Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

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AUbicycles
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Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:50 am

Following Eurobike (world's biggest bike show) I am presenting and exploring new bike tech coming to bikes. Obviously a lot of growth and attention to ebikes but if you a roadie or MTBer, keep your eyes open because motors are not about competition... rather they offer accessibility and can help some riders keep up.

Hope you enjoy the coverage and welcome any comments here (or in the comments below the article).


Article: Will your next bike be Intelligent? ABS & Smart Bike Tech


Snapshot - photos of some of the tech introduced in the article:

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Mike Ayling
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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Mike Ayling » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:47 am

Once upon a time many car owners could perform their own maintenance and minor repairs, not so any longer but most people enjoy the modern motor cars for their comfort and performance and are happy to leave the maintenance to those trained to do so.

This article says to me that the bicycle is going the same way!

Electronic shifting on a Rohloff for heaven's sake!

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Thoglette » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:23 pm

Mike Ayling wrote:Once upon a time many car owners could perform their own maintenance and minor repairs, not so any longer but most people enjoy the modern motor cars for their comfort and performance and are happy to leave the maintenance to those trained to do so.

I don't miss setting points and tappets every few months. Or 15mpg fuel consumption.

But that's not where the complications are. It's the two hours of labour to access a pump; moving pollen filter, all sorts of hoses; disabling air bags, remove plastic vanity trim in the engine bay to access bolts on service items. Having to remove half the interior trip to access a wiring harness connector. Two sets of inaccessible washer wiper bottles and pumps.

Stupid stupid stupid stuff.

Then there's let-see-how-complicated-we-can-make-this systems engineering. Electric everything, nothing of which works without all the CPUs being alive and talking to each other. I can't even get one of our cars into neutral without the motor running - needs electric power to shift gears. Dead alternator? Can't get into the car, can't move it, can't open the bonnet, can't jump start it. Lift the wheels and carry it away....

The proclamations that EVs are going to replace internal combustion motors based on part count always amuse me: there's so little of the part count (and cost) actually in the engine these days. It's maybe three pages of the 30 page parts list.

But we've still got 57 hoses in the engine bay - many of which are point-to-multi point :shock: with weird plastic connectors (and OEM only). And the engine castings are so cheap that they're using little rubber rings under plastic fittings to keep the oil in - I've seen 10yo cars which leak worse than BMC products used to. Yet still need special tools and $$$$ of electronics to service. Basically modern cars are like most other modern products: throw them away once the warranty runs out.



If I buy a car for me again I'll be going back at least two decades and trade a little maintenance for a whole pile of maintainability.
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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby MichaelB » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:32 pm

Agree with you there Thoglette - but the huge +ve change is in safety.

Anyway, back to biking stuff - I'm surprised that the Bosch ABS setup was as amateur as it appears - huge control box and double rotor. Some of the advancements are interesting, but I question their practicality and advantages - much like automatic closing doors and bootlids on cars.

I like change, but only if it really means an improvement.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Mugglechops » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:34 pm

Thoglette wrote:
If I buy a car for me again I'll be going back at least two decades and trade a little maintenance for a whole pile of maintainability.


That's why my car is a 1983 Land Rover. It doesn't even have winding windows :wink:

I do like all the technology coming out in new bikes but I am not sold on ABS
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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby find_bruce » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:27 pm

I'm with you mugglechops - my 1960 sprite doesn't even have external door handles. Definitely don't want my bike to be smarter than me.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby rkelsen » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:04 pm

Mike Ayling wrote:Electronic shifting on a Rohloff for heaven's sake!

Because we can... but that doesn't mean we should...

It's complication for complication's sake. Nothing more.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:44 am

Ebikes are big business and with the onboard power, the brands will really push it which includes testing new ideas.

Obsolesence will be an increasing problem ... but with motors, they are generally treated as closed systems so a bike shop can remove or connect but doesn't crack it open. I would think twice about a bike with a specific smartphone jack or integrated computer.

