Bosch Unveils Ebike "Smart System" with Over-The-Air Updates and More - Eurobike 2021

Aug 31, 2021
by Seb Stott  

Bosch is one of the biggest players in the eBike drive unit business. They've just announced a new smartphone app that connects to new ebike hardware which they claim improves the user experience. The app connects via Bluetooth to a new remote and display. Bosch have also announced a new, larger, 750 Wh battery.

eBike Flow app
Bosch's brand new app is claimed to offer a range of benefits.

Firstly, it allows all the relevant information about the bike to be displayed in one place, which would be difficult to do with just a bar-mounted display. "The eBike Flow app bundles all important information on the home screen—from the connection status of the eBike to the next service appointment and the current charge status of the battery. It also shows the total mileage of the drive and how it is distributed among the different riding modes."

Secondly, it allows such things as the support levels, maximum speed and torque to be fine-tuned to suit the user and location. It can also automatically record ride data, which can be connected to other apps like Apple Health, even if you forget to turn on Strava before setting off.

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, it allows the software to receive over-the-air updates using a Bluetooth connection to the phone and the phone's internet connection. It's not clear what these updates will involve, though Bosch say they will "continuously enhance the eBike experience with new, innovative features."

LED remote controller and e Kiox 300 display

Bosch's new minimalist control unit indicates the battery level and assistance mode with LEDs - the number of illuminated lights indicates the state of charge and the colour changes to represent the different assistance modes. This allows the controller to be used on its own without a separate display. It also pairs directly with a smartphone through Bluetooth so the app connectivity can be used with or without the display.

The new e Kiox 300 display has a colour screen with a display that can be fully customised via the app. Bike manufacturers will be able to customise the display so the screen matches their branding. The screen has no buttons and is controlled via the remote.

PowerTube 750 battery

A new internal battery offers a whopping 750 Wh of capacity. While there are bigger internal batteries out there (Norco offers a 900Wh unit for Shimano's motor), Bosch's previous largest battery was 625 Wh so this is 20% larger. The claimed weight is 4.4Kg and a full charge will take six hours, or two hours for a 0-50% charge.

Compatablity and Availability

Bosch also told us that the Smart System components are only compatible with the 2022 Performance Line CX motor for now. "None of the components are retrofittable/backwards compatible. It’s a new system that will work with model year 2022 products and forward. We expect additional drive units to be incorporated into the smart system (made compatible) in the future."

Bosch says the eBike Flow app will be available for Android and iOS from this fall, in English, German and French. More languages will follow.


Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
298 articles

  • 71 7
 "sorry, your last post violated our community guidelines, and you account has been suspended for one week. Please try your e-bike again after 7 days."
  • 43 1
 "Please upgrade to Outside platinum membership to access levels higher than 25% assistance"
  • 22 1
 Good news everyone! We've moved your motor software to the cloud so we can manage your motor remotely. All you need is a 4G connection to start your motor, and you'll be ripping in no time!
  • 5 1
 @iduckett: "a 4G connection to start your motor" in the middle of nowhere, it's a must have!
  • 14 1
 @pbuser2299: You joke, but rest assured we will soon see a premium paid app to access certain functionality in some sort of (or many) bike components. Everybody wants in on the subscription game.
  • 8 8
 I was in Austin for a work trip, and rode some of those stupid e-scooters. Mine was fine, but a coworker was on one that geoblocks if it thinks you're not "where you're supposed to be" and I had to wait while he carried his for 200 yards (wheel completely locks up and he was still charged for the distance).

100% certainty this is coming to ebikes.
  • 4 0
 @pourquois-pas: Full autopilot is for sure on a subscription.
  • 6 0
 @pourquois-pas: e.g. derailleur "Pro Shifts"—1000 pack for $29.99—otherwise adds some artificial latency to your shifts. Not to worry though, they'll push/text/email you when you're getting low! Big Grin
  • 20 4
 The day will come when your ebike will not work one non-ebike approved trails because it will be geolocated. Or in the very least it will rat on you to the appropriate authorities. This could be good or bad depending on how violently you react to any Pink-ebike article.
  • 8 1
 Geofencing e bike trails based on how far away you are from home

“Sorry! You haven’t unlocked North Carolina trails yet. Subscribe for $10/mo to get unlimited regions or purchase North Carolina separately for a one time payment of $5*

*updates extra.”
  • 4 2
 How about an ebike that just insults you. You out of shape sh1t. Why do you need assistance your not handicapped. Stop waste my battery and burn off your fatness. What’s wrong with your non-electric bike? How about shock therapy. You shouldn’t ride this trail cause my battery going to fail and start forest fire - I’ll make sure you go to jail you lazy bastard. Why did you waste your money me when you could paid for second girlfriend for years
The insult electric bike with over air updates including sexism, fitism, classism and more. Updates not included - bike will tell your partner who you really been riding.
  • 19 4
 Thanks I hate it.

