How Fast Can An E-Bike Go?

The top speed of an e-bike depends on its motor power and the level of assistance provided by the electric system. Generally, e-bikes can reach speeds between 20 to 28 mph (32 to 45 km/h), with some high-performance models going even faster.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that determine an e-bike’s top speed, discuss the different types of e-bikes and their speed capabilities, and provide some tips on how to safely and legally ride an e-bike at high speeds.

Factors Affecting E-Bike Speed

The top speed of an e-bike is influenced by various factors that work together to determine its performance. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions and maximize your e-bike’s speed capabilities. Let’s delve deeper into each factor a little bit:

Motor power

The electric motor’s power is a crucial determinant of an e-bike’s speed potential. For example, a high-performance e-bike with a 750-watt motor can reach up to 28 mph (45 km/h).

E-bikes with lower-powered motors, such as 250 watts, may have a top speed of around 20 mph (32 km/h). It’s important to consider your local regulations regarding motor power limits.

Assistance level

The assistance level you choose significantly affects the e-bike’s speed. For instance, when set to a higher assistance level, an e-bike can significantly boost your pedaling power, allowing you to reach and maintain higher speeds effortlessly.

Some e-bikes offer different assistance modes, such as eco, standard, and sport, each offering varying levels of power assistance.

Battery capacity

The capacity of the e-bike’s battery plays a crucial role in the duration of electric assistance and, consequently, the achievable top speed.

An e-bike with a larger capacity battery, such as 500 watt-hours (Wh), can provide longer-lasting assistance and maintain higher speeds throughout your ride compared to an e-bike with a smaller capacity battery, like 300 Wh.

Rider’s effort

Your pedaling effort directly impacts the e-bike’s speed. When you contribute a significant amount of power through pedaling, especially when combined with electric assistance, you can achieve higher speeds.

For example, if you pedal with force and maintain a consistent cadence, you can make the most of the electric motor’s power and reach the upper limits of the e-bike’s speed capabilities.

Terrain and conditions

The type of terrain and prevailing conditions can affect an e-bike’s speed. For instance, even with electric assistance, the e-bike’s speed will naturally be lower when riding uphill due to the increased resistance.

Riding on flat surfaces or downhill allows you to take full advantage of electric assistance and reach higher speeds. Wind conditions can also impact your speed, as riding against a strong headwind may require more effort to maintain high speeds.


The overall weight carried by the e-bike impacts its speed performance. For example, if you are carrying heavy cargo on a cargo e-bike or if the rider themselves is heavier, the motor may need to work harder to maintain higher speeds.

On the other hand, riding with a lighter load, such as without any cargo or with a lightweight rider, can contribute to easier acceleration and increased speed.

Different Classes of E-Bikes

E-bikes are categorized into different classes, each with specific speed capabilities and regulations. Understanding these classifications can help you choose the right e-bike for your needs and ensure compliance with local laws. Let’s explore each type in more detail:

Class 1 e-bikes (Pedal Assist)

Class 1 e-bikes provide assistance only when you’re pedaling, and they have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).

These e-bikes are designed to replicate the experience of traditional cycling while providing an extra boost of electric assistance. They are popular among commuters and recreational riders who want a moderate speed increase while still engaging in active pedaling.

Read our review of a Class 1 bike: Tenways CGO800S Review

Class 2 e-bikes (Throttle Assist)

Class 2 e-bikes feature a throttle that provides assistance up to 20 mph (32 km/h), regardless of whether you’re pedaling or not.

With a simple twist or push of the throttle, you can activate the electric motor and maintain a consistent speed without the need for constant pedaling. Class 2 e-bikes offer a convenient option for riders who may have mobility limitations or prefer not to pedal consistently.

Read our review of a Class 2 bike: Aventon Sinch Review

Class 3 e-bikes (Speed Pedelecs)

Class 3 e-bikes provide pedal assistance up to 28 mph (45 km/h), making them faster than Class 1 and 2 e-bikes.

These e-bikes are designed for riders who want a higher speed option while still benefiting from the electric assistance. It’s important to note that Class 3 e-bikes may have additional restrictions on where they can be ridden. Some areas limit their access to certain paths or trails, while others require riders to wear helmets or follow specific regulations.

Read our review of a Class 3 bike: Aventon Aventure 2 Review

High-performance e-bikes

Some e-bikes, often referred to as high-performance or high-speed e-bikes, are capable of reaching speeds well beyond the typical limits of Class 3 e-bikes.

These e-bikes are designed for riders who seek a thrilling and fast-paced riding experience. However, it’s essential to understand that high-performance e-bikes are often classified as electric mopeds or motorcycles, depending on their speed capabilities.

These e-bikes may require additional licensing, registration, and insurance similar to those required for motorized vehicles.

