Your Inside Guide to the Ebikemotion Companion App
The Ebikemotion X35 drive unit, found on bikes like the Orbea Gain and Pinarello Dyodo e-road bikes, is one of the most asked-about technologies in the shop. Some use the electric assist as a training tool to become faster on their standard bike, while others use the electric assist to get out and have fun.
But maybe the key to its popularity is the motor’s discreet operation; the hub-based drive unit is neatly hidden behind the cassette, and it’s controlled by one inset button on the top tube. Uncomplicated, painless, and very sleek. That said, there is so much more than these Ebikemotion bikes have to offer besides basic assist.
Using the Ebikemotion companion app, there are a number of features to take advantage of, from auto-adjusting your bicycle’s assist based on heart rate, GPS tracking of your bicycle, and exact battery life left of the bicycle.
Up top, we’ve highlighted via video how to use the bicycle’s major features. This includes information on the IWOC ONE controller, GPS navigation basics, and pairing a heart rate monitor to the app. Underneath that is an explanation of each app feature and how to access them.
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IWOC ONE Controller Walkthrough
One of the most common questions we receive about our Ebikemotion-equipped bikes is what each color signifies in the IWOC ONE controller. The IWOC ONE controller found on e-road bikes like the Orbea Gain, the Pinarello Dyodo, and the upcoming Colnago E64 eschews a full display for a single button with colors that indicate battery life, pedal assist levels, and more.
This video goes over how to use the controller to get the most out of the bike. It also goes over what other colors might mean, and how to use the IWOC ONE to use your e-road bike to it’s fullest.
Setting Up Your Bicycle and Ebikemotion Companion App
First things first: turn on your bicycle, and make sure the Bluetooth on your phone is on. Download the Ebikemotion app, available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Ebikemotion recommends using an iPhone 4S or newer, as well as Android 4.3 or newer. We recommend an iPhone 5S or newer, as well as Android 5.0 or newer for a smoother experience.
Upon your first time using it, you’ll encounter a login screen. Register using either your email address or account, at which point you’ll be let into the app. Once logged in, the three lines on the top left reveal your menu, featuring: Monitor, Start Activity, Navigation, Common Destinations, Last Position, Activities, Download Maps, and Settings.
We’ve received plenty of questions regarding app setup and features. This video above details how to set up the Ebikemotion app, pair it to your bicycle, and basic overview of how to navigate the app.
Monitor: The monitor screen is the main screen used in the app, which details battery life, speed, motor RPM, and even your battery life. Swipe right to left to switch between speed and map display. Swipe top to bottom to switch between battery watt-hours remain on the battery and the weather forecast.
Start Activity: Start Activity, as well as the whole app menu, is accessed through the app’s menu drawer. Tap the three horizontal bars on the top left to open it, tap anywhere outside of the menu to close. Start Activity tracks and logs your riding data similar to Strava. This can be saved post-ride in the app and uploaded to Strava.
Electric bike motor and battery placement explained
Front-hub motors tend to be the preserve of electric bikes designed for commuting, such as electric hybrids and electric folding bikes. They’re also a common feature on cheap electric bikes. Many electric bike conversion kits also use front-hub motors.
Mid-mounted motors sit in the area where the bottom bracket is usually found. Mid-mounted motors are found across all different types of electric bikes. They work particularly well for electric mountain bikes because the weight is central and low down
Rear-hub motors are usually found on hybrids and some of the best electric road bikes. Rear-hub motors look very sleek and, at first glance, it’s often hard to tell the bike they’re fitted to is an electric bike.
Batteries are usually mounted on the down or seat tube, or integrated into the bike. Russell Burton / Our Media
Batteries, meanwhile, might be mounted on top of the down tube or along the front of the seat tube. Internal batteries housed in the down tube that are either removable or fixed in place are also a popular option, particularly on mountain bikes. Some city hybrids often have the battery mounted under the luggage rack. A removable battery has the advantage that you can take it indoors to charge it, whereas you’ll need an electrical socket close to your bike to charge it otherwise. On the other hand, a non-removable battery may look neater, is better protected and less prone to theft.
