As Mahle announces, the drive system for e-bikes known as Ebikemotion is receiving a small evolution for the coming season. X35+ is the new name, X35 is the predecessor and the name Ebikemotion is not mentioned in Mahle’s press release anymore. Sounds a bit confusing, but it can be easily explained:
Ebikemotion’s drive made its debut in 2017 with the sporty, lightweight e-bikes from Desiknio and Orbea’s Gain range. It’s certainly no coincidence that they are both Spanish manufacturers, after all Ebikemotion also comes from Spain. The drive has always had the name X35 – but since it is the only product of the manufacturer, it is usually referred to as an Ebikemotion drive system. In October 2018 Mahle — itself mainly known as a supplier to the automotive industry — took over the company Ebikemotion. Not much has changed about the product since then, except that the system has become very popular and is used by more and more manufacturers.
The core component of the 3.5 kg lightweight system is a compact hub motor with 40 Nm torque for the rear wheel and a battery with 248 Wh capacity permanently integrated into the frame. The system is operated via controls on the top tube and/or handlebars, and there is also a compatible smartphone app for further settings and information. The range can also be extended with a battery in water bottle size (the Range Extender with 208 Wh). Unfortunately, the motor is not controlled by a torque sensor, but there are three speed levels available. Despite this actual disadvantage, the drive proves to be quite easy to drive in practice — as was shown in our test of the Orbea Gain.
And now there’s a small update called X35+, which is supposed to offer extended connectivity like ANT+ integration (although this was already partly available in 2020 models). On the hardware side, the motor housing and system design have been further improved, and the new motor also allows higher spoke tension for more robust wheels. A small but perhaps important point, as we read about spoke breaks on Orbea’s popular Gain models from time to time. All the other components of the system remain unchanged.
As mentioned at the beginning, Mahle refrains from mentioning the name Ebikemotion in the press release — perhaps a sign that they now want to be perceived on the market under their own name with the Mahle X35+ system. But this might still take some time, because further information about the drive can still be found on the Ebikemotion website and the corresponding smartphone app also bears this name.