Many Carrera Ebike owners are wondering “How Can I Make My Carrera ebike Faster?” and “can I de-restrict my Carrera Ebike?
Halford’s Carrera ebike range offers some solid entry-level budget electric bikes that are competitively priced and a popular choice, but as with all electric bikes, there comes a point in the ride when the motor cuts out which can be frustrating! So allow me to explain why this happens and if there are any other options available
How Can I Make My Carrera ebike Faster?
There are some perfectly legal and simple methods to ‘eek’ out a few mph from your bike such as using road tires rather than track/ nobbly mountain bike style tires and inflating to a higher PSI so there is less resistance from the road. 15.5mph) by de-restricting or ‘Tuning’ the bike, then unfortunately it is almost impossible to do on a Carrera Ebike.
This is because Carrera uses Hub Geared Motors on all of their electric bikes and the type of motor and controllers used usually determines whether an ebike can be de-restricted or tuned which is the case here, specifically because there is no way of bypassing the speed limiter within the control unit.
These limitations are common on electric bikes at this price point and with this type of motor
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Why does my ebike motor Cut out?
All electric bike manufacturers are required by law to set a speed limit of 15.5mph which is where the motor will cut off and stop providing the rider with assistance.
As someone who commutes by bike regularly, this can be frustrating, not so much on the hills, but certainly, when you are on long stretches of flat road it can sometimes feel like you are suddenly riding through treacle on some models.
Of course, you can go faster than 15.5mph but this is then down to rider effort with no assistance from the motor beyond this speed.
So What are my Options?
The frustrating part here is that almost all electric bike motors whether they are Hub-based or Mid Mounted have the capability to far exceed these limits in excess of 30, sometimes 60kph!
I have seen some models where Manufacturers have enabled an ‘Off-road’ setting where riders can increase the limit at which point the motor will cut out, ( The Cowboy V2 & V3 Models) but they make it very clear this mode is only to be used on private land with the owner’s permission
So the only options that remain are:
- Research other models with Mid Drive Motors that are compatible for Tuning
- Increase your budget and Buy an ebike with a Mid- Drive Motor
Electric Bikes that have a Mid-Drive Motor
Electric bikes that have a mid-drive motor fitted are much easier to de- restrict so we will run through the most common options here.
Dongles are basically a microcontroller made up of 4 connection wires that plug directly into the motor control unit of your ebike.
To install these you may want to get your local shop to do this as it requires removal of the engine housing to access the electronics, but there are plenty of videos available online which walk you through the process depending on what model bike you have and how confident you are at this type of stuff.
Dongles usually are specific to the type of motor that your bike has, so make sure you check this before purchasing
The benefit of installing this type of tuning method is that once installed, you can ‘de-activate’ from the handlebar controls which will switch back to the standard manufacturer setup.
The display will show correct data ie speed and distance Vs the more unorthodox methods of tuning.
Using a box is very easy and takes minutes to install without needing to remove any parts or motor casing.
There are several kits out there such as the Badass Box which is programmed specifically for different kinds of motors ie Bosch, Brose, or Yamaha that can clip straight onto most frames over the sensor, providing immediate results.
For this method, you will need to have a strong magnet, some rip-ties / strong tape to hand.
Ebikes with mid-drive motors that have a sensor attached to the frame will usually have a magnet fastened to one of the spokes. Each pass of the magnet lets the control unit know how fast the wheels are turning hence knowing when to cut the motor off once it reaches the speed limit.
The most common DIY method I have seen to remove the speed limit is to fix the magnet to the crank arm, then carefully remove the sensor and attach it the opposite way by using tape so that it is facing the magnet now attached to the crank arm.
What this essentially does is make the bike think it is going much slower than it actually is due to the number of revolutions of the crank Vs the wheel.
This method will mess with your display and speed/ distance etc will not be correct however the motor will continue to provide assistance past its pre-programmed limit.
What are the downsides to de- restricting my ebike?
Whether you decide to buy an ebike that can be tuned or de-restricted or even an ebike DIY kit for the same purposes then from a legal standpoint this would be classed as a moped if you want to use it on public roads and will also have the following downsides:
- Battery life will deplete more quickly
- Less Range will be available and harder to predict due to prolonged assistance from the motor
- Did I mention it was illegal to use on a public road or footpath?
- Warranty will be void and most manufacturers can tell quickly if an ebike has been tuned
- If you have insured your bike then this will also be void once you de-restrict/ tune above the legal limit.
- Brakes and other components will wear out more quickly including drivetrains and gear cassettes
- The overall safety of the rider may be compromised at higher speeds
- If you have an accident involving a pedestrian or any other vehicle then authorities will most likely investigate whether the bike has been de-restricted or tuned
Conclusion – How Can I Make My Carrera Ebike Faster?
I have owned several ‘Acoustic’ Carrera bikes in the past such as the Vengeance and Subway models, both of which stood the test of time well so it is no surprise that their electric bike range is good value for money as an entry-level option, but not if you are looking to tune-up or De- restrict.
The main dilemma is that bikes that have a mid-drive motor are usually at the higher end of the scale in terms of price ($£1500 – £$2000+) and certainly more than you would pay for a Carrera.
For the same amount of money that you would pay for a new Carrera, one option would be to buy a used Ebike instead that had a mid-drive motor or at least was capable of being tuned, this way you would not be voiding any warranty and there would be more options available to increase the speed/ tune – Obviously just for off-road use and keeping within the boundaries of the law!
I hope you enjoyed this post on How can I make my Carerra ebike faster? and it has provided some answers on what is possible with these electric bikes when it comes to tuning.
If you have any thoughts on this topic or have managed to find a way to make your Carrera Ebike faster then please feel free to drop me a line below.