Hub motor industry dying?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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RunForTheHills   100 W

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by RunForTheHills » Aug 11 2019 9:39am

qwerkus wrote:
Aug 11 2019 4:15am
Also, I agree with neptronics "small wheelstown" take, but I think the bicycle industry is very slow to move to smaller wheels - even though the advantage of small diameter wheels are old news, since they allowed for a temporary hype in the 70s:
I love my Brompton, but it would take a huge cultural change for small wheels to be popular in the United States for urban use just because of aesthetic reasons. They make the bike look out of proportion with the rider. They don't look cool.

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wturber   10 MW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by wturber » Aug 11 2019 9:50am

donn wrote:
Aug 11 2019 1:15am

Sure, I don't really know where that slope is myself, as I jumped in with a big direct drive hub and battery that brings my bicycle weight to 80 lbs or so (OK, it was already kind of heavy.) I was thinking more of the lower power light assist class of motor.etc that somewhat depends on crank drive. On the rare occasion I ride my regular bicycle, I have been a little surprised how easy it is when I'm not dragging all that junk around.
All the DD hubs I'm aware of are pretty heavy. So if you are trying to keep your bike truly light, then they are pretty much automatically gone and you are left with a geared hub or mid-drive. And frankly, I think those are perfectly fine for such uses. And this gets us back to the original title. All of these systems, and new one that people are experimenting with, exist because of the various performance niches we have for e-bikes. Those niches probably won't change in the near future. So these motor categories probably won't change unless some new technology or mechanism is invented that forces a change. Absent that, it seems like hubs will be with us for a while.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
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viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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wturber   10 MW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by wturber » Aug 11 2019 9:53am

flat tire wrote:
Aug 11 2019 2:34am
donn wrote:
Aug 11 2019 12:08am
Sure, but that's power down the drain if you're not really interested in that kind of ride.
More power is always good and since I have a feeling we are almost all guys you should probably check for all balls present if you think you're not "interested in that kind of ride."
Depends on what you mean by "interested in". Sure, I find them interesting. And I'd like to ride such a bike a few times for sure. But that doesn't mean I want one for myself. My desire to have that capability for my commuter is essentially zero.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

Hummina Shadeeba   1 MW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Hummina Shadeeba » Aug 11 2019 9:55am

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/imag ... DDEuhD-abg

This is pretty cool looking. Cannondale hooligan.

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wturber   10 MW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by wturber » Aug 11 2019 10:00am

qwerkus wrote:
Aug 11 2019 4:15am
Sorry lads; the future is a modular motor, easy to open and maintain, controlled by open source firmware. Those will benefit from a vast feedback crowd which will make the product better and better.
We don't need modular motors or open source. We do need good, simple non-proprietary standards. And that explains a some of the hub motor popularity despite some of the mediocre design that is involved.
qwerkus wrote:
Aug 11 2019 4:15am
Also, I agree with neptronics "small wheelstown" take, but I think the bicycle industry is very slow to move to smaller wheels - even though the advantage of small diameter wheels are old news, since they allowed for a temporary hype in the 70s:

The main problem of smaller wheels is suspension; until 20x3 or 4" quality tires hit the markets, life is difficult for 20 inchers
Small wheels are a mixed bag for sure. Bicycle wheels are generally small only on specialized bicycles for some good reasons.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by spinningmagnets » Aug 11 2019 10:00am

I'm not giving up my mid-drive (BBSHD), but...the next project I am likely to build is a longtail cargobike with a 20-inch rear wheel and a DD hubmotor.

Would any of the posters suggesting that the hubmotor format is dying also suggest that the "average" person in India or China has a lifestyle as good as middle-class Americans? Half the people on the globe are from India/China...billions of them.

The EU has power limits (250W-500W, etc), plus the average household would be considered middle-class. Also take into consideration that gasoline is heavily taxed to discourage excess consumption, ($8/gallon is common). In that situation, the most sophisticated drive systems are mid drive (Bosch, Yamaha, Panasonic, etc), and also sized for their market.

The USA generally has a 750W limit in most jurisdictions, but to be blunt, I ride past the police here using 2500W and they never pull me over to give me a citation. New York might be a different story as I am in Kansas.

