Hub or Mid

Brew61

Member
Region
Canada
Ok I have a 2nd cousin that has ask me to help him out with a purchase of an e-bike.



Now he is mid 30’s in pretty good shape, but he has a disability. A disability that affects his legs and sometimes that can cause him to stumble and fall.



Now right now he rides a Honda scooter to his work, which is a short commute. That has been giving him lots of issues and costing him money. He does have a car but prefers to ride his scooter to work then drive.



So he now thinks he want to switch to an e-bike. He is going to come over and take mine (ET Cycle 1000) out for a ride just to get an idea on how he would like it.



So one of my questions would be, Mid drives. I have heard that if you run out of power they can be a little more difficult to pedal. If this were the case I would steer him away from mid drives. I know I turn the power off on my rear hub drive and ride it all the time with no problems but I have never ridden a Mid drive so have no clue.



Step through may be better for him to get off and on and I am sure if he really likes it he would be riding it to a lot more places then just work so a large battery would also be nice



So seems we have some local dealers here I would steer him towards a Volt, Biktrix or NCM. Only because they are pretty decent bikes with decent components at a reasonable price tags. I am sure he would want a bike that has fenders and racks seems it is for going back and forth to work and riding in the rain. Now if he wants to spend more money we do have other companies to choose from around here.



The only real question is Hub or Mid. If it is Hub drive then his choices do come down. If a mid drive is easy to pedal with no power then he could go to that option as well



Thanks

Bruce
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
So one of my questions would be, Mid drives. I have heard that if you run out of power they can be a little more difficult to peddle. If this were the case I would steer him away from mid drives. I know I turn the power off on my rear hub drive and ride it all the time with no problems but I have never ridden a Mid drive so have no clue.
thats been mostly a myth. at msot it is tiny. but when you think about having to get that heavy real wheel spinning I bet its less.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Ok I have a 2nd cousin that has ask me to help him out with a purchase of an e-bike.



Now he is mid 30’s in pretty good shape, but he has a disability. A disability that affects his legs and sometimes that can cause him to stumble and fall.



Now right now he rides a Honda scooter to his work, which is a short commute. That has been giving him lots of issues and costing him money. He does have a car but prefers to ride his scooter to work then drive.



So he now thinks he want to switch to an e-bike. He is going to come over and take mine (ET Cycle 1000) out for a ride just to get an idea on how he would like it.



So one of my questions would be, Mid drives. I have heard that if you run out of power they can be a little more difficult to peddle. If this were the case I would steer him away from mid drives. I know I turn the power off on my rear hub drive and ride it all the time with no problems but I have never ridden a Mid drive so have no clue.



Step through may be better for him to get off and on and I am sure if he really likes it he would be riding it to a lot more places then just work so a large battery would also be nice



So seems we have some local dealers here I would steer him towards a Volt, Biktrix or NCM. Only because they are pretty decent bikes with decent components at a reasonable price tags. I am sure he would want a bike that has fenders and racks seems it is for going back and forth to work and riding in the rain. Now if he wants to spend more money we do have other companies to choose from around here.



The only real question is Hub or Mid. If it is Hub drive then his choices do come down. If a hub drive is easy to peddle with no power then he could go to that option as well



Thanks

Bruce
Bruce if he does not need a throttle then at least one of you ( preferably him) should give a mid-drive a test ride.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The most popular mid drive, bosch, has 3 models that do drag unpowered. The most expensive model does not drag unpowered.
Yamaha (giant), shimano steps, and brose mid drives do not drag unpowered. Bafang does.
Direct drive hub motors drag unpowered. They are about 12" in diameter. Geared hub motors do not drag unpowered. They are usually about 7" in diameter.
People climbing mountains of 1000' or more in an hour need a mid drive. People on flatter terrain or shorter climbs can use geared hub motors. My geared hub motor will start 330 lb on a 15% grade. Maybe more but that is how much me, the bike, the tools & supplies, the groceries, weigh.
Mid drives eat up chains 2 to 5 times faster than hub drives. 9 speed or more chains wear the fastest. Some high speed commuters have reported chain life of 500 miles. I ride about 9 mph on an 8 speed chain, and my first one lasted 5000 miles. My first $221 geared hub drive lasted 4500 miles. But they are cheap and quicker to replace than a chain if the connectors match up.
When a mid-drive throws a chain, the rider replaces it then or pushes the bike to destination or calls for a ride. Dirty job. A hub motor with throttle will drag the rider home even if the chain fell off. I've had sticks pop the chain off and also one bent the derailleur once. I rode the hub motor with worn out gears to destination & back home again without drag. It just wouldn't pull with worn out gears.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
You are one up on us having Grin ebikes.ca in Canada. Do go to YouTube and invest 2 hours in watching their video. Probably better balanced than many threads like this. We have a propensity to peddle the pedals we pedal and sometimes peddle.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
All good advice above. All I can add is this:

For anyone with disabilities, in addition to a step thru bike, I strongly recommend a throttle. You may never need it but it's there if you do.
I have arthritis in my hips and knees. I've had both hips replaced but the knees are still a problem. I'm usually fine when I pedal but there have been occasions when the throttle got me home after having a sudden arthritic flare up. This may not be an issue for your cousin but it's something to consider for the future.

