Mid-Drive Electric Bike Selection: 11 Models to Consider in 2022
Mid-drive e-bike motors are the go-to choice for premium electric bikes. They are the most powerful, efficient, lightweight, and durable type of motor.
A mid-drive eBike has a ride quality that is more natural-feeling than cheaper hub drives. However, you must utilize the full range of gears to get the most out of it. With torque sensors, mid-drives can deliver a proportionate amount of assistance that feels smooth when pedaling.
The article below will answer some frequently asked questions about mid-drives and review 11 of the best mid-drive electric bikes for 2022, so you can find the perfect one for your needs.
What is a mid-drive eBike?
A mid-drive electric bike has a motor located at the bottom bracket instead of the wheel hub. So any non-hub-drive electric bike is considered a mid-drive.
The primary characteristic of Ebike mid-drive motors is that they connect to the drivetrain, transferring power through the cranks to turn the wheel instead of directly powering it.
Are mid-drive eBikes better than rear hub eBikes?
Yes, mid-drive eBikes are better than rear-hub eBikes in most metrics.
But why is mid-drive better than hub? Well, mid-drive motors are more efficient, lighter, and more powerful (at the same wattage rating). In addition, they provide a more natural-feeling, smooth ride quality as the pedal assistance is delivered through the drivetrain instead of directly at the wheel.
You can also read our Hub Motor vs. Mid-Drive E-Bikes guide for more information.
Do you have to pedal with a mid-drive electric bike?
No, you don’t have to pedal a mid-drive eBike with a throttle. However, most mid-drives don’t have a throttle, meaning they only provide assistance through pedaling.
Some high-power models like QuietKat’s e-bikes use mid-drive motors that include a throttle for extreme off-road riding.
How long do mid-drive eBike motors last?
Mid-drive eBike motors should last over 10,000 miles with proper care and appropriate use. However, many factors can affect longevity. Examples include how often you use the bike, the amount of stress you put the motor under (regularly using too high of a gear), or riding in very hot or wet climates can influence lifespan.
Best Mid-Drive E-Bikes
1. Ride1UP Prodigy
Best mid-drive electric bike in 2022
- MSRP: $2,295 – $2,395
- Motor: Brose TF Sprinter 90Nm, 380% assistance
- Battery: 504Wh
- Range: 30-50 miles
- Drivetrain: 9-speed Shimano Alivio
- Solid max range
- Off-road and urban models available
- Urban model is fully-equipped
- Tektro hydraulic discs
- Pedal assist only
- Limited gearing
The Ride1UP Prodigy is an affordable mid-drive eBike with plenty of quality and versatility from the three design choices; the XC off-roader and the ST and XR urban bikes.
Each model uses a German-made Brose TF Sprinter mid-drive eBike motor with 380% assistance and 90Nm of torque. This motor pairs with a decent 504Wh Samsung cell battery that delivers up to 50 miles of range when used on Eco mode.
The rest of the drive system is from Brose, including a frame-integrated controller and 1.5″ color display. Shimano provides the drivetrain with a 9-speed Alivio setup. The cassette is an 11-34t, paired with trigger shifters and a 42t narrow-wide chainring (XC) or a 46t standard chainring (XR and ST).
All three models also use 180mm rotor Tektro hydraulic discs, which provide adequate stopping power for the urban bikes but are slightly underpowered for the off-road model.
The XR and ST use rigid forks and Maxxis Re-Fuse 2″ tires to maximize efficiency on pavement, while the Prodigy XC has 2.4″ Forekaster tires, MTB bars, and a 120mm travel air fork.
Overall, this is an excellent choice for any urban or off-road rider with a limited budget looking for solid performance and reliable components.
2. Co-op Cycles CTY e2.1
- MSRP: $1,799
- Motor: Shimano E5000 250W, 40Nm
- Battery: 418Wh Shimano E8014
- Range: 50 miles
- Drivetrain: 9-speed Shimano Acera/Alivio
- Great max range
- Lightweight for the price
- Integrated ABUS battery lock
- Low-power motor
- Long charge time
The Co-op Cycles CTY e2.1 is the cheapest mid-drive eBike on this list and the more affordable of the two CTY models. This mid-drive e-bike is a full-equipped city commuter designed to make your life convenient.
Co-op Cycles chose a Shimano drive system comprised of an E5000 250W, 40Nm motor, and a 418Wh E8014 battery. This setup provides max ranges of 50 miles and buttery-smooth power transfer from Shimano’s premium sensors.