Electric bike motor power and torque explained
Electric mountain bikes typically have high-torque motors to help riders tackle steep off-road climbs. Ian Linton
Electric bike motor power output is normally measured in watts. Electric bike laws in most countries state a motor’s continuous power output has to be limited to 250 watts. The majority of motors can put out over the 250 watts maximum power allowed, providing considerably higher peak power over short time periods. A motor’s maximum torque is the more important performance figure. The peak torque a motor is able to deliver also varies more between motor systems. Denoted in Newton metres, or Nm, this measures how much turning force the motor gives out. On an electric mountain bike, you’ll find situations where it’s important to have plenty of torque on hand to help you quickly get over obstacles and up steep gradients. The best electric mountain bikes typically come with higher-spec motor systems with higher torque output, and the same is true of electric cargo bikes. Electric gravel bikes or road bikes may not require as much oomph, or a manufacturer may choose to spec a less powerful motor to provide a more natural ride feel.
Assistance levels and displays
Bosch’s Kiox head unit gives a full-colour display with multiple screens and tons of information. Warren Rossiter / Immediate media
Electric bike motor systems typically come with a separate controller so you can set the assistance level you want. There are usually between three and five assistance levels, offering an increasing amount of power, as well as the option to pedal without assistance, useful if you’re trying to get fit on your electric bike. As you’d expect, the less assistance you dial in, the longer the ebike’s battery will last. It’s a good idea to dial it up when you hit obstacles such as a hill or for stop/start riding, and drop it down again when the terrain is easier. Some systems have an option called ‘boost’ or ‘turbo’ mode. This gives you extra power above 250 watts to help with quick starts or steep climbs.
An ebike display will tell you what mode you’re in, how fast you’re going and how much battery power you have left. Ian Linton / Immediate Media
The controller usually sits on the bike’s handlebar, although some are set into the top tube. Designs vary from those that give you a screen with loads of stats, sometimes including navigation, through to a minimalist single button and LEDs to show battery and assistance levels. Most electric bike motor systems come with an app, which you can use to monitor their status and battery life. Some allow you to change settings such as the amount of assistance you get at each level, and some use your smartphone as the controller for the ebike. Many apps give you navigation, ride stats and other data too.
Mid-drive motor systems
The key electric motor brands using mid-drive motor placement are Bosch, Shimano Steps and Fazua. It’s an option chosen by other brands who produce their own motor systems, such as Giant and Specialized.
Bosch electric bike motors explained
Bosch has six different variants of its mid-drive motor unit, with some having hub gear and derailleur gear variants. Most are limited to 25kph (the legal limit for electric assistance in the UK, the EU and Australia). The Performance Line Speed motor is limited to 45kph for use in speed pedelec bikes. All offer four levels of assistance, with the maximum torque on offer ranging from 40Nm for the Active Line units up to 85Nm for the Performance Line CX. Motor weights are between 2.9kg and 3.2kg. You’re more likely to see the Performance Line CX motors on electric mountain bikes and electric gravel bikes, which demand plenty of torque. Bosch Active Line motors are more commonly seen on electric hybrid bikes. Bosch has packaged together its Performance Line CX motor, Flow app, remote control, Kiox 300 head unit and batteries with up to 725Wh capacity into what it calls its Smart System. This is designed to offer chronic tinkerers the greatest level of customisation possible.
Bosch’s PowerPack batteries are designed to be mounted on top of the bike’s down tube or under a rear rack. Bosch PowerTube batteries are housed inside the frame. There’s the option to add a second battery in some cases, to boost range. The six controller options are designed to be mounted either on the bike’s handlebars or, in the case of the System Controller, integrated into the top tube and include LED displays. Three apps enable you to use your smartphone to control and monitor the motor. You can find Bosch motors fitted to ebikes from many brands, including Cannondale, Canyon and Cube.
Bosch electric bike motor specs
Shimano Steps electric bike motors explained
Shimano has targeted its Steps motor system at urban and eMTB riders, although it’s now expanding its support to e-road and e-gravel bikes too, offering integration with its Di2 electronic groupset shifters.
There are five motors available. The mountain bike-oriented E7000 and latest EP6 and EP8 models come with 60Nm or 85Nm torque and a large-capacity battery of up to 630Wh. This can be mounted either externally on the down tube or within the frame.
