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Why Are Ebikes Limited to 15-20 Mph?

why are ebikes limited to 15-20 mph

Getting around the town and congested traffic while not breaking a sweat, or zooming on the trail is the main reason why you would want an e-bike or electric mountain bike. Equipped with pedaling assist they will help you reach and maintain high speed, for either convenience or trill. But, when you reach the speed of 15 mph for e-bikes or 20 mph for the e-mountain bike; they will stop.

Both e-bikes and e-mountain bikes come equipped with an electric motor that boosts your pedaling power, allowing you to reach speeds you couldn’t on your leg power alone. This allows you to enjoy your ride without getting sweaty or tired. Either of these will not provide you with assistance all the time, and once you reach their speed limit they will stop the boosting of your pedaling.

E-bikes and e-mountain bikes have legally mandated maximum speeds at which they must shut down. It is for safety reasons, as the majority of targeted consumers are inexperienced riders.

Speeds Limited for Safety

Riding a bike at high speeds requires both strength and skills. As you ride more and more, you are building up the strength, but also acquire the skills of making split-second decisions and not panicking when you get in a potentially dangerous situation due to the recklessness of other commuters. Without these skills, it can be potentially very dangerous to zoom around traffic at speeds that you can’t handle.

Safety is the reason why electric bicycles don’t provide a boost above the speeds of 15 or 20 mph. In case that you can pedal to higher speeds, you very likely have the skills needed to stay safe in traffic and avoid other vehicles and drivers who are inconsiderate of the fact that you are much less protected than they are.

What Speeds Are E-Bikes Limited To?

E-bikes don’t have an actual speed limit, their electric motor provides assistance to your efforts, so they can go as fast as you can pedal. But they do have a cutoff point for the boost they provide. In many states and countries around the world, this limit is set to 15 mph, but in some areas, it is 20 or 28 mph.

Otherwise, the limit of the maximum speed at which you can ride your e-bike is determined by your ability. Beyond the maximum speed at which it can provide pedaling assistance, it is running just on your own strength. Because of this, it can go only as fast as you can make it go.

This 750 W model ebike by eAhora is able to travel up to 28 mph with relative ease.

How Fast Can an Electric Bike Legally Go?

Just like any other vehicle driver, e-bike riders have to obey all traffic laws, including the speed limit. Yes, you can get a speeding ticket if you get caught riding your bike above the limit. E-bikes can go as fast as you can paddle them, while it would be hard for many people to go above the 50 mph speed limit, school zones can have lower ones.

The majority of school zones have a speed limit of 20 mph, but some can have even as low as 15 or 10 mph, which are speeds you can achieve on an e-bike without pedaling. Riding at speeds above these in a school zone is illegal.

Can I Make My Electric Bike Go Faster?

There are many ways to make an e-bike go faster, the easiest one is to pedal faster, and it is also the only legal way to do so. You can also derestrict your e-bike, by removing the maximum speed at which it provides assistance, or swap its electric motor for one with a higher voltage.

Derestricting and motor swaps will get you a vehicle whose existence is not regulated on the public roads and thus is illegal. Because very likely you are not skilled rider enough to drive your bike above the speeds at which it provides the boost, derestricting it can be dangerous.

Is It Dangerous to Derestrict an E-Bike?

It can be very dangerous. In case that you are an inexperienced cyclist, it is very easy to get the e-bike to speeds that are beyond your skill level. There is also a question of whether your e-bike was built for such speeds.

Many models are intended to be driven by people who can’t paddle beyond the top assisted speed and are not equipped with the essential devices capable of withstanding such speeds or performing safely at them. For example, brakes are usually not providing sufficient stopping power to safely bring you to stop over some reasonable distance.

In addition to this, if by some chance you get in an accident with a derestricted e-bike, your insurance company very likely will refuse to pay damages. Also, your warranty on the e-bike will be void.

Classes of Ebikes

Many states have adopted the classification system of e-bikes. Though there is no need for licensing, depending on the class in some states certain e-bikes are banned from paths designated for pedestrians and cyclists.

The most common is divided into three classes, Class 1 through 3.

Class 1

Class 1 e-bikes are those that provide pedaling assistance only while you are pedaling. They don’t have a throttle and generally do not provide assistance beyond the speed of 20 mph.

Class 2

These are the e-bikes that have throttle and can achieve a speed of up to 20 mph either with or without pedaling.

Class 3

The third class is e-bikes that provide assistance constantly while you are pedaling, but the assistance shutoff point is at 28 mph.

Final Thoughts

E-bikes provide an extra oomph to your pedaling, they are a very convenient way of getting quickly from point A to point B while being very economical and very environmentally friendly. Because of their very low power they don’t require a driver’s license nor vehicle registration. Despite this, they still have certain limitations imposed on the speeds at which they are allowed to provide assistance.

The e-bikes most commonly provide pedaling assistance, thus allowing you to ride at a higher speed than possible from your legwork alone. And once you reach a certain speed, most commonly 15 or 20 mph, they stop with assisting. While most of them can be driven at higher speeds, they can be achieved only by pedaling as a safety measure.

Just like any other participant in road traffic, when you ride an e-bike, you still must respect all the laws. While the e-bike will not take you over a speed limit on the electric power alone, you still can get a ticket if you are speeding. Limits of the maximum speed at which an e-bike provides you assistance can be removed, but it is not safe and voids the warranty.

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