How much power does an electric bicycle need? Here’s a helpful guide. 500w ebike motor

Overpowering 250W electric motor to 500W for 3 minutes

Can those typical Chinese (Bafang or cute etc.) motors specified as 250W sustain 500W power for roughly 3 minutes without damage? If yes, would the damage be caused simply by overheating or anything else?

I plan t use 7s4p top-notch Li-Ion battery pack which could easily output 20A in total (5A per single cell), so 24V5A4cells = 480W of power.


100 GW

Can those typical Chinese (Bafang or cute etc.) motors specified as 250W sustain 500W power for roughly 3 minutes without damage? If yes, would the damage be caused simply by overheating or anything else?

I plan t use 7s4p top-notch Li-Ion battery pack which could easily output 20A in total (5A per single cell), so 24V5A4cells = 480W of power.

Sometime these motor are used in both 250, 350 and 500W rated ebikes. it’s only the controlelr that limit the current depending on regulatin to witch country these are sold to.

we have long expeirence with 750W rated motor being used to 12kW and 3000-4000W for couple minutes without problem !

It’s all a matter of heat. that’s it

CURRENT PROJECT: 2WD duo MXUS/Max-E ebike 32kW speed record 117 km/h on flat.Fastest 1/4 mile@ 114km/h on flat and 16.316 sec.Succeded to haul a 19200 pounds schoolbus! 113kmh Giant Mongoose YouTube. http://.com/DocbassMelancon I speak FRENCH and english


10 MW

Can those typical Chinese (Bafang or cute etc.) motors specified as 250W sustain 500W power for roughly 3 minutes without damage? If yes, would the damage be caused simply by overheating or anything else?

I plan t use 7s4p top-notch Li-Ion battery pack which could easily output 20A in total (5A per single cell), so 24V5A4cells = 480W of power.

Wow, you are privledged to be answered by Dr. Bass, the most famous of Ebike builders(ck. out you tube). But in the future, no need to double post.

’11 Motobecane Fathom team, Bafang SWX02-11T rear mount, 14S (52V) LiPoly, 9-FET 22A controller. Schwalbe Marathon’s, 20 to 22MPH.


1 GW

They can handle a lot more than that. I’ve run most of those small motors at 48v and 18A, which is 864w. If you’re not to heavy 0r if you have a low speed one, you can go as high as 1000w. When you go that high on power, you have to be careful about efficiency. You shouldn’t let the motor run at less than half of its maximum no-load speed for too long at full power.

much, power, does, electric


10 mW


10 kW

I have a BAfang 250 W crank motor. It’s a 250 W nominal motor, but the max power is much higher even in stock form. I have a power meter and measured over 400 W with a rear wheel power meter and a nearly empty battery.


1 GW

The 250w Bafang BBS01 is 36v 15A, so it will take about 600w from the battery if you let the crank go slow enough; however, you won’t get any more power at thevback wheel because it’ll have lower efficiency.


10 kW

The 250w Bafang BBS01 is 36v 15A, so it will take about 600w from the battery if you let the crank go slow enough; however, you won’t get any more power at thevback wheel because it’ll have lower efficiency.

I measured wheel power for a short time when the battery was full. 520 W. Just for a few seconds though, as I accelerated beyond the max torque speed.


1 GW

Can those typical Chinese (Bafang or cute etc.) motors specified as 250W sustain 500W power for roughly 3 minutes without damage? If yes, would the damage be caused simply by overheating or anything else?

I plan t use 7s4p top-notch Li-Ion battery pack which could easily output 20A in total (5A per single cell), so 24V5A4cells = 480W of power.

250w is motor output! 480w input might be the normal for this motor. probably more during acceleration.

Bafang crank drive motor: Notice! 48V 20A = 960w (input) = Rated 48V 500w (output) With full amp motor systems: controller is capable of enough amps to provide the maximum possible watt output maximum watt output is typically at 40% of motors no load speed and 50% efficiency

Although a full Amp motor system will supply full possible watt output from e.g. 20A, At 0 rpm the motor is capable of much higher input (60-80A. possibly more) Increasing amps will neither increase top speed or maximum motor output! It can, improve acceleration to mid speed, at the sacrifice of energy efficiency and increased heat production.

A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening. and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

How much power does an electric bicycle need? Here’s a helpful guide

Electric bicycles are available in a wide range of power levels. From cute little 250 W e-bikes to massively overpowered 10 kW motorbike-level e-bikes. But how much power is right for you? Read on to learn more!

Just a quick note before we jump into the power level comparisons: not all motor ratings were created equal.

