Liveable cities

What is the Bosch Smart System?

velorution - Mon, 2023-08-07 12:35
/*! elementor - v3.15.0 - 09-08-2023 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px}What is the Bosch Smart System?

In this Article

/*! elementor - v3.15.0 - 09-08-2023 */ .elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-stacked .elementor-drop-cap{background-color:#69727d;color:#fff}.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-framed .elementor-drop-cap{color:#69727d;border:3px solid;background-color:transparent}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap{margin-top:8px}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap-letter{width:1em;height:1em}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap{float:left;text-align:center;line-height:1;font-size:50px}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap-letter{display:inline-block}
  • Summary
  • Bosch Smart System Features
    • eBike Flow App
    • Riding Modes
    • Motors
    • Remotes and Displays
    • Batteries
  • Pros and Cons
  • Is the Bosch Smart System worth it?
  • FAQs
  • Lawrence Bywater
  • 7 August 2023
/*! elementor - v3.15.0 - 09-08-2023 */ .elementor-widget-image{text-align:center}.elementor-widget-image a{display:inline-block}.elementor-widget-image a img[src$=".svg"]{width:48px}.elementor-widget-image img{vertical-align:middle;display:inline-block} { "@context": "", "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage": { "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "" }, "headline": "What is the Bosch Smart System", "description": "Read Velorution’s guide to the Bosch Smart System and understand its key features and benefits, its pros and cons plus some frequently asked questions.", "image": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" }, "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Lawrence Bywater", "url": "", "description":" " }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Velorution", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" } }, "datePublished": "2023-08-7", "dateModified": "2023-08-7" }

Bosch, arguably the leader in electric bike technology, uses the term “Smart System” to describe its latest range of products. But what is the system, what does it refer to and what are its features?

In this article for the Velorution journal, we do our utmost to explain the Smart System terminology in the simplest way possible and describe how it helps e-bike riders, of all kinds, in the real world.

Before we get into the real nitty-gritty of the Smary System, our guide to 2024 Bosch e-bike motors, batteries and displays is a broader overview of things that might suit you better.

/*! elementor - v3.15.0 - 09-08-2023 */ body.elementor-page .elementor-widget-menu-anchor{margin-bottom:0} Bosch Smart System Summary

The Bosch Smart System is a comprehensive way to describe the array of hardware (motors, batteries and displays), software and an accompanying smartphone application that are available with an electric bike powered by Bosch.

The Bosch Smart System aims to make an electric bike even better to ride – in all aspects, more connected to the rider’s digital life, more customisable and with easy-to-perform updates, more secure.

Bosch launched The Smart System in 2022 and in doing so, relegated some of their previous components to what is now known as Bosch eBike System 2 products. Generally speaking Electric bikes with a Bosch system onboard manufactured pre-2022 will all have this iteration.

As 2022 turned to 2023, most Bosch-powered electric bikes that left the production line tended to switch over to the Smart System. However, it wasn’t until June 2023 that Bosch expanded Smart System to all of its e-bike motors. This complication has left some electric bikes using the old Bosch system and some using the newer one. 

Motor is a key consideration when buying an e-bike so we show which model has what. Image: Velorution

If you have your eye on an electric bike and you aren’t sure which iteration of the Bosch system it has been fitted with, we list each electric bike’s exact motor specification on our category page. 

Bosch Smart System Features

There are five key features of the Bosch Smart System. The eBike Flow app, the riding modes, the motors, the displays and the batteries. Lets look at those in more detail.

The eBike Flow App home screen. Image: Bosch 1 Bosch eBike Flow Smartphone App

Available on iOS and Android, the eBike Flow App is arguably the most important feature of the Bosch Smart system and one that glues the rest of The Smart System features together.

  1. Over-the-air (automatic) updates – When Bosch releases new features like map updates you no longer need to visit a bike shop (booo for us!). Download the update on the app and transfer it to the bike via Bluetooth.
  2. Individual riding modes – Create different assistance modes based on motor torque and maximum speed. As an example, you might want to increase the torque of the ECO riding mode to help you away from traffic lights, but reduce the maximum speed to preserve battery life once you are up to speed.
  3. eBike Lock – Essentially your smartphone is the key to your e-bike. The motor won’t operate without being unlocked by your smartphone. In August 2023, Bosch announced that this facility was being extended to the Kiox 300 and 500 displays, that way you could ride and leave your smartphone at home.
  4. eBike Alarm (Flow+ only) – Visual and audible alarms if your bike moves whilst locked. If it continues moving your smartphone receives a notification and the bike’s position is trackable in the app. For now this remains a premium feature costing an extra £4.99 a month or £39.99 a year to activate.
  5. Ride Screen – Use your smartphone as your screen rather than the onboard display.
  6. Activity Tracking – Tracks your ride and fitness data.
  7. Route Planning and Navigation – Go from to A-B with ease. Includes route suggestions and turn-by-turn guidance.
  8. Third-Party App Integration – Connect favourite apps like Strava, Komoot and Apple Health to view your e-bike ride data there.
Handy indicators show the range for each riding mode on the Bosch Smart System. Image: Velorution 2 Bosch Smart System Riding Modes

With the Bosch Smart System gone are the days of the simple assistance modes. Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo are now replaced with many other modes, each programmed by Bosch to suit different circumstances. 

The Auto mode is perhaps the most interesting. Set it, ride and let the motor decide how much to power to push out. Ideal for fuss-free commuting.

Mode Description Off No support Eco Low-level assistance – maximum range Tour Consistent support on long rides Tour+ Consistent support on hilly rides Sport Powerful assistance eMTB Dynamic assistance for off-road Auto Optimal support. Adapts to headwinds and hills Turbo Maximum assistance Cargo* +400% of the rider’s pedal power Race+ For eMTB racing Sprint+ For sprints, steep climbs or fast commuting

*Only available on e-bikes with a Cargo Line motor

+Only available on e-bikes with Performance Line CX Ltd Edition or Performance Line SX 

E-bike motors are now seemlessly integrated into bike frames. Image: Velorution 3 Bosch Smart System Motors

At the heart of an e-bike with Bosch Smart System is a mid-drive motor. Mid-drive motors are known to offer both a better ride and better handling than e-bikes with a hub-drive system.

