bike in Philadelphia?
If you need to get any repairs done to your e-bike while you’re in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Bikesmith offers full-service repairs. As well, cyclists can visit the bicycle repair shop Philly E-bike Center, which does not have a website but is located at 1106 South St!
Where can I recycle e-bike batteries in Philadelphia?
If you need to recycle your e-bike battery while you’re on your trip, the Call2Recycle program provides locations as to where you can do so. Some of the locations listed on the website include Philadelphia Bikesmith, Staples, Fulton County Conservation District, and Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles. Visit the website here for more details.
Philadelphia programs to develop cycling infrastructure
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a non-profit organization that advocates for safer bicycling infrastructure on the streets of Philadelphia. Some of their ongoing programs include the Better Bike Share Partnership, Biking in Philly, and Youth Cycling. Visit their website to learn more!
Read also: Check out USA best travel destinations by electric bike in this overview article.