Most electric bike motors last between 3 to 10 years. As you can see, the motors can vary in life span but they are regarded as one of the longest service life parts. Because they are so integral to the operation of the bike, the motor can often be the root cause of needing to upgrade to a new electric bike.
There are two different types of motors: geared hub motors and mid-drive motors.
Geared hub motors experience a lot of friction and more wear and tear than some mid-drive motors. This is because each time the motor case rotates slowly with the wheel, the internal gear inside the motor rotates many more times at a faster speed. Therefore, geared hub motors might have to be replaced between three thousand and ten thousand miles. High quality motors may last closer to the higher end of this range. Geared hub motors are not as expensive as mid-drive motors and can more easily be replaced. If you find you have replaced your geared hub motor 3-5 times already, you should consider buying a new e-bike. At that point, the cost and hassle of replacing the motor begin to outweigh the cost of a new bike.
Mid-drive motors, on the other hand, have additional sensors, components, and a unique design. This additional complexity allows for a much longer life than gear hub motors but does come with some drawbacks. One drawback is that mid-drive motors may overheat and may rust faster when wet and not wiped off. Therefore, it is important to keep your bike and motor components dry. The second drawback is mid-drive motors are harder to replace. If you find you have replaced your mid-drive motor two to three times, you should consider upgrading to a new electric bike.
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