Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic the idea of public transport has become very unappealing, which is why you might be considering getting an electric bike to get you around urban areas (opens in new tab) where a car might be impractical. But you might want to hold fire until Bosch realizes the ambitions of its latest concept electric bike.
Looking a little like a bike you might expect to see in Westworld season 3 (opens in new tab) or Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab), the Bosch eBike Design Vision has its sights firmly set on the future of e-bikes rather than the practical present. While you certainly won’t be able to buy this e-bike any time soon, it’s a glimpse into what’s next for e-bikes as envisioned by Bosch to mark the 10th anniversary of its first drive system for its e-bikes.
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Unsurprisingly for a concept form of transport carbon fiber features heavily, making up pretty much the whole structure to deliver a frame that’s lightweight but also rigid and sturdy. And the design facilitates side channels that produce a "cooling effect" to keep the built-in electric motor from getting too hot.
The downtube on the chassis also holds the bike’s battery, which is removable to allow for external charging. This shows how next-generation e-bikes could be a lot less chunky and cumbersome than the current models you might see zipping through a cycle lane near you.
That downtube battery then tapers onto the drive unit, which forms a rather neat single white unit around the pedals. Again this gives the concept e-bike a cleaner look than current electric bikes, thanks to the small volume the drive unit takes up on the bike’s frame.
The eBike Design Vision even comes with an antilock braking system (ABS) designed to regulate braking pressure in the font of the bike to prevent harsh breaking from causing the back wheel to flip up. Sensors are used to detect when such breaking is likely to lock up the front wheel and then trigger the ABS.
But here at Tom’s Guide, we’re all about how tech intersects with parts of our lives (opens in new tab). That’s where the eBike Design Vision’s Nylon cockpit comes in.
The carbon fibre handlebars of the bike contain an integrated Nylon on-board computer. This computer will be something you’ll be able to add to production bikes in order to get GPS, range, speed and personal fitness date. But while it will be attached to a bike’s handlebars, Bosch’s eBike Design Vision sees the computer as a device that comes built-in to the e-bikes of the future, thus creating a form of bike cockpit.
The minimalistic controls on the handlebars would suggest that the Nylon computer can be controlled on-the-fly when riders are zipping down commuter routes and cycle lanes. But we’d hazard a guess that such controls won’t be quite as minimalist and symbol free in a variation of the eBike Design Vision that might make it into a proper product in the near future.
While the eBike Design Vision is but a concept machine, it’s a statement of intent from Bosch and would hint at the tech the company plans to bring to e-bikes. And that tech could yield an e-bike that’ll take on the likes of the Gocycle GX (opens in new tab), VanMoof S3 and the Brompton Electric in the near future.