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FC Bikes

 Contact Information

Dept Head: Tessa Greegor
  •   9am-noon, 1-4pm (M-Thu, closed on Fridays and holidays)

Electric Assist Bicycles (E-bikes) Pilot Program

On April 21, 2020 the Fort Collins City Council approved City and Traffic Code updates to allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails following the completion of the pilot program, which was implemented this past year. E-bikes are not permitted on soft/natural surface trails. 

Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are defined as bicycles with an electric motor with a top speed of 20 miles per hour.  All other e-devices or motorized devices (such as e-scooters and e-skateboards) are not allowed to be operated on the City's Parks and Natural Areas trails (unless they qualify as a personal mobility device under ADA regulations). 

Report a safety concern or conflict

We would like to know if you've experienced a near-miss or a safety concern related to electric assist bicycles (or other e-devices) on Fort Collins' paved trails. Please use the link below to submit this information using Access Fort Collins.  If you have been involved in a crash or if this is an emergency, please contact Fort Collins Police Services. If it is an emergency, please call 911.

Report a safety incident or concern

What are E-bikes?

Under Colorado and Fort Collins law, e-bikes are defined as bicycles with two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and an electric motor.
Class 1 E-bike Class 2 E-bike Class 3 E-bike

Provides electrical assistance only while the rider is pedaling, up to 20 mph

Currently allowed on paved trails. (not permitted on soft-surface trails)

Provides electrical assistance regardless if the rider is pedaling or not, up to 20 mph

Currently allowed on paved trails. (not permitted on soft-surface trails)

Provides electrical assistance while the rider is pedaling, up to 28 mph. Class 3 e-bikes must be equipped with a speedometer, and may not be ridden by people under 16 (unless as a passenger).  People under 18 must wear a helmet.

Not allowed on paved or soft-surface trails, but allowed on streets and in bike lanes.

 

Recommendations from City Boards and Commissions

Staff presented the results of the pilot program to the following City Boards, Commissions and Committees; to date, seven have voted in favor of allowing both Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails, or just Class 1 e-bikes.

  • Senior Advisory Board (January 8 – subsequent action, voted in favor of Class 1 e-bikes on paved trails in conjunction with a requirement that e-bike users have insurance) Minutes here 
  • Land Conservation & Stewardship Board (January 8 – subsequent action, voted in favor of Class 1 e-bikes on paved trails) Minutes here 
  • Commission on Disability (January 9 – no action taken) Minutes here 
  • Transportation Board (January 15 – voted in favor of allowing Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails) Minutes here 
  • Parks & Recreation Board (January 23 – voted in favor of allowing Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails, and recommended ongoing monitoring) Minutes here 
  • Bicycle Advisory Committee (January 27 – voted in favor of allowing Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails) Draft minutes here
  • Youth Advisory Board (February 5 - voted in favor of allowing Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on paved trails, and supported allowing Class 3 e-bikes if they can be programmed to a 20 mph top speed) Memo here
  • Natural Resources Advisory Board (February 19 – voted in favor of allowing Class 1 e-bikes on paved trails) Draft minutes here
  • Air Quality Advisory Board (March 16 – canceled until further notice)

E-bike Literature Review

During the pilot program, the City of Fort Collins joined Boulder County, Larimer County, and the City of Boulder as a funding partner in the completion of a Literature Review to provide a snapshot of relevant research related to e-bikes and how they are being addressed in other jurisdictions. The literature review also assessed broader topics related to recreation conflict and emerging technology. The key findings from the literature review were:

Literature Review Key Findings:

  • E-bikes provide increased access to recreation and transportation; older adults are more likely to use e-bikes for recreation and fitness whereas younger adults are more likely to use e-bikes for commuting, utilitarian trips, and to replace car trips.
  • The addition of the electric-assist encourages people to take more and longer trips by bike, and offers individual health benefits.
  • E-bike users indicate feeling safer on an e-bike than a conventional bike given the ability to travel through an intersection quickly or traverse challenging terrain.
  • Safety, speed, crowding, and user conflict are common concerns related to bicycles, and even more so for e-bikes. However, e-bike research has shown that people tend to view e-bikes more favorably once they are exposed to or become familiar with e-bikes.
  • The literature review found little research to suggest that e-bikes have greater negative impacts on trails or wildlife than regular bikes.
  • Many Colorado jurisdictions have acted to allow some or all classes of e-bikes on their trails.

View Literature Review Here

E-bike Pilot Program Overview (April 2019 - April 2020)

E-bike Pilot Program Overview (April 2019 - April 2020)
 

On April 19 the Fort Collins City Council approved a one-year electric assist bicycle pilot program allowing e-bikes on paved trails from May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020.

The change was prompted by a new state law allowing e-bikes on trails unless otherwise restricted by a local jurisdiction, and the growing popularity of e-bikes. The City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, Transportation Board and six other City Boards passed recommendations in support of a pilot program to allow and evaluate e-bikes on paved trails.

The pilot program includes:

  • One-year trial period beginning May 1, 2019
  • Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes only (electric assist provided up to 20 mph)
  • All paved trails (no unpaved trails)
  • Extensive education and evaluation

For questions, please contact Tessa Greegor: dGdyZWVnb3JAZmNnb3YuY29t