Bosch Walk Assist in 2017 Models (Spoiler Alert: It's Crap)

Cuajinais

New Member
I’ve seen a few threads lamenting that there is no update to allow the Walk Assist feature in pre 2017 models. I created this thread to let you know that you aren’t missing out. The walk assist feature is unusable. I own a 2017 Haibike XDuro AllMtn 7.0. Yesterday I had my first flat on the mountain so I finally put the walk assist to the test. Before yesterday I had only tested Walk Assist two or three times for a couple of seconds just to know how to operate it. But yesterday I had to walk about 20 mins to my car and after struggling with keeping the finger on the + button for roughly 10 minutes, I finally gave up; and suddenly my walk in the woods finally became pleasant. Keeping a finger on the + button while walking on a bumpy trail is impossible. The most I could manage was maybe 30 consecutive seconds. I expect that in road conditions it would be better than on the bumpy trail I was yesterday, but not by much. I’d guess before 4 minutes you would tire of holding down the damn button anyway, even with no bumps. The only use I see for it would be crossing a street, and for such a short distance it isn’t even worth having. I can 100% guarantee that this idea of having the finger on the button was only discussed in a meeting room somewhere in Germany or the US, but never tested in actual conditions.

By all means don’t take my word for it; go to a store and demo a 2017 Bosch ebike. But don’t try it for 3 seconds inside the store. Go outside, and try to walk with the bike on your side while pressing that stupid button for more than 2 minutes. Walk Assist was just a “just check the box, we really don’t care if it works” feature. There’s a million reasons to like Bosch, but Walk Assist ain’t one.
 
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ath3na

New Member
I'm hoping it'll help me get my Trekking up a half flight of stairs to get out of my building though I haven't tried it yet. Just a little something to make dragging a 50+ lb bike uphill a little less of a struggle.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
It appears to be a fairly common feature, Shimano Steps and Bafang BBSxx motors also require you to hold down a button. I agree with ath3na it helps when pushing a heavy ebike up inclines, ramps, not tried it on stairs yet but sounds plausible.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
Agree, i used it once and haven't bothered since. It's not a must have imho

Steve, have you noticed that you can stop the wheel turning with your hand? I have been able to do this on all three of the Bosch powered bikes that I have owned, and in the Swiss Alps last year, it wouldn't even move forward on the steep inclines and I had to pick the bike up and carry it.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I’ve seen a few threads lamenting that there is no update to allow the Walk Assist feature in pre 2017 models. I created this thread to let you know that you aren’t missing out. The walk assist feature is unusable. I own a 2017 Haibike XDuro AllMtn 7.0. Yesterday I had my first flat on the mountain so I finally put the walk assist to the test. Before yesterday I had only tested Walk Assist two or three times for a couple of seconds just to know how to operate it. But yesterday I had to walk about 20 mins to my car and after struggling with keeping the finger on the + button for roughly 10 minutes, I finally gave up; and suddenly my walk in the woods finally became pleasant. Keeping a finger on the + button while walking on a bumpy trail is impossible. The most I could manage was maybe 30 consecutive seconds. I expect that in road conditions it would be better than on the bumpy trail I was yesterday, but not by much. I’d guess before 4 minutes you would tire of holding down the damn button anyway, even with no bumps. The only use I see for it would be crossing a street, and for such a short distance it isn’t even worth having. I can 100% guarantee that this idea of having the finger on the button was only discussed in a meeting room somewhere in Germany or the US, but never tested in actual conditions.

By all means don’t take my word for it; go to a store and demo a 2017 Bosch ebike. But don’t try it for 3 seconds inside the store. Go outside, and try to walk with the bike on your side while pressing that stupid button for more than 2 minutes. Walk Assist was just a “just check the box, we really don’t care if it works” feature. There’s a million reasons to like Bosch, but Walk Assist ain’t one.

