Electric Bike: Rear & mid-drive motor differences

The decision between a rear- or mid-drive motor is crucial while searching for an electric bike. Your knowledge of the distinctions between the various motor systems is highly recommended. Inexpensive electric bikes often include hub drive motors permanently mounted inside the rear hub. 

In most cases, you’ll find this, although there are a few exceptions among electric bikes that include motors on both wheels. A hub drive bypasses your bike’s gears and transfers torque straight to the wheel. A mid-drive motor, often seen in more costly vehicles, is otherwise positioned between the pedals. 

This motor design is affected by the gearing of your e-bicycle since it operates the front chainring (a sprocket attached to the crankset). Don’t forget that these are broad strokes; in many technological contexts, the implementation details are more important than the equipment.


Rear Motor:

Electric bicycles with rear motors are easily recognized by their hub-mounted generators. The engine is often located on the back wheel of electric bikes. Although specific models may have a motor in each tire; however, this is not as popular. 

A geared wheel motor might be called a “straightforward drive,””hub-drive,” or “gear motor drive” motor, depending on where you look. These gear motors bypass the bicycle’s gear system and provide torque (pressure) straight to the wheel. Gear wheel motors excel at high speeds and can move swiftly.

Advantages of using Rear Motor for electric bike:

The gear motor has several benefits, including:

  • Weighing in at a hefty amount, hub motors might be a drawback if you’re not looking for a solid, thoroughly planted ride with loads of grip.
  • Due to the rear motor’s independence from the pedaling chain, a loss of hub motor power should not impede your capabilities to pedal manually using the gear system.
  • The lack of mechanical connection between the engine and the wheel’s gear system, along with its encased design, makes for minor care. When compared to mid-drive motors, they often need less maintenance.
  • It has a low cost. Geared hub motors have been the most prevalent form of electric bike motor for a long time, so spare parts are easy to get by if you ever need to repair or buy a new one.
  • Most mid-drive motors are more audible than gear-hub motors. Some individuals may not find a difference, but everyone will hear more noise from a mid-drive engine. Perhaps this can be remedied by switching to a bicycle equipped with a motor mounted in the hub gear.

Disadvantages of using Rear Motor:

The gear motor has several drawbacks, including:

  • Depending on the type of rear motor your electric bike has, you may be restricted in your rear wheel selection. Additionally, replacing your tire will be a significant headache if you need to disconnect the motor wire.
  • In comparison to a motor that uses many gear ratios, your all-terrain fat tire electric bike will struggle more on steep or mountainous terrain if it only has a solitary gearbox.
  • We already know how geared wheel motors are heavier than mid-drive motors. This might be a problem for people who frequently transport their bikes or prefer lighter bikes.

Mid-drive motor:

The engine for a mid-drive fat tire electric bike is situated in the frame between the rider’s feet. Mid-drive motors provide torque (pressure) to the bike’s gearbox rather than the wheel, as do geared-hub engines. Mid-drive engines perform well at all speeds and accelerate uniformly regardless of the vehicle’s initial velocity. In the past several years and are making great strides toward overtaking the hub motor as the most popular option for electric bicycles.

Advantages of using a Mid-drive motor in all-terrain fat tire electric bike:

Mid-drive motor electric bikes provide several benefits, including the following:

  • With a mid-drive motor, you didn’t have to think about replacing your tires due to the engine’s weight. This may also open up the possibility of using a wider variety of tire sizes and styles.
  • When compared to a front-wheel-drive electric bike, many people report that a mid-drive car has a more luxurious interior and a smoother ride. This is because driving with the motor near your center of mass will seem more appropriate.
  • If you’re searching for an e-bike with a longer distance, you might want to think about getting it with a mid-drive engine because of this. Experienced in long-distance electric bikes, we appreciate the extra range that mid-drive motors have improved productivity.
  • If you know how to maximize your motor’s use of the available gears, you may significantly improve your bike’s efficiency when tackling steep inclines.

Disadvantages of using a Mid-drive motor:

The following are some of the drawbacks of the mid-drive motor:

  • Because the motor is integrated into the gearbox, the servicing of electric bikes equipped with a mid-drive engine could be much more complex or costly. That’s not a certainty, but this will rely on the kind of service and care you provide to the vehicle.
  • Electric bikes packed with mid-drive motors are higher in price initially and are much more expensive to replace. This is because mid-drive engines are regarded as being of better quality. The price range for electric bicycles with mid-drive motors typically starts at $1,999 and goes higher. But remember that even though the price can be increased, the overall cost might be relatively modest. The additional fee may be justified if the bicycle is of superior quality.

Wrapping It Up:

The primary benefit of a mid-drive motor over a rear-hub motor for all-terrain fat tire electric bike is this it is placed closer to the bike’s center of gravity, as the title indicates. Because the engine is positioned in the middle, the load is shared between the front and back wheels. The handling and riding characteristics are more “organic” and controlled than those of a vehicle with a rear hub motor. 

Nothing slows you down or slows the back wheel down while stunts like jumping or riding over steps. Commonly referred to as a “bottom bracket motor,” the motor is mounted at the crank, just beneath the bottom bracket. A unique frame that can fit the complete motor block is necessary for the mid-drive engine.

In the end, both motor drives have their advantages and disadvantages. The answer is “it varies” on your priorities, budget, and expectations for how much fun you’ll have riding your new bike. Looking for mid-drive fat tire electric bike? Addmotor produces electric bikes powered by various motors, including mid-drive electric mountain bikes, all-terrain fat tire electric bikes and more.

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