Hub-drive vs Mid-drive – Understanding the Difference in Motors

March 1, 2023

Type of motor may be a point of difference when you are shopping for an electric bike. It’s a question we get from time to time: What’s the difference between a hub-drive and mid-drive?

Pedego offers both options and we believe, for most riders, the differences are not as significant as they’re ‘cranked’ up to be! Don’t take our word for it – or other brands. Take a few bikes for a test ride and see what you think! This is the ultimate decision maker.

But, so that you have the info in hand, here are the top five differences for a side-by-side comparison.


  1. A majority of existing electric bikes in the Canada have hub motors.
  2. In most circumstances, we prefer them because they are simple and easy to use. The power you get does not depend on how fast you are pedaling or how hard you are pushing on the pedals.
  3. Hub motors seamlessly deliver power right where it’s needed, without any extra gear shifting or wear on the drivetrain.
  4. They have the option of power on demand with a twist-and-go throttle.
  5. They are more affordable – simple and proven technology.


  1. Mid-drive motors are popular in Europe where strict laws limit power and forbid throttles. Even in North America they generally have lower power than a hub-drive and don’t have a throttle.
  2. Mid-drive motors can lead to more maintenance. The power of the mid-drive motor goes through the chain and gears of the bike and causes much more wear and tear than usual.
  3. Mid-drive motors require that you constantly shift gears for motor efficiency, and it’s not as smooth as shifting a regular bike. Many people are intimidated and/or annoyed by this extra hassle.
  4. Mid-drives are required for technical mountain bike riding or for other uses where bike speed may be very low (crawling up a very steep hill with a big load).
  5. The motor weight is lower to the ground which makes a slight difference in the balance of the bike, which is important for technical riding.

Do you want more details? We got you: Read more…