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Best Electric Bike for Hilly Commute

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If you do not have a car and need to get to work, you may be looking at using your own two feet or a bike. Well, what if your commute has a lot of hills? Walking may not work due to the distance, and biking uphill can oftentimes be less than ideal. This is where an electric bike comes in. This will help you to get over those hills and to work with much greater ease.

What is the best electric bike for hill commute? The Ariel Rider is the best electric bike for a hilly commute because it can offer 50 miles on one charge, has a cargo area, is affordable for most daily commuters, and most importantly has the power to get you over hills.

We have pulled together the best electric bike choices for a hilly commute to make your buying choices much easier. In making this decision, you will want to consider motor size and power, battery life, design features, and price to make the best purchase that caters specifically to your commute.

bike on top of mountain

What to Look for in an Electric Bicycle for Hilly Commutes 

This is me cruising uphill with a RadRover ebike

All the bikes on our list are designed to handle inclines so you can get to work regardless of any hills that may get in your way. There are some specific things you should be looking for to get the most out of an electric bicycle that can efficiently take you to work.

These are some features that should be included in this type of electric bicycle:

  • Powerful motor: When looking at these bikes, a motor that can handle your weight on hills needs to be powerful. The best electric bicycles for a hilly commute should be 500W to 700W. You will still be able to get over difficult inclines with minimal effort if you have a more powerful motor. These larger motors with greater pedal assistance are typically classified as ‘Class 3.’ Class 3 is the most popular among commuters. Mid-drive motors with lots of torque are also best for these hilly conditions.
  • Larger battery: With a larger motor, the battery will be drained more quickly. If you want to have increased power and distance, you will want to be looking at a larger battery as well. These larger batteries will also take longer to charge, which should be considered based on your timing and commute needs. You can opt for multiple batteries to avoid this problem. 
  • Pedal assistance: For greater capabilities, you will want more levels of pedal assistance to take on more difficult hills. This will also allow you to ride at different levels of leisure when you are not looking at steep inclines.
  • Frame design: Lightweight bikes are often easier to navigate and will make it easier to move uphill. Aluminum frames are typically the lightest and most desired for electric bicycles. This will be easier to navigate and transport in all commuting situations. The bikes designed for commuting usually are narrower (tires and saddle) and do not focus on suspension as much as a mountain bike would for lots of bumps and changes in ground quality. 
  • Breaking technology: if you are looking at going faster speeds, especially downhill, you will want a break that will be able to stop you quickly and safely in the event of oncoming traffic. Better breaks use hydraulics to handle the heavier weight of the electric bike and your weight when moving at increased speeds. 
  • Price: This is often a consideration for almost anything you purchase, but it should also be noted for electric bicycles. Electric bicycles vary considerably in price, and this is not always feature dependent. But larger motors and batteries will typically be more expensive. Most commuter bikes are on the lighter end of the electric bike pricing, but this fluctuates depending on the specific bike you are looking at purchasing. 

These are some of the major considerations you should make when looking at an electric bike for a hilly commute. While many bikes (including some mapped out on our list) offer many of these features, you will need to decide which categories are an emphasis depending on your commuting needs.

Best Electric Bikes for A Hilly Commute 

When we commute, many of us do not want to get sweaty in our work or school clothes. Riding a bike, especially uphill, could jeopardize this, but not with a powerful and efficient electric bicycle. Here are our top picks for electric bikes to check out if you are looking for something that can make your hilly commute easier and more enjoyable.

Ariel Rider

Ariel Rider C-Class Electric Commuter Bike

We are going to start the list off with one of the best hill climbing electric bicycles on the market that also happens to be one of the best value e-bikes as well.

You should check out the Ariel Rider for your commute. The mid drive motor is powerful to take you over steeper inclines and has a lot of features, including front and rear lights, a rear rack, and easy adjustable seating.

