Hill Topper Kit Review

Clean Republic Hill Topper Electric Bike Conversion Kit
40 Lb Electric Bike
Clean Republic Hill Topper 250 Watt Hub
Clean Republic Hill Topper Battery Pouch
Hill Topper On Off Grip Switch
Clean Republick Hill Topper Converted Bike
9 Mm Fork Dropout
11 Mm Fork Dropout
Hill Topper Battery Pouch Switch
Hill Topper Battery Charging Connector
Hill Topper Lithium Battery Pack
Ebike Conversion Kit Lithium Batteries
2 Lb Sprinter Lithium Battery Pack
Topeak Modula Java Bottle Cage
Clean Republic Hill Topper Box
Clean Republic Hill Topper Arrival
Clean Republic Hill Topper Battery Package
Clean Republic Hill Topper Instructions
Clean Republic Hill Topper Guidelines
Clean Republic Hill Topper Electric Bike Conversion Kit
40 Lb Electric Bike
Clean Republic Hill Topper 250 Watt Hub
Clean Republic Hill Topper Battery Pouch
Hill Topper On Off Grip Switch
Clean Republick Hill Topper Converted Bike
9 Mm Fork Dropout
11 Mm Fork Dropout
Hill Topper Battery Pouch Switch
Hill Topper Battery Charging Connector
Hill Topper Lithium Battery Pack
Ebike Conversion Kit Lithium Batteries
2 Lb Sprinter Lithium Battery Pack
Topeak Modula Java Bottle Cage
Clean Republic Hill Topper Box
Clean Republic Hill Topper Arrival
Clean Republic Hill Topper Battery Package
Clean Republic Hill Topper Instructions
Clean Republic Hill Topper Guidelines

Summary

  • Simple front hub motor wheel-kit with a basic on/off button designed to convert most bikes to electric
  • Very affordable, especially if you're using an existing bike, easy to install and light weight
  • No LCD display so it's hard to tell how fast you're going or how much battery capacity is remaining
  • No pedal assist mode, Works best with steel forks, make sure you measure your dropout notch and wheel diameter to ensure fit

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Hill Topper

Model:

Hill Topper Kit

Price:

$399 USD ($499, $795, $1,295 Depending on Battery)

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

6 lbs (2.72 kg) (From 3 to 12 lbs Depending on Battery Size)

Motor Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Brake Details:

Rim Brake and Disc Brake Compatible

Wheel Sizes:

24 in (60.96cm)26 in (66.04cm)28 in (71.12cm)

Accessories:

Wires to Connect Battery with Throttle and Motor, Throttle Trigger Button with Velcro Bar Connector, Included Bicycle Tire and Tube, Smart Shut Off Charger Included (US 220-240v, 50-60hz)

Other:

Three Year Extended Warranty for $29 (Does Not Include Battery), 30 Day Money Back Guarantee Minus 5% Restocking Fee, Options: $399 Economy 8 Mile Battery (LiFePO4 24 Volt 7 Amp Hour, 5 lbs), $499 Lithium-ion 10 Mile Battery (Li-Ion 24 Volt 4.4 Amp Hour, 2.3 lbs), $795 Lithium 20 Mile Battery (Li-Ion 24 Volt 10 Amp Hour, 4.5 lbs), $1,195 Lithiumion 20 Mile Battery, They No Longer Offer a Sealed Lead Acid Battery on New Kits

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

7 ah (Optional 4.4 or 10 ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

252 wh (Optional 158.4 ah and 360 ah)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours (Varying by Battery Size)

Estimated Min Range:

8 miles (13 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad (Press and Hold to Activate Motor)

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

15 mph (24 kph)


Written Review

Clean Republic (renamed Hill Topper in recent years) has been around since 2009 selling one of the most affordable, simple and light weight electric bike conversion kits on the market. I have actually owned two of these kits, fitting them onto mountain bikes and road bikes alike. This is one of the least expensive ways to get into the world of electric bikes but the offering is very basic… you don’t get a computer, integrated lights or even a throttle, just a button that velcro’s onto your handlebars for “go”. It works well enough however and there is a chip inside the controller that reads the RPM of the motor, optimizing power use. Limitations aside, for many applications this kit is adequate and the company has been reliably selling it for quite some time with new battery options and even a smaller 20″ wheel kit on the way soon! I am a huge fan of the new “kit economy” setup that weighs in at just ~8lbs total and only costs $399. With this kit you can effectively create a sub-40 pound electric bike for under $650 including a basic bike and that’s awesome!

