San Diego is a city located in the state of California, USA. Located just adjacent to the Mexico – United States border, it is the eighth most populous city in the USA, and is known for its pleasant year-round climate, deep-water harbor, beaches and parks, and more.
If you’re thinking of taking your e-bike on a trip to San Diego, this article will answer all the questions you may have during the planning process!
E-biking rules in San Diego
According to the state of California, vehicles that are classified as low-speed electric bicycles (which are subject to the same road rules as traditional bicycles) are such:
- A motor output that does not exceed 750W
- A speed limit that does not exceed 20 mph
- Fully operable pedals
Riders should also keep in mind that the same road rules that apply to traditional bicycles are not applied to mopeds and high-speed electric bicycles (Class III). These types of vehicles are thus not allowed on trails, bike paths, or lanes, unless specified by local authorities. For more information about e-bike laws in California, visit the Bike Coalition of San Diego County’s webpage here.
Thinking of taking your e-bike on public transportation? The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is comprised of buses and light rail transit (i.e. trolley cars), and cyclists are allowed to take their traditional or electric bikes on transit.
For buses, each MTS bus is equipped with two bicycle racks on the front of the vehicle. On trolley cars, one bicycle is allowed per trolley during peak travel times, and a maximum of two are allowed at all other times.
Read also: Best electric bicycle financing options in the USA. And, Rules & regulations for e-bikes and speed e-bikes in the USA.
However, in the case of buses, bikes must be under 55 lbs and have wheel sizes that range between 20 – 29 inches. If your e-bike exceeds this weight, you may carry your battery with you on the bus. Lastly, electric bikes with liquid lead acid batteries are not permitted aboard any transit. For more information about bikes on transit, visit the MTS website.
For bike parking, San Diego has bike racks, corrals, and lockers located throughout the city. For racks and corrals, cyclists will be able to find any number of these on streets and sidewalks, and for bike locker locations, visit the San Diego government’s webpage here.
Is San Diego e-bike friendly?
Yes, San Diego is very e-bike friendly! From various bike paths and trails to parks and beaches, here are some of the top recommended bike routes: Pacific Beach Boardwalk, Lake Poway Trail, Mission Trails Regional Park, Fiesta Island Trail, Cabrillo National Monument, The Bayshore Bikeway, Mission Bay Trail, San Diego River Trail, and Torrey Pines Loop. For more information on how to map out your bike routes in San Diego, visit this webpage here.
To charge your e-bike while visiting San Diego, you can find the locations of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the city on the San Diego Gas & Electric website.
Looking to rent your e-bike while in San Diego? There are many companies that rent out e-bikes in the city! San Diego Electric Bike offers e-bikes in hourly, half-day, 24-hour, and weekly increments;
- Wheel Fun Rentals – San Diego offers e-bikes for 1 hour, 4 hours, and 8 hours;
- Pedego Electric Bikes – San Diego offers hourly and daily rentals;
- Cal Coast Adventures has options for short-term rentals (hourly and daily) as well as long-term rentals (weekly and monthly);
- Moment Bicycles offers 1-day, 3-day, and week-long increments;
- Action Sports Rentals has 1-hour, 4-hour, and 8-hour options;
- iRide San Diego has increments of 1, 1.5, 2, 4, 8, and 24-hour rental options;
- EZ E-Ryders provides half-day, full-day, and multi-day rentals; and lastly,
- Happy E-bikes offers rentals in 1-day, 3-day, 4-day, 5-day, and 7-day increments.
If you’re interested in taking an e-bike tour, there are several companies to choose from.
- Another Side of San Diego Tours offers eight different types of e-bike tours, including “The Plunge E-Bike Tour”, “The Cali Dreamin’ E-Bike Tour”, “The Gaslamp E-Bike Tour”, “The Early Bird City & Bay E-Bike Tour”, “The Balboa Park E-Bike Tour”, “The Coronado E-Bike Tour”, “The Old Town E-Bike Tour”, and the “The Liberty Station E-Bike Tour”.
