Help with recommendation - mid vs hub, etc.

Marrduk24

Active Member
Hi folks. New user here from Indiana. Unfortunately we have zero e bike or rental places around here so a test drive isn't exactly possible.

I have been researching for some time and want to purchase soon to take advantage of the summer months here.

I had originally though that I wanted a mid drive, but upon further research, knowing that I'm mostly interested in speed and climbing hills won't be my primary purpose (though I will be climbing some), I'm now wondering if hub drive wouldn't be better for my purposes. I prefer not to have to shift constantly and that sounds like a disadvantage of the mid drives.

Though I would like to do some offroading, I will primarily be on asphalt. I like the idea of fat tires for the suspension advantages and the fact that I can off-road, but I think the 3 inch wheels are more appealing as a compromise between fat 4-inchers and skinny tires.

I also understand that the hub drive has the advantage that if I were to break the chain I could still get home.

I'm 6' and 160#. Price isn't primary concern though I'm not looking to spend a fortune.

Can anyone make suggestions on the points I've brought up? Is my logic sound or do I need to rethink some of this? Beyond that, I would love some recommendations!

Specifically, I'm looking for a 1000w motor as I want to exceed 30mph (please leave legal concerns out of the discussion). If restricted, the unit needs to be able to be unlocked for speed. I prefer to be comfortable with my 6' height and 33 in inseam.

I have been looking at biktrix bikes and I notice that the 1000w swift step through is available now though I'm not sure it will accomodate my height/inseam. Any thoughts? Also it only has 2" tires and I wonder if this would limit my offroading. And finally, I'm curious about the disadvantages of step throughs. I'm fine with a step over and don't really see any specific need for my to prefer a step through.

All of your thoughts, comments, and suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!
See here my review of 700.

I had probably tried mid-drive bike from every known manufacturer out there before I concluded that for my use case hub drive is better.

 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I like the minimalist display. I never look at it, just like I do not squint to look at a shifter. I adjust it by feel. Do not install the wheel magnet and tuck the wire for the speed sensor inside the hidden compartment behind the chainring, using a 2.5mm hex. Set the wheel size as small as it will go. That would be a circumference of 100cm. Having a throttle or speed sensor kills the TSDZ2. With this setup you will have low nominal power drain and spiky highs. I just rode two of them. I raced a Turbo Levo on gravel and won! That was on an old three-speed, lugged frame with a coaster brake and gravel tires. Then I rode the red one to take a photo of a Benz. With the 11-T freewheel and at full power it was too fast. I had to downshift and drop the power.
Chuck the brake levers. And as @EMGX says, since you have the Eight-Pin use the converter to Six-Pin.
Now the three-speed has this chain and these WTB tires.
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Sam, I'm interested in the list of 1000w bikes you're looking at. Other than just a very few fringe types, the only ones I know of use Bafang Ultra mid drive.

If these are Bafang Ultra mid drives, they'll crack 30mph for sure, but the question is regarding your expectations for how long you plan to maintain that speed? If you're planning on cruising 20 miles while doing 30mph to your favorite destination my bet is you're in for a disappointment - on 2 fronts. 1st, it takes a HUGE amount of power to maintain that kind of speed, so you'd need an enormous battery. 2nd, you need to get some straight info on heat buildup within the different motor types. Both the gear driven hub motors, and the mid drives have heat build up issues because the motor is sealed up deep down inside the case with no air circulation. They can make some big power, but you need to be careful with heat build up.

Then there are the direct drive hubs, that are commonly rated at 1000 - 1500 watts, but mostly available as "kits", for installation on your donor bike. These offer much better cooling and are the go to motors for folks commuting longer distances. There's very little to go wrong internally, and they run quietly. The downside is that when compared to a 500w gear driven hub or a mid drive, low speed performance (say while hill climbing or accelerating from a stop) is gutless. They really don't start making good numbers until speeds get up over 15mph or so.