Because of differing standards for measuring electric motor power ratings, a pair of 500 W motors from different companies can have fairly different power levels. Also, laws limiting power output in Europe and other restricted areas have forced many manufacturers to often underrate their power levels.

For example, Bosch mid-drive systems are often listed as 250 W motors, despite actual power output often being upwards of 500 W peak.

So when we discuss motor ratings, we’ll be largely taking e-bike manufacturers at their word. But keep in mind that just because two motors are labeled similarly doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily have the same power.

Lastly, if you’re the kind of person that likes to watch and listen, check out my video on the topic of e-bike power. Then read on for all of the details below!

250 W electric bicycles

The lowest power class for electric bicycles is usually the 250 W class. There are some 200 W e-bikes, but they are often smaller scooter-style bikes.

With 250 W of power, you’re basically looking at a flat land cruising e-bike. Most 250 W e-bikes will struggle to climb hills without any user-added pedaling, though mid-drive e-bikes will offer better hill climbing performance than hub motors at these low power levels due to their ability to achieve higher torque through downshifting the bike’s gears.

If you’re a heavier rider, you can still ride a 250 W e-bike as long as you are on flat terrain. The acceleration will be quite sluggish, but the bike will move you. Keep in mind that 250 W continuous is more power than most people create when pedaling.

I weigh 70kg (154 lb) and I find that 250 W can still move me around comfortably. But as soon as I hit hills, the performance diminishes quickly and the bike slows down considerably. Heavier riders shouldn’t really attempt to climb long hills on 250 W hub motors without risking damage to the motor from repeated high heat cycles. Heavier riders can sometimes still find 250 W mid-drives sufficient for small hills, especially if they want to add some pedal input, but major hills are still going to seriously degrade the performance of a 250 W ebike with a heavy rider. There just isn’t enough power or torque in a 250 W system to power heavy riders up medium-sized hills while maintaining a reasonable amount of speed.

When it comes to speed, 250 W motors are also usually limited to somewhere between 25-32 km/h (15-20 mph). Above such speeds it becomes difficult to overcome wind resistance without adding more power.

350 W – 500 W electric bicycles

The next step up in power brings an increase in acceleration. While 250 W e-bikes are sluggish to accelerate, bikes that reach closer to 500 W will pull much quicker off the line.

For lighter riders like me, this will feel like a fairly large difference. Heavier riders though will likely not feel too much of a difference on flat land, depending on the motor.

On hills, 500 W will do a much better job of powering light riders to the summit. Smaller hills may become conquerable for heavier riders. Again though, such riders won’t see a huge difference as compared to lower powered 250 W motors when it comes to any decent hill.

It should also be noted that 500 W is usually the minimum power necessary for an e-bike to surpass 32 km/h (20 mph) of speed.

750 W – 1,000 W electric bicycles

Now we’re talking! Once you’ve reached 750 W, you’re dealing with some actual power. For light riders like me, 750 W will give much more exciting acceleration off the line. This level will also start to offer good hill climbing performance.

For heavier riders, 750 W is when flat land performance starts to become more enjoyable and hills actually become consistently possible. At 1,000 W of power though, most heavy riders will be more pleased with the performance.

Speeds of 45 km/h (28 mph) are increasingly common with 750 W e-bikes. You’ll still see Bosch-powered mid-drive bikes capable of 45 km/h (28 mph) while claiming a “250 W” motor. But again, these are underrated motors and aren’t really fair comparisons to true 250 W motors.

45 km/h (28 mph) Cafe Moto Go e-bike with a “250 W motor”

1,500 W electric bicycles

At 1,500 W, you’re starting to leave typical bicycle territory and begin encroaching upon light electric motorcycle levels. I built a 60 km/h (37 mph) electric bike using a 1.5 kW hub motor, and the performance is incredible. It doesn’t matter if you put me or a 110 kg (250 lb) rider on that bike – the thing just freaking pulls!

I recently rode the Rungu all terrain three-wheeled e-bike with a 1.5 kW Bafang BBSHD mid-drive motor. That was another great example of extreme power that can carry both light and heavy riders up the highest hills. In fact, the only time it failed to carry me up hills was when they became so steep that the bike simply couldn’t get traction in the loose dirt.

Keep in mind though that mid-drive motors at such high power levels require special chains and sprockets to keep from completely destroying themselves.

Choosing the right power level for you

I hope that the take-home message for you will be that e-bikes come in many flavors and power levels and that the right power for you is a highly personal decision.

much, power, does, electric

While I’m perfectly happy commuting on a 250 W e-bike in my flat city, I’d never take anything less than 750 W off road. Others might say that it’s 1 kW of power or nothing for them. The key is to find what works for you and how much power will achieve your goals.

