Dual Motor vs Single motor E-Bikes: Which is right for you?
When it comes to electric bikes, there are two main options: Dual Motor or Single Motor e-bikes.
In our product line, this is the main difference between the AWD III [Dual Motor] and the CORE [Single Motor]. Deciding between the two can be tricky, so it's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each style before making a purchase. In this blog post, we'll take a look at both dual motor and single motor e-bikes to help you determine which one is right for you.
When it comes to e-bikes, there is a common debate/confusion in regard to which type is better for certain lifestyles. While both have their benefits and drawbacks, many riders are left wondering which type is best for them. The one key thing to note is that while both types will be a blast and convenient, choosing an ebike shouldn’t always reflect on what the most expensive product is, but which type will suit your needs and foster the most enjoyment and ease of use!
The Pros and Cons of Dual Motor E-Bikes
Power: The largest and most sought after benefit to a Dual Motor Ebike is the added pickup, torque and top end speed that comes with having a second motor. Taking our AWD III as an example you essentially double the power output, with two 1000 watt motors you can tackle most any terrain. This increased output results in more speed, and a quicker 0-30 mph take-off.
Uneven Terrain: To those new to ebikes it might be a surprise to learn that the added power is not the main reason as to why a dual motor ebike can tackle tougher terrain. This off road capability comes from the fact that the front tire has its own power source, allowing it to spin independently. For example, when the back tire is stuck in a hole or rivet the front has traction to pull it out. So even if one wheel has too rough of terrain to tackle by itself, the other will have sturdier ground to gain traction on. Think dirt trails, and soft sand on the beach.
Steep Hills/Incline: Another form of “rough terrain” that a dual motor is more capable on is steep hills/inclines. While the added power helps in this regard, it may not be known to you that this isn’t the only reason a dual motor bike fairs better on this terrain. Similarly to “uneven terrain” a massive help to tackling this is that each tire spins independently. The rear motor works to “push” you up the hill and the front motor works to “pull” you up the hill. This push/pull helps greatly to reduce the speed reductions that happen with many e-bikes on hills, so you can fly up closer to your bike's top speed!
Price: Motors are one of the most expensive parts of an electric bicycle, so due to this, there will be a larger upfront cost, and a larger maintenance cost in the long run. This is mainly where our cost difference between the AWD III and the CORE comes from. Using the premium industry standard motor is not cheap! And even though these motors are high quality, after heavy use, wear and tear will happen, and you will have to cover the cost to make sure that not one but two motors are functioning at their peak capacity.
Battery Drain: More power requires more energy, so with this in mind it is important to remember that at optimal performance and power output your bike will drain more energy. Most dual motor ebikes (like ours) have larger AH batteries allowing for more energy to be stored, but this can only compensate so much. Running dual motors all the time/more often than not, will inherently drain more of this stored energy. Our ebikes do have a switch so that you can use both dual and single motor modes so we always recommend you to use the dual motor mode as needed.
Weight: Adding a second motor adds significantly more weight. Not only is the motor heavy, but to safely ride an ebike with that much power there should be weight in the tires so that your bike stays firmly on the ground underneath it. The AWD III weighs 95 pounds. Which can make it difficult to put in a car, on to a hitch mount, bring up stairs, or wheel into a tight environment. This weight also affects rider feel/experience. A heavier bike feels heavier when you ride it. (This depending on your needs/lifestyle can be a pro or a con.)
The Pros and Cons of Single Motor E-Bikes
Price: Although this section may be inferred by the price section of dual motors, this is and always will be the main pro of choosing a single motor ebike. Because ebike motors are expensive, only having one helps bring the price down considerably. This also helps with future maintenance costs because you will only have one motor to keep at peak performance. It will inherently also be easier for ebike technicians to work on, as there are less electrical components for them to check which should bring down labor costs.
Weight: Having only one motor brings down the weight of the bike considerably. As noted before, not only is the weight of another motor not present but also you don’t need as much weight in the tires to retain traction on the ground below you. The CORE model we offer is only 65 pounds (55 with the battery removed) so getting it in your car, on your hitch mount, or up stairs into your home is considerably easier! Also the weight difference affects ride feel/experience. For lack of a better word a lighter ebike feels “zippier”. You can hit turns harder and use your weight to move and control the bike much easier.
Ease/Simplicity: While much of this section highlights things brought up in other sections, it is important to talk about. A single motor ebike is practical and useful for the day to day commuter. There is less to worry about maintenance wise, it is easier to move when not being ridden, and it has the power and capability to tackle/assist most riders with their daily tasks. A single motor ebike and the CORE specifically are great for first time ebike buyers. A practical, cost efficient and simpler ebike to enhance your daily life.
Power: Inherently one motor will always be less powerful than two (of the same wattage). This means you will lose out on top end speed, and pickup and torque. The CORE goes 31-32 mph whereas the AWD III can reach up to 34-36 mph. Also your 0-30 mph take-off will take longer to build up to (Note: This take-off is considered in seconds not minutes).
Rough Terrain: Although the CORE can tackle most any rough terrain, on steep inclines and uneven terrain you will find yourself noticing speed reductions during your ride. Where the AWD III can tackle soft sand, uneven dirt trails and steep inclines at high speeds, the CORE in these terrains will have speed reductions. Much of this is due not to the lack of power but because you lose the push/pull effect that you get with dual motors.
Towing: If you are a larger rider, or plan to use your bike to tow heavy goods or carry multiple people, a single motor bike may not have enough power for your needs. Although both of our models are capable of carrying two riders at peak performance, if you plan to use our bikes with your children or significant other riding with you, or plan to attach a trailer to carry your supplies down to the beach, you will want as much power as possible. A dual motor ebike like the AWD III will be able to handle tasks like these much more efficiently.
Regardless of which type of ebike you choose you will find significant enjoyment and convenience from them. The AWD III and CORE both have their merits and will bring down commute/parking times, and save you money on gas and car upkeep.
We at Pedal Electric do understand how large of a purchase this is to most people, and are happy to help our customers get the best bike for their lifestyle and their needs. We geek out on the specs and enjoy answering your questions. This lengthy article does not cover all the pros and cons of dual vs single motor ebikes, so feel free to reach out to us by phone or email, so that we can help and guide you to find exactly what you want and need.