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2020 Bosch Update: New motors, 625Wh battery and more

Huge update from Bosch for 2020

Bosch have just dropped what looks like the biggest bunch of EMTB updates ever seen. New motors, batteries, software, anti tuning and more! First the headlines, read on for the full update.

Bosch 2020 Gen4 CX Motor

  • All new motor design
  • Almost 50% smaller, more compact design
  • 2.9 KG, 25% less weight than the outgoing model
  • Standard chainring mount at the front
  • 75Nm Max Torque

The big news is that Bosch have an all new EMTB motor. Aimed at ‘sporty’ riding (guess that means the more hardcore e-mountain bikers!), the motor is a lot smaller, lighter and gives a better power distribution across a much wider cadence range.

Smaller motor can reduce chain stays which were always on the long side on the outgoing model.

Bosch claim the the motor offers up to 340% support, so that makes it’s peak power output around 850 watts, with a torque output of 75Nm. Interestingly that’s still a bit short of the Brose Mag S (90Nm / 410% support) and the TQ 120 (120Nm).

The motor completely decouples after the 25Km EU limit, so draggy motors of the past should become a non issue.

But Bosch have a large market share already with many bike brands using the older model so no doubt this year we will see a huge number of EMTB’s adopt this new motor. Bosch is a huge player in the Ebike market and this motor will be a big deal.

In addition to the Performance CX motor Bosch have also developed new Cargo motors, and ‘regular’ motors, for more touring oriented ebikes.

New 625Wh PowerTube Battery

Larger batteries seem to be high in demand and Bosch will not be missing out here. An all new 625Wh PowerTube battery and a lighter, 400Wh PowerTube are being introduced today. There are 2 options for installing the battery: horizontally or vertically.

Bosch PowerTube 625Wh battery. A nice range boost over the 500Wh batteries.

With Specialized offering a 700Wh battery for the 2019 Levo, YT promising a 700Wh battery for their new Decoy… You gotta go big or go home it seems for 2020. Bosch are pretty much joining that party too, with a 25% increase over the older 500Wh batteries.

So that leaves three batteries to choose from (they will still retain the 500Wh PowerTube battery). Frame designers and bike manufacturers will be able to choose from 3 sizes for 2020 bikes. No doubt most customers will want the 625Wh, in line with current trends.

Anti Tuning Measures

Let’s face it. Ebike hacking is a big deal to bike manufacturers. They just cannot afford to have bikes open to hacking. Loss of trail access, insurance / registration issues, the list goes on. Negative press? Already clickbait articles are starting to appear in the mainstream press; look at these kind of articles that are being published . Bosch have taken a firm stance to Ebike tuning:

For model year 2020, Bosch eBike Systems is launching software that recognises eBike tuning and consequently reduces support. This solution is the Bosch response to a requirement included in the current European standard (EN 15194: 2017) for electric motor-supported bicycles, marking another important step in the fight against tuning.

Bosch eBike Systems has developed software that uses a sensor to detect whether the pedelec has been tuned. If the software recognises that the drive has been manipulated, the eBike automatically switches to limp home mode.

Bosch Press Release

After the third time, limp home mode can only be deactivated by a specialist dealer using the Bosch DiagnosticTool. Bosch feel that this deterrent reduces riding enjoyment and discourages manipulation. The software will be installed in all Bosch eBike drive systems from model year 2020 onwards. 

Fox E-Live Valve electronic suspension

Bosch has teamed up with FOX to offer ebikers an electronically controllable suspension designed for maximum performance on the trail. FOX E-Live Valve can be easily controlled via the Kiox on-board computer. There are five manually adjustable modes for different riding situations.

Fox E-Live Factory forks. Do we really need more wires hanging out?

Using a sophisticated system of sensors, the E-Live Valve determines the conditions of the terrain 1,000 times per second and adjusts the fork and rear shock accordingly within fractions of a second. This means that the eMountain biker can always be sure of the ideal suspension setting and can concentrate fully on the trail. Power is supplied to the eSuspension by the Bosch eBike battery.

