The word is getting around: GPS trackers, in combination with a good lock, are the best theft protection for e-bikes. As one of the leading manufacturers of e-bike drives, Bosch now offers its own tracker. The Bosch ConnectModule is part of the Bosch Smart System and is designed to prevent the loss of expensive bikes with Bosch motors. In the following, you can find out how it works and whether the tracker lives up to expectations.
About the Bosch ConnectModule in a nutshell
- The Bosch ConnectModule is integrated in newer e-bikes with Bosch SmartSystem of the Bosch eBike Systems. Alternatively, it can be retrofitted. The tracker does not work with other drives or electric bikes.
- In case of attempted theft, you will receive an alarm on your smartphone via the Bosch eBike Flow app. You can also track the location of a (stolen) e-bike in real time.
- A big disadvantage of Bosch’s tracking solution is that, unlike PowUnity’s BikeTrax, it only works with selected drives.
This is the Bosch ConnectModule – Overview
The Bosch ConnectModule is a GPS tracker for e-bikes. It is either pre-installed in the e-bike or can be retrofitted – if it fits the motor. This is because the Bosch ConnectModule is only compatible with the manufacturer’s Smart System drives, and even then there can be problems. We will come back to this later.
How the Bosch GPS Tracker works
Retrofitting a GPS tracker
You want to retrofit an e-bike with the Bosch module?
Then make sure you order the right retrofit kit. Depending on the motor, a different mounting plate is required. You have the choice between
- Bosch Performance Line CX/ Bosch Cargo Line (BDU37YY) or
- Bosch Performance Line (BDU33YY)
In addition, on some bike models, for example Cube, the motor cover is in the way. So find out whether retrofitting makes sense before you buy.
The installation itself is simple:
- Remove the motor cover.
- Pull the display cable out of the slot on the engine and plug in the display cable of the conversion kit.
- Connect both cables to the Bosch ConnectModule.
- Attach the holder for the module to the motor.
- Fix the module in the holder.
- Tighten the locking screw.
- Check again that everything is in place and that the cables are not in the way.
- Replace the motor cover.
You then need to activate the tracker in the E-Bike Flow app. To do this, subscribe to the premium version of the Flow+ app and activate the eBike Alarm service. That’s it. Now the theft protection is ready for use.
How the module for e-bikes works
The tracker from Bosch works as follows:
- As soon as you switch off your e-bike, the alarm function is automatically activated. This is practical because you don’t have to remember to press a button.
- The system reacts to slight movements on your parked e-bike with acoustic signals and illuminated LEDs.
- In case of stronger movements, you will receive a notification on your smartphone.
- With the app and tracker, you can track the location of your e-bike in real time at any time.
Ideally, the Bosch ConnectModule prevents theft because it alerts you in good time on your mobile phone. If you arrive too late to prevent the crime, you can pass on the location of the stolen e-bike to the police. The police can then arrest the thief and his loot.
Forgetful people benefit from an additional advantage: with the help of the Flow app, you can remember where you parked your bike.
The eBike Flow App and the eBike Alarm digital service
The eBike Flow app from Bosch is intended as a mobile control centre for smart e-bikes.
It currently includes the following functions:
- Display of data such as battery status or remaining range
- Recording of route and fitness data
- Adjustment of riding modes
- Download of updates
- eBike Lock: This function turns your smartphone into a digital key with which you can deactivate and activate the motor assistance.
- Tracking function with eBike Alarm and the Bosch ConnectModule
All in all, the eBike Flow app from Bosch is a comprehensive application with many useful functions. At least as important and anything but self-evident is that these functions work. At least that is what recent reviews in the Google PlayStore and Apple App Store attest to the app. Only the navigation function could be improved.
Do you like to inform yourself comprehensively about e-bike technologies, apps and tips on bicycle and e-bike safety? In our online magazine “Powunity explains” you will find many articles about current e-bike apps from different motor manufacturers, their functions, advantages and disadvantages.
The costs of the Bosch eBike tracking solution
Unlike other functions of the eBike Flow app, GPS tracking is not free.
Depending on your own initial situation, the following costs apply:
- Retrofit kit ConnectModule: The Bosch ConnectModule currently costs between about 90 and 100 euros.
