Hub drive or mid drive.

Usmc hunter

New Member
Region
USA
My question is this I am looking to buy a e bike for hunting purposes I will be using it on farmland some mud and snow in the woods and some inclines Mountain hilly areas. Would you recommend a hub drive or mid drive.
I have been reading that made Drive has more torque for going uphill
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Definitely a mid-drive. BBSHD is the perfect hunting motor for hilly areas. I'm holding back on the Bafang frame integrated motors until the parts chain improves.
I was just going to say that a Bafang mid-drive would probably be the best option for sloppy hunting use. Having a throttle to get through bad slop is handy, especially if you're going to be loaded down with hunting gear/dinner. :)
 
You might also consider two wheel drive bikes. Bolton has one, Biktrix might, Eunorau might as well. Would be two hub drive motors but would also have a throttle. I have a throttle on a Ride1Up that I use on the beach. For having 2.4" wide tires without knobbies, the throttle works better for me than pedaling through the soft sand before I get to the hard pack.
 

Usmc hunter

New Member
Region
USA
I was just going to say that a Bafang mid-drive would probably be the best option for sloppy hunting use. Having a throttle to get through bad slop is handy, especially if you're going to be loaded down with hunting gear/dinner. :)
yes I would be loaded with gear and hopefully a deer.
 

legsofbeer

Active Member
I'll second the suggestion you look at two wheel hub drive bikes. BTW, the mid-drive vs. single hub better at climbing hills is a trope. Regardless, consider the overall weight that will be on the bike after loading the deer, and what the rack weight limits are for whatever racks you are considering for loading a deer. Or maybe think about a trailer. You can stash that somewhere and go get it if needed.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Here's a Juiced CrossCurrent.

It came with a hub drive, but then converted to mid drive.

See the difference.

mid drive vs hub drive
 

Usmc hunter

New Member
Region
USA
You might also consider two wheel drive bikes. Bolton has one, Biktrix might, Eunorau might as well. Would be two hub drive motors but would also have a throttle. I have a throttle on a Ride1Up that I use on the beach. For having 2.4" wide tires without knobbies, the throttle works better for me than pedaling through the soft sand before I get to the hard pack.
I'll second the suggestion you look at two wheel hub drive bikes. BTW, the mid-drive vs. single hub better at climbing hills is a trope. Regardless, consider the overall weight that will be on the bike after loading the deer, and what the rack weight limits are for whatever racks you are considering for loading a deer. Or maybe think about a trailer. You can stash that somewhere and go get it if needed.
so are you suggesting that the hub motor will pull more weight?
I called Jonny spoke too him he is very knowledgeable for sure he steered me away from hub drive.i read reviews that said hub d just does not have the torque to go up hills and that the rear wheel pushing was weird and sloppy same as when front wheel is pulling.too me I would think that 2 wheel dr would be better for going through woods or mud or just about any terrain I would encounter hunting.boy they don't make this easy.
 

legsofbeer

Active Member
so are you suggesting that the hub motor will pull more weight?
It actually might pull more weight for it's rated power consumption at lower speeds if it is a geared hub drive, as most are. Geared hubs put out their max torque at lower and mid rotation speeds and the torque drops off as you approach their rotation limit speed (about 28 mph for me). But the main point is that deciding on a mid drive vs hub drive shouldn't be your first consideration. Both drive systems will move your ass adequately in the US. The main consideration for you is overall bike weight capacity (you, your gear, your kill), and weight distribution (where are you going to put the kill?). For any bike you select, make sure there's an adequate weight rack solution available.

You have to understand there's a lot of noise thrown up on this site (and others) about how hub drives can't do what mid drives do (eg. "can't climb hills"). It is largely bullshit outside of europe*, but folks have a lot of money invested in their mid-drives costing 2-3 times the equivalent hub drive, and the industry's cost structures down to the local bike shop (LBS) are built around $3-6k mid drive bikes, not direct to consumer hub drive bikes costing $1.2-2k. So posing your question above is a bit like walking into a Ford dealership and asking, should I get a Ford or a Tesla?

*in europe bike motors are limited to a nominal 250w. But some mid drives can consume 250w at tested rotation speed but consume and produce more power at different rotation speeds. So if you lived in europe, I would recommend the mid drive, but you don't. You can buy a bike path legal bike in the US with power consumption up to 750w, and since your use is offroad, you can legally go higher than that (not that I've ever seen someone's bike power checked, though about once a week I see a "bike" being ridden on a mixed use path that to a knowlegable eye clearly has a bigger motor). My geared hub drive bafang G060 motor that everyone craps on claims 80 Nm of torque, and I haven't experienced anything to disprove it. When I upgraded the controller on the bike I had no incentive to also upgrade the motor.

