Having troubles with your electric bike’s hub motor? Follow the steps outlined in this article to learn how you can get everything back to proper functioning order. It may also be helpful to know how to properly install an electric motor on a standard bicycle.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A proper hub motor is nearly impossible to make for the average electric bike rider.
  • You can either repair or replace your hub motor when it has problems.
  • If you want to replace your hub motor, we recommend taking your current model to a professional who already knows about the top-performing e-bikes today.

Tools Needed: Allen wrench, standard wrench, wood board

Everything You Need to Know about E-Bike Hub Motors

Electric bikes with hub motors are common, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to problems. Even hub motors can break, so it’s important to understand what you can do when you’re faced with a dysfunctional hub motor.

Building Your Own Hub Motor

Purchasing a replacement hub motor can get expensive fast. As such, you might wonder about the feasibility of building your own hub motor. Unfortunately, building your own e-bike hub motor is prohibitively difficult unless you’re an engineer with a specialized set of tools and materials. There are plenty of tutorials online that can teach you how to build small hub motors, but they don’t scale up well enough to help you build a motor for your electric bike. And once it is built, it is just as important to know how to program an external motor controller for your e-bike.

Insider Tip

Gather your tools and components ahead of time and clearly label and mark each one, so you don’t get confused later.

So, What’s Next?

Now that you know building a hub motor would be next to impossible for the average e-bike owner, you might be wondering what other options you have available to you. Follow these steps if you’re running into hub motor problems.

STEP 1REPAIR OR REPLACE?

An important question to ask is whether you should repair or replace your hub motor. If you don’t feel comfortable with mechanical repairs and you’re fine with paying a little more, then purchasing a replacement hub motor is your best bet. However, if you want to save some money, you can try your hand at repairing the motor instead.

STEP 2 PREPARE THE MOTOR FOR REMOVAL

By nature, hub motors are securely fastened to your electric bike’s wheel. As such, you’ll need to put some effort into preparing the hub motor for removal from the wheel. First, you’ll need to detach the wheel from the e-bike’s frame. Use a wrench to remove the nuts and bolts holding the wheel in place. Remember that the hub motor is attached directly to the battery pack, so you won’t be able to move it too far from the frame. Next, remove the motor cover by unscrewing the bolts keeping the two sides together with your Allen wrench. These screws can be tight, so be prepared to use extra force.

STEP 3REMOVE THE MOTOR

Place a wooden 2×4 on a flat, stable surface in preparation for removing the motor from the wheel. We recommend placing the wood on paved ground. Grip the tile securely on both sides above the board, and then bring the wheel’s axle down onto it with powerful force. If you don’t apply enough force, you won’t be able to separate the motor’s strong magnets.

STEP 4REPAIR THE MOTOR

In most cases, the problem with your hub motor will be in the magnets or the ball bearings. Perform a visual inspection to find the problem, and then get to work repairing it. You can add some lubricant to the ball bearings to get them moving again or re-glue the magnets back in place so they function properly.

STEP 5 RETURN THE MOTOR AND REPLACE THE WHEEL

Once you’ve got the motor back in tip-top shape, you can return it to its original place. Fortunately, the magnets will do most of the work for you, so you won’t have to apply as much force to get the motor back in place. After everything is in place, screw back in all the nuts and bolts. Be sure to tighten everything properly, or you may experience problems while riding.

STEP 6 PURCHASE A REPLACEMENT

If you find the repair to be too difficult, or you can’t properly diagnose the problem, then we recommend taking your e-bike to a professional repair shop to get the hub motor replaced entirely.

Warning

Your homemade digital camera may not include useful accessories, such as a built-in flash or other light sources, a memory card, or a depth of field zoom lens. As a matter of fact, it may be held together with electrical tape.

F.A.Q.

What are the advantages of hub motors?

In general, hub motors are much more inexpensive than other kinds of motors on electric bikes. They also offer a lot of reliability and good performance for most e-bike riders. Hub motors are also lightweight, so your e-bike will have a longer range and bigger battery life.


What are hub motors?

Simply put, a hub motor is a motor that is incorporated directly into the wheel of your electric bike. Hub motors drive the wheel directly with the assistance and power of a battery.


How does a hub motor differ from an ordinary motor?

By all means, a hub motor is no different than an ordinary motor. It uses power to spin and move whatever mechanical object to which it is attached. However, ordinary motors spin internally, whereas hub motors spin the outside portion, which makes them particularly useful on electric bikes.


Why choose a hub motor over a mid-drive motor?

A hub motor offers a more lightweight experience than mid-drive motors. They’re also fairly simple to replace and more inexpensive, as well.


STAT: The e-bike market in the US is expected to grow to $70 billion by 2027. (source)

Ryan Hansen

When he’s not exploring everything Oregon has to offer with his family, Ryan Hansen is probably writing. He loves writing about anything he can get his hands on, and is always anxious for the next adventure.

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