Different drive efficiency

Does anyone know how effecient the drivetrains are for our motors? I know on motorcycles the efficiency is very different for each drive train. From everything I’ve read, typically belt driven has the least amount of power loss, chain has a medium amount of power loss, and direct drive gears have actually the greatest amount of power loss by a long shot.

I understand that motorcycles are very different from our boards, but I do wonder what the differences is for our boards and these motors. Has anyone on here actually done tests using each type of drive? The difference probably isn’t significant like it is on motorcycles considering the simplicity of our drivers. Although I wonder if there is still a difference.

I would like to run these tests, but I don’t have a direct drive or any means to accurately measure the output power




There is a difference in drag depending on the drive train.
The main thing is which kind of wheels you riding. You get more range with urethane wheels than with pneumatics.
@Lee_Wright did a range test with @Tonkatron he on helical gears, Mo on 25mm belts with idlers. With the gear drive Lee got a good amount of range.
I was riding my board with chains and after with straight cut gears. With chains I got about 28km range for a full discharge. With the gears I got about 33km out of the same pack. Both Runs with same terrain and average speed.

I think there different factors as well playing into account, so you can’t really compare two drives with each other if you don’t compare them with exactly the same setups and same rider on the same place.

I personally would put chains and 15mm belts and idlers on one level. 9-12mm belts might get you more range. How ever gear drives seem to have less drag and with it more free roll which gives you in the end more range.

Edit: I didn’t include direct drives or hubs as I can’t compare them by own experience.


First we need to clearify what it is. I have no idea :sweat_smile:


Honestly I feel like direct drive would have the least power loss, but at the same time less power to lose

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Thank you for showing your experience. I’m very interested for my next board to make it at efficient as possible

If you plan a mtb than gear drive is the king.
Doesn’t matter so much which one, just important it’s set up right. More psi in the tires will help a lot as well. Just everything that decrease the rolling resistance.

If you go with a street board, than idk direct drive or 9mm belt or gear drive.
I‘m sure for that the street rocker can help you with more experience.


Having some numbers for efficiency of each setup would be cool, but if you are worried about efficiency translating into worse range you just need a bigger battery.

How opposed are people to adding weight to their board/backpack? Besides jumping eMTB’s.

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I know I could just get a massive battery for extream range. But it’s more so the idea of having a very efficient board

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Hell yeah

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I am fairly certain I remember several threads where this was proven exactly the opposite. If you think about it in a friction way, belts would have much more friction than gears, even simply looking at the contact patch of the two materials. Improperly adjusted gear systems (too tight, too loose) will have the same issues efficiency-wise as belts.


Pretty sure the power transfer rankings go direct drives, gears then belts but Idk

This is probably true for motorcycles because a “gear drive” motorcycle needs a driveshaft with 90* bevel gears on both sides, which inherently have a decent amount of friction. Our skate gear drives have no bevel gears, with one exception (afaik)


The most efficient build possible currently is a single gear drive 13s shortboard higher voltage will equal more efficiency but it is uneconomical to exceed 13s

For motorcycles, the drive train for a gear drive is very heavy. so for motorcycles, gear drive is much less efficient

I switched from 10mm belts to 15mm and absolutely hated the extra drag it gave me, I don’t understand why everyone likes running wide belts…

because 15mm belts snap like never

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This. Though the folks at Arcboards tested different with gear drives being ahead of direct drives.
I’ve personally never tested the efficiencies of direct drives, but am guessing that the difference in efficiencies will be largely due to different riding scenarios (i.e. with low KV motors, they tend to heat up to ohmic heating when pushed to their limit, which is often needed to achieve high-torque, resulting in a huge drop in efficiency.)

Imho, when coasting on a flat ground, i’d rank them hubs>gears>belts>chain. Then again, i’ve little experience with hub motors, so someone feel free to prove me wrong.


Wot you’ve never tried hubs fully and yet that’s a first on your rankings?

How could you say something so controversial yet brave :scream:


I’d think it makes the most sense when pulling low current on flat grounds.

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