Unfortunately, a throttle makes the bike a class 2 which may have legal implications where you ride. The choice of mid drive bikes with throttles is also somewhat limited.

You're doing the right thing by letting you cousin ride your bike. I would also suggest he test ride a few other bikes as well. I know this can be difficult now with the low stock at many LBS but if you call around, you may be able to arrange it. Every bike is different. I find it amazing how much the comfort levels can change with different handlebars, seats, bike geometry, etc.

I've met many disabled riders in my travels and have let several try my bike. Perhaps there are other e-bike owners in your area who would do the same.

Good luck with your search and I hope you and your cousin can find the right bike!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Yamaha (giant), shimano steps, and brose mid drives do not drag unpowered. Bafang does.
If a Bafang mid drive is dragging when coasting or otherwise unpowered, it's broken. It's that simple.

Agree on the need for a throttle. Even if not a complete necessity, they're a darn good plan. Less than an ounce of weight is cheap insurance.

Last thought, concern over running out of battery is generally misplaced. You'll get to know the bike quickly and taking into consideration the available distance the battery is capable of is easy - similar to the gas gauge in a car.
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I wonder why I spend $20 a year on chains. I must be a brutal rider. Come on indyjo. It just ain’t so. At least for those that know how to use their gears. I dislike correcting someone as helpful as you, but...

Clean your chain! No wonder you’re hard on chains.
I take care of my chain and keep it clean and lube it every week or 100 miles. but I still go through chains ever 2500 miles so that can be three chains a year. but thats not really that bad even on a regular bike. I still got 12,000 miles out of my drive train.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I wonder why I spend $20 a year on chains. I must be a brutal rider. Come on indyjo. It just ain’t so. At least for those that know how to use their gears. I dislike correcting someone as helpful as you, but...

Clean your chain! No wonder you’re hard on chains.
I rode for four hours yesterday on a lot of wet gravel trails which act like a grinding paste. It rained all day. The road shoulders are still covered in sand from the Winter. My point is there is no way I could make one chain last a year in these conditions no matter what type of motor I had or how cautiously I shifted gears. Maybe if I only rode in Summer on nice clean roads I could. I clean and lube my chain almost daily or every 100 km but I go through at least 3 or even 4 chains a year. This is buildup from todays' ride for example.
1647638692663.jpeg
 
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steve mercier

Well-Known Member
The most popular mid drive, bosch, has 3 models that do drag unpowered. The most expensive model does not drag unpowered.
Yamaha (giant), shimano steps, and brose mid drives do not drag unpowered. Bafang does.
Direct drive hub motors drag unpowered. They are about 12" in diameter. Geared hub motors do not drag unpowered. They are usually about 7" in diameter.
People climbing mountains of 1000' or more in an hour need a mid drive. People on flatter terrain or shorter climbs can use geared hub motors. My geared hub motor will start 330 lb on a 15% grade. Maybe more but that is how much me, the bike, the tools & supplies, the groceries, weigh.
Mid drives eat up chains 2 to 5 times faster than hub drives. 9 speed or more chains wear the fastest. Some high speed commuters have reported chain life of 500 miles. I ride about 9 mph on an 8 speed chain, and my first one lasted 5000 miles. My first $221 geared hub drive lasted 4500 miles. But they are cheap and quicker to replace than a chain if the connectors match up.
When a mid-drive throws a chain, the rider replaces it then or pushes the bike to destination or calls for a ride. Dirty job. A hub motor with throttle will drag the rider home even if the chain fell off. I've had sticks pop the chain off and also one bent the derailleur once. I rode the hub motor with worn out gears to destination & back home again without drag. It just wouldn't pull with worn out gears.
Indianjo I dunno about alot of the stuff you posted here.... I respect your points on Hubs more than Mids. I will grant you that hubs are easier on chains but you dont mention they are harder on spokes....etc. Also about pedaling without the power on... I would never want to ride any Ebike with the power off ( with the possible exception of the super light bikes like the Specialized Creo and such). When a mid drive breaks a chain you can fix it with a chain breaker on a multi tool and a 10 buck quick link like this.
1647656483544.png
I have never broken a chain myself ( my wife and sister in law have though) in over 50,000 km but I have broken spokes on my hub drive.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
Wow, you're the first one to ever ask that question here! LOL Try the search feature, you'll have enough reading for a week.
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
If getting exercise and building muscle helps the disability then an ebike is a great choice over the scooter.
Now the decision as you say is between mid and hub.
Throttle has its benefit if you're too tired/wiped out to carry on.
Mid drive has enough power level to make being tired a nothing burger.
I don't have a disability (yet), but I chose a mid drive without a throttle on purpose, for the exercise.
Your situation is different. There is no wrong answer.
 

Brew61

Member
Region
Canada
Ok thanks for all the replies. I will have to wait for him to come over to see exactly how he makes out riding a bike. I am thinking a throttle would be the best option for him to have besides a step through. But we will see.

Bruce
 

DavidRvR

Active Member
Region
USA
My Wife and myself have issues so I like the throttle to help when I get a little wore out and if I need a break. Wife has a hub motor she likes with no throttle but she has to keep moving to ,, well keep moving.

For a person who has any mobility issues.. get all the bells and whistles so that if you need them you have them but if you dont you dont have to use them.