Wheel hub and electric bicycle mid drive : which is right for me
Until around 2010, choosing electric bicycles was relatively easy. You just need to choose your budget, your brand and choose your favorite. Over time, people feel overwhelmed by the number of options available.
So, today, I will help you narrow down your choices and choose a wheel or a Electric Bike Drive Mid. Then you can choose the perfect model for you.
Hub electric bicycles will always be the most cost-effective entrance to electric bicycles, and if your budget is limited, it is perfect for you. If you are determined to get the best performance, handling, and cruising range, and are willing to spend a few hundred dollars more, then a mid-drive electric bike is the best choice.
In the rest of this article, I will show you the main differences between in-wheel motors and mid-drive electric bicycles.
Then, I will ask you a series of questions and compare the two, and discuss the initial cost and maintenance, so as to help you choose the product that suits you. So, keep reading.
Advantages of hub electric bicycles Advantages of mid-drive electric bicycles:
Lower cost, better performance
Able to rest from stepping on a larger range
A large number of new brands, models and functions to reduce fatigue
Get help choosing the wheels and mid-drive electric bikes below
What is a hub electric bicycle?
When the first electric bicycles were released, they had hub motors. This is revolutionary for commuter bicycles. In this section, I want to briefly explain what a hub motor electric bicycle is. So let’s get into it.
In-wheel motors are electric motors placed on the front or rear wheels. It directly powers that specific wheel. Thanks to this help, you can consume less energy when riding than using a regular bicycle.
Another name for in-wheel motors is direct drive. Remember, the motor has nothing to do with your drive system, gears, or anything else. It is only used in conjunction with the wheels of your electric bicycle.
What is a mid-drive electric bicycle?
The mid-drive or mid-motor system was released around 2010. It has changed the way electric bicycles work. Instead of powering one or two wheels on an electric bicycle, it does something different.
The mid-drive electrical system powers the gears of the bicycle. This difference has some impact on electric bicycles. It mainly serves as a more efficient power transmission system. It does not help the bicycle move by providing power to the wheels, but helps the rider by pedaling force (aka pedal assist).
The central drive motor is also called a central hub or central motor. It is installed by the pedal of an electric bicycle, so it is very suitable for powering the bicycle’s transmission system (including the pedal, chain, flywheel and transmission).
Mid-drive motors usually also provide better weight distribution because they are located in the middle of the electric bicycle.
The main difference between wheel hub and mid-drive electric bike:
Before discussing the advantages of hub drive motors and mid-mounted motors, or before discussing which one you should get, it is important to discuss some of the main differences between front and rear hub motors and mid-mounted motors.
The main difference is related to the placement of the motors, the working mode (pedal assist) and range of each motor. Let’s take a look at these three things.
Hotebike Electric mountain bike:A6AH26
Placement of the motor
The mid-drive motor is placed on the pedal of your electric bike, and the hub drive motor is placed on one of your wheels. It may be the front wheel or the rear wheel. This placement affects something called weight distribution, making the handling of the bicycle significantly improved or worse.
In my experience, the mid-drive motor improves the handling of the electric bicycle due to its position. For all vehicles, the closer to the center of gravity, the less noticeable any increase in weight.
How the motor works
The hub motor directly supplies power to one wheel of the bicycle. So, for example, the rear hub motor is placed on the rear wheel.
On the other hand, the mid-drive motor works with your gear. This makes mid-drive motors more efficient than in-wheel motors. However, you do need to use the mid-drive motor to step on the pedals, and when using the hub motor (and pedal assist), you can take a break and let the motor provide power to the electric bike until it slows down.
Since mid-drive motors work with your gears, they are generally more efficient than hub motors. When you shift to a lower gear, the power of the motor does not have to provide so much, because the natural pedaling rhythm becomes easier.
At the same time, when you shift to a higher gear, the motor has to do more work, but the change is not obvious (the pedal assist function continues to work smoothly, and the pedal speed does not change significantly). Therefore, when you are in a higher gear, you will get more cruising range from the mid-drive electric bicycle motor because its working load is not constant.
Of course, this is only true when there is battery power (learn here what to do if the battery is dead)!
