Firmware updates for Bosch

sammcneill

Active Member
Region
New Zealand
Hi knowledgeable ones!

I just did an OTA firmware update via iPhone app and Bluetooth to my Specialized Turbo Levo.

It updated the display, system & motor. Painless & easy.

So my question is: why does a dealer need to do the Bosch updates? If a smartphone can do one update is this simply a fact the Bosch system is more “closed”?

I can connect my Garmin Fenix to the Specialized and get all sorts of data out from it (from power output, to battery life, to engine temperature!)

It’s not the end of the world as my LBS is relatively close and can perform these, but in this day and age it seems like an archaic “vendor lock in” move from Bosch

It’s similar to my car: I have a Toyota and the onboard map system is ok and reasonable helpful, but post earthquakes my city is very different. I asked the dealership how I could update the maps via the dedicated SD card slot. Answer? I can’t - only the dealer can for $250.

Given the prevalence of free smartphone mapping solutions and head units that support Apple CarPlay or Android equivalents it seems like a manufacturer giving customers just one more reason to choose the more “open solution”.

It’s a small thing in the big picture - I just went to the supermarket on my SC2 and it’s so quick and painless and joy inducing - but if I was to buy a similar eBike again I’d definitely be thinking about more open solutions.

Happy Easter

Sam
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Hi knowledgeable ones!

I just did an OTA firmware update via iPhone app and Bluetooth to my Specialized Turbo Levo.

It updated the display, system & motor. Painless & easy.

So my question is: why does a dealer need to do the Bosch updates? If a smartphone can do one update is this simply a fact the Bosch system is more “closed”?
Sam
Riese & Muller bikes, which use all Bosch electricals systems, are more vehicle replacements as compared with other brands which are sports and recreational equipment and are marketed as such. R&M publishes gross vehicle weights, unlike most other bike manufacturers and is quite specific as to what is warrantied as far as weights and tolerances.

I know of no car makers that allow owners to update firmware on the various CPUs within automobiles. Install an engine tuner that boosts horsepower on your new Mustang and you void the engine warranty....similar thing IMO.

If you look at the line of bikes from Riese & Muller as a transitional vehicle between bicycles and automobiles, intended as car replacements, this polity on their part begins to make a bit more sense.

There are plenty of choices out there for open ebike systems. If you want the dependability, performance and integrity of a Bosch system, you just have to accept the greater control over how they are used...much like Apple computers.
 

sammcneill

Active Member
Region
New Zealand
It’s an interesting perspective @Alaskan & you might be right in that way.

I thought you’d maybe chuckle over this - was exploring options of adding CarPlay to my Toyota Highlander and initially thought it would need a new head unit. Then I see Toyota support it on existing OEM multimedia systems… great news I think!

Call the dealer just now … sure! Can be done by a software update …. $600!!

Ignoring the vendor lock in tax of $600 for a moment I mention I’ve got my car getting serviced with them on Wednesday and would they be able to do it then?

Possibly but would need 2-3 days notice as they need to order the update from Toyota who needs to send them the software update!!

I incredulously asked “2-3 days to receive the software update???”

“Correct, that’s right….”

What is this? 1992? Is it coming on 5.25” floppy disks??

😂😂🤔
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Firmware issues have never been a problem with my 2016 Haibikes, I've never installed any. I thought the Bosch was perfect when I left the store, and didn't want any changes. Bosch is very protective of their hardware and have worked to even limit the delimiters from aftermarket sources. It's just their business model.
 
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Rider777

Member
Region
USA
City
Vegas
Firmware issues have never been a problem with my 2016 Haibikes, I've never installed any. I thought the Bosch was perfect when I left the store, and didn't want any changes. Bosch is very protective of their hardware and have worked to even limit the delimiters from aftermarket sources. It's just their business model.

I totally agree.
I’ve got almost 9000 miles on my derestricted R&M Delite with no issues….none. Why mess with that?
Ride on !
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Keep in mind that Bosch has far more experience in automotive space than in ebike space, so it's no surprise to me that they do things through the dealer. Worse, they don't release change logs to tell us what an "update" is about. It's been an ongoing discussion elsewhere. It's also a PITA for folks like me that live far from a LBS.
Saying that, doesn't seem to have been an update for my system in over a year!
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Region
Australia
This is like a summary of some of my rants over the last few years so far! :)
IMHO Bosch ebike division is starting to slip a bit behind the times in many areas except for motor power, reliability & battery construction.
Even Apple had to take a bite out of their own rigid core to appease to the ever growing customer base that looks down at their friends having more flexible & functional gadgets but in reality are a tad jealous. This of course opened Apple up to more viruses and other issues but that's just part and parcel with trying to make a really great product entirely by yourself.
Open Source shines here and show's the way to achieving just that.
Nothing is impossible whilst you have a really long winded disclaimer that the user has to agree to/accept by pressing a button on the screen on their first use of their ebike!
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Region
Australia
Could this be a large part of the reason R&M chose to go with FAZUA for their new lightweight UBN series (apart from weight, form, etc.).
eg. They aren't sitting around fiddling their thumbs waiting for Bosch's "Smart System" to get smart?

