Using an average speed of 8.3 mph* it would take 36.3 minutes to travel 5 miles on an electric bike.
*average speed calculated using The University of Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange (download)
With eBiking becoming more popular for commuting, shopping and sight seeing the need to “plan” your trip becomes more important. EBikes will get you to your destination faster, and since you can nearly keep up with traffic odds are you might even be safer.
To confirm studies I’ve read I put together a little study and compared it to larger studies using electric bikes in urban studies.
Key Factors in My Study
- The time an e-bike will take to travel 5 miles (I timed my ride 5 times)
- Why e-bikes ideal for mid-range rides
- eBike and standard bike comparison
- How much faster is an e-bike than a normal bike (I averaged 9.8 mph on an ebike)
- Factors that affect e-bike speed (I ride 5 times per week)
My eBike takes 20.3 minutes to travel 5 miles. I averaged a speed 14.8 mph. Meanwhile, a conventional bike needs 46 minutes to reach the same distance (@6.5 mph*). Wind, load capacity, and hills can affect this speed.
You can see my data from the timed 5 mile trip here 👉 (David’s 5 Mile eBike Data)
Suppose you wonder which is faster and more efficient between e-bikes and regular bikes. In that case, this article will help you figure it out. What was really interesting is that my ebike data is support by a study done in Germany. (Source)
How Long To Bike 5 Miles On An eBike
Some say that electric bikes are the future of human transportation. They are fast, convenient, and allow you to get to various places without much effort. Out of all the benefits e-bikes provide, the one that cyclists most talk about is speed.
So, to see how fast an e-bike is, we examined how long it would take to reach 5 miles.
How Long Does A 5-Mile eBike Trip Take?
Plan for 40 minutes when riding 5 miles. This adds a little bit of time for variations in the road like hills and stops, along with wind. To calculate times for a variety of rides use the formula below.
Time = Distance / Speed
If your distance is 10 miles, and eBike speed is 8 mph , plan for 1.25 hours. To convert to minutes multiple by 60, in this case 75 minutes.
If your using kph the same equation applies. Just remember to use metric speed and distance. 5
Why Are eBikes Better For 5-Mile Rides?
One of the best reasons electric bikes are ideal for 5-mile rides is that they do not require much physical effort to run. While you still need to pedal, an e-bike has an electric drive system that consists of a battery and a motor. As soon as you exert physical power onto the pedals, the motor will start working to make the pedals feel lighter.
Thanks to the electric bike’s motor, you do not have to exert the same amount of pedaling power that you would if you were riding a standard bike. For this reason, you will reach your destination without feeling too tired.
Differences Between eBikes And Conventional Bikes
There is no denying that e-bikes surged in popularity in recent years. In 2021 alone, manufacturers sold about 607,600 electric vehicle units in the US. But how does an electric bike differ from a conventional bike?
The most significant difference between a standard bike and an electric bike is that the latter has a motor. This motor has a rechargeable battery, which powers the e-bike when you propel the pedal. As mentioned previously, an e-bike’s motor makes pedaling work more manageable, allowing you to reach your destination quickly.
Meanwhile, a standard bike solely relies on your physical power to run.
Mid-drive motors allow the rider to use the gears of the bike, just like when pedaling. This allows you to adjust the gears to the terrain. Low gears for hills and wind and high gears for speed.
The components of an e-bike and its manual counterpart are the same. This reason is why you will see bike conversion kits that you can use to turn a manual bike into an electric bike.
Apart from adding a motor to an e-bike, it also has a small display monitor, which you will not find in a standard bike. This monitor displays the amount of charge the e-bike’s battery has, speed, and mileage.
The electrical drive system of an e-bike has some weight, so an e-bike is heavier than a standard bike. Still, this system contributes power to the e-bike, so there will be no drag unless you carry heavy loads while riding.
I’ve got a group of articles explaining why eBikes are Awesome Check Them Out Below 👇
- I love riding eBikes, want to learn why? Read 👉 What Are The (Great) Features of Electric Bikes?
- Are you weighing the Pros and Cons of getting an eBike? Let me help 👉 Electric Bike Pros and Cons
- Interested in how it “feels” to ride an eBike? Awesome 👉 What Does it Feel Like to Ride an eBike?
- What is “Pedal Assist? Let me explain it in this article. 👉 What is Pedal Assist and How Does it Work?
Speed Difference Between eBikes And Conventional Bikes
As mentioned, an e-bike has an average speed of 8.2 mph. Meanwhile, a conventional bike can only ride 6.5 mph. To see how much faster you will reach 5 miles when riding an e-bike, let us calculate the amount of time it will take for a standard bike to reach the same distance. (Average Speed Source)
Time = Distance / Speed
= 5 miles / 8.3 mph for ebike. Time = .61 hours or 36.3 minutes
= 5 miles / 6.5 mph for ebike. Time = .77 hours or 45.9 minutes
For a 5 mile ride you can save just shy of 10 minutes using an eBike
Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?
Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?
- Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
- +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
- Easy installation with provided tools.
If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery
Factors That Affect The Speed Of An eBike
True enough, an e-bike can run faster than a standard bike. But similar to the latter, some factors affect the speed of your e-bike.
According to the book Physics In Daily Life, the wind that blows against a biker increases drag. So, when cycling on a windy day, you must expect the wind to slow your e-bike’s speed.
When cycling uphill, you have to overcome the force of gravity. This gravity adds drag to the electric bike and pulls it down while you are cycling uphill.
According to a study done at the Wellness Institute And Research Center of Old Dominion University, cycling uphill requires the cyclist to exert more power. But while increased power will help you cover a steep path, it will not allow you to maintain the same speed your e-bike has on flat roads.
Similar to wind, the weight your e-bike is carrying increases drag. So, if you bring a heavy bag while cycling, your e-bike will run slower than its usual speed.
RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. 👉 eBike Glossary
My non- scientific study tracked pretty closely to larger scale studies. An e-bike is undeniably faster than a standard bike due to its motor. While the study at the University of Tennessee concluded an eBike has an average speed of 8.3 mph, I was able to achieve 14.8 mph. My ride data closely matches a German study.
What I love most about writing and researching for this article is that eBike sales are getting folks out on two wheels more than ever before. As a general rule – plan for 40 minutes for a 5 mile eBike ride. 🚵♂️
Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project – DIYMountainBike.com
- Schleinitz, K., Petzoldt, T., Franke-Bartholdt, L., Krems, J.F., & Gehlert, T. (2017). The German Naturalistic Cycling Study – Comparing cycling speed of riders of different e-bikes and conventional bicycles. Safety Science, 92, 290-297. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2015.07.027 (Download)
- Statistica Research Department. Estimated plug-in electric light vehicle sales in the United States from 2016 to 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/665823/sales-of-plug-in-light-vehicles-in-the-us/ Accessed January 25, 2023.
- Jo Hermans. Physics in Daily Life. EDP Sciences: 2011. https://www.europhysicsnews.org/articles/epn/pdf/2006/02/epn06204.pdf. Accessed January 25, 2023.
- David P. Swain. Cycling Uphill And Downhill. https://www.sportsci.org/jour/9804/dps.html#uphill. Accessed January 25, 2023.
- A comparative health and safety analysis of electric-assist and regular bicycles in an on-campus bicycle sharing system. TRACE https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss/2445/ Accessed February 8, 2023