Battery and electric bikes maintenance
By : Tom

Which motor should you choose for an electric bike? Power, motorisation, we explain it all!

Moteur pédalier vélo Brose

Choosing the right motor for your electric bike is crucial to ensuring an enjoyable riding experience tailored to your needs. With a variety of motors available on the market, understanding the differences between them and knowing which one to choose can seem complex. In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about electric bike motors, with a particular focus on the pedal bike motor, a popular choice for many cyclists.

The different types of motor for electric bikes

There are three main types of motor for electric bikes: the front wheel motor, the rear wheel motor and the crankset motor. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on your riding style, terrain and personal preferences.

Front wheel motor

The front wheel motor is placed in the hub of the bike's front wheel. This type of motor is often used on entry-level electric bikes.

Advantages :

  • Easy installation : This type of motor is easy to install and maintain.
  • Weight distribution : With the motor at the front and the battery generally at the rear, the weight is well distributed on the bike.


  • Traction : On slippery surfaces or uphill, traction can be less effective as the rider's weight is mainly at the rear of the bike.
  • Manoeuvrability : The front engine can affect the bike's manoeuvrability, especially in tight corners.

Rear wheel motor

The rear wheel motor is integrated into the rear wheel hub. It is often preferred for mountain bikes and road bikes.

Advantages :

  • Traction : Better traction when climbing and on difficult terrain, as the weight is more concentrated at the rear.
  • Thrust sensation : Provides a motorcycle-like thrust sensation, which is enjoyable for many cyclists.


  • Maintenance : More difficult to maintain in the event of a puncture or mechanical problems, as the motor is integrated into the rear wheel.
  • Complexity : Installation can be more complex, requiring specialist tools.

Pedal motor

The crankset motor is located at the bottom bracket of the bike, which means it drives the chain directly. This is the most popular option for top-of-the-range electric bikes and electric mountain bikes.

Advantages :

  • Efficiency : This type of motor is very efficient because it uses the bike's transmission system. This means you can use the bike's gears to maximise the motor's efficiency.
  • Balance : Because the motor is located in the centre of the bike, the weight is well balanced, which improves manoeuvrability.
  • Power : Crankset motors are generally more powerful and offer better torque, ideal for steep climbs and rough terrain.


  • Price : Bikes with crankset motors are often more expensive.
  • Maintenance : May require more frequent servicing and mechanical expertise for repairs.
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Motor power: what power should you choose?

The power of an electric bike motor is generally expressed in watts (W). The motors available on the market often range from 250W to 1000W or more. Here's some advice on choosing the right power for your needs:

250 W

250W motors are the most common in Europe, as they comply with legal regulations for electric bikes. They are ideal for urban use and flat terrain.

500 W

500W motors offer more power and are ideal for hilly terrain and longer rides. They provide better acceleration and can handle heavier loads.

750 W et plus

Motors of 750W or more are generally used for mountain bikes and cargo bikes. They offer sufficient power to climb steep slopes and carry heavy loads, but may not be legal for road use in certain regions.

Choosing a crankset motor: advantages and specific features

The bicycle crankset motor is often considered the ultimate choice for serious cyclists and off-road enthusiasts. Here's why:

Advantages of the crankset motor

  • Energy efficiency : By using the bike's transmission system, the crankset motor is able to provide more efficient assistance, especially when using the bike's gears.
  • Climbing performance : Thanks to its high torque, the crankset motor enables you to climb steep hills with less effort.
  • Weight distribution : Located in the centre of the bike, the crankset motor ensures balanced weight distribution, improving stability and handling.
  • Natural response : The pedalling sensation with a crankset motor is more natural, because the assistance is directly linked to the rider's pedalling force.

Disadvantages of the pedal motor

  • Cost : Bikes fitted with pedal motors are often more expensive due to the complexity and performance of the system.
  • Maintenance : May require more specialised and more frequent servicing.

The best crankset motors on the market

Several brands stand out for the quality of their pedal motors. Here are some of the most reputable:


Bosch crankset motors are renowned for their reliability and performance. Available in several versions (Active Line, Performance Line, Cargo Line), they can be adapted to a variety of needs, from urban use to mountain biking.

Shimano Steps

Shimano Steps systems offer smooth assistance and are particularly appreciated for their lightness and efficiency. They are ideal for touring bikes and mountain bikes.


Brose motors are characterised by their silence and high torque. They are often chosen for top-of-the-range bikes and off-road applications.

The choice of motor for your electric bike will depend on a number of factors, including your riding style, the type of terrain you cover most often, and your budget. For urban use on flat terrain, a 250W rear-wheel motor may be sufficient. For touring on hilly terrain or off-road applications, a pedal motor of 500W or more will be more appropriate.

The bicycle crankset motor remains the preferred choice for those looking for performance, efficiency and a natural pedalling feel. Although more expensive, they offer a superior riding experience and are ideal for demanding cyclists.

For more advice and to discover our range of electric bikes with pedal motors, visit We'll be delighted to help you choose the right electric bike for your needs.

By choosing the right motor for your electric bike, you'll not only ensure a more enjoyable and efficient ride, but you'll also maximise the enjoyment of every journey. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like a personal consultation. Enjoy your ride with Doctibike!

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