Electric bikes, commonly known as e-bikes, are a popular option to give extra support on your ride. It will keep your speed up on the flat and provide the extra push you need to get up any hills on your way. Not to mention, electric bikes are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly since they have little to no emissions compared to cars and motorbikes.
As more people start to use electric bikes for their daily commutes and shorter travels, the industry is expanding.
While traditionally, the motors for electric bikes ranged from 250-watts to 500-watts, as the industry is growing, there have been increases in the kinds of motors available for the bikes.
Higher powered motors are becoming more common, with 750-watt motors becoming quite standard, and come motors even ranging from 1,000-watts to a whopping 6,000-watts.
However, the question that arises with all of these new wattage motors on the market is whether or not more is always better. What are the advantages you would gain with a more powerful motor? Are there any disadvantages? Are certain motors better for certain kinds of driving and terrain?
The most common kinds of electric bikes you will find are 500-watt bikes and 750-watt bikes. Some people automatically assume that a 750-watt bike would be better than a 500-watt one, but that is not always the case.
If you’re looking to buy a new electric bike and aren’t sure which one would be the right fit for you, read ahead to have a clear idea of which bike might better suit you.
500-Watt Electric Bikes
500-watt electric bikes have dominated the market for some time now. A 500-watt motor can carry its weight and is usually perfectly acceptable for most riders. If you buy a 500-watt bike, chances are you’ll be perfectly satisfied with it.
However, to get a clearer idea of what it’s worth, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of a 500-watt electric bike.
Advantages of a 500-Watt Electric Bike
500-watt electric bikes are so popular and are considered an industry-standard because they present a number of advantages.
Have been tested thoroughly: being that most of the electric bikes on the market are made with 500-watt motors, these bikes have been tested repeatedly and thoroughly.
This means there is less likelihood of electrical or motor-related malfunctions, and you can rely on your bike to work correctly. Such thorough testing is not guaranteed with other motor powers.
Lower Levels of Risk and Danger: 500-watt bikes can only go up to mid-level speed and do not have higher speed options that other powered motors allow for. While this might be seen as a disadvantage, there is the benefit of mid-level speed bikes being overall safer. If you do not go up to speeds of 30mph, there is lesser danger and risk of accidents or injury.
Good Speed and Throttle: although a 500-watt electric bike won’t be great for winning races, it can still give you a respectable maximum speed and sufficient throttle. An average 500-watt electric bike can go up to 20mph when on full throttle.
Good Range and Charging Time: the average 500-watt electric bike will give you a pretty good range between charges. You can ride approximately 60 to 75 miles on a fully charged bike. The charging time is pretty good, too, with most bikes needing between 5 and 6 hours to charge fully.
Work Well with Different Terrain: a 500-watt motor is sufficiently powerful to allow you to drive on more challenging terrain. For example, going uphill should not be much of a problem, and you can also enjoy riding the bike off-road.
Can Support More Weight: another great advantage of a 500-watt electric bike is that it can support a weight of 230-250 lbs. This is partly because of how much power a 500-watt motor gives the bike and partly because the battery is not so large that it weights the bike down. A 500-watt electric bike is a good option for heavier people.
Disadvantages of a 500-Watt Electric Bike
There are very few disadvantages to 500-watt electric bikes, but we should still discuss the few.
They Aren’t the Fastest: As we’ve mentioned before, while 500-watt electric bikes can give you a maximum speed of 20mph, some people are not satisfied with this speed and would prefer a bike that can go faster. As the wattage of the motor increases, the bike can gain faster speeds.
The Motors Stall Sometimes: Like with your car, your electric bike can stall when there is too much strain on the motor. For example, going uphill on a steep slope might put too much strain on the motor and cause it to stall, meaning that it would automatically turn off under pressure. A more powerful engine would not become strained so easily.
750-Watt Electric Bikes
As more and more people are switching from regular bikes and public transport to electric bikes, many manufacturers have begun to try out new motor powers and have introduced newer models of bikes to the market. You can find motors ranging from 250-watts to 6,000-watts.
One such type of bike is the 750-watt electric bike. A 750-watt electric bike is a good option for many people. To understand if it might be a good fit for you, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages it offers.
Advantages of a 750-Watt Electric Bike
Upgrading to a higher-powered motor will definitely offer you several advantages.
Good Speed and Throttle: a 750-watt electric bike can give you great speed combined with great control. You can drive at a maximum speed of 28mph on rough or uneven terrain and up to a maximum speed of 35mph on a flat road or downhill. This is a huge upgrade from a lower-powered motor electric bike.
Good Range and Charging Time: like the 500-watt electric bike, the 750-watt bike also offers great range and charging times. An average 750-watt electric bike would need around 6 hours for the battery to be fully charged and would have a range of over 80 miles between charges.
Legal in the Most States: the higher-powered motor you opt for, the higher the associated risks are, and the higher the chances are that you need a specific license or registration to ride the bike in public. The 750-watt electric bikes are common enough that they are legal to drive in most US states.
