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The popular Bosch eBike System makes its debut in North America.
Innovators in the automobile industry since the 1800s, Bosch has shifted its talents to a focus on enhancing the experience of riding an electric bicycle. The Bosch eBike System is readily being adopted by leading brands including Felt – in their new line of Felt Electric e-bikes – and Xtracycle with the release of the updated EdgeRunner cargo bike.
When asked about the decision to transition to e-bike systems manufacturing, Claudia Wasko of Bosch explained, “The Bosch Group’s experience in the areas of electric motors, sensor technology, displays, and lithium-ion batteries have been the perfect platform to ensure that Bosch eBike Systems use technology that is invented for life.” Further, Wasko explained that e-bikes fit perfectly into Bosch’s primary vision “to provide innovations that make life safer, comfortable and environmentally sustainable – technology for life.”
The mid-drive unit – with power delivered at the cranks rather than a front or rear wheel hub – allows riders to cruise at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h). It makes riding efficient and can function on any kind of terrain – flat or steep, asphalt or gravel.
The system is only activated through pedaling – there is no throttle – and is controlled through a handlebar unit that allows riders the freedom to choose how much of a boost they’d like while on the go. Depending on the level of power assist chosen, the battery range is an expected 20- 60 miles (32-97 kilometers).
Zach Krapfl, Felt’s e-bike category manager, explained that in their decision to expand their electric range to North America they wanted to be on the forefront of offering a full line of bikes prepared to meet the rising electric demand. This meant sticking with their proven European partner, Bosch. “Felt chose the category leader Bosch in Europe based on an extensive service, excellent power, leading torque, optimal center of gravity, and proven quality,” said Krapfl.
Knowing that cargo bikes can be exhausting to ride, Ross Evans at Xtracycle chose to pair the Bosch system on the late 2015 update to the EdgeRunner longtail cargo bike. One reason being that the motor is able to provide up to 60Nm of torque, meaning that, even with a heavy load, almost any hill is surmountable with Bosch’s system. The system’s reliability also played a role in Evans’ decision along with the general feel the system adds to a ride. “There’s something I call the ‘electric smile’,” said Evans during an online broadcast. “It’s just the experience you have when riding a bike that just feels like you’re coasting. It’s not about the effort, it’s about the present moment.”
Bosch’s eBike system is widely regarded as the most reliable in Europe and the brand has sold over 1 million e-bikes across the continent. It’s safe to say that in the coming months, Bosch powered e-bikes will be seen powering riders on streets and trails throughout North America.