Electric bikes are all the rage these days and the sounds they make when you turn them on make you wonder if they can travel at extremely high speeds but that is not actually the case. So how fast can electric bikes go? Let’s find out!
The standard electric bikes can go as fast as 20 miles per hour, but there are certain other electric bikes that can travel at a speed of 28 miles per hour, and not more than that. You can increase the speed of an electric bike with the right pedaling effort.
Many electric bikes have different working and motors therefore, their speeds vary depending on their interior. Luckily for you, this article is all about electric bikes and their speed in particular!
So, read on and find out the answer to your question.
Are Electric Bikes Faster Than Normal Bikes?
Other than the cool looks, e-bikes are put at elevated positions because they are slightly faster than normal bikes. They can travel 3mph faster than normal bikes. E-bikes have more components which makes them faster than conventional bikes.
The difference in their speeds is shown in the table below:
|Type of bike||Mean (mph) speed|
Normal or conventional bikes can only travel faster than electric bikes on shared use facilities.
» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: Tandems Faster Than Normal Bikes? (The Science Behind Tandem)
Classes of Electric Bikes and Their Relative Speed
In America, electric bikes are often categorized into 3 distinctive classes. This being, class 1, class 2, and class 3. These usually are based on the bike’s weight, speed and operation.
The greater the class, the faster the bike. That being said, all 3 classes are worth getting, they’re just faster than the other. So when buying your electric bike, you should make sure you get the class you want.
Here’s what describes a class 1 E-bike:
- A maximum speed of 20 miles per hour
- Throttle on handlebars
- Pedal assist only
This class of electric bikes is the beginning of the spectrum. These are usually ones that still have a pedal assist and don’t go as fast as many would like.
» You can also read my post: Bicycle Pedals Universal? (The Definitive Pedal Guide)
Class 1 E-bikes are allowed on bike paths since they’re still manual bikes with only minor changes. A major reason for this is also because these can only go up to 20 miles per hour.
This may seem pretty slow but it works great for those who don’t plan on going far with this. The electric motor only works when the rider is pedaling which brings us back to it being mildly electric.
Plus, some bikes even have a throttle on the handlebars, nothing fancy, just something to give a boost of speed. However, this also only works if you’re pedaling so in all cases, you’ve to put your legs to the test.
Of course, you don’t have to go full force, just lightly pedaling it also does the trick.
Here’s what describes a class 2 E-bike
- Contains a throttle
- Only goes up to 20 miles per hour
- Also includes electric assist pedaling
Class 2 bikes aren’t much different than those of class 1. They still go only up to 20 miles per hour, however, in this case, they now have a throttle giving the extra push every bike needs.
Since this is usually for mid-tier bikes, it contains every element of the bike spectrum. From motor assist to the same speed limit. One thing that’s great about this is that you can also ride it in bike lanes.
Much like class 1 bikes, since these don’t have many differences in them, riding them on the biking pathway is allowed almost everywhere.
Plus, they also have an electric assist so you don’t have to be pedaling at all times.
Here’s what describes a class 3 bike:
- Goes up to 28 miles per hour
- Has a speedometer
- May or may not have a throttle
This is maybe the greatest difference among all classes. It’s also where things get real fast. Class 3 bikes can go at around 28 miles per hour. It’s because of this that they also have a speedometer installed in the vehicle.
Furthermore, these bikes may or may not have a throttle since extra speed isn’t much needed when it already goes so fast.
Class 3 bikes are allowed on analog bike riding places according to the state. So, one state may find it suitable while another may not.
For example, California doesn’t allow electric bikes to have throttles at all.
In other cases, throttles are allowed so long as they only go up to 20 miles per hour. Most states also let you ride these on the curbside but not at all on the bike-only lanes.
A few bike companies do try to bypass this shortcoming by making a mode that enables the bike to only go 20 miles per hour. Other times, the special mode can be removed, and the bike can then go at its full potential.
» I have covered more on this subject in this blog post: How Long Does It Take to Cycle a Mile?
How Fast Can You Legally Travel on an Electric Bike?
Just because you own an unconventional vehicle doesn’t mean you’re safe from the claws of the law. Yes, electric bikes are a relatively new invention but they still have laws and regulations that correspond to them. You cannot legally travel faster than 20mph in the US.
The reason these bikes are set at 20 miles per hour is that this is the average speed most cyclists on roads and trails are known to adhere to.
For this exact reason, class 3 electric bikes are restrained to only the roadside. Since their speed is way beyond 20 miles per hour, mixing them with slower vehicles is no smart move.
But this number is just a mere approximation. The thing is, every state has its laws and so has its speed limit. This is the sole reason why class systems were developed in E-bikes. So now, you can check the laws according to the class of your bike.
How Fast Does a 1000W Electric Bike Go?
1000W bikes can go around 33 to 35 miles per hour. A 250W, 500W, 1500W, and 1000W e-bike have different speed ranges which makes them easily distinguishable.
By now, we’ve established that electric bikes are partially or wholly driven by motors. And what this directly means is that the average speed can be known by knowing the power of your bike.
