Mid-drive vs hub motor: Experiences

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
You need a controller that can recognize the signal and use it, Or you can do something with the Grin hardware to make that happen. I don't see the need to spend $200-300 (aftermarket) to have purity in the pedals
Controller and display to be completely customizable, but I agree HarryS. I have no need.
 

antboy

Active Member
Direct Drive hub motors are probably very resistant un-powered but I have no experience with these.

The "secret sauce" for Brose/Specialized and some Yamaha motors is the double clutch.
Thanks. I was wondering about mid-drives as an option for bike number two. I'm curious about Bafang motors in this regard because of the lower price (and throttle option, though not necessary for the purpose I'm considering).

Though though they start pushing my upper budget (especially as a "want" as opposed to a "need"), I'm really interested in a Turbo Vado (just a fan of Specialized).

Essentially, I'm looking for something that could be used unpowered on flat areas once I'm up to speed, so I can extend range. It's particularly for doing a longer 70ish KM trek on summer weekends to get to cottage country, so I'd be able to recharge overnight.
Again, we don't know if your question is regarding gear driven hubs, direct drive hubs, or both! They are WAY different, especially as applies to this question.

Also, I think there will be quite a few who disagree with the "most common" statement. I've never seen actual data, but my experience would indicate there are easily as many direct drive rear hubs in use as there are gear driven.
Heheh. I actually excised some of the clarification regarding hub drives. I did mean brushless geared hub drives, but just short-handed it to "Bafang", given that they seem to be the most common on the market. It's my understanding from reviews and other comments that DD hub drives do have noticeably more resistance, though it's been a while since I've read up on them at all.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
You need a controller that can recognize the signal and use it, Or you can do something with the Grin hardware to make that happen. I don't see the need to spend $200-300 (aftermarket) to have purity in the pedals. It's less if you design it in from the start like Juiced.

This is just my interpretation, but I've been followng Bromptom's efforts on their first e-bike, a front drive folding bike with a cadence sensor. I believe they're trying to make it idiot proof. One goof on a cadence sensor is when we lift the rear wheels to align the pedals for a flying mount start. If the motor starts, no big deal with wheels off the ground. WIth a front drive, the bike takes off. So Bromptom must have trying to program in the situation with a stopped motor and sudden rapid turn of the pedals. Their first release had a lot of customers complaining about bikes that were flaky when starting off. Points out the difficulty of designing a robust pedal system. Meanwhile, this oops doesn't exist with a T/S system, but I have read about people resting their feet on the pedal too hard at a stop, and the T/S bikes tries to start up.
Thanks, that's what I thought.

On T/S - my Giant does that. You stop for a light, rest your foot on the up pedal and it wants to start going. It doesn't actually go, but I guess it could, but more seems like it's trying to engage when it shouldn't and that seems like it could cause other issues, like heat build up, battery consumption, etc. I've learned to not do that.
 

dAz63

Member
Not to discredit your thought, but I can assure you that it will get easier after you've done it a few times.
Yeah nah!, To get the back wheel of my Juiced Ocean current, up on the bike workstation, take the chain off, cut the motor tiewrap and unplug the motor, remove the rear derailleur, remove the left axle nut and remove the torque plate, loosen the right axle nut and remove the wheel, reverse procedure to replace.

Bike with the bbshd, up on the stand, make sure chain is on smallest sprocket, loosen the quick release and the wheel is off.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Thanks, that's what I thought.

On T/S - my Giant does that. You stop for a light, rest your foot on the up pedal and it wants to start going. It doesn't actually go, but I guess it could, but more seems like it's trying to engage when it shouldn't and that seems like it could cause other issues, like heat build up, battery consumption, etc. I've learned to not do that.
That’s Zero Cadence. It’s normal.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
My Grin AnyAxle front hub motor with 10mm QR and integrated torque arm is tool less take off. Just have to unplug the cable first.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken,
All due respect, you said "PAS is cool but they use an array of sensors ".

A PAS sensor is a PAS sensor. It tells the bike if the crank is moving, period (OK crank direction and speed as well, but it's beyond me what that info might be used for as far as useful controller input). I feel pretty confident in saying that a thermal sensor, if the bike is equipped with one, is not associated with the PAS sensor or PAS circuit in any manner. It's a totally independent input the controller monitors. A bike with a gear sensor or speedometer on it would be another example of other circuits not associated with PAS.

A PAS based SYSTEM, that includes thermal sensing, a gear indicator, speedometer, and many other features is entirely possible, BUT, a PAS system designed without them will function just fine....

While Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, and other mid drives may be equipped with these features, that does not make them a necessary function on ALL PAS based systems - even good ones.

Point being I think, is that you were referring to a PAS based SYSTEM, where I took it that you were talking about some sort of complicated PAS sensor, which I know of as a pretty darn simple device.

And last, a top speed to be determined by PAS level is possible, and used frquently, but I'm here to tell you they don't all function that way. My bike for instance, has no speed associated with the PAS level at all. You can be pedaling your butt of in PAS 1 doing 20 mph - getting the SAME assist level that you would be getting in PAS 1 doing 5mph.

You might consider this prior to making broad statements regarding ALL e-bikes. -Al
I really didn't state all. I wrote..."PAS is cool but they use an array of sensors to predict what assist level is needed / desired." PAS is a term used for both cadence and torque (usually just torque priority) assist control drives. I'm sure 99.9% of the readers on ebay would agree that the mid drives from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, etc. do use more parameters than just torque to establish the assist provided.

It's not a big deal, but it is true that most cadence PASs use only the detection of crack rotation to turn assist on/off based on the level selected. Not really anything but an on/off pedal movement switch.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Thanks, that's what I thought.

On T/S - my Giant does that. You stop for a light, rest your foot on the up pedal and it wants to start going. It doesn't actually go, but I guess it could, but more seems like it's trying to engage when it shouldn't and that seems like it could cause other issues, like heat build up, battery consumption, etc. I've learned to not do that.
Just keep a brake on and the cut out will not allow that to happen.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure it doesn't have 'brake cutoffs'.
How many cables go out from your brake lever?
(The thin cable here is for the motor cut-off)
P.S. I mistakenly marked 3 cables. Wrong. The third cable is from the shifter. The brake cable #1 goes to the rear brake and the thin cable is for the braking sensor.
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Yeah nah!, To get the back wheel of my Juiced Ocean current, up on the bike workstation, take the chain off, cut the motor tiewrap and unplug the motor, remove the rear derailleur, remove the left axle nut and remove the torque plate, loosen the right axle nut and remove the wheel, reverse procedure to replace.

Bike with the bbshd, up on the stand, make sure chain is on smallest sprocket, loosen the quick release and the wheel is off.
My bike (Rad City if that makes a difference) get's flipped over on it's back using some 6-8" foam doughnuts slipped over the hand grips to protect everything. The axle nuts are removed, the dual torque arms are removed, and the wheel is lifted up out of the frame just couple of inches. The chain is dropped leaving the derailleur in place. From this point you can change a tube or a tire removing it from the side opposite the wire. Then everything is reversed to reinstall. I can change a tube in less than half an hour working at an old man's pace. A tire is just a bit more. -Al
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
To add to this discussion

my throttle only bikes have been Some of/or possibly the most battery efficient bikes i have owned

to give a good example my first bike was a cheap cadence bike and very on/off, wide open way too much power in any pas level
i pulled the magnet disc away from the pedals and rode that bike throttle only
later put a cycle analyst and torque sensor on it and all the sudden i have half the battery range

it worked well and fine but i used WAY more battery running the torque sensor than throttle

so this ridiculous thought that throttles make you not pedal is nuts
anyone knows if you dont pedal at all you will run out the battery quickly

although i own torque and cadence bikes totally agree with ken that throttle only is a simple system and works well- and i would own a throttle only system over some of the very crappy programmed on/off cadence setups i have test ridden- i refuse to purchase crappy programmed cadence bikes

in addition to the people that need throttle bikes for health reasons
Thanks Vincent .... I think the reason a throttle-only system results is excellent overall efficiency is because human power is a very effective way to get a bike from a stop to at least 12mph. That that speed any of the motor types are efficient and then a rider can simply dial-in the assist them want to sustain their preferred cruising speed. It's a tech that has worked for over 100 years and it's clear that most of the cadence and torque systems have shortfalls.

Note: I would still support the conclusion that torque PASs on mtn bikes are a near must to have the correct riding experience but when urban riding or commuting a throttle just works perfectly....and if you want exercise you can get all you want by pedaling with any force and cadence you want while tweaking assist infinitely via the throttle.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
How many cables go out from your brake lever?
(The thin cable here is for the motor cut-off)
P.S. I mistakenly marked 3 cables. Wrong. The third cable is from the shifter. The brake cable #1 goes to the rear brake and the thin cable is for the braking sensor.
View attachment 44784
No wires man, just a hydraulic line. AFAIK the yammer mid-drive relies on the torque sensor for power signal. When you quit pedaling it quits assisting. ;)