Mid drive ?

bones774

Active Member
I'm looking to get my first ebike and deciding between mid drive and hub. I like the idea of mid drive, its position on the bike and that it runs thru the gearing. I read how it is so tough on chains though. I've been riding decades now and I'm aware of changing gears when a lot of force is used, so I'm pretty good with my technique, do I still have to worry about extreme wear if shifting optimally? Is the chain just like an old fashioned bike? to me slipping a master link and threading new chain is a cinch anyway.
thanks
 

BEC111

Active Member
Can’t say much about actual wear as my bike is too new to show chain wear at about 1500 miles. I think it can be an issue, but other than the fun challenges of supply shortages isn’t a big issue if you clean and lube regularly. ive been thinking about ordering a replacement chain from my LBS so I have it when I need it and can have them install it if that’s more convenient. (They usually will install accessories I buy from them for free.)

Technically, a bike chain is a bike chain and different manufacturers may supply master link chains. There are chains designed for ebikes which are supposedly stronger. Most better vendors use that sort of chain.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I bought my mid drive because of the hills I need to ride locally. I believe, with a decent manufacturer (Giant, in my case), proper shifting habits and regular maintenance, the chain issue is overblown. It's not like you're going to eat through a chain every week... That "issue" was not even a small part of my decision between hub and mid drive - my riding conditions bore much more weight.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I think what you’re hearing about is lots of inexperienced or rusty shifting breaking chains with lots more torque vs what bikes folks have ridden before. I put over 1k on my new Trek Allant+7 this summer with lots of hills and have had no issues. Technique (and maintenance) matters!
 

Terry777

Active Member
Most new bikes have a shift sensor so it backs off the power for you as soon as it detects a change.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
my bosch has 7000 miles on it and three chains. first one lasted 12300 miles second 2500 and the 3rd 3000 the drivetrain is fine. if uyou have one of high torque bafang mid drivers regular maintenance takes care of most of it.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
With a hub drive my 8 speed chain lasted 5000 miles, 2 1/2 years. 10-11 speed chains would be less even pushing pedals.
I cross 77 hills with a hub drive, 3 of them 15%.
I wish to be pulled by the drive when the wind is >25 mph in my face. Cuts my commute from 6 hours to 3.5. No wind, I pedal myself unpowered, in 3.5 hours. Geared hub drives don't drag unpowered. Most mid drives do. 3 brands mid drive don't drag unpowered. when the rain shorts out the throttle (thrice) or the hub drive wears out (once, 4500 miles) I pedal home unpowered. Mid drive, you call for help.
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
With a hub drive my 8 speed chain lasted 5000 miles, 2 1/2 years. 10-11 speed chains would be less even pushing pedals.
I cross 77 hills with a hub drive, 3 of them 15%.
I wish to be pulled by the drive when the wind is >25 mph in my face. Cuts my commute from 6 hours to 3.5. No wind, I pedal myself unpowered, in 3.5 hours. Geared hub drives don't drag unpowered. Most mid drives do. 3 brands mid drive don't drag unpowered. when the rain shorts out the throttle (thrice) or the hub drive wears out (once, 4500 miles) I pedal home unpowered. Mid drive, you call for help.
You know you can peddle a mid drive without power right?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I rode about 3000 miles in 14 months on my mid-drive e-bike #1. Yes, I admit I had to replace the chain twice. So what? Replacing the chain is like replacing oil in a car. Replacing the chain is far cheaper than replacing the rest of the drive-train because the chain was not replaced at the right time.

Meanwhile, I had to replace brake pads twice. Wheel bearings once.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I'm looking to get my first ebike and deciding between mid drive and hub. I like the idea of mid drive, its position on the bike and that it runs thru the gearing. I read how it is so tough on chains though. I've been riding decades now and I'm aware of changing gears when a lot of force is used, so I'm pretty good with my technique, do I still have to worry about extreme wear if shifting optimally? Is the chain just like an old fashioned bike? to me slipping a master link and threading new chain is a cinch anyway.
thanks
My first ebike was a DIY hub drive. The drive train required the usual maintenance with the chain lasting thousands of miles. I now have a mid-drive with a higher torque motor (90Nm) that peaks at 800W output. I'm still doing the normal drive train maintenance but now I replace the chain ~1,000 miles as it does wear faster, esp in our very hilly area. I've had no other issues. Others have reported having to replace chain rings, etc, if they wait 2,000 miles or more for a new chain.

The extra cost of the chain is well worth it to me. The mid-drive ebike is better balanced with the motor output better matched to my riding style with the bike's firmware. It performs better on the steepest hills than my 1KW hub drive, and rides with no motor drag at 0 assist.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I rode about 3000 miles in 14 months on my mid-drive e-bike #1. Yes, I admit I had to replace the chain twice. So what? Replacing the chain is like replacing oil in a car. Replacing the chain is far cheaper than replacing the rest of the drive-train because the chain was not replaced at the right time.

Meanwhile, I had to replace brake pads twice. Wheel bearings once.
I also replaced my brake pads, but at just 500 miles for the OEM organic pads. The extra bike weight on our hilly roads was just too much for the softer (and noise free) pads. I've got over 1,500 miles on the replacement semi-metallic pads. Their wear rate looks like I'll get at least 2,500 miles out of these pads. I'm sure the agressive heat sinks help as well.

0402201211a_Film1_20200403071806566.jpg

The rotors will wear faster with the harder pads, but they are holding up quite well. Looks like they'll last through a couple sets of the new pads.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The point was Tim the mechanic replaced the pads but didn't regulate the brakes. As the outcome, new pads were not wearing equally on the whole surface. How irritated I am!
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Mid vs Hub Wars Part 29.

Try both out at a store if you can.

I think most feel Mids are good for power and hills... but one advantage of Hubs is most have the @Taylor57 feature... a throttle.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
With a hub drive my 8 speed chain lasted 5000 miles, 2 1/2 years. 10-11 speed chains would be less even pushing pedals.
I cross 77 hills with a hub drive, 3 of them 15%.
I wish to be pulled by the drive when the wind is >25 mph in my face. Cuts my commute from 6 hours to 3.5. No wind, I pedal myself unpowered, in 3.5 hours. Geared hub drives don't drag unpowered. Most mid drives do. 3 brands mid drive don't drag unpowered. when the rain shorts out the throttle (thrice) or the hub drive wears out (once, 4500 miles) I pedal home unpowered. Mid drive, you call for help.
6 hour commute ?