Tuesday, November 8, 2022

How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go Without Pedaling?

Electric bikes have emerged as a popular option for those looking for an alternative to traditional bicycles. While they may look similar to conventional bikes, electric bikes are equipped with a motor and battery that assist the rider in pedaling. They may also have a throttle that allows them to go much faster than a regular bike, without pedaling.

Most electric bikes with throttle can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour without pedaling. In most countries, including the USA, electric bikes are legally limited to having a throttle with a maximum speed of 20mph.

Read on for a more in-depth look at how fast electric bikes can go without pedaling, as well as what factors influence their top speed.

Top Speed of Electric Bikes Without Pedaling

As mentioned, the top speed of an electric bike using throttle only is 20 miles per hour. However, some throttle speeds max out around 15mph, depending on the type of e-bike and motor.

To clarify, you don’t need to pedal if you are using a throttle. However, even if you have a Class 3 e-bike that can go as fast as 28mph, you generally won’t go faster than 20mph without pedaling in addition to throttling.

But you may go faster than 20 mph if you both throttle and pedal your e-bike. In general, the harder you pedal, the faster you will go.

Top Speed of E-Bike With Pedal Assist

Pedal assist speeds typically range anywhere from 15 to 30 miles per hour, depending on the bike. The majority of electric bikes have a maximum speed of 20mph (Class 1 and Class 2), while some offer higher speeds of 28mph or more (learn more about the e-bike Classification System).

Also, entry-level electric bikes may have a lower top speed than more expensive models. This is because they tend to have a smaller motor and battery, which limits their power output.

Similarly, electric bikes with larger wheels will tend to have a higher top speed than those with smaller wheels (especially 16-inch or 12-inch small wheels). This is because the larger wheels provide more momentum, making it easier for the motor to propel the bike forward.

Further, there are throttle-only e-bikes and pedal-assist-only models (often called Pedelecs).

Speed Comparison of Electric Bike Models at Various Prices

To give you a better idea of the range of speeds that different electric bikes are capable of reaching, we’ve compiled a list of some of the popular models on the market and their prices.

The below table compares the top speed of each bike in throttle-only mode and pedal-assist mode.

As you can see, the average speed for most electric bikes is in the 20-something miles-per-hour range.

Brand and ModelTop Pedal Assist SpeedPrice
Juiced Bikes HyperScorpion30 mph$2499
Aventon Level.228 mph$1949
Lectric XP 3.020 mph (modify to 28mph)$1099
Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus20 mph$1999
AddMotor M-560 P720 mph$2199
Heybike Cityscape19 mph$949
Jetson Bolt Pro16 mph$528

Factors that Affect the Top Speed of Electric Bikes

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different factors that can affect the top speed of an electric bike. It’s important to understand how these factors work in order to choose the right bike for your needs.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important factors affecting the average speed:

Motor

The type of motor is one of the most important factors to consider when determining the top speed of an electric bike. There are two main types of motors used in electric bikes: 

  • Hub motors 
  • Mid-drive motors. 

Hub motors are found in lower-priced models, while mid-drive motors are more common in higher-quality, pricier models. In general, hub motors tend to be less powerful than mid-drive motors. This means that they typically have a lower top speed.

Battery

The battery is another important factor to consider when determining the top speed of an electric bike. Batteries come in various sizes, which ultimately affects their power output and, as a result, the bike’s top speed.

In general, electric bikes with larger batteries will have a higher top speed than those with smaller batteries. This is because the larger battery provides high power output to the motor, making it easier to achieve a higher top speed.

Terrain Elevation

Whether it’s hiking uphill or biking up a mountain, we all know how exhausting it can be to ride a bike on uphill terrain. That’s because gravity is working against you, making it harder for the bike to move forward.

The same principle applies to electric bikes. When riding on uphill terrain, an e-bike has to work harder to overcome gravity, which ultimately results in a lower average speed, even with pedal assistance or throttle. So if your riding spot is known for its steep path, prepare yourself for a slower ride. I’d recommend that you begin increasing pedal assist levels before you hit a steep hill.

The converse is true for downhill terrain. When riding downhill, gravity is working in your favor, making it easier for your electric bike to move forward. As a result, you can expect a higher top speed.

Terrain Type

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to ride a bike on a paved road than it is to ride on a dirt trail?

That’s because the smooth, level surface of a paved trail provides less resistance than the uneven surface of a dirt trail. As a result, it takes less effort to ride on a paved road, which ultimately results in a higher top speed.

The same principle applies to electric bikes. When riding on a paved road, you can expect to go faster than when riding on a dirt or rocky trail. Similarly, riding on a concrete path will typically be faster than riding on grass or gravel.

Weight

The weight of the e-bike and rider is another important factor to consider when determining the top speed. In general, electric bikes with a lighter weight will have a higher top speed than those that are heavier. This is because the lighter bike is easier for the motor to propel forward.

The same goes for the rider. A lighter rider will typically be able to achieve a higher average speed or top speed than a heavier rider.

Before purchasing an electric bike, be sure to research the weight limit of the model you’re interested in. If you’ll be wearing heavier clothing or carrying additional weight on the bike, it’s important to consider this to ensure that you’ll be able to achieve the desired top speed. 

The Bottom Line

In general, electric bikes can reach speeds of up to 20 mph without pedaling, although an overall top speed of 28 mph can be reached in some e-bikes by pedaling. The top speed of an electric bike is determined by a variety of factors, including the motor type, battery size, terrain elevation, weight, and terrain type.

If you’re looking for a fast ride or one without having to pedal, be sure to consider all of these factors before making your purchase.

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