Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
lowrider
Posts: 135
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby lowrider » 20 Oct 2019, 12:10pm

Hi
Has anyone had any experience or thoughts on using a Bosch active line based bike for touring. By that I mean carrying a rider about 80 kg with 15 kg of luggage. The motor seems to have quite a modest torque but the one I tried did seem quite willing in terms of climbing ability, with just the rider. Does anyone know if these motors have a history of failure when loaded or when used loaded in hilly areas. I am not too bothered about the battery capacity I know these are limited to 400wh however I was thinking of doubling up the battery to get range if needed.

The favoured bike at the moment is a Raleigh Motus (7 sp hub gear) if anyone has experience of those for such use I would be interested to here.

stodd
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Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby stodd » 20 Oct 2019, 12:45pm

We have an older *2016 model) Motus 7 speed hub; with previous generation Active Line. Very enjoyable. According to specs that had 43mn torque, the new (2018) one has 40mn, and the new Active Line Plus has 50nm. The torque figures are not too important as they are multiplied up by the gearing. I'm about 90kg. I haven't done touring. I often load an extra 15kg or more for shopping; that is then a mile or so up fairly easy hill. It would certainly manage that weight up steeper hills.

I'm now a fairly slow rider: I rarely use top gear, and rarely exceed 15mph (except downhill), and not many rides over 20 miles (most less); so not touring use. Typical range on the 400wh battery is 35 miles (Winchester hills, nothing too daunting); almost all on Tour mode, with hills on Sport. That pretty much ties up with what the Bosch range assistant says: https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/ There is a HUGE difference between what can be done on the flat in eco mode, and what will happen in real situations: the range assistant shows that up pretty well.

Anecdotally there were bearing issues with the old Performance Line CX; I haven't heard too many issues for the (old or new) Active Line and Active Line Plus.

I thought the most recent Motus hubs had 8 gears, not 7. Also, 500wh batteries are available.

lowrider
Posts: 135
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby lowrider » 21 Oct 2019, 10:25pm

Todd,

Thanks for the reply and the useful background information. I was impressed by the performance of the bike but was warned by another party the active line motor itself was not up to the job of touring and that they could fail if used for bigger loads. I was also told that 95kg was the recommended max payload which, I have failed to verify. It did not feel weak to me however and I just wanted to hear from someone who had real experience of the motor and the bike.

The bike in question is a 2018 model I now believe that its a demonstrator offered at a low price, still thinking about it I would prefer a 2020 model but I believe the sizing has changed and is not suitable for me so not an option. The model that is available is mid range with a 400w battery, I would prefer a 500w but really even 500 is still light for what I want to do. A double battery is the way to go I think even though the bosch battery is relatively expensive.

I had heard about the performance line, not sure they have fixed that one yet so I am avoiding them. One local dealer tried to push one on me a few weeks ago when I didn't know better, saying bosch never go wrong. Ever since I have been a bit cautious and been doing as much digging as I can about the various options hence the post.

Like the bike still tempted will need to make the decision soon, thanks once again.

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horizon
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Location: Cornwall

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby horizon » 21 Oct 2019, 10:49pm

stodd wrote:That pretty much ties up with what the Bosch range assistant says: https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/ There is a HUGE difference between what can be done on the flat in eco mode, and what will happen in real situations: the range assistant shows that up pretty well.



Interesting. By playing around with the different parameters I was able to get anywhere from a high of about 83 miles down to about 12 miles.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

stodd
Posts: 319
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby stodd » 22 Oct 2019, 9:10am

lowrider wrote:I was also told that 95kg was the recommended max payload which, I have failed to verify.

It doesn't really make sense to have a maximum load for the motor when it drives through the gears; use lower gears as needed (at least, until you run out of low gears!)

It would be absurd for the frame to have a limit that was not much higher than that; I don't believe it does.

One weakness on the step-through version (rack mounted battery) is that the rack is not as good as it might be. I've not had problems with the rack itself, but the mounting bolts do need checking they are properly secured. https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/thread ... ost-524085
(you might get other useful advice on other pedalecs threads too)

lowrider
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Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby lowrider » 22 Oct 2019, 6:15pm

stodd
It doesn't really make sense to have a maximum load for the motor when it drives through the gears; use lower gears as needed (at least, until you run out of low gears!)


This occurred to me, I thought it might have just been someone's opinion but the person was not without some knowledge so I didnt discount it. The motor felt quite lively to me and sailed up some quite steep hills.

Stodd
It would be absurd for the frame to have a limit that was not much higher than that; I don't believe it does.


I agree, if anything the frame is overdone its very heavy and the motor and battery are comparatively light. There are many riders who would be heavier than 95kg. However as I said I couldn't discount this out of hand. The implication was that it was motor related rather than the frame.

cavedigger
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Joined: 20 Nov 2019, 4:33pm

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby cavedigger » 20 Nov 2019, 4:53pm

I own a Trek Ride+ which has a Bosch Active motor. It normally comes with the 400wH battery but when I bought it I had it supplied with an 500 wH battery. I have ridden it for 21 months and ridden it about 7000 miles. The most I have ridden it is 75 miles in a day but the battery was far from empty. I am about 15 stones and sometimes carry a 10 or 12 lbs load. There are plenty of hills in my area in the Welsh borders. I regularly ride 50 miles or so and rarely less than 30. It has a 9 speed derailleur with a 36 tooth large sprocket and will take a rack. It can be hard work on long hills steeper than about 20% but would be fine for light touring as I have used it for this up to about 60 or 70 miles a day. The main thing is to ride on the Eco setting as much as possible.

saudidave
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Joined: 16 Jan 2009, 12:22am

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby saudidave » 24 Nov 2019, 9:39am