The CTY e2.1 is a Class 1 e-bike with a 20mph max speed and no throttle. To maximize the range, you can take advantage of a 9-speed drivetrain with Rapidfire Plus shifters and an 11-34t cassette.
An impressive addition to this bike is the pre-installed ABUS battery lock that gives you peace of mind when leaving your bike locked outside. The battery is also removable but takes a lengthy 6.5 hours to charge.
Co-op Cycles designed this bike for comfort with a 75mm travel fork, upright geometry, shock-absorbent 1.95″ Schwalbe Big Ben tires, and a Comfort Plus memory foam saddle.
Add the Co-op Cycles CTY e2.1 to your shortlist if you want a cheap urban e-bike with all the bells and whistles for commuting and running errands.
3. Gazelle Medeo T10 Plus
- MSRP: $3,699
- Motor: Bosch’s Performance Line Speed 85Nm, 340% assistance
- Battery: 500Wh Powerpack
- Range: 55 miles
- Drivetrain: 10-speed Shimano Deore
- Fast and torquey
- Plenty of range
- Slightly heavy
Gazelle’s Medeo T10 Plus is a Bosch mid-drive eBike and the highest-performing of the four Medeo builds.
This bike is perfect for commuters and active riders who enjoy the sporty performance and ride position. The Medeo T10 Plus comes fully equipped with all of the accessories needed for convenient urban riding and the choice for a more comfortable step-through frame.
Gazelle chose a Bosch e-bike system for this bike. The motor is a Performance Line Speed model with 85Nm of torque and 340% assistance, allowing you to tackle city hills with a loaded rear rack. This motor pairs with a 500Wh integrated battery to provide a maximum range of 55 miles.
The Medeo T10+ has a Shimano Deore drivetrain with an 11-42t 10-speed cassette and reliable Shimano BR-MT420 hydraulic disc brakes. The tires are 2″ Schwalbe Big Apples with fast-rolling performance and Raceguard puncture protection. Additionally, you have a 63mm Suntour Mobie fork and Mach1 ER-10 wheels.
All things considered, the Gazelle Medeo T10 Plus is an excellent choice for riders with a reasonable budget who want a fast and comfortable mid-motor eBike.
4. Vvolt Proxima
- MSRP: $2,699
- Motor: MPF 250W, 80Nm, 350% support
- Battery: 375Wh Celxpert
- Range: 20-40 miles
- Drivetrain: Eviolo TR CVT hub, 380% range
- Extra-durable drivetrain
- Plenty of accessory mounts
- Low range
- Rechargeable lights
The Vvolt Proxima is the only belt-drive e-bike on this list, giving it a unique draw compared to standard drivetrain bikes.
A Gates Carbon CDX drive pairs with Enviolo’s TR CVT 380% range hub to provide a virtually maintenance-free owner experience. Additionally, this system is quiet, clean, and highly durable.
The electronics are from lesser-known brands, including an Austrian MPF 250W, 80Nm motor, and a Celxpertt 375Wh battery. This punchy motor makes light work of hills but only has a 20 to 40-mile range.
Vvolt uses a typical aluminum frame and fork. However, instead of including commuter accessories, they opt for a streamlined design with additional mounts so you can personalize the Proxima to your requirements. Other notable features on this mid-drive eBike include hydraulic disc brakes, a kickstand, and rechargeable LED lights.
Choose the Vvolt Proxima if you want a light mid-drive eBike with the convenience and durability of a belt drive system.
5. Electra Townie Go! 5i Step-Through
- MSRP: $2,950
- Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus 250W, 50Nm
- Battery: 400Wh Bosch Powerpack
- Range: 20-70 miles
- Drivetrain: 5-speed Shimano Nexus hub
- Super comfy
- Excellent max range
- Low-maintenance drivetrain
- Integrated rear wheel lock
The Electra Townie Go! 5i Step-Through is a mid-drive eBike cruiser designed for comfort and convenience.
Electra chose Bosch electronics, including an Active Line Plus 250W, 50Nm motor, 400Wh battery, and a simple handlebar display. This setup will return a maximum of 70 miles of range, which is quite impressive.
This Townie Go! has a Shimano Nexus 5-speed internally geared hub. The Nexus is specifically designed to handle the extra stresses of mid-drive e-bikes and allows you to switch gears without pedaling.
