How fit do you have to be to climb hills on an e-bike?

JayVee

Well-Known Member
It’s hard work. And it seems like it’s getting harder every year with age…

My latest attempt below. It's a bunch of successive little hills. The grade is sometimes steep.


Another ride but with rolling hills:

 
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Larry Ganz

Active Member
I'm not very fit at 55 due to one working lung at high altitude (and chronic tendonitis with fibromyalgia), so climbing is really tough - hence the eBike (Trek Powerfly 7).

My wife and I have done a couple of rides that have been 17-25 miles long (27-40km) with 1500-1800 feet of climbing (550m). And we also made a couple of easy 30 mile rides with only 800 feet of total climbing. But nothing more than about a 12% grade at the steepest parts of our routine rides. These long climbing rides typically use up about 2-3 bars out of 5 on my 500WH battery.

Your climb was more impressive because you did it over a shorter distance with steeper grades.

I routinely go on a 7 mile ride in my hilly neighborhood (11km), which includes about 850 feet (260m) of climbing for about one third of the ride. While the ride has ups and downs, the total elevation gain is only about 600 feet from the bottom of the hill back up to my house. Without an eBike I could never make the climb, even with oxygen at 5 liters.

I tried it the other day staying in only level 1 out of 4 assist (ECO) for the first time, and I thought I was gonna die by the end of the climb. I didn't even use up 1 out of 5 bars of battery on the ride, but with all the work I did struggling to maintain 5-6mph uphill in 1st gear, I could barely walk the next day. Usually I need 2/4 assist (TOUR) to keep up with my wife on this ride, and level 3/4 (SPORT) to do it effortlessly (more fun, less exercise). Level 4/4 (TURBO) feels like cheating, but boy can it climb steep single track off-road trails in 1st gear in turbo.
 

AguassissiM

Well-Known Member
@JayVee Good job, love the great scenery, may I ask what kind of camera you're using? Like the clarity of the recording and the information that it records.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
@JayVee Good job, love the great scenery, may I ask what kind of camera you're using? Like the clarity of the recording and the information that it records.

GoPro4 Hero Black edition - The GPS overlays are made with Dashware because it's an older model and doesn't have GPS. So the overlays take a bit of work and are not part of the original package. I can share how they are made in my GPS thread (see bel0w). But if you buy a newer cam (GoPro or Garmin) it has software for the overlays.

My GPS experiments thread:

https://electricbikereview.com/foru...iments-using-a-smartphone-as-a-tracker.13786/
 

PaulGee

Member
That is some impressive long distance street climbing on an eMTB. It would be a good work out for an above average fit person in your age range. Were you in the highest assist level most of the time? What bike did you ride on this test trial?
 
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Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Good lord, I'd have a heart attack just looking at that early section! Where on earth is this, and yes, what bike?

Lovely place to ride through for sure.
 
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mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Great video!

My inclines are much shorter runs and not as steep compared to that one. I live and ride between 4900-6000 feet (1495m - 1829m) and any inclines with a slight-heavy headwind and sometimes +100 degree heat (and lower oxygen with the altitude) can wear you out in a hurry. I couldn't have put +2500 miles on my other regular bike in the last 9 month like I could with my ebike.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
I think that no matter what a certain level of fitness helps riding an e bike regardless of the terrain. But hills and headwinds present the biggest challenges.

The town I visited this weekend (Astoria, OR for those that might be familiar) is built on a hill for the most part capped by a column (represented by the highest point on the graph) that looks out towards the ocean. It makes for challenging biking as most of the uphill streets are quite steep although they get intersected by side streets every block if you need a break unlike the first one in jay vees post.

IMG_4042.PNG

The beauty of e bikes is that you can put as much energy in as you want and also as much e assist as you want. For cranking up steep steady climbs however with an eye towards ah consumption and speed human effort helps a lot. This also pertains to headwinds. 450w's consumed btw with a steady edge of sweat effort.
 

emco5

Active Member
JayVee, from the street signs Google said that area is Grandvaux, Bourg-en-Lavaux, Switzerland. The climb is intimidating, I'm humbled. Did you do those hills on your 250 watt Yamaha mid-drive?
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
I'm not very fit at 55 due to one working lung at high altitude (and chronic tendonitis with fibromyalgia), so climbing is really tough - hence the eBike (Trek Powerfly 7).

My wife and I have done a couple of rides that have been 17-25 miles long (27-40km) with 1500-1800 feet of climbing (550m). And we also made a couple of easy 30 mile rides with only 800 feet of total climbing. But nothing more than about a 12% grade at the steepest parts of our routine rides. These long climbing rides typically use up about 2-3 bars out of 5 on my 500WH battery.

I agree with you, Larry. When the elevation gain is progressive, you don't really feel that tired. A couple of years ago I use to live at the bottom of a short but steep 25% grade hill and I had become accustomed to the type of short but intense effort necessary to make the climb. But now I live in an area with rolling hills and mellower grades that allow some time for recuperation. So I'm not accustomed to these bursty little climbs any more.

I used 35% battery for the first 7 kilometers (440 meters elvation gain).

@JayVee
Thank you for sharing, will check your tread out on the weekend since I have no time during the week.

Ok, I've put some instructions in the other thread. :)

That is some impressive long distance street climbing on an eMTB. It would be a good work out for an above average fit person in your age range. Were you in the highest assist level most of the time? What bike did you ride on this test trial?

I was in Standard mode. I didn't use High assist level because it's not much more powerful. It's a Yamaha powered Trekking Sduro.

