What is better for an electric bike – front motor-wheel or rear?
If you have plans to equip your ordinary bike with electric equipment or purchase a finished product on electric traction, you should pay special attention to the moment on which wheel the electric drive will operate. After all, the motor wheel can be installed both front and rear. In principle, there are of course all-wheel drive variations, but in the topic we will consider the advantages and disadvantages of only front and rear-wheel drive modifications.
The nuances of choosing an electric bike drive
Each drive variation can offer its own positive and negative sides. Here the question is how to choose the most optimal option for yourself? This is influenced by the features of the bike and its future applications, riding style, personal attachments of the rider and some other factors.
Since a stepped electric power unit gives the wheel weight, when choosing a type of drive you need to decide which option will be most comfortable for you. Pay attention to the power and dimensions of the required electric motor, the planned battery deployment and mass distribution. In order to balance the front-wheel motor, the drive is usually fitted in the boot, and when using rear-wheel drive, the battery is usually placed in the triangle of the frame.
Pros and Cons of Front Wheel Drive
- Easy to install. The wheel located in front is dismantled, and instead the motor wheel is placed. The transmission and the gear adjuster are not affected by this technical maneuver.
- Versatility. Front electro motorized wheels are suitable for a variety of modifications.
- It turns out almost an all-wheel drive electric bike, only on electric traction you will have a front wheel, and the rear one will have to be turned in the old fashioned way with pedals.
- Perfect mass distribution. This is achieved through the large electric motor located in front of the bike, as well as the battery on the trunk. What gives such a “correct” weight distribution along the axes? High deceleration performance! This becomes especially noticeable when an electric bicycle with a leading front wheel is used to move on a snowy slippery road surface. But if there is a significant advantage in one of the parties, expect unforeseen situations when managing a front-wheel drive.
- Achieving increased traction.
- Riding on off-road terrain is difficult and this becomes especially noticeable at low speed modes. This circumstance is tied to the fact that just the front wheel will encounter a blow when moving along bumps and other obstacles. You can also note a certain degree of discomfort when gaining speed and driving downhill, due to dynamic load.
On the front wheel, you can find power units of different power – 250-1000 W. However, here it is necessary to take into account the fact that in parallel with the increase in power, the load on the frame of the electric bike will also increase. In turn, for many bike riders, the forks cannot boast of proper, high strength for installing powerful electric motors. It will require reinforcing the clamps, otherwise the risk of problems with fork dropouts due to weak torque will increase.
Pros and Cons of a Rear Driving Motor Wheel
- Very reliable fixing without auxiliary external fasteners.
- The ability to install a powerful power unit without the use of an auxiliary lock.
- The electric motor of the rear wheel is less susceptible to pollution. This circumstance is possible due to the partial covering of it with the disk brake and the cassette.
- An excellent indicator of speed gain, comfort on a hilly terrain, stable overcoming of climbs, clear grip.
- Confident overcoming of loose soil and snow.
- More complicated installation process. In addition, you need to mount brake discs, a cassette or a ratchet, as well as other components of the transmission.
- If the electric bike has the rear wheel drive, it will be more difficult to control it than the front-wheel drive.
As a rule, a heavier rear motor wheel is used in combination with a battery located in a bicycle bag or an airtight container in a triangle of the frame structure. Such placement allows you to evenly distribute the mass and thereby favorably affect maneuverability.
Which is better to choose, rear or front electro motorized wheel? Obviously, the front-wheel drive version is designed to move on a smooth surface. But the mountainous terrain, hilly terrain and off-road – this is the element of a rear-wheel drive vehicle.