Stay up to date with the latest content by subscribing to Electrek on Google News. You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.

The 6 Best E-Bike Conversion Kits of 2023

Heidi Wachter was a senior editor at Experience Life magazine for 10 years. She has written for publications like Experience Life, Shondaland, and betterpet.

E-bikes are easier on the environment than cars. They’re also easier to pedal than a standard person-powered two-wheeler. You get as much exercise riding an E-bike as you do a traditional bike. Thanks to improved technology and more people interested in alternative transit methods, E-bikes are also becoming more available—and more affordable.

But no electric bike is as cheap as the bike you already own. If you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, live in a small space, or practicing minimalism, repurposing what you already have can be a win-win-win decision. So, if you love your current ride but want to add some juice for getting uphill or for powering your cargo bike when you’re carrying a heavy load, you can, thanks to electric bike converter kits. To electrify your bike, you need a battery, sensors, controls, and a motorized wheel or a drive unit.

Here are the best options for upgrading your bike with an e-bike conversion kit.

Best Overall

BAFANG BBS02B 48V 500W Ebike Conversion Kit

Since 2003, Bafang has been a leader in manufacturing e-mobility components and complete e-drive systems. Its products offer outstanding performance and reliability, and the BBS02B conversion kit is no exception, making it our top overall choice.

This mid-drive motor kit is versatile and compatible with road, commuter, and mountain bicycles. All you need is a bike with a 68-73 millimeter bottom bracket and the battery of your choice. Installation is relatively easy, and the battery is included. Once the kit is installed, you’ll be ready to tackle any hill.

Although several different conversion kits are available online from Bafang, those with more than 750 watts of power will be considered motorcycles in the United States.

Price at time of publish: 466

Best Budget

BAFANG E-bike Front Hub Motor 48V 500W Bafang Brushless Gear 20/26/27.5/700C inch Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits

This front-wheel E-bike conversion kit is easy to set up and easy on your wallet. Electrify your bike in one hour by following the installation video and manual. Don’t forget to choose the correct wheel size!

After setup is complete, ride around the town with pedal assist or switch to E-bike mode for longer trips. Commuters, long-distance trekkers, and mountain bikers can cruise up to 24 miles per hour. The battery is not included.

Price at time of publish: 579

Best for Commuting

Swytch Universal eBike Conversion Kit

Daily riders will love this easy-to-install, lightweight e-bike conversion kit. It is compatible with most mountain, road, hybrid, and step-through bikes, and disc brakes.

It’s as easy to install as swapping out your front tire. The controller and battery are combined into a 34.2-Volt power pack, which is included in the kit and mounts to the handlebars. That makes it easy to remove and keeps thieves at bay, but our tester did miss having the use of a handle bar basket. The battery pack is fitted with indicator lights that tell you how much juice remains and what assist mode you’re in. Once the system is set up correctly, you’ll be able to top out at 15-25 mph.

In general, I love it. It makes my ride easier without feeling like I’m riding a giant bulky e-bike. It’s got a phenomenal amount of power for such a little machine and seems like it has a good battery life too. ~ Treehugger Tester

Best Premium

Ebikeling Waterproof Ebike Conversion Kit 36V 500W 700C Geared Electric Bike Kit

Do you want to go farther or faster? You can do both with this setup from Ebikeling, with its 500-watt motor. Ebikeling makes it easy to buy different compatible batteries and other accessories in an a-la-cart way. There are seven different batteries that come in different shapes (bottle, triangle, rectangular), so that you can pick the one that suits your bike and needs best.

The double-walled rim and motor are ready to install right out of the box—just swap them out for your original bike tire. An LCD screen is included to help you stay within your town’s speed limit. You can choose between a front or rear mount, as well as a thumb or half-twist throttle.

Price at time of publish: 390

Most Powerful

AW 26×1.75 Rear Wheel 48V 1000W Electric Bicycle Motor Kit

Thanks to a 48-volt, 1000-watt battery, the AW wheel E-bike conversion kit satisfies anyone with the need for speed. A thumb throttle makes speed control simple. This kit is available as either a front wheel or back wheel conversion option. It fits any 26-inch bike frame with a 3.9 inch front dropout spacing (for a front wheel conversion) or 5.3 inch rear dropout spacing (for a back wheel conversion). The rear wheel kit weighs 24.7 pounds, the front wheel kit weighs 23.5 pounds.

The aluminum frame offers durability and stability, which is essential when you’re rolling at top speeds of 28 miles per hour. Hand brakes turn the motor off automatically to both improve safety and conserve battery power.

