In most cases, the power rating of an electric bicycle motor describes the amount of power that the motor can consume continuously. This continuous power rating is different from the peak power rating which describes how much power the motor can handle in a short period of time.
Electric bike motors can reach peak watt when under stress, going up steep hills or the like.
So, when you compare electric bikes first be certain whether continuous or peak watts are being reported. In some cases, you will see both, as an example, the motor on the Magicycle 52v fat tire ebike is rated for 750 watts of continuous power but has a peak rating of 1,144 watts.
So when we discuss motor ratings, we’ll be largely taking e-bike coantinuous power rating or manufacturers at their word. But keep in mind that just because two motors are labeled similarly doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily have the same power.From 250W mini electric bikes to 10k+W motorcycle-level electric bikes. Electric bikes are available in a variety of power levels. But how much power is needed for you? This article may help you.
250 W electric bikes – rookie
The minimum power rating for electric bikes is usually 250W. There are about 200W electric bikes, but they are usually scooter type bikes.
At 250W of power, you're basically looking at a flat cruiser electric bike. Most 250W e-bikes have a hard time going up hills without the user pedaling hard, but at these low power levels, mid drive e-bikes will provide better climbing performance than hub motors as they can get higher torque by downshifting the electric bike's gear torque.
Let's say you do all of your riding on flat, paved trails at the beach. In beach lore, you enjoy cruising while drinking your raw piña colada and using your own massive pedal, so you're getting a workout... the 250-watt motor could be your dishes. Let's say you're riding hilly terrain, but you just want a lift to smooth out those hills, and you don't mind pedaling hard up those hills and giving a lot of your own pedal input... 250 watts might be enough for you.
Also, the lighter it is, the better the 250-watt motor is for you. If you're looking to buy an electric bike for your 10-year-old, 90-pound son for Christmas, 250 watts will suffice. For a 300lb rider you really need to look at motors with 600 watts or more.
350 W – 500 W electric bikes - commonThe next step up in power comes with an increase in acceleration. While a 250W electric bike accelerates slowly, a bike closer to 500W will pull much quicker off the line.
If you’re light you can feel the huge difference between the two. However, depending on the motor, heavier riders may not feel much of a difference on flat terrain.
In terms of speed, my first electric bike with a 500-watt mid-drive motor could easily hit 20 mph. I actually got it up to 22-23 mph via the bike display. Now the bike won't be able to hold that speed for very long, but the motor definitely has enough power to get up to that speed.
If you are around 150 pounds, a 500-watt motor will have more than enough power for smooth roads and some moderate hills. You may need to pedal with a motor to get up some hills, but electric bikes are there to help you with such tasks. You can still get a good workout without arriving to work drenched in sweat.
If you’re just using the throttle, 500 watts probably won’t be enough to pull you up a hill, and if it does, you may run the risk of overheating the motor.
On hills, 500 W will do a much better job of powering light riders to the summit. Smaller hills may become conquerable for heavier riders. Again though, such riders won’t see a huge difference as compared to lower powered 250 W motors when it comes to any decent hill.
750 W – 1,000 W electric bikes - proWhen you have a quality 750-watt electric bike, you have a tough build to withstand rough trails. Manufacturers use anodized aluminum, carbon, and other high-end materials to build their bikes. It helps you push its limits on the road and get the most out of it.
Another advantage of the 750 watt electric bike is its versatile design and the perfect combination of ergonomic appearance and accessibility. Whether you're hitting rough mountain trails, traversing sand or snow, or just commuting to work, they'll capture you well.
Most 750 watt fat bikes have wide tires (4'-5') to give you a smoother ride. The wider base registers less air pressure for greater ride stability and a more natural suspension. It is especially suitable for roads with gravel, sand, rocks, snow, mud and dangerous wet roots.
For heavier riders, the 750W is when flat performance starts to get more enjoyable and hills get more consistent. However, at 1000W most heavyweight riders will be more pleased with the performance.
Since 750 watt electric bikes have quite higher power, about the same as a race bike, they go very fast. Depending on road conditions, a good electric bike can travel at the speed of 30 to 55 kilometers per hour or more. If you are running on flat or semi-gravel terrain or on commuter roads, the bike can go 40 to 55 kilometers per hour. On rough terrain and mountain roads with sand, dirt, and other obstacles, speeds can range from 12 to 25 mph.