This kit will not turn your bike into a moped or carry you up steep hills, especially if you’re a heavier rider, but it will make riding and climbing a lot easier. In fact, one person who lives on the island of Bonaire added it to his tandem bicycle and was very impressed with how much easier it made the ride (especially on windy days) for him and his friend. The motor offers 250 watts of power and is paired with 24 volts coming from the battery, which is definitely on the low end for ebikes. Depending on the battery configuration you choose this bike could go from 8 to 40 miles and weigh between 8 and 12 pounds. Pricing for these kits ranges from $399 to $1,295. The motor is a geared 8FUN design that offers a bit more torque and runs relatively quiet and smooth.

The battery pack is grouped together with the controller and battery management system in a little black bag. There are two wires protruding from the bag; one wire is for charging, the other connects to the bike for riding. The Lithium-ion batteries used in the Hill Topper are very similar to older laptop batteries and are fit into a brick configuration. The pack itself has straps that connect to your seat, rear rack or top tube. It’s a simple design that you can customize easily (as shown in the images and video above). I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to cram my battery pack into a water bottle that could easily fit on the down tube but ultimately settled on a black canvas pouch instead because it looked better. I bought an adjustable Topeak Modula Java water bottle cage that could hold the canvas pouch and this worked great. I also considered the Salsa Anything Cage which could fit a much larger pouch but ultimately didn’t need the extra size. Another good option is the Battery Frame Bag from Leed, another ebike kit maker with very similar kits to the Hill Topper.

Before going too much further it’s very important to cover the hub motor and wheel itself. This is the core of the kit and is designed to easily swap out with your existing front wheel. Two important things to consider here… First, make sure your bike has a steel front fork or purchase one online to use instead of carbon or aluminum. You could take the risk and use a torque arm to lessen the impact on other fork materials but steel is recommended and it would be a bummer to break your bike and faceplant. The second important consideration is the width of your dropout notches. These need to be 7/16in (11mm) or you’ll have to file them down. I tried to use this kit with my both my Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike and Secteur road bike and they were too narrow at 5/16in (9mm). I ended up buying a Schwinn City 7 that worked great but required two extra washers to keep the hub from scraping the fork. Just look at the pictures here and the measurements provided, reach out if you have questions… it’s not a great feeling to get a kit and realize it might not work, or would require modification.

In summary, Clean republic has identified a lightweight minimal solution and packaged it into four kits by price, weight and range. This really speaks to the tinkerer inside of me that sees all of these very expensive full ebikes and wants to make one of my own. The front hub setup is a bit uncommon, but ultimately distributes the weight evenly across the frame which is nice. The battery pack and wires aren’t beautiful, but they get the job done and can be organized well enough with zip ties. The kit isn’t super strong but for what you’re paying it is very effective and on par with the standards in Europe that limit motors to 250 watts. Check that your bike will work then give one of these kits a try.

Pros:

  • Very affordable, works with existing bikes (just make sure your fork is steel and the dropout notches are wide enough (11mm) or be prepared to file them yourself)
  • Light weight, one of the lightest kits available because it’s super minimalist
  • The on/off button works well with drop bars or bar ends because it’s easy to position vs. many other kits that rely on plastic handlebar mounts
  • The hub motor offers good torque and is lightweight, the wheel plus motor weighs just ~8lbs
  • Battery packs come in many configurations at different price levels to suite your needs

Cons:

  • No throttle option or pedal assist, just an on/off button that mounts with velcro
  • The axle is pretty wide and may not work with your bike, check that your dropout notches are 11mm
  • The kit may require some adjustments to work with your bike, depending on your fork you may have to get extra washers
  • The wires can be long and unsightly but that’s the tradeoff for flexibility in mounting options
  • No computer to measure speed, distance or remaining power, no integrated lights
  • The wheel arrived in decent shape but needed to be trued after shipping, the spokes were just a bit off and I could hear my brake pads scraping on the uneven side of the rim
  • The disc brake setup didn’t match the configuration of my road bike, it was too far out towards the side… required some washers and experimenting to get right

Resources:

More Hill Topper

Hill Topper Folder MTB Review

  • MSRP: $1,199
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A full-sized folding electric bike with 21 gear combinations for efficient and comfortable pedaling, included rear-rack adds utility and fenders keep you clean but may rattle off-road. Single-tube frame design is unique looking and creates space for centrally mounted removable battery pack,…...

Hill Topper City Ultra Review

  • MSRP: $1,199
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A classically styled, city electric bike at an affordable price point that comes stock with fenders and a rear rack to carry that extra gear on longer rides. 350 watt geared hub motor in the front wheel supports a top speed of 20…...

Comments (62) YouTube Comments

Arthur Bloete
6 years ago

Nice complete video. What sort of bag did you uses for putting battery onto bottle cage? I like looks of your set up as opposed to on rear rack. Thanks Art

  Reply
Court
6 years ago

Hi Arthur, great question. I tried a number of different racks, bottle enclosures and bags. I think the final canvas bag you see in the video is from Target. I believe it was designed to protect bottles of wine and had a fold-over velcro top.