My personal opinion is that your best option is likely a dual hub drive with the combined power consumption of the two drives not exceeding 750w, with the main rear hub being a geared hub. Or, if your total max expected weight is pushing past 400 lb you may want to consider a hub direct drive, since the direct hub drive doesn't have nylon internal gears that might eventually strip. (note: mid drive is also contra-indicated if you're moving more than 400lb, the chain isn't designed for that load). A throttle is likely a must, when you're about to bonk on a climb you will want to be able to demand full power with a flick of a finger or twist. And of course, we're talking fat tire bike (3+ inches) with tires at a fairly low pressure for traction.

Other considerations: if you get a rear wheel flat, it is more work to unmount a hub drive wheel than one driven by a mid-drive. For a hub drive you will need to carry a small crescent wrench and either an allen wrench or phillips driver to remove and remount the wheel. The chain: mid-drives apply all the power (you+motor) through the chain. You will need to carry a chainbreaker and know how to cobble your chain back together if you break it, or a spare chain. Maintenance: are you confortable wrenching on the bike yourself, or do you expect to go to an LBS for service? If so, it would be wise to buy a brand that they service and that probably means a mid drive. Resale: dual drive bikes are a bit of a niche market, though it may grow as people like you decide to use an ebike instead of a quad. Either a mid drive or rear hub single drive will resell more easily than a dual drive.

Regardless, don't fall into analysis paralysis. The used market is pretty hot right now, if you don't like what you get you can probably resell it for a minor loss (depending on where you live, you may have to eat shipping to resell the bike).
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
It. The chain: mid-drives apply all the power (you+motor) through the chain. You will need to carry a chainbreaker and know how to cobble your chain back together if you break it, or a spare chain. Maintenance: are you confortable wrenching on the bike yourself, or do you expect to go to an LBS for service? If so, it would be wise to buy a brand that they service and that probably means a mid drive. Resale: dual drive bikes are a bit of a niche market, though it may grow as people like you decide to use an ebike instead of a quad. Either a mid drive or rear hub single drive will resell more easily than a dual drive.

Regardless, don't fall into analysis paralysis. The used market is pretty hot right now, if you don't like what you get you can probably resell it for a minor loss (depending on where you live, you may have to eat shipping to resell the bike).
well you kinda fell in there. you should have chain tools regardless of the bike if you want to be prepared. I did on my analog bikes too. chains don't really brake unless you don't check them for wear and push too long and all bike would suffer with that. hell I got 3k miles from my last chain on my mid drive.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Just get a bike with one of the Bafang big boys like a BBSHD or an M620 and toss a chain breaker and a few spare links in your trunk bag, always carry a chainbreaker with any type of mid drive just in case!
 

Usmc hunter

New Member
Region
USA
It actually might pull more weight for it's rated power consumption at lower speeds if it is a geared hub drive, as most are. Geared hubs put out their max torque at lower and mid rotation speeds and the torque drops off as you approach their rotation limit speed (about 28 mph for me). But the main point is that deciding on a mid drive vs hub drive shouldn't be your first consideration. Both drive systems will move your ass adequately in the US. The main consideration for you is overall bike weight capacity (you, your gear, your kill), and weight distribution (where are you going to put the kill?). For any bike you select, make sure there's an adequate weight rack solution available.

You have to understand there's a lot of noise thrown up on this site (and others) about how hub drives can't do what mid drives do (eg. "can't climb hills"). It is largely bullshit outside of europe*, but folks have a lot of money invested in their mid-drives costing 2-3 times the equivalent hub drive, and the industry's cost structures down to the local bike shop (LBS) are built around $3-6k mid drive bikes, not direct to consumer hub drive bikes costing $1.2-2k. So posing your question above is a bit like walking into a Ford dealership and asking, should I get a Ford or a Tesla?

*in europe bike motors are limited to a nominal 250w. But some mid drives can consume 250w at tested rotation speed but consume and produce more power at different rotation speeds. So if you lived in europe, I would recommend the mid drive, but you don't. You can buy a bike path legal bike in the US with power consumption up to 750w, and since your use is offroad, you can legally go higher than that (not that I've ever seen someone's bike power checked, though about once a week I see a "bike" being ridden on a mixed use path that to a knowlegable eye clearly has a bigger motor). My geared hub drive bafang G060 motor that everyone craps on claims 80 Nm of torque, and I haven't experienced anything to disprove it. When I upgraded the controller on the bike I had no incentive to also upgrade the motor.

