Best eBike for Hills: Mid Drive vs. Hub Motor Comparison

When it comes to going uphill on two wheels, one may wonder: what's the best ebike for hills? Well, below we will see how to reach the top of the mountain!

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Quick Comparison: Best Electric Bikes For Hills

1. Emojo Wildcat Electric Mountain Bike

2. Big Cat USA Fat Cat XL 500

3. BAKCOU Storm G2 EBike

4. Green Bike USA Infinity Electric Bike

5. 2019 Rambo R750 Electric Bike

6. Biktrix Juggernaut Classic HD

Emojo Wildcat
big cat usa fat cat xl 500
bakcou storm ebike
green bike infinity
rambo r750 electric bike
biktrix juggernaut classic hd

Power: 500W
Range: 25 Miles
Speed: 20 MPH

Power: 500W
Range: 30 Miles
Speed: 20 MPH

Power: 750W
Range: 40 Miles
Speed: 24 MPH

Power: 500W
Range: 50 Miles
Speed: 20 MPH

Power: 750W
Range: 19 Miles
Speed: 19 MPH

Power: 1000W
Range: 30 Miles
Speed: 35 MPH

Key Motor Feature: Power or Torque?

To climb the steepest hills, power is a must, but it's not the only factor. To go uphill, you need torque, which will allow you to start the slope even from a full stop easily.

Best eBike For Hills: Conquering The Summit

1. Emojo Wildcat Electric Mountain Bike

Emojo Wildcat

Description

Emojo is an electric bike manufacturer since 2013 based in Irvine, California. Their goal is to offer a quality product at a competitive price. To achieve this, they own a production facility in Shanghai, China, where they also build scooters and motorcycles.

Powerful Motor To Rely On

The Emojo Wildcat is a fully loaded electric bike weighing around 58 lb. This bike has a 500W Bafang brushless hub-motor, with pedal-assist function as well as throttle-control. Such a powerful engine can gives you an adrenaline-fueled experience.

Maximum capacity: 330 pounds! The power and torque of the motor, together with a sturdy frame, give this bike an excellent load capacity for cyclists of all heights: from extra small to very large. 

Pedal-assist (PAS) has three intuitive settings: Eco, Normal, and Power mode.

Even using only the thumb throttle, the Wildcat reaches a top speed of 20 mph.

thumb shifter

Thumb Shifter

Frame and Componentry

With a robust aluminum frame and high-quality robotic welds, the Emojo Wildcat is a sturdy bike.

The front and rear disc brakes and 7-speed gears allow you to drive this e-bike on any slope, and above all, ensure secure stopping during descents.

The 48V/10.4Ah waterproof battery lasts for years and is mounted on the down tube for better weight distribution.

The tires are 26" x 4.0, meaning that they can be great for snow or sand.

The Emojo Wildcat is equipped with a solid and functional control panel to monitor the battery charge level, speed and PAS mode.

control panel

Control Panel

Long Range Capabilities

The removable lithium-ion battery gives this bike a range of up to about 25 miles per charge (depending on the weight carried, the PAS used and slope of the road).

Extra Features

As long as you remember to bring your phone, you will be able to keep it fully charged by using the USB port.

Specifications

  • Brand: Emojo Bike 
  • Motor: 500W Bafang Hub-Drive Motor
  • Frame Material: Aluminum-Rigid
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion Phosphate 48V 10.4Ah
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Charge Time: 4-6 Hours
  • Gears: Shimano 7-Speed
  • 3 Modes: Eco, Normal, and Power
  • Brake Type: Front and Rear Mechanical Disc Brakes (Tektro)
  • Suspension: No
  • Mileage: 25 Miles (Electric Mode)
  • Max Speed: 20 MPH
  • Weight: 58 lb (With battery)
  • Load Capacity: 330 lb
  • Saddle: Plush Sport Saddle
  • Wheel: 26" x 4"
  • Fenders: Optional
  • Rear Rack: Optional
  • Safety Equipment: N/A
  • Color: Black/Blue - Black/Orange - Black/Black
  • Display: Power Level and PAS mode Control Panel
  • USB Port: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year
Pros
Cons
  • Great price, most of this type of bike costs $2000 to $3000
  • This bike easily tackles hills and muddy terrain
  • Large load capacity thanks to the strong frame and the 500W motor. To take advantage of this feature, only the rear rack is missing but can be purchased separately.
  • No mid-drive motor
  • No LCD display

Video: Emojo Wildcat Rack Installation Guide

2. Big Cat USA Fat Cat XL 500

big cat usa fat cat xl 500

Description

Big Cat USA bikes are built to last and designed to face the most difficult challenges, even though they are all economical, entry-level electric bikes.

