Product Review: Bosch Kiox Display
Bosch Kiox Display
Bosch recently sent us a bike with the prototype of their new Kiox display unit to test. It is their first full-color display, with tons of options and many ways to display a plethora of information. It’s compact, more like the Purion but made to be center-mounted.
One thing to note is that currently it isn’t available as an aftermarket option for Bosch-powered bikes. It has to be wired in from the start, so if you want one, you’ll need to buy a bike that comes with it.
A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS
It is held onto the stem-mounted bracket by a magnet and clicks in place very easily. It can pop out, but we took the bike it was mounted to off of some big drops and it never fell off. The advantage of this setup is that if you do crash, the display can pop off the mount to avoid damage. The glass covering this display is Corning Gorilla glass, which is shatter- and scratch-resistant. It’s also anti-reflective, making it easier to read in bright sunlight, and Bosch has carefully designed the mount to hold the display at the optimal angle for easy reading.
Within the menus, you can set the brightness manually or let the display sense light levels and automatically adjust brightness. We love this feature; auto seems to be perfect, even when mountain biking, and dodging in and out of trees and in bright sunlight.
The control pad has five push-buttons; the two on the left side raise or lower the power assist level, as well as scrolling up or down within internal menus. There are also left and right buttons to toggle through screens and an enter button. We found it very easy to reach with our left thumb, even when we weren’t looking at it.
Bosch finally got in a production unit just before we went to press with this issue, and they let us try it. It delivers on every promise the prototype made!
SO MUCH INFO
There are eight different screens that can display just the information you want for whatever you’re doing. On all screens you can tell what mode you’re in, your speed in miles or kilometers per hour, and the percentage of battery left. Power Assist mode changes color as you go up or down.
The first screen shows what is connected, via Bluetooth, including your heart rate monitor and your phone (there’s an app coming to work with the display).
The second screen is likely what Bosch expects you’ll keep the display on most of the time. It shows a curved graphic that shows both your own leg power (wattage), as well as the amount of power assistance the motor is supplying.
The third screen shows clock and range, and that range changes depending on what power assist mode you’re in. Bosch compares the battery level to the last 1.5 miles you’ve ridden to figure out your range. If you’ve been climbing a lot and using higher assist levels, that number will be much lower than if you’d been descending and not using as much power.
“We really liked the heart rate feature, especially the quad screen with all this information available at a glance.”
The fourth screen shows trip distance in miles and ride time in minutes. You can set preferences to reset this data every day, every four hours or to never reset it, depending on your preferences. The fifth screen shows rider input in watts, as well as cadence. Bosch CX motors typically cut off at 120 rpm, but with this setup, as long as we didn’t exceed 19.5 mph, the motor didn’t cut even when we wound the thing up above 140 rpm. Interesting, but not something most riders would ever do.
Screen six shows average speed and max speed. Again, this information can be reset daily, every four hours or never. The seventh screen was our favorite. It has four quadrants, showing distance, range, power meter and heart rate. This screen or the final screen that just shows heart rate can prove to be the ultimate training tools.
With all this information, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Don’t worry, there’s an introduction to all of it built into the menus.
With the heart rate monitor integration, it’s possible for athletes to train at a very specific heart rate easily. Imagine an endurance athlete who lives in a place that isn’t flat. With an e-bike and the heart rate monitor information, you could simply change assist modes to keep you at your desired heart rate.
We used an old Polar H7 chest strap heart rate monitor that we had to dust off and put in a fresh battery. We weren’t sure it would pair with the Kiox, but it paired instantly through the menus. We really liked the heart rate feature, especially the quad screen with all this information available at a glance.
There’s a micro USB port on the front of the display that can be used for diagnostics (performed at your local Bosch bike shop dealer) and upgrades, as well as can be used to charge your phone. The latter can come in handy if you’re on a long ride and using your phone for navigation. You will likely need a custom cable for your phone, and the charge output is 5 watts at 1 amp, so it won’t charge your phone quickly, but it will slow charge it.
It seems there’s no end to the possibilities the Kiox might have with future firmware updates. They could add additional screens or allow customization of existing ones.
The Kiox is our new favorite display. Bosch has taken what they’ve learned from the Intuvia an Purion displays and created something even better. If you want training tools for training for any sport, this is a game-changer.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET
ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION
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