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Electric Fat Bike with Hub Motor

Electric Bike Hub Motors vs Mid-Drive Motors

VoltBike is pleased to offer a range of electric bikes, giving you many models to choose from. The hardest part of choice though is making the right choice! With many of our electric bikes coming in both the Hub Motor, or the “Core” Mid-Drive versions, what’s the best way to choose what’s right for you? This blog post will help you answer this question

Choosing an electric bike is a process. You’ve got to take the time to find a bike that fits you, does what you need it to, and is the right price. For those new to ebikes, this choice can be overwhelming as it’s a big purchase, and a big decision to make. We want to make sure you’ll be happy with your choice as this bike will provide you years of utility and enjoyment. We recently heard from a customer who had put 32,000 miles (over 51000 kilometers) on his Yukon 750, so we know that these bikes will last you a while if well cared for.

The key to making the right choice is first knowing what you will be using the ebike for. Will this be a commuter bike, travelling on paved bike lanes and well maintained gravel trails, or will you be mostly taking your VoltBike off-road through pot-holed trails and more challenging terrain?

These questions help us figure out which of the models will be best for you. But choosing whether or not you need a mid-drive model of e-bike is a bit more of a challenge. 

The big question when picking a mid-drive e-bike is whether or not you are going to be dealing with a lot of hills, and whether you’re a more experienced e-bike rider looking for something more sophisticated and intelligent. While mid-drive ebikes are the premium bikes, many people are very well suited to choosing one of our excellent hud-drive models.


Hub-Motor Bikes

Simple, reliable, economical. The majority of the ebikes we sell are hub-motor bikes with the motor built into the rear wheel of the bike. This setup has many advantages, and a long history of consistent performance. Here we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this common style of electric bicycle. 

VoltBike Yukon Best Hub Motor Ebike Canada

Hub-motor ebikes have been around since the dawn of e-bikes, making up the majority of the market. Our Yukon and Bravo bikes, among others, feature Bafang electric motors that have served our customers well. These 500 watt motors can offer a peak output of 750 watts, and in the case of the Yukon bikes, provide 80nm (Newton Meters) of Torque. Plenty of power for most people to have an awesome time riding, and traverse most landscapes. Those looking for the versatility of a folding electric bike with the power of a Yukon 750, would be wise to check out the Mariner family of bikes, including the new Mariner V2

With the motor propelling the rear wheel, you’ve got the ability to ride the ebike even if for some reason your chain were to break or if you just want to take it easy. With this style of ebike, there are two things driving the bike forward, your legs pedaling and the motor itself. These electric bikes have a cadence sensor that tells the bike that you’re pedaling, and depending on your level of pedal assist, the ebike will output power to the motor at the back of the bike.


VoltBike Kodiak Best Cargo Ebike Canada


Hub-motors work best for those not dealing with too many hills, as the motors, while powerful, will have the best longevity dealing with flatter terrain. If you are climbing hills, be sure to rely on the pedal assist, letting your legs help out with the climbing as the nylon Planetary Gears inside the motor can become worn out if the motor is working hard pushing you and your bike uphill. No fear though, the Planetary Gears are easily and inexpensively replaced. Check out the Replacement Parts section of our website for parts, and have a look at this video for instructions on how to swap the gears out yourself:  [embed youtube video about planetary gears]

In summary, our electric bikes with the motor on the rear wheel are a highly dependable workhorse, providing a great riding experience that will meet the needs of most people seeking an electric bike to ride around town, explore the outdoors and handle most tasks. These bikes are affordable and have served our customers well for many years. 

VoltBike’s family of hub motored ebikes include the Bravo and Bravo V2, the Elegant and Elegant V2Yukon and Yukon Step-Thru as well as their V2 counterparts, MarinerMariner Step-Thru and Mariner V2, the Nitro, as well as the Outback and Urban. A unique front-hub motor is the Trio, our electric tricycle which features the same powerful motor that’s on the Yukon but on the front wheel. 


