Given the difficulties finding spare parts, why would a US buyer buy anything other than Bosch?

bikeman242

Active Member
Shimano, Brose, Yamaha, and all the miscellaneous third party manufacturers are a huge pain to get replacement parts for in the event of motor failure, to the extent that your bike may be a brick. I have read countless stories of this over the years.

Given that, why would a US buyer get any bike other than Bosch? They seem to be the top manufacturer for after-sale support.

My bike with a Yamaha motor was effectively disabled for several months while I had to source a $15 cable from Europe. I said to myself, the next eBike I get had better have a good after-sale support system in place.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Given that, why would a US buyer get any bike other than Bosch?
Because, perhaps:
  • Bosch is becoming obsolete, still being unable to provide their (underbaked) Smart System to most of their OEMs?
  • Bosch keeps their OEMs hostage? (Any attempt to implement the Smart System means designing a brand new e-bike model and putting it in the production)
  • Bosch system offers hardly any connectivity? (Especially the lack of ANT+)
  • Bosch system is so closed that replacing a chainring with another size requires a permission from both Bosch and the OEM?
  • Bosch Nyon GPS navigation hardly works in the United States?
  • Because a Bosch motor made for a world region cannot be reprogrammed for another region -- which makes the supply chain issues even more painful?
  • Because there is no easier system to brick than the Bosch? (Just try to replace the chainring with another size).
Shimano, Brose, Yamaha, and all the miscellaneous third party manufacturers are a huge pain to get replacement parts for in the event of motor failure, to the extent that your bike may be a brick.
It is somewhat anecdotal. There is at least one major American bike brand that owns its systems even if the motors are manufactured by two German factories for them. That brand has no issues as described above. And that brand does not even try to take the daily bread from Garmin or Wahoo by implementing GPS navigation. (It offers ANT+ instead).
 
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Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
So true Stefan.
  • Bosch system is so closed that replacing a chainring with another size requires a permission from both Bosch and the OEM?
A bike owner should be able to change the chainring and gears on their own bike. I wanted to put a larger chainring on my class 1 Trek (gen 3 Bosch). It is only 38 teeth and I was constantly out spinning it and mostly using the top 3 gears. Well, I was told that I need to get permission from the manufacturer to make any gear changes. The motor might think an override device is being used and so it shuts down. WTF! So not happy about it. I may decide to try a larger chainring but then again I may simply replace the bike.
No more Bosch for me! 😡😖
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
I can buy 6 new replacement geared hubmotor wheels for the price of one bosch battery. Batteries get stolen all the time. I can buy 60 used geared hubmotors for the price of one bosch battery. One set of gears wear out in ~4500 miles? So what? My battery was half the price of a replacement bosch battery. After 4 years & two failed theft attempts, it is fine.
The only reason I see to have a mid-drive is to climb mountains of 1000' or more. The nearest one of those is 1000 miles from here. I'll never ride my bike out there. I don't take my bike for rides in a car, either.
Bosch requires a display. I deleted my display to turn the bike over for tube changes on the road. No display is permitted with the system I have.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
I wanted to put a larger chainring on my class 1 Trek (gen 3 Bosch). It is only 38 teeth and I was constantly out spinning it and mostly using the top 3 gears. Well, I was told that I need to get permission from the manufacturer to make any gear changes.

This should not be an issue. You could take it to any decent Trek worth a salt and they would help you with this.
Going from 38T to 40T should be possible and requires minimal programming. Trek is the manufacturer and all of their dealers have access to the portal to make this change.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
This should not be an issue. You could take it to any decent Trek worth a salt and they would help you with this.
Going from 38T to 40T should be possible and requires minimal programming. Trek is the manufacturer and all of their dealers have access to the portal to make this change.
The Bosch representative in these Forums clearly stated you needed the permission from both Bosch E-Bike and the OEM to do the change. As you are an OEM yourself, you only need to ask Bosch E-Bike.
My question: Why to ask? (I had 48, 38, and 42T chainrings on the same Spec e-bike and it always worked without any hassle).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
Shimano, Brose, Yamaha, and all the miscellaneous third party manufacturers are a huge pain to get replacement parts for in the event of motor failure, to the extent that your bike may be a brick. I have read countless stories of this over the years.

Given that, why would a US buyer get any bike other than Bosch? They seem to be the top manufacturer for after-sale support.

My bike with a Yamaha motor was effectively disabled for several months while I had to source a $15 cable from Europe. I said to myself, the next eBike I get had better have a good after-sale support system in place.

Everyone talks a big game on the forums until you need support and then it's a different story.
As an OEM I have seen firsthand the support levels offered by different manufacturers. Bosch system is expensive but they offer excellent support. No question.
This is a system for someone who has more important things to do and just wants a reliable bike.
  1. They have motors and all spare parts in stock in the US at 3 different warehouses and it's quite easy to source any part.
  2. I am not sure if you have noticed - Bosch USA personnel visit the forum and answer questions. See if you can find any other manufacturer that does that here?
  3. Unlike many systems, all Bosch components are UL certified - reducing any risk tolerance.
  4. Re: all the nonsense from the poster above, you should talk to shops that actually sell Bosch and ask their opinion than the many armchair experts on the forum.
  5. As I said, everyone talks big until you need support, and then it is a different story.
 

