Hub motor industry dying?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 15 2019 5:10pm

Here everyone on the street is insured. Yet, private insurance is available if one does want a better protection than public system. Then both insurance apply, the private insurance being complimentary and paying for services that might not be covered by the public system.

Cars are not passing me in the city. Even motorcycles aren’t. They could pass me on the highway of course, but ebikes are not allowed on the highway. Big hubs and RC Lipo are capable of amazing silent power, making the ultimate city commuter.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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donn   10 kW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by donn » Sep 15 2019 5:50pm

Cephalotus wrote:
Sep 15 2019 2:13pm
Problem is if an accident happens because there is no insurance. So if you hurt someone badly costs can go into 100.000nds of Euro, even above 1 million.
You have to pay that out of your own pocket. This is very bad either for you and for those person you did hurt.

I assume the concept of insurance is seen different in EU and US, it's more a cultural thing. People here expect that life threatening things are insured, no matter if health related or accident related.
Hard to say, without knowing anything about the laws that govern this and how they're handled in actual cases. (And it doesn't help that I'm no lawyer at all, but ...)

In my state, there's a rather well developed concept of motor vehicle liability, and of course a well worn path to its application. As far as I can tell, there is no such specific legal basis for liability with electric motor powered bicycles, and there's little if any (?) case law. Here, electric bicycles (classes 1, 2 and 3) are explicitly categorized as "bicycles" (RCW 46.04.071), and I can't find anything in there that puts bicycles in any special category for liability. So apparently, in terms of liability, an ebike would have the same kind of liability as any bicycle, or for that matter a pedestrian or a roller skater. I don't think that means "no liability", but you'd need to look at case law to understand how it would typically play out.

It would be interesting to know if there's a lot of actual cases in Europe, given the several hundred thousand illegally modified ebikes in Germany alone.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 15 2019 8:51pm

Chances are very little to hurt someone with a bike if you ride the streets. The rider is the one at risk.

Avoid the sidewalks. Slow down on bike paths. Ride the street as much as you can. You can ride half a century never hurting anyone but yourself. :wink:
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Stanislavchik   10 mW

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Stanislavchik » Sep 17 2019 7:33am

Just for example, the most conversions in my country are using hub motors, DDs and geared, including delivery cargobikes, there are small community of middrive owners here...

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by ElectricGod » Sep 19 2019 11:10am

donn wrote:
Sep 15 2019 5:50pm
Cephalotus wrote:
Sep 15 2019 2:13pm
Problem is if an accident happens because there is no insurance. So if you hurt someone badly costs can go into 100.000nds of Euro, even above 1 million.
You have to pay that out of your own pocket. This is very bad either for you and for those person you did hurt.

I assume the concept of insurance is seen different in EU and US, it's more a cultural thing. People here expect that life threatening things are insured, no matter if health related or accident related.
Hard to say, without knowing anything about the laws that govern this and how they're handled in actual cases. (And it doesn't help that I'm no lawyer at all, but ...)

In my state, there's a rather well developed concept of motor vehicle liability, and of course a well worn path to its application. As far as I can tell, there is no such specific legal basis for liability with electric motor powered bicycles, and there's little if any (?) case law. Here, electric bicycles (classes 1, 2 and 3) are explicitly categorized as "bicycles" (RCW 46.04.071), and I can't find anything in there that puts bicycles in any special category for liability. So apparently, in terms of liability, an ebike would have the same kind of liability as any bicycle, or for that matter a pedestrian or a roller skater. I don't think that means "no liability", but you'd need to look at case law to understand how it would typically play out.

It would be interesting to know if there's a lot of actual cases in Europe, given the several hundred thousand illegally modified ebikes in Germany alone.
Basic bike...no electrics at all...run into someone. They are going to be hurt. This is just physics at work. Slow moving object hit by faster moving object. Faster moving object transfers it's speed and momentum to slower moving object. A motor doesn't change this in any way...other than maybe making the impact happen at higher speeds.

Never mind this thread is about hub motors dying off.

