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How Fast Are Electric Bikes? (E-Bike Top Speed)

E-bike Top Speed

Most e-bikes have a top speed of either 20 or 28 mph. The top speed of an electric bike depends on the class of the e-bike and the local laws where you live. In most countries, e-bikes have an electronic speed limiter that restricts the top speed.

In general, the speed limits are:

  • 15.5 mph or 25 km/h in the U.K., most of Europe, and Australia
  • 20 mph or 32 km/h in most U.S. states and Canada
  • 28 mph or 45 km/h in some U.S. states
There are also non street legal e-bikes that can reach speeds of 60+ mph.

Electric bikes are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation around cities. You might wonder, how fast are electric bikes?

The maximum speed of e-bikes is set by local laws. Software is used to electronically limit the e-bike’s maximum speed. The legal speed limit depends on where you live. There are also non street legal e-bikes with much higher top speeds. The speed also depends on the e-bike class, the motor’s power output, battery performance, the pedal assist or throttle system, the rider weight, the terrain, and more.

I’ve been riding e-bikes for almost 10 years now. In that time, I’ve experimented with several different classes of e-bikes. In this guide, I’ll share my personal experience.

A man riding a fast e-bike with dual batteries.
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Table of Contents

How Fast Are Electric Bikes?

The legal speed limit depends on where you live and the class of the e-bike. Most e-bike laws in the United States limit ebikes to a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) on public roads and pathways. Some U.S. states have a speed limit of 28 mph (45 km/h)

In the U.K., most of Europe, and Australia, the legal speed limit for electric bicycles is 15.5 mph (25 km/h). In most of Canada, the legal speed limit for electric bikes is 20 mph (32 km/h).

An electric bike

The top speed is electronically limited. The bike’s control unit is programmed to automatically trail the motor’s power off to zero after you reach the top speed. Once you fall below the speed limit, the motor kicks back in again. This is all controlled by software. These speed limits are put in place to improve safety for riders and pedestrians.

Most e-bikes are physically capable of traveling at higher speeds if the speed limiter is removed. A high-powered electric bike may be physically capable of reaching speeds of 30-50 mph or even faster if the top speed isn’t limited by software.

Of course, outside factors, such as the terrain, the rider’s weight, wind, and outside temperatures, can also affect the bike’s maximum speed.

A woman riding a white ebike

E-Bike Classes

In the United States, electric bikes are divided into three classes. The class indicates the top speed and the control type (pedal assist or throttle).

Class 1 E-bikes

Class 1 e-bikes have a maximum speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). They only offer pedal assist (pedelec). They do not have a throttle.

After you reach 20 mph, the power trails off to zero. At that point, you can only pedal the bike. When your speed drops below 20 mph, the pedal assist activates again.

In some countries, class 1 e-bike have a maximum speed of 15.5 mph or 25 km/h. This is the most common type of e-bike.

Class 2 E-bikes

Class 2 e-bikes also have a maximum speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). The difference is that class 2 e-bikes have a throttle that allows you to ride without pedaling. Most models also offer pedal assist in addition to the throttle.

After you reach 20 mph, the power trails off to zero. When your speed drops 20 mph the threshold, the throttle works again.

In many countries, throttle-controlled e-bikes are illegal. Only pedal assist is legal. In some countries, e-bikes can only have a throttle that works up to around 5 mph. This makes it easier to start from a stop.

Class 3 E-bikes

Class 3 e-bikes have a maximum speed of 28 mph (45 km/h). These bikes can have a throttle, pedal assist, or both.

Class 3 e-bikes have more restrictions than the other classes. They can work in a few different ways. Some have a throttle while others don’t.

Usually, if a class 3 e-bike has a throttle, it usually only works up to 20 mph. At speeds over 20mph, the throttle stops working and you can only use pedal assist up to 28 mph. After you reach 28 mph, the power trails off to zero.

When your speed drops below 28 mph, you can use the pedal assist again. When your speed drops below 20 mph, you can use the throttle again.

Class 3 ebikes are sometimes referred to as speed pedelecs.

An ebike on grass in a field

Removing the Speed Limiter on an E-Bike (Chipping an E-Bike)

The top speed of most e-bikes is limited by software. Most e-bikes are physically capable of reaching higher speeds.