On the ABS, I am not sure, the first buyers will get it because they think they want it but probably don't need it. It isn't pretty but it is first generation. On the double rotor, I wondered if it had another role than simply being a sensor (ie differential) but it doesn't appear to. I would speculate and say that it is seperate as they can design the disc with regular holes for the sensor and leave the disc brake rotor which has irregular holes and braking factors like heat (just guessing) or warp affects the sensors readings.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Cardy George » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:24 am

rkelsen wrote:
Mike Ayling wrote:Electronic shifting on a Rohloff for heaven's sake!

Because we can... but that doesn't mean we should...

It's complication for complication's sake. Nothing more.

I agree. I was talking to a mate who rides a five figure Pinarello, and bikes are following the trend of Supercars. Sure you can get bikes to cruise around on, but if you want to go fast you have to spend a quarter of your annual income and still not have the top of the line anything. He can only afford his because he works in a shop and his 'pay' goes straight to his bikes.

My take on the ABS is they've miniaturized the technology they already use. It'll get smaller the more they work with it, though I don't see the relevance from a performance MTB point of view.

BTW my 5 year old had his mind blown when I showed him how to roll up the windows on my Kingswood :lol:

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:22 pm

Cardy George wrote:but if you want to go fast you have to spend a quarter of your annual income and still not have the top of the line anything


I will disagree on that because if a rider thinks the bike will win the race but are not serious about the rest (training, nutrition, coaching, etc) then best bike won't make up for it. Bikes are also a game of diminishing returns, the higher up you go, then less add benefit you get.

Pinarello's are lovely bikes however as a performance bike there are a lot of other brands that will deliver the same performance for far less. But if you want a lovely Pinarello - then that is a different thing.

Cardy George wrote:My take on the ABS is they've miniaturized the technology they already use. It'll get smaller the more they work with it, though I don't see the relevance from a performance MTB point of view.


I am curious about ABS for MTB. Very specifically tight cornering on berms and if ABS helps or not. This is about traction and if the rear of front wheel is on the verge of slipping - can the ABS improve control. In theory it should but in practice, does it work and is it a better riding experience. I have no doubt that it will make its way to MTBing though could take a while.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby gsxrboy » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:31 pm

AUbicycles wrote:I have no doubt that it will make its way to MTBing though could take a while.


Probably once semi/active electronic suspension happens, then it will be a given as they'll work together with IMU sensors.

Crazy to be talking about this stuff as it's only really becoming mainstreamish on high end motorbikes. It'll happen though!

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Cardy George » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:54 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
Cardy George wrote:but if you want to go fast you have to spend a quarter of your annual income and still not have the top of the line anything


I will disagree on that because if a rider thinks the bike will win the race but are not serious about the rest (training, nutrition, coaching, etc) then best bike won't make up for it. Bikes are also a game of diminishing returns, the higher up you go, then less add benefit you get.


I'm picking up what you're laying down, and 100% agree, but if you flip it you'll see my point of view. I'm not a racer (unless you include Commuter Cup :twisted: ) but I LOVE going as fast as possible. A few years ago you could buy a not quite top tier bike for $6k, and be 95% as fast as you'd be on a Purebred, which is plenty fast for me, and way too fast if you ask my wife :roll: . These days $6k barely gets you halfway up the tree, and if you dare want something that stands out, you'd better have a good relationship with the bank manager.

Now don't get me wrong, there will always be a place for Dream Bikes, and if I had the funds I wouldn't think twice, and I think the tech side of things is amazing. It's just getting harder for the punters to play with the nice toys.

AUbicycles wrote:I am curious about ABS for MTB. Very specifically tight cornering on berms and if ABS helps or not. This is about traction and if the rear of front wheel is on the verge of slipping - can the ABS improve control. In theory it should but in practice, does it work and is it a better riding experience. I have no doubt that it will make its way to MTBing though could take a while.


