Electric bicycles are almost always associated with power and speed. So, one of the first questions that pop up in e-bike discussions is how fast do e-bikes go?
As a bicycle, e-bikes will go as fastest the rider can pedal it. However, e-bikes’ electric motors are set to stop delivering motor assistance when the speed reaches 20 mph in classes 1 and 2 e-bikes and 28 mph in class 3s. Some modified e-bikes can even provide motor assistance up to 60 mph.
Most well-known e-bike brands in the market will stick to class 1,2, 3 categories with respect to power and speed. But you will find brands out there that are not pulling any punches and make e-bikes that reach speed rates never heard of before.
Speaking of super-speed brands, let’s look at some of the fastest e-bikes available on the market today. These electric bikes are so fast that people may mistake them for actual motorcycles.
What are the fastest Electric Bicycles in the Market?
When it comes to high-speed capabilities, a variety of brands have tapped into new heights. Some manufacturers are equipping their e-bikes with systems that can assist the rider with speeds up to 60 mph.
Of course, It goes without saying that any speed greater than what’s allowed for bike paths is only for off-road and non-regulated locations. So, forget about riding one of these high-speed e-bikes at 60 mph on a regular street on your way to your cousin’s house.
Here are some examples of the fastest electric bicycles available on the market today.
|E-Bike Name||Top Speed||Battery Range|
|Vintage Tracker||36 mph (59 km/h)||25-50 miles (40-60 km)|
|Lobito MT 1||37 mph (60 km/h)||50-60 miles (80-96 km)|
|Greyp G12||43.4 mph (70 km/h)||74.5 miles (120 km)|
|HPC Scout Pro||45 mph (72 km/h)||80 miles (128 km)|
|Audi E-Bike||50 mph (80 km/h)||44 miles (70 km)|
|Stealth B-52||50 mph (80 km/h)||60 miles (100 km)|
|Vector Vortex||50 mph (80 km/h)||120 miles (200 km)|
|Delfast E-Bike Top 2.0||50 mph (80 km/h)||174 miles (280 km)|
|HPC Revolution X||60 mph (96 km/h)||100 miles (160 km)|
Interestingly enough, ultra-high-speed e-bikes are nothing new and have been in the market for over a decade now.
Around 2010, the PG-Bikes of Germany designed and developed one of the fastest e-bikes known for its time. Named as “Black Trail BT-01”, this e-bike produced motor assistance up to 62 mph (100 km/h), with a battery range of 30-37 miles (48-59 km).
Today, you will still find many brands by random companies and shops that will offer e-bikes with various high-speed and battery ranges, but the moral to the story is that all the higher-speed e-bikes are specially modified to enable higher performance output.
Like their performance output, the prices are pretty steep too, making these puppies not exactly the most affordable e-bikes for the average buyer.
Nonetheless, it’s interesting to understand how some of these e-bikes reach faster than usual speeds and what factors can help ANY e-bike maximize its speed.
What makes an Electric Bicycle go faster?
When it comes to e-bikes’ speed, there are two things that affect how fast they go. The first is the motor’s power production which correlates to how much energy it receives from the battery, and the second is aerodynamics.
So, if you’re wondering how some e-bikes go faster, remember, the higher the rate of voltage flow is from its battery to the motor, the more power it will produce, and the less resistance it needs to overcome, the more available energy it will have for pushing the e-bike forward.
That said, let’s go over some changes all e-bikes can make to boost their speed capability.
Here is how You Can Increase the Speed of your E-bike
So far, it should be clear that two elements play vital roles in an e-bike’s speed: energy flow and aerodynamics. So, let’s break the “DIY higher-speed” tips into these two categories.
The Energy Flow Category
1- Opt-in for a Higher Voltage Battery
An e-bike’s motor speed is relatively dependent on battery voltage, so if you want to increase the speed of your motor performance, use a battery with a higher voltage.
How does a higher voltage battery result in higher motor performance? Well, by definition, the voltage value measures how strongly a battery pushes its stored juice out to the e-bike’s motor. Therefore, the higher the voltage, the stronger the energy flow is from the battery to the motor. And, naturally, more energy results in more performance output.
Keep in mind that if you decide to swap in a higher voltage battery, you must make sure your e-bike’s controller can process the higher voltage, and the motor is capable of handling the increased performance to avoid burnout damages.
2- Get a Higher RPM Motor
Speaking of a motor handling increased performance demand, another option to a more powerful performance is to install a motor with higher RPM.
RPM (Revolution Per Minute) measures how fast a motor is spinning. Generally, the faster a motor spins, the more power it generates, which can be applied as either speed or strength.
Not only can higher RPM mean higher speed, but it can also be more strength. More strength can be beneficial for heavier riders, heavier e-bikes (ex: cargo e-bikes), and hilly terrains.