The EP801 motor (more commonly known as EP8) replaced Shimano’s original EP8000 motor. This matches the 85Nm torque output of Bosch’s highest-output Performance Line CX, while dropping the weight from the other MTB-oriented Steps motors.
The Q-factor (the distance between the pedals) is also narrower for better ergonomics. Maximum range has also been upped by 20 per cent.
Shimano says the new EP6 motor provides the output of the EP8 in a more affordable package. It’s slightly heavier though. Both the EP6 and EP8 motors offer features such as automatic shifting when paired with an electronic groupset, and a system to allow shifting without needing to pedal.
Meanwhile, the E6100 motor is aimed at hybrid ebikes. Weighing 2.8kg, it gives 60Nm torque and can offer automatic gear shifting when paired to a Di2 groupset. Like the MTB units, it can be powered by batteries with between 418Wh and 630Wh capacity. Thse can be mounted on a pannier rack, or on external or internal frame mounting.
The hub motor is dead – long live the hub motor! At a time when mid-drive motors dominated the market and hub motors were increasingly viewed as inefficient and antiquated, a Spanish company came along and designed a system that had a total weight of only 3.5kg including the battery. Furthermore, the battery and motor controller were designed in such a way as to be fully integrated into the bike’s downtube. The x35 ebikemotion system was born!
Now, to put this into perspective, a typical Bosch motor at that time weighed nearly the same but without the battery. Also a Bosch motor required a special frame designed specifically for the motor. Whereas the x35 system could easily be integrated into a bike that was indistinguishable from a regular road bike.
Update May 2022 – Mahle has released the lighter X20 system with torque-sensing pedal assist.
It’s a well-known fact that small hub motors will not produce the same amount of torque as a mid-drive motor, but they can still produce the maximum 250w of power allowed in the UK and EU.
A typical Bosch mid-drive produces between 50-75Nm of torque (depending on the motor) when compared with 35-40Nm for a hub motor. Mid-drives are also more energy efficient by design.
The M1 hub motor which is part of the x35 ebikemotion system uses the same propriety gear reduction system as all other geared hub motors, but the pedal sensor and controller work together to make sure power is delivered in the most efficient way possible.
Ebikemotion’s pedal assist sensor measures the freehub as opposed to the crank. This is a vastly improved system over the standard bottom bracket-mounted sensors found on older hub motor e-bikes.
There is a magnetic sensor ring mounted in the freehub and the pick-up sensor measures up to 40 pulses per second. These pulses are then analysed by the motor controller and the electric assist is delivered.
I have ridden quite a few different bikes powered by this system, and I like it. It provides a smooth and subtle assist. Another benefit of having the sensor ring in the freehub is the manufacturer can fit an external or pressfit bottom bracket without any hassles.
There is also a companion app available where you can use GPS to plan your ride and monitor the motor power output, battery usage and other useful features.
If you need to remove the rear wheel to repair a puncture then all you have to do is unplug the six-pin motor connector and use a regular 6mm Allen Key to remove the wheel.
How much range can I get out of the battery?
Because the x35 uses a small 250Wh internal battery, you’re not going to be getting a massive range out of the e-assist. My friend has owned a Ribble SLe for over a year now and if he uses the assist constantly he only gets about 30-35 miles out of a charge. If, on the other hand, he just uses it as a bike for most of the time and only uses the assist to take the sting out of the long climbs up to Dartmoor, then he can see between 70-80 miles out of a single charge.
Ultimately it depends on how you ride, and how much you rely on the assist. You also need to factor in your weight, wind direction, road surface and tyre pressures. There are lots of different factors to consider. Once you have owned the bike for a while and covered some miles you will get a rough idea of an average range.
Thankfully, if you do rely on the electric assist more often, then there are range extender batteries available. These fit in a regular bottle cage and effectively double your potential range.
Does the ebikemotion system provide enough power?
This is a very subjective question as it depends on your physical abilities and the landscape you regularly cycle on. I can view this from both sides of the fence.
When I first got back into cycling by using an e-bike (back in 2016) I was incredibly unfit, through years of self-neglect. I was a keen cyclist in my youth, but I let myself go in my thirties and early forties. So much so, I started to develop circulatory problems in my right leg and high blood pressure.