We recommend this bike above many other e-bikes because you will get almost everything you need out of an e-bike for an easy commute. The bike can last about 50 miles on one charge and offers 8-speed gears and hydraulic breaks for riding efficiency and safety. It is also comfortable, making it a bike you should definitely consider when looking for a solution to a hilly commute.

What We Like 

  • This is one of the most affordable e-bikes on the market that delivers in all categories for a simple commute 
  • There is very little maintenance associated with keeping this bike running smoothly 
  • The rear rack makes it possible to store some cargo to and from the office 

What We Don’t Like

  • This bike only comes in one frame size which is limiting to different sized users 

Trek CrossRip+

Trek has built a strong reputation for solid construction across their entire line, and their e-bike is no different. With great capabilities for a variety of terrains, the Trek CrossRip+ can go up to 28 mph to get you over those hills along your commute. The 500 Wh battery will also give you enough power to get over steeper hills without a problem.

The CrossRip+ is an aluminum framed and simple cycle, giving you plenty of power and sturdiness without looking bulky.

We would closely compare this to a road bike that allows you to get from point A to B with greater ease. We recommend this bike for rides that are hilly as well as longer distances.

What We Like 

  • This bike is suited for both experienced cyclers and beginners, making it a great fit for all levels 
  • You can change the handles and positions for riding more comfortably on different surfaces 
  • This is one of the more versatile bikes on the market as it can take on many surfaces, road conditions, and distances 

What We Don’t Like

  • The rear rack and storage capabilities are limited so you would need to buy additions for storage 
  • This is not the best option for incredibly congested city streets and performs better on larger and open roads with higher speed allowances 

FLX Trail 

An electric mountain bike is often a great choice for tackling your larger and steeper hills because they are equipped to handle lots of different and intense biking environments.

The FLX Trail will be able to get you over those hills with a 500Wh motor that can be upgraded to a 700Wh. It is lightweight and has a 10-speed setup, giving you lots of biking capabilities.

The tires are versatile for both on-road and off-road biking, and the entire bike is designed for increased durability and reliability. This includes high-tech breaks for safety, a powerful mid motor, and carefully designed mechanisms for shifting gears easily.

We recommend this bike for any commute, but especially those who ride on multiple surfaces to get to work.

What We Like 

  • For the performance and quality offered on this bike, it is offered at a competitive price point compared to bikes of similar caliber 
  • Very easy assembly so you can start using your bike quickly and without hassle 
  • The bike can reach upwards of 30 miles per hour, making your commute faster as well as easier (you will have to put in some physical effort to get to these speeds

What We Don’t Like

  • It can be a bit difficult to adjust to pedaling and the use of the motor at the same time in higher gears 
  • The LED display of the battery level can be difficult to see in bright lighting 

Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0

We like the Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0 because it rides like a traditional bicycle but is equipped with the technology that you want out of an electric bike.

You can take the bike 80 miles on one charge, making it easy to use for a day’s (or multiple days) commute.

The bike can reach up to 28 miles per hour, and the LED screen gives you details of charge, speed, distance, and calories.

The bike has the ability to maintain up to 20 miles per hour on even the steepest of hills, making it easy to climb without sacrificing much speed.

This bike can work well through both city commutes as well as paved trails so you can handle multiple surfaces. This is primarily designed for city riding and commuting, making it a great choice for your needs.

What We Like 

  • The design and seat are comfortable for longer distance riding 
  • You can connect the bike to their Mission Control application which will allow you to make adjustments to the bike’s settings 
  • Gives you to option of helpful pedal assistance and allows you to use the bike for an excellent workout 

What We Don’t Like

GTech E-Bike Sport

One of the simpler e-bikes on the market, while it may not be packed with a ton of features found on other bikes, the GTech E-Bike Sport works really well for getting over hills easily.

When on the highest setting, this bike will be able to make your hilly commute much easier. The aluminum frame is lightweight, making it easy to maneuver and work up steeper inclines.

With two cruising speeds, the Sport model offers an eco-mode that allows for 8 miles per hour speed for flatter terrains and the 15 miles per hour setting for your hills when you need an extra boost.

