Last month BOSCH released eMTB mode, a hotly anticipated software update that is available for the BOSCH Performance Line CX mid-drive system.
So what is all the fuss about eMTB mode?
Anyone who has ridden an electric mountain bike that is equipped with a BOSCH CX drive system is blown away by the instant power response, high torque, and ability to crush almost any climb with ease - especially if you’re riding in Turbo mode!
If there was one criticism I had during my more technical e-MTB rides, it was there was too much power in certain situations (hard to imagine huh?!).
The new e-MTB mode addresses this through a firmware update which replaces the current Sport Pedal Assist mode with an Electric Mountain Bike Mode (e-MTB for short). Sport Pedal Assist mode provides a 210% multiplication of rider effort. Replacing it with e-MTB mode changes this to between 120% and 300%.
Having spent some time riding with the new eMTB mode installed, and canvassing the views of customers who are using it, here are our top 5 situations where it comes into its own.
1. Tight, steep switch back climbs
Switch backs climbs often tighten up on their exit, as well as kick up a gradient or two. Before e-MTB mode I would approach the corners in Tour mode to match my approach speed. I would then flick up to Sport on exit to accelerate through the bend. With e-MTB mode I can now pedal naturally on the way into the corner and use the extra boost on exit without the need to change mode.
2. Rock Gardens
Rock garden climbs can stop you in your tracks if you don’t get the power on at the crucial point. e-MTB mode again comes to the rescue as you can pick you line carefully through the slower sections and then use the instant power to boost you over the final (usually steeper) few meters.
3. Log Step-Ups
Log step-ups can quickly put a stop to your progress uphill if your timing is off. The brute force approach would be to use Turbo mode, however this adds the risk of spinning out your rear wheel, especially if it’s a bit damp (see below).
With e-MTB mode you can use the progressive power to pop the front wheel over the log and then finesse the rear wheel over with a reduced risk of breaking traction. If the gradient kicks up, no problem, just put in a power pedal stroke and you’ve got an instant 300% assist on tap to keep your momentum going.
One of the big plus points for electric mountain bikes is they help you climb more quickly, so you can spend more time going down hill.
Before e-MTB mode I would often turn off my electric assist for downhills, as gravity was more than enough help (especially in the upper sections). However, as the gradient dropped off I would find myself constantly switching between Tour and Sport modes to match my speed to the more undulating sections of the trail.
Now it’s a case of set and forget, with plenty of power on tap to exit the tighter corners with speed, and smooth out any undulations in the lower sections of the trail.
5. When the trails are loose or wet
We are pretty lucky with our trails around Brisbane and SEQ as they drain well and are well maintained. Occasionally you do come across loose sections, especially on some of the steeper climbs or if you are out exploring. If you are forced to stop it can be tricky to get started again. eMTB mode gives you a progressive take-off which reduce the risk of breaking traction on the rear wheel.
These 5 reasons are based on experience. Guy, one of our keen riding Haibike customers, has this to say about e-MTB mode which pretty much nails it!
“I have only ridden at Hidden Vale and Jubilee Park. Jubilee Park has a lot of really steep hills and really complicated tracks.
Before the eMTB mode you are always flicking up and down the assist levels. I'm only a beginner so when there is a big log across the trail or large rocks (with a drop off to the side of the track - which always makes me nervous) I stop...walk the bike over the obstacle, and then ride on. If you are going uphill and in a high assist mode the bike launches off and you have to stop again. You never really can get back in a rhythm and can nearly come undone pretty badly.
eMTB mode takes care of all this. The take offs are always smooth - it doesn't matter where you are. I think it's much safer having it on trails that are at your current ability level.
It's a hard feeling to describe - the bike only gives you the assistance you actually need, and it seems to be spot on all the time.”
Thanks to Guy for taking the time to share his experiences.
If you want to get Bosch eMTB mode installed on your ebike then book your ebike in for a standard service with us and it is included as part of the service. If you just want the update then we can do that too. Book your ebike in here.