First Impressions, BMW Cruise ebike 2014 (compiled April 2015)

Chancelucky2

Active Member
They were closing these out, more or less, and I happened to see one on E-bay that happened to be selling through my local BMW dealer. fwiw I'm still not sure how many of these were ever sold in the United States. There was the small matter of the hurricane closing down the dealership for a few days, but I eventually go the opportunity to try it out. Having very carefully looked at taking a chance with a Sondors or a Surface 604 Colt, the BMW Cruise was actually cheaper and happened to be mid drive. On impulse, I joined what's probably a very small community of American BMW e-bike owners.

First off, it's one of the better looking e-bikes out there. The bike components are higher quality (Deore XT) than the usual budget-end e-bike bike components. There also aren't many new bikes with Bosch mid drives below $1500. So far (80 miles in), I'm pretty thrilled.

One of my first pleasant surprises was the discovery that the pedal assist doesn't top out at 25 kph. Riding on the flats, the battery and motor were still active beyond 16 mph. It appears to have been reset at 20 mph for the American version. It would be nice to go a little higher, but 20 instead of 16 helps. It appears to have been set to 32kph instead, because the pedal support appears to turn off just shy of 20 mph.


The bike handles well. I can pedal reasonably well with no battery, despite the mid drive gearing thing. I ride pretty conservatively and I got 65 miles on my first run through with the battery. I'm usually in eco mode or even pedal with the bike off in spots and use tour mode on steeper hills. The bike trail near my house is relatively flat, though it does gain a few hundred feet of elevation over several miles, and is about 2/3's pavement and 1/3 packed dirt and gravel. I'd say the Cruise is mid way between a city bike and an e-bike. I don't see myself taking on ultra-tough MTB trails, but I like feeling comfortable going off road at times. I also like having normal bike wheels for flats and quick releases for stowing the Cruise in the back of my car when I don't have my bike rack.

I'm currently learning how to manage what amounts to 2 sets of gears: the conventional bike gears in the back and the pedal assist. I find that the battery use meter on the Intuvia is actually teaching me how to maintain cadence. I've learned to downshift when the battery usage level goes up and to occasoinally use a higher gear on easier terrain than I would use on a regular bike. Bottom line, I shift a lot more than I ever do on a regular bike. One day, my wallet fell out of my rear rack (hadn't zipped it properly). I quickly discovered how fun it is to have turbo mode available. I manage to find my wallet and cell phone on the bike path before anyone else got there.

The Intuvia display is quite simple and very readable in all conditions. The brakes are great so far. I do have some nits. There are no mounts for rack or water bottle and the frame isn't really set up for either. The battery takes up a bit too much space in the triangle to mount a water bottle or a lock there. The back triangle is at a lower angle than most and the frame stays pretty thick , so I'm currently using a seat post rack.
The second one is probably a bigger deal. The bike comes with a 2 year warranty and I'm pretty sure that BMW will, unlike some e-bike companies, still be around in 2 years. The issue is that they sell the bikes through the parts department and no one at my local BMW dealership can actually work on or troubleshoot their bicycles. I suspect I'm one my own for most things. I suppose if something fails, they'll send it back to wherever they work on these things, but there's probably no local dealer support or much of a BMW e-bike community. There is, however, a pretty large number of folks with Bosch Performance Line motors.

One big reason, I'm here is that as things come up, I'm hoping that whoever else around here who happens to have one of these might be able to help.
 
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livtiludi

New Member
They were closing these out, more or less, and I happened to see one on E-bay that happened to be selling through my local BMW dealer. fwiw I'm still not sure how many of these were ever sold in the United States. There was the small matter of the hurricane closing down the dealership for a few days, but I eventually go the opportunity to try it out. Having very carefully looked at taking a chance with a Sondors or a Surface 604 Colt, the BMW Cruise was actually cheaper and happened to be mid drive. On impulse, I joined what's probably a very small community of American BMW e-bike owners.

First off, it's one of the better looking e-bikes out there. The bike components are higher quality (Deore XT) than the usual budget-end e-bike bike components. There also aren't many new bikes with Bosch mid drives below $1500. So far (80 miles in), I'm pretty thrilled.