You can easily fluctuate between speeds to save battery power, which is a 36v lithium-powered battery and offers up to 3 hours of charge.

What We Like 

  • This bike is one of the most affordable on the list and a great option if you do not want to break the bank 
  • The lightweight and ergonomic design makes it easy to get around and even easier to power over inclines with the battery activated 

What We Don’t Like

  • This has a much smaller battery pack at 200 Wh, making its motor and battery much less powerful than other hill-capable bikes
  • The bike is not your best option for very steep inclines as the battery will be used much more quickly 

Haibike XDuro Nduro 3.0

A bike to commute on should be light and fast to make your life a bit easier. The Haibike XDuro Nduro 3.0 is a lightweight mountain e-bike that has a 500Wh battery to assist you in getting over any hills you face on your ride.

We recommend this mountain electric bike because it is versatile, fast, and has a simple and attractive city-capable design for being a mountain bike.

The versatility of the bike comes with its solid tires and rims so that you can handle any surface on your way. An electric mountain bike like this one is a great option when traveling further distances that may require you to travel across areas other than city streets without facing any issues with your tires.

What We Like 

  • An 11-speed bike like this one is perfect for a hilly commute as well as versatile enough to use for great exercise 
  • Advanced hydraulic braking system to keep you safe in stopping quickly 

What We Don’t

  • This bike is not designed for those who will only be traveling city streets on their commute 

Aventon Pace 500

For shorter hilly commutes on a bike that is one of the more affordable in the electric bike market, you should check out the Aventon Pace 500.

The bike comes in multiple frame sizes so you can find the best fit, depending on your height. It boasts a 750W motor at its peak to help you climb those hills and can reach up to 28 miles per hour.

For its price point, it is one of the faster bikes on the market and gives you options for the different levels of pedal assistance.

The battery will last between 30 to 50 miles on one charge, depending on the level of assistance and the number of hills you tackle.

You can keep track of this and other info such as speed and distance on the large display screen.

What We Like 

  • This quality electric bicycle is being offered at an incredibly low price, making this technology available to a much wider range of people 
  • You have a wide range of control on pedal assistance, giving you a choice between a solid workout and zero effort required 

What We Don’t  

  • This bike is not the most versatile for varying road conditions and should be kept to city streets exclusively 

Yamaha Wabash E-Bike 

The Yamaha Wabash is one of the more versatile e-bikes that will do well for a city commute and for some off-roading on the weekends.

This is a gravel bike, meaning it can be used on a variety of surfaces without stopping you, including gravel and roads. When you start to approach steep hills, the pedal assistance kicks in to help you get over them easily.

This bike is also packed with lots of features, including a rear rack to hold additional cargo, a screen to give you all your journey stats, and a 500Wh lithium ion battery. The bike comes in multiple frame sizes so that you can find the best fit.

What We Like 

  • The bike comes with a 3-year warranty for any issues with the battery, drive unit, or frame 
  • The ergonomic design makes it efficient to use and comfortable to ride for extended periods 
  • The versatility in ground surface makes this bike a great investment for commuting and leisure. 

What We Don’t 

  • The lack of shock absorption can be a little startling on roads that are not as smooth 
  • At 42 pounds, the bike is on the heavier side which can be harder to carry upstairs or into the office

Cannondale Moterra Neo 1 

While this is one of the most expensive electric bicycles on our list, we thought we would add the Cannondale Moterra Neo 1 because it does really well on tough climbs for your commute and is a really well-made electric bicycle. With one of the strongest motors available for electric bikes, it can handle various inclines throughout your trip with four pedal assistance levels.

This bike can be easily taken from the city to the trail, giving you a versatile bike you can use for all your biking activities. It is very easy to maneuver in all different terrain situations and a sleek design that makes the ride not only efficient but good looking too. We recommend this bike if you are looking for a top of the line product for all biking environments.

