Bosch motor differences

Adrian

Active Member
So, I've been thinking that I should get an ebike for my wife - the technology park I work inside has a big drive to get people out of cars and onto bikes so have arranged some heavy ebike discounts with local suppliers.

The bikes are mostly Bosch based though I think there are some Yamaha, Steps and some hub based bikes.

My wife likes the idea of a proper step through - I like the idea of a IGH for her so I was thinking that the Ghost Andasol Wave 9 or 5 would be perfect. The 9 has a Nuvinci N380 the 5 an Alfine SL among other differences. They both look similar and are similarly outfitted with rack and lights, etc;(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

So the bit I have some doubts about is the motor. From what I can determine, the Active Cruise line which both of these bikes have fitted, has the least amount of torque of all the Bosch motors. Is this noticeable between motors and how does it perform on hills - 10% grade for instance?

Are the motors physically identical and the power just firmware differences? Is this hackable? I know there are dongles that remove the assist limit but I'm doubting that these change the power differences in any way.

The motor differences are listed half way down this page; http://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/components/drive-unit/?setLanguage=1
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
If you're a fairly fit rider the Active line is great! The torque is slightly lower than the performance and the CX. Regarding the dongle, the torque output isn't hackable, the dongle only changes the speed in which the motor stops assisting. I would just test the bikes out and see how they feel if you can.
 

Adrian

Active Member
If you're a fairly fit rider the Active line is great! The torque is slightly lower than the performance and the CX. Regarding the dongle, the torque output isn't hackable, the dongle only changes the speed in which the motor stops assisting. I would just test the bikes out and see how they feel if you can.

I wouldn't say my wife is fit - she's been fairly inactive for some time now (though putting this into perspective she's not "American unfit").

I hope that if she has a bike we can take trips out with our 3 year old daughter on our bikes instead of taking the car and also allow her take our daughter to kindergarten without the car. I've ordered a children's trailer to carry my daughter but I'm worried that the extra 28kg of trailer + child will overpower the Bosch motor. No problem on my BBSHD fatbike of course but not only is the bike too big for her, it's mine. ;)
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
I like the not "American Unfit". I think the best way to know is to test it. I think the great thing about the Bosch motor is it encourages you to pedal so she's more likely to get more exercise while riding. Not much is going to compare to the BBSHD in power, but I think most feel the Active line has plenty of power. We don't have any of them here in the US yet. We'll see some models next year with the Active line.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
I have all three versions of the motor, Active Line, Performance Line and CX.

All have different characteristics from each other, but as Chris has said, the Active Line offers a very pleasurable riding experience, and is very much suited to the type of bike that you are considering. Despite having less torque, it some how makes up for it in the smoothness of power delivery.

With reference to fitting dongle, I see it as a pointless exercise given the intended use of the bike. Also remember that you will invalidate the Bosch warranty, and I assume the CE-mark of the bike, which could lead to legal implications in the event of an accident.
 
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Adrian

Active Member
Thanks for the feedback guys. There is a demo day tomorrow where a bunch of these local companies are bringing along a selection of their bikes to the car park outside of work. I'm going to get my wife to come along and try some out.
 

NoDTMF

Active Member
Oh hi,

My wife and I both have active line bikes. She has hardly ridden a bike in 20 years. Given that, she handles it pretty well. We have one hill, gravel and rutted around 16-18% grade that is a workout for me and she almost can make. Other than that , we go peddling around Santa Cruz - Capitola (various hills) area with no problems. She seems to get psyched out on the off road stuff...not really a bike issue. The nice thing about active line is the range, but sometimes I wish I had performance line when I go on serious off road ride. We are in our fifties, I'm slightly over weight and my is, umm well, move over weight than me
 

Adrian

Active Member
Okay, so we tried the bikes. My wife is not so impressed with the step-through after trying it but that had more to do with the bike geometry - after trying it myself I could see why (damn awful way to ride a bike). She will probably go for something in between a mountain and towny geometry.

She couldn't tell much difference in the Active and Performance motors in the little she tried the several different bikes - not surprising as she didn't ride up and down any hills. She did notice that the Steps motor on another makers bike felt less powerful - or at least seem to give less assistance - which is what I've heard from a friend that has tried several and ended up with a Bosch powered bike.

I tried a full suspension bike with Performance CX. First impression was how incredibly light it felt to my e-fatbike. I rode down a quite steep hill put it into turbo and - wow - I was really surprised how easily it powered back up there with no effort at all. I didn't expect that. I thought it would feel way underpowered compared to my BBSHD but it didn't. I know I would have bought that bike without a second thought had I tried it before I built my fatbike - it's probably not as good a bike for commuting, and doesn't have the top speed but what a fun bike to have. :D

So, I no longer think you Bosch riders have a hard time of it - you're as much "cheaters" as I am. ;)
 

NoDTMF

Active Member
Remember, you get the same amount of excersize for the same amount of time on the bike, it's just that you go farther in that same amount of time