How to choose between hub motor and mid-drive motor ebikes?

The performance, price and riding experience of e-bike depends largely on the type of motor.

There are two main types of motors: hub motor and mid-drive motor. Hub motors are the most common type of motor and are integrated into the front or rear wheel to provide power to the wheels.

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. 

1. Range

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

2. Gears

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. 

3. Reliability

Compared with mid-drive motors, hub motors can be more reliable and safer because they don't have any gears inside and tend to last longer than mid-drive motors.
Another benefit of the hub motor is that it works independently of the drive system. This means if your bike’s chain breaks, you can still ride the bike by pedaling.
On the other hand, mid motors have more complex electronics and gear reduction and do not offer redundancy which can increase the risk of malfunction, and reliability.

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. 

6. Price

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.



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