The x35 ebikemotion is a great system, it’s lightweight and it integrates perfectly making for a finished product that looks and rides like a regular bike (but with a helping hand when you need it most). Riding with the assist on kind of feels like you’ve got a really strong tailwind. It’s very subtle but very effective.
If you’re looking for a real ‘kick in the pants’ assist system, then the ebikemotion probably won’t be for you. A Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano Steps or Brose motor would be more suitable.
German company Fazua released the revolutionary Evation modular e-bike system around the same time as the ebikemotion system. It too has been designed specifically with lightweight road bikes in mind.
The Evation and X35 are two very different systems but do share some similarities. The Evation is effectively a mid-drive system and you need a specially designed frame to house the battery and motor drive system as well as the bottom bracket power transfer gearbox.
One of the unique things about the Fazua is you can remove the motor and battery unit, fit in a blanking cover and ride your bike as normal – minus 3.6kg in weight. What this effectively means is you can have a regular bike and an e-bike in one!
There is also a companion app that allows a multitude of options including power configuration, battery monitoring and GPS navigation.
How does the Fazua Evation feel?
With the Fazua you get 3 power modes – Breeze, River and Rocket. In rocket mode, the motor will peak at 400W (for a brief period) before settling back down to 250w. In Breeze mode, you will be getting around 110W of extra assistance which is very useful.
The Evation motor is very smooth and quiet, in fact, the first time I rode a Fazua-powered bike I didn’t even notice the assist until I realised I was ascending a climb much quicker than usual.
Pedal sensing is done via a torque and cadence sensor. The torque sensor measures the amount of force you are applying to the pedals and delivers power accordingly. This results in a very subtle and sublime assist.
Another great feature of the Evation is once the maximum assisted speed is reached (or the motor is switched off) the motor disengages from the gearbox, removing any potentially unwanted pedalling resistance.
As far as power is concerned, I tried Rocket mode a few times and I felt it provided more than enough assist, although I did try out a mountain bike fitted with a Bosch Performance Line CX motor and that felt substantially more powerful.
Much like the ebikemotion, the Fazua Evation is really for riders who want to enhance their cycling or maybe make their daily commute, not such a sweaty affair. Although Fazua claim 60Nm of torque for Evation, I can say that riding an x35 ebikemotion bike with a claimed 40Nm of torque didn’t feel that much different.
What about the Fazua Evation Battery range?
Just like the x35 ebikemotion system, the Fazua uses a 250Wh battery. The reason for this is neat integration into the frame and also to keep the weight down, thus making the cycling experience feel natural. I would say the range on the Fazua is at least comparable if not slightly better than on the x35. This may be down to the increase in efficiency you get from a mid-drive because as far as I can ascertain, both batteries use the same Panasonic NCR18650GA lithium cells.
I have a friend who owns a Boardman ADV 8.9e and he reckons he can just about squeeze a hundred miles out of a single charge, but he rides it as a normal bike 75% of the time and only reserves the assist for the steep hills when on a long-distance ride.
In my experience, if you blast around everywhere in Rocket mode, you will deplete the battery in about 25-30 miles. If you ride as intended and only use the assist occasionally, then 50-60 miles should be easily achievable.
Fazua Evation reliability
I know several people who own e-road bikes with this motor and they have not reported any issues. The only problems I have found on forums are the motor and drive system has been known to fall out (occasionally) and the torx bolts that secure the bottom bracket gearbox can tend to sometimes work their way loose causing a clunking sound.
As with anything electrical, whether it’s your car or washing machine, things can and do go wrong from time to time. Always make sure you purchase from a reputable dealer and if you buy second-hand, be prepared to fork out money for ongoing maintenance.
Las mejores bicicletas eléctricas plegables
Esta modalidad, prácticamente urbana al 100%, busca otros atributos diferentes que el resto de categorías: la ligereza y las líneas estilizadas que les permitan explotar las virtudes de su condición de plegables.
De nada sirven motores muy potentes y baterías de gran capacidad si luego, a la hora de llevarlas contigo, pesan demasiado o, una vez plegadas, ocupan mucho. Otros detalles muy valorables en este tipo de bicicletas, al igual que pasa con las urbanas, es el equipamiento: es importante que dispongan de guardabarros, pata de cabra, portaequipajes, luces o antirrobo.
