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What's the Right EBike Motor Size for Heavier Riders? Electric Bikes for Overweight People

What's the right e-bike motor size for a heavy rider?

Hey everyone, I'm Dustin. I have nearly 20 years of experience in the bike and e-bike industry, and today we're going to answer the question, what is the right e-bike motor size for heavier riders? All right, right here I've got two of our e-bikes. This is our Zip 'n Fold 750-watt, and this is our EvryJourney 500-watt. So I've only included a 750 and a 500-watt when we talk about heavier riders. It is 220 pounds. We've also got riders up to 350 pounds or 400 pounds that have been on our e-bikes before. Now, we don't warranty our e-bikes beyond 300 pounds and some models 350 pounds, but they are capable of allowing riders above 300 pounds to go on them. Again, there's just the warranty does not apply if you exceed the weight limit. So, we've got videos where they can perform with 300-pound riders, and you can check that on our YouTube channel if you want to see it. Now, if you're a heavier rider, when I talk about heavier riders, excuse me, I'm talking about over 200 pounds, 250, and 300 pounds. And there are different motor sizes out there. Common sizes are 250, 500, and 750. The one thing I'm going to say is I'm talking about e-bikes that are going to be street-legal and classified as bicycles. In California and most states, you can't exceed a 750-watt motor for it to be considered an electric bike that you can use in bike lanes, paths, and things of that nature. Now, will you get caught by the police or a park ranger? I don't know. But we only want to make products that are going to fit into the law. So now with that said, if you're a heavier rider looking to do mountain biking or roads, on private property, then by all means, you can start to look at motors north of 750 watts, 1000 watts, and 1500 watts.

Because on those types of terrains that are not governed by a government body, feel free to do what you want. Now, a lot of national trails, and parks, are already putting limitations on what type of e-bikes can be used on the trails specifically for mountain bikes, so pay attention out there. That's why I only talk about 500 watts, to 750 watts in this video, because we're talking about motor sizes that are street-legal to be classified as an e-bike. Now, I want to do some demonstrations because I want to show you a few things and the differences between a 500 and a 750 and how on flat ground there's going to be minimal difference. Even for 300-pound riders, you're going to accelerate much quicker on a 750, don't get me wrong, but when you get up to speed and you're cruising, the difference in what you get out of a 500 and 750 is nominal on flat ground. You're going to be able to achieve nearly the same top speeds, about 20 miles an hour, maybe 18, depending on if you are closer to 300 pounds as a rider. But it's going to come down to hills. So if you are a heavier rider who plans on riding in terrain that's very hilly with steep grades, then 750 watt is going to be your best option. Now, a 500-watt will still allow you to go up hills with pedal assist, but doing throttle only as a heavier rider, and let's say over 250, because actually on a 500-watt, I can do throttle only, I'm about 220. 250 and over, if you wanna tackle hills with the throttle only, it's not gonna happen on a 500-watt. You're gonna need to jump to a 750-watt. And even as you start to get closer to 300, throttle only up a hill's not gonna be possible. I think there's also some other illusion that if you are close to 300 pounds, a 750 pedal assist up a hill, you still are going to have to pedal.

Now, the motor can do a lot of the work, but you're not going to be able to fly up that hill. As you get closer to 200 pounds, you will go up the hill much quicker. So something to be mindful of is there's no e-bike out there for heavier riders closer to 300 pounds that's just going to make you fly up a hill. It's just not going to happen. And even at 220 pounds, when I'm riding next to a friend who's 150, they're climbing that hill at a much quicker pace than I am. So you need to think about if you're a heavier rider, what type of terrains you're going to be taking on on a daily basis. Is it very steep, hilly terrain? If not, if it's flat ground, you can opt for a 500-watt. The other thing I'll say about a 750-watt, and I see this with under 200-pound riders, over 200-pound riders, there's a lot more zip in a 250, or sorry, 750 than a 500. What I mean is that acceleration is a lot quicker. So, if you would rather have something a little more gradual and not quite as quick acceleration, 500 watts is a better option. This is quick, is fast, it gets off the line fast, like you can tell the difference between a 750-watt and a 500-watt, really in that acceleration and the uphill climbs. But in the cruising flat ground, you're not going to notice much of the difference. So I'm going to throw a helmet on and just do a quick demonstration of how these perform on flat ground here. And then I'll also take to the hill to demonstrate how they both get me up the hill. Okay, so we'll start on my 500-watt. Again, I'm 220 pounds. So I'm just going to push the throttle all the way and show you how I accelerate. So a nice gradual start. Now I get up to speed and I can start going pretty fast. So no problem. I'm already up to 13 miles an hour.

