Hub vs. mid drive
Why you should pick rear wheel drive

There can be many reasons for choosing a bike with a rear hub drive motor. It can depend on everything from riding needs and riding style to design or something else entirely. Below, we have listed some of the most significant differences between a rear hub drive motor and a mid drive motor.

Rear hub drive

Sporty rear wheel drive


  • A rear hub drive motor has direct power delivery. The power is independent of the cadence, which facilitates smoothness & easy-relax handling.


  • The MAHLE E-Bike system with a rear hub drive motor is much lighter than equivalent systems. The whole system only weighs 3.5kg. It also has fantastic visual integration into the bike's design.


  • Higher power delivery efficiency. Your power is applied directly to the wheel, resulting in no drag. Your speed controls the power delivery and ensures continuous assistance. A rear hub drive motor performs optimally on lighter gradients and higher speeds - ideal for road or gravel.


  • A rear hub drive motor does not require more maintenance than a regular bike.

Mid drive

Centrally placed power


  • A mid drive motor delivers power to the gearing system, which is transmitted to the wheel. The power delivery depends on the cadence, which requires more control when pedalling.


  • An E-bike system with a mid drive motor is heavier and more complex to integrate into the bike's design.


  • Lower power delivery efficiency. Some of the power delivery is lost, and there is a slight drag from the inner clutch. The mid drive's power delivery is controlled by the rider's gear choice and cadence. A mid drive performs optimally on higher gradients and lower speeds - ideal for downhill, trail, enduro or cross-country cycling.


  • A mid drive motor requires maintenance of the chainring, chain and freewheel.

*Source: The data derives from internal studies carried out by MAHLE Smart Bike Systems. You can learn more by clicking here.

Principia with rear wheel drive

The new E Gravel

On the new Principia E Gravel, you will find the ultra-light MAHLE X35+ E-Bike system weighing just 3.5kg. Equipped with a rear hub drive motor, E Gravel is very capable as an E-gravel bike. With its low weight and traditional geometry, E Gravel maintains the essential gravel characteristics: comfort, versatility and stability.

Read more about the MAHLE X35+ E-Bike system by clicking here.

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