As of 2023, all of the six major Bosch e-bike motor systems, that’s Active Line, Active Line Plus, Performance Line, Performance Line CX, Performance Line SX and Cargo Line are Smart System Compatible.

Whilst the motors themselves haven’t changed dramatically on the outside, it’s the firmware inside that’s been updated for The Smart System. Here are two examples.

The popular Performance Line motor – an excellent mid-price motor – now has 10Nm more torque than the previous version. This helps with accelerating, when carrying extra weight and hill-climbing performance.

Another new feature available on Bosch Smart System motors is the hill hold function. If you have experienced this kind of thing in a car you’ll know what it does. On an e-bike with the Bosch Smart System, it can be activated when in Walk Assist mode. Hop on and the system will bridge the gap between walk assist and when the rider starts pedalling. This is a fantastic feature if you are on an electric cargo bike or weighed down with shopping in your pannier bags.

A simple riding screen displaying speed on a Bosch Kiox. Image: Velorution 4 Bosch Smart System Remotes and Displays

The main displays for the Bosch Smart System are the Kiox 300 and Kiox 500. The Kiox 300 is a crystal clear, full-colour display that really puts a lot of other e-bike displays to shame. The Kiox 500 is essentially a larger version of the 300.

Used alongside the eBike Flow app you can customise your screen to your heart’s. With the latest version of the app, you can choose from 1 of 30 variables and display them across a maximum of 3 separate screens.

Alongside the Kiox 300 and Kiox 500, Bosch has introduced the LED Remote (pictured at the very top of this article) – a clear step change from previous displays. It’s a small unit, conveniently located near the handlebar grips. You can change the riding modes here, enable things like walk assist and turn the e-bike’s lights on and off.

Ultimately what the LED Remote does is save you from faffing about with the main display, enabling you to keep both hands on the bike’s handlebars at all times.

If you prefer your rides to be more about the environment and less about the screens onboard, look for a Bosch e-bike with the Purion 200 display. It’s an all-in-one colour display and control unit made for the Smart System.

Fully integrated e-bike batteries for the win. Image: Velorution 5 Bosch Smart System Batteries

As technology continues to develop, brands like Bosch are able to squeeze more and more efficiency and power from their lithium-ion batteries without dramatically increasing their weight – an absolute no-no for electric bikes.

Bosch’s first electric bike batteries maxed out at 300Wh to 400Wh, but with the Smart System, the battery capacity now runs all the way up to 725Wh – a gargantuan capacity which means bikes fitted with this won’t be visiting the charger after every ride, especially if it’s cared for in the correct manner.

Bosch continues to innovate in the e-bike space and recently released their first range extender. The Bosch PowerMore 250 is a drinks bottle-sized range extender for e-bikes powered by The Smart System. Lookout for it from Autumn 2023.

Bosch Smart System Pros & Cons

If you like to weigh up your options with pros and cons, we’ve simplified our discussion about the Bosch Smart System into a simple table.

Pros Cons A better ride, all-round More expensive Updates automatically App/eBike has single phone connection limit Expandabale/adapatable Not backwards compatible with Bosch System 2 Slimmer, compact design   Better ergonomically   Who wouldn't want to ride an electric bike that looks this good? Image: Velorution Is the Bosch Smart System worth it?

Yes, despite the extra expense. Ultimately, the Bosch Smart System is there to make electric bikes more fun and more intuitive to ride. Add the extra capability via the accompanying eBike Flow app and it’s hard to argue against the system.

In our world of city and commuter e-bikes, features like the Auto riding mode are a huge step forward from the previous Bosch system. Throw in the larger capacity batteries that Bosch is now manufacturing with The Smart System, and you could have an e-bike that banishes range anxiety forever.

Plus, if you like your products to be smart and connect with your digital lifestyle, then for now, no other e-bike system can match Bosch for the quality and breadth of its app integration.

These days most electric bikes come pre-fitted with mudguards, lights and a pannier rack. This Kalkhoff e-bike even as a dropper seatpost. Image: Velorution Bosch Smart System Frequently Asked Questions How can I pair a Bosch Smart System e-bike with the eBike Flow app?

It’s easy – like pairing any other smart device. Make sure your smartphone has its Bluetooth turned on and is in range.

I have an account with the old Bosch app, eBike Connect, can I transfer this over to the eBike Flow app?

No unfortunately not. You’ll have to re-register for the new app.

Can you pair more than one phone (eBike Flow app) with a Bosch Smart System e-bike?

No. Unfortunately for now an e-bike can only be paired with one device. This could be frustrating if you plan to share a bike.

Do you have to pay for the eBike Flow app?

No. It’s free to download and 95% of the features are free. Currently, the only extra add-on is the e-bike alarm and GPS tracking feature.

Is there cross-compatibility between Bosch eBike System 2 and Bosch Smart System?

No. The two systems are completely independent. For example, this means that if you have an e-bike with the old system you couldn’t upgrade the battery to a Smart System one with more capacity. It’s the same for displays too. You couldn’t change the old Purion display for the new one.

What do I need to do when selling an e-bike with Bosch Smart System?

Remove the e-bike from your account in the eBike Flow App before selling. If you don’t follow this step, you may receive an email from the new owners asking you to rest the ownership.

That’s the end of our discussion on the Bosch Smart System. We’re starting to see e-bikes fitted with the system arrive in our stores – models like the Tern HSD Generation 2. If you have any questions about the system, we’re a short click away – failing that come and see us in-store.

The post What is the Bosch Smart System? appeared first on Velorution Journal.

