Usually overlooked for its sexier siblings in the Performance line, Bosch's Active line is the bulletproof mainstay of most high quality, modern daily rider eBikes. Especially suited for leisurely upright city riding, It gives just the right amount of assistance for daily commuting and relaxed tours.
Excellent battery range becomes more important the more you use your eBike, and the Active line sips power efficiently, making it the range king in the Bosch line. At 50 Nm of torque it has enough grunt to get up hills, with a more power than the Shimano Steps City system. It won't top the speed charts, but it will also probably never need any servicing either. In the past it was hard to find an Active line motor eBike for less than 3k, now we are seeing prices come down to 2.5k or less.
The Active line motor is usually paired with a 400 or 500 watt hour externally mounted battery - either in the rear rack, or mounted on the downtube of the frame - there is no integrated battery option.
For 2018, the Active line is geting re-worked, with a new motor design that is 2.5 lbs lighter, and a 25% reduced size. Bosch has departed from its signature "inside out" gears, going back to a big sprocket externally geared design (that it used to have) like the popular Brose and Shimano city systems. It is a tip of the hat that the insurgents are gaining ground on the king of the hill. Motor noise and resistance are also significantly reduced too, due to the new gearing set-up.
It is a little confusing, but for 2018 there are two new Active line motors - a 50 Nm of torque version that is called "Active Plus" (similar power to the 2017 Active). Then there is "Active" (no plus) motor which has only 40 Nm of torque. The new Bosch Active line no doubt will continue to be best in class reliability for everyday and leisure riding.