Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electric Bikes
Reload this Page >

Ebike mechanic explains why mid drive is superior to hub drive

Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.
 Magic Cycle

Ebike mechanic explains why mid drive is superior to hub drive

Old 10-17-22, 04:08 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 172 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 19 Posts
Ebike mechanic explains why mid drive is superior to hub drive

fascinating to watch. Overall he makes a good case for mid drive and he has good credibility.
adlai is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 05:29 AM
Older and wiser
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Bombay Beach California
Posts: 14

Bikes: Old school Electra cruiser, Giant AnyRoad One and a Mastretta MX3 LT80

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Mid-drive vs hub

I just test rode a super 73 with 1000w + hub motor. It doesn't seem to have the instant torque of my Bafang 500w mid-drive. It also has trouble powering up hills. Hub motors are good for flat riding. Mid-drives do everything better.
electricPony is offline  
Likes For electricPony:
Old 10-17-22, 06:45 AM
Moe Zhoost
Half way there
Moe Zhoost's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,850

Bikes: Many, and the list changes frequently

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 945 Post(s)
Liked 802 Times in 480 Posts
Yep, I prefer mid-drive systems as well. All of my buddies with hub motor bikes tell me that mid-drives wear out the drive components so much faster, but I've not seen that in real life. I do expect a bit more wear, but with a torque sensing system and proper gear selection, I don't think wear is a significant problem. Hub motors do have the advantage of energy recovery and braking assist, but I've not seen data that show real world impact.

The wheel integrity issue with hub motors is likely the biggest disadvantage. A friend discovered that his motor torque was causing his rim to crack at the spoke nipples, requiring either a new wheel or a rebuild. He ended up getting a discounted price on a new wheel from the manufacturer, but we delaced the old motor to take a look. It turned out that the old motor had a bad bearing that required splitting the hub body to replace. This design made it impossible to replace a bearing on a built wheel. Why design stuff like this?
Moe Zhoost is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 07:00 AM
Ride more, eat less
cat0020's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,655

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 509 Post(s)
Liked 443 Times in 298 Posts
Video is nearly 2 yea old, there are advances on both type of motors since.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 08:21 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,680
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 740 Post(s)
Liked 579 Times in 438 Posts
ebikesca, who sell only hubs (AFAICR) has a good tutorial on the benefits of hub systems. For me, I've enjoyed several errand bikes with front or rear hubs and one front system that was a blast off road. However, as stated many times, "mids" exceed in very hilly areas. My daughter loves he front system and just returned from Burning Man with it. The front hub is seven years old.
2old is offline  
Likes For 2old:
Old 10-17-22, 10:18 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 123

Bikes: Trek FX 7.3, Huffy RedRock, Aostimotor S17 ebike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 26 Posts
If they were priced similarly, it would be a no brainer, but at almost double the cost, I'll stick with easy of install of a hub drive.
XxHaimBondxX is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:06 AM
Senior Member
Pinigis's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Henrico, VA
Posts: 1,377

Bikes: Origami Gazelle, Origami Crane 8, Origami Cricket 7

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 192 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
Video is nearly 2 yea old, there are advances on both type of motors since.
But, the basic premise is still valid.
Paul Pinigis
Owner of Origami Bicycle Company
Pinigis is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: calgary, canada
Posts: 1,464
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 442 Post(s)
Liked 204 Times in 129 Posts
It is, at heart, a religious argument.
I've had both, like them both, it depends on what your intended use is, how you feel about reliability, how much you like replacing parts.
Johnny Nerdout makes his business selling and installing mid drives, so he would say that, wouldn't he?
I think he is a good guy and provides a valuable service but there is more to it than that.
skookum is offline  
Likes For skookum:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.