I have had 2 different 1000+ watt direct drive bikes previously, and currently own a custom 1000+ watt geared rear hub, and a Bafang Ultra mid drive. Just sharing my experience......
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
I assume that the OP has plenty of bike riding experience at higher speeds so he knows what he wants. But to me 30+ mph is too fast even though on every ride from home I exceed 30mph on long (>1 mile) downhills even with liberal use of brakes to scrub off some speed. Just coasting down my <1 mile long neighborhood road gets me to 40mph even with frequent braking on the curves. When I hit around 30mph I wonder why anyone would want a bike that assists to this speed or beyond, to each his own though.
 

Marrduk24

Active Member
I assume that the OP has plenty of bike riding experience at higher speeds so he knows what he wants. But to me 30+ mph is too fast even though on every ride from home I exceed 30mph on long (>1 mile) downhills even with liberal use of brakes to scrub off some speed. Just coasting down my <1 mile long neighborhood road gets me to 40mph even with frequent braking on the curves. When I hit around 30mph I wonder why anyone would want a bike that assists to this speed or beyond, to each his own though.
Agree. If I have done a 20 mile ride, I feel there maybe cumulatively a mile or two in there when I exceed 25mph. Mostly I find myself between 18 to 23.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend a hub drive ebike. You can see from my posts and published stuff I am a big fan of my mid drives, but the use case laid out by @samwathegreat does point to a geared hub bike, and I think I know of one that fits the bill handily - especially if you want to take some matters into your own hands.

I'm talking about a Sondors MXS. I started my ebike ride several years ago with the fat Sondors, upgrading it until it eventually was a 4kw, twin-motor awd monster. I've moved on since then, but am still a firm believer in their marketing mission of low cost, high-value bikes (I'm a moderator on one of the brand's user groups).


The MXS is what their once-flagship fat Original should have been all along. The 27.5x3.0 tires are fat enough to handle anything but not so much they have the myriad drawbacks of 4"+ fat tires (I have several fat ebikes so I'm not a hater). The hydraulic brakes and 25a controller represent enough power to possibly wheelie the bike at your body weight (its a maybe, that). The 48v battery is 17.5ah which is pretty big as a factory pack goes. the motor is the near-legendary Bafang G060 'true' 750w motor with the XL core. A motor effectively indestructible even at the peak of 1365w that this bike will put out (54.6v x 25a = 1365w peak). That motor is rated for 80 Nm, which to be fair is only a momentary peak, but its still about the heaviest-duty geared hub you can find on the market.

The bike comes from the factory with instructions on how to revise its programming and block off the throttle to make it a legal Class 3 28 mph ebike. If however you forget to remove the throttle it'll still work.

But now its time for a reality check... how fast can a 48v ebike go? The answer varies by your body weight. While I too am 6' tall with a 33" inseam, I'm 250 lbs. For me, a 48v bike with a 25a controller and this hub propelling it (with slower fat tires) is going to peak at about 25 mph. How do you bump that up? One of the neat things about the Sondors bikes is there is a very well-established user base and they've figured out how to really juice these bikes up. You can go as far as this:

1. swap out the controller for another, 35a unit capable of going up to 60v (!)
2. Change the throttle and display
3. Sell your existing battery and put it towards a 60v battery designed specifically to fit into that hard shell battery box.

You now have a bike that will cross 40 mph no problem, if thats what you want. And it will be doing it on a strong motor that you will be hard-pressed to break. So much so only a very few have ever managed to damage one.

The MXS runs $1800. You should be able to claw back at least $400 on the battery sale. A 60v conversion will tip the scales at just over $1000. So 2400-2500 for a bulletproof 60v bike. OR take a step back, use your existing hardware and only go up to 52v (which is enough to get you past 30 mph, but for nearly the same battery cost).

