Type and Description: What is a Childs E-Bike?February 25, 2023
You might think that this is a pretty simple question to answer, but that is not the case at all as it varies from person to person what a ‘child’s’ age is. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) defines a child as everyone under the age of 18, but anyone who is 14+ should be able to ride a normal e-bike as there are smaller models that are easier to ride and mount.
When it comes to UK E-Bike law it says you must be at least 14 years and over to ride an e-bike, so is a “childs” e-bike technically illegal? While you could argue that it is, there have been electric ride-on toys for kids as young as 1 year old for years and I can even remember having one when I was a child several moons ago (about 40 years). So as long as it is indeed classed as an e-bike (EAPC) then they are probably classed as a toy as long as they are for children 14 and under (the EN71 UK rating for toys highest age rating). But as soon as you start to look at these “toys” and what they are classed as lines and classifications tend to get a little blurry…
This e-bike in the image above is the Kawasaki 250W Elektrode kids e-bike which is suitable for riders aged 3 and over. But yet… it’s NOT an e-bike at all! Without pedals, it is classed as a ‘twist and go’ EAPC and is not suitable for use on UK roads or cycle tracks.
The same issue occurs when you take a look at the 170W Revvi 16″ Kids Electric Balance Bike (pictured above). There i nothing technically wrong or unsafe about these kids “e-bikes” at all and I am sure most children would love them and have a blast riding them, but they are NOT technically child e-bikes. The good news is there are e-bikes aimed at children that are classed as an e-bike under UK law, like this one…
This is the 24-inch framed Haibike Alltrack kids electric mountain bike and it ticks all the legal requirement boxes for what is classed as an e-bike and it is for children 10-14 years old. This means it is aimed at the right age range, it is classed as a real e-bike and you can ride it anywhere! OK, so it costs more than many adult e-bikes, but it is a perfect example of what a child’s e-bike should look and be like.
As long as you teach your child to ride any of these e-bikes seen above safely and at any age, we really can’t see the harm in letting them ride one. Some people find it easier to learn to ride on e-bikes and toys like balance bikes are great for getting the little ones into cycling. Sure, many of them are illegal in the eyes of the law, but is a policeman really going to arrest your little one for riding about on one? No, but they might give you a speech about riding slow, carefully and considerately and that is something riders of all ages should know and follow.