Categories: Liveable cities

A to Z. Your go-to glossary for key electric bike terms​

velorution - Wed, 2023-07-26 15:54
A to Z. Your go-to glossary for key electric bike terms

In this Article

  • Terms: A-E
  • Terms: F-P
  • Terms: R-Z
  • Lawrence Bywater
  • 27 July 2023
{ "@context": "", "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage": { "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "" }, "headline": "The Affordable Alternative: Embracing Electric Bikes in a Cost of Living Crisis", "description": "In the face of rising costs for day to day life. The cost of owning and running a car or using public transport has become ever more difficult to justify, but there’s a transformative solution that offers both affordability and quality: electric bikes.", "image": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" }, "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Brook Purvis", "url": "", "description":" " }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Velorution", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" } }, "datePublished": "2022-07-31", "dateModified": "2022-07-31" }

Despite sharing much of the same terminology as regular bikes, electric bikes can be difficult to understand thanks to the extra jargon that comes with them.

Our glossary features 32 key electric bike terms, sorted in alphabetical order. It’s a handy page to bookmark if you’re unsure of the wording we use on our website to discuss the products we sell.

Assistance modes

Assistance modes on electric bikes refer to the different levels of assistance a rider can choose from when riding. Most electric bikes have at least four settings for example: Off, Low, Medium and High. Off would mean riding the bike with no assistance from the motor. Low would offer a small amount of motor power, and so on.


Fitted to an electric bike, a battery provides power to the onboard motor. See also: Integrated battery

Belt drive

A belt drive electric bike doesn’t have a traditional chain. Instead, it has a toothed belt which transfers pedalling power to the rear wheel. For more on this subject read 7 of the best bikes with Gates belt drive.

Bosch electric bike

Bosch is the key provider of electric bike systems to the bike industry. Whilst Bosch doesn’t manufacture whole electric bikes themselves their motors and accompanying batteries and displays are arguably the most well-regarded and are therefore used by a variety of bicycle brands, like Tern and Schindelhauer.

Brushless motor A type of electric motor now commonplace in electric bikes. In short, by removing the ‘brushes’, e-bike motors are more efficient and longer-lasting than Brushed motors. Cadence sensor

A cadence sensor works more or less like an off/on switch for an electric bike. Hop in the saddle, start pedalling, and the sensor will turn the electric bike motor on. See also: Torque sensor

Cargo electric bike

Electric cargo bikes are e-bikes which can carry passengers or cargo easily and more efficiently than regular electric bikes. Our ultimate guide to electric cargo bikes tells more.

Charge cycles

An electric bike’s battery life is calculated in charge cycles. A charge cycle refers to the number of full charges a battery can go through before it holds less charge. Typical charge cycles for electric bike batteries quoted by manufacturers are between 500 and 1000.


An electric bike’s display shows key data to the rider. Mounted in various locations, but more often than not on the handlebars, they can display key metrics like battery life, current assistance mode and current speed. Most electric bike displays double up as controls for the electric bike.


A shortened term for an electric bike.


EAPC is an acronym for an electronically assisted pedal cycle. UK legislation on EAPC states that amongst other features, electric bikes “must have a maximum power output of 250 watts” and “should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph.” All e-bikes stocked at Velorution are classified as EAPC. See also: Pedal assist

A Bosch PowerPack 500Wh electric bike battery. Image: Velorution Folding electric bike

An electric bike with a folding frame to aid storage and transport. Most folding electric bikes fold in at two places – the handlebars and the main frame. For more, read: What to look for in a folding electric bike.

Integrated Battery Most electric bikes these days integrate a battery into their frame design. Most designs stow the battery in the downtube of the frame – that’s the 45-degree tube that runs from the front of the bike near the handlebars to where the crank and pedals are fitted. Lithium-Ion (Li-ion)

The most modern form of battery, lithium-ion electric bike batteries are lightweight (when compared to other formats) and keep their charge when not in use. These two attributes make them ideal for use in electric bikes.

Lightweight electric bike

An electric bike sub-type that aims to prioritise weight over other features or attributes. Typically this means they have smaller-capacity batteries and hub-drive motors.


A hub-drive is a type of electric bike motor. It is placed in either the front or rear wheel of an electric bike. For more on this subject read Hub-drive vs mid-drive electric bikes. Which is best?


A mid-drive is an electric bike motor placed at the bottom bracket of an e-bike. Sometimes known as mid-mount of crank-mount.


An electric bike motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy or forward momentum.

Newton-metres (Nm)

A Newton metre is both a measurement of force and confusingly a piece of equipment that measures that force. In the case of electric bikes newton-metres refers to motor torque, a measurement of the force an electric bike motor outputs. See also: Torque


An acronym for Pedal Assist System, PAS is a common phrase in the US, less so in the UK. Irrespective, it describes how an electric bike motor delivers power automatically when it detects pedalling.

Pedal assist

Electric bikes with pedal assist require the rider to pedal before the onboard motor provides any further assistance.


Another name for an electric bike it is an abbreviation of pedal electric cycle. See also: S-Pedelec

Proprietary In the case of electric bikes, proprietary usually describes the design of a motor, battery or display. It makes it unique to a particular brand or model of bike. An example would be the Gocycle G4 motor. A Tern electric cargo bike fitted with two batteries. Image: Velorution Range

An electric bike’s range is the distance it can be ridden with the motor on before it needs to be recharged. For more on this subject read: Electric bike range anxiety. 8 tips to put your mind at ease.

Smart electric bike

A smart electric bike can be controlled or adjusted by an accompanying smart phone application. It can also refer to extra technological features like remote locking and GPS tracking. See also: Smart System

Smart System

A term coined by Bosch to describe their entire and most up-to-date range of components for electric bikes. Bosch Smart System components include displays, batteries, motors and an accompanying smartphone app: eBike Flow. Our article on the Bosch Smart System goes into greater detail. 


S-Pedelec, or speed pedelec is an electric bike that goes faster than the 15.5mph limit for regular electric bikes. In the UK current legislation is a bit watery, but there are a few concrete need-to-knows. A speed pedelec has a maximum assisted speed of 45.5kph. Riders must register a speed-pedelec, add a registration plate, be taxed, insured and wear the correct safety equipment.


