At the Eurobike, Bosch presented several innovations for electric bicycles. Among all the featured features, we were particularly intrigued by the latest ABS system for VAE. The German device manufacturer had been working on a solution for several years to avoid blockages in the front wheel. The first version of ABS for electric bikes still required the integration of a huge, heavy and bulky box.
This time, the case that houses all the electronics related to the ABS is much more compact and attaches to the bike’s fork. This space saving is logically accompanied by a reduction in weight, the device only weighs around 200 g. On a mountain bike fork, the device remains fairly unobtrusive, although it would be noticed by the most experienced mountain bikers. Attachment is currently done with Rilsan collars, but in the long term the forks will incorporate a spot to bolt on the ABS box.
For now, ABS is only compatible with certain Bosch gear, 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 screen was time: the use of Magura hydraulic disc brakes. Bosch has confirmed to us that other partners will benefit from this ABS technology.
The ABS can be configured from the mountain bike screen, the user can opt for Allroad mode, suitable for the road and smooth paths, or Trail mode, for steep and steep paths. single trails that require more commitments. ABS can also be easily deactivated. As our handling was done on the slopes of the Bike Park in Val d’Isère, Trail mode was more appropriate.
According to its developer, Bosch ABS is aimed at all types of mountain bikers, from beginners to experts. That’s good, we had a modest-level mountain-biking tester on hand, and a second much more comfortable mountain-biking one. We quickly found ourselves on a red slope that had steep sections, tight turns, bumps 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 fatigue in the legs from the first outing and a slight loss of confidence due to a fall on a further descent, steering becomes complicated. The novice cyclist will tend to be less precise when braking and will lose his ability to anticipate: The perfect cocktail, which leads to mistakes, especially when braking, biting the front disc a little too hard and creating opportunities for overrunning. Mountain bike brakes like the ones we’ve had are particularly strong. Despite these elements, we managed to descend without a single brake that would have caused us difficulties. However, the screen and its stats told us that the ABS was not idle.
The most comfortable of our two friends was able to experience the Bosch system in a different context. Mastering his subject better, he ventured onto even more demanding black slopes. Although the ABS prevents the wheel from locking, it ultimately does not utilize the full power of the brakes. On a very steep incline you cannot 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 going downhill without locking the wheels, which allows the bike to register perfectly in the turns.
When braking hard, you can feel the small jerks of the ABS, which regulates the pressure of the brake fluid. However, it remains quite discreet and the system falls into oblivion very quickly. Interest for beginners is undeniable and avoids many horrors.
The first E-MTBs equipped with this system are expected to hit the market between late 2022 and early 2023. We are also looking forward to testing Bosch ABS on urban and cargo bikes.
Mondraker Crafty R (2022)
Introductory price €6499
This is how the pricing table works