What's bad about hub motors:

1. Cost: They are more than a typical inrunner or outrunner of the same power.

2. Weight: They are really heavy and found inside your wheel where there is no suspension. This is the worst location for a large mass. An inrunner or outrunner can be mounted inside the suspension and of course they weigh far less so all around a hub is a poor choice for weight and suspension.

3. Spinning mass: Inrunners are best in this regard, then axial flux, outrunners and finally hubs are the worst. Spinning mass is a loss. It takes power to get it moving. While regen helps a tiny bit in this regard, it's a really small gain compared to the losses for making that mass spin up. This effects acceleration too as more energy is required to spin up the motor instead of making you go faster.

4. Cooling: Some will disagree, but I think outrunners do best since they are open and cooling is easily achieved with a radial fan on the bell. Inrunners since they have the stator mounted to the motor shell can dump heat through the shell. Axial flux can be as good as an inrunner or a little better than a hub depending on the stator design and location. Last place is hub motors with a nearly completely isolated stator and almost no way for heat to escape the stator.

5. Phase resistance from motor wiring: Phase resistance is lowest in the shortest series length. Outrunners and axial flux motors are best since they are almost always wired delta. Inrunners are almost always wired WYE. Hubs are usually wired WYE. Delta is a single phase connecting to the controller. WYE is 2 phases in series connected to the controller. Less resistance = less heat. 2 phases in series = 2X more resistance than a single phase or 2X more heat.

6. KV related phase resistance: High KV means less turns of wire per tooth. I have an outrunner I'm winding for 80kv and 12 stator teeth. It needs 18 feet of wire to wind a phase. I also have a 12 tooth hub I am rewinding for 8KV. It needs 60 feet of wire per phase. Both are wound with 20 awg wire which is 10.15 ohms per 1000 feet. The hub can take 3 strands and the outrunner 10 strands. Just length of wire alone for a single strand, the outrunner will have 3.33X LESS resistance than the hub. Then 3.33X less again thanks to 10 strands vs 3 strands. Resistance = heat.

7. Mid drives (outrunners and inrunners): Thanks to gearing, tend to stay in their mid to high band of motor RPM's a lot more often where the motor runs best. A typical mid drive motor is turning something like 2000-4000RPMs. Hubs...you grunt from a dead stop and then never reach more than a few hundred RPM.



What's good about a hub motor:

1. Easy installation: Mount a tire, wire it up and you are done.

2. Compared to any mid-drive option: You don't need gearing, chain, belts and sprockets. These items add cost and complexity.

3. Quiet...no belt or chain or sprockets to make noise.

4. Cheap and easy for EV makers and DIYers to install.

5. Implementing regen is super easy, just use a controller that supports it.

After all of those compelling reasons for using a mid-drive with an inrunner or outrunner, why should hub motors exist at all? As it turns out, a lot of people don't want or even know they can do better with a mid-drive solution. They hear you need to maintain a mid-drive (lube the chain) and are immediately turned off. They hear "more complex" and are immediately turned off. It basically comes down to market demand and laziness IMHO.

Otherwise a mid-drive option of any kind destroys hubs.
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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by donn » Sep 19 2019 1:13pm

ElectricGod wrote:
Sep 19 2019 11:10am
After all of those compelling reasons for using a mid-drive with an inrunner or outrunner, why should hub motors exist at all? As it turns out, a lot of people don't want or even know they can do better with a mid-drive solution. They hear you need to maintain a mid-drive (lube the chain) and are immediately turned off. They hear "more complex" and are immediately turned off. It basically comes down to market demand and laziness IMHO.
Is "mid-drive with an inrunner or outrunner" the crank drive motor, like BBS02 etc.? Very popular actually. Also unpopular, for a bunch of reasons, you could probably make the list yourself.

Or do you mean, with a separate chain or belt to the rear wheel? This option we don't have so much, and it isn't clear that you can blame consumers for that.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by parajared » Sep 19 2019 1:55pm

of course they weigh far less so all around a hub is a poor choice for weight
Hey, that's not true
BBS02 = 10lbs
BBSHD = 13 lbs
Cyclone kit = 16lbs.

9c/mxus hub = 13 lbs.

