Uphill Battle ; Bosch CX vs Brose ?

#2
I'm sure folks with more experience will weigh in here, and may not agree with what I have to say. Nonetheless, this is what I've found.

1) my first ebike experience was in SF on a Stromer. I felt like Superman, flying up a really steep hill.
2) my second experience was test riding a base model Specialized Turbo (hub drive)- twice. It was VERY DISAPPOINTING in its ability to climb hills.
3) my third experience was on a Giant Quick-e (mid-drive, Yamaha motor.) I was pleased with the assist and it's still one of my top choices (I plan to purchase an ebike this coming spring.)
4) a couple weeks ago I visited an ebike store here in Seattle. The salesperson was VERY SKEPTICAL of Brose, of its reliability but particularly its Hill climbing ability. He advised me to take Torque numbers with a very large grain of salt- also, to consider first a Bosch powered bike. I rode a Cube with a CX and was quite pleased, especially because I was expecting it to be loud- it wasn't. It's difficult to say whether the Bosch cx provided more oomph on the hills than the Yamaha, something I'll test with back to back rides before purchasing.
5) A few days ago I had an opportunity to rent a Specialized Vado 3.0 for a day in Austin. This is a Brose powered bike. I was VERY PLEASED with how easily I was able to climb some pretty brutally steep hills. I'm pretty sure this bike climbed better than the Bosch or Yamaha, tho without back to back rides I can't really say for sure.
6) At this point, and despite hearing of numerous problems people have been having with the new Vados, I am leaning strongly towards choosing this bike. One big advantage it has over any Bosch is that it both offered strong climbing ability AND the ability to cruise along quiet pleasantly in the low to mid 20s (mph.) Bosch forces you to choose between its best climber (cx) and assist above 20 mph (speed). The reliability issues I'm hearing about give me pause, but I'm hoping that Specialized will provide any support I need and won't be going away anytime soon.

I know you asked about acceleration, and that wasn't really something I was paying much attention to, sorry. Good luck!
 
#4
If you watch the relevant threads in this forum you'll see a few people who've had issues with their Vados. A few have reported motor noise and problems which required repair. Most complaints, however, aren't about the motor but about Specialized's implementation and software. It didn't help that Specialized (I believe) changed the top assist speed on the 3.0 to 28 mph after telling all the dealers- and stating on their web site- that the top assist speed would be 20 mph. And Specialized has promised a smart phone app ("Mission Control") which is supposed to connect to the battery via Bluetooth and provide all kinds of cool functionality- but it's been promised for over a year and it's still vapor ware.

OTOH, the dealer in Austin confirmed that yes, they've had a few problems among the many Vados they've sold, but the guy I talked to said that Specialized had been very responsive about fixing them, typically replacing the motor completely and in some cases swapping in an entirely new bike. I haven't otherwise heard that the Brose motors were prone to problems (except for the Seattle salesperson, whose advice I'm now inclined to discount) so I'm leaning towards thinking these are growing pains associated with a new, complex product and am hoping things will be settling down by the time I'm ready to make my decision. And maybe people with more experience than me will weigh in here. What do you think, folks? Is the Vado a product plagued by problems, or are these normal issues for a new design?
 

e-boy

Active Member
#6
If you watch the relevant threads in this forum you'll see a few people who've had issues with their Vados. A few have reported motor noise and problems which required repair. Most complaints, however, aren't about the motor but about Specialized's implementation and software. It didn't help that Specialized (I believe) changed the top assist speed on the 3.0 to 28 mph after telling all the dealers- and stating on their web site- that the top assist speed would be 20 mph. And Specialized has promised a smart phone app ("Mission Control") which is supposed to connect to the battery via Bluetooth and provide all kinds of cool functionality- but it's been promised for over a year and it's still vapor ware.

OTOH, the dealer in Austin confirmed that yes, they've had a few problems among the many Vados they've sold, but the guy I talked to said that Specialized had been very responsive about fixing them, typically replacing the motor completely and in some cases swapping in an entirely new bike. I haven't otherwise heard that the Brose motors were prone to problems (except for the Seattle salesperson, whose advice I'm now inclined to discount) so I'm leaning towards thinking these are growing pains associated with a new, complex product and am hoping things will be settling down by the time I'm ready to make my decision. And maybe people with more experience than me will weigh in here. What do you think, folks? Is the Vado a product plagued by problems, or are these normal issues for a new design?
Well , BMW chose Brose over Bosch for their latest $4000 eBike model.
 

