A lot of newcomers have a misconception that an electric bike is a replacement for motorbikes or other vehicles, but that’s not true.
E-bikes are not Scooters as motors are not their sole power source.
Electric bikes are designed to assist you in pedaling and their maximum support speeds are determined by the motor.
Your location also plays an important role as some government regulations compel manufacturers to cap the maximum speeds of electric bikes.
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Top Speeds of Electric Dirt Bikes
There is no limit on the top speed of electric dirt bikes. The harder you pedal, the faster you’ll go.
However, pedal-assist and most other electric dirt bike functions stop working after you exceed a predetermined speed. That limit is the maximum supported speed.
The supported speed of electric bikes determines the maximum speed your motor can achieve or maintain for you.
For example, an e-bike with a maximum support speed of 20mph won’t assist you in any way if you exceed that limit. The motors automatically shut down when you go above the maximum speed
Depending on your location, electric bikes will be subjected to different regulations that put a cap on their top speeds.
- In Europe, the maximum supported speed for e-bikes is 15mph (25km/h) and their motor can have a maximum power rating of 250Watts.
- The United States, however, allows a maximum speed of 20mph (32km/h) and a maximum power rating of 500Watts.
The difference in maximum speeds for Europe and America is minimal when compared to power ratings. This means US bikes can theoretically last longer, perform better on inclines, and accelerate faster.
Classification of Electric Dirt Bikes
If you are a beginner, you won’t know that electric bikes are generally divided into three categories according to the pedaling effort you need.
Let’s take a look at the different classes of e-bikes and discuss the situations where each class is a suitable choice.
Class 1 electric bikes are the most passive option available in the market. They do not give you any assistance on throttling but make pedaling smoother for you.
Class 1 electric bikes do not have any age restriction and can access any area where bikes are allowed.
Generally, class 1 e-bikes are for people who prefer to get a closer experience to a traditional bike and get a workout.
The motor only actuates with your pedal and ceases operation once you reach the maximum speed.
Class 2 is for people who prefer a balanced approach and enjoy the experience of traditional and electric bikes. These dynamic bikes can shift between fully-automatic or assistance mode according to your requirements.
Class 2 e-bikes offer a throttling feature and allow you to operate them without pedaling to low speeds. These bikes do not have any age restriction and can access any area where bikes are allowed.
While the motor actuation is not dependent on the pedal, the actuation ceases at maximum support speed like class 1 e-bikes.
Some producers, however, add a safety feature where you need to pedal once after every while to keep the motor running.
Class 3 e-bikes are the closest variant to a Moped or a Scooter as they are fast and powerful. These electric bikes come with a speedometer and usually feature both throttle and pedal-assist.
Unlike other electric bikes, class 3 bikes have a minimum age bar in many areas. You must also wear a helmet while riding a class 3 e-bike. Something which is only optional for adults with other e-bike classes.
Since class 3 electric bikes are more powerful and can reach higher speeds, they are not allowed in some areas where normal bikes can go.
For these e-bikes, manufacturers might also need to cap the maximum speed in some states to comply with local regulations.
The Best Electric Bike Class for You
Electric dirt bikes and their uses are quite subjective and no one can tell you which class is better. You have to look for the available features and decide which one is perfect for you.
Classes primarily determine the amount of force you’ll need to exert through the pedal. So, if you are looking for something to commute over long distances, class 2 or 3 would be a better fit.
Similarly, class 1 e-bikes are a perfect choice for someone trying to lose some weight or retain the feeling of a traditional bike.
No matter what you choose, the most important thing is that you enjoy the product and make an informed decision.
Generally, we have noticed that people looking for a convenient ride on urban roads prefer a class 2 electric bike.
The reasoning behind this trend is quite simple.
Class 2 e-bikes allow you to enjoy the convenience and features you expect from an e-bike without limiting the areas you can access.
It is important to note that speed is not the only factor you should consider when buying a bike.
From the design to the weight and the gearing system. Multiple factors have a direct impact on your overall experience. We’ll take a brief look at some of them in the later sections.
Throttle vs Pedal Assist
Throttle and pedal assist are two common modes in many electric bikes that determine how to ride your bike.
The throttle mode allows your electric bike to operate just like a regular motorbike. Simply sit on the bike and control the handle. Your motor will do all the work to move you around.
You can fine-tune the throttle to control your speed by turning it from high or low. The following types of throttles are common in electric bikes.
- Twist throttles
- Thumb throttles
- Button throttles
Pedal-assist is a mode that helps you out by making it easier for you to pedal your bike.
Unlike the throttle mode, you have to actuate the motor to make it work. You can choose between low, medium, and high pedal assist depending on your preference.
To sense how much you are pedaling, electric bikes either have a cadence sensor or a torque sensor.
Both options have some advantages over one another and the best one for you depends on your application.
We have covered the qualities of cadence sensors and torque sensors in the past. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-Bike
Buying an electric bike is quite easy.
However, making sure that the e-bike you are choosing is a perfect fit is something that requires some time and research.
How fast can an electric bike go is not the only question! You’ll have to consider many factors before making a choice.
You might still fall in love with an advanced model, but you’ll at least be making an informed decision.
We have listed down some general considerations for choosing an electric bike. If you want a detailed guide, be sure to check out this link.
1 – Desired Application
The crucial factor that determines the appropriate type and qualities of your electric dirt bike is the intended use.
Are you looking for a refreshing workout? Or are you interested in commuting to work/school?
The answer tells you the kind of range, features, and comfort level that is the best for you.
No one wants to arrive at the office drenched in sweat or have an unsatisfying workout by being unable to push their limits.
Choosing an appropriate type of electric bike prevents such scenarios and allows you to use your e-bike as intended.
2 – Range
What kind of a range do you want for your e-bike?
The available battery pack primarily determines the range. If you plan to only rely on pedal assist on inclines and steep roads, you can get a smaller one.
However, for intensive users, an e-bike with a long-lasting battery is quite important.
Remember to consider all options because the available battery can affect other features like the overall weight and price of your e-bike.
3 – Comfort
Your comfort and preference are another important consideration for choosing another product.
Be sure to check the type of seat, required pedal force, and gearing system is according to your requirements.
Otherwise, you’ll stop using your e-bike after a while and waste your investment.
4 – Price
We all strive to not be affected by the price of the product, but the reality is different.
There are budgets to maintain and many of us do not have the luxury of buying the most suitable item at any price.
However, a tighter budget doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on the quality.
There are numerous cost-effective options available in the market that come with excellent features and allow you to get the best return for your money.
You can also go for a used e-bike and get a sweet deal if you act smartly.
How fast can electric bikes go? As fast as possible. Just like a traditional bike, the top speed is determined by your pedaling skills and power. The supported speed, however, is a different story.
Depending on the class and type of your electric bike, you can reach impressive speeds on either throttle mode or pedal-assist. However, it’s extremely important to follow all safety regulations.
If you are a beginner, be sure to check our guide on riding safe and sound before going on the road.