By Simon Smythe
Bosch eBike Systems has launched its new Smart System, which it describes as “a comprehensive package that combines innovative digital developments with industry-leading hardware to enhance the e-bike riding experience in the new e-mobility age.”
The German brand is investing heavily in sustainable transport, earlier this month claiming that according to its poll over half of all adults in the UK were considering e-mobility.
Bosch Smart System
Bosch’s Smart System is an integration of app and e-bike components that aims to enable an “individual eBike experience.”
It consists of the new eBike Flow app, a control unit, a display, a battery, and a drive unit which, according to Bosch, “take riding enjoyment in everyday life and in leisure time to the next level."
“Digital features and services are important enablers for our mobile future in a connected world, says Claus Fleischer, Bosch eBike Systems CEO. “With the Smart System, we are taking another step towards the e-bike mobility of tomorrow.”
Bosch says its new Smart System streamlines cockpit controls, benefiting from a new buttonless Kiox 300 display that's coupled with a brand new easy-to-use LED control unit. Meanwhile, the introduction of Bosch’s PowerTube 750 battery, combined with its Performance Line CX drive unit, released last year, extends e-bike ranges for longer rides on roads or trails.
Bosch eBike Flow App
Bosch's new eBike Flow App is at the centre of the Smart System, enabling the user to customise riding modes, record activities automatically and integrate with fitness apps such as Apple Health. It also allows over-the-air updates to the Bosch system, effectively futureproofing e-bikes running it.
“This offers e-bikers significant added value, says Fleischer. “They can update their e-bikes themselves at any time and equip it with new features that we will develop in the future. This means that the e-bike can be enhanced even after purchase and that it stays current throughout its entire service life.”
Customisation of riding modes is aimed at ensuring that the e-bike’s handling characteristics suit riding style or the selected route, according to Bosch. The available riding modes can be customised using the eBike Flow app, namely strength of assist, dynamics, maximum speed and maximum torque of the motor. Bosch says the eBike Flow app can be adapted by e-bike manufacturers to give it their own look, “allowing e-bikers to always stay connected to their favourite brand.”
As for automatic recording, Bosch says the app automatically detects when the ride starts and doesn’t require a smartphone to be present, with riding and fitness data exported or shared after the ride.
The eBike Flow app bundles all key information on the home screen, from the connection status of the eBike to the next service appointment and the current charge status of the battery. It also shows the total mileage of the drive unit and how it is distributed among the different riding modes.
“The functions of the eBike Flow app, with which we are starting in the first step, are just the beginning for us,” says Fleischer. “In the future, many more features will follow that will make eBiking safer, smarter and more individualised,” says Fleischer.
The Bosch eBike Flow app will be available with the first functions from autumn 2021 as a download for Android and iOS and will be supported in English, German and French. More languages are to follow.
New LED Remote and Kiox 300 display
Alongside the new app is hardware that Bosch describes as “intuitive, innovative and ergonomic.”
The new LED Remote control unit is a “fully connected control centre that’s fun to use,” according to Bosch, and can be operated with just the thumb. Using different colours, the LEDs indicate the various riding modes as well as displaying the vital information about the e-bike such as the current charge status and assist level.
The LED Remote is connected with the eBike Flow app via Bluetooth and thus the internet.
There’s also a new Kiox 300 head unit to replace the original Kiox that was launched in 2018. Its buttonless colour display is controlled via the LED Remote and it’s also connected to the eBike Flow app. This displays ride and fitness data and comes with its own mount that allows it to be positioned on the handlebar or stem according to the rider's preference.
Through regular over-the-air updates, the Kiox 300 stays current and is ready for more features in the future, according to Bosch.
Powertube 750 battery
The PowerTube 750 battery is Bosch’s new flagship rechargeable unit, supplying the maximum range in the current Bosch e-bike battery range. Bosch says it is “optimally designed for many metres of climbing and even longer distances.”
The lithium-ion battery can be integrated into the e-bike frame and is, according to Bosch, characterised by a particularly high energy density at a weight of approximately 4.4kg. Bosch says the PowerTube 750 can be charged to 50 per cent in just over two hours and fully in about six hours using the 4A Charger.
The powerhouse is Bosch’s Performance Line CX drive unit, launched last year, which provides a maximum of 85Nm of torque for what Bosch calls a natural, dynamic and unique riding experience.
Claus Fleischer says: “We are convinced that the fully connected, smart e-bike will redefine the mobility of tomorrow, both for short trips in everyday life and for extended rides in leisure time.
“The Smart System equips the e-bike with more intelligence, comfort, and safety for the mobility of the 21st century. This is how we are turning our vision of the e-bike mobility of the future into a reality, step by step.”
Take a look at Cycling Weekly's e-bike buyer's guide here.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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