  Reply
brian
6 years ago

Will the motor work if the temperature is freezing

  Reply
Court
6 years ago

Hi brian, while I have not had the chance to try this particular kit in below freezing conditions, my guess is that it is possible to ride any electric bike when it’s below zero out. I’m basing this guess on the fact that cars use electric motors to start their engines powered off of batteries much like this bike kit and they seem to start just fine when it’s cold out.

Check out this Wikipedia article describing a car starter and how it works then think back to when you’ve been in cold conditions and started your own car, did it work okay? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starter_(engine)

  Reply
Garret
6 years ago

I just bought the exact same bike you used in your demo. I would like to keep the white tires that came with the Schwinn. How difficult is it to change the tire so it can go on the rim supplied by Hill Topper? Will it fit on the HillTopper rim? I will be commuting about 5 miles on city streets in Chicago which are very flat grade. Wanted to get the smaller Li-On battery to keep the weight down. I can recharge it at work for the ride home. I had the impression from your video that it definitely will pull you along on flat terrain. Great video by the way.

  Reply
Court
6 years ago

Hi Garret! I’m pretty sure you can easily swap the tires so they match. Even though the rim and spoke patterns are not exactly the same I think it will still look great with matching tires. Changing the tires would be just like any normal bike and you can use tire levers to help, they are these plastic tools you use for leverage. Most bike shops carry them for ~$10.

I weigh about 131lbs and the bike had plenty of power and torque to move me on flat grades. Even if you’re heavier, I bet the system will work well. My preference was for the lighter weight battery pack and the benefit is that if you do run out of juice, the bike really isn’t that heavy to just pedal ;)

Your setup sounds good, let me know how it works out! Reach out with any other questions or thoughts!

  Reply
Garret
6 years ago

Thanks for such a quick reply! Thought it was such a funny coincidence that I bought the same bike prior to seeing your video. I understand that the HillTopper is a motor that allows the wheel to roll freely when under human pedal power only. I am about to pull the trigger on the exact motor you used in your video and battery. My remaining issue is: is it so noisy that I’d be better off with the other type of motor that makes it harder to pedal but is quieter running; and whether to go with a more powerful motor than the HillTopper.

  Reply
Court
6 years ago

I think for the price, the Schwinn is a decent bike and it works well with the Hill Topper kit. The motor it uses is a 250 watt geared hub motor that’s built into the front wheel. There are two kinds of hub motors (geared and gearless) and gearless offers less torque but coasts smoother and is quieter. Since this is only a 250 watt having it be geared offers more torque and keeps it light weight. Now, it may wear out faster because those gears are rubbing and it won’t coast quite as smooth… but honestly it coasts just fine. I really like the kit shown in the video with the smaller lightweight pack. As long as you aren’t trying to have this thing pull you up large hills or if you weigh a lot and don’t plan to pedal along then you will be fine and it’s a good choice :)

  Reply
Jason
5 years ago

Thanks for the review. Any more info on real world averages for battery range? I know 10 miles is nominal and depends on terrain, weight, how much you pedal, but sometimes the nominal ratings are way off.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Jason! I wish I could provide more insight for you. During my time installing and testing it I never ran the battery completely out and definitely went over 10 miles (though it was pretty mild terrain and I only weight ~130 pounds). If I get the chance to do another test ride or hear from other owners I’ll update this comment :)

  Reply
Ken Knight
5 years ago

Any idea how long the 2 pound battery might last before I has to be replaced?

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Ken, it depends on which battery type you choose. Lead acid may last 500 charge cycles while Lithium-ion can get 1,000+. It also weighs less than Lead acid but may be more sensitive to extreme temperatures.

  Reply
Duane
5 years ago

Hi…cool website….just wondering…what would be a the right kit to get for a Miami Sun Tricycle….and how much weight can it pull with both rider and bike…thanks…

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Great question Duane, I think the Hill Topper could work but it depends on the wheel size you need. I’m guessing the front wheel has a 20″ diameter and I hear Clean Republic is working on one with their kit installed… I know you can get one with the Leed kits right now but it costs $120 extra.