The Townie Go! 5i uses Tektro hydraulic disc brakes for reliable stopping and plush 2.35″ puncture-resistant tires on 26″ rims for their shock-absorbent characteristics.
Additionally, upright geometry, swept-back handlebars, and an ergonomic saddle ensure a relaxed and luxurious ride feel. Other notable components include the integrated wheel lock, LED lights, kickstand, and rack and fenders.
Don’t miss out on this mid-drive cruiser e-bike if you’re looking for unbeatable comfort for your leisurely rides or commutes.
6. Diamondback Current E-Bike
- MSRP: $4,100
- Motor: Bosch Performance Line Speed Gen 4 350W, 85Nm
- Battery: 500Wh Powerpack
- Range: 35-65 miles
- Drivetrain: 11-speed Shimano GRX 810
- Powerful motor
- Smooth and durable GRX drivetrain
- Stable geometry for off-roading
- 46mm tire clearance
- Lifetime frame warranty
- Heavy for the price (46.8lbs)
- Slightly underpowered brakes
The Diamondback Current is the best mid-drive eBike for gravel riding and long-distance commutes.
Diamondback is a specialist in off-road bike design, and the Current electric gravel bike illustrates that expertise. The 6061 aluminum comes with sleek internal cable routing, plenty of mounts for bikepacking, and clearance for 46mm tires.
The motor on the Current is Bosch’s premium Performance Line Speed Gen 4 350W, 85Nm model. This powerful mid-drive pairs with a large 500Wh integrated battery to deliver up to 65 miles of range.
Diamondback uses Shimano’s GRX drivetrain for its gravel-specific performance. It includes an 11-speed 11-42t cassette and 42t chainring for plenty of climbing range. The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are reliable, but the small 160mm rear rotor is slightly weak for a heavy off-road e-bike.
Finally, you have 700c x 40mm Maxxis Rambler tires to ensure traction and durability on chunky gravel trails. Don’t look past the Diamondback Current if you want a high-performance electric gravel bike to open up your local trails.
7. Rambo Savage
- MSRP: $2,499
- Motor: Bafang 750W, 120Nm
- Battery: 672Wh
- Range: 35 miles
- Drivetrain: 8-speed Shimano Altus
- Huge motor power
- Sleek LCD display
- Versatile fat tires
- High payload capacity
- Lots of accessory compatibility
- Poor range
- Mechanical disc brakes
- No lights
The Rambo Savage mid-drive eBike with 750W is an affordable hunting bike designed for tackling hard-to-reach backcountry terrain, steep gradients, or leisurely urban rides.
The Savage’s powerful motor is unique at this price range. The 120Nm of torque makes it easy to tackle steep climbs with a fully loaded bike. In addition, you can add a range of accessories like racks, trailers, or bags to maximize the 300lb carrying capacity and make your next hunting, angling, or camping trip a breeze. Unfortunately, the 672Wh battery is pretty limited with a max 35-mile range.
Rambo equipped the Savage with 4″ Kenda Krusade tires on 80mm double wall rims to provide traction and stability on soft surfaces like snow, sand, and mud. These tires also add plenty of cushion for bumpy terrain, making up for the lack of suspension.
The drivetrain on the Savage is an 8-speed Shimano Altus with Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Other features include a kickstand and USB charging. Consider The Savage if you want huge power and off-road capability without breaking the bank.
8. Norco Charger HT VLT
- MSRP: $3,999
- Motor: Shimano E7000 250W, 60Nm
- Battery: 504Wh Shimano E8035
- Range: N/A
- Drivetrain: 9-speed Shimano Altus
- Shimano e-bike system
- Dropper post included
- Tons of mounts
- Weak brakes
- Limited gearing
The Norco Charger HT VLT is a versatile hardtail, perfect for tackling fast flowy cross-country trails or light bikepacking trips.
This bike gets its off-road capability from the 120mm Suntour XCM32 suspension, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, the TranzX dropper, and 2.25″ WTB Ranger tires.
The 29er wheels and fast-rolling tires allow you to maintain high speeds on relatively smooth trails. However, the brakes are a little weaker than expected for this price.
Norco chose a Shimano STEPS system, including a 250W, 60Nm motor, and a large 504Wh integrated battery. With this pairing, you can expect buttery-smooth power transfer and a solid max range.
