Thanks to rapid technological advancements, the humble electric bicycle has gone a long way from being just another gimmick to earning the title of ‘speed demons’.
The average eBike in San Diego is faster than ever and built like a tank so you could go off-roading too. Cyclists mostly use their eBikes for daily commute, running errands, or the occasional joy ride. But is the electric bicycle actually built for speed – the kind that zaps you from one place to another in mere seconds? While that kind of tech is still pretty much in the realm of fiction, you could get more speed by following these tricks.
How to make electric bike go faster
Wondering how to make electric bike go faster? We’ve narrowed down our pick of 10 tips that might just work.
1. Reducing the Weight
This is basic physics here folks. The more weight you put on it, the slower your bike gets. Depending on what gear you’ve got, the electric bike – more specifically, the ‘cargo’ bike – has mounting accessories that could slow you down.
Accessories like the Wald 133 Front Quick Release Basket and the Burley Travoy are designed for practical use – not speed. Remove them and you’ll make your electric bike go faster, sometimes by up to 5 mph. But don’t quote us on that.
2. Keep the Battery Charged
Your electric bike motor (whether it’s a hub motor or a mid-drive motor) is going to draw up power from the battery. Make sure your battery is fully charged because of a higher charge results in higher voltage. The speed of the DC motor depends entirely on the voltage. So higher voltages translate into higher speeds.
As a general rule, by keeping your battery fully charged, you’ll be able to travel faster and for longer.
We recommend charging the electric bike more frequently, after every trip if possible, instead of doing the same trips on the same charge. We recommend picking a convenient portable charger to keep with you at work or wherever you commute to every day.
This way, you will have enough juice in the tank to power your return trip. Of course, you could also charge on-the-go with a self-charging ebike. These bad boys use regenerative technology to recharge the batteries. The tech is still brand new, but it’s one step forward in giving cyclists true freedom.
It is worth mentioning that allowing your battery to drain could shorten its life span. So make sure to use up the charge every now and then. Here is more info about battery charges.
3. Switch to a Higher Voltage Battery
Since motor speed depends on the voltage, the quickest way to increase cycling speed is to use a higher voltage battery. Just make sure to check compatibility before upgrading your 36V battery to 48V, it shouldn’t be a problem in most cases.
Doing so could give you a significant speed increase (by up to 50%). If you’re not sure how to check your controller’s voltage rating (usually indicated on the capacitors), then check in with the manufacturer.
It’s very important to make sure the controller can handle the higher voltage. If you go too high, you risk frying the component altogether.
Another thing worth mentioning is that your current battery meter won’t give you accurate updates anymore unless you swap it out for a new meter that can process the higher voltages.
4. Upgrade to a New Motor
This should be a no-brainer. Another way to substantially improve the speed of your electric bicycle in Los Angeles is to upgrade to a motor with a higher RPM rating. This is generally easier to do with hub motors because manufacturers design them to be compatible with a range of models. It should be generally easy to swap out a hub motor with a higher RPM than your existing one.
In most cases, upgrading to a new motor is going to be expensive and you should only invest in it if you’re really serious about speed.
5. Use More Smoother Tires
While knobbier tires used in off-roading adventures are ideal for traction and their wider contact patch can absorb every bump on terrain, they don’t translate into higher speeds. To get more speed out of your electric bicycle in the USA, you should swap them out with smoother tires that are meant for racing or street use. They have low rolling resistance and can help you squeeze out an extra 1 to 2 mph.
A few good options include the following:
In the same vein, another way to effectively lower rolling resistance is by keeping your tires pumped up. Getting closer to the maximum pressure rating will boost your speed and prevent snakebite flats.
The only caveat is that you’ll have to contend for a harsher ride. Without soft and spongy tires to absorb bumps and irregularities on the road, the ride will feel a little uncomfortable. But that’s the cost of extra speed.
6. Recalibrate the Brakes
Once you get your electric bike, it is essential to properly break them in. Bedding in, also known as breaking in, is necessary to get your brakes working properly. This process works by applying a layer of material onto the friction surface of the rotor from the brake pad.
A poorly tuned brake will reduce your top speeds because it adds too much friction to your tires.