  Reply
Jim Miller
5 years ago

I farm about 3 acres, including muddy ground on hillsides. I just bought an adult trike – 26″ Kent Alamada Adult Tricycle from Walmart ($211.97 with tax and store pickup). I will occasionally load the trike with 250 lbs of veggies and I weigh 230. I need a front wheel drive electric hub motor kit with high torque. I don’t care about travel speed. I need to carry the load uphill through soft soil and/or mud. I have a small 12 volt SLA which will due for now. I want to run the trike over growing Fava beans and not wreck them; thus weight is a concern. I need quality and long life with a long warranty or be able to buy an extended warranty at a low price. What is your recommendation? – Jim

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Jim! That’s a pretty tall request but some of the stronger kits (which are also lighter weight) could probably help you out. Have you seen the Falco Hx 500 Motor Kit? Even the Clean Republic Hill Topper kit here would help (and be less expensive). I don’t think you’re going to be able to easily use the Sealed Lead Acid battery you’ve got. If you really want to get technical I suggest visiting the Endless Sphere forum where people do more mods and order motors and stuff from overseas.

  Reply
Heinrich C.
5 years ago

I’m thinking of getting the hub motor without the spokes and tire kit so it could fit my mountain bike which is what I use to commute to work. However, I’m not knowledgeable when it comes to spoking/truing the hub to a wheel. How much would it cost to do so? I want it to fit a 29″ wheel with disc brakes.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hello Heinrich, I believe they offer a 700c version of the wheel and this is the equivalent of 29″ so that could work. The rim might be narrower than your wheel… Would suggest reaching out to them to confirm and ask about it. In order to spoke the wheel into your bike you will need a rim and the correct size spokes. It’s not very easy I’m afraid, I’ve never actually spoked an entire wheel but I know it takes some special tools and a lot of time.

  Reply
Karl schuler
5 years ago

I’m a Clydesdale–I weigh 230 pounds and I’m 6.4. I’ve converted my Mtn bike into a hybrid. I use it for creek trail biking and I want to use it as a commuter too. Depending on hills I can easily maintain 12-14 mph on it for miles on a road vs a gravel trail. I’d like to boost it up to 18-20 mph when I’m commuting on a road with some modest hills. My round trip is 18 miles. I don’t want to be under powered and I want to max battery life when charging. I’m thinking I need a 300-350 watt motor given my size and a 30-40 mile range battery. What are your thoughts? I’m also thinking it needs to be a front wheel booster given my weight. Thoughts?

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

I’m always thinking about the trade off between weight and power. The front hub motor is going to be easier to install and service but could add stress to a suspension fork if that’s what you have. I like the 250 watt Hill Topper because it’s light weight and affordable. I think it could help meet your goals with one of the larger batteries for range… You’re already getting the 12/14mph so the extra boost should get you to ~18 but you’ll have to hold the throttle button the whole time (or twist a throttle with one of the kits from E-BikeKit or others). I like the 350 watt geared kit from them. Hope this helps… I like pedal assist but that might require a purpose built ebike. Also check out the 8Fun mid-drives, the BBS01 could get you what you want and does have pedal assist.

  Reply
bob thrasher
5 years ago

Hi, I have carbon forks (Bontrager) on my TREK road bike with regular brakes (my weight is 170lbs). Does the motor really create that much torque/shock that I could break these forks? If I only hit the ON switch after I am moving would that lessen the risk of breakage?

Also, what limits the speed to 15 mph? Or is that just the nominal speed on flat ground? I am interested in using the motor an as assist. Can i ride faster than 15 mph and will the motor still assist?

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Bob, great questions… I’ve been using a kit like this with a low end suspension fork for several months now and initially had the same concerns about how it would impact the ride and whether it could be dangerous. So far the bike has held up fine and the gentleness of the 250 watt motor (which activates slowly and smoothly) seems fine. I’m not a mechanical engineer or materials scientist but it seems like a carbon fork could handle the ~5 pounds of increased weight and the minimal torque applied at the dropouts, especially if you activate it with the bicycle already moving to minimize strain. To address your second question, the kit will perform at upwards of 15 miles per hour but won’t add much assistance above 20. the motor is a geared hub with freewheel built in so if you go faster than 20mph it will just spin and not help or hurt. I hope this helps you decide, ride safe out there!

  Reply
Grant
5 years ago

I have had the 20 mile lithium Hill topper for 3 years. I commute about 7 miles round trip with a fairly steep 3/4 mile hill. I weigh 175 lbs. I use power the whole way. It is mounted on an old Panasonic touring bicycle. I ride in the second from highest gear on the flats, 3rd from lowest on the hill. I am spinning w/ little effort on the flats, working moderately on the hill. I love this set up and got one for my wife w/ the 10 mile lithium (mainly for climbing the hill). She weighs about 95 pounds and blows by me on the hill.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Awesome feedback Grant! Thanks for sharing your experience with this kit, it goes a long way for others who might be considering it for themselves :)

