After Shimano has already set off the first fireworks of innovations, Bosch is now following up. And indeed, the market leader also has numerous innovations to offer — at least at first glance.
For a better understanding of the innovations, however, we need to take a brief step back. Last year, Bosch presented a completely new “smart system”: a self-contained drive system consisting of the Performance Line CX motor, a huge 750 Wh PowerTube battery and new controls. Compared to the previous (non-smart) system, the range of available components was thus extremely meager. After all, Bosch also offers smaller and lighter PowerTube batteries with 625 Wh or 500 Wh there, as well as the classic PowerPack batteries. And also with the motors, there is more choice for different bike types, among with the regular Performance Line motor, cargo motors or those for fast S-pedelecs.
With the now announced innovations, however, Bosch brings momentum to the smart system and makes numerous familiar components from the old system compatible with the new, smart system!
The previously available Performance Line CX motor is now joined by the Performance Line Speed, which will support S-pedelecs at up to 45 km/h. Also new for the Smart System is the Cargo Line motor for cargo bikes and the regular Performance Line motor. The latter is still located below the CX variant and continues to be based on the older and larger motor housing. With 75 Nm, the motor is now a bit more powerful. Apart from that the qualities of this motor are known (among other things, tested here in the Cannondale Quick Neo), but an update in size and weight would have been more than desirable! It is also a pity that the Performance Line related Active Line Plus motor is not made compatible with the smart system.
Old and new batteries
Just as with the motors, known battery models are now also made compatible with the smart system: In addition to the familiar integrated battery of the PowerTube series with 750 Wh, there are now also the models with 625 Wh and 500 Wh.
In addition, the frame batteries of the PowerPack series become compatible, these even with increased capacities: previously, this battery type was only available with 500 Wh and 400 Wh, now 545 Wh and even 725 Wh are available. The dimensions of the PowerPacks have therefore also increased slightly.
Modern controls, old-fashioned display
But the most obvious innovations are in the controls: as an alternative to the familiar and somewhat clunky LED Remote for the handlebars, there is now also a compact System Controller for integration into the frame of the bike. The new Mini Remote is then available as a compact thumb switch for intuitive control.
The Intuvia 100 is the new classic display for showing driving data — an inexpensive, large and easy-to-read display. With a coarse resolution and the somewhat old-fashioned look of a pocket calculator, this display seems to be more suitable for all users who are neither very interested in nor need a “smart system”. For all others, the more modern Kiox 300 display or the connection with the smartphone and the eBike Flow app is still an option. Bosch now offers the SmartphoneGrip, a kind of smartphone holder for the handlebar.
Brake safely with ABS
With the Bosch eBike ABS, the anti-lock braking system is now also compatible with the components of the smart system. Fittingly, the adapted variants of LED Remote and System Controller each have the obligatory ABS indicator light integrated.
Many innovations that are already known: Bosch is making the smart system presented last year the new standard and is massively expanding the compatibility of previous components. Almost all relevant parts are now also available in the new system, which significantly expands the selection. In particular, the option for more compact and thus also lighter batteries will significantly increase the selection of bikes with the smart system, as will, of course, the special motors now offered for cargo bikes and S-pedelecs.
It is a shame that the solid Active Line Plus motor is no longer included, but at least the regular Performance Line motor is available again. However, an update in terms of size and weight would have been desirable here as well. A contemporary compact and lightweight drive system with medium performance is therefore unfortunately still not in sight from Bosch!