You could do this yourself with a bicycle multi-tool or ask a professional to do it for you.
7. Electric Bike Windshield
If you’ve used a motorcycle with no windshield before, then you’ll know just how bad wind resistance can be. Worse still, if there are heavy winds blowing in your direction, then it will considerably slow you down. If you’re wondering how to make electric bike faster, it starts by minimizing wind resistance.
Wind resistance is something all riders must adapt to when traveling at high speeds. But by adding a windshield to your motorcycle, you can actually redirect all that air over and around your body, this not only reduces drag but also increases fuel efficiency.
You can do the exact same thing with your ebike in Los Angeles and it will contribute to your top speed. All you have to do is find some good windshields on the market, usually meant for scooters and mopeds, and apply them to your handlebars. This will actually net you another 2 to 3 mph.
Pro tip: If you’re not comfortable using a windshield on your ebike (probably because it looks a tad bit weird to onlookers), then you can use a crouched position. A crouched riding position reduces your coefficient of drag and improves your aerodynamic profile. More importantly, it also improves your speed.
8. Keep the Battery Cool
By keeping your battery cool, you can start off with a higher voltage and reduce sag. And we already know that higher voltages translate into higher speeds.
You can keep your battery cool by allowing air to circulate around it. The ambient air will absorb all the heat buildup and prevent your battery from overheating.
Most eBikes do have some protective measures for overheating, but there are other models that keep the battery tightly sealed in a bag for protection from outside elements. Unfortunately, this also prevents heat exchange into the surroundings, and that will ultimately reduce your voltage (and your speed).
Check out Best 750 Watt Electric Bike.
9. Hacking eBikes to Go Faster
Most electric bikes let you ‘unlock’ the top speed through the display panel. You can do this by reducing the wheel size in the bike’s display. This works because ebikes measure speed by calculating tire rotations. By reducing the wheel size, you could prevent the speed restriction from getting triggered.
However, if you don’t have that option, you could tweak the controller and look for a set of wires that may be restricting your top speeds. This can be done by unplugging a single wire that is connected to the electrical connector. Doing so increases your top speeds. If you live in the EU, then chances are, your ebike has a jumper that you can easily unplug to unlock your top speeds.
10. Modifying the Sensor and Magnet
Another way to do this is to modify how the sensor and magnet. The sensor is located on the frame bases and the magnet can be found on the rear wheel. If you move the magnet away from the wheel to another element, you can change the number of turns made by the magnet.
This way, the controller will receive a lower speed rate, which ensures that your speed limit doesn’t get triggered. By using this method, you won’t have to disassemble the entire electrical system. All you need is duct tape to hold things together. Here’s how you can do it:
- Move the sensor and the magnet
- Locate a pedal bracket in your ebike, and then attach the magnet to it
- Move the sensor in a way that it faces the magnet
This method buys you time and isn’t as costly. Other methods exist but they are very technical and may cost you money. They involve cutting a lot of wires and you may not be sure which one to cut. So if you’re not comfortable with wires, then use the method outlined above.
Implications of Increasing eBike Speed
While riding at top speeds is more exciting as you ‘put the pedal to the metal’, there are a few implications of higher speeds that every ebiker should know.
i) Higher Chances of Injury
When you cycle at a fast speed, your probability of getting injured increases significantly. This can be a bigger issue if you don’t have a robust braking system in place to help your bike come to a stop at crazy high speeds.
We strongly recommend putting on protective gear to reduce the risk of injury in case you get into an accident.
ii) You Could Be Breaking the Law
Most electric bikes have speed limiters because it is required by law. If you live in the EU, your eBike will have provisions in place that limit the speed under 20 mph. By removing this restriction, you could end up breaking the law.
iii) It Will Restrict Your Cycling Distance
At high speeds, your motor needs more energy to sustain your velocity. All this power will be drawn from the battery, which will get drained a lot faster. This also means that you won’t be able to travel very far at these speeds. Consider upgrading the battery if you want to add more cycling range.
iv) More Energy Consumption
Most electric bike batteries are charged from an electrical socket. And if they constantly get drained every now and then, then it will reflect on your energy bills. You could save energy by biking without pedal assistance, but there are pros and cons to this method.
