Technical requirements applying to bicycles and e-bikes
A number of technical requirements apply to equipment such as reflectors, lights and brakes on your bicycle.
For e-bikes, there are also requirements applying to motor power and operation.
A bicycle is defined as a vehicle in the traffic rules, and thus a number of requirements apply to the equipment on your bicycle. How a vehicle is defined will have an impact on where you can use it, and what consequences it will have if you break these rules.
Requirements applying to bicycles and e-bikes
There are requirements that apply to the equipment a bicycle must have, both regular push bikes and electric ones. If the requirements for brakes, reflectors and lights are not met, you may be fined. For electric bikes, there are also requirements applying to motor power and operation.
The bicycle must have at least two separate brakes that work independently. One brake must act on the front wheel and the other on the rear wheel. This is because it must be possible to stop the bike in a safe, fast and efficient manner.
The vehicle must have a red reflector at the rear, also known as a “cat’s eye”.
Both sides of the pedals, or the pedal arms in the case of clip-in pedals, must have white or yellow reflectors. The reflectors must be of an approved type, i.e. marked with CE or E.
The vehicle must have a headlamp with yellow or white light. It may also have a multifunctional lamp that can emit a flashing or solid white light at the front. You can use this when driving at dusk or dark.
The lamp at the front of the bicycle should provide sufficient light without dazzling other road users. The lamps must be clearly visible at a distance of 300 m. Lamps that emit a flashing light must flash at least 120 times per minute.
At the rear, the bicycle must have a tail lamp that emits a red light or flashing red light. The lamps shall be attached to the bicycle.
Your bicycle must have a bike bell. You may also find it useful to have mirrors on your bicycle when you cycle in traffic. Mirrors can help you avoid dangerous situations in interaction with the traffic behind you.
Technical requirements applying to the motor and operation of an e-bike
In order for an electric bike to be defined as a bicycle, it must meet certain requirements for how the motor should works and how powerful the motor can be.
The motor must only provide power when you are using the pedals or hand-crank mechanism and it must switch off when you reach a speed of 25 km/h or when you stop pedalling.
The motor alone can provide propulsion up to 6 km/h. This is called startup assistance. The auxiliary motor on the e-bike must not have a nominal power of more than 0.25 kW. There are three exceptions to this rule:
- A bicycle with two seats that has been provided or lent out as an aid by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organization (NAV) may have an electric auxiliary motor with a nominal power of up to 0.5 kW.
- A bike with three wheels and three or more seats can have a nominal power of 0.5 kW. This is not specified in the Regulations, but in a general decision made by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
- A bicycle used by the Armed Forces, Civil Defence, fire service, police or emergency medical services can have a motor power of up to 1 kW. This is not specified in the Regulations, but in a general decision made by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
If the vehicle is equipped with an auxiliary motor with a nominal power of more than 0.25 kW and is propelled by motor power alone also above 6 km/h, or it is designed so that the auxiliary motor provides power even at speeds above 25 km/h, it is by law classified as a moped.
For vehicles classified as a mopeds, separate rules apply with regard to safety and use, such as driving licence and helmet requirements. Violation of these rules may lead to licence confiscation, fines or imprisonment. Damage caused by an unregistered vehicle without insurance may also have major financial consequences for the driver.