Unique And Highly Functional Design

Aesthetically, the Fat Cat XL 500 it's a bike that stands out from the others.

While it is not a low step-through frame, the upper tube curves down to make it like a semi-step through design.

orange frame

The bike is available in four colors, and you can carry some load thanks to its color-matched rear rack. Also, you can choose to remove it if you want to get rid of extra weight.

Usual Engine, Usual Reliability

The first thing you'll notice as soon as you try this bike is its acceleration: impressive!

The 500W Bafang rear hub motor also gives enough torque and power to go uphill, giving you the chance to reach the maximum speed of 20 mph.

Componentry Up To The Task

The fat cat is powered with a 48V 12Ah lithium-ion battery, which helps give the bike all the energy needed.

The Shimano eight-speed shifter, as always, does its job well with its easy-to-read gear indicator.

The balloon tires offer so much grip that braking is more effective, helping to get a better ride on any terrain, whether it's snow, sand, mud, uphill and downhill.

Tektro front and rear disc brakes, although not hydraulic, are adequate, but sometimes they don't stop this big bike fast enough, especially downhill.

Thanks to the large LCD display, it is always easy to check the speed as well as the battery status while driving.

saddle and battery

Specifications

  • Brand: Big Cat USA
  • Seat To Floor: 42"
  • Motor: 500W Bafang Hub-Drive Motor
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Hydrofoil 6160
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion 48V 13Ah
  • Battery Life: Up To 1,500 Cycles
  • Charge Time: 4-6 Hours
  • Gears: Shimano 7-Speed
  • 3 Modes: Eco, Normal, and Power
  • Pedal Assist: 5-Level
  • Brake Type: Tektro Front and Rear Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • Suspension: No
  • Mileage: 30 Miles (Electric Mode)
  • Max Speed: 20 MPH
  • Weight: 58 lb (With Battery)
  • Load Capacity: 295 lb
  • Saddle: Plush and Comfortable
  • Wheel: 26" x 4"
  • Fenders: No
  • Rear Rack: Yes
  • Safety Equipment: Front/Rear LED - Horn
  • Color: Black/Green - Orange/Black - Black/Orange - White/Black
  • Display: LCD - PAS/Speed/Battery
  • USB Port: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year
Pros
Cons
  • Great value for money
  • Excellent acceleration
  • The engine allows you to ride on slopes and dirt roads without worries
  • There are no suspensions
  • It is not a mid-drive motor

Video: Big Cat Fat Eat Electric Bike Electric Bike Review

3. BAKCOU (BackCountry) Storm G2 Full Suspension Electric Bike

bakcou storm ebike

Description

With the BAKCOU Storm ebike you can spend whole days outdoors thanks to its long-range. It is designed for hunting, for nature lovers and observers and therefore perfect for any terrain and road, uphill or downhill.

Two Motor Power Options

The bike can be bought with a 750W or a 1000W motor. The frame also has two options, medium or large, to adapt to all heights.

bafang ultra m620 mid-drive motor

High-Efficiency 

Storm G2 was designed specifically for the power of the Bafang ULTRA M620 mid-drive engine, with its torque and dual-speed sensors that distinguish this marvel of technology from the competition.

These sensors record various data, as the force exerted on the pedals and speed of rotation of the wheels, to ensure the best ride experience possible.

Powerful Battery and Extended Mileage

The battery, depending on various factors such as pedaling, type of road, and PAS used, will easily cover 40+ miles on a single charge. It is built with fast-charging cells and you can easily remove and reinstall.

Components And Accessories

  • Hydraulic Brakes: Stop the bike quickly at any time
  • Full Suspension: BCEB GT MRK 120mm AIR Fork and / RockShox Air Rear Suspension
  • LCD Color Display
  • Shimano Alivio Hill-Climbing 9-Speed Gearing System: To make climbing on the hills a non-issue
color lcd

Specifications

  • Brand: Bakcou
  • Seat To Floor: N/A
  • Motor: 750W/1000W Bafang Ultra M620 Mid-Drive Motor and integrated Torque Sensor
  • Torque: 160Nm
  • Frame Material: High-Grade Aluminum Alloy 6061
  • Battery: 48V 17.4Ah/21Ah Lithium-Ion
  • Gears: Shimano Alivio 9-Speed
  • Brake Type: Tektro Hydraulic 203mm Front and Rear Disc
  • Suspension: BCEB GT MRK 120mm Front Fork & Rear RockShox Monarch
  • Mileage: 40+ Miles
  • Max Speed: 24 MPH
  • Weight: 75 lb (With Battery)
  • Load Capacity: 300 lb
  • Saddle: SR NEBULA Sport Saddle
  • Wheel: 26" x 4"
  • Fenders: Front/Rear
  • Rear Rack: Yes
  • Color: Matte Black/Tan
  • Display: Color LCD
  • USB Port: -
  • Warranty: 1 Year
Pros
Cons
  • Up to 40 miles range
  • Self-adjusting and easier to maintain hydraulic disc brakes
  • Fenders and rear rack included
  • Cool LCD display
  • The bike is stunning, and unfortunately, the price too
  • Only color options are matte black and tan

