It’s been over 200 years since the bicycle first landed on the planet, the concept of riding a horse which had wheels for legs and wasn’t actually a horse was an insane idea. The bicycle has gone through so many changes such as gearing, braking systems, manufacturing materials of the frames and various designs. The latest change to cycling is the addition of electricity.
The Bosch eBike system is going to be seen more and more on the bikes we ride. Bosch are working with multiple bicycle manufacturers to produce electric assisted bikes in various styles, from commuter bikes to mountain bikes.
We’ve been riding in one of the commuter style bikes equiped with the 250W Bosch system. The bike itself is really neat, handle bars fold, frame folds and you end up with a compact package that would fit in the boot of your car or even in the wardrobe. The electric system included.
The Bosch eBike system is made up of three key components; the central power unit, the battery and the control/display unit on the handlebars. It even has lights on the front and back, powered and controlled by the Bosch system.
Like any bicycle there are still normal pedals but these ones are attached to the main unit, the battery sits on the vertical section of the frame and you’ll turn the system on with a small button near the battery.
You can freely ride this bike like any normal bike, unpowered, using just your own legs, but add the Bosch system into the mix and life gets very easy. There are multiple modes to choose from Eco to Turbo. The modes dictate the amount of power discharged when you pedal. When you start pedalling the bike the feeling of the assistive motor is instant. You do still need to pedal but it almost looks hilarious how little you’re legs are moving compared to how quickly the bike is travelling. Using the system on hills might be the biggest advantage here, it completely eats them up with ease. Riding in the park was also far too easy, people could see something was weird about what I was doing but not understand why. The system is a little discreet.
All eBikes must comply with certain government regulations limiting their powered assistance to 25km/h. Sure you can continue to pedal to go faster, using the gears even, but the electric component won’t be there to push you faster than 25. This is to prevent the bike being considered a motorbike, which is a totally different kettle of fish in terms of rules and regulations. The added weight of the battery and motor may deter some when you ride over 25 km/h, but for the trips to the shops or out and about, it’ll be a joy worth carrying.
The battery will vary in milage depending on the mode and how much it is used however cycling over 50km on one charge won’t be a problem. A recharge takes a few hours, you simply remove the battery from the bike using a key (so no one else pinches your battery) and plug it into a wall charger.
This eBike system cannot be retrofitted to current bikes, the manufacturer must be building and designing their bikes to equip the system. The system does obviously add cost to it also, the commuter bike we tested retails for over $5,000 however the fold up design likely helped in the high price.
This sort of bike was designed for running errands, getting around easily and for portability. The eBike system adds a level of ease to all of this, if you were using it to ride to work then you’re unlikely to arrive in a pile of sweat. If you were simply riding to the shops, you’ll be able to order from the shop assistant without needing to catch your breath. Bikes don’t have to be about fitness entirely, the combination of convenience and some effort is what has us very excited about eBikes and the Bosch system.