And i appreciate (Alaskan, much like the devices you mention in Ships/Vessels) that parts designed rigidly like screens, etc. have a big advantage with reliability and simplicity.
I think what a lot of us want is to have that option for whomever wants it but in addition, an option for a much more flexible/functional model of the same part/sub-system for whomever wants that.
And as i keep saying, it's not really difficult to hide complexity/flexibility behind layers like basic/advanced mode and/or delving deeper & deeper into sub-menus that the average person does not normally desire or need to reach. But importantly, it's there to change if need be.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Could this be a large part of the reason R&M chose to go with FAZUA for their new lightweight UBN series (apart from weight, form, etc.).
Fazua is not without issues but it is the only lightweight mid-drive option to Specialized SL...
 

JVBulman

Active Member
Region
USA
Firmware issues have never been a problem with my 2016 Haibikes, I've never installed any. I thought the Bosch was perfect when I left the store, and didn't want any changes. Bosch is very protective of their hardware and have worked to even limit the delimiters from aftermarket sources. It's just their business model.
A lot's changed since Gen2. I agree firmware updates were less important back then than they are now with Gen4/Gen5, but this is mostly because there are so many more features now than there were in 2016.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A lot's changed since Gen2. I agree firmware updates were less important back then than they are now with Gen4/Gen5, but this is mostly because there are so many more features now than there were in 2016.
So why don't we ever have any? Other than maybe for CX?
 

JVBulman

Active Member
Region
USA
So why don't we ever have any? Other than maybe for CX?
How do you mean?

My point being the system has gotten a lot more complex in the last six years.

2016
- One display
- One DU Hardware w/ 3 firmware options
- One Battery Standard
- No dualbatt

2022
- Six display options (Not counting EU Nyon which has it's been discontinued)
- Three DU Hardware w/ 10 Firmware Options (Not including Gen2 which has been discontinued)
- Three Battery Standards
- Dualbatt
 
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retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
How do you mean?
I bought a bike with a performance speed unit over a year ago. There have been no updates to it, the control or the battery as near as I can tell.
It's interesting too, that I don't think there's any way to let us customers/users know if there's an update, other than at websites like this. Bosch's position seems to be to visit our LBS regularly and be hooked up for "updates". That works really well for those of us 90 minutes OW from the LBS. Evidently Bosch doesn't publish change logs either.
In the past year, the only thing I've seen is an update to cobi.bike (android app) that actually took away some functionality and pushed me to finally junk it for a Kiox.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
And if you have the second gen Nyon, it can be updated and updated maps can be downloaded via wifi at home. Motor firmware updates remain the bailywick of you LBS with Bosch certification. Keep in mind that corporate owned Trek shops are Bosch certified and will work on any bike.
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Region
Australia
How do you mean?

My point being the system has gotten a lot more complex in the last six years.

2016
- One display
- One DU Hardware w/ 3 firmware options
- One Battery Standard
- No dualbatt

2022
- Six display options (Not counting EU Nyon which has it's been discontinued)
- Three DU Hardware w/ 10 Firmware Options (Not including Gen2 which has been discontinued)
- Three Battery Standards
- Dualbatt

Sorry if i sound a bit pessimistic but the ebike industry is growing at a very healthy rate: https://www.ebicycles.com/ebike-facts-statistics/
and to be honest, that doesn't look so impressive in contrast to the growth of the industry.
I would imagine a large part of the complexity you are talking about comes down to the fact that there is no shared design or core software foundation to the display units.
They are all different to each other with i assume completely separate software code bases, very fragmented.
I think i understand why the new Smart System isn't very smart yet, must be because most of the work to achieve that would be in the display unit's, apps and a bit of DU software and i see a bottleneck somewhere.
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Region
Australia
- Three DU Hardware w/ 10 Firmware Options (Not including Gen2 which has been discontinued)

Hypothetically, if Bosch allowed the end user to configure more options of their own ebike, could that number of 10 Firmware Options be at least halved?