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ABS on an electric bike? This is exactly what potential consumers want, study finds

More than half of Brits looking to buy an e-bike say they want one with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), while a third of potential buyers want to see ABS come standard on all e-bikes. bicycles, a recent study found.

By measuring wheel speed and adjusting brake pressure, ABS prevents wheel lock-up, which prevents slip, to maintain traction, control and maneuverability. While standard on cars and motorcycles, bicycles have long been opponents of ABS, with only a handful of high-end e-bikes offering the safety feature.

Move Electric, the electric vehicle brand owned by Haymarket Automotive, surveyed 878 consumers, and nearly 19 percent of them are currently in the market for an electric bicycle.

More than half of potential e-bike buyers said they would prefer e-bikes with ABS over e-bikes without ABS, although three-quarters of all participants in the study were unaware that ABS technology is used in e-bikes .

The same study found that more than a quarter (27.6%) of participants had fallen off their bicycle due to sudden braking, while a third (33.7%) had struggled to brake in time to avoid a collision or accident.

With an assisted speed of up to 15.5 mph (24.9 km/h), 79.5 percent of potential buyers said they would feel safer riding on the road if they knew their bike was equipped with ABS.

Bosch, the leader in ABS technology for e-bikes, even claims that “if all bicycles were equipped with ABS technology, up to 29 percent of e-bike accidents could be avoided each year.”

Back in 2018, Bosch introduced its first e-bike ABS system and has been working on improvements since then—namely, size, weight, reliability, and retrofit capability.

The Bosch, Stromer ST5 and Blubrake ABS technologies are primarily focused on the front wheel, which is most likely to lock up, causing skidding and OTB (over the bar) drops under hard braking.

Sensors measure wheel speed and regulate brake pressure. If front wheel locking is expected during excessive braking, ABS controls brake pressure and improves riding stability and maneuverability of the e-bike.

In the event of excessive front wheel braking, the Bosch ABS system also features Rear Wheel Lift Control, which reduces the chance of accidental rear wheel lift, thereby reducing the likelihood of OTB.

Of course, e-bikes don’t come cheap, and when asked how much extra these potential consumers were willing to pay for the added ABS technology, only 8.4% said they would be willing to pay an extra £500 or more, which is about the same as the ABS on an e-bike today. The cost of entry to the technology. The vast majority (56.6%) would only pay £150 more.