Bosch has made comprehensive changes to its range of e-bike motors, power packs and supporting tech, in a major upgrade of its e-bike product range.
Ten years ago, it was one of the pioneers of e-bike systems, with its products used on a wide range of first generation e-bikes. But more recently it’s been eclipsed, at least for high performance road e-bikes, by motor systems from the likes of Fazua and ebikemotion.
"10 years ago, we started out with a handful of employees who believed in the eBike, demonstrating excitement and a lot of personal commitment," says Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems. "Nevertheless, none of us would have expected what success story would develop from these beginnings."
New Performance Line
The Performance Line mid-bike system has had an upgrade, with the weight now just 3.3kg. Bosch says that it’s upgraded its gearbox for low noise output and that there’s a new generation of drive units. These are designed to give plenty of support, even for riders pedalling at higher cadences and a more natural ride feel, with little pedal resistance.
There are options which will power an e-bike at up to 45kph, far above the mandatory 25kph limit for unlicensed e-bikes. Bosch has built tech into its motors to stop users tuning them to exceed their rated speeds.
Plus there are new battery options which will extend the available range or can be integrated neatly into the e-bike’s frame.
The new PowerTube 625 gives 625Wh of power from a compact unit weighing 3.5kg. It can be charged to 50% in 1.5 hours and fully charged in 3.7 hours. Plus, the unit can be coupled up for 1250Wh capacity.
The smaller PowerTube 400 battery is more designed for the daily commute or for shorted trips.
New Cargo Line
The Cargo Line motor system is designed to provide enough power for those riding cargo bikes, carrying heavier loads. Bosch says that it majors on controlled acceleration and has a system weight of just 2.9kg.
There are two versions: one limited to 25kph and the other capable of 45kph. They can handle a total load of up to 250kg and will power up the rider to four times their unassisted power output. Power delivery is designed to provide assistance from low cadences, to help with standing starts and hills.
As with the Performance Line units, there’s the option to double up on battery capacity for extended range. The Cargo Line system is targeted as a sustainable, low noise replacement for fossil fuelled vehicles for urban deliveries.
The eBike Connect app is designed to link your e-bike to your smartphone. It gives you functions including navigation, 2D and 3D mapping, audible output, fitness tracking and music as you ride. There’s Bluetooth connectivity to a heart rate monitor. Plus it links up to Strava, Google Fit and other fitness tracking apps.
Bosch’s Smart Lock system provides digital theft protection, which inactivates your motor when your Bosch Kiox computer is disconnected from its mount. The motor is only reactivated when you reattach the same computer back into its mount. There’s an audible alert when the system is locked or unlocked.
Bosch is also showing its confidence in e-bikes by spinning off its eBike Systems unit from its automotive electronics division into a separate business division.
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