QuietKat Advantages Over Hub Motors Article

It is frequently debated whether a mid-drive motor or a hub-drive electric bike motor is superior. When deciding which e-bike motor is ideal for you, as with any technology, there are many variables and specific situations to consider. Our best-selling models are the QuietKat Ranger (with a hub-drive motor) and the QuietKat Apex Sport (with a mid-drive motor), also now available is the QuietKat Apex Pro, hence this post was written to highlight both technologies as a comparison.

hunting on a quietkat

Hub Drive Advantages

  1. Lower Cost – Hub Drive motors are less expensive to manufacture and require less time for assembly and integration. This equates to a lower overall price compared to a mid-drive motor.
  2. No Chain Required – If something were to happen such as a derailleur or chain breaking, hub drive motor e-bikes can be ridden without a chain by using the throttle only. This is a nice feature in the event of a mechanical failure.
  3. Smooth & Peppy – It’s hard to explain without first-hand experience but hub-drive motors have a smooth, yet peppy take off which makes riding fun with exhilarating.

Hub-Drive Disadvantages

  1. Less Torque – Because hub-drive motors do not utilize the mechanical advantage of the chain and gearing when using throttle only, riders will have pedal more often to climber steeper terrain or to pull heavier loads.
  2. Added Rear Weight – Having the weight of the motor in the rear wheel makes the bike “back- heavy” which is a little more cumbersome when riding in technical terrain.
  3. Increased Time for Rear Wheel Maintenance – Due to the location of the motor in the rear wheel and added wiring, routine tube repairs and/or tire changes can be a bit more time to complete.

electric commuting bike

Mid-Drive Advantages

1. Increased Torque – Mid-Drive motors are directly integrated with the pedals and crank, which equates to a more efficient power transfer from the motor. Whether you are using pedal assist or throttle only, the chain and mechanical gearing are always engaged, which results in better hill-climbing and heavier load-pulling capabilities.

  1. Longer Battery Life – When ridden in the proper gearing, mid-drive motor e-bikes typically see longer mileage per battery charge due to a more efficient power transfer through the gearing on throttle only.
  2. Superior Balance – With the weight of the motor housed in the center of the bike, balance is optimized for a better riding experience in technical, off-road terrain.
  3. Added Versatility and Natural Feel – A mid-drive motor has a more natural pedaling feel because it is integrated with the crank. Additional features such as torque sensors that are found in our Ridge Runner and Jeep e-bikes provide a more fluid riding experience and power versatility.

Mid-Drive Disadvantages

  1. Higher Cost – Mid-Drive motors cost more money due to advanced technology and design. They also require more labor to install and require a customized frame to be fully integrated as an e-bike. For example, the now discontinued QuietKat Warrior 750W is approximately $1,000 more at retail compared to the Ranger 750W. To put this into perspective, these two models are pretty much the same bike, apart from the Warrior having a Mid-Drive and the Ranger having a Hub-Drive.
  2. Increased Stress on Components – Electric mid-drive motors are very powerful and the added torque from engaging the drive train will require slightly more maintenance than a hub-drive bike. Chains may stretch a bit more and derailleurs will need more tune-ups, especially during the first 100 miles break-in period.

jeep ebike


At the end of the day, neither motor option is a bad one. Both Hub-Drives and Mid-Drives are excellent designs with a long track record of performance and dependability. The key to picking the optimum motor type is to consider each individual's distinct demands and characteristics, such as terrain, intended use, and budget. A person who lives in the Midwest and has modest undulating terrain will be totally satisfied with the performance of a Hub-Drive bike. A Mid-Drive bike, on the other hand, is better suited to someone who lives in a more diverse, hilly region due to longer/steeper inclines and more challenging terrain. Both motors will function in any setting and environment, but it is critical to understand the potential trade-offs before making a purchase.

Electric bikes have forever altered our riding habits. Not only has it enlarged the population that can get on two wheels and hit the trails (riding pedal-assist bikes has proven to be hugely beneficial for older riders, but it has also opened up ride possibilities that we could never have imagined on analog bikes. Riding 25 kilometers straight into a national park and expecting to be at your tent before the sun set would have been comical without a motor and a battery.

But, as each bike maker rushes to create an e-bike that will go faster, further, and higher, more people are finding themselves in sticky, even dangerous circumstances, causing e-bike enthusiasts to inquire...

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