Made with High-Quality Materials: a 750-watt electric bike is a solid bike that is well constructed and made with high-quality materials. Most manufacturers of these bikes use anodized aluminum and carbon in the production of the bikes to withstand different riding conditions. The high-quality materials also ensure strength, durability, and less maintenance.
Work Well with Different Terrains: 750-watt electric bikes are even better at riding on different kinds of terrain than 500-watt bikes. Their ergonomic design, more powerful motor, and good construction mean that no hill is too steep and no ground is too rocky. Whether you choose to ride on the streets or off-road, the 750-watt electric bike will support you well.
Better Suspension: lastly, another great advantage that 750-watt electric bikes offer is better suspension. The 750-watt electric bikes usually have bigger tires than the average 500-watt electric bike. Bigger tires mean less air pressure, less bouncing around, and better suspension. This makes for an overall smoother ride and greater control over the bike, regardless of the terrain.
Disadvantages of a 750-Watt Electric Bike
Of course, a more powerful motor comes with a certain set of associated disadvantages. While not too many, there are a few disadvantages to consider.
More Prone to Causing Accidents: a more powerful motor means a higher maximum speed at which the bike can go. This higher speed can be quite attractive to many people but cause more accidents and injuries. When riding the bike at full speed, it can be difficult to stop it in case of an emergency, resulting in a dangerous situation.
Heavier and Bulkier: another disadvantage to consider when it comes to 750-watt electric bikes is that they are heavier and bulkier as compared to 500-watt electric bikes. This is because a higher-powered motor requires a significantly bigger battery. This bigger battery would be heavier and also require more space. Additionally, the higher-quality materials used in the body of the bike are also quite heavy. This means that the 750-watt electric bike might not be best suited for heavier people.
Which Bike Would Be Best for You?
Now that we have looked at all of the advantages and disadvantages of both 500-watt electric bikes and 750-watt electric bikes, you will be better equipped to decide which bike would be a better fit for you.
If you’re looking for a bike for a daily commute to work and plan on mostly riding the bike in the city and on concrete roads, a 500-watt bike will likely meet all of your needs and be a good fit.
If you like a bit of adventure and want to take the bike out on treks and mountain rides on the weekends, then a 750-watt electric bike would be ideal as it can be used both on and off-road and in various conditions.
Certain companies also make better quality bikes and are leading the market for electric bikes. A company with great reviews and higher sales will likely have better-quality bikes.
While deciding on which bike to buy for yourself, you should definitely consider factors like company, style, and prince alongside the motor power.
One last bit of advice for you is to stick with either a 500-watt electric bike or a 750-watt electric bike. Both bikes will serve you well and are good options.
Anything lower than 500-watt, such as a 250-watt electric bike, will have its own set of disadvantages, such as lower speeds, weight restrictions, and difficulty riding on rough terrain.
Bikes with a motor power higher than 750-watts, such as those that are between 1,000-watts and 6,000-watts, are not practical for everyday riding, can have too much power, which leads to instability, can be too fast and cause accidents, require special licenses, and are mostly for specific purposes like racing instead of everyday use.
Key Differences Between a 500-Watt and a 750-Watt Electric Bike
The table below compares the key differences between a 500-Watt and 750-Watt electric bike.
|500-Watt Electric Bike||750-Watt Electric Bike|
|Maximum Range||60 to 70 miles||70 to 85 miles|
|Maximum Top Speed||15 to 18 miles per hour||20 to 22 miles per hour|
|Average Battery Lifespan||3 to 5 years||3 to 5 years|
|Total Curb Weight||50 to 70 lbs.||70 to 90 lbs.|
|Type of Tires||Less Wide and Lighter||Wider and Thicker|
Top Factors to Help You Analyze Which Electric Bike is Better for You
If you have the money to afford a bigger and more powerful electric bike, the chances are you may choose a 750-Watt electric bike over a 500-Watt electric bike.
While it does not seem like a big problem at first, you may end up regretting your poorly analyzed decision.
Hence, you must go through each of the factors below to decide what are your unique needs, requirements, and preferences as an electric bike buyer.
Your Electric Bike Riding Experience
Although a modern-day electric bike may seem quite similar to the traditional bicycle, in reality, the two are extremely different.
Both bikes may share similar external designs; however, an electric bike’s technological advancements, features, structure, and usability are unmatchable by a traditional bike.
Hence, if you are comfortable with riding a traditional bike, do not make the mistake of assuming that you can also ride an electric bike.
An electric bike is significantly much heavier than a traditional bike. Not only do its various electrical components, such as the battery and the motor, add to its total weight, but its frame is also designed to be bulkier and more robust to perform under the influence of electric energy.
People who are not used to riding electric bikes do usually have trouble balancing and controlling their heavy electric bikes.
Moreover, the higher top speed of a more powerful electric bike can also become very overwhelming, discouraging, and unsafe for an inexperienced electric bike rider.
Hence, if you are someone who is buying an electric bike for the first, it is better to buy a 500-Watt electric bike as it is easier to balance and safer for first-time e-bikers.
