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In this article, we’ll cover the meaning of wattage and how it affects your electric bike’s overall power. We’ll also cover the meaning of voltage and amp-hours and how they affect your e-bike. This is key in differentiating the top-performing e-bikes from the others.
Depending on your riding style and personal needs, the level of power you need for your bike can vary. This is important to understand, especially when wiring your own battery on electric bikes. And if you like DIY projects like that, we also have another article on how to put an electric motor on a rear suspension bike. If you chose to do this be sure to read below to determine the wattage you will need.
Wattage is the most important measurement to consider when looking at an e-bike’s overall power. Simply put, an e-bike’s wattage is a measurement of how much power the electric motor can potentially generate. An electric bike with more watts is usually faster and more powerful. Keep in mind that many states have limits on how many watts an e-bike can offer and stay street legal. Most states have a limit of 750 watts. This is one of the key requirements that makes an electric bike street legal.
Continuous wattage refers to how much power the motor can handle on a continuous basis, while peak wattage is the highest amount of power a motor can output under stress. Most e-bikes market their continuous wattage but offer a higher peak wattage that becomes useful while climbing hills or going faster.
An electric bike with more watts is usually faster and more powerful.
You may also see voltage and amp-hours ratings for your electric bike. These are also important considerations to make when it comes to overall performance. If your battery has a higher voltage rating, it can handle more stressful riding situations with ease, because the battery will work harder to produce more consistent power. Similarly, the more amp-hours your bike is capable of producing, the more capacity your battery can handle.
Not everyone needs the same amount of power in their e-bike. So, how exactly do you determine what you need? Take a look at some of the following considerations to make when purchasing a new e-bike.
If your battery has a higher voltage rating, it can handle more stressful riding situations with ease, because the battery will work harder to produce more consistent power.
If you’re a casual biker who plans on riding on flat, paved surfaces, then you probably won’t need much more than a 250 or 300-watt electric bike. However, if you’re looking to go faster or ride on rougher terrains, then you’ll definitely want something with a bit more power. Remember that most states have laws surrounding the max wattage, and most states cap the limit at 750 watts.
Weight can also have an effect on how much wattage your e-bike needs. If you are heavier, then your bike will require more power. Similarly, if you are lighter, then your bike won’t need as much power.
Are you using your electric bike to transport any kind of cargo? If so, then you’ll definitely want to consider purchasing an option with more wattage. This way, you’ll be able to carry more at faster speeds. Like wanting more power with a mountain bike to handle rough terrain, you will want more wattage with a cargo bike as you will want more power to carry the extra weight easier. If you would like you can also check out this comparison of electric mountain bikes vs cargo bikes. Additionally, you can check out the Rad Power Bikes Radrunner e-bike for a highly rated cargo bike from a trusted manufacturer.
Keep in mind that many states have limits of how many watts an e-bike can offer and stay street legal.
What is the best wattage for an electric bike?
The best wattage for an electric bike is one that fits your needs. If you’re mountain biking, you’ll need more and if you’re cruising on paved roads, you’ll need less. In general, a 500w e-bike is more than enough for most people.
What does wattage mean for electric bikes?
Wattage for electric bikes is simply a measure of power. Higher wattage means more power while lower wattage means less power.
How fast is a 3000w e-bike?
In theory, a 3000w e-bike can travel at 50 miles per hour. However, remember that these types of e-bikes are often not considered street legal.
Is a 350W e-bike enough?
A 350w e-bike is usually enough for most casual riders riding on paved roads.
STAT: Riding e-bikes can potentially save over $1.7 trillion in fuel costs by 2025. (source)