Disadvantage of integrated mid drives that I don't see mentioned

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I guess I’m one of the few lucky ones then. I have just over 2500 miles on my Shimano E8000 with zero issues. It has been flawless...... Even the chain is original and still in spec. I feel bad for all the other mid-drive owners who must be struggling to keep theirs up and running....
I don't think it is a big issue. mine has over 6000 miles on it in less then a year my Bosch has been great.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Funny how people make one choice and then to take one negative anecdote about what they did not choose and generalize it into more than it is, in an attempt to justify their choice. It's like a politician who's only substantiation is "People say that _______." Not terribly convincing. Better to share either your own direct experience or the results of a well conducted study.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I don't think this thread's point is "I don't have a problem with mine". One of my bikes is known to be riddled by many issues yet at a total of 2000 miles it only needed the pedals to be changed and works like new. Should I start telling people that it is flawless because I never had a problem with it ?

Even on this forum there are people who had Brose belt failures or their Bosch mid drives replaced or had problems with Yamaha/Shimano drives. If you like to see examples of these problems simply do a google search and you will find many many threads.

The point is these drives do fail, nothing is bulletproof and when out of warranty a significant number of people, instead of paying close $1k to exchange the motor, will simply change their otherwise perfectly capable ebikes. That is a waste.

Also some of you are a bit too lax about the price of ebikes and I think you may try to put yourself in others' shoes then see if you can come to the same conclusion. Not everyone can afford to pay $4K on a bike and then have to pay $1K along the way for repairs or dispose of it after 4 years. When this is your main form of transportation, the risk of failure will significantly increase so it is important for these motors to be fixable at a reasonable cost.

Moreover there is also the environmental side of things. Disposing perfectly usable bicycles well before their usable life is not helping it that is another story though.
 
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theemartymac

Active Member
As advanced as these bikes seem to us at times, we really are in the Betamax/VHS wars days. These bikes haven't sorted out long term industry standards yet, so we have to accpet that many form factors will die and won't be sustainable in 10 years. Plus the tech is still very clunky and heavy, so you won't WANT one of these in 20 years when the new ones are 1/3 the weight, 3x as powerful, more tunable, and cheaper. There is always a penalty for early tech adopters.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
As advanced as these bikes seem to us at times, we really are in the Betamax/VHS wars days. These bikes haven't sorted out long term industry standards yet, so we have to accpet that many form factors will die and won't be sustainable in 10 years.
Plus the tech is still very clunky and heavy, so you won't WANT one of these in 20 years when the new ones are 1/3 the weight, 3x as powerful, more tunable, and cheaper. There is always a penalty for early tech adopters.

I agree and think the future will find new ways to integrate the motor and transmission into a single lightweight, low maintenance unit. ;)
 
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CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
Still running my 2013 'trashcan' Mac, It's still upgradeable for software. My iPad 3 is still running great, battery still last several hours, I haven't upgraded the software on it for years, I use it only for special things.

My phone is an original iPhone-5 SE, its still upgradable, but it is being replaced this weekend with an iPhone 12 Mini. The 5-SE is subjected to signal issues due to cell phone infrastructure changes, and probably because I got it very wet while caught in a serious downpour while on a bike trip. The battery on the 5-SE was also not much good it's best buddy was a slim battery bank. Starting with the 10XS (now 12 Pro Max) I used the larger phones for photography (no SIM) while keeping the SE for a phone. I have several iPads of different generations and have given away several that are still loved.

In general I would say Apple products age extremely well for electronic and software devices. They have their limitations with hardware upgrades, but that is known at the time of purchase. I'm pretty sure my new MacBook Air M1 will have a long life even though it will be obsolete in 3 years.

I know many people that keep old Apple devices, so people saying that everyone upgrades every year is just not looking at the big picture.
 
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EMGX

Active Member
I'm back on the boring exercise bike so here goes. Read a few of the endless sphere 322 TS pages. Some issues were cheap and easy to fix wear and tear items like the sprag clutch bearing and plastic gear. Others were clearly self inflicted, some who shouldn't do DIY projects, some probably defective product related but that is hard to know for sure. Most were positive experiences like mine. Some negatives about big name mid drives regarding expense and lack of parts, including from professional bike mechanic(s).

Flatsix's $1100 for the Yamaha bh gravel bike, including shipping, was a great deal but by the time the price was that low I'd already had mine for a third of a year and ridden Zion NP, mt lemon and several other rides in the sw that I wouldn't have been able to do with a regular bike.