Okay. Now, for comparison's sake, so you can see it doesn't struggle at all. Gets me moving easily, fast. Okay. All right. Now, let's come over here to our 750. Okay. Go ahead and power on. Now, it's a twist throttle. so let's just show you. Now you can see I maybe get going a little bit faster. I get going a little bit faster, but it's very hard. Now you can see when I twist and it kicks. It's got a little more zip in the beginning, but over the long term, they both get to nearly the same speed. So that's what I mean on flat ground. You don't see a huge difference even as a heavier rider between a 250 and a 500. Now, I'm going to take these over to a hill and I'll demonstrate exactly to you how they perform then going up the hill. All right, first I'm going to demonstrate the 500-watt and how it performs for me as a heavier rider. I'm just going to do the throttle and see how we do. So let's go. Now I can tell you that we're going to make it up the hill with just the throttle, but again, we're going to go a little slower. So I'm going eight miles an hour. Now we're getting to the steepest grade here. Seven miles an hour. Okay, we made it. All right, so you can see I made it up the hill, but if you're 250 pounds or more, you're not going to make it up hills with just the throttle only. Now, I'm just going to go ahead and zip up the hill with pedal assist and show you how big of a difference that is. Now with pedal assist, I know it's going to be no problem. I'm going to just downshift a little. Now I was going about seven or eight miles an hour. I'm already up to 11. I've got it in assist five. And this is like a cakewalk and we can get up the hill much quicker. Okay. So we averaged about 11 miles an hour. Substantially easier. And you can see the pedal assist is no problem. Let's go ahead and turn around. Going 22 miles an hour down the hill, 23, 25, 27 miles an hour down the hill here. Good braking too. All right. All right. So you can see with pedal assist, it got me up the hill. and 300-pound riders, this could, 500 watts could be uphill.

You do have to pedal and put a little bit of effort in. Now we'll show you on the 750 watts, how much easier it is going to be up these hills. So, the first time I'm just going to do throttle. So on the 500-watt, I averaged, 7.8 miles an hour throttle only. Let's see what we average up the hill. Throttle only on the 750-watt. Okay, we're already off to a faster start. So you can see I'm not flying up the hill, but I'm doing just about 11 miles an hour. So it's about three miles an hour faster up the hill with a 750. Just doing throttle. Okay. all right, we did it easily, no problem. We got up the hill quicker with the 750 and we averaged three miles an hour faster. Now let's go back down and we'll zip up using pedal assist. All right, now I'm gonna go in pedal assist five and we're gonna see how quick I can get up and what my average speed will be and you can see pedal assist, you just get going so much quicker. Let's put it down into six. All right, so I'm at 13 miles an hour. Now I do have the fatter tires on this model as well. So we were averaging about, what was it? 10, almost 11. So we're another two and a half miles an hour quicker. The 750-watt requires a little less effort but I'm also in gear five right now so if I shifted down to like one or two it'd be even easier to pedal but yeah we flew up the hill now again we have smaller fatter tires on this model so. That does make a difference. Everything's not created completely equal between these two e-bikes. If we had had thinner tires on the 750, we probably would have gotten up even quicker. Now, for a bigger guy up to 300 pounds, again, you're going to have to pedal a little bit, but the 750 will just make it so much easier.

All right, so... As I said, we averaged two and a half miles an hour more in pedal assist five versus the 500 watts on the 750, and three miles an hour faster up the hill throttle only 750 versus 500. So, they both got me up, just got me up quicker. The effort was about the same. Again, we have seven speeds. So if I had downshifted on here in the 500-watt, the pedal assist up the hill could have been easier. So the choice is yours. Depends on the riding what you're going to do and what kind of hills you need to take on. If you're a heavier rider doing a lot of hills, think about the 750-watt flat ground. 500 watts will be enough. And if you don't want that power and the zippiness to feel a little safer, go 500 watts. If you have a lot of flat-ground riders, it'll still serve you just fine as a heavier rider. So if you have any other questions at all, please reach out to us at or call us at 310-982-2877. Also, we offer a 30-day test ride on your e-bike policy. If you don't love it in the first 30 days, send it back. No questions asked. No money out of your pocket. In addition to that, we're going to warranty everything for one year. If anything goes wrong in the first year, we'll take care of its parts and labor to ensure you can keep riding. And lastly, join our Facebook group called sixthreezero Pedalers there are thousands of members in the group. Jump in there and ask existing riders questions about their e-bikes before you purchase to get comfortable. Then when you have yours, post in the group, and make friends. It's tons of fun. So thanks for sticking around and don't forget, it's your journey or experience. Enjoy the ride.


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