Before we talk about the differences let's start by talking about the similarities between our Mid Drive and Hub motors:
They can all be used with Throttle or Pedal-assist power
They are all quiet and powerful brushless DC motors
They can all get varying ranges based on riding style and battery selection. (For more information on the range please visit our range estimate link here)
They are all able to achieve speeds of 20+ MPH (dependent on bike gearing and terrain).
Now that we know some of the similarities let's talk more about the differences between Mid Drive motors vs Hub motors.
The main difference between Mid Drive motors and Hub motors is the place on the bike where the motor is located.
Let’s talk about the installation…
The Front Hub motor kit is one of the fastest and easiest installations, as the motor comes ready to ride.
The Hub motor doesn’t require any changes to the basic design of the bike therefore it can be installed on almost any traditional bike.
Whereas our Mid Drive motors mount in place of your bike's bottom bracket and replace your bike's crankset along with the front chainrings and derailleur (if you have front gears).
Figure 1. Hub motor & Mid Drive motor locations
What does this mean?
When you install one of our Mid Drive motors you will only have 1 front chainring instead of the 1, 2, or 3 front chainrings which your bike had previously without the Mid Drive motor installed.
For more information on all things, Mid Drive motor chainring related including more detailed information along with information on sizing, fitment, and alignment click the button below.
What is the bottom bracket and where is it located?
The bottom bracket and spindle together represent the fundamental basis of the drivetrain on your bike!
The bike’s bottom bracket shell is the part of the frame where the spindle of the cranks goes through, therefore the Mid Drive motor is positioned directly in between the pedals at the bike’s bottom bracket.
Figure 2. Bottom bracket shell
Mid Drive motors mount in your bike's bottom bracket providing a low & balanced center of gravity all while the power of the motor acts directly on your bike's chain transferring the power from the motor through your drivetrain to your rear wheel.
So, how does our Hub motor differ from our Mid Drives?
Hub motors are installed at the center of your front wheel (simply by replacing your bike's entire front wheel) which provides propulsion by spinning the tire on which it is installed.
So, what is the hub, and where it is located?
The hub is located in the central part of your bike’s wheel, it connects to the wheel’s rim using the spokes and through which the axel is fitted, in this way the wheel to freely spin on two sets of bearings.
Let’s talk about speed…
I can't believe that it took me this long to bring this up!
The Front Hub motor kit can be used with 48V batteries and depending on your bike gearing can provide speeds of 20+ MPH.
The Mid Drive motor kits can be used with 48V & 52V batteries and depending on your bike gearing can provide speeds of 25+ MPH.
So, if you asking yourself "Will it work with my bike?"
Don't worry, we've got you covered and have created an easy-to-follow step-by-step quiz with videos and printable tools in order to check the compatibility of our Hub motors and Mid-drive motors with your existing bike!
High-level comparison overview…
The Front Hub motor is located in front of your bike whole the Mid Drive motor is located in the center of your bike or wherever your bike's bottom bracket is located.
Our Mid Drive motors offer more power than our Front Hub motors so if you are looking for speed or off-road climbing ability then our Mid Drive motors may be the right choice for you.
If you are looking to cruise on relatively flat city streets then our Front Hub motors may be the right choice for you.
If you want to learn more about the difference between our 750W BBS02 & 1000W BBSHD Mid Drive motor options then we recommend clicking the button to check out the comparison link below!