Good low-cost commuting ebike kit, modest power adequate
7/12/2016 7:28 AM
I live in Arlington, VA and due to recent MetroRail track work I chose the hill topper electric front wheel kit to ride the 4 miles to and from work in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC. From the banks of the Potomac River at Rosslyn, the Custis and Arlington Blvd Trails rise about 600 feet in two miles to the neighborhoods behind Arlington National Cemetery which have 'Heights' in the name. I bought the $500 economy 8-mile model that adds about 20 pounds to my heavy steel 1990's 21-speed hybrid. Combined weight of me, the bike, plus my commuting gear, means this little 250 watt 8fun motor is hauling about 280 pounds. With the motor I can ride up the hills in middle gear and with hard pedalling manage about 6-8mph, on the steepest sections of the hills the motor cannot pull the weight so it feels like I am riding a tandem with one other rider helping which is still an improvement on no assistance and I appreciate the exercise. On the flats or a slight incline I find myself staying mostly in top gear and averaging about 10-12mph. On the downhill the motor doesn't provide assistance which is great if like me you don't want to go faster than 15mph. I appreciate the modest boost when taking off from a full stop on the road at a stop sign or traffic light signal.
Works Better Than I Thought!!
5/28/2016 3:11 PM
First I would like to say im 6 ft and 325 lbs.I Was in great shape years ago but a bad knee and just having fun has slowed me down plus im 50 so I don't need to say any more. But let get to it I bought the ranger pack and its been great so far. took it around 12 miles almost on battery power alone then on my way home I went the way of the big hill.I had to start to help it along but just as they say its like someone pushing you. Don't get me wrong I was going slow but with my help over the top and I was not huffing and puffing.
Best Bike Accessory EVER
5/14/2016 6:35 PM
My decision to get a Hill Topper was made after many months of reading about/researching all the available e-bike hubs and direct drives available that would
1. remove my distaste for hills
2. save my injured knee
3. and get me back on my bikes again.
Not only has the Hill Topper met those expectations, in many ways it has exceeded them. It is a sheer JOY to have the HT "along for the ride", and I love how it attacks the hills and inclines with eager enthusiasm. It took a mere few minutes to install the wheel, requiring only one extra washer to meet the spacing requirements on my lovely vintage 1996 steel hybrid. The wires are nice and sturdy, and run almost invisibly along the step-through frame to where I have the batteries on the back rack. The 40 mile range (double 20 mile lithium batteries) have been perfect for my long rides, and have provided even farther range than 40 miles during a number of rides as I'm using them for pedal assist. The one thing I wish the kit had was a battery charge indicator to tell me what discharge stage my batteries were for any given time. At the moment, I am having to "guess" how much charge is left, and disconnecting #1/connecting #2 at 22-24 mile intervals. But that is the only thing on my wish list. Everything else - riding my bike again, zipping along the roads at a cool 21 mph, laughing at the hills as my Hill Topper helps me charge up them, and waving hello as I fly smiling past riders who look tired and stressed - has been too much fun for words. THANK YOU for a GREAT product!
(Halton Hills, ON)
4/5/2016 9:02 PM
Has gotten me back on the road with my trusty slightly retooled mtn bike. Easy to install. Quick delivery. Great customer service. Even with mobility challenge, pedal assist gives the workout needed and lets me keep up with 10 yr old cycling buddy. With mild winter here this yr, we were out on the bikes on a regular basis all year. Well worth it :)
Everything I hoped for!
(Ann Arbor, MI)
3/31/2016 8:57 PM
I received my Economy Kit today. I had to do some minor filing due to a slightly fat fork, but other than that it installed exactly as stated in all of the literature. Even with the filing I was ready to go in half an hour.
My house is uphill from almost everywhere. On my first ride I knew this Kit was going to do everything I wanted it to do. Up hills was no problems. Up steep hills that I almost couldn't manage before were no problem with very little peddling help.
I am 74 years old and had nearly given up bike riding. With this Kit I'm back on the road and thrilled to death. Thank you Clean Republic for an outstanding product at a reasonable price.