Video: Bakcou Electric Bikes

4. Green Bike USA Infinity Electric Bike

green bike infinity

Description

If range is what you need, then you should see this bike: it can do up to 100 miles on pedal assist mode or 50+ miles on full electric mode (depending on riding conditions).

This considerable distance can be reached thanks to two 48V 10Ah batteries. When the first battery runs out, the second battery starts working.

GreenBike USA is a famous high-quality, fast-charging electric bicycle company located in Coconut Creek, Florida. They call themselves "more of a transportation company" because their electric bikes help people move.

Top Of The Line Mid-Drive Motor

mid motor

The Infinity is equipped with a robust 500W motor that has the power and torque needed to climb any hill and go farther than ever thanks to the double battery.

The Dual Battery System

In addition to allowing a range of 50 miles in full electric mode, the two Samsung batteries are quickly rechargeable and can be easily removed.

Charging your electric bike will cost much less than using your car or motorbike as you will spend an average of $1 a month.

twin batteries

Standout Features

9-level PAS, multi-function LCD display, front suspension, Shimano 6-speed, front and rear disc brakes, 27.5-inch wheels, fenders, electric horn, USB port, reflective tire sidewall stripping, three colors available.

Specifications

  • Brand: GreenBike USA
  • Seat Height: 35" Minimum
  • Motor: 500W 8Fun Mid-Drive Motor
  • Torque: N/A
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Battery: 2 x 48V 10Ah Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Charge Time: N/A
  • Gears: Shimano 6-Speed
  • 3 Modes Available
  • 9-Level PAS (Pedal Assist)
  • Brake Type: Tektro Mechanical Front and Rear Disc
  • Suspension: Front Fork Suspension
  • Mileage: 50+ Miles Full Electric / 100 Miles in PAS Mode
  • Max Speed: 20 MPH
  • Weight: 62 lb (With Battery)
  • Load Capacity: N/A 
  • Wheels: 27.5"
  • Fenders: Front/Rear Included
  • Rear Rack: No
  • Safety Equipment: Front and Rear Lights - Electric Horn
  • Color: White/Silver/Black
  • Display: LCD
  • USB Port: Yes
  • Warranty: 18 Months/30 Days Return (15% Restocking Fee Deducted)
Pros
Cons
  • 60 miles in full-electric mode, the most exciting aspect
  • Mid-drive motor
  • Nice design
  • Top-quality components
  • The two batteries make the bike heavier

5. 2019 Rambo R750 Electric Bike

rambo r750 electric bike

Description

Rambo Bikes is a manufacturer based in Minnesota. Rambo electric bikes are designed to meet the needs of hunters, focusing on getting them into the woods.

Therefore, hunting e-bikes, made for all terrains and slopes, have the necessary torque and power to climb any hill.

Robust and High Torque Mid-Drive Motor

The Rambo R750 is equipped with a powerful and quiet 750W motor that enables you to ride paths and roads of any slope with confidence, as well as rocky up and down trails or even attach a trailer without problems.

The motor and gears are completely covered so that they are protected from dirt or water that may get in.

Intelligent Power Control System

All models Rambo Bikes comes with the IPCS system, operated by using the LCD screen control, which allows you to choose from one of nine power settings to determine how much pedal assist the motor provides.

Conventional Design

Coming with a matte black and grey color, the Rambo R750 does not have a particularly original design, but has a great aluminum rustproof frame made to resist when you are riding in salty or humid conditions, and is able to carry some loads, thanks to the rear rack (available separately).

A special Bike Hauler is also available to transport the bike safely and comfortably with your vehicle.

rambo bike hauler

Rambo Bike Hauler (paid link)

The fork is rigid and are no suspensions like many good bikes, but fat tire ebikes don't need them much.

Maybe this bike it's not as elegant or fancy as other mountain bikes, but it does its job very well.

Extra Features

The double-walled tires offer extra protection against any kind of puncture, whether they are from rocks or even nails.

