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PC15: Bosch Syncs Electronically Actuated Automatic Transmissions with eShift Systems, Coming soon

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Bosch initially entered the American market with their Performance Line, a high capacity battery with high torque drive unit capable of a 20mph top assisted speed. As new product becomes proven in Europe, we will find more of their line trickling across the pond to fill in the gaps of their line-up. The Active Line, a lower torque, higher range, lower price point system designed around the urban e-bike rider will start appearing on e-bikes this Winter. The new Performance CX line, a more compact, smaller Q-Factor, high torque drive system which is already being seen on new e-mountain bikes in Europe will start appearing on domestic e-bikes as soon as this Fall. These systems have been covered on BikeRumor in the past.

Also coming for next year will be a suite of electronic shifting systems, integrated with both the e-bike drive systems and Intuvia on-board computer, Bosch calls “eShift.” SRAM, Shimano, and NuVinci have each partnered with the German e-bike dynamo (see what I did there?) to sync shifting to motors seamlessly. At Press Camp we got a sneak peek of what is to come, both on and off the bike. More to come after the jump.

The eShift systems range from manual to fully automatic, and each has their place depending on the rider context. The Shimano Di2 hub gear system falls on the fully manual end and utilizes the Bosch Intuvia on-board computer as well as the control unit buttons at the grips to activate the Di2 shifting. The on-board computer recommends gearing for maximum efficiency, though the rider is responsible for getting there. This bike was not ride tested.

Bosch_SRAM_Dual-Drive_e-bike_0003

The SRAM DD3 system (above) is semi-automatic, featuring a 3-speed electrically actuated rear hub and a 9-speed cassette with a cable actuated rear derailleur. Riders choose a gear and the drivetrain uses the internally geared hub to automatically adjust gearing further based off of rider speed.

Bosch_NuVinci-hub_e-bike_0003

The NuVinci H|Sync  (above) utilizes a continuously variable transmission within the rear hub to shift automatically to allow the rider to maintain set cadence without thinking about it. While the system can be used completely as an automatic, there is an option to manually actuate three gears.

Each eShift system utilizes the Intuvia computer interface or control buttons in some way, whether to fine tune the motor output or as gear shifters.

For all of my urban e-bike testing at press camp, I found a 500ft climb through a neighborhood outside of Park City, Utah. The house on the peak of this development was less than a mile and a half from town, an easy ride on flat terrain but challenging with a pedal bike, let alone a pedal bike with groceries. The slope would give me an opportunity to appreciate the torque curve of each e-bike and a chance to try to exhaust batteries and motors in a relatively extreme case while giving me a sweet spot for photos at the top of the climb. Most of the bikes available at Press Camp were Class 1, pedal assist (no throttle) with a maximum speed of 20mph. While the drive systems were helpful, the climb still required effort. I definitely got a workout in- I just wasn’t completely cooked at the end of it.

Impressions of Bosch Drive Overall:

Both bikes were outfitted with the Performance Drive system. Though the 350W Drive Unit high torque motors (60Nm maximum torque when in the highest assist mode) were great on the climb, they were easily the loudest I experienced at Press Camp. In any kind of traffic, however, the motor was not noticeable. Both frames featured the PowerPack 400, Bosch’s 400Wh/11.0Ah, 36V frame battery, which I barely made a dent in as they have an estimated range of 20 miles in difficult conditions at top speed in Turbo mode (but 100 miles in Eco mode in favorable conditions).

Bosch_SRAM_Dual-Drive_e-bike_0005

Both bikes featured the Intuvia on-board computer with grip controls. Having never had this system in my hands before, it was awesome to see the whole system with Intuvia in action, actively calculating the range of my ride from the last 90 seconds of riding at a given assist level. This was reassuring because the range numbers felt substantiated, which gave me more confidence in the system when riding in challenging condition. Between the high capacity battery and the range calculations, I didn’t feel at any time that I would be surprised by a low battery.

Bosch_SRAM_Dual-Drive_e-bike_0006

The only frustrating aspect of the whole computer system was the orientation of the button control at the grip; the buttons face the rider, but are offset from the surface of the grip pretty substantially (10mm). While this allowed me to easily see the buttons I wanted to hit, actuating those controls took some unnatural contortion with my left hand. Otherwise, the controls were extremely intuitive and easy to use. The bikes took very little instruction to get going.

