Your Guide to the Best Hub-Drive Electric Bikes

If you want to cast the widest possible net in your hunt for the perfect electric bike, you won't want to write off budget-friendly hub motors.

In This Guide
Is a Hub Drive eBike Right For You?
product imageLectric XP Lite

Hub-drive eBikes are bikes with an electric motor mounted in the front or rear hub of the wheels to provide pedal assist, throttle power, or both.

Hub-motor eBikes are popular because they tend to be less expensive than comparably specced mid-drive eBikes. This is because hub-drive motors are cheaper to make. Most eBikes on the market are equipped with hub-drive motors, so you’ll find a more extensive selection of eBikes with hub-drive than with mid-drive motors.

Many hub-motor eBikes have a throttle option. With a throttle, you easily accelerate with the push of a button or twist of the wrist. The throttle makes it easier to start moving, especially if you are carrying the extra weight of children or heavy cargo. The other benefit of throttle power is that you can ride your eBike like a moped without pedaling.

Hub motors also have pedal assist power. Pedal assist multiplies the rider’s pedaling effort. eBikes typically have multiple levels of power.

A rear wheel hub-motor can feel like it is pushing the eBike, whereas a front hub motor will feel like it’s pulling the eBike. This isn’t a pro or a con, just something to expect from each type of motor.

There are two ways for the motor to detect when to engage and how much power to deliver:a cadence sensor or a torque sensor.

A cadence sensor detects when and how fast the cranks are spinning. When the rider pedals, the motor kicks in at whatever power level the rider has set. Hub motor eBikes with cadence sensors tend to have a more abrupt boost when the motor engages.

A torque sensor measures the speed of crank rotation and how much force is applied to the cranks. It applies equal power to match the rider’s pedal force, resulting in a smoother power output and ride.

Is a Hub Drive eBike Right For You?

Here are 3 reasons to consider a hub-drive eBike.


There are a ton of eBikes on the market right now, and most of them are hub drives. If you want the most options for different features, battery capacities, and power outputs, you’ll want to look at hub-motor eBikes.


On average, a hub-motor eBike will be less expensive than a comparable mid-drive eBike. Hub-drive eBikes are therefore a good option for first-time buyers or those on a budget.


Many riders prefer the option of throttle acceleration without the need to pedal. This is beneficial when riding a heavy eBike in traffic or when you want to ride the eBike like a moped.

Best Budget Hub-Drive eBike

Two words describe the Lectric XP Lite eBike - compact and inexpensive. For less than $800, you can get one of the most popular eBikes on the market. The compact, folding frame makes it ideal for storing in a small apartment or loading in your car, while the single-speed design has fewer moving parts for added durability. All in all, the XP Lite is perfect for riders seeking a simple transportation solution.

  • Motor: 300W rear hub motor

  • Range: 15-40 mi (24-64 km)

  • Drive: 5 levels of Pedal Assist and twist throttle

  • Speeds: Single-speed

  • Battery: 48v

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Weight: 46 lbs (21 kg)

  • Suspension: Rigid

  • Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes, 160mm rotors

  • Wheels: 20” x 2.6” front/rear

  • Warranty: 1 year

  • Color: Arctic White, Lectric Blue, Midnight Black, Sandstorm

Best Premium Hub-Drive eBike

GoCycle packed a lot of tech into the small, folding G4i eBike. The G4i features an F1-inspired design that will turn heads. The carbon fiber monocoque frame folds into a portable, compact size perfect for commuting on trains or storing in your office.

The proprietary G4drive provides a smooth and quiet ride while delivering more torque for climbing hills. If you are seeking an innovative urban eBike, the GoCycle G4i is what you need.

  • Motor: 500W front hub motor

  • Range: Up to 50 mi (80 km)

  • Drive: 5 levels of Pedal Assist

  • Speeds: 3-speed internal geared hub

  • Battery: 36V 10.4Ah 375 Wh

  • Max weight capacity: 220 lbs (100 kg)

  • Frame: Carbon Fiber, Aluminum, Magnesium

  • Weight: 38 lbs (17.2 kg)

  • Suspension: Rigid

  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes

  • Wheels: 20” x 2.25” front/rear

  • Warranty: 1 year

  • Color: Matte black, White

Best City Hub-Drive eBike

Unique features and simplicity make the BESV CF1 one of the best city eBikes. The battery, headlight, and anti-theft device are all integrated into the frame for a clean look and simple design.

