Can a mid drive ebike pull a trailer / cargo as well as a rear hub?

330rcs

Active Member
I have always pulled my pet trailer with my rear hub drive with my 35 lb puppy and never had any issues. Recently I also got a more expensive mid drive and I put the trailer hitch on it but haven't tried to pull the trailer. I just wanted to confirm if there's any issues pulling weight with a mid drive that I should know about? Can I snap the chain or anything like that? Or will it be the same like my rear hub? My rear hub is a 750w bafang motor and my mid drive is a 1500W Ultra bafang motor.

Thanks
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I am pulling 140 lb with a BBSHD on a fat bike without issues.
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WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
Interesting.. I often see opposite question. 😅

Can hub motor haul trailers?

Exactly!

Both can haul trailers on flatland. A hub drive (and it's rider) will suffer on hills and a middrive just makes easy work of it.
 

330rcs

Active Member
Exactly!

Both can haul trailers on flatland. A hub drive (and it's rider) will suffer on hills and a middrive just makes easy work of it.

I am in Colorado and been riding my 750w rear hub for a couple years now and as my only form of transportation and I have absolutely zero issues with the Colorado hills. We're literally on a mountain.

My mid drive is smoother and quicker to go up hills that's true. I just wouldn't say that my rear hub "suffers" by any means.

I don't know why I just thought since mid drives have issues with chain snapping (not that I have had any issue so far in about 7-8 months of riding) but didn't know if it would some how be an issue.

Appreciate all the replies! Sounds like I'm good to go with the mid drive!
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I am in Colorado and been riding my 750w rear hub for a couple years now and as my only form of transportation and I have absolutely zero issues with the Colorado hills. We're literally on a mountain.

My mid drive is smoother and quicker to go up hills that's true. I just wouldn't say that my rear hub "suffers" by any means.

I don't know why I just thought since mid drives have issues with chain snapping (not that I have had any issue so far in about 7-8 months of riding) but didn't know if it would some how be an issue.

Appreciate all the replies! Sounds like I'm good to go with the mid drive!
they don't have problems with chains snapping thats the excuse people that love hub drives use to justify their love of a hub drive.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Just watch the amount of wattage you're using. Think of it as a strain gauge....
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
I am in Colorado and been riding my 750w rear hub for a couple years now and as my only form of transportation and I have absolutely zero issues with the Colorado hills. We're literally on a mountain.

My mid drive is smoother and quicker to go up hills that's true. I just wouldn't say that my rear hub "suffers" by any means.

I don't know why I just thought since mid drives have issues with chain snapping (not that I have had any issue so far in about 7-8 months of riding) but didn't know if it would some how be an issue.

Appreciate all the replies! Sounds like I'm good to go with the mid drive!
Total load could have an impact on your drivetrain on the mid, and you wouldn't want to get up on the pedals in addition to cranking on max motor torque at the same time. That's a lot of power through your chain and cogs. That is where a strong Hub "could" be better by distributing half of the available power through the tire directly, while you got up on the pedals and gave it the full beans through the drivetrain. Total load on the drivetrain would be nowhere near the same as that scenario on the mid, but it's possible to get similar results to the rear wheel assuming your hub is turning is at a reasonable or ideal speed. There could be real world benefits to say a pedicab or cargo bike application in typical city use. It would be fun to test.

On hills though, I still don't think that would be as effective as a mid being driven smoothly and in the right gear. That is just where mid-drives shine.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
So don't go to the higher assist levels?
Hard to answer as that's going to determine how hard the motor is working. That's why I'm suggesting you keep an eye on the watt meter. I would add that if you need to pull in excess of 1000-1200w, your motor is grunting for sure. You wouldn't want to do that for long. Maybe to crest a short hill or something, but not a 2 mile climb. If you get into that situation, try dropping gears AND PAS levels, whatever it takes to get that watt meter under 1000w. That's my opinion anyway....
 

Kyle44

New Member
Region
Australia
Depends on the bike. Some have higher torque at lower speeds and vice versa.
 

330rcs

Active Member
Hard to answer as that's going to determine how hard the motor is working. That's why I'm suggesting you keep an eye on the watt meter. I would add that if you need to pull in excess of 1000-1200w, your motor is grunting for sure. You wouldn't want to do that for long. Maybe to crest a short hill or something, but not a 2 mile climb. If you get into that situation, try dropping gears AND PAS levels, whatever it takes to get that watt meter under 1000w. That's my opinion anyway....