Remember, this is solely for flat terrains, and the speed limit for mountainous or any other bumpy road would have to differ.
How Fast Does a 3000W Bike Go?
The speed of your electric bike can easily be determined by its motor. Here, in the case of the 3000W bike, it can travel up to 46 to 48 miles per hour on flat surfaces.
Like most motor-driven vehicles, the distance of the car depends on the power of the motor. The heavier it is, the faster your vehicle will go. Since electric bikes are also motor driven, the same applies to them.
That is to say, it can travel a constant 46 to 48 mph only when the road is smooth.
Speed and Range of E-bikes
By far, we’ve had a detailed look at the speed of E-bikes. It is pretty darn good, I tell you. They can travel from 20 miles per hour to 28 miles per hour max. Now the next crucial factor, which is even more important than the speed, is the range of an electric bike.
A range determines the distance an electric bike can travel before needing a recharge.
Electric bikes have a range of 40-100 miles depending on different factors like terrain, biker’s weight, battery size, and average speed.
The smaller the battery, the lower the range of an electric bike. The more electricity a bike’s battery can save, the longer range it can travel.
Electric bikes give the best range on smooth, clean roads where they don’t experience bumps or any other external factors that can drain out their battery while covering a small distance only.
Factors Affecting Electric Bikes Speed
Now you might have an electric bike that does not reach its full speed potential. Or maybe no matter what you try, the bike just doesn’t go fast enough. In times like these, there are a lot of factors that affect your bike’s speed.
These factors can be environmental or just your lack of expertise in the area. Either way, I’m about to dive into any factors which could affect the speed of your E-bike.
#1 Lack of Knowledge
First off, the main reason your bike’s speed may be limited is that you aren’t well versed with the vehicle. If you own a bike, you must understand how it works, especially its speed.
This includes knowing its maximum limit, the distance it can travel, and its average speed, too. Knowing this will then help you decide which terrain to ride it on.
It’s one of the main reasons why you’re supposed to go through all the basics before getting a bike.
#2 Terrain and Motor
Next, your speed is wholly dependent on the kind of surface you plan to use it on. If it’s rocky uphill surfaces, you might need a pedal assist and throttle to give the extra push. However, if you plan on keeping it on flat terrains then you’ll have increased speed.
Another big factor is the motor attached to the pedals. This greatly determines the speed of your E-bike. The power of your motor is directly proportional to its speed. So, the more power the higher the speed.
» Read my blog post: Clipless Pedals More Efficient? – (Here’s What I Learned)
4 Ways to Increase Your E-Bike Speed
Now that there are a few underlying factors that don’t allow your bike to move quickly it doesn’t mean you can’t solve it. There are plenty of ways to make sure your E-bike’s speed is increased to the max.
Here I’ll be mentioning a few easy tips you can follow to increase your maximum E-Bike speed:
#1 Charge to the Max
The greater the battery’s voltage, the more power it will generate. This way, if your battery is charged to the max limit, you’ll ultimately travel much faster.
This means you’d have to charge your battery after every trip. Once you do that you’ll have a 100% battery life each time you take it out for a spin.
It’s pretty simple after that, 100% battery life means it’s going to go at higher speeds more easily. Now, doesn’t everyone want a high speed for their ride?
#2 Get a Battery With a Higher Voltage
Since your E-bike motor is probably draining the life out of your battery, to make it go faster, you should get a new battery which is preferably at a higher voltage than your previous one.
Since the battery is the one that produces the power for the motor, swapping it for a higher voltage will ensure it doesn’t completely run out.
If your battery gets drained then chances are you won’t go speeding into the horizon.
#3 Swap Your Motor
Another thing you can do is to swap your motor. Since we’re all well aware by now that the power of a motor is directly proportional to its speed, changing your motor out for an even more powerful one will increase its speed.
The bigger, the better, and once you’ve had a stronger motor installed, you can expect to soar around with your E-bike with ease. However, one thing to remember is to also make sure the battery you’re using can support the heavy motor.
After all, no one wants to stop midway because your bike’s battery can’t provide enough juice. So, changing the battery should take place before changing the motor.
#4 Use Smoother Tires
Your E-bike’s tires are probably very rigid and rough. However, if you observe a professional racing bike you’ll notice that its treads are barely there.
For faster speed, the tires need to have lower resistance and a greater smooth surface.
How this helps is by giving you reduced friction, and in turn, you can speed across at even the slightest push. This is mainly a more reliable and safer method, as compared to others.
The tires are still enough to keep you grounded but just add a tinge of the race to it. Plus, it’s also easily done by going to your nearest tire shop and getting it changed. This saves you a lot of effort and money too.
» You can also read my post: How Much Does an Electric Bike Cost?
So that’s all there is about electric bikes! Even though these bikes do have a few complications, I think they’re a really helpful innovation overall. Not only do they take you places with minimal effort, but they also do that fairly quickly.
I mean, maybe the complications can get a bit confusing, but once you’ve distinguished between the different classes of E-bikes, it all becomes easy.
In the end, it all comes down to preference and whether or not you wish to have a faster bike or just one with a regular speed. Either way, the vehicle does work like a charm.