Don't Punch the Baby - Opinion

Nov 2, 2017
by Vernon Felton  
OhMyGod! Did he just punch that baby?

My daughter is stunned. If I’ve taught my kids one thing in life, it’s this—you never, ever punch babies.

Or play with Daddy’s chainsaw.

Or try to make the chickens fly by throwing them out the second-story window.

Or…

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Well, I guess there are a lot of very obvious things that you have to repeatedly teach kids. None of them things you ever suspect you’d have to teach anyone. Not back in those halcyon, pre-child rearing days when you envision parenting as this grand, nurturing journey where you march hand in hand with your little angel towards enlightenment and self-realization. Ultimately, as a parent, I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to convince the kids to stop Krazy Gluing their body parts together. And, no, my children don’t eat paint chips. Thanks for asking though. But the baby-punching thing? I’ve never had to teach my kids that one. The hellions, mercifully, understood that one implicitly. So, you know, win for me on that score.

But this other kid at last Saturday’s soccer game? He’s struggling to grasp the finer points of the golden rule. He just walked up to his little brother (who is more of a toddler, really) and socked him one. His mom is rightfully mortified. How could her child do such a thing? Hadn’t she raised him on non-violent cartoons? Isn’t he in the advanced pre-school program? Didn’t she refrain from buying him that toy AR-15 for Christmas?

Sure. You can do all that, but if you learn one thing as a parent, it’s this: You have a lot less control over your progeny than you might imagine.Sometimes an older sibling just gets pissed, walks up and lays the pimp hand on his little brother. Shit happens. Or, as the parenting books solemnly intone; sometimes a child doesn’t understand what to do with his angry feelings and he acts out.

To be fair, it’s hard to know what to do with your anger sometimes. Even as adults we struggle with that challenge. And, yes, here’s the point where I start talking about e-bikes. Buckle up.


Photo by Memekode
I am not, for the record, advocating the punching of infants. Let's be clear about that. It's just part of a greater analogy. And, yes, we'll get to the bike angle in a second. Hold your horses. Photo by Memekode

Well, What Did You Expect?
I could publish a recipe for scrambled eggs, or a haiku about snails or post up a picture of wildflowers abloom and you know what the top-ranked comment from Pinkbike readers would be? It’d be “f*ck e-bikes!” or if the commenter was feeling particularly loquacious, “f*ck your f*ckin’ e-bikes!” There’s a range, you see.

People hate themselves some e-bikes. At least a vocal chunk of our readers do. And many of them hate e-bikes so much that they can’t stop typing their rage out in screamy all-caps…even in response to articles that have nothing to do with e-bikes. People are angry. And they are lashing out. They are, in a sense, punching the baby. I’m not sure who the innocent baby is in this scenario, so the analogy isn’t exactly bullet proof, but you get where I’m going with this: We currently find ourselves in a very Hulk Smash E-Bikes! kind of moment.

You could argue, of course, that the Internet—in addition to being a brilliant conduit for porn and cat videos—is, above all else, a digital repository for anger. You might also say that Pinkbike’s forum has historically been a halfway house for a whole lot of very pissed off people. But this isn’t just a Pinkbike thing. Just about every other mountain biking site I visit these days is aflame with the same kind of e-bike anger. And in a few rare cases, that anger moves beyond the digital world.

Wrecked by vernon felton

Haters Gonna Hate…
On July 23rd, Larry and Lori Garon parked their e-bikes in downtown Aspen. The couple has a home about 10 miles away; they wanted to pedal more and drive their car less, which is why they’d bought a couple of Trek e-bikes from a local bike shop, The Hub of Aspen, earlier in the season. Anyway, the couple is in town for an art fair and a bite to eat. When they returned to their parked and locked bikes, they found that someone had popped off the Power button from the head units of their computers.

“Obviously, it was a real drag because their bikes were almost immobilized,” says Tim Emling, the owner of the The Hub bike shop. “So the Garons came back to the shop and we were able to fix that. We sent them on their way and got some replacements ordered up for them.”

A couple days later, the same thing happened to three of the bike shop’s own e-bikes, which were parked just outside the store front. Emling takes it all in stride—no one is throwing rocks through his window, there is no mob of anti-e-bikers storming his bike shop with blazing torches, but still….

“Obviously someone isn’t psyched on the whole e-bike thing,” says Emling. “I get it. I understand that if a guy got on an e-mountain bike and crushed everyone’s Strava records, he’d be pissing off the locals, but my stance on the e-bike thing is this: No one has come into my shop looking for an e-bike out of laziness. No one is saying, ‘I want one of these because I don’t want to work as hard.’ It’s mainly people like this couple whose bikes were vandalized. They just want to get their car off the road.”

To date, e-bikes haven’t posed a risk to trail access around Aspen—because the rules were simple: E-bikes weren’t allowed on anything other than a few Forest Service access roads. That may change in the future. Colorado is one of the few states to have enacted legislation that breaks e-bikes down into three different categories. Proponents of such laws often contend that making distinctions between relatively low-powered e-bikes and the throttle-twisting variety helps land managers make better, more informed decisions as to where e-bikes do and don’t belong.
tesla
Tesla had no idea how much shit he'd be stirring up. On the flipside, microwave burritos have saved countless lives. There's that.

We can put a finer point on this kind of legislation: The end game here is to open up more trails to e-mountain bikes. I think that’s fairly clear. And this does raise some thorny issues. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Emling has been selling plenty of “townie” style e-bikes. Even though he has received some interest from people wanting to rent e-mountain bikes, he’s chosen not to go that route.

“I didn’t want to be culpable for having renters riding those bikes where they aren’t allowed to,” says Emling. “Plus, if I am renting an electric full-suspension mountain bike to someone who doesn’t know what they are doing on a bike, then all of a sudden they can get themselves into a situation on the trail where they are in way over their heads. Or, if they are not conscious of how the bikes work and they don’t power them down on descents they could have a real safety issue with someone riding a trail much faster than they even intended to or are capable of. I get the resistance on the mountain bike side, at least within our community, but in terms of recreational around-town use, I don’t get the opposition.”

You mean jacking up another rider’s rig because you disagree with his choice of bike is just a dick move?

“I’d put it this way: Vandalizing someone else’s property in an attempt to make some kind of a statement is just bullsh*t to me. E-bikes are here. They don’t need to be vilified. We need to have a rational dialogue about how and where these things make sense on road and off road.”


Sign of the times by Mari Lynch
Photo by Mari Lynch

Taking The High Road
Emling's final sentence strikes me as singularly important, because the one thing the bike industry is not having is a rational and honest discussion about e-bikes, at least when it comes to e-bikes on singletrack trails. And that is a problem.

On one hand, we have a lot of companies bum-rushing the show to sell these things. The cycling market is flat and brands are desperate to keep their lights on. If that means selling e-bikes, then slap a motor on it and move it out the door. On the other side of the divide, we have a lot of people who are enraged that e-bikes might be coming to their trails soon. A lot of those people hate e-bikes because the bikes are “lame,” “cheating,” and/or just “not really mountain biking.”

A big part of cycling, for me, has always been about pushing my limits. To me, the essence of riding is knowing that I, and I alone, am responsible for cleaning every tricky section, summiting every climb and setting every shoddy, half-assed personal record that I have set. But that’s just me. You are under no obligation to like mountain biking for the same reasons. If you want to ride an e-bike, you should be able to. It is not akin to killing puppies or defrauding grandmothers of their pensions. It is riding a bike. It is also riding a bike with a motor, yes, but that's not an offense punishable by death.

Photo by Sarah Mah Withers Cycling Western Colorado
Photo by Sarah Mah Withers/Cycling Western Colorado
My concern is less with e-bikes themselves and more with the way the bike industry is rolling them out in North America. To date, there is no clear and comprehensive plan for ensuring that trail access doesn’t suffer as e-bikes roll out of shops and into the hands of a public that has not been given clear guidance on where motorized bikes can be legally ridden. And that, frankly, is irresponsible.

More and more bike shops are going to want to sell e-bikes. They need something--anything--to bring new customers in the door because the local bike shop is struggling these days. Nearly 39 percent of bike shops in the United States went belly up between 2000 and 2015. So if someone walks in wanting to buy a five-thousand dollar e-mountain bike, most shops are more than happy to sell or rent them that bike. I‘m guessing that very few of those shops, however, are telling prospective e-bike buyers, “Here’s this very expensive bike and here’s a map of the couple of places you can legally ride that bike off road, because most of the trails around here are closed to e-bikes.”

Tim Emling, back at The Hub of Aspen, is taking the high ground and forgoing easy money on bike rentals in an effort to keep Aspen’s trails open. He’s a rare bird.

To be fair, bike shops (and the larger bike industry) are in the business of selling bikes, not regulating how their customers use those bikes. It’s not part of the business model.

And yet…if people are riding these bikes on every trail that is mountain bike legal, we are poised for a serious problem, because taking an e-bike onto singletrack is still verboten in a lot of states. For starters, e-bikes are not permitted on non-motorized trails on most federal (BLM, US Forest Service, etc.) lands in the United States. Adding an unhealthy dollup of confusion to the mix, rules and regulations governing e-bike use on state and local lands are all over the map. It's a confusing mess, even for people who are aware of the issue, who want to do the right thing and stay on the right side of the law. And what about all the people who have no idea that e-bikes aren't Kosher on every trail?

E-bike map

Yes, People for Bikes has a map on their site (see image above) that gives a rough snapshot of e-bike regulations in the United States, but dig a little deeper and you find that e-bike regulations vary, not only state-by-state, but county-by-county. The map, well intentioned as it may be, is of limited use at this point. And, really, how many bike shops even know this map exists? Meanwhile, e-mountain bikes are now beginning to roll out of those same shops.

What we have here is the perfect recipe for widespread trail closures. And I do have a problem with that.


wrecked by vernon felton

Don't Punch The Baby
But here’s the thing. I’m not going to punch the baby. I don’t think that lashing out at e-bikes or the people who like them makes any sense at all. While it may feel good to leave a flaming bag of e-dog shit on a forum or call people out on Facebook or give an e-bike rider a bad time at the trailhead, it doesn’t solve any problem; it merely gives you the false sense that you are being heard and that you are doing something constructive.

If you are pissed about e-bikes, you can always type it out below; that's what the Comments section is for, after all. Be my guest. But while you are at it, there are infinitely better channels for your fury. Ring up IMBA, call up your local club, talk to your legislators, tell People for Bikes. Go to the people who are either making decisions on e-bike access or who are trying to pave the way for e-bikes on trails. Tell them what's on your mind.

I’ll also argue that it’s worth your while to ride an e-bike before you pass judgement on them. That is, to my way of thinking, common sense. We should understand a thing before we form an opinion about it. It might change your mind. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Either way, you’d be informed.

Me? I’m not against the things. E-bikes don’t light my fire at this point, but I am not going to insist that other people forgo motors because I choose to do so. I will, however, continue to point out to the bike industry that we need to do a much better job of educating bike shops and consumers about where these things can and can’t be ridden. Trails are going to get shut down if we don’t get a handle on that.

In short, I’m not telling anyone that they shouldn’t be angry. I’m saying that if you are angry, do something constructive with that anger.

Don’t punch the baby.


536 Comments

  • + 200
 Motor + Bike = MotorBike. Simple as that. Motorized vehicles are banned from most trails for many reasons, most of which I agree with. Blur the line between regular Mountain Bike and E-Mountain Bike enough and ALL MTB will be banned from the trails. Especially in a place like Denver where trail usage is so high between so many groups
  • + 133
 How do you blur this line?

having a motor | not having a motor
  • - 33
flag COnovicerider (Nov 2, 2017 at 12:13) (Below Threshold)
 There are tons of riding options along the Front Range that are rarely crowded. In my experience anyway.
  • + 81
 @steflund: By making them look like a regular MTB. 10 years ago, putting a motor and a battery on a bike was quite noticeable. Today, not so much. The new E-Bikes hide their electronics very well, some versions already available are completely hidden (hence why some roadies have been banned from competition for having said devices, even on their practice bikes). Hide the electronics well enough and you'll be able to "sneak" one of these onto a trail that has banned motorized vehicles. Use these sneaky, hidden electronics, motorized vehicles on trails where they are banned and the MTB group as a whole will start taking on a lot more flack from the other trail users. Make the E-Bikes indistinguishable from regular mountain bikes and watch as trail networks and systems start banning MTB altogether, simply because they can't tell a difference between motorized and non-motorized. We (as a MTB collective group) have a hard enough time representing our sport as it is...
  • + 24
 @steflund: easy, by telling a story. For instance about a couple that wants to use the car less so they buy some electric bikes. That they want to ride around town. Did they get mountain-bikes? Let's not focus on that. Then you talk about how their bikes got vandalized. By some serial button vandalizer. Does he also vandalize parking meter buttons? Let's not go there, that's too much blurring Smile )

TLDR: you blur the line by not focusing on distinctions, and making analogies within stories instead of focusing on the 'line'.

Works every time.
  • + 15
 NYC is about to ban e mopeds. There are thousands of ebikes used by food delivery people. They are very dangerous because the difference of speed with bikes is huge. Many accidents. Same thing will happen w trails, as many trails are already closing in Europe. Except that they close the access to bicycles as well. And besides all these considerations, they totally suck to ride on a trail.
  • + 39
 I live in Denver like @therage43 and 100% agree....e-bikes directly threaten trail access in sensitive or already crowded areas like ours and many within a few hours drive. To many (not all) equestrian riders, MTB riders are the devil's spawn & that opinion will never change. The same logic applies to hikers (again, many, not all). E-mountain bikes expose MTB riders to much greater risk of losing access to the well funded equestrians, Sierra Clubs, etc. Around town/commuting? Fine. E-MTB are not welcomed by many in areas like ours.

Narrow-minded as that sounds, it is what it is. Many others in my area of the world and others feel the same way.
  • + 8
 @steflund: obviously with - having a throttle | not having a throttle
  • + 116
 @utopic: The couple got commuter e-bikes. Same sort of bike that was vandalized out front of the store shortly thereafter. Not that it actually matters.

Vandalizing another rider's bike is a lame move. Advocating for sensible rules governing e-bikes so that they don't wind up costing all of us our trail access? That's a much better move. That, in a nutshell, is the point of the article. I'm very clear about that--I made pains to explicitly state it several times. I don't blur the lines. If you are pissed about e-bike, be constructive about it. That is the message.
  • + 30
 @BenSawyer: my car has a nice pedal operated throttle too
  • + 0
 @therage43; I disagree (and I don't ride an E-bikeWink ) because a motor bike can not be propelled via human power (other then pushing it).
An E-bike can and has to be pedalled.
  • + 29
 @therage43: Dead on - when e-mountain bikes become almost indistinguishable from normal mountain bikes, they will simply ban them all. The other trail users will leverage the increased speed to make a case that "bikes", E, or otherwise (who can tell???) are banned for being too dangerous.
  • + 3
 @bvwilliams: checkmate ebikes
  • + 10
 the trails in colorado are crowded.
hikers and equestrian riders are mad about it and yell at us.
people didn't buy the brand new SB5/5.5/6 just to get yelled at, so they have to yell at someone.

can scooter kids just get real into diggling so we can direct our anger at them, instead of at e-bikes?
  • + 6
 @vernonfelton: calling motor bikes e-bikes is a lame move
  • + 22
 @vernonfelton: It's disappointing to see our industry selling out riders like this. People For Bikes is basically an ebike lobby group, and their board is Trek, Specialized, etc. Would love to see that discussed further. They should be renamed "eBike Manufacturers for Higher ebike sales"
  • - 78
flag speed10 (Nov 2, 2017 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 @vernonfelton: An old white couple in Aspen CO has a collection of assault rifles that aren't technically illegal yet. I know that they will be used to ruin peoples lives. I could toss the guns in a lake: "Vandalizing someones personal property is lame." Or I could wait until the damage is done and say I told you so?


I hate your argument. We simply can not wait until access is lost to take action. The risk of lost access out weighs whatever reason you may have to allow ebikes to be sold in the United States.
  • + 56
 @speed10: Did you read the entire article? You are, in your last sentence, mirroring a lot of what I am saying in this piece. The United States does not clear or comprehensive rules regarding e-bike usage. People are buying them without the knowledge that e-bikes are not allowed on a lot of the trails they will be riding their e-bikes on and that, in short, is going to lead to trail closures. Yelling at e-bikers or vandalizing their property will not solve that problem. Speaking up to legislators, local governments and organizations such as IMBA and People For Bikes, for starters, is a more constructive thing to do. That is my argument. I agree, the risk of lost trail access is large. That is my concern.
  • + 2
 @steflund: Europe has 3 levels of blurr
  • + 20
 @bman33: To play devil's advocate, e-mtb can appeal to many new riders who have time and money to lobby for more trail access. (I'm not a fan of e-mtb, but a huge fan of e-commuters/pavement bikes and I see the potential for improved lobbying leverage for bike lanes/paths etc too).

@utopic If you vandalize anyone's bike, you're an a*shole. That's the line.
I'm not a fan of people blowing up unsanctioned trails in my area by shuttling DH bikes through a private residential neighborhood or dumbing down trails by cutting trees and buffing lines out, but I try to talk to them, I don't mess with their equipment. Seriously.

And if anyone has a problem with old people on pavement e-bikes, there's something wrong with them.
  • + 46
 @vernonfelton: Love you man, keep fighting the good fight. Lot's of us appreciate this type of constructive dialog!
  • + 6
 @speed10: You obviously didn't read what he said. He said if you feel upset about e bikes do something about it constructively, act now before your favorite trails are in jeopardy. He also called the bike companies out for not helping by just selling a ton of bikes without educating people where they can be used
  • + 3
 @RedRedRe: Please ban them...they are silent and fly at unsafe speeds.
  • + 3
 @bvwilliams: on the the bike I am the motor! My car is a two stroke????
  • + 16
 @jtayabji: If the trail access in a given area is so tenuous that one type of bicycle being available is going to result in no trail access for bikes of any kind, then I'd say it's probably the place that has to change, not the bike.
  • + 6
 @vernonfelton: How dare you? These folks are upstanding citizens who always read e-bike related articles top to bottom TWICE before trying to get the first comment in.
  • + 14
 @vernonfelton: Jokes and haters aside... 100% on. Pavement use should be a nonissue and off-road use can be sorted out to everyone's satisfaction if the right people just sat down and took care of it.
  • + 3
 We got a bunch of new moto trails this year in Summit County, CO. It wouldn't surprise me if we started seeing e bike destination trail systems. With that being said they better stay off the non motorized singletrack trails.
  • + 19
 Were are they buying their E-bikes?
Local lbs? Manybe when the lbs sells them their bikes they should also inform them where they can legally ride them. Bike companys need to realize that with more trail closures the less number of people will be riding, less number of people buying mtb bikes, less people clicking on pb. The whole industry suffers with trail closures!!!!
  • + 25
 e-bike = Motorbike. I chose to punch a baby and call anyone saying it a fkng idiot. An idiot, imbecile, self righteous, reality distorting prick.
1. Harley Davidson, Yamaha R1, Triumph, Kawasaki 450F - these are examples of motorbikes. Specialized Turbo Levo does NOT resemble them in any fricking way.
2. Nobody gave mountain bikers a full right to ride in nature, don’t behave as if you fricking belonged there. You don’t. You are a tolerated guest. You havo no voice
3. I don’t like e-bikes, industry behaves like bunch of a-holes coming to a party with empty hands and drinking everyone’s beer. I don’t want e-bikes on trails. Just like I don’t want people on regular mtbs who are so stupid that they can’t tell the difference between an e-bike and a motorcycle.
4.nobody gives a tiniest damn what you and I want.
  • + 1
 @oscartheballer: they are going to. I heard it on the news today.
  • + 4
 Are people riding electric skateboards consider skaters?
No
Are they allowed or able to ride a skate park?
No
Are they considered skaters by real skaters?
No

Why should e mopeds deserve a different consideration?
They are always ridden by people w no skills, and no fitness.

This is just because the bike industry is nowdays run by people that have nothing to do with cycling or sport. More products, more sells, exploit the market, then move to another sector. This is what they teach you at Ivy League schools.

Every year there is a new bs innovation, that often makes your 3 years old bike impossible to buy parts for.
What is going to be after e mopeds? Two stroke bicycles? Virtual cycling? Water cycling?
  • + 30
 @RedRedRe:
Stop with this elitest bs. You're not special because you can ride a mountain bike. If people with no skills and fitness see e bikes as a pathway to a healthier or more enjoyable lifestyle so be it. Don't bash them because your ego hurts when they ride past you.
  • - 18
flag speed10 (Nov 2, 2017 at 16:28) (Below Threshold)
 @Bigernmcracken: Hahaha! That's where you are WRONG! I did read it, I just didn't understand it. And although I'm a dumbass, I still get a voice. Welcome to the internet.

@vernonfelton: I read: Don't attack the bike or the rider, blame the manufacturer and the government. It's not the shooter or the bump stock; it's republicans fault, or the manufacturer.

I say all four suck. That's where we differ.
  • + 6
 @brncr6: Agreed 100 percent.
  • + 16
 @WAKIdesigns: probably the first post I've given you props for... well done buddy.

