The speed at which a regular bike can go relies mainly on the force you exert on the pedal. You can be fast or slow – it mostly depends on the effort you’re willing to put in. You are in full control of speed, which is why you can easily navigate through the trickiest of tracks when you’re riding a regular bike. However, a few essential distinctions change the game entirely when it comes to electric bikes.
How fast are electric mountain bikes? Well, simply put, an electric bike is programmed for a specific amount of speed. Unlike a road bike or a mountain bike, an electric bike comes with a motor that can optimize your riding speed while you’re riding it. An average electric bike can go as fast as 20 miles per hour. However, it’s also important to remember that the fasted electric bikes can go 28 miles per hour and can’t exceed this number. Even with the most powerful electric mountain bike from the market, you’ll be limited to this number.
E-bikes were created to be classified through their capabilities, motor, and security factors. People use these bikes for all kinds of reasons, and it’s worth knowing the kind of bike that may suit a person (since this can differ based on circumstances).
For every purpose, you’re going to need a different bike. Whether you’re an expert in the field or a complete beginner, this article takes you through all you need to know about the speed of electric bikes and the essential things you’ll have to know to have a memorable ride. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know the kind of bike you need.
The Different Classes of Electric Bikes
If you didn’t know, e-bikes have three different speed classes. These are respectively known as Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. Several states have adopted this system of classifying e-bikes through their speed across America and countries since it has become one regulation.
Let’s first look at each of these classes to understand what they mean and the different features.
Speed Category 1
An e-bike classified under the first category has a motor that can only work once you’ve pushed the bike’s pedal. Bikes in this category have pedal-assist mode, too.
This means your bike won’t be able to completely operate even with electricity if you don’t put in the work on the bike’s pedals when you’re riding a pedal-assist mountain bike.
Under this classification, you can enjoy speeds on your bike that go up to 20 miles per hour, and the maximum power wattage of the bike can go up to 750 Watts. With a class 1 electric bike, you’ll be able to achieve a long mileage, and you’ll be able to preserve the bike’s battery power, too.
Every electric bike has a throttle. This can either be a thumb throttle or a twist throttle found on the bike’s handlebars. When the bike’s throttle is used, the bike can go forward even without the rider pedaling, just like a motorbike.
In America, regulations dictate that the fastest an electric bike can go while using this technology is 20 miles per hour. Even though every e-bike can technically go faster than 20 mph, most regulations stop them from going faster.
When you’re riding an e-bike, 20 miles per hour should be the ideal speed for the bike. While this isn’t the fastest speed you can move on, it is the perfect speed to give you a rush of wind that will take you wherever you want to go quickly.
An electric bike with a low-top speed is great for exploring and leisure. You can go out on the weekends with these bikes, and you can also run a few close errands while using these bikes.
You can try taking down your bike to a path you’ve never visited before, and you won’t necessarily need a super-fast bike to do this.
The best part is that you decide precisely the speed you want the bike to move at – it could be a speed that goes beyond the 20 miles per hour tag, or you can play it safe by sticking to numbers that can be achieved easily.
Speed Category 3
These are e-bikes that will let you go past the 20 mph tag, and you’ll be to travel at speeds of 28 mph. However, to do this, you’ll have to turn your bike’s pedals.
When the bike reaches a speed of 28 mph, the motor assistance of the bike will be reduced or even terminated altogether.
The class 3 experience can be a lot more enjoyable for some riders since it’s a speed that a fit cyclist can achieve without requiring the help of a motor.
However, it’s also important to remember that whenever the rider stops pedaling, the speed of the e-bike gradually starts to drop, and it will come down to throttle of 20 mph.
If the rider continues to pedal again, the electric bike will start accelerating again until it reaches the speed of 28 mph. Since class 3 electric bikes give the rider a higher top speed, they have a greater speed range than a class 2 electric bike. If you want to ride the bike with a bit more luxury, you can do so, too.
However, if you truly want to start cruising on your bike, you can move a lot faster than any contemporary options you can find in the market today.
The extra speed these bikes can provide can be great when you’re on a tight deadline or have a specific time frame at which you need to finish a task.
Moreover, several eco-friendly riders may love riding electric bikes as a whole since they’re a lot friendlier towards the environment. These bikes let you do your share of ensuring that the environment around you stays healthy while also helping you get to places on time.
Whether you’re heading towards an appointment, trying your best to get to work on time, or any other destination, these bikes can be the ideal option in many different cases.
