It is mindboggling how many bikes are on the market that are incapable of going up a hill. It's as if these cycling engineers think we all live in Holland.
But those of us dwelling in San Francisco, Colorado, Arizona, or anywhere with texture are tired and want a ride that can climb. The best bikes for climbing uphill are typically lightweight, have excellent brakes, and shift gears smoothly.
The best bikes for uphill are:
- Cannondale SuperSix EVO
- Townie Electra 7D Step-Thru
- Trek Dual Sport2
- Specialized Epic
- Cannondale Treadwell NEO EQ
- RadRover 6 Plus
- And more...
I've lived most of my life in areas with respectable inclines, including San Francisco Bay area and at the foot of the Downs in Southern England. The day I cycled 37-miles in Killarney, Ireland, is one that will go down in infamy. That rented bike claimed to have gears; it was a lie. They were just useless decorations. Cycling, as I understood it, was a sport for flatlanders.
But oddly enough, during a stint in Chicago, a fancy bike shop was having a major sale. There, in flat land country, a patient gentleman introduced me to bicycles that could actually climb. It revolutionized my attitude towards cycling. So, I know the struggle if you live in the land of ups and downs. Thus, I've rounded up the best to make biking uphill a pleasure.
7 Best Road Bikes And Hybrids For Uphill
The best bikes to tackle hills off the trail are road bikes. They are lightweight, gracefully shift gears, and ride like the wind. However, your high-performance racer isn't the type of cycle the standard commuter is looking to buy. Thus, we've rounded up the best hybrids and step-thru for climbing in addition to the fancy and fast road bikes.
1. Cannondale SuperSix EVO Disc Dura-Ace Di2 Road Bike
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO Disc Dura-Ace Di2 is surprisingly comfortable for a road bike. It's also a stable ride. But this carbon frame ride manages to do this without sacrificing speed or causing it to drag on the hills.
It's an excellent overall bike for those that love high-end rides. Cyclists are also drooling over the HollowGram 45 SL KNØT rims. But if you are spending this kind of cash, you deserve a bike that performs brilliantly.
Pros Of Cannodale SuperSix EVO
- Comfortable for a road bike
- Sill lightweight despite being an aero
Cons Of Cannodale SuperSix EVO
- Stoppers in frame and fork restrict the turning angle of the bars
2. Focus Izalco Max 9.7 AXS Road Bike
The Focus Izalco Max 9.7 is a carbon frame with integrated cable routing. It is agile, making it a joy to handle. It can sprint but also take cyclists out for the long haul. It's considered an allrounder in road bike terms (not a hybrid).
It's an aero bike; thus, it can get you through the wind, even when pumping up a hill. However, one of the criticisms is that you can "look" very fit in this bike, zooming around as if you are a top rider without actually being in the most remarkable shape. So it's a fast bike for people who might not be superstars when it comes to spin class.
Pros Of Focus Izalco Max
- Climbs beautifully
- Is comfortable enough for long rides
Cons Of Focus Izalco Max
- The SRAM group isn't top-level
3. Martin Fairfax 1 Hybrid Bike
The Martin Fairfax 1 is beloved by commuters because it understands not everyone lives in Chicago. In fact, this bike is pretty popular in San Francisco, the city of hills. It's a casual ride, so racing a road bike will leave you far behind. But it is a smooth, comfortable bike with wide pedals that handles a decent array of terrain.
Thankfully, this bike also performs decently in wet weather. Perhaps don't take it out during a full-on storm. But despite hydraulic disc brakes, stopping on a wet street isn't going to result in falling over.
Pros Of Martin Fairfax 1
- Can get up hills
Cons Of Martin Fairfax 1
- Doesn't have hydraulic disc brakes
4. Schwinn GTX Comfort Elite Hybrid Bike
The Schwinn GTX Comfort is one of the more affordable bikes on this list, yet it still provides 24-speeds and mechanical disc brakes. The tires do well on various terrain and boast durable, 700c alloy rims. There are a few varieties of the Schwinn GTX, including the GTX 3, but the Elite handles just that much better.
