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New smaller Mahle X20 hub motor powers the “lightest e-bike drive system on the market”

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system, Wilier detail
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Mahle e-bike drive systems just got substantially lighter thanks to the big weight savings in their new, more compact X20 hub motor. Already one of the most popular lightweight e-bike powertrains for road & gravel, the new X20 completely refines & modernizes Mahle (formerly eBikemotion) pedal-assist performance while becoming the “lightest e-bike drive system on the market” beyond its improved power:weight ratio.

It is even said to be more powerful now, with 37.5% more peak torque!

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system components
c. Mahle

The previous Mahle hub motor was probably already the most common drive system we’d find in lightweight road & gravel e-bikes. Combining a lightweight 250W motor in the hub of the rear wheel, balanced with a small 250W battery hidden inside the downtube of bikes from the likes of Cannondale, GT, Orbea, Rose, Scott, Simplon, 3T, Urwahn & Wilier (to name just a recent handful), it was a simple and unobtrusive solution that often didn’t even require major changes to those e-bikes’ analog analogues.

But now, the X20 hub is simply better all around.

It’s lighter, smoother, easier to get on & off the bike, better integrated, less obtrusive. Interestingly, it’s also a bit less more powerful with the same rated 250W power but higher peak torque, at the same time getting an added benefit of longer ranges, too.

Tech details – What’s new?

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system schematic

The new complete Mahle X20 system now weighs just 3.2kg, down 300g from the X35. That’s why Mahle calls it the “lightest e-bike drive system on the market”. The smaller diameter hub itself drops even more weight than that, around half a kilo down to just 1399g, now that its weight also doesn’t need to include its axle or freehub.

Those are now both able to be pulled out as the X20 uses a more standard 12x142mm thru-axle interface, and now an interchangeable freehub body that brings compatibility with Shimano HG, SRAM XD-R & Campagnolo N3W cassettes.

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system, BB torque & cadence sensors

Mahle has upgraded the natural ride feel with a pair of new sensors measuring applied torque & cadence at the bottom bracket, to more smoothly ramp up pedal-assist support to match rider input thanks to smart “Artificial Intelligence” programming.

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system, hub rendering

The new X20 hub is still rated at 250W but its official toque output scales down up to real 23Nm at the hub (from 40Nm for the X35), which Mahle says equates to a 55-60Nm (compared to 40Nm for the X35) torque output from a mid-drive motor due to drivetrain gearing AND power transfer losses. That’s still a good bit less than the 85Nm of a top-tier Shimano EP8 or Bosch Performance Line CX motor, but more comparable to their second-tier motors or the lightweight Fazua system.

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system, hub detail

Mahle’s thinking (and one we can agree with) is that this relatively-lower peak torque combined with narrower tires of road & gravel bikes and intelligent power management systems, actually delivers a much smoother pedal-assist without the jerky feel of more powerful systems.

The side benefit of lower peak torque output is that pedal-assist range with these smaller batteries increases as well, so you can ride your lighter e-bike farther.

2022 Wilier Filante Hybrid stealthy carbon aero road e-bike, Mahle X20 hub motor
c. Wilier

The smaller X20 rear hub motor also gets rid of the external power wiring of the X35, instead adding a special dropout insert (black element between rotor & frame, above) with a keyed interface that automatically aligns a waterproof plug connector (with red seal, below left) when you insert the rear wheel.

2022 Wilier Filante Hybrid stealthy carbon aero road e-bike, Mahle X20 hub details

Compared to the separate wires and bolt-on axles of the X35 hub, this will make roadside flat repairs a much more manageable affair for anyone who can operate a regular QR thru-axle. A huge upgrade in user-friendliness!

2022 Wilier Filante Hybrid stealthy carbon aero road e-bike, Road Bike Connection Spring, photo by Rupert Fowler, frame detail
c. Bike Connection Agency, photo by Rupert Fowler

With wired connections more hidden inside, a smaller diameter hubshell, and a conventional-looking thru-axle, the new X20 system simply disappears into stealthy e-bikes more than ever. Even when you know you are looking at an e-bike, it’s still hard to tell.

Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system, Wilier integration
c. Wilier

Mahle has added their own new ANT+ wireless Pulsar One cycling computer head unit design to interface with the X20 e-bike powertrain, while also pulling in your own external data from a heartrate monitor and/or power meter for ride tracking. They also have new optional E-Shifters which would allow riders to switch modes from the drops, and slimmed down their iWoc mode controller which can be integrated into the top tube, stem, or one-piece bar like on the Wilier.

There are also now three battery options to power the X20. The standard, now 236Wh internal battery carries over and they’ve added a larger capacity 350Wh internal battery for frames with more space in the downtube, plus the external Range Extender water bottle battery appears to have been scaled back to 172Wh to better fit in more e-bikes.

Mahle X20 Availability

2022 Scott Addict eRide lightest road e-bike, HMX carbon, Mahle X20, photo by Gaetan Rey Shaperideshoot, climbing
c. Scott, photo by Gaetan Rey

So far, we’ve already seen the new lightweight Mahle X20 e-bike drive system made available in Wilier’s endurance road Filante Hybrid & Scott’s latest Addict eRide e-bikes. We expect many more lightweight road and gravel e-bikes to join in with X20 soon.