My neighbor, nearly as old as I am, after seeing mine,is going to get one for his bike. Not only can I ride again, I'll have another old geezer to ride with! It just doesn't get much better...
My Dream Come True
(The Villages, Florida)
3/31/2016 4:05 AM
On the other side of FEAR is FREEDOM!
This is a saying that I use when I am making a Life changing decision where there is a chance for failure.
After many emails to the Hill Topper support group, I shook off the Fear of change and went for it. I ordered the Hill Topper!
It came in perfect condition! It was EASY to assemble just as explained in their illustration!
OFF I WENT! AWSOME! FREEDOM!!!
I am always striving to live a smaller life so I can have a bigger life. Hat's off to Hill Topper! Great Product and Great Team. They stand behind their product. Assured me that they would help in anyway needed. It was so easy that I did not have to communicate with them thru the assembly process.
Recharging is easy as well. Please read the instructions on recharging...they are important! They provide you a time limit to leave the charger plugged and they explain who to perserve your batteries so they have a longer life.
If you are reading this and it moves you to purchase a kit, PLEASE use CODE: livinglight
Hill Topper will give you a discount!
Living Light in Life. The Villages, Fl.
A year later
3/13/2016 10:35 AM
I have been riding for a year now and I have covered about 450 miles. People have stopped me and wanted to see how it worked. Now I just hand out the yellow order form that came with the motor. After all of these miles I will soon need a new bike and I can just move the motor wheel over to it. I bought a Bicycle Computer that tracks my mileage, speed, each trip detail and over all mileage. Even the top speed I hit over all. which was 22 MPH.
This is the way to go
2/25/2016 3:58 PM
So far I've had this kit on for 2 weeks. It would not fit on my vintage road bike so I sold that bike and bought a comfort bike and it fit right on. I use it for a bout 3 miles at a time and I can't see ever going back to a regular bike unless I was looking for more exercise. With this kit you still get the exercise. You pedal the same as you normally would and it feels like your going twice as fast. Like someone is pushing you down the street. I don't have hills where I live so I can't say how it would feel on those. I really like to use it when there is a gust of wind, to pull my son in the bike trailer, keep my work clothes from getting sweaty and to save tons of unnecessary gallons of gas. FYI if you purchase the quick release axle kit they are not skewer type quick releases so you will not be able to us a locking skewer kit on the axle. This kit replaces the axle nut with a quick release. I was hoping to use a locking skewer for added security but I can't.
2/16/2016 3:20 PM
Eighteen or so months ago, I bought an Electra Cruiser 7D. It’s a steel, cruiser style 7 speed-and weighs just over 40 pounds. (I weigh somewhat over 180 pounds now-but at the time I weighed WELL over 200 pounds)
I live in an area with lots of hills. So while I liked the cruiser (a good, solid bike) it was just too heavy for riding up all the hills-so I bought a flat bar road bike (which I adore for long distance riding)-and the poor cruiser sat, gathering dust…for 18 months.
Having periodically poked around online checking out electric bikes, I eventually ran across some reviews of the Hill Topper. After reading about it, I thought “you know, this might work on the cruiser”. So I ordered one.
I received it on Monday. I was a bit leery of the installation as I am a complete, total and utter mechanical incompetent. However, as it turned out, while I couldn’t do it in 3 minutes-I did it in about 20-including swapping the stock tire that came with the hub motor for the original tire off the cruiser (I like tires that match…LOL).
After fully charging the battery last night, I went out today to test it out. I took the bike on a ride with over 800 feet of climbing and a total distance of 18 miles. Most of the climbing was in the first 9 miles (750 feet) including two short portions with grades of 6-8%-and 6 of the 9 miles were spent riding directly into a headwind of about 10 MPH.
The motor performed flawlessly! I used it in the “proper” fashion (i.e. as a pedal assist) to help me up hills and when starting off from a stop, and at the end of my ride I still had power left in the battery when I got home.
Like many, my biggest problem with bike commuting is you don’t want to arrive at your destination hot and sweaty-or (for me at least) have to ride home-uphill in my case-after a day at work when you’re tired. Based on my experience today, the Hill Topper makes bike commuting a viable option. Although I may need a spare battery next!
