Bike high-tech – How well does ABS work on an electric bike?

The boom in electric bicycles continues unabated. Over 200,000 pieces were sold in total in 2020. This also increases the speed of cyclists and, consequently, the number of accidents. In addition, less fit / experienced bikers can reach relatively high speeds. ABS is now also available for such bicycles, with which accidents during emergency braking can be prevented. ÖAMTC / ADAC have tested such a system.

An ABS can prevent the stabilizing front wheel from coming to a standstill and consequently falling. But it is also important: the good systems largely prevent the rear wheel from lifting off and, in extreme cases, from rollover.

There are now three providers of bicycle ABS systems: BOSCH, ZF Sachs Micro Mobility GmbH and the Italian brand BluBrake. Using the Bosch system on a KTM Macina Sport ABS, the ADAC examined the benefits of an ABS for pedelecs and whether the additional costs of several hundred euros are worthwhile.

Result: The brake tests with the BOSCH ABS reliably prevented a wheel blockage even under unfavorable conditions such as on slippery surfaces with a low coefficient of friction. The braking stability was also mostly good. Only in one of 50 ABS brakes did the rear wheel lift so far at low speed that the driver had to step out of the way to get to safety.

However, the function of the rollover protection has one disadvantage:
Normally, as the braking force increases, the rear wheel quickly loses contact with the ground. To prevent a rollover, the braking force must be limited by the ABS in good time. However, this increases the braking distance.

The ADAC generally recommends ABS for cyclists who travel a lot on unpaved, dirty and therefore slippery roads and in all weather conditions. There is a high probability that the tires will not have enough grip when braking without ABS. On a dry road, the pedelec can also be controlled while braking.

ABS is also well suited for e-cargo bikes that are heavier, have a relatively low center of gravity and have a long wheelbase. The ABS is particularly well suited here to stabilize sudden braking and prevent falls

Anyone who opts for a Pedelec ABS should have the dealer explain the system to them and undertake an extensive test drive with braking tests. Due to the longer braking distance, the driving style should be adapted and large distances should be maintained.

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