A 2500W hubmotor is more noticeable, so in places where the citizenry wants to obey the law, a mid drive is more stealthy (BBS02 / TSDZ2 @ 750W). In that case, I can see why a casual reader would assume that hubmotors are in decline. And yet the sales figures tell a different story. Hubmotors may not be selling well where YOU are at, but...they are selling well.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by donn » Aug 11 2019 10:22am

wturber wrote:
Aug 11 2019 9:50am
And this gets us back to the original title. All of these systems, and new one that people are experimenting with, exist because of the various performance niches we have for e-bikes. Those niches probably won't change in the near future. So these motor categories probably won't change unless some new technology or mechanism is invented that forces a change. Absent that, it seems like hubs will be with us for a while.
Right, I'm just saying, we practically know from the competing alternatives, what that new mechanism will be - the design breakthrough that combines the advantages of the crank drive, geared hub and direct drive. (Well, maybe not all the advantages of each, for example it's clearly not going to do all that and still be as elegantly simple as direct drive.) We're getting a load of "no, I don't need that, because [solution A/B/C] is fine with me", but the advantage / disadvantage balance of those alternatives when applied to all those performance niches, keeps them all in play. When a non-disadvantaged design becomes available, it will be superior across all those niches, and then we will see the hub motor industry receding.

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E-HP   10 kW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by E-HP » Aug 11 2019 10:40am

donn wrote:
Aug 11 2019 10:22am
the design breakthrough that combines the advantages of the crank drive, geared hub and direct drive.
Off topic, but that makes me wonder, has anyone built a hybrid that has both a crank drive and rear hub motor? I see lots of two motor builds, but not that combo. I'd be interested in reading about it.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by peters » Aug 11 2019 12:04pm

I think the current hub motors are far from the max. feasible torque/mass ratio, there are chances for improvement and optimization. Large diameter hollow axle, design for uniform strength with FEA, etc. The manufacturers should work on it, but maybe they are not interested in.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by flat tire » Aug 11 2019 2:14pm

They're designed for the Chinese domestic market. If hub motors were designed and engineered for discerning enthusiasts (lol) and we were willing to pay $1k+ we could have some really nice hub motors.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by qwerkus » Aug 11 2019 4:12pm

spinningmagnets wrote:
Aug 11 2019 10:00am
I'm not giving up my mid-drive (BBSHD), but...the next project I am likely to build is a longtail cargobike with a 20-inch rear wheel and a DD hubmotor.
Slightly ot, but you might want to look at this bike for your next project: siminoebike cargo

Image

I nearly got one but there where just too things that did not match. Pm me if interested, i give you my contact there.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by qwerkus » Aug 11 2019 4:22pm

E-HP wrote:
Aug 11 2019 10:40am
Off topic, but that makes me wonder, has anyone built a hybrid that has both a crank drive and rear hub motor? I see lots of two motor builds, but not that combo. I'd be interested in reading about it.
Doesn t make sense if you think about it: the advantages of one system are negated by the drawbacks of the other. The only combination that would make sense is a mid drive with a front dd for regen, but that would means at least 9 to 10kg of motors, which would be smoked away by any single 45mm dd hub, or a custom qs direct left drive mid drive.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Aug 11 2019 4:48pm

Adding a motor for regen has a negative result. It takes more power to spin it, that the power it produces.

And, BB drive bikes have one meaningful advantage: their low weight. So adding weight to such a bike makes it sh*t, on the front especially.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Street: https://s20.postimg.org/ewrvugywt/Session_04_2015.jpg
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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by furcifer » Aug 11 2019 10:39pm

MadRhino wrote:
Aug 04 2019 8:49pm
Then, saying hubs are for broke idiots is calling idiots almost all of the ebike owners in the world. And, this is including those on this forum who are building some of the fastest ebikes, riding more mileage in a year than most mid drives owners will in the whole life of their lame toys.
My apologies, that was just a troll not meant to be taken seriously.

