Hub Drive VS Mid Drive eBike motor systems

Hub Drive VS Mid Drive eBike motor systems


Hey, what’s up? This is Mikey at Blue Monkey Bicycles and
in this video we’re going to talk about mid-drives vs hub-drives! *intro Alright, so first things first; what’s the
difference between the two? A hub-drive is an electric bike motor that
is right in the middle of the hub, or in the middle of the wheel (usually in the back wheel). Now that motor gets a little bit of juice
from the controller and then the motor starts to turn and then through the spokes onto the
tire, and the entire bike gets moving. That’s a hub-drive! Now a mid-drive on the other hand is an electric
bike motor that (instead of in the back or the front of the bike) it’s right in the middle. Usually this means that it’s in-between the
pedals. So, like, there’s the pedals, there’s the
cranks and Boom! that’s where the motor would be. That’s the difference between the two. Let’s focus on just one for now which is the
hub-drive and we’re going to start with the Pros. Now first up, hub-drives are cheap. From a manufacturing standpoint they can be
attached to a variety of different frames with just a few minor tweaks. So the designer has a lot of room to work
with the rest of the bike. Hub-drives have been manufactured on a large
scale for quite some years. So there’s a lot of option for low to high
power options, wheel size, all sorts of stuff. If you want to build you own electric bike,
then a hub-drive is an excellent way to start. If you want to learn more about conversions
you can click on this video; hear our take on it. So, another thing about hub-drives is that
they’re actually very peppy. Here in the states, usually a hub-drive bike
will have a throttle that expressly engages the motor without pedaling, and then off it
goes. Like a rear wheel drive car a hub-drive in
the back of the bike has this pushing effect, almost like rocket propulsion. And it’s a lot of fun, let me tell you. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should,
it’s a blast! That’s the main reason why I, myself, ride
a hub-drive every single day as my daily driver electric bike. I have really long stretches of road where
the top speed and the pep is very much appreciated. Now another thing is that hub-drives don’t
need a chain to operate. If the chain breaks, or more likely if the
rider is tired, then you can engage the the throttle and the motor without having to use
the pedals at all (because you don’t really need the chain), and then the rider can get
home to safety without being stranded. So this is actually the main reason why we
recommend a hub-drive for folks using an electric bike for serious rehabilitation. So, it’s a pretty good plus. So let’s talk about some of the cons of the
hub-drive, because they do have some. Now the elephant in the room is the weight
on the back wheel. Yes, those wheels can be difficult to remove
from the bicycle. It’s not super complicated, usually just washers
and a plug, but it can be very overwhelming and if it’s not on there right then the entire
bike just feels really weird. If you switch out tires often, then a hub
drive can really be a drag… Another sizable issue is that putting the
motor weight either on the front or the back of the bike away from the rider has a pretty
big impact on front to back balance. So, it’s not really a big deal if you plan
on riding on the road or pretty casual, but when you get off-road into the trails it makes
a big difference to have that weight bulking you back or kind of pulling you forward. So if you intend on riding some outdoor trails…
well I guess they’re all outdoors… if you intend on riding off road trails, then you
should intend on looking into a mid-drive electric bike. Speaking of mid-drives, let’s talk about pros
that a mid-drive has. Mid-drives are the newest innovation to really
take hold of the electric bike market. A few years ago a professionally made mid-drive
electric bike wasn’t easy to find. But now, almost everyone has their hat in
the ring: Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha to name a few. Surprisingly electric bike batteries haven’t
changed too much in the last few years, but the motors have. If you want the latest and greatest, then
a mid-drive is in your future. Mid-drives are also much more natural of a
biking movement. With a hub-drive on the other hand when you
twist the throttle (or depending on how the pedal assist is actuated) it can feel like
a scooter, or a dirt bike. But with a mid-drive (most of them don’t have
throttles) and so when you get on and you pedal (you have to pedal by the way) it has
this very zen experience. Y’know, you go a lot farther, a lot faster,
you get to see a lot more of what you’re going after The real thrill of cycling all comes
back to you. It has the very built-in reward system to
it. It’s really, really a lot of fun. Mid-drives also have superior balance, and
that’s just true. Having the system smack-dab in the middle
is really really nice for off-road trails for knarly riding and especially downhill. The mid-drive can feel like a mountain goat;
leaping up to precarious heights that seem impossible in some ways. But the hub-drive (depending on how powerful
it is) it can feel kind of like a moose that sort of skattering up almost pushing the hill
out of way… Mid-drives aren’t all fun and games though… Well they are, but let’s talk about a couple
of Cons. The first is that a mid-drive motor (because
it fits right inside the bike frame) has to have a bicycle frame literally designed around
it. Now because of that sometimes mid-drive bikes
can have a higher price tag. Hey, a designer’s got to eat too. This hasn’t really been the case, it’s been
kind of dying down the last little while we’ve noticed that because we’ve seen other electric
bikes come out riding the coat-tails of the previous one, designs are being used from
one company to another. So honestly, this isn’t as big of an issue
as it was a couple of years ago. But it’s still something to look out for;
if you see a really expensive mid-drive electric bike that could be one reason. It could have two batteries on it… but…
that’s a different story. But the big issue facing mid-drive bikes is
actually stress on the chain. So on a regular mountain bike when you’re
climbing up a really steep hill: you stand on the pedals and put a lot of stress on that
front cog, and therefore stress on the chain, and that’s all fine and good. That’s what bikes are made to do. And that’s the parts that exist in the market
right now. When you add a motor into the equation, suddenly
things get a little bit… risky, we’ll say. So when you’re standing on the pedals putting
a lot of stress on it AND you have the added stress from the motor putting torque on that
front cog; the chain has too much, and the chain will break. That has happened to us, on mountain bikes,
but only mid drive mountain bikes. There are a few mitigators that are coming
out into the market, such as Haibike; they have a cog on top of the frame that acts as
a uh… kind of span out the stress over a larger area… I guess… I’m actually not a designer so… I assume that’s what it does. Also, they’re stronger chains coming into
the market from the regular bicycle manufacturing world. So as time goes on this will not be as big
of an issue for steep climbing but right now if you plan on climbing a really, really steep
hill, there is a very good chance that your mid-drive mountain bike will snap a chain. So, be aware of that. Alright, so who’s the winner between hub-drives
and mid-drives? Well, it’s you the customer because you can
decide which one best suits your needs and thats why we’re here, so we can help you make
that decision. Right now, neither one of ’em completely overlaps
the other in all of their uses, so there’s still a lot of options to choose from. SO I hope you’ve enjoyed this video and learned
something. If you want to check out the other VS Series
such as batteries and direct drive / geared motors or something like that feel free to
click on the info tab and learn more. Or you can check out our web-site where we
have a lot of this information in one place, which is bluemonkeybicycles.com

