Anybody else go from a rear hub motor to mid drive?

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Old thread, but...FYI, I have been riding hub motor eBikes for a few years now. I just purchased my first mid-drive motor eBike, and, for me, it's not something I'm enjoying. Besides breaking two chains within the first mile I rode the bike - two weeks in the shop between breaks - I don't like the way it shifts and how much work you have to do. the hub motor is all about just kicking back and riding. I leave it in the highest gear - 7th - and just pedal easily - but not too easily - and use the throttle at the same time. Now I have to sell the mid-drive eBike cuz it'll cost a fortune to send it back, and to get it boxed to ship. not to mention the hassle. Ugh.
What model of mid drive did you buy?
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Old thread, but...FYI, I have been riding hub motor eBikes for a few years now. I just purchased my first mid-drive motor eBike, and, for me, it's not something I'm enjoying. Besides breaking two chains within the first mile I rode the bike - two weeks in the shop between breaks - I don't like the way it shifts and how much work you have to do. the hub motor is all about just kicking back and riding. I leave it in the highest gear - 7th - and just pedal easily - but not too easily - and use the throttle at the same time. Now I have to sell the mid-drive eBike cuz it'll cost a fortune to send it back, and to get it boxed to ship. not to mention the hassle. Ugh.
Snapped chain twice? I used to do that fairly often on my old road bikes; My guess you´re a big guy too.
Still, you have confirmed my suspicions about midrive. Fixing a flat can be a challenge, but I´m
stickin´ with a hub motor. 7 speed hub? same here,same gear.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Old thread, but...FYI, I have been riding hub motor eBikes for a few years now. I just purchased my first mid-drive motor eBike, and, for me, it's not something I'm enjoying. Besides breaking two chains within the first mile I rode the bike - two weeks in the shop between breaks - I don't like the way it shifts and how much work you have to do. the hub motor is all about just kicking back and riding. I leave it in the highest gear - 7th - and just pedal easily - but not too easily - and use the throttle at the same time. Now I have to sell the mid-drive eBike cuz it'll cost a fortune to send it back, and to get it boxed to ship. not to mention the hassle. Ugh.
Sorry to hear your story... did you know that you would have to shift gears and pedal before you purchased the bike?
I assume you have a pedal-assist bike with no throttle... sounds like the LBS sold you the wrong bike, so ask if you can return it.
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Old thread, but...FYI, I have been riding hub motor eBikes for a few years now. I just purchased my first mid-drive motor eBike, and, for me, it's not something I'm enjoying. Besides breaking two chains within the first mile I rode the bike - two weeks in the shop between breaks - I don't like the way it shifts and how much work you have to do. the hub motor is all about just kicking back and riding. I leave it in the highest gear - 7th - and just pedal easily - but not too easily - and use the throttle at the same time. Now I have to sell the mid-drive eBike cuz it'll cost a fortune to send it back, and to get it boxed to ship. not to mention the hassle. Ugh.
well if your using the largest gear and not really peddling to move the bike then yes your not going to like a mid drive. a mid drive is a bike you peddle to propel the bike
 

330rcs

Active Member
Old thread, but...FYI, I have been riding hub motor eBikes for a few years now. I just purchased my first mid-drive motor eBike, and, for me, it's not something I'm enjoying. Besides breaking two chains within the first mile I rode the bike - two weeks in the shop between breaks - I don't like the way it shifts and how much work you have to do. the hub motor is all about just kicking back and riding. I leave it in the highest gear - 7th - and just pedal easily - but not too easily - and use the throttle at the same time. Now I have to sell the mid-drive eBike cuz it'll cost a fortune to send it back, and to get it boxed to ship. not to mention the hassle. Ugh.

I definitely understand where you're coming from for what it's worth I eventually ended up really liking and enjoying my mid drive. I was ready to ship it back but I had made a post in the Biktrix form where I continued this conversation and got a lot of tips specially about programming. When I contacted the owner because I was ready to ship it back I didn't care how much it cost me. When I shifted in the middle of a major intersection with a car making a left waiting for me to pass and I paused because of the shift, I was done.