3- Keep the Battery Fully Charged
When a battery is charged to 100% capacity, it has the maximum voltage. And given that e-bike motors’ performance can depend on their batteries’ voltage, you want to make sure that your battery is operating at its maximum voltage.
You should, however, take into consideration that batteries can be damaged if kept at maximum charge for long periods of time. So don’t let them sit at full charge for long, and try your best not to overcharge them either.
4- Keep the Battery Cool
Batteries should not overheat and stay as cool as possible. One of the simplest ways to help batteries stay cool is placing them appropriately for better airflow. This tends to be more of an issue with DIY e-bikes where batteries are placed inside a box or a bag and attached somewhere on the frame without regard for airflow.
The reason for keeping the battery cool is that when batteries heat up more than they can handle, their voltage drops. And, again, lower voltage means that the battery has less power to push energy into the motor, and this obviously equates to slower speeds.
Again, it’s perfectly fine to place your e-bike’s battery inside of a compartment or a bag; just don’t forget to give your battery as much airflow as possible.
5- You Can Manually Alter the Controller
Some e-bikes will allow you to eliminate the speed limiting feature by switching it over into off-road mode through the display settings. This option is usually for e-bikes with higher speed capability but have limitations programmed to comply with on-road speed regulations.
Another option to draw more speed from your system is to make it think it has smaller wheels. By reprogramming your wheel size to a smaller one, you can trick the bike into thinking that it is moving slower than it really is. This will make the e-bike generate more power to keep up with your speed demand.
Of course, you can always open your controller and remove the feature that regulates your speed. But be careful, tapping into the hardware won’t be easy for riders who aren’t super familiar with the electrical components of their e-bike.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t cause any unintentional damages that will end up requiring repair by a service professional.
The Aerodynamic Category
6- Smoother and Inflated Tires Will Help with Your Speed
The number one rule of being more aerodynamic is not to artificially add on more drag.
Wrong tire types can cause resistance by not allowing for more of the tires’ rubber to come in contact with the ground’s surface. For instance, as cool as knobby tires look, they are not the best option for riding on a flatter surface because they’re made to provide more traction on uneven surfaces.
On the other hand, Smoother tires typically provide less friction and are stickier because more of their rubber is in contact with the ground. This can add to your e-bike’s speed because of less rolling resistance.
While we’re still on the tire subject, keep in mind that another way to reduce rolling resistance is to keep tire pressure near its maximum allowed. Keeping your tires pumped up closer to their max pressure will eliminate the unnecessary sections of your bike’s tires to come in contact with the ground surface: the less contact, the less resistance to overcome.
Basically, the whole tire topic comes down to the right amount of tire contact with the surface and the correct type of tire for that particular surface. The sweet spot can help increase your speed more than you can imagine.
7- Tune your Brakes
Not only tuning your e-bike’s brakes is an excellent idea for optimal safety, it’s also necessary to prevent any brake pad rubbing. You want to make sure the brake pads are not rubbing against the metal rotor, causing a drag.
Be sure to know what you’re doing when touching the brake system. This is not where you want to be guessing anything. Believe me, with e-bikes, you need your brakes to be in good working shape.
8- Don’t Add to the Drag
I did mention that the first rule of being more aerodynamic is not to artificially add on more drag. Here are some examples of overlooked mistakes that cause drag and things you can do to reduce as much resistance as possible.
By far, your body could be the biggest resistance to the oncoming wind. But, a collection of smaller things inappropriately placed on the bike may be catching wind just as much as your entire body.
For instance, loose cables, big water bottles, bags on the rear rack, additional accessories on the handlebar, the wrong type of helmet, loose clothing are great ways to cause friction.
Individually, these items are not a significant speed killer. But, imagine how much more aerodynamic your e-bike will be with all the cables zip-tied to the frame, no added gadgets on the handlebars, wearing an aero helmet, and doing your best with wearing tighter clothing.
Most commercially available e-bikes will be categorized into the 3 main classes e-bikes come in. In addition, there are some e-bike manufacturers, both big brand and some lesser-known names, have manufactured modified e-bikes that reach extreme rates of speed.
Although some of these super-high-speed e-bikes are indeed a work of art, the truth is that every e-bike’s speed capability comes down to two things; (1) the rates of battery’s and motor’s performance, and (2) the good-old science of aerodynamics.
Any e-bike can exceed its expected speed limitations by using a higher voltage battery, a controller that can process higher voltage, a motor with a higher performance ability, and a rider with a basic understanding of aerodynamics.
Although fast-riding can be fun, unlike your car, with bikes, you do not have the luxury of a big box of fiberglass protecting your body.
So, be very cautious, obey the speed laws, and please share this post with others.