Buying first electric bike for woman, hilly area... help please


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Hi everyone! 👋

I'm looking at buying my first electric bike and would really appreciate some advice. I have cycled for fun and for commuting in the past before. I have a Ridgeback velocity 2014 21" low frame which I love, my favourite bike ever. The riding position is great. The problem now is that I have some health issues which means I packed the weight on and now struggle with hills... and live in an area with many steep, long hills. I'm also unfit and need to lose weight pretty desperately so getting back to cycling would be great. 5ft 11"/178cm tall, 240lbs/108kg.

So, my bike wishlist -
-Lots of power to get me up the steep hills without having to pedal very hard or stop (my main reason for wanting an electric bike)
-Low frame so I can ride in a skirt without flashing people, ha
-A large frame like the one on the ridgeback, since it's way more comfy and fun riding stretched out than sitting up
-Being able to safely ride at my weight and ideally being able to carry some heavy luggage with me
-Would be nice to have front suspension, mudguards, rack, lights, etc and the bike being able to handle going off smooth roads but definitely not priority and I don't want a mountain bike as I hate the riding position.
-Good quality components that last a long time as this is a big investment for me
-Price is definitely a factor too... I can't believe how expensive ebikes are! My old bike cost £200 and I can buy a conversion kit for under £500... If I thought I could pull it off, I'd convert my old one.

I've already looked at so many bikes.. my head is spinning. Would anyone have any recommendations, or just general advice. For example, is it worth forking out the extra cash for a bike with one of the best motors... I've done a bit of research and it seems the higher Nm ones are best for hills? I've found quite a few with 85Nm torque but these are more expensive than the 50Nm torque ones, maybe an extra 1/3 on top. Would it be worth it in real terms?

Another thing I wondered is that there may be a winter 'sale season' for bikes in the UK so maybe I would be better off waiting for that?

Thanks for reading!
You like your current bike and EU has 250w nominal power limitation anyway, right?
Is the conversion kit you looked at a Swytch?
I saw a few of those kits running around Crater Lake in Sept. The riders looked like they were doing well without straining, one passed me up on a long grade and he was only intermittently pedaling.
Here is the web site with an elevation graph from that ride to give you an idea of the hills they rode.
It should be an easy installation for anyone who can swap out a front wheel but bike shops in Europe might sell this kit and install it for you, maybe even have a bike to test ride(?).
I put a generic front hub motor on my wife's bike, it provides excellent assist in hilly terrain, the motor has never been noticed to be hot even pulling long grades.



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While I have not bought a bike from REI I have bought stuff from them multiple times very good company to deal with
I've been a customer since 1965. One of the best companies out there.