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Single speed hill climbing

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Single speed hill climbing

Old 10-16-22, 01:04 PM
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Single speed hill climbing

So in my limited time with electric bicycles I do believe that it makes sense to just single speed it and not use a complex external derailleur.

My area has some pretty steep hills. 30 grade, even 40 in parts.

How would a single speed ebike work out?
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Old 10-16-22, 07:23 PM
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So in doing research I've hit on the mid drive being the best for hills. I've always been a little reluctant on mid drive but I think that in addition it being single speed would reduce the impact of the increased chain wear from a mid drive motor, and that it probably is the best way to go for an ebike aimed at hills.
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Old 10-17-22, 03:53 AM
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Mid drive + igh will do fantastic on hills, but mid drive+ single speed isn't gonna cut it, it will be too much strain on the motor, as well as hella difficult for the rider.
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Old 10-17-22, 08:11 AM
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Mid + SS negates the main advantage of a mid-drive, that of multiplication of ratio using a cassette, freewheel or IGH. If your gearing is adequate for the steepest hills, you'll spin out in flat areas very rapidly and vice versa.
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Old 10-17-22, 08:27 AM
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on a 22% grade on my bosch powered trek with a 11-34 cassette and 46t chain ring I have to put out 520 watts to keep the cranks at 70rpms. I have been lazy and have not put on the 11-42 it came with to test it. but still its a crap ton of work getting up that. but that gearing is way to low to ride on the flats.
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Old 10-17-22, 09:03 AM
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"...steep hills..."

Gears were invented for a reason.
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Old 11-06-22, 06:43 AM
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I have a single speed ebike, FLX Babymaker, hub motor with belt drive. We live in a hilly area (not mountains). It works, but is not ideal. I wanted simplicity, and not an obvious electric bike look.

The bike is geared fairly high so riding in hills without electric assist is pretty difficult. Once you are moving, the motor makes climbing very pleasant, and fast if you so choose. But starting out on a hill, especially a steep one, is somewhat difficult. If you have very steep hills, San Francisco like, you may have a hard time getting going.

All that said, I am satisfied with the bike for my type of riding in this area. To be sure, it would be kind of nice if it had an internal three speed hub, or even a double chainring in the front. Just something lower for big hills. Like any single speed,it is somewhat limited on the top end too. It’s hard to pedal much faster than 20 or so mph.
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Old 11-06-22, 10:31 AM
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Single speeds and fixed gears are fun but for regular commuting in hilly areas they are not as much fun. Great for casual rides but serious commuting I want gears or at least a CVT hub like Enviolo. E-bikes aren't totally magical they are bicycles they just give you some assist.

We built a single speed Specialized Como at our shop years ago and it was a fun bike, but going up hills wasn't as fun as on the original Como and having to ride it day in and day out I wouldn't do it. Now for fun on the weekends yeah it would be a blast, I got nowhere to go and plenty of time to ride potentially so yeah lets do it.
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Old 11-06-22, 04:41 PM
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As my 9 year old granddaughter yelled as she moved from a 20" coaster brake bike to a 7 speed 20" minivello with disk brakes that I gave her, "THIS IS FUN!!!!!",

I felt the same when I ditched my 24" balloon tired roadmaster for an elegant 3 speed English Racer, except the Racer wasn't mine, and I had to ride the old clunker another few years, Meanwhile balloon tired, low resistance tires have come around.
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