As you look at this “exploded” view of the Bosch system, it is obvious
why there is a premium price for these units. Our experience with the
reliability is extremely good.
Yamaha is just one of the quality mid-drives that are
new in the North American market. The brand is well-established in Japan.
Cost: Mid-drives are more complex
to manufacture, so both the assist motor
and the specialized frame to hold it can
be added costs compared to a hub
Sound: Like the geared motor, mid-drives have a light mechanical sound.
Mid-drives generally provide a
more bicycle-like riding experience.
You will find that you use the assist-
level adjustments fairly often, and you
must shift the gears to get the best
performance. If you routinely have
climbs right out of turns, or ones that
are steep and long, then a mid-drive is
very hard to beat. If you routinely travel
smooth, flat areas or have mild climbs,
the difference will be less pronounced,
and a good hub motor should be an
advantage in performance. We recently
talked with a rider who uses a cargo
bike to carry his son up a steep hill
for over a mile to get to school. With
no motor he climbed the hill at 4 mph.
With a 350-watt hub motor he could do
7 mph, but the single climb used over
50 percent of the battery’s charge. He
swapped to a 350-watt mid-drive cargo
bike. He was able to make the climb at
9 mph, and it used only 10 percent of
the battery. His case is like the perfect
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