If you are an e-bike enthusiast, you know that there is nothing like the thrill of higher speeds. You can pedal energetically, easily building up momentum and acceleration. However, the thrill of the ride might be lost once you hit the speed limit. The majority of electric bikes in the US are limited to 20 mph.
Unsurprisingly, those who use electric bikes have discovered various methods to get rid of the slower speed limit. There are three primary ways to maximize your e-bike’s speed: you can remove the limiting wire, use the Handy Method, or use a tuning kit.
Luckily, you’ll be learning the answer to the question of how to remove the speed limiter on an electric bike in this article.
But before we dive into the how, let’s learn the why! It’s up to you to make a good choice here.
Why Do Electric Bicycles Have Speed Limits?
Electric bikes are a big hit and for good reason. They’re fun to ride, easy to use, and an environmentally friendly and fast way to get around town. But what about those speed limits?
Electric bikes are typically limited to a top speed of 20 mph or 28 mph, which might seem like a lot but is actually pretty slow compared to an average bike or car. So why do electric bikes have speed limits?
Three main reasons electric bike manufacturers limit their speeds are liability, safety, and the law.
If you are hurt on an electric bike that exceeds its manufacturer’s maximum speed limit, there is room for debate as to whether the manufacturer is responsible for your injuries, especially if you were riding at higher speeds than recommended by the manufacturer.
Manufacturers tackle the problem by collecting speed data. If it goes above the limit, the electric bike’s speed limiter kicks in, and you can no longer accelerate with the help of the motor.
Faster travel means more danger on public roads, especially when it comes to e-bikes, which don’t have doors or much in the way of protection from other vehicles if something goes wrong. Take a look at e-bike safety tips you need to know.
Many countries, including the United States, have an e-bike classification system that limits how much electric bike motors can assist the rider. The maximum speed under these laws is 20 mph if a throttle is included or 28 mph if the bike is pedal assist only.
You should read about e-bike classification in detail before deciding whether to proceed with altering your e-bike’s speed.
How Does An Electric Bike Calculate Speed Using Sensor Wiring and Magnetic Devices?
Most electric bikes’ entire electric circuit relies on data recorded and provided by the sensor. It translates the information so that the unit can alter how much assistance should be provided by the motor.
All you have to do is modify the sensor wiring for this method to work. But first, you must understand how a sensor works with a magnetic device to control the speed limit.
In electric bike tool kits, you can locate a magnetic device on its rear wheel while the sensor can be found on the frame base.
To calculate speed, the magnetic device and sensor wiring work together and use the circumference of the wheel. The bigger the wheel, the greater the speed.
Derestricting or Tuning of an E-Bike
Derestricting, typically known as tuning, is the removal of your electric bike’s speed limiter. It prevents the electrical power from your electric bike’s engine from getting released.
The manufacturer puts these restrictions in line with the current regulations.
For example, your electric bike might come equipped with a motor of 250 watts. Even though it is capable of running your e-bike at speeds higher than 25 km/h, once it reaches the speed limit, the vehicle will no longer accelerate.
How Can You Remove the Speed Limiter on Electric Bicycles?
There are three ways to remove the speed limiter on your electric bike. Removing the bicycle limiting wire, the Handy method, and using an e-bike tuning kit to alter the speed rate.
Before getting rid of the speed limiter, you must understand that you will be solely responsible for the consequences of de-restricting your electric bike. And you will almost for sure void any warranty of your electric bike.
Remove the Limiting Wire
This process is the easiest of all three, but it only applies to electric bikes with a limiting wire installed.
You need to locate the wire and remove it from your electric bike. Once removed, your bike’s speed will increase significantly. Here’s how you can do it:
- Start by locating the limiting wire. Typically, it can be found in the controller in the form of a single wire.
- Once located, remove it carefully from the connector.
The Handy Method
This method is typically reserved for mechanical bikes and is effective if your bike allows it. Here are the things you will need to carry out the task:
- Sturdy tape
- Holding Material
Once you have the necessary materials, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:
- Locate the magnetic device and sensor wiring. You can either bring them out or change either equipment’s place.
- For slower speed limiters, locate the pedal bracket and attach the magnetic device to it.
- Move the sensor in such a way that it directly faces the magnet.
Use a Tuning Kit
Professional riders often complain about maximum speed limits, which hinders their performance. To accommodate them, manufacturers produced e-bike tuning kits (find here on Amazon).
While the above two mentioned methods can be done at home with little expense, the e-bike tools needed for this job will cost you money. Thus, you’ll need to invest in a specialized tool kit to eliminate the speed limiter.
Typically, you’ll find two types of kits on the market, and here is how to remove the speed limiter on an electric bike using a tool kit.
It doesn’t require circuit disassembly of the electric bike and instead uses switches.
By accessing the keypad lightning button, you can easily activate or deactivate the switches. However, you will be required to remove the battery beforehand.
The Type 2 kit is more efficient and convenient to use.
Even though it does not require any circuit disassembly, you will need to locate the sensor on the electric bike and attach a part of the kit to it.
Before taking out your electric bike, make sure that the kit is securely attached to the sensor. Once done, your electric bike will be moving at a faster pace without any restrictions.
Does Derestriction Increase Motor Power?
People claim that the derestriction of an electric bike increases its motor power, but that is one of the most common myths in the electric bike industry. The misconception is that if you remove the restrictors from your motor, you have more power, which is not true!
The purpose of a limiter on an electric bike is to protect the battery from over-discharge and over-charge, as well as for safety reasons.
A key point to remember is that removing the limiter does not increase your motor power. It only increases your top speed and torque at that speed.
What Are the Possible Implications of E-bike Tuning?
Tuning your e-bike is completely legal in the US, but there are some essential things to keep in mind before you start tweaking your ride:
- Tuning can void your manufacturer’s warranty on your bike and/or battery pack.
- You can potentially void your insurance policy.
- Tuning might violate local laws about noise pollution or operating motor vehicles on public roads.
- Tuning might violate local laws about electric vehicles on public roads.
Other Ways to Increase Your Electric Bike’s Speed
Instead of using the three methods listed above, you can make minor modifications to your electric bike to increase its overall speed. Here are a few ways you can modify your electric bike to reach higher speeds:
Change the Battery
The battery is one of the most important parts of your electric bike. It powers the motor and allows you to ride longer distances without needing to recharge or stop for gas.
Some tires on an electric bike can be changed out for different ones that will help you go faster. For example, if you have knobby tires on your bike now, you could upgrade them with slick tires instead.
The only downside here is that slick tires can be dangerous on gravel roads, loose dirt, or rocky terrain.
Install a Windshield
Consider investing in a windshield if your electric bike offers a higher inbuilt speed.
The aerodynamic features of a windshield allow it to be more efficient, reduce drag and improve speed by up to 5 km/h!
Install a New Motor
Fine-tuning an electric bike will not affect its motor’s power. If you want an increased speed, consider replacing the current motor with a more powerful engine.
Adjust Default Settings
The electric bike collects speed data by counting the wheel revolutions within a specific time frame. You can change the speed limit by simply altering its settings.
Access settings from the control panel and reduce the wheel size.
For instance, if your bike is equipped with 26-inch wheels. You can input size 18 in the control panel. Since the controller believes the wheels are smaller than they actually are, it will increase the speed limit!
Final Thoughts on How to Remove Speed Limiter on Electric Bike
Now that you know how to manipulate speed data using an electric bike tool kit, it is time to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in you. With the speed limiter out of the way, you can enjoy your electric bike’s optimum speed!