Total newbie, looking to buy ebike to effortlessly ascend steep hills.

Avzy

New member
Local time
9:30 PM
Joined
Jun 13, 2023
Messages
1
Location
Devon, England
Hi, all. I live in a very hilly area. I can go for miles, but absolutely HATE inclines, to where I will literally avoid routes with inclines, walking or cycling. I don't mind exercise, but it's the burn in the body when slogging up hills that is miserable for me.

I'm not that fit, and I don't want to have to pay tax and get insurance. I don't care that much about speed, as long as I can effortlessly ascend steep hills with very little, to no effort (even if that means slowing down, somewhat).

I'm 200 pounds. The highest wattage that is legal here is 250w continuous power (I don't believe there is a law that restricts peak power).

I've been looking everywhere, and for whatever reason, I can't search for bikes based on torque, peak power, etc.

What sort of bikes should I be looking at that are legal on the roads, relatively affordable (nothing over 1.5k [but if you must show me one with good stats, regardless of price, it might be helpful]), and something where my unfit ass won't break a sweat going up steep hills.

Also, where do I go to search for bikes based on stats? Every site I go to seems to only advertise their bikes with snazzy BS marketing names and not listing anything to do with motor power or torque, etc.

P.S. I am a total newbie. Please go easy on me.
 
Location/country would determine much of selection/suggestion that you may receive.
 
You should look for a mid-drive bike, as they use your bike's gearing to their advantage, so they have more torque per Watt of motor power that you can put down for steep hills.

250 W is enough with a mid drive, since your eBike speed limit is 15.5 mph (25 kph); try to keep the bike lightish.

The brands and such that are available locally on your side of the pond are different than what we have in the USA. What do your local shops stock?

Trek makes good bikes; are they an option in England?

There is a (British) YouTube channel called GCN: Global Cycling Network and I've found their videos VERY educational, but we never see those bikes stateside. You won't have that problem. These videos will get you off on the right foot:

(no affiliation)
 
A second on the mid drive. That is a must based on your desires. Being in the UK, your options are not going to be good on your budget, although '1.5k' in pounds sterling is about US$1900. Still, thats not much for an ebike. You may need to wait and save up some. You can do a very good conversion for that budget, though. Here is a UK shop that will even install it for you.

 
A budget hub motor drive bike might do it too. (bear with me, M@)

One example: I just bought my wife an Electra Townie GO! 7D. It is USA Class 1. 250 W hub motor with a torque sensor. A similar bike for the UK would be restricted further to 15.5 mph instead of 20 mph. (so the hub motor itself might be geared lower too, giving more torque for climbing)

The cruiser style is not to everyone's liking, but it has interesting bottom bracket geometry; the crankset is forward of the seat tube, so one's legs go forward whilst pedaling, rather than straight below the seat. This has the side effect of making it easier to touch the ground even when the saddle is raised for full leg extension. Electra/Trek have patented this as "Flat Foot Technology".

Even if it isn't, this bike's chain/sprockets is geared toward the lower end of the spectrum. Top gear has me spinning pretty fast at 20 mph, but not ridiculously so. Low gear is for a walking pace. Add 250 W of motor to that and hills should be breeze. I've never needed more than Pedal Assistance Level 1 on this bike. (out of 3)

For reference, I'm 46 years old, 5'8" tall and 190 lbs. (overweight, but not quite obese) I'm in decent cardiovascular shape for biking, despite carrying 30 extra pounds.
 
(so the hub motor itself might be geared lower too, giving more torque for climbing)
That would be nice but typically they all come from the same factory. For Bafang, they have been known to take their 350w motors and write '250' on the outside and poof now its EU legal. For a time thats how they did 500w motors too. The same assembly line for three motor models.

I would say if you want to try and make a hub motor work in hills, the best bet is to do smaller wheels, like 20". Since the motors are geared the same (the motor windings may change, but usually a 20" wind delivers less torque than a 26") you are gaining the torque advantage that comes with the smaller wheel size. Delving a little deeper, you go for a higher amperage controller too which provides more torque thanks to the increased amps. You can only take this so far, but if you want to make the best of it those are the two biggies in terms of bang-for-the... buck.

