With the never-ending range of e-bikes today, there is a vast range of mechanical and technical features as well. One of these features is the motor, which essentially amplifies your pedaling input. Riders frequently struggle with choosing the right motor when purchasing an e-bike. How to tell which type of drive — hub drive ebikes or a mid-drive—is superior? Learn more about the two different e-bike motor types by reading on.
What are Mid Drive and Hub Drive eBikes?
To know which motor is better, it is necessary to know first what they actually are. As the name suggests, a mid-drive motor is situated in the middle of your bike. It is fitted within the drive-train system of your e-bike around the bottom bracket.
On the other hand, a hub drive motor is fitted into the hub of the front or rear wheel of your bike. So, there are two types of this motor: front hub motor and rear hub motor.
Comparison of Features: Mid Drive vs. Hub Drive
Let’s examine the characteristics of both motors so you can contrast the two and determine which type of e-bike motor is best.
Level of Assistance:
Mid-drive gives the rider a more natural feel while pedaling. But, at the same time, it provides a direct response and a greater level of assistance to your pedaling input.
The hub drive ebikes are less responsive as compared to the mid-drive and it makes the rider feel that the bike is being pushed or pulled on one side in the case of rear and front hub drives, respectively.
The efficiency of e-bikes on rough terrain is directly associated with the type of motor. Usually, hub drive ebikes have their weight leaned more on one side of the bike than the other, which makes them less stable.
Only a few e-bikes come with hub motors on both wheels. Therefore, these are often not suitable for off-road commuting. Mid-drive bikes, on the contrary, have their weight balanced on both sides of the bike since the motor is situated between the paddles rather than on one of the two wheels.
A mid-drive bike also has a lower center of gravity, which makes it more balanced. As a result, a mid-drive motor provides the necessary traction needed to ride on rugged mountains and rough hilly terrain, whereas a hub motor doesn’t.
Wear and Tear:
Hub drive e-bikes are less prone to wear and tear. Their drivetrain systems are independent of the motors and thus face no stress or pressure while moving. Since more work is done by the hub motor, your bike chain will last longer as compared to that of a mid-drive e-bike.
The chain and drive-train systems of a mid-drive e-bike are often more prone to wear and tear as they have to handle both the force provided by pedaling and the torque produced by the motor at the same time. This is also why mid-drive e-bikes need more frequent maintenance as compared to hub drive e-bikes.
The Size of the Battery Needed:
Mid-drive e-bike motors provide more power and a greater range of output. In turn, they’ll need larger batteries. The battery of a mid-drive e-bike should be large enough to handle large outputs. However, hub-drive e-bike motors won’t need any heavy batteries. These motors are therefore unable to provide sufficient assistance during pedaling even when they are set to their maximum.
Hub motors are easier to install in an e-bike. All you need to do is remove the wheel and the cassette. However, in the case of mid-drive motors, you’ll have to deal with the bike chain during installation, and it’s a real hassle. Also, it’s really frustrating to change the flat tires on your e-bike if it’s a hub drive.
Moreover, the installation of hub drives on an e-bike requires a torque arm to handle the output torque and additional controllers, which are stored on your bike, whereas no such additional installation is required in the case of mid-drive motors.
Although hub drive e-bikes are lighter as compared to mid-drive e-bikes, the latter are sleeker in design. Mid-drive e-bikes give that heavy bike vibe and are more pleasing to the eyes in terms of aesthetics.
They are fitted along the drive train, which prevents them from standing out. On the other hand, hub drives give a little rough appearance on the wheels of the bike. They are not your thing if you are someone who prefers aesthetics over everything else.
Mid-drive motors are more costly as compared to hub motors, and so do the e-bikes that come with the corresponding motors. You can buy an average mid-drive motor for $700, whereas there are many others above this price range.
Hub drives are much more affordable and come with mid-range price tags. Most mid-drive motors are easily available for between $200 and $300.
So, Which is the Best?
This is something based on the choice of the rider. Every type of motor has its own pros and cons. You should analyze the features of both types of e-bike motors and draw a comparison to know which one works in your favor.
For example, if you are looking for something with optimal performance at a lower price, you may choose the hub drive e-bikes. It’s also a fine choice if you are a city commuter. Being lighter, the hub drive e-bikes are also a more suitable option for youngsters.
Mid-drive e-bikes are more suitable for enthusiasts or mountain riders. They give a natural feel, comparable to that of an ordinary pedal bike. So, if your preference is a high-end bike with greater performance, a sleeker design, and a natural riding experience, mid-drive e-bikes are for you.
Where to Buy?
Are you looking for an e-bike with a high-quality motor with top-notch performance? Let’s not search anymore because we at Revolt Bikes have got your back. Our folding e-bikes come with a direct drive motor or a geared hub motor, which adds spice to your traditional pedaling experience. What’s more to wait for there? Go and grab yours now!
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