50 nm mid drive vs 50 nm rear hub drive

mikecoin56

New Member
I am currently riding an Aventon Pace 500 which I am generally pleased with. A couple annoying features though have me now looking at a mid drive bike.

The Aventon is a 500 watt, 48 volt, 50 nm, 8 speed rear hub motor ebike that is capable of ascending every hill I've tried even with my 250 pound weight. Albeit sometimes slowly.

I dislike the abrupt on-off feel of the motor due to the cadence sensor and the inability to pedal constantly in PAS 1 without going 11-12 mph.

I also dislike that the assist doesn't start helping from a stop until a pedal revolution or so.

I do like the relaxed, upright riding style as I'm 63 with some health issues.


Looking at Trek mid-drive ebikes with the 2020 Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 50 nm torque (Verve+ 3).

Or a 2020 Specialized mid-drive ebike with Brose 1.2e motor and 50 nm torque (Como 3).

Would either of these two mid drives perform as well or better on hills as the Aventon?

Do I need to go to the Electra Path Go and it's Bosch Performance line motor with 65 nm torque?

Or the Specialized Como 4 with its Brose 1.3 motor and 75 nm torque?
 

corn18

New Member
It doesn't look like either of those bikes have a throttle. Not sure a torque sensing system will solve your "I also dislike that the assist doesn't start helping from a stop until a pedal revolution or so." problem.
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
Torque is what will get you up hills, and a mid-drive pedal assist system benefits over a hub drive of the same torque levels from its abilities to use the bike's gearing.

Broadly speaking a mid-drive system with torque sensing (and they have cadence sensing as well - so the bike won't shoot off from under you if you just press on a pedal at a standstill) will activate motor power sooner than a pure cadence based system.

Inability to maintain a constant pedal cadence at a slow speed is an inherent issue with pure cadence based systems. Much easier to maintain whatever speed you wish with a torque based system as when you place lighter force on the pedals the motor power ramps down. They are more 'analog' in nature (ramp up or down based on force on the pedals) as opposed to cadence sensor based systems which are more 'digital' (full on to whatever PAS you have chosen when crank is spinning (regardless of speed) and full off if the crank is not spinning).

In my experience the Brose system is slightly smoother (and quieter) than the Bosch system, although I have not yet ridden any bikes with the 2020 Bosch Gen 4 system. The power comes on slightly sooner when you initiate pedaling with the Brose, and it cuts off quicker when you stop. The Brose just feels more like a natural extension of you whereas the Bosch can sometimes be a little more aggressive. However both are excellent pedal assist systems (the Bosch Gen 4 may be even better) and I believe that you would be quite happy with either of them.

Being able to benefit from the bike's gearing, both the Verve+ 3 and the Como 3 would likely perform better on hills as compared to the Pace 500. The Trek actually has the narrowest tires of the 3 at 1.9" (vs Pace 500-2.2" and Como 3-2.3"), so all other factors being equal it will have the highest efficiency by a little bit (power that you and the motor contribute will most efficiently be converted into forward speed). The narrower the tire, the better the efficiency and the harsher the ride (especially since all 3 bikes are totally rigid - no front or rear suspension).

But a good power assist system and efficiency don't make a bike great for you. Just by looks alone the Pace and the Verve appear to have similar riding positions, and maybe the Como is a little more of a 'comfort' riding position? You would want to ride (or at least sit on) all 3 to make sure they are comfortable to you.

Looking at the last 2 bikes you mention, the Path Go would likely have the most casual riding position (and comfort - 2.4" tires) of the bunch, and the Como 4 gives you the 28mph top assist speed which you currently have with your Pace 500.

There is no substitute for torque in an e-bike when your question is strictly what will perform best on hills, especially when one has health issues which may limit the power or duration the rider can contribute to the ride. But how much torque one wants is also based on how one rides. When we ride casually my wife doesn't mind the 60nm of torque available on a Bosch mid-drive on one of her bikes, but when we ride more aggressively she appreciates being clipped into the 120nm of torque available on a Bafang mid-drive she has on another bike.

So the 50nm of torque, combined with the ability to benefit from the bike's gearing may be all that you will need if you switch to a mid-drive bike (as compared to your Pace 500). The availability of 65-75nm of mid-drive torque can also be highly appreciated at times, but it comes at a monetary cost up front (and at a cost of battery range).