When I was watching Sondors develop the Fold XS, during development they tried putting in the same strong controller that was going into their 26" XS fat bike. But thanks to the smaller 20" wheels that controller turned it into a wheelie machine so they couldn't use it.

Given how @Avzy says he hates inclines and wants no part of having to deal with them, I'd say this workaround is not for him. But it does solve his budget problem.
 
Mid drives are best for hilly terrains, for £1500 you might be able to find a cyclotricity beast 500w, it has two settings, 250w for the road & 500w off road. You change the settings using the display, there currently around the £1500 mark

I live in a very hilly area. I can go for miles, but absolutely HATE inclines, to where I will literally avoid routes with inclines, walking or cycling. I don't mind exercise, but it's the burn in the body when slogging up hills that is miserable for me.
I'm not that fit, and I don't want to have to pay tax and get insurance. I don't care that much about speed, as long as I can effortlessly ascend steep hills with very little, to no effort (even if that means slowing down, somewhat).

I'm 200 pounds. The highest wattage that is legal here is 250w continuous power (I don't believe there is a law that restricts peak power).

I've been looking everywhere, and for whatever reason, I can't search for bikes based on torque, peak power, etc.

What sort of bikes should I be looking at that are legal on the roads, relatively affordable (nothing over 1.5k [but if you must show me one with good stats, regardless of price, it might be helpful]), and something where my unfit ass won't break a sweat going up steep hills.

Also, where do I go to search for bikes based on stats? Every site I go to seems to only advertise their bikes with snazzy BS marketing names and not listing anything to do with motor power or torque, etc.

P.S. I am a total newbie. Please go easy on me.
 
Hi, all. I live in a very hilly area. I can go for miles, but absolutely HATE inclines, to where I will literally avoid routes with inclines, walking or cycling. I don't mind exercise, but it's the burn in the body when slogging up hills that is miserable for me.

I'm not that fit, and I don't want to have to pay tax and get insurance. I don't care that much about speed, as long as I can effortlessly ascend steep hills with very little, to no effort (even if that means slowing down, somewhat).

I'm 200 pounds. The highest wattage that is legal here is 250w continuous power (I don't believe there is a law that restricts peak power).

I've been looking everywhere, and for whatever reason, I can't search for bikes based on torque, peak power, etc.

What sort of bikes should I be looking at that are legal on the roads, relatively affordable (nothing over 1.5k [but if you must show me one with good stats, regardless of price, it might be helpful]), and something where my unfit ass won't break a sweat going up steep hills.

Also, where do I go to search for bikes based on stats? Every site I go to seems to only advertise their bikes with snazzy BS marketing names and not listing anything to do with motor power or torque, etc.

P.S. I am a total newbie. Please go easy on me.
If you are considering an ebike road/gravel Specialized Creo. I bought it three years ago. I am 78 with know knee issue. I still have my 5 year old carbon roadie hanging on hooks in my basement. The Creo crushes hills!
 
For hills, nothing beats POWER... Forget 250 watts, you need 1000 watts minimum to have fun on hills.




What garbage, I live in Wales, 250 MAX LEGAL UK and there isn't a Welsh hill I can not ride up on my bike, I am amazed by the comments 1000w, what do you think the rest of the world does "WALK" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A cloud cuckoo land comment.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1626.JPG
    IMG_1626.JPG
    152.4 KB · Views: 35
This is a bit old request, but I fully agree, @Pinhead : I have had no problems with my 250W regular Trek Powerfly and live in a VERY hilly place with slopes regularly up to 14% and more, both on sealed and gravel terrain.

I usually set to Tour on steep tracks, and that's enough. If tired, and still some juice in the battery, I can still use eMTB and even Turbo setting (with a high ratio) but in that case the bike may tend to wheelie. The real problem is to control the excess power, specially while starting from a stop. I am 200 lbs too by now.
 
