A man riding an electric bike by the water

How fast do electric bikes go?

Welcome to the exhilarating world of electric bikes, where speed meets sustainability! You may wonder how fast is an electric bike, especially with legal speed limits and other factors in play. As these e-bikes are new to UK roads, this informative blog post will satisfy your curiosity and give you a comprehensive understanding of e-bike speeds in the UK, along with some valuable tips on choosing the right e-bike for your needs. So, strap on your helmet, and let’s ride into the fast lane!


Understanding Electric Bike Speeds in the UK

Electric bikes have revolutionised the way we commute, exercise, and explore, but how fast can these innovative machines go? In the UK, there are several factors that determine the speed of an e-bike, such as motor power, battery capacity, and rider input. Moreover, legal speed limits also play a significant role in the maximum speed an e-bike can achieve.

A woman riding an electric bike on a waterside trail

By understanding these factors, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when purchasing an e-bike and know what to expect in terms of performance.

Motor Power and Maximum Speed

The motor is the heart of an e-bike, providing the power needed to propel you forward. In the UK, the legal limit for e-bike motor power is 250 watts. This limit affects not only the top speed but also the bike’s ability to tackle inclines. With a lower wattage motor, you’ll need to rely more on your own pedal power when going uphill.

As for the maximum speed, Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) can give you a boost of up to 15.5mph (25km/h), depending on the motor size. This means that, by law, e-bikes in the UK have a maximum assisted speed of 15.5mph, but you can still pedal harder to go faster without the motor’s help, always keeping in mind applicable speed limits in your location.

Battery Capacity and Range

Another key factor that influences e-bike speed is the battery capacity, which is measured in watt-hours (Wh). The higher the battery capacity, the more energy it can store and provide to the motor. This directly impacts the e-bike’s speed potential and range.

Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in many electric bikes, with capacities ranging from 250 to 1,000 watt-hours. A larger battery capacity allows the e-bike to travel further on a single charge and achieve higher speeds. So, when considering how fast electric bikes can go, it’s essential to take battery capacity into account.

Rider Input and Pedal Assistance

Your own efforts also play a role in determining the speed of your e-bike. Rider input refers to the pedalling action required to activate the electric motor and get assistance. Pedal assist, also known as pedal assistance, is a feature that provides a boost from the electric motor when you’re pedalling, helping you achieve higher speeds with less effort.

A couple riding ebikes on a trail with a blurred background

In the UK, e-bikes are classified as EAPCs, meaning they must have pedals that can be used for propulsion and require pedalling to activate the electric motor assistance, also known as electric assist. This makes them similar to a normal bicycle but with the added benefit of electric assistance, which is where electric bikes go beyond traditional cycling.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. In the UK, the electric bike speed limit is set at 15.5mph (25km/h). This limit ensures that e-bikes remain within safe and manageable speeds on public roads.

Some people have found ways to modify their e-bikes to exceed this limit, which raises the question of how fast electric bikes can actually go when modified. However, using an e-bike that exceeds the legal speed limit can result in fines, penalty points, or even imprisonment.

Man riding an ebike on the road in autumn

Of course, the use of pedal power in addition to the electric motor can increase speeds dramatically, but it’s important to remember that the legal speed limits for e-bikes are in place to ensure the safety of riders and other road users.

It’s vital to stay within the maximum legal speed limits for any roads you use. Very often, inner city speeds are limited to 20mph, which is easily achieved with a combination of motor assistance and pedalling.

Comparing UK Speed Limits

In comparison to other countries, the UK’s electric bike top speed of 15.5mph may seem rather conservative. There have been discussions about potentially increasing the speed limit for e-bikes in the UK, but nothing has been decided yet.

It’s worth noting that you can still exceed the 15.5mph limit by pedalling without assistance from the motor. However, it’s crucial to stay within the legal speed limits to avoid potential penalties and ensure safety on the road.