An electric bike throttle initiates the onboard motor to provide forward momentum without the need to pedal. Currently outlawed for use on public roads in the UK. All electric bikes sold by Velorution do not include a throttle.


Torque is the force being delivered by an electric motor. A motor’s torque is a good yardstick to understand how it will help you tackle climbs, ride with heavier cargo or accelerate faster. See also: Torque Sensor

Torque Sensor

Commonplace on electric bikes priced at £2000 and above, a torque sensor on an electric bike interprets the pedalling force exerted by the ride and changes the onboard motor’s settings to match. This helps the e-bike ride like a regular bike and less like a motorbike yanking your shoulders out of your sockets!

Urban electric bike

An urban e-bike, or city e-bike is an electric bike designed for riding on tarmac, year round. Commonly referred to as electric hybrid bikes, key features to look out for include: mudguards, pannier racks, lights and integrated locks.

Watts (W)

Watts is an expression of the amount of power an electric bike motor can produce. To meet UK requirements legal electric bikes should have a motor with a maximum 250W. See also: EAPC

Watt-hours (Wh)

Electric bike batteries are rated in watt-hours. This is a measurement have how much power a battery can deliver to an electric bike motor per hour. As electric bikes gathered traction most electric bike batteries had a rating of between 300 and 500Wh, these days 750Wh isn’t uncommon.

The post A to Z. Your go-to glossary for key electric bike terms​ appeared first on Velorution Journal.

Categories: Liveable cities

The Affordable Alternative: Embracing Electric Bikes in a Cost of Living Crisis

velorution - Fri, 2023-07-21 09:05
The Affordable Alternative: Embracing Electric Bikes in a Cost of Living Crisis

In this Article

  • Rising Costs of Car Ownership and Public Transport
  • Electric Bikes: An Affordable Quality Option
  • Accessible Routes to E-Bike Ownership
  • Financial Benefits and Savings
  • Conclusion
  • Brooke Purvis
  • 21 July 2023
{ "@context": "", "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage": { "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "" }, "headline": "The Affordable Alternative: Embracing Electric Bikes in a Cost of Living Crisis", "description": "In the face of rising costs for day to day life. The cost of owning and running a car or using public transport has become ever more difficult to justify, but there’s a transformative solution that offers both affordability and quality: electric bikes.", "image": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" }, "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Brook Purvis", "url": "", "description":" " }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Velorution", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" } }, "datePublished": "2022-07-31", "dateModified": "2022-07-31" }

In the face of rising costs for day-to-day life. The cost of owning and running a car or using public transport has become ever more difficult to justify, but there’s a transformative solution that offers both affordability and quality: electric bikes (or eBikes).

Over the past five years, the financial burden associated with cars and public transport has steadily increased along with the cost of living crisis. However, e-bikes have emerged through this difficult time as a cost-effective alternative that provides comparable quality and numerous benefits.

Let’s delve into the historical context, discuss the advantages of e-bike ownership, and explore accessible routes to embrace this economical mode of transportation in the UK.

Image: Velorution

Rising Costs of Car Ownership and Public Transport

Over the past five years, the expenses tied to owning a car and utilising public transport have witnessed significant escalation.

Inflation due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and with further growing evidence, Brexit means fuel prices, insurance premiums, maintenance costs, and congestion charges are all playing a role in amplifying the financial strain on car owners.

Simultaneously, public transport fares have continued to rise with little investment into infrastructure, reliability or comfort, placing additional daily pressure on commuters already grappling with the cost of living crisis.

Image: Velorution Electric Bikes: An Affordable Quality Option

Amidst these financial challenges, e-bikes have continued to innovate and offer an affordable and practical solution without compromising on quality.

While the experience of cycling may be subjective, the undeniable fact is that eBikes provide a reliable and efficient mode of transportation for a fraction of the price.

With advancements in technology, modern e-bikes offer impressive battery life, powerful motors, and comfortable features, easily rivalling, if not outperforming the convenience of cars and public transport.

Image: Velorution Accessible Routes to E-Bike Ownership

To make electric bikes even more accessible, various routes to ownership have emerged in the UK. There are a number of Cycle to Work schemes which enable employees to purchase e-bikes through salary sacrifice, enjoying significant tax savings and leading to a 45% saving on the RRP of a brand new eBike. This scheme allows individuals to spread the cost over a period of time while enjoying the benefits of commuting or leisure riding on an eBike.

Additionally, finance options are available, enabling customers to pay in instalments with 0% interest.

Image: Velorution Financial Benefits and Savings:

By opting for these alternative purchasing methods, individuals can experience substantial savings. Reduced commuting costs, lower maintenance expenses, and the absence of fuel expenditure all contribute to significant long-term financial benefits.

Additionally, eBikes are exempt from congestion charges and are not restricted from using low-traffic neighbourhoods, further reducing expenses associated with transportation.


As the cost of living crisis persists, the affordability and quality of eBikes make them an attractive alternative to traditional modes of transportation. The historical increase in car ownership and public transport costs underscores the necessity for a more economically sustainable solution.

With accessible routes to ownership such as Cycle to Work schemes and financing options, embracing an eBike becomes a feasible and financially advantageous choice.

Choose the cost-effective revolution of eBikes and experience the freedom, convenience, and savings they offer in today’s challenging times.

The post The Affordable Alternative: Embracing Electric Bikes in a Cost of Living Crisis appeared first on Velorution Journal.

Categories: Liveable cities

Hub-drive vs mid-drive electric bikes. Which is best?​

velorution - Thu, 2023-06-22 10:27
Hub-drive vs mid-drive electric bikes. Which is best?

