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Guide to Electric Bike Motors

Motorized bikes have been around for centuries, though they have changed a lot over the years. In the past, the drive mechanisms of these vehicles have utilized gasoline though today they feature electric variants. Even so, many of the same conventions used in the past can still be found in current designs.

As these vehicles rise in popularity, new riders and enthusiasts alike are becoming more interested in the different types of motorized bicycles available. The following is a brief rundown of electric bike motors to help you find the best fit for your lifestyle.

Geared Up

The first type of motor when looking for an electric bike for sale is the Geared Hub. Made for durability, especially in rougher terrain, these motors are perfect for riders who often face off-road conditions or steep inclines. In addition, an internal clutch system makes freewheeling (think going downhill not pedaling) faster than with any other type of motor, making these excellent choices for trips with a lot of hills to climb.

While not the best performing option, new riders might be interested in these designs because of their lower price. In addition, geared hub motors tend to last longer since stress isn’t placed directly on the drive train.


On the opposite end of the spectrum is the mid-drive motor. These are the most complicated available and are usually the most costly to purchase and maintain. These are high-performance vehicles that often have top-of-the-line tech behind them.

Also great for off-roading, these motors have excellent torque and power, and the motor placement makes riding feel more natural. The downside, other than its high cost, is that stress on the chain may lead to breakage, leaving the bike inoperable in the middle of a trip.

To the Point

An excellent midground is the Direct Drive option. These motors are exceptionally simple and easy to operate and fix, making them highly efficient on long trips. These bikes take the gold on straightaways, making them perfect for city travel.

Because of the setup, Direct Drive can offer regenerative braking, meaning the battery will charge as you slow down. While this limits the freewheeling aspect, it is a great way to conserve battery use.


An offshoot of the standard electric bike is a Friction Drive motor. Definitely the cheapest option, these motors are generally found on do-it-yourself conversions. While transforming mens bicycles into electric variants is fine for the hobbyist, they aren’t found on brand name bicycles thanks to their drawbacks.

These motors work through creating friction with the rear wheel which can severely reduce tire life. Friction also creates heat, meaning a significant loss of battery energy. Finally, these bikes work poorly in wet conditions since any moisture will reduce friction and thus the main power for the rear wheel.

Choosing an electric bike is very different than picking from its conventional pedal-powered brethren. Make sure that when you shop online for the best deals, you find a bike that has the kind of motor you’ll need to get you where you’re headed while you look great getting there!

Writer and news enthusiast. Enjoy the simple things in life. A coffee on a Sunday morning listening to your favorite tracks. Take the time to love the world around you and enjoy life! Then work on something that you're passionate about.

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