In most cases, an electric bike’s top speed doesn’t always reflect the motor’s peak performance. This is because manufacturers often install speed limiters in their bikes to prevent them from breaking local e-bike speed laws.
So even if the motor can propel the ebike to top speeds of 40 miles per hour, the limiter (or speed governor) will prevent this from happening by restricting the flow of current to the motor once a set speed (could be 15 mph [for most countries in Europe], 20 mph, or even 28 mph [for states in the US]) has been reached.
While this safety feature helps lower the risk of violent collisions, it can be a bit of a drag for riders looking to explore the limits of their electric bikes. Thankfully, there are ways to remove speed limiters.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few techniques that riders can use to derestrict their e-bikes and make it go faster. Please keep in mind that some of these procedures might void your bicycle’s warranty. That said, let’s dive into the main course.
Can You Hack an Ebike to Go Faster
Photo credited by juicedbikes
It is completely possible to hack an electric bike to go faster. The process is just easier on some electric bikes than it is on others.
For some e-bikes, it’s as simple as modifying a few settings. In fact, Juiced provides a cool feature on their Hyperscrambler and Hyperscorpion models that allows riders to easily exceed their bike’s speed limit by switching to a “race-track” mode.
This isn’t the case for all electric bikes though as hacking the speed limiter on a few of them can be very complicated. Sometimes, even as complicated as messing with the e-bike’s controller.
How Do You Bypass the Speed Limiter on an Electric Bike
1) Out Smart The Speed Sensor By Tweaking Your E-bike’s Wheel Size
Photo credited by mbr
Just so we’re clear, you don’t have to swap out your bike’s wheels to make this hack work. The whole idea is to trick the bike’s control system into thinking that you actually did.
You see, most electric bikes use wheel revolutions to calculate how fast the bike is traveling. A small computer installed on the e-bike uses the wheel’s circumference & the number of revolutions it makes per minute to estimate how fast the bike is going.
So, since smaller diameter tires tend to rotate faster than larger diameter tires when acted upon by an equal amount of force, we’ll be revising the manufacturer’s set “wheel size” down to a smaller number. This will cheat the speedometer into believing that even though the wheel is rotating faster, the bike is not covering as much linear distance (as is the case with smaller tires).
You should be able to get a decent 3 to 5 mph above the usual limit before the speed limiter kicks in; again. This hack will only work on your electric bike if your display settings allow for you to edit wheel size.
2) Remove ebike’s speed limiter with the “T Magnet and Sensor Hack”
Photo credited by bosch
Another way to derestrict your electric bike is to trick the sensor into believing that you’re traveling at a much slower speed. This technique will only work on electric bikes with sensors attached to their chainstays and magnets attached to their spokes.
As mentioned earlier, the sensor records every full rotation the magnet makes and uses this to estimate how fast the bike is going. To hack the speed limiter, you’ll need to attach a magnet (you can purchase one on Amazon) to the crank and then reposition the sensor to face this magnet.
By doing this, you’ll make the sensor record your pedaling cadence which has a slower RPM than the wheel; unless you’re Matt Crampton who was able to achieve up to 250 rpm.
You’ll need a 4mm Allen key to loosen the bolt that holds the sensor to the inside of the chainstay. Electrical tape will be needed to secure the new magnet to the crank and the sensor to the outside of the chainstay.
3) Exceeding Your E-bike’s Speed Limit With Speedbox
Photo credited by speedbox tuning
Speedbox is a tuning chip that removes the speed limiter on electric bikes, to make sure that the motor does not turn off after reaching 25 km/h. It also helps improve the speed from 25 km/h (15.5 mph) to up to 50km/h (30 mph).
Speedbox is compatible with many specialized bikes and is designed for electric bikes that don’t have the classic control unit with a walk button. To hack your e-bikes speed limiter with speedBox you need a crank puller, a T20 Torx screwdriver, a wrench size 22, a hex key size 8, and some needle-nose pliers.
Once you have the above equipment then it is time to hack it.
- First, unscrew a hex screw using the hex key. Instead of the hex screw, screw in a crank puller and remove the crank.