I have a Raleigh Motus Grand Tour bought new in December 2018 (2019 model year) and currently it has done 1500 miles. It has an Active line plus motor, 8 speed Nexus Hub gear and I weigh circa 210 lbs (15 stone). I can get 75-80 in eco and 45-50 in tour with my 400 watt battery, riding in various landscapes. Earlier in the year I rode from Poynton in Cheshire to Marple via the Middlewood Way, then via the Peak Forest Canal to Whaley Bridge, Long Hill to Buxton, Reversed my route, then down in to the Goyt Valley, massive climb back out, over to Rainow, Pott Shrigley and back home to Poynton. I clocked 38 miles in a mix of flat, long slow climbing, hard climbing then coasting back downhuill for most of the last 5 miles. I had a couple of miles left at the end but I had used every available power level at some point. I'd say climbing out of the Goyt Valley and the next 3/4 miles in very filly terrain accounted for 25% of the power consumption & 15% of the distance covered.

My main concern about touring on the bike would be the reliability of it. I've slowly sorted all the issues now but I've had:

1) Handlebar stem coming loose at 50 miles

2) Front mudguard rattling at an annoying level due to a flimsy, non adjustable clip locating the stays. I cured it by qlueing some rubber pads to the inside of the mudguard between mudguard and stay, taking up the play in the clip

3) Cable retention bolt on the gears coming loose at 100 miles causing gears to jump, eventually it fell off altogether at circa 120 miles and I was stuck in 1st gear

4) Chainguard coming loose repeatedly and eventually replaced (flimsy clip arrangement)

5) Kickstand continually coming loose and eventually, last week, one of the two bolts holding it sheared. The cause was that Raleigh had fitted it with 5mm bolts and the holes in it were 6mm dia, thus it had a lot of forces when parked and too much play at the fixing points. I've now refixed it with 6mm bolts and locking nuts

6) The rear mudguard is held up by a flimsy bracket to the rack and it slides down the two circular metal rods holding it and hits the wheel, no matter how tight you fasten it. Mine fell off completely a few weeks ago and I had to get some string from a chemists to tie it up to get home. I have a temporary fix of two zip ties holding it until I make a metal strap bracket and bolt it securely ans Raleigh have now done on the 2020 model.

7) The frame has horizontal forward facing rear drop outs and Shimano say in their technical specs that these are not compatible with a Nexus 8 speed hub and disc brakes. There isn't enough movement to take up chain slack and it needs a chain tensioner, which I have now fitted. Despite the fact that Raleigh fitted a tensioner on the 2020 model, they are in total denial that my bike was poorly specified out of the factory.

The bottom line is that Raleigh have specified the wrong parts, poorly assembled the bike and done insufficient product development and testing. Their customer services were not helpful at all initially, obstructive actually and I had to threaten legal action to wake them up. In the end I modified and adjusted the bike myself to sort it out as it was easier and quicker than going legal. Fortunately I have the skills to do that, but pity the poor soul who doesn't.

Buyer Beware!

Oldjohnw
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Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby Oldjohnw » 24 Nov 2019, 10:24am

Sorry saudidave for your experience. Oh for the good old days of Raleigh, when they sourced the appropriate components - not down to price.

I have an 18 year old Pioneer, one of the last to be made at Nottingham. Steel frame, good components. I added a motor 3 years ago and replaced the rack to carry the battery and serious touring luggage, and the front wheel as it carries the hub motor. I replaced the stand as the existing single stand could not support the weight. I avoid using even the heavier double stand when loaded.

Other than the above I have only replaced tyres, pads etc in about 10,000 miles, over 4,000 of which is in the last three years, much of which has been cycle camping.
John

saudidave
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Joined: 16 Jan 2009, 12:22am

Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby saudidave » 24 Nov 2019, 12:30pm

John, I've had two Raleighs previously, A 10 gear record sports and about 30years ago I bought a Raleigh Granada 10gear tourer and it was a gem. I converted it to indexed about 10 years ago then sold it, still looking almost new, when I bought a Dawes Galaxy. Other than the indexing of the gears all I did was change tyres, chains and replace the seat with a Brookes B17. The Dawes was a gem too; I had two, one I bought for a rebuild project and another nearly new one that I sold after I'd had the Motus for 6 months and I knew ebikes were my future.

I did consider buying a Raleigh Centros this summer as I think I prefer a derailleur set up rather than the hub, but it was a big outlay for little gain and I shall just upgrade the battery to a 500 watt instead. Additionally I have the Motus well sorted now so at last it has become the bike I hoped it would be when I bought it.

A more pressing requirement is the purchase of two Swytch electric conversion kits for the two Bromptons my wife and I have!

Regards

Dave

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willcee
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Re: Bosch active line based bike suitable for touring?

Postby willcee » 24 Nov 2019, 5:12pm

Interesting contris,Personally based on all round cycle mechanical experience and in the past 2 years ' E' power additions, having now built my 10th, I rail at the innocence, sometimes... of those who have this marvellous touring idea in their head , yet from what I read and the questions asked appear to have little practical hands on cycle knowledge which would imv be totally necessary when wishing to travel quite long mileage every day.. certainly the issues with Raleigh mentioned here would have had me back with the seller claiming not fit for purpose..E bikes in particular need careful first builds as they suffer more high frequency vibrations so guards and racks that I fit are rubber insulated at the mounts, + ongoing regular maintenance, every bolt is checked weekly especially the cranks, skewers or through axles, calipers, etc etc the list is long.. I keep saying to a friend who runs a large bike touring company and brings me many problem 'children' every bloody thing you touch on any bike is safety related.... in some way or another so ''it'll do this time'' never works with me.. will