Product Info

Mid Drive vs. Hub Motors – which is better?

Companies that only sell mid drive bikes want you to believe that they’re always the best option. “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Pedego offers both options, so we have no ax to grind. Our philosophy is the best electric bike is the one that’s the most fun, for you personally, to ride – regardless of the motor.


A majority of electric bikes in the U.S. have hub motors.

In general, Americans prefer them because they are simple and easy to use. 

Hub motors seamlessly deliver power right where it’s needed, without any extra gear shifting or wear on the drivetrain.

They also have at least twice the power of a typical mid drive and they deliver full power on demand with a twist-and-go throttle. 


Mid Drive motors are popular in Europe where strict laws limit the power and forbid throttles.

Most Americans don’t like European style mid drives because they’re underpowered and don’t have a throttle.

Mid drive motors are notoriously high maintenance. The power of the motor goes through the chain and gears of the bike and causes much more wear and tear than usual. 

Mid drive motors also force you to constantly shift gears while riding, and it’s not as smooth as shifting a regular bike. Many people are intimidated and/or annoyed by all this extra hassle. 

On a positive note, mid drives are undoubtedly the best option for extremely steep hills because they can use the gears of the bike to help climb. And although it’s hardly noticeable for most people, the weight of the motor is more balanced on the bike.

Where is the best place to mount the battery?

It’s technically true that a frame-mounted battery has a lower center of gravity. 

But that doesn’t mean that it’s always the best option. 

For everyday riding conditions, the obvious place for the battery is the rear rack. 

It’s the most convenient way to carry extra weight on any bike. That’s why most bike commuters carry their stuff on the rear rack. Plus, you have the added benefit of a sturdy rear rack to carry your stuff. 

Some avid cyclists prefer to have the weight of the battery more evenly distributed on the bike with a lower center of gravity — especially for off-road riding.

Pedego offers both options, and the difference is hardly noticeable for most people.

For casual riding, or commuting on typical streets and paths, it’s six in one hand, half a dozen in the other.

Throttle vs. Pedal Assist – which is better?


In the United States, we have the luxury of using throttles on our electric bikes, which are forbidden in Europe.

Throttles provide full power on demand and Americans love them because they give us complete control.

They’re especially helpful for getting started from a standstill (sometimes it can be awkward to gain momentum), getting a quick burst of power to climb a hill, or safely getting through an intersection. 

If you can’t pedal, or you just don’t feel like it, that’s okay too. We’re not judging!

Pedal Assist

Pedal assist systems sense your pedaling and provide assistance automatically.

They’re most popular among experienced cyclists that want a more natural, “bike-like” riding experience.

Pedal assist is also nice for long rides with few stops. You can just relax and enjoy the ride without holding a throttle in place.

Why not have both?

Most Pedegos have both pedal assist and throttle because that’s what most people want.

The only exceptions are entry-level bikes that don’t include pedal assist, and certain mid drive motors that aren’t available with throttle. 

In general, Pedego believes in letting you decide for yourself how you want to ride. Even if you prefer one over the other, why wouldn’t you want the option of using both?

How far can I go on a single charge?

The most common question we hear is, “How far can I go?” The short answer is: “Far enough!”

Generally speaking, any Pedego battery should last longer than you want to ride. Your fanny will probably quit long before your battery does!

With that said, this can be a tough question because there isn’t one “standard” way to estimate range. So we’ll go over some simple math that can help you predict the range of any electric bike.

All batteries have both a voltage and amp-hour rating. If you multiply the two together, you get watt-hours. Watt-hours is an objective measurement of the actual amount of energy stored in any battery.

Volts x Amp-Hours = Watt-Hours

Estimating your actual range is a little more tricky because there are so many variables. On average, you can expect to use between 12-24 watt-hours per mile. This number fluctuates so much because of differences in terrain, rider weight, weather, speed, and most importantly how much you pedal.

Pro tip: When comparing different brands of electric bikes, it’s wise to use watt-hours instead of estimated range.

BatteryWatt HoursEstimated Range
36V 10Ah360 Watt-Hours15-30 miles
36V 15Ah540 Watt-Hours23-45 miles
48V 10Ah480 Watt-Hours20-40 miles
48V 14Ah672 Watt-Hours28-56 miles
48V 15Ah720 Watt-Hours30-60 miles
48V 17Ah816 Watt-Hours34-68 miles
How long does the battery last until it needs to be replaced?

