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  1. #1
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    Do hydraulic bicycle brakes work like ABS?

    To slow you down safely instead of some brakes out there that throw you of your bike if you pull the brake too hard?.
    I have recently had a new bike with hydraulic brakes and when i pull them when i go down a hill or in the rain they always slow me down safely when i pull them all the way, so i was just woundering.
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    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Welcome to Bikeforums!

    Hydraulic brakes do offer some very good modulation, but they do not act like ABS. You can still lock up your wheel with hydraulic brakes. I've done so many times.

  3. #3
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    ABS has nothing in common with bicycle disk brakes. The fact you can’t lock up the front wheel on your disk brake equipped bike in the rain is because the disk is wet not because the computer in the brake lever is modulating the brake so the wheel doesn’t lock up.

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    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    This is new to me,i know disc brake on bicycle use fluid to control the braking like an automobile,i had an encounter in my car where i need to make a quick right turn and i hit the brake very hard and the ABS kicked in, the brake pedal pulsated repeatly until i corrected the steeing action,it actually worked, but i never heard a bicycle with ABS though,what kind of bike is it? when you said you pull the brakes all the way,did you pulled hard and fast or easy and slow?

    Ooops replied a bit late,haha.
    Last edited by KungPaoSchwinn; 05-29-09 at 08:04 PM.
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    Addicted to Pavement sickmtbnutcase's Avatar
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    Sound like your brakes may need to be bled if they only just slow you down smoothly when fully applied - or they're really crappy hydraulic disc brakes. Going down a hill or in rain, they should stop you really quickly (on a dime quick). Do the levers feel spongy at all? Can you pull them right to the bar? What brand/model are they?

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    Most of them will lock up easier than cable brakes.

    Their kind of un-ABS.

    Not at all a bad thing, once you get accustomed to them in a controlled environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Most of them will lock up easier than cable brakes.

    Their kind of un-ABS.

    Not at all a bad thing, once you get accustomed to them in a controlled environment.
    So true. ABS is designed to stop without locking the wheels. Disk brakes on a bike are designed to add stopping power.

  8. #8
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    Several things will make disc brakes effective- so much so that they will stop the wheels instantly if you apply them hard enough. The same is true in that even a good set of Hydraulic disc brakes will be non-effective if they are not set up right.

    Any brake- including OLD centre pull brakes- should lock up a wheel if applied hard enough. On disc brakes I would look at air in the system- Wrong fluid used in the system- Oil on the pads- Wrong quality of pads- too small a disc for the weight of the rider or just a badly set up system.

    So if you can't lock up a wheel on heavy braking- stop riding the bike. And I can lock up both wheels of our Tandem- with 400 lbs all up weight. OR we can modulate the lever so that we can get the rear wheel to lift off the ground.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member David13's Avatar
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    Hydraulic brakes and ABS are 2 entirely different things. Hydraulic brakes will lock up the wheel, which you do not want, as then, instead of stopping, your tires may skid. ABS is designed to avoid skidding, as then you have no control as to where you go, and a greater stopping distance.
    If any of you ever drove a car, you may have learned to pump your brakes rather than stomp on them so that you don't skid. When you skid you lose braking power because braking depends on friction with the surface, and so you take longer to stop.
    ABS prevents that by pulsing the brakes faster than you can, many times per second. And sensing when wheels are locking to avoid said locking.
    ABS will probably never be available on a bike as it involves a very high pressure pump and actuator system and computer control, with sensors. Too much stuff to hang on a bike.
    In a car, with ABS you do not pump the brakes. The rule to use ABS brakes in a car, in a panic or emergency stop is Stomp, Stay, Steer. Stomp on the brakes, stay on them and steer the car so you don't crash.
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  10. #10
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KungPaoSchwinn View Post
    This is new to me,i know disc brake on bicycle use fluid to control the braking like an automobile,i had an encounter in my car where i need to make a quick right turn and i hit the brake very hard and the ABS kicked in, the brake pedal pulsated repeatly until i corrected the steeing action,it actually worked, but i never heard a bicycle with ABS though,what kind of bike is it? when you said you pull the brakes all the way,did you pulled hard and fast or easy and slow?

    Ooops replied a bit late,haha.
    The ABS functions because the car is moving and one wheel or more is about to lock. It doesn't have anything to do with how hard you press the pedal. Mine will activate occasionally in my driveway if I'm coming to a stop and there is a thin film of ice.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
    The ABS functions because the car is moving and one wheel or more is about to lock. It doesn't have anything to do with how hard you press the pedal. Mine will activate occasionally in my driveway if I'm coming to a stop and there is a thin film of ice.
    He didn't say anything about pedal hardness and ABS, reread is post.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    Flatlander_48, i think you need to take your car to a shop to check the ABS system, only time the ABS works is when the brake pedal is slamed hard and fast,wet or dry.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
    The ABS functions because the car is moving and one wheel or more is about to lock. It doesn't have anything to do with how hard you press the pedal. Mine will activate occasionally in my driveway if I'm coming to a stop and there is a thin film of ice.
    That sounds like it may be some kind of traction control working in conjunction with the ABS that may be malfunctioning, but I am not car expert.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    That may be what Flatlander_48 refered to,VSC is popular on most new auto these day.I have it in my honda.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    Oh ok,,i better stop the debate on that and let the experts take over, in the mean time, i am planing on a 13 miles trip to my local airport to take some pics of some old rotary and radial airplane engines, u guys take care now,u hear?
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  16. #16
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    Hydraulic brakes and ABS are 2 entirely different things.
    Incorrect. ABS brakes are actually a type of hydraulic brake. ABS is basically electronically controlled hydraulic brakes.
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  17. #17
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    He didn't say anything about pedal hardness and ABS, reread is post.
    No, what he said was that he HIT THE BRAKES HARD... meaning he put a lot of pressure ON the pedal. He said NOTHING about hardness in the pedal itself. I had it right...
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  18. #18
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z415 View Post
    That sounds like it may be some kind of traction control working in conjunction with the ABS that may be malfunctioning, but I am not car expert.
    The ABS works exactly as it is supposed to. It has functioned the same from brand new.

    '94 Isuzu Troopers did NOT have Traction Control...
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
    No, what he said was that he HIT THE BRAKES HARD... meaning he put a lot of pressure ON the pedal. He said NOTHING about hardness in the pedal itself. I had it right...
    Sigh.

    He didn't say anything about how hard he's pressing the pedals and it having anything to do with ABS. You FAIL at comprehension.
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  20. #20
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Sigh.

    He didn't say anything about how hard he's pressing the pedals and it having anything to do with ABS. You FAIL at comprehension.
    "and i hit the brake very hard and the ABS kicked in"

    The implication was that there was some relationship between HOW you apply the brakes and WHAT the ABS does.

    Oh, and you FAIL at civility...
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  21. #21
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    Hey all, thanks for the replyies, please don`t argue, my brakes work very good i feel, i will pull them going down a hill, raining/sunny/snowing and they still take the time too slow me down safely even when i am going fast downhill and need too stop quick "without me falling over my bike as a sudden stop" with the front brake.
    The brake down the hill when i use my front and back brake seem too slow me down really gentle without any jug of my body going forward, can someone explain why this is? thanks.

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    I can pull my brakes as hard as i can sometimes and still they work very good that`s the reason i was woundering.

  23. #23
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    ABS is designed to stop without locking the wheels a quote, of someone who said this, on my bike this seems too be happening but the brakes are smoothing my braking time, is there something wrong with my brakes?

  24. #24
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    No.

    No bikes are designed with ABS.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
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    so hydraulic bicycle brakes are just a better way of stopping

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