How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go?

You’ve heard they’re quick, but just how fast can an E-bike go and what makes it so speedy?

“How fast does an E-bike go?” is one of the most common questions we get asked. And to answer it, it’s handy to know a little bit more about E-bikes.

Feel the power!

When it comes to electric bikes, the main source of power is your own internal motor (we’re talking about your heart, lungs, and legs). Of course, the E-bike has its own motor, but you’re still doing most of the work! Think about it like this: even if the motor has a limit for how fast it can go, there’s no limit to the speed you can achieve on top of the motor’s assistance using your own legs or a downhill slope.

So, is it the same as a regular bike then? Not exactly…The main advantage of an E-bike is the available boost that the motor can provide when you decide to use it.

There are several factors that affect how fast you can go on your E-bike, and it’s not just down to how fast your legs can pump! Not only does the legal speed limit differ based on your country’s or region’s specific regulations, but other factors like the motor’s power, your weight, your bike’s weight, and your riding terrain will all affect your speed.

What determines an E-bike’s speed?

If you want to satisfy your need for speed on your E-bike, then read on for a lesson in all things fast and furious!

1. What’s Watt?

Speed is a product of many factors, including power, and an electric bike is no different. So, what does this mean? 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

And that leads us to our next factor: weight. 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. Let’s use the example of the same 250 W motor again: 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

As you’d expect, 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.

4. The strong arm of the law

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:

e-bike, pedal-activated assistance
Class 1 e-bikes
have pedal-activated assistance that stops after the bike reaches 20 mph.
e-bike, pedal-activated assistance, motorbike
Class 2 e-bike
have pedal-activated assistance that stops at 20 mph. However, Class 2 e-bikes also have throttle-activated assistance modes, which means the bike can provide electrical assistance even when you stop pedaling, like a motorbike. Momentum does not currently sell Class 2 e-bikes.
e-bike, pedal-activated assistance
Class 3 e-bikes
have pedal-activated assistance that stops after the bike reaches 28 mph.
Class 1Class 2Class 3
Pedal AssistVVV
ThrottleV
Max Speed20 mph20 mph28 mph

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.

So, how does the electrical assistance work?

Electric bikes have two types of electrical assistance: pedal (which provides power from the motor while you pedal) and throttle (similar to riding a motorbike). Our E-bikes use pedal, rather than throttle assistance.

Which level should you choose? 

Most pedal assisted E-bikes offer different levels of support from the motor. For the lowest assistance setting, the power comes mostly from your legs. This setting is typically suitable for easy, flat terrains or if you want more of a workout from your ride. Higher assistance settings can help you get to your destination faster and with less effort. If you’ve got a large hill coming up or you don’t want to sweat too much, use a higher assistance setting for an easier ride.

Just keep in mind that the more assistance you get from the E-bike’s motor, the more quickly the battery will run down. Weight and terrain also affect how much juice the motor needs from the battery to run. But remember, even if the battery runs out, you can pedal the rest of the way until your next charge.

ride fast, riding at a park, park, green

Your ideal E-bike’s speed depends on you and your needs!

The answer for which E-bike’s speed is best for you depends on your needs and priorities. We’ve explained the differences between electric bikes when it comes to speed, motor type, class, and more, but the most important thing to consider is how you will use it and why.

If you need a bike for commuting then you want one with a good range and optimal speed, so you’re never late! The Transend E+ is the perfect ride for you. Its SyncDrive Life motor and integrated EnergyPak 500 battery provide a seamless boost of power up to 28 mph and its 105-mile range (170km) will always get you where you need to go. Plus, thanks to its super recharge, you can ride 87 miles (140km) after just 2 hours’ charging if you’ve got after-work plans!

Is comfort over speed more your jam? Then the Vida E+ is made for you. Its upright position and comfy seat make it a great way to explore your city, enjoy time outdoors with friends or family, and get a cardio fix, too. Six levels of pedal assistance mean you can cruise sweat-free and tackle hills faster.

Fancy a new way to shop for your groceries, or take your kids to school? The all-new Pakyak E+ is our ultimate electric cargo bike. The SyncDrive Pro motor, 500 Wh battery, and integrated front and rear mounts can help you carry up to 355 lbs (161 kg) and still have a smooth, comfortable ride. Pakyak E+ is also Class 3, so it’ll provide assistance up to 28 mph and even has an optional second 500Wh battery that can double your range.

Check out our complete range of e-bikes to find out which model is best for you. If you’re still looking for a quick answer to the question “how quick can an e-bike go?” the answer is between 15.5 mph and 28 mph, legally, depending on where you live, but your legs can get you to whatever top speed you could reach if it were a traditional bike.

Did you know?

The land speed record on a non-motorized bicycle was set in 2018 by Denise Mueller-Korenek when she rode over 183 mph. That goes to show your legs can take you a lot faster than the point when an E-bike’s motor stops running!