Bosch celebrate the 10th anniversary of the modern e-bike with a look ahead to bikes of the future
Bosch’s vision for the future involves more system integration, sleeker lines, carbon fibre, full-suspension and anti-lock brakes. Oh and it’s an ebike, obviously.
Although it’s yet to well and truly hit, the e-bike revolution is in full swing and has already changed the face of mountain biking. Seeing as Bosch are argualy the inventor of the e-bike back in 2010, it seems like a good idea to investigate what they see as the way things will develop from here.
With that in mind, let’s check out their latest concept bike. Although it’s merely a concept bike designed to get press attention (job done) it isn’t wholly irrelevant. Sure, the things like the front luggage rack, daft 6-spoke wheels and the general jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none quality to the whole bike (“Urban Sports Cruiser”) may make most mountain bikers shrug their shoulders and move on, there are some significant things to note on this bike.
Perhaps the number one thing of note is the tacit acknowledgement that e-bikes are currently… well, a bit ugly.
Even the nicest looking e-MTBs are still very far away from being pretty or sleek. Bosch don’t really seem to place much emphasis on shrinking their technology and joining the new ‘diet e-bike’ movement perhaps best represented by the Specialized Turbo Levo SL.
Bosch want to keep things powerful and improve the aesthetics with increasing system intergration and also by good old graphic design techniques/tricks that make the bike appear smaller and sleeker. There’s a reason the concept bike is pure white with black trimming touches.
The motor depicted as actually the current Bosch Performance Line CX motor, except here it is more swallowed up into the frame as opposed to the ungainly pregnant bolt-on look of current e-bikes. The white cover over the motor’s ‘belly’ is a neat visual trick. There are also air intake vents to assist keeping the motor cooler.
The battery is a Bosch Powertube 625 and is integrated into the down tube whilst also still being removeable for easier recharging. Again, the use of a black battery cover helps slim the down tube’s appearance.
The cockpit of the concept bike is something of mixed bag as regards mountain biking. We can’t really see the stem-with-display idea as getting very far with mountain bikers who like to chop and change stems. Similarly, the built-in brake levers and handlebar combo will seem overly presriptive to mountain bikers who like to set things up their own particular way. Having said that, the idea of hidden cabling and less cockpit clutter is most definitely a thing we will see more of.
The built-in permanently attached front and rear lights we could see being rather 50/50 in appeal. Some riders will curl their lip at them whilst others will find them really useful. The rear LEDs aren’t so much an issue but we reckon a quick attach/remove front light mount system would be a better option.
As for the ABS (situated in a box behind the luggage rack), we can’t see it really making sense in an off-road capacity. But who knows? If you look back at what mountain biking looked like in 2010 compared to what it looks like today, there’s a whole load of difference.