What garbage, I live in Wales, 250 MAX LEGAL UK and there isn't a Welsh hill I can not ride up on my bike, I am amazed by the comments 1000w, what do you think the rest of the world does "WALK" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A cloud cuckoo land comment.
You will have to forgive us Americans. We often forget how restrictive Europe is on eBikes. It is an entirely different world.

Attorneys (Barristers) in the USA have nightly dreams about someone being careless and causing injury. This acts as a moderating factor on how most people here ride eBikes, even very powerful ones. Ignore all the YouTube videos which show people rocketing down sidewalks at 60 MPH; this is NOT the norm here. We don't have "universal healthcare" here, so you will find yourself paying someone's 40,000-dollar medical bill. There is typically tacked on an additional "pain and suffering" penalty as well. If they are injured for life, then you are also hit with long-term care and living loss of earned wages.

My bike has two motors of 1Kw each, but in spite of that, most the time I cruise at 21 MPH on the streets. It does not get driven where there is foot traffic. If it does, it is kept in PAS mode 1, and crawled along with great caution. (The courts will brutally punish you financially if you cause injury with risky behavior).

We do have maximum wattage and speed laws here, but they are less restrictive than in Europe. Quite frankly, if you are not riding like a hooligan, the police here have little concern about how fast your bike is, as long as you are under the posted speed limit. If you want to really fit in, you at least pretend to pedal.

I often wonder why Europe treats their adults like children, it seems odd to me. But, different cultures are certain to have different norms.
 
You will have to forgive us Americans. We often forget how restrictive Europe is on eBikes. It is an entirely different world.

Attorneys (Barristers) in the USA have nightly dreams about someone being careless and causing injury. This acts as a moderating factor on how most people here ride eBikes, even very powerful ones. Ignore all the YouTube videos which show people rocketing down sidewalks at 60 MPH; this is NOT the norm here.

My bike has two motors of 1Kw each, but in spite of that, most the time I cruise at 21 MPH on the streets. It does not get driven where there is foot traffic. If it does, it is kept in PAS mode 1, and crawled along with great caution. (The courts will brutally punish you financially if you cause injury with risky behavior).

We do have maximum wattage and speed laws here, but they are less restrictive than in Europe. Quite frankly, if you are not riding like a hooligan, the police here have little concern about how fast your bike is, as long as you are under the posted speed limit. If you want to really fit in, you at least pretend to pedal.

I often wonder why Europe treats their adults like children, it seems odd to me. But, different cultures are certain to have different norms.


Yes many many americans break the law, what is it supposed to be 750watt and 20 mph

I am 100% in full favor of laws, I 100% believe the speed in the UK is fine but the limit should be raised to 500 watt for hills
 
Yes many many americans break the law, what is it supposed to be 750watt and 20 mph

I am 100% in full favor of laws, I 100% believe the speed in the UK is fine but the limit should be raised to 500 watt for hills
Agreed, it does seem horribly restrictive, and limits the usefulness of an eBike in hilly (or mountainous) areas.

Here, they err towards the side of personal choice, but then being brutally penalized if your choices and actions cause harm.
 
Agreed, it does seem horribly restrictive, and limits the usefulness of an eBike in hilly (or mountainous) areas.

Here, they err towards the side of personal choice, but then being brutally penalized if your choices and actions cause harm.


I think we may only see the "negative" side of the US on TV and forums, 2000w motors, 70mph bikes, I assume that is a minority, also it is a thing, in the US everything is made to be not only bigger but "aggressive|" when you compare e bikes from over the world and US ones that look like crazy machines. One example a Canon camera here has a number there it is a "Rebel" if you see what I mean
 
We do love "bigger and badder" here. This includes motorcycles and cars. I went upscale on the power with the idea of being able to get out of the way of more aggressive drivers on the street. It was done to partially mitigate the risk of the roads here, which frequently do not have bike lanes. If you are travelling at, or near the speed of city traffic, the car drivers have more time to recognize a bicycle is up ahead. The extra power gives the opportunity to get into traffic without disrupting the flow of traffic (which triggers some driver's displeasure).