One of my first pleasant surprises was the discovery that the pedal assist doesn't top out at 25 kph. Riding on the flats, the battery and motor were still active beyond 16 mph. It appears to have been reset at 20 mph for the American version. It would be nice to go a little higher, but 20 instead of 16 helps. It appears to have been set to 32kph instead, because the pedal support appears to turn off just shy of 20 mph.


The bike handles well. I can pedal reasonably well with no battery, despite the mid drive gearing thing. I ride pretty conservatively and I got 65 miles on my first run through with the battery. I'm usually in eco mode or even pedal with the bike off in spots and use tour mode on steeper hills. The bike trail near my house is relatively flat, though it does gain a few hundred feet of elevation over several miles, and is about 2/3's pavement and 1/3 packed dirt and gravel. I'd say the Cruise is mid way between a city bike and an e-bike. I don't see myself taking on ultra-tough MTB trails, but I like feeling comfortable going off road at times. I also like having normal bike wheels for flats and quick releases for stowing the Cruise in the back of my car when I don't have my bike rack.

I'm currently learning how to manage what amounts to 2 sets of gears: the conventional bike gears in the back and the pedal assist. I find that the battery use meter on the Intuvia is actually teaching me how to maintain cadence. I've learned to downshift when the battery usage level goes up and to occasoinally use a higher gear on easier terrain than I would use on a regular bike. Bottom line, I shift a lot more than I ever do on a regular bike. One day, my wallet fell out of my rear rack (hadn't zipped it properly). I quickly discovered how fun it is to have turbo mode available. I manage to find my wallet and cell phone on the bike path before anyone else got there.

The Intuvia display is quite simple and very readable in all conditions. The brakes are great so far. I do have some nits. There are no mounts for rack or water bottle and the frame isn't really set up for either. The battery takes up a bit too much space in the triangle to mount a water bottle or a lock there. The back triangle is at a lower angle than most and the frame stays pretty thick , so I'm currently using a seat post rack.
The second one is probably a bigger deal. The bike comes with a 2 year warranty and I'm pretty sure that BMW will, unlike some e-bike companies, still be around in 2 years. The issue is that they sell the bikes through the parts department and no one at my local BMW dealership can actually work on or troubleshoot their bicycles. I suspect I'm one my own for most things. I suppose if something fails, they'll send it back to wherever they work on these things, but there's probably no local dealer support or much of a BMW e-bike community. There is, however, a pretty large number of folks with Bosch Performance Line motors.

One big reason, I'm here is that as things come up, I'm hoping that whoever else around here who happens to have one of these might be able to help.
Hi there, looking to purchase this exact bmw ebike online, but have the same concerns that you do, mainly being how will I get it serviced if I have troubles with it. My question to you is - are you still happy with your purchase so far, now that you have (i'm guessing) more miles on the bike? I'd be curious to know.
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
I'm currently at about 335 miles and have been very happy with the choice. Some of the Fuji e-bikes sold by Performance Bike Shops use the same Bosch motor and display, so I checked in with my local Performance Bike Shop and they told me they could service the motor, battery, and display there. The rest is just conventional bike stuff. I do have a 2 year warranty with BMW should anything go seriously wrong.
I really don't have any complaints except for the fact that it doesn't have holes for mounting a water bottle or a regular rack (the frame would make it hard anyway, because the battery's in the way).
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
If you do, I look forward to hearing about how it works for you. It'll be nice to have another BMW Cruise owner to share info with.
 

livtiludi

New Member
Yeah, that'd be great. I did pull the trigger on this bike, but living in MN won't be doing any test driving for about four months! We'll keep in touch.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Nice bike with decent handling. I was able to have the luxury of riding one of these at the local E-bike Expo while also comparing it to other models in its class. A nice solid and stable ride with the Bosch Performance motor. I also rode the Stromers and the Trek SC +8. I opted more towards the Trek after my comparison, however, the Trek price point is much higher and also has the speed motor that made it a better performer IMO. I now see them on E-bay for $1599.00 US and free shipping. Looks like a good grab at that price point. Good luck with your new E-bikes guys!
 