In this Article

  • What is a hub-drive motor?
  • 3 of the best hub-drive electric bikes
    • Brompton Electric C Line
    • Gocycle G4
    • Schindelhauer Arthur
  • What is a mid-drive motor?
  • 3 of the best mid-drive electric bikes
    • Tern HSD
    • Schindelhauer Heinrich Enviolo
    • Cube Fold Hybrid 500
  • Comparing hub-drive and mid-drive motors
  • Hub-drive or mid-drive, which is best?
  • Lawrence Bywater
  • 22 June 2023
{ "@context": "", "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage": { "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "" }, "headline": "Hub-drive vs mid-drive electric bikes. Which is best?", "description": "At Velorution we sell electric bikes with both hub motors and mid-drive motors so we’re well-placed to discuss the ins and outs of the two motor types. In this article, we’ll explain both e-bike motor types and discuss their pros and cons.", "image": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" }, "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Lawrence Bywater", "url": "", "description":"

An avid road rider and occasional commuter, Lawrence has worked at Velorution since 2020. Constantly on the hunt for the next snack, he enjoys writing about all cycling topics - from electric bike batteries to the waterproof rating of jackets. After recently purchasing his first mountain bike, he’s been getting to grips with suspension, sag and wider tyres.

" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Velorution", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" } }, "datePublished": "2023-22-06", "dateModified": "2023-27-06" }

Start shopping for an electric bike and you’ll quickly be thrown into one key debate: which is the best type of motor for electric bikes? A hub motor or a mid-drive motor? At Velorution we sell electric bikes with both hub motors and mid-drive motors so we’re well-placed to discuss the ins and outs of the two motor types. In this article, we’ll explain both e-bike motor types and discuss their pros and cons. 

For a back-to-basics read on electric bike motors, our handy explainer is a good place to start. Alternatively, our electric bikes A-Z covers all the key definitions of items covered in this piece.

Bosch is perhaps the leading (and most recognisable) provider of e-bike motors. Image: Velorution What is a hub-drive motor?

A hub-drive motor is an e-bike motor which replaces the regular wheel hub on a bike. It delivers drive directly to the wheel. Whilst it’s more common to find them in the rear wheel, they can also be placed in the front wheel. A good example of this is the Gocycle G4 folding electric bike.

Most hub-drive motors are controlled by a control unit which itself is activated by a cadence sensor. Start pedalling and the sensor tells the control unit to turn the motor on and provide assistance.

More expensive electric bikes with a hub-drive motor tend to be fitted with a torque sensor rather than a cadence sensor. A torque sensor measures (sometimes up to 1000 times a second) the power being put through the pedals and rations the power accordingly. The harder you pedal the more power the motor delivers. Sit back, pedal easier and the motor’s power reduces. The best torque sensors help the rider and electric bike work in perfect harmony.

On most electric bikes with a hub motor, the control unit can also be used to change the amount of power the motor provides. Bikes like the Brompton Electric C Line have 3 assistance modes (4 if you include the motor set to off), but it’s not uncommon to find e-bikes with up to 5 levels of assistance.

Unlike most hub-powered electric bikes, Gocycle's G4 has a motor mounted in the front wheel. Image: Gocycle Three of the best hub-drive electric bikes

That’s the theory of hub-drive motors out of the way, let’s look at some examples. Here are three electric bikes that we sell, all fitted with hub-drive motors.

The hub-drive motor is clearly visible on the Brompton Electric C Line. Image: Velorution 1 Brompton Electric C Line

A folding electric bike, Brompton’s Electric C Line is the first bike on our list.

The hub-drive is housed in the front wheel and is of Brompton’s own design. It’s rated at 250W and weighs around 2.5kg. Fitted with a torque sensor, the bike feels natural to ride when you start pedalling.

There are four assistance modes to choose from and the 312Wh battery (which easily removes for better carrying) provides a decent amount of riding range.

RRP: From £2,995

The Gocycle motor is also fitted in the front wheel. Image: Velorution 2 Gocycle G4

Another folding electric bike, with an in-house designed hub-drive motor placed in the front wheel.

The G4’s motor has four assistance modes, which can be customised by connecting the bike to the accompanying smartphone app.

Unlike the Brompton which has 6 gears, the G4 is limited to 3 gears. Gocycle does maintain one advantage over the Brompton, however – the larger 20″ wheels (they are 16″ on the Brompton) can feel more stable when riding. Although, this does mean that when folded, the Gocycle is larger than the Brompton.

RRP: £3,399

Every Schindelhauer e-bike, or bike for that matter, uses a Gates belt rather than a chain. Image: Velorution 3 Schindelhauer Arthur Electric

Usually, bicycle manufacturers tend to favour either hub-drive or mid-mount motors when designing their e-bikes. There are exceptions though and one of these is the German brand Schindelhauer.

Schindelhauer uses both hub-drive and mid-drive; favouring one when it best suits the type of bike they are manufacturing. The Arthur is a lightweight, single-speed urban electric bike and the Mahle motor used fits the bike to a tee. 

The motor is lightweight, inconspicuous and provides a gentle addition to the riders pedalling input.

RRP: £3,995

What is a mid-drive motor? 

Integrated into a bike’s frame, a mid-drive motor is found at the crank between the pedal – or normally where the bottom bracket is found. For this reason, they are sometimes called crank-drive.

Unlike a hub-drive motor, a mid-drive motor’s output is applied to the drivetrain of the bike. The motor turns the cranks and pedals providing forward momentum to the rear wheel via a traditional chain or a belt drive. In essence, the motor is actually helping you turn the pedal, that’s why you’ll often see the phrase ‘pedal assist’ used in reference to electric bikes.

Because mid-drive motors are linked to the drivetrain of the bike, riders of this type of e-bike can also take advantage of the bike’s gears. Think of it like this…

You’re approaching a hill and you shift to an easier gear. This makes it easier for you and the motor to turn the pedal. Riding down the other side, you select a harder gear. At higher speeds, you need a harder gear to pedal and it’s the same with the motor. 

As far as we know, all reputable mid-drive motors – Bosch being the leading brand – have a torque sensor fitted. That way they can interpret the rider’s pedalling power, and send this information to the onboard control unit which in turn, changes the settings on the motor. 

Three of the best mid-drive electric bikes

Now, do you understand what a mid-drive e-bike is? Here are three of our favourite electric bikes with mid-drive motors.

