About the My SmartBike app from Mahle in a nutshell:
- My SmartBike is aimed at Mahle e-bike riders who want to use their mobile phone instead of a bike computer.
- You can use the app to view data such as speed, battery charge level or support level, adjust support levels individually yourself and even adjust to your heart rate with a heart rate monitor. You can also analyse and export your tours and locate your e-bike via the app.
- There is only one manufacturer-independent alternative to the Mahle app: the PowUnity app, which, together with its GPS tracker BikeTrax, also offers you highly efficient theft protection. You can view the location of your e-bike live throughout Europe via real-time tracking and receive an alarm on your mobile phone in the event of unauthorized movement.
We touched on this in our overview article “How to find the best e-bike app for your needs”: Most apps for e-bikes on the market come from e-bike or motor manufacturers.
Mahle has also recognised the trend towards networked e-bike solutions and the smartphone as a display replacement. The My SmartBike app is intended to serve this trend.
In this article, you will get an overview of Mahle’s concept and the functions of the My SmartBike app. We will also take a look at how the app performs in practice and what you can do instead if it doesn’t convince you.
The manufacturer – a few words about Mahle and Mahle SmartBike Systems
The German company Mahle is primarily an automotive supplier. With Mahle SmartBike Systems, the group has been serving the e-bike market for some time now – and with great success. In spring 2022, the Spanish-based manufacturer presented what it claims is the lightest e-bike drive system in the world. The X20 weighs just over 3 kilograms including the battery and uses artificial intelligence to customize e-bike performance by adapting the motor assistance to individual needs.
The current Mahle apps for e-bikes serve three user groups:
- My SmartBike is aimed at e-bike riders who want to use their smartphone instead of a bike computer for an improved e-bike riding experience.
- SmartBike Lab belongs to the dealer applications. It is designed to help dealers improve their after-sales services.
- Finally, there is the Production App. With its help, manufacturers can trace the path of e-bikes from delivery to commissioning.
In this article, we focus on the My SmartBike app.
The app concept at a glance
The Mahle SmartBike app is available in the Google Play Store for Android smartphones and in the App Store for Apple devices. Detailed information regarding the routes ridden can also be viewed on a web app interface.
As far as functions are concerned, Mahle relies on minimalism in its new app. This also applies in comparison to its predecessor, the Ebikemotion app.
Functions of the Mahle SmartBike app
Displaying performance data
If you connect your smartphone to the drive of your e-bike via the Mahle app, you can view data such as speed, battery status or assistance level on your smartphone. And all of this data can be also viewed via the “new range extender screen” on the web app.
Customizing settings on the drive
You can customize motor maps as well as configure motor maps, and thereby adjust the support to your needs.
Connecting to heart rate monitor
If you connect a heart rate monitor to gather health-related data, the support level and heart rate can be adjusted to each other. This means that as soon as the heart rate exceeds a certain range, the motor power is increased.
Analysing and exporting tours
After a tour, you can analyse your performance with the help of the key data collected by the app. The best place to do this is the app’s web interface where you can upload automatically all the key data – with the option of graphically comparing data. After logging in, you can export routes to Strava and share your activities with friends.
Locating your e-bike
Have you forgotten where you parked your bike? You can use the Mahle SmartBike app to find your bike location. (But keep in mind that this function might significantly decrease battery life of your smartphone – so use it wisely.)
Important note: The localisation function is not comparable with the real-time tracking of e-bikes for theft protection offered by GPS trackers.
How good is the app in practice? – Reviews
Good e-bike apps are not primarily defined by their range of functions or by the most important app features. It is much more important that an app works reliably in practice, starting with the set-up and communication between the app and the e-bike. However, it is risky for a manufacturer to replace an app with one that is significantly less powerful. Many users criticise in particular the fact that the My SmartBike app, unlike its predecessor, no longer has a navigation function.
In addition, there have been connection problems, faulty displays and system crashes until recently. Overall, e-bike riders give the app a damning report card.
Alternatives to the Mahle app
As far as apps are concerned, most e-bike owners currently have no choice. There are very few apps from independent developers, even though they often offer better performance than the manufacturer’s products.
Even if you own an e-bike with a Mahle drive and want to use your smartphone as a bike computer, your only option is the My SmartBike app.
But wait, there is an app that works across systems. What’s more, it combines route recording functions with the best anti-theft protection currently available for e-bikes.
Independent of the manufacturer and with powerful theft protection – the PowUnity App
Once the GPS tracker is installed inside your e-bike drive, you benefit from highly effective theft protection:
- As soon as someone moves your bike without permission, you will be informed via the app.
- You can also track the location of your bike in real time and report it directly to the police via the app.
- You can collect details about your e-bike in an integrated bike passport.
The PowUnity app automatically records all your routes. You can analyse them, share them on social media and export them to apps like Komoot and Strava.
In 2023, our app will be upgraded even more. You will be able to use the PowUnity app as an e-bike display, view performance data such as speed and battery consumption or plan services in the maintenance area. This also applies regardless of the motor of your e-bike.
And to e-bike manufacturers who cooperate with PowUnity, we offer a white label solution for the PowUnity app.
Conclusion on the Mahle app – unconvincing solution
Mahle SmartBike Systems enjoys a great reputation as a manufacturer of innovative e-bike drives. Unfortunately, the MySmart Bike app is not one of the manufacturer’s successful innovations.
This starts with the fact that the range of functions is surprisingly limited compared to the previous app. Although you can evaluate a range of data on routes ridden on the desktop, you have to switch to another service for navigation. The insufficient performance in practice weighs more heavily. However, there is a hope that Mahle will be able to improve this in the near future and fix serious shortcomings such as connection problems.
For customers looking for an alternative, the PowUnity app and the BikeTrax GPS tracker offer a solution for efficient theft protection and seamless live route tracking that works across different e-bike systems. From 2023, you will even be able to use this solution as a replacement for a bike computer and record a wide range of parameters on your smartphone.