When choosing an eBike, the selection of the motor is a crucial factor to consider. The two common types of drive systems for electric bicycles are mid-drive motors and hub motors. These systems have distinct differences in structure, performance, and their impact on riding experience and suitable scenarios. In this article, we will discuss the main differences between mid-drive motors and hub motors, their advantages and disadvantages, and provide you with some selection recommendations.

Introduction to Mid-drive Motors

The mid-drive motor is currently a trend in eBikes. It is positioned in the center of the bicycle frame, usually installed below the pedal area. With the development of technology, cost reduction, and numerous advantages, an increasing number of eBike manufacturers are choosing mid-drive motors.

Advantages of Mid-drive Motors:

1.Power Output: 

The positioning of the mid-drive motor allows it to directly connect to the rider's drivetrain system, usually the chain, to provide power. This design enables mid-drive motors to deliver higher torque and power output, making the riding experience more efficient and versatile. Compared to hub motors, mid-drive motors can have more than twice the torque values. For example, the M09 mid-drive motor by TRUCKRUN can reach an impressive maximum power of 1200W and a maximum torque of 220N.m. In contrast, hub motors typically have maximum torque values in the range of tens of N.m. If you intend to ride in more challenging terrains such as steep hills, sand, snow, or mud, a high-torque motor would be more suitable as it can effortlessly traverse these terrains.

2.Balance: 

Due to its central position in the frame, the mid-drive motor contributes to better balance of the entire bicycle. This enhances stability during rides and improves maneuverability during climbs and turns.


3.Multi-speed Compatibility: 

Mid-drive motors are often used in conjunction with multi-speed gear systems such as internal gear hubs, allowing riders to choose appropriate gear ratios for different road conditions and speeds. This variable speed system provides a wider range of riding options and better adaptability.

4.Natural Riding Feel: 

Since the mid-drive motor is directly connected to the rider's drivetrain system, the riding feel is more natural, as if the power is generated by the rider. This coherence and integration make the riding experience more comfortable and natural.

5.Maintenance and Compatibility: 

As mid-drive motors do not directly affect the wheel, they are compatible with a wider range of wheel types and sizes. Additionally, their setup makes maintenance tasks such as tire puncture repairs or brake maintenance easier.


Disadvantages of Mid-drive Motors:

1.Higher Price: 

Mid-drive motors are generally more expensive than hub motors due to their more complex structure. Moreover, their maintenance costs are typically higher. 

However, some mid-drive motors adopt modular design solutions, such as the M06 by TRUCKRUN, which significantly reduces installation and maintenance costs.

2.Heavier Weight: 

Mid-drive motors are usually larger and heavier, which can increase the overall weight of the eBike. The motor is often exposed, which can have an impact on maneuverability and portability. 

However, there are exceptions, such as the recently released M11 mid-drive motor by TRUCKRUN, which weighs only 1.8kg and has a compact size, allowing it to be hidden inside the frame together with the battery, almost completely concealed.


Hub Motor: 

Introduction to Hub Motors: 

Hub motors are positioned at the center of the bicycle wheel and provide power by directly driving the wheel. Due to their lower cost, they are more widely accepted. 

Advantages of Hub Motors :

1.Affordable Price:

Hub motors have a simpler structure compared to mid-drive motors, which makes them more cost-effective. They are generally less expensive to manufacture and maintain.

2.Lighter Weight: 

Hub motors are typically lighter than mid-drive motors, as they are integrated into the wheel itself. This can improve the overall maneuverability and portability of the eBike.


3.Simplicity: 

Hub motors have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance compared to mid-drive motors. They are generally more reliable and less prone to mechanical issues.

4.Quieter Operation: 

Hub motors tend to operate more quietly than mid-drive motors. This can be advantageous for riders who prefer a quieter riding experience.

Disadvantages of Hub Motors:

1.Uneven Weight Distribution: 

Hub motors are located at the center of the wheels, causing the weight to concentrate in the wheel section. This may result in a higher and/or front/rear-biased vehicle center of gravity, affecting the overall balance of the vehicle. 

However, for lightweight hub motors weighing around 2kg, this is not a significant issue. For vehicle models with high power requirements, a dual-drive mode ( such as TRUCKRUN Maverick Series Dual Drive Edition) can be selected to alleviate this problem.

2.Gear System: 

While the design of hub motors makes the bicycle overall more streamlined and lightweight, it also limits the installation of additional flywheels. This may be a consideration for some riders, especially those who require a wider range of gear ratios or have specific cycling needs. However, it should be noted that not all riders need or focus on additional flywheel installation. 

Currently, TRUCKRUN has introduced some hub motors with integrated internal gear systems, ensuring a clean appearance while enabling automatic gear shifting. For general Commuting, Road, Trekking, and Gravel purposes, the hub motor with internal gears is sufficient. For riders with special needs, they can choose other types of electric bicycles, such as those with mid-drive motors, to achieve a wider range of gear ratios.

3.Lower Torque: 

Hub motors typically provide less torque compared to mid-drive motors, resulting in reduced climbing capability. Hub motors have weaker torque compared to mid-drive motors, and they may face certain challenges when encountering steep hills.

4.Difficulty in Tire Repair: 

Hub motors are integrated within the wheels, and if the motor needs to be replaced or repaired, it may require specialized tools and skills, increasing the complexity of maintenance.


Advice on Choosing Mid-Drive Motors vs. Hub Motors:

The choice between mid-drive motors and hub motors depends on your cycling needs and personal preferences. If budget permits, we recommend choosing mid-drive motors as they offer higher torque, flexibility, multiple gear options, and a more natural riding experience. Mid-drive motors may be a better fit for you. However, if you prioritize simplicity, low maintenance, and quiet operation, and have relatively lower power output requirements, hub motors may be more suitable for you.

Regardless of the motor system you choose, it is important to select a high-quality electric bicycle that meets safety standards. Consult professionals after purchase to understand the specific requirements and usage recommendations that best suit your needs. We hope this article helps you better understand the differences between mid-drive motors and hub motors and provides valuable guidance for choosing your electric bike.


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Taipei Cycle: TruckRun will exhibit the 1.9kg downtube concealed motor and conversion kit

Taipei Cycle: TruckRun will exhibit the 1.9kg downtube concealed motor and conversion kit

March 6~9.2024 Hall 2 R0314