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EBIKE Mid Drive or Hub Motor?

Aggiornamento: 23 feb 2019

The Mid Drive is used more and more, but is it really better than the Hub Motor that is the best-selling in the world, or it remains an excellent alternative?

Engine in the hub

The hub motor, which mainly uses the pedal sensor (speed sensor), allows you to pedal even without making the least effort, especially in the plains. It allows the so-called "symbolic pedaling" since the motor is already activated by simply rotating the pedals, which does not necessarily have to imply an important push. This bike is suitable for people who use, the ebike as a means of transport instead of the moped or the car to move around the city or on cycle paths, but mainly asphalted. The positive thing about the hub drive with speed sensor is that you have two bikes in one: if you want you can use the bike with the engine off in the plain and enjoy it like a normal bike, as well as turn it uphill or to avoid fatigue and sweat. The power delivered by the motor in the hub is always flat and constant, allowing, simply by activating the rotation of the pedal, even without pushing, to reach in total relaxation the 25Km / h of law and enjoy the breeze, without a drop of sweat.

For normal users and for urban or extra-urban journeys, also for some dirt road or "light gravel road", but also with difficult climbs, it is particularly recommended the engine in the hub (better back if you climb climbs for better traction), compared to a central engine. Obviously, if you have to travel uphill, it must be a motor with a good torque, better if powered at 48 Volt, so as not to "tire too much" the battery and then lose autonomy.

Mid Drive

The central engine, normally (but not necessarily) combined with a torque sensor and positioned on the central movement (the axis of the pedals), acts by delivering a power proportional to the thrust that the user apply on the pedal. This means that if you do not pedal while keeping the chain in constant "pull" and if you do not push well on the pedal, the engine does not deliver the power necessary to push the bike forward and will never take you to 25km/h. This configuration is more suitable for off-road use and not normally to use the bike when it's off (pedaling is more tiring and therefore you can do for short trips), because these engines are born in order to use the bike with the engine running. With this type of engine, therefore, it is not possible to make the "symbolic ride" and always requires a more or less strong effort on the part of the cyclist; so, if it's hot, you sweat even in the plains! The central motors with torque sensor, are not particularly suitable for those who want to use his ebike to go to the office, bring the child to school or for those, in short, does not have a predisposition to consider the ride as physical exercise, but they go very good for off-road use, where the power management is perfectly modulated by the user's foot. That's why the e-mtb are practically all with a central engine. This however does not rule out that there are also city bikes with a central engine that can still be appreciated, if one loves "full" pedaling and has no problem to work hard.


We try to explain you with help of some practical examples:

  • Do you have a certain age or do you want to go to work without having to change you before entering the office? The most recommended choice is: Hub motor.

  • Do you want an ebike to use both to go to work, to make quiet outings and healthy exercise do you like? Better the hub motor but also the Mid drive is ok.

  • Do you like doing light off-roading in the hills and cruising in the countryside? Better the mid drive, but also the hub motor is ok.

  • Do you love going for hill and mountain paths or are you a sportsman? The most recommended choice is: Mid Drive.


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