Fastest Electric Bikes on the Market

While the legal electric bike top speed limits for e-bikes in the UK may seem restrictive, there are some incredibly fast electric bikes available on the market. For instance, when you are querying how fast are e-bikes, the Revolution XX, boasting a top speed of 74mph (119km/h) and a motor power of 5,000 watts, is considered one of the fastest electric bikes available.

Speedometer with needle at 80 kilometres per hour

However, these high-performance e-bikes come with legal restrictions in the UK due to their powerful motors and high speeds. E-bikes that exceed the legal motor power limit of 250 watts or the maximum assisted speed of 15.5mph are not permitted on public roads. Riding an illegal e-bike in the UK can result in fines, points on your license, or even a prison sentence.

High-Performance E-Bike Models in the UK

For those in the UK seeking a high-performance e-bike, there are still options available, such as the Volt e-bikes and the WAU CYBER. These models offer impressive performance while staying within the legal speed limits, with top speeds of up to 28mph (45km/h).

Although they may not be as fast as the Revolution XX, these e-bikes provide a great balance of speed, power, and legal compliance for riders in the UK, compared to a normal bike.

Choosing the Right E-Bike for Your Needs

Selecting the perfect e-bike is not just about speed; it’s also about finding the right balance between performance, comfort, and other features. To choose the best e-bike for your needs, it’s essential to assess your personal speed requirements and consider factors such as battery life, motor power, and rider input. By doing so, you’ll be able to find an e-bike that not only meets your speed expectations but also provides a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience.

A person riding an ebike in front of a glass building

Assessing Your Speed Requirements

To assess your speed requirements, start by considering your primary purpose for using an e-bike. Are you looking for a faster commute, leisurely rides, or challenging off-road adventures? Keep in mind the legal speed limits in the UK, and think about how often you’ll need to ride at higher speeds.

By understanding your personal speed needs, you’ll be better equipped to choose an e-bike that offers the right balance of speed, power, and range.

Balancing Speed with Other Features

While speed may be a crucial factor for some, it’s important not to overlook other features, such as battery life and comfort. A longer battery life allows for extended rides, while a comfortable saddle and ergonomic design can make all the difference during long journeys.

Safety Considerations for Fast E-Bikes

Riding a fast e-bike can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s crucial to prioritise safety at all times. Protective gear, such as helmets, gloves, and reflective clothing, is essential for shielding yourself from potential harm and ensuring visibility on the road.

A bike with a helmet hanging from the handlebars

In addition to wearing the appropriate gear, practicing proper riding etiquette and following the rules of the road are key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding experience for both yourself and those around you.

Protective Gear and Accessories

When riding a fast e-bike, it’s essential to wear the appropriate protective gear and accessories. Here are some items to consider.

  • Although a helmet that meets the British Standard BS EN 1078 is not a legal requirement for e-bike riders in the UK, it is considered advisable.
  • Wearing gloves, elbow and knee pads can provide additional protection in the event of an accident.
  • Reflective clothing can make you more visible to other road users.

By investing in quality protective gear, you can stay safe and enjoy the thrill of riding a fast e-bike without worry.

Riding Etiquette and Rules of the Road

Adhering to proper riding etiquette and rules of the road is vital for maintaining safety while riding an e-bike. Fast e-bikes must follow the same road rules as regular bikes, and riders should always show respect and consideration for cars, other bikes, and pedestrians.

Gain a speed boost with your own e-bike

In conclusion, electric road bikes offer an exciting and sustainable mode of transportation, with varying speeds depending on factors such as motor power, battery capacity, and legal limits.

By understanding these factors and considering your personal speed requirements, you can choose the right e-bike for your needs while balancing speed with other essential features such as battery life and comfort. Prioritising safety through protective gear and proper riding etiquette will ensure a thrilling yet safe e-bike experience. It’s time to embrace the world of e-bikes and enjoy the ride!

Browse our range of electric road bikes and find your perfect bike to help you maintain your speed out on the road.

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