I feel your pain. I thought the WA feature would come in handy when loading onto my rear mounted bike rack. I had to jimmy rig a ramp and hook it onto the tire hoops to walk it up to avoid lifting a 50lb bike on and off as a back saver. A little unstable, but it beats having to lift. Or perhaps a scissors jack operated with a cordless drill may work!!??
 

tallpaul

Active Member
Must concur. My friend recently rec'vd his 2017 Haibike and was looking forward to the walk feature to help him manage 2 sets of stairs to get to the street where he lives. Unless we're doing something wrong, it seemed pretty useless and almost indistinguishable power assist!
But he does love his Fat Six though!
 

ath3na

New Member
I finally got a minute to try Walk Assist today. A friend of mine and I were playing around with it and I initially had the + button stuck down somehow and nothing happened. I said, "Boy those people online were right - I don't feel ANYTHING at all"...LOL. Then I pried up the plus button, hit the top button and the display said, "Walk Assist +". When I pressed the plus button the thing lurched forward surprisingly. I had to grab the brakes to stop it. It was faster than I expected for walking. However, this was on flat, smooth concrete. The bad news is that it has very little torque in this mode. I suppose it's been edited out for legal reasons. :-( They seem to assume if the bike encounters any resistance, it's in some sort of trouble.

It's frustrating... but remember Germany doesn't have the litigious environment we do (I lived there for 4 years). You spill hot coffee on your crotch, it's your own damned fault. So they always err on the side of extreme caution when it comes to doing business in this country. So when they re-enabled the Walk Assist for the US, it didn't surprise me that it had no balls. I wonder if the older models had more?

I did a test trying to climb the carpeted stairs from my basement with and without, and it's royal pain in the a$$ either way. However, with the walk assist, bumping it up with first few steps and holding it on the 3rd was a little bit easier. Without, it tended to slide backwards more easily unless I used the brakes. Getting both tires all the way onto the stairs is really hard either way. It simply doesn't have enough torque. But I'll definitely engage that mode when I do the stairs even if the difference is mostly psychosomatic. ;-> In the back of my mind I'm already fantasizing about installing a tow motor at the top of the stairs. ;->

In summary: If you're a serious mountain biker and want something to help walk your bike up steep hills - forget it. If you are out of shape and want a little help walking the bike at a crosswalk if it's uphill a little, it could help. It went faster on the flat than I expected. I really expected it to crawl super slowly - and I'd have been fine with that if it had more torque. I'll try it out on a slight hill next time I go out to see just how fast it bogs down.

I imagine if I had to walk the bike and I'd been out for a while and was really tired I'd definitely use Walk Assist on a smooth low - medium hill. I wouldn't jump through any hoops to get it installed if I didn't have it already. I really liked this new Trekking 4.0 model and the 500 wh battery, so I don't feel too bad for getting a 2017. I'd mostly like have dithered over the 2016 closeouts and then ended up buying this model regardless. I really do love the bike.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
It's frustrating... but remember Germany doesn't have the litigious environment we do (I lived there for 4 years). You spill hot coffee on your crotch, it's your own damned fault. So they always err on the side of extreme caution when it comes to doing business in this country. So when they re-enabled the Walk Assist for the US, it didn't surprise me that it had no balls. I wonder if the older models had more?

None!
Bosch got into trouble with the VW case. Bosch supplied the cheat device that tricked the emissions testing instruments. As a result, they ended up paying $320 Million..!!
Imagine how many Bosch Speed motors could be produced at that cost. I would say at least several hundred thousands. Now, they are being super cautious with anything that has a remote possibility of tempering and breaking the rules.
2017 models are the first time they enabled the "Walk Mode" and this was done after extensive testing and it's pretty difficult to hack the system.
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
"and breaking the rules."

Calling a spade a spade what you are talking about is a throttle, right? Albeit one that is limited in speed which makes sense for a walking mode and easy enough to do electronically. But one that take better advantage of all those nm of torque that they are always on about. The concept is not new or without precedent, BionX had an assist lever in their early kits years ago distributed world wide, and that was about all they did was a light assist and wear out the battery real fast if you kept it pinned but I digress.

On Speed Pedelecs they can not have a throttle with the Class III laws as written. But Class I bikes can have a throttle but then would fit in to the Class II throttle allowed as well as all the other rules allowing for their use. So what rule would they be breaking if they put a decent walk assist on 20 mph bikes, still advertise the whole PAS thing and move on. Strictly talking the US market btw. Probably the majority of the people who would benefit from walk assist are in the lower mph market anyway.

Heck be generous and make it so that someone can start off with it also. I use my throttle for that all the time, a little blip goes a long way. Three mph with some torque would do the job.
 
Steve, have you noticed that you can stop the wheel turning with your hand? I have been able to do this on all three of the Bosch powered bikes that I have owned, and in the Swiss Alps last year, it wouldn't even move forward on the steep inclines and I had to pick the bike up and carry it.
That's the same reason I don't use it!