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Benefits of Using a Wheel Hub Motor for Electric Bicycles

Electric bicycles use the wheel hub motor

Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular as a two-wheeled electric transportation for commuting and leisure riding. The two most common types of electric motors used in electric bicycles today are hub motors and mid-drive motors. The wheel hub motor, which places the motor in the center of the bicycle wheel, is undoubtedly the most common form of electric motor in electric bicycles.

The mid-drive motor places the motor closer to the center of the bicycle and transmits the motor's power to the rear wheel via the bicycle's chain, and has become increasingly popular in the past two to three years, and is currently challenging the hub motor's reign as the king of electric bicycle motors. Both have many unique advantages, so choosing the right motor will largely depend on your requirements and which advantages seem more useful for your needs.

Advantages of the electric bicycle hub motor

One of the biggest advantages of wheel hub motors for electric bicycles is that they require virtually no maintenance. They are a completely self-contained drivetrain, with all components kept within the motor casing, nothing to clutter or maintain. This closed system also means that the likelihood of failure is much smaller. There are two types of wheel hub motors: geared hub motors with internal planetary gears to reduce the speed of the higher RPM motor, and direct drive hub motors with no gears, connecting the shaft of the lower RPM motor stator directly to the bicycle. Geared hub motors typically have only one weak point: the gears. Over time, teeth may fall off and the enhanced nylon gears can eventually slip.

On the other hand, direct drive wheel hub motors have zero moving parts other than the bearings, so they have virtually no wear and tear. They can last practically forever as long as they do not rust or wear out their bearings. Compared to mid-drive motors, hub motors also help reduce other bicycle maintenance tasks. As they are not connected to the main pedal drive system, electric bicycle hub motors do not add any extra pressure to your chain or gear shifters and don't cause any of these parts to wear out faster. Your chain may even be more durable than a non-electric bike because the hub motor does more work, leaving your chain idle more often.

As an independent drivetrain, the electric bicycle hub motor also adds redundancy. As the hub motor and pedal drive systems are completely independent, losing one doesn't mean losing the other.