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Mid-Drive vs. Hub-Drive

At Seattle Electric Bike, we have been celebrating the emergence of mid-drive motor systems onto the electric bike scene due to their unique responsiveness for on-demand power and torque. Most customers find that they benefit from the light-weight, long-range, high reliability, and low center of gravity found on the new quality mid-drive systems available. These days, by far the most frequent question we get from our customers is: What is the difference???

We’re glad to present some information in this post to answer that question. Then, we recommend you come in to the shop for a test ride to compare for yourself. We always make certain that you experience all that an electric bike can do for you!

The basic difference is that the mid-drive motor is located in the bottom bracket and drives the crank. The hub motor (located in the wheel hub, of course) drives the wheel itself. Batteries for either system can be located on the down-tube or on a rear rack, depending on the model. Both systems typically offer a range of pedal-assist-levels, where the mid-drive significantly multiplies the power and torque for hill-climbing, utilizing the existing gears, while the hub drive systems also include a throttle mode.

Credit to EMBN for the following video. Enjoy, and then read on below!


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