But if you are on a tight budget, the other GTX models will get you up the hills, but you'll sacrifice features. For example, you might find yourself downgraded to V-brakes rather than mechanical disc. I enjoy barreling down hills; thus, disc brakes make me happy and are worth the extra cost.
Pros Of Schwinn GTX
- Handles a variety of terrain
- Climbs hills
Cons Of Schwinn GTX
- Plastic pedals and will need an upgraded saddle
5. Townie Electra 7D Step-Thru Bike
The Townie Electra 7D Step-Thru understands that just because your body has needs doesn't mean you necessarily live in a retirement home in Florida with perfectly flat, paved streets. It gives you gears that shift smoothly. It's comfortable but can get you up a hill. It also handles gravel for those times you venture off the paved paths.
However, it assumes that you will only need rim brakes thanks to its handy and much-appreciated flat-foot technology. To be fair, the brakes do respond well. But I will celebrate the day when bike manufacturers understand that just because you might require a step-thru frame and flat foot technology doesn't mean you don't enjoy flying down a hill.
Pros Of Townie Electra 7D Step-Through
- Flat foot technology
Cons Of Townie Electra 7D Step-Through
- Rim brakes
6. Trek Domane AL2 Disc Road Bike
The Treck Domane AL2 Disc is perfect for those that desire a high-performance road bike but don't want to pay for one (I don't blame you). It will climb all the hills and has enough speed and maneuverability to have tons of fun. It also can be set up with racks, making it a practical choice despite the thrills it can provide.
However, those brilliant 700x28c wheels with tubeless-ready 24-hole rims lose their excellent stopping ability once the weather gets damp. This is due to the bike having dual-pivot brakes rather than disc.
If you are a fair-weather rider, its poor performance in the rain doesn't matter, and you will have a fantastic ride for a fraction of the cost of the high-end road bikes. But, if you live in Seattle or Portland, you will need to upgrade to a brand with disc brakes, especially for going downhill in the wet.
Pros Of Trek Domane
- Handles well
- More affordable than the high-end road bikes
Cons Of Trek Domane
- Dual-Pivot brakes don't perform well in the rain
7. Trek Dual Sport 2
The Trek Dual Sport 2 is often treated like a mountain bike. But while it does perform on trails, it also makes a wonderful commuter bike. On pavement, it isn't going to fly across the terrain like a road bike. But it is a stable ride that will get you up those hills. Also, it will be faster than hybrids of a similar price bracket, especially when racing upwards.
There is a Trek Dual Sport 3 available, which costs more and gives you nicer hydraulic brakes. But I wouldn't spend the money. The weakest aspect of the Trek Dual Sport is that it isn't a real mountain bike. It's for people who commute and love to hit the trails on the weekend. So, the types of trails that the trek fails to perform on are those that require a proper mountain bike.
Thus, it doesn't make sense to pay more for the Dual Sport 3 when those nicer components will still not give you a real mountain bike. If you are going to spend more, then go out and get the real thing. On the other hand, if you desire a hybrid, the Trek Dual Sport 2 is a fantastic choice, and why pay more when it does the job so well?
Pros Of Trek Dual Sport
- Fast for a hybrid
- Climbs hills
- Makes a sturdy commuter bike
Cons Of Trek Dual Sport
- The front fork is not built for true mountain bike joy
4 Best Mountain Bikes For Uphill
Mountain bikes are built to navigate hills. It is one of their primary job descriptions. Nonetheless, some mountain bikes are better than others, and the following four are excellent. Details such as the frame weight and brakes will also impact the experience. Lastly, if the bike doesn't come with a dropper post, consider adding one for a more comfortable hill ride.
