Bosch CX eMTB mode - Nice


Local time
11:05 AM
Jul 13, 2020
If you have an eMTB with the Bosch Performance CX motor, and it was produced before mid-2017, you probably do not have the eMTB mode. They way you tell is that the display will briefly show "eMTB" just after you switch to Sport mode.

Your dealer should be able to do the upgrade for you in about five minutes. It improves the way the bike rides on trails immensely. You do lose one commuting mode though, since "Sport" mode goes from being a linear assist level to being a mode where the motor controller tries to optimize short bursts. It also really helps with the issue of getting started on a steep climb since it will give assist as soon as the crank turns rather than the previous 1/4-1/2 revolution lag.

You can just leave the controller in eMTB mode now instead of constantly toggling between Eco->Tour->Sport->Turbo. eMTB will give Turbo power levels for short bursts while having a sustained level kind of between Tour and Sport. The best part is being able to soft pedal up to an obstacle and then getting a small wheelie over it when you hit the pedals hard. It feels very natural, kudos to Bosch for getting this right. The weight of the eBike combined with the little bit of lag in the old modes made it difficult to do this prior to the update.
Thanks for the CX eMTB mode review. My buddy with updated Haibike-CX sez do it too!

Hoping to get my Powerfly to the shop later this week. :)

Catfish ...
My Haibike/Bosch CX display does not momentarily say eMTB after the Sport mode so I thought I was out of luck.
I purchased the bike early this year.
I called Bosch USA and was told that I need to have the system up dated and I may have the eMTB feature after all.
They said the system should be updated every 3 months which seems impractical especially since I live 150 miles from a certified Bosch dealer.

Catfish; let us know what you think after the update.
Does your display momentarily flash eMTB?
Seems like you purchased your Powerfly early this year also
I did not have eMTB mode until last week, when I took the bike to the dealer where I bought it for the firmware update. As long as you have a Performance CX motor you should be able to get eMTB mode.

It is an interesting question. Apparently you must have the Bosch dealer software to do any kind of firmware update on the Bosch system, and they don't allow anyone but certified dealers to have the software. It is just a Windows app and the cable is a standard USB cable, but you must have the Bosch program. Also, Bosch tracks the motor serial numbers, so, for example, you cannot get your system that was sold with the 20 MPH assist limit updated to 28 MPH, even though the hardware is identical.

I don't even know how you would get a certified dealer to do an update for you unless you bought the bike at that dealer. Does Bosch compensate dealers for things like this?

Bosch, being a German company, probably never considered the fact that in the US, it is easy to be hundreds of miles from a dealer. Also, if you buy the bike through the internet, where do you go for firmware updates? Seems like they may have to re-think this and have a remote update capability where you would connect your bike to your PC and their program could login to your bike and to Bosch's remote site, and do the update. Garmin does that.
Bought my 2017 in early January. Called my LBS & no instant-gratification today!

Apparently he has not updated a 2017 yet & wants to test their bosch stuff with one in stock first. But short a mechanic until Tuesday, so seeya then.

I don't really have any complaints with my Bosch CX drive with original software. I thought I didn't like tour mode, because the assist seemed to cut in/out between downstrokes.

But Seth kept telling me to draw circles ... & damned if this 63yo dog hasn't finally learned to pedal correctly. And it took an eMTB to teach me! D'OH!!! Smooth as butta when you do it right! :)

And I dropped down to 160mm cranks for my short legs. My knees say thank-you, & no more pedal strikes on local trails. :)

How's the HT LT?

Catfish ...
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Hi Catfish
Let us know how you like the eMTB when you get it installed.
I found a dealer 170 miles away that knows the process and will charge $20.

Where did you get the 160mm cranks and how much are they.

I ended up trading in the LT after one ride for the normal travel Hightower because I prefer the 2.8 plus sized tires after 650 miles on the Haibikes 3.0's.

