Bosch has announced the new eBike Flow app as well as hardware that come together to form its new Smart System, which looks to introduce greater customisation to its electric bike motors and controls.
Centred around Bosch’s 2020 Performance Line CX drive unit, the Smart System brings updates to all the other aspects of Bosch’s electric bike systems, with a new handlebar-mounted controller and head unit.
There is also a new battery called the PowerTube 750, which Bosch says offers the maximum range in its current electric bike battery portfolio.
Having spent ten years producing drive units and software for electric bikes, Bosch’s latest releases look to future proof the brand too, with the app set to gain more features down the line and act as a means for electric bike riders to keep their bikes up to date.
eBike Flow app
Previously, Bosch let you modify the functionality of your ebike via its eBike Connect app, but with the release of its new eBike Flow app, its new features and ability to update ebikes should mean new developments in the future.
Users will be able to change the riding mode of their electric bike via the app by adjusting support, dynamics, maximum speed and maximum torque on the bike’s Bosch drive unit.
Bosch says that this will allow riders to set up their bike to match the style of riding and also route they are planning to ride. Higher speeds, for instance, might be desired for longer weekend rides in the countryside, but not when cycling through town.
Another feature of the cycling app is its ability to automatically record rides as soon as you start pedalling, and Bosch says that you won’t even have to take your smartphone with you for this to happen.
Bosch hasn’t gone into specifics on this one, but we imagine you’ll have to have location tracking permanently on and have your phone and the bike connected too.
These recorded rides will provide ride and fitness data that can then be shared with apps such as Apple Health after the activity.
Underneath the more technical and wow-y features, the eBike Flow app will also show metrics and important information that will help keep you and your ebike going. These include current battery charge levels, the ebike’s next scheduled service appointment and the total mileage of the drive unit in its different modes.
Of less interest to the end consumer and maybe more to bike brands, Bosch says electric bike manufactures will be able to customise the appearance of the app to match up with their own.
Bosch says the app will be available from autumn 2021 as a download for Android and iOS. It will support English, French and German with more languages to follow.
Smart System remote, head unity and battery
The eBike Flow app forms one part of Bosch’s new Smart System alongside multiple other hardware changes.
One of these is the new LED Remote control unit. Bosch says the remote is easy and intuitive to use with your thumb and will let you control the ebike system without a head unit. It will display all the most important information for the electric bike and its drive system via LED lights, including the current charge and support level.
The other change is an update to Bosch’s Kiox head unit, now called the Kiox 300. This is said to have a clear display that can be read in any riding situation and to present all the relevant fitness data.
Unlike the previous Kiox, the new version has a buttonless design and is controlled via the LED remote, as well as being connected to the eBike Flow app.
The system also includes the new rechargeable PowerTube 750 battery which Bosch says is aimed at “long and challenging rides”.
Bosch claims the battery offers the maximum range in the current Bosch battery collection and is optimised for plenty of climbing and distance, making it a good bet for the best electric road bikes and the best electric mountain bikes.
Like Bosch’s other PowerTube batteries, the 750 is a lithium-ion battery that fits in the frame of the bike.
Bosch says the battery is “characterised by a particularly high energy density” and that it can be charged to 50 per cent in just over two hours and fully in around six hours using Bosch’s fast charger.
Unfortunately, at this time, Bosch hasn’t gone into specifics about range but considering the best performing battery in its current portfolio is said to go over 220km in ‘Active mode’, there is some potentially serious mileage available with the PowerTube 750.
We also presume the ‘750’ means the battery is 750Wh.
Eyes on the future?
Bosch is keen to stress how the new app and Smart System will evolve over time with new updates being introduced to the app and the app being able to send updates “over-the-air” to the system itself (downloaded to the app via the internet and sent to the bike via Bluetooth).
Claus Fleish, CEO of Bosch eBike systems, says this will offer electric bike users extra value when they purchase an electric bike with the Bosch system: “They can update their eBikes themselves at any time and equip it with new features that we will develop in the future. This means that the eBike can be enhanced even after purchase and that it stays current throughout its entire service life”
Bosch says that over the coming years it will release many more features to make electric bikes smarter, more customised and safer. This will inevitably involve updates not just to software, but to electric bike hardware too.
One of the examples of future hardware that Bosch has outlined is its ConnectModule, which will provide theft protection.
Compatible electric bikes will in the future be able to be retrofitted with the system. It will likely deter thieves with an audible alarm and let owners track the location of the bike via the eBike Flow app if the thief does ride off on the bike.