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Mid drive motors are becoming more popular on electric bicycles because they offer certain strengths over traditional in-wheel hub motors. These include:
This last two benefits are key for off-road riding where trail maintenance and transporting the bike become a factor. I love mid-drive or centerdrive motors but want to acknowledge that they aren’t perfect for every situation… they do have some limitations and drawbacks worth considering and these include:
With this guide my intention is to offer a qualitative overview of the different brands of middrive ebike motors I’ve tested as of 2016 along with quantitative supporting points and specifications. Technology is evolving rapidly in the e-bike space and parts of this guide may become outdated so feel free to chime in using the comments at the end and I’ll make updates as needed. I’m not explicitly ranking the motors here but am starting out with some of the more popular, higher quality offerings. Bosch and Yamaha are two systems that get compared a lot and I’ve created a video with each of their stats and ride tests below to help demonstrate their differences: