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How Much Faster is an Ebike Compared to a Regular Bike?

 Riders interested in transitioning from a standard bike to an ebike are often curious how their new purchase will affect their commute times or errand runs. How fast does a 500w electric bike go? What about 250w? While there are no simple answers, there are basic guidelines for the speeds that certain models are capable of attaining under throttle power. Here are a few of the basics for understanding ebike speeds.


Understanding Pedal Power and Full Throttle Modes 

The speed you can reach on your bike is entirely dependent on the mode you decide to use while riding. Every electric bike can be pedaled with no electric assistance whatsoever. Without any assistance, your bike can reach the speed you would naturally with a standard bike, though the weight of a motor may slightly influence your speed. 

The two power modes on most electric models are referred to as "pedal-assist," and "full throttle." Pedal-assist simply assists your pedaling so it feels easier and takes less energy. This mode is best for preserving battery life while still taking advantage of your electric motor. Full throttle can power your bike entirely without the need for you to pedal whatsoever. This is energy-intensive but very fun and easy to use.  

Understanding Power 

Depending on your needs, local legislation, and local terrain, your bike's motor may have 250 watts, 500 watts, or even 750 or 1000 watts of power. The most common electric bike speed modes in most places, however, are 250 and 500. On a flat area, a 250-watt motor can bring an average-sized rider to around 15 miles per hour under ideal conditions. A 500-watt motor may reach around 20 miles per hour. 

Higher power motors can achieve higher speeds, but they can also achieve more torque. This is extremely useful for powering up difficult hills. For most environments, a 500-watt is perfectly fine, but advanced riders who live or ride in mountainous terrain may prefer higher-power models. 

Comparing With a Standard Bike 

Depending on your skill level, the maximum speed of a 250- or 500-watt electric bike might be unachievable by pedaling alone or roughly what you are accustomed to on easy areas or straightaways. Relatively few riders, however, are capable of maintaining the speeds an electric bike can achieve for extended periods. Additionally, for most ebike users, the main benefit of owning a bike with a motor is the ability to use throttle modes for extreme situations in which they have already exhausted themselves. Many riders use pedal-assist modes for a larger number of daily situations.  

The science of determining just how fast your bike can take you at your weight and motor power can be somewhat inexact. This is because of the number of additional variables involved. The fastest hybrid bike, for example, is certain to be slower than the fastest road bike because road tires allow for a higher maximum speed. Maximum speed is important, but it isn't always the most important factor in determining your overall experience. When making a purchase, buy the model best suited to your specific purposes. 


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