ProPack Bike Shop Kit
From $399.00 to $949.00
Pros and Cons
7/24/2016 5:16 PM
I have been using this product with the lead acid battery for over a year now and it's time to review it.
The main pro is that the Hilltopper delivers as promised: It really helps climbing hills (and even comes in handy in headwinds). It's also probably the right amount of power. I'm a big guy and my bike is heavy, so it actually doesn't provide enough power for me to climb really steep hills, but it's plenty of power boost 90% of the time. The key is to use it as the "power assist" it is intended to be and not expect it to be a mini-motorcycle.
Another pro is that, at least as I use it (intermittently on rides under 8 miles) the battery has plenty of lifespan. I doubt that I've ever used more than two-thirds of its capacity.
However, the big con is that it adds a lot of weight to my bike. Granted, I probably should have bought a lighter battery, but the motor itself is quite heavy. The extra weight affects the bike's handling and safety too. It took me awhile to get used to the handling with the added weight, and while I'm used to it now, I still don't like it.
This is such a big drawback that I would advise anyone who doesn't really need the motor assist not to install it. However, I was to the point where I needed it, so can't complain. There's just a real tradeoff between the extra power and the extra weight.
Another con, in my experience, is that having the motor assist hasn't motivated me to ride farther. I thought it would, but instead I'm mainly using my bike as I always did for short commutes. I just have more flexibility with the routes and destinations, since hills aren't the obstacles they were, and have come to appreciate the extra spurt of power on small hills that I could climb without it but like climbing easier.
My Bottom Line: I'm happy with my Hilltopper, since I needed it, just wish I didn't need it.
Saves me about 80 dollars a month in gas
9/5/2014 8:06 PM
I have been commuting 32 miles a day five days a week for about a month now with the hill topper. It works great. I figure I'm saving 80 dollars a month in gas. I also have been using the hill topper for running errands around town. In many cases it is faster than driving the car. I bought the 40 mile range version. I plug it in when I get to work, and when I get home. If you are wondering if it is worth it to get a hill topper. It is! I figure about 10 month payback for my investment. Not only that, It is good for the environment and it makes me feel better and I'm healthier.
My wife sometimes rides the hill topper bike so she can ride with me. I ride my regular bike. My wife had a knee replaced a year ago. She is not a regular rider, and yet she was able to ride 18 miles round trip to a local restaurant.
I can't say enough positive things about the hill topper.
This commuter bike enables me to have no car.
(Santa Rosa, CA)
3/3/2014 7:12 PM
I do not own a car, and when I moved farther away from work I needed some help to propel my bike to work. I weigh 300 lbs. and my Trek 820 weighs 35 lbs. I carry about 15 lbs. of gear. The Hill Topper does splendidly propelling me the 5.6 mi. to work, even without pedaling. I do pedal, though, and I average about 17 mph on flat paved ground with my 350 lb. gross weight.
I would highly recommend buying the Hill Topper Kit with the hub already built in the wheel. I bought a ProPack Bike Shop Kit hoping to save money by using my rim. I could not reuse my rim because it is best to use a double walled rim. My local bike shop charged me $30 for such a rim & $80 to lace up my hub motor. It all works fine, but I would have saved time and money just buying the Hill Topper Kit.
It is very easy to hook up, and the battery charging is very simple.
I am a very tough customer, and I really tested the limits of Clean Republic with my many phone calls with little questions. They were champs about the whole thing!
I did about 100 hours of Google research on electric bikes and kits. This type of motor in the front hub is the best choice, in my opinion. When you pedal, you have all wheel drive! The Hill Topper Kit is good for bottom end torque. As such, it is good for hills, headwinds, heavy loads and getting the load moving. A high speed setup is another matter, and you need to contemplate what is your maximum safe speed on a bike. I, for one, never want to go over 25-30 mph on a bike because I ride in a city. I have flown off of bikes on the pavement at 20 mph, and I am sure glad that I was not moving faster at the time. The damage to your body (via kinetic energy) increases by a factor of the SQUARE of your velocity. At speeds of 15-30 mph, each extra 5 mph will increase your kinetic energy (damage) by 50%! A crash at 30 mph will cause 125% MORE damage than a crash at 20 mph.
I recommend the Hill Topper Kit for your commuter bike!
Make year-round daily bike travel comfortable and convenient for all!
(Blue Ridge, VA)
2/19/2011 8:11 PM
Many happy customers write about how the HT makes biking easy for those who want to be active but aren't super-fit. After having mine for 3 months on my Trek Soho, commuting every day 100 miles a week, I want to point out that even fit riders benefit from making a difficult or long daily commute much easier, leaving more time and energy for other pursuits and training.
The motor is well built and dependable, with the perfect gearing to give the most torque at the hardest moments of bicycling: breaking through stiff headwinds and powering up steep hills. I barely use 1/4 of the lithium battery charge in 10 hilly miles, but get to my destination 10-15 minutes sooner, and not tired at all.
10 minutes is all it takes to remove the components from one bike and set it up on another bike. I've put it on our tandem to help out on the hills when riding with the kids.
I'm looking forward to using it during hot weather. Maintaining a good speed up hills will keep me from getting all sweaty.
I purchased the lithium pro pack and had no trouble building the wheel using the spokes from Clean Republic and a new low-profile rim. I have built only a couple of wheels before, but I zoomed in on the wheel picture on this website to use as a lacing guide.
I have had no trouble with the unit, so I can't comment on technical service. But I did call customer service after purchasing because I was concerned about the shipping delay. They were very helpful and straightforward about the delay because of backordered parts from their suppliers, giving me an accurate new ship date.
Everything else about the product has proven reliable in my experience: ease of installation; dependable parts; light weight; quiet ride (although certainly not silent--it makes a mild whine that changes pitch depending on speed); and most of all, ease of using my bike as a bike! Try riding one of those other heavy electric bikes without the motor's help!
Everyone should have a Hill Topper!