The bike also has extra reflectors and lights. My fluorescent Yellow helmet also has a blinking red light in the back.
Visibility, agility and speed are my three key defensive tools. The hydraulic disc brakes get the job done when it is time to come to a rapid stop. Being able to "Whoah" is as important as the ability to "go". All you can do is have good options for avoidance, and make good use of them.
 
Yes many many americans break the law, what is it supposed to be 750watt and 20 mph

I am 100% in full favor of laws, I 100% believe the speed in the UK is fine but the limit should be raised to 500 watt for hills
some states it's 1000W and 28MPH
The ebike police in my town have stock Aventon Aventures and they go 31MPH lol
 
I think we may only see the "negative" side of the US on TV and forums, 2000w motors, 70mph bikes, I assume that is a minority, also it is a thing, in the US everything is made to be not only bigger but "aggressive|" when you compare e bikes from over the world and US ones that look like crazy machines. One example a Canon camera here has a number there it is a "Rebel" if you see what I mean
All this talk of zillions of watts as a bad thing really comes from not understanding thru experience that all those watts don't translate into crazy speeds. And further, how electricity works insofar as motor wattage is concerned. For example:

Wattage output is a function of volts x amps. So even a lowly 36v battery, which charges to 42v when it is at 100%, mated to a very tame 20a controller (very commonly in use on manufactured ebikes; mine came with that combo in 2017). 42v x 20a = 840 watts. Not 750w and certainly not even 250w. Furthermore, that bike had a motor stamped 350w on the outside. Once you understand how this works, it should very quickly become obvious to you that almost nothing in the EU conforms to the 250w limit. In fact, manufacturers largely stopped advertising 250w output and instead started substituting Newton-Meter output in their advertising. Thats an unregulated number (absent the 4x output rule that isn't quite EU law IIRC).

Using the math above, go ahead and try and find a way that a bike with a 48v motor can possibly conform to 250w output, and more importantly read the EU laws (still used by the UK) that govern what allowable peak output is; never mind the average output measure. A 48v battery is 54.6v charged to 100%, and how do we keep that peak output under 250w? Well, a measly 5 amp controller exceeds the limit at 273w. So even if you do some convoluted gymnastics to come up with an average output rating, the 250w limit is exceeded by everyone. Period. The same is largely true of 750w in the USA and there is ZERO regulatory appetite to change this, since an ebike with 'legal' power is gutless, nobody would buy them, and ebike adoption is a priority for the government at pretty much all of its various levels beyond the local city council. Crushing the life out of the platform is not going to happen.

The toothpaste is already out of the tube on this subject; especially here in the USA, so get used to it.

About the not-understanding of power and how it translates to actual speed, by way of simple example, my full-power twin hub commuter, which has two '750w' motors powered by two independent controllers, each rated for 35a and both powered by a single 52v (58.8v on a 100% charge) battery, lets see how that translates on paper: 58.8v x 35a = 2058w. 2058 x 2 = 4116 watts. Also since both motors are rated for 80 Nm thats 160 Nm of torque. But of course these are peak numbers and not continuous, first and foremost. Next, I have dialed the controllers on both motors to use full amps but slow-start so power rolls on sanely, and...

... since I am a pedaler and not a throttler, the two motors are both tied to one pedal-assist sensor, and my pedaling puts the bike at a top speed of about... 28 mph, which is legal for an ebike in a bike lane here. Furthermore, I have geared the bike so I have a very large chainring in front and a very small one in back. So I can pedal up and over the 28 mph limit to about 34; especially on the way home with our normal afternoon tailwind. Nobody cares, and that includes the traffic-enforcement officers stationed roadside who have radar'd me, and more than a few squad cars that have paced me on a 35 mph road where they can do it without being TOO obvious. I'm pedaling, wearing a helmet, I have head and taillights. I obey traffic rules (stop lights and so on).

So, 4000w is not some bugaboo Millenium Falcon. Doesn't work that way. BTW my hill climber cargo bike, also 2wd, has 20a out front, 30a in back, 52v battery and the math on that one is 2940w. Its top speed is 25 mph if I really REALLY work at it, but since it goes up hills, it spends a lot more time at 10 mph or less (on a pedestrian path). Bicycle gearing matters.
 
Back
Top