By the way the BH bike came with a 30 day return policy but without a warranty. Not that a warranty would have any value since BH pulled out of the NA market and from what I've read no longer honors their warranty anyway. Very unfortunate for any who paid the $3400 list price, which I never would have considered, warranty or not.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Wow! This thread has totally derailed from what the OP was trying to learn by starting it.

Ithas devolved into people dredging up and rehashing their marginally relevant pet arguments, all things easily found with a simple search.

How about getting back on topic.

Are there disadvantages to mid drives that are not commonly mentioned in reviews or forums?

My observation is that most, if not all, valid disadvantages to mid drives are well discussed and easily found in a search here, on other forums, in reviews, on Youtube videos or on Google.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
I'm back on the boring exercise bike so here goes. Read a few of the endless sphere 322 TS pages. Some issues were cheap and easy to fix wear and tear items like the sprag clutch bearing and plastic gear. Others were clearly self inflicted, some who shouldn't do DIY projects, some probably defective product related but that is hard to know for sure. Most were positive experiences like mine. Some negatives about big name mid drives regarding expense and lack of parts, including from professional bike mechanic(s).

Flatsix's $1100 for the Yamaha bh gravel bike, including shipping, was a great deal but by the time the price was that low I'd already had mine for a third of a year and ridden Zion NP, mt lemon and several other rides in the sw that I wouldn't have been able to do with a regular bike.

By the way the BH bike came with a 30 day return policy but without a warranty. Not that a warranty would have any value since BH pulled out of the NA market and from what I've read no longer honors their warranty anyway. Very unfortunate for any who paid the $3400 list price, which I never would have considered, warranty or not.
I guess we all just see what we want to see, I have read ALL the TS pages at least 3 times and in excrutiating detail. I came to a different conclusion. Seem like a patient man would read ALL the pages multiple times

In the end, I wanted my TSDZ2 to work...why wouldnt I, I already had it, it was nice and compact and fit that bike like a glove, I knew the ends and out and had written some software for it. I played with it for over 6 months fixing various issues (which I never discussed so some have implied I didnt try hard enough or wasnt patient). I knew all the potential issues and decided it was time to cut my losses and move on.

Glad it works for you, sounds like you have the patience perseverance and free time. I would suggest buying a second unit as many have done (I almost did this)
 

EMGX

Active Member
I guess we all just see what we want to see, I have read ALL the TS pages at least 3 times and in excrutiating detail. I came to a different conclusion. Seem like a patient man would read ALL the pages multiple times

In the end, I wanted my TSDZ2 to work...why wouldnt I, I already had it, it was nice and compact and fit that bike like a glove, I knew the ends and out and had written some software for it. I played with it for over 6 months fixing various issues (which I never discussed so some have implied I didnt try hard enough or wasnt patient). I knew all the potential issues and decided it was time to cut my losses and move on.

Glad it works for you, sounds like you have the patience perseverance and free time. I would suggest buying a second unit as many have done (I almost did this)
If the TS on my wife's bike develops a problem I that I can't figure out I might dig deeper but that's not necessary at this time. It looks like one would have to winnow through bushels of chaff to find a couple grains of wheat in that endless sphere thread which is indeed endless. If we have a long enough period of bad weather where my wife isn't likely to want to ride I might pull the TS from her bike and try it on a hybrid bike that I have. If I didn't have my BH gravel bike I would get a 48v 750w TS for the hybrid.
 

EMGX

Active Member
Totally false. They do honor the warranty very well and very fast. I destroyed the freewheel after about 12k mikes and i got the new freehub body in 3days from Europe.
Thanks for correcting that, it was just something I read from the BH bikes section - from that thread:

"Here is the response directly from BH Spain

I am afraid BH BIKES does not assist end users directly, as any action must be done through BH brand stores / distributors.

BH EUROPE is not obliged to cover a manufacturer's warranty. This guarantee must be resolved by the dealer, in this case by BH USA, which is a completely independent company from BH EUROPE.

With the cessation of the activity of BH USA, we also have no obligation to attend to warranties on bikes sold by third parties."
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Thanks for correcting that, it was just something I read from the BH bikes section - from that thread:

"Here is the response directly from BH Spain

I am afraid BH BIKES does not assist end users directly, as any action must be done through BH brand stores / distributors.

BH EUROPE is not obliged to cover a manufacturer's warranty. This guarantee must be resolved by the dealer, in this case by BH USA, which is a completely independent company from BH EUROPE.

With the cessation of the activity of BH USA, we also have no obligation to attend to warranties on bikes sold by third parties."

My exp. is different , but the tech rep. did told me that when the warranty expires , i would have to have one of the bike shops(there's a list of ex. BH dealers who can do this) contact their export team in order to get me the part.
 

