How Fast Can a 36V Electric Bike Go?

Electric bikes are gaining popularity in the United States, which has sparked a series of questions. People are curious about the ideal battery size for electric bikes. Are they suitable for riding on the beach? And what is the maximum speed electric bikes can achieve?

One of the key questions many people have is “how fast can a 36V electric bike go? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including the bike’s motor power, battery capacity, and rider input. 

Generally, a 36V electric bike can reach speeds of up to 20 mph when powered solely by the motor. However, some higher-end models may be capable of even greater velocities. 

Every rider has his own preferences, and electric bikes available on the market vary in terms of size, shape, and speed. When discussing the speeds of electric bikes, it’s important to note that the majority of electric bikes available are not specifically built to exceed 28.5 miles per hour.

Legal Speeds

The speed of an electric bike is determined by the regulations of each state, rather than the specific electrical components of the bike. Laws have a greater impact on limiting speeds than factors such as voltage, wattage, or programming.

In the U.S., electric bikes that are not licensed can go up to 28.5 miles-per-hour (MPH). Once they reach this speed, the motor will automatically shut off.

E-bikes have the potential to reach speeds over twenty-eight MPH, although current regulations prohibit their lawful use. There are various techniques you can employ to enhance the speed of your e-bike without modifying the motor, such as making adjustments to the software.

It would be a good idea to look into the local legislation in your state regarding e-bike speeds. E-bikes come with various motor wattage capabilities, but a class 3 ebike will reach a maximum speed of 28.5 MPH.

Most Ride1UP ebikes have the capability to reach a top speed of 28.5 mph when using assisted pedaling. It’s important to remember that the bike’s class determines the programming that sets these specific speed limits.

It’s worth noting that not all e-bikes are capable of reaching speeds of twenty MPH or higher due to limitations in their programming. The regulations in the EU require that the maximum speed of an ebike must be restricted to 30 kilometers per hour. This speed is only 15 mph, which is almost half the speed of class 3 in the US.

The Motor

There is a common misconception about the relationship between higher wattage and faster bikes, but this belief is actually not true. The torque and acceleration of a hub drive motor are significantly impacted by a higher wattage, rather than its top speed. 

On the other hand, a mid-drive motor is known for its efficient power transfer through the drivetrain and its ability to generate high torque with minimal wattage. 

When it comes to electric bikes, the speed at which they operate is determined by the programming of their controller. This means that you have the power to decide what kind of riding experience you want.

Take this scenario: a person weighing 120 pounds who wants to go biking on mostly flat roads won’t necessarily require the most high-powered ebike. Since their requirements don’t call for a particularly powerful system, a 250-watt electric bike would be sufficient for their needs.

However, if someone weighs 210 pounds and frequently encounters steep hills, they might consider opting for a more powerful e-bike. For their specific needs, a bike with a power range of 750-1000 watts would be a more suitable choice. 

Power Modes

The power mode plays a crucial role in determining the speed of an electric bike. Electric bikes typically offer two power modes: pedal-assist and throttle. 

In pedal-assist mode, a motor provides assistance to the rider’s pedaling efforts. On the other hand, throttle mode relies entirely on the motor for propulsion. Throttle mode generally offers faster speeds compared to pedal-assist mode. 

Battery Size

The size of the battery is an important factor that affects the speed of an electric bike. Electric bikes with a 36V power supply typically come equipped with a battery capacity ranging from 400 to 500 watt-hours. 

The speed of an electric bike is directly influenced by the size of its battery. It’s worth mentioning that opting for larger batteries will also result in a reduced range for the electric bike. 

Terrain & Inclines

The speed of an electric bike also depends on factors such as the terrain and inclines. Going up steep inclines can be quite challenging for electric bikes, as they require more energy and can cause a decrease in speed. However, downhill slopes can give you a nice speed boost. In general, a 36V electric bike has the capability to reach speeds of up to 20 mph.

Remember, the speed you can achieve will depend on several factors, such as the motor, power mode, battery size, and the type of terrain you’re on. 

Before operating an electric bike, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the legal speed limits and the different factors that can impact the bike’s speed.

Electric Bike Classes

People have various reasons for using e-bikes, so it’s important to determine what specific needs you want to address with an e-bike. An e-bike can be a great option for running errands, commuting to work, or enjoying leisure time with friends. 

Choosing the perfect e-bike for you is all about finding the one that perfectly aligns with your specific requirements. E-bikes are grouped into various categories based on their speed and capabilities:

Class 1 E-Bike

Electric bikes in this category provide pedal assist instead of a throttle. Their maximum power is 750W and their top speed is 20 mph. In certain states, Class 1 electric bikes are treated just like regular bikes.

Class 2 E-Bike

Class 2 e-bikes are also known as low-speed assisted e-bikes. Their maximum speed is 20 mph and their motor power is limited to 750W. 

Additionally, they have a throttle feature alongside the pedal assist functionality. These e-bikes are highly recommended for individuals who are interested in full electric assistance. There is a wide range of e-bikes available in this category.

Class 3 E-Bike

Class 3 electric bikes typically come equipped with more robust motors and specialized software. These e-bikes can reach speeds of up to 20 mph with the throttle and up to 28 mph with pedal assist.

 These bikes can only be used by individuals who are seventeen years and older because they have the highest possible speed limits.


The top speed of a 36V electric bike can vary significantly depending on the specific model and its components. Most e-bikes in this voltage range are limited to around 20 mph by federal regulations. But some higher-performance models may be capable of reaching speeds up to 28 mph or more. 

Ultimately, you should research your options carefully and consider factors like motor power, battery capacity, and your own riding preferences when choosing an electric bike. 

With the right bike, e-bike enthusiasts like you can enjoy the benefits of electric assist while still getting a good workout. The speed capabilities of 36V e-bikes continue to evolve, so staying informed is key.