"Nobody gave mountain bikers a full right to ride in nature, don’t behave as if you fricking belonged there. You don’t. You are a tolerated guest. You havo no voice."

This is a regional issue. On the eastcoast we (I've) never experience the trail nazi's telling us what we can and cannot do in the trails. We use common sense and show respect to nature. You take out what you bring in. If you build it, maintain it and show it respect. If you'e a hiker, get the f*ck off the mountain bike trails. If your a mountain biker - dont be a dick.

E-bikes aren't really the problem, it's the uneducated people riding them. If you want to ride one to be more eco-friendly or you have an injury and you want to still enjoy the trails, thats fine. But educate yourself on where and when its appropriate to ride one. The same way you adhere to traffic laws, the trails in your state or region apply, and the people selling them to you should have a responsibility to pass on that knowledge.
  • + 8
 at this point, ANY article written by ANY author on pinkbike about e-bikes, is nothing but clickbait.

slow news day vernon?

clickbait.
  • + 9
 @steflund: There is a pedal assist that has a top speed of 20mph 250 watt and perfect for me being handicapped and then there is a throttle e bike that is 1000 watts. I used to ride a lot but can no longer ride and for people like me the 250 watt is a life saver.
  • - 6
flag RedRedRe (Nov 2, 2017 at 18:01) (Below Threshold)
 @Dhminipinner: ride past me on a paved uphill?
I always pass them going down and up as well. Regardless it does not take much as they are slow as hell. And I would be too, if I was riding that tank.

The elitis are the ones who fork out 5-10k to buy an electric veichle and they occupy places they should not.
All kitted out with tld but can’t even wheelie?
Cyclist train for years to reach a big mountain top... they just buy it.
There are few mountains in the alps that closed acces to all bicycles because of the larger crowd riding electric mopeds.
You need to earn a mountain, can’t buy it.

If older people want to use it, go ahead, but all I see is young and chubby or middle age lawyers.
  • - 4
flag otto99 (Nov 2, 2017 at 18:01) (Below Threshold)
 ur trash
  • + 7
 I once saw someone on a trail use a Di2 shifter!! Next you will see vagrant with some sort of motorized dropper post!!

Motors = loss of my KOM. Where does it end Vernon, where does it end....
  • + 10
 @therage43: wow you’re pretty paranoid. All these people sneaking around with hidden electronics. Most people in my state can’t afford even a $3,000 bike, let alone a stealth mountain ebike. There are going to be a bunch of sneaky dentists and Doctors taking over our trails any minute.

Don’t you look on the bright side? My girlfriend has a debilitating chronic illness. There are months out of each year when she could only ride 10-20 minutes with me in the mountains if she tried. I have thought about getting her an Ebike so she can take it easy and maybe keep up for an hour to get some enjoyment. I wish I could afford one at all, let alone a fancy one that would be so “sneaky”.

Most people don’t run red lights just to be sneaky, or steal candy from a baby. If you’re worried about people sneaking around stealing your rights to public land maybe you should start looking at the politicians that we elect, or the private companies that exploit the natural resources of our public lands. Are you going to let them do that?

What about just getting people into the sport who would never know the enjoyment until getting a ride on an ebike? Rent an ebike once a week and then graduate to a regular Mountain Bike. What about people with disabilities? Out of shape family or friends getting the chance to keep up with their athletic friend. Might be good motivation.
  • + 9
 Bullshit. There is already a huge difference between a pedal assist e-bike and a true motor bike with a throttle. To say otherwise is simply showing your ignorance on the subject.
Admittedly regulation and being able to tell the difference between a class one e-bike ( aka allowed on bike pathsand needs to be PEDALED to work) and a motor bike ( aka has a throttle and needs to be ridden on a road or in an OHV area) is needed.

The negative, ignorant knee jerk reaction of "it's a motorbike" is not only incorrect it's getting OLD.
  • - 2
 @utopic: Exactly. Trying to push commenters angry about ebikes to have a moment of compassion for ebikers, by telling a story about townies. From a site being paid to advertise ebikes. Kind of gross.
  • + 13
 @stacykohut: I agree and I've tried to resist getting upset about this but here goes: Since the beginning of mtb all bikes were human powered, strictly mechanical devices that were extensions of our bodies. This defined them clearly from motorized bikes (i.e. dirtbikes). E-bikes are not mountain bikes and if they are made to look like mountain bikes, sold in bike shops as "advanced mountain bikes" and thrown in our faces here on our favourite mtb website it gets us cranked up, so to speak. I do wish that these troll articles would just stop. Unfortunately we will still have to deal with these e-bike poseurs on our trails.
  • - 7
flag Y12Sentinel (Nov 2, 2017 at 19:30) (Below Threshold)
 So the HUMAN MOTOR SYSTEM makes a BIKE a MOTOR BIKE then! No difference except for pride, prejudices and ego.
  • + 8
 @euan91m: yes but when "the place" is SoCal and the majority of people never leave their cars and mainly want access to open spaces to be banned you realize "the place" isn't going to change. Losing access to open space is written into policy here. Developers ruin trails that have served thousands of bikers and trail runners for years. Then in order to offset the development any additional open space is relegated to "habitat preservation" and access is again further restricted. There is even a 1/2 % sales tax to pay for new highways which does the exact same thing. The county parks are all we have to ride legally so e-bikes really and truly are a threat to trail access in California.
  • + 4
 @RedRedRe: Where are trails closing in Europe and in what way (Ebike ban or all MTB ban)?
  • + 4
 @RedRedRe: so you are in Europe or what? I don't see any e bikers on my hometrails. Not even a single one on the xc kind of trails here. They only ride the fireroads up and down. There are not more or less ebikes up the hill now or then.
I know more flat regions have more emtbs but same thing there. No one use the trails.
Also funny that the last mega avalanche also had a separate e mtb race going on on the same track.
If you are an a*shole you could f*ck up trails fast with and without e bikes. It only matters what kind of a turd use the bike.
  • + 1
 Motor + bike + 29er=f@$%&#&%$#%&
  • + 4
 @NYShred: education regarding trail care and riding skill is a problem that concerns e-bikers as much as regular cyclists. If you go to a place like Lake Garda which is a genuine Joey land, you'll know what I mean with XC riders who can't ride at all. Then go to French Alps where you get all the moto meat heads on their 26" DH and FR bikes. Respect to other users of trails is something most people don't have, and that includes mountain bikers as well. At least 50% of people are self-righteous. I claim no right to tell people what they should and shouldn't do in nature, I am personally concerned about the max motor power on current bikes and how easy it is to hack the limiter.

@stacykohut - you just kicked the baby in the face.
  • + 1
 To honest this 'debate' is just another symptom of a fucked up society as whole, with tenuous trail access just another symptom of that. AMERICANS...WAKE THE FUCK UP!!! Stop focusing on the single meaningless issues and start fixing your bigger issues...the little things will then take care of themselves. Seriously, its like the rest of the world is the parent and you are the baby and you are punching yourself...WTF!!! Your faithfully, Dr. Monkeyass Concerned Citizen of Earth
  • + 7
 revist this angry comment you made in 30 years when you are old and your body hurts but your heart still calls to be on the trail...How will you feel then?
I don't claim to know the solution to ebikes. But I do know thay that being dogmatic in either direction will only stiffel useful converststion and ultimalty force a line to be drawn...work with your community for a solution, dont punch the baby.
  • + 1
 @Joeief: punch the dogmatic baby, please...
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: I will move to the mars if they start to sell e bmx....
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: tough crowd
  • + 3
 @jtayabji: we should direct our anger at equestrian riders. I have zero issues with yielding and what not. I just can't accept the claymore mines they leave all over the trails.
  • + 5
 @vernonfelton: right..it doesnt matter. this is turning into a funny progression of how an industry creates choices to serve consumerism. i made peace with that...trails closed.., i poach. i was raised on poaching closed trails. nothing pc about mtbg
  • + 7
 @Dhminipinner: Lets be realistic here, very few people (with the exception of those with real disabilities) are buying ebikes because it's a pathway to better fitness. They're buying them because they don't feel like pedaling a regular bike. This scenario of someone buying an ebike, getting into shape, then buying a regular bike is fantasy. An ebike is not the magic bullet that gets someone off of the couch and into the woods. Everyone motivated enough to do that is already riding.
  • - 1
 You're an idiot.
  • - 2
 @bman33: You're going to loose all trail access with a mentality like this.
  • - 5
flag Nathan6209 (Nov 3, 2017 at 7:08) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: don't agree with you here in the least Waki. You sound like an ignorant ape, in fact, most mtbers who are vocal against ebikes sound that way. It is simple more people riding = more voice and more trails for mtbikers in the future. Get over it.
  • + 1
 If that baby is on a fuckin ebike and voted for trump, Im going to punch that baby and unfriend them.
  • + 0
 Name one of the "many" reasons and validate it......
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: How so? You mean by voiceing valid concerns in the area I live in, regarding opinions that we hear daily from other trail users, access groups, local rangers, etc. Trails around here are under threat for MTB's without e-bikes. We don't need additional pressure. Come down to Colorado, get involved and tell me I am wrong. Only then will you have a valid opinion on my region. I said zero about Idaho trials since I don't live there. Maybe once I visit a friend in Sand Point will I begin to have a valid/informed opinion of your state.
  • + 0
 @bman33: This is exactly what I'm talking about in other replies. This attitude that only your little group of friends can really understand what is going on. Please, give me a break and get over it. This elitist mentality is exactly why your riding areas are in jeopardy, ebikes have nothing to do with it. You being afraid to let more people into your "club" prevents you from having a big enough voice to be taken seriously by anyone in the real world were actually decisions get made.
  • + 6
 @Nathan6209: what is preposterous is how people all over the internet shamelessly belch genuine hate at e-bikes and their unspecified owners. If they used same kind of language against sexual or racial minorities they would be deemed the worst of mankind. Yet somehow this double standard upholds, Ebike, plus tyre, electronic shifting hate is a matter of pride, and it is disgusting. In some cases we deal with actual dehumanization. In the name of what? One talking this way does not deserve any sort of access to any trails anywhere.
  • + 1
 @euan91m: Please... PLEASE come to Denver and talk to JCOS and see what we mean. The USFS and open space regulatory agencies already see MTB'ers as unnecessary trail users. We already have to put up a fight just to be able to use the trails in the area, the last thing we need is MORE reasons for the other trail users to try and get us removed.

Personal Accountability and Awareness is the most important metric here... The regular MTBer needs to be aware of his impact on his surroundings and regulations. The people buying AND SELLING the E-Bikes need to be aware of their impact and regulations regarding their available usage.

@deadmeat25: Trail damage caused by heavier motorized vehicles. Want more? There are a LOT!

@McNubbin: Bingo! I'm all about bringing new users into the sport, but you have to think.. "if they're not physically fit enough to get out here on their own, they better have enough friends with them to carry them AND their E-bike back to their car, when it fails" And it will fail. Have you EVER had a mechanical item that didn't fail at some point?
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't think that most people have a problem with ebikes per se,
just the way they've been pitched, which is to say not very well, at the target population, us. Also take into account a real lack of any substantive new ideas other than changing bullshit standards, and you had some pissed off people. For an economical alternative to commuting or to making short trips with the car, I think that they're fantastic. But as far as we (mtber's) are concerned, the industry has missed the mark. First of all, no advertising what so ever other than a few shred videos with guys who probably never ride them in reality. Why should we want them, why are they better? It all comes off as nothing more than another money grab by a bunch of suits that have become disconnected and lost touch with why we ride in the first place, with the e-MTB being the ultimate embodiment of that disconnection.
  • + 2
 @McNubbin: the way industry tries to deceive pretty much everyone is ugly, e-bikes are a problem for trail erosion and more importantly: safety of all users, but that doesn't justify the sht throwing, it only drives everyone further from the core of the case and turns them into martyrs.

@therage43 - I homestly could not give much crap about anyone dying while riding a bike, hiking or climbing or performing any sort of outdoor activity. If their battery dies and they end up spending a cold night somewhere it's all good, for everyone involved. No matter the outcome. Natural selection is a great thing, without risk it would not be fun. But there are risks you impose on yourself and ones coming from other people. I just worry about not colliding with a poor bike handeler riding at 20km/h up a trail I am descending
  • - 1
 @McNubbin: I don't agree, all they had to do was show me one and they had me at e...
  • - 5
flag deadmeat25 (Nov 3, 2017 at 10:49) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: If you're worried about trail erosion, stop riding your f*cking bike, and if people riding uphill at 15mph is too unsafe for you, you should probably stop riding a f*cking bike. You see the problem with you Waki is that you are an idiot with too much time on his hands and not enough sense, you know what an ebike is, and what it can do, it'll assist you up to 15mph and then you're on your own, how the f*ck do you find a problem with that? They on average weigh about 5 or 6 kilos more than a regular DH bike, about the same as that massive fat bloke on his carbon XC bike bursting out of his lycra, is that your trail erosion argument? Or have you got your f*cking knickers in a twist about preserving walk up trails at bike parks? Cock.
  • + 6
 @deadmeat25: there is nothing good I have to say to you, I am lately tired of keeping my face, I lost it lately and it was more than enjoyable to express how I feel about a smart arse at the other side of the screen. Ebikes increase trail erosion because they can cover up to 4 times more distance per trail ride than another bike. Then they can be hacked and use throttle to get which will cause the rear wheel to spin out. I can clearly see from the ton of your post how you want a piece of me. If you want to come and punch me, please do, I can give you my adress. But the chance we meet is none so how about I just tell you to fk off. You don't know me, mind your own problems. Suck my balls
  • + 1
 @stacykohut: This is an opinion piece. Says so right at the top. Most news outlets have op eds, and have had them for decades if not centuries. If you're going to log on just to say it's click bait...well, there's a strong irony there that makes me chuckle. It's not clickbait for those wanting to have a legitimate discussion, and now you're the one with a hook stuck through your mouth. What's more indicative of a slow news day: this article or commenting just to ask if it's a slow news day?
  • + 2
 @euan91m: look up cause what i said went over your head. also read the article and understand that things are different here, esp in CO, than they are over there.
  • + 1
 @raditude: dude right, you can't even pop off of them! if i was a dog i'd be very upset that my feces had to be picked up but a horse's can stay. VERY UNFAIR.
  • - 8
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 Super stoked to hit the local single track with my new e-bike! Rider up b!tches!

www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx/#redshift-mx
  • - 7
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 Super stoked to hit the local single track with my new e-bike! Rider up!

www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx/#redshift-mx
  • - 6
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 Super stoked to hit the local single track with my new e-bike! Rider up!

www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx/#redshift-mx
  • - 6
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 Super stoked to hit the local single track with my new e-bike! Rider up!

www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx/#redshift-mx
  • - 7
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 Super stoked to hit the local single track with my new e-bike! Rider up!
www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx/#redshift-mx
  • - 6
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 12:00) (Below Threshold)
  • - 6
flag OrionW (Nov 3, 2017 at 12:01) (Below Threshold)
 Super stoked to hit the local single track on my new e-bike - rider up!!!
[https://www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx/#redshift-mx]
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Its not a double standard, its 2 different things. Lump racism and bigotry in with hatred of e-bikes is gay...
  • + 1
 @bvwilliams: and therefore your car is not a motorcycle
  • + 1
 1. Walked my pedal bike out due to a full mechanical failures a few times.

2. Walked out to get gas from a 4x4 trip as we brought not enough spare fuel.

1+2 = opps!

What is your point? That occasionally people get spanked in the bc...
  • + 1
 @jtayabji: @jtayabji:

Sorry man, no idea why I responded to your post, I was trying to reply to @bman33 and I think I messed up... My bad.

@therage43: @tsn73:

I cba getting into a discussion about this if I'm honest because it's not an issue that effects me, trail access in Scotland is great.

Having said that, I agree that I probably understand very little about the issues regarding trail access in the states, but my point was not that California or Colorado need to change their polocy, it was that the entire nation should possibly look at the way it views the access issue. Why is there apparently a need to decide who "owns" the outside, and who gets to determine when you do and do not get to use it?

I dunno, I just think that the way this discussion is being framed is wrong, it shouldn't be about preserving trail access, it should be about the removal of restrictions to where walkers/horses/bikes are/are not allowed to go when on the only planet we have access to... Then you can think about motor bikes, and if E bikes count as bikes or not.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: that's it..elitist. Glad you have such a depth of knowledge and opinions on everything outside of your sphere. Lots of keyboard warrior courage. Do look me up if you venture outside of your bubble and make it to Denver. We can chat then
  • + 5
 @euan91m: You are right the e-bike discussion really shouldn't be about preserving trail access but that is the only reason I can tell why there is resistance to e-bikes here in the USA.

In small towns where tourism related to biking is a big part of the economy, you find they have much better local policies about trails. But in any of the more populated areas (and I am referring to Socal now) mountain bikers don't count for jack shXt!! It's really sad actually but there is always money for a new football/baseball facility but all that happens is land gets taken away and access blocked for trails. And even the trails we do have are ALL mixed used trails. Either hiking/equestrian/biking or hiking/equestrian or the odd trail which is hiking/biking. There is not a single dedicated mountain bike trail that is not mixed use.

And the hatred towards mountain bikes is real. I live right next to some trails that the equestrian folks have commandeered. These asshats regularly sabotage the trails for bikers. I know because I ride them multiple times/week and I regularly undo the BS that the saboteurs do. I am skilled enough that they haven't got me yet and I make sure to thoroughly remove them so beginners won't be injured. My backyard trail was re-routed to make it more horse-friendly and less bike-friendly. Even though in that same park, mountain bikers are the only ones who help maintain trails, there was no bike consideration whatsoever when the horse folks pressed to make changes.

And yes the OCTA (Orange County Transportation Authority) is using public money from a 1/2 % sales tax to buy up massive plots of private land (many of which had trails on them that previous owners turned a blind eye towards use) and turn them into off-limits "Wilderness areas" where you can be arrested for trespassing against - not just a misdemeanor either, criminal trespassing. But then to "give back" to the public, about 6 times/year there are "docent-led" hikes and horseback rides. I contacted them and volunteered to guide bike rides just to see what their response would be - you guessed it - we have no plans to open these lands to bikes.

So yeah it is very frustrating, as you realize after awhile that the cards are against you. You can try and fight but there are only so many hours in the day. A guy has to go to work and raise his family etc. I contacted my local IMBA chapter to voice my concerns and try to get involved but quickly realized that they too realize what they are up against and basically take a "roll over and die" approach.

So I agree with you, it would be so much better if an intelligent conversation about e-bikes could happen, but considering the environment the USA riders find themselves in, it really does not make sense to promote e-bikes on the limited trails we have legal access to.

I will say though, that largely due to the Rock N Road bike shops, who are mainly a Specialized dealer, I am now seeing e-bikes in all the OC parks almost every ride and they are clearly not allowed there. In some ways it makes me realize maybe they (pedal assist e-bikes) aren't that big of a deal, but also it makes me realize that we could be just getting closer and closer to having all bikes banned from these parks. And if anyone cares, I will never spend $1.00 in Rock N Road again for that very reason.
  • + 1
 wenis?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: number four pretty much sums it all. You can all go riding now.
  • + 2
 @RedRedRe: E-mopeds are going 25 mph+. Emtb's are topping out at 16 to 18 mph, no accidents either. Europe is very accepting of ebikes with virtually no restrictions. it's growing in leaps and bounds over there.
Battery life for an ebkie running at full power is less then an hour at 28 mph. Most roadies can maintain this with a moderate level of fitness. They are a disadvantage on the downhill because of the additional weight and hard to move around so you'll get higher speeds on a regular mountain bike .The benefit of an ebike is only on flats and uphills and flats is only marginal.
  • + 1
 @Lost-Again: wellI have personally ridden two full suspension e-bikes and reaching 18mph on them for an average fit person is easy to say the least, even up steep gradients. Average descending speed for a mtb rarely exceeds 25mph (aside of WC racers and Pinkbike commenters who are the fastest people on the planet). A revular mtb rarely exceeds 5mph (aside of WC racers and Pinkbike commenters who are super strong and climb much faster). So climbing e-bike is a problem on mixed trails. Also because it makes people try to climb stuff they wouldn't otherwise consider as an attractive climb. That is an issue.

Then you are completely off if you think that e-bikes are not causing trouble as commuters. They do. Majority of people in my town have no fkng clue about riding a bicycle, they are careless, show no respect to other users of traffic, especially pedestrians. When they find themselves at a risk of collision They are much more enticed to use a ring bell than brakes and handlebar. And now these people are given a possibilty to easily reach 18Mph, whereas before they were going around 10mph. Yes, MAMILS on road bikes, or "elite commuters" as we call a characteric group of cyclists here, are equally dangerous and ride even faster, like 25-28mph but they are very few and ride better.

