E-Bikes Chicago: Where Can I Ride?

E-Bikes Chicago: Where Can I Ride?

E-bikes are a fantastic way to explore Chicago's unique neighborhoods and iconic landmarks.  

With a network of bike-friendly streets and trails, it’s easy to navigate the city's bustling streets, ride alongside the Chicago River, and enjoy scenic views of Lake Michigan on your electric bike.

So whether you're commuting to work or sightseeing with friends, learn more about riding your e-bike in Chicago.

What Are The Best E-Bike Trails And Parks In Chicago?

Are E-Bikes Legal In Chicago?

Are There E-Bike Incentive Programs In Chicago?

Where Can I Find Magnum Bikes In Chicago?

E-Bikes Chicago FAQs

What Are The Best E-Bike Trails And Parks In Chicago?

Here are our favorite ways to see Chicago by e-bike!

Lakefront Trail

A paved bike path with an illuminated bike rider shining a light on a green lawn; in the distance, the full city skyline of Chicago is illuminated, and white clouds can be seen reflecting the city lights

A nighttime ride on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. Image Source: Unsplash

Why We Love It

This paved multi-use path is set up for e-bike riders to comfortably share with pedestrians.

In fact, the bike and pedestrian paths are separated and well-marked, creating a better experience for all users.

And you can’t beat the scenery: 18 miles of lakefront views make for a beautiful ride.

Start or end at the North Trailhead near Kathy Osterman Beach. You can ride all the way between this point and South Shore Beach, passing through multiple parks and beaches on your journey.

When To Visit

The trail is open year-round, with the parks and beaches along the way open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

We didn’t find any class restrictions for the Lakefront Trail.

That said, Class 3 e-bikes face heavy restrictions throughout Illinois.

Ride with caution as always, and obey any posted signs.

North Branch Trail System

A sunny day with a highly reflective lake surrounded by green trees and grassy landscapes at Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is free for North Branch Trail users. Image Source: Unsplash

Why We Love It

If a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden is on your list, riding your e-bike is the best way to get there.


To start, you get a great workout and pass through gorgeous woodland scenery along the way.

What’s more, when you walk or bike your way into the Chicago Botanic Garden, admission is free!

Check out all that the North Branch Trail system has to offer. There are many other great paths to choose from!

When To Visit

This trail is open year-round between sunrise and sunset.

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed.

No Class 3 e-bikes are permitted on the North Branch Trail.

Major Taylor Trail

A lush green section of the Major Taylor e-bike trail in Chicago, with the paved path running down the center of the image and a yellow painted stripe dividing the path into 2 directions

The Major Taylor Trail is a centrally located multi-use path. Image Source: Flickr

Why We Love It

Named for African American world champion cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor, this paved path runs 8.1 miles through Chicago and Riverdale.

You’ll pass through Dan Ryan Woods and Whistler Woods, getting to view plenty of lush greenery in the spring and summer months.

There are both on-street and off-street segments, so pay attention to marked signs and rules of the road.

When To Visit

This trail is open all year long, with access from dawn to dusk.

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed, but Class 3 e-bikes are limited to the road and can’t go on this trail.

Yes! Just bear in mind that the City of Chicago recognizes a slightly modified e-bike class system that factors e-bike weight into consideration.

This impacts which e-bikes can be ridden in bike lanes where regular bicycles may be allowed.

In Chicago...

  • Class 1 e-bikes are pedal-assisted only (no throttle) with max assisted speed of 20 mph — and, these bikes cannot exceed 125 pounds in weight

  • Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle and may also have pedal assistance; the bikes have max assisted speed of 20 mph — no weight limit is specified for Class 2

  • Class 3 e-bikes are pedal-assisted only (no throttle) with max assisted speed of up to 28 mph (which includes e-bikes with max speed 20 mph that weigh over 125 pounds, where the e-bike’s weight excludes them from the Class 1 category)

Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from bike lanes.

No bicycle or e-bike riders over the age of 12 should ride on the sidewalk in Chicago (except to park).

For more on Illinois state regulations, check out our article What Are My Local E-Bike Regulations?

Do I Need a Driver’s License For E-Bikes In Chicago?

No; neither Chicago nor the state of Illinois requires a license, registration, or insurance for e-bikes.

A bicyclist stops on a concrete overlook to gaze at bright turquoise water and downtown Chicago buildings

When riding your e-bike in Chicago, don’t miss the lake views! Image Source: Unsplash

Are There E-Bike Incentive Programs In Chicago?

Until North Lawndale launched a targeted program in February 2023, neither Chicago nor anywhere in the state of Illinois had offered e-bike incentives before.

But incentive programs close and open regularly, so there may be new programs now offered near you.

Check out our post on electric bike incentives to learn more and maybe find one near you!

Where Can I Find Magnum Bikes In Chicago?

Including our flagship stores, we have more than 250 authorized Magnum dealers and stores across the US.

In addition to our Chicago e-bike dealers, we have other stores conveniently located within 40 miles of the city.

See our full list of Magnum Authorized Dealers in Illinois.

A bicyclist approaches on an unpaved e-bike path lined with bare trees in Milton Lee Olive Park, Chicago on a sunny day

Chicago is a highly bikeable city! Check out Milton Lee Olive Park. Image Source: Unsplash

E-Bikes Chicago FAQs

Here are common questions about riding electric bikes in Chicago.

Are E-Bikes Allowed On Illinois Bike Trails?

In Chicago and all of Illinois, Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed on paved trails where regular bicycles are allowed.

They may be prohibited from unpaved trails.

Class 3 e-bikes are not allowed on any bike trails or bike lanes in Illinois.

A rider in a blue helmet, grey t-shirt, and white shorts rides a white Magnum Premium 3 Low-Step Folding e-bike on a bike path adjacent to a road; we see glimpses of green grass and trees as well as buildings across the street

In Chicago, Class 1 & 2 e-bikes are permitted on multi-use paths. Pictured: Magnum Premium 3 Low-Step

Can You Ride An Electric Bike On The Road In Illinois?

Yes, you can ride your e-bike on any road where bicycle use is permitted in Illinois.

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

Only riders under the age of 12 are allowed to ride on the sidewalk in Chicago.

What Class E-Bike Is Legal In Illinois?

All 3 classes of e-bike are legal in the state of Illinois.

Take note that Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from most bike paths, trails, and bike lanesand are typically restricted to road use.

Ready to ride, Chicago?

Rider with olive green leggings and black sneakers on a Silver Magnum Cosmo e-bike in the street in front of a stretch of green grass

Test rides available near you

Rider Reviews