Brompton P Line Urban
Hablar de bicicletas plegables es hablar de Brompton, marca que popularizó las plegables en los años 70 del pasado siglo. Era lógico que los ingleses introdujeran un motor en ellas, aportando más practicidad en unas bicicletas ya muy prácticas de por sí.
Nuestra elección ha sido la Brompton P Line Urban, el modelo más ligero (cuadro en acero y titanio) que, con 15,6 kg podrá ser trasladada con facilidad. El tamaño, una vez plegada (según la marca, se tarda 20 segundos en dicha operación), es bastante compacto: 645 mm (alto) x 565 mm (ancho) x 270 mm (profundidad).
Opcionalmente, se ofrece una especie de transportín con ruedas (Advance) para llevarla con comodidad. Para practicar un ciclismo sin asistencia, se puede quitar la batería y ahorrar casi 3 kg. El motor, insertado en el buje delantero, es alimentado por la batería que, con 300 Wh de capacidad, ofrece autonomías que oscilan, según el uso dado, entre los 30 y los 70 km, suficientes para los desplazamientos por la urbe.
- Cuadro: Triángulo principal en acero y trasero en titanio.
- Motor: CC Brushless en buje delantero (250W).
- Batería: 300 Wh.
- Transmisión: Brompton 4 speed.
- Frenos: Brompton.
- Neumáticos: 349 x 35C Continental Contact Urban.
Moma Plegable eBike 20
Moma siempre explora la vertiente más económica, pero manteniendo una buena relación calidad-precio. La Plegable eBike 20 tiene todo lo imprescindible para ser una gran urbana, como un cuadro en aluminio que se pliega dejando unas medidas muy compactas: 80x 72 x 40cm.
Para llegar a esas dimensiones se incorporan unas ruedas de 20’’ de diámetro que ofrecen un gran compromiso entre manejabilidad y estabilidad. El motor se ha ubicado en el buje de la rueda trasera, lo que imprime a la eBike 20 un aspecto bastante limpio.
Por el contrario, la batería se posiciona tras el tubo del sillín, siendo de esta forma fácilmente extraíble. Por cierto, posee 576 Wh de capacidad, más que suficiente para poder realizar hasta 80 km sin tener que recargarla. En cuanto al equipamiento, Moma ha dotado a su eBike 20 de lo necesario para rodar por la ciudad: guardabarros, pata de cabra, luces e incluso horquilla de suspensión delantera.
Las mejores bicicletas eléctricas de gravel
El gravel es una modalidad en auge. En ella, las primitivas bicicletas de carretera se adaptan a un uso fuera del asfalto, con neumáticos más anchos y con tacos para aportar más agarre. Además, los componentes, como los frenos o la transmisión, se refuerzan para el duro trato que supone circular por caminos.
Por último, también se incluyen soportes a lo largo del cuadro para adoptar bolsas de equipaje, ya que el denominado bikepacking, que no es otra cosa que viajar cargado hasta los topes, es uno de los atractivos de estas bicicletas. Es por ello que la incorporación de un motor en esta modalidad tiene mucho sentido en bicicletas porque soportarán un peso adicional alto y discurrirán por multitud de entornos, algunos con mucho desnivel.
Los motores incorporados no suelen ser excesivamente potentes ni las baterías de excesiva capacidad (por construcción, estas bicicletas son ligeras y fáciles de lanzar a altas velocidades).
Yamaha Wabash RT
Quizás no es la más exclusiva del sector por no incorporar un cuadro en fibra de carbono, pero creemos que es por ese mismo motivo por lo que la Yamaha Wabash RT es una fiel representante del gravel más auténtico: el de las bicicletas resistentes hechas para viajar.
Para ello, el cuadro recibe multitud de anclajes para el equipaje y el grupo motriz es potente y de gran autonomía: un motor Yamaha PW-ST con 70 Nm de par y una batería de 500 Wh de capacidad.
La parte ciclo es muy resolutiva, con ruedas en aluminio que calzan neumáticos de 45 mm de anchura, un set de frenos GRX 400 de accionamiento hidráulico firmado por Shimano y una tija telescópica que permite bajar el sillín para adoptar una postura a los mandos más dominante en las bajadas.
