The modern concept of travel is bringing people ever closer to the means of transport through various ways of interconnection. The mobile phone has essentially become our second self, serving as a bridge to the product we are about to use. In the case of means of transport, it also serves as an identification of the user of the means of transport and can thus offer us a comfort zone to make us feel at home - likeable music, navigation through favourite places or the right seat and steering wheel height settings. These are examples of the use of connecting the phone to the car. There are many other examples of mobile phone-to-product connectivity.

The electric bicycle is becoming a phenomenon lately. That is also why their manufacturers are increasingly trying to extend just the function of personalisation and customisation to the user. Linking personal electronics - in this case a mobile phone - is appropriate. The German Bosch is one of the main pioneers in the development of new technologies also in the segment of electric bike drive systems, and so this year it introduced a new product in its portfolio - the Smart System. In short, it is a "smart" system with enhanced functionality. The system offers a completely new infrastructure that includes a new mobile phone app and allows it to be linked to new controllers. The mobile phone plays a big role in the new Smart System. Using the app, the user can personalize the entire drive, track ride statistics or use smart navigation in close connection with the entire electric bike drive system.


Let's see what we have in our hands. In order to extend the above functionality, Bosch had to come up with a completely new communication solution. As for the Performance Line CX drive unit we tested, while it shows the same parameters as the original version of the drive, the complete hardware is not physically compatible with the original unit. So in the Smart System version we meet the drive unit (in our case the Performance Line CX), a PowerTube battery with a choice of 500 Wh/625 Wh/750 Wh capacities, a newly redesigned controller with multi-function buttons and a display. In the test we have a variant of the solution with the SmartphoneGrip, which allows the use of a holder for mobile phone or Kiox 300 displays. The solution consists of a single base mounted on the handlebars and interchangeable elements in the form of a compact Kiox 300 display and a phone holder with wireless charging capability. In this case, it is a unique system solution that the user can very easily personalize according to his own needs.

At the recent Eurobike show, Bosch extended the functionality of the Smart System to the Performance Line, Performance Line Speed and Cargo Line drives. At the same time, it has expanded the range with new controls and displays. Bosch wants to offer the user a complete solution and has therefore added the ABS system for controlled and safe braking of the e-bike. The German manufacturer thus continues to fight valiantly for the top ranks with Japan's Shimano, which has unveiled new features in the form of an automatic shifting function.


In this article I do not want to go into detail about the performance of the power unit, which is one of the current top of what the market has to offer. I have focused on the system connecting the electric bike and its user. With the advent of the Smart System, the complete connection revolves around a new mobile phone app called eBike Flow. At this point, we are back to the possibility of a functional mobile phone instead of a compact display on the handlebars. Because once the app is installed and linked to the bike, the cards turn! With the app, you get a bunch of new features. The most important ones are the ability to electronically lock the entire system, smart navigation with three preset guidance modes, tracking your activity with the option to then shuffle to sports apps like Strava or Komoot, and the ability to customize your riding modes. For example, you now get the crucial ability to influence battery life by reducing torque. The app thus becomes the centre of your e-bike's functionality. Stats trackers and "bike tuners" will be in their element!

All's well that ends well!

With the launch of its Smart System, Bosch has fundamentally stirred up the calm waters of the e-bike environment. The entire solution outlines where the development of drive systems will be heading. Extending the connection between the user and their e-bike seems to be a big topic for all drive manufacturers. By having the bike "online", you will be able to expand the features of the e-bike without having to upgrade the hardware, which seems to be a sensible way to go even from an end-user perspective. Personally, I rate this feature very positively, but purely from a practical point of view, you need to keep your eye on the handlebars and a firm grip on the handlebars!

Author: Marek Bělovský