The owner asked me if I wanted to try disabling the shift sensor before returning and so of course I did. This solved that issue with the motor cutting off and causing a pause during a shift. However I still have to be careful with shifting I just made a habit of getting up off the seat as my "pause" when I shift and then continue pedaling. However I have so much fun with it that I don't mind and don't even think about it just happens naturally now.

Then I did a bunch of changes. I replaced my chainring from a 44t to a 52t. I was always so used to the 52t from my rear hub. So this brought back my similar cadence, pedaling feel and speed. Otherwise on the 44t I felt like I was sitting there spinning my wheels. I hated it wasnt used to it all.

I haven't broke any chains yet or hade any other mechanical issues since I've had it. I might be at 500 miles now not sure.

Then I had to get a bafang programming cable and got a lot of help from, my post in the Biktrix forum. I had to change this dangerous stock throttle setting of "balls to the wall" to a smooth acceleration. Now I don't wheelie from take off or on the middle of a hill when I hit the throttle for a little help. I also made a bunch of other programmimg changes such as throttle, pedal assist, etc to get everything tuned to my liking.

Out the box I wasn't happy with it at all. Now I love it but, it took quite a bit of messing with it. This thing is a freaking rocket. I know not everybody is into having a speed racer but I have a lot of open areas here in CO but anyway it's a blast. I still have my rear hub and it's more of my commuter and the mid drive is my speed racer.

The thing is though I still like my rear hub so much and it's speed still surprises me does 30mph on flat easy. It's interesting how a 750w rear hub motor is actually really similar in performance speed wise to a 1500w mid drive. I mean you can tell the difference don't get me wrong. I go up the steepest hills with my mid drive smooth as butter. I can go up with just assist and momentum without having to hit the throttle. On the rear hub it doesn't have the same power, it will go up the same hill but I will need to be on the throttle and you can feel the drop in power or need to put in a little extra effort.

The rear hub was plug and play and having fun out the box and it's half the price of my mid drive.

Not sure if that helps. I'm not sure what kind of bike you got and if you can make such programming changes etc.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
I definitely understand where you're coming from for what it's worth I eventually ended up really liking and enjoying my mid drive. I was ready to ship it back but I had made a post in the Biktrix form where I continued this conversation and got a lot of tips specially about programming. When I contacted the owner because I was ready to ship it back I didn't care how much it cost me. When I shifted in the middle of a major intersection with a car making a left waiting for me to pass and I paused because of the shift, I was done.

The owner asked me if I wanted to try disabling the shift sensor before returning and so of course I did. This solved that issue with the motor cutting off and causing a pause during a shift. However I still have to be careful with shifting I just made a habit of getting up off the seat as my "pause" when I shift and then continue pedaling. However I have so much fun with it that I don't mind and don't even think about it just happens naturally now.

Then I did a bunch of changes. I replaced my chainring from a 44t to a 52t. I was always so used to the 52t from my rear hub. So this brought back my similar cadence, pedaling feel and speed. Otherwise on the 44t I felt like I was sitting there spinning my wheels. I hated it wasnt used to it all.

I haven't broke any chains yet or hade any other mechanical issues since I've had it. I might be at 500 miles now not sure.

Then I had to get a bafang programming cable and got a lot of help from, my post in the Biktrix forum. I had to change this dangerous stock throttle setting of "balls to the wall" to a smooth acceleration. Now I don't wheelie from take off or on the middle of a hill when I hit the throttle for a little help. I also made a bunch of other programmimg changes such as throttle, pedal assist, etc to get everything tuned to my liking.

Out the box I wasn't happy with it at all. Now I love it but, it took quite a bit of messing with it. This thing is a freaking rocket. I know not everybody is into having a speed racer but I have a lot of open areas here in CO but anyway it's a blast. I still have my rear hub and it's more of my commuter and the mid drive is my speed racer.

