Electric bikes are designed to be a safer transport option for commuting around town every day. Hence most electric bikes do not have excessively high speeds like gas-powered bikes.
Many electric bike owners have figured out ways to increase the speed of their electric bikes. A highly effective way of doing that is removing the electric bike’s speed limiter.
How Does One Remove the Speed Limiter on Electric Bikes?
Electric bikes have a built-in speed limiter that ensures that the e-bike remains within permissible speed limits. The built-in system automatically shuts off the electric bike’s engine once it reaches its limit.
However, it is not uncommon for people to want to remove their electric bike’s speed limiter to enjoy a more thrilling ride. There are three methods used to remove most electric bikes’ speed limiters.
You can do this yourself; however, if your electric bike has a complicated design, you should visit an e-bike workshop.
Continue reading below to learn about each of the three methods.
Method 1: The Hand Method
All electric bike manufacturing companies wish to stay competitive in the growing e-bike market. They spend time and money trying to evolve their electric bike designs in order to stand out.
Hence, different electric bikes have different built-in mechanisms that offer different benefits. To remove an electric bike’s speed limiter using the hand method, the electric bike needs to have certain features.
Before looking at how the hand method is used, let’s first look at how an electric bike’s speed limiter system works.
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How Does an Electric Bike’s Speed Limiter System Work?
An electric bike has a built-in electric sensor to detect the e-bike’s speed. Once the sensor picks up on the speed, it transfers this data to the e-bike’s electric central controller.
The electric bike’s central controller will use the information provided by the sensor to decide the maximum electric assistance the e-bike needs.
For instance, if an electric bike with a 20mph top speed is going at 15mph, the electric central controller would permit the required additional electrical assistance.
As a result, the electric bike will be able to pick up more speed till it reaches 20mph.
When an electric bike rider tries to push the electric bike beyond its permitted top speed, the electric central controller reacts by turning the e-bike’s motor off.
As a result, the electric bike cannot use any additional electrical assistance to go faster.
How Will the Hand Method Work?
The hand method trick is used to basically manipulate the data about the e-bike’s speed that the sensor picks up and sends to the central controller.
Once the wrong data regarding the electric bike’s top speed is detected and passed on to the central controller, it is no longer triggered to react by shutting the motor off.
In order to modify the data detected by the sensor, one has to alter:
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1. The Electric Bike’s Rear Wheel’s Magnet Position
One has to remove the electric bike’s rear wheel’s magnet and move it somewhere else. Ideally, the magnet should be reattached to the electric bike’s pedal bracket.
Moreover, instead of putting in the same magnet, one can replace it with a neodymium magnet. This magnet is much stronger than an electric bike’s original rear wheel magnet.
2. The Electric Bike Frame’s Base Sensor
Once the person has removed and relocated the electric bike’s rear-wheel magnet, the second step is to remove and reposition the e-bike frame’s base sensor.
Once the frame’s base sensor is removed, it needs to be moved and reattached upside down. It should be attached so that it faces the e-bike relocated magnet.
Doing so will increase the distance between the e-bike’s sensor and the magnet. Consequently, the sensor will receive lesser signals, and the e-bike’s actual speed will not be detected accurately.
As a result, modified information will be transferred to the e-bike’s central controller, and the motor will keep providing electrical assistance.
Advantages of Using the Hand Method
The best part about using this method to remove the e-bike’s speed limiter is that:
- It does not take up much time
- It can be done without any prior electrical skills or additional help
- Does not require any permanent electrical disassembling and hence is easily reversible
- It is easier to claim a warranty since the changes are not permanent
Disadvantages of Using the Hand Method
- This method cannot be practiced on all kinds of electric bikes
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Method 2: Disconnecting the Wires Attached to the Sensor
The second method to remove an electric bike’s speed limiter is by disconnecting the wires that connect the built-in sensor to the rest of the system.
Many electric bike owners tend to stick to the first (hand) method due to the difficulty of the second method.
This method involves cutting the connective wiring between the sensor and the electric central controller.
Advantages of Disconnecting the Sensor Wiring
- Since no signals or speed data can be carried to the central controller, the electric can achieve higher speeds.
Disadvantages of Disconnecting the Sensor Wiring
- An electric bike has many wires running along with its system. Hence, locating the correct wires to cut could be complicated for many e-bike owners. As a result, they might have to incur the expense of visiting an electric bike workshop.
- It is not uncommon for people to make mistakes when locating and cutting the correct wires. If they cut a wire integral to the electric bike’s functionality, they will have to incur high repair costs.
