Sitting as arguably the industry leader in the e-bike space, German company Bosch is at the forefront of the assisted riding revolution. With a long history in the manufacture of high-quality electric motors and battery systems, the German juggernaut is continually tweaking and refining its high-quality e-bike systems.
In this article, we’ll break down each of the four e-bike systems in detail, explaining how they work, as well as the type of rider and terrain they’re best suited to.
- Related Reading: Bosch vs Shimano: E-Bike Systems Compared
Four Lines of Performance
With four different pedelec systems in its product line up, Bosch has a range of different e-bike systems varying in output and intended usage ranging from mild to wild. Backing up each e-bike system is a choice of three battery systems and two display units. We’ll discuss each of these systems and how they differ in more detail below.
Sitting as the entry-level commuter option in the Bosch product line-up, Active Line systems are best suited to relaxed commuting duties on cycle paths, smooth roads and relatively flat terrain. When it comes to technical specifications, the Active Line drive system weighs in at 2.9kg per unit, are compatible with both hub drive and derailleur gear systems, and have a power output of 250watts (limited by Australian Regulations) with 40Nm of torque on offer.
As is the case with the other drive units in the range, Active Line drive systems have four different levels of assistance; Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo. As riders progress through the assistance levels, the amount of torque on offer from the drive unit increases to provide additional support ranging from 40% in eco mode, up to 250% in Turbo. This assistance is given on top of the rider's power, up to 250 watts, or 25kph.
Active Line Plus
Slightly more powerful than the Active Line drive unit, Active Line Plus is best suited to hillier commuting duties and is commonly found on e-bikes with more of an emphasis on agile handling. Tipping the scales at 3.2kg, the Active Line Plus is a little heavier than the standard Active Line unit, however, boasts increased maximum assistance and torque figures of 270% and 50Nm respectively.
Sitting as the most popular unit in the Bosch E-Bike System range, the Active Line Plus is perfect for everyday use. Outfitted with four different assistance levels; Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo, riders are sure to find an assistance level to suit their individual riding needs.
Primarily found on high-end super commuters, touring, and fitness e-bikes, Performance Line drive units offer even more power, torque and pedalling response for a more intuitive riding experience. Other refinements include more accurate internal sensors, that measure speed, torque and acceleration more than 1,000 times per second, reduced noise and increased durability as a result of inbuilt safeguards.
Total output remains pegged at 250watts inline with local restrictions, however, an uprated torque output of 63Nm and assistance up to 275% offers riders a noticeable increase in motor response and pedal feel regardless of your preferred terrain or ride style. Maximum assisted cadence is also increased to 120 rpm, up from 100rpm in the Active Line models.
Performance Line CX
Designed for dynamic riding offroad, Performance Line CX is found exclusively on electric mountain bikes (E-MTB’s). Outfitted with 250watts of output and range-topping figures including 75Nm worth of torque and up to 300% assistance, Performance Line CX is not only the most powerful drive system in the Bosch line-up it’s also the most intuitive.
Complete with a host of inbuilt features such as walk-assist, traction control, and progressive motor support, the system is perfect for those looking for an offroad riding option that automatically adapts to each riders individual ride style. Additionally, the bespoke E-MTB mode allows riders to tackle a wide range of terrain without the need to shift through different assistance levels. Utilising a host of sensors, the drive unit is able to scale assistance from 130% through to 300% as the terrain and the rider requires.
The nerve system of each drive unit is the display unit. Responsible for relaying information such as speed, range, cadence etc. Bosch offers up two different display units to the Australian market designed to suit different bike and ride styles.
Minimalist in design and compact in size, the Purion onboard computer is an easy to use control centre that gives riders a clear overview of their key ride data. Neatly packaged, the small form factor of the Purion makes it perfect for E-MTB riding, sporty commuting and city riding where an uncluttered cockpit is a must. The unit also features a USB diagnostics port for specialists to maintain and service the drive system with ease.
Practical and larger in size than the Purion, the Intuvia display is found on a wide range of commuter e-bikes. Featuring a large, easy to read screen that is legible in all light conditions, the Intuvia display ensures that essential ride data is always clearly in sight. In addition to the four riding modes, the Intuvia also features a charging station via a USB interface for charging phones and other devices, as well as shift recommendations to ensure that riders are always in the correct gear to suit the terrain.
PowerPaks and Charging
Serving as the fuel tank for each bike and it’s drive system, Bosch offers up four different battery options for users, each offering both rack and downtube configurations, fast charge times, long service intervals and extremely low self-discharge.
Sitting at the entry level, the PowerPack 300 is available exclusively for use with Active Line and Active line Plus units only and has a capacity of 300Wh, good for 60km of assisted riding. Weighing in at 2.5kg, the PowerPack 300 is not only the lightest battery in the line-up, is also boasts the fastest charge time, with a full charge from dead-flat taking 2.5 hours depending on your charger.
Slightly larger in capacity, the PowerPack 400 has 400Wh of capacity or a range of around 75km of assisted riding. Charge time from dead flat is 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the charger while weight stays the same at 2.5kg. Additionally, the PowerPack 400 is compatible in DualBattery configuration, where two batteries can be combined to increase the total overall range.
Moving up again, the PowerPack 500 increases in both capacity and weight with 500Wh of energy onboard whilst weight creeps up to 2.7kg. With larger capacity, comes increased charging times, with a full charge from empty claimed to take around 4.5 hours. The increased capacity boosts range up to around 90km per charge and can be doubled when used in DualBattery configuration.
The latest addition to the Bosch battery range is all the all-new PowerTube 500, which marries the range capacity and power of the PowerPack 500 with the sleek aesthetics of a semi-integrated design. Designed toi be used with bikes with a recessed downtube, the PowerTube battery system allows for bottle cages to be used and provides increased protection. The PowerTube 500 has a capactiy of 500Wh, a weight of 2.8kg and a claimed charge time of 4.5 hours.
Bosch provides its customers with two different charging options to replenish the energy in its drive systems. The standard charger boasts an output of 4A and offers an ideal balance of performance and power. For those short on space, or wanting something a little more minimalistic, the compact charger weighs less than 600 grams, 40% smaller than standard, and has an output of, making it perfect for those travelling with their e-bike.
Thanks to Bosch Australia for providing the product for this guide