Press release #eBike Systems

Market launch of Bosch eBike ABS

Focus on safety – ABS now also available for the eBike

  • Bosch eBike Systems is announcing the market launch of ABS
  • The ABS was first mass-produced for cars 40 years ago
  • In a few years, ABS will become the standard on high-end pedelecs
  • More road safety for eBikers
Tamara Winograd

Tamara Winograd

Stuttgart/Reutlingen – From airplanes to cars to motorcycles, and now for eBikes, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) has had a decisive impact on different means of transport and has boosted safety. At the end of 2018, the ABS for pedelecs became commercially available on selected models. With this, Bosch opens a new chapter in the success story of the anti-lock braking system. Forty years have passed since Bosch brought the world's first production-ready ABS for cars into the market, initially as an extra feature in the of Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In light of this, Bosch had the term ABS patented.

In 1936, the Stuttgart technology company applied for a patent for a "device to prevent a vehicle's wheel brakes from locking". Since its invention, the system has become even smaller, lighter and more powerful. Bosch has been making anti-lock braking systems for motorcycles since 1995, and now for the eBike as well. Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems, says there is great potential: "Safety is an important factor in ensuring that this trendsetting form of mobility becomes sustainable on the market. I am convinced that ABS will become standard equipment on high-end pedelecs. In a few years, most city and trekking eBikes will be equipped with ABS."

Safer braking

The ABS has become indispensable in cars. Today, the installation of ABS in new vehicles is even mandatory in Europe. However, it has been proved that the system makes sense for the eBike as well. Bosch accident research has shown that the anti-lock braking system prevented almost one out of four pedelec accidents and reduced the number of accidents involving serious injuries. Incorrect use of brakes often plays a central role in causes of accidents. When braking, many cyclists ignore the front brake which produces a much higher braking action than the rear brake. The reason for this is fear of crashing. The ABS counteracts this risk since the brakes can be used more efficiently. This reduces the braking distance and the risk of crashing and rollovers.

ABS for bicycles – how does it work?

With front wheel ABS, wheel speed sensors monitor the speed of both wheels. When the front wheel is on the verge of locking, the Bosch eBike ABS controls the brake pressure. The ABS reacts quicker than any rider. In particular, the pedelec can be better controlled and brought to a stop on slippery road conditions and loose, wet ground. Rear wheel lift control is another function of the Bosch eBike ABS. It reduces the chance of the rear wheel lifting off the ground when applying the brake aggressively. This is how it works: Wheel speed sensors detect lifting of the rear wheel through sudden changes in the wheel speed. This results in regulation of the amount of braking force applied to the front wheel. The Bosch eBike ABS briefly reduces the braking force on the front wheel so that the rear wheel quickly regains ground contact. This reduces the likelihood of the eBiker flying over the handlebar.

Perfect interplay

The hydraulic brakes and electronic braking system are precisely matched. Bosch developed the eBike ABS together with its long-standing partner Magura, which provides a special braking system with the Magura CMe ABS. eBike components and the ABS must be in tune with each other as a system as optimally as possible. For this reason, bicycle makers only build the ABS directly on the eBike. Retrofitting is impossible. The power source of the anti-lock braking system is the eBike battery. However, the ABS has no noticeable effect on the battery's range since power is only used when the ABS is actively controlling the braking process. In addition, it is ensured that ABS, light and display also run in backup mode. These safety-relevant functions only switch off when the backup has been used up. The end of backup mode is indicated by an ABS indicator light flashing briefly. The brake then operates as a conventional brake.

Safety comes first

Bosch eBike Systems takes another step towards safe cycling with the ABS and electronic systems. This also includes an on-board computer. Nowadays, the Bosch displays, for example, provide all information like speed, cadence or range at a glance. Whilst operating the eBike, the eBiker keeps both hands on the handlebar and controls the on-board computer easily and comfortably via a separate control unit during the ride. "Safety is of the utmost priority for Bosch. We work continuously on the enhancement of safety products. In principle, many things that are now the standard for cars are also conceivable for eBikes because fundamental elements, such as power supply and intelligence, are already on board in the form of sensors", says Mr Fleischer.

Facts & figures about the Bosch eBike ABS
Availability: Available for purchase in Europe starting autumn 2018
Dealer search:
As of Spring 2018:Rollout phase with fleet partners Centurion, Cresta, Flyer, Kalkhoff and Riese & Müller
Weight:approx. 800 grams
Components: ABS control unit, ABS control light, ABS wheel speed sensors (front and rear), Magura brake CMe ABS with sensor disc
Functions:Anti-lock braking system on the front wheel
Intelligent rear wheel lift control
Automatic switching with on-board computer
Benefits:Optimised riding stability and manoeuvrability
Less chance of riders flying over the handlebar
More efficient use of brake
Greater safety
More riding enjoyment
Price: Prices are determined by bicycle manufacturers
Manufacturer:E BIKE Advanced, Flyer, KTM, Riese & Müller, ZEG (Zemo) etc.
Retrofitting option:No, only available as original equipment
Compatibility:28-inch city and trekking eBikes combined with all Bosch eBike drive systems

Contact for press enquiries:
Robert Bosch GmbH
Tamara Winograd
Director Marketing and Communications Bosch eBike Systems
Phone +49 (0)7121 35-394 64

Bosch eBike Systems is shaping the future of eBike mobility with innovative products and digital services ranging from highly efficient drive systems to the first production-ready ABS for eBikes and Connected Biking solutions. On the daily routes through the city, on leisurely rides through the countryside or for sporting adventures in the mountains: Bosch eBike Systems offers eBikers the right drive system (drive unit, battery, display, and app) for every requirement and every area of use, ensuring a unique riding sensation. Today, more than 100 of the world's leading bicycle brands trust the perfectly coordinated, modular product portfolio. As an independent division within the Bosch Group, Bosch eBike Systems also makes use of the Group's technology and manufacturing expertise. For healthy, safe and sustainable mobility that is fun.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 429,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2023). The company generated sales of 91.6 billion euros in 2023. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. With its business activities, the company aims to use technology to help shape universal trends such as automation, electrification, digitalization, connectivity, and an orientation to sustainability. In this context, Bosch’s broad diversification across regions and industries strengthens its innovativeness and robustness. Bosch uses its proven expertise in sensor technology, software, and services to offer customers cross-domain solutions from a single source. It also applies its expertise in connectivity and artificial intelligence in order to develop and manufacture user-friendly, sustainable products. With technology that is “Invented for life,” Bosch wants to help improve quality of life and conserve natural resources. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 470 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. Bosch’s innovative strength is key to the company’s further development. At 136 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 90,000 associates in research and development, of which nearly 48,000 are software engineers.

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