Are Mid-Drive Ebikes Better?
October 28, 2022
Ebikes are continuing to grow in popularity, even past the pandemic boom in the industry. With the masses hopping on the bandwagon, do you ever ask yourself how an ebike could change the way you move? Once you do some research you may wonder, are mid-drive ebikes better?
Anecdotal or not, every friend of mine that has ever taken the leap onto an electrified pair of wheels confesses that they could not imagine how it would really change their habits. Now, every trip to the gym, to the store, to their class, or their work that required a car is a moot point. Saving gas, getting exercise, and expanding your footprint has never been easier or more affordable.
I’ve been working in the PEV industry for 4 years and I can tell you one thing – if you have a product this practical, durable, and affordable, it will sell itself all day long.
There are a ton of companies out there, with a nauseating amount of choice between models, specifications, and use cases. The industry is saturated, to say the least. With that said, many consumers are asking themselves, “what is the best ebike for me?” and “is buying an ebike worth it?” Enter, the electric mid-drive bicycle and learn why Bikexchange thinks the Ride1UP Prodigy is the number one mid-drive ebike to consider of 2022.
What is a mid-drive ebike?
A mid-drive ebike is an electric bike with a motor installed in the bottom bracket, where the cranks and pedals attach to the frame. This style of ebike is high-performing, responsive, and natural feeling, just like the traditional push-pedal bikes of yore. Compared to a hub drive ebike, with a motor laced into the rear wheel, there are a number of benefits and drawbacks to each design.
What is the difference between a mid-drive and a hub-drive ebike?
By definition, a mid-drive is the closest to an “electrical assist bicycle” that you can achieve.
This is because the motor location and design are literally assisting the act of pedaling the bike. Instead of sending energy to a motor in the rear wheel based on your pedal speed or intensity like a hub drive, this style of ebike is intuitively helping your legs rotate the cranks.
What is better, a mid-drive or hub drive and why are mid-drive ebikes better?
The upsides to this design abound. They’re quieter with smoother engagement. Moreover, with the motor placed in the center of the bike, the feel and ride of the bike is better balanced than front or hub-driven ebikes. They are also more responsive, lighter, better for hill climbing, look sleeker, and are profoundly energy efficient. They send more power directly through the drivetrain. By applying more torque, pound-for-pound than a hub drive of the same wattage, you’re getting the best that the refinement of contemporary ebike tech can offer. The Prodigy is operating on a modest, 36V system and a 250-watt motor that still manages to crank out 90nm of torque. This rivals our hub-driven LMTD ebike on a 48V system, 100nm of torque, and peaking at 1000 watts – you do the math!
Now, let’s not knock the hub drive, when you ask if mid-drive ebikes are better. This motor design is what put the affordable ebike on the map. It’s even cheaper, more accessible, and provides much of the same practical use. If you are not looking for the absolute highest performance and prefer to tool around town using the throttle and get some assistance, don’t be shy. Ride1UP has got you covered with an array of hub drive ebikes too.
The Ride1UP Prodigy is Unique, the Prodigy is Special!
6 things you will find on a Ride1UP Prodigy that you will not find anywhere else for the price.
– Starting at $2,295.00, good luck finding better value on the market. Just search “affordable mid-drive electric bike”, and you’ll notice we are the first result 🙂
High Quality, Mechanical Components
– We’re talking top-of-the-line, Shimano rapid-fire trigger shifters, cassettes, and derailleurs. Not to mention a slew of bells and whistles. KMC mid-drive chain. 180mm rotors. Dual piston Tektro hydraulic brakes, plus high capacity rear racks and fenders or front fork suspensions on select frame styles.
Brose-made, German Manufactured, and Integrated Systems
– Hey, did you know that Brose is the only manufacturer of a mid-motor e-bike drive “Made in Germany”? Take that Bosch! Not to bash their Hungarian-made motor, it is a stunningly beautiful country.
Chameleon Gloss Paint (among other dazzling options)
– Eye-catching, color-changing paint option. No other mid-drive ebike is offered with this, or frankly has the bravado to sport the gorgeous colorway.
Designed for the Refined Electrical Components
– Super bright daytime lights. Shimano electric shift sensors. Integrated tail lights in the rack. Handlebar-mounted, color displays. Samsung battery cells with up to 50-mile range. Plus an integrated torque sensor will ensure you are getting the best cost-to-value ratio available.
Options, Options, Options
– Do you want an eMTB style Prodigy with a 120mm travel air fork suspension and Maxxis Forekaster off-road tires? How about a commuter style with integrated racks and efficient Maxxis Refuse street tires? Take your pick of various colors and frame styles. Kevin, our designer and founder, has made sure that the perfect Prodigy is ready for you.
Why don’t mid-drives have a throttle? Can you put a throttle on a mid-drive e-bike?
In most cases, mid-drive ebikes do not come with a throttle. This is typical of the industry and you will be hard-pressed to find any major mid-drive manufacturers who offer a throttle option. This is because the motor is pedal-activated and the energy is sent through the chain, as compared to a hub drive motor where the throttle can bypass the chain to accelerate.
Yes, throttle options are out there, but the tech is not there yet to make this accessible, efficient or affordable.
How long do mid-drive eBike motors last?
A mid-drive motor is generally rated to conquer more miles than a hub-drive motor. How hard you ride, how and when you shift, plus what gears you typically ride all make a difference. This will affect the rate of replacement for chains, cassettes, and motors. Especially, when using a German-manufactured and designed motor, the Prodigy is designed to be your car’s competitor! That said, great care has been taken to ensure that you are clocking thousands if not tens of thousands of miles if cared for appropriately.
Are mid-drive ebikes more expensive?” and “why are mid-drives more expensive?”
The short answer is, well, yes! They are more expensive than a hub drive without a doubt, because of the many benefits and design features that I’ve gone over. For example, the cheapest mid-drive that Specialized produces is $3250. Just shy of $1,000 more expensive than the Prodigy and ranges up to a whopping $15,000. Mind you, they are still using Brose motors just like the Prodigy!
There are a ton of reasons why buying an ebike is a smart move for your health and finances. However, so many options can make you feel paralyzed and the hard part is knowing which ebikes are better and why. After reading, now we know why mid-drives are considered industry-leading technology, but they’re usually too expensive and totally inaccessible to the regular Joe and Jill.
That said, a quality mid-drive does not have to be cosmic in price or out of your budget. Don’t sacrifice price for quality. That is our mantra. Since 2018, Ride1UP continues to deliver the best value ebikes in the industry. Our mission is to provide ebikes built for longevity, dependability, and affordability. Now that we have added the best mid-drive electric bike on a budget to our offerings, what are you waiting for?
Take advantage of Affirm or Paypal financing options on top of the incredible deals, and start riding today!