Electric Mountain Bike or e-MTB, is a product that caters to a wide range of consumers with different needs. Since it is a hybrid bike between a traditional bicycle and an electric vehicle, its rise in popularity seems reasonable. However, the demand for e-MTBs has taken a subsequent lead in the market, making it one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide.
The fascination with e-MTB has raised one main question on different occasions: “how fast do electric bikes go?” While you may be searching for a precise answer to this question, the speed of an e-MTB varies accordingly. Most of these e-MTBs go as fast as 28 mp/h, with some that can travel at even greater speed.
e-MTBs are widely categorised into 3 Classes following their specialisations which bring different benefits. Class 1 has a maximum speed of 20 mph and is equipped with an electric motor without throttle. Class 2 has assistance when pedalling and can reach the maximum speed of 20 mph with a throttle. And a class 3 e-MTB features Pedal Assist only and tops off at 28 mph; the motor is activated through pedalling. A fast e-bike depends upon many factors concerned with its components or external conditions.
Factors that Affect E-MTB Speed
Every e-MTB gets highly affected by several factors while garnering its speed; many elements work against its journey to become faster. Professionals usually take care of these influencing factors to reach their ebike top speed; some of these factors are provided below:
Motor type and power output
Motor types can directly influence the ebike speed; a powerful motor can generate higher torque output. It will determine your extra speed apart from the pedal assistance, but this doesn’t mean you’ll get tripled speed if you triple your electric motor power. Instead, your e-MTB is often built with parts that complement each other and work in a rhythm; one has to consider and research a substantial amount before customising the motor for more speed.
Battery size and capacity
One should understand that a battery consists of active materials that react within it to generate charge. The more a battery possesses these active materials, the more power it can generate, but it gets heavier in the process. The power amount goes hand in hand with the battery size and weight. A battery can be bulky but have low capacity when it gets older or is affected by other factors. Such batteries might act as extra weight and reduce the top speed of your e-MTB.
Rider weight and terrain
Rider weight also makes a lot of difference in electric bike speed; an e-bike can generate different speeds according to the rider’s weight. For example, a rider who weighs less might generate more speed than a heavier person riding the same e-MTB. Electric bike speed also varies according to the riding terrain. On off-road and elevated trails, the e-bike will require more power and traction to work against gravity and will certainly reduce its speed.
Tire type and pressure
Electric mountain bike tires and their air pressure also significantly affect their speed. Different types of tires provide different levels of support, traction, and stability to e-bikes; one has to select the type that goes with their e-bike carefully. If the tires don’t complement your ride, the ebike top speed will drastically decrease. Flat tires aren’t good for generating fast speed but can provide grip and traction. The same goes for the air pressure in the tires; less air can easily flatten your tires and decrease the e-bike’s speed.
The assistance of pedals is directly linked to the speed of the e-MTB. Many ask how fast do e-MTB bikes go; generally, they can go as fast as the rider can pedal. Pedalling rate makes a big difference in the ride’s torque; a cadence that is leaned towards fast and powerful pedal strokes generates more speed. Riders must also figure out the correct gear for the terrain they are exploring; the perfect switch from low to high gears generates the maximum speed an e-MTB can travel. While lower gears provide the initial acceleration, transitioning to higher gears will increase your electric bike speed.
Properly maintaining and servicing your E-MTB
Ebike top speed is highly proportional to the maintenance and servicing it receives. While regular servicing keeps the cogwheels and motors free from jamming, maintenance also means lubricating the drivetrain and properly inflating the tires.
Regular checks will fix loose bolts, spokes and broken parts of the e-MTB and maintain the battery’s condition. In addition, it keeps your e-bike to its maximum potential, boosting it to reach its maximum speed most of the time.
Optimising your riding position and technique
Riding position and technique also affect how fast e-MTB bikes go; the rider’s posture directly links with the wind resistance while riding. Riders that manage their riding posture accordingly manage to gain more speed on electric mountain bikes. One can reduce their frontal area to slice through the wind power; in simple terms, one has to slightly lower their body position and lower their body closer to the middle bar. Riders can also bend and tuck their elbows inside for more speed.