What We Like 

  • Users find this bike to be a lot of fun because it can handle the off-roading adventures but also be used for more casual riding too 
  • The strong motor (especially in turbo mode) will allow you to move quickly and easily with minimal effort 

What We Don’t 

  • At over 50 pounds, this is one of the heavier electric bike offerings on the market 
  • The rear brake technology could be improved to make stopping power safer and more efficient with a larger rear rotor 
  • This is one of the most expensive electric bicycles on this list (and on the market) which can be unattractive to many potential user 

Gocycle GX 

Offered with a 500W motor, this is a fast and convenient electric bicycle that has a cool feature that none of the others on this list do, it folds!

This makes it very easy to store and lightweight to take with you anywhere (weighing less than 40 pounds), including public transportation. It has a 40-mile range, making it a great choice for somewhat long commutes.

This is a surprisingly sturdy bike for its specs and offers 3 gears with varying levels of assistance. While it can fold, it still feels like a solid and traditional bike when used. We recommend this bike if you are looking for an all-round quality e-bike and want to ability to easily transport when not riding it. It also comes in multiple colors to match your style.

What We Like 

What We Don’t

  • Compared to other folding e-bikes on the market, this one is a little bulkier and may be harder to store in tight spaces 
  • The battery takes 7 hours to completely recharge, which may be too long for your needs (you can opt for a 4-hour quick battery charger instead)

Spinciti E Bike 

While this product is still in its crowdfunding stage, we want to include it here because it has received great reviews and may be worth the wait (crowdfunding is to ensure orders can be filled).

Coming in multiple motor levels, we recommend the 500W motor for your hilly commutes. This is an attractive e-bike commuting option because it is very lightweight and fast.

With an 8-gear shifting system to handle hills, you will also get around 50 miles on a full charge (this is dependent on your power settings). Hydraulic breaks are also an important feature that makes breaking easy and safe in tight situations. We recommend this bike if you are interested in new technology that delivers at an affordable price point for your commute.

What We Like 

  • The bikes come in multiple frame sizes and a variety of colors for you to choose your favorite to ride to work
  • You can pair your smartphone to the bike with built-in Bluetooth technology 
  • A simple and sleek design make it a great commuter bike and deceptive as to how much power they provide 

What We Don’t 

  • Crowdfunding platform means that you may have to wait to receive this bike which may not be useful for those looking to buy now 
  • The lightweight features are compromised slightly with the larger motors and batteries 

Why Consider an Electric Bicycle?

If you are looking at this article, you have probably already decided that an electric bike is right for you. But if you still need some convincing, an electric bicycle can be a great way to get to work, around town, or use for your recreational activities.

These are the top reasons you should consider riding an electric bicycle:

  • Cost: While the initial investment could be expensive, you will be paying way less than you would for a car or larger motorized vehicle. You don’t have to pay for gas, parking, or worry about car insurance! 
  • Environmental Impact: The electric technology significantly reduces your carbon footprint compared to driving a car or riding a motorcycle. If you are environmentally conscious and want to reduce the amount of chemicals in the air, you can do your part with an e-bike. 
  • Ease of Storage: You will not have to have a parking spot or a large area to keep your bike. This is helpful for those who live in smaller places or do not have access to parking for a car or larger scooter/motorcycle. 
  • Simple to Ride: If you do not want to get exercise while riding a bicycle so that you can just casually enjoy getting to your destination, the e-bike will provide you with pedal assistance to get there easily. You can also turn it into a great form of exercise when you do want a good workout. 

Electric Bikes for Hilly Commutes 

We’ve given you a comprehensive list of electric bikes you should consider when looking for one that can tackle hilly commutes. Our pick from this list is the Ariel Rider for its performance in getting up hills, working your way around town, and choosing a bike that will not be too pricey. It isn’t often that a bike that performs well in almost all categories is also a great value.

E-bikes are a great solution to making your commute easier, faster, more convenient, and being mindful of your carbon footprint in the process.

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