Whilst I’m intrigued with how it works and the actual benefits that it brings on the trail I can’t help notice the additional fuss it created with settings, cables and weight to the bike. We’ll have to see real ride reports to see if it has much riding benefit.

Display? Yep. You have to have one

It seems that all future Bosch Ebikes will have to have either a Kiox or Nyon display. For riders who prefer a minimalist design (or no display) you might be disappointed. There are a couple of cool features though. The display acts as a digital key for the bike via a ‘premium lock’ function. Its essentially a key for the bike and it will be useless without it. Just don’t lose it! The ‘Lock’ functionality will be a €9.99 software add-on to the Kiox display pictured below.

Looks good but fans of small or minimalist bars might be disappointed that you have to have a display on all 2020 Bosch Ebikes.

Bosch eBike systems have been huge players in the growth of the Ebike scene over the past 10 years and its growing at such a rapid pace. From next year, Bosch eBike Systems will be transformed into its own independent division, separating from the Automotive Electronics division that it has been part of since its inception.

With the huge amount of updates that Bosch has announced today we can expect a whole host of new EMTB’s to be announced off the back of it. We’ll have all the details as soon as we hear more.

  1. Looks good, but I am a bit surprised they have decided to mandate a display. Maybe a more minimalist option will be coming down the road next year?
  2. The future is eMTB app stores! So you gotta mandate a screen if Bosch are going to sell you apps!

    (Maybe)

  3. Interesting that they are using the Bosch Motor in the more “accessible” EMTB’s but still using the Shimano in the higher end models. Guess it’s the cost of changing the carbon moulds.

    Disappointed they haven’t changed/updated the display options. The Ebike—Mtb site review says its noisier than the shimano systems too, but due to a mechanical noise rather than motor one.

  4. Interesting that they are using the Bosch Motor in the more “accessible” EMTB’s but still using the Shimano in the higher end models. Guess it’s the cost of changing the carbon moulds.

    I believe Focus has just done an early release of four Jam2’s with Bosch, I guess there’ll be more towards the end of the season.

    Those two bikes are pretty different though. The new one has significantly shorter chainstays, a bit taller BB, it weighs like 1.5kg+ more. Will be interesting to see if Focus is giving up on the 384Wh non-detachable internal battery bikes.

  5. In the Singletrack Magazine YouTube videos of the Jam & Thon2 sound much quieter than my Shimano equipped one.
  6. Is there a picture of the battery plating label yet? I’d like to know if the new battery is actually 625Wh or approximately 625Wh like the 482Wh of the Powerpack 500…
  7. On the latest EMBN vid they do a noise comparison of the new vs old motors. It’s not quiet
  8. Range sounds good.

    "51.45 km / 1230 metres ascent – this is the range we managed to squeeze from the motor, always riding in the highest assistance mode until the battery was completely drained. "

  9. On the latest EMBN vid they do a noise comparison of the new vs old motors. It’s not quiet

    I saw that. It sounded whiny like my Shimano. On the Singletrack videos it sound much more like the recent Bosch CX bikes. A lower tone & quieter.

  10. I’d accept the noise if they were trumpeting some additional sealing to improve reliability and alongside the other improvements. It is there the current motors really need to improve – let’s be honest, none of them are exhibiting excellent long term reliability if you are doing true mountain biking with them. The failure rate on Brose is particularly frightening (every Levo owner I know has had at least one motor under warranty, some more), but Bosch’s prev generation CX was not immune to issues either. I’d certainly accept a bit more size and weight over the current best in class in those departements for enhanced motor life.
  11. Personally I really don’t mind the noise from my Shimano, it only whines on steep climbs and that’s still not a big deal for me. I would happily not have it there but it’s no deal breaker, and based on internet rumblings, the Shimano motor seems like the most reliable – to be expected from the Japs!

