With the democratization of electric bicycles, many brands offer models of electric pedelecs and mountain bikes for children. But do they still constitute an advantageous and wise choice for your young child?
It has to be said that giving your child an eBike regardless of age and safety is not the most relevant decision there is. In addition, the use of electric bikes is subject to strict regulations which set an age limit for their use on the road in France.
A child does not need an electric bicycle
Giving a pedelec to your young child is a decision that may seem less relevant for several reasons. The first explanation stems from his youth, which makes him less able to ride an electric bicycle safely on the road. Unlike ordinary bikes, ebikes have relatively powerful motors capable of propelling them at a speed of 25 km / h.
Your toddler who is not competent and mature enough to master the power of such a contraption can easily expose himself to the risk of accidents and injuries. Likewise, thinking about a bike with pedal assistance is not the smartest option for your young child who needs to play sports.
The ease of pedaling due to the electric assistance does not encourage effort. He will therefore not be able to fully benefit from the physical benefits of cycling. It is indeed in his interest to pedal well to work and stimulate his main muscles, develop his cardio-respiratory capacities, develop his strength, endurance and balance in particular.
According to the law, you must be 14 years old
VAEs are subject to strict regulations in France, particularly with regard to the minimum age required for their use. The legislator sets at 14 years old, the age from which our minor children can legally ride an electric bicycle on the road. So, from the age of 14, find the bike that best suits your child.
It is estimated that from this age a child has sufficient skills to handle the power of an eBike. But above all the ability to understand the rules of the highway code, signage, as well as the risks and liability involved in driving on the road. The law does not mention the hypothesis of driving an eBike off-road.
However, it provides for an exception with regard to the use of the VAE on private land. Indeed, children under the age of 14 do not need an authorization to ride an eBike on private land. Thus, parents who have a relatively large plot or garden and who wish to do so can anticipate the initiation of their child before the legal age.
What is the age limit in Europe?
Note that there is currently no European-wide regulation on the age restriction for the use of electric bikes by Union citizens. As you will have understood, no EU regulation or directive restricts the use of pedelecs for younger children. The age restriction is a legal measure specific to France.
Thus, during a trip abroad, your child under the age of 14 could completely circulate by electric bike in the absence of restrictive measures specific to the host country. However, this does not justify or encourage you to allow your toddler under 14 to ride freely with an eBike on European roads.
Because the safety of children is at stake, we encourage parents to exercise caution and good judgment. In particular with regard to the assessment of the risks they may have and the opportune moment to allow your child to benefit from an eBike regardless of his age.