I'm a cargobike guy, a place where you see very expensive, high end and strange bikes meeting 'normal' people that want some urban mobility, fitness, outdoor connection in their lives vs. a minivan. It is often a bloodbath, because the bikes themselves suffer from all the normal cycling quirks ('standards,' durability/longevity, etc) hitting people that just dropped 6K on a bike and can't change a flat, don't know how to shift gears etc.

Bosch has been on the forefront of an automotive style model of scheduled service with your authorized service center. That's a great line for the customer, but more colossal expense, and every single Bosch approved, certified service center in my STATE has zero understanding of the system. They're just an entry point to send parts back to Bosch, which is a colossal time sink. I was a mechanic, I can fix these myself, but parts availability is incredibly poor, by design, and the electronic problems are unassailable without Bosch shop tools, and you're voiding your warranty if you do anything other then ride the thing.
  • 5 1
 Bosch is trying to control the whole chain. The flashing of their devices can only be done by "approved" persons, etc...

Their devices run FreeRTOS, plus many other open source components. Let's hope someone find a way to write an entire open source firmware for those devices.
  • 21 12
 Having Bosch in Europe was an ordeal. 25 kmh top speed is a joke. Tuning it is hard and very often gets detected making your bike unusable. Shimano and Yamaha are right now the only systems I'm considering. Efficiency of Shimano is not as good as Bosch though. That's why I'm waiting for reviews and test ride of new Giant.
  • 21 18
 So you are literally complaining about Bosch adhering to the law? And about the fact they are not making it easy for you to make illegal modifications to your bike? Interesting attitude...
  • 16 8
 @messias: This is exactly what I'm saying. At least I'm being honest. There is no law that says how hard it will be to tune the system. They are just playing "good father" and treat people like children. Germany at it's finest.
  • 16 1
 @messias: And don't get fooled by Bosch. They overdid their security. The number of false positives is massive. People are going back from Alps because their motor thinks it was tuned when it wasn't.

I've been talking with shops in Germany and Austria. Suckers that try to hack their Bosch system come to them and pay. It's a good revenue source for Bosch and the shops.
  • 16 7
 too much crap @ cockpit

specialized and giant got this right , min clean display

all this e Kiox 300 display nonsense looks awful imo
  • 10 0
 You can use it without the display.
  • 4 1
 One thing I've noticed with the screen being on the top of the stem is if you have a drivetrain issue out on the trail you can't flip the bike upside down. Unless you don't mind destroying the display..
  • 9 1
 @ncrider5: you call the tow service when that happens, right ?
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: there's a video which showed someone removing the display, taking it with them as part of the bike's security system.

Edit: looked it up and it seems the lock function is an opt-in thing, with a one-time setup (purchase through app).
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: to be honest the bar mounted remote is even worst. Too many buttons, awful to see, very very and i mean very prone to breaking at the minimum hit and very expensive.
Useless and dumb design IMHO
  • 2 0
 I have a 2021 TREK Rail with the Bosch Kiox and it sits on the top tube. It's not too bulky, doesn't disturb while riding and shows me everything I need while not distracting me.
  • 14 7
 Is it just me or is it mildly irritating with all the electronic stuff coming into mtb? Don't get me wrong, progression and innovation is amazing but it just seems like at every turn, companies are providing another new electronic product to throw on the bike with little efficiency or hassle. I get that this is an ebike post but y'all know?
  • 6 0
 I agree... And then I read all the AXS reviews and they do seem really positive. Caveat emptor I suppose.
  • 4 0
 @HankHank: 100%! Some areas have seen innovation that is mild enough to not inconvenience the rider but just make less of a hassle (sans cables and accurate shifting). Just don't want to drown in cookie-cutter mtb electronic tech to the point the bikes are dirtbikes without the gas haha
  • 3 1
 @HankHank: XTR shifts better than AXS tho..... I say as Shimano is probably going to launch Di2 12 speed soon.
  • 1 4
 "Is it just me"

Do you even read PB bike comments every time anything remotely electronic is announced/discussed in a PB article?
  • 5 0
 @stumphumper92: Just starting a conversation with other members. No need for the condescending comment bucko.
  • 3 0
 @Upat1intheMorning: I've got no horse in this race but I'm giving you a +1 just for use of the word "bucko". Been a while since I've heard that. Gonna to try to work this into conversations this week, heh.
  • 5 1
 Its not backwards compatible and cant be retrofitted. Time for the e-bikers to buy a new e-bike for the new features.

Wait until you order your new bike and then get informed about the 1year+ lead times for the latest BLE IC's holding up production.
  • 6 0
 OVER THE AIR UPDATE? , AN APP?... get out of here!
  • 5 3
 "None of the components are retrofittable/backwards compatible."

So anyone that already dropped loot on extra Bosch batteries or chargers is SOL? Doesn't really make me want to invest in a Bosch system.
  • 6 2
 Does it count all the peasant pedal bikers as you pass them doing yet another lap? That would be a nice feature.
  • 2 0
 it would be good if it also displayed how many calories you would have burned if only you were man enough to pedal yourself.
  • 2 2
 Bosch CX is by far the best e-bike motor in hardware and firmware I've ridden. I do wish they'd make a compact motor with smaller form factor so the bikes this motor comes with don't weigh 50 lbs and brick shaped like the motor it uses.
  • 1 1
 Ok, so is it 80% eMTB?
Or 80% of max speed?
Or the eMTB in km/h and 21.4 Bosch’s instead of 21,4 (with a comma for the metric people km/h is meant for)?

