Mid Drive Vs. Rear Hub motor

So I'm considering an e-bike after 40+ years of cycling as I'm finding my knees are starting to give me grief pulling the hills on my commute here in Seattle. I'm considering 2 really fine bikes in my opinion (which is good as I've build up 9 bikes for myself over time and those are just the ones I built) - Stromer ST2 and the Kahlkoff Integrale S11. Unfortunately the shops from which I test road didn't have any significant hills near by. From what I have read and gleamed from the internet is that the mid drive motors tend to do a better job on the hills but I thought I'd reach out to the e-bike community to get your experiences on this matter.

These are both AWESOME bikes btw. Love the simplicity of the Stromer as it doesn't at first glance really look like and e-bike. And love the Gates belt drive on the S11. I've been riding with a Rohloff Gates combo for a while now and its stealthy quite and how here in the NW with the wet rides it requires almost no servicing. The S11 is also running the new Magura MT5e brakes - incredible stoppers and has a brake light functionality with B&M Toplight rear light.

Regards,
JT
 
I think I may have already found my answer from MLB. "Geared hubs handle hills a lot better than gearless. Confused by the advise here, though he/she didn't ask about hills. Gearless use more power and get hot climbing. Not the choice for hills."

Stromer is gearless and the S11 is not. Honestly I think both of these would pull just fine as I'm only about 150lbs but thought I'd ask.
 

David1

Active Member
I ride some fairly hilly terrain ( more undulating). Riding an St2 in Austin for about a year. I can't imagine a more satisfying ebike for where I live. No overheating and super quiet which I like alot. Very firm suspension is smoothed out with an LT Thudbuster. Lights , brakes, power deliverey, and smooth gear changes is nothing short of extraordinary. Well deserved recipient of 2015 Ebike of the year.
 
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I ride some fairly hilly terrain ( more undulating). Riding an St2 in Austin for about a year. I can't imagine a more satisfying ebike for where I live. No overheating and super quiet which I like alot. Very firm suspension is smoothed out with an LT Thudbuster. Lights , brakes, power deliverey, and smooth gear changes is nothing short of extraordinary. Well deserved recipient of 2015 Ebike of the year.
Thanks for the reply. I couldn't agree more about the Stromer being and extraordinary bike. The build is really amazing and a truly polished design. I will admit I'm leaning that towards the Stromer. I talked with the shop owner here who sells them and he pretty much does my same commute on and S1 and says he can pull the hills no problem!
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
A. Try to buy locally and establish a relationship with your dealer.

b. Mid-drives have higher torque ratings but this is misleading in real world performance. If you plan to do some off road or mountain biking a mid-drive will have stronger pull at much slower speeds up hill. Rear hubs tend to be faster to speed and have more than enough torque to handle most hills. I live in a very mildly hilly area and ride on the streets. My personal opinion is that mid-drives require you to work harder and are more gear dependent to optimize the power. Kalkhoff's and Stromers both have very high design and build quality. Ride em both.

I have a Stromer ST2.............wonderful wonderful bike.
 
A. Try to buy locally and establish a relationship with your dealer.

b. Mid-drives have higher torque ratings but this is misleading in real world performance. If you plan to do some off road or mountain biking a mid-drive will have stronger pull at much slower speeds up hill. Rear hubs tend to be faster to speed and have more than enough torque to handle most hills. I live in a very mildly hilly area and ride on the streets. My personal opinion is that mid-drives require you to work harder and are more gear dependent to optimize the power. Kalkhoff's and Stromers both have very high design and build quality. Ride em both.
I have a Stromer ST2.............wonderful wonderful bike.
Thanks for your reply. I always work with a local dealer - love to talk bikes so never have a problem building a relationship. This will be a daily commuter bike around 8 miles each way with a couple of good hills going home. I've ridden both now and they are really amazing bikes. I think I'm lean towards the Stromer as I like the idea that I can upgrade components if at some point I choice and I think I liked the ride a bit better. The local dealer rides an ST1 on pretty much the exact same commute daily and says he has on problems with the hills. Honestly I don't know why I'm that concerned with them as I commute 3 days a week now and pull them - but my knees have been starting to give me grief.
 

Robert Clark

New Member
I was looking hard at the ST2, but at that price point I bought a reconditioned Optibike with a new battery from the factory. So far, I'm happy with my decision, but I like the tech on the ST2. If I had the money, I would have both.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I was speaking generalization, direct drive USED to not be nearly as strong of climbers, but with exceptions, like Stromer. ;)
Now, the new direct drives coming out have very high torque ratings. Falco says their's will haul 500lbs cargo. Mine overheats with me and regular use in about 10 miles. (2014 500w) That's a big jump in power!
The ST2 is an even better case as one of the first of the "next gen" of direct drive hubs it is VERY strong compared to the previous generation, which were themselves among the strongest direct drive motors. THe ST1 I had would climb accelerate up any hill around here. But we're midwest and FLAT.
 
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I was speaking generalization, direct drive USED to not be nearly as strong of climbers, but with exceptions, like Stromer. ;)
Now, the new direct drives coming out have very high torque ratings. Falco says their's will haul 500lbs cargo. Mine overheats with me and regular use in about 10 miles. (2014 500w) That's a big jump in power!
The ST2 is an even better case as one of the first of the "next gen" of direct drive hubs it is VERY strong compared to the previous generation, which were themselves among the strongest direct drive motors. THe ST1 I had would climb accelerate up any hill around here. But we're midwest and FLAT.
Ha - I understand. Well I can tell you with one week of commuting on the ST2 here in Seattle the hills have not been an issue. I honestly can't believe how fast I can fly up them now! Now I'm afraid my other commuter may just collect dust in my garage.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Ha - I understand. Well I can tell you with one week of commuting on the ST2 here in Seattle the hills have not been an issue. I honestly can't believe how fast I can fly up them now! Now I'm afraid my other commuter may just collect dust in my garage.
Yeh, once you get used to the 'juice' it's really hard to ride without it. You feel (are) so slowwwwww. LOL
Touch the motor (carefully) after some climbing to see how hot it's getting.
 
Yeh, once you get used to the 'juice' it's really hard to ride without it. You feel (are) so slowwwwww. LOL
Touch the motor (carefully) after some climbing to see how hot it's getting.
Good suggestion - I'm a pretty avid cyclist so I'm hoping my cadence and pedal effort will help with this. But I'll check it out.