The HSD is the size of a regular bike but it can comfortably carry a whole lot more. Image: Velorution 1 Tern HSD

Using the latest gubbins from Bosch, the new Tern HSD will, we reckon, become one of our favourite electric bikes with a mid-drive motor.

Step on it and you may never pedal a regular e-bike again, such is the pleasurable feeling of the motor.

The rear rack can stomach 80kg of weight. 15kg can be plopped on the (optional) front rack too. That opens all kinds of trips by bike – the shop, the primary school, the weekend footy.

There are various models available, with the key difference between them being the gearing on offer. Whichever you choose, because this a mid-drive e-bike, the gearing and motor will be working in perfect harmony.

RRP: From £4,100

This colour version of the Heinrich is called Pearl Blue. Image: Velorution 2 Schindelhauer Heinrich Enviolo

This bike uses a Bosch Performance Line motor. It’d be as a medium to long-distance commuter, or as an everyday run-around.

Take particular note of the Heinrich’s gearing setup. This version (there’s also a more basic hub-geared variant of the bike) uses the Enviolo automatic shifting. Effectively there’s no need for the rider to change gears. The Enviolo system automatically changes gear to match the pedalling input. All that’s left to worry about is which assistance mode on the Bosch motor to choose.

The Heinrich has premium lights and mudguards. There’s even an integrated pannier rack on the rear ‘guard.

Clearly, all these prim and proper features do come at a cost, but in our book, the end result is well worth it!

RRP: £5,195

A grab handle helps moving the bike when folded. Image: Velorution 3 Cube Fold Hybrid 500

Almost all folding electric bikes have hub-drive motors – a mid-drive motor can quickly put pay to the ability of a bike to fold.

With the Fold Hybrid 500, Cube has provided an electric bike that delivers all the benefits of mid-drive but keeps just enough aspects of a folding bike to make it attractive. 

The Bosch Performance Line motor and 500Wh battery team up to give this e-bike enough guts for most rides and the range will be pretty good too.

RRP: £3,499

Comparing hub-drive and mid-drive motors

We think there are eight key attributes that you should weigh up when comparing hub-drive and mid-drive motors.

Ride Feel

By this, we mean, how the bike feels when the motor takes hold. In not so many words, a mid-drive e-bike is the clear winner. On a mid-drive electric bike power is delivered in much the same manner as a regular bike. On a hub-drive electric bike, the power comes directly from the front or rear wheel. This means the rider can feel like they are being pushed or pulled forward, although this feeling can lessen with every ride. Also for some a regular pedal bike feeling isn’t important when they’re searching for an electric bike.


A mid-drive electric bike handles better than a hub-drive one. Siting the motor at the cranks keeps the overall weight of a mid-drive e-bike nice and balanced. Plus the extra weight is as low as it can be. This means negotiating junctions, tramlines or pedestrians should come easier. 


As we’ve already seen, on a hub-drive electric bike the gears work wholly independently from the pedal assistance. If the bike doesn’t have a good range of gears, the rider could struggle on some riders, irrespective of the assistance. A mid-drive doesn’t have this problem. Without the space taken up by the electric motor, hub gears (and their associated benefits) are also a popular choice only available on mid-drive.


Mid-drive motors are more efficient than hub-drive motors, this extends their range (between charges) up and over 50 miles – a figure which many hub-drive bikes are limited to. Of course, larger-capacity batteries can help with this, but this does add plenty of extra weight.


Good motors should be reliable, irrespective of their type. However, because they don’t have additional moving parts, hub-drive motors can be seen to be more reliable than mid-drive ones.


Being part of a wheel opens up hub-drive motors to issues like flat tyres or broken spokes. Mid-drive motors don’t get off scot-free either. The extra power they create is dissipated through other components of the e-bike. Replacing chains, cassettes and chainrings is common on mid-drive e-bikes.


Although there’s not much in it, hub-drive motors are typically lighter than mid-drive motors. This makes them useful in specific cases like folding electric bikes, or lightweight urban e-bikes.


Extra features and benefits make mid-drive motors more expensive than hub-drive motors. Most mid-drive electric bikes start at £2,000 – hub-drive e-bikes start far, far cheaper than that. That said, some specialist or high-end hub-drive electric bikes can easily cost double £2000.

 Hub-DriveMid-DriveRide FeelCan feel unnatural. Can be likened to being pushed or pulled along.Like a regular bike, but easier. Intuitive and instinctive.HandlingUneven distribution of weight can impact steering.The balance, low centre of gravity and suspended position of the motor help a mid-drive bike handle precisely.GearingLimited to derailleur gears. A huh motor is not affected by gear changes.Can use the bike’s gearing at all speeds. Both derailleur and hub gears are available. RangeLower efficiency. 20-40 miles is common.Outdoes hub-drive. Can hit 150 miles depending on various factors.ReliabilityThe sealed unit lasts a long time and shouldn’t require maintenance.Moving parts in the motor means less reliability.MaintenanceFlat tyres can be a pain as the wheel has to be disconnected from the system. Wheel repairs may be pricey.Can wear out components faster. Flat tyres are easy to fix – hub gears being the exception. WeightUsually light in weight – around 2kg is common.Weigh more. Most weigh over 2kg.Price£-£££££££-£££££ Hub-drive or mid-drive, which is best?

Irrespective of which drive type you choose, an electric bike is a fantastic way to travel, get fit or simply have some fun. Whether a hub-drive or a mid-drive e-bike is best for you will depend on your budget, how frequently you ride and on what terrain.

Although it's perhaps given away by the battery pack, mid-drive e-bikes don't have to be bulky or ungainly. Image: Velorution

For short commutes, at low speeds, in a flat city, a hub-drive electric bike is more than acceptable. However, if your riding demands extend to large distances, maybe even off-road or over steep gradients a mid-drive electric bike would be a better choice.

