Reader Interactions


  1. I like the idea of the geared motor. As the above article mentions an electric motor wants to spin much faster than our 24″ or 26″ bike wheel is able to spin so we are putting a large strain on a direct drive motor that is being forced to spin along with our wheel at a much slower speed than the motor really wants to spin.
    I have had 2 direct drive motors on converted bikes and they both worked fine but I rode a heavy cargo bike with a geared motor up a steep hill that would have bogged down either of my direct drive bikes.
    In fact I really want to try a geared motor mounted on the crank shaft instead of in a wheel hub. I just wish this could be done with belts instead of those damn obsolete chains and derailleurs.

    • I would think belts with Mid-Motor would be the way to go with an internal geared hub in the rear for pedaling. Low maintenance and no grease.

  2. I have used Direct Drive and Gear hubs bikes. Top speed is not that important. They all do 20mph which is the legal top speed. My Geared bike can go up to 25mph which is more than enough speed for a bike without suspension. It does make some noise, but not much and at top speed it is quite as a Direct Drive. It is quicker off the line than a Direct Drive and climbs hills better. In my opinion Geared hub are superior to Direct Drive hubs. I want to try out a Mid-Motor bike to see what it is like. I bet in the future, most ebikes with be Geared or Mid-Motor.

  3. Not true that geared motor are slower, the motor could be wound to various speeds and gear ratio could also be designed for lower reduction. Our motor in the same hub comes in 200, 250, 300 and 350 rpm , 26″ wheel at 350 rpm is 28 mph , and that is with 36V and 37 mph in 48v

  4. We prefer to use the geared motors on most of our conversions. The compact size, lightweight and immediate power feels better on the bikes then the weight and clumsy feel of a direct drive. Considering most of our customers use their bikes for 20 mile or less commutes a day to work, school and play, the life expectancy of the geared motor is definitely extended further than what others try to say.

    For heavier rider’s (+240lbs) and Trikes we tend to stick with the Direct Drive model for durability purposes only.

    Great article Pete

  5. I would like to install electric motor in my 26″ fat bike. ofcourse it would be a bit heavier and I’m not sure whether I should buy geared or direct drive motor. I prefer maximum torque for start up and I’m not carrying any loads. hope some of you may advise.

  6. I have a GMAC geared hub motor but also has regenerative braking and I can easily go 32 miles an hour and it has lots of torque and the range is excellent sold by grin technologies , unless you want a bike that goes 45 miles an hour direct drive seems pointless

  7. I use geared hub motors as they are lightweight and smaller than direct drive, bikes looks better, almost unnoticeable .
    Good vibes bikes conversion kits are amazing! I have it for more than a year with thousands of miles and still like new, very minimalist design kit that only weights 13 lbs with battery included.

  8. I use geared hub motors,
    Good vibes bikes conversion kits are amazing! I have it for more than a year with thousands of miles and still like new, very minimalist design kit that only weights 13 lbs with battery included.

    • I have an Engwe Engine Pro. I have looked almost everywhere to see what brand motor it has. Does Engwe build their own motors? Also, the hub is as small as a geared hub but it has regenerative braking. Hoping you can tell me more about my motor…

  9. Considering some of the comments are from 2013 this article must of had revisions over the years. So here is mine for 2023. My friend has a geared motor. It is loud compared to my brushless gearless hub motor. His tires are 20″ and 26″(he bought the 26 ready to go and built the 20). I rock a 27.5″ on a carbon fiber frame. My bike with battery, wheel lights, etc weighs around 40lbs. His weighs around 75lb. Mine charges across the ground with 30 gears and at full power and full throttle I pull 966 watts off my battery which charges my 48v 1000watt motor. I fly at over 35mph. His top speed is 25mph. Which is my climbing speed, I don’t let it go faster. I have enough torque it came with 2 brackets to strap it in to the frame so it won’t destroy the forks and it WILL wheelie if I ramp it full too soon. So yeah…


  1. […] But ultimately noise produced can vary from one bike to another, and increased stealth sometimes comes at the cost of torque, range, and additional weight. Nevertheless, when it comes to reducing noise there’s nothing better than a direct drive motor. These are some of the simplest electric bike motors available and yet they are still able to produce enough speed to commute around the city and enjoy the view without constantly being distracted by the sound. Direct drive motors tend to be preferred for speed, so it makes sense to use them on cruisers.  A more detailed breakdown of the two different types of motors can be found here. […]

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