Best invention ever!!
1/5/2016 1:14 PM
I just received my e-bike kit yesterday and my daughter installed it today in less than 10 minutes, watching the online video. So straightforward & simple to install! I bought LEED's e-bike kit a few months ago and finally took it to my local bike shop for help after trying for an hour or more to install it ourselves. None of us ever got the unit installed & working properly. It was cumbersome, difficult and LEED customer service was not helpful. I probably lost about $150 between the bike shop fees & the return postage (which LEED would not pay).
The Hill Topper is amazing. I wish I'd gotten it years ago and I'm hoping I can spare others from the LEED experience I had. Everyone should have a Hill Topper! I'm retired, travel frequently in my RV and my bike is my only means of transportation once I reach my destination. I no longer have to worry about going too far and being unable to make it back home. So happy I can explore more now!
If you've been thinking about an e-bike conversion kit, this is certainly the one I would recommend. Now I can keep up with my daughter & my grandson when we go riding!
Great product, Great service
12/24/2015 12:27 PM
I went car-less about a year ago. My Hill-topper on an Electra Cruiser ( 3 speed) makes it easy and practical. My commute is 7 miles round trip and my town is about 10 miles across. Living in wine country, the traffic on weekends can be very heavy. I just cruse on by. Its great!
What I like most about the kit is how basic it is.
--- No on-board computers
--- No electronic peddle assist
--- No handle bar display
Just a motor, a battery and a switch.
And the customer service is top notch.
I had a custom harness made and through some miscommunication ( probably on my end) it was wrong. One e-mail, and I had a return shipping label and a new harness in about a week. Perfect!
With the battery hidden in a pannier, and the wiring concealed under handle bar tape, I've had people follow me into parking lots to ask me " I saw you pass those guys on road bikes. What kind of bike is that?" Then it's a 10 minuet conversation about what a Clean Republic Hill Topper is, and where to get one.
If you want to ride more, go father and have some fun, pull the trigger and get a Hill topper.
Turned my life around!
12/4/2015 10:43 AM
This 55-year old grandma has loved biking since my youth but haven't done it since moving to hilly GA in the 1990s. Now, I'm older, fatter, arthritic. I'm currently working (as a nanny) only a mile from home, but I carry a HUGE bag of FUN for the kiddies every day, and couldn't manage with a backpack. I also knew that without knee replacement, I couldn't currently negotiate the steep hills of this city. I began researching tricycles, and spent about 6 months wavering between affordable pre-motorized bikes, from companies with BAD reputations, and cheapo trikes to which I could add a motor. I finally settled on a Schwinn Meridian and Electric-Bike-Kit. And I couldn't be happier.
There are a lot of things I didn't consider about riding a trike on these narrow urban streets. The road crown really throws you off at first, and trying to stay to that invisible "bike lane", I nearly had to quit. Upright Trikes are LESS stable than bicycles, and taking a turn at speed, or bringing the vehicle up short in an emergency, takes a good deal of practice. I'm pleased to say I'm GETTING that practice. The kit was a breeze to assemble, and the power provided (12-mi lithium) is JUST ENOUGH to make me work pretty hard getting up the steepest hills, which is just what I wanted. (I do use an exercycle on days I can't get outside.) It's getting chilly in GA now, and commuter traffic is NOT kind to a waddling old gal on a trike. I've bought a neon vest and flashing front and rear lights. But with my trike I can cut through the park to get to work and home again, and when they finish the new grocery store a mile in the other direction, I might retire my car altogether! My enthusiasm inspired my sedentary husband was inspired to buy himself a "REAL" (21-sp) bike, and has been getting out almost every day, so you have reformed 2 couch potatoes into budding athletes, Clean Republic!
I've been using it on an adult tricycle for years
12/2/2015 7:17 AM
This is a wonderful set-up. I've been using it on my adult (HEAVY) three-wheel bike for about 5 years now. I still have the same wheel and battery and they're going strong. I typically ride 8-10 miles with a 20 pound dog in the basket at times and this kit really powers through. Can't say enough good things. I have two more bikes that I have put the kit on so friends can come along and have several more friends that have purchased kits. They all love their kits.
