If you look at the numerous new releases among the e-drives in recent years, one trend is unmistakable — and that is the trend towards compact and lightweight systems! In addition to the now quite popular hub motors, mid-motor systems are also increasingly relying on these properties. Thus, in addition to Specialized with the SL models, there are also more and more bikes with the new Fazua Ride 60 or TQs HPR 50 drive system. What they all have in common is the balance between compact dimensions for a design that is as unobtrusive as possible, a light system weight for and an assistance that is sufficient for most applications and tends to appeal to more active riders. It was therefore only a matter of time before the major manufacturers picked up on this trend — first and foremost, of course, market leader Bosch.
300 watts per kilogram: the data on the new SX motor
And indeed it has now come, with it’s new Performance Line SX Bosch brings a completely new drive system, which is particularly compact and lightweight! As is typical for Bosch, this is also a mid-drive motor that weighs only about 2 kg thanks to the magnesium housing and offers a torque of 55 Nm. The peak power is said to be up to 600 watts, the rated continuous power is at the legally regulated 250 watts.
Bosch itself promises a riding experience similar to that of a conventional bicycle, and the area of application for the new SX motor is said to lie particularly in light eMTBs, eGravel bikes and eUrban bikes. The new motor is also said to offer advantages outside the support range, as the The pedaling resistance has been reduced by more than 50 percent compared to other Bosch Drive Units – and is thus said to be barely noticeable. Also interesting: Bosch speaks of a very low noise development thanks to the new novel motor and gear concept!
Compact battery for low system weight
As a logical complement to the new motor, Bosch also offers a new battery type: the CompactTube, which offers 400 Wh capacity. Thanks to the latest cell technology, this offers the highest energy density among Bosch’s bike batteries. Thus, the CompactTube 400 should weigh only about 2 kilograms, which should allow a system weight of motor, battery and controls of about 4 kg!
By comparison, Fazua’s Ride 60 system (60 Nm torque, 430 Wh battery) weighs in at 4.3 kg. TQ’s HPR 50 (50 Nm torque, 360 Wh battery) comes to 3.9 kg. Bosch’s new SX system (55 Nm torque, 400 Wh battery) is thus probably on a par with the competition.
For urban bikes in particular, it is also good news that the new CompactTube can also be removed from the frame of the bike for charging — at least if the manufacturer wants that. Optionally, the battery can also be permanently installed in the frame, this decision is left to the bike brands.
And there is another interesting addition among the new products: for the first time, Bosch is now also offering a range extender, the PowerMore 250, which is the size of a drinking bottle. With 250 Wh of extra capacity, this additional battery, which weighs 1.6 kg, extends the range by 60% in the case of the CompactTupe 400 battery.
SX is also part of the smart system
Unsurprisingly, the newcomer is also compatible with Bosch’s smart system. Thus, the drive can be used with the controls. A particularly inconspicuous combination without a classic display would be conceivable, for example, with the Mini Remote and the System Controller on the top tube. Also exciting is the new Purion 200, a combination of small display and control unit – but more about that in this article.
Furthermore, the Performance Line SX can of course also be used with Bosch’s Flow app. With this extended connectivity to the smartphone, it is then even possible to adjust individual driving modes or use functions such as tracking and locking the drive. There is more information about this in this article as well.
What Bosch offers new with the new Performance Line SX drive and the matching CompactTube 400 battery is to be welcomed for many reasons:
On the one hand, in our opinion, it seems to be an important step towards modern, but quite reasonable e-drive systems. Instead of always aiming for stronger motor power and larger battery capacity, other qualities such as weight, design and noise are now also taken into account: Due to weight savings, bikes with such a drive can also be ridden more naturally outside the electric support, the compact construction favors an elegant design — and a low noise level is simply less annoying 😉
Furthermore, it is certainly a good sign for the overall market when an industry giant like Bosch takes on this segment — this should significantly expand the range of such bikes and also appeal to new groups of buyers thanks to the brand’s recognition.
Finally, Bosch also directly addresses the urban e-bike segment with the new Performance Line SX — which gives hope for numerous innovations! The upcoming Eurobike trade show should already bring the first announcements. According to Bosch, the first models with the Performance Line SX are expected to come onto the market in the fall of 2023.