We take a look at what’s new in 2018 for Bosch eBike systems and the Bosch electric bikes that will be coming to Australia.
Bosch first began developing eBike Systems in 2010 and pioneered the mid-drive technology that makes the pedal-assist such a special ride. Every year they have brought out fresh innovations to continually improve the ride experience, functionality and reliability of their electric bike systems.
This year there are three key innovations that we can expect to see on Bosch electric bikes in Australia:
- A new integrated battery – the Bosch PowerTube 500
- A new drive unit (Bosch motor) – the Bosch Active Line Plus
- An overhaul to the Bosch Active Line drive system
In an increasingly competitive industry Bosch are not resting on their laurels and are continually innovating to stay ahead.
Bosch PowerTube 500 Battery 2018 – A fully integrated battery
Bosch fans have been anticipating it and this year, in 2018, we will see Bosch-powered electric bikes with a fully integrated PowerTube battery. Until now Bosch batteries have fit externally to the bikes. This sleek 500Wh battery now allows bike manufacturers to integrate the tube shape battery into electric bike frames, opening up a new design era.
Due to the compact and robust construction, the PowerTube 500 weighs in at 2.8 kg, which is about 200g heavier than the external PowerPack 500. The technology inside is the same found in the current PowerPack though, which makes the PowerTube 500 compatible with all current Bosch motors.
The new PowerTube battery can be mounted horizontally or vertically, and the result is an electric bike that looks very much like a traditional bike. Have a look at the Riese & Muller ebike range for outstanding examples of how the Bosch PowerTube battery has been used to create very sleek and modern-looking bicycles that don't even look like ebikes. The Supercharger ebike for example carries two PowerTube 500 batteries and you are hard pressed to tell it is electric!
Bosch Active Line Plus 2018 - A more compact, lighter leisure motor
The Active Line Plus is a new drive unit that will feature in some 2018 urban and trekking models. This agile drive system offers a bit more punch than the standard Active 2018 setup, with torque up to 50Nm (vs 48Nm) and weighs in at just over 3kg.
A best in class system for leisure and casual riding, the Active Line Plus improves handling due to its reduced weight and size (it is approx. 20% smaller and lighter). It comes without the internal gearbox that used to feature on the Active Line motor and with standard sized chain rings instead, which significantly reduces motor noise and resistance.
Bosch Active Line 2018 - smaller, lighter, longer distance
The Bosch Active Line was one of the original motors, designed for riders seeking comfort whilst riding, and with the development of the Bosch Active Line Plus system it has had an overhaul. Being a lower torque is often preferred by those who value smooth gentle assistance for flatter terrains rather than the sportier, more aggressive assistance that the performance motors offer.
For 2018 the Bosch Active Line gets a new motor design that has reduced the overall size by about 25% by going away from being internally geared to having a big sprocket externally.
This allows less resistance and brings the size and weight of the unit down for better integration and handling. A side benefit of the reduced weight is the increase in battery range too.
The two new motors, Active Line and Active Line Plus, scored a Red Dot design award last year with the jury stating “Both drive units are technically advanced and score with a compact design and softly rounded edges. They are therefore very easy to integrate into a wide variety of frame models.”
The production lines that are adopting these new enhancements are now geared up so we will start to see these innovations hitting the shop floors any time soon.