Do you ever wonder what makes your bike go? Sure, the user can push the pedals, causing the gears to turn and make the wheels move, but what about electric bikes? They have the same framework as a normal bike, same parts such as gears, pedals, handlebars, wheels, etcetera. But what about the motor? An electric bike can have two different types of motors — a hub motor and a mid-drive motor. But what's the difference and why does it matter?
A hub motor is the most common motor type out there. It sits in the middle of the bike's wheel. A perk of the hub motor is that it is very easy to deal with because they require little to no maintenance. It is enclosed so that means there is a smaller chance for error with the motor.
There are gearless and geared hub motor types and they are exactly what they sound like. Gearless motors have no moving parts so nothing wears out on them and they last a very long time, if not for as long as your bike lives. Geared motors on the other hand can have wear and tear because the gears can become worn down.
Although there are many perks to having a hub motor for your e-bike, it can't be perfect. There is a downside to this motor, as its weight is heavier than mid-drive motors. However, if the motor is placed on the front wheel, this sometimes fixes the weight distribution problem but not in all cases.
The rear hub motor is still great because it gives you better traction on those mountain rides or even to your morning commute in the snow. They also don't mess with your steering as much as front hub motors.
Don't fret if you have one hub motor or the other — both are great no matter where your motor lies!
A mid-drive motor is completely different than a hub motor, as it sits in the center of the bike and gives power to the back wheel with the bike's chain drive. They are starting to become the most popular type of electric bike motor because of their advantages.
A mid-drive motor is very lightweight. It is inside the bike's central frame so it is sometimes hard to spot. Because of its location, it is also much easier to change a wheel on a mid-drive e-bike than a wheel on a hub motor e-bike. It also gives users the freedom to use any bike wheels they choose since there is not a motor contained in the wheel.
Sadly, there are some disadvantages to this great motor as well. Because it is with the gears, it will have wear and tear after a while. Overall, they have many perks and are great motors to have for your electric bike!
Which motor is better to have?
Whichever motor you prefer is going to be the best one! The hub motor and the mid-drive both have pros and cons but one does not necessarily out weight the other one in terms of how well they perform on the e-bikes. They are located in different sections of the bike and run differently, but they both can get you where you need to go!