Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removal: How to Do It Safely?

While removing your electric bike speed limiter isn’t always recommended, it can be done. This article introduces you to three ways of disabling the speed limiter so you can ride at higher speeds.
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John Watson
John Watson
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Last updated: December 29, 2022
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If you own an electric bike, you already know how convenient they are for getting around! It gets you to places faster than you can pedal! It’s sustainable and versatile, and you can travel further with an e-bike compared to a conventional pedal bicycle. But riding an electric bike does come with some safety restrictions. In order to meet government road users’ regulations in most countries, an electrically-powered bicycle comes with a speed limiter. For some riders, this can be inhibiting, but there are electric bike speed limiter removal techniques you can use to disable this function. Keep reading if you want to find out how to remove your e-bike’s speed limiter, plus what to be aware of before disabling this feature.

Before disabling the speed limiter

Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removal: How to Do It Safely?
In the United States, electric bicycles are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), although the organization doesn’t stipulate speed limits.

One of the main benefits of owning an electric bike versus the traditional pedal bicycle is that it’s powered by a motor. This allows you to increase your average speed, getting you to your destination faster and easier. However, there are stringent safety regulations in place to prevent riders from traveling at a speed that would be considered unsafe on the roads.

For safety reasons, CPSC recommends a maximum speed of 20 MPH Trusted Source What to Know about E-Bikes | League of American Bicyclists Electrically-assisted bicycles, also known as e-bikes, have become much more common in recent years. Advancements in battery technology and motors have made e-bikes lighter, cheaper, and more capable. Many people are finding e-bikes address their needs for everyday transportation, hauling cargo, and fun. At the League, we are glad to have more people biking more often. bikeleague.org for a 750 watts-powered e-bike ridden by a rider weighing 170 pounds, using paved level surfaces. State laws regulate the use of e-bikes within traffic laws. In states such as New York, electric bike speed limits are set at 30 mph or less on highways Trusted Source New York DMV | Electric scooters and bicycles and other unregistered vehicles Operating an electric scooter or bicycle with electric assistEffective April 2020 – the law allows people to operate bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York State. Effective August 2, 2020 – the law allows people to operate electric scooters (e-scooters) and bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York dmv.ny.gov . Different speed limits may apply when using e-bikes on small roads or sidewalks. While disabling the speed limiter may seem like a good idea if you want a thrilling ride, there are some disadvantages to removing this feature from your e-bike.

  • Breaking the law: The e-bike’s speed limiter plays a vital role in keeping the rider and other road users safe from accidents that could be caused by riding too fast. Electric bike speed limiters keep the rider within permissible limits and, if removed, could result in expensive fines because of breaking the law.
  • Default on the warranty: Removing the speed limiter impacts how the bike operates and may even damage it beyond repair. E-bike manufacturers won’t allow you to claim against the bicycle’s warranty if this happens.
  • Structural damage: Higher speeds could put pressure on the bike. This unnecessary stress affects the integrity of the e-bike’s structure since it’s not designed to go beyond a certain limit. Pushing your bike over its top speed can cause the motor to burn out faster, reducing the bicycle’s lifespan.

Now that you’re fully informed about the cons of disabling the speed limiter let’s take a look at the removal techniques you can use.

How to remove the speed limiter on an electric bike?

To meet regulations, electric bikes include a built-in speed limiter. It works by shutting off the e-bike’s motor automatically when it reaches its top speed. There are three ways to remove the speed limiter on your Shimano, Gocycle or any other electric bike. Taking note of the pros and cons of each method will help you decide which is the best way to remove your e-bike’s speed limiter.

Hands-on method

Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removal: How to Do It Safely?
By altering the speed information being sent to the sensor, you can change how the central controller responds to the message.

Not all electric bikes for adults and teens share the same features, and manufacturers go out of their way to customize the bicycle to stand out as a brand. Built-in mechanisms differ between e-bike brands, and this includes the speed limiter function. Using the hands-on method requires manipulating the speed data being fed by the bike’s built-in sensor to the central controller. Removing the rear wheel magnet and positioning it elsewhere on the e-bike allows you to control the speed data being picked up by the sensor. Ideally, it needs to be reaffixed to the pedal brackets. The sensor should also be re-positioned closer to and facing the magnet, upside down. This increases the distance between the two devices while reducing the signals to the sensor.

Relocating the magnet away from the wheel sends a message to the central controller that the bicycle is operating at a lower frequency. This will prompt the motor to still work at a higher speed. Replacing the original rear wheel magnet with a stronger neodymium magnet is another way of increasing the speed of your e-bike. The advantage of this method is that it can be done quickly by anyone, even if you’re not technically skilled! It causes minimal damage to the e-bike and can be easily reversed if you want to replace the magnet and sensor in their original spots. However, this method can’t be used on all types of e-bikes.