Price at time of publish: 300

Easiest to Install

Rubbee X Conversion Kit

If you want the fastest conversion possible, and even the option to take a motor off your bike quickly, the Rubbee X makes it a snap. The Rubbee X gives you a boost by resting against the rear tire, and has a special release that lets you remove the motor without un-mounting the entire system. You control the power just by pedaling, as a wireless cadence sensor that gets mounted to the pedal crank sends information to the motor, which shifts automatically without any additional user interface.

This conversion kit has some other nice features. It has tail lights on the back of the motor, to give you some additional visibility when riding at night. The base model comes with one battery, which weight 6.1 pounds, gives you 250 watts of power and has a top speed of 16 mph. Upgraded models have two or three additional batteries, each offering more speed and power, but also adding more weight. It’s compatible with any frame type, and with tires that are between 0.5 and 2.5 inches in width and between 16 and 29 inches in diameter.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you buy. First, the product ships from the European Union, so there may be an additional import tax. Second, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of room on your seat post to connect the motor.

Price at time of publish: 612

Whenever you’re buying a newer technology, sticking with a known brand makes sense. That makes Bafang’s E-bike conversion kits a sound choice—in terms of quality and price. If speed is what you’re after, the kits from Ebikeling.

What to Consider When Shopping for an E-Bike Conversion Kit


Is the battery included? You’ll need something to power and charge your e-bike conversion kit. Many kits include a battery. Cheaper kits may not, though, which means you’ll need to source a compatible battery separately.


You’ll also want to think about your power needs. The higher the motor wattage, the more power you’ll get. A 250-watt motor is typically plenty of power to make the daily commute less sweaty. If you want to take your converted bike out on tougher mountain trails, you’ll want more power.

Keep in mind that according to U.S. federal regulations, e-bikes with more than 750 watts of power are considered motor vehicles and require a motorcycle license.

Local Laws

You’ll want to check your state and local laws as some cities and towns have banned e-bikes from bicycle paths, so if that’s where you want to ride, you’ll want to make sure your town allows your upgraded bike to cruise around on them.

much, power, does, electric

E-bikes come in three classes:

  • Class 1 E-bikes that assist you while you pedal and top out about 20 mph.
  • Class 2 E-bikes have a throttle that assists you regardless of whether you pedal and have a top speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 3 E-bikes assist you while you pedal and top out about 28 mph.

Drive Type and Installation

There are several kinds of e-bike conversion kits, and the ease of set-up and installation varies.

  • Friction Drive Conversion is a simple strategy. A roller pushes against the tire on the wheel. When the roller turns, the wheel turns. It’s a reasonably easy system to set up but sometimes isn’t the most effective.
  • Mid-Drive Conversion is the technology that the best e-bikes tend to use. A weight sits at a low point on the bike frame, and the power is applied to the crank. These can be more expensive, but the technology is typically better. There’s no standardization, however, which can make figuring out exactly what you need to make your bike work a little more challenging. Adding the parts is also a bit more complex than friction drive conversion.
  • Electric Bike Wheel Conversion swaps out a non-electrified front or rear wheel with an electrified one. The process is simple depending on where and how the battery mounts—such as on a rear rack. Once installed, weight distribution can feel natural. However, powering the front wheel may impact your bike’s handling.

The difficulty of installation depends of the type of conversion kit, as well as your comfort with the tools required. But generally speaking, converting your bike is a DIY project. Many manufacturers offer how-to videos that show what’s involved, so you can see ahead of time what you’ll need to do.

You’ll need a bike tool, crank arm tool, adjustable wrenches, and a screwdriver along with your electric bike conversion kit. These demos can show you how to install your e-bike conversion kit.

A visit to your local bike shop mechanic is a helpful step in the decision-making process. They can help you determine if your bike is a good candidate for electric technology. Your old bike may not be able to be converted because adding a motor can increase torque. You’ll want to make sure your bike’s drivetrain can handle it. The extra weight from adding an electric motor also impacts your brakes, so you’ll want to make sure they are effective for stopping at a higher speed. E-bikes tend to have disk brakes for this reason. If your current bike is in disrepair, has old parts, or needs other improvements, it may be more cost-effective to sell your trusty old ten speed and buy an e-bike. Also, consider that a quality electric bike conversion kit can be nearly the cost of an electric bike. Do some comparison shopping between the price of a conversion kit and a fully-loaded e-bike before you decide which way you want to roll. Our picks for the best e-bikes may help guide your decision.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger has reported on dozens of e-bikes and e-bike conversion options over the past decade. To make this list, we deeply researched the market by reading other third-party reviews, user Комментарии и мнения владельцев, and enthusiasts blogs. We also considered the product’s value and the manufacturer’s reputation.