livtiludi

New Member
Thanks for chiming in. Yeah, that's the exact one I purchased on ebay. Little nervous since there's not much info on them, but with a Bosch motor and decent components at that price I'm hoping for the best.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Thanks for chiming in. Yeah, that's the exact one I purchased on ebay. Little nervous since there's not much info on them, but with a Bosch motor and decent components at that price I'm hoping for the best.
Great, we look forward to some pics and your impressions of the bike. No need to be nervous. When I first saw the bike, I thought it was a great competitor bearing the BMW logo. Looks like a quality built machine with pretty decent components (Intuvia center display!!). I think you are making a good choice and you could always go to a local Bosch dealer if you need any tweaks or updates on the motor's firmware. At that price point, it is worth the risks vs rewards for that bike. I am very tempted, however, it is only sold in size medium, which is a tad too tall for my SOH. Keep us posted.:D
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Thanks for chiming in. Yeah, that's the exact one I purchased on ebay. Little nervous since there's not much info on them, but with a Bosch motor and decent components at that price I'm hoping for the best.
livtiludi-Did you get your BMW E-bike delivered? How is it working out? I think they are shipped from NC. I reached out to the dealer and they indicated that it would in fact fit my standover height. They claimed it was 28 inches at the seat tube section. Very tempted. Just curious. Thanks!
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
The dealer is actually a couple miles from me. I'm happy to help if there are questions, issues, etc. related to working with them.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
The dealer is actually a couple miles from me. I'm happy to help if there are questions, issues, etc. related to working with them.
Chancelucky2-Thanks so much for your assistance! I wanted to somehow confirm the stand over height as I have a 28 inch inseam. A tape measure at the mid point of the top tube near the seat tube is the one I was looking for. (when your backside is next to the front of the seat while standing with your feet flat on the ground) .
 

livtiludi

New Member
No, it hasn't shipped yet. It's been delayed through customs, but should be here in the new year. I'll let you know what I think first chance I get.
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
Chancelucky2-Thanks so much for your assistance! I wanted to somehow confirm the stand over height as I have a 28 inch inseam. A tape measure at the mid point of the top tube near the seat tube is the one I was looking for. (when your backside is next to the front of the seat while standing with your feet flat on the ground) .
I get 31" from the floor. It's a sloping top tube, so it's a little tricky. It's a couple inches less than that closer to the front of the seat.
 

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bob armani

Well-Known Member
I get 31" from the floor. It's a sloping top tube, so it's a little tricky. It's a couple inches less than that closer to the front of the seat.
Chancelucky2- Thanks for the measurement. I see their (PDF) catalog has a size small listed on Ebay, however, the dealership only has medium.
I think it would be a little bit too close for me. Oh well, I'll have to keep searching. I appreciate your help. Ride safe!
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
Chancelucky2- Thanks for the measurement. I see their (PDF) catalog has a size small listed on Ebay, however, the dealership only has medium.
I think it would be a little bit too close for me. Oh well, I'll have to keep searching. I appreciate your help. Ride safe!
Glad I could help. My frame is the medium btw, just to confirm. A bike that doesn't fit isn't a bargain at any price.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Glad I could help. My frame is the medium btw, just to confirm. A bike that doesn't fit isn't a bargain at any price.
You are so correct. I think a small would fit me perfect. I believe the one I tested at the local E-bike Expo was a small size. I was ripping around corners and the fit was nice. I also liked that the (stock) stem was adjustable and I was able to dial it in nicely as well.
FYI-2018 BMW X3 Activ Hybrid e Bikes are also on the horizon.
 

TimJohn

Active Member
OK nice write but why do you quote the speed as mph and then the range in kms? Isn't UK in the metric system or is the Bosch display only indicating miles rather than kilometres. Being nick picky but in Canada that computes to 25.6 kms/hr which is a bit shy of the regulatory speed allowed for e-bikes in Canada (set at 32 kms/hr).