Many in my cycling sphere have had n+1 come in the form of an ebike, but usually an eMTB - road bikes are creeping in slowly. During the course of some discussions, the question of how the arbitrary 25kph speed limit was arrived at, particularly for eMTB's that usually aren't on public roads.

Some conspiracy theories have been raised about the motoring lobby not wanting ebikes allowed to do higher speeds because it may attract more people away from cars.

One theory put forward was that bike brakes were not good enough to be effective at higher speeds. This is generally complete b/s as an unassisted cyclist often exceeds 25kph without too much effort. My best was with loaded touring gear on a downhill where I hit 75kph. I'd have lost a bit of bark if I'd hit the dirt!

I know from my o/s trips that these bikes are taking off everywhere, and pedal assist speed limits of 25kph don't seem to be an issue.

Can anyone shed any light on the arguments and reasons used for setting this limit so low? Imagine their increased usage if it was increased to, say 35kph!

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I wouldn't be surprised if they simply adopted a standard from overseas (EN15194 ???) and that's why we have it, rather than thought being put into considering local conditions 


The European Standard is About Right too, it makes sense for cycle paths without being stupidly slow for roads.

I wasn't aware of a speed limit as such, but the output of a pedelec is  restricted to 250W and the motor is required to cut out at 25km/h or less if the rider stops pedalling.  I infer that you can travel faster then 25km/h if you can pedal that hard without the motor assisting you.  Usually these bikes are pretty heavy.

The attached PDF as info on the various classes of bike.  Mikesbytes is on the money in reference t the EU standard.

There maybe an updated version for the PDF


The restriction is 250W continuous, most manufacturers exploit that to push out at least 350W when it is needed. You don't Need 250W on the flat.

Weight doesn't affect Speed on the flat, rolling and air resistance do. So, with the Right tyres you can hoof along without assistance. This of Course allows the averaging in the Computer that is meant to give you 250W to go nuts and give you full wellie uphill.

The Brose unit claims 350% peak on the nominal 250W output.
My effort plus another 875W will surely get up most hills.

Yup. Ditto with my MTB. The Motor is idle most of the time. But goes nuts when commanded.

Indeed. The standard is actually 25km/h +/- 10%. 

My Gazelle e-bike therefore cuts power to the motor at 27.5km/h...!

It's not a speed limit though - the bike works as usual over that speed. I have pedalled it at over 50km/h.

Though it's currently not working - the clutch on the motor seems to have seized. At some point I'll take it to the shop...



Innergy XT Orange. Hub motor on front wheel.

Apologies for the poor wording. I was referring to pedal assist being limited to 25kph. If you can go faster under your own steam the only issue is the speed limit on that road.

I agree that 35kmh would be a sweet spot, seeing that the 'safe limit' for cars around little children is 40kmh

I borrowed an ebike and noticed the 25km non assist cut in regularly on the flat. But wow didn’t it flatten the hills!


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