electric hub

The Beginner’s Guide to the Electric Hub and How It Can Help You Save Time and Money

Are you considering upgrading your regular bike to an e-bike with an electric hub? If so, then it can be a little confusing knowing what you should get. However, an electric hub has many benefits, including saving you time and money, so it’s no wonder you’re interested in getting one.

In this guide for beginners, we’ll look at the electric hub and its various advantages. We’ll also take a look at everything you need to know before investing in one, so you can be confident in your purchase. Let’s get started!

What is an Electric Hub Motor?

An electric hub motor is an electrically powered vehicle system designed to power an ebike. Hub motors are generally divided into two major classes, direct drive and geared.

Direct-drive motors tend to be less powerful but have higher efficiency, while gear driven motors typically offer greater torque and power potential at the expense of higher cost and efficiency.

The primary benefit of a hub motor is its convenience, making them a favoured choice for individuals who want an easy-to-install system that tucks away nicely into the frame of their ebike.

There are many other benefits of installing an electric hub motor too, due to them being eco-friendly and an easy way to travel while still being relatively cheap. Let’s take a look at the different types of hub motors.

Different Types of Electric Hub Motors

Front and rear hub motors are both commonly used on electric bikes, and each has its advantages and drawbacks. Front hub motors tend to be lighter, making the bike easier to handle and quicker off the mark than a bike with a rear hub motor.

As the front wheel is directly powered, the ride may feel slightly more responsive at low speeds. This can be especially helpful during difficult terrain or inclement weather conditions where extra control and traction are required.

A rear hub motor can decrease steering precision due to the additional weight on the back wheel. However, rear hub motors typically provide higher power levels necessary for longer rides up hills. They also provide a more natural feeling due to the rear power, so acceleration is smoother than with a front-hub motor setup.

Ultimately, it all depends on your individual needs as an e-bike rider. When you weigh up all of these factors, you will find which option best suits your riding style.

different types of electric hub motors

Geared vs. Direct Drive

You also have the choice of geared or direct-drive motors. However, it’s important to note that geared motors will always be on the rear wheel.

Geared motors provide more torque, which can be better for riding up hills. They are also generally more powerful and have less resistance when you are pedaling without any assist turned on.

Due to these reasons, you may think that geared motors are the clear winner, but there are some significant drawbacks. The most obvious is that they are harder to install and more expensive than regular hub motors.

Added to that, they often aren’t compatible with many regular bikes due to their size. If you wanted a simple conversion kit, getting a direct drive motor would be a much better idea. However, a geared hub motor may be a better idea for those who want the ultimate performance.

Choosing Your E-Bike Battery

Choosing the correct amount of power for an ebike battery can be complex. Before selecting a battery, it is important to consider all your personal factors that influence the range and top speed, such as hills in your local area, your weight, tire size, and gearing.

For example, if you’re over 200 lbs and live in a hilly area, you’ll need much more torque than someone who is 120 lbs and lives on flat ground.

Most batteries offer watts ranging from 250W to 1,000W+ to ensure you have enough power. Make sure to compare other characteristics like amp-hours (capacity) and voltage in order to get the right balance between range and speed on your electric bike.

Many ebikes need to be legally limited in their speed, and this shouldn’t be your most important consideration. Instead, you should focus on getting a battery with enough range for your needs.

e-bike battery

Conversion Kit vs. New E-Bike

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to enter the world of electric bikes, it’s wise to consider whether you should buy a conversion kit or an entirely new e-bike.

Conversion kits are designed to turn your existing bike into an e-bike and are generally more affordable than buying a new e-bike. However, they come with some caveats, such as needing some know-how regarding bike mechanics.

Conversely, investing in a new electric bike is simpler but typically more expensive due to the built-in hardware components. For a new regular bike plus a conversion kit, you’re most likely looking at paying half of what you would for a new ebike.

Overall, if you want an easy ride and don’t mind spending a bit more upfront, then selecting an all-inclusive electric bicycle would work best. However, if convenience and cost are of greater importance, consider opting for a conversion kit.

How Long Do Ebike Hub Motors Last?

The average lifespan of an ebike hub motor usually ranges from 15,000 to 25,000 kilometres (9,321 to 15,534 miles).

Most ebike owners require replacements if their motors display signs of wear and tear after approximately five years. However, whether or not an ebike hub motor reaches the end of its life cycle largely depends on the user’s riding habits and the conditions in which they ride.

Riders who find themselves in highly demanding terrain with extreme temperatures will likely require service sooner than those who enjoy gentler conditions.

electric bike hub motors

How an Electric Hub Motor Saves You Money?

Installing an electric hub motor on your existing bike can be a great way to save money if you’re looking to purchase an ebike. There are several ways in which installing a hub motor could help lower your costs.

First, the cost of buying and installing a hub motor is significantly less expensive than buying a complete ebike from scratch. Many ebikes typically range from $1,000 to $2,500 or even more when purchased new with all the bells and whistles.

By comparison, most electric hub motors will only set you back about $400-$600 depending on the type you choose and any accompanying accessories needed for installation. So if you already own a bicycle and are looking for an alternative to purchasing an expensive ebike, this could be a viable option.

Another money-saving benefit associated with getting an electric hub motor is that they require very little maintenance other than regular battery changes every few years or so, depending upon your usage.

This means no costly tune-ups or servicing needs, unlike traditional gas-powered vehicles, which can become quite expensive over time due to parts replacements and repairs.

Also, keep in mind that some models come with regenerative braking capabilities. This means when going downhill, the energy used by applying brakes is converted into electricity giving it back into the system, which helps extend battery life further.

Finally, another potential savings opportunity lies in fuel savings, especially since most ebikes offer up to around 20-40 miles per charge without needing gasoline.

Depending on how much riding you do each month, this could represent hundreds of dollars saved compared to traditional transport methods such as cars and buses.

All these aspects combined make installing an electric hub motor onto an existing bike potentially one of the best ways to save a significant amount of money compared to buying a new ebike or travelling to work via car.

How an Electric Hub Motor Saves You Time?

Electric hub motors are a great choice for those looking to quickly and easily install an electric drive system on their bike.

These motors are incredibly simple to install, requiring no complicated wiring or other technical know-how. All you need to do is attach the motor to your bike’s frame with a few bolts and then connect the battery power source, and you’re good to go!

The beauty of electric hub motors is that they offer versatility in terms of both power outputs and installation locations.

Unlike mid-drive systems which require intricate mechanical connections such as chains and sprockets, installing an electric hub motor requires nothing more than basic tools. This means that anyone with even minimal technical expertise can successfully install an ebike motor in almost no time at all.

Additionally, by eliminating the need for additional components such as derailleurs or cranksets required by mid-drivers, cost savings are also made when buying and maintaining an ebike equipped with a hub motor as opposed to one powered by a mid-drive system.

All in all, it’s clear why many people choose electric hub motors over alternate drivetrain solutions.

chains and sprockets

Final Thoughts

Electric hub motors can make your life easier by saving you both time and money. Once you have them installed, you’ll find travelling anywhere a breeze. Not only that, you’ll be able to do so for minimal cost and maximum convenience.