500w eBike - Thebicyclegeek

Are you looking for an e-bike? Depending on what you will use the e-bike for. A 350w one could be perfect for you or a 500w e-bike might be just the ticket.

Below are comprehensive details on 350w and 500w e-bikes to help you decide which one you should choose. We’ll help you make a choice between a 350w and 500w e-bike.

What Is The Wattage Of An Electric Bike Motor?

Watts is a power measurement: how much energy the motor is able to transfer at a time. The wattage of an electric bike is the amount of power the bike can send to the wheels to help the rider.

The higher the wattage of an e-bike, the more power the bike will probably have, which translates to more assistance up hills and faster acceleration. But higher wattage can also mean the batteries don’t last as long.

What Affects The Wattage On An E-Bike?

Keep in mind that the wattage on an e-bike can feel very different between manufacturers. Some countries use amperage controllers to limit the power output on bikes. A 500w bike in one country may have significantly less actual power than the same bike in another country, depending on the controller.

Also, keep in mind that a hub-drive electric bike motor is less efficient than a mid-drive motor, so the power output on each will be different even though the wattage is listed as the same.

What Is Nominal Capacity Vs. Peak Capacity On An E-Bike?

You’ll also need to consider the difference between the nominal capacity and the peak capacity of an e-bike.

  • Peak capacity on an e-bike is the greatest amount of watts the motor can produce, but usually not for long periods.
  • Nominal capacity is the wattage the motor can run at in general use.

Most e-bike manufacturers list one or both capacities. Check the fine print of the specs to find out which is listed for yours.

How Does The Motor Work On An Electric Bike?

E-bike motors come in two kinds, hub drive and mid-drive. Hub drive and mid-drive motors work basically the same way. There’s an electric motor built into the bike that’ll give the rider extra power when they’re pedaling.

As you’d guess, hub drive motors are in one the bike’s wheel hubs. The motor gives the wheel extra oomph and powers it. The rider gets an extra boost while riding, making the slog of riding much easier.

Mid-drive bikes do the same thing – gives you more than just your pedal power – but the power comes from the crank. You’ll see that the motor’s in the middle of the bike, that’s why it’s called a mid-drive.

The bonus of a mid-drive is that you’ll have a more balanced bike with the weight in the middle. Also, you’ll get extra power because the motor pushes power to the cranks and controls the chain drive, responding to the pressure you put on the cranks. Experienced e-bike riders swear by mid-drive.

How’s it all powered, you may ask? A battery is attached on a holder or in the frame of your bike and linked to the motor.

What Is The Difference Between 350w Vs 500w eBike?

In a word: Power! A 350w e-bike has much less kick than a 500w bike. In fact, a higher-wattage bike almost always means more power. When you up the wattage on your e-bike you give yourself the power to eat up hills and dominate on the trails.

But watch out, you’d think bigger wattage also means killer speeds, but even though the power difference is quite big, the speed difference between a 350w and 500w bike isn’t.


Whether you’ve got a mid-drive or a hub drive bike, 350w e-bikes don’t perform as well on hills as 500w bikes do:

350w e-bikes 500w e-bikes
· work best on flat and paved areas, such as inner-city riding.

· don’t do well with hills as the motor doesn’t give enough resistance to the bike to push it uphill.

· works best on flat and does great on hills.

· provides more resistance which gives the power to accelerate faster and push it up hills.



The size battery your bike will need depends on its wattage rating: 350w motors need at least a battery 350w of input power. The same goes for a 500w motor.

Don’t forget to check the voltage rating on your bike battery:

350w e-bikes 500w e-bikes
· most 350w e-bikes have a 36v rating, so you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a 36v battery with it · most 500w e-bikes have a 48v rating, so you’ll need a 48v battery

You should check the voltage rating in the instruction manual or owner’s guide to see what voltage battery your e-bike needs before you go and replace or change the battery.

Top Speed

Your e-bike’s peak capacity is what lets you crank out higher top speeds:

350w e-bikes 500w e-bikes
· 350w bikes usually reach a top speed of about 25 mph (40 km/h) · 500w bikes usually reach a top speed of about 28 mph (45 km/h)

The difference in these top speeds isn’t huge. That’s because e-bikes aren’t designed for killer speeds, they’re designed to give riders a boost in pedal power. They’re there to make sure you’ve got enough power and range to get you across whatever terrain you’re on and up hills when you need it!