1. Ibis Ripmo V2 XT
The Ibis Ripmo V2 XT is a superb climber, one of the best of the best. Its downhill is excellent, too. It's an aggressive trail bike that straddles the enduro and trail markets. With mountain bikes becoming more specialized, the bridging of the performance is appreciated by those of us who can only splash out on one bike.
But if the price of the V2 is making your eyes water (fair), the aluminum-framed AF is an excellent alternative, especially if getting up and down the hills is your main priority. You will feel the few extra pounds, but they won't hold you back. It just doesn't have quite the same nimble and dynamic energy the newer carbon brings to the trails.
- Excellent performance uphill and down
- The geometry nicely positions the rider
2. Specialized Epic Hardtail Cross Country Mountain Bike
The Specialized Epic Hardtail is a cross-country mountain bike, which tends to be lighter and faster than your typical "trail" mountain bike. As a result, it's a wild and nibble ride, essentially the road bike of the trails. Unfortunately, in the excitement, riders can become tempted to lean over the handlebars with bruising consequences.
This high performance requires skill. The precision steering doesn't allow for error, and rookies might find themselves flying off the trail on a bend if they over-do-it. But for those that want to master its technical know-how, they are in for adrenaline-filled fun, and outstanding hill climbs.
Pros Of Specialized Epic Hardtail
- Built to tackle hills with speed
Cons Of Specialized Epic Hardtail
- It can be tempting to lean too far forward or oversteer (ouch)
3. Schwinn High Timber
The Schwinn High Timber is an entry-level mountain bike that teeters towards the hybrid market. But its knobby tires will keep you on the trail and provide plenty of stability. In addition, Schwinn is good about providing plenty of gears to help people climb the hills, and their bikes tend to be low maintenance.
While the weight of a Schwinn is never "light." For the price bracket they're in, they are on the respectable end of the scale. Also, Schwinn simply has a durability that its price-range competitors can't match.
Pros Of Schwinn High Timber
- Entry-level price
- Performs better than other mountain bikes in the same price bracket
Cons Of Schwinn High Timber
- Plastic pedals and no disc brakes
4. Yeti SB150 TURQ X01
The Yeti SB150 TURQ X01 is no lightweight, but it doesn't feel like it when you're on it, even on an extended climb. It has excellent efficiency, turning your force into speed and altitude. The bike moves, despite not being a real cross-country or downhill bike, given its heft and length.
The Yeti does require riders to recalibrate their maneuvering, however. Its length requires a rethink when timing turns and steps and often demands an aggressive positioning to get the most out of it. However, once people adjust, they start having a whole lot of fun. Plus, its suspension makes it comfy.
Pros Of Yeti SB150 TURQ X01
- Superb climbing performance
- Fast downhill
Cons Of Yeti SB150 TURQ X01
- Its length isn't for everybody
7 Best E-Bikes For Uphill
You'd think adding a motor to a bike would make it perfect for uphill riding. But not all e-bikes can supply a smooth, steady stream of power, making the ride chug and jerk. Other hill-stoppers are the hefty frames allowing folks to carry plenty of gear. Thankfully, we found seven excellent e-bikes that will climb high with pleasure.
1. Cannondale Treadwell Neo EQ E-Bike
The Cannondale Treadwell NEO EQ is incredibly lightweight for an e-bike, which helps it climb up those hills. Despite its slimmer build, it is a comfortable ride. It stops well and steers like a proper bike, unlike a clunky trike.
This isn't a mountain bike, so it doesn't perform well on trails. But for those looking for a commuter bike or to have fun around town is excellent.
Pros Of Cannondale Treadwell
- Looks like a proper bike
- Front and back lights
Cons Of Cannondale Treadwell
- Small battery that can't be removed for charging
2. DJ Folding 750W E-Bike
The DJ 750W E-Bike is affordable, foldable, and powerful. It climbs well despite its unassuming size. Its front fork shock absorption also adds comfort to the ride. Unfortunately, its size and foldability doesn't translate to lightweight. There are still 55 pounds to lug upstairs or onto a train if required. But in the world of e-bikes, 55lbs isn't terrible.