Since you’ll have the ability to juice up your bike’s speed with the added support from the pedal-assist or the throttle, you’ll be able to feel the power behind your bike at multiple points.
Whether you’re looking for a top speed or something a bit lesser, you can easily choose between pedal-assist or throttle when you’re riding your electric bike.
But What About the Laws?
It may seem like rules and regulations seem to take the fun and extreme out of everything, right? While it may seem that way, these are essential factors that let us have just the right amount of fun while staying safe and ensuring that others around us stay safe, too.
At least in America, the product safety act describes a “low-speed electric bike” as a vehicle that can be fully operated with pedals that have a motor that outputs 750 watts and has a maximum speed of 20 mph.
So if you have an e-bike that has a motor that outputs 750 watts and has a maximum speed of 32 kilometers per hour is free and safe to go anywhere that a normal bike can go.
However, in Europe, things are a bit safer and different than in America. In this particular sense, most European countries limit their e-bikes to shut down their engines when they surpass speeds of 25 km/h.
However, it’s also worth noting that some countries like Denmark are introducing e-bikes that can go up to 45 km/h.
Another important aspect is that in Europe, the wattage output caps out at 250 watts, which is a lot lower than America, which states 750 watts.
What do all of the different specifications mean? Be it the watts, the voltage, and every other detail involved, does the motor’s assistance make a huge difference?
In most cases, people think that the higher the wattage of an electric bike is the faster it will go when in reality, this can’t be farther from the truth.
If you want to know how much the motor is going to assist you in moving faster, you’ll need to know your weight and whether you’re going to be riding your bike on some decent-sized hills.
For instance, let’s consider an example of a woman who weighs 50 kilos and is riding her bike on insignificant hills.
This woman isn’t going to need a lot of power from her electric bike. With a 250 watt motor, she should be good. However, if this woman weighed 75 kilos and she intends to use her electric bike for long and steep hills, she’s going to need a 750-watt electric bike.
Most modern electric bikes are powered by a lithium-ion battery. You can measure the energy capacity of an electric bike by measuring its watt-hours.
We’re going to use the same method to know what you should expect from your new electric bike in terms of speed. Calculating the watt-hours of your bike is simple. You won’t have to be a math whiz.
You’ll have to multiply the amp hours of your bike with its voltage. Let’s suppose you have a 38-volt and 12-ah battery pack, (38 x 12 = 456). This means that with your new electric mountain bike, you’ll be able to travel a distance of 22.8 miles when your electric bike is fully charged.
The watt-hours of an electric bike determine the distance the bike can travel, its weight, and the cost of the electric bike. These are some vital aspects you need to think about when you’re purchasing an electric bike because, in some instances, you’ll have to sacrifice the added weight for more power.
Since most of the electric bikes you’ll find in the market have lithium-ion batteries, the range doesn’t vary greatly. These batteries are reliable, durable and can support your bike for up to 500 charge cycles.
Once the 500 charge cycles are complete, the bike is going to have approximate battery health of 80%.
One way you can maximize your bike’s battery life is by combining both electric power and pedal power to reach 20,000 miles before there’s a need to change your battery.
The distance you can travel on one charge also depends on how you’re using your electric bike. Are you only using the throttle of the bike without using the pedal? Are you pedalling all the time? These are two essential factors that determine the speed and the battery health of your electric bike.
Related electric bike articles:
- How Long Does an Electric Mountain Bike Battery Last?
- Why Electric Bikes Are So Expensive?
- How to Convert a Mountain Bike to Electric Bike
- Best Electric Bike For Wheelies
- How Can You Protect Your Electric Bike from Getting Stolen?
- 4 Wheel Electric Mountain Bikes
So how fast are electric mountain bikes? Well, as the information we’ve listed suggests, they can travel at speeds between 20 mph and 28 mph. Still, if you’re a cycling enthusiast in a country outside of America, you may be able to ride a faster bike, and it won’t be illegal, too. The speed difference mostly depends on the country you’re in, your expertise, and the bike you’re riding.
Faster bikes are a creative solution for people who want to exert low force while riding their bicycles but want to travel for longer distances. This is not a factor they need to worry about with an electric bike since most electric bikes have a pedal-assist mode.
However, these innovations also make it important that you carefully consider where you want to take your electric bike and the speeds you want to achieve with it. Going too fast can be dangerous for you and the people around you.
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric bikes caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my e-bike. Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric bikes. Check out more.