Can Electric Bikes Go Up Steep Hills?

Last Updated on July 6, 2023 by Igor Karni

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E-bikes seem to be all the craze for some kids and even a lot of adults nowadays. They offer everything that motorbikes do, minus how fast you can go. They also can offer a great form of exercise in the same way that traditional bicycling does. It’s no wonder that there are a ton of questions coming up in regards to electric bicycles.

Can electric bikes go up steep hills? Yes, e-bikes are definitely more than equipped to handle steep hills. There are two types of motors that you can get in an e-bike. There are HUB motors and mid-drive motors. The latter is going to be the best possible choice for handling steep hills. While the HUB motors will be great for flat areas and light hills.

When you use a mid-drive motor e-bike there will be a lot of different settings to choose from. If you’re not familiar with them or you’ve never ridden one before, then keep in mind the following. Up gear will offer you more assistance when it comes to peddling and down gear will offer you less. Just remember never to change gears when you’re stationary (you should always peddle when changing gears).

If you want to become an expert at e-bikes and find the best ones to ride up steep hills then we’ll help you determine exactly what you need in order to get the best possible e-bike to tackle the toughest hills possible.

What e-bike do I choose for steep hills?

This is the biggest question everyone is always asking. You live around a very large steep hill or you want to ride around your neighborhood/city and there are lots of large hills that you need to climb. Picking the correct e-bike is essential to getting up those hard hills with no problem at all.

If you want an e-bike that has both speed and torque then one of the best possible choices out there is the FLX Trail (see on FLX website) or a similar model (see on Amazon). This e-bike goes anywhere from 20 – 35 mph (30 – 55 km/h) depending on how fast you want to go and has a great amount of torque to go with it. This would be the go-to e-bike for handling steep hills but there are a couple of other options if you’re looking for a more well-rounded all-terrain e-bike.

If you’re looking to take your e-bike through snow, gravel, sand, dirt, and any other rough terrains, then look no further than Addmotor MOTAN (see on the Addmotor website). This bike is also great for handling those tough steep hills but not quite as good as the FLX Trail (see on the FLX website).

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However, if you’re looking to hit bumps at high speeds and take an electrical bicycle just about anywhere you can imagine then this could be the choice for you. It comes with wide tires, a BBSHD motor, and 180mm disc brakes. This means you’ll be able to stop on a dime no matter how fast you’re going.

A budget version

Looking for the best budget e-bike to climb hills with? Spending a lot on an e-bike isn’t something everyone wants to do or can afford to do. If you’re trying to save some money you can get a great budget bike with the Ecotric (26-inch tires) for less than $1,000 (see on Ecotric website) or similar models (see on Amazon).

This budget bike will give you exactly what you need for going up steep hills. Not too much power but just enough to tackle the steepest of hills out there. It can only go up to 20 miles per charge. Isn’t recommended for anyone who weighs over 260 lbs.

How much should I expect to spend on such e-bike?

Last time I checked you don’t need to get the biggest, fastest, most expensive bike on the market just because you have to travel up some of the steepest hills in the neighborhood. Don’t think just because you have one of the largest hills in the city that you need to go out and buy the biggest e-bike out there. You can end up spending thousands of dollars and end up buying something that goes way too fast. Or weighs a lot more than you need to be carrying around with you.

Read also: How much does it cost to own an e-bike? And, What is the difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes?

You might not know this but e-bikes can get into the price range of $150,000. I’m not saying that you’ll go out looking for the most expensive e-bike on the planet. But that being said, even if you’re spending a couple of thousand dollars on an electric bicycle, you might still be overpaying. Knowing what to get for your needs and what to pay in price can be one of the more tricky parts of buying a good e-bike.

Easy Tip: A good starting range for steep hills would be 400w or more with 36 volts.

Since we’re specifically talking about e-bikes that can handle tough to tackle steep hills, I’m not going to suggest anything other than a mid-drive motor e-bike. The main thing you’ll want to look at on the outside of how much the bike is going to cost you is how much torque you’ll get from it.

Torque is measured in newton meters (nm). Generally speaking, you’re going to want to get an e-bike with a maximum nm of 70 or higher. This will give you a lot more acceleration. If you’re looking for more power (top speed) you should take into consideration how many watts the motor power has as well as the volts.

What is the average price?

On average you’ll be able to find great e-bikes in the price range of $900 – $2,000. Each one is slightly different and finding something that best suits your need could be as simple as taking it out on a test drive first and determining the feel of it. Not all places will let you test drive an e-bike before you buy it. But it’s definitely something that can be done if you find the right supplier.

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It’s better to go to an actual bike store instead of a retail store. You can talk to the owner directly and explain to them that you are new to riding e-bikes. You don’t want to overspend on anything and you would like to take it out on a test drive on some steep hills before buying it. Most owners will be understandable and let you take it out and ride it before committing to buying it.

How fast should I expect to go up steep hills?

Most people want to go up steep hills quickly and not feel like they’re traveling at the speed of a turtle. Average speeds going up steep hills range from 18 mph to 25 mph without having to apply much energy or effort.

While this should be a comfortable speed for most people, some people want to go a little bit faster. Nothing wrong with that. Just be prepared to pay quite a bit more and learn how to alter the motor on your e-bike. Most e-bikes are limited to 20-25 mph or less, so modification can be required…

Read also: How far can e-bikes go? What is e-bike range on a single charge? And, How fast are e-bikes?

If you’re just a normal person looking to ride around on your electric bike for casual riding in the city. Or if you plan to commute from your house to work and back then most e-bikes should be fine. Just make sure to check out how long one charge will take you whenever looking at buying your next e-bike.

If you have to travel 60 miles to work, do not buy an e-bike that only goes 20 miles per charge. You could be out of luck with your purchase. It’s always important to look at all the minor details that way you don’t end up with any major problems later on.

A few words in conclusion

Not everyone is comfortable riding an e-bike for the first time. It can be a little bit like riding a motorbike. Some people say it’s a lot like riding a motorbike in a way, but you won’t be able to go nearly as fast.

If you’re not sure about what to look for talk to your local e-bike shop and go ahead and call them first. Explain to them over the phone what you’re looking to purchase an e-bike for (riding steep hills, casual riding, distance riding, etc). Then ask them if you’re able to give the bike a test run before committing to a purchase.

Arrange a date and time to come in and be prepared to learn how to ride all over again. Learning how to shift gears on an e-bike is a lot different than shifting gears on a normal bike. It’s more like shifting gears on a car but you have to peddle to get your “RPMs” up.

Read also: How to select the best road e-bike (with examples)? – and also in this article. And, How much does a good road e-bike cost?

You’ll have to learn about cadences and shifting up and down between gears while you’re riding. Some people find this difficult to learn. Once you take some time to practice it, it should come with no problem at all. If you’re unsure how to ride an e-bike ask the store owner if he can have someone go out with you when you ride and give you a few pointers.

I hope this article has answered some of your questions when purchasing your next e-bike. If you want to share your experience, feel free to leave a message.

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