Electric Bikes for Hills
A key benefit of all electric bikes are that the extra power available to you through the motor makes it easier to conquer hills. Power assistance is matched to your pedalling efforts, meaning you arrive at the top of the hill sweat and effort-free.
Of course, if you like the extra challenge most eBikes can have their assistance reduced considerably, meaning more leg power is required.
Most of the eBikes we stock, and most good ones available on the market will handle ordinary hills without too much concern. Avoid anything under £1,500 as they will suffer from weak motors and small batteries. Whether you’re commuting or going for a weekend exercise adventure, electric bikes can handle both with ease.
However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when shopping around, depending on your usage.
Which motor type is best for hills?
There are three core types of motor and explore each in turn.
Mid Drive Or Crank Motor
Located low down on the centre of the bike, these are often the best and most common motors for regular hill use. Higher torque ratings and better centre of gravity make them easy to ride with natural, indirect power delivery.
Common motors such as the Bosch Active line on the Raleigh Motus range are a good example of a balanced package here. Affordable without compromising on performance.
Located on the front wheel, these are often found on folding bikes thanks to the compact size. However, they are also common on cheaper eBike models and feature heavily in eBike conversion kits. They’re the weakest type of motor and “pull” you along. Avoid for hills!
While at a glance rear hub motors may seem similar to Front Hub motors there are key differences. Due to delivering power directly to the rear wheel they “push” you and result in far more power. Often used in the fastest electric bikes and Speed Pedelecs.
Do I have to Pedal?
Yes, but no more than normal! With good motors such as the Bosch range or Bafang, the power required is balanced and calculated as you pedal. Lots of technical calculations are made but the end result is that you just need to pedal like you normally would on the flat.
Most eBikes come with power assistance modes, such as Eco or Turbo. Eco will prioritise range over power, limit the motor and meaning you need to pedal more to get more power out, but as a consequence, your battery lasts longer.
Turbo, however, as the name suggests, will deliver more power and more pedal assist, making going up any hill a doddle. It will use more power and use battery quicker but will make hills fun.
Best Electric Bikes for Hills
On the whole, all electric bikes are great at hills and as such the type of bike won’t make a huge difference. What will be more important is your budget and how you’ll be using the bike. Are you regularly hardcore mountain riding or going on long 50 mile canal path circuits or nipping to the farm shop on a weekend?
Each of these will require different demands. If you’re totally unsure, please give us a ring or email for some custom guidance.
Below we’ve listed some of our customer favourites that are fantastic all-rounders that will cope with most everyday cycling scenarios.
The Raleigh Motus has long been a favourite for comfortable, everyday use. Made using high-quality Bosch components the Motus is one of Raliegh's highest reviewed city electric bikes thanks to its ease of use. A choice of 7 Shimano gears give excellent and simply gear changes, ideal for leisure cyclists.
It comes in several flavours depending on your requirements, but the Motus Tour Step Through is a great all-rounder combining comfort and ease of use without compromising on specs.
Raleigh Centros £2350
Designed in Britain and made in Europe, the all-new Centros is Raleighs most technologically advanced electric bike to date. The sleek new look combines effortless power and timeless style to give you a luxurious ride that fits your lifestyle seamlessly.
Also available in Standard, Tour, Grand Tour it can be fitted with a 400Wh or 500Wh battery, all powered by the Bosch Active Line Plus motor.
If you’re looking to do a bit more offroading, the HaiBike SDURO range are a favourite for offroad, mountain and hill based electric adventure. Whether you're commuting to work on country paths, or looking for a weekend uphill sprint - Haibike have you covered.
*All prices accurate at time of writing. Please check product pages for accurate, up to date pricing