BMW Cruise e Bike - any good?

Vennwood

Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2015
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Hi all,

I'm in a quandary again. Having decided on the Haibike Trekking I decided to look around one more time and came across the BMW Cruise e Bike It looks good, has the Bosch crank drive motor but is it really any good? As it is built by BMW it ought to have quality on its side but how good is it? Anyone have any experience on riding and owning one?
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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And it appears to have been designed by a USA based team. Car manufacturers' bikes and e-bikes have almost invariably been designed and built by outside companies.

The one in-house exception has been Peugeot who have been a bicycle manufacturer since 1882, and have the most successful cycle racing team of all time with Tour de France wins among their successes.
.
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Who builds them then? All the blurb on the BMW web site shows this BMW guy designing them and they are sold through the BMW network (well at least some of the dealers have them)

Not so, this from a BMW site about the bike:

"The DesignworksUSA team didn’t just focus on the BMW design language, they focused above all on the interplay between design and technology."

The build will possibly be by one of the numerous German bike companies, but could be external. Examples, the Mercedes bikes and e-bike were designed and built by Puch in Austria. Toyota used the Parlee and DeepLocal companies.

With ther honourable exception of Peugeot, these car company bikes are always sold through their car showrooms since only their car customers buy them normally.
.
 
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Vennwood

Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2015
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Not so, this from a BMW site about the bike:

"The DesignworksUSA team didn’t just focus on the BMW design language, they focused above all on the interplay between design and technology."

The build will possibly be by one of the numerous German bike companies, but could be external. Examples, the Mercedes bikes and e-bike were designed and built by Puch in Austria. Toyota used the Parlee and DeepLocal companies.

With ther honourable exception of Peugeot, these car company bikes are always sold through their car showrooms since only their car customers buy them normally.
.
Thanks for the info flecc. The real question is are they any good?
 
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Vennwood

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Apr 27, 2015
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And it appears to have been designed by a USA based team. Car manufacturers' bikes and e-bikes have almost invariably been designed and built by outside companies.

The one in-house exception has been Peugeot who have been a bicycle manufacturer since 1882, and have the most successful cycle racing team of all time with Tour de France wins among their successes.
.
True but the USA based team are part of the BMW group of companies - so it could be said that like Peugeot they do design their own bikes. Not many cars, let alone bikes are built where folks think they are. For example the BMW X3 and X5 are built in USA. Peugeot are an exception I guess as they bave been building bikes longer than cars
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Thanks for the info flecc. The real question is are they any good?
Since BMW will want to protect their reputation, they'll want them to be as good as they know how, so build quality should be good, regardless of who actually builds them.

But only the frame is theirs, all the rest is from bicycle part manufacturers so it's down to whose parts they've chosen. From their specification:

FORK: SR Suntour XCT.
TYRES: Continental Cruise CONTACT with “Safety System”.
DISC BRAKES: Shimano BR-M395, 180 mm.
SHIFT SYSTEM: Shimano Deore, 30 gears.
SADDLE: Selle Royal Freccia, white, with black rails.
HANDLES: Velo VLG-719 Ergonomic, black/white.
RIMS: Rodi Airline Plus 4 lacing, white or blue.

That's all ok, but their one part, the frame, doesn't impress me since it's gimmicky. In particular terminating the upper rear frame tube, normally called the seat stay, half way down the seat tube makes no sense. The best position for maximum strength is higher, opposite the crossbar.

That probably won't materially affect it, but I see no reason to choose it over good cycle company Bosch powered e-bikes other than style and brand name preference.
.
 
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Vennwood

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Apr 27, 2015
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Since BMW will want to protect their reputation, they'll want them to be as good as they know how, so build quality should be good, regardless of who actually builds them.

But only the frame is theirs, all the rest is from bicycle part manufacturers so it's down to whose parts they've chosen. From their specification:

FORK: SR Suntour XCT.
TYRES: Continental Cruise CONTACT with “Safety System”.
DISC BRAKES: Shimano BR-M395, 180 mm.
SHIFT SYSTEM: Shimano Deore, 30 gears.
SADDLE: Selle Royal Freccia, white, with black rails.
HANDLES: Velo VLG-719 Ergonomic, black/white.
RIMS: Rodi Airline Plus 4 lacing, white or blue.

That's all ok, but their one part, the frame, doesn't impress me since it's gimmicky. In particular terminating the upper rear frame tube, normally called the seat stay, half way down the seat tube makes no sense. The best position for maximum strength is higher, opposite the crossbar.

That probably won't materially affect it, but I see no reason to choose it over good cycle company Bosch powered e-bikes other than style and brand name preference.
.
Thanks flecc,

As usual a good honest response.
 