100 thoughts on “Hub Drive VS Mid Drive eBike motor systems

  • I really cannot believe that someone with basic logic will buy a bike with mid drive! I am also astonished not to see or hear about the major con of the mid drive. What is something that will often occur while biking an ebike? That you will run out of battery of course. How are you going to pedal an uphill with a mid drive ebike which has a dead battery when you have got rid of the front triplet chain ring and substituted it with just one ring chain of about 42 teeth!! You just cannot!

  • I prefer stress on the cain over stress on the motor. Since the middrive motor profits the same as I do frome a good gear choice, and we both can use the full spectrum, the motor is more likely in it's sweetspot of RPM to torque, while the hubdrive spins slower, unable to deliblver the requested amount of torque, sucks more and more amps, while cooling, because of lower speed, starts to fail.

    Look at ebay, there are so many hubdrive pedelec with burnt motors, while there are the old Panasonic 26V middrive pedelecs, after 10 years and several thousands of kilometers still in use.

    I mean, a new chain costs 30-50 CHF, while a new motor costs around 800-1200 CHF. But that doesn't matter at all, since I have a bike here, with the Panasonic 26V middrive, 24'000 km and the original chain still in use. But I have to say, to be fair, that it is a hubgear-pedelec.

  • If the hub drive is not switched on, does it add much drag? And same for the mid drive when you are pedaling faster than the motor cut-out speed? Cheers!

  • I prefer a 48v front hub with a 52v 1200watt 10ah on a 29" 300c road bike. No suspension. No gears just back pedal brake. Going by years strong now with an average range of 35km at top speed of 49km/hr

  • The BAFANG Mid drive any day. 1. Easy to build I put one on my Trek 29er in about an hour. 2. Use of gears. I still have 9 gears to utilize. 3. You can get a kit with a throttle. Mine has throttle and motor cut of sensor for easier shifting of gears. see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET3_axuihbY&t=1s I have over 2000 miles on it. Grease it every 1K and yer good to go. Still using original chain which is beginning to stretch out, will replace soon.

