If you are on a regular bike, cycling along enjoying the views you might start to grimace when you notice a steep hill up in front of you. You know the only way to get up that hill is sheer elbow grease and your own personal power, which can falter as we push ourselves up a hill.
If you were in the same situation but on an electric bike then the sight of a steep hill might not be so bad. Electric bikes are the exact same as normal bikes, except electric bikes are powered by a battery and have an electric drive system.
This system takes the pressure off you and the amount you need to pedal.
Electric bikes come in different styles and have different batteries which can make your bike more, or less powerful. These batteries are rechargeable and can travel up to 25 to 45 km/h. Electric bikes are a low cost way of getting from A to B with added health benefits.
1. Electric Bikes and Steep Hills
There are a number of factors that will influence how your electric bike can handle a steep hill. It doesn’t matter how steep the hill is so long as the below features are utilized on your climb.
Type of Electric Bike
If you frequently meet steep hills on your cycling excursions it may be worthwhile looking at investing in an electric mountain bike. Regular electric bikes are best suited to city commutes where you may come across a gentle hill every so often.
These styles of electric bikes may struggle when faced with a steep hill. Electric mountain bikes, like their man-powered cousin, are designed specifically for difficult terrains and hills.
Before purchasing an electric bike ensure that you check local legislation as to what type of electric bike you can legally own. A number of states have a three-category system for electric bikes and this can act as guidance for owners, and potential owners, of electric bikes.
Electric Bike Features
There are three main features that electric bikes often feature that can assist with a steep ascent when on your bike, these are:
Throttle: simply twist your handle to engage your bike’s throttle which will push you forward as you climb to the top. This feature is better for smaller hills but can be used at the bottom of a hill to give you momentum.
Pedal Assist: this feature gives you the most control over the support your bike can give you when climbing a steep hill. You can get high levels of assistance which will help you to maintain a steady cadence as you climb.
Torque Sensors: if you are not fully optimizing your bike’s features the torque sensor will adjust the bike’s settings to give you the support you need when faced with a steep climb. This feature is commonly found in premium electric bikes.
2. Useful Electric Bike Climbing Techniques
If all else fails, knowing what techniques can help you to scale your way up a steep hill could be the one thing that gets you from the bottom to the top.
- Lean your chest closer to the handlebars to push your weight forward.
- Maintaining a steady cadence is very important as the moment you lose momentum is when things will become more difficult. Turn up the pedal assist on your bike to a high setting to ensure you can keep at the same pace up the hill.
- Prepare for the top of the hill to avoid any injuries, adjust your bike’s power to ensure you do not fall over your handlebars when you get to the flat surface at the top of the hill.
3. Benefits Of Using An Electric Bike?
- Fitness benefits – cycling is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise and even on an electric bike you can get exercise.
- Environmental benefits – electric bikes do not create as much pollution as a car or motorbike. Using an electric bike can help to improve the air quality due to fewer carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
- Monetary benefits – electric bikes may seem expensive initially but in the long run, they will save you money. Replacing your battery every two years is much cheaper than filling a car tank of fuel every week.
- Fast and Time Saving – electric bikes are perfect for inner city commutes as you can make use of bicycle lanes that have much less traffic than car lanes, allowing you to save time on your commute and get where you need to be much faster.
4. Frequently Asked Questions
Do Electric Bikes Give You Exercise?
While electric bikes do give you more support than a regular bike they are still found to elevate both breathing and heart rate so that you get a decent workout. Regular bikes do give a greater, longer workout and so if you are more concerned about workouts rather than saving time a regular bike may be better suited to you.
Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?
Like most products, electric bike features will vary between models and manufacturers. Only some electric bikes have a feature whereby your pedaling is converted into electricity which the battery uses. Most bikes need their batteries to be recharged by plugging them into an electrical socket.
Once the battery’s run out of charge you need to pedal to make the bike move.
How Long Do Electric Bike Batteries Last?
Depending on the make and model of bike you have, batteries should have a lifespan of two to five years. Battery life spans are influenced by how much they are used, how often they are charged, and the type and brand of battery that is being used on the bike.
When charging your battery a charge should allow for 100 to 120 km to be covered before the charge runs out. Some batteries will last for longer, this depends on the bike and battery brands.
It is important to note that you should only charge your battery when at 0% to ensure battery health is maintained.
If you recharge the battery when it is not fully empty this will damage the lasting power of the battery as it will become used to being charged before reaching 0%.
Is It Possible To Replace Electric Bike Batteries?
Yes, you can replace electric bike batteries. You should consider doing this when your battery is not holding its charge or if you have had the battery for more than two years.