Bosch batteries

Houndman

New Member
Does anyone know of a cheaper compatible battery to the Bosch 'powerpack 300' which weighs in in excess of £300 I have tried an electric bike battery rebuilder who was unable to do 300 battery due to software complications in it's construction, used ones are risky as no guarantee of their state.
bike is Raleigh Captus 5 yrs old & just had to buy new battery.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Dont fully charge too often and try not to run down too low. Keep half charged and room temperature when storing unused (especially winter)
 
As far as I can tell Bosch do everything they can to make it impossible to use 3rd party parts in any way
including recelling the battery and making a compatible version

They claim it is due to safety concerns because of the danger of Lithium cell causing a fire unless everything is done correctly
I suspect there is a certain amount of self intertest in this safety concern!!

But that is just how it is at the moment
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
This is why you dont buy equipment where ever possible that doesn't have proprietary equipment that stops simple repairs. They're battery re-cell companies- right to repair should be mandatory in the UK.

Ive just had to make two repairs on my Galaxy S8+. A new charging pcb and earpiece speaker. Spares sourced, cost me £8.99 in parts and a steady hand.
 
You can repair the bosch stuff, spares support is pretty good - it will cost you though.

I don't think Bosch operate that way, I think they have done some bits and pieces but their batteries for example have special encrypted handshaking to prevent third party batteries and BMS's and will not generally supply spares to end users. Their ebikes are typically at the performance end too with higher torque output and much more complicated internals. This often makes their ebike systems beyond economic repair and because the frames are proprietary they cannot be adapted for normal use or other motors. The end result is huge depreciation and waste. It's not an ebike eco system for cheapskates and people who want value from their purchases. That's why I think people who want performance i.e. mid-drive but still want decent value go with Bafang. They seem more reliable, more competitively priced, more open for any batteries and the supply of spares is open and low cost too.

I've seen enough forum postings about Bosch faults and pricey and slow repairs to motivate me never ever to buy Bosch. I'm a huge Shimano fan but even their ebike motors make me a bit nervous, while they seem more reliable, costs are still very high. Bafang just seems like the no brainer choice for a mid-drive motor to me although personally I don't need a performance ebike so I'm happy with hub motors anyway which are more reliable and much cheaper to maintain.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Indeed. Go on any ebike forum and theyll moan about Suntour and tell you to buy Bosch, but count the number of Bosch problem threads and they vastly outnumber them, despite being less common over here. Great when they work though...

But CXR Andy makes a good point. There needs to be free availability of parts and technical data to allow 3rd party businesses to offer repair services to ebike drivetrains.
 
Worth bearing in mind Bosch has made, literally, millions of motors.

That is a massive number for a specialist bicycle component, and will inevitably impact on the number of reported faults.

What none of us know is what percentage of a given maker's kit goes wrong.

I rate the Bosch stuff as pretty good, although I suspect their failure is little better or worse than other motors.

They are the Apple of ebiking, so the batteries are all but impossible to recell.

Limited spares are available to the public, although Bosch do promise to support their products for at least seven years after they fall out of the original equipment catalogues.

This means a replacement battery is still available, at a cost, in contrast to some of the 'unbranded' Chinese stuff where spares cannot be found even a couple of years after manufacture.

When I bought my first Bosch ebike - a Rose imported from Germany in 2010 - service in the UK was all but non-existent.

Things have improved now to the extent where service is available through UK dealers.

I've obtained two spares, a thumb control and a display, fairly easily.

Limited repairs can be carried out on the motors - a standard sized bearing is a fairly common failure - and complete exchange motors are available.

These are not cheap, about £700, but no crank drive motors are.
 
Worth bearing in mind Bosch has made, literally, millions of motors.

That is a massive number for a specialist bicycle component, and will inevitably impact on the number of reported faults.

What none of us know is what percentage of a given maker's kit goes wrong.

I rate the Bosch stuff as pretty good, although I suspect their failure is little better or worse than other motors.

They are the Apple of ebiking, so the batteries are all but impossible to recell.

Limited spares are available to the public, although Bosch do promise to support their products for at least seven years after they fall out of the original equipment catalogues.

This means a replacement battery is still available, at a cost, in contrast to some of the 'unbranded' Chinese stuff where spares cannot be found even a couple of years after manufacture.

When I bought my first Bosch ebike - a Rose imported from Germany in 2010 - service in the UK was all but non-existent.

Things have improved now to the extent where service is available through UK dealers.

I've obtained two spares, a thumb control and a display, fairly easily.

Limited repairs can be carried out on the motors - a standard sized bearing is a fairly common failure - and complete exchange motors are available.

