Mid-drive vs hub motor: Experiences

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
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. ;)
I think Shimano STEPS even includes a gear-shift sensor, so the motor briefly cuts off at the gear change. Same for Bosch systems?
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
The Giant version doesn't have a shift cutout either - if you don't back off when shift it clunks pretty good if you're on it. It's not an issue for me as I'm used to doing so, having ridden derailleur bikes for fifty years or so.
But it will catch you if you're not paying attention.

Giant says there are four sensors - I know if the torque sensor when you pedal, and there's a speed sensor, but AFAIK all that does is shut down assist over about 19mph. I have no idea what the other two entail. My guess is one is for cadence, but otherwise I don't know.

Then for 2020 they implemented a new 6-seonsor setup. Whoa! What are all the sensor?? I guess one measures incline as well.
Frankly I think they're going overboard. Oh well.

But yeah, for a 250w assist you don't really need a hard cut off for braking - it stops assisting as soon as you stop pedaling.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
it stops assisting as soon as you stop pedaling.
But the sensor also fires up the STOP light in my Vado ;) Great thing with the brake sensor is the fact pressing the brake lever makes it guaranteed your bike wouldn't start unexpectedly. That might happen if you were clipped in the pedal while supporting the bike with the other leg (as I was today on a busy junction, practising riding in road SPD shoes).
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
One of the things that I think everyone misses on this thread is that this is very early days.

I suspect there is the potential for enormous improvements, both in efficiency and the riding experience, still to be discovered for e-bikes.

Just three thoughts on things nobody is doing that should be "well duh" items:

  1. When you are pedaling, the power you put into the bike continuously varies, from near zero when the pedals are at 12 o'clock/6 o'clock to the maximum somewhere around 9 o'clock/3 o'clock. Why doesn't someone make a pedal assist system that "modulates" the power output so that peak motor power is produced when pedal input is the smallest and vice versa?
  2. It seems very natural as well that you would produce higher levels of assist at lower speeds, as that is most likely when you need more assist (to accelerate or get up a hill).
  3. While we are on the subject of hills, it might be wise to have a clinometer as input to the assist system to give an even bigger boost when you are starting up a hill.
 

Lenny

Well-Known Member
To give you a retailers perspective on this topic, you would be surprised on what people prefer. After selling over 13,900 ebikes since we've been in business with the majority of ebikes now being mid-drive in the last few years, people still prefer hub-motors. Mid-drive offers a more balanced feel with great efficiency "hence why they have more range" We always refer new-comers to try a mid-drive since it offers the most authentic feel of pedaling. However, we end up selling almost 3x the number of hub drives over our mid-drive bikes and the reason we believe why is because it's more fun to ride. You get that feel of being pushed along verse having to work. It's very interesting to see what the majority of people prefer.

Just wanted to share that.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
A hydraulic pressure switch would be an easy DIY install if you ever wanted to. They can be installed in a tee about anywhere from the master cylinder to the caliper. EEZ PEEZE. Not a big deal.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
To give you a retailers perspective on this topic, you would be surprised on what people prefer. After selling over 13,900 ebikes since we've been in business with the majority of ebikes now being mid-drive in the last few years, people still prefer hub-motors. Mid-drive offers a more balanced feel with great efficiency "hence why they have more range" We always refer new-comers to try a mid-drive since it offers the most authentic feel of pedaling. However, we end up selling almost 3x the number of hub drives over our mid-drive bikes and the reason we believe why is because it's more fun to ride. You get that feel of being pushed along verse having to work. It's very interesting to see what the majority of people prefer.

Just wanted to share that.
I'm sure the rookie e-bike riders have expense in mind as well. Even the least expensive e-bike require a giant size leap of faith if you've never had one!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
However, we end up selling almost 3x the number of hub drives over our mid-drive bikes and the reason we believe why is because it's more fun to ride.
It this the higher price of mid-motor e-bikes that makes people choose the hub motor ones, @Lenny. Actually, riding a mid-drive bike is more fun, at least for me.

2. It seems very natural as well that you would produce higher levels of assist at lower speeds, as that is most likely when you need more assist (to accelerate or get up a hill).
3. While we are on the subject of hills, it might be wise to have a clinometer as input to the assist system to give an even bigger boost when you are starting up a hill.
(2) For instance, you can configure the Specialized TCU for optimal performance using Mission Control App. For instance, you can say: "I want the Eco mode giving me 30% of power but 100% acceleration. I want the bike accelerate as soon as I push the pedal". You can delay the start of the motor (useful in technical mountain riding), etc.

(3) The latest Yamaha PW-X2 motor has and uses the clinometer.


A hydraulic pressure switch would be an easy DIY install if you ever wanted to. They can be installed in a tee about anywhere from the master cylinder to the caliper. EEZ PEEZE. Not a big deal.
How do you connect it to the SynoDrive controller then?
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Geared hub drive with sine wave controllers that are programmable with a programmable display are every bit as sophisticated and feature rich. Bottom bracket torque sensors are quite wonderful too.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
It this the higher price of mid-motor e-bikes that makes people choose the hub motor ones, @Lenny. Actually, riding a mid-drive bike is more fun, at least for me.