On the one hand, you’ll get really tired very quickly, and on the other, you will burn more calories, which is always a good thing.
How to Make a Fast Electric Bike
This is a discussion that needs a dedicated section of its own. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a fast electric bike, we’ve broken down the process for you below.
A fair bit of warning though, making your own fast electric bike is definitely within the realm of possibility, but it will require experience and knowledge. Let’s get right down to it.
Find a Regular Bike to Convert into an Electric Bicycle
Find something good, like a used mountain bike. These bikes are built like a tank and can handle all kinds of punishment – especially when you travel at high speeds. Going with a used option is great because it’s affordable and doesn’t have a high price tag.
Do keep in mind that you will end up voiding your warranty if you convert the donor bike into an electric bike. If you’re worried about preserving your donor bike’s warranty, then perhaps this DIY project isn’t for you.
Another good option would be to go with a downhill bike. These bikes are designed to handle speeds of over 40 mph and have rugged frames that can bounce off boulders and tree roots. Bottom line is, don’t go with a run of the mill bike that you know is going to break at top speeds.
Find an Ebike Conversion Kit
A conversion kit contains all the essential parts you need to convert a regular bicycle into an ebike. If you want to go up to 40 mph or more, there are many kits and batteries that can handle the job. For our intents and purposes, we would go with a 1000 W kit and a 48V Lithium ion battery. Both can be found in the provided links here and here.
But if you want to go really fast, you might want to choose this 1500 W kit. This kit comes with all the tools you need, including a hub motor, brake levers, throttle, pedal-assist sensors, controller, battery, and torque arms.
What really makes the kit extra special are the powerful cells that can handle higher loads more effectively without overheating. The kit also includes fancy accessories such as a Cycle Analyst (those can be really expensive).
Assemble the Kit
Assembling a kit is easier than it sounds because all the parts are designed to be mounted to a donor bicycle It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It really helps to have a bicycle stand to stabilize the bicycle as you work on it.
Remove the rear wheel and transfer the inner tube and tire to your hub motor. Next, install the freewheel cog by carefully mounting them onto the threads. Make sure to do this carefully and slowly.
Next, place install the motor wheel. Add the torque arms on either side of the motor. Make sure to tighten the axle nuts to secure the motor in position.
Time to install the batteries. For this one, install the battery over the downtube. You might have to drill a new plate to the frame if the bolts don’t line up with the battery.
Next, mount the Cycle Analyst to the handlebars and connect the throttle assembly. You can also add the pedal asset sensor to the bottom bracket if you want to use it.
Last but not the least, connect all the wires together. If you went with our recommended kit, you’ll have an easier time connecting all the wires.
Test Ride Your New Fast Electric Bike
Now that everything is ready, it’s time to charge up the battery.
Test drive it somewhere that’s legal. Maybe off-roading, but not near public roads because it could be illegal. Make sure your ebike is at the lowest speed settings. Turn on your eBike and start to pedal – slow at first. Check your brakes to see if they work well. Start out slow and check for any strange movements or sounds.
Continue to test at low speeds and then gradually work your way up to higher speeds. Your brakes will need some tuning at first.
You may like the following electric bike blogs:
- Electric Bike VS. Motorcycle: Which Is Better?
- 5 Cheapest Electric Bikes – 2021 List
- How to Change the Tire on an Electric Bike
- Electric Bike VS Electric Scooter – Which Is Better?
- Why Electric Bikes are so Expensive
- Best Storage Tips for Electric Bikes: Where to Store Your Electric Bike?
- Best Electric Bikes for Women
- Major Electric Bike Problems
- Electric Bike Vs. Hybrid Bike – Which One Should You Choose?
- Can an Electric Bike Get Wet?
And that’s all about it. You’ve now learned how to make a fast electric bike. It doesn’t cost you as much and offers a comfortable ride.
Let us know if you’ve got any questions and we’ll be happy to answer!
I am Michael, an avid rider and bike expert. I am here to provide, biking tips and expert advice on in-depth bike reviews covering features, capabilities, price range, and much more. Specially on electric bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, etc. I will provide honest product reviews, along with expert advice on purchasing, training, and maintenance. Check out my complete profile.