Belt Drive vs. Hub Drive Electric Skateboards: Which One Should You Choose?


Electric skateboarding has taken the world by storm, offering an exciting and eco-friendly mode of transportation for enthusiasts of all ages. With the ever-growing popularity of electric skateboards, manufacturers have introduced various drive systems to cater to different riding preferences and needs. Two of the most common drive systems are the belt drive and hub drive. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the differences between these two technologies, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect electric skateboard for your riding style.

  1. Belt Drive Electric Skateboards

Belt drive electric skateboards have been around for a while and are often favored by serious riders and enthusiasts. This drive system consists of a motor mounted on the underside of the deck and connected to the wheels using a belt and pulley system. Here's a closer look at the features and advantages of belt drive electric skateboards:

1.1. Power and Performance

One of the primary advantages of belt drive electric skateboards is their impressive power and performance. Belt-driven boards typically have more powerful motors, which translates to faster speeds and the ability to tackle steep hills with ease. If you're looking for a board that can handle challenging terrains and offer exhilarating acceleration, a belt drive electric skateboard may be the way to go.

1.2. Customization

Belt-driven boards are known for their customization options. Riders can easily swap out different wheels, belts, and pulleys to fine-tune their board's performance to their liking. This level of customization allows you to tailor your electric skateboard to your specific riding preferences, whether you prioritize speed, torque, or range.

1.3. Maintenance

While belt drive electric skateboards offer impressive performance, they do require more maintenance compared to hub drive boards. Belts can wear out over time and may need to be replaced periodically. Additionally, the pulleys and motor mounts may also require occasional adjustments. However, for many riders, the added maintenance is a small trade-off for the performance benefits.

1.4. Noise

One drawback of belt drive electric skateboards is the noise they produce. The belt and pulley system can generate a noticeable whirring or humming sound when in use. If noise pollution is a concern for you, especially when riding in quiet neighborhoods, you may want to consider other options.

  1. Hub Drive Electric Skateboards

Hub drive electric skateboards are a relatively newer entrant to the electric skateboard market, but they have gained popularity due to their sleek and minimalist design. In a hub drive system, the motor is integrated into the skateboard's wheel hubs. Here are some key aspects of hub drive electric skateboards:

2.1. Design and Aesthetics

One of the standout features of hub drive electric skateboards is their clean and inconspicuous design. Since the motor is housed inside the wheel hubs, these boards often resemble traditional non-electric skateboards. If you prefer a more subtle and minimalist look, a hub drive board might be your preference.

2.2. Low Maintenance

Hub drive electric skateboards require significantly less maintenance compared to their belt drive counterparts. There are no belts or pulleys to replace or adjust, making them a hassle-free option for riders who want to spend more time on the road and less time in the workshop.

2.3. Quiet Operation

Hub drive electric skateboards are known for their whisper-quiet operation. The absence of a belt and pulley system means there's no noise generated by these components. This makes hub drive boards an excellent choice for riders who want a more discreet and noise-free riding experience.

2.4. Range and Efficiency

While hub drive electric skateboards may not always match the sheer power and performance of belt drive boards, they often excel in efficiency and range. The integrated motor design reduces friction and allows for a smoother ride, which can contribute to longer battery life and improved overall range.

  1. Choosing the Right Drive System

Now that we've explored the characteristics of both belt drive and hub drive electric skateboards, how do you decide which one is right for you? Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

3.1. Riding Style

Your preferred riding style plays a crucial role in determining the best drive system for you. If you enjoy high-speed cruising, tackling steep hills, or participating in electric skateboard races, a belt drive board's power and performance may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you prefer a more relaxed and noise-free commute or casual rides, a hub drive board could be a better fit.

3.2. Terrain

Consider the type of terrain you'll be riding on regularly. Belt drive electric skateboards are better equipped to handle rough and hilly terrains, while hub drive boards are ideal for flat or moderately sloped surfaces. Your local riding environment should influence your decision.

3.3. Maintenance

Think about how much time and effort you're willing to invest in maintenance. If you want a low-maintenance electric skateboard, a hub drive board is the way to go. However, if you don't mind occasional maintenance tasks in exchange for superior performance, a belt drive board might be more appealing.

3.4. Budget

Finally, your budget will also play a role in your decision. Belt drive electric skateboards are often more expensive due to their powerful motors and customization options. Hub drive boards tend to be more budget-friendly, making them an attractive choice for riders looking for affordability.


Both belt drive and hub drive electric skateboards have their unique strengths and weaknesses, catering to different riding styles and preferences. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to your specific needs and priorities as a rider.

If you crave high-speed performance, customizability, and don't mind occasional maintenance, a belt drive electric skateboard might be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you value a sleek design, quiet operation, and minimal maintenance, a hub drive board could be the ideal choice.

Before making your final decision, it's essential to test ride both types of electric skateboards if possible. This hands-on experience will help you determine which drive system aligns best with your riding goals, ensuring you get the most out of your electric skateboarding experience.

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