What is the difference between front and rear hub motors?

What is the difference between front and rear hub motors?

Which one we should prefer?


They both have pros and cons. Let’s take a brief look at those important differences.


The first thing you should pay attention to is weight distribution. If you mount the battery in the middle or rear of an ebike then you should probably choose a front hub to spread the weight equally. Having all the weight in the same area would be a bad idea.


On the other hand, the front wheel may have less torque since the body weight of the rider is supported mostly by the rear wheel. Therefore, front wheel may spin freely but the rear wheels almost never free spin on a dry road which means they offer better traction.


Another thing to be pay attention is the installation. Front hubs are easier to install.

You do not have to transfer freewheels or adjust derailleur and chain.   


Pedalling on the rear with the motor functioning on the front is the same as all wheel drive. 


Front hubs with high powered setup are not good for front forks. Especially, aluminum forks may not handle a high torque and cause serious safety issues in time. 

(Please read the article about torque arms).


Rear hubs are considered to be safer because of stronger dropouts in the rear. 


Rear hub motors may be a bit hard to install and complicated when it’s compared to a front hub.


You will need a freewheel for Rear hubs and freewheels are mostly limited to 6 or 7 speed.


Rear wheel and spokes are always under the high pressure and stress because of the weight, pedaling and torque, that’s why it's normal to see the broken rear spokes often.

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