(2) For instance, you can configure the Specialized TCU for optimal performance using Mission Control App. For instance, you can say: "I want the Eco mode giving me 30% of power but 100% acceleration. I want the bike accelerate as soon as I push the pedal". You can delay the start of the motor (useful in technical mountain riding), etc.

(3) The latest Yamaha PW-X2 motor has and uses the clinometer.



How do you connect it to the SynoDrive controller then?
That would be YOUR challenge! I was just thinking of providing a signal from a hydraulic brake system for a brake light circuit.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
It looks the Bosch Gen 4 motors are of double-clutch type. The latest R&M Charger 3 HS comes with the Performance Speed Gen 4 Bosch motor and the chainring is 48t, as in a proper Speed ebike.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I agree with Lenny, have owned a couple of mid drives and could see myself going back to all hub drives easily
think both motors have their place but like my hub drives as much as the mids

agree with others that mid drives for the wrong scenario are over hyped
 

antboy

Active Member
Consider a MAC over Bafang.
Most of the rear hub bikes I see from Canadian companies are Bafang, and the occasional DAS-Kit. I don't recall seeing MAC motors.

I know I looked into MAC motors via ebikes.ca when I was considering DIY, but my acoustic bike wasn't a good candidate to convert thanks to the carbon fibre front forks and seat stays
 

unknown_wagon

New Member
I agree with Lenny, have owned a couple of mid drives and could see myself going back to all hub drives easily
think both motors have their place but like my hub drives as much as the mids

agree with others that mid drives for the wrong scenario are over hyped
Hey Vincent do you ride in Tucson? How would you think something like a Rad bike would fair with the hills around there, which are not that bad tbh.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I ride all over Arizona and a rad bike would be fine for Tucson, I saw four of them on the loop two days ago 😀

Which rad power bike are you considering?

And where around Tucson do you plan to ride it, they might not be awesome out on any of the mountain bike trails with steeper hills but pretty good overall for here
 

unknown_wagon

New Member
I ride all over Arizona and a rad bike would be fine for Tucson, I saw four of them on the loop two days ago 😀

Which rad power bike are you considering?

And where around Tucson do you plan to ride it, they might not be awesome out on any of the mountain bike trails with steeper hills but pretty good overall for here
So i am considering the radwagon, mostly because i do grocery shopping and would like to haul the odd item around from yard sales and whatnot. To put location in persepctice, most of my riding would be midtown to downtown, and the loop.
 

CityExplorer

Active Member
So much of this thread still seems to be more about controller differences and how different software used cadence and/or torque sensors together or separately to control the power applied to the motor. I only have two hub motors, one is Cadence only, the other is cadence and torque supposed to be so much better, but I find it only better at some things like smooth starts if you're not use to an e-bike/cadence sensor and have no throttle. The problem with my Cadence/Torque hub motor (Juiced), is that I cannot get the power level I want for the cadence I want, not by adjusting gears or assist level. With my cadence only hub I can get it right as long as I have the right gear (so not very good at top speed due to limited/unsuitable gear ratio). On the Hub/torque bike often at many cadences, it does not matter what assist level I'm in for a given gear and cadence I get the same speed, to me, if I increase the assist I want faster speed without changing anything else. Now I don't have a mid-drive yet (probably buying one next, but more for the IGH than the motor. A lot of what I read in this thread I've experienced between my different implementations of Cadence and Cadence/torque implementations, so I still don't really understand what might be really different with a mid-drive. The saving grace on both my bikes is the throttle, as that is the only way I can control the assist properly for the given terrain, available gear ratio, cadence, and my desired energy output. I might be more affected by this as I have a relatively low cadence, and cannot do a high cadence for any length of time, but I can keep a low cadence very well even with a fair bit of power behind it. To me most bikes are not properly geared for this.
 
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Rick53

Active Member
To give you a retailers perspective on this topic, you would be surprised on what people prefer. After selling over 13,900 ebikes since we've been in business with the majority of ebikes now being mid-drive in the last few years, people still prefer hub-motors. Mid-drive offers a more balanced feel with great efficiency "hence why they have more range" We always refer new-comers to try a mid-drive since it offers the most authentic feel of pedaling. However, we end up selling almost 3x the number of hub drives over our mid-drive bikes and the reason we believe why is because it's more fun to ride. You get that feel of being pushed along verse having to work. It's very interesting to see what the majority of people prefer.

Just wanted to share that.
Funny you'd share this. You're more diplomatic then I am :)

I was just Speaking to a Friend of Mine who has a few Hub Drives: We were discussing what type of Ebike I should consider. He tells me he uses Hub verses Mid Drive for exactly what you said. He told me he's ok with being Fat and likes the feel of Help moving the pedals . He also loves the Throttle : Told me he uses it as much as possible. Said he was more into exploration and stops for a Beer along the way.

He added that For older people that have lost health a Hub Drive is definitely more practical.

He commented that Mid Drives are geared more for people like me who are into Bicycle Riding for exercise and just want to go faster for the same effort :

So your post makes good sense. And also explains that the Average American is Lazy LOL .

Just Like Going to the gym. Every Year January is loaded with New People with New Years Resolutions to Get in Shape. By Mid February less then 2% are still at it ;)