The thing is though I still like my rear hub so much and it's speed still surprises me does 30mph on flat easy. It's interesting how a 750w rear hub motor is actually really similar in performance speed wise to a 1500w mid drive. I mean you can tell the difference don't get me wrong. I go up the steepest hills with my mid drive smooth as butter. I can go up with just assist and momentum without having to hit the throttle. On the rear hub it doesn't have the same power, it will go up the same hill but I will need to be on the throttle and you can feel the drop in power or need to put in a little extra effort.

The rear hub was plug and play and having fun out the box and it's half the price of my mid drive.

Not sure if that helps. I'm not sure what kind of bike you got and if you can make such programming changes etc.
Glad you finally got it sorted out.

Good to know you can disable the shift sensor, I would do that immediately if I got an ultra. I would also disable brake sensors as I hated that on my Juiced CCX but it seemed necessary due the motor runon after I stopped pedaling. I have no brake cutoffs on my DIY GMAC build and love it.

Too bad you cant get a 1500w motor for your Juiced, I think you would like that as well. My DIY 10t GMAC build maxes out at 1500w and its a beast, easily doing wheelies on 20% grades and maxes out at 36mph which is fast enough for me.

Perhaps we will meet during a ride someday (Im up north in louisville)
 

330rcs

Active Member
Glad you finally got it sorted out.

Good to know you can disable the shift sensor, I would do that immediately if I got an ultra. I would also disable brake sensors as I hated that on my Juiced CCX but it seemed necessary due the motor runon after I stopped pedaling. I have no brake cutoffs on my DIY GMAC build and love it.

Too bad you cant get a 1500w motor for your Juiced, I think you would like that as well. My DIY 10t GMAC build maxes out at 1500w and its a beast, easily doing wheelies on 20% grades and maxes out at 36mph which is fast enough for me.

Perhaps we will meet during a ride someday (Im up north in louisville)

The brake sensors don't seem to bother me. I suppose you're referring to the motor cutting off when you hit the brakes. I guess I never really thought about it disabling it since I never really noticed it impacting my ride negatively. Once my motor cut off wire needed to be replaced when I was replacing one brake and juiced had told me it's not really necessary but my local bike shop seemed surprised hearing that so I ended up just getting it along with the brake for it to be installed. So I never even got to test it without the brake sensor. Maybe if I tried it without I would like it. I believe it's just a matter of disconnecting the two wires that come from the brake maybe one day I'll try it to see the difference.

Actually just the other day I posted on the Juiced forum here if the rear hub can be upgraded. I got some feedback but I have a fat tire bike - Ripcurrent S and I don't know which motor would be compatible but essentially I was told "any bike can be upgraded" and that I would need to upgrade my controller and display as well. So it's just a matter of figuring out which motor is compatible with my 26" fat tire with 4" tires. I know a local ebike mechanic that should be able to do the upgrade but I want to be sure what buy will work before I get it.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The brake sensors don't seem to bother me. I suppose you're referring to the motor cutting off when you hit the brakes. I guess I never really thought about it disabling it since I never really noticed it impacting my ride negatively. Once my motor cut off wire needed to be replaced when I was replacing one brake and juiced had told me it's not really necessary but my local bike shop seemed surprised hearing that so I ended up just getting it along with the brake for it to be installed. So I never even got to test it without the brake sensor. Maybe if I tried it without I would like it. I believe it's just a matter of disconnecting the two wires that come from the brake maybe one day I'll try it to see the difference.

Actually just the other day I posted on the Juiced forum here if the rear hub can be upgraded. I got some feedback but I have a fat tire bike - Ripcurrent S and I don't know which motor would be compatible but essentially I was told "any bike can be upgraded" and that I would need to upgrade my controller and display as well. So it's just a matter of figuring out which motor is compatible with my 26" fat tire with 4" tires. I know a local ebike mechanic that should be able to do the upgrade but I want to be sure what buy will work before I get it.
I can walk you through some options regarding a Juiced fatty upgrade, but I think that a bit off topic here. A post in DIY, Kits and Custom Builds here will draw some suggestions for sure. Very "do-able"!

