Bosch has targeted the lightweight e-bike market with its Performance Line SX drive system unveiled to coincide with Eurobike 2023, setting a new power-to-weight benchmark in the sector.
At 2kg for the motor – and 4kg combined for the motor, battery, remote and system controller – the system produces 600w of power at peak output to deliver sporty riding for lightweight e-MTBs, e-gravel bikes, and e-urban bikes.
Bosch choose to launch the drive system, as part of its updated Smart System, at a special event in Frankfurt two days before Eurobike got underway in the German city.
Bosch says the timing was partially influenced by the fact its Bosch eBike Systems CEO, Claus Fleischer, was speaking at the 8th National Cycling Congress, which was held at the same Frankfurt trade show venue and started the day before Eurobike began.
But the timing of Bosch’s product launch also ensured its thunder was not stolen by the fact that when the curtain was raised on Eurobike 2023, many of the exhibits by leading brands featured new e-bike models already fitted with the SX system.
The company said that rapid and widespread adoption of the Performance Line SX was a sign of the industry’s confidence in the SX and Bosch eBike Systems products and services in general, as well as Bosch’s level of cooperation by bike manufacturers.
Claus told the product launch: “Now that most types of bicycle have been electrified, the individual categories are becoming even more diverse.
‘With the new Performance Line SX, we are primarily targeting sporty riders, for whom a low total weight is important for riding fast and experiencing a natural flow.
“Our goal was to maintain the typical Bosch quality, riding performance and reliability and transfer these to light, agile bikes. When riding with a high pedal power and at a high cadence, riders are rewarded with powerful support.”
The SX drive system delivers a maximum torque of 55 Newton metres and is complemented by dynamic-progressive ‘Tour+’ and ‘EMTB’ riding modes, which can be customised using the eBike Flow app.
It is also accompanied by a new CompactTube 400 battery which is also designed for light-weight e-bikes.
It is the lightest battery in the Bosch e-bike portfolio and can be integrated into the frame down tube. At the same time, it is also the highest energy density battery and, despite weighing only two kilograms, has a capacity of 400 watt-hours.
If additional battery power is needed on intense trails, the new water bottle-sized PowerMore 250 range extender (approximately 1.6 kilograms and 250 watt hours) boosts the range by more than 60%.
Bosch says the SX has 50% less pedal resistance compared to other Bosch drive units – thanks to a new sealing concept and narrow cranks – which is particularly valuable for e-gravel bike riders. Even above the 25kmh limit for power assistance, e-bikes equipped with the SX are particularly smooth and easy to ride.
To match the new drive unit, Bosch eBike Systems has developed a progressive ‘Sprint’ riding mode to help e-gravel bikers to quickly reach and maintain a high speed.
A small mini remote dropbar control unit has also been developed with gravel e-bikes in mind.
The first models with the Performance Line SX are expected to be available on the market during the European autumn (Australian spring).