E-bikes are a safety problem that has to be adressed. Especially since it is so easy to hack the speed/power limiter. I see a few hacked e-bikes on cyclepaths in town a month
  • + 1
 I was gonna say that Vernon can't win an argument against people who have no logic behind their side, but I suppose there is logic here...
  • + 1
 @Varaxis: good point were made. Education and further evolution of the sport is still possible
  • + 2
 @tsn73: recently moved to SoCal from AZ. Never once saw a single person riding an ebike in AZ. Here in SoCal I've probably seen a dozen. Mostly on the road, but one total loser riding an ebike up Brown mtn to descend El Prieto. Disgusting and will absolutely lead to even less access. And btw, compared to AZ, CO, UT, NM the trail access in SoCal is very poor, which is a shame because there's so much potential.
  • + 1
 @RustySaguaro: disgusting?! We saw one last weekend. Dude said hello, was super stoked. Nobody said a single word about him. Oh we are such Swedish weak commies...
  • + 147
 Hey. I'm not a fan personally, but it still is better for all and sundry than a fat woman breaking a horses spine and anhillating the trails with its non opposable stupid and edible legs.

#HorsesR4burgers
  • + 12
 Greatest comment I have read all day. I'll fetch the horseradish sauce...
  • + 5
 @Connerv6: Concur - comment of the day.
  • + 17
 @Connerv6: damn you Americans! Horseradish is purely for beef and beef alone!! Wink
  • + 5
 @Connerv6: sorry, I have no beef with you! Wink
  • + 45
 Save a trail. Eat a horse.
  • + 2
 horses create social trails faster than an e-bike ever would and they don't have adjustable geometry.
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: Umm...shrimp?
  • + 12
 @jtayabji: you can adjust the geometry with an axe!
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: what, no no no. Look how french, spain and Italy use the tasty horses to make some of the finest sausages eeeever and I am a German so it is true Razz
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: yes, it is true a bockwurst is awesome!

I call horse boxes burger vans. Hope this makes someone's weekend / makes it into standard diction.
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: To be fair, we don't eat horse that often so what goes on it is a bit of a mystery. Although, I do like horseradish on shrimp and sometimes turkey, so I'd still argue it's more versatile than you give it credit for!
  • + 1
 @ecologist: hey I'm only joshing! You have whatever sauce you want, unless it's ketchup on steak, or horse steak for that matter.... Wink
  • + 1
 @Klainmeister: This needs to be a f*cking T-Shirt
  • + 2
 @focofox37: I was going to make a bumper sticker, that and 'Don't yield to me, I'm on E" with an e-bike logo
  • + 92
 My wife has always wanted to be more involved in my biking passion., but has fibromyalgia and had a hard time pedaling very far and fast, so I bought my her a Trek Neko+. When we ride together its on gravel paths and dykes. Before we would ride a few k's at a slow speed. Now I Iet her out front of me and I chase her on my non pedal assist bike. I have trouble keeping up with her and get a great work out while shes having a ton of fun. We regularly ride 20-30 k now. For me this is one important reason for how these bikes are worthwhile.
  • + 17
 The mob doesn't care about your wife's fibromyalgia. She's doing something "bad." Her bike needs to be vandalized or destroyed.
  • + 6
 Thanks for sharing, dude. Glad you guys can go out and have a good time on 2 wheels.

I often take my CX bike when I ride with my wife. It's a lot more fun to chase her than it is to wait around, and being out on the trails with her is a lot better than having her uninterested/unable to ride with me.
  • + 5
 A classic example why we can't throw the baby out with the bath water...ebikes have their place... we now need forward looking leaders who can help manage the situation just like we needed leaders to help navigate the logistics when pure pedal assist mtb bikes first started showing up on traditional equestrian and hiking trails.
  • + 13
 I agree wholeheartedly! As someone who has one of the more serious autoimmune disabilities, I find it's starting to get way too hard to pedal my bike uphill here in the Rockies. I'm still doing it (and of course I love it), but my recovery time is starting to make it much less enjoyable, and I can't do it nearly as much as when I was healthier. I'm seriously considering an e-bike as I still feel I would get lots of exercise, it really is a damn bicycle with a bit of uphill assistance and I'd probably get back to enjoying it more as I'm sure it would help me out immensely. I mean it's either that, or consider hanging it up soon.

But I already know with an ebike I'm going to have a new problem. It would be two seconds on the trail and I'd have the spandex mafia after me. I would likely just tell them to piss off, but you know it's elitist shit like this hatred of people who just want to ride bikes that makes me want to ride my motorcycle instead. Seriously.
  • - 13
flag skelldify (Nov 2, 2017 at 16:18) (Below Threshold)
 Why couldn't she get a moped or dirt bike?
  • + 9
 @skelldify: Probably because there is an element of physical activity to the e-bike that she enjoys/needs for her health. They don't move on their own -- they have to be pedaled. In her condition, perhaps pure pedal power is too much, but the pedal assist gives her the opportunity to be as active as she can be.
  • + 15
 Or hell, maybe she just want an ebike, and doesn't have to justify herself to you, me or anyone else. Free country and all that.

What people here don't seem to understand is that just because they're not into something doesn't mean others aren't. If it's not your cup of tea, so what? It's hers. As long as she's using it legally, it's her business.

Now we can discuss proper usage on trails and bike paths and all that, but just to poop all over someone and vandalize their property because they're into something you don't like is some bull. But then that's basically what Vernon wrote.
  • - 3
 @TheR: Ever ridden a dirt bike on trails? Just like riding a mountain bike chainless doesn't take away the physicality on the downhills, adding a motor doesn't either.
  • + 4
 @CaptainBLT: yes, I have. I can't speak to their particular situation for them, but do you really think that's the type of exercise this guy's wife with fibromyalgia is looking for? Also, not everyone is comfortable with the power of a 250cc (or 125, or whatever). See my point above. Maybe she just wants an ebike.
  • + 5
 And besides all that, most people here seem to be concerned with the impact of ebikes on trails and getting them shut down... wouldn't dirt bikes be more of a concern in this department?
  • + 5
 @skelldify: You don't want e-bikes on trails, so a moped or a dirt bike is a better alternative? What?
  • + 1
 @TheR: and empower her mentally and physically !!
  • + 3
 And that's awesome. Waht grinds my gears is the complete dishonesty of the industry's marketing approach. Don't tell me you made that 160mm Enduro shredder e-bike for the person that either a) is otherwise too poorly to ride a bike or b) the person that's literally too fat to manage on a bicycle. Where are they actually going to ride a bike like that instead of a sensible gravel e-bike?

Nah, I see you bike industry.
  • - 4
flag RustySaguaro (Nov 3, 2017 at 2:43) (Below Threshold)
 Thanks for confirming ebikes are for bitches!
  • - 6
flag RustySaguaro (Nov 3, 2017 at 2:48) (Below Threshold)
 @Stickman1029: Have you tried crushing and snorting Sovaldi before your rides? Ebikes are motorcycles, so...
  • - 2
 You should get rid of your electric assisted wife and get an authentic traildog, buddy ! Wink
  • + 3
 @TheR: you made a second post that I didn't see before my comment.

I am comfortable making exceptions to general rules for people with handicaps, and one of the ways could be allowing e-bike use on otherwise non-motorized trails. The point I was making is that beyond a certain difficulty of trail, you need a minimum level of fitness and skill to make it through the trail. If you lack that fitness, you become a hazard to yourself and others. If you are fit enough to handle advanced descents, you probably aren't handicapped enough to merit making an exception.

For example, any public trail labeled as downhill only should probably be off limits to eMTB. That's an indicator of higher speeds and technical trail features, and why would you want the extra weight anyway? These trails are subject to more erosion already, at least human powered ascents limit the number of laps in a day.
  • + 3
 @TheR: ...wouldn't dirt bikes be more of a concern in this department?

Absolutely. But there are designated places to ride dirt bikes, some with power and speed limitations. Emtb can be legally used on those trail systems.

The crux of the problem is manufacturers trying to act like emtb are not motorized, and to pifgy-back onto the access that mtb have worked hard to gain. Unless the landowner explicitly allows emtb but not other motorized vehicles, users need to assume ebikes are only allowed on existing motorized trails.

Rogue trails, I say leave it up to the builder. Its illegal regardless of user so mtb doesn't have a moral high ground.
  • + 2
 @CaptainBLT: All good man. I think what you're getting at is exactly what Vernon was saying. Maybe they shouldn't have access to all the trails. Maybe there needs to be some discussion about where and when they should ride. I'm cool with that. At the same time, don't vandalize their bikes, and also don't be a dick about what someone else wants to do for fun. That's what I don't get. If it's not your thing, live and let live. I've seen so many comments here about how "they're lazy." Yeah, so? What the eff does anyone care?

They're tearing up trails and are a hazard? Maybe it's true for certain trails with erosion issues or whatever, but for the most part, I'm not sure I'm buying even that. My favorite trail here in my town is multi-use, including dirt bikes. They banned them for a couple years, and with the ban came more hikers, who, quite frankly, did more damage to the steeper parts of the lower trail than the dirt bikes ever did. Now the dirt bikes are back, and the trail might be in better shape than the last time I rode it before the ban was lifted. There's certainly no difference, and dirtbikes would have more of an impact on the terrain than an ebike ever would. But maybe our trails are more hardy, and can withstand that type of thing. I don't know.

As for the struggle to gain access to trails -- there's just not much of a struggle here, so I just can't relate. There is an ongoing issue with a single trail, but ebikes won't affect the outcome one way or another -- they don't want anything up there.
  • + 1
 Also, people talk about ebikes as though they're this scourge of locusts popping up everywhere... I've never seen a single one out on a trail. Not one. Maybe I live in a place that places premium value on exercise and fitness, and that's why, and maybe they're everywhere else, but I haven't seen them out on the trails here. I've only seen ONE ebike in a bike shop showroom here, and that was last month. I'm just not seeing the crisis.
  • + 2
 @TheR: As an older rider (62) who has lived through the early days of the 70’s and 80’s of mountain biking, the problem of e-bikes is not one of numbers but of perception in the non-mountain biking haters such as the Sierra Club. They don’t distinguish between different types of bike. For them, all bikes are hateful and e-bikes are the perfect storm for outlawing all bikes on the very trails that has taken years to gain access to. I am against e-bikes on bike approved trails because we will be back to the bad old days if we are not VERY careful about this issue. For what it’s worth, I love to ride steep, leggy, fast trails and even own a DH bike for the bike bikes, even though I’m not all that fast fast. When they day comes that I can’t ride those kinds of trails because of old age, so be it. I’ll pedal around on the flatter trails under my own power.
  • + 1
 @endoguru: The problem with your line of thinking is that you are taking personal responsibility, and that is going the way of the buffalo these days. Don't you understand that we must pander to the lowest common denominator, whether it's trail access or public education or a host of other areas, because, by golly, god forbid someone be left out. We must be unwavering in our inclusiveness, so if that means that all single track now needs to be double track and no more than a 2% grade to allow access to the 8 people in motorized hand-pedal-assist wheelchairs, then SO BE IT.

All joking aside, I agree with you man. I don't understand why we here in the states put the needs of the tiny minority ahead of the vast majority at an increasing rate. My mother has fibromyalgia, it's no good, but I would never dream of jeopardizing access for thousands and thousands of people so that she could ride a few miles of trail. Riding a bike is not something she does well at these days, so we do other things instead. Pretty simple, really. I appreciate you being realistic when assessing your fitness and abilities as they relate to growing older. When I can no longer ride a bike on the trails I ride today, I'll ride less challenging trails. And when those become too much for me, I'll go hiking or fishing.
  • + 2
 @mikealive: Well in my post I said that we ride river dyke and gravel/paved bike paths. No where did I say that she rides single track of any type. Its not her thing. I do that solo or with other riders on our non pedal assist bikes. So she isn't causing any risk of trail access being denied to anyone anywhere...like I said....for this intended use it makes sense.
  • + 2
 @dbhender: Yeah, after I posted my comment I saw how you might take that personally, and that wasn't my aim. My apologies. I was meaning to speak in a broader sense, but coincidentally also have a family member with fibromyalgia, so used my mother as the example.

Clearly you ARE being responsible--enjoying the benefits of an ebike, but riding where it is allowed and not jeopardizing access for others. The broader point I was trying to make was with regard to the lame reasoning of "I just can't ride the trails I used to when I was younger/wasn't injured/etc. so I should be able to ride an ebike on my favorite trails". It reeks of entitlement and selfishness. Life changes, you adapt--in your case, an ebike and gravel paths are the solution. I'm behind that 100%. However, there's no way I would risk access to a trail system for hundreds or thousands of people by riding unauthorized transport where I don't belong, or worse, insisting that my *motor assisted* mode of transport be allowed to ride the coat tails of the decades of work the MTB community has put in to build or gain access to those trail systems.. I just wouldn't do it, and people who try to make such an argument are boneheads..
  • + 85
 “f*ck your f*ckin’ e-bikes!”

Someone was gonna say it, might as well get it out of the way. Wink
  • + 3
 I didnt hear a single person in your part of the world saying that yesterday at Bike Park Wales when there was a couple of guys with them on the up lift. Quite the opposite. I was overhearing a few convos on the stinky bus about them.
Of course, BPW does charge you more for riding an e-bike Smile
  • + 20
 @ilovedust: e-bikes on an uplift? That's like taking off the filter before smoking a cigarette.
  • + 14
 Please use all caps
  • + 4
 @ilovedust: BPW attracts all manner of riders - that’s exactly what they set out to do, to appeal to the widest range of potential visitors possible. I’m not sure you can take it as a fair representation of Welsh opinion on e-bikes or anything for that matter. I dunno why these particular riders had chosen an e-bike but perhaps in their local trails it makes sense for them and they’re simply running what they brung at BPW. There’s a guy who rides at Farmer Johns on one so he can tow his son up the hill. If it helps me enjoy the trails more with my son you’re damn right I’d buy one - just one of many legit reasons to own one imo. As much as it seems odd to ride em at BPW at least there’s no argument against trail access there, but we’re lucky here to not have that issue on the scale as those in the states and Canada. Live and let live, if there’s no problem don’t go looking for one.
  • + 5
 @ThomDawson: If they really are that bothered in the US, the regular riders could just report the e-bikers who are riding in areas where they aren't allowed.....you could even call it the "finger an e-biker" campaign.

Looks like its going to be up to the e-bikers to establish access rights for e-bikers in the US. Its there country and there complex legal system so only US citizens can sort it.

The US seems to like lots of local laws so you could make it mandatory for e-bike retailers/rental shops to hand over a legal notice on trail access for E-Bikes. That way the e-biker has no defense and can be locked up for at east 50 years for an infringement. If the shop doesn't issue the notice it gets shutdown and the owner jailed.

So long as we don't get to many de-restriction idiots (turning them into motorbikes) I think we will be OK in the UK (and Europe). An e-bike is only allowed a max 250w motor and cuts out at 25kph and throttles are in effect banned (only up to 6kph). Anyone breaking that should be jailed for driving an unregistered/taxed/insured vehicle illegally and made to ride a hybrid for the the rest of their life..
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: I think we have established that e-bikes are only an issue in North America!
For a tiny country we are more tolerant and liberal of activites such as green laning (makes e-bikes look like a gift from god), riding in the rain and wet and general access. We also have a system that on the whole airs towards more open access to the countryside and rivers. Furthermore our laws are set nationally not regionally (give or take minor devolution) so for the Government to be discussing the banning of an e-bike means they are not trying to get Brexit right. Hmm. Priorities
  • + 4
 @ilovedust: this isn't even a debate outside pinkbike in Yurp. The States has got its issues and ebikes are just one window onto them. Too much freedom has killed freedom.
  • + 64
 nice job vern, level headed and constructive.
  • + 72
 Surely, no one will read it and instead jump to the comment section to punch the baby..
  • + 25
 Only ran into a few E-Bikers on trails that show no motorized vehicles. I went up and let them know that they cant be ridden on these trails due to park rules, etc. A couple of them told me to F off and mind my own business, but most were genuinely surprised that their bikes were considered motorized vehicles. It's hard to have constructive conversation with people who are dicks or just choose to be ignorant. Still, if you steal of vandalize someone else's bike, there is a special place in hell reserved for you.
  • + 0
 Agreed, one of the more well written opinions on here
  • + 7
 @moefosho: No one should leave a shop confused about whether they have bought a motorized vehicle if they purchase an e-bike. Manufacturers and retailers bear a responsibility to educate their clientele. If they don't want that responsibility, they are free to not sell the product.
  • + 2
 "Level headed and constructive" and Pinkbike comments sections don't mix.

I usually end up failing to stop myself punching the kid who punched the baby.
  • + 4
 I'm a Vernon fan and agree it is a level headed view of the situation. I don't agree with all of Vernon's points, however.

Before I say anymore, I have demo'd ebikes three times as recently as a few weeks ago just so I know what they're all about. I figure I can't piss on the parade if I don't what the parade is all about... I have zero interest in them nor do I want them on mixed use trails. I have motos for when I want power-assisted fun - there is no grey area in this argument for me.

Constructive? Sort of... Yes, I agree we shouldn't vandalize others property. Good, valid point as there is no place for that. Being rude to ebikers on trails where they don't belong? I'm probably OK with that as I've "been that guy" and have zero regrets about it. Especially after the douche told me he knows they ebikes are not allowed on those particular trails... We expect bike shops and consumers to keep these things on the right trails? Right...

And this is where Vernon and I do not agree. "We, the people, need to solve this problem by channeling our energy." I'm sorry, I just can't behind that. How about the moral obligation of many of your manufacturer advertisers to hold off selling ebikes in one of their largest markets until the situation is sorted? They could sell "townies" for the folks in Aspen. How about writing a constructive, pointed article putting the burden back on the manufacturers? I'll be waiting for that one... As always, profits fog common sense and the near-sighted approach of dumping these things into a market in turmoil is baffling but not surprising.

Manufacturers only need to come here to comments section to get an honest view of the situation albeit arguably a narrow one. Speaking of - whatever happened to that Yamaha bikes follow-on article? I see the Yamaha representative had the balls of a toddler and only responded once to their press release "article". Did they decide Pinkbike wasn't the best venue for their "soft launch" of small displacement motorcycles?

The ebike conversation and approach in the US is so f*cked up, I've stopped volunteering for trail maintenance days and attending meetings/events advocating for trail access. To think that this issue is the responsibility of folks who have already spent so much time fighting for trail rights to now have to go back and do that all over again is just flat out wrong...

Off my soapbox now and off to rip on my MOTORcycle at the ORV park (I'll be on the lookout for some ebikes).
  • + 1
 Yeah I like this article. I'm not going to join the mosh pit for this one as the article seems aimed at the US audience (which I am not). But I think it was a fun, intelligent and respectful article. Thanks @vernonfelton!
  • + 1
 @TheFunkyMonkey: I think it's totally reasonable to resent the need to advocate against ebikes now, after years of trying to get/keep trail access. Sure, we SHOULDN'T have to do it, it sucks, but who else is going to?

While the mfrs pushing e-mtbs in the US market do ultimately bear most of the responsibility for the situation, is it realistic to expect them to stop what they're doing without organized pushback from mtb orgs? What exactly is the mechanism for getting that message to them? If bike companies set their product / marketing strategy based on people bitching in PB comments the industry would look a lot different than it does right now... but they don't.

I agree it's not really a fight any of us want to deal with, but I don't see how checking out of advocacy, trail work, etc makes anything better.
  • + 4
 @bkm303: The problem is many of the large MTB orgs ARE the manufacturers so there is no push back. And why the problem shifts to us as Vernon has highlighted.

I just don't agree with it and why I'm not spending any more time on it. It's tough as I've spent countless hours volunteering and advocating but until this bullshit clears up, no mas. At this point, I'm more likely to volunteer at my for profit ORV park since at least they got their shit straight.

I'll challenge Vernon or any other writer to publish a level-headed and constructive article calling out the manufacturers and their role in the problem. It won't happen - it's their livelihood so we get articles like the one Vernon has published tackling the problem from a different angle - "it's on us". No thanks.

And to reiterate, I'm a huge fan of Vernon's work. I just don't agree with him on this topic.
  • + 11
 @TheFunkyMonkey: Challenge accepted.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: I'd also like you to put some effort into looking at the bigger picture where more voices and more people into riding is good for the mountain bikers and trail access of the United States.
  • + 2
 @TheFunkyMonkey: "I'll challenge Vernon or any other writer to publish a level-headed and constructive article calling out the manufacturers and their role in the problem."

No argument from me there. I'd love to see that. Sounds like he's on it!
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton: Hell ya, Vernon! I'll gladly eat some crow now to get that perspective from you. Appreciate you taking a look at the manufacturer angle.
  • + 38
 Last night ran into someone on a KTM e-bike, and after making a comment, I was chastized by a rider in our group saying, hey you never know, he may be injured, or have a health issue...I paused for a second, thought about it...then totally sucker punched that baby.
  • + 38
 Couldn't you use Trailforks to let people know about regulations? Seems like the people who buy e-bikes are going to be looking for an app like that to find trails too.
  • + 11
 This would actually be a good idea. Trailforks has a winter riding setting already, why not add an "I ride an E-bike, whats available?" filter. It would take a lot of work to research all the laws and program it in, but I am sure some of the groups mentioned above would take a stab at it for the sake of education...
  • + 4
 I believe the Trailforks app does say if e-bikes are allowed or not when that information is available. Just click on a trail and it will say in the details (a lot of trails don't have these details yet)
  • + 4
 The problem with trail forks is they also have "illegally built" trails . They are not built by a club with proper permits. you can't just start adding trails to trail maps and expect people to stay off them
  • + 4
 @Connerv6: that is a good idea, for anyone building and naming their own tracks, they can write "f*ck off with your stupid shitty ebike" as the trails name. That'd solve the problem :-)
  • + 2
 Trailforks has a Bike Type field, e.g. Downhill, All-Mountain, Fat Bike. They should add an E-Bike option.
  • + 33
 This article sets up a classic Trumpian false equivalency where the people opposing a bad thing are considered the same as the the people doing a bad thing. And yes, Vernon I have resigned my IMBA membership and local club membership for their lack of leadership on this issue and told them why. And for all you "it's only pedal assist" guys out there you're dreaming. You can buy push button "assist" "ebikes" labeled mountain bikes that do 70kph uphill right now.
  • + 19
 Horseshit. Someone's beliefs ("opposing a bad thing") don't give them some special license to be a dick to people / or mess with people's property. If I believe large SUVs are bad for the environment, does that give me the right to vandalize or tamper with someone's car? If I think sugar is bad for little kids should I have walked the neighborhood snatching all their bags of candy on Tuesday?

