Ebike drive systems

There are 2 main types of ebike drive systems, hub drive and mid drive. Hub drive is where the motor is within the wheel, replacing the front or rear hub. Mid drive systems are located at the bottom bracket (typically where the pedals meet the frame). There are strengths and weaknesses to both options, which we endeavour to summarise below, however our preference is towards mid drive ebikes.

Hub Drive System

As stated above, hub drive ebikes have the motor situated within the wheel, essentially replacing the normal hub for these bikes (the part of the wheel that the axles passes through and the spokes attach to). These motors can be either direct drive or geared, with most of the main manufacturers using the typically lighter and less powerful geared hub motors in OEM/purpose built ebikes.

Hub drive advantages

  • Lower potential wear on drivetrain - motor power is separate
  • Typically cheaper

Hub drive weakenesses

  • Less potential wheel torque
  • Unspring weigh in the wheel
  • Tube/tire changes more difficult

Mid Drive System


Mid Drive Strengths

  • Weight lower in the frame
  • Power runs through the drive train (provides greater potential torque and allows motor to operate at optimum efficiency)

Mid Drive Weaknesses

  • More potential wear on drive train
  • Typically more expensive



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