How do electric bikes work on hills?
What do you love about cycling?
Ask a group of cyclists and you’ll get a range of answers. Some will say freedom, others the health benefits and others will say going downhill.
Fewer will cite going uphill as their favourite aspect of cycling.
Yes, hills are not always the friend of cyclists, certainly not for those new to the sport or recently back in the saddle. Hill climbing is tough, a proper workout.
However, for many, the Eco Bike Co. team included, electric bikes have revolutionised cycling uphill. Let’s just say, our relationship with steep slopes is in a great place nowadays!
In this blog, look at how electric bikes work on hills, both in terms of what makes them work, and how effective they are.
Read on for more!
How do electric bikes work on hills?
Let’s break this down into two parts. How do they technically perform on hills - and what one can expect from their performance.
At the heart of an electric bike is its motor. This is what differentiates it from a conventional or traditional cycle.
The motor generates torque when you use the pedals (we call this ‘pedal assist’) meaning less effort is required to propel the bike.
And how does this work on a hill? Very well indeed, thanks!
Hills and headwinds that previously might have had you running for the bus or hopping into your car become more than manageable when you have an electric bike.
Climbing even a particularly steep hill with an e-bike requires significantly less effort than on a traditional bike thanks to its motor. Modern, high-end electric bikes such as the ones we sell in our online store will climb any hill with ease.
And this applies to our off-road bikes too. For example, our mountain electric bikes will help you reach the top of steep muddy trails, whatever the conditions.
Tips for cycling uphill
Whether or not you have an electric bike, there are a couple of cycling fundamentals that will make your climb more efficient (and less painful!)
It doesn’t just come down to leg strength and fitness (while unsurprisingly, a bit of both is quite handy on challenging slopes).
Body position is important when riding uphill. The steepness of the hill is a factor here, as is the terrain. When climbing a gentle slope, a neutral position is fine. But when the going gets tough, you should look to shift your body weight forward in order to maintain traction on the back wheel.
Essentially, drop your chest down towards the handlebars, keeping your elbows bent.
When it comes to off-road hill climbing, you need to remain conscious of the line you are taking. Pedalling cadence is key when going uphill - stop pedalling and your momentum drops and the work gets a whole lot harder. By ensuring your gaze remains five or so metres ahead you’ll be able to spot tricky patches of terrain that need to be avoided to maintain a smooth ascent.
Take note of your tire pressure. Tires can have a major influence on how your bike performs on hills (and on the flat, too). The right air pressure for you will depend on the terrain, your bike, and your riding style.
The benefits of an e-bike for hills
There are a number of benefits of using an e-bike as opposed to a traditional cycle to climb hills.
Due to the reduced effort required, commuting on hilly routes becomes a lot more feasible. For example, if your cycle-to-work route features a steep hill which would either require you to dismount or take a significant amount of time, you might decide it’s not worth taking such a route travelling by bike. However, once pedal assist kicks in, you’ll be flying up that slope!
Furthermore, reduced effort means less sweating. If you’ve ever arrived at work for a 9 am meeting dripping in sweat, you may have regretted the fact you didn’t take the car that morning. Well, with an electric bike, those days are over!
If you’re part of a cycling group, or simply enjoy bike rides with family and friends, it can be disheartening if you lag behind on hills. You may even opt to skip the trip if you know it’s a particularly hilly route on which you are going to struggle..
With an electric bike, you will find it far easier to keep up with the rest of the group. Not only that, you’ll be a lot less worn out when you reach your destination, meaning you can make the most of the social aspect of riding with a group.
There are heaps of benefits to owning an e-bike and we discuss a number of them in our blog. Check it out here.
Finding the right e-bike for you
Unsurprisingly in such a fast-growing market, there is a wide range of e-bike models available.
From practical, portable folding electric bikes, to vintage-style classics, to electric mountain bikes, you’ll find a wide range of styles and brands on our website.
It is worth considering what is the right type of electric bike for you. There are a range of factors to consider - one of which may be the terrain and gradients you will most frequently be riding on.
Our recommendation is to talk to someone in the know. The team at Eco Bike Co. are keen cyclists and electric bike aficionados. We take a lot of pride and pleasure in helping our customers find the perfect e-bike for them.
If you’re considering buying an electric bike, but aren’t sure which is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch by phone, email, or live chat. Visit our contact us page here.