Styling a New
Category:
Power-Assisted
Bikes

Power-assisted bikes were not really visible in the market when we started out on a project to design one. We felt that pedelecs — bikes that are pedal-assisted through a low-power electric motor — wouldn't be a short-lived fashion, but rather a completely new category of transportation next to regular bikes.

So we asked bikers what they really wanted in an electric bike. Using intensive research to identify behavior of user groups, bike distribution channels, technical demands, and the user’s desire to be empowered, we found out that the majority of bikers still want to pedal under their own power while enabled to control and change the level of assistance simultaneously.

Compact Yet Powerful

The research gelled into power packs, drive units, and on-board computers that enabled Bosch to take the lead in the marketplace within a year. The design approach we identified works well with the technical credibility of the Bosch brand. The drive train and battery system is extremely compact, has flexible mounting hardware for all sorts of bicycles, and does not compromise the appearance of a bike. This was particularly important for strong brands like Scott and Cannondale who partnered with us in this development.

From the very beginning, we expanded our focus beyond the typical city roadster bicycles (i.e. Dutch bikes) that most competitors were targeting. Through our research, we identified a different route to success and developed the drive and battery system to be compatible with touring bikes, enduros, and even MTB-fullys (full-suspension mountain bikes). With this approach, we knew that Bosch could attract a lot more potential bicycle brands and their user groups. Our Bosch electric drive system, winner of a 2013 Red Dot Award, has helped the e-bike market become by far the fastest growing bicycle segment.

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