Bicyclista

Active Member
Shimano, Brose, Yamaha, and all the miscellaneous third party manufacturers are a huge pain to get replacement parts for in the event of motor failure, to the extent that your bike may be a brick. I have read countless stories of this over the years.

Given that, why would a US buyer get any bike other than Bosch? They seem to be the top manufacturer for after-sale support.

My bike with a Yamaha motor was effectively disabled for several months while I had to source a $15 cable from Europe. I said to myself, the next eBike I get had better have a good after-sale support system in place.
Personally, I've had a very good experience with the Yamaha motor in my Haibike. It ran 15,000 miles without issues. Recently, I had it overhauled, not because there was anything wrong, but because I like to do preventive maintenance. All gears and bearings were still good and they were all replaced. There was no problem finding the parts, although I understand that finding wiring may be a different issue. I found replacement display wiring on eBay.

My girlfriend has a Tern HSD with a Bosch Performance Line motor. She loves the bike. When I ride it, I find the Performance Line motor weak by comparison with my old Yamaha PW motor.

I recently bought a Yuba Spicy Curry AT with a Bosch Cargo Line motor. Much better than the (under) Performance Line! But it still lags behind the Yamaha's "instant torque" feature which allows one to get off a dead stop fast.

Also, let's not forget that Bosch was an active participant in the Volkswagen diesel fraud they pulled on the public for years. Nothing to do with ebikes, of course, but I just keep in mind that they were willing to lie and cheat in the past. Perhaps, for some, that is the reason they don't buy Bosch?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
If I have a problem I: 1 throw a part away. 2 buy a different part. No stupid excuses on the phone. No phone tag. At a median price of $30 for replacement propulsion system parts, it is not expensive.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
  • Bosch system is so closed that replacing a chainring with another size requires a permission from both Bosch and the OEM?

I found it!
Here is the original thread regarding Bosch motors and swapping chainrings. If you scan through the thread you’ll see input from William-Bosch Team and Stephen-Bosch Team. They said a different chainring may trigger an error code.


I don’t want to go faster and I’m ok with the top speed. I just can’t find a decent cadence using the 38 tooth chainring. Too much spinning, not enough resistance.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
There is good and bad with all of the big guys. They all have their good and bad issues. so you can buy dozens of hub motors what has that got to do with a mid drive ?here are more then just hill climbing to have a mid drive. like torque sensing how smooth and natural it feels. a decent drive train far more efficient too.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
And another thing, the op has a good point regarding replacement parts and after sales support.
Yeah, right ;) How comes I think the Specialized Warranty is the best in the market? (It happens when both e-bikes and spare parts come from the same company).

Regarding Bosch: COBI.BIKE. Really? :D
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
I found it!
Here is the original thread regarding Bosch motors and swapping chainrings.

Your first point of contact should be a Trek store.
The Bosch team here is to support the overall system and ensure there are no major red flags anywhere but they can't help a specific individual.
@Alaskan and many others have changed their components on an E-bike and as long as it is a minor change, a Trek store could easily handle this.
Going from 38T to 40T should not be a problem as long as the frame has enough tolerance for it and if needed, your Trek store could easily reprogram this. They all have access to tools.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
Yeah, right ;) How comes I think the Specialized Warranty is the best in the market? (It happens when both e-bikes and spare parts come from the same company).

Regarding Bosch: COBI.BIKE. Really? :D

Yeah right. With so many frame failures and motor failures, you need a very good warranty system to keep the company from going bankrupt.




 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It's so easy to over-generalize regarding ebikes. Some folks live in flatter areas. Some, like me, live where there are no flat areas and a typical ride will cover over 1000 feet of elevation change. Some folks are handy with a wrench, screwdriver and chain cleaner. Some aren't. Some folks love to customize, finding the perfect combination of power and gearing. Some just want to hop on and go.
Let's be glad we have so many choices of bikes, drive trains and components. Each of us can find what works for us.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Yeah right. With so many frame failures and motor failures, you need a very good warranty system to keep the company from going bankrupt.




Yes, these things used to happen in the past:
  • Bad, really bad BLOKS display. Specialized offered free overhaul to the newer TCD-w. I got my 2017 Vado 5.0 upgraded to 2020 Vado 6.0 electronics, which included a $500 Supernova M99 Pro headlight, new rack, new horn, new handlebar remotes (including one for the horn), and the TCD-w. Free of charge.
  • Yes, Specialized greatly extended the warranty duration for replacement of faulty motors of the era (from 2 to 4 years)
  • Yes, Specialized were replacing e-bikes with broken frames with brand new e-bikes.
  • Yes, these pains are over now.
This is what I call "Specialized Warranty". Even in the worst times, Specialized were always backing their customers. These bad times have been over for a long while. Now, there is a new system called Mastermind, and Mastermind Turbo e-bikes have been available since September 2021.

Where is the Bosch Smart System? When will the Bosch Smart System implement dual battery and Rohloff? Eh?