- Since this method involves a permanent alteration, it is extremely hard to reverse the action.
- As a result, claiming a warranty becomes almost impossible, which can lead to a huge financial loss if something happens to the bike.
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Method 3: Modifying the Speed Data by Using the Electric Bike’s Tool Kits
Many companies have designed and manufactured special electric bike tool kits to help riders get the most out of their e-bikes. These kits are designed to hinder the e-bike’s speed-limiting process.
The general idea behind this method is almost the same as the hand method.
It involves modifying the electric bike’s detected speed data to fool the central controller into allowing additional electrical assistance.
However, this method is far more technical than the hand method. There are two types of electric bike tool kits available in the market to remove an electric bike’s speed limiter:
Type 1: Disassembling of the Electric Bike’s Electrical Circuit
The type one tool kit is usually introduced with the e-bike’s system and requires disassembling the electric bike’s electrical circuit.
The advantage of using this tool kit is that the disassembly is not permanent, and the kit can easily be deactivated.
They have a simple turn-on or shutdown system switch on the e-bike’s keypad lighting system. Turning off the switch allows the electric bike’s systems to go back to normal.
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Type 2: Attaching the Electric Bike Tool Kit to the E-bike’s Main Sensor
This tool kit is relatively easier to use and comes with a detailed instructions manual. It does not involve disassembling the electric circuit.
Instead, one must attach the electric bike tool kit to the e-bike’s main speed data sensor.
Advantages of Using the Electric Bike’s Tool Kits
- These tool kits are more than simple hacks. Hence, they are designed to minimize any permanent damage or alteration to the electric bike.
- The type one tool kit comes with a handy switch that can easily turn off the tool kit’s function.
Disadvantages of Using the Electric Bike’s Tool Kits
- Using either of the tool kits is technical and requires the help of a trained electric bike professional. As a result, the e-bike owner has to pay up to use these kits.
- Since these tool kits are manufactured to allow an electric bike to go above its permitted top speed, many countries have banned its usage. Hence, this method has become illegal.
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Is It a Smart Decision to Remove the Speed Limiter of an Electric Bike?
An electric bike is designed to function as an alternate way of transport within a city. It is meant to promote rider and pedestrian safety.
Hence, the top speeds of most electric bikes do not go as high as those of motorcycles. However, this has not stopped people from wanting to ride their electric bikes at higher speeds.
Although removing the speed limiter may seem like a convenient method to increase the speed, doing so is not always the wisest decision.
Some reasons that justify keeping an electric bike’s speed limiter intact are as follows:
- Although driving at high speeds could be a thrilling experience, the possible safety concerns do not make the thrill worth it. Thousands of bike accidents are reported in the US every year, and high speeds are often the major factor behind the crash. Hence, to keep yourself and pedestrians on the road safe, one should keep the speed limiter intact and ride within the defined limits.
- An electric bike’s speed limiter is designed to follow a country or region’s biking or speed laws. Hence, removing the electric bike’s speed limiter to go beyond permissible limits would have legal consequences. For instance, the US’s allowed electric bike top speed is 20 mph. Electric bike owners who remove the speed limiters to increase their e-bike’s speed have to pay heavy fines for breaking the law.
- An electric bike’s structure, frame, battery size, tires, and built-in features allow a specified top speed. Pushing an electric bike to go beyond its limits will negatively affect the electric bike in many ways. For instance, a higher speed than the e-bike is designed for will add a lot of stress to the electric bike’s battery and will cause it to deplete faster. As a result, its total charge carrying capacity and range will be reduced. Moreover, the battery might also overheat as a result of the additional load. Consequently, the electric bike battery’s life per charge and total lifespan will be reduced.
- Most of the methods used to remove an electric bike’s speed limiter cause permanent or hard to reverse changes to the electric bike. As a result, the manufacturing company does not allow the e-bike owner to claim their e-bike’s warranty.
- Electric bikes designed to go at higher speeds have thicker, larger tires. Pushing regular electric bike tires to withstand the pressures of higher speeds will cause the tires to depreciate more quickly. As a result, the electric bike owner will incur tire and battery repair or replacement costs.
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Removing an electric bike’s speed limiter to ride at higher speeds may sound exciting; however, doing so is illegal and dangerous. Hence, riders should try to ride within their electric bike’s specified limits.
However, if an electric bike owner wishes to ride at higher speeds, they should try to do that in regions with less strict speed laws.
Moreover, they should purchase an electric bike designed to withstand higher speeds. Click here to learn more about the electric bike regulations in the US.
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.