I'm amazed that anyone can morph @vernonfelton 's CLEARLY STATED opinion into some objectionable e-bike propaganda worth getting worked up over. The piece literally states that we need to "educate bike shops and consumers about where these things can and can’t be ridden. Trails are going to get shut down if we don’t get a handle on that."

I have no love for IMBA or ebikes, but the fact that I think they're bad for our trail access situation doesn't give me license to stop being decent to people, or to intentionally damage their bike just because it has a battery on it. There's no false equivalency there, that's just basic morality. If you don't agree with those points, you may want to consider whether you're a crusader for a cause, or just an a*shole.
  • + 3
 Opposing "a bad thing" is different from purposely damaging someone else's property because you don't like it. Classic Antifa/"resistance" tactic.
  • + 5
 @TheR: I totally agree and am not in favor of damaging property or injuring people, heck it's bikes we are talking about. I was speaking in much more idealogical terms, rather than physical ones.
  • - 1
 Name one... Does it look a regular bike? I doubt it, that would take a lot of kW. Also did you not read the part where he talked about categorizing different types of E-bikes? I personally have no interest in riding e-bikes but your argument is lacking. There are electric motorbikes which are as fast as a race spec 450. But nobody is saying they should be allowed on MTB trails.
  • + 3
 @bkm303: I would have upvoted you except for the name calling. No need for that in discussion. Your point about decency and respecting others is otherwise a good one.
  • + 3
 @GOrtho: damaging property and generally being a dick to people is exactly what the article was about....

Nobody says anyone has to like ebikes or advocate for them on your trails. Vernon's piece is about not letting our beliefs turn us into an a*sholes, and using our energy in a more constructive / less dehumanizing way.
  • + 2
 @GOrtho: completely fair point, it was unneeded. Didn't mean to call you personally an a*shole, just meant it as a sanity check - should have said "we/us" instead of "you". We all need to check ourselves in that way.
  • + 0
 @bkm303: Vernon missed the issue completely. The only lack of humanity here is the companies that don't give a f*ck about our sport, but only to take advantage of a loophole/grey-area for profit.

The filth is real and PB is just one of many smoking guns we'll look back on in disgust when we wonder why MTB land access stagnated.
  • + 13
 @BurtMcBurburt: Gotta say. It looks like a lot of people read the first few paragraphs and then went to the comments section. If they read the entire piece, they'd see that the point being made (in several instances) was that if you are angry about e-bikes and don't want your trails getting closed, it's time to speak up to the powers that be: talk to legislators, local government, IMBA, People for Bikes, etc. and let them know how you feel. Vandalizing someone's bike or being rude to people who ride e-bikes does nothing to reduce the potential for trail loss.
  • + 10
 The pedal assist vs throttle thing is an example of regulatory failure. If we look at the EU, for example, the difference is clear: an e-bike must be pedal-assisted, and the motor cuts out above 25 km/h (16 mph). Anyone can ride this type of bike, no license or registration needed. But if it has a throttle or the motor assists you at speeds greater than the 25 km/h limit, then it is a motorcycle.

I'd say that this system works really well.
  • - 2
 @TheR: lol 'antifa' you Trump supporting jackass.
  • + 1
 @samimerilohi: bingo, we have the same here and to be honest in the trails the e-bikes weren't great fun climbing due to the extra weight, especially on rocky climbs, you couldn't get the torque down properly but couldn't shift and move your body weight like you do with a decent trail bike. They suit a certain purpose and having sold of these ebikes to consumers have gotten them into the basics of the sport and come back for traditional bikes once they've improved their fitness. Sometimes it's a shot of confidence to those who don't believe they are capable under their own steam.
  • + 5
 @BurtMcBurburt: So, you're mad at bike companies for pushing ebikes (reasonable), and that's why you disagree with:

(a) make sure shops and ebike owners know where ebikes are/aren't allowed, so they don't screw things up for us
(b) get involved with political / industry groups that reflect our views on ebikes
(c) don't be destructive a*sholes to individual ebike owners, because it doesn't solve our trail access issues (and it's a shitty thing to do)

You're right bro, that's some deeply disturbing propaganda @vernonfelton is pushing. I can really see future me being "disgusted" with such horrible "smoking guns" of ebike love.

You seem like a person I wouldn't want to ride ANY bike around, motorized or not. Maybe read the whole piece next time...
  • + 32
 I just moved back from living in Luxembourg for two years, and over there e-mtn bikes are everywhere. I'd say 30-40% of the people I would see on the trails were using one. It's no even an issue or worth discussion to them, they don't understand all the fuss.

A lot of the worst case scenarios you hear people associating with e-bikes just don't happen in use. They don't tear up the trails more than a normal mtn bike (and Lux has the worst mud I've ever ridden in), and people aren't hot-rodding them to go faster. It's older people wanting to still get out, or riders who like going for very long distances in their rides while touring. No one gets stuck in the woods because their battery dies, it's pretty idiot proof.

I understand trail access is more of an issue here, but they're really not all that different from normal mountain bikes in most regards.
  • + 0
 This!
  • + 17
 Americans are whiny formally free people, living under the boot of the government. Fear drives loathing.
  • + 16
 I have to agree with you on this. I dont understand how an ebike can cause anymore damage on trails than what normal bikes do, it not like theyre spinning wheels and creating ruts, plus the fact they cut out at 25kph means they are no faster when going downhill than any other bike. Its just the internet warriors causing a stink, 99.9% who probably have never seen an ebike, let alone ride on. Have a coffee and croissant, and chill the f*** out.
  • + 7
 Love this, this is exactly what we need to hear. Most mtbers just want to throw a fit and they have no idea what they are talking about. More people riding = a bigger voice for mtbing in general.
  • + 3
 I am starting to think the best approach to take in the US is to unify mtbs and ebikes in trail advocacy efforts. I don't like that we got here so fast, and I rather wish that e-mtbs never happened, but people DIY'd them, corporations mass-produced them, and, looking forward, I only see the visual distinctions become less and less apparent. Someday the technology will be there for a motorized, two-wheeled vehicle that looks exactly like a regular pedal mtb to go 30 mph all day long. No agency or land manager cares enough to want to attempt to regulate that, which would be nigh impossible anyway. Like it or not (I don't, but as has been said, "what it is."), on a scale of perceptions and impacts, we will be more closely identified with e-mtbs then other trail users. Never mind that we were "here first," e-mtbs will increasingly define the category of trail user that we are in. I understand the impulse to differentiate in every way possible for pride, for purity of the sport, for environment, for whatever reason, but the sooner we can own this new definition for the advancement of advocacy, the less ground we will loose in the transition. This likely means fewer multi-use trails and losing access to trails that historically were "hiking trails that have tolerated bikes."
  • + 3
 @ecologist: I agree, and I'm surprised we even have to have that brought up. Seems obvious to me that these bikes are good for us, but not a lot of others seem to see that.
  • + 2
 Thank you. People speaking out against them have no concept of what they are really all about. The biggest opponent to ebikes are mountain bikers,usually fit and racer types who now have to deal with a 70 year old who gets to the top of the hill at the same time they do. That's really what all the negativity is all about. I'm getting up there in years and still want to ride and yes, I have health issues that prevent me from riding a regular mountain bike but more then that I find it aprehensible that I should be restricted from trails that other mountain bikers are allowed to ride. Most people talking about why they should be banned have no idea what they are all about. But eventually they will be allowed all over, it'll just take longer here in the states.
  • + 30
 I' don't hate E-bikes. I have tried them, and they are fun, but they are not a MTB to me. I am VERY annoyed with the websites, and magazines that i get my "old school MTB new and information" from trying like hell to sell me on E-bikes. If I wanted e-bike news I'd look them up on Pink-E-bike.
  • + 42
 Hell, I'll be honest, I LOVE E-bikes. E-MTBs not so much. But I'm a huge supporter of e-commuter bikes. Getting people out of cars and onto vehicles that get them some exercise is so important. I'm lucky to live close to where I work and go to school, but if I had a 30km one way commute, hell yeah I'd be getting an ebike that can take racks and panniers
  • + 10
 @mnorris122: I'm 100% with you. Living here in Germany I see dozens of e bikes on the roads every day. Most shops will admit it.. more than 50% of sales are ebikes. But not a single one on the MTB trails Smile
  • + 3
 Does an e-mtb article exist with anything but singletrack shots and riders on "real trail" marketing videos? The whole point is to convince mountain bikers you can actually mountain bike on them. If they were really targeting commuters and injured folks with their messaging then the community response would likely be different.. Maybe yelling at the baby instead of punching it. Vernon mischaracterized their advertisement in that regard and pinkbike needs to acknowledge this contradiction if they're gonna put out 5 articles a year telling us not to hate e-mtb's
  • + 1
 Bike companies spec'ing them with extra travel, modern geometry, etc would also lend itself to this argument. Introducing the e-EndurSlayer now sporting 170mm of travel front and rear, 400 mm rotors, our most durable downtube and carbon layup yet! For riders who want to just chill and ride..
  • + 17
 I can't understand America and "trail access issues".....you guys literally have tons of wilderness and space. Here in Europe (especially Switzerland) we're packed into a much smaller area, yet generally happily co-exist on trails with hikers, e-bikers etc. E-bikes are growing massively, but generally with older people, and I haven't noticed any detrimental side effects.
  • + 4
 i just got back from switzerland, Your country is amazing and you dont have a lot of the greed and entitlement we have here. If all of our intersections were roundabouts there would be car crashes everywhere because no one even knows how to stop at a stop sign here let alone yield. Americans do not share trail access well, vs switzerland that has a massive very well designed network of trails and public transportation. We don't have that sadly, which is why different groups are so unwilling to share what limited trails we do have. I doubt anyone really has beef with older riders using an ebike.
  • + 9
 Mainly the big access concerns come from official designation as protected Wilderness, which by law prohibits bikes. Lots of amazing trails have been lost recently, due to environmental protection of all things. They used to be designated National Forest, State Forest, etc, but when they become designated Wilderness we lose access. I agree it's silly.

On a more basic level, if people think they can take something all for themselves they often will. Generally we have a pretty litigious/activist culture here, and if a group of hikers (-ahem- Sierra Club -ahem-) decides they don't like bikes whizzing by them, and they think they have the clout to change things, they'll go for it. Between city/county regulations and federal Wilderness designation they have a lot of tools at their disposal to make that stuff happen. Idk what it's like in Europe, but around here people will just say "oh they can go ride somewhere else, I just don't want them in my backyard". I don't think that really applies in Europe, where everyone is sharing comparatively small bits of wild land.

Pretty frustrating, tbh. If Americans had a similar attitude to what you describe in Switzerland I'd have zero problem with ebikes on trails. It's just pure politics here, and in many aspects of public life we've forgotten how to be tolerant and decent to one another.
  • + 1
 @IsaacO: What counts as old? I got smoked the other day by a white hair on an ebike but it was his skills and line choice that impressed. That pedal assist was gutless.
  • + 2
 @choppertank3e: what i should have said is those who require physical assist...handicap riders..etc....ive been smoked by plenty of "older" riders myself.
  • + 2
 @IsaacO: X2. Switzerland is amazing. Cannot wait to return!
  • + 3
 @IsaacO: The culture in the USA sounds just like South Africa in many respects.

Depending on where you want to cycle, eg a national park or forestry area, different rules apply. My city is situated in an area of massive floral diversity with over 3000 different kinds of plants in a small area. However, the national park and botanical garden we ride in allow cycling and trail development provided its done in accordance with the environmental laws and in predetermined areas. These areas have the highest levels of environmental protection but cycling is still allowed in many areas both here and in other such parks. This is partly because it generates tourist revenue which in turn funds conservation. The US laws prohibiting cycling seem particularly unfortunate when seen in the light of the relative lack of biodiversity present.

User conflict develops in areas that were recently opened to cycling. Some of the hate on cyclists is unfortunately justified because of the entitled way they ride through these pedestrian filled areas...

Ebikes haven't been an issue at all however. They are very expensive but getting more common slowly. I doubt they will ever cause trail access issues here.
  • + 1
 That's because america was founded on God & Guns. You generally put a lot of distance between you and the next person when you make use of either.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: thanks for the detailed insights! Very interesting
  • + 18
 Just had an idea: I am going to invent an electric jet ski that ONLY comes on when you move your arms. I am calling it . . . eSwimming!
  • + 11
 The next question. Should it be legal at your local YMCA?
  • + 1
 Have you seen sea scooters?
  • + 14
 I have nothing against e-bikes from a practical standpoint - i could even care less if they were allowed on singletrack trails and would love to see sensible rules and regulations enacted that were fair to e-bikers..... that said, when it comes to trail access, we are not dealing with rational opposition, and I fear the consequences of e-bikes on trails and how the anti-bike crowd will use them in the fight against ALL mountain bikers.

The traditional conservation organizations are still by and large run by old-school anti-bikers with nearly unlimited pockets from an organizational standpoint.

Here in Montana with the latest forest plan revision process, we are at risk of losing thousands of miles of trails to "Recommended Wilderness Areas" (with hundreds of miles already lost). I open every news article I see talking about the subject with dread because I know that the odds are against mountain bikers in this fight.

We do not have a unified national mountain biking community stepping up to the plate as there are still far too many people with the "why should i care about wilderness areas if I don't live near one" mindset (although hopefully this is getting better as more awareness is drawn to the problem). I understand that things are never black and white, but even if the entire mountain biking community was unified with regards to trail access we would STILL face an uphill battle given the organizations (and $$$) opposing us.

Given all of these things, I cannot ignore the likely negative repercussions that would come if e-bikes became common on trails here.
There is zero doubt in my mind that the anti-bike crowd will latch on to e-bikes and try to link them with traditional mountain bikes to justify their original goal of keeping us out of "their" trails. It is vital to keep the distinction between traditional mountain bikes and e-bikes clear or we risk providing a silver bullet to the people who would deny us legal access to the trails we know and love.

I hope for a solution that gives e-bikers fair access to trails, but I don't want to risk losing out because of it. While this is certainly a selfish sentiment, I believe it is also a pragmatic one given the current trail access environment we have.
  • + 11
 "...when it comes to trail access, we are not dealing with rational opposition..." this is a point in need of stress.

If there was a magic situation where ebikes (motor bikes) could be brought in and we (traditional mtbs) were guaranteed not to lose any access, I personally think the e-hate comments would stop.
  • + 4
 Very valid and well stated points which sum up my reservations about e-Mtb. I'm especially concerned about this with where I live (Santa Cruz) due to the history of obnoxiously anti-bike groups in a town where cycling is a major industry and popular hobby but the trail network is mostly unsanctioned. We are finally seeing some positive bridge building with land managers and I would hate to see the hard work damaged by negative perceptions of e-mtb's.

That said, there is the possibility that e-bikes will attract more people/money to lobby for trail access. Most people who buy e-mtb's clearly have time and money to lobby. It's complicated.
  • + 3
 Yeah, what ever happened to the STC, anyway. Haven't heard about them in months.
  • + 4
 @skelldify: That's a long story.... But worth talking about, for sure.
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton: Wow, now I really want to know. Just did some googling and can't find anything about them from at least the last six months. Anybody know anything?
  • + 3
 @skelldify: I still follow them on FB. They still post articles every week or so, so they seem to be active to some degree at least. Would be cool if they did like a quarterly press release or something to let ppl know what's going on.
  • + 2
 The More people riding trails we have the better voice we will have. It is simple.
  • + 1
 Spot on.
  • + 13
 I'm not against e-bikes. I'm against the illusion that e-bikes are mountain bikes. Full on motocross e-bikes like the one by Alta Motors are awesome. The bike industry marketing motor bikes as if they're bicycles harms the publics perception of the sport and is a serious threat to our trail access though.
  • + 16
 F**king with someone's personal property is a dick move, much more so than owning an e-bike. Don't be a dick.
  • - 21
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 12:38) (Below Threshold)
 Show up at my trail head with one of those, and it's gonna get allot worse than that!
  • - 18
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 13:29) (Below Threshold)
 @mh731: harder than you’ll ever be, you little spandex clad doucher! Go hold hands with your e-bike buddies and go drink your hot cocoa. I’m hard, cause I build and service trails, and when I’m done, I ride them on a real bike!
  • + 0
 @MelvieD: hmm...I wonder who you voted for...
  • - 10
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 13:41) (Below Threshold)
 @ReformedRoadie: I voted for Jill Stein. I’m a vegan, I have 3500 watts solar on my hand built house, that is stuffed with sheeps wool insulation. What you got, you trendy liberal
  • + 5
 @MelvieD: Right...
If that were true, you're as dumb as you are angry.

OR maybe you're just a Bot.
  • - 8
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 13:58) (Below Threshold)
 @ReformedRoadie: every bit is true. Just cause I like animals, doesn’t mean I like retarded human beings who are to lazy to ride a real bike.
  • + 5
 @MelvieD: said the hiker to the new mountain biker 20 years ago....
  • - 7
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 14:43) (Below Threshold)
 @cartoon: no. Said the biker to the wanker
  • + 1
 @MelvieD: Vegan and living in a house insulated with tons of sheeps wool ... Let me guess, you had a nice steak for lunch?
  • + 1
 @MelvieD: Even if the guy is 6ft5 with a biceps the size of your head?If yes,please put the footage on YouTube.I hate violence,but instant karma videos a my guilty pleasure.
  • + 4
 I got nothing against ebikes but I f*cking hate drop bar road bikes, cross-country bikes, long chainstays, flat bars, triple chain rings etc. I'm inspired to vandalise ALL bikes that aren't specced to my preference until you people realise I'm right. I wonder if I puncture every tyre I see if it will speed up production of puncture proof tyres? Jokes aside the shit I ride down is too steep to ride an ebike up and an ebike is a bitch to push up. They are still limited by the physics of tyres up or down.
  • - 7
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 15:42) (Below Threshold)
 @ReformedRoadie: sorry I didn’t vote for Hillary, I just didn’t really believe in her no issue campaign that was to busy tweeting with Trump about bullshit. I voted for the lady who was standing in front of bulldozers trying to stop native Americans from losing the land that Government gave them last time. Just like I’ll stand up ifor something I believe in. I don’t want these vehicles where they don’t belong. Motorized vehicles need to be registered, licensed and insured. Don’t kick the baby, rich whities had there bikes vandalized, my wife has fiber myalgia, I’m to old and big of a pussy to ride up that hill. These are all bullshit ideas, driven by the industry to make it seem like e-bikes are getting a bad rap for no reason. They got a bad rap because they don’t belong in the mountains. You f*cking ebike lovers can down vote me all you want, I don’t give a rats ass. My minds made up, because I’m not a city dwelling nut f*ck who can’t think for themselves. might does not make right, but it sure makes what is.
  • + 4
 @MelvieD: so if I key your Hummer cause I'm 'standing up for my beliefs' you wouldn't call the cops right?
  • + 0
 @MelvieD: you are my hero.
  • + 12
 I've seen and been passed by a few e-bikes in the past week or so. Honestly it's not much different than getting passed by a dude who's in way better shape in me. I didn't see any massive ruts formed as they went by or any of the doom and gloom being spouted here. While I wouldn't ride one, I don't see what the harm is. They're great for people unable to otherwise ride. I bet most of the people with the strongest opinions on the matter haven't even seen an e-bike on the trails, because if they had they'd realize they were outrageously overreacting.
  • + 0
 Agreed.

who cares about getting passed by an e-bike as long as it's a safe pass?

"cheater" only applies where there are rules- ie: a sanctioned race.

That's like saying someone passing you on a $10k superbike is "cheating" because you're riding a clunker. Take pride in your choices and fitness and do your own damn thing, what others choose to ride has nothing to do with you.

Trail access is a legitimate concern that needs discussion.
EgoBabyBros getting butthurt because someone is having a different kind of fun is a non-issue and only deserving a good laugh at their fragility.
  • + 11
 What I learned from this article is that I'm against the agenda of People for Bikes.

They label states that classify a motorized bike as a motorized vehicle as "problematic". I prefer them to be regulated as motorcycles.

While ebikes are currently slower than what we traditionally think of as motorcycles, that won't last long. They will soon be indistinguishable in terms of performance from motorcycles yet look like a normal bicycle. And when I say indistinguishable performance, that means it can accelerate fast enough to burn out and will have a top speed well beyond what is acceptible on public trails.