That being said, the market research shows sales of ebike motors is actually split 3:1 in terms of hubs and mid drive, not "orders of magnitude". A single order of magnitude is 10, so 100 times is just silly. Sales of hub motors are projected to increase but I think that's based more on the status quo and not taking into account technology.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. My guess is still that if the laws stay the same mid drives are more efficient and will edge out hubs. The same goes for if the bigger names in the industry start pushing mid drives, which they seem to be doing. Hubs by their very nature will always be cheaper, but that's just a number game. When you start talking about large markets the manufacturing costs tend to give way to the cost of raw materials. Then you're looking at percentage differences in net cost.

There's also something to be said for aesthetics. Especially since we are talking about vehicles, which seem to be heavily influenced by aesthetics. I'm sure it's debatable but there's a lot more potential for integrating a mid drive into a bicycle frame than there is a wheel. But hey, flat black and round has worked for cast iron frying pans for years.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by neptronix » Aug 11 2019 11:44pm

RunForTheHills wrote:
Aug 11 2019 9:39am
I love my Brompton, but it would take a huge cultural change for small wheels to be popular in the United States for urban use just because of aesthetic reasons. They make the bike look out of proportion with the rider. They don't look cool.
*shrug*

This is what i ride. 16" up front, 20" out back. It gets compliments constantly.

Image

I even had this crappy folding bike at one point with dual 20" wheels ( i had some fat 20 x 2.3 tires installed ).. it also got compliments constantly. I don't think small wheels are a big deal for anyone other than bike snobs maybe.

Smaller wheels let you run motorcycle tires and that's what rocks about them. ;)
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by qwerkus » Aug 12 2019 1:15am

MadRhino wrote:
Aug 11 2019 4:48pm
Adding a motor for regen has a negative result. It takes more power to spin it, that the power it produces.

And, BB drive bikes have one meaningful advantage: their low weight. So adding weight to such a bike makes it sh*t, on the front especially.
I think Grin would not agree with you: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7891#p119214
Also, anything reasonably powered (<1000-1500W) is not so bad on the front wheel, if you're not bound to trips on loose ground. I found out that adding a little bit of weight (no 10kg!) on the front wheel can actually improve handling. But anyway: your point about weight sums it up: why add a heavy DD if the main advantage of a mid drive is weight ?

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by sleepy_tired » Aug 12 2019 3:14am

Adding a motor for regen has a negative result. It takes more power to spin it, that the power it produces.
And you are basing this on.. what exactly? I think there is a lot of bad assumptions in this statement.

You also don't need to have a hub motor to get regen. Properly designed mid-drives can do it as well.
Last edited by sleepy_tired on Aug 12 2019 3:25am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by sleepy_tired » Aug 12 2019 3:25am

Right, I'm just saying, we practically know from the competing alternatives, what that new mechanism will be - the design breakthrough that combines the advantages of the crank drive, geared hub and direct drive.
Left hand drivetrain on a mid-drive. No clutch, no freewheel. 1-gear. No going through the cranks. All the advantages of a mid-drive combined with all the advantages of a hub motor. Light weight, central location of the weight, efficient hill climbing, handle massive amounts of power if you want, and get regeneration and even reverse for people on trikes. Very friendly for pedaling.

To get the torque you need and all the speed you want you need to use a IPM motor with a FOC controller so you can get very nice flux weakening.

The motor that can do this already exists, too. And it's cheaper then a BBSHD.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32980568522.html (and the 2kw and 3kw variations)

The biggest problem is packaging. Trying to find a place for the motor on a bicycle frame. If you have a disc brake on the rear you can get adapters for sprockets and still retain the use of your brake.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by RunForTheHills » Aug 12 2019 9:46am

neptronix wrote:
Aug 11 2019 11:44pm

*shrug*

This is what i ride. 16" up front, 20" out back. It gets compliments constantly.

I even had this crappy folding bike at one point with dual 20" wheels ( i had some fat 20 x 2.3 tires installed ).. it also got compliments constantly. I don't think small wheels are a big deal for anyone other than bike snobs maybe.