Ride Impressions: Bosch Performance Drive with NuVinci H|Sync

Bosch_NuVinci-hub_e-bike_0004 Bosch_NuVinci-hub_e-bike_0005

This system relies on a user-set cadence for the NuVinci hub to optimize its shifting to accommodate. This cadence can be adjusted at any time during the ride to fine tune your commute, meaning people who prefer to mash can mash. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, this drivetrain seems to be a great way to passively improve leg speed during one’s daily commute.

Bosch_NuVinci-hub_e-bike_0001

The smooth resistance curve paired with the automatic shifting really made this Bosch equipped bike a total no-thinker when it came to adverse conditions. Because everything shifted automatically, I didn’t feel the resistance increase as environmental conditions affected my ride so I essentially didn’t feel or have to react to hills or headwinds. While it wasn’t the most powerful system I tested, this bike climbed the ascent so effortlessly that I actually took in the view on the way up, something I just didn’t do on the other e-bikes for one reason or another. It was amazing for sight seeing.

Ride Impressions: Bosch Performance Drive SRAM Dual Drive 3 Pulse

Bosch_SRAM_Dual-Drive_e-bike_0001

The SRAM DD3 drivetrain consists of a 9-speed manually actuated cassette and a 3-speed electrically actuated internal hub. Riders shift to a comfortable gearing and that resistance is fine tuned with the gearing in the rear hub based off of current speed.

Bosch_SRAM_Dual-Drive_e-bike_0002

While this system wasn’t as seamless as the NuVinci system to operate, I did appreciate the shifting within the gear to compensate. It helped me to ride efficiently without constant attention to the shifters. It also allowed me to power up hills, though with effort- I felt like I was wearing an exosuit.

Wrapping It Up

In the case of both eShift systems tested, I felt that there were awesome implications. While I did not ride in aggressive traffic, I could see this simplifying a chaotic commute by taking a rider’s mind off of their controls, helping to keep riders’ attention on the road and on traffic. While I personally enjoyed the ease of using the transmissions, I could see how they would simplify and enhance the experience for less savvy or new riders by making it more comfortable in terms of exertion and less stressful in terms of shifting.

We can expect to see these eShift systems to appear on complete bikes as soon as Spring 2016.

Bosch-eBike.de

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27 Comments
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John
John
9 years ago

This will be awesome for lazy people who want to ride a bike without expending any real effort.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
9 years ago

Actually, I think the lazy people are the ones that can’t be troubled to consider actual valid reasons for people to ride e-bikes. Thinking is hard.

Ray
Ray
9 years ago

Attention Bosh and bicycle manufacturing company’s. Please read the rider comments on every electric mountain bike artical around… No body wants one, few people will be purchasing one. Your going to create rules and government regulations that will affect us all not to mention I don’t want to increase trail traffic with some lazy DB that can’t get him/her self to the top of the mountain with out help and surly will be slow going down. No! No! No!

John
John
9 years ago

Face it, it would be cheaper to buy a scooter.

E-bikes are for people looking to give off the appearance of being active.

TheFunkyMonkey
TheFunkyMonkey
9 years ago

I propose eBikerumor.com so that this kind of trash can be separated from the true cycling news that we come for. Keep posting enough it and folks will go elsewhere. It’s not cycling news – sorry.

01001011010
01001011010
9 years ago

These need to be regulated just like mopeds, which they are. Their place is on the street. And at that point you may as well get a real motorcycle or scooter.

Bazz
Bazz
9 years ago

I second ebikerumour.com for this trash. I guess bikerumour.com is looking for e-bike advertising dollars?

Rustydog
Rustydog
9 years ago

I don’t ride one and don’t endorse or condone their use. But, there is a market. I live in a very large resort town inhabited by many full and part time older folk. They ride them. Lots of these folks want to ride a bike but can’t (?) or want to go further but can’t(?) or just want to be able to make it home from the bar without having heart attack.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
9 years ago

The “lazy” argument is manure, shows lack of understanding. You sweat as much as you want, with or without motor assist. The only difference is that the ebike gets you there faster. (I don’t have one, but have tried a few.)