The Oregon trails are muddy, rutted and endless tree roots.
I like the bike but only ride it when with the slower/older group or when assisted bikes not allowed.
When riding with the Breck Epic/Leadville guys (my son and nephew) I ride the Haibike, other wise I would never see them again.
As it is they kill me on the level and downhills, but I can out climb them on the steeper climbs as long as the battery lasts.
I am age 65.
Bosch used Miranda cranks on Powerfly. No Miranda distributor in USA yet & most LBSes don't order from Portugal. And they're NOT on Amazon Prime! GAH!?! ;-)

But Miranda recently started online direct ordering & shipped to my door in 6 days.

That's the specific link to the 160mm cranks with same oem q-factor. Other lengths available.

CC statement sez $79 total to Miranda via Easy Pay & foreign-transaction fee.

Maybe easier yet ... a couple of weeks ago, Nurse Ben had a set of these available. Check his Turbo levo thread or PM him.

Yes, I noticed the HT LT wasn't 27.5+/29 like my original HT-29er.

My wrists REALLY like the 2.8 Minions on the Powerfly though. With same brake disks & boost spacing, those wheels should swap to my HT just fine ... for shuttle rides & bike parks. :)

Catfish ...
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I think you mean Trek used Miranda cranks. My Haibike with Bosch Performance CX has FSA branded cranks.
Yeah, my buddy's Bosch.CX Haibike has different cranks, and actually different q-factors on each side. And he's not finding anything shorter than 170mm. I looked here; and same thing, but no q-factors stated on anything. Heaven forbid I have to make a phone call for info?!? Hahahaha!

Have you found shorter cranks for Haibike CX with same q-factor? Any clues appreciated.

Catfish ...
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Regarding crank length.
I have ridden turbo levo's on 2 different ocaasions and have noticed that I had many more pedal strikes with the levos than on my Haibike on the same trails, with the sag set on all bikes at 25-30% both front and rear.
Seems like the bikes all had 175mm cranks.
The bottom bracket on the Levos is about 7/8" lower than the Haibike.
This explains the increased Levo pedal strikes and possibly why I felt the levos steer better (front end more planted feeling) on steep technical climbs.

I also noticed my wrists are subject to less jarring with the bigger 2.8 plus sized tires on the Hightower versus the 2.4's on the Long travel Hightower.

The bike I really notice many more pedal strikes is on my new Hightower.
The Hightower bottom bracket is close to an 1" lower than the Haibike.
So less sag on the suspension the less pedal strikes.

Its like learning to ride over again with a lighter bike that does not have the momentum and assist to climb over obstacles like a 20# heavier e bike does.
Finally got my 2017 Trek Powerfly to LBS & eMTB-mode update for the Bosch CX. 2 local rides since of 10-12 miles with 1500-ft. of climbing to test.

WOW! Very natural & more-responsive feel. Wider assist range with a wider torque-sensing range to match. Definitely covers the old Tour+Sport+Turbo modes in a single WIDE power setting. When you ramp up your power, it responses more quickly.

I can see how most folks will use this assist mode 99% of the time. It only shows "eMTB" at bottom of display for about 0.5 seconds when you switch into Sport mode.

During update, they showed me the stats the CX controller was storing about my use. For example, it counts elapse time for each assist mode separately, so they can show you the pie chart of your assist-mode usage vs. time.

My pie was eco 1%, Tour 27%, Sport 48%, & Turbo 24%. It made sense time-wise as most of it is climbing in sport & turbo. Flats & downhills are usually in tour & only a quarter of the time.

Their eyes got BIG when they saw my 39.5mph max speed ... on dirt I mentioned! :)

I guess I can stop all that tour-sport-turbo shifting & just focus on gear shifts to maintain my cadence. Maybe...

When I get winded at the end of looong climbs, I usually stay in sport mode & use granny at my minimum cadence & torque & pant away. The bottom of old sport mode had SPORT-assist-mode bottom power. Now the bottom of sport mode (eMTB) is TOUR-assist-mode bottom power.