We could try to differentiate between different sizes of motors or other criteria, but I believe that would be a futile effort. It wouldn't work at all. Legal and illegal bikes will look identical except to extreme bicycle geeks. It just isn't feasible for cops to police the city parks looking for people who have illegal bikes or illegally modified bikes.
  • + 4
 The technology already exists for e-bikes that can perform like dirt bikes. They arent using it because its not the point of e-bikes...
  • + 4
 The crazy part about this is that the first motorcycles were all combustion assist bicycles. The technology has gone full circle.

I had the opportunity to visit the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA a couple weeks ago. There are dozens of motorcycles from 80-100+ years ago that have pedals. Even an electric one!

There is a hard line. Motor | No Motor. Non-motorized trail use agreements mean eMTB are not allowed.

When it comes to illegal trails, I think it should be up to the trail builder. You're trespassing anyway, so the arguments against eMTB fall down pretty hard.
  • + 2
 Get over it and yourself. The level of ignorance on this thread is unbelievable.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: Ignorance can be fixed, if you have a compelling counter-argument I'd love to hear it.
  • + 7
 @CaptainBLT: It's pretty straight forward. Ride an emtb and tell me you hate it. Then tell me that having more people in our sport would be a bad thing. I hear nonstop about land access going away and trails being zoned off. Well that only happens because there are more people on the other side asking for it. The only way, literally, the only way to prevent that from happening is to make our sport less intimidating for the average person. We need people, we need voices, and ebikes are a clear way forward for that. We also need that 50+ generation that has money to blow and believes in their political voice being heard. Many of those people do not ride currently and should be. They should also be given the chance to ride with their friends and be a part of the sport just like any of us.

People who hate on these machines scare me. They only see the world with a narrow scope, and in my opinion, they are why we are loosing trail access. Mtbing is not some elitist club that only the fit and healthy are able to enjoy. Mtbing has been and should continue to be the opposite of road cycling, and should continue to embrace changes and new comers with open arms. Is change scary? Yes it is, but you cannot play it safe and win in this world.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: first off, thank you for answering.

I complegely agree with your point about more people entering the sport, particularly an older crowd, being a good thing. I hadn't considered the issue from that angle.

It does raise some concern about people getting in over their heads, but I wouldn't have a problem with e-bikes on low difficulty trails or fire roads, as a way to lower the threshold for newcomers to the sport. I'm sure my parents would enjoy an e-assisted pedal up to the top of our local mtn - a place too far for them to access otherwise.

We would probably keep the same pace, and they wouldn't want to ride the technical descent. They'd be happy riding back down the fire road
  • + 4
 @CaptainBLT: Thanks for seeing where I am coming from. I think that "angle" you missed is the biggest thing no one is talking about and there is a huge opportunity for us to rally and make some big moves. We don't need ebikes everywhere, no one is saying that, but we do need to make more riding areas open to them so that more people can join the sport and have the experiences we love.
  • + 2
 @Nathan6209: in some places motorized bikes won’t be a problem. But in most places they will be. There’s a reason motorcycles and hikers don’t use the same trails. It is my belief that we won’t be able to limit the speed of ebikes. Thus, the only way to preserve trail access is to treat them as motorcycles.

Also, we dont need more people in the sport here. And there is no way we can outnumber other city park users. It’s an interesting dilemma that I don’t think most bikers have ever seriously considered. How many bikers are too many bikers?
  • + 7
 @dfiler: I'm sorry, I just can't agree with that line of thinking. Get out and ride one of these bikes and you will see they are not motorcycles, good grief, they aren't even close. I used to be a hater-I rode one under protest just to show I wasn't a close minded fool- and it turned out I was dead wrong about these these bikes. They are 100% good for the industry, for trail access, and the future of the sport.
  • + 2
 Exactly!!! Thank you Nathan. This used to be between xc'ers and dh'ers....wonder how they'll try to keep us divided next?
  • + 11
 Man I want me some wilderness mtb access so baddd...
Man I want me some pacific crest trail mtb access so baaadddd..
Yeah we pay money our moneys to our local orgs to try an' make it happen, we go to the fs meeeetttiiinnnggsss...
We're as polite as can be on the trails and still the floppy hatted hikers are such haterrrrrs....
They even hate trail runnerrrrrssss!!!

The hikers are arguing from passion not science or pragmatismmmm,
Aaannd they use these f**king ebikes as another excuse to say no.

So watch out that baby ain't no baby, its a prison-tatted rapist!! Electricuuuuutttte iiit 'til its deaaaaadd....

Thank you thank you very much.
  • + 5
 Interesting that I haven't heard a single thing about wilderness bike access since this whole e-bike thing came along... That in itself is a major loss.
  • + 11
 Can we post that BLM sign at every MTB trailhead in the country and call it good? I don't care if you want to ride a moped on trails that are open to motor vehicles, but keep them off non-motorized trails.
  • + 1
 Problem with that is that not all trails are on BLM...
  • + 13
 Can’t tolerate an ebike. But a nice semi automatic weapon is totally fine
  • + 14
 I'm gonna strap some guns to an ebike to make it more socially acceptable.
  • - 13
flag MelvieD (Nov 2, 2017 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 We can’t tolerate your bad teeth either. That’s why we hopped the puddle.
  • + 2
 "trigger-assisted" if you will, thank you
  • + 2
 Welcome to America.
  • + 0
 For Queen & Country? HA! For God & Guns
  • + 2
 The land of the free.
  • + 9
 I'm from Europe, and more specifically Wales. I have an full bounce eMtb and 2 MTB. As a rider who has been part of this game since 92 I've seen all sorts from the early disc brakes and cheese suspension, the heavy as f@#& early 2000s era and so on, I've worked in bike shops, repped for transition, dakine,Kali etc across the country I live in so without sounding arrogant Id like to think I have both given and spent a relative portion of my life being involved in OUR sport and rolled with highs and lows of it and learnt a sh£t ton along the way. Cycling is my and OUR passion. For me, all this hate is getting ridiculous. People should and will choose what they ride when they want to ride it. Now we don't have land access issues like our brothers and sisters over the pond and I can see they're beef to a degree but as the article suggests it needs to be channeled correctly. But riding an emtb isn't cheating and it's not a "motorbike". If those of you have made comment but never ridden one your kinda missing the point of them, for example, I don't work any less climbing on my ebike than I do on my standard ones, same cadence same torque, however you go about a 3rd quicker which overall means I get to do 2 trails in one sitting.
However emtbers shouldn't be made to feel like they have some form of contagious disease at the trailhead for they're choice of ride, and it says more about the person saying than it does the recipient. I've only ever encountered one issue of this sort when I've been out as most riders are relatively level headed, so to set the scene I was out on my own riding up a fire road to the next section, 3 fellas were a way off up front but naturally I caught them up, conscious I did t want to burn past I nodded said hello and I slowly went past. I stopped at the next trailhead to adjust my knee brace (I have no ACL and a torn meniscus) when these guys started to come closer, I heard them bickering amongst themselves with things like "us real humans" and "they shouldn't be allowed" etc. I chose not to say anything when They turned the corner and saw me there, of course initially they didn't say anything and I asked if they'd like to go first, to which I had a reply of no you better as your on a motorbike, I then explained that it wasn't and I'd leave ample space etc, it got a little tit for tat and it ended with 2 outcomes, me feeling like I had somehow wronged them and partial rage and them probably feeling like they shouldn't come back to that trail anymore (these plate my local tracks and these guys were from 3 hours away) anyway, my point is there are 2 sides to this and in-house fighting doesn't solve anything. WE all love cycling and I probably shouldn't of piped up myself or just let they're comments fly but I've reflected and it is what it is. Enjoy riding whatever bike you own, enjoy the woods, and the exercise.
My only gripe is when did emtb's become the new roadies?

Neg props to follow
  • + 3
 "I don't work any less climbing on my ebike than I do on my standard ones, same cadence same torque, however you go about a 3rd quicker"

If you go quicker for the same energy input, you're doing less work. That's physics. Whether we should care about how hard it is for you or anyone else is a different thing . Without the access concerns we have in the states, I wouldn't care. More fun for the same effort sounds sick to me!

I also have a torn ACL and meniscus, sorry man. Isn't too much of a problem for me on the ascents, but makes the world a no-fall zone on the descents.
  • + 2
 @CaptainBLT: feel for you mate, knee injuries suuuuck!! I'm still waiting for my pre op to take a tendon from my hammy and use it as a new ACL. Agree totally on the ascents being not much of an issue, usually. I guess what I was trying to say is that I might go quicker but do more mileage, so negating the speed element. I'd hate to have the land issues you guys have over there, there must be a solution. I mean don't get me wrong we have ours too but there's shit tons of trail centres round here that anyone/anything can ride but all the land registry land is I guess similar, we've built some tracks in the forest behind my house and maintain etc but one of the boys decided to put a kicker in there, some kid binned it and the council has ripped that whole track apart.its kinda different issues in that we can build stuff as long as it's totally secret or if it isnt it has to be 100% novice proof.
  • + 9
 Electric commuter bikes are the future. I'd ride one to work if I had one. I am thinking about getting one for the spring/summer/fall so I can keep the ol' petrol burner off the road more. Not sure why ANYONE would be against e-commuters. E-mtb I fully understand the dangers of access issues in the states here.
  • + 1
 Orbea Gain is all i will say, doesnt even look like an ebike.
  • + 1
 I was with you about electric commuters. However.... There are thousands of e-mopeds in NYC. They are plain dangerous on the bike paths, because they go 3x the speed and don't make any noise. Several accidents happened over the past two years. Collisions with other bikes but mainly with walkers. NYC is about to make a regulation so e-mopeds are not allowed. They should not be allowed on bike paths. They are just dangerous. Same thing with the trail. Besides that riding one is the stigma of the cardboard cyclist wannabe.
  • + 1
 dbl post
  • + 8
 I own mountain bikes, and a dirt bike. I ride both a lot in CO. Everywhere a dirt bike is allowed, so is an e-bike (obviously). There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of forest roads, ATV trails, motorcyle trails, and the Rainbow Trail and parts of the Monarch Crest that are open to dirt bikes. I love that I can push or carry my mountain bike over obstacles I am not skillful enough to clear. I can't do that on my motorcycle. An e-bike would extend my range and enhance my speed and widen my sphere of adventure (like my dirt bike does), but I could still push and carry it when necessary. This is very appealing to me. I want an e-bike, but I would only ride it where I am allowed to ride my motorcycle. Either that, or I must reduce my dirt bike winch invention to practice Smile .
  • + 9
 Sounds like the bike companies are trying a new approach to coerce the rest of us into accepting e-bikes... don't try and pull an Inception on us PB...
  • + 7
 I've followed a couple of e-mtb riders around local trails and more serious terrain (Wales), and have observed this...they will not allow you to go faster downhill as the limitation is still your skill, same with flat but technical trails, they do let you go faster than me uphill and on non technical trails but I've seen younger guys go just as fast! So what's the problem? I guess most comments here are founded on prejudice rather than knowledge, and I'm pretty sure that in a few years time I, like many others, will benefit from still being able to enjoy riding with my younger mates - courtesy of an e-bike.
  • + 6
 I don't plan on buying one any time soon. However, I have had 4 operations on the same knee, and think e-bikes will be a nice option for me when I am in my late 60s -70s. I think land managers, law enforcement/ first responders and trail builders could benefit from these where vehicles cannot travel.

Maybe ebiking needs to be a permitted activity to monitor use, track violators, and generate income to municipalities that will be implementing their access. If my wife and son can ride one and clear the rock gardens and hills that I ride, maybe they'd ride with me.

Maybe ebikers would increase the number of trail users that would attract attention of local land managers here to pay attention to their safety, so they actually do something to prevent the illegal mx and atv riding that is damaging and closing trails here.

I need the exercise and am not interested in one due to the complexity, weight, and cost. But when I retire, I think I'd give it a go.
  • + 6
 I bought an ebike recently (kona remote). Pedal assist allows me to get out bow hunting and mushrooming without a huge amount of free time. In a couple hours I can check my game cameras, climb 2000 ft to pick mushrooms, and ride down some single track on the way back to my car/house. I ride my other bike for fitness and I ride my ebike for accessing areas quickly and quietly. I don't really think ebikes are any harder on trails. You can't roost them like a motorcycle and because you have to pedal them to engage the motor, it really is hard to go much faster on any rough trail then what a pedal bike can go...climbing is really the main exception. I personally feel lame if I pass mountain bikers because the pain and exertion is part of my enjoyment with mountain biking, but sometimes I just want to get out quickly without much sweat, this is when I use my ebike.
  • + 2
 Well said! It seems clear the comments coming from people who have actually ridden an ebike vs those who just want to spew on about them. I;m glad you're out there enjoying open spaces and a bicycle!
  • + 6
 I disagree. Vilifying ebikes and making them unpopular and uncool is key to making sure they go the way of rollerblades and never catch on.

Not saying mess with people's stuff because that is wrong, but we should never accept them and people need to know that they are awful people for riding them.

We should also not buy bikes from companies that make eBikes. (so no Trek, Specialized, Scott and soon Santa Cruz) and we shouldn't buy product from people like TLD that support eBike racing.
  • + 6
 my dad has a turbo levo, he has a heart condition that makes normal mtb impossible but he is able to ride xc trails on his e-assist. it does no more dmg to a trail than a normal bike, whats the issue? its a way to do something fun together. it's understandable if it was like a dirtbike that caused ruts and damage but it doesn't.
  • + 5
 @vernonfelton is the basis of the debate around e-bikes and that they're seen as some form of cheating, or with risk they pose to trail access through the perceived damage e-bikes cause to the trail corridor and surrounding environment?

Or is that too simplistic? The land issue seems to be uniquely US/Canadian one, in the UK e-bikes whilst viewed with suspicion can ride the same trails as organic assisted models. Is this more about the fear that they will be used as a baseless argument for proponents of the wilderness act?

For the record I don't own an e-bike and whilst I don't intend buying one, I am e-bike curious. At my age I carry years worth of old injuries, niggles, knees verging on gammy, these e-bikes are likely to be my future. For now I still fall into the camp who sees themselves as not 'cheating' my sophisticated linkage supported 160mm full suspension unrecycleable carbon wonder bike, with dropper post and eagle drive train is all I need thank you very much, plus I have the option of paying top dollar to a man with a minibus and trailer to shuttle me up and down hills should the need arise.

Finally, on the land issue. I maintain the trails at one of the UKs busiest trail 'centres' and over the last two years of increased e-bike sales in this area, I can't see any difference or increase in trail erosion.
  • + 4
 I don't think e-bikes are going to save the LBS. Industry listening to what we want and stop spamming new standards and crap on us might help though. How could a local LBS ever stock and keep up with all the components compared to the online market? The LBS isn't a warehouse and people want to ride tomorrow, not next week.
  • + 6
 Awesome sinbad pic.

And that sign with all the non this and non that should just read "No Motorized Vehicles" Sums it up nicely.
  • + 3
 I was wondering if anyone would recognize the Sinbad moment. Great movie. Or horrible movie, but kind of great because of its horribleness. We watch it every Christmas. I've told the kids that it is a traditional Christmas movie and they think everyone watches the cyclops eat the sailors every Christmas Eve. It's a fantastic tradition.
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: That is awesome. I made a point with my kids to start them on old sci-fi/fantasy movies ( you know, the ones without e-bikes). The Harryhausen films are a big part of movie special effects and are a hoot to watch, to me, just because of the effort and skill in making all those cool creatures. For added bonus points, get them on BD for the interviews with the man himself.
  • + 4
 I have seen quite a few on trails around NZ where they are required to be under 300w and to be honest bikes in that power range make little to no difference to trail wear or the user experience of other bikers etc. Peoole just need to take a sensible approach to legislation and policies and net get so vitriolic
  • + 4
 Great Read, as per usual VF.
I agree that Motor+bike= motorized vehicle, plain and simple. Keep them Off the trails we've worked So hard to get access to and build.
I've seen the rigs some manufacturers are pumping out; ie: Giant. The thing comes with a Lyric RCT3 for crying out loud! It may not cause rooster tails, but an average guy, like me on an Ebike would crush all the KOMS. And what would that prove.
  • + 2
 What do KOMs prove anyway? Your genetic superiority or how much free time you have to practise? More energy for riding is also more energy for digging and maintenance. My trails are getting blown out of late. That means people are enjoying them. Yay. I have to build them better so they can take the abuse. Not as yay but still a challenge I accept.
  • + 4
 I have a few questions about e-bikes:

First, what type of power do they add?

Do they assist pedaling, or are they a legit motor?

Do they work going down and up?

When I initially heard about e-bikes, the marketing pitch was that they would make it easier for older/less able riders to get up the hill, but they were otherwise very similar to a traditional mountain bike.

For me, the main reason why I think dirtbikes shouldn't be on trails is because they destroy them. If an ebike gives you a little boost going up, and doesn't impact the ride down, I'm not sure what the big deal is. That said, I wouldn't buy one, and would definitely tease my friends if they brought one to the trail.
  • + 4
 It's upsetting that PB is trying to quell E-bike hate rather than proactively protecting not only the integrity of the sport but potential trail access issues.

I saw an E-bike on unsanctioned trails in Santa Cruz for the first time today. We all know Santa Cruz isn't the only area with well known trail systems that aren't really on the map, but authorities know about them and could pull the plug at anytime. So many areas have trails on thin ice. Do we really want to see what happens when E-bikes enter the fray?
  • + 2
 How are Ebikers not more recruits for the war on hikers, equestrians or whomever is trying to restrict access. They are surely even wealthier than bikers based upon their equipment. Genuinely curious not trolling as usual. I agree that they may cause extra erosion due to extra riding but they are also capable of extra maintenance. Gave pointers on how to carry a long handle shovel with your pack to an e biker just the other day. He was a normal biker too though.
  • + 6
 Is anyone else here waiting for the top comment to be "f*ck your f*ckin’ e-bikes!"? That's literally the whole reason I came down to comments....
  • + 3
 I don't do much road riding, but I like the idea of commuter e-bikes. If it gets more cars off the roads and promotes construction of good bike paths that help move people around town, that's great for everyone. The purpose here is mainly getting from point A to point B efficiently and cleanly. Heck, if they ever finish the bridge across the highway between my house and work, I might even consider one (although probably not, I'd just ride my normal town bike).

But that's different from mountain biking. People ride trails for enjoyment and fitness (or at least I do), not to get to work, or an appointment, or pick up some groceries. I don't think e-MTBs belong on trails that are currently limited to hikers, normal bikes and equestrians (for that matter, I think equestrian use should be looked at as well). If people want to ride them on trails open for motorized use, I think that's fine. And to be honest, I think that's where most of us sit on the issue.

I read some previous comments regarding the fact that they help differently-abled people enjoy the sport. I think forward to when I'm 75 and want to go mountain biking, and I wonder how I will feel about them then. But I have come to terms with the fact that there will be a day when I am not able to do some things anymore (not just MTB), and that's just part of life, whether it's due to the abilities you were born with, age, or injury. I try to take care of myself, so hopefully I will still be on the trails at 75. When did we get the idea that we have a right to enjoy things that we are unable to do? That just baffles me.
  • + 1
 Tenbeers, for me the biggest issue is time. I read the conclusion after the review for an MTB e-bike that said "enabling you to ride further, faster… which allows you to access more trails in a given time - no bad thing". That's rad. I know people who can now do a ride, at an extended lunch break, or get in a favorite loop in a reasonable two hour time frame, because the e-bike makes it possible. I simply cannot find 3-4 hour blocks of time to ride a bike. That's how long it takes to do a lot of the rides around where I live. And then I am smoked so forget coming home and being useful. The e-bike can make some rides more doable in a time frame and still come back and work or take care of the kids or do what the wife wants done.
  • + 3
 @jorukfundan: That does suck, but you are helping to make one of my points. Because your are unable to do these rides (due to time in this case, not ability) without an e-bike shouldn't give you the right to ride a motorized vehicle on trails any more than it should give an old or differently-abled person the right to do so. I certainly don't have time to ride as much as I would like, and that is just a result of my own circumstance. We aren't entitled to do everything we want to do, we have to weigh our priorities and circumstances and make choices without infringing on other's freedoms to pursue happiness.
  • + 1
 @TenBeers: I guess the issue is "motorized vehicles". I grew up in CA and while never really giving it much thought; I assumed motorized vehicle restrictions were for motorcycles and off road vehicles and such. These motorized vehicles (typically gas powered) really tear up the land. It's not a bias on my part, it's just how it is. There are off-road designated parks, as there should be. But an e-bike doesn't do the things those off road vehicles, or "motorized vehicles" do. An e-bike does not spit out rooster trails and dig deep into the soil- they have the same impact as a regular MTB. I just came from living in Europe and e-bikes ride on the same trails as regular bikes. I don't suppose the comparison is the same, because the trail networks in Europe are better out of necessity. There must be better funding because there are very well maintained trails in a wide area. Maybe America is too big for that. Regardless, I don't see why an e-bike can't be on the same trail as a hiker or a regular bike. No additional impact. I need to look at what the term "motorized vehicle" means here, and how we came to that. Yes, an electric motor is indeed a motor, but the point is the impact on the land.
  • + 1
 @jorukfundan: I totally agree that they don't have near as much impact on the land than, say, a dirt bike. But the main question is the impact on other trail users, not the land. The concern is that people zipping around trails on e-bikes could cause concern with non-bike trail users, resulting in land managers closing trails to ALL bikes. Then we ALL lose. If you could guarantee me that I wouldn't lose trail access, I could care less whether you ride your e-bike on the trail (as long as you yield to non-motorized riders). But you can't do that, and you are putting my rights at risk. While that may not be as bad as punching a baby, it's still an a*shole thing to do.
  • + 1
 @TenBeers: There's a couple problems with that. One problem is that land managers can close a trail to a bike, for example, because another non-bike trail user has a complaint. The other is that among MTB riders, there are users who bring problems to all of us. E-bikes need to show the same restraint and courtesy as everybody else. Yea, it sucks when you finally get to a flowing downhill and you're ripping it, but hikers appear and you gotta slow way down and work it out. But that's the nature of sharing the trails. E-bikes don't go any faster downhill than a regular bike, and uphill they are faster, but not day and night. If anything it's easier to be courteous with an e-bike because you can slow way down for hikers, and get right back up to speed on the climbs. I don't see how a hiker would even know the difference whether it was e-bike or a regular bike. Seriously. They look the same, both riders are still pedaling to make it go. There is a lot of fear about what these e-bikes are going to look like, but they don't look any different. It's just that if you are riding with your buddies and one of them has an e-bike you can't keep up. They pull away a bit. So he has to find new riding buddies, or talk the rest of you into getting a e-bike.
  • + 3
 "I’ll also argue that it’s worth your while to ride an e-bike before you pass judgement on them. That is, to my way of thinking, common sense. We should understand a thing before we form an opinion about it. It might change your mind. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Either way, you’d be informed."