  Reply
rokky
5 years ago

I have several EV Warrior Electric Bikes (mountain bike) and I would like to convert one to a front wheel hub drive. The EV Warrior is a rear wheel friction drive, 24 volt with twin motors each being 450 watts. Speed is around 20 MPH and distance from 10 to 15 miles using 2-12 volt sealed Lead Acid batteries. Friction drive is quick, but when on wet pavement you just spin your wheel. My question is: Will the Hilltopper give anywhere near the quick starts of the friction drive and will I be able to climb a 12% grade (driveway) using both motor and peddling? By converting to the hub drive I will eliminate 45 pounds from the rear of the Warrior by removing the motors, motor bracket, electronics and batteries. Bike in that configuration would weigh about 45 pounds. I weigh 175. Thanks for your help.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Great description… Thanks for being so clear about the bike! It sounds like the dual motor friction drive delivers quite a bit more power (450 watts times 2) but weighs a lot and doesn’t perform so well in wet conditions. If you switch to the 250 watt Hill Topper you likely will not get the same zip from standstill but it will operate more quietly, work better in wet conditions and be more efficient overall. If we just pretend that you’ve got a 45 pound bike with a 20 pound Hill Topper kit = 65lb total and that you weigh ~175 and want to do mostly flat riding with a few short inclines (and are willing to pedal along) I think this would work very well. I recently did a video called “Can the Hill Topper Top Hills” trying to demonstrate that while the kit alone may struggle up steeper hills, a bit of pedaling can get you there. I hope this helps you out!

  Reply
rokky
5 years ago

Thanks Court for the quick reply. Sounds like the Hill Topper just might work for me. Even though the EV Warrior is quick on take off the weight of the bike is a detriment. That said, motors are hard to come by as the bike was built in 1996 and then the company went bankrupt that same year due to bad PR. The bike itself is bullet proof. It was designed and built by Malcolm Bricklin the car guy and Curry of Curry industries who did the electronics. However, the great motors that were used were available until the Gobot crowd bought up all of the them and now they are practically non-existent. The original motors were also used in the Ford Taurus. The were the heater fan motors I’m told. Motors were made by Sanyo.

Luckily I was able to buy up some of them and other parts before that happened, but not enough to feel comfortable. I have four EV Warriors, one of which has never been ridden. The other three have been used intermittently and are still in great shape. I bought them new from the bankrupt stock several years ago. They are great bikes and are loaded with many features such as a duel halogen headlight, turn signals in the twin mirrors and emergency flashing tail light just to mention a few. As the motors become unusable conversion to the hub drive is looming in the future. That’s why the Hill Topper seems like a good alternative and I like the front wheel setup rather then the rear wheel. I just wonder about the power and if it will satisfy my needs. Thanks again for the info. In your estimation how does the E-bike 10K+ kit compare to the Hill Topper 10?

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Wow, that’s an interesting bit of history there, thanks for sharing! Many of these kits are available with different battery sizes but actually use the same motor (usually from 8Fun / Bafang). That’s the case with the Leed kits as well as Clean Republic… it’s basically the same kit but with slightly different batteries, pricing, marketing etc. so I think maybe that’s the case with the E-bike 10K+ kit (though I am not as familiar with it). I would go with the company you feel most comfortabe with.

  Reply
rokky
5 years ago

Yes Court, price is about the only difference as the Hill Topper comes in costing less then the one from Leed. Shipping from Leed is $25.00. Not sure what shipping costs are from Clean Republic. I would probably go with the Hill Topper.

  Reply
Nan
5 years ago

I have a hybrid (city/road) Specialized bike with a carbon fork and aluminum frame (approx 22 lbs) and want to know if this Hill Topper product could be safely used with my bike without harm to the carbon fork. Rider weight: about 180 lbs Distance needed: about 20 to 25 mi. I would use this product to assist with pedaling to help maintain speed of 12 to 15 mph or assist with uphill at a speed of 10 to 12mph. If this is not a good product for my use, is there one that would be better for a bike with a carbon fork? Thank you.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hello Nan, I’m glad you asked! It sounds like we have had very similar setups. I also owned a Specialized road bike with a carbon fork and this was the kit I wanted to use (it’s light weight, affordable and not so powerful that it might weaken the fork). As it turns out, the dropouts weren’t the correct size for my bike and the wheel wouldn’t fit. The dropouts need to be 7/16in (11mm) or you’ll have to file them down. One kit you might explore is the Keyde kit which is also super light weight and sleek. Another option might be to create an electric bike pusher with a Bob Yak trailer. I believe Ridekick may be offering new ebike push trailers again in 2015 but they are currently paused for a supply chain restructure. The final tip I have might be to consider getting a rear hub motor, the 350 watt from E-BikeKit would do well for your setup if you can get the correct wheel size and make sure the dropouts fit. As far as range and power for a road bike, I think any of these kits would suit your needs :)