Mahle.com & more now at: Mahle-smartbike.com

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Frank
Frank
1 year ago

“23Nm at the hub (from 40Nm for the X35), which Mahle says equates to a 55-60Nm toque output from a mid-drive motor due to drivetrain losses”

This cannot be right. What Mahle may plausibly have claimed is that 23Nm at the rear hub equates to 55 Nm at the cranks due to drivetrain gear ratio.

Eddiecycle
Eddiecycle
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank

Exaggerating for sure. Based on their numbers the normal drivetrain plus the extra reductions in the mid-drive are eating up 60% or more of the power. I’m thinking more like 15-30%, so their 23nm would be like 29-33nm.

Not that I care, I’m happy to have a fraction of the power for a lighter bike.

Mux
Mux
1 year ago
Reply to  Cory Benson

It is even said to be more powerful now, with 37.5% more peak torque!”

That’s a false comparison. That number evidently comes from dividing 55 (MAHLE’s claimed mid drive torque equivalent of the X20) by 40 (the actual torque rating for the X35). The number is irrelevant…apples and oranges.

A more meaningful comparison is a comparison of the actual torque rating of both motors. In truth, the X20 motor has 42.5% less torque than the X35. [(40-23)/40]

If you want to compare that to the value of lighter weight, you have to use the weight of the entire bike. My X35 equipped Bianchi, for example, weighs 12.3kg so a weight reduction of 300g, translates to a weight reduction of just 2.4%.

So the trade off is a 2.4% lighter bike for a 42.5% less powerful motor.

Of course there are other advantages (like the thru-axle!) but for me, a 76-year old cyclist living in the hilly terrain of central NH, a motor that has 42.5% less torque than the motor I have is not an “upgrade”.

Joel
Joel
10 months ago
Reply to  Mux

Wahtever. I have the X20 in my new Scott Addict RC eride, and the system is great. Zero drag on flats and downhill where I’m over 20mph so the system vanishes, legs of steel during climbs, and gentle, proportional assist on grades or from a start. It is a very clean, very polished integrated system that Scott and Mahle have done, and what I’ve heard from others using Orbea’s version, this is the rule, not the except.

Ed
Ed
1 year ago

Will it be possible to upgrade the x35 to the x20 on an older bike?

Dustin Sutton
Dustin Sutton
1 year ago
Reply to  Cory Benson

Is there any way to find the data for the BLDC like pole count? Conductor sizes and combinations and turn count?

Chris killer
Chris killer
1 year ago

Now I want a 15×110 version.

Murat Akdoğan
Murat Akdoğan
1 year ago

Tamam ürün güzel tanıtımı ilgi çekici ürünü nasıl satın alabiliriz fiyatı ne kadar bisiklete montaj şeması var mı? Ben bu ürünü tanıtımını eksik buldum çok daha iyi tanıtılabilirdi

Kristi Benedict
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Murat Akdoğan

Murat, this is a product that is not available to the public alone – it comes already assembled on the bikes mentioned in the article.

jay
jay
1 year ago

Is this plastic BB ??

Eric Sandler
Eric Sandler
1 year ago

It seems like Mahle is incorporating into this rear hub motor some of the features from the Specialized SL 1.1.

E Goodford
E Goodford
1 year ago

How much noise does the Mahle X20 generate. Is it silent- do you get excessive motor noise when it’s turned on? No review mentions this. Too much noise can ruin a ride!

Sleipnir
Sleipnir
1 year ago
Reply to  E Goodford

I ride long distances with X35, if you feel annoyed by that system, birds will be a nuisance…

Pål Lein
Pål Lein
7 months ago
Reply to  E Goodford

I have both x35 bike and x20 bike, Orbea, and the x35 is more silent .
The x35 system delivers more power, so with this two differencies, I think x35 is the best for me.
The difference in weight means Nothing.
The weight/ Torque goes to x35.

Grady Barrett
Grady Barrett
7 months ago

I have had a Ebikemotion Pinerillo Dyodo with Mahle app for 5 years and with the exception of drag when not pedaling in Level 1-3, weight of course, I’ve loved the system as a 20 years ago former road racer, but has current heart failure issues.
I just bought/1st ride today my new custom build Oreba Gain with X20 system/Mahle app which had various improvements…EXCEPT a huge problem…All 3 Levels on X20 are a power Level less the the Ebikemotion system. Level 3 X20 is almost less than Level 2 on Ebikemotion, I expected to get more of everything with X20, but very disappointed my $10,000+ Gain is not as much fun to ride.
Is there anything in Motor Maps to Custom Max out all 3 Levels, or is just that all be riding my Oreba in Level 3?

Pål Lein
Pål Lein
7 months ago
Reply to  Grady Barrett

Yes ,I have the same experience with the x20….(Orbea Gain M30)
I also have Gain D30 x35, witch has more power in all 3 modes..
Very disappointing for x20, and a bit confusing marketing from Mahle.

Peter
Peter
2 months ago

Don’t you just love it when tech used by the Pros trickles down to the public over time.

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