Por último, destacar la relación calidad-precio de esta bicicleta (sobre todo con la oferta de lanzamiento), una de las mejores del sector.
- Cuadro: Aluminio.
- Motor: Yamaha PW-ST (70 Nm).
- Batería: Yamaha Litium 500 Wh.
- Transmisión: Shimano GRX 11 speed.
- Frenos: Shimano GRX Hydraulic Disc.
- Ruedas: Aluminio Dual Channel 25 mm.
- Neumáticos: Maxxis Rambler 700 x 45C.
- Tija telescópica: Limotec 40 o 60 mm.
Scott Solace Gravel eRide 30
La Scott Solace Gravel eRide 30 es una de las novedades más importantes en esta categoría, gracias al uso de un exclusivo motor TQ HPR50: su minimalismo en el diseño y en el peso, así como una potencia más contenida que la competencia (50 Nm), pretende dotar a la Solace Gravel eRide de un comportamiento muy parejo a las bicicletas sin motor.
El cuadro utilizado, en fibra de carbono, deja un peso total de solo 13,5 kg. Integra una batería que va en línea con el motor: su capacidad es de solo 360 Wh, aunque, dado el enfoque de la Solace, permitirá rutas de muchos kilómetros. Aun así, existe opcionalmente una batería adicional (Range Extender) que aporta otros 160 Wh de capacidad.
Las mejores bicicletas eléctricas de carretera
Esta modalidad del ciclismo siempre se ha caracterizado por ser más conservadora que el resto: los cambios tardan más en llegar porque suelen ser menos aceptados por sus usuarios, que tienen un enfoque más clásico. Así que la incorporación de un motor en estas bicicletas no está teniendo el auge que en otras modalidades.
Es cierto que, por concepción, una bicicleta de ruta rodará por encima de los 25 Km/h en la mayoría de los ámbitos (excepto en fuertes subidas), por lo que un motor va a aportar asistencia en contadas ocasiones.
Pero hay un pequeño grupo de usuarios que sí ve con buenos ojos las eBikes porque les posibilita seguir saliendo con su grupeta de siempre, aunque una circunstancia (física, por ejemplo) no les permita seguir el ritmo de sus compañeros…
En esta modalidad se persigue el uso de motores poco intrusivos, de poca potencia, con un aporte sutil: en definitiva, que le esencia más auténtica no se pierda.
Pinarello Nytro E5 Road
No hemos podido resistir la tentación de poner en lo más alto de esta clasificación a la nueva Nytro E5 de Pinarello: qué mejor que respirar el aroma a competición con una marca que es historia viva del ciclismo de carretera.
No será la que mejor relación calidad-precio posea del mercado, pero lo que está claro es que puede ser un gran incentivo para el ciclista reticente a las eléctricas que poco a poco ve que sus fuerzas le van fallando. La nueva Nytro E5 incorpora el novedoso motor TQ HPR50 de minimalista diseño que explora el enfoque light de las eBikes: un par motor de 50 Nm, un peso del conjunto motor-batería de solo 3,9 kg o una batería con 360 Wh de capacidad son cifras que adivinan una bicicleta muy similar, en comportamiento, a una sin motor.
Además, el cuadro de la Nytro E5 es de fibra de carbono T700, lo que la acerca aún más al ambiente competitivo que toda Pinarello lleva impreso en su ADN.
- Cuadro: Fibra de carbono Toray T700.
- Motor: TQ HPR50 (50 Nm de par motor).
- Batería: TQ 360 Wh.
- Transmisión: Shimano 105 Di2.
- Frenos: Shimano 105 Hydraulic.
- Ruedas: Fulcrum Racing 500.
- Neumáticos: Pirelli P Zero.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Neo 3
La Cannondale SuperSix Evo Neo 3, de acceso a su gama, posee los argumentos que todo ciclista desea a día de hoy, como un cuadro en fibra de carbono de diseño Aero o un motor y una batería que pasan totalmente desapercibidos.
Este conjunto lo firma Mahle: el motor es el conocido Ebike Motion X35 de buje trasero que ofrece 40 Nm de par. Y la batería, también firmada por el fabricante alemán, dispone de 250 Wh de capacidad. Ambos componentes apenas pesan 3,5 kg, una cifra baja, ideal para las características de este tipo de bicicletas.