I should probably clarify this too. I can definitely see a use for commuting/road bikes. Oil, gravel, black ice, painted lines, idiots in wheeled metal boxes on wet roads, the list goes on. And there's probably benefits for new Mountain Bikers too, but for purists who are accustomed to pushing limits I'm only seeing limited benefits.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby DavidS » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:40 pm

Thoglette wrote:
But we've still got 57 hoses in the engine bay - many of which are point-to-multi point :shock: with weird plastic connectors (and OEM only).


Wow, how stupid is that, unbelievable. My first car had maybe 3 hoses under the bonnet (and one of them was a shocker). So silly.

Thoglette wrote:And the engine castings are so cheap that they're using little rubber rings under plastic fittings to keep the oil in - I've seen 10yo cars which leak worse than BMC products used to.


Egads, that is quite a claim, those BMC cars were articulated oil leaks, and lets just never ever mention the Lucas electricals, appalling.

But back to bikes: one of the most inspired things about bicycles is how simple they are. Frame, 2 wheels, chain, cogs, even if you add gears it ain't real complicated. I really have little interest in high tech on a bike. I suppose that is little surprise given the last bike I bought was a steel frame touring bike with cable operated gears. Gee, I haven't even owned a bike with brifters (wouldn't mind them though, they look like good tech).

Complicating bikes is a step backwards to me. I have always subscribed to the idea that if you can simplify something you should, simple is good design if it does the job.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Tim » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:03 am

:D
DavidS wrote:Complicating bikes is a step backwards to me.


I am in complete and absolute 100% agreement.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:15 am

Cardy George, I get it and love the Kingswood anecdote. It is the same as explaining how the home phone worked of that mobiles were as big as bricks.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Nobody » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:23 am

As for ABS, I'd argue that if you can see the front tyre and are experienced at riding whatever terrain you are on, then ABS for the front at least is probably unnessessary. ABS for motorcycles is different since you usually can't see the front tyre/wheel when riding and many motorcycles benefit more from rear brake input in emergency stopping. I think this has a lot to do with the lower centre of gravity and longer wheelbase. In my experience, it's all too easy to get the back wheel off the ground in emergency braking on a bicycle with the inherent high centre of gravity and only a 1m wheelbase. Motorcycles are typically 1.4m or more.

I'd be interested to see what the bicycle ABS systems weigh since it add 3 kg to a motorycle presently.

ABS is fine if you can keep the bike upright while braking. But as soon as you have any lean angle, you'll need stability control if you still want to avoid low-siding. As said, motorcycle stability control (MSC) is only available presently in high end motorcycle models. I've been interested in buying a motorcycle lately and would have prefered to buy one with MSC, but I can only afford bikes with ABS presently. I wouldn't buy a motorcycle without ABS for riding on the road.

I don't know what benefit there will be with ABS for off road use, as even dirt road corregations can confuse car ABS systems.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Ross » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:33 pm

Can you get trail bikes (moto variety) with ABS or only road motorbikes?

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby djw47 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:48 pm

If I have a car and the engine cuts out or some fancy electronics fails, I can sit in the car, call for assistance and wait it out quite comfortably, knowing that the RACV guy will come and rescue me (even if the car is toast). If I'm on a bike and the fancy electronics fails and I can't use the basic functions to ride home, I could be stuck by the side of the road subject to the weather conditions, facing a long walk home, or having to call family to come and find me. Fortunately, even with the worst mechanical failure, a bike can generally be hacked together and made rideable.

There is no need to take a simple, elegant mechanical device and turn it into something complex and unnecessary. ABS on a bike? If I pull my brakes hard it's because I want to slow down immediately, not have the bike slow me down "safely" as I plough into the car that just pulled out in front of me. And a bike with an engine is a motorbike.
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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:37 pm

djw47 I was chatting to an old friend who shares a love of bikes and talking about technology to stop and reflect on this, the essentially pedal bicycle with drive train has not change in its basic concept. But there has still been an incredible amount of development and variations to make the bicycle more suitable for its purpose.

There is a strong trend to electricification/digitalisation right now and it doesn't all make sense (for now at least).

