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The new Bosch Performance CX is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, but does that mean it’s better? We tested the brand-new motor during its launch on the trails around Stuttgart and have put together our first thoughts for you here. Read more to find out about how the Bosch Performance CX performs.
Bosch eBike Systems has just celebrated its 10th birthday. Starting up in 2009 as a small team within the juggernaut of the Bosch business, it is now one of the market leaders in E-Bike motors. The company is responsible for several innovations in the field and has constantly pushed the market forwards. For 2020, the Performance CX motor has been completely redesigned and improved in all of its performance characteristics. We tested the compact motor to give you the full low-down how it rides, how loud it is, and how well it pedals above the 25 km/h assistance limit.
You can find all the information about the Bosch product announcement here.
Bosch Performance CX – a first test
„Wow! This motor is punchy!“
There have been some significant changes to the Bosch Performance CX, both internally and externally. The powerful motor is assembled into a lightweight and compact magnesium housing and is now half the size of its predecessor. The modulation of the individual power modes has been very well implemented by the Bosch software developers and engineers. The motor follows your every input and is sensitive to any small change in pressure on the pedals. We’re particularly interested in the “elastic” feeling this creates when pedalling slowly in Turbo and dragging the rear brake. Ride up to an obstacle, release the brake and you’ll suddenly be propelled up and over the trail feature, just as though you’ve been flicked over by an elastic band that has been released. This helps a lot in technical uphill sections and is a lot of fun when you get it just right.
The motor also makes the transition from its assistance to your muscle power above 25 km/h very smoothly. Thanks to the new construction, the motor happily “sails” along and doesn’t exhibit any resistance to your pedalling when accelerating to higher speeds. Fast sprints – which used to be a nightmare on the old model – now offer a completely natural ride feeling.
When it comes to how an E-Bike motor should handle there are a lot of different opinions. One person might favour maximum power, another might want resistance free riding above the 25 km/h assistance limit. The new Bosch Performance CX offers both. The 75 Nm maximum torque always feels like its enough, and as previously mentioned, the motor handles very well above the 25 km/h mark.
Our main criticism of the old Performance CX was its resistance above 25 km/h, which we dubbed the “Bosch Wall”. This has completely disappeared with the new Bosch motor producing minimal drag above 25 km/h. If that wasn’t enough, the redevelopment of the motor has also succeeded in improving the modulation of the assistance modes and offering steadier power delivery. If you’re a power fan, you might be pleased to hear that Turbo mode engages a lot more smoothly. Wait a second? Smoother? Doesn’t that mean less oomph for uphill challenges? No. The overall power is still there but engages more quickly without being too abrupt. Setting off on steep terrain or tricky manoeuvres around switchbacks are a lot easier now.
How about the noise? Is it silent? No, definitely not. In real-world use the Bosch Performance CX hums and whirrs audibly. Under load, it also tends to get a little louder. Our perception is that it sits somewhere between Shimano and Brose in terms of noise.
Range test with the Bosch Performance CX
51.45 km / 1230 metres vertical
2 h 00 min
We were able to take the Bosch motor for an exclusive test on our home trails to conduct a range test for you in real-world conditions. You can find the exact details of our test ride with the new Bosch Performance CX here.
51.45 km / 1230 metres ascent – this is the range we managed to squeeze from the motor, always riding in the highest assistance mode until the battery was completely drained. Please note that these values in no way represent rigorous or normalised testing. Instead, they should be seen as ballpark figures. For example, using lower assistance modes increases the range significantly too.
Smaller, lighter, better! In the case of the new Bosch Performance CX these three descriptors absolutely apply. The small motor feels completely in sync with your pedal stroke and pushes smoothly along the trails. The brand-new construction improves the handling and the new model is a lot of fun to ride above the 25 km/h assistance limit!
Overall, the motor exhibits a much less clunky ride. Resistance-free above 25 km/h. Check. A much more usable Turbo mode for adventurous uphill pursuits. Present. Shimano? Brose? Yamaha? Be warned! We’re interested to see how many manufacturers will switch allegiance to Bosch and what changes this small new motor will foment in the E-Mountainbike industry.
- Light and compact
- Brilliant riding characteristics
- Sensistive modulation
- Magnesium housing
- Remote isn't wireless
- Very loud under load
What do you think of the new Bosch Performance CX? Is it the update you were waiting for, or are you uninterested?
This post is also available in: Deutsch