Should you buy a wheel hub or a mid-drive electric bike?
I want to tell you the facts and let you make your own decisions. Therefore, I will not tell you which type of electric bicycle you should buy.
Instead, I will ask five questions and give recommendations based on each scenario. Let’s jump in.
What is your budget?
A misunderstanding I often see is that in-wheel motors appear on entry-level bicycles, but this is not always true. In-wheel electric bicycles can be expensive, but they are usually still more affordable than mid-drive motors.
By choosing an electric bicycle with a hub motor, you may save hundreds of dollars or more. In other words, I will discuss pricing further in the article. However, if you have strict requirements to spend as little as possible, a wheel-driven bicycle will be your best choice.
Do you like to rest?
Because the intermediate drive works with your gears instead of directly applying power to your wheels, the motors work when you step on the pedals, so if you want to take a break on the long straight, you must stop the bike completely.
But because the in-wheel motor directly provides power to the wheels, you can stop pedaling and still have power delivered to the wheels to continue driving.
Don’t let this fact make your own decision.
Due to the efficiency of the central drive motor, you will not feel tired when riding, and you may need less rest time during long-distance riding. In my experience, this is more useful than the ability to stop pedaling, especially during long commutes.
How often do you ride an electric bike?
The maintenance cost of mid-drive bicycles is often higher than that of in-wheel motors, because more moving parts need to be maintained. However, what many people don’t tell you is that mid-drive motors usually require less maintenance.
Look, even with more moving parts, the efficiency of the motor is higher, which means it wears less at the same distance. However, if you are worried about high maintenance costs, the hub electric bicycle is your best choice.
However, if you pursue convenience, the mid-drive motor is a better choice.
How far do you usually ride?
The cruising range of the mid-drive electric bicycle is much greater than that of the in-wheel motor. Therefore, if you ride more than 15 to 20 miles a day, you should consider buying a bike that travels at a moderate speed.
With the help of the 750W motor on the mid-drive bicycle, you can drive approximately 45 miles of road under continuous pedaling.
Moreover, even if you have to step on the pedals continuously, you will not feel tired when riding a mid-drive electric bike at the same distance as a wheeled motorcycle, especially when riding a long distance.
What type of road are you riding on?
If you are riding on terrain consisting mainly of straights and even downhills, the in-wheel motor will be no problem at all. You can take a break while cruising on the straights.
If there are several hills on your route, the efficiency of the in-wheel motor will not be very high. Instead, you should consider buying a mid-drive electric bike because it can better help you uphill. The moment you slide into a lower gear, even if you are on a steep slope, the motor will nicely make you feel like you are still driving straight.
Advantages of mid-drive electric bicycles
Most of you are looking for the best option available, and don’t mind spending a few hundred dollars more to get the best option (after all, you have already paid quite a bit of cash for an electric bike).
So, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of mid-drive electric bikes to help you make a decision.
Performance: Because the motor provides power to the bicycle’s transmission system, it feels more powerful when riding.
Higher cruising range: If you use two medium-speed or hub bikes with similar specifications, you will get more medium-speed bicycle cruising range. Remember that the power of the motor does not depend entirely on it; the efficiency of the mid-drive allows it to go further.
You feel less tired: you can ride farther without getting tired from the increase in power. This is especially useful if you ride long distances or commute to and from work every day.
Better handling: The mid-drive motor is placed close to the center of gravity of the bicycle. This placement improves the handling of the bicycle.
Hotebike electric bike Mid Drive:A6AH26 MD
Advantages of hub electric bicycles
Due to the variety of models, styles and brands, many people prefer to use bicycles with in-wheel motors. In addition, there are still some advantages in electric bicycles equipped with in-wheel motors.
Lower cost: As described in this article, you can save hundreds of dollars by buying a hub-motor electric bike instead of a mid-drive electric bike.
The ability to take a break from pedaling: In addition, you can still let the electric motor power the wheels and keep you moving while resting.
New brands and functions: As electric bicycles become more and more popular, the number of brands, models, functions and types is also increasing…so there is a steady stream of electric bicycles to choose from.
Due to the diversity of functions and models and the lower cost, many recreational cyclists will eventually buy hub-motor electric bicycles.
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