A low-step frame makes it easy to get on and off the eBike no matter what you are wearing. The Algorthym drive system and predictive shifting deliver efficient power for the rider. The BESV CF1 is a good choice when you want a city bike that’s easy to ride but has the features you need.

  • Motor: 250W rear hub motor

  • Range: 20-40 mi (32-64 km)

  • Drive: Cadence Sensor Pedal Assist

  • Speeds: 10-speed derailleur

  • Battery: 36V 8.4Ah 302wh

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Weight: 48.5 lbs (22 kg)

  • Suspension: Rigid

  • Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes, 180 mm rotors

  • Wheels: 17" Frame: 26" x 2", 19" Frame: 28" x 2"

  • Warranty: 5 Year Frame, 2 Year Motor and Battery, 1 Year Components

  • Color: Gray, Gloss White‍

Best Offroad Hub-Drive eBike

The Magnum Peak T5 is built to ride on any street, dirt road, or trail. You can configure it to be a Class 1, 2, or 3 eBike to fit your riding style. It delivers a smooth ride with the torque-sensing pedal assist hub motor. The 11-speed shifting and 4-piston hydraulic brakes make it easy to ride up or down any terrain you want to tackle.

  • Motor: 500W rear hub motor

  • Range: 30-50 mi (48-80 km)

  • Drive: Torque Sensor Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle, Walk Mode

  • Speeds: 11-speed derailleur

  • Battery: 48V 15Ah 720wh

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Weight: 60 lbs (27.25 kg)

  • Suspension: Front, 120mm

  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors

  • Wheels: 27.5” x 2.8”

  • Warranty: 1 year

  • Color: Forest, Tan, Blue, Gray

Best Utility/Cargo Hub-Drive eBike

Take the kids to school or pick up a week’s worth of groceries with the long-tail cargo Rad Power RadWagon 4 eBike. The frame-integrated rear rack has sufficient weight capacity to carry an extra adult or even a couple of children. The adjustable stem and telescoping seatpost offer a good fit for a wide range of rider sizes. If you want to leave your minivan parked in the garage, the Rad Power RadWagon 4 is the eBike for you.

  • Motor: 750W rear hub motor

  • Range: 24-45 mi (39-72 km)

  • Drive: 5 levels of pedal assist and twist throttle

  • Speeds: 7-speed derailleur

  • Battery: 672 wh

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Weight: 77 lbs (35 kg)

  • Suspension: Ridgid

  • Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes, 180 mm rotors

  • Wheels: 22” x 3”

  • Warranty: 1 year

  • Color: Orange, Black, White

Best High Power Hub-Drive eBike

Rambo builds eBikes for outdoorsmen who need a quiet and powerful vehicle that can travel over any terrain. The Krusader meets that demand with dual hub-drive motors that deliver 1000W of hill climbing power. To ensure durability in the backcountry, it uses a single-speed drive. You don’t have to be a hunter to ride this eBike. Anyone looking for the most powerful eBike will enjoy what the Rambo Krusader offers.

  • Motor: 500W rear and 500W front hub motor (1000W total) 160 Nm of torque

  • Range: Up to 38 mi (61 km)

  • Drive: Pedal assist and thumb throttle

  • Speeds: Single-speed

  • Battery: 48v 20AH

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Weight: 74 lbs (34 kg)

  • Max weight capacity: 300 lbs

  • Suspension: Front, 120mm

  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors

  • Wheels: 26” x 4”

  • Warranty: Frame - Lifetime Warranty

  • Color: TrueTimber Viper Woodland Camo

Longest Range Hub-Drive eBike

Juiced calls the CrossCurrent X the “absolute pinnacle of e-bike commuting.” This Class 3 commuter eBike has a huge 52V/19.2Ah battery for 80+ miles of range. It’s equipped with a headlight, tail lights, fenders, a gel saddle, and a rear rack. Puncture-resistant tires will stand up to potholes and broken glass in the bike lane. The Juiced CrossCurrent X will more than adequately cover your needs if you are looking to spice up your ride to work..

  • Motor: 750W Rear Gear Hub Motor

  • Range: Up to 80 mi (129 km)

  • Drive: Cadence & Torque Sensor pedal assist and thumb throttle

  • Speeds: 9-speed derailleur

  • Battery: 52 19.2Ah 995 Wh

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Weight: 65 lbs (30 kg)

  • Max weight capacity: 275 lbs (125 kg)

  • Suspension: Front suspension

  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes

  • Wheels: 28"x1.75"

  • Warranty: Frame - 1 year

  • Color: Black, Silver, Red

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