Speed vs Non-Speed - 28 vs 20mph: Which E-Bike Motor is Right for You?

Speed vs Non-Speed - 28 vs 20mph: Which E-Bike Motor is Right for You?

Speed vs Non-Speed - 28 vs 20mph: Which E-Bike Motor is Right for You?

How fast do I want to go? Where am I allowed to ride? What are e-bike “classes?”

There are a lot questions about the different speed and motor options available and this Tech Tip Thursday, Matt and Jodie have answers! Here's a rundown of the pros and cons to help you choose the e-bike that ticks all your boxes. 


1. Non-Speed 

A Non-Speed motor will go up to 20mph before the pedal assistance shuts off.  The e-bike can continue to increase in speed above 20mph, for instance if you’re going down a hill, but you won’t get the extra boost from the motor.  Basically, above 20mph you have a regular analog bike! Bosch, our #1 motor and battery partner, has the best lineup of 20mph motors out there.  Bosch's new Cargo Line 20mph motor is the most powerful we've seen yet! With 85Nm of torque and up to 400% assist, it will power you up the steepest hills around. 

Bosch Non-Speed Motor Bike Path Cruising

2. Speed

For the extra oomph, we recommend the Speed motor.  It will go up to 28mph before the pedal assistance shuts off allowing you to keep up with traffic on 25mph roads.  Myth-busting time: Speed riders are NOT necessarily speed demons and adrenaline junkies (although some certainly are 😉)! Many commuters and everyday riders choose the Speed motor for the added boost of confidence and safety out on the road. 

Speed Bike Gazelle T10+ HMB In Action

3. Laws and Restrictions

Every state has different laws and regulations about how Speed and Non-Speed e-bikes are classified and where they are allowed.  Washington and California have adopted the class system where 20mph bikes are considered Class 1 and can be ridden anywhere you can take a regular analog bike.  28mph bikes are Class 3 - these have more access restrictions in place and are considered more of a vehicle than a bicycle.  Meanwhile, Oregon has yet to adopt this system.  You can learn all about the current e-bike laws in your area at People For Bikes.

4. Budget and Price

There’s typically a few hundred dollar increase in price to opt for the Speed motor over a Non-Speed. 

We're here to help you find the perfect e-bike for your needs. Come by our Hood River shop for a test ride or reach out for a consultation by

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