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Mid-Drive vs. Hub Motors in Electric Bikes

Mid-Drive vs. Hub Motors in Electric Bikes

At Derand Motorsports, being among Canada's largest e-bike retailers means we offer an array of models to suit every rider's needs. When venturing into the e-bike market, one of the most significant choices you'll encounter is between the mid-drive and rear hub motor. Understanding these motor types is crucial, so let's delve into their differences.

Mid-Drive or Hub Motor: The Dilemma

Have you noticed the surge of e-bikes along Ottawa's trails this summer? They've become a popular choice for transportation. Among the key decisions for e-bike enthusiasts is the choice between mid-drive and hub drive motors. Each type boasts distinct characteristics, advantages, and limitations that significantly impact your riding experience.

Mid-Drive Electric Bicycle Motors:

  1. Power at the Crank: Placed at the bike's bottom bracket, mid-drive motors transmit power directly to the chain and rear wheel. This setup closely mimics natural pedaling, enhancing the riding feel.

  2. Efficient Power Distribution: Leveraging the bike's gears, mid-drive motors offer efficient power distribution, ensuring a comfortable cadence on diverse terrains, especially when climbing hills.

  3. Enhanced Handling and Balance: With centralized weight, mid-drive e-bikes boast improved handling and balance, making for a more natural riding experience.

  4. Ideal for Adventure: Off-road and mountain bikers favor mid-drive motors for their adaptability to various terrains and inclines, making them an excellent choice for adventurous riders.

  5. Cost and Complexity: However, their higher cost and complexity compared to hub drive motors could be a drawback, impacting installation and maintenance expenses.

Hub Drive Electric Bicycle Motors:

  1. Simplified Integration: Integrated within the wheel hub, hub drive motors offer a straightforward design, appealing to those seeking a hassle-free e-bike experience.

  2. Low Maintenance: With fewer moving parts, hub motors demand minimal maintenance, translating to lower long-term ownership costs.

  3. Urban Commuting Focus: Well-suited for city commuting, hub drive e-bikes deliver consistent power on flat terrain and operate quietly, perfect for urban environments.

  4. Limitation on Inclines: Their lack of gear-shifting capability affects efficiency on steep hills, potentially requiring more effort from riders.

  5. Weight Distribution Challenge: Placing the motor in the wheel hub can result in imbalanced weight distribution, impacting handling, particularly on rough terrain.


Your choice between mid-drive and hub drive electric bicycle motors depends on your usage and preferences. For off-road enthusiasts or hill riders, the power and adaptability of mid-drive motors may be ideal. Conversely, those seeking a low-maintenance city commute might prefer the straightforwardness of hub drive motors.

Test riding both types is crucial to feel the differences in power, handling, and overall ride experience. Ultimately, the right choice aligns with your specific needs and riding intentions. With e-bikes gaining popularity, there's an ideal model and motor type waiting to elevate your riding adventures.

Mid-Drive E-Bikes

View our wide range of mid-drive electric bikes.

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Rear-Hub E-Bikes

View our wide range of hub motor electric bikes.

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Tom - November 18, 2023

OMG, this breakdown is lit for e-bike motors! Deciding between mid-drive and hub motors can be a total brain-teaser, but this article makes it crystal. Wanna hit those trails? Mid-drive’s got that power kick! But for city chillin’, those hub motors seem way simpler. Gotta test both and vibe out before picking my ride!

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