Mid Drive

George S.

Well-Known Member
http://www.electricbike.com/2014-mid-drive/

I've been considering some of the Neo offerings, but I understand they will be adding mid-drive systems by Bosch to their US offerings. The Bosch manuals page on the BH site suggests they have offered Bosch in Europe for a while. Looking at the picture (s) in this article, I'm pretty impressed with mid-drive.

Not sure what the real differences would be on a bike that is already supposed to be pretty good. This link suggests that only some BH dealers have offered mid-drive, while pointing out that for hills mid-drive is going to work best.

http://www.electricbike.com/bh-motion-mid-driv/
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey George! I think it's really a matter of application. For off road and climbing the mid-drive system is great because it allows you to leverage the cassette for more efficient climbing. It also makes fixing wheels and tires easier because there's not a giant hub motor in the center. Most mid drive ebikes just use standard quick release vs. large bolts and torque arms. Other upsides include low center of gravity (similar to hubs but sometimes even lower) and great balance from front to rear vs. a rear heavy bike. The motor on most ebikes is between 5 and 10 pounds and that can change the rebound on suspension and create more strain for spokes.

The downside to middrive is that it doesn't always feel as satisfying as a hub motor. It kind of depends on the gear you've got the bike set at and the power/speed of the motor itself. Is it a slow steady motor or a high speed motor? Bosch tents to be higher speed and is one of my favorite mid drive systems. The other downside with most middrives is lack of throttle mode. This is fine for mountain biking and stuff but there are times that having a throttle is nice like starting from rest or giving your legs a break. Hub motors just feel peppy and they don't depend on your gears so in my experience the ride feels more natural. You can pedal at any cadence and the motor is going to kick right in vs. changing with you based on the chosen gear.

Consider these two bikes, both by IZIP. The frames are similar and the battery pack is basically the same but one is designed for off road with large knobby tires and smaller wheels while the other has smooth tires and larger wheels for improved rolling efficiency. One is for street and city (the E3 Dash) and one is for mountain riding (the E3 Peak). Just considering the specs and their names, you can probably guess which one is designed for mountain riding and thus uses the middrive ;)

So back to your points. I think it really has to do with the type of riding you're up for and then how much you want to spend. There are great middrive systems out there that perform as well as a hub motor on streets and come with the benefits of easy maintenance on the wheels, great balance etc. but most of them seem to cost more. I should be reviewing the Xenon bikes from Easy Motion soon so keep an eye out and let me know if this answers your question or if you have more thoughts here.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
I tried to scan these in from my 2012 dealer book, but for some reason the scanner broke it down into several sections, so I had to resort to taking a 'poor' photo which shows the two Xenon models that are or were available over here.

Sorry about the quality.

rsz_capture_1.jpg

rsz_capture_2.jpg

I guess that mid drives would also have an advantage over hub drive in respect of water potentially entering the motor? The Yamaha mid drive as shown in the first link looks lovely.
 
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Court

Administrator
Staff member
Wow, those are some exciting visuals there Ravi! I loved the video too, looks like an amazing way to spend your lunch break, thanks for sharing :p

This is the first time I've seen that Yamaha mid-drive system, looks solid! But... it is just marketing, hopefully I can get my hands on one of these and do a review.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I am as excited as you, Court...! :)
Most of the mid-drive systems are from Bosch (used on Haibike, Trek, Scott and Conway) but there are other players like Xion, Yamaha etc.
Competition is always a good thing, I know the video looks like slick marketing but I am happy that there are all these mountain bikes I had never seen.
Hopefully, this year will bring out lot of innovation and exciting new products.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Just a bit of inside info on the Xenon bikes from Easy Motion, they will be sticking with their NEO line and the only bike outside of that will be the EVO ECO Lite, they showed the Bosch powered Xenon bikes at Interbike, but they decided not to bring them into the US this year. Haibike is one of the only manufacturers that will have distribution of Bosch in the US, some others including Felt will have limited distribution. We will also be working with Focus, Kalkhoff and Currie which have mid-drive systems. I will have a more complete list in another couple of weeks.