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The electric bike revolution is in full swing, and with it comes a slew of questions about these two-wheeled marvels. Among the many inquiries, the question of how fast a 36V electric bike can go is one that piques the interest of many potential riders.
As with any form of transportation, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Electric bikes come in various sizes, shapes, and speeds, making it important to understand what to expect when it comes to their maximum speed.
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Legal speed limits
When discussing the speed of a 36-volt electric bike, it’s important to note that legal limits play a significant role.
In the United States, the speed of an electric bike is more a matter of state law than the bike’s electrical components. Generally, non-licensed electric bikes can reach a top speed of 28.5 miles per hour, at which point the motor disengages.
While some electric bikes can go faster than 28 mph, they are often not considered legal for regular road use.
However, there are methods to increase an e-bike’s speed through software changes, so it’s essential to research and adhere to local regulations regarding e-bike speeds. Different classes of e-bikes have varying speed limits, with class 3 e-bikes capable of achieving up to 28.5 MPH through assisted pedaling.
The role of the motor
Contrary to common misconceptions, higher wattage doesn’t necessarily equate to higher speeds for electric bikes. The wattage of the motor has a more profound impact on torque and acceleration than top speed.
Hub-drive motors and mid-drive motors operate differently in this regard. Mid-drive motors are known for their efficiency in transferring power through the drivetrain and achieving high torque values with lower wattage.
The programming of the bike’s controller largely determines the maximum speed of electric bikes. Therefore, the choice of motor wattage should align with your specific riding needs.
Lighter riders on flat terrain may find a 250-watt electric bike sufficient, while those facing steep hills and weighing more may require a more powerful 750-1000-watt e-bike.
How Fast Can a 36V Electric Bike Go?
E-bikes serve various purposes, so choosing the right one depends on your specific needs. E-bikes are classified into different categories based on their speed and capabilities:
These e-bikes offer only pedal assistance, with a maximum power of 750W and a top speed of 20 MPH.
Classified as low-speed assisted e-bikes, these bikes reach a top speed of 20 MPH with a 750W motor and feature a throttle in addition to pedal assist.
These e-bikes have more powerful motors, allowing speeds of up to 28 MPH with pedal assist, and are typically intended for riders aged seventeen and older.
Multiple factors can influence the speed of a 36V electric bike, but state or country laws and the programming of the bike primarily determine it.
Additional factors, including the rider’s weight and the terrain, play a role. Typically, these bikes have a top speed range of 20 to 28 MPH, offering a practical and eco-friendly mode of transportation for various riding needs.
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