You love riding your new e-bike except for one little detail; the speed restrictor 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 recommended that you do not derestrict your electric bike for the following reasons:
- Increases safety risks
- It is illegal
- Reduces battery life
- Accelerates wear-and-tear
- Voids warranty
The same caution should be used when operating an electric bicycle as any other motorized vehicle.
To learn more about derestricting an electric bicycle and the possible risks, continue reading.
Derestricting Electric Bicycles – How this can be done
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 upon 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.
The Troubles With Derestricting an Electric Bicycle
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.
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.
Increases 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.
Reduces 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.
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 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.
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 derestricted 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.
Risks Outweigh Rewards When Derestricting Speed
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.