Average E-MTB Speeds
Electric Mountain bikes are developed to reach a specific maximum speed. The average speed most e-MTBs can reach is 20 mph, but they can also go as fast as the legal limit of 28 mph. Below we have discussed some of the average speeds for different types of e-MTBs:
Cross-country e-MTBs (or XC MTB for short) got their name from the countryside terrains. Roads free from city traffic, Bridleways and forest trails are a few of the most common paths in Cross-country e-biking. Since the rider mostly has to cover off-road terrain, the e-MTB must be capable of climbing and descending fast. It requires the e-MTB to be lightweight for faster speed. Considering all of it, Cross-country e-MTBs mostly run at a top speed of 25 mph.
Trail-style e-MTBs mostly have less powerful motors due to weight and battery size cuts. Less motor power significantly influences the speed your e-bike can travel. These trail e-MTBs are more focused on pedalling through sheer physical power, making them fall under the limits of Class 1 e-MTB and subject to a maximum speed of 20 mph.
Downhill e-MTBs are specifically designed for downhill riding. They mostly go through rough and off-road terrain and have long-travel suspension, strong brakes, and grippy tires. They are designed to have powerful electric motors and assist while climbing or descending. The average top speed a Downhill e-MTB can generate is somewhere between 7 mph to 28 mph.
Fat tire E-MTBs
Fat tire e-MTBs have wider tires than a typical electric mountain bike. Wide tires provide more stability and traction on the road and in difficult terrains like snow, mud, sand, and off-road. The average top speed of Fat tire e-MTBs is 20 mph in throttle and 28 mph in pedal assist.
While these are the presented average speed of the different e-MTBs, they vary according to the terrain and situation they are ridden. The factors mentioned above highly affect the ebike top speed, and the average top speed can differ.
Legal Limits on E-MTB Speed
European legislation restricts eBikes to a legal limit of 250 W motor output and 25 km/h speed. Any e-MTB exceeding this speed limit will fall under the “speed bike” category, which is limited to a speed of 45 km/h and goes under a different regulation.
Following that, Australia has also modelled its e-bike laws on European standards. Australian regulations state the maximum assisted speed to be 25 kph and the maximum power of an e-bike motor as 250 watts.
According to the United States federal law (the Consumer Product Safety Act), a low-speed electric bicycle is defined as a two or three-wheeled vehicle with a maximum motor output of 750 watts and limited assistance to 20 mph. Various states also follow a tier system, defining electric bikes into three classes. The 750-watt motor and 20 mph assistance limit mostly applies to Class 1 e-bikes, not Class 2 and Class 3; these e-bikes may dispense assistance up to higher speeds.
It shows that different places have different rules and regulations for Ee-MTB speed. While you may be subject to a speed violation in one state or country, you might abide by the law in another region. It would be best if you properly studied the rules and regulations of the state or nation you are residing in before riding your e-MTB.
This comprehensive guide is written to answer your question of “how fast do electric bikes go?” We hope it will help you. While several known factors affect or influence the ebike speed, understanding and fixing them will certainly help you ride faster. Although only some things can be fixed, checking most of these factors will provide satisfactory results.
One major thing is to consider researching or consulting with an e-MTB enthusiast or professional. It will further assist you in gaining more speed than usual. Although there is no saying where you will get more guidance, consulting a fellow e-biker, an e-bike technician, the shopkeeper, or even the manufacturer’s customer service might help. One can also contact us at Green Speed for any questions or suggestions. Our team will get back to you as soon as they can.
FAQs of How fast do e-MTB bikes go?
The legal top speed to ride an e-MTB is 25 kph.
Yes, you riders can make your e-MTB go faster than the average speed.
The maximum distance one can travel in an e-mountain bike differs on the model, battery capacity, riding condition, and more.
Yes, riding an e-MTB at high speeds is mostly safe. However, an accident can occur at any time and anywhere. Therefore, one should refrain from crossing the legal speed limit.
Yes, you can ride an e-mountain bike on the road.
You can read the manufacturer’s manual, research on the internet, or ask professionals.
Brad is co-founder of Green Speed, and he is the hand and mind behind the site’s compelling content. Brad is an avid cyclist passionate about environmental and pollution management and promotes cycling for a healthy and sustainable livelihood. He loves to try and review new gears and cycling accessories. He will most likely be in the gym or cleaning up the beach with this beach group when he is not working.