If you feel the need for speed, want to cruise along a boardwalk, or give yourself a boost when hitting the trails there is an e-bike for you. You may have heard that e-bikes can reach higher speeds than traditional bikes but how fast can they really go?
There are many electric bikes on the market with varying top speeds. E-bikes range from low-end folding e-bikes that reach a max speed of 20 mph to high-end electric mountain bikes that can reach speeds as high as 39 mph. The average electric bicycle will have a maximum speed between 28 mph and 32 mph.
Multiple factors determine the top speed of an electric bike like battery size, motor wattage, bike weight, and frame style. Let’s look at each of these elements to see how they affect e-bike speeds.
Electric Bike battery size and volts
Determining an e-bike’s power and performance depends on the battery size and voltage capacity. Bigger batteries and higher voltages result in more power that leads to faster top speeds.
Determining the right voltage for an e-bike battery will depend on several factors including rider weight, terrain, desired speed, and level of pedal-assist selected. Increasing the e-bike battery voltage provides more power for riders who are heavier, plan to ride on hilly terrain and paths or just want a faster maximum speed.
There are many bikes with varying sizes of batteries. E-bike batteries can range from 36 volts up to 52 volts. The average e-bike battery size is around 48 volts which will provide a maximum speed of 28 mph to 32 mph.
Electric bike motor size
There are many different motors and motor sizes to choose from for electric bikes. Some e-bike motors provide better performance and speed while others offer a balance between power, weight, and cost.
An e-bike motor’s measurement of power is wattage and can vary by model. For example, 350W or 500W will be plenty sufficient to propel an e-bike on most terrain including hills and off-roading. The bigger the wattage number, the more power you will have to lean on and the faster the bike will go.
Although electric bike motors start at 350W, some e-bike companies offer 1000W motors for performance e-bikes. The size of an electric bike motor is a combination of factors: weight, cost, and the power to speed ratio.
Lower wattage e-bike motors will allow for speeds between 20 mph and 25 mph. As you get into the higher wattages such as 750w and over you can expect speeds of 28 mph and above.
Most e-bikes come with a built-in pedal-assist mode allowing you to exceed the limits of the motor. Pedaling while using the throttle allows you to go faster by assisting the power output of the motor.
Riders need to understand how they will use their e-bike to determine the right motor size for their individual needs.
Weight and electric bike speed
There are two factors when it comes to weight and electric bikes, the weight of the rider and the weight of the e-bike. The weight of the rider makes a difference because it affects how much power an e-bike needs to move forward. A lighter rider will require less power to travel at 25 mph than a heavier rider.
The electric bike’s weight plays an important role in determining the top speed of e-bikes as well. The heavier the electric bike, the slower it will travel because you’ll need more power to get up hills and over obstacles than if it was lighter.
Reducing weight is one way to alter the speed of the bike. This will make it easier for the battery and motor to move an electric bicycle forward, but this weight loss will not help with the weight of a rider. To reduce weight, you can remove your seat post and have it replaced with aluminum or titanium posts, use lightweight pedals, get lighter spokes in replacement for steel ones, replace heavy saddlebags with bags made from air-cushioning material, and get a lightweight lithium-ion battery.
Electric bike frame style
The electric bike’s frame is a major factor in helping your e-bike go faster. The more aerodynamic the bike, the faster it will go. Aerodynamics are important because they reduce drag on bikes and allow them to travel at high speeds without as much wind resistance.
There are three main types of frames: folding, mountain, and city. Each type affects the top speed in different ways. For instance, a folding bicycle will not be as fast as a mountain-style one because it’s design doesn’t allow for higher speeds. When choosing an electric bike frame, you should keep these things in mind so that your new ride can accommodate your needs.
An electric bike is a great way to get around, especially if you’re looking for an alternative form of transportation. Electric bikes are easy and fun to ride because they don’t require much pedaling or physical exertion on your part. It’s important that when choosing an electric bike, you carefully consider how large your motor and battery should be as well as what type of frame suits you best. The weight capacity should also factor into this decision to ensure that it can support both rider and bicycle weights without being too heavy that it slows you down. Be sure to consider these speed altering factors before making a purchase.