Electric bike motors come in different sizes ranging from 250 watts to 3000 watts. Out of them, a 500-watt motor is legal and mostly used in electric bikes as they are lightweight, powerful, cheaper, and offer good speed.
So your next question would be how fast does a 500w electric bike go on various terrains? Well, the answer depends upon various factors such as your weight, terrain you ride on, battery size and motor type, etc.
You have landed on the right page as I have already tested the speed of a 500w ebike on various surfaces and come up with this comprehensive article so that you can make an informed decision before investing in a 500w ebike.
So, before we begin with the top speed of a 500w ebike, make sure to check this electric bike top speed guide. (different wattages included)
Before we start this article, let’s understand the meaning of “wattage” in an ebike.
What is Wattage in an Ebike?
Let’s get some physics undone today! The wattage of an e-bike is nothing but the total power output of its motor. There’s a simple mathematical formula for calculating wattage.
It’s a multiplication of voltage (an electrical force measured in volts) with amp hours of the controller (the maximum current flowing from the battery to the motor). Learn more about ebike terminologies.
Wattage = Volts x Ah
Let’s understand this better with the help of an example. 36-volt, 15-amp hours of the controller will have 540 watts of motor output.
By wattage, we mean the power output of the motor of your e-bike whereas the watt hours of the battery imply the power supplied by the battery to the motor every single hour.
Learn more about 36V ebike top speed.
Who should ride a 500-watt electric bike?
A 500-watt ebike offers a perfect range of speed for anybody who wants to go a little faster than a 250-watt ebike but not too swiftly like a 750-watt e-bike.
If you want to commute on the country roads to accomplish your daily chores or want to cover slightly steep hills then a 500-watt e-bike is for you. You should go with a mid-drive motor instead of a hub motor if you are into mountain biking. Learn more.
There are a wide variety of bikes available in the USA market that are designed to cover long ranges and offer fast acceleration. Unfortunately, 500-watt e-bikes are not legal in the UK and EU.
How Fast Does a 500W Electric Bike Go on Various Surfaces?
A 500-watt electric bike can easily pick up the speed of around 20 mph on paved roads and go up to 25 mph when riding downhill. And this speed may vary on various factors such as terrain, battery voltage, rider’s weight, motor type, and so on.
500w ebike top speed on various surfaces/terrains:
|Flat or Paved roads||Up to 20 mph (32 km/h)|
|Declined or Downhill||Up to 25 mph (40 km/h)|
|Inclined or Uphill||Up to 12 mph (20 km/h)|
But hold your horses a little bit, you need to adhere to the laws of the land. Yes, you heard that right! There are certain rules and regulations for your safety and people on the roads.
In the USA, Ebikes are classified into three categories on the basis of speed i.e., class 1, class 2, and class 3 ebikes. Class 1 & Class 2 ebikes have a maximum speed limit of 20 mph and the maximum motor wattage is up to 750 watts.
Whereas, Class 3 electric bikes have a maximum speed of up to 28 mph i.e., 45 km/h without using throttle mode. It means the motor stops assisting when you reach 28 mph, you can increase this speed by pedaling only.
As per the law, a 500w ebike has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour on throttle mode when you are riding on plane roads in the USA. You can increase this speed to 25 mph or more by pedaling only.
If you remove the speed limiter, it would be considered a breach of the law, you will be imposed heavy fines and penalties. Don’t follow such practices.
A bike with more than a 750-watt motor will not be considered an electric bike. Such bikes would be treated as motorbikes and required to be registered with the authority, purchase insurance and fulfill all the legal requirements. Check this out to know how fast can a 750-watt ebikes go.
500W Electric Bike Top Speed According to Types of Motors
There are two types of motors found in an electric bike i.e., a Direct hub motor and a Mid-drive motor.
A hub motor system is simple, works at a low cost, and provides sufficient pedal-assist power for commuting with a maximum speed of up to 20 mph. It offers assistance based on the cadence sensor, so you can get enough support even if you’re not pedaling too hard.
Whereas, a mid-drive motor is compact and powerful and drains less battery. The weight is well distributed which makes the handling easier providing more speed & torque than a hub motor i.e., 25 mph.
