You want to have an electric bike because you believe it will be a thrilling experience without dealing with chain grease.
However, you also want to go fast and need to be more knowledgeable about the e-bike speed. So you ask your friends, but they give conflicting answers.
Many people are like you. They’ve been thinking of buying electric bikes but want to know how fast they can go.
Fortunately, you come across this article to help you answer your questions. So kindly read on to learn more.
Electric Bike Components Responsible for Achieving Speed
Electric bicycles have primary parts helping them achieve speed:
The motor determines the controller type your electric bike uses, and the wattage dictates your engine’s power.
It would help if you learned to test an electric bicycle’s motor and troubleshoot it.
An eBike can have rear, front, and mid-drive hubs.
The e-bike’s battery provides power to the motor, and you should ensure you have the battery for your electric bike.
If you’re an experienced DIYer, you can also make your electric bike’s battery.
LCD is your bike’s control panel, helping you monitor its performance and toggle ride alternatives.
The speed sensor computes for the electric bike’s wheel rotation to find out its speed. Moreover, it monitors the e-bike’s behavior.
What Is the Top Speed of an Electric Bike?
You may want to ride past your fellow cyclists with your electric bike but remember it has speed limits. The top speed it can achieve depends on where you purchased it.
For instance, a US-bought e-bike can go up to 20mph (32kph). However, Australia, the European Union, and the UK have a 25kph limit for electric bicycles.
Governments have vehicle laws, thus limiting speeds for licensing and safety reasons. Therefore, be aware of the country’s speed limits if you buy one.
What Are the Speed Limit Regulations for Electric Bikes?
Speed limits vary worldwide. For instance, Belgium allows electric bikes to go fast at 45kph. On the other hand, the UK only has a speed limit of 24kph.
Unfortunately, if you want to go beyond the threshold, your e-bike won’t help you. For example, your electric bike can surpass the speed limit when rolling downhill.
Countries limit the speed to prevent injuries. The US has the most complex vehicle laws.
Speed Limit of an Electric Bike in the USA
The US states regulate the e-bike’s top speed. Generally, it ranges between 20mph and 28mph. By 2022, 26 of the 44 states will now use a tier classification system.
Classes 1 and 2 e-bikes powered by a throttle control mechanism or pedal assist can achieve a maximum speed of 20mph.
If the rider wants to go beyond the regulated speed, the motor won’t help them. For Class 3 or pedelecs, the e-bikes can attain up to 28mph speed.
Some states require Class 3 riders to have a driver’s license. Moreover, riders should follow stricter safety regulations.
States not using the tier system treat electric bicycles similarly to motor vehicles. Therefore, you can use them on pedestrianized streets and cycle paths.
Speed Limit of an Electric Bike in the UK
UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency set the e-bike’s top speed at 15mph. Moreover, the motor stops functioning if it reaches the speed limit.
The UK considers a bike to travel faster than the preset limit as a car; therefore, a rider must insure, pay taxes, and follow automobile regulations.
Speed Limit of an Electric Bike in Europe
European Union has its directive governing electric bike speeds, and the limit is 25kph. However, some member states have rules on who should use it and how to ride it.
For instance, Belgium sets the minimum rider age depending on the motor power, while Denmark allows e-bikes to have a maximum speed of 45kph on cycle paths.
Even though they’re not part of the EU, Turkey and Norway have similar rules regarding electric bicycle speed limits.
For example, Norway has a maximum speed limit of 20kph, but riders should only use e-bikes on specific cycle infrastructure.
On the other hand, Turkey adopts the EU standard in its entirety.
Speed Limit of an Electric Bike in Australia
Australia also follows the same European standards on e-bikes with a maximum speed of 25kph. However, the motor no longer works beyond the speed limit; thus, the rider must pedal.
Does an Electric Bike Have a Built-in Speed Limiter?
If you buy your electric bike from the US, the UK, or the EU, it will have a built-in speed limiter.
If China manufactures your e-bike, it will have a speed limiter higher than 25kph because Chine has a higher maximum speed on its e-bikes.
However, even if your e-bike has a higher speed limit, you should still follow your home country’s speed limit regulations.
Is an Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removable?
You can remove the e-bike speed limiter. However, tuning, de-chipping, or tampering is illegal in many countries.
For instance, France laws levy a fine on anyone modifying their electric bike with a year in prison or up to 30,000 euros.
