The new Mahle X20 e-bike powertrain is expected to lead to ultra-light e-bikes thanks to the combination of electric motor and coupled battery.
The drivetrain improves on the company’s existing Mahle X35 e-bike drivetrain; this lightweight drive system has been featured in e-bikes weighing as little as 10.5 kg (23.1 lb) and is a favorite of lightweight e-bike designers like cycling legend Greg LeMond.
The new Mahle X20 system weighs only 3.2 kg (7.05 lbs), including the motor, battery, wiring, controller and main unit used as the system’s user interface.
This low weight opens up great possibilities, as Jochen Sommer, Head of Mahle Smartbike Systems, explained:
With the X20, we are opening a whole new chapter by combining weight advantage, aesthetics and customization in an unprecedented training solution.
As you might have guessed, however, this level of ultralight design also means that the power and battery life figures are also a bit on the light side.
The 1.4kg (3.1lb) rear hub motor is said to produce 23Nm of torque, although Mahle claims this is equivalent to a mid-drive motor that can deliver 55Nm of torque.
The internal battery is available in two models, the iX250 and the iX350. The former provides 250 Wh of capacity, while the latter offers 350 Wh. They are both designed to be integrated into the frame itself as a non-removable battery (although removal by a technician is possible for service or battery replacement).
A separate range extender battery is also available which can be mounted like a water bottle to increase the total battery capacity of the bike.
According to the Light Electric Vehicle Association, the X20 “has a sophisticated set of sensors that measure acceleration, speed, torque, temperature and pedaling rate. It also uses artificial intelligence to continuously adapt the ride to the person in the saddle.The X20 thus offers a perfectly adapted cycling experience, even when riders or training conditions change.Other impressive features of the drive system are its absolutely natural pedal feel, which is similar to that of a conventional high-performance sports bike, and the noise-free assistance it offers to the user.Communication between the rider and the vehicle takes place via a modern HMI with haptic feedback.
The powertrain is already making its way into lightweight e-bikes, like the 10.7 kg (23.6 lb) Scott Addict eRide e-bike.
Anything in the sub-30 pound range is already extremely light for an e-bike and approaches 20 pounds. is considered ultra light in the industry.
In the past, we’ve seen other lightweight e-bikes go to great lengths to keep the grams down.
Hummingbird has launched the lightest folding electric bike at 10.3 kg (22.7 lb), and the HPS Domestic is probably the lightest currently production electric bike at only 8.5 kg (18.7 lb).
Technically, the 6.872 kg (15.15 lb) Freicycle e-bike is even lighter, although it is a one-off DIY build and therefore does not compete with stock e-bikes.
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