5 Bosch Display Choices - Good, Bad and Ugly

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Bosch electric bike systems has one of the best reputations in the e-bike universe for reliability, frequency of repairs, mean time between failures. Their equipment is so well regarded that it has become the dominant manufacturer in the mid drive ecosystem. Just as Bosch does not make cars but their components can be found in some of the finest cars made, Bosch does not make bicycles. They make the part that turn a bike into an e-bike.

Bosch offers a variety of Motors, controllers and displays for their ebike systems. This post is about the variety of displays.

Their are five options sometimes chosen by the bike brand. Other times the brand allows the end user to choose.

I offer one man's opinion pro and con, as the owner of three Bosch equipped bikes. I only have long term ownership experience with two of the five options, have ridden one other and can only pass on what I have read about the remaining two.

The choices in order of market introduction are:



Intuvia - All my bikes came equipped with the Intuvia. They are rock solid, boot almost instantly and provide a basic amount of information. Scrolling through the information is relatively simple and easy. An Intuvia is not a cycle computer, there is no gps, no mapping no bluetooth or wifi connectivity with other devices. While intuvia does have a micro USB port, it is there for firmware updates. It does not output sufficient current to provide an meaningful charge to my Android phone.
bosch_intuvia_display.jpg




Nyon units are sold and supported in the EU and UK. Nyon is not sold or supported in North America or (I believe in Australia). I have purchase and installed Nyon displays as an aftermarket upgrade in the United States. While not supported Nyon units are fully functional in the USA. According to my contacts at Bosch North America, installation of a Nyon in the USA has no impact on warranty. The most difficult part of upgrading to a Nyon is installation of the app on ones smart phone (apple or android), but it can be done. Nyon units mount directly on a center handlebar Intuvia mount. Nyon does require a different controller on the left handlebar. The controller is very similar to that of the Intuvia with the addition of a joy stick for navigating through the display and menu options on the screen.

Nyon has wifi connectivity, GPS and bluetooth. It provides rudimentary mapping, adequate but underwhelming. It records detailed ride data (speed, cadence, torque, user power in watts, altitude, distance, heart rate using a chest strap, and turn by turn route details. All that data is quickly uploaded to the Bosch Cloud at https://www.ebike-connect.com/en/index.html a free service from Bosch. Exploration of ones own ride history and control of various features on the Nyon can be accomplished using either the phone app or on the Bosch ebike connect portal. In addition to built in graphic ride screens, one can also define custom ride and fitness screens, choosing what data to display in what location in up to nine different cells. The color display is plainly visible and easy to read in all light conditions.

Early Nyons had 1gig of storage for maps and data. Later ones have 8 gigs. Other than memory capacity there is no other difference. You can plan routes on the Bosch portal, on your phone or on google maps or turn any ride into a route. When doing so on google maps, the directions need to be converted to a gpx file and then uploaded to the portal. When a route is created, it is stored in the cloud. The next time they Nyon is turned on and connected to wifi, the new route(s) are automatically downloaded into the Nyon and are available thereafter.

They Nyon takes about 20 seconds to boot up before you can choose assist levels. This makes quick getaways impossible. I try to remember to turn the Nyon on right away when I get to the bike. By the time I have my helmet and gloves on it is ready to go. My Nyon does notify me of incoming text on my phone and who they are from. A screen pops up that advises me to pull off the road in order to read it on my phone. Hitting any button clears the alert
Bosch-Nyon-10-Secret-Hidden-Features-Guide-800x378.jpg



Purion - Is the most basic of the choices consisting of a small controller/screen on the left handlebar. They are most often found on e-mountain bikes. I have ridden one and find it minimalist and lacking in useful information. They do keep things simple and clean in the cockpit.
Haibike_2017_Technic_Purion_Display_thump.png



