The performance, price and riding experience of e-bike depends largely on the type of motor.
Mid-drive motors are positioned between the pedals and provide more control and efficiency by utilizing the gears of the e-bike to be able to provide more power and torque. These motors are often considered more powerful, efficient and responsive than hub motors, and of course more expensive.
So how to choose between hub motor and mid-drive motor e-bike? Next we will discuss the differences between hub and mid-drive motors so you can make a better choice.
Because mid-drive motors operate at more efficient RPMs when used in conjunction with your bike’s gears, they almost always have better range than similarly powerful hub-drives. The mid-drive motors can also make better use of the energy generated by regenerative braking, which helps to extend the range of the e-bike
The biggest advantage of a mid-drive ebike over a hub-drive e-bike is that mid-drive motors make better use of the bike's gears. Electric motors operate more efficiently at higher RPMs, and mid-drive motors are generally tuned to operate efficiently at a natural pedaling cadence. So when you’re pedaling in the right gear, the motor will be operating in its comfort zone.
And as the motors of hub-driven e-bikes operate independently from the drivetrain, the hub motors can’t utilize the bike’s gears . This means hub motors may run outside their optimal RPM. While climbing hills, the motor will run slow, burn more energy, can’t supply power as much, and ultimately limit the performance.
4. Throttle Control
Hub motor ebikes typically use a throttle to control the amount of power the motor provides. And mid-drive motors use the pedal assisted bike motor, which provides power when you pedals the bike.
Some people prefer the throttle control offered by hub motor ebikes because it is more intuitive, while others prefer the natural feel of pedal assist provided by mid-drive motors.
5. Related Cost
Mid-drive motors are generally more expensive to repair and maintain than hub motors because they are more complex, cause more wear and tear on drivetrain components, and have more moving parts. Also, mid-drive motors can be more complicated to install than hub motors.
On the other hand, hub motors are simpler and easier to maintain, which can reduce repair and maintenance costs.
Hub motor e-bikes are simpler in design and lower in production cost than mid-drive e-bikes, so hub motor e-bikes will be cheaper than mid-drive e-bikes. For example, Fafrees mid-drive e-bikes can save more than 1000€ more than hub e-bikes.
Hub motors and mid-drive motors each have their own pros and cons, and the choice between a hub motor e-bike or a mid-drive motor e-bike is more a matter of personal needs and preferences, such as the range you need, the type of terrain you will be riding, your budget etc.
If you've never ride an e-bike, and ease of use, affordability, and stability are your priorities, then hub motor e-bike might be the best option for you. But if you are a veteran of e-bikes, you can try a mid-drive motor e-bike.
But no matter which type of bikes you choose, with the right one for you, you can enjoy a new level of freedom, efficiency, and convenience on your next ride.