New to electric skateboarding, did some research but still don't quite know how to choose between hub motors and belt drive motors? The truth is they are NOT two different motor types. Both drives are based on the brushless DC motor. The difference is in the way the motor is used.
We’re here to lay out the pros and cons of each, and we’ll let you decide who’s the real winner.
Hub motors (also known as in-wheel hub motors), the motor is directly attached to the wheel but there's different variations. The motor itself could be embedded in the hub of the wheel so that the motor and the wheel spin simultaneously.
1. Quiet and Discreet - You definitely don't want to catch too much attention when riding at places like school campus let alone electric skateboards are still illegal in some countries.
With a low-profile electric skateboard such as Teamgee H5 that just looks like a regular longboard, you'll be able to swerve away and go about your business.
2. Little Maintenance - There's very few components that wear out on a hub motor. All you ever need to replace is pretty much the urethanes and bearings.
3. Easier to Manufacture - Though hub motors only came to existence for the past two years it is much cheaper to manufacture compared to belt motors. Therefore electric skateboards with hub motors are generally cheaper than the ones with belt drive motors.
4. Engage Brakes Faster - The motor and wheel both spin in the same direction so when you do hit the throttle, they will respond faster.
1. More Wobbly and Shaky - it might not be a big deal for a quick cruising through your feet will tend to get more tired after a few miles from the vibration.
2. Less Torque - Hub motors need more watts from the battery to spin faster though this disadvantage might narrow over time as the technology for hub motors continuously improves.
Belt Drive Motors
There's two gears, a smaller gear (pulley) attached to the motor and the larger gear attached to the wheel. The belt is attached to the two gears and when the motor spins, so does the wheel.
1. Less Vibration - Belt drive motors do provide a more comfortable riding experience overall. The motors don't create lots of vibrations and you're more likely to get that silky smooth feel under your feet especially when the road condition is ideal.
2. More Torque - Belt drive motors offer more torque from their kinetic rotating belts therefore will accelerate faster.
3. More Braking Power - This specifically applies to when you do a lot of steep downhills and need to come to a complete stop.
4. Climb Hills Better - The extra torque you get from belt drive motors will result in better hill climbing ability too. It's much needed if you live in a very hilly area.
5. More Wheels Options - You'll be able to use wheels from your favorite wheel manufacturers but you're still limited to wheels that allow you to mount the pulley.
1. Loud - While some might enjoy the sound of engine running which fuels up their adrenaline, more people might prefer a quieter board especially if you're listening to music while riding the board.
2. Can't Freewheel When out of Power - It's a game over when you do run out of power. The belts and pulley systems make pushing nearly impossible. You will feel tons of resistance and would have to carry your board instead when you're out of battery.
3. More Maintenance - You would have to replace the belt if you ever scraped it up or caused any damage to it on the road. The belt will rip apart so you would always have to keep a spare belt with you in case that happens.
4. Weigh More - From the looks of it you can already tell that belt drive motors are chunkier and do usually weigh more than in-wheel hub motors. This is definitely a disadvantage if you have to carry your board a lot during your commutes.
5. Old Technology - They have been on the market for decades therefore you won't see much innovations with these motors anymore. We get a feeling that hub motors will eventually take over and rule in time with more improvements being made and disadvantages being eliminated.
Feel free to leave a comment below if there's anything you would like to learn about electric skateboards within the industry.
To stay most updated please follow our social media below: