A guide to 2020 Bosch e-bike motors, batteries and displays

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A guide to 2020 Bosch e-bike motors, batteries and displays
By Lawrence Bywater 18 July 2019 No comments

Arguably the biggest name in e-bike systems, Bosch has been providing power to e-bikes since 2010.

Now in their tenth year, Bosch motors deliver the holy trinity for e-bike assistance: power, efficiency and excellent ride feel.  

This guide gives an overview of each Bosch product – motors, batteries and displays, helping you decipher the jargon in order to ensure you purchase the right Bosch powered electric bike for your riding needs.

Bosch electric bike motors

At the heart of every e-bike system is a motor. All Bosch motors are situated at the crank of an e-bike.

Sometimes called mid-drive, these motors are powerful, offer a natural riding sensation as well as helping balance the overall weight of the e-bike system.

Bosch e-bike motor in use

Each Bosch motor will provide assistance up to a speed of 15.5mph, the legal limit here in the UK and riders can select from four modes (turbo, sport, tour and eco) to conserve range, or simply provide a splurge of power when it’s needed. To help with ride feel, Bosch electric bike motors measure torque, speed and acceleration more than 1000 times a second, rationing the power accordingly. This ensures there's a perfect interaction between rider and bike.

READ: Electric bikes buyer's guide

There are five different types of Bosch e-bike motor:

Performance Line CX

Performance Line CX is Bosch’s most powerful motor designed for electric mountain bikes. 48% smaller and 1kg lighter than the previous iteration, it’s been radically updated for 2020. This is big news for e-bike manufacturers who will be able to adjust their frame designs to match the new size and shape of Performance Line CX. Expect e-MTBs to look far neater than their predecessors!

The unit is certainly very impressive to look at, but perhaps more importantly, the motor has retained the powerful, sporty feel mountain bikers demand, delivering up to 340% assistance as you pedal. Bosch Performance Line CX

Pedalling efficiency is now improved thanks to a redesigned crank - motor interface. Previously a small ring, not driven by the cranks, was used for Performance Line CX. This had the tendency to make riding without assistance a slightly sluggish experience. This new version is now driven directly by a traditional chainring, mounted to the bottom bracket which helps maintain a natural ride feel once you pop over that magic 15.5mph.

Performance Line

Whether riding big miles on an electric hybrid bike or negotiating your favourite trail, Bosch Performance Line always delivers the right level of support.Bosch Performance Line

Redesigned for 2020, it’s not as compact or as light at Performance Line CX but it certainly retains enough punch for most e-bikers. 65Nm of torque (a measure of the rotational power of the motor) helps when things head skywards, whilst the same direct drive system as Performance Line CX helps maintain a natural ride feel. It’s also one of the quietest drives in its class.

Active Line Plus

Active Line Plus has been designed by Bosch to help commuters in urban environments get to and from work, as well as providing enough power, 50Nm of torque to be exact, for more demanding weekend rides. Active Line Plus is whisper quiet and doesn’t drag once your speedo ticks over that 15.5mph mark.Bosch Active Line Plus

Active Line

Experience well-controlled acceleration and moderate assistance with Bosch’s Active Line motor. Anything but entry level, Active Line offers 250% support level in Turbo mode and a maximum 40Nm of torque.Bosch Active Line

Cargo Line

Designed specifically for large cargo bikes, Bosch’s Cargo Line motor makes carrying large loads a doddle. Extremely powerful, with a maxium 75Nm of torque, the motor will provide support for cargo bikes and loads that weigh up to an incredible 250kg!

Bosch Cargo Line

Whether moving to a new house or simply taking children to school, Cargo Line delivers load-controlled acceleration, even from the first pedal stroke.  

Bosch electric motor comparison

Here’s a simple table to help you understand the differences between Bosch e-bike motors.

 

Performance Line CX

Performance Line

Active Line Plus

Active Line

Cargo Line

Best for

Mountain biking

Mountain biking. Long distance or fast touring

Commuting or relaxed touring

Commuting or leisure riding.

Cargo bikes, carrying heavy loads

Support level %+

Turbo: 340:

eMTB*: 140-340

Tour: 140

Eco: 60

Turbo: 300

Sport/eMTB*: 120-300

Tour: 120

Eco: 55

Turbo: 270

Sport: 180

Tour: 100

Eco: 40

Turbo: 250

Sport: 170

Tour: 100

Eco: 40

Turbo: 400

Sport: 240

Tour: 140

Eco: 60

Maximum possible torque (Nm)

75

65

50

40

75

Maximum supported cadence (rpm)

120

120

105

100

120

Start-up behaviour

Very sporty

Sporty

Harmoniously agile

Harmonious

Powerful

Weight

Approx. 2.9kg

Approx. 3.2kg

Approx. 3.2kg

Approx. 2.9kg

Approx. 2.9kg

*eMTB mode is available on Performance Line and Performance Line CX only. Depending on how hard you pedal, this mode switches between Tour and Turbo mode to ensure support is always at the ideal level, even at low cadences.

+Support level % refers to motors on bikes with a derailleur rather than a hub gear

Note that Bosch Performance Line Speed and Cargo Line Speed are not included in this table because they offer a maximum assistance speed which is currently illegal for e-bikes in the UK.

READ: Electric mountain bikes buyer's guide

Bosch electric bike batteries

The next part of the Bosch e-bike system is the battery. Batteries determine an e-bike’s possible range, charge time as well as the way a bike handles due to its position on the frame.

