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  1. #1
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    ABS for MTB disc brakes?

    hey all,

    i searched the forums and haven't seen anything that touches on this....does anyone know if there is or was such a thing as ABS or anti-lock brakes for mountain bike disc brakes? planes, cars, trucks, and most other vehicles have had this technology for many years. i'm thinking it would add control and heighten safety...not to mention cut down on trail damage/erosion. just seems to make sense.
    clicky-wrists

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazy72 View Post
    hey all,

    i searched the forums and haven't seen anything that touches on this....does anyone know if there is or was such a thing as ABS or anti-lock brakes for mountain bike disc brakes? planes, cars, trucks, and most other vehicles have had this technology for many years. i'm thinking it would add control and heighten safety...not to mention cut down on trail damage/erosion. just seems to make sense.
    Does not exist, at least in the marketplace.

    ABS for two wheel vehicles is more difficult than for four wheels. There could be benefits but it is going to be expensive and complicated.
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  3. #3
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    Nope, never would work, and too rpicy, and you don't ever need it.

  4. #4
    gran jefe
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    it would be heavy and suck a lot of power.

  5. #5
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    Yes. They were called the Juicy 3.

  6. #6
    A God Without A Name
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    I know BMW experimented with ABS on some of its bikes. (the same company that installed airbags and stereo's.... on motorcycles)

    besides the weight and power sucking, another thing to consider is if you're too stupid to ride a bicycle without ABS, you probably should not be riding a mountain bike. This is a challenging and dangerous sport. If a rider wants to push it to an extreme, they should know how to control their bike at that extreme. not rely on some babysitter gizmo's. There is a reason you don't see ABS in serious autosports. because its a hindrance.

    If a person does not know how to react, with their own skills... to a loss of traction. ABS will not save them in that situation. Knowing how to ACTUALLY handle a skid, in a car or bike is much more important.

    I mean, really. I see people with "trailbikes" with 180 rotors and 6x6 travel on trails without any obstacles. and a lot of them cant handle them, nor do they have a scrap of trail etiquette.

    rather than ask for yet more tech to hold your hand, I ask YOU to go out and learn how to ride a bike with a moderate level of awareness.

    I ride a rigid, steel, 1x9 on those trails. and honestly its better suited for them. I imagine when I take it on Bonneville Shorline for the first time its gonna beat the tar out of me. but know your tool, improve your skills and just learn to enjoy the ride.

  7. #7
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    As discs become common in segments of cycling other than MTB'ing I think it's something that could be useful. I could see the entry level disc equipped road bikes that are going to start popping up in a year or two using them for sure.

    Judging by all the brake bumps in Bend I'd say there are more than a few mountain bikers that could use them as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    it would be heavy and suck a lot of power.

    Did you build/see/ride a prototype that was heavy and lacked power?

  9. #9
    A God Without A Name
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Did you build/see/ride a prototype that was heavy and lacked power?
    yes.

    BMW realized just how poorly it works on two wheels.

  10. #10
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Did you build/see/ride a prototype that was heavy and lacked power?
    I did not see a prototype. I have only seen a production model of an ABS. The pump is heavy and requires power to run it. The manifolding and valving is also bulky and heavy. The entire system is sensitive to the quality of bleeding you are able to do, and goodness knows we have trouble with that.

  11. #11
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    good points..

    as far as this hypothetical ABS system being heavy, power sucking, and useless or unnecessary, i bet that during the evolution of mountain biking there were tons of riders saying the same thing about clipless pedals, front suspension, full suspension, tubeless tire systems, 29in wheels, etc. all of these innovations are things we use and love today, but had dubious beginnings. just a matter of opinion and willingness to think beyond current limitations, i guess.

    there may be a hand-holding element of this(increased safety for those "oh sh#$#$%!" moments), but there may also be other benefits for more skilled riders alike..like having more control at higher speeds. imagine if the reduced skidding resulted in less trail damage, and more access to trails that cyclists are not currently allowed to enjoy.

    i don't think you can rationally say to all people "just be a better bike rider" in all situations.
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  12. #12
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazy72 View Post
    as far as this hypothetical ABS system being heavy, power sucking, and useless or unnecessary, i bet that during the evolution of mountain biking there were tons of riders saying the same thing about clipless pedals, front suspension, full suspension, tubeless tire systems, 29in wheels, etc. all of these innovations are things we use and love today, but had dubious beginnings. just a matter of opinion and willingness to think beyond current limitations, i guess.

