Front, Rear or Mid Drive Motor Electric Bike
In the rest of this article, I’ll guide you through choosing the right type of e-bike for you based on comfort, speed, or trends—whatever your preference. We’ll sift through the pros and cons of size, front, rear, and mid-range motors so you can make the right choice for your individual situation.
Features of Front Motor Electric Bikes
In a front-motor e-bike, the motor is placed in the middle of the front wheel. In front-motor e-bikes, the installation of wires and batteries is relatively easy. Typically, in front-motor e-bikes, the motor pulls the rider forward.
The main features and advantages of front motor electric bicycles are as follows:
Compared to rear-mounted electric bikes, front-mounted electric bikes are relatively simpler to install and configure. This is because front motorcycles usually do not have a gear system.
Front hub motors help distribute total strain between the front and rear wheels. The front wheel bears the front weight, and the body weight adjusts the rear.
Additionally, the front motor system is isolated from the rest of the bike. This separate placement makes servicing the bike easier without disturbing the motor.
Here are some limitations of front-motor e-bikes:
One of the limitations of front wheel e-bikes is that they have a lower motor capacity, such as 250 W or 350 W. This is because the bike’s front fork lacks a structural platform compared to a rear hub electric e-bike. Therefore, your options become limited in the choice of motor capacity.
Front-motor e-bikes tend to have traction issues at low speeds. This is due to the weight distribution of the front motor model.
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Features of rear-mounted electric bikes
For rear motor e-bikes, the drivetrain is directly connected to the rear motor. This gives the rider a push, which in turn makes the ride more responsive.
Rear-mounted e-bikes are generally known for their design. The motor of the rear mounted e-bikes gives them this special and unusual bike look. This design is compatible with the highest capacity motors on the market. So if power is more your thing, the rear motor is for you.
Let’s find out some of the pros and cons of rear-mounted e-bikes:
The advantages of electric bicycle rear motor
Many modern e-bike models use rear motor technology. Therefore, these models are more popular. Most people who have experienced a normal bike will find a more natural riding feel in a rear-mounted e-bike.
The rear-mounted e-bike also has the look of a standard bike without too many weird designs and builds. This makes many riders prefer this model.
Rear-mounted e-bikes are generally more powerful than front-mounted e-bikes. For heavier people, rear-mounted e-bikes are more comfortable.
Disadvantages of Electric Bike Rear Motors
A bike with a heavy-duty rear motor can run the risk of a “flat tire” at high speeds. It’s not always fun, and can be dangerous in some situations. For example, when you are accelerating from a red light or climbing a hill.
A rear motor is not the right choice for a heavier person. There will be imbalance issues due to significant strain on the rear of the bike.
Repairing or replacing the motor is the most troublesome of the rear motor systems.
Rear-mounted e-bikes will lack the option of a rear disc brake.
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Also read: How much does an electric bike weigh? – in this article. And, what is the range of an e-bike on a single charge? – in this article.
Features of medium-sized electric bikes
Electric bikes with intermediate motors are also known as hub motor electric bikes. In these types of e-bikes, the motor is actually placed near the center of the bike. But the power from the motor spins the rear wheel that controls the chain drive. In-wheel motor technology is currently the most widely used technology in electric bicycle motors.
The main advantages of a medium-sized electric bike are as follows:
The design of the intermediate motors makes sense because these motors are more immune to the external environment. Due to this fact, motor wear and tear is minimized and the life of the motor is extended.
Intermediate motor technology requires minimal maintenance. This makes mid-sized e-bikes the first choice for e-bike buyers.
The overall performance and torque of a mid-mounted e-bike is generally better than a front- or rear-mounted e-bike. The mid-drive motor drives the cranks instead of the wheels, making better use of motor power.
For example, many medium-sized e-bikes like the Evolo bike can easily have their motors replaced. One only needs to remove two special bolts without interfering with the rest of the bike. Therefore, service and maintenance become very simple.
The placement of the motor close to the center of gravity and close to the ground makes the e-bike more balanced compared to a front- or rear-wheel e-bike.
Because the battery and motor are placed together, there is no or almost no power loss. Some power loss occurs when the battery and motor are placed separately.
Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of mid-size electric bikes:
The mid-drive motor can be uncomfortable when climbing hills or cruising along flat terrain. They need to shift gears more carefully.
The life of the motor may be reduced due to the higher power system. It can lead to more frequent replacement of motor accessories than other models.
Because mid-motor designs are more complex than front- and rear-motor systems, mid-motor e-bikes generally cost more than the other two options.
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Also read: How far can an electric bike go? What is the electric bike range? – in this article. Also, how fast are electric bikes? – in this article.
Which e-bike motor system is best for me?
We’ve seen the differences between all three motor systems for e-bikes. Now let’s discuss which one is better for you.
The main center of gravity of a front-motor-driven e-bike is behind the front wheel, which can be problematic when climbing hills.
The center of gravity is better positioned for the rear motor driver. This means the bike is less likely to slip due to excess torque. But the extra weight on the rear wheel does affect performance.
The intermediate motor drive moves the sprocket instead of the entire wheel. It utilizes a full range of gears to provide perfectly balanced weight distribution and excellent power efficiency.
Electric bikes can be chosen based on cost. The cost range depends on the brand, frame style, motor, battery and whether it is for performance or recreational riding. However, every bike is designed for a different purpose. There are a few things to consider when deciding on the perfect e-bike for your lifestyle.
Think about the activities you want to do with your e-bike, what kind of motor you want (hub or crank motor assist), each has its pros and cons depending on how you want to use your bike, and finally How much are willing to pay.
An in-depth analysis of the features, specific advantages and disadvantages of each bike should help you decide on the right electric bike. Our findings concluded that a mid-size e-bike should be the most comfortable type of e-bike for most e-bike riders.
The mid-drive motor helps conquer steep hills by keeping the RPM in the effective range. This bike feels the most responsive and is perfect for recreational riding and trail travel.
Best of all, mid-motor e-bikes make the rider feel like a super-powered person instead of feeling like a motor helps them. Other considerations such as cost, maintenance, and ease of motor replacement also support this choice.
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