Roxlimn

Member
I do believe the Yamaha motors are supposed to be replaceable motors. If they break down, you buy a new motor and then bolt it on as a complete replacement. Not sure how long Yamaha will support the current PW generation, but I think the mountings for the PW-series ones are interchangeable, with PWX being the newer generation. Yamaha's been making pedal assist bicycles since 1990. The support for a motor series might be something like 10 years, I'm guessing.

That said, if you really don't mind DIY projects, then it shouldn't be a big deal to retrofit an unpowered bottom bracket onto a motor housing and then just hollow out the battery casing for use as a storage option. It's still a bicycle. I don't see why the frame would become unusable. I've seen people pedaling around 1990s era Yamaha mamachari ebikes with no batteries. They're heavy AF, but they still work.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
As advanced as these bikes seem to us at times, we really are in the Betamax/VHS wars days. These bikes haven't sorted out long term industry standards yet, so we have to accpet that many form factors will die and won't be sustainable in 10 years. Plus the tech is still very clunky and heavy, so you won't WANT one of these in 20 years when the new ones are 1/3 the weight, 3x as powerful, more tunable, and cheaper. There is always a penalty for early tech adopters.
So you’re saying what, that hubs/mids are vhs/beta? If so, IMHO, Mids will win the war long term as motorcycles have. Hubs will be the “kit” versions forever which is a good thing.
Standards are getting shorter and shorter lives, it seems.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
So you’re saying what, that hubs/mids are vhs/beta? If so, IMHO, Mids will win the war long term as motorcycles have. Hubs will be the “kit” versions forever which is a good thing.
Standards are getting shorter and shorter lives, it seems.
I'd disagree that the the mids will win the long term war. No assurance of that idea here. They may still be around, but the popularity/simplicity/cost of the hubs gives them a big edge.

I say we're going to see improved batteries and control systems before we see anything else. Especially control systems. The Mickey Mouse low speed controls that are "featured" on many inexpensive bikes we see now will be seen for what they are (Mickey Mouse) and will be shunned out by users in favor of MUCH improved systems that actually do what they are supposed to do.

Then too, there's the "wild west" stage we are in with present e-bike use laws, that's going to disappear, and what we are left with is anyone's guess.... My thoughts anyway. -Al
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
I don't think this thread's point is "I don't have a problem with mine". One of my bikes is known to be riddled by many issues yet at a total of 2000 miles it only needed the pedals to be changed and works like new. Should I start telling people that it is flawless because I never had a problem with it ?

Even on this forum there are people who had Brose belt failures or their Bosch mid drives replaced or had problems with Yamaha/Shimano drives. If you like to see examples of these problems simply do a google search and you will find many many threads.

The point is these drives do fail, nothing is bulletproof and when out of warranty a significant number of people, instead of paying close $1k to exchange the motor, will simply change their otherwise perfectly capable ebikes. That is a waste.

Also some of you are a bit too lax about the price of ebikes and I think you may try to put yourself in others' shoes then see if you can come to the same conclusion. Not everyone can afford to pay $4K on a bike and then have to pay $1K along the way for repairs or dispose of it after 4 years. When this is your main form of transportation, the risk of failure will significantly increase so it is important for these motors to be fixable at a reasonable cost.

Moreover there is also the environmental side of things. Disposing perfectly usable bicycles well before their usable life is not helping it that is another story though.
If one would like to be able to put on a lot of miles in a day, or go on some distance trips, I think I'd rather spend for 2 extra batteries, than on a more expensive bike. If that bike was very much lighter weight than the cheapie, that would make it attractive, though. If I'm buying stronger lighter and better handling, as well as the motor, that changes everything.
 

Daffyh

Member
This!

Thank you Bosch, Brose, Shimano, and Yamaha for producing ”expensive“, ”non-user serviceable“ drive units that just plain work. They’re intuitive, natural, refined, and not quirky. I have yet to ride a bike with a hub drive that even comes close. I am by no means a hub hater, and agree that they definitely have their place. But for me, no thank you to ghost pedaling, having to constantly adjust the pas level to control your speed, and the noticeable delay when you start and stop pedaling. Yes, I know there are exceptions, but in my experience they are few and far between.

I am curious as to how many hub motor fans/mid-drive haters have actually ridden a bike with one of the big four mid-drives?
I currently own front hub, rear hub and mid drive.
Prefer mid drive for most riding, rear hub bikes tows the dog trailer-throttle equipped- and to me is a much easier bike to ride.
Front hub- those are folding bikes that are currently for sale.