New smaller Mahle X20 hub motor powers the “lightest e-bike drive system on the market”
Mahle e-bike drive systems just got substantially lighter thanks to the big weight savings in their new, more compact X20 hub motor. Already one of the most popular lightweight e-bike powertrains for road gravel, the new X20 completely refines modernizes Mahle (formerly eBikemotion) pedal-assist performance while becoming the “lightest e-bike drive system on the market” beyond its improved power:weight ratio.
It is even said to be more powerful now, with 37.5% more peak torque!
Mahle X20 lightweight e-bike drive system
The previous Mahle hub motor was probably already the most common drive system we’d find in lightweight road gravel e-bikes. Combining a lightweight 250W motor in the hub of the rear wheel, balanced with a small 250W battery hidden inside the downtube of bikes from the likes of Cannondale, GT, Orbea, Rose, Scott, Simplon, 3T, Urwahn Wilier (to name just a recent handful), it was a simple and unobtrusive solution that often didn’t even require major changes to those e-bikes’ analog analogues.
But now, the X20 hub is simply better all around. It’s lighter, smoother, easier to get on off the bike, better integrated, less obtrusive. Interestingly, it’s also a bit less more powerful with the same rated 250W power but higher peak torque, at the same time getting an added benefit of longer ranges, too.
Tech details – What’s new?
The new complete Mahle X20 system now weighs just 3.2kg, down 300g from the X35. That’s why Mahle calls it the “lightest e-bike drive system on the market”. The smaller diameter hub itself drops even more weight than that, around half a kilo down to just 1399g, now that its weight also doesn’t need to include its axle or freehub. Those are now both able to be pulled out as the X20 uses a more standard 12x142mm thru-axle interface, and now an interchangeable freehub body that brings compatibility with Shimano HG, SRAM XD-R Campagnolo N3W cassettes. Mahle has upgraded the natural ride feel with a pair of new sensors measuring applied torque cadence at the bottom bracket, to more smoothly ramp up pedal-assist support to match rider input thanks to Smart “Artificial Intelligence” programming.
The new X20 hub is still rated at 250W but its official toque output scales down up to real 23Nm at the hub (from 40Nm for the X35). which Mahle says equates to a 55-60Nm (compared to 40Nm for the X35) torque output from a mid-drive motor due to drivetrain gearing AND power transfer losses. That’s still a good bit less than the 85Nm of a top-tier Shimano EP8 or Bosch Performance Line CX motor, but more comparable to their second-tier motors or the lightweight Fazua system. Mahle’s thinking (and one we can agree with) is that this relatively-lower peak torque combined with narrower tires of road gravel bikes and intelligent power management systems, actually delivers a much smoother pedal-assist without the jerky feel of more powerful systems. The side benefit of lower peak torque output is that pedal-assist range with these smaller batteries increases as well, so you can ride your lighter e-bike farther. The smaller X20 rear hub motor also gets rid of the external power wiring of the X35, instead adding a special dropout insert (black element between rotor frame, above) with a keyed interface that automatically aligns a waterproof plug connector (with red seal, below left) when you insert the rear wheel. Compared to the separate wires and bolt-on axles of the X35 hub, this will make roadside flat repairs a much more manageable affair for anyone who can operate a regular QR thru-axle. A huge upgrade in user-friendliness! With wired connections more hidden inside, a smaller diameter hubshell, and a conventional-looking thru-axle, the new X20 system simply disappears into stealthy e-bikes more than ever. Even when you know you are looking at an e-bike, it’s still hard to tell. Mahle has added their own new ANT wireless Pulsar One cycling computer head unit design to interface with the X20 e-bike powertrain, while also pulling in your own external data from a heartrate monitor and/or power meter for ride tracking. They also have new optional E-Shifters which would allow riders to switch modes from the drops, and slimmed down their iWoc mode controller which can be integrated into the top tube, stem, or one-piece bar like on the Wilier. There are also now three battery options to power the X20. The standard, now 236Wh internal battery carries over and they’ve added a larger capacity 350Wh internal battery for frames with more space in the downtube, plus the external Range Extender water bottle battery appears to have been scaled back to 172Wh to better fit in more e-bikes.