  • For urban commuting that has only moderate inclines (I wouldn't even call them "hills" but enough to require changing several gears), which is better, mid or hub drive? This video seems to mainly focus on mountain biking, unfortunately.

  • A motor will not put the same kind of stress to a chain because the power is even. Not like your feet that push very hard every 180 degrees. What most likely happened is that the motor plus your feet pushing really hard caused the chain to break. A strong cyclist may put as much as 300w when pedaling max. Add 500w from the motor and you will see why the chain may break.

  • I prefer a rear-frame mounted electric motor driving a seperate singlespeed freewheel sprocket that is on top of the main freewheel sprocket. I also like the friction drive system with a clutch below the cranks that can easily be mounted and dismounted. These two options are never discussed, consumers are lead to believe there are only 3 options for an ebike and it is plain wrong.

  • Love my mid drive Bosch Performance CX… I do a lot of down hill mountain hill and everyday roads, I would be interested in knowing the capabilities of eshift with shimano and Bosch

  • For commuting nothings beats a hub motor, it's not a trip to train or be fit, it's a boring taks you'll do when earning money, better do it without breaking a sweat while also using the most efficient vehicle.

  • I think Hub motors win overall because of expense, simplicity and reliability. The only real con for hub motor is the weight, and hill climbing which can be fixed with 2WD.
    For the price of one Mid drive Motor, I can buy three Hub motors…

  • I've got a bbshd mid drive running off a 52v battery. Can I also add a 48v battery at the same time, or will it burn the motor out?

  • I have an idea that would bump The Hub drive ebike into the lead… I recently bought a nanrobot D4 +, and it is a thousand watt Hub Drive in the front and a thousand watt Hub Drive in the back… why don't we do this to an e-bike like say a 750w hub drive in the front & a 750w hub drive the back… well that would eliminate the unbalancing of the back into the front end of the bike I admit it would add a lot of weight to the bike but you would have that balanced weight to give you a better Center of balance and it would pull from front and back which would eliminate that awkward feeling you experience while riding up a steep hill it would be pulling from the front while pushing from the back… just for the record I write a 500 watt rear hub drive ecotric Fat Tire so I'm used to a bit extra weight begin with and I got to say it does pretty well at around 25 miles per hour with just the throttle on flat it, on the other hand the nanrobot D4 + well that does 40mph, and it's pretty badass to say the least if your not using Eco setting and your pushing it you'll probably get about 15 to 20 miles out of it but if you are easy on the throttle and you're in eco mode with single Hub Drive you likely will get 30 to 40 miles out of it as long as you stay on a smooth level route.

  • A comfortable, natural speaking style. I like the honest comments inbetween, ie "I assume that's what it does; I'm not designer".. lol.

    Nice video!

  • You forgot to mention the torque stress on the rear wheel with rear hub. This is a trade off comparable to the stress on the chain with a mid drive. Front hub has its own issues you didn't mention either. 👎

  • I've been rockin a rear gearless hub drive for years and live the feeling.
    Is it true that a mid drive will provide more range than a hub?

  • Ya, the BIG problem with mid-rive system is the chain and do not expect it to last, at all. Another weak spot in the mid-drive systems is the sprockets, front and rear, they will not last if you ride on or off road more than 3 or more times a week and don't let any one tell you otherwise because I did it for over 14 years on a Raleigh M20 a GT a Ironhorse and finally a real tough Giant and those parts will not last longer than 2 years or less each. So I have come up the solution and that is using a Shimano 8 speed hub with a no# 35 chain sprocket from a go-kart welded to the original sprocket already on the hub then replace the front sprocket on the bottom bracket thats attached to the mid-drive motor with a large go-kart 30 or 40 tooth sprocket. The no# 35 chain will not wear out as fast and the chain, without the use or the need for the derailleur, will always stay tight and can be adjusted over time. Other benefits is that the no#35 chain can take a lot more abuse and is much stronger for those harder trails. The 8 speed hub leaves that only a single sprocket is needed and can be much cheaper to replace if it even ever does wear out on just a bicycle. Try it if you can it is going to save you a lot of cash over the long haul. The no#35 chain is rated at over 20 to 40 horsepower and your not even a horse so it will last a long long time.

