High geared hub motor/kit suggestions?


New Member
I picked up a Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain bike on craigslist. The bike was in great shape, cheap, and I thought it a good candidate for ekit conversion. I jumped on it for the steel cromoly fork and disc brakes. Not too heavy, either. Since it's a 29er, I assume most hub/wheel kits will be able to be switched to a 700cc style bike - so I'm not too worried about pulling the trigger on a kit for this bike, because I'll be able to throw it on (most) a 700cc bike if I decide to upgrade someday. Correct me if I'm way off on anything I've said so far...

Anyway, since the bike is a single speed, I thought I'd keep it simple - get a hub motor, use the single speed pedal to get going (up to about 8/10 mph?), then kick on the hub motor to maintain speeds faster than what I can get pedal with a single speed. I feel like it might work out well... Pedal a bit after the stop sign, then kick on the motor to coast. That's the plan in general... Commute to work (8 miles each way, mostly level ground).

So, since i'm planning on providing most of the initial "go", I'm looking for hub motor recommendations. Either a geared motor that is geared for higher speeds (as I plan on not using the motor too much to get going (>10mph) or a direct drive motor that works well for the same. Since the bike is a single speed, I assume that a pedal assist isn't too essential, as I'll only be able to pedal so fast. Seems like a simple throttle system would be most appropriate.

Are there geared motors that are geared high enough to compare with direct drive? I've read a lot of different things about geared and direct motors - not sure what's true...

I also can't decide on a rear or front wheel hub. I'm debating about grabbing a Companion Bike Seat that mounts over the rear wheel so I can haul my wife around. I'd have to get a battery kit that would mount inside the frame. Seems like things would get quite heavy on the back wheel. I'm 155lbs and wife is 110. Not sure that 2" tire can handle that weight plus a rear hub.

Anyway, just wondering if people think this bike is a good candidate for e conversion and what hub motor/kits are recommended for the use I described above. I was thinking a 500w motor? Looking to spend $700-1300 on the complete kit... I've watched many EBR videos, but want to hear other users' opinions. All suggestions/thoughts much appreciated.

Last edited:

George S.

Well-Known Member
If you study Paul's site, EM3ev, you can see that the 29'er stuff gets lumped in with the 700c. He offers a lot of different Mac motors laced into various rim sizes, rim brake and disk brake versions. So you are probably correct. Paul offers various windings. The Mac is a geared motor. You can get a sense of what you give up and what you get, with different windings, reading through his stuff.

The Golden Motor is a nice DD motor. I think most people get started, from a stop, with the motor, twisting the throttle. You try to set up the single speed so you can pedal at some cruise speed. The Magic Pie is a hefty motor. Even the smaller GM motors are pretty decent for 'normal' hills.

Luna Cycle sells the Magic Pie in a 26 inch rim (not likely to work). Golden Motor in Canada sells different rims and the whole series of motors. Luna has good prices on batteries.

You may find other motors like the Falco and the Bionx, but I own the two I've mentioned. If you have a lot of steep hills, a mid-drive is better than a hub.