Sensor wiring method

Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removal: How to Do It Safely?
The challenge is knowing which speed limiter wire to cut, as there is a multitude of wires to pick from!

This method entails disconnecting the wiring that connects the built-in sensor with the e-bike’s electrical system. Most e-bikers refrain from using this method as it’s more complicated than it sounds and is irreversible should they make a mistake. By cutting the wiring connecting the sensor to the bicycle’s central controller, you’re stopping y data being fed to the motor. It’s highly recommended to take your e-bike to a workshop that specializes in electric bicycles. A skilled technician will know which wire to cut without making a costly mistake! Using this method requires making a permanent alteration to the bike’s system, and as a result, your warranty will be revoked. You may have the best electric bike for taking the sweat out of riding but make sure you can control its higher speeds when not using the limiter.

Using a tool kit

Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removal: How to Do It Safely?
The tool kit includes a switch-on or shutdown system, which can be activated or deactivated using the keypad’s lighting button.

Responding to complaints by e-bikers seeking higher speeds from their bikes, manufacturers are developing electric bike tool kits for manipulating the speed limiter. Using these tool kits requires having some technical knowledge and being willing to spend a bit of money as they don’t come cheap. The tool kits allow the cyclist to alter the speed data, similar to the hands-on method. There are two types available:

  • Type 1: Disassembles the electric bike’s circuit
  • Type 2: Attaches part of the kit to the sensor

The first tool kit type is normally included with the e-bike system and entails disassembling the electrical circuit. It’s important to remove the electric bike’s battery when using this tool. The second tool kit type is simpler to use, with no disassembling of the circuit required. Instead, the tool kit is attached directly to the bike’s sensor, disabling it as soon as you start riding.

FAQ

How do I remove the speed limit on Shimano STEPS?

The speed limit on Shimano STEPS e-bikes is set at 25kph (15.5 mph). To remove or increase it, you will need to make changes to the firmware settings of your e-bike’s drive unit. This can be done with a compatible PC/laptop and an ANT+ USB dongle. You will also need Shimano’s E-TUBE Project software to make these changes. Once the PC/laptop and ANT+ USB dongle have been connected to the drive unit, open the E-TUBE Project application. You can then make adjustments to your e-bike’s speed limit directly from the software. The E-TUBE Project app also allows you to customize other settings, such as maximum torque output, as well as save and upload ride data to Shimano’s cloud service. Once you have made your adjustments, be sure to save the new settings before disconnecting the PC/laptop and ANT+ USB dongle from the drive unit. After that, your e-bike should be able to reach its new speed limit.

How to remove the speed limit on a GoCycle G4?

The GoCycle G4 does come with a speed limit of 25 km/h or 15 mph. One way to remove the speed limit on your GoCycle G4 is to adjust the speed settings through the GoCycle App. This requires a few steps, which can be found in the user manual.

Another way to remove the speed limit is to purchase a third-party controller module that will override the speed limit. These modules are available online and can be installed relatively easily. Just remember that tampering with the speed limit may void your warranty. Therefore, it is best to consult with a professional mechanic before attempting any modifications.

You can also increase the speed limit on a GoCycle G4 without tampering with the electric bike’s components. For that, you’ll need to increasing tire pressure, wheel size, and gearing ratios.

Final thoughts

It’s important to remember why speed limiters are installed in the first place! Removing the limitations comes with responsibility, and you need to be prepared to face the consequences of such action. However, if you’re still looking for more oomph from your riding experience, using these electric bike speed limiter removal tips will help you get moving faster. Depending on the type of electric bike you own, some of these methods can be simple. But, if you’re not technically confident, asking an e-bike expert to remove the speed limiter saves a lot of hassles. All you need to do is to focus on controlling the speed of your powerful electric bike so everyone, including you, remains safe when you’re out riding on public roads.

References

1.
What to Know about E-Bikes | League of American Bicyclists
Electrically-assisted bicycles, also known as e-bikes, have become much more common in recent years. Advancements in battery technology and motors have made e-bikes lighter, cheaper, and more capable. Many people are finding e-bikes address their needs for everyday transportation, hauling cargo, and fun. At the League, we are glad to have more people biking more often.
2.
New York DMV | Electric scooters and bicycles and other unregistered vehicles
Operating an electric scooter or bicycle with electric assistEffective April 2020 – the law allows people to operate bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York State. Effective August 2, 2020 – the law allows people to operate electric scooters (e-scooters) and bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York
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