ABS on a bike. Would you?

Zimmerframe

MUPPET
Subscriber
Jun 12, 2019
13,907
20,614
Brittany, France
If you'd have asked me without seeing the video, I'd have thought it was some silly thing for little old ladies (even if they probably ride faster than me).

But I can see the benefits.

I know how many times I've been down hard from washing out the front when I'm trying to go too fast, especially round here where the rocks and roots were used to develop teflon.....

If I want the feel back, I could turn it off again.

Yes, you'd probably grow to rely on it too much. But don't we with our tyre choices wanting more grip and then relying on that, or we'd all be running Sam Pilgrim's wooden wheels and not be complaining.

It's like anything .. Front suspension .. Rear Suspension .. Disk Brakes .. Dropper posts .. Wireless mechs .. Motor's ! on bikes .. Most people say no - it's not pure anymore - you can't "feel" ...

Then a few years down the line and everyone has one. Brake disks would have the sensor section built in, so even if the main control system doesn't get lighter, there's weight to lose there. Presumably it wouldn't take much to adapt it to use anyones brakes (except SRAM).
 

RickBullotta

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Jun 5, 2019
1,826
1,560
USA
Given that offroad motos don't have them, and they have a 40-60 HP motor pushing the front wheel (and 400 lbs of bike and rider) into a turn, I'm not sure why an MTB would benefit.
 

boBE

Active member
Apr 12, 2020
415
363
FL
I like it, I'll buy it (if the price is not ridiculous, which it probably will be at first). ABS on a car does not (usually) stop faster, it maintains control under heavy braking. Like some of the other driver assist items on our cars, pros don't need it but I am not a pro and cannot keep all four wheels right at the point just before lockup.
I am on a Mustang forum and many of the posters pooh-pooh these driver aids. Right up until someone using them goes faster on the track.

C'mon electronics and technology, make me look like a better driver/rider! :)
 

flash

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Patreon
Nov 24, 2018
1,050
986
Wamberal, NSW Australia
I think if you compete then you'll look for any advantage but for me, probably not. Kind of like I don't have huge 6 pot brakes on my mini.

The problem will be for the pros that if it's not available to everyone it'll be banned from competition as well, making this a hard commercial choice for mass production.

Gordon
 

Gyre

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2021
629
420
Pasadena, CA
Most "adventure touring" motorcycles have ABS systems. Granted, some are meant to have the ABS switched off in the dirt, but some are actually meant to keep the ABS on all the time.

I could see a similar use case for gravel bikes. Like adventure motos, the tires are a compromise for road and dirt duty, so it'll be easier to inadvertently lockup in the dirt and harder to recover when it occurs. Getting a bit of help with that might be a good thing.
 

Pdoz

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Feb 16, 2019
1,112
1,206
Maffra Victoria Australia
Most "adventure touring" motorcycles have ABS systems. Granted, some are meant to have the ABS switched off in the dirt, but some are actually meant to keep the ABS on all the time.

I could see a similar use case for gravel bikes. Like adventure motos, the tires are a compromise for road and dirt duty, so it'll be easier to inadvertently lockup in the dirt and harder to recover when it occurs. Getting a bit of help with that might be a good thing.

cranky old man hat firmly in place....ABS killed adv motorbikes - with euro whatever now REQUIRING abs, all the great adv bikes are gone and we're left with overly complicated barges.

Disclaimer....I had a terrifying ride down a greasy rutted out hill the first time I rode an abs equipped adv bike ( 950 ktm) - the thing just kept pulsing and speeding up. Yes, I know the technology has advanced and I can see Rob stopping quickly. Yes my car has abs. Yes, I know I'm irrational....
 

Alexbn921

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2021
545
508
East Bay CA
The computer is smarter and faster that you until it's not, then you're screwed. I've live thru all iterations of ABS and some of them where terrible.
I sure that bike ABS can be better than any human, but it's not the experience I'm going for. Kind of like automatic sports cars, yes they are faster if you are in to that. I'll take a manual every time.
 

