Despite claims of high speed ebikes, the fastest electric bike runs about 58mph/93kph on the track. Higher speeds on bicycles are limited by wind resistance.
High speed electric bicycles
Officially, the fastest electric bike speed record appears to be 57.66mph/93kph set in 2009. The bike is a recumbent/shell DIY machine built and ridden in Montreal, Canada. The recumbent/shell design is important in attaining high speed on any bicycle. Note that the speed is variously reported as 58.66mph and 93kph and that 93kph = 57.66kph. See the video below.
There are plenty of claims of 50 plus mph/80kph electric bikes. How many actually can pass the half century mark on level ground is likely few. Wind resistance is the main drag so to say.The upright bike rider is a poor shape in terms of streamlining.
At 20 mph, about 65% of your biking energy is used overcome air resistance. The faster you go, the harder it gets. At 25mph, it takes nearly 75% of your power just to part the air.
This is why all human powered bicycle speed records are made in low profile bikes with some kind of plastic shell to lower wind resistance to a minimum.
High speed bicycles
High speed bicycles are nothing new. Mile a minute Murphy was drafting at 60mph behind trains in 1900. The train was breaking the wind.
In 1985 John Howard pedaled behind a streamliner at 152mph on the Bonneville Salt flats. The streamliner reduced wind resistance to a minimum.
The world speed record for a human powered bicycle is 82mph. The record was set at
Battle Mountain NV riding a composite shell bike to reduce drag.
Mountain bikers have been recorded at 130mph downhill on a mountainside!
The hour speed record pedaling along on an upright racing bicycle is close to 31mph.
Track racers can hit 40mph for a few seconds.
Recreational bike riders in good shape can hit 30mph for a short time.
Regular bicycle riders on downhill roads can pass the 50mph mark.
If you are gonna ride fast: high speed bike tips
- Make sure your tires have plenty of air in them
- Tune your brakes so that they work well
- Wear appropriate gear - sandals not a good idea here
- Tighten loose connections to keep power flowing
- Clamp loose wires, cables and other stuff so it does not flap around
- Keep your bike in general good tune, bearings, gears, chain and other gear working well
- Watch where you ride, remember that cycling at 50mph/80kph is not legal in most places
Battle Mountain NV, USA
Power in Watts required to overcome wind resistance on EBike
Power in Watts required
to overcome wind resistance