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.
(BAFANG BBS02 500W)
Geared Hub Motor
|Power||500W Rated, 800W peak power||500W Rated, 800W peak power|
|Speed||Up to 40km/h without speed limit setting||Up to 40km/h without speed limit setting|
|Torque at the wheel||100Nm peak if used in the lowest gear of bike with the 1:1 ratio||80Nm Peak no matter what gear is selected|
|Grade climbing||~25% with a 75KG rider without pedaling||~20% with a 75KG rider without pedaling|
|Pedal assist behavior||Motion sensor||Motion sensor|
|Ease of installation||Needs special tools and transmission adjustment skills||No special tools, No transmission interfere|
|Adaptability to various bikes||Bottom brackets of 68,73mm with no chain Mud-guard support||100mm, 135mm, 165mm axle length with 10mm drops out forks. Does not work on Thru-axles forks|
|Ease of maintenance||Motor and Transmission need frequent maintenance, adjustment and replacement of parts||Maintenance free|
|Durability and Reliability||Since 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.|
|Dynamics||Motor weight is attached to the frame and the wheels have the normal weight||The difference between the regular hub and the hub motor weight is added to the wheel mass|
|Free wheeling||100% free wheels when motor is not assisting||100% free wheels when motor is not assisting with no gears noise or magnetic cogging torque.|
|Protection degree||Said to be IP65, IP54 in fact||IP65|
|Best Applications||Full 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.