You are thinking to buy an electric bike and you are overwhelmed with available information, especially about motors. Is mid drive motor better? If so why ?
Which one is better 750W hub motor or 250W mid-drive motor?
Why a $1000 electric bike on Amazon has a 500W motor but a $7,000 German electric bike has only 250 W Bosch mid drive motor?
In this article, we will explain you everything about Electric Bike Mid Drive Motor in the most simple way. We advise you not to buy an electric bike before reading this article
MID DRIVE MOTOR
First Generation of Electric Bike Motors.
Apply Force to the Wheel
Better Initial Acceleration
Easier To Repair the Motor
Latest Electric Bike Motor Technology.
Apply Force to the Crank
Higher Torque = Better Climbing
Easier Maintenance for your Electric Bike
Better Weight Distribution
More Efficient = Longer Range
1. WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION
Hub motors are located either at the front wheel or rear wheel at electric bikes. So in either case weight is not ideally distributed.
Mid Drive motor is located at the middle of the electric bike “where there is a crank”. This way weight is uniformly distributed and center of gravity doesn’t change.
MID DRIVE MOTOR
As you can see in mid drive electric bike, motor weight is at the center of the bike. This gives stability to the electric bike especially when you are riding downhill or going through some bumps. Also when you want to lift your electric bike you will enjoy this “more balanced” weight distribution.
Front Hub motors can create a relatively balanced weight distribution considering battery is located at the rear of the electric bike. But you have to be careful about fork dropouts. Electric bikes still use same front forks with bicycles. And bicycle forks are not designed for high stress.
A front hub motor will create extra stress on dropouts of the front fork which may break the front fork. This is dangerous especially if you use an alloy front fork as alloy don’t bend under stress rather breaks. So when you understand if something is wrong with your fork it may be too late.
2. MOTOR POWER
Mid-drive motors have several speed reduction gears inside. The purpose of those speed reduction gears is to increase the torque. To give an analogy you can have a look at wind turbines. Wind turbines can create a huge torque (power) at a very low speed.
Unfortunately, these gears cost you initial acceleration. Mid drives don’t have that zippy feel that hub motors have.
You can see the gears of Bosch Mid Drive motor in below picture.
Why do Mid-drive motors have speed reduction gears?
The answer is easy; higher torque and efficiency. Higher torque will let you climb hills easily with your e-bike. Also those gears let mid-drive to work efficiently at different speeds. On the other hand hub motors are efficient only at high speed.
Mid-Drive Electric bikes are better for;
- People seeking a long range
- Need climb hills
- Use the electric bike for hauling
- Need change speed of the electric bike frequently (When you ride on a trail). This is why without exception all electric mountain bike brands are using mid drive motors.
Hub Motor Electric bikes are better for;
- People ride on moderately flat places
- Don’t look for long range (Actually if they have a big battery then hub motors can provide long ranges too such as W-Premium ebike has 48V18ah battery)
- people looking for faster “initial” acceleration which we call zip .
This is a little bit tricky part. At Ariel Rider, we provide electric bikes with mid motor and hub motor so we can be unbiased.
Hub motor is located at the center of the wheel of electric bike. When you need to repair gear or need to change your tire, It is more difficult to do it at hub motor electric bike than a normal bicycle. So many people complain that Hub motors are harder to maintain.
Another point is if you need to remove your motor at mid-drive motors you just need to unscrew 4 screws and you can remove your motor. For a hub motor as spokes are connected to the motor, it is a much labor intense work. And this needs to be handled with someone who knows what he is doing.
Now the weak part of a mid-drive motor. If a mid-drive motor is broken generally it is more difficult to repair them as they are more sophisticated motors compared to the hub motor.
If you buy a quality motor like DAPU, Bosch or Shimano you won’t need to worry about this issue.
Our first mid-drive motor has been tested for 72,000 km so far and still have no issue with it. Try to buy a mid-drive motor that you can trust.
4. HANDLING OF YOUR ELECTRIC BIKE
Mid-drive motors are positioned at the center and low near the ground. This helps a lot when you are riding your electric bike. Especially under those conditions;
- When you are turning
- When you ride downhill
- Passing through bumps or holes
5. MID-DRIVES ARE NOISY
Mid-drive motors have internal speed reduction gears. Those gears are doing wonders by reducing speed and creating much higher torque. But those gears also make noise.
The speed will be higher at lower gears when the motor is running at high RPM. But the level of noise is not that high like some say. It is just relatively higher than hub motors.
6. LONG RANGE
Mid drive motors have speed reduction gears. First check why we use speed reduction gears in mid-drive motors.
Unfortunately, Mid-Drive motors are more expensive than hub motors. The sophisticated mechanical and electronic structure make them more expensive. Also you need to have a special purpose-built bracket on e-bike frame to install the motor which adds to cost.
MID-DRIVE E-BIKE FOR LESS THAN $1600 ?
Ariel Rider is offering a mid-drive electric bike for only $1599 which comes with hydraulic brakes, internal gears. You can check more about M-Class electric bike here.
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