Rear Motor power

Eric J

New Member
I have test driven a few ebikes, from 350 watts to 600 watts. I could tell a bit of a difference, but the 350 Watt bike had a lot of gears so no matter what, when I went up in the gears, it would quickly take me to thte sweet spot of that gear. The bike with 600 Watts had fewer gears, and so seemed the effect was similar.

Can some experienced Ebike riders give me some thoughts on Power?

Eric
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@Eric J, a pretty loaded question with a lot of territory to cover! Good question, though. As you have noted, having gears can help with a smaller motor; however, you will get to a point that the number of gears is not so relevant, especially on a larger hub motor. With a mid drive system, the gears are a critical part of determining the amount of power, especially on a climb.

Take a look at Court's guide about electric bike motors- he covers the basics of hub & mid drive motors and explains the differences between a geared vs. gearless (direct drive) hub motor. The pics are great and I think this is a good place to start to get a better understanding of motors.
 

Andreas

New Member
Over the past few years I test rode what ever bike is available on the market. Last year I bought the Prodeco Tech Phantom X with a 500 watt geared rear motor and has a throttle only, no power assist. I love the torque on this bike climbing up the steep hills, but no matter what on how hard I pedal with the motor my Phantom does not exceed 21 mph. My friend has a BionX e-bike kit with a 360 watt motor and pedal assist which does not have the torque but has the top speed of 48 Km'h (28 mph) pedaling and motor combined, which is awesome. I recently test rode the 2016 Specialized turbo X with a 350 watt rear hub motor and pedal assist which I loved the most from all e-bikes on the market. Awesome smooth power delivery and so much fun to ride, my favorite for sure. It will be my next bike. I was surprised how powerful the 350 watt rear hub motor was. Like I said, well balanced bike and very well built. I also just test rode the new Cube with a 250 watt center motor and most say it was the least favorite of my e-bike experience. It is really nice to cruise on a straight stretch of paved pathway, but I don't like the lack of torque up any hill.
 

wren

Member
Eric, you don't mention the drive configuration. A mid drive will climb hills better even if it has less power, due to leveraging the gears.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
The more powerful the motor, the less the Ebike feels like a bicycle. The wonderful thing (imo) about Bosch's middrive is that it feels like riding a regular bike. You still shift a lot to stay in the "powerband" as you noted, and there's never a bigger shove in the back than is appropriate, as there was on the Stromer I had (jmo). At some point it becomes more moped and less bike. (jmo)
If you are a regular rider that knows to spin and shift a lot, you'll love a middrive or smaller hub motor.
If you aren't a past biker and never learned how to shift a bike to use it efficiently, you might prefer a bigger motor you don't have to shift as much.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Over the past few years I test rode what ever bike is available on the market. Last year I bought the Prodeco Tech Phantom X with a 500 watt geared rear motor and has a throttle only, no power assist. I love the torque on this bike climbing up the steep hills, but no matter what on how hard I pedal with the motor my Phantom does not exceed 21 mph. My friend has a BionX e-bike kit with a 360 watt motor and pedal assist which does not have the torque but has the top speed of 48 Km'h (28 mph) pedaling and motor combined, which is awesome. I recently test rode the 2016 Specialized turbo X with a 350 watt rear hub motor and pedal assist which I loved the most from all e-bikes on the market. Awesome smooth power delivery and so much fun to ride, my favorite for sure. It will be my next bike. I was surprised how powerful the 350 watt rear hub motor was. Like I said, well balanced bike and very well built. I also just test rode the new Cube with a 250 watt center motor and most say it was the least favorite of my e-bike experience. It is really nice to cruise on a straight stretch of paved pathway, but I don't like the lack of torque up any hill.
Motor size is not like a car engine. Bigger is not necessarily stronger. And any size motor can be a speed pedalec (28mph top assisted speed). There is a Brose 250W (minimal!!) motor that puts out 90nm of torque!!
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
I think we have gotten a bit off topic here, partly because you can't directly compare wattage of mid drive motors to wattage or power of hub drive motors; they're two different kind o'cats! @Eric J we sure want to help you; please clarify what ebikes you test rode, then others can better share their experiences (and avoid the bickering!) :D
 
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