- San Diego Fly Rides offers three guided tours, including the “So Cal Riviera Tour”, “Cali Dreaming Tour”, and “Canyon Shred eMTB Experience”.
- Coastal E-bike offers a guided tour called the “15-Mile Loop Guided Electric Bike Tour”.
- Lastly, Wheel Fun Rentals offers a self-guided “San Diego Electric Bike Tour” for cyclists, the fee of which includes an electric bike, a route map with points of interest and corresponding facts, a helmet, a bike bag, and a bike lock.
How is the weather and city traffic in San Diego? Is it fun to ride an e-bike in San Diego?
Rush hour traffic in San Diego typically runs between 6:30AM – 8:30AM and 4PM – 7PM on weekdays. As such, we recommend cyclists avoid the roads during these times if possible.
The best times of year to visit San Diego are between March-May and September-November. This is primarily because travel and accommodation rates are lower during these times, whereas peak season takes place in the summer months when rates are much higher.
Read also: Equip yourself for cold and rainy weather. And, Can e-bikes get wet?
Due to San Diego’s warm climate, temperatures average in the 70s Fahrenheit (21 – 29 degrees Celsius) all year round. However, May and June are known for their gloomy and overcast weather, and winter months are known for the heaviest annual rainfall and cold waters, so we recommend avoiding visiting during those times.
Lastly, for things to do in San Diego, top attractions include the USS Midway Museum, La Jolla Cave, San Diego Zoo, Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, Balboa Park, La Jolla Shores Park, Torrey Pines Gliderport, Children’s Pool, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, and Petco Park. For more recommendations on sights to see in San Diego, view Trip Advisor’s list here!
San Diego city landscape, the best type(s) of e-bikes to ride in this city
San Diego’s landscape is a mixture of flat and hilly, with terrain becoming steeper and more challenging in areas with peaks, canyons, and mountains.
If you are planning to stay on primarily paved routes and trails, a commuter or city cruiser e-bike are suitable. However, if you’re interested in exploring some of the more dynamic geographies in this region, we definitely recommend using a fat tire e-bike, hybrid, or electric mountain bike (eMTB).
Read also: Why fat tires are good news for electric bikes? And, How to select the best hybrid e-bike?
Where can I buy an e-bike in San Diego?
There are a few different places to buy an e-bike in San Diego!
To browse and purchase your e-bike online and pick it up in the store, you can check out San Diego Electric Bike, Moment Bikes, and Hollands Bicycles.
For the option to either buy online and get it shipped to you, or buy the e-bike at the store directly, check out San Diego Fly Rides, Black Mountain Bicycles, and Pedego Electric Bikes.
Lastly, iRide San Diego offers the option to browse its current stock online, and a call-to-buy option for purchasing.
Where can I repair an e-bike in San Diego?
Many e-bike shops in San Diego offer repair services!
- San Diego Electric Bike offers services such as flat fix, e-bike assembly, and general tune-up.
- EZE Ryders provides a range of services including tune-ups, adjustments, diagnostics, tires, and more.
- Electric Bike Service Shop also offers various services such as repairs, replacements, and tires. And lastly,
- San Diego Fly Ride offers full repair services, but only if you are bringing in an e-bike the company has sold to you.
Read also: How to maintain your e-bike when you know nothing about it – in this article and this article. And, How to store your electric bike.
Where can I recycle e-bike batteries in San Diego?
If you need to recycle your e-bike battery while you’re visiting San Diego, the Call2Recycle program has a list of locations where you can drop off batteries. Some locations include Electric Bike Central, The Home Depot, UBreakIFix, Staples, and Hollands Bicycles. Refer to the website for more information!
San Diego programs to develop cycling infrastructure
The City of San Diego, through its Bicycle Master Plan and additional bicycling programs, is committed to developing its bikeway system to create safer, more sustainable, and more accessible cycling options. To keep track of San Diego’s bicycling-related projects, visit the government’s webpage here.
Let us know how we are doing! Have another question or a recommendation for us? – reach us via this contact form.
Riding, testing, and writing about e-bikes since 2017.