Software speed limiters are installed to keep the bike compliant with local laws. The legal limit only applies when you’r riding on public roads.

Some people choose to “chip” their e-bikes to increase the top speed. Chipping your e-bike means you are increasing the speed limit or removing the speed limit completely. This can increase the top speed of your e-bike considerably.

On most electric bikes, it’s relatively easy to remove the software block. Sometimes, the manufacturer will even tell you how to do it. This is common if the e-bike is sold as a class 2 but class 3 is legal where you live.

Some e-bikes come with a ‘racetrack’ mode that you can access using the handlebar-mounted display. This mode eliminates the speed limiter. When this mode is enabled, you can ride as fast as your e-bike is physically capable. You can legally use this mode when you’re not riding on public roads.

Most electric bikes can reach 25-40 mph when the speed limiter is removed. There are some powerful electric bikes that are capable of reaching speeds of 60+ mph.

A man riding an ebike on the side of a rural road

The legality of chipping your e-bike varies. It’s illegal in some countries and cities. Chipping your e-bike may change the way it’s classified. For example, by chipping, you might convert your e-bike into a moped under the eyes of the law. Your modified e-bike may fall under a different set of regulations. In some places, it is simply illegal to chip your e-bike. You could be fined if you’re caught riding an illegal e-bike on public roads.

There are safety considerations as well. If you remove the speed limiter on an electric bike that was not designed for riding at high speeds, the brakes may not be able to slow you down fast enough. The tires may not be able to handle the speed. Some e-bike tires are only rated for speeds up to 20 mph. The bike frame and components may not be up for the task either. High speeds put more stress on the bikes’ components. A catastrophic failure while riding at high speeds can be extremely dangerous.

A black ebike

How Much Faster Is an Electric Bike Than Normal Bicycle?

A beginner rider averages around 10-12 mph on a normal bicycle. A more experienced cyclist can average around 15-16 mph. Professional cyclists can average 25+ mph.

Electric bikes are significantly faster. Particularly for beginner and intermediate cyclists. Beginners can maintain 20 mph on a class 1 or class 2 e-bike.

On a class 3 or speed pedelec e-bike, a beginner cyclist can maintain a speed of up to 25-28 mph. That’s about as fast as a professional cyclist.

E-bikes are also faster up hills and into headwinds. For example, with a normal bike, a steep hill or a strong headwind might slow you down to 10 mph. With a powerful e-bike, you could speed up the hill or power through the headwind at 20 mph.

Normal bikes are just as fast as ebike when riding downhill

The World’s Fastest Electric Bikes

The fastest electric bike that you can buy today is the Hi Power Cycles Revolution XX. This bike has a top speed of around 70 mph (112.7 km/h). Some riders have claimed to reach a top speed of 74 mph (119 km/h).

There are plenty of fast e-bikes on the market. The Hi Power Cycles Revolution X has a top speed of 65 mph. The SWIND EB-01 has a top speed of 60mph. The Stealth Electric Bikes B-52 has a top speed of 50 mph. The Delfast Top 3.0i also has a top speed of 50mph. These are some of the fastest electric bikes currently on the market.

These bikes are often marketed as off-road vehicles. Not e-bikes. They aren’t street legal in most cities, though people do ride them on the streets.

If you want to travel at higher speeds, you’ll have to look at electric motorcycles.

What Are the Consequences of Riding Above the Speed Limit?

If you chip your e-bike or ride a non street legal e-bike on public roads, you are breaking the law in most countries. If you’re caught, you could be ticketed. In some places, the bike may be impounded. If you cause an accident, you could be at fault because you were driving illegally. E-bike laws aren’t strictly enforced in most places but it’s best not to break the law.

Factors that Affect Electric Bike Top Speed

1. Electric Bike Motor Power Output

An electric bike motor

Ebike motor size is legally limited in some countries. In the U.K. and most of Europe, pedelec e-bike motors are limited to 250 watts. In most of the U.S., e-bikes are limited to a max motor size of 750 watts. The maximum motor size is 500 watts in most of Canada.

Sometimes, peak power output is higher can be higher. For example, some 250 watt e-bikes have a boost button on the handlebars that increases the power output to 500 watts temporarily. This is useful when starting from a stop or while climbing a hill.

There are also non-street legal e-bikes with larger motors ranging from 1000-6000 watts.

