Hub vs Belt: Which Should You Get For Electric Skateboards?

Unlike normal skateboards, electric skateboards have parts that make it difficult to decide which one to buy. One of those parts is the motor. In this article, we compare Hubs vs Belts Motors. So, when you finish reading, you will be able to make your informed decision.

Before comparing, let’s learn the basics of the two drive systems first.

Hub motors have all components inside the wheel. The motor and wheel combine as a unit and spin at a ratio of 1 spin of the motor = 1 spin of the wheel. When the accelerator is pressed, the entire wheel, including the motor inside,
will be triggered to spin at the same time.

In contrast to the hub motor, the belt motor is exposed. Both the wheels and the motor have a pulley (gear) which is wheel pulley and drive pulley respectively. These 2 pulleys are connected through a closed circular belt.

During acceleration, power is routed from the battery through the ESC and to your motor. When power is on, the motor will start to turn, causing the belt to spin, and the wheel connected to the belt will also spin. This is a
well-closed cycle that makes the wheel spin continuously until you turn off the power.

Hub vs Belt motor Comparison

Below is a comparison table which shows you the overview of the difference between the two motors.

Now, let’s go to read more detail

 

Efficiency

When talking about efficiency, Hub motors may be the winner. This is because of the 1-1 ratio. The wheel and the motor spin at the same time making the board run smoothly and efficiently. Hub motors are also good when you want to ride your e-board like a traditional board. The hub motor skateboard has less torque and friction, so it has a longer battery life and range.

Sound/Noise

In belt motor boards, both motor and belts are exposed, making them noisier than hub driven. This also makes the belt board look bigger and heavier. But the noise is not that bad, it can help to allow those around you know that you
are coming so they don’t get in your way. Personally, I like this noise.

Maintenance

Belt-motor boards require more maintenance than hub driven. The fact that more of the motor is exposed to nature. According to my research, Belt tension is the maintenance that needs to be done regularly.

If the belt is stretched, your acceleration will be slower, or even the belt will slip out of the gear making the wheel unable to spin. Also, if not cleaned regularly, dirty water and dust can damage or corrode the gear system.

Braking

The Belt motor has a stronger brake system. The board can stop immediately after braking. If you are not paying attention and not in a ready position to brake, you could be thrown off the board when braking.

On the hub motor board, you can slam completely without worrying about falling. What I like about the hub motor skateboard is that it can put the energy back to the batteries while stopping. It is the reverse movement of the motor
that causes the board to stop.

If riding on a stable road, I like the smoothness and ease of use on the hub board. When traveling on a busy road that requires a lot of short stops, a strong brake system on belt boards is more appropriate.

Wheel use

hub vs belt drive 3

Personally, I don’t see a big difference between hubs and belt boards in terms of comfort.

Hub boards have slightly smaller wheels due to the fact that the motor parts are completely inside the wheel. Belt driven boards have the upper hand in swapping the wheels.

Hill climbing

Belt-driven boards have better climbing ability. This is due to its gears. Every time there is a change in elevation, the belt-driven board always soars past the hub board.

Speed

Hub-driven boards have less torque than belt-driven boards. This leads to the fact that the hub board has a higher top speed. 

Which one is superior? Hub or Belt driven electric skateboards?

The answer depends on exactly what you need. If you want a maximum power output, then choosing a belt power board is better. The hub motor is improving to catch up with gear driven, but it still needs some time.

If you don’t like loud noises, a hub motor is quieter. If you want a better hill climb ability, choose a belt. All in all, our comparison table above shows it all, so read through and see what you need, and what you want to avoid to
make the best decision. Good luck!

 

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