We all know that riding downhill can be quite hard to stop - but with this bike, it is actually much easier because it has two-piston hydraulic 180mm disc brakes on both wheels.

In addition to having a very quiet motor, instead of the usual and more resounding derailleur, the bike features a 3-speed internal transmission that operates silently.

Specifications

  • Brand: Rambo Bikes
  • Seat Height: 34" Minimum
  • Motor: Bafang 750W High Torque Mid-Drive Motor
  • Torque: 120Nm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Frame Type: Step-Through
  • Battery: LG 48V 10.4Ah Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Charge Time: 4 Hours
  • Gears: 3-Speed Internally Geared Hub
  • 3 Modes: Pedal, Pedal Assist, Full Electric
  • PAS: 9-Levels 
  • Brake Type: Logan Hydraulic Mechanical Front and Rear Disc
  • Suspension: No
  • Mileage: 19 Miles (Full Electric)
  • Max Speed: 19 MPH
  • Weight: 63 lb (With Battery)
  • Load Capacity: 300 lb
  • Saddle: Justec Seat
  • Wheel: 26" x 4"
  • Fenders: Optional
  • Rear Rack: Optional
  • Safety Equipment: Optional Lights
  • Color: Matte Black/Gray
  • Display: LCD
  • USB Port: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year
Pros
Cons
  • Powerful and high torquey Bafang hub-drive motor
  • Durable and reliable Sturmey Archer internal 3-speed gear hub
  • Super responsive hydraulic disc brakes
  • Battery: decent power and capacity, locking, and removable, with charge level LED indicator.
  • Customizable with various accessories such as bags, fenders, rear suspension or fenders
  • Basic devices like lights, racks, fenders are not included (available only if purchased separately)
  • No suspension system

Video: Rambo 750 26" Bike Assembly

6. BikTrix Juggernaut Classic HD

biktrix juggernaut classic hd

Description

Founded in 2014, BikTrix is a small factory located in Saskatchewan, Canada, which produces handmade electric bikes, including fat-tire and folding models. They are also expanding their product line with hybrid electric off-road motorcycles.

The Biktrix Juggernaut is not classified as a bike

In reviewing this electric bicycle, it is worth mentioning that due to its performance (top speed 35 mph), the Biktrix Juggernaut is classified as a class 3 ebike, and therefore is subject to the same laws as motorbikes.

The most powerful mid-drive motor

The integrated engine, with a nominal power of 1000W (up to 1,500W peak power), makes the BikTrix Juggernaut the most powerful bike among those reviewed on this page.

As mentioned several times, mid-drive engines have more efficient traction than hub-drives. Moreover, using the bike's gears as a transmission, they deliver more torque.

With his remarkable torque of about 120Nm, one of the highest among the electric bikes on the market, the Juggernaut is unbeatable uphill.

biktrix bafang motor

Future-proof replacement parts

It is one of the most interesting aspects of the BikTrix models: the most important elements, like the engine and the battery, are made taking into account future updates, making it possible to replace them with a simple plug-and-play.

You can choose your battery

The bike is powered by a 48V 14.5Ah lithium-ion battery, already great for the Juggernaut motor.

However, Biktrix offers two more powerful batteries, 17.5Ah and 21Ah capacity, which allow you to increase your mileage significantly. As a result, the Juggernaut HD has a range of 20 to 80 miles, depending on the battery chosen.
The batteries also have a power switch and LED display to check the charge level.

If not in use, always remember to store the battery in a cool and dry place, and to keep it at least 50% charged.

Other characteristics

The LCD display is adjustable to avoid reflection and has a USB port for charging phones. In addition, it is equipped with a light sensor, and the backlight is adjustable.

biktrix display

The brakes are instead a point to criticize:

The Juggernaut stops well, but such a fast bike would have deserved the hydraulic brakes, besides the disks are only from 160 mm.

Hydraulic brakes are available on request. Also, for the size of the disks, Biktrix offers an upgrade with a 180 mm rotor.

Finally, the front fork and the fat tires make this bike comfortable, even without the rear suspension. Although not strictly necessary, a suspension saddle (also sold separately) would have been much better. 

The price can vary widely

Although the standard version costs around $2,600, the price can increase a lot (as always happens with customizable bikes). To avoid confusion, it's always good to consider the technical details and what best fits your needs. 

