Bosch has been providing e-bikes with their extra oomph for more than 10-years now, and these german motors can be found mounted to bikes from Trek, Scott and Focus to name a few. For 2022, there are a few new products, a few updates, and a lot of Bluetooth connections.
The newly launched Bosch ‘Smart System’ has only been rolled out across the range-topping Performance CX Line, but the motor isn’t the headline here, in fact, it’s almost exactly the same as the current model. Instead, Bosch has focused on a suite of smart components that tell the motor what to do for 2022.
While the brand will continue to offer its older ‘dumb’ components for the time being, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems Claus Fleischer said its entire range will be available as part of the Smart System Range. With that, these new components are not backwards compatible.
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eBike Flow App
Bosch’s 2022 announcement hinges around the new eBike Flow app, which will replace the current eBike Connect app.
First and foremost, this will allow for Bosch eBike systems to be updated over the air, via a Bluetooth connection. This allows the brand to continue to develop new battery features and drive modes, as well as new data screens for its eBike displays.
The home screen of the app shows you all your vital info, like how much juice you have remaining, how many miles you have put on the drive unit and when you should have it serviced.
The eBike Flow app will also allow for activity tracking. Kicking off automatically when you start pedalling, the app piggybacks your smartphone’s GPS chip to track your ride. Bosch says these activities can be synced with Apple Health, but made no mention of the Google Fit app or other third-party apps like Strava.
The most exciting feature of Bosch’s new eBike Flow app is the ability to customise ride modes like the Shimano and Specialized e-Bike systems. In the media presentation, Bosch only mentioned the linear assist modes (eco, tour, turbo), saying you would be able to adjust the maximum support level, the max torque (Nm), and the maximum ‘dynamic’ (acceleration), as well as the cutoff speed — provided it’s below the legally mandated 25kph.
We’re not sure if the current eBike Connect app will miraculously transform into eBike Flow, following the next update or if it will be a new addition to the App Store, but Bosch says it should be available in (northern hemisphere) Autumn 2021.
The Bosch Purion remote that comes with the vast majority of its e-bikes reminds us of the TV from the Simpsons. It’s big, it’s bulky, and it could be a hell of a lot better, and the new LED remote is that plasma screen upgrade Homer always wanted — oddly enough without a screen at all.
The new LED remote shows basically all the information you need in what appears to be a svelte and ergonomic package that you can see regardless of the ambient light.
Five LED’s show your battery status, while the boomerang on the inside changes colour based on your chosen assist mode. The plus and minus buttons shuffle through the assist modes and appear to have been moved down, so they should be easier to reach while still gripping the bars. Left and right arrows scroll through the screens of a connected display, like the newly launched Kiox.
Through the eBike Flow app, your phone can also be paired to the remote and display the info that the Kiox, Nyon or Purion units would show, like speed, distance, elapsed time and more.
The Kiox is essentially a bike computer specifically designed for the Bosch eBike system. With a 2in colour screen, there are no buttons and it’s controlled from the remote.
The Kiox shows live data like current speed, ride time, distance, remaining battery and projected range. Currently, this is the only display available for this new Bosch Smart System, though the brand has hinted there may be subsequent releases and updates.
Bosch also says there will be several mounting options to play nice with the varied cockpits coming from different manufacturers.
Power Tube 750
While it’s not quite the 900Wh battery Shimano is offering with the new Norco Sight, the PowerTube 750 is the biggest option from the german e-bike brand. As the name suggests it has a 750Wh capacity, Bosch claims it weighs 4.4kg and will last up to 100km in mixed conditions or 140km in ‘favourable’ conditions.
With the new 4-amp charger, Bosch also claims the new PowerTube can be charged halfway in 2.5-hours, and a full charge from empty should take about six hours.
Unfortunately, it appears the connector between the battery and the motor is different from the current Performance CX and PowerTube models, and at the time of writing, the 750Wh PowerTube is the only battery in the new Smart System range.
Bosch ‘Smart’ Performance Line CX motor
The Smart System Performance Line CX motor hasn’t changed much for 2022. It still offers up to 85nm of torque and 340-per cent assistance, and the bulk of the hardware inside the magnesium housing is primarily the same. The main difference is the connectivity, the wiring harness, battery interface and the firmware.
With this updated firmware comes a new adaptive assist mode called Tour +, which is essentially the adaptive e-MTB mode with the volume turned down. Bosch says Tour+ provides more controlled assistance at lower power outputs and provides more natural feeling support at higher output.
Still to come
Bosch says the final piece of the Smart System will be what it calls the ‘Connect Module’, which will enable anti-theft protection. This add-on will allow you to trigger an alarm if your bike is stolen and track your bike’s location, even if it’s out of Bluetooth range.
The only indication we have been given as to when the Smart System will begin to roll out on new bikes is that the app launches this quarter. We will update this story if more concrete information becomes available.