Bosch presented several innovations for electric bikes at the Eurobike show. Among all the features introduced, the latest ABS system for VAE interests us the most. The German equipment manufacturer has been working on a solution for several years to prevent front wheel blockages. The first version of ABS for electric bikes however required the integration of a large, heavy and bulky box.
This time, the case that contains all the electronics involved in ABS is more compact and fixed to the bicycle fork. This saving of space is logically accompanied by a reduction in weight, the device weighs only about 200 g. On a mountain bike fork, the device remains discreet, even if it jumps out at the eyes of the most experienced mountain bikers. The repair is currently done on the rilsan collars, but, in the long term, the forks will integrate in a location to screw the ABS box.
Currently, ABS is only compatible with some Bosch equipment, including the Performance Line CX motor that fitted the Mondraker electric mountain bike in our test, an e-MTB equipped with an intelligent system and a Kiox 300 screen. time: the use of Magura hydraulic disc brakes. Bosch has confirmed to us that other partners will be able to take advantage of this ABS technology.
ABS can be configured from the mountain bike screen, the user can freely choose Allroad mode, suitable for road and quiet paths, or Trail mode, for steep and steep paths. singletracks which requires additional commitments. ABS can also be disabled. Our management is already done on the slopes of the Bike Park in Val d’Isère, the Trail mode is more suitable.
According to its designer, Bosch ABS is aimed at all types of mountain bikers, from beginners to experts. That’s good, we have a tester at the moderate level of mountain biking and a second that is more comfortable for mountain biking. Quickly, we found ourselves on a red track with steep sections, tight turns, bumps, and even some jumps. Suffice it to say that less experienced testers quickly understand that nothing can be done easily.
In these conditions, with the fatigue of a first outing in the legs and a slight loss of confidence due to the fall during another descent, piloting can be complicated. The novice cyclist tends to be less precise in his braking and lose his ability to anticipate: the perfect cocktail that leads to mistakes, especially in braking, biting the front disc too much and creating opportunities to go through it. Mountain bike brakes like the ones we have are very powerful. Despite these elements, we were able to descend without experiencing a brake application that would have put us in trouble. However, the screen and its statistics show us that the ABS is not idle.
The most comfortable of our two friends experienced the Bosch system in a different context. Mastering his subject better, he ventured into more difficult dark slopes. ABS actually makes it possible to avoid wheel lock, but in the end it doesn’t take advantage of all the power that the brakes have to offer. On a very steep slope, you cannot stop the bike without using the rear brake, although it can still be done by deactivating the ABS. In practice, the bike maintains a low descent speed without any wheel lockup, which allows the bike to register perfectly in the turns.
During heavy braking, you can feel the small vibrations of the ABS which regulates the pressure of the brake fluid. However, it remains cautious, and the system is quickly forgotten. The interest of newcomers is undeniable and avoids many fears.
The first e-MTBs equipped with this system should arrive on the market between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. We also expect to be able to test Bosch’s ABS on urban and cargo bikes.
Mondraker Crafty R (2022)
Introductory price €6499
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