Specifications

  • Brand: BikTrix Electric Bikes
  • Seat Height: 32.5" Minimum
  • Motor: Bafang 1000W Nominal (1500W Peak Power)
  • Torque: 120Nm
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy (Rack and Fenders Included)
  • Frame Type: Step-Through
  • Battery: Samsung 48V 14.5Ah - LG 48V 17.5Ah - LG 48V 21Ah
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Charge Time: 4-6 Hours (2 Hours for 80%)
  • Gears: 9-Speed Shimano
  • 2 Modes: Pedal Assist, Full Electric
  • PAS: 5-Levels
  • Brake Type: Tektro Mechanical 160mm Disc Brakes (Hydraulic Upgradeable)
  • Suspension: RST Guide suspension fork (Suspension Seat-Post Upgradeable)
  • Mileage: 30 To 60 Miles on Full Electric Mode (Based On The Chosen Battery)
  • Max Speed: 35 MPH
  • Weight: 70 lb
  • Load Capacity: 400 lb
  • Saddle: Velo Plush Mid-size
  • Wheel: 26" x 4"
  • Fenders: Front and Rack Metal Fenders
  • Rear Rack: Metal Rack
  • Safety Equipment: Front Light And Horn
  • Color: Satin Black/Silver
  • Display: LCD
  • USB Port: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Lifetime Warranty On Frames)
Pros
Cons
  • Powerful and torquey Bafang engine
  • Shimano transmission specially designed to manage the power and torque delivered by the engine
  • Excellent front suspension
  • you can choose between three different batteries 14.5Ah, 17.5Ah and 21Ah 
  • Rear rack and fenders (free upgrades) are not made of plastic, they are made of metal and are well attached
  • There is no rear light included. Therefore it is necessary to install it after purchase.
  • It's the heaviest among the electric bikes seen so far
  • No rear suspension 
  • The brakes are only 160 mm mechanical discs, hydraulic brakes (optional) would be more up to the performance of this fast bike, or at least 180 mm rotors (also optional)
  • it's an expensive electric bike, especially if you personalize it
  • due to its high power, it may be subject to restrictions of use, according to local laws, because it is classified as a motorcycle.

Video: 2019 Biktrix Juggernaut Classic

Factors To Consider When Buying Your Best Electric Bike For Hills

Did you consider everything before buying an electric bike? When deciding to buy an e-bike, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Everything has it's ups and downs, and everything is meant for someone, which is why you need to find out every information that you can and check it out before making your purchase.

Test Riding

Make sure you can give the bike back. If you test ride one and it seems to be going too fast or too slow, you may need to try one with different features. Power plays a big part, and you don't want to get one that doesn't have enough or has too much power. You want one just right for you.

Weight 

The weight of the bike also plays a big factor. If you live in a hilly area and you choose a heavy bike you will need an equally powerful motor and battery.

Price

Make sure you stay in your price range, so don't overspend. Sometimes ithappens to choose accessories that are not so necessary. 

All of these are just some of the things that you would need to consider. There are a lot more things that you want to not only research but also test out before you actually purchase one.

Mid Drive vs. Hub Motor

The purchase would be a mid-drive rather than a hub motor because:

  • It has a better torque
  • The motor is closer to the center of the bike, which makes the bike more stable thanks to better weight distribution.
    The mid-drive is smaller and lighter, making it easier to climb steeper hills
  • The engine is quite small, so nobody can say that the bike you're driving is an electric bike
  • Changing the rear tire it's easier because the motor is not on the rear hub.

Having said that, the hub-motor is still a valid solution. In fact, it is used in many good ebikes. Moreover, it is cheaper.

Conclusion and Best Offer

Among the models we have seen, the best electric bikes for climbing steep hills would be the BikTrix Juggernaut. Not only is it a great way to get around the city, but you can ride it on extra-urban or dirt roads, or while climbing mountains.

Best Offer

The battery charges quickly, a short break and the bike is ready for a new ride.


The tires are so thick that it is much easier to ride on any terrain lasting longer than regular ones.



biktrix juggernaut

BikTrix Juggernaut Classic HD

Finally, the Juggernaut has a step-through frame suitable for men and women and also offers a walking assistant mode so that you have no worry about your engine running while you're trying to walk it.

The Alternative

If the BikTrix isn't for you, then a good alternative would be the Rambo R750 because it has all the requirements you are looking for to make a good ride out of town without worrying about the climbs and with a great range.

The price is not as low as a Nakto ebike, because the build quality is much higher.

rambo r750

Rambo R750

For example, its rustproof frame will last for many and many years. Also, the mid-drive motor and internal gears are sealed, so they are protected from water, debris, and impacts.

Concluding, now we know a little more about the features that an electric bike should have to tackle the climbs without stopping in the midde, with a range and battery good enough to take you home.

The rest is optional.

To make a good purchase that reflects your expectations, it's always a good thing to spend some time and get informed. The internet is full of resources!