My personal opinion is that your best option is likely a dual hub drive with the combined power consumption of the two drives not exceeding 750w, with the main rear hub being a geared hub. Or, if your total max expected weight is pushing past 400 lb you may want to consider a hub direct drive, since the direct hub drive doesn't have nylon internal gears that might eventually strip. (note: mid drive is also contra-indicated if you're moving more than 400lb, the chain isn't designed for that load). A throttle is likely a must, when you're about to bonk on a climb you will want to be able to demand full power with a flick of a finger or twist. And of course, we're talking fat tire bike (3+ inches) with tires at a fairly low pressure for traction.

Other considerations: if you get a rear wheel flat, it is more work to unmount a hub drive wheel than one driven by a mid-drive. For a hub drive you will need to carry a small crescent wrench and either an allen wrench or phillips driver to remove and remount the wheel. The chain: mid-drives apply all the power (you+motor) through the chain. You will need to carry a chainbreaker and know how to cobble your chain back together if you break it, or a spare chain. Maintenance: are you confortable wrenching on the bike yourself, or do you expect to go to an LBS for service? If so, it would be wise to buy a brand that they service and that probably means a mid drive. Resale: dual drive bikes are a bit of a niche market, though it may grow as people like you decide to use an ebike instead of a quad. Either a mid drive or rear hub single drive will resell more easily than a dual drive.

Regardless, don't fall into analysis paralysis. The used market is pretty hot right now, if you don't like what you get you can probably resell it for a minor loss (depending on where you live, you may have to eat shipping to resell the bike).
thank you so much you for sure sound like you have been around e bikes for a while.do you know anything about the hardcore e bike ,Rambo or Bakcou bikes.i am considering the Megatron from Rambo,and the duel 750 from hardcore bikes.the Rambo duel 1,000 has no gears that bothers me the hardcore has 24 speed with derailer and 5 electric pedal assist.i would ask if it is ok if you could look these bikes up and see what you think of the 2 would be best for me.
 

Usmc hunter

New Member
Region
USA
well you kinda fell in there. you should have chain tools regardless of the bike if you want to be prepared. I did on my analog bikes too. chains don't really brake unless you don't check them for wear and push too long and all bike would suffer with that. hell I got 3k miles from my last chain on my mid drive.
also keep in mind the terrain I will be using the bike hills farm some mud some snow cut corn woods.thank you for being so thorough. Bakcou is another one I was looking at.
 

legsofbeer

Active Member
i am considering the Megatron from Rambo,and the duel 750 from hardcore bikes
Ok, I'll try. First, both of those bikes are out my league for price point and amount of power. I try not to comment on specific models unless I have first-hand experience with that bike or one of my real life buddies does (eg. I've seen him riding it). Before going into the two bikes, some useful reference points:

750w is about 1 horsepower: That is a lot of power for a bike, more than the best tour de france rider can sustain. A horse can carry you and your gear up the hill for the day, and you, your gear and the kill back down.

Power consumption: A good quality name brand cell battery is about 48V 14Amp hours for an effective 667 Watt-hours. That means it can drive a single 750 watt motor at full power for a bit less than an hour, maybe 40-50 minutes, depending on how new the battery is and how edgy the controller is.

Muddy/snowy hill climbing isn't about having off the charts gobs of power: like off-roading in a 4x4, it's about putting it in L1 and keeping the rig moving and wheels turning and don't high-side it.

On to the bikes:

rambobikes megatron:

likes: Two 48v17Ah name cell batteries, no bullshit about milking a single battery, much prefer mainstream batteries that stay under the 60V high voltage threshold.
4.8" tires, and 77lb. I can lift 77lb onto a rack or up onto the bed of a pickup (though be fucking careful about weight limits if you're planning on putting this on an external vehicle rack)
good brakes

dislikes:
They don't tell you whether the hub drives are geared hubs or direct drive. Judging by the form factor I will assume they are geared hubs.
They don't list weight limits on any of the rack accessories. They do list 300lb overall on the bike, so I guess it's a trailer for the kill.
At that price point $7k they should have a built-in compressor to re-inflate the tires after a mud climb. (I kid, you can get an electric pump for $50 in the aftermarket)
The paint job will attract attention around town.
No rear suspension.

On the no-gears thing, there are plusses and minuses. This "bike" is intended to be throttled around, with maybe some token pedaling on the flat. They don't mention any pedal cadence sensor. OTOH, no derailleur(s) means less stuff to maintain and less s*it that can break in the field.

hardcorebikes hec-dual750:

likes:
built in headlight/taillight
triangle battery is easy to upgrade
you can ride that down the street without turning heads, except for the usual fat tire thing

dislikes:
They don't tell you whether the hub drives are geared hubs or direct drive. Judging by the form factor I will assume they are geared hubs.
single battery for two motors. 60v x 18Ah is 1080 watts.
don't like going above 48v in battery reference voltage. Going above that puts you in kind of experimental territory, though the industry may standardize on something in the next few years. The catch is that batteries that charge to over 60v are "high voltage", and that is a more expensive regulatory regime.
Three chain rings??? More than one chain ring on any ebike besides one that is emulating a high-end road bike is like putting tits on a donkey.