These are not cheap, about £700, but no crank drive motors are.

From all the statistics I've seen Bosch is a niche player in the UK in units sold and this isn't surprising as Bosch based ebikes tend to be many thousands of pounds but the average price of a bike sold in the UK including ebikes is only about £300 or thereabouts. Also Halfords have 25% of the market by value and about 40% of the market by volume. I.e. 4 out of every 10 bikes sold are from Halfords in the UK. Then you factor in ebay, Argos, Amazon etc there isn't actually a huge amount of volume left for independent bike shops and direct sellers although value of course is different as such bikes are hugely expensive. It's important to understand real world perspective. If you watch GCN and many other youtube channels you could end up thinking the majority of the bikes sold are from big international brands but that isn't the reality they are promoting relatively low volume high margin products.

Lets also not forget Bosch batteries are full of cells made in Asia and many of the PCBs and manufactured parts are from Asia too. Bafang claim to be a OEM supplier to European brand motors for some parts.

I worked in the power tool industry and saw certification for tools we imported that also covered other brands like Bosch. They were buying the same Chinese product as us but their marketing spiel had lots of references to quality German engineering etc. When I had a conversation at a show with a Dewalt representative he said its not about making a quality tool its about being perceived as making a quality tool. The two things are very different. That's not to say Dewalt aren't quality tools but they cannot rely on people's experiences of those products they have to market the tools in a way that makes them believe they are in comparison to their competition.

My understanding is ebike Bosch motors have a very high failure rate despite their high cost although in fairness I think the majority of their sales are in the e-mountain bike sector so they get a tougher life in some ways although it has been pointed out to me such bikes often have very low mileage and still fail as many owners only use them once a week or less sometimes where as commuting ebikes can be used pretty much everyday for 10s of miles.

I have to admit I think of Bosch motors as junk and wouldn't touch one with a barge pole but I think part of that is probably my resentment in the way they control spares and limit 3rd party support. I just don't like the company at all. I'm a bit of a Shimano fanboy but when it comes to ebike motors it has to be Bafang really.

One thing that needs correcting is your point about Chinese ebikes having a lack of support. They are very generic and you can use pretty much any motor, controller or battery you want if you wire it correctly. It's extremely open. You can often mix parts from different manufacturers. I've seen people bring old Chinese ebikes back to life for relatively little money. I've seen them take apart batteries and just replace the faulty cells. They are very modular. It's a bit like having a house where you can either use whatever products you want in the home for electrical wiring or you have to buy it all from one supplier only. Also when it comes to hub based ebikes if you wanted you can typically just strip out the ebike parts and return it to a normal bike. It's a far more environmentally friendly approach. You just don't get that with Bosch based ebikes often they are uneconomic to repair and you can only pull off a few components to re-use like the wheels.

I just think an open system is better. I resent any controlled eco-system for any product be it Bosch, Apple or whatever brand.

Also lets not forget this country has huge debts and a large trade deficit, its not exactly a bad idea to be conservative with our spending on imported products. We left the EU with about £1.7 trillion of debt with a large trading deficit. We have enough debt to probably last 40-50 years and we haven't even started to pay it off yet we are still borrowing because of the pandemic. Running a trade deficit does huge damage to our economy as can be seen from the statistics at the office of national statistics. Also if you look at our NIIP rating (net international investment position) we have negative assets. We keep swinging between two useless political parties and ultimately sorting out our economy to a degree is down to the purchases we make. I would suggest a lower cost, more reliable if basic ebike which is much more environmentally friendly and economy friendly is the right choice.
 
Bosch ebikes are not that expensive, available from about £1,500 in comparison to most of the better Chinese generic stuff which has now edged over £1,000.

Although it's true to say a hub motor is almost always cheaper than a crank drive motor.

The millions of Bosch motors in service is a significant amount for a key component of any bicycle.

Plenty of owners of cheap Chinese bikes will give you an argument about how easy it is to use generic parts.

There are two such bikes languishing in local bike shop's basement which have defied all efforts at repair.

Anything can be repaired on the Trigger's broom principle, but the Chinese bikes quickly become uneconomic to rectify.

I accept that's a slightly different argument, but the result is the same, the punter has a consumer durable for which he paid close to a grand for which cannot realistically be repaired.

Woosh bikes are among the better Chinese generics - I've recommended them on here to buyers on a strict budget.

But the two I had on test a few years ago were both pretty poor in terms of quality, and as an observation, you never see an old one still being ridden.

In comparison to my oldest Bosch bike which is still whirring away happily after about 12 years.
 