  • He's a pretty face for selling bikes. A front hub motor is supposed to pull the bike. We will take care of the riding.

  • This video needs an update I think. You essentially make it sound like the second you take a mid drive motor up a hill you’re going to snap a chain when in reality there have been tests done to show that mid drive eBike drivetrains last only slightly shorter than their acoustic counterparts. With a properly maintained drivetrain you’re not just going to randomly snap a chain. Over time, sure. But again that’s the same as on any bike.

  • and Hub Drive can cross up to 100km/h … i dont really understand why ebike is so fucking expensive with lower performance

  • Another key advantage to mid drive not mentioned here is that it works much better than a hub drive motor on a full suspension frame. The heavy mid drive motor is bouncing up and down during suspension travel and the mid drive motor is protected from those big hits which has a big positive effect on how the bike reacts and feels on bumpy sections.

  • I prefer mid drive motor.because i can benefit from multi speeds of the free wheel,like motorcycle and car.but hub motor,i can't.

  • I had to pay a lot for maintenance for the mid drive because the chain and geers wares and tares often because of the stress. I would get a hub from next time.

  • My mid-drive motor “broke” leaving me stranded miles from home. Give me a front-hub drive for reliability. If the battery fails or the motor dies, you can pedal. If your chain brakes (never happened in 60 years if cycling) you can still motor.

  • No one ever mentions that if you have a puncture with a hub motor you are SCREWED!! There is an electric wire going to the wheel which makes it impossible to take the wheel out of the bike which means you can't repair the puncture, so either gotta go back to where you bougth the bike or do it yourself but there is no way you can do it on the way, you would need to do it home to make sure nothing gets damaged. Go for a mid drive, a little more pricey but worth it! I have 2000 watt hub motor which I love but if I could go back would choose a mid drive!

  • To expensive for mid drive, buying myself a Juced for Christmas, that is if I can clear Santa’s naughty list, my last two girl friends would say no way he’s naughty evil jerk.😁

  • Who switches tyres often normally, mid drives are no use if your legs are fkt , especially the speed they stop and start at, it makes your life a lot harder with poor legs , also your chain lasts a lot less time with a mid drive.

  • Was I the only person who noticed at [3:42] the idiot riding with the kick stand down? Great way to wreck your eBike and yourself…

  • Mine does 1500 watt 60 clicks throttle and pedelec together ! Throttle over ride ! ECO ,SPORT, OFF ROAD 52.5 VOLT ! NEVER EVER SNAPPED A CHAIN YET ! UNLESS YOUR AN IDIOT !

  • without reading 867 comments made before mine i could be repeating someones comment. what you didn't address is the hub motor goes from stop to full speed. that's it. the mid drive utilizes all of your gears. better bottom end and higher top speeds and everything in between.

  • Chain snapping are the result of poor design, no excuses. You upped the power of the drive, you make the drive train components stronger. That rule applied since the dawn of machines. You do not put out a 500 CC motorcycle with a chain for a 250 CC. The other option for off road uses and balance is to have a motor at each wheel. You have to eat the weight penalty.

  • 6:08 then wouldn't the optimal design be one motor on each wheel and one in the middle to evenly distribute power? the little electronic components that com with these kits are laughable. very low quality. wont need a speed sensor if there's one on the iwatch. besides, do I actually HAVE TO know that? traffic is what it is. an smart phone app giving you readings would seem like a natural fix for instead of doing all that wiring and zip tie r ing for 1980s style electronic "data". even a light on the front and back of the bike doesnt necessarily have to be wired. that could be a clip on component. even a blinker system is extremely easy. use your phones flashlight SOS – instant blinker.

  • Chains breaking on a mid is an easy problem to resolve. Buy a internally geared rear hub and the heaviest chain you can fit on it. Mid drive chain breaks because every one keeps trying to use narrow chain.

  • Which one of the two drives is easier to pedae with, if you run out of battery power or another malfunction happens? I have a hub drive and find it very hard to pedal.

  • If a mid drive is snapping chains then its also wearing out the front and rear sprockets a lot faster as well. You are going to need gear change sensor to cut power or chain and sprockets will be hammered. Snap a chain and you are now pushing a mid drive bike home.

  • I recommend mid drive for off-road and high speed high torque scenario….. For city and daily commute u can opt hub drive….. In scooters

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