From accessibility to easy riding, there are many different advantages to choosing a GEN3 electric bike. When thinking about the benefits of electric bikes, however, the thing that probably springs to mind first is speed. This article explores the factors that impact how fast an electric bike can go.
The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. In order to understand how speed works in electric bikes, you first need to know how an electric bike operates.
The Three Electric Bike Classes
In order to regulate where electric bikes can legally operate, a class system has been developed to differentiate between the types of electric bikes. This system divides electric bikes into three categories, labelled Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. Each class takes into consideration the bike’s features, included systems, and max assisted speeds. The categories are broad, but it’s important to know the differences between them so that you know what type of bike best fits your needs and complies with your state’s rules and regulations.
Class 1 refers to electric bikes that provide motor assistance only when you are pedaling. This pedal assist system can be adjusted to provide just the right amount of extra help you want as you make your way up and down the trails. The pedal assist system works with you up to 20 miles per hour. With a few exceptions, Class 1 electric bikes are by and large recognized by the United States government as bicycles, and therefore are permitted in bicycle-approved areas.
Class 2 refers to electric bikes that have a pedal assist system, in addition to a throttle assist that can be used independently, without the need for pedaling. GEN3 electric bikes fall into the Class 2 category, giving you the freedom to choose how you ride. Our bikes include a simple thumb control that allows you to work the throttle with ease up to 20 miles per hour. Many states also consider Class 2 bikes to fall under the bicycle category, meaning that in addition to having a choice between pedal and throttle assist, you also have a diverse range of places to ride.
Class 3 refers to electric bikes that have a pedal assist system that aids you as you ride up to 28 miles per hour. You might find Class 3 bikes sporting a throttle assist system as well, but due to electric bike regulations, some find it lends them more riding freedom to go without. These bikes are also equipped with a speedometer, as the widely accepted maximum speed for an electric bike in bicycle-approved areas is 20 miles per hour.
To that end, it’s important to note that as electric bikes steadily become more popular, more laws are being enacted to keep riders, drivers, and pedestrians as safe as possible. Speed limitations on roads and bike lanes, for example, are regularly monitored and updated as the prevalence of electric bikes grows. In state and national forests and parks, there are restrictions on electric bikes that vary depending on who regulates the land. Additionally, in the United States, the electric motor on an electric bike must be less than 750 watts.
Consequently, with the electric bike community changing and expanding, there is still a lot of ambiguity when it comes to regulating electric bikes. The class system helps eliminate some of that confusion, but even still, each state has their own rules when it comes to operating electric bikes. Before you make a purchase, be sure to research your own state’s laws.
How Does Pedal Assist Impact Speed?
All three classes of electric bikes are equipped with a pedal-assist system. This system works by taking power from the motor to boost your speed and take some of the strain off your body as you ride. You decide how much of a boost you get by setting the level on your bike. When turned on, pedal-assist will kick in as soon as you start pedaling, and will switch off as soon as pedaling ceases.
As mentioned above, with Class 1 & 2 bikes, pedal-assist works with you up to 20 miles per hour, and up to 28 miles per hour with Class 3 bikes.
But this doesn’t mean you will always be traveling at 20 miles per hour. Terrain, wind resistance, and uphill/downhill slopes—not to mention your own personal pedaling speed—all play a part in how slow or fast you move.
How Does Throttle Assist Impact Speed?
The use of a throttle is the most controversial aspect of an electric bike. Cycling purists will say it’s cheating, and there is still debate about whether or not bikes equipped with a throttle system should be regulated under bicycle or vehicle laws. But for other riders, a throttle can be a wonderful feature.
A throttle assist system works independently from the pedal-assist system and can be used when you aren’t pedaling the bike. This comes in handy on those rougher trails, or when you’ve reached the peak of your endurance but still have a ways to go before you make it home. If you have a disability that has limited what you’re able to do physically, throttle, especially in conjunction with pedal assist, can make cycling a hobby that maybe you weren’t able to enjoy before, all while going faster than the average cyclist!
Besides, it’s hard to resist the thrill of turning on your throttle and speeding off. You will experience the feel of a motorcycle without having to deal with gas or a driver’s license. As mentioned above, throttle assist will work with you, pedaling or not, up to 20 miles per hour, not accounting for environmental influences on speed. Again, if you are going downhill or have wind on your back, you may go much faster!
With our Class 2 bikes, you have the benefit of switching between pedal assist and throttle assist, making your ride versatile and fitted to your individual needs.
Best Electric Bikes
GEN3 has multiple offerings in the Class 2 category for every type of cyclist. These include:
If you an offroad, trail or dirtbike enthusiast, or just need an extra-sturdy bike to get you through tough weather, the Outcross may be the right bike for you. With a 500W rated/1000W peak motor, a 500Wh UL-certified battery, and 35 miles of range, its fat tires conquer sand and snow for year-round fun! The Outcross retails at $1,699.
If you don’t need as heavy-duty a bike as the Outcross, consider the Flex. This bike is perfect for someone who wants a nice commute or a challenging workout. With a 500W rated/900W peak power motor, 40 miles of range, a 500Wh UL-certified battery and 21-Speed shifting, the Flex is customizable for every type of ride and retails for $1,599.
If you need a bike that can be easily stored in your car or closet, consider the Groove. Its fat tires allow you to enjoy the outdoors like The Outcross, but with the additional convenience of a folding frame. The Groove retails for $1,599.
For those looking for a quick, agile ride on city streets, the Stride may be the right bike for you! Its step-through frame is easy to use and adjust, and with a 500W rated/900W peak power motor, 40 miles of range, and a 500Wh UL-certified battery, it packs a punch above its weight! The Stride retails for $1,499.
Are You Ready to Speed Off?
When you purchase an electric bike, you’re not just buying yourself the average bicycle. On the average bicycle, you can cut down on the cost of your commute, enjoy the fresh air and nature, or get your heart pumping with a little bit of exercise. An electric bike gives you all the same benefits but with so much more. Cut down the cost of your commute, and still make it there in record time. Take a leisurely ride through the nature trails, or get some thrills by testing yourself on rough terrain. Cater your workout to what you want it to be. Not looking to huff and puff your way up that hill? Kick on the pedal assist, or let the throttle do the work!
Whether you’re a new cyclist, a veteran cyclist, or haven’t been able to cycle due to physical limitations, the time is now for you to upgrade to an electric bike. Check out our selection and get ready to hit the throttle. The right bike is ready and waiting for you.