6 Reasons In-Wheel Hub Motors are Better than Belt Systems

If you’ve ever frequented any drone forums, then you know that an area of ongoing debate concerns hub motors vs. belt-driven motor systems. Until 2015, belt-driven motors were the only player in the electric skateboard market. But in the past two years in-wheel hub motors have come onto the market and changed the game.

At Genesis, we firmly believe in the power and innovation of in wheel hub motors. That is why all of our boards make use of integrated systems.

To help clarify some of the benefits that hub motors have over their counterparts, we’ve compiled a list of some of the major advantages. 

Hub Motors and Why They Rule!        

Less Drag

Because there are no belts and the motor system is integrated, the motor sends direct power output to the wheels. “These motors are outrunners (the wheel is what turns) and they have a 1:1 motor ratio. Every time the motor does one revolution, so does the wheel.”

Because of this direct motor-to-wheel power, in-wheel hub motors have a greater efficiency than belt-driven systems. The decreased drag leads to less friction extending the battery’s life and electric skateboard’s range per charge.

The lack of drag also leads to a much smoother ride. Unlike belt-driven electric skateboards, which tend to feel motorized hub motors feel like an actual longboard. This is especially noticeable during the initial acceleration.       

You Can Kick Push Hub Motors

Unlike belt motors that stop dead once they are out of power, hub powered electric skateboards can be pushed like a normal board after running out of juice. This is a huge advantage! Running out of electricity while riding is akin to getting a flat tire. Wouldn’t you rather have the board that works after a flat than one you have to carry? 

The in-wheel direct drive system is the only design that can be used like a normal skateboard after the battery dies. Also, due to the minimal cogging effect, the electric skateboard will have little resistance when pushed post battery-loss. They are able to “free-roll” when kick-pushed.

The Brakes are Better

In belt driven motors, the big wheel’s pulley forces the pulley inside the small motor to continue spinning. The result is less effective braking because of the longer causal chain required.

In contrast, the braking in a direct drive hub motor is instantaneous and does not lag. As soon as the motor brakes the wheels brake. Simple as pie.

Hub Motors Weigh Less       

Because of their compact and integrated design, hub motors weigh less than belt systems. Belt systems are much heavier because they contain many more moving parts. The absence of motor mounts, belts, and pulleys make hubs much lighter and easier to carry. 

For daily commuters who carry their electric skateboard around with them after riding, ditching the extra pounds contained in belt systems will make your day so much easier.

Simpler Design = Less Maintenance           

Hub motors do not have motor mounts, clutches, gears, or pulleys. Therefore, you never have to worry about anything going wrong with motor mounts, clutches, gears, or pulleys in your board! I know… It seems too simple!

The in-wheel hub motor is the simplest, yet reliable design on the market. Other than the occasional overheating when used in excess, damaging an electric skateboard with hub motors is a difficult task. Since there are no brushes to wear down, hub motors should run forever, helping reduce maintenance costs.

Hub Motors are Quieter

Due to the lack of moving parts and churning belts, integrated hub motors are noticeably quieter than belt motors. That means you no longer have to tolerate the constant hum of a motor driving you crazy as you cruise!

Who wants to hear a motor grinding beneath as you roll through the park? The compact design of hub motors and their direct-to-wheel setup creates little noise or resistance while riding. It’s one smooth cruise.




i love the hub motor but what about the small tricks and stunts and when jumped how the hub motor will handle it.. and how can a hub motor gets damaged?

Bill Jackson

While some of these points are true, there are also some that are outright lies.

“Braking is better”. This is untrue. With belt drives the response is also instant (okay maybe a few milliseconds slower, but the delay is literally unnoticeable to the rider). Furthermore, braking on hub motors is actually worse, because you have a 1:1 gear ratio. This translates into less braking power (a lot less as most belt drives are 3:1), and that’s not even accounting for the underpowered motors on the genesis. So when you try to brake and keep from rolling into traffic, good luck on the genesis, it will take a long time to slow down.

“Simpler design = less maintenance” Untrue, belt drives are way more reliable and less likely to break than hub motors. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

While I agree that hub motors can better than belt drive in some cases, don’t tell lies like these, it just discredits the argument. Belt drive motors are also better than hub motors in some cases (see hill climbing, acceleration, and braking). But don’t lie and say hub motors are outright better, it just makes you look bad.

Disclaimer: I do not work for any electric skateboard company, nor am I trying to promote any product, just trying to get the truth out there.


I’m wondering how the electric hub will do with jumps? How will the electric wheel handle an Ollie?

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