E-Bikes San Francisco: Where Can I Ride?

E-Bikes San Francisco: Where Can I Ride?

Surrounded by water on 3 sides (including the Pacific Ocean!), San Francisco offers incredible vistas anywhere you look.

Add in the fact that it’s the hilliest city in the United States, and you’re sure to see unforgettable sights.

And with an e-bike, those hills are no problem! But you can avoid them anyway by riding like a local.

Here are some of the best e-bike paths in San Francisco, along with rules and regulations to keep in mind.

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

Are E-Bikes Legal In San Francisco?

Are There E-Bike Incentive Programs In San Francisco?

Where Can I Find Magnum Bikes In San Francisco?

E-Bikes San Francisco FAQs

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

There are so many iconic places to ride your e-bike in SF! Here are a few of our favorites.

Presidio Loop Trail

View of Golden Gate Bridge from the Presidio in San Francisco on a clear cloudless day

The Presidio Loop Trail leads to Golden Gate Bridge. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Why We Love It

A former U.S. Army post, the Presidio is now a national park with historic sites, restaurants, recreation, museums, and even housing!

Although it’s a national park, there is no entrance fee to visit the Presidio. (Admission fees may apply for museums and other onsite activities.)

The Loop is a 4.6-mile blend of mixed-use paths (bikes and pedestrians) as well as on-road bike lanes. You’ll pass the Visitor’s Center and enjoy incredible views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

You can even ride your e-bike across the Golden Gate Bridge! (It does get very windy and cold, so plan ahead.)

When To Visit

The park and the Loop are open all year round, 24 hours a day.

If you’re hoping to visit any of the onsite amenities, plan your visit during regular business hours.

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Although the Presidio is a national park, e-bikes are welcome throughout the Presidio!

Although we didn’t find specific info for the Presidio, Class 3 e-bikes are typically prohibited from bike paths in California unless otherwise noted.

So, we recommend sticking to Class 1 and Class 2 when you visit.

Golden Gate Park

An aerial view of Golden Gate Park looking to the North and slightly East, with Ocean Beach to the left and both the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge visible in the distance

Did you know? Golden Gate Park is bigger than NYC’s Central Park! Image Source: Flickr

Why We Love It

Despite its name, Golden Gate Park isn’t actually the site of the Golden Gate Bridge! If you’re looking for that adventure, scroll back up to our first recommended e-bike destination — the Presidio Loop Trail.

The majority of the park is carless, designed for bikes and pedestrians. That means it’s easy to get to every corner of the park by e-bike!

At over 1,000 acres (20% larger than Central Park!), there’s something for everyone at this park. Visit:

  • Gardens & conservatories

  • Museums

  • Woodlands

  • Ocean Beach

  • Athletic fields

  • A ferris wheel

  • And even a bison enclosure!

When To Visit

Golden Gate Park is open to the public 24 hours a day all year.

But be sure to check the hours of any museums or other sites you hope to visit while you’re here!

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Although Golden Gate Park doesn’t list class restrictions, it’s best to stick to Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes while visiting the park.

That’s because Class 3 e-bikes are typically prohibited from California bike paths unless otherwise noted.

The Wiggle

A bicyclist with a blue backpack and blue helmet rides in the bike lane along The Wiggle bike route in San Francisco

The Wiggle bike route is popular enough to have street signage! Image Source: Flickr

Why We Love It

While it’s not a long route (about 1 mile), The Wiggle is a San Francisco biking staple.

In fact, if you’re heading to Golden Gate Park (above), The Wiggle is a great way to get there from Market Street in downtown SF — without major hills!

Yes, it’s possible! You’ll only climb about 120 feet in elevation on this route, with an average 3% incline and no streets exceeding a 6% grade.

But it’s not a straight line — you’ll have to wiggle your way through some side streets. Head from Market Street to Duboce Avenue and then follow the signs!

Caution: you will cross street car tracks, which can be hazardous for e-bike riders and bicyclists as your tires may get caught. When in doubt, dismount!

When To Visit

Since The Wiggle is made up of a series of always-open streets, you can ride this route any time of year!

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

The Wiggle is a street-based route. That means no e-bike class restrictions!

Class 1, 2, and 3 are welcome.

In San Francisco, e-bikes are subject to the same laws recognized across the state of California.

Here’s what you should know:

  • E-bikes must follow the same rules of the road as regular bicycles, and e-bike riders have the same rights

  • Helmets are required for all Class 3 e-bike riders

  • Riders under age 16 cannot operate Class 3 e-bikes

  • State park trails are typically restricted to Class 1 e-bikes only

  • California has a unique roadway classification system to be aware of; check out our post E-Bikes California for more information

For more on local e-bike laws, check out our post What Are My Local E-Bike Regulations?

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

Nope. Neither San Francisco nor the state of California requires a driver’s license for e-bikes.

You also don’t need registration or insurance.

A person in casual black clothing faces away from the camera looking at the view from Twin Peaks in San Francisco; the full city skyline and the bay can be seen in the distance

When you ride an e-bike, no driver’s license is required for this unbeatable Twin Peaks view. Image Source: Unsplash

Are There E-Bike Incentive Programs In San Francisco?

The City of San Francisco ran a pilot program giving away free e-bikes to delivery workers in the city. The State of California has also sponsored e-bike incentive programs in the past, along with other regions within the state.

E-bike incentive programs are usually capped by a time limit, number of e-bikes, or financial cap, so they aren’t open for very long.

Read our post about electric bike incentives to learn more and find resources for programs near you.

Where Can I Find Magnum Bikes In San Francisco?

We have more than 250 authorized Magnum dealers and flagship stores across the country.

In California alone, we have about 25 stores ready to get you on a Magnum Bike. There are several in the Bay Area, including San Francisco.

See our full list of Magnum Authorized Dealers in California.

Sun rays obscure the right side of this golden-hour photo, looking across a street and down a hill in San Francisco. Palm trees line the hill.

San Francisco isn’t all hills — but having an e-bike definitely helps. Image Source: Unsplash

E-Bikes San Francisco FAQs

Here’s what riders like you want to know about electric bikes in San Francisco.

Are E-Bikes Allowed On San Francisco Bay Trail?

Yes … but it’s complicated!

The San Francisco Bay Trail runs about 500 miles through all 9 Bay Area counties.

Each county and city are allowed to adopt their own e-bike policies.

For example, Midpen (much of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) doesn’t allow e-bikes on most trails, and has posted “No Electric Bikes” signs in applicable areas, including on the Bay Trail.

We recommend researching your exact route along this extensive trail before bringing your e-bike.

Dried grass blurs in the foreground to show the photo is taken while the photographer is moving. A rainbow colored hot air balloon floats through a clear blue sky above orchards in Napa

You can get to Napa on the San Francisco Bay Trail. Image Source: Unsplash

Are E-Bikes Allowed In Golden Gate Park?

Yes! In fact, large portions of Golden Gate Park are carless, making it an incredible destination for e-bike enthusiasts.

And there are lots of great e-bike routes to get to Golden Gate Park, including The Wiggle, a winding route from Market Street in Downtown!

Can You Ride An Electric Bike On The Sidewalk In California?

If you can ride a regular bicycle on the sidewalk in your city in California, you may be able to ride your e-bike there, too.

However, the laws are highly localized and fairly murky.

Keep an eye out for posted signs, and stick to bike paths and bike lanes where possible.

Where will your San Francisco e-bike adventure take you?

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 now!

Rider Reviews