Bosch eBike Systems has today launched a new range of urban and e-MTB product innovations for model year 2020, with an emphasis on security against theft, anti-tuning and less weight, more power.
CIN was flown out to attend the Sneak Preview event for the product innovation launch in Stuttgart, and had the opportunity to test-ride the new products.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Bosch eBike Systems has incorporated a number of new innovations across eMTB, urban, cargo bikes, security and digitisation to further put e-bikes at the heart of the cycle market.
According to Bosch, over one million e-bikes were sold last year in Germany alone, with this and Switzerland being the company’s biggest market. The firm has observed Italy, Greece and the UK copying this model while Australia and New Zealand are becoming ever more interested. While Bosch’s core market remains Europe, the Asian market is interesting for the firm due to the trend of favouring western brands while retaining the importance of a low price segment.
In terms of security advancements, Bosch has developed software which makes e-bikes less attractive to thieves. A new Lock function enables motor support to be deactivated by removing the on-board computer, meaning motor support is no longer available to the rider. The electronic lock only unlocks again when the same on-board computer is re-connected. According to Bosch, this makes the e-bike less attractive to thieves; riding enjoyment is drastically curtailed without motor support, making the bike much more difficult to sell on.
Another new innovation worth highlighting is the anti-tuning software due to be installed on all Bosch e-bike drive systems from 2020 onward. The firm has developed software that uses a sensor to detect whether the e-bike has been tuned, and if it has the e-bike automatically switches to limp home mode and electric support is reduced.
The rider can restore the original riding settings by riding the e-bike for around 90 minutes. As soon as the system returns to normal mode, however, the manipulation check will be repeated. After the third time, limp home mode can only be deactivated by a specialist dealer using the Bosch Diagnostic Tool, which Bosch believes will deter and discourage manipulation.
CIN’s Logan van der Poel Treacy went along to test ride Bosch’s latest innovations at the Stuttgart launch…
Being invited out to Germany to see and test anything new and innovative in the world of e-bikes is always a privilege, and when Bosch say they have a whole range of revised motors, you know that it will be a big step up in the performance.
The flagship model is of course the Performance Line CX motor. Being 50% smaller than the previous model and weighing 2.9 kilos it’s 25% lighter too. Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike systems, went through all the technical details and outlined that, because of the compact size of the new drive unit, manufacturers have been able to build the frames with shorter chainstays, giving the bikes a more lively feel. This really showed when we were amongst the first people to test out the drive units later that day in the woodlands surrounding the Bosch HQ, just outside of Stuttgart.
On to the riding experience… Well, my first impressions were that all the R&D that had been put into these drive units had paid off. It was night and day in performance from the previous iterations. The pick up from the motor was instantaneous and there wasn’t any moment when you were left wanting for assistance from it. The trails that we were riding were littered with short punchy climbs and some fast flowing single track, which was perfect to be able to feel the cut out point of the motor. Gone is the feeling of pedalling through a gearbox as a freewheel decouples the motor and transmission altogether, allowing a smooth transition from providing support to non-assisted speed.
On the descents, the reduced weight was noticeable as the bike was much easier to manoeuvre and throw around. Obviously, it wasn’t near as easy to flick around as a lightweight trail bike, but that’s to be expected.
On to the climbing aspect. This is where I was blown away by the drive unit. On tight technical trails where previously the motor would kick in a bit too hard in turbo mode, this motor had a much more gentle approach to how it delivered the power. It had a more linear and controllable powerband allowing you to start gently and then be given the full assistance when needed.
All in all I have to say that Bosch have done an amazing job in making the system even better than the previous version and it is hard to argue against it now being the benchmark for e-bike drive systems.
Details on the new systems…
Evolution of the Performance Line CX
- New, powerful drive for eMTB use from model year 2020 onwards
- Compact, lightweight drive unit enables agile e-MTB riding
- Optimised for sporty, powerful and dynamic riding on the trail
Bosch eBike Systems is launching a drive system for e-MTB use that is light and compact but at the same time extremely powerful and efficient. The most powerful Drive Unit from Bosch provides riders with up to 340% support. The motor accelerates extremely powerfully, reacts to the rider’s pedal pressure without deceleration and provides dynamic handling to allow even more agility and control over the bike.
New Performance line
- Versatile drive system is ideal for sporty riders and commuters
- Natural riding sensation with barely noticeable pedal resistance
- Two variants: support up to 25 km/h or 45 km/h
The new Performance Line that Bosch eBike Systems is presenting for model year 2020 is the most versatile drive system in the portfolio. The efficient drive unit supports riders up to 25 km/h with the Drive Unit Performance Cruise or up to 45 km/h with the Speed model. The drive offers a natural sporty riding sensation and accelerates dynamically and powerfully, even at low cadences. Designed for recreational athletes, trekking and touring riders as well as commuters.
New Cargo line
- Powerful drive system optimised for cargo bikes
- Two variants: Drive Unit Cargo (25 km/h) and Cargo Speed (45 km/h)
- e-cargobikes continue to drive the transport of goods in the city
Bosch eBike Systems is presenting a new product line for the 2020 model year that has been specially developed for cargo bikes. The Cargo Line makes transport easy and comfortable, as the powerful motor enables controlled acceleration with or without loads. The drive is available in two versions: with support up to 25 km/h or as Cargo Line Speed for S-pedelecs up to 45 km/h.
- PowerTube 625 for maximum range and altitude
- Further addition to the Bosch battery portfolio: the PowerTube 400
- PowerTubes enable optimal integration and clean eBike design
The new PowerTube 625 is Bosch’s energy supplier for maximum range and altitude. The powerful, integrated lithium-ion battery is ideal for e-MTB bikers and e-Bikers who travel long distances. Also new in the portfolio is the compact PowerTube 400, which can be integrated into the frame of city bikes. Bosch eBike Systems is offering three variants of integrable rechargeable batteries from model year 2020, which cover all application areas with different energy contents.
SmartphoneHub & connected biking
- Digital all-rounder on the handlebar
- Connectivity with apps and services results in a smart riding experience
- Useful features for the “connected biker”
The new SmartphoneHub from Bosch eBike Systems connects riders with the online world by means of the smartphone and the COBI.Bike app. The smart control centre offers a wide range of useful functions from navigation, music control, fitness tracking and making calls to the connection to other services and apps, such as Strava or komoot. An integrated display that supplies the rider with the most important riding data ensures sufficient flexibility while on the road.
Kiox technical innovation
- Kiox: Part of the connected eBike world
- eSuspension: Integrated electronic suspension from FOX
- Nyon update: Discovering routes with Outdooractive
The Kiox on-board computer now has connectivity functions that link riders with the smartphone app and the eBike Connect online portal. The eSuspension solution provides more comfort for e-MTB, integrating an electronically controllable suspension system from FOX. The Nyon ecosystem features new portal and app designs, as well as the option of accessing Outdooractive content to discover a wide range of interesting cycle routes.