So look, when it comes to bikes – I’m not your go-to-guy. I’m hardly Mr fitness, but the idea of jumping on the bike to go to the local shop instead of driving the car – or to get out with the kids for a ride to the park is very appealing. When you get on a bike you realise the fitness benefits but perhaps get put off by the effort. Enter the Bosch e-bike system to save the day.
I know “effort” sounds lazy – but what I mean is the idea that while riding isn’t difficult, the hills in your area might make it more of a challenge than you’re actually prepared for.
When I was asked to take a look at this e-bike I assumed it was a scooter like optional pedal vs electric power, but no – this is all about the ride and requires effort at all times. The level of effort depends on how you set the computer which powers it all.
The bike I rode was a Riese & Muller – great looking bike in Gulf racing colours, fat tyres and shocks at the front. Not quite right for mountain biking, but for a solid pose down to the shops it’s a winner.
All the basic bike functions are the same, hand controlled front and rear brakes, gears on the right thumb one small gear shifter for up one for down.
But front and centre on the handlebars is a small computer display. That display shows you what’s going on and what setting is active.
The real work is done down in the crank – there’s a Bosch Performance Line system in-between the pedals which is the power you need – then mounted up on the frame is the battery that powers it all.
To be clear though, it’s not a scooter – there’s no accelerator here. The e-bike system enhances your pedalling.
There are multiple settings on the system from OFF to Eco and up to Turbo, the higher up you go the more “assistance” the system gives to your pedal power.
You still need to ride with the gears, going up a hill you must change down gears. As you push along you need to change up the gears. Otherwise the assistance is rendered almost useless.
Around my area there are some decent hills, and without the e-bike system I couldn’t do it on a single gear bike and you’d be spinning the pedals furiously in low gear at best on a traditional bike.
This is not a cruise, you’re still putting in the power to get from a to b. The Bosch system is like a hand on your back pushing you on. Hills are basically flattened out.
An e-bike is not meant to replace or even target itself to the lycra brigade, or the mountain bike community. But perhaps for more of us who wouldn’t regularly consider a ride – this could open things up.
The cost is steep though, several thousand dollars for most models – this specific one over $6,000.
In terms of range, that all depends how much electric effort is required – you might get 25km of riding in “Turbo” mode, while eco-mode would get you 80km or more, also depending on what size battery is on board.