Ultimately, when choosing between e-bike motors, it’s horses for courses, so to make the best decision, we’d encourage you to think about the type and frequency of riding you’d do most often. Plus, use our comparison table to easily compare the two motor types side-by-side on key variables like weight and price. This way, you should be able to easily pick between the two e-bike motor types.

That brings our guide to the two different e-bike motor types to a close. If we missed something, harang us in the comments below, fire us an email or better still, come ask us in store.

The post Hub-drive vs mid-drive electric bikes. Which is best?​ appeared first on Velorution Journal.

Categories: Liveable cities

Tern HSD Generation 2: The 6 things you should know

velorution - Mon, 2023-06-12 13:54
Tern HSD Generation 2: The 6 things you should know

In this Article

  1. Know the new weight limits
  2. Play with the Smart System, ogle at the Kiox Display
  3. Learn about the benefits of the Performance Line motor
  4. Go long with larger capacity batteries
  5. Easily charge the bike
  6. Figure out which model is right for you
  • Lawrence Bywater
  • 12 June 2023
{ "@context": "", "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage": { "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "h" }, "headline": "Tern HSD Generation 2: The 6 things you should know", "description": "The new Tern HSD will be available to order from the middle of July, but for now, we were keen to get to grips with the changes and how they could help your riding life. As far as we can see, there are 6 major changes to be aware of", "image": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" }, "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Lawrence Bywater", "url": "", "description":"

An avid road rider and occasional commuter, Lawrence has worked at Velorution since 2020. Constantly on the hunt for the next snack, he enjoys writing about all cycling topics - from electric bike batteries to the waterproof rating of jackets. After recently purchasing his first mountain bike, he’s been getting to grips with suspension, sag and wider tyres.

" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Velorution", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "width": "", "height": "" } }, "datePublished": "2023-02-03", "dateModified": "2023-02-03" }

“Enormously useful, surprisingly small” – that was Tern’s tagline for the first version of the HSD which was released in 2019. Four years later, in June 2023, Tern announced that a new version was currently being loaded onto production lines. The caption for this bike? “Mighty but mini.”

Having sold nearly 100 of the current generation of HSD, we – the bike nerds which we are – were delighted to hear about the new, improved bike. 

The HSD sits somewhere between a full-fat electric cargo bike and an urban e-bike that’s happy to take a child seat and a pair of panniers. The HSD isn’t large or unwieldy, it still rides like a regular electric bike, it can carry the usual things plus, a whole lot more. It’s adjustable so the whole family can ride it, the handlebars fold for storage and it could be stored vertically to save space at home or in the office. Plus, with Tern‘s almost endless list of accompanying accessories, riders can spec the bike to their exact carrying requirements.

The new Tern HSD will be available to order from the middle of July, but for now, we were keen to get to grips with the changes and how they could help your riding life. As far as we can see, there are six major changes to be aware of…

Is this the most fun way to travel? We think so. Image: Tern Bicycles 1 Know the new weight limits

Whilst everyone’s different, most people’s electric cargo bike buying journey will start with the question: “What do I want to carry?” Whether that’s Felicity and Harry or fajitas and hummus? All electric cargo bikes will be limited by weight, and so to further the ability of the HSD, Tern has upped the max vehicle gross weight from 170kg to 180kg and the rear rack capacity from 60kg to 80kg.

The upping of the weight limits (the rear rack in particular) means that the HSD now becomes a genuine travel option for two adults. There’s also a new Captain’s Chair so that full-size passenger can travel in comfort. The upping of the weight limit also provides further differentiation between Tern’s three electric cargo bikes, the Quick Haul, HSD and GSD.

Like, its sister product the Tern GSD, this bike has been through the rigorous EFBE test to ensure it is safe to carry this weight.

Image: Obviously mounting your phone isn't a necessity, but the placement of the Kiox or (Intuvia) computer leaves more space on the handlebars. Image: Tern Bicycles 2 Play with the Bosch Smart System, ogle at the Kiox Display

The current iteration of the HSD used different motors throughout the range, but all Tern HSD generation 2 e-bikes now run a Bosch Performance Line motor equipped with Bosch’s Smart System software and are powered by a 545Wh battery.

By running the Smart System, the HSD can be managed through the accompanying smartphone app, which means tracking the bike’s usage and updating the system is very easy. Plus when parked up, turned off and the display removed, the Smart System’s Ebike Lock feature deactivates the motor, helping to prevent theft.

Speaking of displays, unfortunately, the full-colour Kiox 300 display is only specced on the S Class models. On the P5i and P10 bikes, the display unit is an Intuvia 100. Not as fancy, nor as feature-packed, but still removable, adjustable and placed at the centre of the handlebars.

Don't confuse this version of the Performance Line motor with the old one with 65Nm of torque. This is more powerful. Image: Tern Bicycles 3 Learn about the benefits of the Performance Line motor

We already mentioned the inclusion of Bosch’s Performance Line motor on the new Tern HSD, but it’s worth exploring this feature in more detail.

The Smart System Performance Line motor (rated at 250W to be legal to ride on the road in the UK) has a torque rating of 75Nm, 10Nm more than the standard Performance Line motor. In essence, this means that the motor has more grunt, and more strength – the ideal thing when riding with heavy loads, or coping with hiller terrain. 

Ultimately the inclusion of this motor gives the HSD more scope and more versatility. It can take on the school run, but also the tip run, the weekly shop run and the eBay-too-good-to-miss-out-on run. 

Bosch's PowerPack battery format is still going strong, despite its external frame mounting. Image: Tern Bicycles 4 Go long with larger capacity batteries

Announced at Eurobike 2022, Bosch revealed that their PowerPack batteries were to be made available in larger capacities. This was excellent news for those of us who frequently like to ride long distances on their e-bikes.

All generation 2 HSD electric bikes are fitted with a 545Wh battery. Tern quote a riding range of 76 miles between charges. Whilst that figure is going to fluctuate with loads, terrain and time, the extra range is a welcome addition to the HSD.

Just make sure you follow all the typical electric bike battery care tips and follow our tips to banish range anxiety.