Cobi - (Connected Bicylce) is a system that incorporates your smart phone as the display and has no native display of its own. Originally an independent startup product, it was bought by Bosch. While it was introduced into North America, it was quickly taken off the shelves and is now only offered in the EU. Rumor have it that it will be making its way across the pond in the next year or so. I have never ridden a Cobi. While the ability to integrate the e-bike experience into the smart phone experience has some initial appeal to me, there are some issues than make it less than attractive: screen visibility, having my phone carried in such a vulnerable location such that a spill will likely do damage to my phone as well as the bike. The most concerning issue is frequent user reports of loss of bluetooth connectivity during rides resulting in loss of electric assist.
images (1).jpg



Kiox
- Kiox is new for 2019. The little I know about the Kiox is sufficient to make me avoid it. Reports are that it is not a fully functional product and that it has been release before the bugs have been worked out, a circumstance atypical of Bosch. It looks attractive. The port outputs sufficient power to keep a phone charged, it lacks mapping, the display is bright and attractive. From what I can glean some things are easy to read while others appear in fonts too small to read with ease.
It is likely that firmware upgrades will eventually make the Kiox a viable option but for the present it is not ready for prime time. It does require a specific, proprietary fixed angle and length stem with an integrated mount.
csm_Bosch-eBike-Kiox-Ride-R1-Handlebar-My2019-white-p1-EN_small__37cde60d7c.jpg


I have a new Bosch powered bike on order. It was ordered with an Intuvia dispaly which I will replace with a Nyon.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Just my $0.02

The Intuvia works fine. I'm disinclined to fix something that I don't consider broken.

For navigation and route-tracking I either use an iPhone or a Garmin (both have advantages and disadvantages). Yes they are separate but I don't have to worry about a software failure in them making my bicycle unrideable.

Again, that's just my $0.02 and Your Mileage Will Vary.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Just my $0.02

The Intuvia works fine. I'm disinclined to fix something that I don't consider broken.

For navigation and route-tracking I either use an iPhone or a Garmin (both have advantages and disadvantages). Yes they are separate but I don't have to worry about a software failure in them making my bicycle unrideable.

Again, that's just my $0.02 and Your Mileage Will Vary.
I agree, the Intuvia is a solid, fast and adequate e-bkie display...better than most.

I would just rather carry my phone in a well protected case in a place where it will not be damaged in a crash. Also, for those mapping, navigation and route tracking functions as well as recording copious ride data, I prefer not to use my phone, especially for two hours every day with the display on and no built in charging capability.

Having all these functions in one dedicated device that is integrated into the bike's system and can report average and peak torque, rider power and other bike system specific values makes the Nyon well worth it to me. This leaves my phone free to function as a phone, messaging, weather reporter, source of music, etc without winding down the battery by keeping the screen on for bike purposes.

Is Nyon over Intuvia necessary? No. Would I leave home without Nyon if I had a choice? No Could I survive using the Intuvia. Of course ;)
 
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webcurl

Active Member
I agree, the Intuvia is a solid, fast and adequate e-bkie display...better than most.

I would just rather carry my phone in a well protected case in a place where it will not be damaged in a crash. Also, for those mapping, navigation and route tracking functions as well as recording copious ride data, I prefer not to use my phone, especially for two hours every day with the display on and no built in charging capability.

Having all these functions in one dedicated device that is integrated into the bike's system and can report average and peak torque, rider power and other bike system specific values makes the Nyon well worth it to me. This leaves my phone free to function as a phone, messaging, weather reporter, source of music, etc without winding down the battery by keeping the screen on for bike purposes.

Is Nyon over Intuvia necessary? No. Would I leave home without Nyon if I had a choice? No Could I survive using the Intuvia. Of course ;)
The Intuvia may not provide enough power to supply "a meaningful charge" as you say but 1/2 a watt from the Intuvia is enough to not drain most phones batteries whilst the screen is on and most likely top it up a bit, unless your phone is quite different.
I've been using LG's V10 & V30+ phones over the last few years, they're drop resistant to MIL spec and the V30+ is water proofish.
OsmAnd+ on my phone is superb as i can now use older detailed Topo maps or any map i choose (with a bit of work).
I've been patiently waiting for Cobi in Australia. Not sure if what you've heard is correct in that when it loses bluetooth assist cuts out.
 

