Hub Drive V. Mid Drive eBikes: Pros and Cons

fat tire electric bike

Hub drives and mid drives are two types of ebike motor placements. Hub drives have enjoyed success as the leading ebike drive type until a recent industry shift towards mid drive placement. There are several reasons one might choose either the hub or mid drive.

Hub Drive

A hub drive is an ebike motor that’s situated in the wheel hub of either the front or back bike wheel. The motor propels the bike by spinning one tire directly.

Hub Drive Pros

Hub drives are relatively simple in design and don’t require any specialized framing. They are essentially an addition to the wheel hub. Virtually any bike can be retrofitted with a hub drive using a conversion kit. Many riders prefer this option because it can drastically reduce the cost of the ebike.

Hub Drive Cons

If the motor is positioned on the rear wheel, it can feel like the bike is being pushed. When positioned on the front wheel, a hub drive can affect steering and feel like the bike is being pulled. This awkward shift in balance can be difficult for new riders.

Drive motors perform best when they’re allowed to spin at high speeds. When a hub drive is ascending a hill or is otherwise forcibly slowed due to terrain while the rider is requesting drive assistance, the motor can burn out.

A burned-out motor can either shut off temporarily, leaving the rider without assistance in terrain that is likely rough, or take permanent damage to the internal magnets, leaving the rider without assistance for the remainder of the ride.

Another issue with hub drives is that a flat tire, which is generally an easily-solved problem, can turn into a lengthy and complex process. If the tire that’s flat is the tire with the hub drive on it, it won’t be as simple as replacing the tire as usual.

Mid Drive

Mid drive motors are located directly under the rider, between the pedals. It sends power directly to the drivetrain.

Mid Drive Pros

Central placement and weight distribution are optimal for biking, as they don’t create any push or pull sensation and don’t affect balance. Mid drives allow the rider to use gears that improve efficiency and lengthen the range of each charge.

Mid Drive Cons

Mid drive designs are generally more expensive than hub drives because they require a bit more engineering. This also means that mid drives usually require specially designed frames and are often unable to be retrofitted.


Hub drives versus mid drives comes down to both personal preferences and experience. An inexperienced rider would definitely be better served by a mid-drive that won’t complicate flat tires, won’t affect balance, and won’t burn out on inclines; but he or she might also consider sacrificing certain aspects for the lower cost of the hub drive. An experienced rider might prefer the ability to retrofit the hub drive to an existing bicycle, but will most likely favor the better quality, balance, and performance of the mid drive.

Why Electric Bicycles are on the rise in the UK

electric bicycle ukCycling enjoyed a sharp rise in popularity after the London Olympics and the ongoing success of the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. That trend is now being boosted by the rise in demand for electric bicycles which, in 2018, accounted for 30% of all bikes sold in the UK.

What is an electric bicycle?

Electric bicycles are similar to a regular bicycle, except they have battery-powered assistance when required.

Pushing the pedals on an electric bicycle engages a small electric motor, which provides a boost that allows the cyclist to fire their way up hills and zip across tough terrains without tiring themselves out.

Most electric bicycles allow you to set the level of assistance you require, with UK models allowing up to 15.5 miles per hour (25 kilometres per hour).

The rise of electric bicycles

The very first electric bicycles were largely reserved to hobbyists who created their own contraptions via a battery, motor and voltage controller.

The vehicles were rare, had short distance ranges and were slow-moving – but it did beat having to pedal and it was fairly convenient.

But the introduction of lithium-ion batteries, based on electric car technology, has led to a sharp rise in their popularity. 

Electric bicycles have long been popular across Europe, with pedelecs now the biggest bike category in Holland and Germany selling around one million of them in 2018.

But the UK market has been slow to catch onto the trend. That began to change with a sharp increase in 2016, before Halfords claimed 2017 was ‘the year of the ebike’ as sales spiked by 220%.

This trend was aided by Olympic gold medallists Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton publicly lauding electric bicycles.

Pendleton, in particular, claimed they were a ‘game changer’ given their potential to get more people riding bikes, and even launched her own electric bicycle, the Pendleton Somerby Electric Hybrid Bike.

Why use an electric bicycle?

Electric bicycles are a great way for people who want to get fitter, are a little older, or simply want to travel a little further than they’d normally be capable of, to get out on their bike as opposed to driving.

Riding an electric bicycle can also be as healthy as its more traditional cousin. Just like regular cycling, it helps to improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce body fat, build strength and improve circulation.

There are also cost benefits for electric bicycles. While the initial payment for an electric model may be more than you’d expect to spend on a regular bicycle, the running costs compared to a car are significantly lower.

Fully charging the battery costs a few pence and could take you as far as 100 miles per charge.

Future of electric bicycles

The UK Government is being encouraged to promote the uptake of electric bicycles, with the Bicycle Association claiming incentive schemes are required to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce congestion.

The future of electric bicycles, therefore, looks to be bright, and could be vital to people living healthier lives and making cities safer, healthier places to live.

Motorcycles Vs. Electric Bikes: Which is Better


Electric bike vs. motorcycle which is the best? There is no right or wrong; it depends on what you’re searching for.

Perks of Electric Bikes

Electric bikes or e-bikes for short are running on an electric motor that makes them reasonable to ride most essentially with the price of fuel that keeps on rising. An electric motor doesn’t harm the environment compared to gas and fuel. An e-bike is considered one of the safest and greenest types of transportation. All you need to do is to charge it and ride.

An electronic bike doesn’t need the owner to apply for insurance and doesn’t need a drivers license. No insurance policy saves you a considerable amount of money monthly. No license plan makes it a remarkable way of transportation for drivers or students with revoked or suspended drivers’ licenses.

Compared to the motorcycle, electronic bikes are safe to ride. This is because they don’t go past 24 to 32 kilometers per hour. What is more, this kind of transportation falls into the category of bicycle and allows in bicycle lanes. Riding in a bike lane can save you time most significantly during rush hours or in high traffic places.

Last but not least, an electric bike is a company and super lightweight compared to a motorcycle. So, you can store it easily. Also, you don’t have much problem looking for a parking spot or storing it in your condo or apartment. In fact, you can store it inside your apartment.

The flaw of Electric Bikes

Despite the many benefits this bike provides, it also comes with minor flaws. Since it is powered by battery, you aren’t able to use it to travel a long distance. If you have a plan of going out of town, it is a challenge to look for a station to charge your bike. However, due to the popularity of this bike, there is also an increase in charging stations in various places.

Benefits of Motorcycles

A motorcycle allows you to travel long distance with ease as gas stations are all over the place. It can be a bit prickly to travel for a long time on a motorcycle, but yet you have that choice. A motorcycle is faster than electronic bike and autos for that matter. They allow you to reach your destination faster.

A motorcycle is also superb for high traffic areas because it is smaller compared to vehicles and can be fit easily between the autos in heavy traffic.

Flaws of Motorcycles

Motorcycles riders are needed to have a drivers license and insurance as well. That puts motors in a shortcoming as opposed to e-bikes.

A motorcycle speed makes it dangerous. Every mishap is a lot more likely to be deadly at higher speeds. Motorcycles run through gas and fuel, which is not eco-friendly.