 
Old thread, but...FYI, I have been riding hub motor eBikes for a few years now. I just purchased my first mid-drive motor eBike, and, for me, it's not something I'm enjoying. Besides breaking two chains within the first mile I rode the bike - two weeks in the shop between breaks - I don't like the way it shifts and how much work you have to do. the hub motor is all about just kicking back and riding. I leave it in the highest gear - 7th - and just pedal easily - but not too easily - and use the throttle at the same time. Now I have to sell the mid-drive eBike cuz it'll cost a fortune to send it back, and to get it boxed to ship. not to mention the hassle. Ugh.
Thanks for sharing this. It’s reinforcing my decision to most likely go with a fairly powerful hub drive on my next bike. Currently have a hub and the issues you have validate my concerns. I don’t think I will like having to think about every hill approach and shifting, deal with drivetrain issues etc.
 
Thanks for sharing this. It’s reinforcing my decision to most likely go with a fairly powerful hub drive on my next bike. Currently have a hub and the issues you have validate my concerns. I don’t think I will like having to think about every hill approach and shifting, deal with drivetrain issues etc.
What’s funny about this I wonder. There seems to be an implication that people who don’t like the mid drive system or find it appealing because of the difference in shifting are less capable or not skilled enough. I think in some cases it’s quite the contrary- we want to be able to shift as fast as we do on our acoustic bikes without pause for granny shifting to make sure we don’t break a chain or rip a cassette.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Thanks for sharing this. It’s reinforcing my decision to most likely go with a fairly powerful hub drive on my next bike. Currently have a hub and the issues you have validate my concerns. I don’t think I will like having to think about every hill approach and shifting, deal with drivetrain issues etc.
Mike, I have both. A 1000w+ MAC 12t gear driven hub drive and an Ultra powered fatty. In all fairness, breaking 2 chains in a mile with a mid drive is almost certainly user error. So there's that. Another thing is the often mentioned stuff about the "right gear" being critical with ALL mid drives. When talking about an ULTRA mid drive, that's not been my experience at all. This thing is a giant torque monster. It's an electric motor! They are ALL about generating all sorts of torque. There is NO NEED to keep it within a very narrow power band. That's horse puckey! For typical riding at typical throttle settings, ridden with ANY degree of common sense, it's VERY forgiving of what gear it's in. It's not until you start cranking in massive amounts of power and pushing the motor's limits that things become more critical. Things like trying a full throttle start while in top gear are not going to end well. Taking off from a stop with moderate throttle in 5th gear? Easy Peazy! It'll be pulling less than 500 watts and it's rated for 3 times that!

All that said, I still think the hub drive is easier to ride. My point here, is that if you are going that way (hub drive), don't do it because somebody managed to break "2 chains within a mile". Do it with the whole (REAL) story in mind.... -Al
 
Mike, I have both. A 1000w+ MAC 12t gear driven hub drive and an Ultra powered fatty. In all fairness, breaking 2 chains in a mile with a mid drive is almost certainly user error. So there's that. Another thing is the often mentioned stuff about the "right gear" being critical with ALL mid drives. When talking about an ULTRA mid drive, that's not been my experience at all. This thing is a giant torque monster. It's an electric motor! They are ALL about generating all sorts of torque. There is NO NEED to keep it within a very narrow power band. That's horse puckey! For typical riding at typical throttle settings, ridden with ANY degree of common sense, it's VERY forgiving of what gear it's in. It's not until you start cranking in massive amounts of power and pushing the motor's limits that things become more critical. Things like trying a full throttle start while in top gear are not going to end well. Taking off from a stop with moderate throttle in 5th gear? Easy Peazy! It'll be pulling less than 500 watts and it's rated for 3 times that!