  Reply
Paul
5 years ago

Hi Court, I bought a fat bike from Wal Mart, the Mongoose Beast with 4″ wide tires. Will there be a hilltopper kit available for fat bikes soon? Also, I know some who will take a regular 26″ rim with hub motor and use those spokes for their fat bike rim since the interior diameter is equal. My only concern going this route is if the hub motor axle would be wide enough to accommodate the fork inserts of a fat bike? Thanks.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Paul! While you could use a hub motor kit for a fat bike, in order to keep the large rim you’d have to re-spoke the wheel and as you’ve said the axle might not be the same. I’d suggest avoiding this… Some people have had luck using a mid-drive kit like the 8Fun BBS02 to convert fat bikes but their bottom brackets tend to be wider and that sometimes makes it not possible. One company that offers their hub motor kit already spoked into a fat wheel is Falco and I’ve actually tested one of their systems installed on a fat bike just like yours! The only downside is that they tend to cost a lot more than the Hill Topper. One final idea for you is to return the Mongoose Beast and get a purpose built Element fat electric bike from Surface 604. They are having a holiday sale and offering $500 off and free shipping (so the bike is like $1,600 or so after taxes). The deal is only good on orange and blue models and requires the coupon code EBRSURFACE604 note that this deal expires December 31st this year. Hope that helps!

  Reply
rokky
5 years ago

Hi Court, Well, after much consideration I was all set to order the Sprinter model, but unfortunately after taking a closer look at the dropouts on the fork the Hilltopper will not work on the EV Warrior. The fork is wide enough at 4 inches, but the dropouts are to narrow at 9MM instead of the required 11MM. Filing the openings another 2MM will take out to much material leaving the fork dropouts a little to thin for comfort. So, I’m thinking of just leaving the Warriors with their original Friction Drive system intact and go for the Turbo 1000 Scooter as an alternative for wet pavement. To bad as I would have liked to have converted to the Hilltopper.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Yeah, that’s a real bummer rokky… I had a similar experience when I got the Hill Topper and was bummed that my original bike would require modification. That seems like risky business, I think you’re making the right call leaving your EV Warrior in tact and exploring other options :)

  Reply
Steve
4 years ago

A bit late to the party, but I’m considering this kit for my Trek 4300. Its a mountain bike that I’ve converted with skinny tires for my 10 mile round trip commute to work. I have a Topeak MTX Trunkbag that is great for the city as I can easily detach it from my bike when I’m downtown. I’d like to place the battery in the bag so that I can quickly detach the bag with battery when I lock my bike up (theft is sadly a problem downtown). My question is, will the cables be ok for this? I’d need to detach the cables before removing the bag but am worried if the cable length is adequate or if by constantly removing and reattaching the cables I’m likely to damage them. Thanks!

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Steve! I don’t want to comment on cable length because I did this review so long ago, they might have shortened or lengthened them so worth reaching out to Clean Republic for details before purchase. As far as the trunk bag, that sounds like a great way to deter theft and vandalism while topping off your charge and yeah… even if you have to attach/detach regularly the plug should be fine. They are built to be tough and some of the designs actually use metal clasps so if you drop them or step on them they won’t crack or break :D

  Reply
Eugene
4 years ago

Hi, I’ve had the hill topper lithium sprinter 12 mile kit since November last year and it’s been my entry into eBikes, without needing a lot of money to get started, or a lot of knowledge to install. I put it on a Walmart cheapo schwinn no-suspension mountain bike that was given to me, in terrible shape and it got me through last winter, my first season trying to live a life without a car in the US in about 10 years! Couldn’t have been happier about it.

Now I’m kind of retroactively educating myself about both bike commuting (with better bikes) and ebikes. I read your ebook and am trying to get the hang of how to calculate range from battery/motor specs. One heuristic I saw was taking the Wh (battery voltage x capacity) and dividing by 20 to get the estimated range of a system.

One thing I’m getting confused about here is the voltage of the hill topper 12 mile battery being listed in the review as 36V, but the clean republic website seemed to indicate a 24V battery. 12 miles = 36V * 6.6Ah battery / (20 Wh per mile), that math works out but with 24V it doesn’t? My guess is that since it’s supposed to be assisting for hills that that 12 mile range is just a manufacturer fudge value…

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Eugene! Congrats on going car free… that’s huge. This review for the Hill Topper is getting pretty old and it seems like they offer a range of options. Perhaps my voltage listing is off and it truly is 24 volt? I do rely on the “divide by 20” approach when estimating range but that’s for a ~170 lb rider on flat paved surfaces using throttle only, accelerating slowly (not all at once) and there being no wind… also the temperature being ~70 degrees outside. In my opinion, some manufacturers do fudge the numbers a bit and others outright deceive for marketing purposes. I don’t get to test each bike fully because it would take too long but that’s why the forum and comments like yours are so important for filling in the gaps, thanks for chiming in and I’m glad you enjoyed the book I created :)

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Dave
3 years ago

Court, your voltage listing in the review is indeed off, the 250W Hilltopper kits are 24 volt.