An ebike with a 500w mid-drive motor provides more torque on all terrains as compared to a hub motor. So if you are into mountain biking or delivery person, then 500 Watt mid-drive motor will do the job brilliantly.
If you primarily got to ride your bike on ground level with occasional terrains here and there then the rear hub motor is the one to opt for. A mid-drive motor also puts an extra burden on your pocket whereas a hub motor is pocket friendly.
If you are planning to convert your normal bike into an electric then a direct hub motor will be good because mid-drive motors require a special frame design for installation.
Whereas, a direct ebike hub motor system can be easily installed at a low cost with any frame design which means they will glide easily upon a simple frame of a 500-watt ebike as these are installed in the wheels making removal and maintenance much easier.
However, it’s possible that you may face some problems with your ebike motors (both hub and mid-drive), don’t worry! here is the guide to fixing your ebike hub motor problems.
Factors Affecting the Speed of a 500W Ebike
I have identified 10 major factors that may overshadow the speed of your 500-watt electric bike. These are mentioned below:
- Weight of the rider: If your weight is heavy, it will increase the load on the ebike and hence reduces the speed of your 500w ebike.
- Battery capacity: If the battery’s capacity is less than 500 watts, the ebike speed will not reach its maximum level because the battery is not capable enough for providing the required power (voltage). So select the correct size battery for your 500w ebike.
- Type of surface: A 500w ebike runs faster on the plane & declined roads as compared to rough and inclined roads.
- Weight of the battery: A heavy battery reduces the speed of the ebike. Don’t use a heavy battery unless you need a higher range otherwise your speed will reduce.
- Bike frame density: Heavy bike frame becomes heavy and increases the load of the motor and hence reduces the bike’s speed.
- Pedal assistance level: Low pedal assist level provides less speed as compared to a higher level of pedal assistance but consumes more battery power.
- Frequent braking: Avoid using brakes frequently while riding an ebike as it reduces the motor speed and you need to re-accelerate again to increase the speed which consumes more battery power and reduces your range as well.
- Opposition by the wind: if you are riding in the opposite direction of the wind then your ebike speed will reduce to a certain extent depending upon the terrain you are riding on.
- Weight of grocery/backpack: If you carry something heavy on your ebike then it will increase the load on the ebike motor and hence the speed will reduce.
- Kind of motor and sensors used: Mid-drive motor has a torque sensor and it centralizes the overall weight of the bike providing more speed. Whereas the hub motor provides less speed as it has a cadence sensor.
Is 500 Watts Enough for an Ebike?
There isn’t anything as too much or too less power in an e-bike provided it fulfills your needs. You must create a checklist of your requirements and if it fits the 500-watt ebike capacity then go for it.
Consider the points mentioned below:
- How frequently will I be using my e-bike?
- Will it serve the purpose of the main mode of transportation for me?
- Will I use it for recreation purposes, for leisure time around my home?
- Will I use my e-bike uphill mostly or on a flat surface?
- How much extra weight do I plan on carrying (the backpacks, the grocery)?
- How much do I weigh (as it puts extra pressure on the motor)?
If you happen to use mostly uphill then you must consider buying a bike with more wattage (750 watts) or you can go with a 500w mid-drive motor.
If you need an ebike for a runabout on the country road, a 500-watt ebike will serve the purpose brilliantly with some extra weight too. But If you are going to do adventures on trails, consider riding a higher-wattage ebike such as 2000w ebike has excellent top speed.
Pros and Cons of a 500-Watt Ebike
- Offers a top speed of up to 20 mph which is legal as per the law.
- Accelerates easily on hills if paired with the correct size battery.
- Not very heavy weight.
- Can move uphill easily with a 500w mid-drive motor.
- Can be used by delivery agents.
- Good for long-distance riding on plane roads.
- Power-hungry motor if not paired with the correct size battery.
- Heavier and more expensive than a 250-watt e-bike.
- Can’t move on to too many inclinations.
Can a 500-Watt E-Bike Go Uphill?
Do you want to experience the adrenaline rush by going uphill? A 500-watt bike will solve your issue. An electric bike with a 500w motor can pick up speed on hilly terrains and is powerful enough to get you going provided the hill isn’t too much inclined.
Another factor that counts while going uphill is the weight of the rider, the wind gushing in the opposite direction, and the battery voltage and weight.
