Electric bikes are quickly gaining popularity across the United States, whether it be fully electric bikes or simply pedal assist bikes. But when it comes to how fast they can go, it can vary.
There are various different kinds of electric bikes; you can get 250w bikes, 500w bikes, 750w bikes, 1000w bikes, 1500w bikes, and sometimes even 3000w bikes.
Naturally, the higher the watts of the battery, the faster the electric bike will go, and the longer it’ll take to charge the bike. And the better the battery, the higher the price.
So, what kind of electric bike is right for you? Should you be getting a minimum of 750w, because you’re regularly cycling up steep hills? Or would a battery with lower wattage suit you fine, because you’ll only be cycling around a flat city?
The following article will guide you through each kind of electric bike, in order to help you decide on which (if any) to purchase.
How Fast Does Each Electric Bike Go?
The speed of an electric bike depends on the wattage of the bike’s battery. Batteries range from 250 watts to 3000 watts. Most electric bikes tend to have batteries between 250 watts and 750 watts, but it’s not uncommon to find bikes that go up to 1500 watts.
It’s worth noting that batteries of 1000 watts or higher are not, at the time of writing, within the legal limit in many states in America. It is illegal to ride a bike that’s 1000 watts or higher on the road in these states.
If you’re considering purchasing a bike of this wattage, be sure to check up on the laws regarding electric bikes in your state.
An electric bike with a 250 watt battery has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour (32.19 kilometres per hour) on flat ground. This is within the legal limit. A 250 watt electric bike will need just 20 minutes to charge, and tends to cost between $500 to $1000.
These bikes are most recommended for those of lighter weight.
A bike with a 500 watt battery has a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour (40.23 kilometres per hour) on flat ground, which is within the legal limit.
They need an average of 40 minutes to charge, and usually cost between $750 and $1250. If you’re closer to 200 pounds then you should be going for a bike that’s either 500 watts or higher, depending on how fast you want to go.
A 750 watt electric bike has a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour (45 kilometres per hour) on flat ground, and this tends to be the highest wattage battery within the legal limit. They need an average of 60 minutes to charge, and will cost between $750 to $1500.
An electric bike with a 1000 watt battery will go a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour (56.32 kilometres per hour) on flat ground, and in most states this is not within the legal limit. They need roughly 80 minutes to charge, and cost between $1000 to $1500.
The priciest electric bikes tend to have batteries as big as 1500 watts. They have an average cost of between $1500 to $2000, but the prices of certain top of the range electric bikes go even higher.
They take around 120 minutes to charge, and have a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometres per hour) on flat ground. Just like the 1000 watt bikes, this is considered illegal in many U.S. states.
Occasionally electric bikes will have batteries of 3000 watts. These bikes can reach up to 50 miles per hour on flat ground. It probably goes without saying that these tend to be illegal for use on the road.
Using bikes with batteries of this wattage would be very unsafe in any context other than off-road biking.
Deciding which electric bike to get also depends on you, the consumer. For example, if you weigh around 100 pounds, a bike with a battery as low as 250 watts will help you up a steep hill with ease.
But if you weigh more, closer to 200 pounds, then you should be looking at a 500 watt battery or even a 750 watt battery. It’s important to know exactly what you need from an electric bike, factoring in your body type and how fast you want to go.
Electric Bikes: Peddling
Most electric bikes give you the option to pedal. Your required pedalling effort can vary depending on the bike. If you’re looking for full assistance on your bike, you should be getting either a Class 2 electric bike or a Class 3 bike.
If you’d like your cycling to remain a workout, you should be looking at Class 1 bikes. Note, though, that you won’t be able to go as fast on a Class 1 bike as on a Class 2 or Class 3 bike.
Electric Bikes: Types of Terrain
The kind of bike best suited for you also depends on the kind of cycling you’re going to be doing- more specifically, where you’re going to be riding. Most bikes, the ones ranging from 250 watts to 500 watts, are geared towards leisure and city use.
Bikes with 750 watts or higher, on the other hand, are best for when you’ll be cycling on steep hills or on rough trails. These bikes tend to have full suspension or hardtails.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Electric Bikes
Is 20 Miles Per Hour Fast Enough For An Electric Bike?
250 watt electric bikes are very common, and the fastest they can go on flat ground is 20 miles per hour.
While compared to batteries of higher wattage this might seem quite low, it’s important to note that most cyclists riding traditional bikes are rarely exceeding 12 miles per hour.
When you’re travelling in a busy area, it could also be dangerous to be going even as fast as 20 miles per hour. Besides, the legal limit for electric bikes on American roads is 20 miles per hour anyway.
Americans should count themselves lucky- in Europe, a popular region for electric bikes, the maximum speed is 15 miles per hour.
Just because your electric bike has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour on flat ground doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to go faster. If you’re cruising downhill you’ll easily be able to go faster than 20mph- your motor just won’t be supporting you.
Conclusion: How Fast Does A 500w Electric Bike Go?
Electric bikes with 500 watt batteries have a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour on flat roads. These bikes, as well as bikes with 250 watt batteries, are best suited for leisure and city use, where you won’t need a huge amount of power.
These are not only the safest bikes for city use, but they’re also the best electric bikes for remaining within the United States legal road limit, which is 20 miles per hour. No bike with a 750 watt battery or higher is legal on the streets of many states.
Bikes with 750 watt batteries or higher are what you should be looking for if you intend to be cycling off road. Be sure, when deciding on which electric bike is good for you, to consider what you’ll be using the bike for, how fast you want to go, and your body type.