Man, Felton, I love your writing and all, and basically agree with most of your points, but this is just wrong. Big wrong. I don't need to ride an eBike to understand it any more than I have to wrestle a pig to know something is awful. There's no mystery in understanding eBikes: they provide a boost for people who can't and/or won't pedal hard enough to get where they want to go. And I don't mean that in a disparaging way. I see the purpose and utility in eBikes, and I am especially stoked to see the local ancients here out riding the bike paths instead of whiffing past my elbow in their sedans. But, I don't need to ride an eBike to know that more power in the hands of morons never has a good outcome. Your argument for regulation and clarity is totally sound, but not the idea that I have to cross to the dark side to understand my (possible) enemy.
  • + 3
 I'm sure there's plenty of legit reasons to own an E bike, but there's no better feeling than leaving someone on an E bike in the dust using nothing but your own power. Those who do ride for fitness will always look at Ebikes as a shortcut, a cheat, a easy way out...and they aren't wrong about that. Maybe working hard to get fit isn't for everyone...and that's fine...but it will inevitably lead to more out of shape riders on more trails. Over crowding, over use, and dishonest Ebike riders on GPS apps will affect the experience of a lot of riders who enjoy reaching hard to reach areas or working hard to climb leaderboards. Everyone has the right to ride what they want, but no amount of PC or justification will take away the fact that it is essentially a backdoor for those who are unwilling to get fit.
  • + 0
 I love racing ebikes too. Smoked a guy uphill on the road last week on my squishy. If you lose you have a great excuse but if you win you feel superhuman.
  • + 3
 @choppertank3e: I tried to get some kids, maybe 13 years old, on ebikes to race me on a short slight uphill. They were more interested in chatting about superhero movies though. I only followed them for a bit before I went ahead.
  • + 1
 @Varaxis: Tell them they are Iron Man and you are the Hulk and you'll smash them up the hill.
  • + 3
 "They need something--anything--to bring new customers in the door because the local bike shop is struggling these days"

Then do better! Quit charging me 80 bucks for a rotor when I can get it online for half the price! Or go to your supplier and obtain a better deal so you can make your margins. Don't bring this into the conversation, this is not the point.

I admit e bikes are here, who cares. Just don't muddy the water with something like this.
  • + 7
 My baby punches me, I punch him back. That's how it works between men.
  • + 3
 what worries me the most is that it is already difficult enough to establish legal mtb trails due to horse and pedestrian/nature lobbies. How much more of a problem this will be when these lobbies cry out electric motorized bikes are out of control and ruining the trails. I fear existing mtb trails can be revoked. And the cause of this is bike companies because they just don't care about trails but only their money.
  • + 3
 e-bikes are a small issue in a world full of humongous issues, if an e-bike helps get a car off the road and contributes to reducing climate change i'm all for it. If we can't let this little issue go and focus on the real shit we aren't going to have trails to ride in the future.
  • + 1
 An ebike on the road, no problem, but let's get real. No one is trading there cars in for an ebike. This is yet another agenda to sell junk to lazy consumers.
  • + 3
 Thank you Pink Bike for leaving room for people like Vernon Felton to write and comment on probably the most important topic in mountain biking since we as a community started using existing hiking trails and building illegals. Hiding and denying the ebike topic will not be the solution. Looking forward and managing the situation is essential. Marking the distinction of difference between the type of bikes is key but outright denial is not the solution.
  • + 3
 Ok can't read all the comments just to many. However I am a MTB rider, I ride XC, a little park when I can get to a mountain and some cx and road.

I have no hate for the e assist bikes in the MTB range. I see all these comments about trail errorsion and I am baffled, until you realise no one has likely ridden a new MTB style e bike, they are not what 90% of people I talk think they are.

I rode specialized's latest offering as a demo at 24 MTB race ( no not on a race lap) here the thing it doesn't just go, you have to pedal and then it gives a little assist, on steep stuff it sure helps a lot and maybe you are going to faster if your fit than someone on an MTB, but new user who doesn't have the legs is still going to struggle to keep up with the cardio kings.

It sure isn't spinning its tires and digging holes and throwing dirt around. It is NOT a dirt bike.

Like in this thread everyone is going to day f*ck ebikes without ever trying them.

Do you know what the next post they are going to comment will say ... BRAPPP brappp
  • + 3
 Solid post. Braappp. Assist bikes are not spitting gravel and tearing up the trail, not at all.
  • + 3
 I used to hate ebikes-then I actually rode a couple. Guess what? I don't hate them anymore. I see their place in the world of cycling and damn it if it isn't a pretty high place. Actually I see E-bikes are a solution to a lot of problems us mountain bikers face. Think of this, ebikes make it possible for more people to ride and enjoy the sport. Well holy shit Batman, that is awesome!!

You know why?

Because, more people into the sport means a bigger voice for the sport and it also means more money for the sport. Unless we want to keep seeing trails closed and land access cut off we need more people with cash flow to be a part of our sport. Mountain bikers have really disappointed me in their inability to see this opportunity to bring new life into our sport and make it more obtainable for everyone. Thankfully the loudest voices on Pinkbike's forums have no actual pull as to where this industry is going.
  • + 4
 I don't care how fun they are - the Kook-Factor is off the charts and I'd be trying to tell everyone I saw that I'm actually a lot cooler than this and ride sick trails on a real bike, and, and, and.....
  • + 3
 It is surprising to see such a hatred reaction to the e-bikes in US considering how usually open US culture is to the new things!
I am writing from Austria, European Union and must admit that e-bikes are allowed on the same trails where normal bicycles are allowed. This personal experience applies for DACH countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and Italy, where MTB=eMTB in terms of trail access.

By e-bikes I mean:
- 250W motor power max
- no pedaling - no motor help
- motor does not help beyond 25 km/h

This definition makes it clear that e-bike is no more powerful than any MTB rider in decent shape. Skidding rear wheel on a normal MTB makes way more impact on the trail.

On rides around Vienna I meet 1-2 people on e-bikes every ride. And I am happy to see this!
Those people are mainly 50+y.o. and e-bike lets them continue to ride despite heart issues, knee and other medical conditions they have. It also makes me believe that I can continue my beloved hobby when I get old. It also makes me happy for the 65y.o. who has an option to enjoy 25 km ride in the forest without getting into ambulance. My friends and I consider taking our unskilled and untrained girls for a day ride as e-bike makes it possible for them to keep up uphills and non-technical "flat" sections (75% of the ride time). Sure, with less skill they are no match for a downhill sections, but, hey, the time difference on short downhill is no more than minutes.
  • + 3
 I can envisage getting an e-MTB to be able to ride up some trails & mountains that would be unrideable without some serious torque & power assistance*.
I.e. I would be adding a layer of technical challenge to the uphills before enjoying my share of downhill rough.

The negative of e-MTB as usual has to do with lack of education & respect on part of the riders who e.g. enjoy whizzing at max speed weaving through the pedestrian flow on the wide and flat fire-roads (seen that first hand).
C'mon? Is that their idea of "mountain" biking?
I can definitely see why some groups hate to see e-bikers on pedestrian trails, besides the consideration of the lack of trail specific skills that will cause more accidents (which in turn strain the resources of the rescue and medical teams).

As far as implementing specific e-mtb controls on the trail - seriously how could this possibly work? They disassemble the motor to make sure you're not running a goosed-up tweaked variant of the legit factory lo-wattage version? Or would you need to have your bike pre-checked by some kind of authority who would issue a trail-pass which you would have to exhibit to whoever is in charge of trail patrol?

As e-MTBs allow more low-skilled riders to mingIe and tangle on the trails with trekkers and horse-riders am afraid that the mtb community as a whole will probably be confined to some kind of pre-agreed playgrounds a.k.a bikeparks or selected resorts (Livigno, Madesimo etc.).
After all in the Dolomites some trails are off-limits to horse riders, for example, and on this basis it would be easy for MTBs (assisted or not) to be called out as well. After all "the outdoors" is becoming an industry, with more and more fans eagerly wanting to enjoy their share: on foot, on horseback, and whatnot. But the actual available resources (trails, loam, gnar) are limited, at least here in many parts here in Europe. I am afraid that our free-roaming mtb days, e-assisted or not, are coming to an end.

#NoSolution

*Yes yes I know that Chris Akrigg would make breakfast of the aforementioned trails BUT I am confined to office job and can't train/ride as much as he does.
  • + 3
 Last time I rode Butterknife in Grand Junction, we ran into someone that was CLEARLY over her head on an Ebike. She said the shop from whence she rented suggested this trail to her. She essentially had to be rescued. That said, an Ebike is SLOWER on the DH than a trail bike.
  • + 2
 I'm dating myself a bit here, but I remember when all the old mtb guys were bitching about the young punks (us at the time) with their suspension bikes and full face helmets, riding too fast, building jumps and tearing up the trails. That kind of riding was going to wind up getting the trails taken away......
  • + 1
 Richard Cunningham wrote such an article in the late Noughties. I remember his example of a DH track was the Sea Otter DH track, LOL. But, yes, I remember that was an argument. And it was sorta right because full rigid bikes didn't cause braking bumps.
  • + 3
 "the Internet—in addition to being a brilliant conduit for porn and cat videos—is, above all else, a digital repository for anger." Probably the truest thing I've ever read on the Internet.
  • + 3
 We should ask the folks at Specialized how many man-hours they spent perverting the single track while doing ebike development @ Soquel Demo, which that last time I checked, ain't e-bike friendly.
  • + 6
 f*ck your f*ckin' e-bikes!
  • + 6
 Who fucking cares!! Live and let live people.
  • + 1
 Indeed.
  • + 1
 No. I will push my opinion on people until I change absolutely no one's mind on the subject. Fuck ebikes
  • + 2
 an e bike is not an rm 250 it`s a bicycle with a small amount of assistance to help old f*ckers like me carry on enjoying a spot of riding when age and health issues have started getting in the way of a bit of escape from the city i think we call it recreation it does`nt make any more noise probably less it might piss off the odd stalwart who thinks i am cheating but if it gets me out in the fresh air and i am wary that other people are out there and i am not rude to anybody then the land rights issue should`nt be a problem without this assistance i would have had to concede to my health and age and become one of those who fall by the wayside and quit i for one am glad this is not the case and that someone had the insight to see that the old f*ckers club are just as entitled to getting out for a shred as the healthy bugger who still has time on his or her side and can ride E bikes are not motorbikes mine only does 15 mph when i was fit and well i was kicking along at a lot more than that ??????
  • + 2
 Not sure if anyone has mentioned this or not, too many posts, didnt read....

If trails are actually to be shut down because of e bike use, it will most likely be MOUNTAIN BIKERS (who are against e-bikes), calling local authorities and alerting them of illegal trail users.
The "core" mountain biker tough guys are going to be the ones who eventually get the trails shut down. The likely oblivious e bike guy will be just as bummed when its gone.

Regardless of opinion, dont you think this whole drama about ebikes is a bit self destructive to the scene?
  • + 2
 It will take one person getting hit on a trail and getting seriously injured for this to become a huge issue. We had an older woman get hit on a paved trail here in Spokane and now she is in the process of suing the man who hit her because she feels unsafe to frequent the trail. He wasn't on an ebike but i could see this scenario playing out on a MTB trail as well. I understand that bikers are already going fast down trails but now having them go fast up and down trails just increases the chances. Think of all the times that you have to pull over for someone climbing or descending. Now think if that person climbing was heading towards you at 15 or 20 mph instead of 6 or 7. I could see some collisions resulting from this.
  • + 2
 Good point - my local trails are all bi-directional, so we have to watch for people coming up. And the fact that on a bike you climb a whole lot slower than you do on a moped helps give some extra time for the guy going down hill to stop.
  • - 2
 @pinhead907: What an utter load of scaremongering bullshit.
  • + 2
 @deadmeat25: I don't think so. The moped sellers love to throw around the term "uphill flow" ... And seriously, none of my immediately local trails have any directional marking. They're all bi-di and we're used to having close-calls. Add like 6-10mph higher closing speed and the close calls become collisions... Lawsuits and stuff? I dunno - but I'll be pissed if some guy on a moped hits me because he's go some uphill flow going.
  • + 2
 The photo of the sign illustrates the problem with e bikes perfectly; "NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES" is followed up by list of motorized vehicles. That such an addendum to a simple statement is required speaks volumes.

E-bikes aren't going away.

Neither is the (warranted) vitriol.

And babies are still getting punched.

RUN DMC said it best: It's like that, and that's the way it is.
  • + 2
 I actually think it's a mischaracterization to say that the mob just hates e-bikes. We may not always have the eloquence, patience or time to spell out our case - but it's really about potential impact to trail access in the US. Despite one anecdotal case of vandalism, to say that we're torch carrying baby-punchers is bit extreme. I'm not even the type that's going to say anything if I see someone on an e-bike on my local trails. I don't care. I do care about being able to have access to my local trails, though, and fuck the bike manufacturers for not taking point on this issue. Asshats.
  • + 2
 “...they found that someone had popped off the Power button from the head units of their computers. ‘Obviously, it was a real drag because their bikes were almost immobilized,’”

If only someone would invent a bicycle that couldn’t be immobilized by removing the power button!
  • + 2
 If only people could leave other people's property alone.... they were commuter ebikes parked in town, not 160mm e-mtbs blasting up singletrack. It was counterproductive and misplaced.
  • + 2
 Too late to not get buried, but here's what mountain bike manufacturers need to embrace: they aren't seeing any growth because their bikes are too damn expensive for a novice who isn't into the sport. Direct-to-consumer has the potential to change that. If Canyon or YT made a bike that was truly trail capable and cost say $300... they could destroy the competition. Local shops could adapt if they're good enough, and maybe even demo the direct brands and offer some sort of deal if people buy through them.

I love LBSs, but this is coming eventually. The cost of modern bikes is making MTB a rich kid sport.

Keep motorized vehicles off non-motorized trails. Get more people into biking instead of pushing your lazy-boy bikes.
  • + 2
 they're useful for commuting or if you deliver food for a living. But given how expensive good enduro bikes are today, a similarly spec'd e-bike with the added value of the battery and motor, will put the MSRP out of range for many consumers - I'm sure. Therefore I don't believe they'll make a mark on the industry yet, but in time, as the fixed costs of building high-end trail bikes go down, enduro style e-bikes may get more attention from consumers.
  • + 4
 Personally I have more fun trashing mountain bike trails on my 450 but hey, that's just me. E bikes are best for drunk driving.
  • + 2
 This in an article that exactly hits a point that's been on my mind for quite some time. I recently asked a question on a biker's Facebook Page here in Stuttgart, Germany .. "Are E-mtb's the death of Strava segments ?" I got not one answer. I found this even more scary than the question ! It basically told me that people were either unaware or choose to ignore a big problem for the future of trail riding here in this region of Germany. For those who don't know already, in Baden-Württemberg (includes the Black forest region) it is illegal to ride on a trail narrower than 2 meters wide. Yes, that means single-trails are totally of limits. We all ignore this of course and that for over 20 years. However the number of bikers has exploded here over the last 5 years. Before people where hiding their trails and keeping a very low key. Now bikers are a permanent fixure in the forest and a source of discussion and conflict. The new generation have quickly learned to keep their heads down too. But now I'm seeing increasing numbers of E-mtb riders , usually without helmets ( strange that one ..?!) riding in places and at times and in a way that is only asking for trouble ... and the trouble is coming ! People don't see e-mtb or non-e-mtb, they just see mountainbiker. We're all getting bad press and it's not helping us to get the 2-meter law removed. E-mtbs are allowing people to get to places where they would not have reached before. I'm not against that. I just can't get my head around a 20-something couple with two 4,000€ E-mtbs cruising around the forest. For me this has nothing to do with sport. It's not why I ride a bike, but that's my opinion. I see the E-bike as the future of Urban mobility. The car has had it's day and the road-ragers are dying a slow death ..... where will they go ? Well, some at least have discovered the E-mtb and are riding them like they drive their cars :-(. At the end of the day, I'm happy when I see someone on a bike as opposed to in a car but the problem is the person and not the object. To drive a car you have to pass a test (and look what goes on out on the streets) .... don't have to do even that to ride an E-mtb ....
  • + 2
 Guten Tag Herr dirty-fecker! Hey you sound like a cool rider so when I come to Stuttgart will you show me the trails? I hope the e-bikers will learn to wear a helmet (it is strange). That's a problem the first time there is a crash and a death because of no helmet on a less than two-meter wide trail on an ebike. What a horror that will be to sort out. Seriously, I agree that MTB riders, with an electric motor and regular, need to be respectful and sensible on the trail. I rode in the Pfalzerwald and it was the same situation where it is illegal to ride on trails narrower than 2 meters wide. On certain days there were a lot of hikers. We learned to avoid those times, and the other times just went slower and said a happy "Guten Tag" to other trail users.
  • + 1
 @jorukfundan: Hi there ! Anytime you're in Stuttgart I'll take you out on the trails.
  • + 2
 Sooo,
If I ripped out the ignition on all those Douche Canoe of a truck (jacked up gas guzzling pick up. Usually a Tacoma) that I see everywhere at the trail heads, would those owners get on an e-bike to get home 70-100km away?
  • + 4
 F*ck e-bikes!! No, wait, we should PUNCH e-bikes!! No, um, let's get BABIES to punch the f*ckin' e-bikes! It's all so confusing...I think I will just go back to work now.
  • + 2
 You are not supposed to punch a baby because a baby is innocent and defenseless. E-bikes themselves may be young, but their makers are certainly not defenseless. There is no equivalence between punching a baby and using strong language to criticize e-bike makers and peddlers. There are already problems on the trails, recently my LBS employees were testing out an e-MTB on local county park trails that are not open to motor vehicles. It is only a matter of time before some e-road-bike users start going fast enough to cut off cars and cause problems for those of us who actually pedal to work.
  • + 6
 So thanks for letting me/us know how to disable ebikes????????
  • + 6
 “f*ck your f*ckin’ e-bikes!”
  • + 2
 Don't agree with "The cycling market is flat and brands are desperate to keep their lights on. If that means selling e-bikes, then slap a motor on it and move it out the door."
If you want sustainable long-term mountain bike sales make sure younger generations get into the sport by:

1-Having attractive affordable bike options that are durable and easy to service
2-Pinkbike, and others, need to test and report on these affordable bikes
3-Bike brands need to support grass roots racing/events

Too many bike brands want to focus on selling expensive higher profit bikes for older generations with high disposable income.
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton this article got me motivated and contacted the City of Edmonton (where I live) to inquire about policy (existing or in-development) on e-bikes for use (recreational and for transportation). I was told its a very good question, and my inquiry was forwarded to a councillor. Thanks for the well written article which inspired my fingers to get a-clicking.
  • + 2
 Here in the UK there aren't so many rules about e-bikes. They just have to be restricted to 15.5MPH if used on the road. I bought a 250W motor kit and fitted it to my old MTB last year. The reason I did this was because after having successful treatment for Leukemia 10 years ago I have really struggled to get out doing any decent rides again due to side effects. With the motor my riding life is transformed back to something closer to what it used to be. I can go out with my riding buddies and keep up.
  • + 1
 Beatnick that's awesome. I cling the beer glass to your recovery from Leukemia! I have a friend named Freddie Forsythe who just died from Leukemia, and I cling the beer glass to him too, although I wish he were here with me. All the best as you continue your recovery.
  • + 2
 Well written Vernon.