ABS is, in my view, a good for a specific audience as suggested in the original article. I expect wealthy seniors and baby boomers to be the first 'big' group to buy this - and probably no so much in Australia, more likely in Europe where everyday people cycle more. When the kids are no longer at home, a holiday with 'easy' bike tours each day is very popular. If they need e-bikes to get through it, they get e-bikes. When the sales-person can sell the ABS as a bonus that will increase safety, then it is an option. This type of ride may even trigger ABS - for example on light gravel paths with a tight turn and the speed changes suddenly.

For most of us, ABS is not an option and instead is something to observe because the bike as we know it will continue to adapt - cargo bikes and delivery bikes which bette suit the job will become more common... and requirements can also shift. But expect to see Australia trail behind in commuting and cycle transport.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby bychosis » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:57 pm

It is interesting. I love the simplicity of my fixed gear bike. I also love riding MTB where there is a lot more complexity. CAnt say I'd go for electickery on a bike, but I won't rule it out at this point. I'm already looking at tech I thought that overly complicated things in the past, suspension lockout, dropped posts etc. not electronic, at least not yet in my price range.

As for simplicity, there are two side to that coin. Making the machine more simple, difficult with a single speed bike. Then there is making the machine more simple to use, like making ham-fisted brake applications that won't lock the wheels, or automatic gear shifting. Some might say the the typical Kmart BSO already has those things covered though ;).
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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Cardy George » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:07 am

djw47 wrote:If I have a car and the engine cuts out or some fancy electronics fails, I can sit in the car, call for assistance and wait it out quite comfortably, knowing that the RACV guy will come and rescue me (even if the car is toast). If I'm on a bike and the fancy electronics fails and I can't use the basic functions to ride home, I could be stuck by the side of the road subject to the weather conditions, facing a long walk home, or having to call family to come and find me. Fortunately, even with the worst mechanical failure, a bike can generally be hacked together and made rideable.

There is no need to take a simple, elegant mechanical device and turn it into something complex and unnecessary. ABS on a bike? If I pull my brakes hard it's because I want to slow down immediately, not have the bike slow me down "safely" as I plough into the car that just pulled out in front of me. And a bike with an engine is a motorbike.

Funnily enough for an extra yearly subscription RACV will come out for your bike too, although I'm not going to waste the money finding out how far off road they will go......

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby Nobody » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:31 am

Ross wrote:Can you get trail bikes (moto variety) with ABS or only road motorbikes?

You can, but they are not yet common. Light weight is a more desirable for trail bikes than road bikes. 150kg is considered heavy for a enduro bike, but light for a road bike.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby warthog1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:30 am

As per the previous replies, I like bicycles for their elegant simplicity.
Complicating them with abs and other devices steers them away from their core appeal for me.
There may be a small market amongst those who must have the latest gadget. I wont be in that market.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:17 pm

warthog1 wrote:I wont be in that market.


Ride a bike with a gates carbon belt drive and get back to me then. I would classify the belt drive as new tech (although it has been around on the back and there have been a host of drive-train solutions on the market in the course of bicycle history).

The best drive coupled with an internal geared hub which generally requires substantially less maintenance than a derailleur is much simpler from a rider perspective.

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Re: Will your Next Bike be Smart? ABS and other intelligent bike tech

Postby warthog1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:47 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
warthog1 wrote:I wont be in that market.


Ride a bike with a gates carbon belt drive and get back to me then. I would classify the belt drive as new tech (although it has been around on the back and there have been a host of drive-train solutions on the market in the course of bicycle history).

The best drive coupled with an internal geared hub which generally requires substantially less maintenance than a derailleur is much simpler from a rider perspective.


I haven't researched them but I believe there are efficiency losses over derailleur geared bikes?
I have no problem changing chain and cassette. Cables are easy and even changed jockey wheels once.
No chance I'd be able to work on a geared hub anytime soon and would find the range and ability to change said, limiting I imagine.

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