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Electric Bike Motors Explained

Electric bikes have really come into their own in the last couple of years. Thanks to advances in electric bike motors and batteries. A couple of bike manufacturers, most notably Specialized, are making their own electric bike motors. The vast majority of bike companies are using the same motors. So, you will find exactly the same electric motor being used on bikes from different brands and at different price points. In this guide, we’ll take you through the main types of electric bike motors. Look at the differences between the most commonly used brands.

Electric Bike Hub Motors vs Mid-Drive Motors
Electric bikes tend to either come with a hub motor or a mid-drive motor. Mid-drive motors sit where the cranks and bottom bracket are on a bike and drive the cranks and chain around. Hub drive motors sit in the middle of the wheel and drive the wheel directly. Hub drive electric bikes are cheaper but less efficient, and less smooth, to ride.

Electric Bike Motors Controls
Most modern electric bikes have motors that will automatically kick in as soon as you start pedalling. There is no throttle or need to press a button, you simply pedal and the motor works automatically.

On hub driven bikes the motor tends to be fairly on or off. Whereas the mid-drive motors have a more graduated power. With mid-drive motors the harder you pedal the more power the motor will put out. This makes riding the bikes feel very natural and intuitive. As the bike will respond instantly to the effort you are putting in.

Although mid-drive electric bike motors will respond to the pressure you put on the pedals. They will also normally have settings for the amount of power you want the motor to contribute. Bosch electric motors come with a series of modes from eco, through touring, sport and boost. Each level contributes more power from the motor but in exchange, the battery life gets shortened. With Specialized electric bikes you can use their Mission Control app to fine tune how much support you get.

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