Hub Motor vs. Frame-mounted Motor with Chain Drive

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Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 09:26
Points: 39
Hub Motor vs. Frame-mounted Motor with Chain Drive

Forgive me if this is a silly question...

For two-wheel applications, which configuration is more efficient in the real world? The hub motor *OR* the frame-mounted motor that drives the rear wheel via a chain?

Also, I'm guessing that the hub motor would require less maintenance, at least hypothetically. But what about in the real world?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Last seen: 13 years 9 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - 08:18
Points: 342
Re: Hub Motor vs. Frame-mounted Motor with Chain Drive

I would guess, that a hub motor would be more efficient on flat roads and a chain drive going through gears would be better on hills.

Electric bicycles have maintenance? That always cracks me up, I have owned and maintained bicycles for like forty years, maintaining a bike is like maintaining a rock, there is just not that much too do. Of course you are talking to a guy that maintains everything I own, house, four cars, twelve mopeds, three Pedelecs, two computers...


dogman's picture
Last seen: 12 years 9 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 15:41
Points: 830
Re: Hub Motor vs. Frame-mounted Motor with Chain Drive

12 mopeds? Now I understand your handle. Good thing I don't have 12 dogs. Have been up to six at times...

I think the most efficient motors out there may be the x5 chrystalites, sometimes known as the Phoenix. That is, if you belive vendor data... But user posts seem to back that up. I think it may have to do with the larger diameter hub. Maintenance is mostly keeping water out and straightening wheels. At least the way I ride I do a lot of spoke tweaking.

For myself the most efficient motor is the one that uses less of my money, the BD36. There are lots of ways to define efficiency. But it uses a lot more watthours to go the same distance.

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LinkOfHyrule's picture
Last seen: 13 years 2 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 14:54
Points: 730
Re: Hub Motor vs. Frame-mounted Motor with Chain Drive

No, the most efficient hubs you can get are the geared ones, like the puma. The X5s are slightly less efficient than the 4XX motors.

Using gears will be more efficient if you have hills. You'll also be able to get better performance if you can drive the rear wheel through the whole drivetrain. Hubs are really only preferred for their ease of installation and stealthyness.

Though if anyone ever comes up with an internally geared hub motor...:D

The author of this post isn't responsible for any injury, disability or dismemberment, death, financial loss, illness, addiction, hereditary disease, or any other undesirable consequence or general misfortune resulting from use of the "information" contai

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