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Advantages of Mid-drive Motor Electric Bikes
In recent years, innovation in the e-bike industry has been rapid. Electric bikes used to be clunky machines that did not work reliably and looked streamlined. But today, many sleek e-bikes are equipped with such well-integrated motors that they are almost indistinguishable from conventional bicycles. For a long time, e-bike manufacturers relied on wheel hub motors, but now there is a competing design on the market: mid-drive motors. Mid-drive motors have many advantages. So let us take a closer look at why higher-end electric bikes are equipped with mid-drive motors.
If you can't wait to get to the heart of the matter, here's the list of benefits without further ado:
- Most mid-drive motors require a special frame built around the motor. This completely encloses the motor, which is more esthetically pleasing and better suited for single-track mountain bikes but also significantly increases the cost of the bike.
- The mid-drive motors we use can be built into a normal bike frame, which has the advantage of making the bike easier to repair if necessary, and much cheaper to buy as an integrated e-bike since we do not have to make a “special” frame.
- Mid-drive motors keep the weight of the bike down, which can also be an advantage, especially compared to the heavier older hub motors.
- Mid-drive motors are more efficient because they drive the cranks directly. This means you can get more range out of your battery.
- Mid-drive motors are more suited to experienced cyclists because you have to push more to get more torque. While mid-drive motors are quite good at low speeds and high torque uphill, using less energy, you will have to use more leg power to reach the same speed as a hub motor of the same power.
- Because of the high torque combined with the central position of the motor, a mid-drive motor is good for towing a trailer or for taller riders.
- With a mid-drive motor, it is easier to change a tire because the wheels are still equipped with quick releases.
- Mid-drive motors are relatively quiet.
What is Mid-drive Motor?
A mid-motor gets its name from its position on the bicycle. It is located in the center of the bicycle frame near the bottom bracket, where the cranks are connected. The mid-motor is currently the best solution for electric bikes, most mid-range and high-end e-bikes use this solution.
So, what are the main advantages of mid-drive motors?
Higher energy conversion rate
The Mid-Drive system provides higher power and torque compared to similarly powered hub motors. The mid-drive motor drives the crank instead of the wheel itself, which increases its power and allows it to take advantage of bicycle gears. When the battery is empty, the mid-drive motor is completely disconnected from the axis of the carriage and there is no magnetic resistance. So, when the battery is empty, you can continue to ride unimpeded.
A more technologically advanced mid-drive motor is a combined mechanism of internal transmission gears. Multiple clutch gears form a variable-speed ratchet mechanism inside the motor that increases output torque and provides higher load and climbing capability. In addition, the torque sensor is more sensitive and picks up changes in pedaling force that directly affect the bottom bracket axle, allowing faster acceleration.
Better center of gravity
Due to the heavy weight of the hub motor, whether on the front or rear wheel, the center of gravity of the bicycle is not balanced.
The mid-drive motor has a better center of gravity balance, does not affect the balance of the bike when riding fast, and does not require additional batteries for counterbalance. That’s why the latest electric bikes have the battery built into the down tube. This also reduces the load on the braking system, improves braking performance, and extends the life of the braking system.
Less wiring and a cleaner look
Many components are integrated into the mid-drive motor, and only a few cables lead to the steering controller. This simplified and integrated design gives the bike a cleaner look and is easier to maintain.
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When you ride an electric bike – or e-bike – for the first time, it can feel like discovering a superpower. E-bikes initially fall into the same categories as conventional bikes: mountain bikes and road bikes, as well as niches such as city bikes, hybrid bikes, cruisers, cargo bikes, and folding bikes.