Technology Benefits: It is all about the Experience:The first and foremost component in deciding an electric bike system is experience. What kind of experience do you prefer? Some may prefer the pure experience of electric movement. The is the first and foremost experience one can relate to.
A mid-drive system such as the one from Utah Trikes: http://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11619645.html with a picture shown below is regarded as a good mid-drive add-on:
Figure 8 - A Mid-drive electric bike system from 8FUN and sold at Utah Trikes
This system is quiet, reliable and it does move you well. The system operates on a throttle or an in-built crank sensor. The delivery of power is fairly raw and un-modulated and can be controlled through the controls. When activated by throttle, the chain moves so one needs to move the feet with the crank to keep up with the motor speed. The level of control is not as fine as you will experience with a Bosch mid-drive system. Compared to a Bosch mid-drive system, the 8Fun system is an order of magnitude quieter. In a nutshell, a Bosch system is noisier but provides a level of control through you feet expected of a high level eBike system. 8Fun/Bafang system lacks that control but provides much quieter operation. Let us summarize the comparison in a table below:
Table 1: A simple comparison between Bosch and 8Fun/Bafang
|Bosch eBike System||8Fun/Bafang eBike System|
|Refinement of Control||High||Low|
The experience becomes a significant benefit for many avid bike riders. The more of an experienced rider you are, more you will gravitate towards the refinement of control. Hence the much celebrated success of the Bosch system.
The experienced bike riders expect a natural flow of power. They detest delivery of raw power. However many noveau electric bike riders may prefer just the raw power delivery. They are so exhilarated by the experience of the raw power, they are as yet not ready for the natural flow of power. That experience can truly be appreciated by pure cyclists.
Now, how do the direct drive motors deliver the “natural flow of power” experience. In essence, direct drive motors with inbuilt torque sensors deliver “Refinement of Control without the Noise Directly to the Wheel”. That is the kind of experience you can expect from the following systems (listed alphabetically):
- BionX (http://www.ridebionx.com);
- Falco (http://www.falcoemotors.com or http://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11619087.html);
- Go Swiss (http://http://www.go-swissdrive.com/ );
- Neo-Drive (http://www.neodrives.com/).
Which one is the best among the four above is a topic for another discussion.
Now let us quickly wrap-up some of the other key differences between the two technologies:
Table 2: A Short Comparison between Geared Mid-Drive and Gearless Direct Drive Technology
|Geared Mid-Drive||Gearless Direct Drive|
|Natural Flow of Power||Poor to Good||Very Good|
|Hill Climbing Efficiency||Good||Fair|
|High Speed Efficiency||Fair||Good|
|Wear and Tear on Chain/Derailleur Etc.||Heavy||Non-Existent|
|Wheel Maintenance||Non-Existent||Light to High|
|Quietness of Operation||Poor to Fair||Very Good|
|Throttle Operation||Non-Existent/Unsafe||Existent/Safe (Not in all brands)|
|Number of Gears||Limited||No Constraint|
With this, perhaps you are able to get an idea of which could be a better option for you. If you have questions, please feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call at +1 877 278 6323