First Bike Uphill Commute

jjtorgi

New Member
I'm totally new to the world of E bikes and I'm looking to get one for my commute to and from work. I have a hill that's between work and home that is about a mile and 25 to 30 degrees steep. Any suggestions on what I should be looking for in a bike that'd get me home but not have me exhausted when I get there. I don't mind a little effort but I'm not looking for my commute to become my daily workout. Again, I'm a total newb so please forgive me for any silly questions. Looking forward to any suggestions!
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
You might be someone who really needs a mid-drive. Most ebikes have hub motors and then the standard bike gears. The hub motor has one gear, and you use the other gears for pedaling. A mid-drive combines the pedal power and the motor, down the chain to the rear drive gears. That means the motor can use a low, climbing gear, and you can help. Without the low gear, a standard motor is not very efficient, but a big enough motor can deal with the average 9% grade.

The basic mid-drive runs $2k and up. The premium mid-drives, like the German Bosch system, are roughly double the amount for the basic drives, and up. There is one obvious DIY mid-drive, the 8Fun or Bafang BBS-02.

Lots of choices. Basically you would buy a mid-drive, put the bike in a low gear, and work your way up a steep hill, like a big truck on the Interstate. You might be able to rent a bike and see how it actually does.

Pedaling some, but not killing yourself, is what ebikes are about.


http://www.wired.com/2013/03/whats-the-steepest-gradient-for-a-road-bike/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/28/steepest-streets-america_n_4871559.html
 
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Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Slopes are defined by grade, a 30 degree slope is equal to a 58% grade so for every 100 feet traveled you would climb 58 feet! That kind of slope is hard to walk up let alone ride up. One mile at 58% grade would equate to a climb of 3,010 feet. I don't think bikenut's electric motorcycle would even handle that without overheating. Maybe you can plot your route on one of those free ride calculators to get an accurate gradient. Just for kicks here is a guy walking up a 30% grade. -S
 

Nebster

Member
What Shea says. 30 degree slopes, like, double black diamond ski slope aggressive. Also, most dirt can't sustain a much higher slope (without landsliding down to something closer to 30). I can't imagine a paved road that sustains such a slope for a mile, if for no other reason than it would be really dangerous for cars and trucks to go down.

(Could you have a small section somewhere in that mile with a 30 degree slope? Sure...)

So, grab your altitude at both ends and let's calculate it.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Yeah i'd use Panobike or some app that provides the altitude and also the slope on whatever hill you're concerned about.

Let me tell you that a 6 % grade (around 4 degrees) is pretty difficult to pedal up, and very fast to coast down.. I hit 28 mph and wasn't even pedaling...

And most bikes allow you to adjust the pedal assist that will slow you down but also reduce battery and motor load.
 

biknut

Active Member
You guys are way overthinking this. I've noticed electric bicycles seem to attract a lot of jackass engineering types. Jjtorgi didn't mention anything about a slope, or a grade. He said a hill, that's about 25, or 30 degrees steep. A dimwit such as myself easily understood what he meant.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
You guys are way overthinking this. I've noticed electric bicycles seem to attract a lot of jackass engineering types. Jjtorgi didn't mention anything about a slope, or a grade. He said a hill, that's about 25, or 30 degrees steep. A dimwit such as myself easily understood what he meant.

Too funny.. We just call it thinking, which comes easy. Just like the degree they gave us along with the sweet jobs that followed.. Overthinking! LOL
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
This is a 1500 watt hub motor (legal limit is 750w) going up a hill that is probably as steep as any normal paved city hill:

 

biknut

Active Member
I'm not sure about the slope, or the grade, that's for eggheads, but here's some Stealth electric bicycles climbing hills.