New Bosch PowerTube 500 hides watts all up in your frame

Get used to seeing less of your e-bike battery

The future of e-bikes is looking tidy with major player Bosch announcing its PowerTube 500 battery pack, which is designed for clean integration into bicycle frames.

The lithium-ion PowerTube 500 has a capacity of around 500Wh, measures 349x84x65mm and weighs 2.8kg, which Bosch claims puts it amongst the lightest batteries on the market.

The PowerTube 500 offers 500Wh of capacity
The PowerTube 500 offers 500Wh of capacity

It’s intended to work with all types of bike frames (MTB, road, hybrid etc.), with insertion and removal possible from top, bottom or either side according to different designers’ requirements.

A two-stage mechanism wherein the battery pops out a couple of centimetres when it’s unlocked — but doesn’t detach immediately — makes removal and insertion easier, and reduces the chances of dropping it accidentally. 

The PowerTube 500 can be integrated in a variety of ways – here, it's accessed from the top of the downtube
The PowerTube 500 can be integrated in a variety of ways – here, it's accessed from the top of the downtube

As you’d expect, the PowerTube 500 is compatible with all of Bosch’s current e-bike tech, including DualBattery, which as the name suggests involves running two batteries in parallel for extended range.

The Active Line and Active Line Plus power units claim various refinements over previous versions
The Active Line and Active Line Plus power units claim various refinements over previous versions

The PowerTube's launch is accompanied by two updated Bosch power units. The latest Active Line and Active Line Plus systems promise quieter operation and lower pedalling resistance in slimmed down packages.

Both the PowerTube and the Active Line units will appear on 2018 bikes. 

Integrate all the things

Bosch’s news doesn’t really come as a surprise, in fact Shimano made a similar announcement this time last year, alongside its launch of the STEPS E8000 system.

Shimano’s Henry Bosch (no relation, as far as we know) said at the time “I think within one or two years you’ll have to look twice at a bike to see if it’s an e-bike or a normal one. People don’t want to ride on a bike that is covered with battery packs and has a really high weight. They want it to be light and easy to handle and carry”.

He may have been talking about Shimano’s own efforts in the field, but his prediction is looking pretty accurate for the industry as a whole.

Better battery integration seems to be an industry trend
Better battery integration seems to be an industry trend

Specialized already has bikes like the Turbo Vado in its line-up, while Giant has put considerable work into its own EnergyPak500 batter for both road and MTB use.

Would cleaner, more integrated designs tempt you onto an e-bike?

Thanks to Cyclingindustry.News for kindly allowing us to use its photos of bikes featuring Bosch's new hidden battery. 

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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