Really hope that e-drivetrain manufacturers aren’t going the same dark route like most of the automotive industry - ever larger displays and continuously worse interfaces.

It’s a bike!

And yes, Bosch, it’s ok to copy some thoughts from Shimano or Spezialized (Brose) - so please, look up the words “unobtrusive” and “purpose built”.

Thank you.
  • 3 1
 Oh, and forgot my rant about this hideous brick of a remote! Seriously: WTF?!

Hope that app at least let’s people who buy this customize the color scheme.
  • 2 0
 Having experience with all 4 mayor brands of motors, Bosch, brose, shimano and Yamaha y have to say that the Bosch one is the most reliable by far but also has the worst UX.
  • 4 1
 It's coming. Forgot to pay your monthly subscription? Bike disabled.
  • 4 1
 Good god! It may be biking but it ain’t mountain biking.
  • 3 3
 Looks like a cool system! I would like to give it a shoot. I love my shimano system but interested to try the power difference with Bosch.
  • 2 0
 Once you go Bosch....
  • 5 3
 All your e-bricks are belong to us.
  • 1 3
 Is it still controlled by only by cadence and wheel speed? Is anyone doing an e-bike that uses a power meter to measure rider inputs and then deliver boosted output power that is actually controlled by the rider's pedal input power?
  • 1 0
 Now don't quote me on this but I do believe manufacturers are all using torque to adjust output power. I can confirm Bosch uses torque. When I was working in a shop, certain hybrid e-bikes with Bosch would cut out power on the hardest gear because the system was detecting that it required too much power to get things going.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil this is how Bosch currently measures output. In modes like Tour+ and EMtb, the harder you push, the more power the motor delivers. I think it has a 1000Hz refresh rate, so its very fast. I know on mine, there is not lag for my power input to when the motor gives more or less back. Phenomenal setup.
  • 2 0
 OTA brick function if the bike is marked as stolen?
  • 1 1
 about time, less time i have to have my rail at the shop paying absurd labour pricing. Sorry but the bloke getting at max like $20/h and you charging me 70 an hour is bull
  • 1 0
 You can have your bike worked on for $20/hr but it's going to be in the middle of a parking lot with rocks for tools. Alternately, overhead exists for a reason I guess.
  • 2 0
 @mikealive: kinda, im more complaining about the gap between that $20 and $70.
Many bike people work their dream job... but guess what... cant afford a nice bike because... they work in a bike shop lol.
  • 1 0
 @noideamtber: You may be missing the point. You want the techs to get paid more? That's cool, you can pay $80/hr then^. Overhead is overhead, and obviously dependent by location, but it is what it is. Source: I worked in independent bike shops for almost a decade. Last shop I was at needed to do $24,000/mo just to break even. That's not in sales, that's in margin.. 24k for rent, utilities, insurance, and salaries for 7-8 staff.. All the tools need to be bought, tools break, tech changes and you need new tools, etc. Granted, the rent was high in that location because it was pretty prime (and near a college campus) but you get the idea. Not to mention the bro discounts everyone wants to get when they come in..

I loved my days in the industry, but for the most part it's a dead end job. Just because you like what you do doesn't mean it will make you rich. You're working on people's toys, and customer's know it's not a necessity 9 times out of 10, so there's realistically only so much you can charge for what amounts to a hobby; and thus only so much you can pay your employees. A good wrench is valuable, but it's also not 8 years of school and open heart surgery either.

^Or you can just tip the mechanics/staff if you appreciate what they do for you. I drank so much free beer when I worked it shops, lol. A cold 6 pack is always a cool move.
  • 5 5
 Perfect. With eflow I can depend on my bike to get me through the day, from my heaviest days to my lightest days.
  • 3 3
 Why stop when your shit ebike starts?
  • 2 0
 eKox lol
  • 1 0
 Holding out for an Electric Motion.
  • 4 4
 I'm waiting for them to get rid of the pedals altogether
  • 1 1
 A mouse and a shopping trolley have more in common than Bosch and MTB.
  • 3 3
 So it's a Shimano now?
  • 11 13
 Does the new display show how lazy you're being?
  • 16 8
 What is wrong with people on this website and their inferiority complex to emtbs. MTB riders are hardly known as being the fittest cyclists anyway and most drive to the trails in the first place.
  • 11 6
 @iainmaclellan: it's the dick measuring culture... these type of people like to measure each other up. Get more "bro-cred" if you are seen as more Chad-like.

Like watching hairless chimps throwing poo when they get distressed. Male hormonal-equivalent of being bitchy. It's like they're implying that your dick falls off if you get an ebike, at least in their eyes.
  • 1 2
 @Varaxis: i dont think the opinion is that it will fall off, more that there was never one there in the first place.

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