Bosch e-bike batteries

To cater for different bike types, Bosch offer three battery types: 

Integrated battery

Bosch PowerTube Battery

A recent addition from Bosch, the slim, compact design enables e-bike manufacturers to integrate the battery into their frame’s perfectly. Sometimes called PowerTubes, Bosch offer 400, 500 and 625 wH (Watt hours. Refers to the number of watts that can be delivered in one hour) versions. You’ll spot integrated batteries like this on high-end electric mountain bikes.

Frame battery

Bosch Frame Battery

Bulkier than an integrated battery, frame batteries sit on, or in, a bike’s downtube. Bosch name these PowerPacks and manufacturer them in 300, 400 and 500 wH. Electric hybrid bikes, electric mountain bikes and even electric folding bikes use this type of battery.

Rack battery

Bosch Rack Battery

One unfortunate consequence of frame batteries are their impact on a rider’s ability to mount and dismount a step-through e-bike. To solve this, Bosch designed the rack battery - situated over the rear wheel, but under a pannier rack. Again in 300, 400, 500 wH versions, look out for a battery like this on step-through electric hybrid bikes.

Bosch electric bike battery comparison

Here’s a simplified table to illustrate the different attributes of each Bosch e-bike battery.

 

PowerPack 300wH

PowerPack 400wH

PowerPack 500wH

PowerTube 400wH

PowerTube 500wH

PowerTube 625wH

Mounting type

Frame

Rack

Frame

Rack

Frame

Rack

Integrated

Integrated

Integrated

Ah capacity

8.2Ah

11.0Ah

13.4Ah

11.0Ah

13.4Ah

17.4Ah

100% charge time

Compact: 5h

Standard: 2.5h

Fast: 2.5h

Compact: 6.5h

Standard: 3.5h

Fast: 2.5h

Compact: 7.5h

Standard: 4.5h

Fast: 3h

Compact: 6.5h

Standard: 3.5h

Fast: 2.5h

Compact: 7.5h

Standard: 4.5h

Fast: 3h

Compact: 8.8h

Standard: 4.9h

Fast: 3.7h  

Weight

Frame: 2.5kg

Rack: 2.6kg

Frame: 2.5kg

Rack: 2.6kg

Frame: 2.6kg

Rack: 2.7kg

2.9kg

2.9kg

3.5kg

 

Note that Bosch recommend that you store an e-bike battery between 0 and 20°C, out of direct sunlight and at 30-60% charge status to prolong its life.

That’s all very well, we hear you cry, but how does that impact an e-bike’s range? An e-bike’s range is the result of several factors, but happily Bosch have grouped these together in their range assistance. Give it a try below.

Bosch electric bike displays

Bosch e-bike systems are controlled using either an on-board computer or a compatible smartphone display. Let’s look at those in turn.

Bosch e-bike displays

         On-board computers

Kiox

Kiox is a full colour, compact display with an unbridled number of features. It’s 1.9” fully colour display provides all the essential information and changing ride modes or other settings is quick and efficient.

Bosch Kiox

Other notable features include a scratch-resistant glass display, device recharging and the possibility to combine GPS and ride data when you pair Kiox with the eBike connect app on your smartphone.

Nyon

Bosch Nyon

Bosch Nyon offers everything an e-bike rider could ever want: ride data, navigation, fitness measurement and motor control, all in one place. Nyon shows you all the important information at a glance and can easily be customised with 30 different metrics and three design suggestions. With Nyon you can choose between the fastest or most scenic route to a given location, store favourite addresses, like home and work, or even plan a cycle tour with stopovers!

Purion

Bosch Purion

Purion is Bosch’s smallest device, displaying charge status, speed, ride mode, range, trip distance and total distance. Fitted neatly at the end of a handlebar, Purion is easily operated with a thumb or finger.

Intuvia

Bosch Intuvia

Mounted on an e-bike stem, Bosch Intuvia displays all the key information. It’s easy to read, even in low light and a USB port enables you to charge your devices on the go.

Smart phone displays

SmartphoneHub

Bosch smartphonehub

SmartphoneHub from Bosch transforms an e-bike into a fully connected part of your digital life. From navigation, music streaming, fitness tracking or evenusing third party apps, such as Strava or komoot, this is one powerful device. Want to leave your smartphone at home? A 1.52” integrated display helps you control your e-bike as well as displaying all the most important ride data.

COBI.Bike

Bosch COBI

Bosch acquired COBI.Bike in 2017 and has now offers this system as an alternative to their own unit. Similar to SmartphoneHub, COBI.Bike turns a Bosch powered e-bike into a smart two-wheeled machine.

Bosch electric bike display comparison

Compare Bosch e-bike displays and their various capabilites in our comparison table.

 

Kiox

Nyon

Purion

Intuvia

SmartphoneHub

Cobi Bike

High resolution display

 

 

 

 

USB device charging

 

Fitness tracking

 

 

Navigation

 

 

 

Third party app

 

 

Walk assistance

Bosch range assistant

So how far can I ride with an Bosch e-bike?

That’s a question we get asked all the time.On each of our electric bike’s you’ll find an estimated maximum range but we’d recommend giving Bosch’s range assistant a try below.

It enables you to select a Bosch e-bike motor and battery, alter riding factors and whizz pop, out spits an estimated range. Excellent for determining battery performance for a prospective commute or how many times you can ride your favourite trail loop after work.  

Oh, and if metric kilometres aren't your thing, there's a switch at the bottom to change all the figures to miles!

There we have it, our guide to Bosch electric bike motors, batteries and displays. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted in: Buyer's Guides