How Fast Is an E-Bike? The Truth Behind Electric Bike Speed

man riding and electric bike

Electric bikes are known to be faster than regular bikes but how fast are they? This is the question we will be answering in this article. We’ll also discuss some factors that determine the speed of e-bikes.

How Fast Can E-Bikes Go?

Technically, electric bikes can go as fast as the rider pedals but the motor assists up to a certain point.

E-bikes are divided into different classifications that tell you what kind of motors are fitted into them.

Related: E-Bike Motors Explained

Class 1 and 2 electric bikes have motors that assist the rider to ride up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h), while class 3 e-bikes have motors that can assist the rider up to 28 miles per hour (45 km/h)

This means that the electric motor supports the rider’s pedal-power within the e-bike’s supported speed limit, and riding becomes easier. For example, if the maximum speed of your e-bike is 28 mph, then the motor will only assist you below or at that speed and stop assisting you when you exceed 28mph.

This does not mean you can’t ride faster than this on your e-bike. Given the right conditions like smooth terrain and tailwind, you can exceed the maximum speed. You just have to pedal faster.

At this point though, the motor stops assisting, and maintaining that speed depends solely on the rider. It feels like riding a normal bicycle. Because of this, the rider will spend more energy pedaling than they would if they were riding within the speed limit.

But as soon as the speed falls below that certain limit, the motor immediately starts assisting you again.

What Determines the Speed of Electric Bike?

man riding electric bike on off road track

There are several factors that determine the speed of e-bikes. Here are the main ones:

1. Motor Power

Electric bikes use motors that are graded in Watts (W). This determines how fast they can go.

The stronger the motor, the faster the electric bike is.

For example, an e-bike fitted with a 500W motor is able to ride faster than an e-bike fitted with a 250W motor.

2. Battery Capacity

The speed of an e-bike is also determined by the voltage of its battery.

The higher the voltage, the faster the e-bike can go.

A rider can increase the speed of their e-bike by getting a battery with a higher voltage but it has to be within the limit of the motor’s controller.

3. Weight and Aerodynamics

The heavier the e-bike and rider, the slower the e-bike becomes when accelerating or going uphill. This is because the bike’s motor works harder to pull all that weight.

Aerodynamics is also an important factor. The faster you go, the more the wind resists you and produces drag. This pulls you back.

Read more: How Heavy are Electric Bikes?

4. Speed Controller

A speed controller draws power from the e-bike’s battery to control the speed of the electric motor.

Fitting your e-bike with a higher battery voltage to get better speed may be a good idea, but speed controllers have the maximum battery voltage they can work with. Anything higher will cause overheating.

5. Rider’s Pedaling Effort

Just like on regular bikes, you can go as fast as you can on e-bikes if you pedal hard enough. However, since the electric motor stops assisting you at a point, maintaining that speed will depend on your pedaling effort.

It will require fitness and strength to achieve your preferred speed.

Read Also: How Much Are E-Bikes?

How to Make an E-Bike Faster?

  • Upgrade the motor – A more powerful motor can significantly increase the speed of an electric bike.
  • Remove excessive weight – The less weight the more efficient the motor is.
  • Upgrade the battery – A higher-capacity battery can provide more power.
  • Change tires – Replacing worn tires, can reduce friction and improve performance.
  • Improve the aerodynamics – The less wind resistance, the easier it is for the bike to accelerate.
  • Optimize the speed controller – Also known as chipping the e-bike.

Can I Chip My E-Bike?

Chipping means removing the speed assistance limit of an e-bike’s motor.

When you ride very fast on your e-bike, crossing its speed limits, the motor stops assisting your pedaling and more effort is required to keep up the pace. 

However, if you chip your e-bike, you can ride as fast as you want without losing that assistance. This means even though you are riding above the speed limit of your motor, it won’t stop working or assisting your pedaling.

man testing electric bike after making it faster

Naturally, electric motors are capable to go faster than their official speed limit. It stops assisting because the manufacturer puts a device on the e-bike that tells the motor when to stop. The device informs the electric motor that a rider has crossed its speed limit so it should stop assisting.

You can achieve this by simply making the device read false signals. The computer thinks you are riding at a slow or normal speed, even though you are riding above the speed limit. Since the electric motor isn’t notified of this, it keeps working.

Is Chipping My E-Bike Legal?

Chipping your e-bike is not legal.

Speed limits are country or state rules for e-bikes. When you chip your bike to exceed that limit, you are breaking the law. This can lead to severe consequences in case of accidents.

Cyclists aren’t required to have driver’s licenses, helmets, insurance, etc. However, once you chip your e-bike, it is no longer classified as a bicycle. It is now a moped or another form of motorcycle. 

You can not ride it without a driver’s license, insurance, helmet, etc. 

You have to follow your state rules governing mopeds and only ride it where accepted.

E-Bike How Fast FAQs

How Much Faster is an Electric Bike Than Normal Bicycle?

The average speed on normal bicycles is about 12 – 15 mph depending on your pedal power. However, You can achieve up to 28 mph on e-bikes with pedal assistance, depending on your country’s speed limit.

How Fast Does a 500W E-Bike Go?

The speed of a 500W e-bike varies based on terrain, load, and battery. On average,e however, a 500W E-bike can go about 20 mph.

How Fast Does a 750W Electric Bike Go?

The maximum speed a 750W e-bike can attain is 28 miles per hour, given the right conditions. If the conditions are not favorable, you can get an average of 20 mph on it.

How Fast Can a 1000W E-Bike Go?

Theoretically, 1000W E-bikes can go as fast as 35 mph with a minimum speed of 22 mph. 1000W bikes are however not allowed in most states in the US.

Can Electric Bikes Go 30 mph?

Electric bikes fitted with electric motors of at least 750W  can go 30 mph. Coupled with a good quality battery, you can even get more than that.

Can eBike Go 50 mph?

E-bikes fitted with 2000W and above can go 50 mph easily. Some powerful e-bikes with 28 mph speed limits can also go 50 mph if they are chipped.

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