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Apr 25, 2024

2 min. read

Ride On! E-Bike Myth Busting

Illustration by Sam Island.

More people are discovering the fun and convenience of electric bikes, but for some, e-bikes are still new. Patty Wiens—cycling advocate Bike Winnipeg’s secretary—helps clear the air regarding confusion about e-bikes.

Myth: You can ride your e-bike wherever and as fast as you like.

If a road prohibits cyclists, that applies to e-bike riders, too. Local laws may also prohibit e-bikes on certain paths and trails, says Wiens. All e-bikes sold in Canada limit speed to 32 km/hour, with some trails posting lower speed limits.

Myth: Anyone who can ride a bike can ride an e-bike.

In Manitoba, you must be at least 14 years old to operate an e-bike. “A little extra care and consideration should be taken when riding an e-bike,” Wiens notes, especially if you’re on unfamiliar terrain.

Myth: E-bike riders aren’t true cyclists and don’t get much of a workout.

E-bike riders choose when to pedal, so the workout intensity is up to them. Plus, they may feel more confident to go farther than they would on a pedal bike, extending their ride time and pushing them past their current fitness levels.

Myth: E-bike riders don’t need a helmet.

Wrong. Manitoba law requires you to wear a helmet if you’re on an e-bike.

Go to caa.ca/driving-safely/cycling/electric-bicycles/ to learn more.