If you’re even a bit interested in E-bikes, you’ve probably already seen a Brose (bro-zuh) motor. The company is partnered up with Specialized, supplying their expertise to create the Turbo Levo’s and Kenevo’s electronics. They also supply motors for over 30 other cycling brands, but Brose is now looking to become a recognized brand among E-cyclists.
Brose is a German manufacturer with an automotive history, which means they are very concerned with reliability. Car companies don’t want high rates of warranty issues or failures, and for cyclists Brose is backing their motors with a two year warranty. For the mechanics out there, Brose confirmed that their E-bike motor was in fact based on a power steering drive motor.
Brose first toyed with e-bike motors in 2011, and produced their first production motors in 2014 for Rotwild’s E-bikes. One of their main goals was to make their motors feel natural on a bike, with a smooth kick-in that assists you without feeling jerky. They’ve worked on improving the sensors in their Drive S motor, and claim it now offers near-instant engagement.
Inside Brose’s motors you’ll find a carbon belt made by Gates driving the gears. Since there are no metal gears meshing together (and some of the internal gears are made from nylon), the motor runs quietly and produces minimal vibration. A combination of torque and cadence sensors work together to decide how much power to provide, and while you’re cruising or pedalling unassisted the dual-freewheel system completely disengages producing zero drag.
As of 2017 Brose has offered three E-bike motors for different applications- The Drive T is their trekking or daily commuting motor, and the Drive TF is a higher-speed model ideal for tackling longer rides. E-Mountain bikes use Brose’s most powerful and pedal-sensitive Drive S motor. All three are packaged in the same compact housing, which allows for fairly short chainstays and smooth integration into bike frames.
The big news for next year is that a lighter S-Mag version (with a magnesium housing) of the Drive S motor is coming, as well as a new Drive C model intended for city/commuter bikes. The company also makes their motors based on an open-source platform, so the door is open for software developers to create their own controller apps, etc. to further customize the motors’ capabilities.