The charging point is secreted under a weatherproof flap. Image:Tern Bicycles 5 Easily charge the bike

Although the new HSD frame bears a resemblance to the bike it followed, this version does have something new, neat, and ergonomically positioned on the top tube.

Yup, it’s an on-bike charging point. Although members of the Tern HSD Facebook group have been divided on its utility, we like it. On an electric car, you don’t take the batteries out to charge them or flop yourself under the car to find the charging point, so why should it be any different on an electric bike?

Of course, the battery can still be removed and charged away from the bike should that suit you better.

All the new HSD's come with a front supension fork and the ability to carry something up front too. Image: Tern Bicycles 6 Figure out which model is right for you

All told, there are five new iterations of the HSD. P10, P5i, P7i, S00 and S11. At the time of writing it looks as though the P10, P5i and S00 models are the only ones making their way to us in the UK – so, for now, we’ll concentrate on those.

In summary, ‘P’ models are the more basic options with ‘S’ reserved for the top tier. Bikes with ‘i’ in their title have an internal hub gear. Some bikes use Gates Belt Drive, some use a basic chain. As with other electric bikes, the more expensive models are furnished with higher end components.

We’ve summarised the three main UK models and their key specifications in the table below.

  P10 P5i S00 Gearing System 1×10 Shimano Deore 5-speed Shimano Nexus Hub Gear Enviolo Chain or Belt Chain Belt Belt Display Intuvia 100 Intuvia 100 Kiox 300 Extras     Magura brakes, suspension seatpost, auto brake light, powerful front light Price £4,100 £4,400 £5,200

That’s six things you should know about the new Tern HSD. The HSD P10, HSD P5i and S00 can be found on their respective links, with all of them available to view here. If we’ve missed anything, tell us in the comments below, visit us in a Velorution store or bash away at the keyboard and send us an email.

The post Tern HSD Generation 2: The 6 things you should know appeared first on Velorution Journal.

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries – Ali Aneizi

velorution - Fri, 2023-05-12 12:12
Velorutionaries - Ali Aneizi

In this Article

  • What do you do for a living?
  • What bike are you riding?
  • Why did you choose an electric bike?
  • Why did you buy a bike from Velorution?
  • Do you have any advice for new electric cargo bike riders?
  • What about riding the in the rain?
  • Lawrence Bywater
  • 12 May 2023

Velorutionaries aims to tell one person’s cycling story, with a foray into their passions and finally, a glance at the bike they ride. This time it’s private equity advisor Ali Aneizi and his Tern GSD in the spotlight…

What do you do for a living?

“My name is Ali, I’m the father of two and I live in West Hampstead. I moved here when I was a young professional. I run a business called Tamweel. It’s an M&A advisory boutique. When I’m not busy looking after the kids, I am neck-deep at work and trying to make a living.”

What bike are you riding?

“I’m the proud owner of a Tern GSD. I rode this and a number of other bikes, but I was drawn to the GSD just because it felt comfortable, it felt safe.”

“I was drawn to the fact that the chain is a carbon belt drive, so it doesn’t require an awful lot of maintenance.”

“The kids love the bike. I mean, that’s another added benefit, which I didn’t factor into the equation when buying the bike.”

Why did you choose an electric bike?

“It was a combination of things that made me buy it. I was doing the school drop off and the school pickup in a petrol guzzler. There was far too much traffic, too much congestion. It was incredibly costly and clearly not good for the environment. I’d come back after the school run, wired, having been stuck in traffic for a good hour. And, after a period of time, thought, there must be an alternative to this – a more cost-effective, more environmentally friendly and efficient solution.”

“Comparing my journey now is like chalk and cheese. First of all, the journey time has halved, so it was an hour, it’s now 25 to 30 minutes. I’m wired, but it’s a different type of wired – I’ve got a rush of endorphins – a spring in my step, which is nice.”

“It’s more cost-effective, not dropping a bomb on petrol. The kids have big smiles in the morning and we have lots of fun on the bike. We chat, we joke.”

“I see it almost as the equivalent of a second car, but without all of the headache that comes with owning a second car.So if you imagine if you had a second car, it would probably be smaller and you would use it for those sort of local, short journeys. This is exactly what we use the GSD for. So it does the school drop off every day and local journeys where you need to pick up something from the shop.”

“You feel like you’re making a bit of a contribution by reducing the amount of congestion that’s on the roads and reducing emissions. There’s a feel good element to to it that’s for sure. My only regret is I hadn’t done it sooner!”

Why did you buy a bike from Velorution?

“I had bought a bike from Velorution previously but that bike was nothing like this. As soon as I started to develop an interest in a family bike, I thought of Velorution because of a good experience previously.  I felt like I was being furnished with all the information that I needed to make an informed decision. It was nice to be sort of treated with that level of care and attention.”

Do you have any advice for new electric cargo bike riders?

“Get a sense for what’s out there, what the different solutions might be, then try and reconcile how that might fit with your lifestyle and the sort of objectives that you’re trying to achieve. I wouldn’t rush it. It’s an investment and so I think it’s wise to spend some time doing homework and research and speaking to people before diving in.”

“I think what’s very important is to go and ride some of these bikes and get a sense of what the riding experience is like.”

“There is also cycling community out there that is very generous with their time and insights and it’s readily available at the touch of a button.”

What about riding in the rain?

“The kids were fine but I get wet! It’s just part of the experience. The kids arrive just as dry as they would have done had they been in a car. So you invest in waterproofs and you’re layered up and you’ve got thermals, and although it’s chilly, it’s manageable.

“But riding around in sunny weather is awesome. It’s the best way to start the day. Get on the bike, kids in the back. It’s just the fresh air, feeling the wind in your hair. It’s just a great way to start the day!”

Our thanks go to Ali for giving up his time to show us his Tern GSD S00 e-cargo bike and tell us about his riding life. You can follow him on LinkedIn or learn more about the business Ali founded, Tamweel Capital.

The post Velorutionaries – Ali Aneizi appeared first on Velorution Journal.

Categories: Liveable cities