Mark Peralta

Well-Known Member
#8
For riding on hilly paved roads .
Any real world difference in acceleration and climbing ?
There is another thread here at ebr forum where a Brose owner complains about how slow it is compared to the Bosch CX.
https://electricbikereview.com/foru...-molasses-sad-such-a-good-looking-bike.13381/
However, I don't think that the Brose is inferior to the Bosch. Both are reputable giants. I think it is just tuned differently and dialed more for maximum range over high peak power.
 

Sonoboy

Active Member
#9
Let's not forget they also designed this:

View attachment 18759
A BMW Isetta! I had a professor in college who drove one daily. BMW was thinking outside the box on this design. In our litigious society of today you couldn’t bring this to market. Just imagine colliding with something and trying to extricate yourself quickly, but the only door opens to the front, and is now crushed!
 
#10
Yeah, I should have referenced that thread, Mark. Taken together with what the salesperson told me (about how weak Brose motors were) I was completely unprepared for the smooth powerful way I flew up some very steep hills with the Vado. Do you think Specialized has tuned it so as to coax more oomph from it? I'm really not sure how to reconcile my experience with what the folks in that thread are saying (who on the whole are very disappointed with the way the Brose performs in the Bulls models.)
 

Mark Peralta

Well-Known Member
#11
Yeah, I should have referenced that thread, Mark. Taken together with what the salesperson told me (about how weak Brose motors were) I was completely unprepared for the smooth powerful way I flew up some very steep hills with the Vado. Do you think Specialized has tuned it so as to coax more oomph from it? I'm really not sure how to reconcile my experience with what the folks in that thread are saying (who on the whole are very disappointed with the way the Brose performs in the Bulls models.)
I supposed, each ebike company has the freedom to choose how they want to program the power delivery of their ebikes. Bulls must have programmed their power delivery differently from other companies such as Specialized Turbo. The more battery juice is allowed to flow to the motor, the more mechanical power is produced by the motor (and the lesser the range).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#12
Yeah, I should have referenced that thread, Mark. Taken together with what the salesperson told me (about how weak Brose motors were) I was completely unprepared for the smooth powerful way I flew up some very steep hills with the Vado. Do you think Specialized has tuned it so as to coax more oomph from it? I'm really not sure how to reconcile my experience with what the folks in that thread are saying (who on the whole are very disappointed with the way the Brose performs in the Bulls models.)
Not to sound snobbish. The reality is, about 60% of the people who are using E-bikes are baby boomers and they have not ridden a bike in decades. Their shifting skills can be rusty.
A decent cyclist who knows how to use gears will have no problem. if you are in the right gear, mid-drives do well. If not, they feel sluggish.

Hub drives are much simpler and people also love BBS-HD because it doesn't matter what gear you're in, it has lot of power to pull you up an incline. People who complain that turn-key bikes are under powered , lack some riding skills. World's best riders like Chris Froomey or Peter Sagan can put out 300W sustained for long duration. Both Brose or Bosch is capable of supplying sustained 300W.
I also found Brose to be very smooth compared to Bosch. Both are capable systems and with good riding skills/rider, they are just so much fun. You could go up just about any hill.
 

e-boy

Active Member
#15
Thanks !
Ideally I'm looking for 700c , but this one looks like a great trekker !
Will check it out .
One Con is can't mount standard rear rack .
 
#17
https://cyclingindustry.news/bmw-targets-wider-mobility-picture-with-fresh-e-bike-launch/

BMW has jumped from Bosch to Brose for 2018 onwards, primarily to satisfy its strict design ideas on integration of batteries and motors.
Couldn't open the link for some reason, but seems like an odd reason. Bosch motors seem to be pretty well integrated from many bike manufacturers, and with the new powertube batteries coming - it doesn't get much more integrated than that..

That been said, I do like the look of the new BMW bike - and I'd certainly consider it if it made it's way over to our shores.
 

E-Wheels

Active Member
#20

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