You can expect your battery to last at least 3-5 years.

All Pedego batteries come with a smart charger and advanced battery management software, including an automatic “sleep mode,” that help them live long and happy lives. They are guaranteed by an industry leading 5-year warranty:

0-36 monthsFree repair or replacement
37-42 months40% off replacement
43-48 months30% off replacement
49-54 months20% off replacement
55-60 months10% off replacement

Lithium batteries rarely stop working altogether. They gradually lose their capacity over time. Since most Pedego owners have tons of excess capacity, it can be many years before a replacement is needed.

How long does the battery take to charge?

A battery will charge in between 2-6 hours with a standard wall outlet.

There is no memory, so you don’t have to worry about discharging it completely, and it’s best to recharge it after each use.

It uses very little energy – usually about ten cents worth.

Pedego Electric Bikes include a smart charger that will automatically shut off when it’s done.

What type of cells are used in Pedego’s batteries?

Pedego batteries are made up of lithium ion cells identical to those found in electric cars.

Pedego only uses premium cells produced by reputable, name brand suppliers such as Panasonic and Samsung.

This guarantees the most advanced battery technology that delivers the very best safety, performance, and longevity possible.

Can I charge the battery by pedaling?

The battery is charged by plugging it into the wall, and the more you pedal the farther you can go. Your pedaling conserves the battery, but it doesn’t actually charge it.

The technology does exist that would allow you to charge your bike by pedaling, but it’s expensive and we’ve found that it just doesn’t make sense in the real world.

The main problem is that it makes it hard to pedal, and that’s not fun! Even under the most ideal conditions, like riding downhill, the amount of energy you would get back is very small.

What’s the difference between torque & cadence sensors

Pedal assist systems use sensors to measure pedaling and control the assistance that is provided.

Cadence sensors measure whether or not you are pedaling. Torque sensors measure how hard you are pedaling. 

Some Pedegos have only one type of sensor, and others have both. Neither is necessarily better than the other. When you have both, you have the ultimate freedom to choose which works best for you on any given ride. 

Comfort CruiserCadence
City Commuter: Lite EditionCadence
City CommuterCadence
City Commuter: Mid Drive EditionCadence
Interceptor: Platinum EditionBoth
City Commuter: Platinum EditionBoth
Boomerang: Platinum EditionBoth
Ridge RiderBoth
Trail TrackerCadence

Cadence Sensors

Cadence sensors measure whether or not you are pedaling. 

Riding a bike with a cadence sensor based pedal assist feels like using cruise control. The software is programmed to maintain a certain speed for each level of pedal assist regardless of how hard you are pedaling or other factors such as wind and terrain. 

This gives you complete freedom to choose how hard you want to pedal at any given moment without impacting your speed. It’s also great for riding in a pair or larger group and keeping everyone together. 

Torque Sensors

Torque sensors measure how hard you are pedaling. 

Riding a bike with a torque sensor based pedal assist feels like having bionic legs. The software is programmed to deliver proportional assistance based on how hard you are pedaling.

This provides a more natural riding experience that feels more like riding a regular bike. For example, you’ll need to pedal harder to maintain your speed while climbing a hill.

What’s the difference between mechanical and hydraulic disk brakes?

All disk brakes provide plenty of stopping power, usually far more than is necessary to stop an electric bike. 

Mechanical brakes are activated with a braided steel cable, while hydraulic brakes use a sealed fluid system.

Mechanical disk brakes cost less and work perfectly fine, but hydraulic brakes have some important advantages.

The most noticeable difference between the two is that the hydraulic brake levers are easier to squeeze.

Hydraulic brakes also require less maintenance because they automatically self-adjust as the brake pads wear.

What is the weight limit?

Pedego Electric Bikes are designed with a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds (113 kg) for most models. When bikes are equipped with the Magnesium Wheels upgrade, the weight capacity increases to 350 pounds (158 kg). Exceeding the maximum weight capacity can result in damage of the bike which can lead to serious injury. The Stretch and Tandem have a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds (181 kg).

In the real world, we’ve seen riders heavier than the technical stated weight limit be able to enjoy riding without serious problems. We can’t recommend it or take legal responsibility, but we can’t stop anyone from riding either. For example, Rhonda Martin weighed 457 pounds when she started riding. She eventually lost over 277 pounds! 

Heavier riders, even within the technical weight limits should be advised that they may require more maintenance and repairs than usual, especially with broken spokes and brake pad adjustments/replacements.


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