There is a loud noise out there about the Mid-drive motors as if it is the novel e-bike technology going to take over the hub motors; However that’s not true. EbikeBC offers both Mid-drive and Geared hub motors so there is no commercial bios on this evaluation. Remember it is not about the Good and Bad; It’s about selecting the right fit for your application. Table bellow compares 2 similar motors of the 2 types at the maximum street legal power.

 

 

 

Mid-drive

(BAFANG BBS02 500W)

 

Geared Hub Motor

(EbikeBC 500W)

Power500W Rated, 800W peak power500W Rated, 800W peak power
SpeedUp to 40km/h without speed limit settingUp to 40km/h without speed limit setting
Torque at the wheel100Nm peak if used in the lowest gear of bike with the 1:1 ratio80Nm Peak no matter what gear is selected
Grade climbing~25% with a 75KG rider without pedaling~20% with a 75KG rider without pedaling
Weight4.5Kg3.3Kg
Pedal assist behaviorMotion sensorMotion sensor
Ease of installationNeeds special tools and transmission adjustment skillsNo special tools, No transmission interfere
Adaptability to various bikesBottom brackets of 68,73mm with no chain Mud-guard support100mm, 135mm, 165mm axle length with 10mm drops out forks. Does not work on Thru-axles forks
Ease of maintenanceMotor and Transmission need frequent maintenance, adjustment and replacement of partsMaintenance free
Durability and ReliabilitySince the power and tension is adding up with the muscle tension and transferred through the chain to the rear cassette of freewheel, the stress and wear is much more than normal and the transmission is subjected to wear and breakage; especially when used in the improper gear or improper change of the gears.Much more Reliable and durable with no mechanical part engaged in transmission. The motor’s internal parts are dis-engaged by the internal clutch when the motor is not in use. So the worst case scenario in case of a defect the motor acts as a set of ball bearings.
DynamicsMotor weight is attached to the frame and the wheels have the normal weightThe difference between the regular hub and the hub motor weight is added to the wheel mass
Free wheeling100% free wheels when motor is not assisting100% free wheels when motor is not assisting with no gears noise or magnetic cogging torque.
Protection degreeSaid to be IP65, IP54 in factIP65
Best ApplicationsFull suspension bikes, for bike jumping, downhill and mountain biking.
Special trikes, quadrabents, thru-axle bikes which cannot take a hub motor.
Any application such as commuting, leisure activity, trails, gravel, dirt or snow, sport, touring which the bike can take the hub motor.

Geared hub motor is the best fit for over 92% of the US and Canadian electric bike commuters and pleasure or sport cyclists. There are a few applications which really need to lean toward mid-drive motor, but if you are not in that group don’t trade reliability and maintenance free feature of the geared hub motors with anything.