Grayson Daley
3 years ago

Hi I was wondering if you are able to take off the wheel in this kit and exchange that tire for a 26″ 2.35″ tire Thanks -Grayson

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Court
3 years ago

Great question Grayson, unfortunately I can’t answer off the top of my head but I’d imagine if the rim is their standard 26″ you should be able to fit a range of tires. The kit I purchased and reviewed is now very old but I remember the rim being medium width, not super narrow like road bikes.

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David Palmer
3 years ago

Among their newer options is a pro-pack kit which includes everything but the rim. The standard 26 inch rim they use (according to the website) takes up to a 2.25 inch tire. For a larger tire you could buy the propac kit (motor, wiring, charger and battery) and you can take it to a shop and have it built into a tire for you. No clue what that would cost-but it is an option for larger tire sizes.

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Court
3 years ago

Cool! Thanks for the update David :D

KEN
3 years ago

Hi Court, terrific information. My question is – Do you know of any aftermarket computer that could read the remaining battery power? Thanks Ken

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Court
3 years ago

Hi Ken! No, I’m not familiar with anything that would be easy to connect and use on a bicycle while in use. You can use a volt meter like this to measure batteries when they are not on most ebikes. If you really want feedback about how the system is operating I’d recommend paying more for another kit with an included LCD panel, here are more kits I’ve reviewed recently :)

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KEN
3 years ago

Thanks Court will do.

william
3 years ago

My bike is shwinn tango folding. Will the 12mile kit fit my dropouts. Thanks

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Court
3 years ago

Hi William! I can’t say for sure, it has been soooo long since I covered the Clean Republic kits and I wouldn’t want to lead you astray either way. Try emailing or calling them? They have a toll free number on their website here. Hope it works out for you! They seem like a good company and have been around for several years :)

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Dave
3 years ago

Hi William. I just dropped a 20 Mile Hill Topper kit into a Schwinn Tango folding bike (250W kit, 20″ wheel) a few days ago. I had no problem with the dropouts, it was a snug fit but the motor axle did drop in okay. I had a BIG problem fitting the motor housing itself between the arms of the front fork. My Tango has a very thick front fork and the arms of the fork barely taper at all as they approach the dropouts. The motor housing was rubbing against one arm and the bolts for the disc brake were striking the other arm. I got it working in the end but you might not be comfortable with the amount of filing I had to do (to the motor housing, the heads of the bolts and both arms of the front fork). There have been a few different series of the Tango folders, so your front forks might be different from mine. I would contact Clean Republic and send them a picture and measurements of your front fork (specifically the distance between the arms of the front fork just above the dropouts. Hope this helps.

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Court
3 years ago

Thank you SO much Dave! Fitting the hub motor between my fork arms was also difficult, it rubbed at first on another bike I was testing which did not have suspension… more of a traditional light weight rigid fork with the tapering you describe, I think I tried using washers to spread the fork vs. filing the motor casing and screws. You described the issue and your solutions very well :)

George K
2 years ago

I received my kit yesterday. I ordered the 24v 250w 20 mile 4.5lb commuter kit directly from Clean Republic. They shipped same-day. The product arrived very well packaged. I was very impressed with the quality of the wheel. I installed the kit today. it was just as easy as described except for one minor issue where the output wire from the hub rubbed slightly against the pointed fork of my Trek hybrid. I ground down the fork into a rounded shape taking off perhaps 2mm. Easy job. Everything else was as described. This product has just blown me away. it is EXACTLY what I wanted … an assist for the hills we have in our area. I am 70 and in very good condition but the hills are stressful for me since I had bypass surgery a year ago. With this assist now available to me I will be using my bicycle everywhere for groceries, you name it. We’ll be turning in our electric car off-lease next month and we will not get another one. We can make do with our SUV and these bicycles.

This 24v 250 watt system is more than adequate but when I order a second kit for my wife I’ll probably get the 36v 350 watt system for my bicycle and install the 24 system on hers where the load is less.

I researched e-bikes and kits for over three months before settling on this product as the best value and fit for my needs.

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Court
2 years ago

Hi George, what a wonderful anecdote. Thanks for sharing the experience you’ve had so far and your thoughts on power (the 250 vs. 350 watt version). Clean Republic has been around for several years now and I love that they shipped same day for you and seem to be offering great support. Hope the kits work well for you and your wife :)

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Lee
1 year ago

I have a Charger electric bicycle & have difficulty on steep hills. Since this bike has to be pedaled I can wind up having to push a 65 lb bike up a steep hill. I am thinking of adding this unit to help with climbing. In the event that I could not climb the hill even with this unit it could at least pull itself up the hill while I walked up. For such a purpose I should think the lowest battery should be enough & it would add a bit of range in other conditions although not much because of the added weight.

