New build, Mid Drive or Hub?


Active Member
Have just bought this one for my second build, it`s a british built Whyte Malvern 29er, ticks most boxes for what i need, hydraulic disc brakes, front sus, 700c wheels etc


having previously done a BBS02 750w i`m tempted to go for the HD version again but looking at some of the hub conversions there seems to be less to go wrong and leave you stranded.

It will be used mostly on rough road surfaces in a hilly part of the country so its a case of torque over outright speed.

Already have a spare 48v 13aH battery so would want to hook up that.

Suggestions appreciated!!
That's a perfect bike for a DD motor and a controller good for 1000w, assuming your battery is rated for at least 2c.. DD motors are extremely reliable and tough. Not sure what country you are in but there are plenty of vendors who could hook you up.. Just don't buy crap on Amazon or eBay.
I prefer a front hub motor for climbing gravel roads for the 2wd aspect. The weight of the hub in the front end keeps it down and the front end pulling provides good traction, your ability to add additional traction through the human drive train makes the effect complete. If you mount your battery in the main triangle the bike becomes quite well balanced rather than a bias towards the rear which can create a tail wagging the dog scenario.

I know that front hub motors are not popular due to fear of them ripping your dropouts apart but one setup properly with torque arm(s) even on a magnesium suspension fork leg will not fail under prudent use. I have about 2000 miles on a Carbon Fiber fork, with CF drop outs, using Grins torque arm on one side on similar terrain without any signs of distress. Most of the axles on hub motors however are slightly oversized and don't fit well, in the front or rear actually. I suggest that the material necessary be removed evenly from both sides of the axle instead of the fork end too.

That said if you are doing a lot of hill climbing at a slow/medium pace and regardless of which end you put it on a geared hub in the 750w nominal range would work perhaps better than a DD? They also weigh less than DD hubs. There are fans of each for sure.

The idea of buying from a reputable vendor is a good idea and hub motors set up correctly are in fact reliable and tough as JP says.