Electric bikes for hills
How to find the right electric bike to tackle those steep, challenging slopes.
Updated . What changed?
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
If the thought of riding up steep hills is enough to put you off cycling, an electric bike could be a smart purchase. E-bikes provide motorised assistance to help you climb hills and cycle longer distances much more easily, but some bikes are better at climbing hills than others.
Keep reading to find out how to find the best electric bike to tackle the hills near you.
What is an electric bike?
An electric bike is a bicycle that includes a battery-powered electric motor. The majority of electric bikes in Australia are pedelec (or pedal assist) models, with the motor providing assistance when you start pedalling.
You can choose the level of assistance you want, but once you reach 25km/h the motor won't provide any more help.
The main advantage of electric bikes is that they allow you to ride further with less effort. This helps make long-distance touring and riding up steep hills more accessible to a wide range of riders.
How effective are electric bikes at riding up hills?
There are several factors that influence how quickly and easily an e-bike can ascend a hill. These include:
- Type of motor. Mid-mounted motors are generally more effective at climbing than hub motors.
- Torque. More torque means better climbing ability, so check the manufacturer's spec sheet for torque figures.
- Weight. The weight of the bike will obviously influence how hard the motor has to work to get to the summit.
- Level of assistance. You can choose how much assistance you want the motor to provide.
- The rider. Your weight, fitness level, body position and more will all influence how quickly you get up a hill. You'll also need to set tyre pressures at an appropriate level to maximise your performance.
5 popular electric bikes for hills in Australia
In the market for an electric bike that will perform well in steeper roads? Here are five options you might like to think about. These were chosen based on a number of factors including the type of motor, weight and cost.
XDS E Cruz. Designed for city commuting and cruising, the XDS E Cruz features a mid-drive Bafang 250 watt motor that produces 80Nm of torque.
Cube Cross Hybrid Pro 500 Allroad. Featuring a Bosch PowerTube 500Wh battery and a motor that produces 75Nm of torque, the Cube Cross Hybrid Pro 500 Allroad is designed to tackle everything from roads and bike paths to dirt tracks.
Focus Aventura² 6.6. Not only does this bike offer mudguards, a pannier rack and an 85Nm Bosch motor, but you can also expand the range of the 500Wh battery with a second battery.
Marin Pine Mountain E2. Powered by the Shimano Steps E8000 system, which includes a 500Wh battery and churns out up to 70Nm of torque, the Marin Pine Mountain E2 is designed with bikepacking adventures in mind.
Merida eOne Sixty 8000. With a Shimano EP8 motor that delivers 85Nm of torque, this dual-suspension mountain bike is ready for any off-road adventure.
Where to buy electric bikes online
If you're ready to buy, visit one of the following sites.
Pros and cons of electric bikes for hills
- You can tackle hills you wouldn't normally dream of riding up
- You can ride further and explore new terrain
- You're less likely to turn up to work all sweaty and gross
- There are plenty of different options to choose from, including bikes for many different types of riding.
- Electric bikes are significantly more expensive than traditional bikes
- There are many factors that can affect how well bikes go uphill — it's not just down to the bike you choose.
There's a fair bit to consider when choosing an e-bike to help you tackle hilly terrain. Not only will you need to take factors like weight and torque into account, but you'll also have to compare battery range, bike components and price before deciding which is the best electric bike for hills.
Most importantly, the electric bike you choose will need to be suited to the style of riding you do. If possible, it's well worth test-riding a range of bikes to find one that's right for your needs.
Frequently asked questions
What can I do to ride up hills quicker?
There are several simple things you can do to improve your hill-climbing performance. These include using the correct tyre pressures, improving your fitness, losing weight, choosing the correct gear, and knowing when to sit or stand.
Are there any power limits for electric bikes in Australia?
Yes. It's illegal to ride a pedelec bike on the road or on a bike path if it has a stated power output of more than 250W. For bikes without a pedal assist system, this limit drops to 200W. Check the regulations in your state or territory for more information.
How do I know if an e-bike will be suited to the type of riding I want to do?
While online research helps, the easiest way to work this out is to take that bike for a test-ride. This will give you a chance to see whether the bike is suited for the terrain you want to tackle, while the staff at your local bike shop can also offer advice on how to choose the best electric bike for your needs.Back to top
More guides on Finder
Best controllers for PCs in Australia
These are the best PC controllers you can buy right now in Australia.
Best eyebrow pencils in Australia
We've found seven of the best eyebrow pencils in Australia right now.
Finder Daily Deals: The 5 best online deals in Australia today
Enjoy 26% off the Lenovo Duet Chromebook, 69% off the Cabello Silk Smooth Styler and 21% off the Dell G7 17 Gaming Laptop.
Best caravan parks in Mannum
Find the best caravan parks in Mannum and explore the heart of the Murray River.
Upcoming hybrid and electric car comparison
Compare soon-to-launch electric and hybrid cars.
Best mountain bikes in Australia
These are the 6 best mountain bikes you can buy right now in Australia.
Best milk frothers in Australia
These are the six best milk frothers you can buy right now in Australia.
Best robotic pool cleaners in Australia
These are the 5 best pool cleaners according to each price range in Australia right now.
Best earplugs in Australia
These are the 6 best earplugs you can buy right now in Australia.
Best sunglasses in Australia
From the best overall sunglasses for men and women to the best sunglasses for driving and running, these are the eight best sunglasses you can buy in Australia right now.
Ask an Expert