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Essential Guide to eBike & eScooter Riding in Chicago

Chicago's diverse terrain and bustling streets make it an exciting playground for electric bike and scooter enthusiasts alike. Whether you're a local or a visitor, exploring the Windy City on an eBike or eScooter offers a thrilling way to experience its iconic landmarks and hidden treasures. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to embark on an unforgettable electric bike and scooter adventure in Chicago.


Electric Bike/Scooter Chicago FAQS

Are eBikes Legal in Chicago?

Yes, but know that the City of Chicago recognizes a slightly modified eBike class system that factors eBike weight into consideration. This determines which eBikes can be ridden in bike lanes where regular bicycles may be allowed.

  • Class 1 eBikes: Pedal-assisted only (no throttle) with max assisted speed of 20 mph and these bikes cannot exceed 125 pounds in weight.

  • Class 2 eBikes: Have a throttle and may also have pedal assistance; the eBikes have max assisted speed of 20 mph. No weight limit is specified for Class 2.

  • Class 3 eBikes: Have pedal-assisted only (no throttle) with max assisted speed of up to 28 mph (which includes eBikes with max speed 20 mph that weight over 125 pounds, where the eBikes's weight excludes them from the Class 1 category). Class 3 eBikes are prohibited from bike lanes.

Are eScooters Legal in Chicago?

Yes, in Chicago, electric scooters are considered road legal vehicles similar to electric bicycles. Riders must adhere to standard traffic laws when operating an electric scooter on roads with other motorized vehicles. Low speed electric scooters are not allowed on highways or expressways.

Do you need a driver's license for eBikes/eScooters in Chicago?

No; neither Chicago nor the state of Illinois requires a license, registration, or insurance for eBikes/eScooters.

Are there any age restrictions for riding eBikes/eScooters in Chicago?

 Yes, riders must be 16 years or older in Chicago. 

Can you ride an eBike/eScooter on the road?

Yes, your can ride your eBike/eScooter on any road where bicycle use is permitted in Illinois.

This may exclude high-speed roads such as certain highways, unless a bicycle land or adjacent bike path is provided. Check with your local government and obey posted signs. 

Can you ride an eBike/eScooter on Chicago's trails and paths?

If your eBike meets local rules and regulations, then it is permitted on trails and paths. Always check local rules and regulations before you ride.

Can you ride an eBike/eScooter on Chicago's Lakeshore Path?

Yes, the Lakeshore path allows electric bikes. Always check regulations for updates to rules.

Are eBike/eScooter allowed on sidewalks in Chicago?

It is recommended to ride in bike lanes, bike paths, or the street. Do not use sidewalks where pedestrians are present. Always check local rules and regulations before riding. Only riders under the age of 12 are allowed to ride on the sidewalk in Chicago.

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