How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go?

“How fast does an E-bike go?” is one of the most common questions we get asked. And to answer it, it’s helpful to know a little bit more about E-bikes. Several factors affect how fast you can go on your E-bike, and it’s not just up to how fast your legs can pump! Additionally, your speed may vary depending on the regulations of your country or region, as well as the motor’s power, your weight, and your bike’s weight.

WHAT DETERMINES AN E-BIKE’S SPEED?

1. Motor Power and Type

Speed is a product of many factors, including power, and an electric bike is no different. It means that when it comes to an E-bike’s motor, pay attention to the number of Watts (W). A higher W power rating means the E-bike can pull weight more easily, which, depending on other factors, can help you go faster more easily. For example, it’s easier and faster for a 750 W motor to accelerate from 0 mph to 20 mph than a 250 W motor carrying a person of the same weight on the same terrain.

2. Weighing Things Up

“The more you weigh, the harder the motor has to work to help propel you and the more battery power you’ll consume in a given ride,” Felton says. Just like a person pulling a sled, the overall weight of the load can determine how difficult it is to tow the sled and get up to speed. When it comes to your E-bike, both the weight of the E-bike and the weight of the rider are important. For example 250 W motor: it’s easier for the motor to accelerate from 0 to 20mph quickly and get up to top speed if it’s moving 50kg instead of 100kg.

3. What’s Beneath You

What you ride on will also affect your speed and acceleration. You’ll be able to accelerate and ride faster on a smooth, paved road compared to a loose, gravelly trail. And an incline or decline will have a similar effect: gravity will work against your E-bike’s motor when climbing a hill and in favor of it when descending – just like it would for your legs pedaling a traditional bike.

E-bikes’ motors let them go faster than traditional bikes, so most countries regulate their speed by saying the E-bike can provide an added speed boost up to a certain point. Once it reaches a specific speed, the motor stops providing electrical assistance and any additional speed on top of that is powered by your own internal engine (your heart, lungs, and muscles). This means your bike’s true top speed also depends on how fast and hard you can pedal.

E-BIKE CLASSIFICATIONS

In the United States, there are three classes of E-bikes:

Classes of Electric Bikes 

  • Class 1: 20 mph with only pedal-assist

Class 1 electric bikes have a motor that only starts once you begin pedaling. The bikes in this category have a pedal-assist mode. This means that your bike cannot operate solely by electricity, and you must put in some pedaling effort to get rolling.

Under this classification, electric bikes are limited to 20 mph, and the maximum motor wattage is 750W. With Class 1 electric bikes, you can ride for a longer period of time before needing to recharge the battery due to their efficiency.

  • Class 2: 20 mph with pedal assist and a powerful throttle function

Class 2 ebikes also have a speed limit of 20 miles per hour. However, the drive system on Class 2 ebikes can be activated by either pushing a button or twisting the throttle, which is typically located on the handlebars.

Bikes with both pedal assist and throttles are classified under Class 2. You can ride at 15 miles per hour on complete electric power or use the pedal assist to boost your speed up to 24 miles per hour.  Class 2 ebikes are commonly used across the globe and beneficial for riders who need a little extra boost on long rides, uphill climbs or dirt paths. 

  • Class 3: 28 mph with only pedal-assist

Electric bikes in this category may not need throttles, but they come with more powerful motors. Class 3 ebikes typically have a 750W motor, allowing you to travel at speeds up to 28 mph.

Class 3 electric bikes are held to different rules and regulations compared to other types of electric bikes. Because Class 3 ebikes can generate a considerable amount of speed, only those aged 17 and up are allowed to ride them. Depending on your location, you might also need a motor license or other requirements in order to use a Class 3 electric bike.

Any speed on top of the numbers mentioned above comes from your legs. However, not all classes of electric bikes can legally ride wherever they want. For example, trails with speed limits might ban E-bikes. It’s a good idea to check the rules where you want to ride ahead of time, just in case. In the UK, the rules are a bit simpler. The E-bike must have pedal-activated assistance that stops once the bike reaches a speed of 15.5 mph (about 25 kmph). Regardless of where you live, remember, it’s still a bike! If you want to go faster, keep pedaling and you’ll reach a higher top speed with your own pedal power once the electrical assistance stops.

What Class is Right for You?

Ebikes are not only a faster mode of transportation in comparison to traditional bicycles, but they also require less effort by the cyclist. With an electric bike, you can get to your destination quickly without breaking a sweat. Plus, you’ll still be reaping the fitness benefits that come with biking.

Though your ebike may be equipped to go at high speeds and travel long distances, adhere to the rules and regulations that are in place. Stick to the legal speed limits for your class of bike and always wear safety gear in order to keep yourself safe.Don’t have an ebike yet? Shop at Unit Pack Power now and find the perfect electric bike for you!

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