All that said, I still think the hub drive is easier to ride. My point here, is that if you are going that way (hub drive), don't do it because somebody managed to break "2 chains within a mile". Do it with the whole (REAL) story in mind.... -Al
Appreciate this different perspective. If I were to get a mid drive it would be with the Ultra. I really need to go ride a mid drive to see for myself what the difference is. I found a place nearby in Ann Arbor (MI) that rents mid drives. Just waiting for it to not be frozen snow everywhere. I ride in the snow, but I want some pavement to really put it through the paces and compare apples to apples. I'm plenty used to shifting while riding an acoustic mountain bike aggressively on trails, so maybe I'm over thinking the mid drive?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Re: over thinking. Maybe. My Ultra came with a "shift sensor" that's supposed to cut the power for an instant when shifting (Rize RX Pro). Mixed feelings there, but it is a nice feature. I've only had it for a couple of months, so still learning, and I've been riding bikes that need to be shifted a LONG time. That's not the issue. One key piece I've found, is that when you've hit a hill and miscalculated what gear will work best, rather than loosing your momentum with a shift, just going to a higher PAS level works much better - with no loss of momentum. That takes advantage of the huge torque the Ultra has on tap, without sending the watt meter into orbit - which to me is all the proof I need to prove these motors are about as forgiving as they can possibly be.

That's the bottom line in my experience. Have fun, but keep an eye the watt meter. Takes a bit to figure out what "normal" is, but it doesn't lie or leave you guessing when it comes to how hard you are pushing it. Let it go up over 1000w if you want/need it, just don't leave it there a long time.....
 
Re: over thinking. Maybe. My Ultra came with a "shift sensor" that's supposed to cut the power for an instant when shifting (Rize RX Pro). Mixed feelings there, but it is a nice feature. I've only had it for a couple of months, so still learning, and I've been riding bikes that need to be shifted a LONG time. That's not the issue. One key piece I've found, is that when you've hit a hill and miscalculated what gear will work best, rather than loosing your momentum with a shift, just going to a higher PAS level works much better - with no loss of momentum. That takes advantage of the huge torque the Ultra has on tap, without sending the watt meter into orbit - which to me is all the proof I need to prove these motors are about as forgiving as they can possibly be.

That's the bottom line in my experience. Have fun, but keep an eye the watt meter. Takes a bit to figure out what "normal" is, but it doesn't lie or leave you guessing when it comes to how hard you are pushing it. Let it go up over 1000w if you want/need it, just don't leave it there a long time.....
Ha, just noticed you're from MI so obviously you're familiar with A Arbor! Thanks for the further description of the shifting and insight. It helps!
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
What’s funny about this I wonder. There seems to be an implication that people who don’t like the mid drive system or find it appealing because of the difference in shifting are less capable or not skilled enough. I think in some cases it’s quite the contrary- we want to be able to shift as fast as we do on our acoustic bikes without pause for granny shifting to make sure we don’t break a chain or rip a cassette.
You don’t need to pause when you shift a mid-drive. You just need to lessen your pedal force when shifting. This is a well known practice when shifting analog bikes as well. My mid-drive has over 2500 miles with the original chain, which is still within wear specifications. No issues whatsoever.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
You don’t need to pause when you shift a mid-drive. You just need to lessen your pedal force when shifting. This is a well known practice when shifting analog bikes as well.
My mid-drive has over 2500 miles with the original chain, which is still within wear specifications. No issues whatsoever.
I agree... it becomes second nature to back off a bit on the pedaling force when shifting.

I have been using this technique for years with good results and never broken a chain. ;)
 
You don’t need to pause when you shift a mid-drive. You just need to lessen your pedal force when shifting. This is a well known practice when shifting analog bikes as well. My mid-drive has over 2500 miles with the original chain, which is still within wear specifications. No issues whatsoever.
If you are saying shifting a mid drive is not much different than shifting a regular mountain bike then I’m definitely more interested.