Bosch Release New eBike Anti-Lock Braking Technology
Bosch has just released details of its new anti-lock braking system for electric bikes and pedelecs. The new product will be trialled on fleet bikes in Europe, before being made available to buy as a MY19 product from autumn 2018.
To begin with, the product will only be trialled on trekking and city bikes with 28-inch rims. This project will focus on collecting data and refining the product before it is distributed more widely.
In creating its new ABS technology, Bosch, working with its partner company Magura, has drawn on its long experience of creating safer braking systems for motorbikes. Independent test house Dekra has already certified the new product for use with eBikes and pedelecs.
CEO of Bosch eBike Systems, Claus Fleischer, explained that, “With front-wheel ABS, wheel speed sensors monitor the speed of both wheels. As soon as the front wheel threatens to lock up, for example in the event of a brake application which is too strong, the Bosch eBike ABS regulates the braking pressure and thus optimises the stability and maneuverability of the eBike.”
The ABS system:
• works on any terrain
• weighs 800g, so won’t add too much weight for commuter bikes (its main intended market)
• draws power from the bikes battery at extremely low levels (the system will still be able to function even if the battery has shut off power to the motor).
• includes rear wheel lift control, to reduce the risk of cyclists flying over the handlebars in the event of severe braking.
Focus on safety
Fleischer is convinced that, in order for this newer form of mobility to become more established in the future, it is pivotal to ensure that it is as safe as it can be, both for eBike users and for their environment.
The number of bike accidents in Germany has risen over the last few years. Bosch decided to look more closely at this trend and to find out if it was linked to the fact that users of electric bikes tend to ride for longer than those who use pedal bikes - 2 to 3 times longer in many cases.
They looked at the results of studies, which showed that anti-locking brakes on pedelecs reduce the number of accidents and could improve road safety in the future.
The first study, which analysed the details of more than 500 bicycle accidents in Germany, found that correct braking behaviour can help to avoid accidents altogether or make them less severe. It found that the rider fell before the collision even took place in 20 percent of the incidents in the study, often as the result of the cyclist braking incorrectly or not at all. In these situations, ABS has been shown to make braking control more effective.
In the second study, based on more than 5400 collisions and falls, researchers confirmed that no braking took place in up to 75% of cases. They found that ABS could help to avoid up to a quarter of eBike accidents and reduce even further the number of accidents that resulted in serious injuries.