How Fast Does an Electric Bike Go? Beginners Guide to eBikes Speed

How Fast Does an Electric Bike Go? Beginners Guide to eBikes Speed

Have you ever wondered just how fast electric bikes can go?

As e-bikes grow in popularity for commuting, recreation, and adventure, more riders are curious about their top speeds and capabilities.

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore all the ins and outs of electric bicycle speeds.

You’ll learn how fast different motor classes can go, factors that impact velocity, speed records, and more.

Whether you’re new to ebikes or have been riding for years, this article will give you a comprehensive overview so you can better understand these lightning-fast two-wheelers.

Buckle up your helmet and let’s hit the e-road as we uncover everything you need to know about electric bike speeds!

How Fast Does an Electric Bike Go?

One of the most common questions about electric bikes is “how fast do they go?

Well, the speeds depend on a lot of factors, which we’ll get into shortly.

But in general, an e-bike with pedal assist can hit 15-20 mph pretty easily.

Higher powered Class 3 e-bikes tap out around 28 mph.

And the fastest e-bikes using throttle-only can reach over 30 mph, rivaling mopeds!

So while speeds vary, it’s clear electric bikes provide a noticeable boost versus old-school pedal power alone.

For example, the average speed of a traditional bike is only around 10-15 mph, according to bicycling experts.

E-bikes double that in many cases!

Speed Differences by Class

To understand e-bike speeds, you first need to know the different classes.

In the U.S., there are three:

  • Class 1: Pedal assist only, max assisted speed 20 mph
  • Class 2: Throttle-assisted, max speed 20 mph
  • Class 3: Pedal assist, max speed 28 mph

As you can see, Class 3 bikes with pedal assist alone can reach 28 mph, giving them a healthy advantage.

Class 1 and 2 tap out at 20 mph.

But there are some key differences between pedal assist and using the throttle.

Let’s explore further!

How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go Without Pedaling?

One major factor in speed is whether you’re pedaling or relying solely on throttle power.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Pedal Assist: 15-28 mph, depending on class
  • Throttle Only: 20-35+ mph

Pedal assist requires your legs to be moving for the motor to kick in.

So your max speed depends on how fast you can spin.

But throttle mode activates the motor whether you’re pedaling or not.

This lets e-bikes reach 30+ mph in many cases.

For example, Rad Power Bikes states its Class 2 and Class 3 models can hit 20 mph using a combination of pedaling and throttle.

But in throttle-only mode, they can reach 32+ mph.

Of course, this drains the battery much faster than pedal assist.

But it illustrates the power and speed possible with throttle control alone!

Top Throttle-Only Speeds

Here are some top speeds for e-bikes using throttle without pedaling:

  • Aventon Pace 500: 28 mph
  • RadRunner Plus: 32+ mph
  • Ariel Rider Grizzly: 35 mph
  • Juiced Scorpion: 30 mph
  • Super73-RX: 30 mph

As you can see, some models can hit moped-like speeds over 30 mph relying on throttle alone.

But that requires a more powerful motor and battery setup.

How Fast Does a 500W Electric Bike Go?

One of the most common power ratings for e-bike motors is 500 watts.

This provides solid assist and speed for casual riding and commuting.

Here are some typical 500 watt e-bike speeds:

  • Pedal Assist Only: 15-20 mph
  • Throttle Only: 20-28 mph

With pedaling, a 500W e-bike will usually max out around 20 mph.

The motor gives you a nice boost to hit higher speeds with less effort.

But by solely using the throttle, you can access the full power potential and hit over 25 mph.

For example, the popular RadCity 5 Plus uses a 500 watt motor.

Rad Power Bikes claims it can reach 20 mph with pedal assist and 28 mph with throttle only.

So 500 watts packs some nice scoot around power!

It’s zippy for roads and paths, without going overboard on speed.

How Fast Does an 8000W Electric Bike Go?

What if we jump to the other end of the motor spectrum?

Let’s look at the crazy speeds possible with a high-powered 8000 watt e-bike:

  • Pedal Assist: 25-50 mph
  • Throttle Only: 50-80+ mph

8000 watts takes e-bikes into high-performance territory.

Now we’re talking specialty bikes built for speed.

With pedaling, an 8000W e-bike can often hit 50+ mph thanks to the tremendous power boost.

In throttle-only mode, speeds of 75+ mph are possible for elite performance bikes.

For example, the Stealth Bomber from Stealth Electric Bikes packs 8000 watts.

It boasts a top throttle speed of 80 mph in optimum conditions.

Other ultra-powered ebikes like the Huckleberry can also hit 50+ mph with pedaling alone.

So 8000 watts unlocks incredible speed potential!