Jag009

New Member
Sep 9, 2022
106
57
Loch lomond
For me ,yes i would give it go , and if it makes me faster well thats a bonus ,as for it takes away from skill set , well imo utter tosh it just changes the skill set , dealing with extra speed harder braking etc etc
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,679
8,948
Lincolnshire, UK
No mention of cadence braking. OK I can't cadence break at frequencies to match the ABS system, but even my poor efforts are better than just grabbing a "fistful of brake". I tend to only use it on descents with loose surfaces, but if I was surprised by a surface, then I'm enough used to cadence braking that I can react rapidly enough to gain some benefit.
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,679
8,948
Lincolnshire, UK
Completely unnecessary for Hope brakes :LOL:
It's not about how "good" the brakes are. Once they have locked up, they either skid or build up a wedge of loose surface under the tyre(s) Either way, you have lost steering control (from front or rear, or both). The only way then is to release the brake to roll off the wedge(s) and regain control. Only for it to happen again as soon as you apply the brake. Cadence breaking is the solution. ABS is just super-fast cadence braking.
 

Pdoz

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Feb 16, 2019
1,112
1,206
Maffra Victoria Australia
It's not about how "good" the brakes are. Once they have locked up, they either skid or build up a wedge of loose surface under the tyre(s) Either way, you have lost steering control (from front or rear, or both). The only way then is to release the brake to roll off the wedge(s) and regain control. Only for it to happen again as soon as you apply the brake. Cadence breaking is the solution. ABS is just super-fast cadence braking.

Do you release on a mtb? I ask because my technique is borrowed from motorbikes and I'm willing to accept I'm not sharp. enough on a mtb.

On the motorbikes in eg sand, that locked wheel and wedge outbreaks ABS - you just need to be comfortable / safe riding front wheel locked. At the last course I went to, the instructor had us riding across a grassy paddock up on the pegs with the front locked to get comfortable. I remember a particularly greasy hill where mud under the guard jammed the front and we had fallen enduro bikes to negotiate around ....I was glad my wife was a good pillion!!!
 

johnc

Active member
Oct 13, 2018
186
127
Scotland/East Midlands
It's not about how "good" the brakes are. Once they have locked up, they either skid or build up a wedge of loose surface under the tyre(s) Either way, you have lost steering control (from front or rear, or both). The only way then is to release the brake to roll off the wedge(s) and regain control. Only for it to happen again as soon as you apply the brake. Cadence breaking is the solution. ABS is just super-fast cadence braking.

I think he means Hope are not good enough to lock up. That’s how I read it. Could be wrong.
 

Slapbassmunky

Active member
Aug 1, 2020
279
292
Isle of wight
I'm sure we've all had several crashes where this kind of system would have saved the situation. It might save you from a broken bike/bones and allow you to keep ridding for the rest of the holiday - and let's be honest, who wants the front wheel locking up then you're barely hanging onto the bike anyway, desperately trying to scrub speed? If it works, then game on.

The problem comes when you get used to it, and jump on a mates bike without it. I've got one motorbike with abs, one without (the faster one) and it makes for some truly heart stopping moments in the wet 🤣
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,679
8,948
Lincolnshire, UK
Do you release on a mtb? ...........................................

If you mean do I release the brake, the answer is yes.

I can't guarantee than I will do so on every panic brake where one or more wheels lock up; usually the moment is over almost as fast as it began. But on planned descents, I use cadence braking every time I sense that the bike is getting away from me. There are some descents I do regularly where I cadence brake every single time and advise fellow riders new to the descent to do the same. One rider was amazed at the result and told me that it was such an obvious thing to do he was amazed that he hadn't thought of it before.
 

emtbPhil

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2021
397
438
UK
Yes I would 100% and will when they come out on the cubes next year (hopefully)

I can see a lot of occasions where I'm doing downhill techy stuff on rock slabs where they would absolutely offer better control of the bike

I think the people saying they don't see the benefit as motorcross don't use them etc... are not really understanding where they are best suited, very slow, steep, technical downhills.

As you can turn the system on and off whenever you want - best of both worlds, so why not have that added control and later braking
 

John Beedham

Member
Apr 5, 2019
59
45
Lochiel, NSW, Australia
great on high end bikes for pro riders or are 'the cashed up' but having ridden full sized bikes since 1967 ... that's 55 years .... you don't need it .... just learn to control your bike and the occasional spill keeps you on your toes..
 

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