There are a lot of options, including leaving the bike alone and seeing if you are happy with it as-is.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Comments about going to LBS are not appreciated. Not every Indiana resident lives in Indianapolis or East Chicago. The rest of the state is an ebike desert. Oh, there is Pedego in Kentucky & Ohio, ha ha. Over priced, underpowered, horrid PAS control, but they are reliable.
30 mph speed is not a problem. I ride on many roads where I see maybe two cars an hour. The heavy traffic is over on state hwy where everybody drives 65-80 mph. Totally unsuitable for bicycles of any kind. There are no pedestrians anywhere except in downtown 8 blocks area, where the traffic lights would never let you ride 30 mph anyway. I pass pedestrians on sidewalk on the bus route; I get off & let them have the whole sidewalk, or ride in the street if traffic is not awful and lanes are over 100" wide.
While I love my geared hub motor, for a person not start-stopping, not climbing hills (say rural area even or north of US 50, the glacier stop line) a DD hub motor is best. I have a 1000 W one not suitable for the hills of Clark Cty but perfect for flatland (where I don't live).
Super advantage of hub motor, when it wears out you can keep a spare in the garage and be operational again the next day. You can even pedal it home broken; I did. My wires are long enough with a home-conversion that I can change a tire without disconnecting the motor. Other advantage, my 8 speed chain lasted 5000 miles, 2 1/2 years. Try that with a mid-drive! You'd need a complete set of sprockets, anyway.
Almost no bikes sold with a DD hub motor, and few available class 3 anyway. Best route is a conversion with one of those $200 dd power wheels and some $600 battery. Batteries with XT90 or Andersn connectors are way more reliable than those push in toy connections 99.99% of the integrated battery bikes come with. Rain? ha ha! My drip loop is below the connection, no way for water to puddle on the connections like so many lock in batteries have. Security? my battery mount has 20 screws with elastic stop nuts. 2 or 3 were removed in a grocery parking lot twice, never the right ones to achieve theft. I cable my power wheel as well as the frame to a power pole in downtown Louisville near the projects (Greyhound station).
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend a hub drive ebike. You can see from my posts and published stuff I am a big fan of my mid drives, but the use case laid out by @samwathegreat does point to a geared hub bike, and I think I know of one that fits the bill handily - especially if you want to take some matters into your own hands.

I'm talking about a Sondors MXS. I started my ebike ride several years ago with the fat Sondors, upgrading it until it eventually was a 4kw, twin-motor awd monster. I've moved on since then, but am still a firm believer in their marketing mission of low cost, high-value bikes (I'm a moderator on one of the brand's user groups).


The MXS is what their once-flagship fat Original should have been all along. The 27.5x3.0 tires are fat enough to handle anything but not so much they have the myriad drawbacks of 4"+ fat tires (I have several fat ebikes so I'm not a hater). The hydraulic brakes and 25a controller represent enough power to possibly wheelie the bike at your body weight (its a maybe, that). The 48v battery is 17.5ah which is pretty big as a factory pack goes. the motor is the near-legendary Bafang G060 'true' 750w motor with the XL core. A motor effectively indestructible even at the peak of 1365w that this bike will put out (54.6v x 25a = 1365w peak). That motor is rated for 80 Nm, which to be fair is only a momentary peak, but its still about the heaviest-duty geared hub you can find on the market.

The bike comes from the factory with instructions on how to revise its programming and block off the throttle to make it a legal Class 3 28 mph ebike. If however you forget to remove the throttle it'll still work.

But now its time for a reality check... how fast can a 48v ebike go? The answer varies by your body weight. While I too am 6' tall with a 33" inseam, I'm 250 lbs. For me, a 48v bike with a 25a controller and this hub propelling it (with slower fat tires) is going to peak at about 25 mph. How do you bump that up? One of the neat things about the Sondors bikes is there is a very well-established user base and they've figured out how to really juice these bikes up. You can go as far as this:

1. swap out the controller for another, 35a unit capable of going up to 60v (!)
2. Change the throttle and display
3. Sell your existing battery and put it towards a 60v battery designed specifically to fit into that hard shell battery box.

You now have a bike that will cross 40 mph no problem, if thats what you want. And it will be doing it on a strong motor that you will be hard-pressed to break. So much so only a very few have ever managed to damage one.

The MXS runs $1800. You should be able to claw back at least $400 on the battery sale. A 60v conversion will tip the scales at just over $1000. So 2400-2500 for a bulletproof 60v bike. OR take a step back, use your existing hardware and only go up to 52v (which is enough to get you past 30 mph, but for nearly the same battery cost).

There are a lot of options, including leaving the bike alone and seeing if you are happy with it as-is.
My buddy Fritz is crazy for the Sondors bikes. And sold his stock MSX for about what he paid for it after ridding it for two years. $1800 and you are in business. Upgrades can be done anytime. Ride it stock first.
 

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