Retrofitting indicators for your e-bike

05.April 2024

E-bikes can reach a speed of 25 km/h. S-Pedelecs can even reach speeds of 45 km/h. On straight stretches and flat roads, driving at such speeds is fun; you can get from A to B quickly and carefree.

However, as soon as the road is uneven , the speed combined with the weight of e-bikes can cost stability. The issue of stability is particularly important when turning : the turn must be indicated clearly and in good time; many people do this with a hand signal. To do this, however, you have to take your hand off the handlebars and travel with one hand. The better solution when turning is clearly a turn signal. But can you just retrofit any turn signal to your e-bike? What turn signal options are there and how much does retrofitting turn signals cost? Here you will find all the details about e-bike indicators and, above all, the advantages and disadvantages of the individual options:

The legal indicator for your e-bike

First of all: In Germany, indicators are currently not allowed to be retrofitted to e-bikes . Austria does not contain a ban on retrofitting indicators on e-bikes. Switzerland is the furthest along when it comes to road safety on bicycles: the Swiss Confederation has allowed turn signals to be retrofitted on bicycles since 2017.

Why retrofit indicators for your e-bike?

There are numerous reasons why you should use indicators on your e-bike. The most important three are improved visibility, especially in the dark, increased stability and, last but not least, traffic safety.

What should not be forgotten: turn signals on bicycles are also important for inclusion.


By far the biggest advantage that turn signals have over hand signals is stability. This topic is at least as important, if not more important, than the additional visibility you get from indicators on your e-bike.

As soon as you ride a bike hands-free or with one hand, you lose stability. That's why hands-free driving is prohibited. However, when turning , you are forced to take your hand off the handlebars to give the hand signal. All it takes is one unfavorable bump in the road to cause a fall, which the ADAC also sees as a big problem.

If you use an indicator on your e-bike without having to take your hands off the handlebars, you completely avoid these unstable situations and are always ready to brake. Even when giving the hand signal, a turn signal can help reduce the time spent driving one-handed . For example, when driving straight ahead, you briefly give the hand signal, activate the turn signal before the curve and thereby give the turn signal from the beginning to the end of the turning process.


E-bikes are narrower than cars, which means they take up less space on the road. This makes them much more efficient in urban traffic, but also much easier to miss. Many people don't wear bright or highly visible sports clothing when riding an e-bike because it's not easy to sweat on an e-bike. However, dark clothing increases the problem of being seen poorly.

When turning, there is a great risk of being overlooked by other traffic. Especially when turning left, there is a great risk of being overlooked and being hit by oncoming traffic at the intersection, which is also noted by a spokesman for the ADFC . Active lighting when turning using a direction indicator has long been state of the art in every modern vehicle and also makes a lot of sense on e-bikes. Especially in the dark, or when the e-bike is illuminated from behind by following traffic, you can often only see the hand signal from 15-20m - but a turn signal can be seen from 50m or more.

Road safety

Turn signals are common in vehicles. In fact, in modern traffic it would be unusual to see a car using hand signals to indicate turning. This makes it clear that turn signals are a clear and unambiguous turning signal , because every other vehicle on the road also indicates a change of direction with a yellow flashing light on one side of the vehicle. Of course, it is important that the indicators are used correctly and are deactivated again after turning.

If indicators are positioned far enough apart to make a clear distinction between left and right - as is the case with flashers or indicators on telescopic poles - they are just as effective as indicators on cars.


One area that isn't emphasized enough is that for many people, turn signals are the only way to safely and reliably indicate turns.

Be it older people with reduced mobility, be it people with physical disabilities or an amputation. Sometimes the hand signal is not only impractical, but simply impossible. A child whose arm has to be fixed to the handlebars so that he can ride a bike independently despite muscle paralysis can turn with a turn signal on the e-bike. A show of hands would perhaps be completely impossible here.

Cornelius Blanke (ADAC Hesse-Thuringia) also speaks positively about this topic of inclusion.

Turn signals on the e-bike definitely make sense. But what options are there for retrofitting indicators on the e-bike? What are the advantages and disadvantages of mounting a turn signal on an e-bike compared to flashers or turn signal helmets that are worn on the body?

Turn signals are better on the body than on the e-bike

Flash on the e-bike in accordance with the StVO

Turn signals for e-bikes have a lot of advantages. In order for them to increase security, you just have to use them in accordance with the law.

Indicators that are worn on the body are already StVZO and StVO compliant and correspond to the Swiss VRV. Indicators on e-bikes can be retrofitted in Austria and Switzerland.

Take a closer look at how you can legally use indicators such as flashers on bicycles and e-scooters , and whether indicators on bicycles replace hand signals and count as a valid turn signal.