The weight is comparable because a certain amount of magnet and copper is needed to accomplish the same task.
1. Cost: They are more than a typical inrunner or outrunner of the same power.
That's not true

BBS02 = $450-ish
BBSHD = $700
Cyclone kit = $350

9c/MXUS = 300-ish
why should hub motors exist at all? As it turns out, a lot of people don't want or even know they can do better with a mid-drive solution. They hear you need to maintain a mid-drive (lube the chain) and are immediately turned off. They hear "more complex" and are immediately turned off. It basically comes down to market demand and laziness IMHO.
Also wrong, common man!
A mid-drive f*cks up your derailer, chainring and cassette. The gears inside a mid drive need to be replaced from time to time whereas a hub is just a stator and some bearings. Don't trick people into thinking a mid-drive is the same maintenance because it isn't.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Sep 19 2019 2:29pm

parajared wrote:
Sep 19 2019 1:55pm
...Don't trick people into thinking a mid-drive is the same maintenance because it isn't.
+1
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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Grantmac » Sep 19 2019 3:15pm

Your mid-drive weight numbers are misleading because they include cranks, chainring and controller plus the hub doesn't include heavier spokes, rim or tire.

Drivetrain damage with a mid-drive is 95% related to the technique of the rider, hub melting is 100% related to design and environmental. You can learn to use a mid-drive, but you can't magically dump heat from a hub.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by donn » Sep 19 2019 3:39pm

Grantmac wrote:
Sep 19 2019 3:15pm
Drivetrain damage with a mid-drive is 95% related to the technique of the rider, hub melting is 100% related to design and environmental. You can learn to use a mid-drive, but you can't magically dump heat from a hub.
I think there are many of us, though, for whom that melted hub is not real. I mean, how many direct drive hubs are sold, on Radpower bikes for example, and what's the rate of that particular failure, burned up hub because of hills or something? Lower, I'm guessing, than ordinary manufacturing defects. If you aren't burning up your hub, then that's simply not an issue - 0%.

The drivetrain damage, however, is real, no matter how long it takes to break something. Wear = damage, rate is 100%.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Ianhill » Sep 19 2019 9:52pm

I used a low kv dd hub in a 20 inch rim and never got it hot, I've got a 60v 1600w 6.5 inch dd hub off a dualtron scooter these again excellent the same for hoverboards they normally have controller and battery faults.

The hub has a speed range and torque output but lacks the gearing it's no big deal if the motor is laced in a wheel that's suitable for the motor and the system is not overvolted to far to demand to much torque and run the motor beyond it's continuous power rating for extended periods, staying within continous power ratings gives very little heat and if rim choice is possible keep it small don't peak power for more than ten seconds in a full torque situation and complain when its warm.

I've run both hubs and inrunners chain setup and I've cooked both setups to the point of weakening the magnets strength, result? The motor spins a little faster per volt and losses some torque I've not over powered to bad to melt a winding yet only a slow roast but it was a cheap Chinese scooter 48v 1600w running 16s Lipo at 4.4kw and 48mph for 15 mins of death, it was real stupid hot and the halls failed.

Left it cool and run it sensorless day later and the performance had dropped a fair bit for the same input power and the heating was happening even faster I didn't track no load current but the motor is in a death spiral once it's cooked it's continuous power has dropped so it cooks once again and ends up in junk pyle, if not needs new rotor/magnets and a rewind if the phase resistance has deteriorated from crazy heat, 120c is normally the limit and not to be approached I get 100c I'd start to back off some areas may be at the danger zone if water near instantly disappears on the can case your close to death.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by markz » Sep 19 2019 11:27pm

There are reasons for a mid drive setup, also reasons for a direct drive hub setup, and reasons for a geared hub.

Direct Drive is good because its no maintenance, good for no noise at all when run with a sinewave controller. Good for the heat sinking ability, and you can dump a ton of power into them. Bad for the drag of the hub wheel once you lose juice.

Debating whether to go MAC, but I doubt it. I like the freewheeling nature when there is no power. I doubt the teeth on the gears would hold up, and I dont want to install steel gears.

Cyclone 4kw mid drive, is loud. Its going on my fat bike for the winter.

1) The first motor I damaged, was a 250W geared department store setup. Cooked the brushes, so I tossed it. 2 yrs ago.

