mid drives are not for everyone/throttles are fine

JES2020

Well-Known Member
Casual rider here. I have a question maybe you could help me with. I’m looking to purchase my first ebike and am confused. I’ll be commuting 3.5 miles one way, seasonally, with some light trail/path riding on weekends. Would a rear hub drive bike allow me the flexibility to enjoy biking while, while getting some exercise or would a mid mount with a throttle be the choice? How much difference is there btw cadence and torque sensors?Any help would be appreciated.
I'm a geared hub fan all the way. for simplicity and ease of installation (if it's a DIY).
Both systems allow you to adjust how much assist you get from the motor, but the mid drive requires special care when shifting or you can distroy your drive system.
One other thing , if somehow you wreck your chain or transmission, you can still drive home with a hub motor and a throttle.
 

penserv

Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary, AB
Mid drive e bikes deliver there power through the drive train There is a lot of extra strain on the gears and chain. Hub motor e bikes deliver their power directly to the wheel and do not involve the drive train whatsoever. The drive train is the same as a non e bike. For that reason there is usually far less strain on the gears and chain because the motor takes the work away from the drive train. For this reason, there is far less wear with a hub motor setup.
I've got a hub drive bike with a throttle, which I rarely use, but is really handy when you need it. I set my PAS to level 4 (out of 10) and after that, it's just shifting gears and my cadence never changes. Where the throttle is handy is when I have to go through a construction zone and one of the safety crew waves a stop sign at you because a 50 ton truck is crossing the road. I guess they figure that I'm going to duck between its wheels. It always happens on the uphill part and here the throttle is really handy from a dead stop, because you probably haven't downshifted. Hit the throttle, get up to speed and you're off at the same cadence. It's also really handy when you drop a chain off the front ring and it jams between the pedal and the bottom bracket. Just hit the throttle and you can still get home without having to do a roadside repair.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Casual rider here. I have a question maybe you could help me with. I’m looking to purchase my first ebike and am confused. I’ll be commuting 3.5 miles one way, seasonally, with some light trail/path riding on weekends. Would a rear hub drive bike allow me the flexibility to enjoy biking while, while getting some exercise or would a mid mount with a throttle be the choice? How much difference is there btw cadence and torque sensors?Any help would be appreciated.
If you want a throttle, the choice of mid drive bikes is somewhat limited. There are a few out there but most mid drives are class 1 or 3 and lack a throttle. Your choice of throttled bikes (class 2) is much greater with the rear hub drives. Unless you climb a lot of steep hills, a rear hub drive bike should be fine for what you propose. I do suggest you check the bike class laws where you plan to ride to see if the bike you like is legal.

To put it simply, a cadence sensor applies power proportionally to how fast you pedal. The bike will go even if you apply little or no pedal pressure and just spin the crank freely. This is dubbed "ghost pedaling".

A torque sensor measures how much pedal pressure is being applied by the rider and powers the motor accordingly.

The pedal assist setting (PAS) lets you adjust how much power is applied to the motor for a given amount of crank speed (cadence sensor) or pedal pressure (torque sensor).

Different bikes use variations of my oversimplified description above. I strongly advise test riding as many bikes as you can. No two bikes are the same and choosing one that feels right for you is very important. Even if you decide to buy online, visit a few bikes shops. Most can provide you with a wealth of advice & information.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your choice!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I have both mid and hub drive bikes, both with throttles. I believe the hub drive bike is easier to ride as well. If I were to loan you a bike to ride as a guest, there is little doubt here which it would be. The hub for sure. Wife has no interest in the mid drive. She rides hub only.

That leave you deciding cadence sensor only, or one of the newer generation of torque assist hub drives that seem to be popping up here and there. No experience with torque sensing hub drives, but plenty of curiosity!
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I have both mid and hub drive bikes, both with throttles. I believe the hub drive bike is easier to ride as well. If I were to loan you a bike to ride as a guest, there is little doubt here which it would be. The hub for sure. Wife has no interest in the mid drive. She rides hub only.