    there may be a hand-holding element of this(increased safety for those "oh sh#$#$%!" moments), but there may also be other benefits for more skilled riders alike..like having more control at higher speeds. imagine if the reduced skidding resulted in less trail damage, and more access to trails that cyclists are not currently allowed to enjoy.

    i don't think you can rationally say to all people "just be a better bike rider" in all situations.
    Lots of "innovations" that failed, too. Steering dampers, air-operated shifting, semi-tubeless tires, thermoplastic frames, electronic shock dampers, automatic shifting, cast metal spoke wheels...
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  13. #13
    A God Without A Name
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    Seems people in this thread are ignoring the problem with the PHYSICS of ABS on a vehicle with two wheels instead of 4.

    when moving in 3 dimensional space. a car with 4 wheels has a whole lot less to worry about in maintaining stability across its width, or X-axis (that's a geometry reference, but you get my point.)

    a bikes X-axis is inherently unstable, unless you have training wheels the only stabilizing effect is the pseudo-gyroscopic event that unexplainably makes an unridden bike right itself.

    now lets add the STOPGOSTOPGOSTOPGO brake "chatter" that is an ABS system doing its "thang" and see how easy it is to keep that bike stable.

  14. #14
    official eMpTyBRain
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    Really? Come on, why ABS on a bike??? I'd think a mini rocket pack would be a little more appropriate, IMO.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Lots of "innovations" that failed, too. Steering dampers, air-operated shifting, semi-tubeless tires, thermoplastic frames, electronic shock dampers, automatic shifting, cast metal spoke wheels...

    I wonder when electronic shock dampers are going to come back to bicycles? That technology is common place in premium European sedans and sports cars. It's only a mater of time before pro flex gives it another go.

  16. #16
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    The forum search is still broken so old threads don't show up. You have to search the forum via Google to find anything at the moment.

    Here's a thread on the subject of mountain bike ABS brakes with some discussion.

    ABS brakes for bikes?

    .

  17. #17
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    I'd rather see dual front disc's on DH then ABS but that's just me.

  18. #18
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    Has anyone used ABS brakes on a dirt road before? In no way would I want an ABS system to slow down the brake response time of my mountain bike when I need it.

    Edit: Why you don't want ABS.
    ABS on Dirt - YouTube
    Last edited by tussery; 02-20-2012 at 04:55 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Tom View Post
    I'd rather see dual front disc's on DH then ABS but that's just me.
    Gatorbrake Eight Piston Hydraulic Disc Brakes with Carbon Fiber Rotors - Bike Rumor
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  20. #20
    A God Without A Name
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    Quote Originally Posted by tussery View Post
    Has anyone used ABS brakes on a dirt road before? In no way would I want an ABS system to slow down the brake response time of my mountain bike when I need it.

    you. good sir... are NOT an idiot.

  21. #21
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    Those who 'need' ABS on a bike would never be willing to afford it.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  22. #22
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    Two fingers on each hand, works for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Two fingers on each hand, works for me.
    I am with you, when a machine has more control over its actions than its rider you are going to have issues. Modulating your brakes so you do not skid is not a difficult task.

    Not to mention all of the complication that comes with ABS like wheel speed sensors, pumps/valves, etc, it would add a ton of weight and require you to keep a somewhat powerful battery charged at all times.
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  24. #24
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    How would you lock up the rear to make a turn?
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  25. #25
    Huckin' trails
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    I think ABS brakes would be a good idea on paper, but on the trail would be more of an hassle than improvement. You would need to fine tune the braking force (or modulation) according to each terrain, hard pack or mud, then also work with brake fade under heat that would required more power to be apply to the pads to grab the rotor, then an on/off switch and a shock-proof wiring and micro-chips, plus good battery that you can trust to allow your brake to work whenever you need... In winter it could be nice during sloppy commutes, but too much problems still needs to be solved.

    What about a torque activated ratchet system in the hub that attach the rotor to the wheel ? Set it to corresponding torque by your total weight (or something like that, I'm no "torque" expert) and when the rotor get stopped by the pads, the wheel can still spin, but with resistance, that allow you to quickly correct the brake force you are giving... I don't know, just thinking out loud... Let's go look into Google's patent search engine to see if we could find some interesting drawings
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