JBikes
JBikes
9 years ago

Gunnstein – I think the argument is that I don’t have the option of not sweating on a bike on some routes (including my commute), sans not riding. With an e-bike, I do have that option – even a pedal assisted one (there is no regulation stating how much torque assist up to the max motor output – just max speed – theoretically, I could program my bike to provide 750W while I breathe on the pedals with a 10rpm cadence).

But, that brings me to my point. For commuting and around town errands, I am 100% for e-bikes (although personally can’t justify the cost)
But for trail riding. There are too many issues – mainly dealing with the fact that they do get you there faster…while sacrificing maneuverability due to weight. What are the benefits of allowing them? What are the downsides? To me, the risk/reward is not in e-bikes favor for trail usage.

Sickboy
Sickboy
9 years ago

So much haterade up in here! E-bikes fill a great gap, and just like every new innovation, there are going to be some old-man like bickering about it if it doesn’t suit their personal elitist needs. Kent Eriksen himself, (Founder of Moots and a general hardass), LOVES his Bosch equipped utility bike as he said he will ride to work more often since he can haul stuff back and forth and still get up the hill to his house without physically falling apart. Pricing on these things seems insane, but once the dust settles, these things will gain a lot more traction in places with good infrastructure. These are not toys, but TOOLS. And if you’re so against it, throw away all your power tools while you’re at it since you don’t need any powered assistance in your life. ;^)

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
9 years ago

JBikes – My commute allows a non-sweaty ride most days, unmotored. So let’s say it like this, then: On a not too hilly commute in a not too hot climate, using an ebike does not affect how much you sweat, only how fast you arrive.

(With these crank motors you are probably not going to get much performance at 10 rpm – AFAIK the motor follows your cadence, and it’s optimised for a normal cadence range.)

The whole anti-eMTB argument is somewhat near-sighted. Sure, it may be a real problem in areas near big cities, in places where big 750W motors are allowed, and where the public’s access to the wilderness is limited. In rural areas, and where 250W is the max allowed, and where access is guaranteed by law, there is no problem. It certainly isn’t a problem here. Plenty of trail for everyone.

FoolCyclist
FoolCyclist
9 years ago

For commuting, awesome. For trails that are non-motorized access only, not good. If it has a motor, gas or electric, its a motorcycle. Stop making them look like normal mountain bikes and yahoos would stop thinking they can ride them on the trails. For a large part of the mountain bike community, and I am assuming the part that frequents BR, trail riding is a way to escape the motored life. There is no good reason they need access to non-motorized trails.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
9 years ago

FoolCyclist “trail riding is a way to escape the motored life” – Funny thing, then, that BR commenters mostly hate ebikes but are happy with car reviews, car rack reviews, bikes with car brands, and cars used to sell bikes (Magura, etc). Seems to me that ebike riders are more likely to live car-free than the average “motor-hating” BR commenter. Just an observation 🙂

wuffles
wuffles
9 years ago

@Gunnstein

So first you admit that e-bikes are a problem near cities, because of access issues. Then you claim that they aren’t a problem in rural areas somehow, because of some 250W limit that doesn’t actually exist.

Then finally you claim e-bike owners are more likely to live car free.

So either your e-bike owner lives in a big city, where riding e-bikes on trails causes problems with access, or they live in a rural area where somehow their bikes are legal despite the same access classifications (BLM doesn’t care if it’s in a city or in the wilderness, non-motorized is non-motorized) and they are almost certainly not car free.

So we are left with either you e-bike owner is car free in a city, and causes problems on the trails, or isn’t car free and in the country and is still actually causing problems on the trails. The whole argument fails utterly and completely. Just an observation.

Points for recognizing the real problem though- ACCESS ISSUES.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
9 years ago

wuffles “some 250W limit that doesn’t actually exist” – Thanks for exemplifying the near-sightedness I’m talking about. 250W is the rule for some 500 million people. Try a little web search before assuming others are lying.

“despite the same access classifications” – Who said same classifications? Different locations, different rules. I assure you, there are many, many places where ebikes will cause zero problems, because of the low ratio of people to trails.

Still confused? Hint: This site isn’t called “BikeRumorUS”.