    I think the whine downhill as well as uphill would be a bit frustrating.

  12. And the Power Pack 500 is much less than 500Wh

    36v x 13.4Ah = 482Wh

    So, in actually really factually, the new Pack 625 is nearly 30% embiggened.

    Yeah, that’s right. They seem to be using 3350mAh cells for their 500 batteries, and not 3500mAh like Shimano and others are using. In real life there may not be any difference between them though.

    For their new Powertube 625 they probably use the 3500mAh cells (3,5Ah*3,6V*50=630Wh)

  13. Batteries to big. 80% of my rides only require about 300w. Don’t need to carry about the extra weight. Also the new battery is two big and heavy to go in my backpack. My current bike has a 500w battery and I stick a second one in my backpack for longer rides.

    No attempt to address motor reliability, still not willing to sell us spare parts or allow us to repair our own motors. Sorry bosch, don’t believe your motors will last for ever.

    No interest

  14. > Batteries to big. 80% of my rides only require about 300w. Don’t need to carry about the extra weight. Also the new battery is two big and heavy to go in my backpack. My current bike has a 500w battery and I stick a second one in my backpack for longer rides.

    Battery (2020 PowerTube) will be available in 400, 500 and 630 Wh. 400 and 500 will be the old size, can be fitted to the 2020 bikes with a small plastic adapter. The 630 is not backwards compatible.

    > No attempt to address motor reliability, still not willing to sell us spare parts or allow us to repair our own motors. Sorry bosch, don’t believe your motors will last for ever.

    Bosch has a service set available for the drive.

    My CX is now at 7.000km, and I still haven’t installed the maintenance pack.

  15. > Batteries to big. 80% of my rides only require about 300w. Don’t need to carry about the extra weight. Also the new battery is two big and heavy to go in my backpack. My current bike has a 500w battery and I stick a second one in my backpack for longer rides.

    Battery (2020 PowerTube) will be available in 400, 500 and 630 Wh. 400 and 500 will be the old size, can be fitted to the 2020 bikes with a small plastic adapter. The 630 is not backwards compatible.

    — My battery is the bosch model fitted to the 2018 bikes, 500wh. Shorter and fatter, fits much better in backpack. The 2020 is longer and thinner. The newer versions they’ve released are less suitable for short rides(you carry extra weight) and less suitable for longer rides (don’t fit in backpack as well). If you do carry a spare new battery in your backpack the total capacity could be > 1.2 kw. I would never use this amount so it’s unnecessary weight for me.

    > No attempt to address motor reliability, still not willing to sell us spare parts or allow us to repair our own motors. Sorry bosch, don’t believe your motors will last for ever.

    — This addresses one specific fault, the drive side bearing. It does not address any other fault at all. Any other failure outside warranty (no matter how insignificant) will require a new motor at 700 euros. It rains alot where I live and is very muddy.

    Still no interest :) thanks for the information though.

    Bosch has a service set available for the drive.

    My CX is now at 7.000km, and I still haven’t installed the maintenance pack.

  16. > Batteries to big. 80% of my rides only require about 300w. Don’t need to carry about the extra weight. Also the new battery is two big and heavy to go in my backpack. My current bike has a 500w battery and I stick a second one in my backpack for longer rides.

    >>Battery (2020 PowerTube) will be available in 400, 500 and 630 Wh. 400 and 500 will be the old size, can be fitted to the 2020 bikes with a small plastic adapter. The 630 is not backwards compatible.

    >>> My battery is the bosch model fitted to the 2018 bikes, 500wh. Shorter and fatter, fits much better in backpack. The 2020 is longer and thinner. The newer versions they’ve released are less suitable for short rides(you carry extra weight) and less suitable for longer rides (don’t fit in backpack as well). If you do carry a spare new battery in your backpack the total capacity could be > 1.2 kw. I would never use this amount so it’s unnecessary weight for me.

