Types of Ebike Motors

We currently offer ebikes with geared hub motors in the rear wheel or bottom bracket. This will give you an overview of geared hub motors and how they work in our various models. We will also cover 2 other common types of motors. The mid-drive and the direct drive hub motor.

Our Prodigy equips a gorgeous Brose mid-drive motor that could not be smoother. Brose designs the motor, controller, display, and all settings for the torque sensor. You can see the internals for this mid-drive below:

Geared hub motors

Provide good low-end torque and hill climbing ability. Inside, they will have internal gears, bearings, magnets, and copper windings, as you can see in this stator replacement video. They provide very little resistance, so whether you are coasting or utilizing the PAS or throttle, there will not be any excessive friction slowing you down.

Mid-drive motors

Like the one shown above, these motors have the best hill-climbing ability. There are some things to be aware of, though. With a mid-drive, it is more critical that you are in the correct gear. You can also cause excessive wear and tear on the chain if riding too aggressively and/or in the wrong gear. Since the chain and cassette are used by the mid-drive, if the chain breaks, you will be walking home. Whereas hub motors do not use the chain, so you could power home if you still have some juice in your battery.

Direct-drive hub motors

These motors are quiet and efficient once at speed and on flat ground. However, they are slow to accelerate and do not perform as well on hills. They are often larger and heavier than geared hub motors. Additionally, when coasting or pedaling with the bike off, there will be a noticeable drag. On the flip side, these motors are capable of regenerative braking (not all have it), but the battery gains seen at this time are relatively low. Many do not think the trade-offs are worth it. These are the main reasons we only use Geared hub motors and Mid-drive motors at this time.

Motor wattage ratings

As the ebike industry grows and grows, standards are changing. Many companies list the nominal sustained wattage of the motor. Now, more and more of them only list the peak and often do not list the brand of motor. Some of the more forthright companies will list the details in the specs, but it might be further down and not noticed immediately on the model page, where customers often make quick comparisons. We always strive to provide accurate information and will continue to do so. However, we must follow this trend some larger companies have created. We were reluctant to do so; however, in a quick comparison for customers shopping, we have to share our specs in the same format that has become the industry standard. In order for proper comparisons to be made, we have simplified our motor rating. We confirmed with our suppliers of motors that they can be operated at these power ratings for a sustained period of time without issue.

  • Roadster v2 - 500W Peak, 40nm torque Shengyi Geared Hub-Motor
  • Core-5, Turris (1st gen), 500 Series - 750W Sustained, 60nm torque Shengyi Geared Hub-Motor (800W+ peak)
  • Cafe Cruiser, 700 Series - 750W Sustained, 60nm torque Bafang Geared Hub-Motor (800W+ peak)
  • LMT'D - 750W 100nm torque(MXUS) or 95nm (AKM) Geared Hub-Motor (750W nominal, 1000W peak)
  • LMT'D V2 Turris - 95nm (AKM) Geared Hub-Motor (750W nominal, 1000W peak), Turris will have 90nm of Torque
  • Prodigy V1 & V2 - 250W 90nm torque Brose German Made TF Sprinter Mid-Drive Motor 
  • REVV 1 - 750W 95nm torque Bafang Geared Hub-Motor (1200W+ peak)
  • Rift - 95nm torque AKM motor with angled gears, 750w Sustained

You will notice the Prodigy V1 & V2 has a 250W mid-drive motor, but it also has 90nm of Torque. Mid-drive wattage energy is transferred through the drivetrain more efficiently, so compared to a geared hub motor, it's apples to oranges.

Another consideration to take is that whether you have the LMT'D, Cafe Cruiser, Prodigy, 700 Series, 500 Series, or Core-5, all bikes will reach 28mph. While one may have more power available or higher wattage sent to the motor, the top speed is still the same. If you want to learn more, you can review this 3rd party article: https://www.ebikeschool.com/myth-ebike-wattage/

Glossary of ebike power terms

Amps: the amount of current or power a battery or controller can put out

Ah or Amp hour: How many amps a battery can produce in an hour, i.e., the gas tank size of your battery

W or Watt: volts x amps is the amount of work a motor can produce. You can think of this as the horsepower of your ebike

N-m or Newton meter: how much torque a motor can make

Nominal voltage: Is the voltage class for a system as the actual voltage of a battery-powered ebike can vary