In the power-limited markets of Europe and Asia, the mid-drive market last year made it clear that the there were going to be two big players who were in the game for the long run. They are Panasonic and Bosch.

We’ve recently reported on Bosch partnering with HaibikeBH-eMotion, Cannondale, and others…while one by one, the big bike manufacturers have been contracting with one of these two so they can add a mid-drive to their lineup, without needing to design one of their own (we are collecting a list of manufacturers who are contracting with Panasonic also).

Trek has decided to join the Bosch mid-drive family with a new model that is a hard-tail 29′r called the Powerfly+9.

One difference that stands out is the unusually small chainring. It looks like it may be a BB-shaft inside a freewheel adapter. This would allow the rear wheel to be powered without adding any pedaling. Europe and Asia are dominated by pedelec systems, and this is where you must pedal for the controller to add power to the chain.

If this truly is a freewheeling Bottom-Bracket (BB), then this bike can be powered without pedaling, which is popular in North America.

Some riders in these regions have stated that they like how this means they do not have to manage a hand-throttle, but I am leaning towards embracing systems that allow both. There are actually some E-bikes that operate as a pedelec when you want, and run off of a throttle when you want.

 

BoschTrek2

 

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BoschTrek3

 

There are several bike manufacturers in Europe who have not made an effort to compete with the bigger bike companies who sell in North America. Many of them have also contracted their drive units from Bosch. Pictured below are more Bosch-drive ebikes that are unlikely to be imported into North America. 

 

The Steppenwolf Galvin, also from Germany

The Steppenwolf Galvin, from Germany. I think this is one of the best examples of an artistic use of hydroformed tubing.

 

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The Riese & Muller Delite from Germany

The Riese & Muller full-suspension “Delite”, also from Germany. This configuration of rear shock mount allows the triangle to retain plenty of room for a larger battery pack.

 

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The Moustache Samedi from France.

The Moustache Samedi from France.

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The Bulls six50 full suspension pedelec.

The Bulls “six50″ full suspension.

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The KTM hardtail "Maciona"

The KTM hardtail “Maciona”

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KTM's full-suspension electric-assist "eGnition" line had previously contracted to use the "clean Mobile" drive, until they recently went out of business. Bosch is a very healthy company, and KTM has decided to jump on-board the Bosch train.

KTM’s full-suspension electric-assist “eGnition” line had previously contracted to use the “Clean Mobile” drive, until CM recently went out of business. Bosch is a very healthy company, so KTM has decided to jump on-board the Bosch train.

 

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Last year we reviewed an impressive Focus Jarifa using a Panasonic mid-drive. Focus is now going to add an off-road model with a more powerful Bosch unit.

Last year we reviewed an impressive Focus Jarifa street E-bike using a Panasonic mid-drive. Focus is now going to add an off-road model with a more powerful Bosch unit. Their competitor “BH-eMotion” also carries models with BOTH Panasonic and Bosch-drives.

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Bicycle manufacturer “Lapierre” is based in Dijon, France. This is their new 2014 ‘Overvolt’ model.

The LaPierre Overvolt

The LaPierre Overvolt

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Another bit of good news is that manufacturers will be able to specify the Bosch “45″ unit, which is capable of 45 k/h (27-MPH), although it may be electronically limited to 20-MPH on any bikes sold in North America that are not designated as “off-road only” bikes. This is because the USA has a 20-MPH speed limit for E-bikes that want to avoid DOT moped laws, which would require a license, registration, insurance, along with head-lights/tail-lights and turn signals.

Although Canada has a 500W power limit, the USA has a 750W limit (one horse-power). the Bosch-45 unit is listed as 350W continuous, and also 500W temporary peak power output.

 

The Bosch-45 mid-drive unit.

The Bosch-45 500W peak mid-drive unit.

Dec 2013, found this pic on the web:

a brushless permanent-magnet inrunner with the stator (the hot part) comprehensively bonded to the housing. this makes the motor housing (and the bikes frame) a very large heat sink...well-done Bosch!

a brushless permanent-magnet inrunner with the stator (the hot part) comprehensively bonded to the housing. This makes the motor housing (and the bikes frame that it is attached to) a very large heat sink…well-done Bosch!