Author Heidi Wachter has been writing about travel and adventure for over a decade. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her riding one of her six bicycles—even in the winter.


The boss of all e-bikes. Not much like this on the Aussie market. High-torque ‘off-road’ fat-tyre power. This e-bike is the closest you will get to an electric Harley. Catch the eye of everyone you cruise past.

Who’s it for?

This big ol’ cruiser is perfect for anyone who simply loves crusin’! A bike that usually looks like this would struggle to climb hills, but the powerful high-powered high-torque rear motor lets you glide up ’em. A super comfy ride with fat-tyres allowing you to explore different terrains.


We’ve thoughtfully designed this electric bike to include everything you need in a great cruiser. Check out what the Hefe has to offer. Learn more about each feature.

  • Light alloy frame
  • High-powered high-torque BAFANG rear motor
  • Front rear TEKTRO mechanical disc brakes
  • Integrated front rear lights
  • Half grip throttle
  • Leather grips
  • JUSTEK saddle
  • SHIMANO 7-speed gear set
  • LCD display
  • Fat KENDA tires (26 x 4 inch)
  • Charger included

Hefe’s arrive to you locked to a 25km/h speed limit to comply with EN15194 Australian e-bike standards. This allows you to ride your e-bike rego and licence-exempt under Australian law, just like you would a pushbike. You change this setting via the LCD control panel located on your handlebars at any time to unlock unlimited speed. Watch to see exactly how you can unlock El Hefe’s speed for offroad use.

Light Alloy Frame

El Hefe’s frame is made of premium alloy. Whilst it looks big and chunky, use of alloy keeps this e-bike’s frame deceptively light. Our El Diablo’s is more of a speedster if that’s your thing. We designed El Hefe for the cruiser. For people that want to catch eyes. It still packs plenty of punch. Combined with its large and powerful motor, the deceptive lightness of this alloy frame means you’ll still glide up the steepest of hills with ease.

High-Powered High-Torque BAFANG Rear Motor

Befang isa leading name in e-bike motor design. Operating for almost 20 years they are well established in the industry. They back this motor with a 1-year warranty. It’s built to last.

much, power, does, electric

Located within the centre of the rear wheel, these motors are compact, light and discreet. High-power and high-torque is what you need in a bulkier cruiser.

Pedalling the bike will activate the motor, speeding you onwards with intelligent 1:1 pedal assist. If pedalling is not your thing, control your speed with the half-grip throttle. Just like a motorbike ?

Front Rear TEKTRO Mechanical Disc Brakes

Brakes are a crucial component of any bike. You need to know you’re going to be able to stop safely suddenly. Especially when you’re motoring along with the high-powered high-torque motor. El Hefe does just that. TEKTRO mechanical disc brakes come fully fitted to the front and rear. Controlled with a pair of 3 finger blade squeeze levers at the handlebars.

Integrated Front Rear Lights

Our competitors don’t include lights with their e-bikes. Ours come fully integrated on the front and rear. Lights are essential to all bikes. Come nightfall you need to be ready to ride safe.

Reflectors underneath the seat and in the wheel spokes provide additional visibility at night.

With El Hefe, there’s no need to spend on aftermarket extras. Everything you need has been thoughtfully included already.

ZOOM Suspension Seat Post

This electric-powered bike comes in one-size, fully customisable to suit your height and riding preference. For the true cruiser look, we recommend setting the seat to its lowest height. Suspension at the top of the seat stem adds extra cushioning to your ride.

Half Grip Throttle

If pedalling is not your thing, then use the half grip throttle to control your speed when using the motor. Requiring just a half twist around the handlebar to reach full output, this throttle it super user-friendly regardless of your riding experience.


We understand you need to keep comfortable in your ride. There’s nothing worse than riding a bike with a hard and uncomfortable seat! That’s why we’ve partnered with Justek for all our bike seats. Hefe’s seat is well-cushioned and will have you cruisin’ in comfort for longer.

SHIMANO 7-Speed Gear Set

Hefe comes fully fitted with a SHIMANO a 7-speed gear set. Cruisin’ up and down the gears feels truly effortless.

Fat KENDA Tires

26′ (tall) x 4′ (wide) fat Kenda tyres will catch the eyes of people you cruise by whilst allowing you to explore different terrains with their superior traction profile. Cruise the pavement or get off-road. With serious off-road capability on mud, sand, dirt or grass, these tyres will have you staying on-track.

  • We offer FREE Shipping Australia-wide for orders over 100.
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