So it's not the riders or the bikes, it's the manufacturers (looking at you Spec... again, if there was a model bad citizen, you'd be it).

To me it seems like People for Bikes (ebike manufacture shill) is equally complicit in this. It shouldn't be 'problematic' if an ebike is regulated as a motorized vehicle. It's problematic when it's unclear how an ebike is treated. Not to mention the status on the map is referring to local rules largely pertaining to commuting on a bike path, NOT ability to use federal or state non motorized singletrack. Coincidence that the group pushing ebikes is headed by the dude the guided IMBA to so many years of ineffectiveness?
  • + 1
 All these guys who are saying that they have no problem with the vandalism of the couples e-bikes...
I hate tubeless. Does this mean I can slash all your tubeless tyres guilt free? Or is there a double standard here because you don't have an electric motor?
  • + 3
 Fuck ebikes. Mtb is pure and mechanical and should be kept that way, V8 dual quad motors are the only thing powering my bike.
  • + 2
 Maybe viewers of this site want to only see mountain bike stuff, no road, urban, or electric bike content. Keep it simple. That stuff is great, but I'm not looking for it here.
  • + 1
 my problem isn't with e bikes which are motorbikes. Its with mountain bike websites covering motorbikes. Pinkbike you need to make up your damn mind. Are you a MTB website or a motor and MTB website? I don't want to read about or see motor bikes personally. and the tons of articles on this subject is just a waste of my time. at least put a filter option so I can hide all motor bike related content
  • + 1
 The big issue is the blurring of identity. What could easily shut down many heavily-used trails in the CO Front Range is the fact that motorbikes now look like regular bikes. That’s the blurred line referenced above. Any of us can now make a DIY 1000W throttle-controlled bike for a few hundred bucks that is basically a motorcycle. That is a problem for all mountain bikers because it can go (and will be ridden) much faster than either a pedal-assist or conventional bike. The pissed hikers, horse riders, runners etc. who have to deal with this electric motorcycle -that looks just like a mountain bike- will hate all of us because we look the same. Strava douchery has already increased pedestrian hate of MTBs on the Front Range. This will not end well for us. Pedal assist with a governed speed limit needs to be the only form of ebike sold, and it’s up to the manufacturers of ebikes to educate buyers.
  • + 1
 That's why EU limited the e-bikes by the next rules: 1. 250W max motor power 2. no pedaling - no motor help 3. motor does not help beyond 25 km/h. Every other vehicle with more power or throttle or higher speed limit requires a registration like a motorcycle/moped, is illegal without this and does not fall under MTB trail access allowance.

European Union directive 2002/24/EC from Wikipedia:
"Cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) or if the cyclist stops pedaling."
  • + 1
 Seriously though, I've got no issues with E-bikes for commuting or crusing around gravel roads and multi-use trials but an E-bike for riding singletrack...no way!!! Not only am I going to puch the baby, but Im gonna punt its ass down the hill as well (EWS media being the only exception)
  • + 1
 The machines are amazing, a motor that lets you hesitate, change direction and finesse a switchback. I don't have anything with a battery near my bikes. My only phone is wired to my house but this tech is just cool. There's 800 vert out my door, I am 66 and still like climbing however the idea that ebikes exist reassures me to know that one day I can pedal one to my funeral. Forty years from now you wankers will be arguing over the wheel size of your ebike.
  • + 1
 Fat bikes. Remember them??? E-bikes- have their place but they are not the same as mountain bikes. Think they will pass away into limited use in the next ten years. Mountain bikers are still going to want to ride in their 50's 60's etc...
  • + 1
 Think this is best left to the Americans as they are the ones with land access issues (Land of the free??? unless we don't like it then you can go to hell) Most of the civilized world understands E-bikes and just lets people get on and enjoy riding!
  • + 1
 Humans are naturally resistant to change, hopefully those that care enough to act will and those that make the decisions will be informed enough to make the people's decision. I am one of those people that could care less what kind of bike you ride and feel there are far more pressing issues in the world that we should be discussing. A bit disappointing really.
  • + 1
 E-bikes are going to put many, many more novice/beginner riders in challenging trails that are traditionally accessed by either a lot of climbing or by working out shuttles. You're just gonna see a lot more idiots in bad/dangerous situations.
  • + 1
 Hey V, So true !!!

"... you envision parenting as this grand, nurturing journey where you march hand in hand with your little angel towards enlightenment and self-realization. Ultimately, as a parent, I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to convince the kids to stop Krazy Gluing their body parts together."

As positive as I try to be, most of my parenting comes down to "No, stop, don't..." repeat.


E bikes. Great alternative to other motorized vehicles, like cars.

Motors and electronics have permeated almost every inch of our landscape.


Is it too much to set aside a small part where only by the strength of the human heart one can tread?
  • + 1
 E-bike, Moped, etc. are just labels. Motorcycles are not forbidden on certain places because they are called motorcycles, but because they pollute and pose a certain danger due to their weight, maneuverability, fuel used, etc.. This new breed of vehicle has the all the characteristics of a bicycle with the added ability of giving you extra power, should its rider choose to. No one is forced to buy it, no one is forced to keep that electric motor running at full power. Why all the hate?

Well, I don't think this hate is about e-bikes. We are territorial animals, once we ride a certain trail, it becomes "our" riding spot and anyone who's not from our "pack" or an invited guest becomes an intruder. Animal packs usually adopt only their own kind, so, by comparison, for a mountain biker, everyone else would be intruders on his " own riding spot", be it an e-biker, hiker, ATV, car, or even another slower or faster mountain biker. In addition, an e-biker looks like either a degenerated animal or one that mimics the kind of the pack in order to cheat the adoption ritual (sweating the climbs to earn the trails).

We need 2 things: to evolve beyond our animal instincts and to understand that the places we ride are not only "ours". If we do this, we'll be able to evolve further, to dump the posessiveness and share, to develop proper rules of etiquette and ride - hike - bike - motor - whatever happily ever after.
  • + 1
 Here's what I think:
- Bike shops business model is build around policing how what they sell is used. OK, well if said bike shop doesn't care, then trail access in their area gets closed, now they aren't selling MTBs or e-MTBs. So maybe they should re-think their business model. And I keep hearing on forums that we should support our local bike shops. Perhaps also local bike shops should support their customer base that relies on that trail access by not doing something that will put that in jeopardy. It sounds like the shop specifically mentioned in this article gets it at least; they DO have a responsibility.
- There may be some people that hate that E-bikes exist. This just seems silly. But those that claim that adding a motor is the same as development of suspension and disk brakes are fooling themselves. It is not the same. These are in fact a different category of vehicle. There is nothing wrong with this new category existing, but we all have to be honest that it is a new category, even those proponents of E-MTBs.
- It would be much better for proponents of E-MTBs and the MTB community to work together and with land owners. Instead of assuming that E-MTBs will ruin the world, talk about the issues, how to educate people on proper E-MTB usage and trail access for their area, and on the inherent differences and technique between riding MTBs and E-MTBs. I think most people do care about laws and riding legally, whatever they are riding. It is not like MTBs are actually allowed on all trails. If MTBer's can keep themselves off of trails restricted from MTB use, I'm sure E-MTBer's can do the same. There will always be a-holes that don't follow the rules, but as long as the vast majority of people follow the rules the risk to trail access should be quite low. But it is essential that the communication is there and that everyone works together. This ties into what the article talks about for a responsible roll-out of E-MTBs into the US market. It's all well and good that in Europe that there is a big Kumbaya lovefest between land owners and trail users, but that is not the case here in the US, and without a plan, it will make things worse for trail access in some areas.
- I would prefer E-bikes not to be promoted by MTB sites. While these categories of vehicles are related, they are not the same. I'm not saying they shouldn't be mentioned, especially in articles like this, but I personally don't like that a lot of mountain bike sites have simply started to review and advertise e-bikes to the same level as regular mountain bikes. Some are coming to a near 50-50 split (looking at you Bikeradar). To me, this is the definition of blurring the line. I understand that there is also revenue involved for these sites as there are advertising dollars at stake. But I think it would be much better (and honest) to create a new site for the E-MTB focus, if you are going to cover them to this level. Even put the link to that site on your MTB site to the E-MTB site, that would be fine. Or in the case of bike radar, make an E-bike or E-MTB subcategory like they do for Road, MTB, etc already. But don't push this new category of vehicle as an MTB. People who are really into mountain biking in general, percentage-wise, have no interest in this E-MTB stuff, so they don't want to see it in their faces all the time. This may be why there seems to be such a disproportionate amount of hate on the forums of these sites for the mere existence of E-MTBs. People that are into MTB enough to frequent MTB sites don't want to see a bunch of articles about E-MTBs.
- Vandalizing property of others is never acceptable or permissible, ever. Ever. Or being rude to someone riding an E-bike. If you see someone violating trail access rules with their E-bike politely inform them of this; it may very likely be a mistake on their part. If you see them doing it again, simple report the mi-use as appropriate. No need to be a dick or a vigilante. That makes you the a-hole.
  • + 2
 Do you idiots not realize that the majority of people buying e-bikes are older or partially disabled and looking for a way to keep up with their loved ones on the trail?! It's a f***ing bicycle, get over it!!!!!
  • + 3
 @jhelle: Thx...I've been riding and building for years and at almost fifty with multiple surgeries the only way to stay mtbg is to go the big E in a few years. There is hope for us oldies to stay involved and active.
  • + 1
 What's the difference between having a 200 lb mountain biker who is 20 years old and an 150 lb mountain biker who is 50 years old. Absolutely nothing. They weight about the same, go about the same speed and are using the same tires
  • + 1
 Awesome write up! Good way to show both sides of the story! I for one am against e-bikes but I’m not going to start destroying other people’s property or start yelling at them at the trail head. Only time will tell if proper legislation is laid out
  • + 1
 SHAKE THE BABY! It won't show bruises then you can blame it on some made up syndrome. Kidding aside, give e-bike riders you see on mountain bike trails a piece of your mind. Keep up the hate so these lazy pricks with $7k to blow on a lame motorcycle will be too ashamed then leave it in the garage next to their inflatable SUP and Go Pro drone.
  • + 1
 I started mountain biking at the same time as my old man took it up, 24 years ago, myself, my brother and the old man have ridden together for most of that time until about 5 years ago when his knees started to give up. Since then he has had to have 2 knee replacements (plus ops to remove cataracts and has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but i digress). Since recovering from the ops he has struggled to get back into cycling, road or mountain, the knee replacements have left him with very weak and painful quads when climbing which ruins the experience. A couple of weeks ago he bit the bullet and splashed out on a Turbo Levo FSR and it has transformed the experience for him. He can now stay with us (and pull away easily) on the climbs without feeling like his legs are trying to tear themselves apart, he's slower on the descents than us though (he is 66 years old) but not by much.
Most of the people we come across when out riding are more than happy to see him out riding, on an ebike or not, it tends to give them hope that they can keep riding themselves when they get older and their body starts to pack up.
On the 'Motorbike' comments, they are laughable if you actually ride motorbikes. I just sold a Triumph Speed Triple R, my brother rides a Honda VTR1000 Firestorm and my old man has a Triumph Rocket 3, they are nothing at all like a Levo...
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton What is exactly the reason that e-MTBs are banned from trails? They are a bit heavier but you have smaller and bigger riders so that doesn't make sense to me. Is it the added torque they put on trai, and again that would mean that they would only be banned from ascents and not descents. In my country it is much simpler: both are banned from any trail that is not in a bike park and we are all on the same side.
  • + 1
 I love how almost every single ebike hater has the same vision that ebikes are motor bikes lmao Ive never seen an ebike with enough power to throw roster tails like motor bikes can, except maybe the stealth bomber. The fact of the matter is that most ebikes are just a sort of pedal assist not an actual motor where you can crack the throttle and leave burn out marks. I see nothing wrong with pedal assist bikes although I'd never ride one unless I needed to.I see no problem with sharing trails with them but I could care less about strava times and being KOM like some of these yuppies complaining.
  • + 1
 I think another issue (the main issue in my opinion) is that the e-bikes are being pushed so hard into every aspect of biking. They definitely have their place, but they have been marketed really hard as a replacement for regular bicycles rather than an alternative to other things. An electric commuter makes so much sense I don't see how you could argue with that. Getting someone who can't ride out on a bike? Again, makes perfect sense. Replacing my mountain bike with an e-bike so I can "ride more laps, be less tired"? There is my issue because I don't ride for the number of laps I ride for the fun of riding.
Really I just think they've come too quickly, and marketed incorrectly.
They are an amazing opportunity for many people, whether it means replacing a car or being able to ride despite some health issue.
What we really need is to just calm down and tell the e-bike makers that we don't want to replace our bikes with e-bikes, so please start making the e-bikes for the people who just want to bike.
Thank you.
  • + 1
 First off, I can't stand e-bikes unless your physically unable to ride a "REAL" bike but still dig "riding", and then that seems fine enough for some scenic type trails. But if you decide that you want to ride* that e-bike on the trails were they don't belong(uh-oh), on technical, jumpy, flowing lines made for MOUNTAIN BIKES, that's a problem for me. To me that seems to tear away at the soul of riding somehow, but that kinda seems like how the world is nowadays, effed up problems with no viable solutions! So I guess all you knobs that want to resort to vandalism to express your displeasure with e-bikes should probably wait for your National Anthem so you can take a f*cking knee!
  • + 6
 fuck e-bikes!
  • + 3
 I'm opposed to e-bikes because people on e-bikes can easily beat me on Strava, even on downhills with pedally sections, and that, in turn, hurts my sense of self-worth.
  • + 0
 Well just get fitter
  • + 1
 Where I live our trail network is a bit like the wild west in terms of management. 75% of trails here were punched in straight down the fall-line in the late 90's to early 00's and are plagued by drainage issues. Our trial organizations and local government lack the leadership to set up some clear boundaries for motorized and non motorized users, invest in consistent signage, or to maintain the trails (unless the BC Bike Race is coming through the following week). It's up to a small handful of people to build new lines, repair said drainage issues, and hope that a moto doesn't blast through your work the next day.

It's great to see that areas with a higher population density actually need to define what is acceptable on their trails, I can only hope that the introduction of eMTBs is the final wake up call for our local government and others like it to make up its mind on where they stand on ALL access issues.
  • + 1
 In my opinion, at least a handful of the people who buy these motorcycles will have a lesser experience than what they would have had on a real mountain bike. I'm so glad that I was introduced to a bike I needed to pedal--for me, a big part of the joy of riding has been improving my fitness bit by bit. Without that struggle against my own fitness, a struggle not as prominent in motorcycle riding, i don't think I'd love riding as much as I do. It's sad to think that many people will have a motorcycle, thinking it's their first mountain bike, and never have the same experience I did.
  • + 1
 Mountain bikers seem to like shooting themselves in the foot. What's a land/park manager going to do if someone raises the question of allowing pedal assist e-bikes on the trails? He's going to google them and find a million posts by mountain bikers calling them motorcycles saying they shouldn't be allowed on trails....all out of some weird misplaced fear that e-bikes on trails is going to limit access for regular pedal bikes. Get the f*ck over it guys.
  • + 6
 Hayduke Lives!
  • + 2
 Edward Abbey was a huge proponent of banning cars in national parks and promoting bicycles instead (Desert Solitaire). It would be interesting to hear his take on this.
  • + 3
 money wrench gang in aspen terrorizing ebikers! Whoever this person is, I'll happily buy them a case beer.
  • + 1
 Am I missing something ? America is so big surely there's room for everyone. People are hated for buying electric bikes, which for the record I'm not happy about but I'd be more worried about the family next door with their collection of assault rifles !!!
  • + 9
 Don't mention the firearms. They don't criticize you for your cups of tea and biscuits do they?
  • + 10
 @BenPea: It's true I do like tea and occasionally biscuits but I didn't actually stereotype anyone you cheese eating surrender monkey.
  • + 6
 @konabigshed: hiding and surrendering are not the same thing
  • + 0
 @BenPea: hiding ? I didn't mention hiding. I
  • + 2
 You guys keep going, this is good.
  • + 1
 I like pedaling, but definitely can see the use for this. I mean, I also love motorcycles and have always ridden them... I would not put an e-motor on my best trail mtb, but can imagine enjoying riding a bike with a motor at some point, for the right uses... that said, I fully understand why the purists hate on them, cause I agree there might be issues with less experienced and ignorant folks on e bikes... interesting debate. Valid points on both sides even from a rational and open-minded perspective. I agree with @vernonfelton though, don't vandalize other peoples' stuff, even if it is a pink e-bike!
  • + 0
 Like what? Going uphill at 15mph? Really?
  • + 2
 You need Ebikes to get "cars off the road" ? And just think ..I didnt have to sweat and puke and train climbing hills the last bunch of years..I could have waited for the ebike! Lazyness is AWESOME
  • + 1
 Yes. Their bikes should therefore be vandalized.
  • + 3
 Eric never drives a car or takes a bus anywhere because it's lazy. What a legend.
  • + 1
 @kram: Eric got a speeding ticket. Eric stepped in human shit.
He's had a bad day now
  • + 1
 @kram: yeah man, can you believe it??? THIS GUY RIDES A REAL BIKE!!!! PB should arrange an interview, his amazing story needs to be told.
  • + 3
 I’ve read your article, given the subject some thought and can say that ebikes shouldn’t be allowed on MTB or shared use trails.
  • - 4
flag deadmeat25 (Nov 3, 2017 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 That's because you're thick mate.
  • + 1
 My 60 year old neighbor bought an e-bike for his wife who has mobility issues. Unfortunately he ends up riding it a lot more than his regular bike these days. He get's a thrill from it and rides faster and more aggressively. It's hard to deny his smile and he is simply having more fun. I'm about the most vocal anti-ebike guy there is but I just cant argue the with his example. Now if I ever catch a young person riding one on any of of my hand-built trails that's a different story.
  • + 4
 HURRY AND DESTROY ALL PUCKING EBIKES BEFORE THEY START BREEDING!
  • - 2
 Someone should've hurried and stopped your parents from breeding.
  • + 2
 I can't wait until there is an escalator to the summit of Mount Everest. Hiking without an electronic assist is so yesterday.
  • - 1
 haha yeah well clever, did you think that one up all on your own? Clever little American aren't you awwww, but consider this, there is more to biking than riding uphill, in fact for most people riding uphill is f*cking shit, and only a few people actually enjoy it, if you are one of them good luck to you, but i would be first in line for an escalator ride to the top of Everest, because f*ck climbing it, oh but i bet you could do that too couldn't you....
  • + 4
 Babies are gross. Punch em.
  • + 0
 While I think ebikes should be banned from non motorized trails, I actually think they are a great commuter option and may get more people out of their single occupancy vehicle for their commutes. Even in fairly bike friendly Denver, few workplaces have showers. The ability to commute without showing up sweaty or really having to wear bike clothes in the first place lets a lot more people ride to work.

While I probably won’t throw down the money, I could see getting a fat ebike now that I’m back to living in a mountain town a couple miles from my watering hole to make it easier to meet up friends for a drink in the middle of winter. And I have motocross trails near my house that it would be fun to ride on midwinter. I’d rather spend the money on a snowmobile to get me to some remote backcountry skin tracks easier, or on a regular fat bike, or a new backcountry ski setup. But, I understand why someone would want one.
  • + 3
 Next weeks opinion piece on how we lost the word nuance in constructive debate
  • + 3
 Now, now, there's no place for common sense on Pinkbike...
  • + 4
 After reading this I've got a sudden urge to punt babies.
  • + 0
 Line em up in a line. After each one yell 'FUCK EBIKES!!!!'
  • + 0
 I sure hope all the eHaters talking about how riding an eMTB on a trail will endanger trail access have never /ever/ ridden an unsanctioned trail, otherwise you're just sitting in a glass house throwing stones.

I prefer my riding to be self-powered, but I just don't get some of the arguments against eMTB that are being constructed. They're just blatantly hypocritical. It's a lot of "well I got mine, but f*ck you and your ebike".
  • + 3
 a very large portion of mountain bikers have to decide between riding unsanctioned trails or not riding at all. With such awful trail access in many parts of the US...there just isnt even an option sometimes. Sure you could spend 10 years lobbying for one trail and dump thousands of dollars into legal fees fighting wealthy equestrians and nature lovers...but youll waste most of your life not riding. Canada is a completely different world when it comes to bike access. E-mtb will inevitably make it even harder to access trails that are already non existent.
  • + 0
 You can get yours. Just not a f*cking e-bike. What’s wrong with that. Politically you are hurting the future of our sport!
  • + 2
 @IsaacO: can't every argument you just made be made in favor of ebikes? That's @ScandiumRider 's point.

a very large portion of [ebikers] have to decide between riding unsanctioned trails or not riding at all. With such awful trail access in many parts of the US...there just isnt even an option sometimes. Sure you could spend 10 years lobbying for one trail and dump thousands of dollars into legal fees fighting [mountain bikers], wealthy equestrians and nature lovers...but youll waste most of your life not riding.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: thats different. E mtbers have the option to just ride a normal mountainbike. the disciplines are very similar...it's not that same thing as saying "why do you need a bike when you can just walk it"....the majority of Emtbers could pedal it they just dont want to ( broad stroke i know...but i'd imagine it's not far off).

