Some of you may not even be aware of this, but some states have laws that have existed for over a decade which disallow the use of electric bicycles on public sidewalks and roads.
In fact, according to this Colorado state memo, bicycles and Ebikes are disallowed on certain high speed highways and all Interstates unless signed as "Allowed" in certain rural Interstate stretches where the Interstate is the ONLY means of travel.
Because of this, there has been some argument on whether hoverboards are legally classified the same as electric bicycles. Is a hoverboard really that similar to a bicycle?
Though a hoverboard and a bicycle don't quite look the same, they do share quite a few similarities.
Hoverboards and bicycles both have two wheels, for the most part. There are some hoverboards that have a single wheel however, but they are generally called self balancing unicycles instead of self balancing scooters or hoverboards.
Albeit bicycles were made to travel long distances, a biker generally doesn't travel more than 5-10 miles on a bicycle under normal circumstances. The same is true of a hoverboard, and hoverboards of 2016 are fully capable of traveling 10-12 miles on a full charge. There has also been a lot of talk recently about new lithium air batteries being developed that are rumored to be 5x more powerful than today's current lithium ion batteries.
I remember my rich neighbor effortlessly riding her bicycle up the nearby hill as she came to visit me at my house. I was very confused when she approached because I noticed that she wasn't using her feet to pedal the bike at all. Her bicycle ended up being a new technology called an e-bike, which was propelled by an electric motor.
Today's hoverboards are also propelled by an electric motor, and handles hills in a similar manner. The only difference is that on a hoverboard you have to lean forward to propel, whereas on an e-bike you would simply pull a trigger to control your forward motion and speed.
Of course, there are also many differences between electric bicycles and hoverboards. Here are a few of the ones that we thought about.
An electric bicycle can definitely travel at faster speeds. The battery packs on electric bicycles are generally larger, and the devices themselves have bigger motors as well. An electric bicycle can travel over 20mph, while a hoverboard can only travel between 10mph-14mph at its maximum.
The way you mount a bicycle and a hoverboard are completely different, obviously.
Bicycle tires typically boast sizes from 16 inches up to 24 inches on average. Currently, hoverboards are limited from 4.5 inches to 10 inches in size, which is decent for off-roading, but still not idea.
Electric Bicycle Laws
If you're concerned about if hoverboards legally are classified as electric bicycles, then you may want to check with your local authorities to see what the latest laws are.