In order to participate in the ecological effort, more and more citizens are turning to the electric bicycle as a means of transport. 2 types of electric assistance systems compete in this sector.

Between the central motor present in the crankset and the more common hub motor placed in the wheel, what type of motor should be favored ? What are the differences and advantages of these electric motors? Let's find out together how to make your choice when buying an electric bike .

Two types of electric assistance

On an electric bike, the motor can find its place in 3 different places . It can be either placed on the front wheel, or on the rear wheel or finally on the pedals (central engine). Depending on its position, the electric assistance of your bike acts differently.

choice electric bike motor crankset wheel hub

In France, most electric bicycles on the market are hub motor . That is to say with the electric motor integrated in the wheel. In addition to a lower manufacturing cost, the in-wheel motor is also easier to install. Its operation is less complex and can be adapted more easily to any classic bicycle frame.

These different types of installations are distinguished by their road handling, their power, their specificity, as well as their use.

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Should you buy a pedal motor electric bike?

If the central motor is generally reserved for high-end electric bike models, is this type of installation necessary on a two-wheeler at all costs?

Not necessarily. It mainly depends on your use of an e-bike. Several criteria come into play and we will give you the keys to make your choice.

electric bike super73 wheel hub motor

The price of a mid motor electric bike

A bicycle equipped with a central motor is first of all much more expensive to buy. For someone on a budget, the motor placed in the rear wheel makes perfect sense. By ignoring the central motor, you can for example afford an electric bike with a better battery.

Effortless electric assistance with an in-wheel motor

On a bicycle equipped with a motor placed in the rear wheel, it takes a quarter turn of the pedal to trigger the electric assistance. The speed depends on the driving mode selected and the rotational speed of the pedal. All this regardless of the force exerted on the pedal.

This type of assistance is therefore more suitable for people who want to make as little effort as possible on an electric bike. By requiring less effort, the hub motor is better suited to users with knee problems, for example. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is a higher load on the battery and therefore generally less autonomy.

electric bike o2feel iswan cobalt blue motor shimano central crankset

An electric bike equipped with a motor in the wheel offers good acceleration and allows you to have a more responsive two-wheeler at a very attractive price. This system is also more compact by being integrated directly into the wheel. But in the event of a puncture on the motor wheel, the dismantling operation is then more complex.

How does a crank motor work?

Placed in a central position on an electric bike, the pedal motor offers a level of assistance depending on the pressure exerted by your legs. This type of electric bike is closer to the sensations offered by a classic bike.

Technologically more advanced and therefore more expensive, the central motor drives the chain and the gearbox. Unlike in-wheel electric motors that take the strain off the transmission, the combined power of your thighs and the motor causes these components to wear out faster.

bosch active line plus blue crankset motor

On paper, the crank motor has more torque . This is why it is often preferred by the most advanced cyclists. The other components of the bicycle must therefore be sufficiently resistant and of good quality so as not to cause breakage at the level of the sprockets, for example.

The mid-engine adapts to your pace

The advantage of this motor system is to offer more gradual assistance . A power better contained at low speed since this force provided is independent of the speed at which the wheel turns.

The electric motor placed in a central position better accompanies your pedaling rhythm. It is therefore better suited to athletes looking for a certain resistance in the legs.

With this type of assistance, the electric bike also has better autonomy because it is more economical in terms of the resources required. In addition, a pedal motor develops more torque. This is also why it is so popular with advanced e-bike users.

shimano crankset electric bike o2feel

What are the best mid-engines?

There are 4 main brands supplying crank motors. These are Bosch, Bafang, Shimano and Yamaha . While many users swear by Bosch's Active Line range, the quality of Bafang electric motors should not be underestimated.

The Active Line from Bosch is suitable for all urban e-bikes that do not require the ascent of long climbs or travel with heavy loads.

Unlike other brands, the BBS Bafang crankset motor is particularly versatile. It can be perfectly installed on any mechanical city bike for use in accordance with European standards in 250w. Light and discreet with very good torque, it is suitable for both road use and off-road electric biking.

The Bafang is also the engine chosen by Weebot in our kit to convert a classic bicycle into a mechanical bicycle.

Shimano motors are found on the O2Feel range of electric bikes , designed and manufactured in France.

Conclusion: bottom bracket motor or wheel motor?

The key to buying an electric bike is to choose the type of engine that best suits your needs and your feelings. Do not hesitate to take the physical test of different electric bikes to find the one that suits you best.

To make a comparison, it is useless to ruin oneself in the purchase of a Lamborghini simply to go shopping. Unless you have the means, but it is not necessarily the most effective solution.

electric bike k3o white zen wheel motor

Most electric bike brands are developing ever more advanced technologies to make assistance as discreet as possible. The goal is to most effectively prolong the movement of the cyclist with a minimum of vibrations.

With silent assistance and sensations close to natural pedaling, don't wait any longer to make the electric bike your main means of transport.

GuideVélo électrique
guideWeebot Team