What's the difference between Hub Motor and Mid-drive Motor?

What's the difference between Hub Motor and Mid-drive Motor?


Those riders familiar with electric bicycles may already know that there are three driving modes available: front wheel hub motor, mid-drive motor, and rear wheel hub motor. Among these options, the majority of electric bike brands on the market utilize mid-drive motors and rear hub motors. In this discussion, we will take a look at the distinctions between these two driving methods and explore why certain models employ specific drive methods. Additionally, we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both the mid-drive motor and the hub motor. Join us as we explore this topic.

Advantages of mid-drive motor:

Easy to disassemble. The front and rear wheels are easy to disassemble, suitable for professional sports models;

Good balance. The center of gravity configuration of the motor and battery optimizes the balance of the front and rear for optimum control and stability while riding.

Fast acceleration. Equipped with powerful torque, the mid-drive motor e-bike offers rapid startup, enhanced control, swift acceleration, impressive climbing capabilities, robust motor power, and efficient heat dissipation.

Strong climbing ability. The differential gear and belt in the mid-drive motor is operated through a series of gears, allowing for fast speed, impressive power, and durable performance when climbing hills.


Bafang Mid-drive Motor-Freedare Electric Bike

Disadvantages of mid-drive motor:

High maintenance Rate-Gear transmission is easy to cause internal damage. Mid-drive motor come with high maintenance rate, high maintenance cost, cumbersome maintenance process, high regular maintenance cost, and difficult modification;

Much heavier-The weight of the whole bike is heavy and not easy to transport, and it is more laborious to carry the bike.

Hard to maintain-The size of the motor base of the mid-drive motor is not uniform, If there is a problem with the motor, you can only replace the original product, and it is difficult to find a universal replacement;

Complex structure-In addition to motor, there are clutches, drive shafts, drive belts, transmissions, differentials, etc.;

Spare part are vulnerable-Because of the large torque of the mid-mounted motor, it has a greater destructive force on the chain, hub, and spokes.

Throttle mode only-Without electric assist, the riding resistance is too large;

Expensive-The retail price of the mid-drive motor ebike is high. The high-end E-BIKE generally uses the mid-drive motor.

Advantages of rear hub motor:


Simple and reliable - the rear hub motor is a direct-drive motor that is integrated into the rear wheel, making it a simpler and more straightforward system.

Easy maintenance - with the motor integrated into the wheel, it is easily accessible for maintenance and repairs.

Cost-effective - rear hub motor systems are generally more affordable compared to mid-drive motor systems.

Silent operation - rear hub motors tend to be quieter compared to mid-drive motors.


Bafang Hub-Motor-Freedare Electric Bike

Disadvantages of rear hub motor:

Imbalanced weight distribution - with the motor and battery located at the rear, the weight distribution of the e-bike can be imbalanced, affecting overall stability and handling.

Reduced climbing ability - rear hub motors may not perform as well in terms of climbing steep hills compared to mid-drive motors.

Limited versatility - rear hub motors are typically not compatible with certain bicycle frames or drivetrain systems, limiting the options for customization and modifications.

Less efficient energy usage - rear hub motors may consume more electric power compared to mid-drive motors, resulting in shorter battery life.

Freedare Fat Tire Electric Bike 750watt Power

In summary, the advantages and disadvantages of the mid-drive motor are obvious. The mid-drive motor offers advantages such as easy disassembly, good balance, fast acceleration, strong climbing ability, and high-end features, but it has drawbacks including higher maintenance cost, heavier weight, complex structure, and increased wear on the bicycle's components. Rear hub motors, on the other hand, are simpler, more cost-effective, and easier to maintain, but may have imbalanced weight distribution, reduced climbing ability, and limited customization options. The choice of drive method depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the rider. 

Hub motor ebike is the best choice for daily use. As long as we choose a good brand and configuration, the ebike of the hub motor can fully meet our needs. The motors used by Freedare are BaFang's brand motors. BaFang has a global range of motor products, is known for its innovative and high-quality products, and is a trusted supplier to many of the world's leading e-bike brands. 

Have you ever ridden an electric bike with a mid-drive motor? Share your opinion and story in the comments section.


  • Paulmert Dasalia on

    Looking for a high powered electric motorcycle that looks like a motorcycle

  • Paulmert Dasalia on

    Looking for a high powered electric motorcycle that looks like a motorcycle

  • John on

    Yes I have a mid drive with 8000 kilometres on it and never had a problem. I put a new rear cassette and chain on and that is all . It is a Bosch which is a high end motor

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