Pros Of DJ Folding E-Bike
Cons Of DJ Folding E-Bike
- Saddle wears out faster than expected
3. LeMond Prolog 250W E-Bike
The LeMond Prolog E-Bike takes being a carbon bike to a new level. Everything is carbon fiber, including the fork, fenders, and stem. It is super light: 26 sweet pounds. Which might seem ridiculous to care about when you've got power. But lightness matters if you are anything like my husband, with a gift of draining his battery a good two hours from home.
This bike is exquisite. It is a joy to bike along with the power assist, and it still moves just fine with the battery dead. It will climb those hills with pleasure and look sleek and sporty while doing it. It's a work of art that's a pure pleasure to own, should you have the budget for it.
Pros Of LeMond Prolong
- Carbon components
- A joy to ride
Cons Of LeMond Prolong
- Light e-bikes come at a heavy price
4. HalloMotor 500W FC E-Bike
The HalloMotor 500W FC E-Bike is a class 3: essentially an underpowered motorcycle with pedals. Meaning, that the HalloMotor is super fun and not your typical e-bike. For starters, it's not capped at the typical 20-25mph limit but can reach up to 55mph. It can handle hilly commutes or blasts on the trail.
However, its battery life might be limiting for some, and without the "super-fast" charger (buy separately), it can take between 6-7 hours to charge.
Pros Of HalloMotor FC
- Air suspension
Cons Of HalloMotor FC
- Battery takes 6-7 hours to charge
5. Haibike SDURO FullSeven LT 9 E-Bike
The Haibike SDURO FullSeven LT 9 E-Bike is a long-distance mountain bike with a dropper post. It is designed to make hills a thrill, regardless if you are going up or down. In addition, it has RockShox suspension to help smooth out the bumps.
While it is slightly heavier than some other E-MTBs, it has quick-release wheels and a removable battery making it easier to transport. Speaking of the tires, the Nobby Nics, with their Speed Addix rubber grip, have puncture protection and provide the traction you need to fly up and down the hills.
Pros Of Haibike SDURO FullSeven 9
- Full suspension
- Dropper post
- Quick-release wheels and battery
Cons Of Haibike SDURO FullSeven 9
- Lacks bottle cage bosses
6. RadRover 6 Plus 750W E-Bike
The RadRover 6 Plus is a fat tire ride, which provides added stability. Despite this, the bike moves pretty swiftly, so you don't feel clunky when navigating traffic. In addition, the hydraulic brakes are excellent, which is essential if you are having a wee bit too much fun coming down the hills.
This isn't a rugged, off-road bike. It's more like a hybrid with a fine engine to help you out. Thus, it is easy to kit out with baskets and racks to haul gear for errands or an overnight adventure. But you can take it on some less intense trail rides. Given the price, it's excellent value for money and will provide a versatile ride.
Pros Of RadRover 6 Plus
- Climbs hills smoothly, even on full throttle
- Pedal-assist is responsive
Cons Of RadRover 6 Plus
- LCD can be challenging to read in the sun
7. Specialized Turbo Levo Como SL E-Bike
The Specialized Turbo Levo Como SL is a lightweight option that can climb. Yet the lack of weight doesn't impact its stability. Instead, it hugs the ground, even at speed, while being quick and fun. In short: this bike feels like a bike but smoother and more accessible. It's for people who want to cycle but want that extra kick, either for fun or to make life easier.
It's so well built that if you want to remove the battery (4 pounds gone) and ride it as a regular bicycle, you can without feeling like you're peddling the Titanic. The battery also charges pretty fast, only a few hours, making life so much easier than the 7-8 charging nightmares.
Pros Of Specialized Turbo Levo Como SL
- Designed to look like a bike
- Handles like a bike
Cons Of Specialized Turbo Levo Como SL
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson