Electric mountain bikes are still not as popular as electric road bikes, but these can be seen more and more on the trails nowadays. Most people are well an electric mountain bike is a bike that can propel you along a trail without you having to pedal at all, but this can still leave a lot of questions.
How fast do electric mountain bikes go? Most electric mountain bikes go between 20 and 25 miles per hour. A few mountain bikes do not quite reach 20 miles per hour; however, and some can reach nearly 30 miles per hour.
While these speeds are the average ones for electric mountain bikes, not every bike will reach these speeds. Different things can affect the speed you actually end up going. The speed that an electric mountain bike says that it can go is more of an average than it is a guarantee.
Going Uphill Or Downhill
Hills, both going up and down, will affect your speed on your electric mountain bike for obvious reasons. Electric mountain bike or not, you will always be slower going uphill then you are going downhill. The steeper the hill is that you are trying to go up, the slower you will be.
This decrease in speed is because gravity is trying to pull you back down the hill. The electric parts on your mountain bike have to work harder to fight gravity to push you up the hill. Therefore, even if your mountain bike says that it can go 20 miles per hour, you will not be able to go this speed going up a steep hill.
When you get to the other side of the hill, this same force of gravity pulls you back down. This is why you go faster going downhill with virtually no effort on your part. Downhill mountain bikers will likely find it easy to exceed the speed that their electric mountain bike says that it can go.
However, sometimes hills can be tricky on a mountain biking trail. So, just because you can go really fast downhill, it may not be safe to do so. There may be technical parts to the descent that you need to approach with caution.
Finally, the more momentum you have going for you, the further up the hill you can make it. The trail you are on may not always make this possible, or you may have to pull to the side to allow mountain bikers to pass who are coming down.
If you can go uphill without pausing for any reason, this is easiest on your electric mountain bike. Just remember that your most accurate speed for your electric mountain bike will be on flat terrain.
The Weight On The Electric Mountain Bike
The weight that you put on your electric mountain bike can be directly related to how much weight you put on it. The effect of weight is exaggerated when you go up or down a hill, which are the two times when it will be the most noticeable.
More weight only adds to the pull of gravity when you are going up and down hills. This makes going uphill even harder and going downhill naturally even faster. This added weight can come from you simply weighing more.
Added weight can also be your water, snacks, GPS, or anything else you take with you. If it is cold and you are bundling up, the added weight of coats, gloves, a scarf, and anything else you are wearing for the cold will make you weigh more in the winter than you weigh in the summer.
Some electric mountain bikes are made with extra durable frames. These bikes start off heavier all on their own. All of those weights do not even mention the weight of the gear you will need if you plan on going for a multi-day bikepacking trip.
Not only does this weight slow you down when you are going uphill, but it also slows you down a little even on flat stretches of trail. In addition to slowing you down, it also depletes your battery a little faster.
Therefore, if you do plan on going bikepacking or on any trip which requires you to pack things on your bike, do not plan on going at your electric mountain bike’s stated speed. True, some electric mountain bikes might surprise you and still go close to the same speed even with the extra weight, but you shouldn’t count on it.
The Quality Of The Electric Mountain Bike
The quality of your electric mountain bike will also affect the speed. Most electric mountain bikes are at least close to the speed that they state they are made to go. Unfortunately, some cheaper electric mountain bikes may not go the speed they are supposed to even when you first get them.
It is for this reason new electric mountain bikes should always be tested on the trail when you first get them. Find an accurate way of telling your speed to make sure that your new bike can genuinely get to the speed it claims it can.
Most electric mountain bikes give you either 30 or 60 days to return it if you are not satisfied with it. Make sure you check out the speed before this period of time runs out. If you get a warranty with your electric mountain bike, all the better.
Check your speed again before your warranty runs out to verify that your speed is still where it should be. Over time your motor and other parts get old, and this can slow them down. This happens so gradually that you may not even notice that you are slower.
So, checking your speed on a regular basis and logging the results somewhere, can let you know if there is a problem. If your electric mountain bike is still under warranty and you are quite a bit slower, then you may be able to get your motor or something replaced.
A good quality electric mountain bike is not likely to show any signs of wearing down for quite a while. But this decrease in speed will eventually happen, in part due to the bumps and harsh trails. In short, older electric mountain bikes will likely have less speed to them.
As you can see, having a certain speed that you can go on an electric mountain bike does not mean you will always go that speed. Technical places in a mountain biking trail will often require you to slow down to navigate them safely.
Also, if you are mountain biking in rainy weather, you will want to slow down some. While the trails are still slick, you risk slipping and crashing if you go too fast on your bike. So, be careful about your safety when it comes to your speed.
Most electric mountain bikes do allow you to pedal. You have to pedal when your battery runs out, of course, but sometimes pedaling even when your motor is still going can help you to go faster. This helps you to go further before your battery wears out.
However, your battery will most assuredly wear out eventually. When it does so, you will be stuck pedaling a mountain bike that weighs more than a regular mountain bike does. If you only plan on riding the shorter or medium length trails, then you will not likely be pedaling on your own for long.
Whether or not electric mountain bikes are for you is something that only you can decide. Just know that in many cases you cannot race with an electric mountain bike, and it is far better to train for races on a regular mountain bike too.
If you are just mountain biking for fun or to see more of the outdoors, then an electric mountain bike might be perfect for you. With the effortless speed that you can go at, you have more time to sit on your bike and enjoy the lovely scenery around you. Just don’t forget to glance where you are going every now and then to make sure that you don’t run into someone else.