2) I've also burnt up the windings in the MXUS 45H which is the 3kw. Which was a month or two ago.

3) Not sure about the wimpy dinky 750W geared motor, I've felt the case and its gotten red hot! Trying to move 375lbs. I am amazed it lasted this long. Yescomusa. Feeks like its the hall sensors, but I am guessing some of the insulation on the windings have melted and are conducting together, especially at higher throttle levels.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by sleepy_tired » Sep 20 2019 12:47am

I strongly suggest that if you are doing a hub vs mid-drive comparison that you actually take the time to do the math on it.

Once you do the homework it becomes very obvious:

The big advantage to the mid-drive on bicycles is if you are climbing hills that are too big for the motor you can drop it into granny gear and it'll help you up. In other words: You are giving up speed for the ability to go slowly up hills with no pedal effort. Having more then two gears is really a waste of money as far as the motor is concerned.

I would love to see somebody actually take a 3-speed IGH and increase it's physical size by 30%, which would be a pretty bullet proof setup.

The big disadvantage to DD hub motors is that they rotate very slowly for DC motors. So they need to be physically large to produce the necessary torque. You can overcome these limitations by using a smaller wheel to speed up the motor. At that point they will out perform any mid-drive on the market that uses a derailleur drivetrain. (Sure you can throw a 3-4kw motor at a derailluer if you enjoy the feeling of riding a vehicle made out of egg shells, but I don't.)


The big disadvantage of a geared hub motor is that it's a shell-within-a-shell. The motor spins in a case that is inside of another case. Cooling is the problem and if people ever figure out a way to fix that then they would obsolete DD hubs and mid-drives immediately.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Grantmac » Sep 20 2019 11:23am

By the time you make the hub big enough and rim small enough to be capable of climbing you've destroyed any ability the suspension has to operate on rough terrain.

A serial mid-drive can be driven up just about any hill that physics will allow without melting or wrecking driveline. It's bone headed shifting technique that kills components.

Enter in parallel mid-drives and the comparison isn't even close.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by donn » Sep 20 2019 2:39pm

Grantmac wrote:
Sep 20 2019 11:23am
By the time you make the hub big enough and rim small enough to be capable of climbing you've destroyed any ability the suspension has to operate on rough terrain.
So off road, hubs are at a disadvantage? I'll take your word for it. I suppose the Chinese, who supposedly account for 90% of electric bicycle riders, are rarely concerned about that. I don't personally know anyone who is, though of course they exist.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Ianhill » Sep 20 2019 4:11pm

It's the unsprung weight that is the disadvantage and wheels tend to be at the end of the lever making it very hard to dampen and keep it fast reacting over a rythem of bumps, horses for courses I use a hub ebike which i sold and moving back to making scooters hub based for rural driving and a kuberg freerider for off road I bought it second-hand way cheaper than I could make anything like it.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 20 2019 5:19pm

Grantmac wrote:
Sep 20 2019 11:23am
By the time you make the hub big enough and rim small enough to be capable of climbing you've destroyed any ability the suspension has to operate on rough terrain.

A serial mid-drive can be driven up just about any hill that physics will allow without melting or wrecking driveline. It's bone headed shifting technique that kills components.

Enter in parallel mid-drives and the comparison isn't even close.
I don't know where you ride, but here the mountain trails are mostly nice hard pack. The climbs have some very steep sections but they are short and nice to speed. No mid drives ever could keep in my tail, and I ride a 33 lbs hub. I stopped counting those who broke trying.

A bike may be the best at one place, and the worst at another. In my trails, mid drives are just slow climbers, slow on the flat, so slow that their riders are tempted to shift too high gear in the hope of seeing my dust trail at the next corner. Their rough and DH advantage is useless, because I am soon so far ahead that I could walk my bike down before they catch up.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
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Trek Session 10 mod. Variable geometry. 70mph
Dirt:
Santa Cruz V10. 50mph

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Grantmac » Sep 20 2019 5:36pm

Where I ride you probably physically couldn't get that bike to go.
What you are describing is commonly called a "road" here.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 20 2019 5:58pm

25kw fed to a big hub will start up any hill, or backflip trying. :wink:

4 ft wide hard pack with high banks on fast turns and occasional small jumps, isn’t a road anywhere. Here it is the average, well maintained MTB trail network.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
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Trek Session 10 mod. Variable geometry. 70mph
Dirt:
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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Grantmac » Sep 20 2019 6:26pm

Yes that would be an access road here unless it was on a 20% slope pointing down and even then....

