The electric bicycle boom does have its own issues. One of these issues is the co-usage of the riding paths between multiple types of users. This is particularly the case in the countryside and in the mountains, on trails intended for both hikers and mountain bikers.
On such trails, where driving is generally banned, what are the requirements for speed electric bicycles with pedal assistance of up to 45 km/hour?
“There is a general ban on driving unless the engine is shut down. Electric bicycles with a registration number (which means that they are speed e-bikes) are subject to the same rules as mopeds. If such electric bicycles are traveling on a trail, the only difficulty is to find out about this offense,” explains Georges-André Lozouet, communication officer for the Neuchâtel police.
“It’s also the whole issue of cohabitation between walkers, hikers, and bicycle riders.” With the fast growth of mountain biking and e-mountain biking, this problem is already not new.
It should be remembered that there are two categories of electric bicycles: slow electric bicycles (pedal assistance of up to 25 km/h); and fast or speed electric bicycles (pedal assistance of up to 45 km/h).
The minimum age for riding all models of electric bicycles in Switzerland is 14 years. From the age of 16, cyclists riding a slow electric bicycle do not need a driving license. Young riders aged above 14 are allowed to ride a slow electric bicycle if they hold a category M driving license (one for mopeds).
Fast or speed electric bicycles must be equipped with a license plate and a sticker. The use of a helmet is mandatory for speed e-bike riders.
Read also: Best known electric bicycle brands in Switzerland – in this article.