Are Ebikes Good For Hills & Riding Up Inclines

Last Updated on October 9 2022 by Sam

Can I Use An Electric Bike On Inclines? - Our Guide


One of the best advantages to electric bikes in comparison to regular ones is the extra help they give you when tackling steep inclines or hills.

Electric bikes are great for riding up hills as they can give you a boost of power when your legs get tired from pedalling, however, the types of electric bike you choose will often be more suited to handling hills depending on its design and placement of the motor. 

So as you can decide which type of electric bike is the best for climbing hills, how they can help you and what you can do to make hill climbing easier, we've put some information below along with some tips and tricks for tackling even the steepest of inclines with your e-bike.

Why Are E-Bikes Great For Inclines?

E-bikes are the best for going uphill as they are using the torque power from their motor to assist you with the incline, making it feel considerably less taxing and also helping you ride up it faster.

Depending on how much assistance you need when climbing a hill, you can control it from full-on throttle (which will use a lot of battery but get you up with no effort) to a medium level of PAS that will require you to pedal but make it much easier than with no assistance.

Why Are Gears Important For Climbing Hills With An E-Bike?

Gears are essential to have on your e-bike if you will be riding uphills, as they make it much easier for the motor to handle and takes off all the pressure being on the PAS system of the bike.

Having a good gear system like a 7-speed Shimano gear set will allow you to pick very low gears and assist you better with inclines when going downhill, however, you can set the gear level to high and let the motor and PAS have a break.

Using the right gears according to the assistance level you have set will help you save battery life too which is greatly affected when going up or down inclines.

Will Going Up Inclines With My E-Bike Affect Its Battery?

Yes, if you have repeated inclines on the route you ride with your electric bike you will inevitably notice that the battery gets drained quicker. If you want to be going up hills often with your electric bike then you should be making sure that you buy a battery with a longer range to compensate for this or using the throttle less often while you ride.

How Fast Can I Go Up a Hill With My E-Bike?

This depends on the speed limit of your electric bike, most UK legal electric bikes will be limited to 15.5mph which is enough for climbing most hills with assistance, however other average speeds for climbing inclines could range from 18mph to 25mph.

What Hill Climbing Features Should I Look For In An E-Bike?

When looking for the best electric bike which is suited to climbing hills, there are a couple of important features you will want to ensure your e-bike has, such as gears, PAS levels and more.

We have listed out the key essentials that are typically found in good electric bike models for climbing hills below.

  • A mid-drive motor - Mid-drive motors are more suited for hill-climbing than hub motors as they have a centre gravity balance with more speed options and torque power which is required for getting up a hill.
  • Lightweight - Trying to get up inclines with a very heavy e-bike will be harder than a lightweight model, even with a good amount of assistance, so make sure your bike is not too heavy.
  • Gears - Your electric bike should come with a very good gear set-up for tackling hills like the Shimano 7 derailleur for example.
  • Mountain bike design - Mountain bikes are much more equipped for going up rough and hilly terrain than road bikes are, they will even come with more suitable tyres and suspension to handle the tougher ground.
  • PAS - Pedal assistance is preferred to throttle when going up inclines as it will assist according to how much you are pedalling, meaning you are saving power and battery.
  • A larger battery - For going up steep inclines you will want your electric bike to have a larger capacity battery that can support the extra power your e-bike will need as it climbs.

Tips For Climbing a Hill With An E-Bike

For you to climb steep hills with your electric bike, you should be making sure you use it in the most solid way possible so the ride will be easier.

We have listed out some tricks below that should be valuable when tackling hills.

  • Start on a low gear - Selecting a lower gear on your bike when going up a hill will make pedalling feel much easier and cause less fatigue.
  • Keep the weight light - Never load your bike up with luggage or extra batteries before riding up inclines as this can make it feel more difficult. Always clean any dried mud off your bike and also remove any unneeded accessories that could be dragging it down.
  • Pump up tyres and keep them thin - Thinner tyres will allow you to create less friction as you climb the hill and get up the incline much faster.
  • Keep in the best position - Crouch down and push yourself forward on the handlebars of your bike, this will help you to propel your bike forward and reach the top of the hill, for small hills you don't need to worry too much about changing your posture.
  • Lower the PAS before you reach the top - When you reach the top of the hill you are climbing make sure to lower down the PAS so as you cannot get thrown over the handlebars of your bike!

What Is a Downhill Electric Bike?

You might have heard of a downhill electric bike on the market and wondered if it relates in any way to going up and down on your bike over inclines, and it does in some sense, but they are not directly made for hills.

Downhill electric bikes are essentially the more aggressive version of a mountain bike and have a very durable frame and suspension which can tackle even the toughest of terrains and sharpest inclines when riding your bike.

Most downhill electric bikes tend to be very expensive due to this very robust design, so you could be looking at spending anything from £2000 and above depending on the model and its quality.

Frequently Asked Question About Going Up Hills With An E-Bike

Will higher power motors climb hills better? 

Yes, the higher in power your motor is the more assistance it can offer during a hill climb, however, you should note not all countries allow high-powered motors over 250W and they are more likely to drain your battery quickly.

What does pedalling cadence mean? 

Pedalling cadence on an electric bike refers to keeping your pace steady as you pedal without losing momentum, this is very important to have as you climb up a hill.

Do e-bikes have regenerative braking? 

Yes, but only some electric bikes do have regenerative braking which kicks in as you go downhill with your bike and allows the battery to recharge off this kinetic energy. Most e-bikes still don't include this option as it is a very complex system and also heavy.

Final Words

To finish, e-bikes are very good for going uphills and inclines due to their motor assistance which makes pedalling up them feel easier and allows you to ride up them quicker too. Just remember that hilly rides will reduce the range of your e-bikes battery and your bike should always be in a low gear to make pedalling uphill easier.

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