We are happy to be partnering with Sonoma Clean Power’s Bike Electric eBike incentive program by providing free helmets and education.
Bike Electric helps income-qualified SCP customers buy an electric bike by offering $1,000 off the cost of select eBikes at local retailers. Click here to find out if you are eligible and apply for the program. Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive a voucher in the mail to take to the bike shop.
NOTE: the program is NOT currently taking new applications; if and when they do, it will be posted on their website.
You can then pick up your free helmet at our office and register for one of our free on-bike workshops which will cover rules of the road, safety, bike handling skills, and more! (We will also have helmets at the workshop.)
We currently have workshops scheduled at our Santa Rosa office for
Click on the date you wish to attend. PRE-REGISTRATION IS MANDATORY. if you have difficulty with the online form, call us at 707-545-0153. We will be scheduling more classes in more locations! You can also attend any of our other free online classes – see our event calendar here.
Helmet pickup: 750 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 6. Hours M-F 9 am – 3 pm, or call 707-545-0153 for an appointment.
Why Might You Consider an E-Bike?
- Injury, disability, age, fitness issues
- Live on a steep hill
- Get there faster
- Want to keep up with others who are faster
- Haul children, groceries, etc.
- Save the planet, less GHG emissions
- Save money
- Ride to work and not be sweaty
- More fun
Things to Consider When Choosing an E-Bike
What kind of riding do you do now? How frequently do you ride now?
- Almost any type of bike that exists: road bike, beach cruiser, townie, mountain bike, cargo bike, folding bike, tricycle – comes in an electric version!
- The electric version will be heavier (motor + battery) than a similar non-electric bike.
- We recommend trying different bikes out to see what fits and feels comfortable to YOUR body! (Plus buying from a local shop means an easier time of it with repairs, warranty issues, accessories, etc.)
Considerations specific to e-bikes:
Where is the motor?
- Mid-drive motors are found on higher-end bikes, and put the weight and the power in the center of the bike, which many people feel makes the bike better balanced.
- Hub-drive motors are most often in the rear wheel, often in lower-priced bikes, and can feel like you are being pushed; also makes the bike heavier in the back than in the front.
- Some people convert existing bikes to electric bikes with a front wheel hub motor.
Where is the battery?
- Most e-bikes have the battery mounted externally; it can be removed for charging indoors.
- Some have the battery inside the frame, which means you must plug in the whole bike.
What class of e-bike?
California Vehicle Code (CVC) lists three classes of e-bikes. This is important to consider as which one you buy can influence WHERE and by WHOM it can be ridden.
Rules & Regulations Specific to E-Bikes
NOTE: Policies regarding e-bikes are in a state of flux, especially local rules about where you can and can’t ride them. Before riding in a new place, check local rules. We will strive to keep this information updated here!
Where can I ride my e-bike?
- CVC says Class I & II e-bikes can be ridden anywhere a regular bike can, unless a local jurisdiction makes different rules. Class III e-bikes can only be ridden by people aged 16 and up and a helmet must be worn; they are NOT allowed on Class I, separated bikeways. (e.g. Joe Rodota Trail)
- The speed limit on ALL Class I trails is 15 mph, no matter HOW fast your bike can go! Be nice to the pedestrians!
- E-bikes are prohibited on unpaved trails in Sonoma County Regional Parks and in Annadel State Park. Federal lands – National Parks, National Forests, and BLM – allow e-bikes wherever regular bikes are allowed.
How about public transit?
- You can take your ebike on the SMART train.
- Sonoma County Transit, Petaluma Transit, and Santa Rosa Transit don’t prohibit ebikes.
- Golden Gate Transit prohibits them on all buses and ferries.
Other Common Questions
How many miles will I get per charge? How long does it take to charge?
- It takes 3-5 hours to fully charge an ebike battery.
- MANY factors influence how many miles you can travel on one charge:
- Battery power
- Terrain (flat, hills) & weather (wind)
- Weight (bike + rider + cargo)
- How much assist you use (bikes have 2-5 varying levels)
How do I keep my bike secure?
- Get a good U-lock
- Double lock
- Bring the bike indoors
- Bring the battery indoors with you
- Replace quick-release levers
- Other tips here
But isn’t it cheating?
IT’S NOT CHEATING IF YOU’RE NOT IN A RACE! You’re riding a bike instead of a car, still getting exercise, and still reducing GHG emissions!