The technology exists, yet ABS (anti-lock braking systems) remains curiously absent on mountain bikes. Now Blubrake has launched the G2 system, reigniting the debate once again over whether the technology has a place on MTBs.
It's true that many riders prefer to retain manual control of their braking, but that does risk a front-wheel skid or over-the-bars moment, in cases of extreme brake lock-up. This is what ABS could be used to counter.
Italy’s Blubrake has been a pioneer in the use of ABS on bicycles since 2015. The company’s ABS technology has been adopted by brands such as Bianchi, Bulls and Stormer. Although the Blubrake system is designed for easy frame integration, engineers realized that size and weight were always going to be an issue. In all segments of cycling, including mountain biking, grams are counted and obsessed over, even when it comes to the best mountain bike brakes.
The solution has been for Blubrake’s engineering team to refine the packaging and of its ABS. With the launch of its new G2 system, it's clear that Blubrake has meticulously reconfigured its technology in a way that could see far greater market and user adoption.
This second-generation Blubrake ABS is 65 per cent smaller in size and, crucially, 45 per cent lighter. More product planners at various brands could now consider integrating it as part of a factory build kit.
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Smaller dimensions, better build options
Blubrake has almost halved the weight of the original ABS, but this isn't the only aspect that could trigger more rider demand for the G2 system. It claims to also have improved the fundamental mechatronics with a recoded set of algorithms.
Using sensors at the wheel and frame, the G2 system calculates and reacts to any discrepancy between wheel speed, brake lever pressure, riding gradient, and available surface grip. When those parameters are exceeded and a front-wheel skid is imminent, the G2’s algorithm applies corrective pulsing of the hydraulic brake system to prevent lock-up.
The G2’s hydraulic control hardware can be mounted in the top tube, or externally, on a bike’s fork lowers.
Will this newer, lighter, ABS find favor in the market? It might not win over enduro and trail riders - for now - but for gravel riders or the bikepacking crowd, a more predictable front-wheel braking experience on rutted dirt road descents, would be a welcomed addition.