Other notable components include the Shimano Altus and Acera 9-speed drivetrain with an 11-36t cassette and trigger shifters. Unfortunately, this gear range is limited when climbing.
All things considered, the Charger is a solid choice for e-bike riders who want the capability of an electric hardtail MTB at a reasonable price.
9. Lectric XPremium
- MSRP: $1,999
- Motor: 500W
- Battery: 2x 500Wh (1000Wh total)
- Range: 100 miles
- Drivetrain: 7-speed
- 100-mile max range
- Folding frame
- Hydraulic discs
- Uncomfortable saddle
The Lectric XPremium is the company’s newest addition to the lineup and a response to the growing demand for powerful and affordable mid-drive electric bikes.
This model utilizes a 500W motor with two 500Wh batteries to deliver huge max ranges of 100 miles. The XPremium also has a throttle and a top speed of 28mph with electrical assistance.
The rest of the features are impressive for a sub-$2,000 bike. You have a smooth folding mechanism for easy storage and transport and a fully-equipped setup for convenient commuting.
The XPremium is super comfortable thanks to the 80mm travel fork, 4″ Chaoyang fat tires, and upright geometry. Additionally, you have hydraulic disc brakes for all-weather stopping and a massive 330lb payload capacity for carrying all the gear you need.
Choose the XPremium if you want a long-range mid-drive electric folding bike with the versatility to tackle almost any job.
10. QuietKat Apex
- MSRP: $5,499 – $5,799
- Motor: Bafang 750W or 1000W
- Battery: 768Wh
- Range: 24-48 miles
- Drivetrain: 9-speed SRAM X5
- Hugely powerful motor
- Excellent carrying capacity
- Quiet motor for hunting
- Large-travel fork
- Poor range for price
- No headlight
The QuietKat Apex is the high-end hardtail on the brand’s lineup and the most powerful on this list.
The Apex can be a 750W or 1000W mid-drive eBike. If you choose the smaller motor, the bike will fall into the Class 1 or 2 categories of electric bikes (remove the throttle for Class 1). However, the larger one makes it an unclassified bike, meaning you can only ride it in remote areas or on private land without a license.
The battery has 768Wh of juice to provide modest ranges of 24 to 48 miles on one charge. You also have a sleek color LCD computer with all ride metrics and power and battery levels displayed clearly.
The rest of the build kit allows you to maximize the motor power to tackle extreme off-road terrain. You have a 150mm inverted air fork that is stable and supportive under big hits. The 4.5″ all-terrain Kenda Juggernaut fat tires open up any trail surface or conditions, and powerful four-piston Tektro hydraulic disc brakes ensure you can stop on a dime.
Other notable features include a slightly disappointing entry-level SRAM X5 9-speed drivetrain, a 325lb payload capacity, and a 100lb-capacity integrated rear rack so you can carry huge loads to remote areas.
All things considered, the QuietKat Apex is a premium Bafang mid-drive hunting e-bike with all the features you need for extreme terrain. Choose it if you want a high-power hardtail and have the budget to match.
11. Marin Sausalito
- MSRP: $2,499
- Motor: Shimano STEPS E5000 250W, 200% assistance
- Battery: 418Wh Shimano BT8014
- Range: 70 miles
- Drivetrain: 10-speed Shimano Deore 4100
- Solid max range
- Shimano drive system
- Plenty of mounts
- Wide gearing
- Battery isn’t integrated
The Marin Sausalito E1 is a commuter mid-drive eBike with a hint of off-road DNA.
This bike has a Shimano E5000 drive system with a 250W motor that provides 200% assistance, enough for fast urban riding and short hills at high power. The battery is a 418Wh model that provides plenty of range for a long day of riding.
Marin’s Series 3 aluminum frame is lightweight and stiff. The simple spec and the light frame mean the Sausalito only weighs 44lbs, the lightest on this list. However, it has mounts for a rack, fenders, and bags should you want to personalize the bike.
The wheelset includes 650b double wall rims and gravel-style WTB Horizon 47mm tires. For gearing, you have a reliable Shimano Deore 4100 10-speed drivetrain with an 11-46t cassette and a 44t crank, perfect for climbing. Additionally, Marin chose Tektro hydraulic disc brakes to ensure stopping power in wet conditions.
Overall, this is a unique mid-drive e-bike that rides almost like a normal bike. Choose the Sausalito E1 if you want a reliable and versatile companion to handle your urban commute and leisurely mixed-terrain rides.