11/12/2015 8:07 AM
I just had to put my bike away for the winter. My commute starts at 6:30 am and it is now just too cold and dark at that time. I now have 5,217.67 miles on my first Hilltopper that I purchased in 2011. It has never given me one minute of trouble. I did upgrade to a 20 mile Li battery this year, but the original sla was still just fine. My wife is only able to ride at all because of her Hilltopper. She has to use assist most of the time. On one ride this summer she got 27 miles out of her battery! We have tried a couple ebikes, but the Hilltoppers do the job for a lot less money. Thank you for a great product.
First Ride Review (Salsa Fargo)
11/5/2015 2:17 PM
Review after my first ride: I bought the 40 mi. lithium Hilltopper kit and installed it on a Salsa Fargo steel ‘Great Divide Route” bicycle with 2.1” off-road tires. I had to file the fork dropouts a tad for the wheel to fit, though that only took five minutes. I had fully charged both batteries the night before, so in 20 minutes the wheel was installed and ready to go. Weight of bike, all carriers, batteries and me totaled 225 pounds. I used the motor constantly but added my own pedaling in high gear—never sweating with light pedaling on Northern Indiana-level roads. Going out I averaged about 13mph into the 15-20mph quartering headwind.
My first battery lasted 12 miles into the wind. Coming back, however, with a quartering tailwind I ran about 18-20 mph and the second battery lasted 18 miles for a total of 30 miles, which is about what I’d expect given the wind and weight. (I believe the 40 mile rating is based on a 170 pound person, level riding, and no wind.
Of course I was not using the hilltopper as intended, and don’t plan to use it again this way (constant power). My wife and I plan to use them as a boost uphill and maybe sometimes to stretch the miles to get on a motel on 10 day trips of 300-500 miles.
I am quite satisfied with the product and my testing came out about where I’d expect based on their tests. I am now figuring out how to add one to my wife’s Trek Superfly Gary Fisher 100AL (her fork has no dropouts).
I am one satisfied customer and convinced that adding a hilltopper wheel to an existing bike is much better than buying a completely separate electric bike.
–Keith Drury, Marion, Indiana November 5, 2015
Best Ever! LOVE it for the hilly Ozarks
11/2/2015 2:31 PM
Best thing ever! MY husband easily replaced the front wheel and connected the 'gadget'. I took it out for my first ride today and was amazed at how intuitive it is to use. Turn the 'on' switch before taking off and, thereafter, pedal with your legs and, at hills when you need assistance, push the little button on the right handlebar until you no longer need electric assist.
This beats the 'you know what' out of many of the other electric wheels I've seen on the market where people complained about the difficulty of using or reaching the electric switch.
And I LOVE that it is electric 'assist' rather than all electric so I still get exercise but don't have to go up our very hilly areas without help.
Solves the Parking Problem
10/12/2015 4:14 PM
This Hilltopper is eye watering. Finally an affordable electric bike. I have a 1971 Raleigh Record and had to have the forks filed to accept the Hilltopper Axle. The bike is amazing. you press the button and you just ride on flat surfaces without pedaling unless you want to speed then you pedal with the button held down. If you let go of the button it returns to a normal 10 speed. Be careful about pressing the button when you don't want the bike to go. It could leave without you and it can be confusing at first if you press it did not want to go fast. Makes Hills seem like level ground. I haven't had to walk it up a Hill since I put the Hilltopper on. Customer service of Clean Republic is great!!!
7/18/2015 8:54 AM
So easy to apply.I love my Hilltopper ebike.