Mid-Drive Electric Bikes

VoltBike’s growing range of mid-drive ebikes represents the evolution of the electric bike, utilizing new technology to provide an even better riding experience. Our range of mid-drive ebikes feature either the powerful Bafang M620 motor in the case of the Yukon Core, or Bafang M600 motor which is the motor that propels the majority of our Mid-drive ebikes, including the Bravo Core and Enduro. Having been available for a few years now, these e-bikes are the premium version of their rear-hub counterparts, offering significantly better hill climbing capability, and a seamless, smooth delivery of power.


VoltBike Bravo Core Best Mid Drive Road E-bike Canada

Mid-drive ebikes, just as they sound, have the motor mounted in the centre of the bike as part of the pedal assembly. With this configuration, they transmit their mechanical power through the chain of the bike, allowing you to utilize the gearing on board the bike to ultimately get the power to the rear wheel. Torque sensors contained in the motor itself can sense how hard you are pedalling, and don’t only sense that you are pedalling which means that the feeling is less like being propelled from the rear wheel as it feels more so that you have extra powerful legs. 

Taking a mid-drive ebike for a spin after first trying a rear-hub is the best way to feel the difference in riding experience. Not only is the power delivery significantly improved, the amount of power you have is quite a bit more. The Yukon Core for example delivers 160nm of torque compared to the Yukon 750 which has 80nm of torque. Similarly, the Bravo Core offers 120nm of torque, nearly double the rating of the trusty Bravo e-bike. 

Having this extra power means you can conquer hills even better than with rear-hub electric bikes. This is particularly helpful if you live in a location with lots of hills, and if you need that extra level of assistance to make your travels less physically demanding. A star of our mid-drive family is the Enduro, which is the mid-motored cousin to the Outback. With an impressive 120nm of torque, this dual-suspension ebike is a significant improvement over the Outback which put out 65nm of torque. Having a dual suspension makes riding extremely comfortable and cushy, making it our best ebike for handling off-road situations like mountain biking. 


 VoltBike Yukon Core Best Mid-Drive Electric Bike Canada


For those looking to have the off-road capabilities of the Enduro but still wanting the convenience of metal fenders and a rear-rack, check out the VoltBike Venture which also features the same motor plus an impressive 11 speed SRAM gear system, a great ebike for just about any situation. The Venture has a battery integrated in the frame and is great for all sorts of adventures, whether that’s tackling trails, or commuting to work. It’s perhaps our most versatile e-bike, and it looks great in either a matte gun-metal grey or a gorgeous glossy white colour.

With great power comes great responsibility, as the saying goes. Having the power being transmitted through the chain means having to replace the chain or cassette more frequently, but fortunately this is a simple task. If you’re local to us, our workshop would be glad to do this for you. To reduce the strain on the chain, these bikes have to be in motion, going 10km/h until the power assist or throttle will become active. This feature helps to preserve the life of the chain and the cassette and is something to consider if you need the bike to be able to propel you from a stop like they can with a rear-hub motored VoltBike. 

VoltBike’s range of mid-drive bikes include the Bravo CoreYukon CoreEnduro, and Venture. Stay tuned though, as over the coming year we have some exciting developments in our line that are sure to make those looking for mid-drive bikes very happy. 


Which Motor Style is Right for You?

Picking the right e-bike for your needs is a big decision. Our website is full of information about our bikes and the review sections on each product page will provide you with lots of real-world feedback from our customers on how the bikes are working out for them. We also have our customer support team here by email and also by phone, so please feel free to give us a call and tell us a bit about yourself and about what you’ll be using your VoltBike for. 

We’re glad to help you figure out the right choice, taking into account your needs, your budget and your ability to work on the bike should you be looking to do your own maintenance. We are always glad to work on your bike to perform regular tune-ups, including a complimentary tune-up to those able to get their bike over to us within the warranty period. We also have a listing on the bottom of our website called Local Service which is a directory of shops that can work on your bike if you need any help. Also, our YouTube Channel is a wealth of knowledge for guides on how to do everything from install a mirror, or replace gears within your motor.

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