The use of electric conversion kits to convert regular bicycles to electric bicycles has been growing in recent years. This comes in the wake of an equally increased interest in electric bikes in general. Both types of electric bike have come into this new realm of expanded use thanks to the electric bicycle hub motor.
Hub motor bicycles are distinguished from other types of electric bikes by the presence of an electric bike motor within either the front or rear wheel. These hub motor bikes have drawn increased popularity to electric bikes thanks to a few of the benefits conveyed by their design.
The first benefit of a hub motor bicycle is that the motor is contained within the design of the bike. On older electric bike frames the motor would hang off the side of the bike and drive the rear wheel via a second chain. This design was inferior in three ways: the chain drive is less efficient and more maintenance, the bike becomes unbalanced with extra weight hanging on one side, and the motor is exposed and easily damaged if the bike were tipped over. In this respect, hub motor bicycles are much more reliable than their older cousins.
This added safety and convenience has allowed the hub motor bicycle to enter into the mind of the everyday consumer as a safe and practical means of recreational and business oriented transport. So what kinds if hub motor bicycles are there?
The most common form of hub motor bicycle uses a front wheel motor. This keeps things simple as no gearing system need be worked around the bulkier hub motor. With the front wheel of a hub motor bicycles being the only major difference between it and a standard bicycle, normal bike frames can be used with very little modification. This leads to hub motor bicycles having lighter, stronger construction and a more normal bike look in general. Both large benefits in the mind of the public.
Other hub motor bicycles uses a rear wheel electric bike motor. These hub motor bicycles take on the extra challenge of combining the motor and gearing system. As a result rear wheel hub motor bicycles with the exception of single-speed varieties generally require a thinner motor to make room for the gears. Though this setup sounds a bit more complicated it can often lead to great advantages over the front wheel hub motor bicycle. Take the BionX electric bike kit for example. Because it is a rear wheel motor this electric bike kit can incorporate a torque sensor into it's design, reading how hard you press on the pedals and intelligently adjusting it's output accordingly. But that's another story.
So now you know a bit more about hub motor bicycles and their advantages over other electric bike motor configurations. The only system better than the hub motor bicycle is the bottom bracket drive. This electric bike drive system warrants an article all to itself. With he exception of some of our folding electric bikes, all the electric bicycles and electric conversion kits we carry are hub motor bicycles or hub motor kits. Though they all use this superior drive system there is quite a variation between models. Be sure to look at each one carefully and give our electric bike selector a shot if you get overwhelmed.