It's a nuanced issue, but if people were more willing to share trail access...it would be fine. but thats not how it is...and the odds are a lot higher that all bikers would lose total access because of some unwilling to pedal uphill. Most MTB'ers wouldn't give a shit about your E bike otherwise, they might tease you for it but there wouldnt be a huge reason to restrict access otherwise.

"well I got mine, but f*ck you and your ebike"....isnt really true because most areas " dont have theirs"...they are trying to get it and Emtb works against that mission
  • + 3
 @IsaacO: I ride on the shore in Vancouver and there's a lot of areas where trail access is still tenuous at best.

That doesn't seem to stop a bunch of knobs on non-eMTBs going and f*cking Strava-ing their rides, and then the park rangers go in and decommission the trails. I know for a fact that the park service monitor the Strava Heat Map (labs.strava.com/heatmap) in our area and use it to decommission illegal trails.

These same knobs are the ones who piss-and-moan the loudest about eMTBs being on "their" trails, and how it's going to endanger trail access.

That was the point of my first comment. These jerks don't see the hypocrisy in riding unsanctioned trails and then complaining about eMTB.
  • + 2
 @ScandiumRider: well those knobs are knobs indeed. North Shore vancouver is still a stones throw away from the best riding in the world. People who strava secret trails when they have access to the good shit shouldnt complain about anything. i dont think those folks would fall under the same catagory as people who have to drive 2-3 hours minimum to find a legal trail system with a shake.
  • + 1
 @isaac0 I'm guessing you've never ridden an ebike, lil bit narrow minded to say they're for people who don't want to pedal up hill, sure you can whack the watts up and go e-asy but they don't move on they're own motion. tbh I get more of a sweat-on on my emtb than I do on my "normal" MTB, it's depends on why you have an ebike, personally I wanna ride more trail in a shorter time so I put the same graft in as I do on my regular bike but I go a third quicker.
  • + 1
 @bootlegpegasus: you're right i havent. But i was also feeling like i wanted to ride more trail in a shorter period of time. So i started riding my bike to work and practicing sprints, and now i can ride way faster and cover more trail in a shorter period of time. I know it isnt a dirtbike, it doesnt propel itself on its own, but assist is still assist. I've ridden along side plenty of Ebike's, ive seen them flying up hills at pretty unbelievable speed.
  • + 0
 oops
  • + 2
 @motion: oh dear ????
  • + 1
 @IsaacO: Soooo you've established that one person taking on the system for more trail access is futile, that means that if lots of people got together and fought for trail access it would be both easier for everybody and probably more effective, so then if you also included ebikers in your group of those campaigning for access it would be even better would it not? People like you go on about f*cking lazy ebikers but can't get off your fat f*cking arses and help yourselves, you just put up with it and blame your own kind, nice one.
  • + 2
 @deadmeat25: it is possible that both are true. more people advocating for trail access is a good thing, but its equally likely to be ammo for anti-bike folks, also true. considering we haven't seen the tides shift towards Ebikes having that positive affect..we can only go by what we've seen so far. If the Ebike community ends up being a positive for trail access, then i'd happily fight along side them no matter how i feel about them personally...but i dont see that positive affect from Ebikers inclusion, at least not yet.
  • + 3
 Any day now RC can branch off a start a dedicated ebike site. Yeah, Thatd be great
  • + 0
 I hate E bikes!..........but - Check out my new truck that gets 10 MPG so I can pull my big heavy 25lb bike to the trail to ride for a hr......Also take a plain that dumps raw fuel into thin air so I can pedal around somewhere else for a little........Then when I get home burn more fuel so my granite counter top stays warm..............You get what u deserve!
  • + 2
 I don't like e-bikes, but vandalizing someone else's property is pathetic. I don't like mustard, but you don't see me stabbing bottles in the store like a psychopath.
  • + 2
 JE SUIS E-BIKE!!
godmann those laws, they´re screwing all the manufacters marketing bs! all those new possible e-clients down the drain...
  • + 0
 We get it. E-bikes are motor bikes. Plain and simple. They are motor-bikes specifically designed to be ridden on mountain bike trails. I don't know about you, but I love dirt bikes. Nothing beats a day out in the desert with a crf450r. Since when did motors represent the devil? I understand the fear of them causing trails to get shut down, and that can be remedied by building trails that are e-bike accessible and others that aren't. I honestly believe if you'd just ride a full suspension e-bike that you would change your mind. It's like a whole different sport. Uphill becomes downhill and the downhill gets a hit of cocaine. Assuming you're like me where pedaling is the price you have to pay to be able to go downhill, E-bikes bring out the best of mountain biking. Change the laws and build separate trails if you must. Just don't take away the motors. They're too much fun.
  • + 0
 “To be fair, bike shops (and the larger bike industry) are in the business of selling bikes, not regulating how their customers use those bikes. It’s not part of the business model.”

Change the bikes for guns, strange how a motor can cause so much hate but something that can kill another person is so vehemently defended.

Please think about that before you post a thought back.
Bit off track I know but worth the obs.
  • + 2
 Yawwwwwwn
F's sake PB, just start a separate mobility/every bike site. That'll keep your real bikers happy AND your ad revenue flowing
Dolla dolla bills yo
  • + 1
 Burn one on the trail, hike in flip flops, over accessorize, wear a full face on an xc trail, carry a gun, vote for trump, ride an electric bike, use strava.. do whatever makes you happy, Just don’t be a dick
  • + 1
 Probably too late for this comment to be seen, but I wrote a short blog article on this website pertaining to the importance of e-bike legislation. Might be a novel thought, worth a read.
  • + 3
 When im to old or to injured to ride i will buy an ebike. I bet most of you will too !
  • + 1
 If a trail head says No Motorized Forms of Travel... Trail open to: Hike, Bike, Horse. Pretty straight forward. But people read what they want to read, just like they hear what they want to hear.
  • - 2
 And you just say things without actually saying anything...
  • + 0
 Larry and Lori parked their e-bikes in downtown Aspen. The couple has a home about 10 miles away. The couple is in town for an art fair and a bite to eat. If they really want to reduce their carbon footprint, maybe consider one less house rather than one less car. Fuck you Larry and Lori, and fuck your E-bikes too
  • + 2
 Dude....you have serious issues...
  • + 0
 E-bikes are a fucking blast. I like riding them as much as my normal bike. I just can't justify spending all the money I have on bikes. Taking an e-mtb from your door to ride to a trail you'd normally drive to, shred, and then ride home is pretty fucking enchanting.
  • + 6
 That works well with a regular bike too.
  • + 0
 F*ck yeah! I'm with you!
  • + 1
 This post kind of compels me. It motivated me to reflect on my experience. What do you guys think:

forums.mtbr.com/e-bikes/motobecane-hal-e-looks-like-cool-whip-1058744.html#post13402675
  • + 1
 goof
  • + 0
 @ACree: Doesn't work well with a regular bike when the trails are 5 miles or more away each way. Doesn't work well with a regular bike when you only have two hours before you have to pick up the kids. Ratitude makes a solid point that you can ride further in a given time frame and that's a big deal for folks who don't have a lot of time. There are so many things competing for time so if an e-bike can help you get a ride in that you couldn't do otherwise, it's worth it.
  • + 4
 I'm holding out for a Tesla self-driving e-bike.
  • + 0
 They couldn't ride their bikes because the power button was broken! Hahahaha!! That's a classy piece of vandalism in my opinion, as far as that can go. Best saved for someone taking their motorbike on the singletrack though. Nothing wrong with ebikes in the city.
  • + 4
 *grabs popcorn, waits in comments*
  • - 1
 More restrictions on e-bikes will lead to more restrictions on pedal bikes,I really don’t consider an e bike in the dirt bike class.maybe some new signage that says e bikers must yield to ALL other trail users,and some trails should be off limits all together obviously. However people don’t follow rules,and if more trails get shut down for whatever reason will that really stop people from riding them?doubtful
  • + 0
 Then fight the fucking pointless restrictions, not your fellow riders.
  • + 0
 I could give a rat's ass about Strava for the climbs...downhills segments are a different story. Actually, it's kinda funny to think about some XC dude getting his panties in a bunch over losing a segment, tbh.
  • + 1
 e bikes are the stupidest thing ever made they should be used for commuters only not mountain bikes if i wanted a moter i would get a dirt bike
  • + 1
 , Wilderness is the real debate here. Mountain bikers who support having mountain biking in Wilderness Areas are the real ebike haters.
  • + 1
 Well could set up EMP at trail head, that way all electrical energy would be killed off The sun may do that for us in near future
  • + 2
 I just like that the photo of the weird cyclops rock-thing came from a photo album called Shred-McGazza
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton

Loving internet
sudden big e-bike hates
in spite of man snail
  • + 1
 eBikes are like shitty pop tunes. You hate yourself for kinda liking them, but take pride in the fact that you'd never put it on the car.
  • + 0
 Sure you can, but you shouldn't.
  • + 1
 As Taylor said, "Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate"
  • + 1
 f*ck ebikes, and f*ck the manufacturers that have sold these things off as "regular bikes with pedal assist!". If it has a motor, it's not a bicycle, simple as that.
  • - 2
 Says the man who will have no say in anything ever and will just be angry at everything but is too stupid to actually know why.
  • + 1
 @deadmeat25: I bet you speak from experience lmao
  • - 1
 The only people that would want an electric mountain bike are people wanting to pose as mountain bikers and use their trails as a roller coaster ride without putting in work.
I understand wanting an electric motorcycle. Why would you want pedals on something with a motor? Get a mountain bike or an electric dirt bike such as KTM, quit posing.
The bike shop lack of profit excuse is hilarious, with the MTB market booming these days with how good the bikes have become, and people throwing down ludicrous amounts of money on bicycles. If the online shops are killing the local bike shops, why won't they also kill the local electric moped shops?
Local bike shops selling electric mountain mopeds will experience the opposite effect on profits over time due to repelling people who ride actual bikes. People who were on the fence between buying online or in the LBS have now completely written off the LBS after walking in and seeing the new shipment of electro peds. Goodbye to any bike shop irresponsible enough to sell these things.
  • - 3
 Don't tell me what to buy you cunt.
  • + 2
 Stop talking about ebikes. Is pink bike a advocacy group? Any conversation you have is suspect to profit.
  • - 1
 It is critical that as a community, we reject ebikes as mountain bikes, especially on non-motorized designated trails. I'm glad the prevailing culture here in BC is to snub ebikes and make fun of people riding them. Hopefully they remain culturally unacceptable here. It's hilarious the amount of effort brands like Rocky Mountain are going through to try to hide the fact from Canadians that they sell ebikes in Europe.
  • + 0
 Yea! Fuck MP3's. Sony MiniDisc 4eva
  • - 1
 @raditude: You f*cking digital pussy, i ride with a record deck!
  • + 1
 @deadmeat25: vinyl is final
  • + 2
 I don't have a issue with ebikes but as normal any change there's a retro backlash sitting on there 26" rigid 9speed DH rigs
  • + 1
 Some dude passed me on a e-bike a few days ago...guess what, I could care less. With the time changing, that just means he can do way more laps in an hour as I can do.
  • - 2
 Surely it's 'couldn't' care less? As in "I could not care any less about it". Saying i 'could' care less literally says you're not quite as impartial as one might be, whereas what i think you are actually saying is that you care very little, as little as it is possible to care about it, which the well known phrase (in English speaking countries anyway) "I couldn't care less" describes perfectly...
  • + 3
 I'm not angry,e-mtb is just where I draw the line.
  • + 2
 Advertiser: we need more ebike acceptance so we can make money

Pinkbike: Say no more
  • + 1
 Note to the BLM Grand Junction Field Office, proofread your official signage before mountain that mounting biking sign.
  • + 2
 if you hate on ebikes then your ego is too big. live and let live man
  • + 2
 Popcorn is popping...who wants some......
  • + 1
 I do, I do!! You ship to USA?
  • + 2
 Eagles are the bird of freedom Swallows are the bird of true love
  • + 1
 Haha, E bikes. Luckily my kids have reached the age where I don't give a fuck what they do anymore. Ages 5 and 7.
  • + 0
 Did anyone consider that publicly shaming people for riding e bikes IS doing something about it?
Consistency is the key if we wish to be effective.
  • - 2
 No, but the first time you try that and say something awful out loud will be the moment you realise what a fucking Nazi you are, and how pathetic getting so worked up about the type of bike someone wants to ride actually is, so the sooner you do that the better.
  • + 1
 Refreshingly thoughtful and open minded article on the subject. Kudos Vernon.
  • + 3
 Cowards jerry, COWARDS
  • - 2
 My kids and I mountain bike together, but the actual riding (at this point) more interesting for them than me. They are 10 and 12 and have a few years to go before our aerobic capacity will be more equivalent. If they had 150 or so watts of lightweight assistance that is easy and intuitive to control, I could enjoy the exertion aspect of the ride more without riding away from them on the uphills and flats. I am not worried about their bike handling skills as they are both exceptional bike handlers (compared to any age group.) That's the aspect of e-bike technology that I am excited about!
  • + 1
 Is this not going to stunt your children’s drive and desire?
  • + 3
 In another few years I'm sure you'll have the opposite problem Smile They'll be strong enough to be fast and young enough to be fearless!!
  • + 1
 @MelvieD: I don't think so. I think the e-assist would be regarded like training wheels. Something they would be excited to outgrow.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: Yes, then I'll switch the e-assist to my bike! Smile
  • + 2
 This is exactly it! Open the sport for more people. It's simple people. Mountain biking is about bringing people together. ALL people, not just vegan spinach eating hermits.
  • + 1
 Kid's don't need e-bikes. When you ride with your kids to teach them, you ride just fast enough to challenge them, but not so fast as to discourage them. Same with level terrain you ride on as well; start just enough to challenge them and move up gradually. If they are into it, they will improve their fitness quickly and actually learn how to ride a bike. These rides are for them, not you. Plus, do you really want them to have an abundance of power when they have yet to hone their skills? And you really think a kid is gonna want to give up pedaling assist after they get used to it? Maybe in some rare cases, but I would bet not the majority. And unless you are Uber-rich, you're really going to fork out money for a 'light' e-mtb that they are going to out-grow in at most a year or two. I don't hate the fact that e-MTBs exist, but man, this is like the worst kind of use for them.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: go choke on a chicken wing, you ass f*ck, is that vegan enough for you. Let’s bring people together!
  • + 1
 @shawndashf1: Like I said before, I'm really not worried about their skills. Downhill they are as good or better than any of the people I ride with. Besides, I honed my skills on a Yamaha YZ80 when I was younger than they are. It never dampened my enthusiasm to pedal.
If you are a parent, then you are probably way better at it than me, but I find it difficult juggling a full time job, all the regular day-to-day responsibilities of parenthood, and using the small amount of time occasionally left over to go do things with your kids that will hopefully turn them into the kind of adults that you would chose to be friends with even if you weren't related, and then still find time for myself.
Don't get me wrong, I make the choices I do because it's more fun to see them have a good time than it is for me to have a good time by myself. I just want the holy grail... something that is way fun for everybody.
  • + 2
 "inacted". Where do our advocacy dollars go to again?
  • + 1
 This whole time it was about ebikes! Listen child, you gonna be an adult someday. Be prepared to be disappointed!
  • + 2
 One of the more thoughtful pieces on punching babies I've read.
  • + 2
 Fuck your fucking e-bikes!
  • + 3
 Vernon Felton = Troll
  • + 1
 This article is total bullsh+t PB click-bait. I didn't get to see a single baby getting punched.
  • + 2
 I don't get why people hate e-bikes so much.
  • + 2
 bush did 7/11
  • + 0
 I think Vernon just wrote this article so he can brag how many comments he got Razz
  • + 1
 Sure you can, it doesn't mean you should
  • + 1
 Best pb comment section ever. Thanks for the entertainment!
  • + 1
 Fun Fact: Hitler rode an E-bike.
  • + 2
 Absolutely ! It is also known that the Americans invaded Germany because they thought Hitler was a threat to trail access (even though this was a lost cause won by local pedestrians and equestrians), followed by some Canadians whose large egos were afraid to lose their KOM’s over to some foreign Nazis.
  • + 1
 It sounds fun to ride an bike downhill
  • + 0
 Public wilderness should be open to ALL recreational vehicles. Lets take OUR land back from the dam government.
  • + 3
 I want to drive my tank up Denali, by damn, I’m Merican
  • + 1
 Unless you are an American Indian native, let’s do this!
  • + 0
 Yaaaayyyy!! One normal person with the right mindset in the whole of America!!!! You go dude!!! Smile
  • + 1
 @drivereight: I've been petitioning Olympic National Park to hand the park back to the natives for years now.
  • - 3
 @vernonfelton: I had high hopes for your article initially, but then it turns out you're as ignorant as everyone else, this line says it all:

"What we have here is the perfect recipe for widespread trail closures. And I do have a problem with that."

My problem with that statement is that you simply fuel the fire you're supposedly trying to put out, that one line is all the ammo the dickhead ebike haters need to continue firing their constant barrage of drivvel at ebikes and ebikers, and whilst preaching to everyone else about being constructive rather than simply abusive, you offer not even a glimmer of an idea about how to sort it out, now that's lame.

Your piece did nothing to help at all, unless you are FOR ebikes, you're simply yet another fool that would stand shoulder to shoulder WITH those that would ban ebikes, for no logical reason i might add, making the argument on behalf of people that would ban even regular MTB's if they could, the type that just wants to ban everything to feel a ounce of control in their pitiful lives, in this case, banning bikes they don't understand from land they don't use or even visit. The reason i say that is because if you are actually AGAINST ebikes, there is something mentally wrong with you, it's like being 'against' electric cars, the electric car next to you on the road, is having exactly the same negative impact on your life as the guy over there in the woods on his ebike, absolutely no negative effect at all, all you have to do is get on with your life and do what you came to do, ride your f*cking bike.

You should stand with your fellow bikers, who want the same thing you do, just to ride bikes, on road or off road, and have fun.

The fact that you even mentioned Strava shows you are looking in the wrong direction on this, Strava users that cry about being beaten by an ebike should be taken outside and physically beaten until their first world problem demon is fully exorcised, until they realise that like a person reborn after a near terminal accident or illness that life is for living, breathing the air, smiling and having fun, not spending every waking moment trying desperately to stop those that would mar what is both an entirely personal and ultimately totally insignificant achievement, here's a revelation for you, no one but you give a f*ck about YOUR Strava times. If you want to race, go f*cking racing.

Here in the U.K, like the rest of Europe i see no problems at all, the trail 'industry' is booming, more and more ebikes are being sold, along with more and more trails are opening up their doors to them. If you have morons making your laws over there that's your problem to sort out, but change won't happen by constantly dividing opinion and being a prick.

What could work is if someone was to organise say a 5000 strong ebike ride on land where their use is prohibited, and then do it again, and again, and again. Make a f*cking point and take a stand against stupidity.

I'll make this point very f*cking clear so there can be no confusion, the electric mountian bike i'm referring to has pedals, like the ones mentioned in the post, bikes that are currently made by mountain bike manufacturers, i am NOT talking about any of the high speed throttle actuated off road electric MOTORBIKES you can buy, and whilst they look like tons of fun, that is NEVER what any of us are ever suggesting should share trails with regular MTB's.

Final thought:

I remember playing on the slide as a child, i loved it, but it was the walk back up to the top of the slide that was by far the best part.... Said no one f*cking ever.
  • + 1
 trouble is sir the guys building the trails dont want you e bikers on it because you wont be up there digging like a real mountain biker so fuck you
  • + 1
 @Capslangley: What a brain dead assumption to make.
  • + 1
 E-Bikers = Babies ; I'm fine with this metaphor
  • + 1
 I can't wait til I get my ebike, strava records are gonna fall
  • + 1
 What made my comment below threshold
  • + 1
 Just accept mass immigration
  • + 1
 Omg the author is a whiny bitch
  • + 0
 Hey Vernon...hats off to ya! My respect to you for continuing to tackle this topic for what ever reason.
  • + 1
 I guess fags like to ride e bikes then seeing as they have nuts
  • - 1
 I'm going to kick e-bike's so hard in the nuts, that it turn's into a p#$$y.
  • - 1
 Of course ebikes have nuts because only pussys ride them Wink
  • + 1
 I hate Trump
  • + 2
 I HATE leaving Whistler and heading for the airport!!!!
  • - 1
 I personally love seeing these weak minded children triggered by electric motors. It just tickles me.
  • + 0
 So many comments....can't process
  • + 1
 500!
  • + 0
 My hatred is softening, and it hurts to admit that.
  • + 0
 Don't be hard on yourself, this contemplation has simply created new neural pathways in your brain, your brain is now functioning more efficiently and you are starting see sense where before you were just dense, keep the mind growing by actually using it and there is hope for you yet. Meditate on this: "ebikes aren't my enemy, only ignorance is". Good luck brother...
  • - 2
 great piece
  • - 2
 of shit...
  • - 2
 More like pussE-bike am I right?
  • - 1
 Biggest wall of text
  • - 2
 Imma gonna punch you right in the ebike
  • - 1
 #larrygarongotrobbed!
  • - 1
 E-bikes got robbed!
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