Derestrict the E-bike Speed Limit: What are the Risks?

Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Igor Karni

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You love riding your new e-bike except for one little detail; the speed limitation installed by the manufacturer. You may be wondering if you can remove the speed control mechanism so you don’t keep getting passed by traditional pedal bikes.

Understanding the risks associated with derestricting an electric bicycle can help you decide if it’s the right decision for you. 

Generally, it is not recommended to derestrict the e-bike speed limit. Here are the reasons: 

  • Increases safety risks
  • Illegal in the majority of countries
  • Reduces battery life
  • Accelerates e-bike wear-and-tear
  • Voids warranty

You need to use the same caution when riding an electric bicycle as you would do when riding any other motorized vehicle, such as a motorbike, for example.

To learn more about derestricting an electric bicycle and the possible risks, continue reading. 

Derestrict the E-bike Speed Limit – the methods

Derestricting is exactly what it sounds like; it is a means of removing a particular restriction, in this case, the speed limit on an electric bicycle. There are a few different ways that one can derestrict their electric bicycles, which will be briefly discussed below.

Read also: How far can e-bikes go? What is e-bike range on a single charge? And, How fast are e-bikes?

Internal Circuit Tuning Kit

A more advanced and expensive way to derestrict your electric bicycle is to install an internal tuning kit. There are two types of tuning kits depending on the model of the bicycle. One kit requires circuit disassembly, whereas the other method does not. 

Kill the Connection 

Another way to stop the speed sensor from allowing you to accelerate is to simply cut the wire going to the sensor. You must understand that cutting the wire is a final act; there is no going back, so be sure you are making the right decision before getting too excited with those wire cutters. 

The Simple Magnet Method

A simple yet effective method is to use a magnet to confuse the speed sensors to think you are going slower than what the speedometer is reading. 

With this method, you won’t have to worry about voiding your manufacturer’s warranty because you are not cutting any wires or disassembling any circuitry. Simply remove the magnets, and your bike is back to its original state. 

Now you understand the definition and general process of derestricting an electric bicycle, you can continue reading to learn about the associated risks. 

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Derestrict the E-bike Speed Limit: Risks and Associated Troubles

As you can see, derestricting an electric bicycle is not an impossible task, but that doesn’t mean it should be done. The list below discusses the main reasons why you should avoid derestricting your electric bicycle. 

Breaking the Law 

A pretty good reason to keep your electric bicycle in its original condition is the simple fact that it is illegal to modify your bike to go faster than 20 mph / 32 km per hour (or above 25 mph / 45 km per hour for speed electric bikes). If you are caught speeding, you can face fines and other potential legal reproductions.

Check out the USA e-bike speed legislation, Canadian e-bike speed legislation, UK e-bike speed legislation, and Australian e-bike speed legislation.

Read also: What is the difference between a regular e-bike and a speed e-bike? And, is it legal to derestrict electric bicycle speed?

Getting on Big Brother’s Radar

A big reason to keep your electric bicycle the way you purchased it from the manufacturer is that if people continue to derestrict their electric bikes they will begin to fall into a different category of motorized vehicles. 

If this happens, they will become subject to the same laws as automobiles and motorcycles. Electric bicycles will have to be licensed, registered, and insured; the added expense will take away from the original purpose of owning the e-bike in the first place. 

Read also: Tips before buying an electric bike. And, Are electric bikes good for the environement?

Generally, people who ride electric bicycles are trying to save money as well as reduce their carbon footprint on the earth.

Increase Safety Risks

This should go without saying, but we will say it anyway. The faster you are traveling, the harder it is to stop quickly. It only makes sense that increasing your speed will increase your risk of having an accident and injuring yourself or someone else. 

Read also: Are electric bikes dangerous? What are e-bike risks? And, How safe are electric bikes?

For this reason alone, it is not a good idea to derestrict the speed sensor on your electric bicycle. If you are traveling too fast and cannot stop in time, your fun ride just turned into a nightmare. 

Reduce Battery Life

Derestricting your electric bicycle will increase your speed, but it can also help to drain your battery faster. To preserve your bicycle’s battery keep things the way the manufacturer intended. 

Accelerate E-bike Wear-and-Tear

Derestricting the e-bike speed limit will not only reduce battery life but will also increase wear-and-tear of other e-bike parts, such as the engine and breaks for example. Specific e-bike models have been built with certain speeds and braking distances in mind. Changing speed characteristics will also alter other parameters of your e-bike.

Void Warranty

Let’s face it, electric bicycles are not inexpensive by any means. Having said that, if something breaks or fails, you probably do not want to fork out a bunch of cash to fix it. This here is another major reason to keep your electric bicycle as is. 

Read also: Why are electric bikes so expensive? And, Does it make sense to buy the cheapest electric bicycle?

The manufacturers will know if you have tampered with the wiring or circuitry; when they discover that you managed to derestrict the speed sensors, you will be paying out-of-pocket for any repairs that may be needed. Want to keep your warranty intact? Don’t derestrict your electric bicycle. 

Clearly, Risks Outweigh Rewards 

Although you may be able to get to your destination a little bit faster if you derestrict your speed sensors, the risks are generally not worth the few minutes that you saved. Instead of trying to speed through life, slow down and enjoy the ride; you may be surprised at what you find along the way.

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