Steve Porter

Active Member
I have ridden a Haibike Race S 6.0 for a year and a half, essentially on a daily basis. I purchased a Nyon unit from Europe before I ever received the bike and changed out the Intuvia unit for the Nyon before riding the bike for the first time. I very much like the custom screens but do not use the mapping/GPS functions at all. Essentially I bought the Nyon (and the bike for that matter) for one reason—the ability to create custom ride modes. I find the standard assist levels (certainly those above the Eco mode) greater than I generally want or need, even when climbing the hills in Marin county north of San Francisco where I live. The ability to create custom levels with exactly the amount of assist that I want is game-changing for me. Also the ability to create assist curves, where the assist level changes with speed, is something I have been totally spoiled by. So much so that I am scared that if my Nyon breaks it will totally change the experience for me. For that reason I just bought a backup Nyon on eBay just in case.

I have to say that I am surprised that more bikes do not offer these options and that the Nyon seems like it was a brief direction Bosch took but has now moved away from. I believe that if there were more road bikers getting into electric bikes, and if they experienced the custom assist levels that the Nyon provides, there would be more demand for this feature. Just one man’s opinion though.....
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Richard- A wealth of information here and nice post on the different UIs from Bosch. I am not a big fan of COBI due to all of the bugs associated with the system (especially with Haibike, Raleigh, etc) that are sold as standard equipment on some of their commuter E-bikes. I have tried all, for the exception of the Kiox system. I am a big fan of the Intuvia for its removable option and durable construction. The Purion seems a bit on the delicate and breakable side.
The Nyon looks like the UI of choice considering you have had sufficient use with the unit. Sounds like the winner IMO.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Same story. I use Ride With GPS for all my tracking and most of my navigating (sometimes have to check Google Maps for the route) on my iPhone 7 and the Intuvia connection keeps it at it's level of charge and (slowly) charges it as well, even if listening to a podcast also if off road on a path someplace.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Same story. I use Ride With GPS for all my tracking and most of my navigating (sometimes have to check Google Maps for the route) on my iPhone 7 and the Intuvia connection keeps it at it's level of charge and (slowly) charges it as well, even if listening to a podcast also if off road on a path someplace.
With my galaxy s9+at max illumination, with mapping and GPS and heart monitor running, plugged in on Intuvia or Nyon, loses charge percentage slowly.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Again, just my $0.02.

For myself, I'd rather use a small USB power bank to keep my electronics charged up. Even the smallest ones effectively double the battery life of your phone. That also means that there isn't another cable flapping around in the wind.

For navigation by bicycle, I've found Google Maps to usually be somewhere between great and miraculous, especially in built-up areas where you are likely to have cell coverage. The Garmin maps are a distant second, but usually okay if you are trying to claw your way through a maze of logging roads. Open Street Map isn't, in my opinion, yet a serious solution for a cyclist. On journey if I am expecting the navigation to be somewhat dicey I will often try to print up a cue sheet from a route generated on Google Maps. Since I usually tweak the route that Google maps finds, this is more easily done on a laptop or desktop than on your phone with numb fingers in the rain. While a cue sheet is really a 70's solution, its battery life is basically infinite and you don't have to worry about data charges or cellular network outages. The other option is to keep the phone in the handlebar bag with the speaker volume cranked, so I can usually hear it tell me when I need to turn left or right.

Right now I'm not using a heart rate monitor, but when I have in the past I've found that they can often be quite fussy devices and getting them to work reliably can be a challenge. I've worked with both Polar and Suunto, both of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The Suunto is generally easier to get going with, but the Polar, if you can put up with its sometimes odd rituals, has near-magical abilities to predict how well you will be riding (or skiing or trail running) that day.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I use a Polar heart rate monitor on a chest strap, paired to the Nyon. It pairs almost instantly and connects every time, providing accurate, reliable heart rate data that is also recorded and uploaded to the Bosch cloud along with the rest of the ride data. Among the available data points that can be shown in the custom ride or fitness screen is current real time heart rate as well as average/max. heart rate. I don't know about apple watches but my android is fairly useless on a bike as any vibration of the arm gives false readings. You have to be relatively still to get a good read. The Polar chest strap is not effected by body movement and detects accurate heart rate, regardless of activity level.
 