Likewise 25kw is a motorcycle and I'd like to see you outrun an Alta.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Ianhill » Sep 20 2019 7:32pm

The Alta will take a major kicking and has a bucket load of power and is a motorbike ? You wint be lifting that through the house or up steps, but if your not using to much suspension travel hubs are fine even to a degree off-road but if your blasting through the forest round trees and dropping off ledges using alot of travel then a middrive will work best and at that point the manufacturer based ebikes are best with good geometry and low weight.

In the case of a diy ebike I'd use middrive for 1000w or less and after that a traditional deraleir and chain setup becomes expensive and they have a limit around 3kw hard use before they brake at that point the hub motor is either your choice of weapon and you have to take the ruff with the smooth or you can remove the pedals altogether and have a ebike based bike after 35mph 40kg and 12kw or so it starts to become a motor bike in my eyes and defeats the purpose of being light weight.

That's just my opinion of things though I can be persuaded otherwise on occasion certain rides make sence and give many pleasure.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 21 2019 2:13pm

84 lbs built on a Santacruz V10 MK1 w/ 1.5 kwh RC Lipo. All built with bicycle parts. 25kw peak acceleration, 55 mph top speed.

Of course it is not best on steep downhill or root gardens, but It does climb 20 grade at 40 mph and do nice uphill jumps. :twisted:

Accepted as a bicycle here because it has a bicycle look, and police care mostly about scooters and motorcycle-like ebikes.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
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Trek Session 10 mod. Variable geometry. 70mph
Dirt:
Santa Cruz V10. 50mph

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Ianhill » Sep 21 2019 3:00pm

MadRhino wrote:
Sep 21 2019 2:13pm
84 lbs built on a Santacruz V10 MK1 w/ 1.5 kwh RC Lipo. All built with bicycle parts. 25kw peak acceleration, 55 mph top speed.

Of course it is not best on steep downhill or root gardens, but It does climb 20 grade at 40 mph and do nice uphill jumps. :twisted:

Accepted as a bicycle here because it has a bicycle look, and police care mostly about scooters and motorcycle-like ebikes.
Fails 2 out of 3 of my tests but you have been here long enough and not killed yourself yet, it's down to location and the user really just because u have the power doesn't mean u use it down a sidewalk etc, the fact you made it yourself gives u more attachment and respect for the ride and makes u not want to lose it all the more so I get why your bike is why it is and that's how u like its not hurting no one and u get your pleasure from riding, maintain and improving it.

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 21 2019 3:24pm

Of course I built it for my terrain and riding style, like every experienced builder does.

The point is, it is not because a mid drive does make sense to ride mountain trails, that it will be best in all the mountain trails. Some places bicycle mid drives are too slow, and motorcycles are too heavy.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
Street:
Trek Session 10 mod. Variable geometry. 70mph
Dirt:
Santa Cruz V10. 50mph

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Re: Hub motor industry dying?

Post by Ianhill » Sep 21 2019 4:28pm

Totally agree I got 12kw geared for 35mph to get that in a hub I'd be going some serious speed and at 48v 13s I'd need some heavy duty phases but I'd also be able to knock on the door of 70 mph putting 12kw through most hubs but with an my Inrunner motor pushing that power o can hear it so I can get crazy starting torque and have 200mm travel front and rear, fireroads u win hands down technical trails though it's my bag.

I live in South Wales we have lots of mountain roads with bike paths that range from beginner to black routes that push bikes to the limit so I have a ride to tackle them on no peddles at all, and then my hub ebike was for general riding about but I sold it because it was too large so I'm doing a stand on scooter to whip shops on and I'll keep my traditional peddle bike for now as is what we need is a quick release hub to make it easier to brake down and build back up a very low kv and not to heavy.
Last edited by Ianhill on Sep 21 2019 4:35pm, edited 3 times in total.

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