Skip to main content

Mid-Drive vs Hub Motor: What is the difference?

Mid-Drive vs Hub Motor: What is the difference?

One of the most important decisions you'll have to make when picking an e-bike is between a mid-drive or a hub electric motor style. The way how motor works has a big say in the cost, ride quality, as well as the whole performance of the bike.

In this overview, you will learn the major differences between both kinds of e-bike motors with the advantages and disadvantages of mid-drive vs hub motor. 


Mid Drive e-Bike

Mootoro V2 village electric bike

On a mid-drive e-bike, the electric motoris installed at the five-pass (BB) of the bicycle, which is the stomping center of the whole vehicle. It also needs various sensors (possibly stomping frequency, stomping torque, forward and backward inclination angles or driving speed) to estimate the current movement status of the rider.

Mootoro mid drive motor

The mid-drive motor is inergrated into the e-bike's framework. It is more like a built-in part of the frame.

It is necessary to determine the size of the motor power through the controller calculation, the biggest difference between the motor and the Hub motor is that the motor power is provided to the “rider’s foot”, so that it is easy to step on the pedal to drive the tooth disk, rather than directly turn the wheel set!

Mid-drive e-bike electric motors have a built-in pedal-assist sensing unit. Many mid-drive e-bikes included a torque-sensing unit. This sensing unit determines the amount of pressure you're putting into the peddles and sends the signal to the bike's controller. The control unit after that changes the level of aid based on that parameter.

When you pedal harder, the electric motor provides more power. When you pedal gently, the motor gives less power.

A lot of mid-drive e-bikes only use pedal assist. They do not have a throttle. This indicates you need to pedal in order for the electric motor to supply power. 



Hub Electric Motor Electric Bike

Mootoro D1 electric bike

Hub electric motor e-bikes have an electrical motor that is constructed into the hub of the bicycle wheel, located in the center of the wheel set and the Hub motor can be in the front wheel or in the rear wheel.

Mootoro hub motor

Typically, the motor is set up in the rear,however, it can be mounted in the front too.

The hub motor directly powers the wheel it's installed into. To put it simply, it applies torque straight to the wheel. The sensors estimate the rider's motion state, and then the controller calculates how much power to draw from the battery to turn the motor, and then propel the whole vehicle to assist the rider to ride, achieving the goal of saving effort. It operates separately from the bike's drivetrain. 

When you begin pedaling, the sensing unit sends out a signal to the bike's control system. The control system then turns motor on. When you stop pedaling, the sensor tells the control device to shut down the motor. Higher-end hub motor e-bikes featured a torque sensor pedal assist system instead.

Some hub motor e-bikes additionally feature a throttle control. The throttle is placed on the handlebars. You adjust the throttle with your fingers to regulate the motor's rate. When making use of the throttle, you do not need to pedal.


Differences Between a Mid Drive and Hub Motor e-Bike

The primary difference: the position of the motor on the bike

Mid-drive motors lie in the facility of the frame, in between the peddles. Hub drive motors are built right into one or two of the wheels.

The way the motor provides power

Mid-drive electric motors power the bike via the drivetrain, much like you do while you're pedaling. They apply torque to the cranks. This turns the chain and the rear wheel. Hub motors supply power straight to the wheel they're built right into. They pass torque to the wheel.

The bike structures

Mid-drive e-bikes typically use need unique structures with the motor built right into the bottom brace area. The structures are designed to fit one particular motor. Center drive e-bikes make use of a conventional framework. The only non-standard part is the wheel with the electric motor built in.

The expense

Mid-drive e-bikes are considerably more costly than hub motor models. They are a lot more complicated as well as the innovation is newer.


Pros & Cons

Mid-Drive Motor E-bikes


More range: Mid-drive ebikes deliver around 10% more range than hub motor models.

Better handling: The motor position makes the bike feel more balanced. The barycenter is lower.

Use of the gears: Mid-drive motors deliver power through the drivetrain.

Lighter: Mid-drive motors weigh less than hub motors.

Better climbing ability: You can shift down to make mountain climbing easier.

Better performance: Mid-drive ebikes accelerate faster, climb better, and have a higher top speed.



More maintenance: Mid-drive motors have higher failure rates.

More expensive: Mid-drive ebikes start at around $2000. Maintenance is also more expensive.

Less reliable: Mid-drive motors have more moving parts.

Fewer bike options: Mid-drive ebikes are less common.

No throttle: Most mid-drive ebikes require that you pedal.


Hub Motor E-bikes


Cheaper: Hub motor ebikes cost less than similar mid-drive models. Maintenance is cheaper as well.

Lower maintenance: Hub motors don’t put wear and tear on the bike’s drivetrain.

More reliable: Hub motors have fewer moving parts. They also offer redundancy.

More ebike options: There are far more hub motor ebike models to choose from.

Full throttle: Many hub motor ebikes allow you to ride without pedaling, just like riding a motorcycle.



Less range: Most hub motor e-bikes get less range than mid-drive motor e-bikes.

Handling isn’t as good: Hub motor e-bikes can feel front-heavy or rear-heavy due to the motor placement.

Power delivery isn’t as smooth: Hub motors usually use cadence sensors. These can be sometimes laggy.

Heavier: Hub motors weigh 10-20 lbs.

Can’t climb well: You can’t gear down to climb. Hub motors can feel underpowered and can overheat when climbing.

Less safe: Hub motors can cause dropout or fork failure.

Inferior performance: Hub motor ebikes can’t accelerate as fast, climb as well, or reach as high of top speed.

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.
Thanks for contacting us! We'll get back to you shortly. Thanks for subscribing Thanks! We will notify you when it becomes available! The max number of items have already been added There is only one item left to add to the cart There are only [num_items] items left to add to the cart