Pedelec cycling is about to become safer than ever. Bosch, the leading producer of motorbike safety systems, is about to launch the market’s first series-produced anti-lock braking system for eBikes. Due to this new development it will be possible to prevent the pedelec’s front wheel from locking up and also to limit the lifting of the rear wheel – thanks to an intelligent and innovative system. In this way the braking distance can be shortened and the risk of falling over the handlebars is reduced.
According to a study carried out by Bosch’s Accident Research Division, pedelec accidents could be reduced by as much as 25 percent if all bikes were equipped with the ABS system.
The Bosch eBike ABS will be available from Autumn 2017 onwards – initially for selected fleet partners. Series production for trekking and city eBikes provided with the Bosch drive system is planned for Autumn 2018.
Bosch Studies: Fewer Accidents Thanks to eBike ABS
Every year more and more people are opting for the pedelec. In Germany alone, roughly three million cyclists are currently using electric assistance. As Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems, explains:
“In order to establish this modern form of mobility for the longer term, safety is a pivotal factor for eBikers and their environment.”
Two studies undertaken by Bosch Accident Research indicate that the accident rate can be reduced if the pedelec is equipped with an antilock braking system. In the first study, researchers examined more than 500 bicycle accidents in Germany. Their main finding:
With correct braking behavior, many accidents can be avoided – or their consequences alleviated.
They found that in 20 percent of cycling accidents the rider had fallen before the actual collision occurred. Many of these falls were the result of an incorrect braking response (or a failure to brake). ABS ensures more stable and more effectively controlled braking when critical situations arise.
The second study, based on data from more than 5,400 bicycle collisions and falls, also confirms that no braking took place in up to 75 percent of collisions. This is where ABS systems can be invaluable.
According to the accident researchers, almost a quarter of pedelec accidents could be avoided through the use of ABS.
Moreover, the number of accidents with severe injuries could be reduced further, they found. Fleischer is convinced that:
“The introduction of a system of this type can improve road safety in the longer term.”
Efficient Braking with the Bosch eBike ABS
State-of-the-art, high performance braking systems optimize braking behavior and reduce braking distances. The Bosch eBike ABS combines front-wheel ABS with a rear wheel lift-off regulator, thus increasing safety substantially. By regulating the braking pressure of the front brake during critical braking maneuvers, the situation for the biker is stabilized and the risk of falling off is significantly reduced.
“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 optimizes the stability and maneuverability of the eBike.”
This is a decisive advantage, especially on slippery road surfaces or on loose, wet terrain as it means that the pedelec can be slowed down carefully and brought to a standstill. The rear wheel lift-off regulator in the Bosch eBike ABS ensures that the rear wheel stays on the ground in the event of extreme overbraking, especially on a surface with good grip or on descents. Wheel speed sensors detect when the rear wheel is lifting and adjust the application of the front-wheel brake. Fleischer says:
“The Bosch eBike ABS reduces the braking force at the front wheel briefly, with the result that the rear wheel quickly regains contact with the ground. This lessens the probability that the eBiker will fall head-first.”
Thanks to this regulating function, the front-wheel brake can be used actively and efficiently.
Development and Technological Partnerships
When developing the eBike ABS, Bosch has made use of its in-depth know-how, its many years’ expertise and long-established technology partnerships. Anti-locking devices for two-wheelers were first installed by Bosch in a police motorbike in Japan in 1994. Since 2007 the Bosch Development Centre for Bicycle Safety in Japan has been responsible for the systems. Bosch eBike Systems has been able to use elements of the motorbike ABS in the eBike ABS – specially adapted to suit the riding and braking habits of pedelec users.
The company’s partner for the development of brake technologies is Gustav Magenwirth GmbH & Co. KG (Magura). Bosch has been working closely with this firm for a number of years in such areas as the supply of spare parts and accessories, service hotlines, warranty claim processing and training courses for salesmen. The Bosch eBike ABS will be launched with the CMe-ABS, which has been specially developed by Magura.
Selected Fleet Partners Start Trial Phase
During the introductory phase from autumn 2017 onwards, selected fleet partners will be the first users of pedelecs with Bosch eBike ABS. The system will then be available at retailers starting autumn 2018. Initially the Bosch eBike ABS will be installed only on trekking and city bikes with 28” rims. The eBikes for fleets are equipped with the Performance Line (Cruise and Speed) combined with the Intuvia display.
About Bosch eBike Systems
A new generation of bikes is taking town and country by storm and is already a part of everyday life. eBikes are a modern means of transport for modern people: people in a hurry and people who prefer to take it easy, the fit and the comfort lovers, commuters and pleasure cyclists and, of course, young and old. The tailwind of technology-leading eBikes made by what are already more than 70 leading brands in Europe is powered by components that Bosch is developing to perfection. The Bosch portfolio ranges from the highly efficient drive unit (motor and gearbox) and high-quality batteries to a smart on-board and cycle computer that can be used intuitively. Perfect coordination of components holds the key to typical Bosch performance in terms of both comfort and efficiency.
Like other Bosch products, the eBike systems benefit from the Bosch Group’s technology and production know-how. From conception and engineering to manufacturing, marketing and after-sales service, Bosch eBike Systems constantly set new standards for the eBike industry. The Bosch Group’s experience in the areas of electric motors, sensor technology, displays and lithium-ion batteries ensures that Bosch eBike systems use technology that is invented for life and that eBike users have fun.
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