- Then loosen the 2 Torx screws and remove the cover. Also, remove the two original connectors.
- Replace the original connectors with the SpeedBox connectors, and plug the connectors taken out of the motor into the junctions marked as SpeedBox.
- The locks on the connectors should click when they are plugged into the locks on the SpeedBox connectors.
Before putting everything back to its original state, check the SpeedBox functions by switching on the e-bike and clicking on the WALK button.
When 9.9 is displayed, the SpeedBox is activated. When 2.5 is displayed the SpeedBox is deactivated.
Bikes that don’t have the active WALK button are activated by pressing – + – +.
When using the miles mode; 6.1 means that the SpeedBox is turned on, and 1.5 means it is turned off.
Put the cover and Torx screws back. You are done!
Note: it is crucial to ride your new bike for not less than 1km before you install and activate speedBox.
Swytch Bike Speed Hack
Photo credited by swytchbike
Every Swytch kit comes with a battery pack. A small interface located on top of the battery pack allows riders monitor, access, and modify the kit’s settings.
Riders can also tweak their bike’s wheel size and the set speed limit (for example, if you’re originally from the U.S and you move to the UK you can revise the default speed limit [32 kmh/ 20 mph] down to a legal limit [25 kmh/ 15.5 mph]) from this device. By reducing the bike’s wheel size from the control system, you should be able to exceed the kit’s speed limit.
The video below will guide you on how to access your Swytch kit’s advanced settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do manufacturers install speed limiters on e-bikes?
Manufacturers often install speed limiters on their e-bikes to prevent them from breaking local e-bike speed laws. Even if the motor can propel the e-bike to top speeds of 40 miles per hour, the limiter will restrict the flow of current to the motor once a set speed has been reached, ensuring compliance with regulations.
How does the "T Magnet and Sensor Hack" work?
This technique tricks the sensor into believing that the e-bike is traveling at a slower speed. It involves attaching a magnet to the crank and repositioning the sensor to face this new magnet. By doing this, the sensor records the pedaling cadence, which has a slower RPM than the wheel, allowing the e-bike to exceed its speed limiter.
What is Speedbox, and how does it help in exceeding the e-bike's speed limit?
Speedbox is a tuning chip that removes the speed limiter on e-bikes, ensuring that the motor does not turn off after reaching 25 km/h. It can improve the speed from 25 km/h (15.5 mph) to up to 50km/h (30 mph). Speedbox is compatible with many specialized bikes and is designed for e-bikes that don’t have the classic control unit with a walk button.
How do you install and activate Speedbox on an e-bike?
To install Speedbox, you’ll need a crank puller, a T20 Torx screwdriver, a wrench size 22, a hex key size 8, and needle-nose pliers. The process involves unscrewing a hex screw, removing the crank, loosening Torx screws, and replacing the original connectors with SpeedBox connectors. Once installed, the SpeedBox can be activated by switching on the e-bike and clicking on the WALK button. When 9.9 is displayed, the SpeedBox is activated, and when 2.5 is displayed, it’s deactivated.
What is the Swytch Bike Speed Hack?
The Swytch kit comes with a battery pack that has an interface allowing riders to monitor, access, and modify the kit’s settings. Riders can tweak their bike’s wheel size and set speed limit from this device. By reducing the bike’s wheel size in the control system, riders can exceed the kit’s speed limit.
Are there risks associated with overriding the speed limit on e-bikes?
Yes, overriding the speed limit can increase the risk of accidents due to higher speeds. It may also void the e-bike’s warranty, and riders might face legal consequences if they exceed local speed regulations.
How does the wheel size affect the e-bike's speed readings?
Most e-bikes use wheel revolutions to calculate speed. A computer on the e-bike uses the wheel’s circumference and the number of revolutions to estimate speed. By tweaking the wheel size setting to a smaller number, the system is tricked into thinking the bike is not covering as much linear distance, allowing for a higher speed reading before the limiter kicks in.
Is it legal to override the speed limit on e-bikes?
Overriding the speed limit can make the e-bike non-compliant with local speed regulations. Riders should be aware of local laws and regulations before attempting to override the speed limit.
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