Know Your Motor: Geared Hub vs. Direct Drive

Have you noticed that different models come with different motors? Here's why.

If you’ve spent any time browsing our lineup, you’ve probably noticed that our high-performance electric bikes are built to match any lifestyle.

 

Our engineering team takes countless steps to make sure each model caters to the needs of a specific set of riders. Sometimes that means zeroing in on the right tire size, figuring out how wide the handlebar should be, or even designing a more accessible frame from scratch.

 

But one of their biggest decisions is making sure that each type of bike is equipped with the motor that complements it best.

 

As a result, some of our ebikes have geared hub motors and others have direct drive hub motors.

 

If you’ve ever wondered why your ride has one and not the other, let us break it down for you:

 

Direct Drive

 

 Electrek described the RadCity as "the ultimate commuter e-bike from Rad Power Bikes."

 

Daily commuters who need to navigate a bustling urban environment usually opt for a RadCity or a RadCity Step-Thru

 

These models rely on direct drive motors, which are more efficient over longer distances and at higher speeds. 

 

Located in the rear hub of the wheel, the motor utilizes a system of magnets to propel the bike. One of the biggest benefits of the magnetic system is that it can offer a regenerative braking feature.

 

That means when you brake, it will convert some of the momentum of the bike into electricity to charge the battery. Using the direct drive motor as a generator returns some of the energy (that would otherwise be lost) into the battery, which extends your riding range -- especially when you're carrying heavy cargo.

 

 

Geared Hub

 

 For the adventurous soul chasing sunsets and adventure, our RadRover 5 was recognized as one of 2020's Best Electric Fat Bikes by Electric Bike Review

 

A geared hub motor provides a good deal of low-end torque. When you're in dirt, sand, or climbing up a fire road, having that extra oomph is helpful for pushing through trickier starts.

 

The torque, combined with the motor's general durability, makes it an ideal option for bikes designed for both off-road and concrete jungles. 

 

That's why it's matched with the RadRover and the RadRover Step-Thru, two options for riders who can't get enough of the great outdoors.

 

It also explains why it's equipped to the RadMini, RadMini Step-Thru, RadRunner, and RadRunner Plus

 

Each of these bikes is built with both utility and a broad range of uses in mind, meaning they're go-to's for those who may rely on both running errands and taking fun weekend spins. 

 

 

Quick Guide 

 

 Model Motor Wattage by Region
 RadRunner Plus  Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 250W in EU

 RadRunner
 Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 250W in EU

 RadRover Step-Thru

 (RadRhino Step-Thru in EU)

 Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 250W in EU

 RadRover

 (RadRhino in EU)

 Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 250W in EU

 RadWagon 4  Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 750W in EU

 RadMini Step-Thru
 Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 Not Available in EU

 RadMini
Geared Hub

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 250W in EU

 RadCity Step-Thru
 Direct Drive

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 Not Available in EU

 RadCity  Direct Drive

 750W in US

 500W in Canada

 Not Available in EU

 

 

 

 

Want to know more about electric bike motors? Check out our comprehensive guide. Interested in taking an in-depth look at the RadRunner Plus? We sat down with the design team to get the inside scoop on Rad Power Bikes' latest model.

Subscribe and follow along.