Anti-lock brake technology developed by Italy’s Blubrake is set to become widely available in Australia, with confirmation the fledgling company is partnering with Shimano.
A smaller and lighter second generation of the Blubreak ABS system attracted the attention of Shimano, which announced the partnership at Eurobike 2022.
Blubrake systems are already being used by a number of e-bike manufacturers, including s-pedelec pioneer Stromer and Bianchi, with the latter available in Australia.
However, the technology’s incorporation into Shimano brake systems will significantly broaden its adoption by bike brands, while capitalising on the Japanese giant’s manufacturing knowhow, commercial and service networks.
Blubrake uses a phonic wheel mounted on the front wheel to constantly track the wheel speed and compares it to the velocity of the frame, which is monitored by acceleration sensors in the ABS unit.
If the system’s main unit detects a discrepancy, it adjusts hydraulic oil levels to modulate the front brake calliper and prevent break locking. An integrated display shows the real-time status of the ABS.
The Milan-based company says the ABS system is particularly beneficial for e-cargo bikes because they are heavier and commonly used in wet conditions and on challenging road surfaces.
They also “tend to be unstable especially when the cargo box is empty”.
Blubrake was founded in 2015 and launched its first ABS system in 2019.
Its second generation system, ABS G2, launched at Eurobike 2021, reduced the hydraulic actuator by 65% in size and weight and the electronic control unit by 48% and combined them into a single unit.
The more compact system can now be integrated into the bike frame but can also be mounted onto the forks.