lerxst

Member
I use a Polar heart rate monitor on a chest strap, paired to the Nyon. It pairs almost instantly and connects every time, providing accurate, reliable heart rate data that is also recorded and uploaded to the Bosch cloud along with the rest of the ride data. Among the available data points that can be shown in the custom ride or fitness screen is current real time heart rate as well as average/max. heart rate. I don't know about apple watches but my android is fairly useless on a bike as any vibration of the arm gives false readings. You have to be relatively still to get a good read. The Polar chest strap is not effected by body movement and detects accurate heart rate, regardless of activity level.

Hello Alaskan! Thank you so much for your informative posts here. I'm working with a Trek Police Electric I just got, and I'd like to change from the Purion to the Nyon controller. I understand that this requires opening the motor to change the controller wire. Do you happen to have a procedure for this, or a resource to point me to? The closest I've found so far is this German youtube video. With autotranslate it is easy to understand, however the procedure is for a different bike, albeit with a very similar motor. Any resources you can offer are much appreciated. Thanks!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Hello Alaskan! Thank you so much for your informative posts here. I'm working with a Trek Police Electric I just got, and I'd like to change from the Purion to the Nyon controller. I understand that this requires opening the motor to change the controller wire. Do you happen to have a procedure for this, or a resource to point me to? The closest I've found so far is this German youtube video. With autotranslate it is easy to understand, however the procedure is for a different bike, albeit with a very similar motor. Any resources you can offer are much appreciated. Thanks!
I have no personal experience here. I would sniff around you tube as well, either that or put a call into bosch ebikes north America in California. What I have seen for all wire connections between a Bosch motor and displays or lights is that the motor normally has to be dismounted to access and route the wiring harness.
 

lerxst

Member
I forgot to link the video. Here it is below. It looks like he was able to change the connector without dismounting? Or do you think that wouldn’t work on a Trek?

 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I forgot to link the video. Here it is below. It looks like he was able to change the connector without dismounting? Or do you think that wouldn’t work on a Trek?

Not familiar with the trek in any detail. Sorry
 

lerxst

Member
Well, I managed to install the Nyon on my Trek Police Electric! Was a bit tricky because the motor position leaves very, very little clearance for getting cables through to it without dismounting it, and at the time I didn't have a chainring removal tool, but I was eventually able to snake it through without taking the motor off. Very happy with this upgrade. And thanks for the help, Alaskan!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Well done. Glad it all worked out. Lots to dig in to and explore. Once I had the app installed, I was able to add on the custom ride modes and topographical range estimates from the play store for a few $
 

lerxst

Member
Yup I got both of those too! Had to jump through some UK Apple App Store hoops of course but eventually succeeded. Pretty cool to see the topo feature kick in on the bike when you bring up the Range View Map. Have you found any practical applications for the custom ride modes? I just finished installing everything last night and haven’t had more than 5 minutes to play with it yet.
 
Yup I got both of those too! Had to jump through some UK Apple App Store hoops of course but eventually succeeded. Pretty cool to see the topo feature kick in on the bike when you bring up the Range View Map. Have you found any practical applications for the custom ride modes? I just finished installing everything last night and haven’t had more than 5 minutes to play with it yet.
I would appreciate any help you can provide detailing how to get the Bosch eBike app from the UK Apple App Store. I recall seeing a previous post addressing this, but I can't locate it now.
Thanks
 

Sweetwater

Active Member
Bosch displays are interesting.
I have 3, no Cobi in the barn.
Purion is ok on the Fat tire bike, less likely to be damaged in a drop.
2 bikes have Cx S motors so one Nyon, one Intuvia.
Big advantage with the Nyon is the ability to get an account and upgrade software myself.
Intuvia boots quicker and is good for what it is.
I'd really like import the EMBT boost level into the S bikes.
That's a very good, efficient and effective option for my local terrain.