The Embarrassing Truth About Bicycle Electric Motors

People can be opinionated about anything, and usually are. However, on the subject of buying a new electric bicycle with a hub drive (bicycle motor mounted on the wheel hub) vs. mid-drive (bicycle motor driving the crank) the facts are pretty clear.  It is all about money, money, money making the wheel go around.

Best Experience or Best Price?

If you are looking for the best e-bike for the money and care about having an exciting and fun ride every time out, then you’ll want to understand the difference the few dollars will make. Then, you’ll want to buy a mid-drive/crank drive electric bicycle.

However, if you are looking for the cheapest electric bicycle, then this question really doesn’t matter to you at all because price is your main consideration. The new electric bicycles with hub drives generally start at a lower price than mid-drives. The only other reason to go with a front hub is if you are looking to ride in deep snow on a “flat-as-a-pancake” road for half the year.

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Why Mid-Drive or Crank Drive E-bikes Are Better

The best e-bikes utilize mid-drive motors and take advantage of the bicycle’s drive train (the gears).  Just as when you ride without the motor engaged, gears give you power at higher speeds. With the motor engaged, your gears give your e-bike more power (torque) at your fingertips at higher speeds than a conventional hub motor. This enables mid-drive e-bike motors to allow you to cruise up steeper hills, in addition to effortlessly surge forward from a standstill. Generally mid-drive e-bikes attain higher speeds, as do Worland’s.

A mid-drive e-bike also keeps the center of gravity low, and under you, versus ahead or behind you with hub motors.  Front hub motors pull you, which many riders find disconcerting.  Front hub motors also have a tendency to spin upon startup, especially on loose dirt because the weight of the bike is behind the spinning wheel, not over it. Because the riders weight is over the rear wheel, riding front hub bikes uphill in snow is not going to give you the traction you need.

In cheaper e-bikes, hub motors will also have a tendency to overheat if used for long periods, especially in the dead of summer. This is because the motors are enclosed and fanless. Higher priced models with hub drive motors generally don’t have that problem.

Some say that the electric motor puts more strain on the crank mechanism, and therefore will result in “higher maintenance costs over time”. This may be true on some e-bike cranks, but not Worland. Assuming you use your gears appropriately, our cranks are made to withstand the motor’s higher pressure.
Mid Drive Electric Bike Motor Judged Better

Experience E-Bike Thrills

E-bikes are great, but riding a mid-drive Worland Fat-Tire E-Bike is a completely different experience. Worland’s are comfortable to ride and quite stable under terrains that many riders never consider riding on such as a sandy beach. In the urban jungle you’ll experience freedom from traffic jams and handle curbs and other barriers without incident. Commuting with any Worland e-bike is literally a no-sweat situation.