Smaller wheels let you run motorcycle tires and that's what rocks about them. ;)
That's a nice looking bike and I have had a few people stop me and give complements on the Brompton as well. However, there are definitely a lot of people out there that view small wheels as uncool and not just the spandex crowd. Personally, I see that as an impediment to widespread adoption, but cultural acceptance can shift. When Bluetooth headsets first came out, early adopters were called Bluetools. Now I see lots of people walking around with Apple Airpods in their ears in public.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by donn » Aug 12 2019 9:59am

sleepy_tired wrote:
Aug 12 2019 3:25am
Right, I'm just saying, we practically know from the competing alternatives, what that new mechanism will be - the design breakthrough that combines the advantages of the crank drive, geared hub and direct drive.
Left hand drivetrain on a mid-drive. No clutch, no freewheel. 1-gear. No going through the cranks. All the advantages of a mid-drive combined with all the advantages of a hub motor. Light weight, central location of the weight, efficient hill climbing, handle massive amounts of power if you want, and get regeneration and even reverse for people on trikes. Very friendly for pedaling.
But you missed one! The reason people want crank drives on ebikes, is gearing that allows a small motor to work well under a wider range of loads, even though it's far from an ideal way to do that. You say "light weight", and then show us a motor that weighs 13 lbs.

Does "very friendly for pedaling" mean that you aren't pulling the motor when it isn't powered, so it rolls freely, like a geared hub? There's no problem getting that and regen in the same package?

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Aug 12 2019 12:02pm

Of course large wheels are making a better ride, off road especially. I now ride 24 on the street, but kept riding 26+ in mountain trails. My next dirt bike will be 29, now that a better variety of tires are finally made available in that size. And, it is easy now to order big hubs in slower windings. DH forks are now available 29... Everything is coming together, making it possible to build a proper 29er performance dirt bike.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by neptronix » Aug 12 2019 1:33pm

RunForTheHills wrote:
Aug 12 2019 9:46am
That's a nice looking bike and I have had a few people stop me and give complements on the Brompton as well. However, there are definitely a lot of people out there that view small wheels as uncool and not just the spandex crowd. Personally, I see that as an impediment to widespread adoption, but cultural acceptance can shift. When Bluetooth headsets first came out, early adopters were called Bluetools. Now I see lots of people walking around with Apple Airpods in their ears in public.
I was repeatedly told in the 90's that spending too much time using computers would rot my brain and was a waste of time, etc. I was told to not drop out of high school to just skip a step and become a computer repairman. I didn't listen, and hopped from computer repair, to web design, to programming. As a result of following my then passion, i have the skills to make a 6 figure income in an industry that's desperately trying to shove as many people into it as there are willing. :lol:

Now everyone's got a computer in their pocket and can't stop using the damn thing. Sometimes the crowd is really wrong.

And yeah, ebikes got made fun of for a long time, and now they're half of what bike shops sell :lol:

Being ahead of the curve is always socially awkward and difficult but has always been worth it in my eyes.

Y'all can make fun of small wheels but gaddamn if they don't have some huge upsides on certain bikes.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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wturber   10 MW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by wturber » Aug 12 2019 6:27pm

neptronix wrote:
Aug 12 2019 1:33pm

Y'all can make fun of small wheels but gaddamn if they don't have some huge upsides on certain bikes.
Yes. I could accelerate a LOT faster on my folding Dahon that has 16" wheels. But the ride was super-harsh and gearing for reasonable speeds was problematic. What I really wanted was a Moulton, but those are way too expensive.
Last edited by wturber on Aug 12 2019 8:20pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by markz » Aug 12 2019 8:18pm

People still make fun of electric vehicles.
Think about how much money dragsters drop to make that mile in 1 second.
Electric can do it, and faster, much simpler, and cheaper yet they are made fun of by ignorant people.

Instant torque from zero rpm! :bigthumb:


neptronix wrote:
Aug 12 2019 1:33pm
ebikes got made fun of for a long time, and now they're half of what bike shops sell :lol:
Being ahead of the curve is always socially awkward and difficult but has always been worth it in my eyes.
Y'all can make fun of small wheels but gaddamn if they don't have some huge upsides on certain bikes.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by niwrad » Aug 12 2019 8:22pm

to add in my experience, using the grin hub motor hasn't caused any problems with the local police, and I more or less see them every single day, multiple times a day. For context though, my system is entirely pedal assist so I more or less fly under the radar this way
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

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