Bosch has today unveiled its updated range for the 2021 model year. There aren’t any new motors – not a surprise given how many we saw last year – but there’s a new Nyon display, and lots of updates to talk about. Let’s delve into the Nyon first.
New touchscreen Bosch Nyon
Bosch’s Nyon display has been around for years, but the chances are you’ve never seen one in the flesh. The original Nyon was a giant of a thing, and offered some impressive functionality, but it was unwieldy and expensive. Things have moved on, and the new Nyon is a very different beast.
Like the Kiox, the Nyon is much more reminiscent of a standalone bike GPS; whereas the Kiox might remind you of a smaller Garmin, the new Nyon is more akin to something like the Hammerhead Karoo. It’s a touchscreen unit with a backlit 3.2”, 384x454 pixel full colour display. That doesn’t sound like much compared to your smartphone but it’s plenty for easily legible data and mapping display, and it features an anti-reflective coating for better visibility in bright conditions.
The Nyon has a customisable interface; you can select a dark or light theme, and choose the data that you want to see. Like the original Nyon, mapping and navigation is a key feature. You can enter destinations directly on the device by typing in an address, or just selecting a point on the map using the touch screen. You can also sync the Nyon to Bosch’s smartphone app or desktop portal for route planning, or import routes from komoot; once they’re in the Nyon, it functions as a standalone GPS without needing a connection to your phone, saving your battery.
The OpenStreetMap-based maps include topographical data, and that allows the Nyon to estimate your range based on battery, assistance mode and topography, giving you an indication of what’s possible on your current settings and advising you to back off the assistance if you’re not going to make it where you’re headed.
Like the Kiox, the Nyon can be paired with a heart rate monitor, and it uses the torque sensors in the motor to display the rider power, so if you’re into your fitness riding you can see some of the more important metrics. The next logical step would be for the Nyon to allow a sort of outdoor ERG mode, where you select a power, and the motor makes sure you need to do the set effort while it adds enough on top to keep you going. That sort of thing should be possible given the current technology, and Bosch is keen on pushing the fitness aspect, so it’ll be interesting to see if it goes down that route.
Sounds like something you want on your Bosch-powered bike? The good news is that the new Nyon is compatible with all Bosch systems from 2014 onwards, so there’s a lot of backwards compatibility. It’ll be available as a retrofit option from Autumn 2020, with a €399 unit price.
Motor updates: Performance Line CX, Cargo Line, Performance Line Speed
Three of Bosch’s newest motors – all launched last year – get updates for 2021. They’re software updates, so if you already have a bike with any of the 2020 motors listed above, you can get your Bosch dealer to update your motor.
The headline change is that all three motors get a torque increase to 85Nm, which is designed to increase acceleration from a standstill and power application at lower cadences. For cargo bikes that means it’s easier to set off when loaded, and for mountain bikes it means more torque available for tricky bits.
eMTB mode has had an overhaul on the new CX motor. "The retuned eMTB mode gives a further noticeable improvement of the bike's handling on the trails. There is greater traction control and start-up behaviour is much finer and more sensitive, especially in low gears.", says Bosch, which all sounds good, although we haven’t tried it yet so can’t tell you whether it's noticeable. There’s also an Extended Boost function for really technical terrain. “This helps eMountain bikers to negotiate exposed roots, steps and stones, even uphill: With appropriate pressure applied to the pedal, the system responds in a fraction of a second and provides the decisive thrust for negotiating an obstacle”, apparently. Again, when we’ve had a go we’ll let you know.
Kiox gets navigation update
The Kiox display is a firm favourite here at ebiketips: a great quality unit that’s easy to read in any conditions. Its feature set always seemed a bit limited, considering the quality of the display, so it’s great to see that the latest update adds navigation to the mix.
You don’t get maps like on the Nyon, and the Kiox isn’t GPS-enabled so it won’t work as a standalone device: you have to keep the computer synced with your phone, running Bosch’s app. You can route plan using the Bosch app or desktop portal, or import a route from komoot, and the Kiox will show you a plot of the route on the screen, orienting itself to your direction of travel. It’s a bit like a posher, colour version of something like the breadcrumb trail on a smaller Garmin or Wahoo computer. You basically follow the line, and the Kiox gives you distance to your destination.
The other major update is that the display on the Kiox is now customisable, so you can opt to show the metrics you’re most interested in, like you would on any decent standalone computer. All the new features are unlocked by a single software update that will be coming in the summer.
Help Connect service
Bosch has also unveiled a new crash assist service through the COBI Bike app. It’s not of immediate interest in the UK, because although it will work across Europe it requires a German SIM card. It differs from many crash detection systems which call your next of kin if they detect a crash, in that it uses a staffed response centre: the centre will be alerted if a crash is detected, and they’ll call you back to assess the severity, or get a first-responder to you if you’re uncommunicative. The app will also trigger an audible alarm on your phone to alert any passers by, or to help a first-responder pinpoint your location.
The Help Connect is free for a year with a COBI Bike system, and thereafter it’s €3.99 a month or €39.99 a year.