What s the Difference Between Electric Bike Motors?

Best electric Motor for Bicycle

Electric Motors / February 14, 2024

My new electric bike book is packed with reviews of some of the newest, best quality electric bikes, thanks to my collaboration with two of the greatest ebike reviewers in the worldIt is not easy to decide whether to get a hub motor or a crank drive motor for an electric bike, because each motor and its related system has advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons of a hub motor vs a crank drive motor for an electric bike, so you can decide which would work better for your needs.

Most electric bikes have a motor on the hub or on the crank drive. The vast majority of electric bikes have hub drive motors. However, crank drive motors are readily available on many electric bikes, if you want one. Deciding which to choose is tricky, as both have advantages and disadvantages. The best advice is to be very clear on the pros and cons of each motor, and then decide which works best for your own needs.

Here's my BionX motor on my old Devinci Rio (that's Maggie, who rode that bike up and down some serious hills on Salt Spring Island)These are by far the most common motors on electric bikes, and have been refined and developed over many years into extremely efficient machines. For example, the BionX hub drive motor is one of the best electric bike conversion kits money can buy. I’ve ridden BionX for many years, and never had anything but excellent experience with them. They are powerful, impervious to rain and snow, and top quality.

The Advantages of a Hub Motor on an Electric Bike

  • The motor is handily placed in the wheel hub, causing no change in the basic design of the bike.
  • Because of this positioning, a hub motor can be retrofitted to almost any bike using a conversion kit. This may cut your costs, if you already have a suitable bike. I actually moved my excellent BionX hub motor from an old bike to a new bike.
Here's me, riding a Devinci Copenhagen with a BionX motor Here's my BH Emotion electric road bike, which combines a small crank drive motor with 10 gears, and has great hill climbing ability. This bike is a work of art. You can read a full review of the BH Emotion road bike here. Here's the excellent Bosch crank drive motor on my Haibike The Emotion Neo Street is an ebike with a hub drive motor

Source: electricbikeblog.com