Bosch ebikes are not that expensive, available from about £1,500 in comparison to most of the better Chinese generic stuff which has now edged over £1,000.

Although it's true to say a hub motor is almost always cheaper than a crank drive motor.

The millions of Bosch motors in service is a significant amount for a key component of any bicycle.

Plenty of owners of cheap Chinese bikes will give you an argument about how easy it is to use generic parts.

There are two such bikes languishing in local bike shop's basement which have defied all efforts at repair.

Anything can be repaired on the Trigger's broom principle, but the Chinese bikes quickly become uneconomic to rectify.

I accept that's a slightly different argument, but the result is the same, the punter has a consumer durable for which he paid close to a grand for which cannot realistically be repaired.

Woosh bikes are among the better Chinese generics - I've recommended them on here to buyers on a strict budget.

But the two I had on test a few years ago were both pretty poor in terms of quality, and as an observation, you never see an old one still being ridden.

In comparison to my oldest Bosch bike which is still whirring away happily after about 12 years.

Well looking at Halfords and their ebike range, they start at £499 for a basic hub motor ebike and their Bosch ebikes kick in at almost £2k so 4x as much and typically ebikes with that Bosch motor would be more expensive from other suppliers and hub motor ebikes can be purchased for less than £499 from Amazon, ebay etc.

https://www.halfords.com/bikes/elec...rule=price_increase_rule&isLocationCheck=true

Bosch motors can be incredibly complex with many internal plastic cogs and even belts on some models such is the design of mid-drive motors they also have small motors so they can fit in the bottom bracket area. Not only do they have to deal with the torque generated by the motor itself but also the power inputed by the rider that goes through those cranks. Consequently they wear down very quickly as does the chain and other drivetrain components because you know have both human and motor power simultaneously. Internal bearings of the motors wear down quickly and if the seals are in anyway damaged the circuit board can be fried by internal water ingress. There is no mystery to why they are unreliable and short life for many people.

Same situation with the Brose motors which have been failing left, right and centre. When they fail they can literally destroy themselves and need to be replaced and the high failure rate has caused Specialized to extend their motor warranties from 2 years to 4 years as the forums were full of failures.

Those high end bikes have a large margin to allow for a high failure rate but a £400 hub ebike has no such margin it has to work and work without issues pretty much most of the time. A direct drive motor hub has no moving parts at all its literally a motor as your wheel hub hence those type of hubs are the most long lasting. I think I've seen a claim of 40,000 miles in a forum for someone who constantly tours with one. A geared motor hub does typically have 3 planetary gears that will need replacing but those still last longer than a mid-drive motor cogs typically. Such hubs have a simple clutch mechanism where the cogs engage when powered and dis-engage when not so no resistance from such motors when unpowered. They are two brilliant simple designs that really shouldn't fail. Mid drive motors do typically have some resistance as cogs and gearing may be partly engaged even when not powered although later designs have improved on this so the wear rate is much higher.

It would be like the twilight zone if hub motors weren't significantly more reliable as they are so simple in comparison in engineering terms. It's like comparing a Shimano Nexus 8 geared hub to a single speed fixed gear bike in complexity.

There are probably something like 40 to 50 hub motor ebikes on the road for every 1 mid-drive motor but you wouldn't know it looking at the forums because they just work. Most electric vehicles use the same sort of technology be it in the wheels or on the axle etc which also allows for regen etc which is also available on some direct drive hub motor ebikes.

Just looking at Amazon's top selling ebike section. Of the 100 first items there are zero Bosch products but about 3 Bafang mid-drive motors mixed in but pretty much the majority of the list is either hub based ebikes or hub based motor kits. I'm sure ebay would be the same and we know Halfords, Argos, catalogue companies etc are pretty much hub motor sales.


View: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Sellers-Sports-Outdoors-Electric-Bikes/zgbs/sports/469685031/ref=zg_bs_pg_1?_encoding=UTF8&pg=1


Obviously it may be very different in Europe for their markets although saying that I do remember the average price of a bike sold in Italy is significantly less than the UK a few years ago. They may have many famous brands but those industries are export driven with the locals going for cheaper bikes. I would expect Bosch to do very well in Germany and be significantly higher sales especially as Germany is a much richer country with a much healthier economy.
 
Hi!

New user here. Got a Raleigh Motus GT with the Bosch activelineplus motor recently. This is an upgrade from the Halfords suntour rear hub subway bike.

The bike itself is worlds apart, being substantially more expensive than the Halfords of course. The Halfords didn’t fail at all in over 2000 miles of varying weather conditions so time will tell I guess.
 
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