Now with torque sensor too!

Successor of a classic: The new X30 hub motor from Mahle

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With the new X30, Mahle introduces the first real successor to the currently most popular drive system with hub motors. And to briefly categorise the relevance of this motor, let’s take a look back:

The system with the largely invisible drive system was launched back in 2018 and became accessible to a wider audience, particularly with the Gain model range from Orbea. E-bikes could suddenly also be lightweight and sporty! Like Orbea, the manufacturer of the drive system came also from Spain and was called Ebikemotion, but was acquired by Mahle shortly afterwards.

Der X35 genannte Motor erfuhr mit dem X35+ zwar ein kleines Update, eine echte Neuerung blieb seitdem aber aus. Auch eine hochwertige Steuerung mittels eines Drehmomentsensors blieb dem Antrieb bis zuletzt verwehrt. Der Popularität tat dies jedoch keinen Abbruch, denn eben dieser X35-Motor entwickelte sich zum echten Hit! Heute bieten zahlreiche Hersteller Bike mit diesem mit diesem Antrieb an – von günstigen Modellen wie dem Decathlon Speed 900E Connect, puristischen Singlespeed-Bikes wie dem Rose Sneak Plus bis hin zu extravaganten Bikes wie dem Urwahn Stadtfuchs. Und klar, auch Orbea bietet nach wie vor Bikes mit diesem Antrieb an.

The X35 motor received a small update with the X35+, but there has been no real innovation since then. The drive system also lacked a high-quality control system with a torque sensor until the end. However, this did not detract from its popularity, as this X35 motor became a real hit! Today, numerous manufacturers offer bikes with this motor — from affordable models such as the Decathlon Speed 900E Connect, purist single-speed bikes such as the Rose Sneak Plus to extravagant bikes such as the Urwahn Stadtfuchs. And of course, Orbea also continues to offer bikes with this drive.

Two years ago, however, Mahle showed the next step with the introduction of the new X20 system. This was completely redeveloped, offers several battery options and also features a torque sensor. The motor itself is designed to be particularly lightweight, offering 55 Nm of torque (compared to a mid-drive motor) and weighing just 1.4 kg. In addition, innovations such as the thru-axle and a magnetic power connection have also been used here. As a result, the motor has so far only been available in sporty racing bikes at a correspondingly high price.

Mahle X30 Nabenmotor Drehmomentsensor
The new X30 hub motor from Mahle

However, this is likely to change with the new X30 motor, which follows hot on the heels of its popular predecessor, the X35 — but is fully compatible with the newer components of the X20 system! Its torque of 45 Nm (compared to a mid-motor) is slightly higher than that of its predecessor (40 Nm), while the weight is 1.9 kg. With a conventional power cable and fixed axle, the X30 is similar in design to its predecessor, but can now be coupled with a torque sensor — although it does not have to be. There is also the option of motor control via a standard PAS sensor. It remains to be seen which system the manufacturers will ultimately opt for.

The same applies to the batteries, as the more powerful iX3 with 350 Wh capacity is now available for the new motor in addition to the iX2 with 250 Wh. What both have in common, however, is that the battery must be permanently installed in the frame. A slim e-bike with Mahle drive and removable battery is therefore still not in sight. However, the new system also offers an optional range extender in water bottle format, which then enables 170 Wh for an extended range.

The drive unit has new controls compared to the old X35 system: the button on the top tube has been redesigned and now has an elongated format. Wireless controllers can also be used on the handlebars, such as the new Duo button, which allows the support modes to be conveniently changed with the press of a thumb. The compact Pulsar ONE display, which is also wirelessly connected, is also available as an option.

It shouldn’t be long before the first urban bikes with the new Mahle X30 system come onto the market. We can only hope that the familiar price level of its predecessor can be kept and that as many manufacturers as possible make use of the option of the new torque sensor!

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