Hub drive vs Chain drive and frame questions

Lightweight / Folding / Portable EVs - seats optional
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Bigbikebob   10 W

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Hub drive vs Chain drive and frame questions

Post by Bigbikebob » Feb 20 2019 6:28am

I am about to do a stand-up e-scooter build for the first time after doing 2 bicycle builds (based on Hub motors).
First I need to decide if I go and buy a used dirt cheap e-scooter and and just upgrade it to fit my needs. Or is there a good frame option for e-scooters like there are for an e-bike (Vector / Raptor frames)?

I am also not sure which way to go in terms of drive (price is not a factor in my decision), should I go with the Hub drive (that is used by all the major e-scooter rental companies) or should I go with the Chain drive?

I would really appreciate any input to help me make a better decision for my next build.
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My ride is a 26" Trek 4500 based setup.
48V 20Ah LiFePO4 battery
MagicPie 3 motor upgraded 10awg phase wires overclocked to 1.8KW
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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Hub drive vs Chain drive and frame questions

Post by amberwolf » Feb 20 2019 5:59pm

Regarding drive type, there are a number of threads comparing them. Not everything in the links below are relevant, but the titles should make it clear which might be: ... mit=Search ... mit=Search

It depends on your specific (unstated) needs and build as to which might work better; each has it's own advantages and disadvantages, so can't tell you more than that, other than that you might want to read up on other people's builds and see what they used and why they did that.

Similarly, you can see some of the options between upgrading and scratchbuilding in those threads.

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Dui, ni shuo de dui   1 kW

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Re: Hub drive vs Chain drive and frame questions

Post by Dui, ni shuo de dui » Feb 22 2019 12:52am

I'd say the main pros and cons are the following:

Mid drive:
-possibility to change the gear ratio easily
-a bit more lightweight usually
-Depending on your gear ratio, you can achieve more starting torque without the need of a very powerful battery/controller, but at the expense of speed
-Less unsprung weight but higher center of gravity

-Complex to fit
-Much less battery/controller space
-Efficiency losses due to the transmission
-Needs maintenance
-Generally less speed range or less flexibility regarding power curb at rear wheel

Hub motor:
-Easy to install
-Greater range
-No noise
-No maintenance (except maybe bearings once every 5 years)
-Leaves a lot of space in the frame for battery and controller

-More unsprung weight, you need a better rear shock if you want to keep a comfortable ride.
-Starting torque can't be tweaked much once you've bought your motor (but powerful hubmotors can wheelie without any problem anyways)
-No real gear change possible (rarely necessary anyways)
-Makes changing the tire a bit more complicated
-heavy impacts on potholes can destroy them (the same way they would destroy a normal rim, but the cost is obviously higher here)
-Can need a bigger battery to achieve the same acceleration (but you have more space anyways in the frame to fit one, plus a bigger battery means more range in the end)

Personnally I prefer hub motors quite a bit, mainly because it's not a hassle to install and it gives much more freedom in battery pack design. They are very well suited for e-scooters and they can deliver amazing performance.

You should explain a bit more what you have in mind.
:bolt: :bolt: My electric Ninja 250 clone: 16 000W 72V40Ah A123 cells : :bolt: :bolt: ... 12&t=90032

:bolt: :bolt: My electric Scooter: 11 000W 72V 50Ah LiFePO4 cells: :bolt: :bolt: ... 12&t=75912

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