I will have to check my settings I don't think my mid drive shows me watts only battery voltage. My rear hub does show watts though it has the older bafang lcd and my mid drive has the newer color bafang display.
 

330rcs

Active Member
Depends on the bike. Some have higher torque at lower speeds and vice versa.

I have crazy amount of torque. When I first got it, I would wheelie from stand still if I pressed the throttle too hard in too low of a gear. This is the kind of stuff that has made me hesitate on trying to pull the weight with my mid drive but the replies have convinced me it's definitely doable and actually easier. Will just have to be careful about the gears and power levels it seems.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Most of the Ultra powered bikes I've seen come with a DPC18 display. You should have no trouble seeing how many watts are in use with that. If that's an issue for you, check out some of the other Bafang displays that are available (like a 750C for instance). If you decide on one, just make sure it's UART based so it knows how to talk to your drive.
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If you chainline is good and your are willing to shift gears then there is no issue. I have a BBSHD driving a 11 speed 11X46 tooth cassette and often over 400lb. With a Liekie ring and good chain maintenance I get over 2000 miles out of a chain.
You are not going to stress that BBSO2 just pulling normally.
This may have changed but throttles are a PIA on the BBSO2 as they cannot be programed and are not refined. You can roll it until it contacts the brake lever and not have a problem hitting it. You can use a 3mm hex wrench and roll it back for the times you want it. PAS cadence sensed works better. I can program the throttle on my BBSHD and took a lot of the bite out of it.
You are more apt to stress a small battery than the motor and chain if you have it in the right gear.
Chains can a do snap but I have never experienced this on the 10 bikes that I have built.
 

CdnShaun

Active Member
I have always pulled my pet trailer with my rear hub drive with my 35 lb puppy and never had any issues. Recently I also got a more expensive mid drive and I put the trailer hitch on it but haven't tried to pull the trailer. I just wanted to confirm if there's any issues pulling weight with a mid drive that I should know about? Can I snap the chain or anything like that? Or will it be the same like my rear hub? My rear hub is a 750w bafang motor and my mid drive is a 1500W Ultra bafang motor.

Thanks

Did you upgrade/replace the chain when you installed the mid drive?

I have only built/ridden hub drives thus far but looking into mid drives with my LBS. One item he mentioned is stronger chains designed for ebikes to be part of my build when I do.

Sorry I don't have specific brand/models of chain to suggest - just wanted to mention the option is out there and maybe some of the mid-drive members here can suggest more insight into chain choices.
 

330rcs

Active Member
Did you upgrade/replace the chain when you installed the mid drive?

I have only built/ridden hub drives thus far but looking into mid drives with my LBS. One item he mentioned is stronger chains designed for ebikes to be part of my build when I do.

Sorry I don't have specific brand/models of chain to suggest - just wanted to mention the option is out there and maybe some of the mid-drive members here can suggest more insight into chain choices.

I didn't upgrade it and I didn't install it, I bought the bike not built it. It's a Biktrix Ultra Eagle. I'm sure it's a good chain. My bike had all high end components so I don't think they would have used a chain that couldn't handle a bafang Ultra 1500W motor. Otherwise I'm sure I would have had issues by now.
 

CdnShaun

Active Member
I didn't upgrade it and I didn't install it, I bought the bike not built it. It's a Biktrix Ultra Eagle. I'm sure it's a good chain. My bike had all high end components so I don't think they would have used a chain that couldn't handle a bafang Ultra 1500W motor. Otherwise I'm sure I would have had issues by now.
Very good, great choice by the way.

Then the only suggestion I have is look up what the 'payload' your Biktrix Ultra Eagle has for rider (and cargo) to perhaps give you some more insight into what you are working with. While the trailer is technically out back it's still part of the overall rider/cargo payload of the bike.

I'm a heavy rider (270lbs) and with a backpack I'm reaching 300lbs so I have to keep that in mind on the bikes I considered - spoke strength, seat post strength, etc. For you this information would let you add up your total payload and make a more informed decision.

All that said - awesome bike like yours with a 160nm torque monster Ultra motor you probably could pull 200lbs and it still wouldn't get all that hot. 😎