That leave you deciding cadence sensor only, or one of the newer generation of torque assist hub drives that seem to be popping up here and there. No experience with torque sensing hub drives, but plenty of curiosity!
I have both as well and on flat ground, asphalt, sidewalks, light trails they are very comparable. One cost 4 grand and the other $1200. The biggest difference I can see now is the more expensive middrive will get up to 38 mph throttle only while the rear hub maxes at 28 or so. Still waiting to be dazzled by the middrive...
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
I have both as well and on flat ground, asphalt, sidewalks, light trails they are very comparable. One cost 4 grand and the other $1200. The biggest difference I can see now is the more expensive middrive will get up to 38 mph throttle only while the rear hub maxes at 28 or so. Still waiting to be dazzled by the middrive...
Actually that is a false difference, a hub can go way faster than 28 mph. the Sondors motorcycle will do 80 MPH! And it has a rear hub motor.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
the mid drive requires special care when shifting or you can distroy your drive system.
Horse pucky. A rare occurrence. The only special care is using a light touch on the brake lever to cut the motor momentarily or add a Gearsensor for the cutout when shifting. Backpedal also works with the BBSxx series.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I'm a geared hub fan all the way. for simplicity and ease of installation (if it's a DIY).
Both systems allow you to adjust how much assist you get from the motor, but the mid drive requires special care when shifting or you can distroy your drive system.
One other thing , if somehow you wreck your chain or transmission, you can still drive home with a hub motor and a throttle.
all bikes with a rear derailleur need shifting without hard pressure. that includes hub drive bikes Hell since they tend to have cheap components it may be mean more of a issue. You should always let up on the pressure when you shift. and if your real wheel falls apart because its poorly built you will be pushing your bike thats more of a issue then a broken chain thats easily fixed with a quicklink.
 

Elkman

Active Member
Not mentioned is having to repair a rear tire when the tube is punctured. Much easier to do this with a mid-drive bike as it does not differ from a non-electric bike. My e-bike has a rear hub drive and the axle bolts require having a couple of 18mm wrenches to remove the rear wheel instead of a simple skewer. And the front wheel nuts are a different size than those used on the rear axle - go figure.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I have both as well and on flat ground, asphalt, sidewalks, light trails they are very comparable. One cost 4 grand and the other $1200. The biggest difference I can see now is the more expensive middrive will get up to 38 mph throttle only while the rear hub maxes at 28 or so. Still waiting to be dazzled by the middrive...
I think one of the bigger geared hub vs. mid drive differences will be fairly apparent when you put both of them up against a pretty good sized hill.
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
all bikes with a rear derailleur need shifting without hard pressure. that includes hub drive bikes Hell since they tend to have cheap components it may be mean more of a issue. You should always let up on the pressure when you shift. and if your real wheel falls apart because its poorly built you will be pushing your bike thats more of a issue then a broken chain thats easily fixed with a quicklink.
Ha Ha, when is the last time you even heard of someone breaking an acoustic drive system because they pedaled too hard?
Like never, unless there was a faulty component.

It is a known fact that shifting mid drives incorrectly puts tremendous stress and can total your drive train, That's all I'm advising the OP.

I never let up when shifting my hub, so maybe you should upgrade your transmission.
As far as a rear wheel falling off....if that's a bigger issue for you than breaking your transmission, all I can say is you are screwing up somewhere, something serious. Seek help.
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
Not mentioned is having to repair a rear tire when the tube is punctured. Much easier to do this with a mid-drive bike as it does not differ from a non-electric bike. My e-bike has a rear hub drive and the axle bolts require having a couple of 18mm wrenches to remove the rear wheel instead of a simple skewer. And the front wheel nuts are a different size than those used on the rear axle - go figure.
My bike is a DIY Trek, for me to remove the rear wheel requires two extra steps. Remove the torque arm and the power cable, total of less than 1 min. The nuts come off with a channel lock, pliers or crescent wrench, just like they did before conversion.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Too funny. Posters to often think their solution is the best regardless of other valid opinions. I’m riding and supporting BBSxx series motors, hundreds of sales, but ride a couple of MAC motors. As well as 2014 BBS01 motors. No problems. And we don’t see many issues with damage to the drive train.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Ha Ha, when is the last time you even heard of someone breaking an acoustic drive system because they pedaled too hard?
Like never, unless there was a faulty component.

It is a known fact that shifting mid drives incorrectly puts tremendous stress and can total your drive train, That's all I'm advising the OP.

I never let up when shifting my hub, so maybe you should upgrade your transmission.
As far as a rear wheel falling off....if that's a bigger issue for you than breaking your transmission, all I can say is you are screwing up somewhere, something serious. Seek help.
You always let up on the pressure when shifting on any bike pretty much. when your talking most rear hub bikes they have cheap compnents its going to be even worse. you let up as you get smoother shifting. broken chain and stuff in hier prefomace riders happens a fair amount. again rear wheels on hub bikes then to low end and the spokes like to come loose and break. I never said anything about the wheel falling off.