Greg
Greg
9 years ago

Full-on Internet temper tantrum.

Ham jam
Ham jam
9 years ago

(deleted)

eric
eric
9 years ago

Every new E-bike rider is car driver who will now ‘get’ cycling.

muf
muf
9 years ago

most ppl i see buying that stuff are commuters
they want to use the bike lanes but have a motor vehicule. i never see them pedal, they zip at 30mph on the bike lanes and sidewalks

i suspect this can only end badly, either they’ll all get a speed limit either its going to be considered a motor vehicule (which, well, it is)

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
9 years ago

muf “i never see them pedal” Meaning they are riding throttle ebikes, not pedelecs. I fully agree the throttle bikes are motorbikes and do not belong in bike lanes. I’d also say that USA-style 750W pedelecs do not belong there. EU-style 250W is an entirely different beast, and is no threat to nonelectric riders.

“this can only end badly” If it ends in consistent US regulation, that’s an improvement.

Jdog
Jdog
9 years ago

E-bikes are coming in a bike way. I have used one for the past 2 years to build mt bike trails. Pulling a Bob trailer with a chainsaw and 6 hand tools is a perfect use for these bikes. Anyone who has put in a 4 hour trail build and then pulled a 80 lb trailer out of the woods can see the use here as fantastic. This is not being lazy, but rather using energy and technology to improve trails.

drew
drew
9 years ago

All too often in the shop when people ask the, “Do you sell bikes with motors?” question is followed by the, “I got a DUI and lost my license…” I’m really not sure I want that customer. Further, one that did get one came back crowing how easy it was to remove the setting governing max speed and he over clocked it to go nearly 35mph. Learned from local law enforcement was arrested on campus riding it on the sidewalk going over 30mph. This is only indicative of my average experiences with the phenomenon. Call me not-exactly-chuffed to say the least.

Aside, as part of the local MTB community, we worked to add mountain biking as a human powered activity. That action legally defines local trails in our MOU as not allowing motorized traffic.

Way I see it is and bike is a bike and it becomes a motorcycle the minute you put a “motor” on a “cycle”. The hint is in the name, which puts motorized bikes outside the scope of bikerumor.com Maybe Bikerumor can review fishing equipment next since Shimano makes that, too? Makes as much sense to me.

RP
RP
9 years ago

How are those mountain bikes exactly?

Fjork
Fjork
9 years ago

The level of ignorance on this website in incredibly astounding..

They aren’t going away time soon, so find a way to live with it. A majority of people purchasing one of these bikes / systems are using it to simply side step obstacles that are currently standing between them and rolling around on two wheels. Keep the pissing contest between you and your cycling friends and let others enjoy getting out on a bike.

Whether it’s roadies blowing lights and crossing wheels, or mountain riders not calling out around blind turns or not yielding when they lack the right of way, there are always going to be people that abuse the rules and etiquette.. But assuming that everyone on an E-bike is out there to break rules and ruin fun is intolerant and completely unbacked.

Stop being so selfish and redirect this hatred into trying to direct this movement in the right direction, rather than wasting time spewing useless opinions.

OFfCourse
OFfCourse
9 years ago

Let’s just ask Charlie Kelly (founder of IMBA and current e-mountain bike rider) how he feels about e-bikes in general. These are the things keeping him riding trails at 60+ years old. He’s not out skidding corners and tearing up trail. He’s just an avid rider that wants help enjoying something that he helped build, that you now also get to enjoy. You don’t have to like e-mountain bikes any more than a septuagenarian should like some douche trying a Strava record blowing by them on a trail. Additionally, this can help grow the number of people willing to help fight for trail access for us all.

Vadim
Vadim
9 years ago

Looks like a lot of naysayers have never ridden one. I love my road bike for commuting, but my 1,000W assisted bike is even better for those days where I don’t have the extra time to ride. And yes, I work up the same amount of sweat on my ebike except that I’m doing 26mph on average instead of 19mph so the duration is much shorter. Instead of taking the car, I can jump on my ebike and be at work at the same time as if I took the car. So in the real world, ebikes have a place. In fact, if ebikes were faster (than the current 20mph limit), more people would ditch the car and take the bike. The fewer cars on the road, the better.

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