Finally, understand that the maximum torque values provided by motor manufacturers may not be available at all pedal assist levels. Bosch generally has Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo and their motors may not provide that listed 65nm of torque unless you are in Sport or even Turbo mode. However you will find that you may like using the higher assist levels on mid-drive bikes as their assist is still fluid and natural (based on torque sensing) as compared to the on-off 'rocket' feeling of a cadence based, hub motor system at one of its higher PAS settings.

Hope this helps!
 

mikecoin56

New Member
Torque is what will get you up hills, and a mid-drive pedal assist system benefits over a hub drive of the same torque levels from its abilities to use the bike's gearing.

Broadly speaking a mid-drive system with torque sensing (and they have cadence sensing as well - so the bike won't shoot off from under you if you just press on a pedal at a standstill) will activate motor power sooner than a pure cadence based system.

Inability to maintain a constant pedal cadence at a slow speed is an inherent issue with pure cadence based systems. Much easier to maintain whatever speed you wish with a torque based system as when you place lighter force on the pedals the motor power ramps down. They are more 'analog' in nature (ramp up or down based on force on the pedals) as opposed to cadence sensor based systems which are more 'digital' (full on to whatever PAS you have chosen when crank is spinning (regardless of speed) and full off if the crank is not spinning).

In my experience the Brose system is slightly smoother (and quieter) than the Bosch system, although I have not yet ridden any bikes with the 2020 Bosch Gen 4 system. The power comes on slightly sooner when you initiate pedaling with the Brose, and it cuts off quicker when you stop. The Brose just feels more like a natural extension of you whereas the Bosch can sometimes be a little more aggressive. However both are excellent pedal assist systems (the Bosch Gen 4 may be even better) and I believe that you would be quite happy with either of them.

Being able to benefit from the bike's gearing, both the Verve+ 3 and the Como 3 would likely perform better on hills as compared to the Pace 500. The Trek actually has the narrowest tires of the 3 at 1.9" (vs Pace 500-2.2" and Como 3-2.3"), so all other factors being equal it will have the highest efficiency by a little bit (power that you and the motor contribute will most efficiently be converted into forward speed). The narrower the tire, the better the efficiency and the harsher the ride (especially since all 3 bikes are totally rigid - no front or rear suspension).

But a good power assist system and efficiency don't make a bike great for you. Just by looks alone the Pace and the Verve appear to have similar riding positions, and maybe the Como is a little more of a 'comfort' riding position? You would want to ride (or at least sit on) all 3 to make sure they are comfortable to you.

Looking at the last 2 bikes you mention, the Path Go would likely have the most casual riding position (and comfort - 2.4" tires) of the bunch, and the Como 4 gives you the 28mph top assist speed which you currently have with your Pace 500.

There is no substitute for torque in an e-bike when your question is strictly what will perform best on hills, especially when one has health issues which may limit the power or duration the rider can contribute to the ride. But how much torque one wants is also based on how one rides. When we ride casually my wife doesn't mind the 60nm of torque available on a Bosch mid-drive on one of her bikes, but when we ride more aggressively she appreciates being clipped into the 120nm of torque available on a Bafang mid-drive she has on another bike.

So the 50nm of torque, combined with the ability to benefit from the bike's gearing may be all that you will need if you switch to a mid-drive bike (as compared to your Pace 500). The availability of 65-75nm of mid-drive torque can also be highly appreciated at times, but it comes at a monetary cost up front (and at a cost of battery range).

Finally, understand that the maximum torque values provided by motor manufacturers may not be available at all pedal assist levels. Bosch generally has Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo and their motors may not provide that listed 65nm of torque unless you are in Sport or even Turbo mode. However you will find that you may like using the higher assist levels on mid-drive bikes as their assist is still fluid and natural (based on torque sensing) as compared to the on-off 'rocket' feeling of a cadence based, hub motor system at one of its higher PAS settings.

Hope this helps!
Your reply is wonderful! It touched on all the issues I listed and you even talked specifically about the individual bikes!

You were an immense help and a credit to the forums here at Electric Bike Review!
 
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Reactions: TMH

Charlotte

New Member
What an excellent bit of information! So helpful. I'm trying to decide on the Aventon and the Como. I rode both and love the Como. But of course it's much more expensive than the Aventon Pace 500. I don't want to spend that much but the ride was so nice on the Como. Great help Thanks!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
What an excellent bit of information! So helpful. I'm trying to decide on the Aventon and the Como. I rode both and love the Como. But of course it's much more expensive than the Aventon Pace 500. I don't want to spend that much but the ride was so nice on the Como. Great help Thanks!
The sting of the price goes away as the years of use build up. I'm nearing 4 years of use with my Haibikes and the cost concerns faded away a long time ago.