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Court
1 year ago

That makes sense, there’s definitely a trade-off between added weight vs. the power and range you get but once you’ve already got the motor… I think incremental battery weight is less of a concern. The big question for me personally is how big of a motor to go with. I tend to go with efficient 250 watt motors for around town and then a smaller lightweight (and less expensive) battery :)

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Mike S
1 year ago

Hi I just recently been seriously looking into getting my first Ebike conversion kit and your Youtube videos really helped me a lot regarding the products out there and your own wisdom and experience. I am really interested in the Hill Topper 24v twin package (extra battery for added miles) BUT now a new video from EBO you just released looks like a great product as well.

I seem to understand the difference from the 2 (from comparing them from your website info). EBO being more powerful and gizmo intensified (LCD, Pedal Assist etc). I am planning to get the Twinpack option (40 miles) from Hill Topper, but EBO is just almost at the same price point. Here is my question, which would you think will be more maintenance free in the long run?

EBO having more gizmo that could break and Hill Topper being minimalistic. Hill Topper had been selling their products for a long time as well and have had numerous good reviews. Super love your YouTube channel!

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Court
1 year ago

Hi Mike! The interesting thing about EBO kits is that you can make them simpler if you want. For example, get the LED console instead of LCD because it takes less space and is less complicated. You could probably decide to not connect pedal assist and just use the throttle… and the throttle could be trigger, half-twist, or even full twist. If something eventually does break, I think they will sell you the one part because it’s all modular. I haven’t been in touch with Clean Republic as recently, but they have been around for quite a long time (longer than EBO I believe) and might be worth contacting, maybe ask both companies if they can provide exactly what you want and then consider the colors or wheel sizes and price. That’s the route I’d take, it seems like either company could meet your needs but I wouldn’t dock EBO just because they offer more options, to me that’s a good thing :)

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Turney
1 year ago

Hi Court, thank you for all of your wonderful reviews. I am a bit worried regarding the Hilltopper. I live in a town with many hills and want this to assist me up the hills. I’m an avid cyclist and can do most of the hills with pedal power, but everything I read tells me I need more power. I love of the idea of using my Specialized hybrid bike as I have no interest in those great big and heavy coaster bikes. Do you think I will be happy with the Hilltopper or should I bite the bullet and get something like the CrossCurrent. I’m 66 years old and 155 pounds but have no problem riding my road bike 40 to 60 kms. I’m also not concerned with lots of speed. Thanks for your answer.

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Court
1 year ago

Hi Turney! It sounds like we have similar ride styles. I’m a fit, relatively lightweight guy who can do most of the stuff myself… but my knee is sensitive. Having even a relatively small amount of power makes a big difference. In Europe, the legal limit for ebikes in many places is just 250 watts, but that’s the lowest you see in America. I learned recently that professional cycling athletes will put out 200 to 250 watts continuously on their long distance rides, so that’s actually impressive in terms of kit power! The thing about hub motors is that they cannot leverage the drivetrain gears (if you have gears). This is why most of the European ebikes all use mid-motors. This way, you get a lot more power and efficiency relative to the wattage output. In terms of weight, simplicity, and affordability, hub motors are the winner right now. I feel that if you are already leaning towards the Hill Topper, you probably understand the trade-offs. More power means more weight which means less of a cycling experience and more of a scooter feel. I really liked the Hill Topper and would not feel disappointed buying one again for myself. I hope this helps! There are many options out there and it is great that you could re-use your existing Specialized bicycle. You get a lot more features with something like the Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent, but maybe you don’t need really need that and would value the money savings more? I’d love to hear what you ultimately decide and I wish you luck :)

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Turney Wong
1 year ago

Hi Court, just to let you know what I finally did. I was very fortunate to be able to try a 250 watt Hilltopper on my bike. Both my husband and I thought it was a little weak for the hills of our town so passed on it. Again, I was lucky to find a barely used Prodeco Storm 500 for half the price of a new one. Loved it and bought it. Though it doesn’t have pedal assist it has lots of power to get up those hills. Thanks for your comprehensive reply. Really appreciated it.

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Court
1 year ago

Awesome, glad you found something that works! It’s fun for me to hear what people think after reading vs. riding. ProdecoTech do make a solid line of powerful products… I’m hoping to visit them in Florida later this year to catch up on new models. Feel free to post any more updates about your experience as you get to ride some :D

  Reply

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