Pretty clearly I'm not very fond of either bike, especially at the prices. If I wanted a hunting bike I would start with something like the bolton bronco plus a trailer, and look for reasons to go to a higher price than that. Burley (among others) makes good trailers.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
i would look at the Biktrix Ultras, the Biktrix HD 1000s, the Rize RX Pro and even some of the Bolton Fat Bkes!
i would never ever buy a mid drive bike that has no gears.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Here's a Juiced CrossCurrent. It came with a hub drive, but then converted to mid drive.

See the difference. mid drive vs hub drive
Great video... thanks for sharing the truth from a bike builder and mechanic. ;)

Everyone should watch this if they really want to know the pros and cons of mid-drive vs. hub-drive.

 
  • Sad
Reactions: JRA

JRA

Well-Known Member
Sorry Flat6 but I made it about 4minutes into that and had to turn it off. I utilize both systems and couldn't agree less with his conclusions. First of all my hub bikes are much faster up to speed and at speed than my mid drives and hill climbing utilizing the bikes gears with a hub drive I have climbed just as steep of terrain albeit mostly on roads of varying surfaces. For trails I do prefer my mid drives but both as I have them setup will do either actually within reason.
 

Clueless

Active Member
thank you so much you for sure sound like you have been around e bikes for a while.do you know anything about the hardcore e bike ,Rambo or Bakcou bikes.i am considering the Megatron from Rambo,and the duel 750 from hardcore bikes.the Rambo duel 1,000 has no gears that bothers me the hardcore has 24 speed with derailer and 5 electric pedal assist.i would ask if it is ok if you could look these bikes up and see what you think of the 2 would be best for me.
Check out E-Cells Bikes,AWD dual suspension dual battery dual 750 watt 52 volt motors top of the line Hunter bike
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Great video... thanks for sharing the truth from a bike builder and mechanic. ;)

Everyone should watch this if they really want to know the pros and cons of mid-drive vs. hub-drive.

I get what he is saying for the most part but he is being overly dogmatic with his "one size fits all" statements.
I have experience with two mid drive assisted bikes, a BH Gravel with PW-SE, Tongsheng TSDZ2 36v 500w mid drive that I have used on two different Dahon folding bikes. Also have an old Schwinn Sierra mountain bike that I installed a very inexpensive 48v 500w rear geared hub motor kit ($280 before tax and without battery)
1614790935991.png


I have used all three on very hilly to mountainous routes so I have some experience.

The Yamaha PW-SE bike is great, no question. Very natural torque sensor feel, excellent assist, very battery efficient.
The Tongsheng mid drive is very comparable to the Yamaha in every way, performance not inferior in any way as far as I can tell - even though the BH gravel bike is more road and performance oriented and I put higher pressure skinnier tires on the BH which is an advantage.

The 48v 500w geared rear hub is clearly not as refined a riding experience as the Yamaha or Tongsheng but it isn't bad either. I have to toggle more up and down power settings than the mid drive torque sensing motors but it gets up the same steep road grades as the other two and just as fast as either of the others. It might not be as battery efficient as the mid drives but I have over 60 miles on the current battery charge (48v 15ah) and resting voltage is mid 46v which indicates just less than 50% remaining battery. Where and how I ride it should be good for 80+ miles range. I ride for exercise and fun so I put as much effort as I can on all bikes and get home from rides sweaty and tired, just like I want. I don't use the throttle at all and on flats without headwind I ride without assist. I can't, attest to long term durability other than I have about 1200 miles on the Yamaha bike (I haven't ridden it in weeks because I can only ride one bike at a time), the Tongsheng is on my wife's bike now and she doesn't ride much so it only has a few hundred miles on it. The biggest downside to the rear hub motor is that I have a fear of flats, easy wheel removal on the mid drives, it would be a big hassle for the rear hub drive. For DIY the Tongsheng is a neater installation and overall, for the bikes I installed it on, installation was easier and faster with the Tongsheng not having to mess with controller placement, wires, fitting a torque arm etc. Big advantage of the rear hub is that I was able to keep my wide range front chainring setup so in lowest gears I can climb steep grades without depending on excessively straining the motor. Also the hub motor with KT controller can use 36v battery as well as 48v - it automatically senses the battery voltage so it is just plug and go with either battery.

I appreciate what he says about spokes, I'll be sure to check mine for tension regularly.

I'm going for a 60+ mile very hilly ride today and will be taking the rear geared hub bike because it is still a novelty and on that bike I can stand and pedal on hills better than the BH gravel bike.

Anyway, my 2 cents is that one size doesn't necessarily fit all preferences best.