In the run-up to Eurobike in September 2021, Bosch announced to the world they were releasing;
- a new motor….
- a new battery…
- a new controller…
- and a new app!
With the shortage of parts in the industry at the moment and the relatively long lead times for new bikes, I think this news probably took most of us by surprise.
But, how new is the ‘new’ motor?
Well, actually the motor itself is exactly the same as the Gen4 Performance Line CX that is already in use and has been for the last couple of years. It is the same 250W 85Nm powerhouse that has been making us all smile, and it looks like it is here to stay.
The new system which they have decided to call their ‘Smart System’ is actually a repackaging and updating of everything wrapped around the motor to turn it into a ‘digitally connected solution for the future’.
Bosch have used the same port configuration for well over ten years meaning backwards compatibility for battery chargers and 3rd party equipment like the Rohloff hub has been pretty easy.
But with this update to the Smart System there will need to be some development from partners who want to continue working with Bosch….and that’s got to be everyone, right?
So if it’s the same motor, what has actually changed? …
There is a new 750Wh battery, new Kiox 300 display, new LED remote and new 4A charger. Oh, of course no new product would be complete these days with a snazzy new smartphone app!
So we have spoken about the new/re-packaged smart motor, but what has changed in the other parts…here goes;
Bosch Smart System 750Wh battery
The new 750Wh battery is just a bit bigger! It uses the same great Lithium-Ion technology as the current range of 300Wh, 400Wh, 500Wh and 625Wh.
So it’s no more energy-dense, meaning you are not getting more capacity in the same size or weight of battery. It is essentially 50% longer and heavier than the 500Wh version.
But from my experience selling e-bikes, this is going to be a big hit!
I’m sure most people would be fine with a 500Wh battery, but because a 625Wh version exists they will upgrade. And, I’m sure it will be the same with the 750Wh version.
Sadly, the 750Wh battery is not compatible with the current range of power tube batteries. So, we will wait to see how manufacturers like Riese & Müller who have been champions of the DualBattery technology, which enabled capacities of up to 1250Wh will adapt to this.
Maybe we will see a bike with a huge 1500Wh capacity! Though I’m not sure they could make a frame to fit this in.
Bosch Smart System 4A charger
Bosch currently have a 2A Compact, 4A Standard and 6A Fast charger available for the existing range of batteries, with charging times anything from 2.5 – 9 hours depending on the capacity of a battery.
For example 625Wh battery with a 2A charger will take 9 hours, with 6A charger, it will take 3.7 hours… So, it’s checking what charger you get with your bike.
The new Smart System 4A charger claims to be compact, lightweight, visually appealing (really?) and easy to use… Though, I’m sure plugging one end into the mains and the other into the bike has never been that difficult!
As it is the only option available for the new 750Wh Smart System battery, it guess it must be perfect.
A full charge will take 6 hours and a 50% top-up or quick charge just 2 hours. But with 750Wh of capacity and 35-75miles of range, you probably aren’t going to be that worried about the 2 hour quick charge option.
As with the other Smart System components, the charger is not backwards compatible due to the redesigned plug. But who cares?
Bosch Smart System Kiox 300 display
The current Kiox display from Bosch has been a massive hit since it was released a few years back.
It added two critical features; an LED colour screen and Bluetooth connectivity. And whilst the Intuvia and Purion displays are still popular with the purists, who can resist a few more bells and whistles on their e-bike?
The one major complaint about the current Kiox display is that it is so bloody small!
Some of the information on it is hard to read whilst you are still and you have no chance once the bike is moving.
There are ways around this, and if you have ever searched through the menu options you’ll know you can add custom screens…
But with the new Kiox 300 Smart System display, it looks like Bosch have listened and made it just a bit bigger 🙂
So, no more squinting required.
Other than that there is the ‘over the air’ updates feature like the Nyon. But, I guess with time the display is where we will ‘see’ changes as Bosch release cool new things for the display?
Bosch Smart System LED Remote
‘What is the new Bosch Smart System is the LED remote?’, I hear you ask.
It’s the little controller which sits on the left-hand side of the handlebar, and lets you alter the power assistance level and scroll through the different screens.
We immediately know this LED remote is better as it lights up to show the power setting you are in. I want it just for that, but then I am a big kid and really easily pleased.
It also looks like the controller has a better ergonomics shape to it, which will be good as I have always struggled a bit to get the button in the right place.
It also has it’s own battery… so I assume it can be used without the display?.. I have a bike on the way shortly and will confirm once it arrives.
Bosch Smart System ebike Flow app
As a great believer in the connected world, digital transformation and big data, I believe this is where the future is. The opportunities are vast, exciting and incomprehensible.
So, this is where the magic happens… Everything else has been about existing technology repackaged and re-marketed.
I’m so excited by this, even if it is a few years away…. We are in for an incredibly fast ride (digitally) and just 5 years from now our bikes may look the same, but the way we use them will be so different… And it’s only software!
Check the video below to see what I am talking about.
When will we see the new Bosch Smart System on Riese & Müller ebikes?”
Well, believe it or not, it’s already available!
But it’s strangely hidden away with no fanfare or great announcement of its arrival.
It is only on one bike, the Multicharger 750, but sure enough it’s on the R&M website.
Of course, we have one on order and expect it arrived in November 2021. We will show it to you as soon as it arrives.
But disappointingly, at the moment it looks like we aren’t going to be able to get it with the Rohloff hub.
I hope this is a short-term thing and the boffins at Rohloff are squirrelling away in the background to get this rectified.