How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go?

Published December 28, 2022

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This article is part of our series: Your E-Bike Questions Answered

Two people pedal e-bikes along a road in front of a building

Like any other bike, an electric bike can go as fast as you can pedal it or coast it down a hill. But the system's level of assistance depends on which class of bike it is. 

 

Video: How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go

E-bikes are categorized into three main classes. Most bike manufacturers and U.S. states, local and other entities have adopted this system, which defines e-bikes as a low-speed bicycle with fully operational pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (about 1 horsepower). 

The three classes of bikes are:

  • Class 1: The e-bike will assist when you pedal up to 20mph. Once you reach 20 mph, the motor will cut off and any higher speeds come from your pedaling.
  • Class 2: These e-bikes also provide pedal assistance up to 20mph; they also have a throttle to engage the motor and provide a boost whether you are pedaling or not. The motor stops helping at 20mph.
  • Class 3: Like a class 1 e-bike, the motor kicks in only when you’re actively pedaling, but it stops helping at 28 mph.

What are the three classes of e-bikes?

Chart describing the three classes of electric bikes

Ride your e-bike responsibly. Always check the land manager's current rules on where your e-bike class can ride.