From the street signs, Google said those hills are in Grandvaux, Bourg-en-Lavaux, Switzerland. That climb is intimidating, I'm humbled. Did you do those hills on your 250 watt Yamaha mid-drive?

This is a 500 Watt 45km/h version of the Yamaha PW. Yes, you're right, it's in Switzerland. The climb is between Lutry and a place called Savigny. There are some massively steep little hills in the vineyards. I actually took one of the easier routes because I knew there would be little or no traffic.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
JayVee - Just curious ...what phone app or GPS device do you use to capture the parameters shown on your GoPro video?

Cyclemeter, but I've tried with some free ones and it works as well. Edit: Think I actually used Map tracks for this particular video as a test - it's free. Just type GPX tracks in your favorite App Store. Dashware is very good at reading GPX tracks from all sorts of sources.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
You don't have to be "fit" as in athletic fit. That's the beauty of an e-bike since you can pedal up to a tolerable limit and then you have a virtual athlete assistant, pushing you along (at whatever assist level you want) like a strong tailwind. For me, it feels like I am 30 years younger and also brought back the fun I had with cycling.
 

Manu

Active Member
Region
Europe
City
Spain (Galicia)
Hello, the trekkin models can remove the load rack of 25 kg of load and remove 2kg of weight that help you climb easier.
It's fine that you still have high unused assistance. It's a rocket.
The game of 20 marches is good in ascent, excellent in level and very good in descent. .... turn off the assist in descent, with the plate 48 and gear of the 11 to 60 turns of foot per minute you catch 50km / h.
The trekkin motor bosh without assistance turned off has 10 speeds and is excellent in climb but in level and down to 60 turns of foot per minute does not surpass the 16km / h, in steeper gradients could even rise with the same effort where the yamaha would have to Go on foot, but we all know that where it is used and spent battery is in the climbs and with the motor of 500w you could with gradients or sloping hills, you could also use the portalforjas and attach another battery and have 1000w of battery capacity ... .and double-step range capabilities. Another option but that would be more technical consultation is to change dishes and improve the gradient section to compare bosh.Cambiar 38 and 48, installing a plate 22-28 and 38 you had but you might need to be able to modify the engine assistance software . According to my calculations in 38 with gear of 11 by human effort to 60 turns of foot per minute I leave ....... 27.4km / h the rest until the 45 km / h would have to deliver the motor for a route In non-extant plain.
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Larry Ganz

Active Member
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Hola, los modelos de trekkin pueden quitar el cargador de carga de 25 kg de carga y quitar 2kg de peso que le ayuda a subir más fácil.
Está bien que aún tengas una alta asistencia no utilizada. Es un cohete.
El juego de 20 marchas es bueno en ascenso, excelente en nivel y muy bueno en descenso. .... apagar la ayuda en descenso, con la placa 48 y el engranaje de las 11 a 60 vueltas de pie por minuto se captura 50km / h.
El trekkin motor bosh sin asistencia apagado tiene 10 velocidades y es excelente en ascenso pero en nivel y hasta 60 vueltas de pie por minuto no supera los 16km / h, en pendientes más pronunciadas podría incluso subir con el mismo esfuerzo donde la yamaha Tenemos que ir a pie, pero todos sabemos que donde se usa y la batería gastada está en las subidas y con el motor de 500w se puede con pendientes o pendientes de pendientes, también se puede usar el portalforjas y adjuntar otra batería y tener 1000w de Capacidad de la batería ... .y capacidades de rango de doble paso. Otra opción pero que sería una consulta más técnica es cambiar los platos y mejorar la sección de gradiente para comparar bosh.Cambiar 38 y 48, la instalación de una placa 22-28 y 38 que tenía, pero es posible que tenga que ser capaz de modificar el software de asistencia del motor . Según mis cálculos en 38 con engranaje de 11 por esfuerzo humano a 60 vueltas de pie por minuto dejo ....... 27.4km / h el resto hasta los 45 km / h tendría que entregar el motor para una ruta En la llanura no existente.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Added a ride with rolling hills. The elevation gain is about 400 meters and I'm using a lot of ECO mode in this video.
 

piper109

Active Member
Magnificent videos JayVee! Great rides. Quite familiar country although its been a while. The sections between Morges and Cossonay (Gollion) were particularly familiar. You must be very fit !! Impressive. Some of your descent speeds were astonishing to me and the climbing speeds were impressive. Clearly your bike has a pretty big upper chainwheel :)
Very nicely done and your camera set up is superbe. Magnifique randonnees dans le gros de Vaud :)
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Magnificent videos JayVee! Great rides. Quite familiar country although its been a while. The sections between Morges and Cossonay (Gollion) were particularly familiar. You must be very fit !! Impressive. Some of your descent speeds were astonishing to me and the climbing speeds were impressive. Clearly your bike has a pretty big upper chainwheel :)
Very nicely done and your camera set up is superbe. Magnifique randonnees dans le gros de Vaud :)

Glad you liked it. The GoPro 4 has benefitted a lot from the latest firmware update. Everything now works like a charm in 'auto' mode. I also purchased a 6 dollar microphone and skeleton casing which have both drastically reduced the exaggerated drive noises that are typically heard with the original waterproof casing.

I was really tired after the second trip (rolling hills) because of the abundant use of ECO mode. Oddly the big hills don't take as much out of me because Standard mode is pretty strong on this bike. It's only when I drop into ECO mode that I get really tired. I'm going to ask the shop where I bought it if they can raise the level of assistance for ECO and ECO+ a bit.