An electric bike

Battery Voltage and E-Bike Speed

The battery can also have a direct impact on the speed of the e-bike. The voltage of the battery plays a role in determining the amount of power that an e-bike can produce. A higher voltage battery means more power and faster speeds.

Most electric bike batteries range from 24 to 72 V. Voltage is a measure of electrical potential, or the difference in electric charge between two points. The higher the voltage, the more power an electric device needs to operate.

If you want to increase your e-bike’s speed, you may be able to install a higher voltage battery. For example, it may be possible to upgrade from a 36V to a 48V battery. Many e-bike controllers can handle a slightly higher voltage.

Rider and Cargo Weight

The weight of the rider, cargo, and the bike itself all affect the top speed. It takes more energy to accelerate more mass.

A rider that weighs 100 pounds will be able to accelerate faster and reach a higher top speed than a rider who weighs 200 pounds, assuming all else is equal.

The Terrain

The type of terrain you’re riding on also affects your top speed and acceleration. You’ll be able to accelerate faster and reach a higher top speed on a smooth paved path than you can on a rough single-track trail, loose gravel, or wet roads.

The incline or decline also affects your speed. Most e-bikes can’t reach their top speed while climbing hills. While descending hills, you’ll often surpass the top speed of your e-bike and the motor will cut out.

Motor Placement

The motor placement doesn’t really affect the top speed. Both mid-drive and hub motor e-bikes can be class 1, 2, or 3. Most of the fastest e-bikes have mid-drive motors because they can take advantage of the bike’s gears.


Acceleration can be more important than the top speed. Particularly if you’re riding in stop-and-go city traffic. A good electric bike can accelerate from 0 to 20 mph in 3-4 seconds.

The acceleration depends on a number of factors including the motor type and motor power. An electric bike with a geared hub motor can accelerate faster than an e-bike with an e-bike with a direct drive motor. A more powerful motor will also accelerate faster than a smaller motor. Higher voltage e-bikes can also accelerate faster.

The torque of the motor also affects acceleration. Torque is a measurement of the amount of rotational force that the motor can generate. Electric bikes with higher torque can accelerate faster from a stop and climb steeper hills.

FAQ About Electric Bike Top Speed

An electric bike on a grassy path

How Fast is a 250w Ebike?

250 watts is the most common e-bike motor size. Most 250w e-bikes can reach a maximum speed of around 20 mph (32 km/h) on flat ground. On a hill, a 250w e-bike may only be able to reach 3-5 mph. On a steep hill with a heavy rider, a 250w e-bike may not have enough power. You may have to get off the bike and push.

How Fast Does a 500w E-bike Go?

An electric bike with a 500w motor can reach speeds of 20-25 mph (32-40 km/h) on flat ground. With this much power, you’ll be able to ride up any hill without having to get off the bike and walk. Even if you’re a heavier rider. You won’t be able to ride up hills at max speed. The bike will still slow down on hills.

How Fast Can 750w Electric Bikes Go?

Most class 3 and speed pedelec e-bikes come with a 750 watt motor. An e-bike with a 750w motor is capable of reaching speeds of 28 mph or 45 km/h on flat ground. A 750w e-bike has enough power to climb up steep hills without slowing down.

How Fast Can a 1000w Ebike Go?

A 1000w electric bike can reach a max speed of 28-35 mph (45-56 km/h). A 48V model may be capable of reaching speeds of 38 mph (61 km/h). This is considered a powerful e-bike. 1000w e-bikes aren’t street-legal in most countries.

Can an E-bike Go 50 MPH?

Yes. Some electric bikes are capable of reaching speeds of 50 mph. In order to reach 50 mph, you would need an electric bike with a motor with 3000 watts of power or more. Many non street legal e-bikes are capable of reaching these speeds.

A blue electric bike with panniers

Final Thoughts

Electric bikes are one of the most versatile, fun, and cost-effective modes of transportation out there. They’re also surprisingly fast. Most electric bikes are electronically limited to 15.5 or 20 mph (25 or 32 km/h). Some class 3 or speed pedelec electric bikes can reach speeds of 28 mph. Some high-powered non street legal electric bikes that are not software-limited can reach speeds of 40-50 mph (64-80 km/h) or more.

Do you ride an electric bike? How fast does it go? Share your experience in the comments below!

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