Bosch presented several novelties for the electric bicycle at the Eurobike fair. Among all the features introduced, the latest ABS system for VAE particularly intrigued us. The German equipment manufacturer had been working on a solution to prevent front wheel lockup for several years. However, the first version of ABS for electric bikes required the integration of a huge, heavy and bulky case.
On this occasion, the box that contains all the electronics linked to the ABS is much more compact and is fixed to the bicycle fork. This saving of space is logically accompanied by a reduction in weight, with the device weighing only about 200 g. On a mountain bike fork, the device remains fairly inconspicuous, even if it’s obvious to more experienced mountain bikers. Fixation is currently done with rilsan collars, but in the long run the forks will integrate a place to screw the ABS box.
At the moment, ABS is only compatible with certain Bosch equipment, including the Performance Line CX motor that fitted the Mondraker electric mountain bike in our test, an e-MTB equipped with the intelligent system, and a Kiox 300 display. 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.
The ABS can be set from the screen of the mountain bike, the user is free to opt for Allroad mode, suitable for highway and quiet roads, or Trail mode, for steep and steep roads. singletracks that require more compromises. ABS can also be simply deactivated. Our driving was done on the tracks of the Bike Park in Val d’Isère, the Trail mode was more suitable.
According to its designer, Bosch ABS is aimed at all types of mountain bikers, from beginners to experts. That’s good, we had a tester on hand with a modest mountain bike level and a much more comfortable second for mountain bike. Quickly, we found ourselves on a red track that had steep sections, hairpin turns, potholes, and even a few jumps. Suffice it to say that the less experienced testers quickly understood that nothing was going to be easy.
In these conditions, with the tiredness of a first outing on the legs and a slight loss of confidence due to a fall on another descent, the riding becomes complicated. The beginner cyclist will tend to be less precise in his braking and lose the ability to anticipate: the perfect cocktail that leads to failure, especially when braking, biting the front disc a little too much and creating opportunities to go over the handlebars . Mountain bike brakes like the ones we had are particularly powerful. Despite these elements, we managed to descend without experiencing a single brake application that would have put us in difficulty. However, the screen and its statistics showed us that the ABS had not been idle.
The more comfortable of our two friends was able to experience the Bosch system in a different context. Better mastering his subject, he ventured into even more demanding black slopes. In fact, the ABS makes it possible to prevent the wheel from locking, but in the end it does not take advantage of all the power offered by the brakes. On a very steep incline, it is not possible to stop the bike without using the rear brake, although this is still possible by disabling the ABS. In practice, the bike maintains a low speed on the descents without any wheel lock-up, allowing the bike to register perfectly in the corners.
During hard braking, you can feel the small jerks of the ABS which regulates the pressure of the brake fluid. However, it is still quite discreet and the system is very quickly forgotten. The interest in rookies is undeniable and avoids many scares.
The first e-MTBs equipped with this system should hit the market between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. We are also looking forward to testing Bosch ABS on city and cargo bikes.
Mondraker Crafty R (2022)
Launch price €6499
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