Getting power to the motor is the job of the controller. Bigger motors need more power, so the bigger the motor the higher the power sent to it:

350w e-bikes 500w e-bikes
· usually comes with a basic 10 or 15 Amp controller  · usually comes with a 15 or 20 Amp controller

350W Electric Bike Pros & Cons

350w e-bikes have a number of pros and cons:


  • The batteries are smaller and lighter
  • The motors are smaller and lighter
  • The power is sufficient for flat riding and basic assistance while riding
  • 350w bikes are usually in the entry-level category and are cheaper than bigger bikes


  • The motor is not usually powerful enough to significantly help up hills
  • Acceleration can be sluggish
  • In smaller fold-up e-bikes, the wheels are usually smaller, which affects top speeds

500W Electric Bike Pros & Cons

500w e-bikes also have pros and cons:


  • Bigger motor means more acceleration and hills power
  • The bigger motor can help reach higher top speeds than a 350w motor


  • The battery is bigger and heavier
  • The motor is bigger and heavier
  • Depending on the size battery, the higher wattage will drain the battery quicker

How Much Wattage Do You Need On An E-Bike?

How much wattage you’ll need for your e-bike depends on the rider’s weight. And what you want to do with it. The two suggestions below are based on medium-weight riders, someone in about the 150lbs (70kg) weight range. The heavier the rider, the more wattage will be required.

If you are riding flat inner-city roads or bike paths that don’t need a quick kick of acceleration, then a 350w e-bike will more than meet your needs.

If you plan to ride your e-bike in hilly areas, on offroad tracks, or you know you’ll need some extra power somewhere on the ride, then a 500w e-bike is the minimum wattage you’ll need to get decent hill-climbing performance.

Also, remember that mid-drive motors perform better than hub motors, so in some cases, a lower-wattage bike may work fine if it is mid-drive, but a hub-drive bike with similar wattage will struggle.

FAQs About Electric Bike 350w Vs 500w eBike

Answers to all your 350w and 500w e-bike questions:

Is 350w Enough For An E-Bike?

If you’re medium weight (about 150lbs/70kg), then a 350w e-bike will be enough for flat roads or bike paths with an occasional hill. Sometimes you’ll need to pedal to keep the bike going, though.

If you plan to use only the throttle, you’ll probably not be able to go up a hill without pedaling, and the battery will not have great range.

Can A 350W E-Bike Climb A Hill?

A 350w e-bike carrying a medium-weight person will not be able to climb a hill without the rider pedaling. The 350w motor’s assistance will make it much easier to climb a hill than it would have been without a motor, though.

A mid-drive motor on your e-bike will have more torque and will make climbing hills a little easier than a hub-drive bike. In some cases, with the correct gearing, a mid-drive motor can climb a hill unassisted.

How Fast Is A 350w E-Bike?

The top speed of a 350w e-bike with a 36v battery is usually about 25 mph (40 km/h). Whether your e-bike will reach this speed depends on whether the road or path is inclined, the tire pressure, the weight of the rider, and whether there is any wind resistance.

Is 500w Enough For An E-Bike?

When an e-bike is consistently used on hills, and you are planning to ride hills consistently over a long-range, 500w may not be enough power. If, however, you plan to ride your e-bike on mostly flat terrain and the commute is a few miles per ride, then a 500w e-bike will be enough.

Some factors will drain the battery of an e-bike, like a heavier rider and consistent headwinds, but usually, 500w is the chosen wattage range for most people as it is mid-range and will see you through most rides with ease.

How Fast Will A 500w E-Bike Go?

Usually, the top speed of a 500w e-bike is usually about 28 mph (45 km/h). Keep in mind that factors like incline, tire pressure, wind resistance, and the weight of the rider may drop this down.

Remember, though, some countries and states have limits on the speed an e-bike is legally allowed to go, so check this out before pushing your e-bike to the limit.

Can You Use A Low-Powered Battery For A 500w E-Bike?

You can attach a low-powered battery to your 500w e-bike, but it really isn’t recommended. Your e-bike should have a battery pack that can deliver the voltage and current that your motor needs.

If the battery is not powerful enough, the battery may overheat, the electrical components of the motor will be put under unnecessary pressure, the motor will not have enough power, and the battery’s range will drop drastically.

Can I Use A 500w Controller On A 350w Motor E-Bike?

Even if a 500w controller does fit on your 350w e-bike, it’s really not a good idea. A 500w controller will give way too much power to the motor, and your motor isn’t designed to handle it. The bigger controller will strain the battery and wiring.

If you use it too much for too long it will:

  • Overheat the motor
  • Unnecessarily wear the motor (if it doesn’t do serious damage), and
  • It could cause motor failure.

Conclusion: 350w Vs 500w eBike: Which Is Better For You

We hope all the information above helps you make a decision about whether a 350w or a 500w ebike is best for you.

But to sum up, if you plan to use your e-bike on flat roads or paths and you’re not going to be taking it up hills regularly. Then a 350w bike will most likely be sufficient for you. If, however, you live in a very hilly area or you’re planning long rides on mountain trails, then a bigger e-bike will suit you more; consider the 500w option!

Read also: All You Need to Know about Ebike Pedals