What is the best position for an engine to install in electric bike?

Actually, in the electric bikes market we can find two main kinds of electric motors, divided in: Hubs Motors, the power unit it's integrated in the middle of the wheel, and Mid Motors, the motor it's integrated in the middle of the frame.

Those two categories have some big differences in terms of power output, performances and of course about the total price. So we are going to see the main differences and some extra details to understand which one is best for you. Let's start with some general information.

Hub motors normally are located in the middle of the rear wheel, to give more traction and power, but it can happen that we also find it in the front wheel, in a few models. The hub motor offers the possibility to create many kinds of frame design, because the propeller will be in the middle of the wheel, so it's possible to create compact frames with thin tubing and in general versatile electric bikes for urban use.

On the other hand, Mid motors are located in the mid part of the frame engaging the bottom bracket, so it's needed to create a proper design about the chassis to install the motor in the right position. In that case it also influenced the shape and position of the battery and other components.

Mid motor it's chosen mainly for professional mountain bikes and more expensive urban ebikes that can't fit a throttle and can be used only with PAS assistance. Let's go deeper in detail..

Mid motor VS Hub motor

Modern ebikes are equipped with an electric motor powered by a battery, a power unit that in Pedelec models helps the cyclist while pedaling. Or, in the case of electric bikes equipped with a throttle, the motor pushes the bike without even having to pedal, making it much more like an electric scooter.

These two distinct realities can also coexist, in fact on the most versatile e-bikes we find both functions: models are offered on the market that have both the PAS mode and the Full Electric mode. The main part of Mid motors offered in the market didn't support the throttle mode, and can be used only in PAS mode.

The engines are then available with different specifications regarding power and torque. Two values ​​expressed respectively in Watt (W) and Newton Meter (Nm). The motors that allow you to circulate freely on the road must have a nominal power equal to and not exceeding 750W. The maximum speed must also be limited to 20 mp/h for a Class 2 ebike. The more powerful models are designed for off-road use or on private land.

The Hub motor

The hub motor, as already mentioned, is the more compact and versatile of the two, and allows designers to insert it in the center of the wheel. This feature is especially suitable for more compact and folding bikes, which are ideal for those looking for an electric bike that is easy to store and transport. At the same time, its construction is simpler and includes brush-less electrodes which, powered by the current, set the wheel in motion by exploiting the rotation of the bearings.

The constructive simplicity affects the cost, allowing it to be offered with a lower list price. It is therefore the ideal and necessary design choice for the cheapest bikes.

This type of motor is developed with different powers, starting from 250 W and going up to and beyond 1,000W. However, we remind you that in the USA the maximum power that you can get it's about 750W for road use.

The power output varies according to the assistance mode selected, and it is managed by an external Speed sensor that reads the speed by interpreting the rotation of the crank arm. In best models we find a more sophisticated Torque Sensor that reads the movement and speed of the crank giving a natural pedaling feeling similar to the Mid motor power output.

Which motor to choose?

So in conclusion, to choose your engine start from the available budget, how much money you can spend. With a smaller budget the choice falls on the versatile integrated motor and hub, while if you can spend a lot of money, then you will have to choose according to your needs.

If you want to move around the city and have a snappy vehicle that approaches a moped, the Hub motor version it's definitely better. You can also enjoy the Throttle with the full electric mode. The perfect choice for urban commuting and leisure time.

If, on the other hand, you want to train with a professional ebike, do long rides in the mountains with paths that involve long and steep climbs, you must choose the mid-engine. It requires more effort on pedals and it's more similar to a standard bicycle feeling.

Are you looking for your first ebike? Look at that brand new Meebike Gallop, a performing urban ebike packed with a powerful 750W Hub motor and all the urban accessories that you will need for your adventures!