- Premium service eBike Alarm: The first year is free of charge. If you are convinced and want to continue using the service and the ConnectModule, eBike Alarm costs €4.99 per month or €39.99 per year.
Advantages and disadvantages of the GPS tracker
Let’s come to a central question: Is GPS tracking with the ConnectModule from Bosch worth it?
Basically, the Bosch ConnectModule fulfils many important requirements of good GPS trackers for theft protection. One of these is that the module is mounted invisibly inside the e-bike. This means there is no danger of thieves removing it. The two-stage alarm via the smartphone is also useful. Real-time tracking using 2G ensures that the location of e-bikes can really be tracked. Because this radio network currently still offers the best network coverage in the city and in the country.
Info: 2G? Radio network coverage? If these terms don’t mean much to you, we’ll explain them to you in our article “How GPS Tracking works”. You will learn how GPS tracking works and which technologies are used.
However, there is one important restriction: Only owners of an e-bike with selected Bosch drives can benefit from all the advantages mentioned. And that’s probably where it will stay. After all, Bosch is unlikely to be interested in making its tracking function available to the competition. For you, this also means: If you currently ride an e-bike with Bosch Smart System and Bosch Connect Module and switch to another bike in the future, there is a high probability that you will also have to replace your GPS tracker. If you have several e-bikes with different drives, you will need different trackers and apps.
Aus unserer Erfahrung ungünstig ist außerdem, dass sich der Tracker bei einem Diebstahlversuch durch einen akustischen Alarm bemerkbar macht. Das kann zwar abschreckend wirken, gibt dem Dieb aber auch die Möglichkeit, sich auf die Suche nach dem Gerät zu machen und es zu entfernen. Die E-Bike-Lock Funktion bietet nur einen eingeschränkten Schutz. Denn professionelle Fahrraddiebe stehlen E-Bikes oder herkömmliche Fahrräder in der Regel mit einem Lieferwagen. Das funktioniert auch mit abgeschlossenen Bikes, solange diese nicht mit einem Schloss an einem festen Gegenstand befestigt sind. Anschließend können sie die Motorsperre in Ruhe deaktivieren. Selbst wenn ihnen das nicht gelingt, bringen sie dein Bike nicht zurück.
Apart from the fact that GPS anti-theft protection for e-bikes is absolutely indispensable, there are some measures you should take to prevent your e-bike from falling into the wrong hands. Read the 7 expert tips against e-bike theft here.
Summary of advantages and disadvantages of Bosch ConnectModule
- invisible mounting in the motor
- two-stage alarm on the smartphone
- real-time tracking of e-bikes
- first year of tracking free of charge
- only works with Bosch SmartSystem motors
- the acoustic alarm not only warns you, but also thieves
- the lock function is not an effective anti-theft device
The alternative – BikeTrax from PowUnity
Are you looking for a good GPS tracker that can be used across all models? The BikeTrax GPS tracker from PowUnity is compatible with more than 100 e-bike models. Invisibly integrated into the motor of your bike, you can track your position in over 176 countries seamlessly, reliably and efficiently thanks to the high GPS signal strength.
The PowUnity app alerts only you on your mobile phone about theft attempts – inaudible to the thief – and allows you to track your e-bike live. You can also send a theft report to the police directly via the app after a theft and send along an integrated bike passport, automatically record routes and much more in the near future.
The same applies to the PowUnity app as to BikeTrax: you are not limited to one e-bike manufacturer or one drive.
Conclusion on the Bosch ConnectModule – good, but only for a few
Bosch rightly enjoys a good reputation in the e-bike scene. The company is also doing a lot right with the Bosch ConnectModule. The tracker is invisible to thieves, reacts reliably to theft attempts and allows real-time tracking.
More than a downer, however, is that the tracking solution can only be used for a narrow circle of e-bikes. With the ConnectModule, you are limited to selected Bosch drives. If you change to another provider, you need a new GPS tracker. In addition, there are flaws such as the acoustic alarm or the lock function that lull you into a false sense of security.
The PowUnity GPS tracker BikeTrax is different. Not only does it give you a powerful combination of tracker and app. You also remain flexible in the long term. Because BikeTrax works across all models with drives from a wide range of manufacturers and, of course, with all motor generations from Bosch.