Vennwood

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Apr 27, 2015
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That probably won't materially affect it, but I see no reason to choose it over good cycle company Bosch powered e-bikes other than style and brand name preference.
.
At the price of circa £2000 I can't find another Bosch crank drive to match - is there?
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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I honestly don't know. There have been Bosch powered bikes as low as £1500, but I'm not familiar with the overall choice. Maybe others will come in with some. If that BMW one is only £2000 it sounds good, but I wonder why they've priced it that low, not exactly something BMW are noted for!

Maybe they produced too many and now need to offload some, car makers e-bikes have never sold well.
.
 

Vennwood

Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2015
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I honestly don't know. There have been Bosch powered bikes as low as £1500, but I'm not familiar with the overall choice. Maybe others will come in with some. If that BMW one is only £2000 it sounds good, but I wonder why they've priced it that low, not exactly something BMW are noted for!

Maybe they produced too many and now need to offload some, car makers e-bikes have never sold well.
.
The BMW one for £2000 is actually a 2014 model so maybe that is why it is less than the 2015 model price at £2400
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Ah, that makes more sense, still lower than I'd expect from BMW though. Their car showroom in Park Lane, London and cars Mayfair priced accordingly!
.
 

martin@onbike

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D C

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Apr 25, 2013
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That's all ok, but their one part, the frame, doesn't impress me since it's gimmicky. In particular terminating the upper rear frame tube, normally called the seat stay, half way down the seat tube makes no sense. The best position for maximum strength is higher, opposite the crossbar.

.
Couldn't agree more, this one bit of inattention to good structural design would stop me buying this bike.

Dave.
 

Vennwood

Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2015
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While I see your point about the seat stay bit I certainly can't comment on the design aspect as I don't have any experience. Just to be devils advocate here you could argue that BMW are smart cookies and have a pretty good design team that presumably know what they are doing and figure this approach to be sound while maybe not as attractive. The use of all the other parts could be thought of as "using the best in the business" with parts from Bosch, Shimano, etc. all coming together to produce a "good all round product" - I'm not sticking up for BMW - I've got zero experience on this but as an outsider it appears to me that many other cycle manufacturers are doing the same - designing the frame and adding tried and tested parts. The only difference is some maybe don't have the pedigree or financial backing that BMW have (albeit in cars not bikes) and more importantly BMW will still be around in years to come
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Just to be devils advocate here you could argue that BMW are smart cookies and have a pretty good design team that presumably know what they are doing and figure this approach to be sound while maybe not as attractive.
I'm afraid it's precisely the opposite, the designers not knowing (or caring) what they are doing. The frame seat tube is already under a roughly central forward bending strain from the inserted saddle tube and rider weight. That seat stay placement adds to that stress in the worst possible place. Placing the seat stay in the tried and trusted place opposite the crossbar obviates all that risk.

The only reason the seat stays are placed where they are on the BMW design is solely for style difference. DC is right, it's a sound reason for rejecting the bike and why I would not buy one. Style is never a sound basis for adopting a poor engineering design. Of course they are not alone in such gimmickry.
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you could argue that BMW are smart cookies and have a pretty good design team that presumably know what they are doing and figure this approach to be sound while maybe not as attractive.
You're very naive. I guarantee that that bike wasn't designed by BMW. Somebody from the purchase department would have visited a known electric bike factory and asked them to make a bike with a BMW logo on it. That's about it apart from maybe a a test ride by someone that had never been on an electric bike before, so he thought it was great.

These bikes with the Bosch system obviously all have the same motor and control system. Even the bit of the frame that holds the motor is probably made by only one supplier and sold to the various frame makers. As Flecc pointed out, all the cycle parts are standard. That only leaves the frame (less the bit that holds the motor) for the bike manufacturer to decide on and differentiate it from any other Bosch bike. After that, it's just a question of deciding what standard cycke parts to hang on it.

Anybody could design such a bike. You don't need any special skills. You make a sketch, take it to the frame maker, and they will change it to what's practical and sufficiently strong, then priduce it for you. The hardest part is trying to differentiate it from something else, which is why they deviate from logical good design practice. I saw a sketch of that bike on Google where there was a complete sub-frame for the rear triangle like you get on a full suspension one. If you look carefully, they've chosen the lines to mimic the shape of one with rear suspension to give a false impression. That's nothing to do with making a strong reliable frame. If they designed on the basis of good engineering practice, every Bosch-motored bike of the same genre would be identical apart from the logo.
 
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trex

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May 15, 2011
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Most members have had more than one bike. You should therefore keep in mind that the first bike you buy is not going to stay with you for very long, possibly a year so do keep the depreciation in mind for that what if you don't like it any more.
 
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