How to Remove an Electric Bike Speed Limiter
YouTube content creators claim they can quickly remove the speed limiter. Many tuning videos have become popular over the years/
However, cycle safety advocates want a crackdown on modified bikes because such electric bicycles can go as fast as 150kph.
Remove the Rear Wheel Magnet
Not all electric bikes will allow this mechanical method because it involves tinkering with the base sensor, which reads the e-bike’s instantaneous state and moves the information to the software.
Then, the computing unit decodes the information to control the electrical needs of the motor.
Changing the speed limit entails modifying the interaction between the electric bike controller and the sensor.
Generally, the e-bike’s wheel circumference is the basis of the speed measurement because the rear wheel has a magnet at the frame’s base.
It would be best to relocate the magnet to change the wheel’s revolutions to move the bike forward.
You trick the controller by moving the magnet. Then, the computer system slowly computes the speed.
You don’t need to disassemble the electric bike to surpass its top speed. Follow these steps:
- Remove the base sensor and magnet from their predefined locations
- Put the magnet on the e-bike’s pedal bracket
- Place the sensor anywhere but ensure it faces the magnet
Use a Tuning Kit
Another way to remove the speed limiter is to use a tuning toolkit. However, it’s costlier and more technical.
Electric bike manufacturers created tuning kits as a solution to users’ complaints. However, deactivate the toolkit’s effects if you wish to use the e-bike’s regular operation.
You’ll find it quick and efficient to use the speed-unlocking toolkit. Moreover, it comes with a user manual.
Is Removing an Electric Bike Speed Limiter Illegal?
The rules change per country; therefore, ensure you check the existing laws in your home country first.
You can only ride your e-bike on public highways in the UK if it has a speed limiter. However, you may use a speed-unlocked e-bike on private land.
The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry pledges to crack down on the trend of removing the speed limiter because it damages the public perception of electric bikes.
The 68 European bike manufacturers are moving towards making their electric bikes’ speed limiter tamper-proof.
Moreover, the organization works with local authorities to make the trading of unlocked electric bikes obsolete.
Why You Shouldn’t Remove the Electric Bike Speed Limiter
If you remove the controller or speed limiter, you should first know its risks. You move at a higher speed, which is dangerous to you.
If you lose your balance, you injure yourself. For example, if you move at 30mph, you’re likely to have four times the damage if you drive at 15mph.
Moving at 60mph will cause 16 times the damage than cycling at 15mph. As you increase speed, you also exponentially increase the injury and risk factors.
Moreover, you may encounter significant injuries if you don’t correctly analyze or compute the ideal braking distance.
You should know that the original brakes can only handle speed within the top speed set in the speed limiter.
If you remove the speed delimiter, the original brakes may not work.
Other Ways to Boost the Speed of an Electric Bike
Instead of using a tuning kit or the mechanical method, you can increase the e-bike speed with the following hacks:
Change the LCD Settings
You can change the speed limiter settings if you prefer your electric bike to go beyond 20mph. Then, you diminish the wheel size on the control panel.
For instance, you may reduce the wheel size to 18 inches if you have a 26-inch electric bike. This way, the speed limiter will think you have a smaller wheelbase.
Change the Battery
Many e-bikes have a battery ranging from 24V to 72V. You can replace the battery with a higher voltage to achieve a higher speed.
However, you should ensure a powerful motor before replacing the battery.
It would be best to have a professional electrician help you change the battery to prevent damage to the control panel or motor.
Change the Motor
If your e-bike has a bigger motor, it will go faster. As a result, many bikers replace their bicycle engine with more powerful ones.
Generally, you increase the bike’s speed by at least 10kph.
Change the Tires
Changing to thin bike tires allow your electric bike to go faster. However, if yours is an electric mountain bike, you shouldn’t replace its tires.
Mountain bike tires provide maximum control, grip, and stability. Therefore, you shouldn’t replace them with thinner tires.
Install a Windshield
You should install a windshield if you want an extra 5kph speed on your electric bike, but ensure it has a higher in-built rate first.
A windshield provides several aerodynamic features, such as improved speed, reduced drag, and enhanced efficiency.
Change Your Riding Posture
An inexpensive and more uncomplicated way is to change your riding posture. If you ride with a straight back, air resistance increases, and your speed drops.
You should be in a crouching position to cut through the air. Notice how you significantly increase your speed.