How Far Can an Electric Bike Go?

Speed isn’t the only consideration – you need your e-bike battery power to last long enough to cover the required distance!

Here are some typical e-bike ranges:

  • 250-500W motors: 15-30 miles
  • 750-1000W motors: 30-50 miles
  • 2000W+ motors: 50-70+ miles

As you can see, range is hugely influenced by the size and power of the motor.

Basic commuter e-bikes with smaller motors may only manage 15-20 miles per charge.

But high-performance powerhouses can keep going for 70+ miles in optimum conditions.

Of course, factors like pedaling, terrain, rider weight, throttle use, and battery Ah (amp hours) all impact real world range too.

But in general, more motor power means more range potential.

Just be prepared to pay more for those advanced longer-range batteries!

Increasing Your Range

Here are some tips to maximize your e-bike range:

  • Use lower assist modes and pedal more
  • Avoid using throttle-only whenever possible
  • Choose efficient routes with less hills and stops
  • Check tire pressure – lower psi causes more rolling resistance
  • Stay under the max load weight for your e-bike
  • Pick a powerful motor and high Ah battery for longer range models

Following those guidelines will help you squeeze out every last mile!

Are Ebikes Faster Than Regular Bikes?

There’s no contest here – e-bikes are definitely faster than traditional manual pedal bikes!

Here’s a quick speed overview:

  • Regular bike: 10-15 mph average
  • Ebike with pedaling: 15-28 mph
  • Ebike throttle-only: 20-35+ mph

The average recreational pedal biker can manage 10-15 mph in most conditions.

But an e-bike lets you double that speed by augmenting your pedal power with electric assist.

And relying solely on throttle can push speeds into 30+ mph territory.

While elite cyclists on fast road bikes may hit 25+ mph, e-bikes allow any rider to reach those higher speeds much more easily.

The electric power component is a total game changer for speed!

What Speed Does Each Class of Ebike Reach?

Earlier we covered the general speed differences between Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes in the U.S. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Class 1 (pedal assist only): Up to 20 mph
  • Class 2 (throttle): Up to 20 mph
  • Class 3 (pedal assist only): Up to 28 mph

With Class 3, the extra 8 mph makes a very noticeable difference for faster riding.

Technically Class 1 and 2 are limited to 20 mph.

But with some pedaling effort you can override the limit. Either way, Class 3 takes the win for max assisted pedal speed.

But as we learned earlier, throttle-only riding can push Class 2 bikes over 30 mph in many cases.

So while Class 3 hits higher speeds with pedaling, throttle control allows other classes to achieve high speeds too.

Speed Setting Restrictions

One final note – some e-bikes allow you to configure max speed settings:

  • Class 1 & 2: Often configurable up to 20 mph
  • Class 3: Fixed at 28 mph max

So you may be able to adjust a Class 1 or 2 bike’s assisted top speed.

But Class 3 models are stuck at the 28 mph limit.

Food for thought!

What Factors Affect Ebike Speed?

As you can see, e-bike speeds vary quite a bit. Here are the key factors that affect how fast your e-bike can go:

  • Motor power – Higher wattage equals more speed
  • Pedaling – Spinning faster boosts speed
  • Throttle use – Gives full motor speed when not pedaling
  • Bike weight – Heavier bikes have more resistance
  • Tire size – Larger wheels cover more ground per pedal stroke
  • Terrain – Hills and wind lower speeds
  • Rider weight – Heavier riders need more power to hit top speeds
  • Speed mode – Economy mode limits assisted top speed
  • Legal limits – Some areas restrict e-bike speeds by law

Basically, a powerful motor, spinning fast, using the throttle, on a lightweight bike, with big tires, on flat ground, ridden by a lighter person in a top speed setting is the formula for maximum e-bike velocity!

But in the real world, speeds vary based on ride conditions.

Just focus on finding your ideal blend of speed versus practicality when choosing an electric bike.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this beginner’s guide gave you a helpful overview of e-bike speeds!

The world of electric bicycles offers so many options for faster riding with less effort.

And new performance upgrades are expanding speed capabilities every year.

The key is finding an e-bike that fits your needs.

Lower powered models provide a nice assist for casual cruising. While high-performance electric bikes unleash incredible speed.

Just remember to wear a helmet and obey local speed limits wherever you ride.

Stay safe out there, and enjoy the thrill of electric cycling!

Let the adventures begin.

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Joey B. Ramsey
Passionate cyclist, father, and blogger.
I've been riding bikes since childhood and enjoy sharing my knowledge with fellow cycling enthusiasts.
My diverse bike collection allows me to write reviews and advice based on personal experience with various bikes and accessories.
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