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Bosch and Cannondale team up on ebike drive

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September 8, 2010

The Bosch/Cannondale ebike drive system being demonstrated at Eurobike

The Bosch/Cannondale ebike drive system being demonstrated at Eurobike

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Tech developer the Bosch Group and bicycle maker Cannondale are collaborating on a new electric drive system for bikes. According to our friends at Wikipedia, Bosch is the world’s largest producer of auto parts, so there’s reason to think that this system might actually be half-way legit. Read on to learn more about it.

The motor itself is rated at 250 watts, with a peak power of 350 watts. It’s powered by a 36-volt lithium-ion battery pack, which is good for 288 watt-hours, 500 charge cycles, and recharges in no more than 2.5 hours. The system also features a bar-mounted control unit, or HMI (Human-Machine Interface). It displays the battery status and allows users to choose between up to four power settings, offering electrical pedaling assistance from levels of 0 to 150 percent. The power settings are: Eco (maximum range), Tour (standard setting), Sports ("dynamic riding") and Speed (maximum setting). Individual bicycle manufacturers will be able to choose which of these levels are enabled, depending on the type of bike into which they're incorporating the system.

Depending on the level selected, a range of 35 to 80 kilometers (22 to 50 miles) is possible on one charge. The system only provides power when the rider is pedaling, and will not assist at speeds over 25 km/h (15.5 mph), as anything faster will cause the ebike to legally be considered a motor vehicle.

The Bosch electric bicycle drive system

One of the things that makes the Bosch system special is its three sensors in the motor. Several times a second, these measure the cyclist’s pedaling force and frequency, and the speed at which the bike is traveling. When the HMI’s processor detects that the same amount of pedaling is resulting in less speed, such as would be the result of a headwind or a hill, it automatically compensates by increasing the amount of pedaling assistance.

The Bosch electric bicycle drive system

While the system was developed with Cannondale, it should start showing up on various brands of ebikes next spring. It will only be available as original equipment, and not as an upgrade kit.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
8 Comments

Only 500 charge cycles? I would kill that off in a year!

mrhuckfin
9th September, 2010 @ 04:41 am PDT

The whole time I was reading this story, I was hoping for a retrofit kit... dang!

matthew.rings
9th September, 2010 @ 05:14 pm PDT

As e-bikes go, rather pitiful. Only 1/3 horsepower. This 15mph limit is hogwash. Federal law allows e-bikes to have up to 1 hp and assist up to 20mph.

Gadgeteer
9th September, 2010 @ 09:18 pm PDT

Newsflash for you, Timelord - there's a WHOLE WORLD outside of the US that the 15 mph limit might well be true for.

Keith Reeder
10th September, 2010 @ 08:27 am PDT

All good and well, Keith, but Cannondale is an American company, and to build an e-bike with such a weak motor basically means they would be completely uncompetitive here. The rest of the world is supposed to be more environmentally progressive than us wasteful Americans. They shouldn't be holding back e-bikes in their markets with overly restrictive regulations.

Gadgeteer
10th September, 2010 @ 08:16 pm PDT

I suspect that this bike is geared for the Euro market where the 15.5mph law applies. Like BionX they would probably bring out a different version for the North American market.

Ronald Reid
26th September, 2010 @ 01:43 am PDT

This bike is a weakling: my own eZee Torq II is vastly superiour, having 14Ahr, speed to 20mph, continuously-variable/controllable power assist, 350watt front motor, 750 peak watt (that's 1 hp, folks!) and propels itself and my 240 lb frame with gusto.

To rate a 'max' range in a power-assisted bike is really ludicrous: they all have a max range of infinity! I get about 3 mi. per volt when im lazy, and two-three times that when im working . The battery is 41.5 v charged and the low cutoff is at 30.5 volts. Ive not constructed a curve for range performance but after about 10-12 miles its reading 38. volts.

Additionally, it has a roller-type rear brake (unaffected by wetness!) and full disk in front, where it counts most.

Put it all together, -> a big sigh ...and a ho-hummm..zzzzzzzzzz

tkj
20th October, 2010 @ 04:42 am PDT

Some footage from the Eurobike:



Facebook User
22nd October, 2010 @ 08:47 am PDT
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