Anti-lock brakes have been available in cars for decades, and it looks like that’s finally moving on to electric bikes as well.
This move is coming at a great time, given the rising popularity of electric bikes in an increasingly environmentally conscious world.
What Are Anti-Lock Brakes?
Anti-lock brakes have been standard in all cars for over 10 years now. Part of the reason is legislation – the federal government required all new vehicles to be equipped with anti-lock brakes by September 1, 2011. The other reason is that anti-lock brakes improve functionality and safety.
Anti-lock brake systems restore traction to your vehicle’s tires, allowing you to steer in emergencies. Typically, without anti-lock brakes, the tires will lock and skid forward from the momentum when you push down hard on the brakes.
In a best-case scenario, your vehicle skids to a standstill before coming into contact with the obstacle in front of you.
In a considerably worse scenario, the front wheels of your car would lock and your car would continue skidding forward right through or into the obstacle before you, causing major damage to everyone involved.
All these scenarios are possible in a car without an anti-lock brake system.
When anti-lock brakes are part of the system, however, things take a different turn…so to speak.
Anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up during emergencies, allowing the driver to steer away from danger.
As you can imagine, this can be a lifesaver. This innovation to the braking system provides added control that can make a crucial difference in an emergency.
How Do Anti-Lock Brakes Work?
Anti-lock brake systems are equipped with wheel sensors that detect when your tires start locking up. When this happens, the system then rapidly releases and applies the brakes – like pulses – to automatically prevent your tires from skidding.
On bikes, and perhaps particularly electric bikes, a hard brake could cause the rear wheel to lift from the ground, potentially throwing the rider over the front of the bike. And since this could lead to a trip to the ER, anti-brake technology could be a game-changer in electric bikes.
Anti-Locking Brakes in Electric Bikes
Electric cargo bikes and electric mountain bikes are also poised to benefit from anti-lock brakes. Due to design, a long front-loading cargo bike usually has less weight on the front wheel when there are no kids or cargo in the front bucket, which means less traction on those wheels and higher chances of locking up.
Things don’t necessarily get better when you have cargo, however. In fact, carrying passengers onboard greatly magnifies the chances of having a braking-induced accident.
Manufacturers like Bosch have begun mounting an Anti-lock Brake System unit on the fork (in the case of electric mountain bikes) or the front of the cargo bucket (in the case of electric cargo bikes).
This helps prevent the front wheel from locking up and the back wheel from lifting during sudden or abrupt braking.
One of the best things about this anti-lock system is its flexibility. You can vary the strength of the system to suit your personal needs and optimize control while you ride.
Share and Comment!
What concerns do you have about electric bikes up till now? Have you ever had trouble with the front wheels locking during sudden brakes and turns? What excites you most about anti-lock brakes finally being installed in electric bikes? Share your thoughts below, and don’t forget to share this information with someone who would appreciate it.