We can conclude that the performance of a 500-watt e-bike will vary from person to person but can perform well on slight inclinations and average on steep hills.
If your primary goal is riding uphills, then you should go with a mountain electric bike with a 750w or 1000w mid-drive motor. They are perfect for climbing hills because the speed of a 750w ebike is great on such terrains.
Must know: Do electric bikes charge downhill?
Comparing 500-Watt and 1000-Watt Ebike
There is a difference of 500 watts when you compare a 500w vs 1000w ebike motor and that difference makes a 1000w ebike more powerful. Let’s see the major difference between them:
- A 1000-watt e-bike offers more strength and power as compared to a 500-watt e-bike. That’s why they are expensive too.
- A 1000-watt e-bike laughs in the face of hills and can rapidly take over steep hills whereas a 500-watt e-bike performs well on slight inclinations.
- An electric bike with a 1000w motor can be considered a mountain bike while a 500-watt e-bike is best for commuting on city roads.
- A 1000-watt e-bike delivers an assistance speed of around 40mph and a 500-watt e-bike offers assistance of 30 mph maximum.
- Electric bikes with 1000w motors are heavier than the 500w ebikes because of the large size battery, and heavy motor. Whereas a 500w ebike is lightweight.
- The choice between a 500-watt and a 1000-watt-bike depends on the overall price, top speed, riding range, and hill performance.
Related: How fast can a 1500-watt ebike go?
Classes of Ebikes in the USA: Which One Should You Opt for Your 500W Ebike?
In the USA, Electric bikes have been classified into three classes according to the ebike’s top speed limit. Let’s see what class of 500w ebike is.
Class 1 Electric Bikes
These eBikes are only pedal-assisted, without throttle, and can reach a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. The motor’s wattage range is 250 watts to 750 watts.
Class 2 Electric Bikes
These ebikes also have a threshold speed limit of up to 20 mph but they are assisted with a throttle mode. 250w ebike is also a class 2 ebike as the top speed of a 250w ebike is the same.
Class 3 Electric Bikes
These bikes are also pedal-assisted (just like class 1), without throttle but receive assistance up to 28 mph (45 km/h), which is 8 mph more than class 1. They also have a screen for measuring speed and distance.
You can choose any class of e-bike for a 500-watt capacity provided it caters to your needs and doesn't exceed the law.
Final Thoughts: 48V 500W Electric Bike Top Speed
Now you know the top speed of a 500w ebike on all types of surfaces depending upon the type of motor and other factors. Well, in my experience 20 mph on a 500w ebike is great on plane roads.
This speed is safe for you as well as does not breach the law. So, a 500-watt e-bike is a perfect choice if you want to commute on country roads and have to scale on occasional hills.
I hope your doubt (how fast does a 500w electric bike go) has been solved here. If yes let us know your thought in the comment section below. Do share this article on your social handle with your friends.
Keep riding & Stay Safe!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How fast is a 500w ebike in mph?
An ebike with a 500w motor is powerful enough for riding on plane roads for long distances and it offers a maximum speed of up to 20 mph (miles per hour) or 32 km/h legally.
Q2. How long will a 500-watt-hour e-bike battery last?
A 500 WH ebike battery will last on a 500-watt ebike for one hour if used continuously and the range would be around 25-45 miles on a single charge.
Q3. Should I recharge my e-bike every day?
Frequent charging of an e-bike can distort the battery capacity of your e-bike
You should just make sure that the battery doesn’t drop below 20 percent in all cases.
Q4. Can a 500-watt ebike climb a hill?
Generally, a 500-watt e-bike performs moderately on hills that aren’t too steep because 500-watt bikes are best to commute on city roads and can’t be classified as mountain bikes.
Q5. How much weight can a 500-watt ebike hold?
A 500-watt e-bike can bear a maximum weight of 290 lbs or 130 kg. If the weight is more, the speed will reduce. So carry the weight wisely.
Before you go:
- How Fast is a 48V 500W Electric Bike?
- How fast does a 350w electric bike go on various surfaces?
- How Fast Can a 3000w Ebike Go? Let’s Find Out the Top Speed
- Charging an Ebike Battery to 80 Percent (%): Why & How Explained
- Is It Possible to Charge an Ebike While Riding? Breaking Down the Myths