Bosch ABS system will make its entrance in the cycling industry

It is clear that with the ever-growing popularity of E-bikes and the increasing density of traffic, it becomes more and more likely to find yourself in an emergency situation.

Nowadays, EU law changes even force high speed E-bike riders - speed pedelecs - to ride on the regular road between cars, motors, trucks and busses instead of using the cycle lane. That’s why high speed E-bike riders feel less safe and more vulnerable. They experience a good braking system that works well, but is hard to dose on wet or loose surfaces. Even when the streets are dry, the brakes are powerful, so riders tend to use only the rear brake. This of course reduces the braking force drastically. Luckily a complete solution is on its way for almost every E-bike. An E-bike equipped with ABS would significantly increase the riders’ safety compared to one with standard brakes. Therefore Bosch introduces its ABS system to the cycling industry by the end of 2018.

ABS since 1929

It was Gabriel Voisin who founded the contemporary ABS system in 1929. Developed for airplanes, 19 years later already tested on motorcycles, by then a completely mechanic system. In 1978 Robert Bosch took the ABS system in mass production and nowadays it’s obliged for all cars in the EU. Soon you will notice the first E-bikes with ABS on the road, since Bosch developed the ABS system for E-bikes. This has been done in close collaboration with Magura. It’s consistent to the E-bike driving system of Bosch for E-bikes and high speed E-bikes. No changes are needed to the frame nor front fork so it is easy for manufacturers to integrate the ABS system. When looking at an E-bike that is equipped with the ABS system, you will immediately notice the monitoring unit below the stem. Also visible is the ABS indicator on top of the stem that will lighten up when the ABS system is active. The brake levers are slightly bigger than ordinary ones and look similar like those on motorcycles, only a bit smaller.

This is how it works

A monitoring unit is centrally mounted under the stem and subtracts power from the already present battery. This unit is highly efficient which means the ABS system still works for some time even when the battery is too low to give E-support. The monitoring unit receives data such as the rotational speed of the wheels thanks to special sensors. The sensors are assimilated in the mounting adapters of the disc brake and scan the amount of rotations and the speed of the extensions of the disc. This disc is specially developed by Magura. The front wheel sensor keeps a close eye on possible blocking during heavy braking, while the rear wheel sensor registers wether this wheel loses contact with the ground. The data of both sensors, together with the speed of the E-bike and the input of the riders’ brake levers is all send to the monitoring unit, which decides how often and with which speed and pressure the ABS system needs to react on the front wheel. By regulating the pressure on the brake pads, the front wheel is prevented from being blocked completely. In this way the rider stays in control.

Appreciation and criticism at the same time

The ABS system is realised in cooperation and under supervision of Dekra. They ensure the safety of human interaction with technology and the environment and therefore have conducted an inquiry on the ABS system. Despite their mostly appreciative reactions on a technical level, Dekra had some comments about the integration of the system. It is well integrated, but still very present and should be more integrated into the E-bike itself. Another critical note seems to come from E-bike riders who report more and more accidents that occur because of a blocked rear wheel that starts sliding when braking. This has to do with the sporty position - center of gravity is more up front - of the rider on these bikes which leads to less pressure on the rear wheel, especially in tight corners. Because the Bosch ABS system supports only front wheel ABS, this could be a foreshadowed problem.

E-bike manufacturers such as Cresta, Flyer, Kalkoff, Riese und Muller and Victoria are testing the ABS system extensively together with Bosch and Magura. The product will make its entrance by the end of 2018 on E-bikes. It is likely that the ABS system will also be integrated in disc brakes on E-mountainbikes in the near future. •

By: Fietscontent (fietscontent.nl)