That's not good for someone already panting loud enough to scare the bears out of California. So now, I have to either stop for oxygen break, or go to turbo mode if I do not want to stop. That was a change for _me_ I was not expecting.

Battery power level at end of these short rides (3 of 5 bars showing) is about the same as before. Need longer rides to see if better or worse.

Overall I like the update & will probably stay in the "eMTB" Sport mode on dirt.

Oh, according to LBS, Bosch has database of software version vs. country vs. CX controller-reported serial #. Can't get euro version with walk-assist functional in usa-delivered model! Grrr... where are the hackers when we need one?!? ;-)

Catfish ...
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The bottom end being Tour level instead of Sport is awesome for soft-pedaling up to an obstacle, then hitting it to do a little wheelie over. Before, there was too much power on the lower end to do that easily. I get your complaint though. What Bosch needs is the Levo concept of totally customizeable assist levels.

You do not have walk-assist? My 2017 model Haibike has it. In fact, the eMTB update changed the way it works. Prior to the update it was just too slow to be useful, it was about a 1.5 MPH walk. Now, for the first three seconds or so it is the same slow speed as before, but then it ramps up to a brisk walking pace. Very cool. I used it on a particularly steep section of the Slickrock trail in Moab (the only section I was not able to clean this time), and it worked great. You just have to be sure you keep your thumb on the "+" button. If you let off, it goes back to slow mode for three seconds again before ramping up.

My dealer did tell me that Bosch has all features assigned by motor serial number, and if your motor system did not come with a certain feature, you cannot have it added later. For example, a Euro motor set to 25 km/hr max cannot normally be upgraded to the USA 20 mph max, even though the hardware is identical. I'm sure Bosch has a backdoor to do that though. I'm kind of surprised no one has reverse engineered the protocol they are using, hackers do this kind of stuff all the time. I guess there isn't a big enough audience.
Cool w-a change with update!

Apparently its ONLY Trek & Specialized disabling walk-assist on their USA models. Friends with Bulls, Haibikes, & La Pierres all work on their USA models.

Yes, give me a 20-lb heavier bike & take walk-assist away. Grrr ... can we please shoot THOSE American lawyers? ;-)

As for the NEXT software update ...Turbo mode should be expanded to cover old Sport & Turbo modes. AND turn ON my Walk-Assist!!! :)

Catfish ...
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My Haibike/Bosch came with walk assist and it is worthless as it came, too slow.
Maybe if I shifted to a higher gear it would be tolerable.
You need it when you stall out in the lowest gear.
Plus it requires pushing 2 buttons.
I am anxious to try out the eMTB update.
Did someone say it speeds up the walk assist?
The ones that care just dongle them, no point not to if you're going to void the warranty anyway. There's always plenty of discussions on the EU ebike forums.
I have got a 2nd hand Lapierre Overvolt with Bosch CX Performance. My lbs in the UK did the firmware upgrade for £50, as part of a "service". Bit steep but you have no choice if your bike is 2nd user. From what I've read most UK dealer will upgrade to eMTB for free if you brought the bike there.

When you select SPORT on the upper LCD elements, the bottom black matrix LCD reads eMTB.

Anyway back to the eMTB mode, wow great really progressive and natural. Standing on the pedals actually gives assistance now as opposed to having to dropping gears and increasing cadence. I guess more Torque sensing, really nice feeling.

Another benefit is that I clip in and used to have to press buttons to start the bike in Turbo mode (I struggled to pull off on mud and clip in in ECO mode) and then quickly drop back to ECO or TOUR, starting in eMTB mode is great.

Before the firmware upgrade I normally used a mixture of OFF / ECO / TOUR as I ride around 30-40 miles mainly on mud and still suffer from battery anxiety.

The one downside I can see is that the eMTB mode uses a lot more juice than my normal mixture of modes.
I would also like to get my 2017 haibike updated with emtb but I live about 5 hours away from where I purchased the bike. Very frustrating.
My experience with eMTB mode is that it's still best to keep the system in Tour mode quite often, as the eMTB mode can be a bit too aggressive at times.