Although age is definitely just a number, it can still be an important factor in deciding which electric bike will be more fitting for you.
People between the 18 to 55 age group usually do not have to worry about investing in a higher-wattage electric bike, especially if they have had sufficient experience riding electric bikes.
People in this age group usually are vigilant, have strong reflexes, have great muscle strength and control, and can be responsible electric bike riders to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of the other people on the road.
However, if you are too young, it is better to start off with a 500-Watt electric bike to practice in a safer manner.
Moreover, if you are older than 55, the chances are your eyesight, hearing, muscle control, and general reflexes may be more compromised than you realize.
Hence, to avoid an electric bike accident or crash that may result in major injuries and high e-bike repair costs, it is better than buying a lower-wattage electric bike with a more controllable top speed and lower total weight.
Your Body Weight
Electric bikes are designed to have strong bodies and reliable structures; however, they too have their limits.
If an overweight rider decides to ride on a low-wattage 500-wattage electric bike, their body weight will put unhealthy pressure on the electric bike’s lithium-ion batteries, frame, and tires.
As a result, the electric bike’s battery will begin to permanently lose some of its range, top speed, lifespan, and charge storing capacity.
Due to the reduced range, the rider will have to recharge their electric bike’s battery more often, and hence their annual charging costs will go up.
Moreover, the average lifespan of the tires will also be shortened and the rider will have to frequently incur tire repair and replacement costs.
However, all this can be avoided if the person simply makes the decision to go for a more powerful electric bike, such as the 750-Watt e-bike.
Its stronger frame and thicker tires will be able to retain their performance despite the rider’s weight, and the battery’s lifespan will remain high.
On the contrary, if you are too lean and your body weight is low, investing in a high-wattage 750-Watt electric bike may become dangerous for you.
You may struggle with controlling the electric bike’s heavy body weight, and your poor balance may endanger your own safety and the safety of others in the area.
Your Physical Health
Even if your weight is not an issue and you are in the proper age bracket to ride any electric bike of your choice, it is still better to review your physical health before making the decision.
For instance, people with knee surgeries, poor heart health, poor muscle control, or poor vision should not invest in a high-speed 750-Watt electric bike as riding such electric bikes demand better physical health and control.
Your Average Commute
Even if your age, body weight, and physical health are not a problem, you still need to make a wise investment decision when choosing an electric bike so that you do not make the mistake of spending more than you need to.
One key factor that helps make this choice easier for you is analyzing your average commute.
For instance, if you need an electric bike to ride to and back from your office, school, college, the mall, your friend’s place, etc., check how much average commute that will be.
If all your destinations lie within a 20 to 30 miles radius, it is best to invest in a 500-Watt electric bike as it will offer you a range of nearly 60 to 70 miles, allowing you to travel to your work and return home on a single charge.
However, if your average commute is between 30 to 40 miles, it is better to invest in a 750-Watt electric bike as it offers a range of nearly 70 to 85 miles.
Hence, by measuring your average commute you will not make the mistake of investing in an electric bike that offers you way more range than you require, and vice versa.
Your Speed Preference
At times, people simply want a higher-wattage electric bike to enjoy the high-speed ride and uninterrupted momentum when they’re riding on the streets in America.
If you are that person, it is better that you invest in a faster 750-Watt electric bike that offers you a top speed of 20 to 22 miles per hour, instead of a 500-Watt electric bike which will limit you to 15 to 18 miles per hour top speed.
The Landscapes You Will Frequently Ride On
The type of landscapes you plan to ride your electric bike on plays a huge part in deciding which electric bike you need to buy.
For instance, if you live in a hilly area, you need an electric bike with a higher-wattage battery to store more electric charge in order to ride up inclined and rocky surfaces.
On the contrary, if you plan to ride your electric bike on flat surfaces, there is no real need for you to go for a more powerful electric bike.
Your Average Income
One thing that most people forget when purchasing an electric bike is the average recharging, repairing, and component replacement costs.
A 750-Watt electric bike will need to be charged more often, and will hence have a higher annual recharging cost. Moreover, if the electric bike is to break down, repair and component replacement costs will also be higher.
On the contrary, all these costs will be lower for a 500-Watt electric bike. Hence, if your average income is not that high, you need to limit your expenses by investing in a 500-Watt electric bike that has relatively lower running and repairing costs.
The main difference between a 500-watt electric bike and a 750-watt electric bike is the motor power. Both bikes are great options for you if you want to use the bike every day and do not need to travel very long distances.
In general, with a little bit of extra caution when driving at higher speeds, a 750-watt electric bike can offer you all of the advantages of a 500-watt electric bike, and they are also becoming more and more common in the market.
If you have to choose between the two, perhaps the more powerful 750-watt electric bike is the best option, but the 500-watt is a great second choice.
You may like the following electric bike articles:
- How Heavy is an Electric Bike?
- Can I Overcharge An E-Bike Battery?
- How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Bike
- Can I Get an Electric Bike on the Cycle to Work Scheme?
- How To Lock An Electric Bike
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.