When choosing an e-bike, consider your intended use, local regulations, and personal preferences. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are generally more widely accepted and can be ridden in various locations without additional requirements. Class 3 e-bikes are popular among riders who desire higher speeds but should be ridden in compliance with local regulations. High-performance e-bikes offer exceptional speed capabilities but require careful consideration of legal requirements and potential limitations.

Legal Speed Limits for E-Bikes

The legal speed limits for e-bikes can vary depending on the country and region. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations specific to your location to ensure compliance. Here are a couple of examples:

United States

In the U.S., federal law defines the three classes of e-bikes mentioned earlier, with Class 1 and 2 e-bikes having a speed limit of 20 mph (32 km/h), and Class 3 e-bikes having a speed limit of 28 mph (45 km/h).

However, it’s important to note that state and local regulations may further restrict e-bike speeds and usage on certain trails or paths as state rules may vary.

European Union and UK

In the European Union and the UK, e-bikes (known as pedelecs) are generally limited to a maximum assisted speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph).

E-bikes capable of speeds above this limit are classified as speed pedelecs, which may require additional licensing and insurance, similar to mopeds.

Always consult the specific regulations and laws in your area to ensure that you adhere to the prescribed speed limits for your e-bike.

Tips for Safely Riding an E-Bike at High Speeds

Riding an e-bike at high speeds can be thrilling, but it’s important to prioritize safety for yourself and others on the road. Here are some additional tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience:

  • Maintain proper body position: When riding at higher speeds, it’s essential to maintain a balanced and stable body position. Keep your weight centered over the bike, with a slight bend in your elbows and knees. This will provide better control and stability, especially when navigating turns or encountering obstacles.
  • Practice braking techniques: Knowing how to effectively use your brakes is crucial when riding at high speeds. Familiarize yourself with your e-bike’s braking system and practice gradual and controlled braking. Avoid sudden or excessive braking, as it can lead to loss of control or skidding. Modulate the brake pressure to slow down smoothly and maintain stability.
  • Maintain a safe following distance: Give yourself ample space between your e-bike and the vehicle or cyclist in front of you. This extra distance allows for better reaction time and ensures that you have enough space to brake safely. Avoid tailgating and always maintain a safe following distance to account for any sudden stops or changes in traffic.
  • Be mindful of road conditions: Pay close attention to the road surface and any potential hazards that could affect your ride at higher speeds. Wet or slippery surfaces, loose gravel, potholes, or debris can pose risks. Adjust your speed accordingly and be prepared to maneuver around obstacles. Smooth, well-maintained roads are generally safer for riding at higher speeds.
  • Be visible and use lights: Enhance your visibility to others on the road by using lights, especially when riding at dawn, dusk, or in low-light conditions. Make sure your e-bike’s front and rear lights are functioning properly. Wearing reflective clothing and using reflective accessories can also increase your visibility to motorists.
  • Stay focused and avoid distractions: When riding at high speeds, it’s crucial to stay focused on the road ahead. Avoid distractions such as using your phone, listening to loud music, or engaging in any activity that diverts your attention from the surroundings. Keep both hands on the handlebars and be prepared to react to any unexpected situations.
  • Practice gradual acceleration and deceleration: When starting from a stop or accelerating, gradually increase your speed to maintain control and stability. Similarly, when decelerating or coming to a stop, gradually reduce your speed rather than abruptly applying the brakes. This smooth acceleration and deceleration will help you maintain balance and prevent skidding or loss of control.
  • Consider advanced safety features: Some e-bikes come equipped with advanced safety features such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS) or integrated lights. These features can enhance your safety at high speeds by improving braking performance or increasing your visibility to others on the road. Explore e-bike models that offer these additional safety features for added peace of mind.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when riding an e-bike at high speeds. By following these tips and exercising caution, you can enjoy the thrill of high-speed riding while minimizing the risks associated with it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I modify my e-bike to go faster?

While it is technically possible to modify an e-bike to increase its top speed, doing so may void the warranty, create safety risks, and potentially make your e-bike non-compliant with local regulations, resulting in fines or other penalties.

Is it harder to control an e-bike at high speeds?

E-bikes can feel different to control at higher speeds compared to traditional bicycles, especially if they are heavier or have different weight distribution. It’s important to practice riding your e-bike at various speeds in a safe environment to become familiar with its handling characteristics.


E-bikes offer an exciting and eco-friendly mode of transportation, exercise, and exploration, with speed capabilities typically ranging from 20 to 28 mph (32 to 45 km/h) depending on the class and model. By understanding the factors that affect an e-bike’s speed, familiarizing yourself with local regulations, and following safety guidelines, you can enjoy a responsible and enjoyable riding experience.

Remember to prioritize safety, respect traffic rules, and adjust your speed according to the conditions for a smooth and exhilarating e-bike journey.