Quality Product responsive customer service
7/12/2015 2:40 PM
I purchased the Hill Topper kit with the economy battery. The kit was delivered in under a week and was just as they claim, super easy to install. I put it on an old Giant Yukon mountain bike. If I had to give the motor a power rating I would say it's equal to about 1 man power. Not from a dead stop but in general. The motor without pedaling would get me going about as fast as I could pedal comfortably and I would estimate that I could accelerate about twice as fast as normal when I pedaled and used the motor for assistance. Pedaling while using the motor intermittently to accelerate and to stay at speed with headwinds and small inclines I got about 12-13 miles from the 8 mile economy battery. Due to personal factors I won't go into, I had to return the kit because I needed the money and they were awesome about it. I emailed them to ask what I needed to do and they said just ship it back and we will process it and issue a refund. Once they received it they processed the return within two days. So bottom line is great kit, great service, quick to response to emails and overall a pleasant interaction. I would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family.
works well, some surprises on fitting my bike
(Burlington, ON, Canada)
7/12/2015 12:01 PM
I had a Edwin Toba BionX e-bike that worked very well. Sophisticated electronics with different levels of assist, mini trip computer, totally silent etc. It was very heavy, no way I could use it without some assist. I sold it last year as I got fitter and needed space. This year my health is not so good so I looked at fitting an e-motor to my current road/hybrid bike. I chose hill topper because it fits on the front wheel, and I could exchange it back to my normal wheel fairly easily, or so I thought. My fork is wide enough (I measured it before ordering)but the HT middle axle was just too fat to fit the fork. No mention that this might be a problem on the website. My husband is an engineer, very "handy", and he grinded the fork just enough to fit the HT axle. So my bike works, and yes, it is very helpful to climb up my local hills on the Niagara escarpment. Also make sure that the motor cable is on the right side when the wheel is clipped on. I have not tried to revert the front wheel back yet, I hope the original wheel will be stable! The battery position is best behind the saddle in my opinion. Happy hill climbing...
(San Jose, Costa Rica)
7/3/2015 8:30 PM
I have ridden on a Trek mountain bike with Hill Topper kit for about two years. Recently, my old battery stopped working during an uphill. Then, I got a new 12-mile-battery for replacement. It's almost same size&weight. It works well! Also, thank you for 10% off coupon for a replacement battery.
Like a kid again!
7/2/2015 12:40 PM
Okay. My 65th birthday is coming up. I used to love to ride a bike, so I bought a Tricycle (Alemeda) from Walmart. The only problem was I couldn't get it up the hills anymore. The Hilltopper was the perfect solution. I don't have to use the motor much, but it makes the difference of turning my bike from an exercise chore to an exhilarating adventure. I live in a condominium complex and have a safe, but hilly path to ride one mile. It took me (with no help) about 10 minutes to install on my Trike. I couldn't have made a better choice for FUN!
exercise is fun again
5/16/2015 6:59 PM
Retired factory mechanic/outdoors-man 57th birthday gift; kit w/12 mile lithium for helping fun times on 10 y/o Mountain/street bike (Raleigh) crossover. Simple quick conversion done in time to apply charged battery. Peddling only on hills I got 8 miles climbing 800 ft on first run. 2nd day out realized I was having so much fun I ordered a 20 mile lith. At 6'2" 240 there is no noticed difference freewheeling, but all hills are easy (even grinding along in 1st gear on the steep stuff). I'm drooling over the roads and trails now available and fun with the power assist. I've tracked E-bikes evolving over 10 years and Hilltopper always looked like the best fit for a fun easy workout. This old guy is happy to play like a kid again!
5/13/2015 7:13 AM
I wanted to get an electric bike for a while but my biggest concern was the weight of the bike and once the battery dies, pedaling will be hard.
I came across this website and couldn't be happier :):):):(
It's so easy to install and doesn't add a lot of weight to my bike and if the battery is on empty I don't have to worry about pedaling because it won't be difficult as opposed to an electric bike.
I really love my bike now. It goes so fast!!
I've waited a long time...
5/12/2015 8:38 PM
After several years researching & tracking electric bikes, I got a Hill Topper kit with a 12 mile battery. On the first day I brutalized it with a 6 mile hilly road climbing 600 feet, pedaling only the steep stuff before it quit. My mountain bike is now fun again at age 57. I'm ordering a 20 mile battery ASAP. "Too much effort to bother to ride" just turned into "Hey, this is fun exercise"! At 6'2" 250 pounds I am impressed with the capability of my new (exercise) toy. The technology has finally arrived at my level of expectation.