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E-bike Hub Motors vs Mid-drive Motors


Today, electric bicycles are one of the most popular transportation means around. They are useful for commuting and riding for fun and fitness. Electric bikes come with two types of electric motors, namely, hub motors and mid-drive motors.

 Have you been wondering which bicycle motor would suit your needs? Continue reading to find out!

Hub motors are the more common type of electric motors used in bicycles, and you can notice the motor placed in the middle of the electric bike wheel. In mid-drive motors, the motor is placed close to the bicycle center. Power is transferred to the rear wheel through the chain drive.

Mid-drive motors are getting quite common these days and are involved in many e-bike production processes.

Choosing the right motor for you largely depends on your needs and unique requirements, as they both have advantages and disadvantages. We will be comparing both bicycle motors in this article.

Comparing Hub Motors And Mid-drive Motors

  • Electric Bike Hub Motors


The main advantage of using a hub motor is that it requires very little maintenance. There are no components outside to tinker with, as all the parts are contained in the casing of the motor. A hub motor rarely fails, largely due to this. There are two types: geared hub motors and gearless hub motors.

Geared hub motors are a system of gears inside working to reduce the speed of high RPM motors. Their only weakness is their gears. What happens is that with time, one of the teeth can get broken and the reinforced nylon gears stripped.

Gearless hub motors connect the lower RPM to the bike via the motor stator’s axle. They have no gears and no moving parts, apart from their bearings. The motors are usually mass-produced but can last for long periods unless their bearings wear down or rust.

Compared to mid-drive motors, hub motors are what articles mean when they say e-bikes cost nothing to maintain. They are also much cheaper to acquire new than mid-drive motors.

Their lack of connection to the main pedal system means they do not stress your chain. Your chain will outlast even a regular bike. The best part is if it breaks while you are riding, you can still push on using battery power.

Powerful hub motors up to 750W are usually installed in the rear electric bike wheel.


Whereas hub motors are usually smooth for riding plain surfaces, a higher torque gear is however better suited for riding hilly areas. This is because many hub motors provide a single gear ratio that is not smooth for ascending steep inclines when they are functioning at a lower RPM.

Adding personal aesthetic touches might be a problem with many hub motors due to situations where the rim is not removable. This also poses quite a problem when changing tires, since you usually have to detach them to access the rim. When shopping for an e-bike, look for a manufacturer that has solved this problem with the electric bike wheel.

  • Electric Bike Mid-drive Motors


The only noticeable advantage with mid-drive motors is their gear ratio, as they were created to be an improvement on hub motors. In low gear, overcoming steep hills is not a problem for a mid-drive motor, same with acceleration.

A mid-drive motor with the same power levels as a hub motor is usually lighter and smaller in size. The size of the motor allows incorporation into the frame of the bicycle. With this, they can be useful for purposes of stealth, like fishing and hunting.

Additionally, you can change tires at will with this motor or add aesthetic features. This means you have more access to your electric bike wheel if you want to replace any components with your favorite parts.


The biggest flaw observed with mid-drive motors is their effect on your drive system. This is mainly because the amount of power a mid-drive motor can give can push the bicycle parts to the extreme and outlast them over and over. The chain of the bicycle is just no match for the power of the motor, and you will keep having to replace it.

Additionally, it could be quite fatal if you forget to relax on the throttle while shifting gears. This should be the foremost thing in your mind if you will be using an e-bike with this motor. A more expensive mid-drive motor e-bike will have gear shifters built-in, but most do not have this feature. Remember this if you ever ride through city streets and will be braking sharply.

Apart from this, the increased number of moving parts means more probable damage points. A mid-drive motor e-bike requires a lot more care and maintenance than a hub motor, and you should be prepared for additional costs. If the device eventually fails, replacing it will cost more than changing it entirely for a new hub motor.

In Conclusion

The truth is your choice matters, and you can now choose the best bike engine using your new knowledge. Hub motors have been used for so long due because they apply. The main reason to choose a mid-drive drive motor is for the lighter motor weight and the gear usage for off-roading.  Hub motors can last for a long while and still cost very little to maintain. This makes them the best option for commuting. Commuters and families that need a reliable grocery-getter or need to avoid traffic on the way to work will find hub motors more suited to their needs.

Why not check out the KBO Breeze Commuter e-bike today? It is an e-bike specifically created with a powerful 750W brushless geared hub motor which is more than enough to care for all your commuting needs. Get ready to ride through the city streets, cutting through like a breeze. Maintenance costs are also very low, meaning they are perfect for you if you want to downsize your cars for one reason or another.

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