    > No attempt to address motor reliability, still not willing to sell us spare parts or allow us to repair our own motors. Sorry bosch, don’t believe your motors will last for ever.

    >> your video

    >>> This addresses one specific fault on the old motor (not the 2020), the drive side bearing. It does not address any other fault at all. Any other failure outside warranty (no matter how insignificant) will require a new motor at 700 euros. It rains alot where I live and is very muddy.

    Still no interest :) thanks for the information though.

  17. I agree reliability is the area where the motors need to make most progress, but I’m not sure I’d single out Bosch as any worse than the others. The failure rates of the Brose motor in the Specialized’s seem to be frighteningly high (I don’t know anyone with a Levo who hasn’t had at least one new motor under warranty), and Shimano are not perfect either (@Gary has gone through several sets of bearings I know, and I’ve read of quite a few others too). With the current generation of motors I think you have to budget for a new one if you intend to keep the bike more than 1 year after it’s warranty period ends.
  18. I agree reliability is the area where the motors need to make most progress, but I’m not sure I’d single out Bosch as any worse than the others. The failure rates of the Brose motor in the Specialized’s seem to be frighteningly high (I don’t know anyone with a Levo who hasn’t had at least one new motor under warranty), and Shimano are not perfect either (@Gary has gone through several sets of bearings I know, and I’ve read of quite a few others too). With the current generation of motors I think it’s more or less required to budget for a new one if you intend to keep the bike more than 1 year after it’s warranty period ends.

    Couldn’t agree with you more, they all need to raise their game. Spare parts for all!.

  19. I like the new Bosch PowerTube 625 battery. The case appears to be an aluminium extrusion with screwed on end plates. That makes it super easy to upgrade to higher capacity cells in the future when the original battery wears out.
  20. Is there confirmation of cell type and configuration?
    Is it still 18650s in a 10S5P configuration?
  21. Is there confirmation of cell type and configuration?
    Is it still 18650s in a 10S5P configuration?

    Yeah, most likely.The 630Wh capacity is what you get from 50 3500mah cells. And the ~500gr weight increase over the Powertube 500 suggests another 10 18650 cells have been adds.

  22. The only thing I hope is the new bosch motor allows normal length chainstays. Not interested in anything with more than 435mm
  23. The only thing I hope is the new bosch motor allows normal length chainstays. Not interested in anything with more than 435mm

    There are not many ebikes with chainstays that short irrelevant of the motor chosen as manufacturers tend to add in a bit compared to a clockwork to improve climbing ability, but given the dimensions of the new Bosch I don’t see why short chainstays shouldn’t be possible.

  24. The only thing I hope is the new bosch motor allows normal length chainstays. Not interested in anything with more than 435mm

    Yeah. I thought that before i actually rode any emtbs.
    ‘s funny. I’m a massive fan of short stays on hardtails. all of mine have had sub 400mm stays since the 90s but I really wouldn’t want anywhere near as short on an Emtb hardtail or longer travel FS.
    Right around 445mm seems to be my sweetspot for playfulness while remaining stable on my 170mm Emtb and my 200mm DH bikes. 435mm is what my 170mm Enduro bike has and that would be too short and pop happy for the Emtb (pretty much the same geometry as my emtb except for stay length).

    I just bought an EHardtail (not here yet) and kinda wished I could have gotten 430mm ish on that though (instead of the 450mm it’s listed as). but the deal was too good to turn down really and it should still be sweet for it’s intended use.

  25. For the trails I ride, ie very tight and steep techy, mainly in woods with short catch berms, short chainstays rule. Just got rid of my kenevo for its 445mm chainstays and un poppy nature. So far I’ve got either the spectral On or RM altitiude to choose from.

    Climbing is fine with short CSs you just need to get over the front. I can climb anything I could on my kenevo on the altitiude.

    Stuck between sizes on the altitiude though and Canyon is backed up by canyon support (worthless)…

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