Opinion: A Secret Trail and an Argument Against E-Bikes

Jul 25, 2014 at 8:45
Jul 25, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Experienced trail builders who work in secret can attest that there are three generations of users, each less respectful of the original builder’s intentions of how it should be used, and each less sensitive to the concept of secrecy which, in most cases, is essential to its continued existence. The first generation of users are directly related to the project. Perhaps they are diggers who lent a hand, or best friends of the builders, sworn to secrecy. First-gen users “get it.” They park away from the trail, stay quiet, sometimes carrying their bikes to the trailhead to mask the entrance point, and when they ride, they respect the line that the builders created. Once shared, however, there is no such thing as a secret.

When the original ten men and two women break their oaths and invite three of their most trusted friends to experience the “secret” trail, they create generation two. The second wave is schooled by gen-one about the tenuous relationship between local residents and land owners, so they respond with a greater degree of respect than they would give to a trail that “everyone” rides. They too, park off site and keep a low profile, but they arrive in groups and have beaten in a trail so they can ride to the new line. Gen two riders probably understand how much work it takes to make a trail and a few of them may have actually worked on one, but for the most part, they are accomplished shredders who are assumed to be trustworthy because they are part of the local scene, and therefore, deemed capable of not screwing things up. Generation-two keep no secrets, but they show respect.

Generation three are users, plain and simple. When the final wave of riders move in, the “secret” trail is referred to by name only and has been a popular post on Pinkbike, Facebook and Strava. Most gen-three riders have grown up in a world of readily accessible riding opportunities and have never experienced a land-access conflict. Those who have, probably cursed the inconvenience that one of their favorite trails was fenced off and simply drove to another location. Gen-three users park at the trailheads, shuttle regularly, arrive in groups, and treat the trail as if it were a public amenity. User-built ride-arounds ensure that mountain bikers of almost any skill level can enjoy it, and if the trail becomes popular enough, it begins to appear in publications and industry photo shoots. At this stage, there is an assumption among gen-three users that the trail has been around “forever” and probably always will be.

This opinion piece, however, is not about trail building. It is about electric mountain bikes and why there is a perception by powerful interests within the industry that they are good for the sport. If one considers mountain biking as a whole, and applies the trail user analogy, it can be argued that we are three generations in. The building period when early mountain bikers had to band together and fight for access, when mountain bikes were largely excluded from existing trails and were threatened to be banned from the back country altogether, has been largely forgotten.

Mountain bike access to public lands is considered a given in most of the world. Trail conflicts are local skirmishes that are most-often won by pro cycling lobbies who document “the larger landscape” - a string of success stories that stretch to the sport’s very origin - as proof that mountain bikers can coexist with other, sometimes conflicting, user groups. The common thread of respect, shared by gen-one and gen-two mountain bikers - that we once toiled to build a positive perception of our sport in a hostile social environment and that care should be taken to preserve the fruits of that labor - has long been severed. Our sport and the industry that supports it is all about generation three: a bold sense of entitlement, one which assumes that the natural world is a mountain bike playground.

Electric mountain bikes would have never flown when the crux of the land-access argument hinged upon the notion that we were human-powered users with the same rights to the back country as those who practiced other self-powered tech sports like skiers and kayakers. It would have been, “BOOM! End of discussion.” The only kind explanation that I can offer of why significant players in the mountain bike industry are touting electric mountain bikes as the next big thing, is that the decision makers responsible were either born yesterday, or were latecomers to mountain biking and don’t have a clue. I would hate to discover that marketing and management people, some of whom I have met and think highly of, have done extensive research and, in spite of the potential setbacks to trail access, have chosen electric mountain bikes as an opportunity to cash in on the sport. Yet, unfortunately, this seems to have been the case.

“So,” one may defend: “What trail access issues are you referring to? From what I can tell, the sport is growing in every country where it is popular, and new trails are being built every day. Electric bikes are simply another way to bring more non-cyclists into our sport. ”

Three triggers indicate that once bike-friendly land managers are under mounting pressure from internal sources, and externally from anti-bike groups, to curtail mountain bike trail access. The first is the rapidly growing unauthorized user-built trail movement, which was once largely relegated to remote areas, but now is rampant in more sensitive landscapes near urban centers. The second is user displacement from traditional, multi-use trail networks, primarily fueled by Strava warfare, where mountain bikers, intent upon busting out PRs and KOMs are intimidating non-cyclists from using the parks. The third is the fact that most ski areas have converted to bike parks in the summer months. Citing that because mountain bikers now have exclusive access to resources where they can ride at any speed and difficulty, land managers of nearby trail systems can now make a viable argument to ban bikes where their speed and operation is deemed incompatible with other users.

None of this has happened – yet – but any astute rider should be able to see the writing on the wall. The only reason that public and private land managers have not come down hard on mountain bikers already is that there are men and women in positions of power who were on that ground floor when mountain bikers grouped together to work alongside them – and who recall when organizations like IMBA went to bat for any administrator who could see things our way. These are the officials who vote pro-mountain bike behind closed doors. Under such rising pressure, however, our allies in high places are not going to find it easy to argue in favor of e-bikes on trails.

Behind mountaintop mining and overgrazing of livestock, motorized OHV sports are the most environmentally destructive elements that park land managers deal with. While the present argument for e-bikes is that they are “motor assisted” and thus not really an OHV, they are unregulated once they leave public roads. History shows that in every case, unregulated motorized vehicles quickly grow faster, more powerful and more capable. In their present form, personal experience shows that a Bosch-powered dual-suspension e-bike can shred on any mountain bike rider, anywhere on the mountain – and this is just the starting point for the genre. Straight-up, throttle-controlled electric-powered bikes are now readily available with six times the power of the best e-bikes. Presently, motorized bikes of any sort are illegal in the USA on trails designated for mountain bikes, hiking and equestrian use, and there are conflicting reports of whether they are legal off-road in Canada. Legal or not, all of them are now called “Electric Mountain Bikes” – and that is the poison dart which we, as a sport, will not be able to dodge.

Viewed from those outside the sport, a mountain bike is a mountain bike. Categories like downhill, cross-country, freestyle and enduro are not perceived by those who are either disinterested or opposed to their existence. I know this, because I have participated at public hearings and town hall meetings, more times than I would choose to recall, where the future of mountain bike access was being weighed by non-cyclists. We are all mountain bikers to them and we ride mountain bikes. When the day comes to ban electric mountain bikes as the latest upheaval to threaten the once-peaceful experience of enjoying a backcountry trail, we all will be lumped in with them. In the minds of anti-bike people, if one mountain biker can have a motor, it won’t be long before they all do. Logic and history supports them. Could you blame the park service for voting against mountain bike access in such a case? Help them help us, by removing any form of the word, “electric” from the term, “mountain bike.”

The moment will soon arrive when key land managers meet to determine if e-bikes should be banned from off-road use and from public trails. Sadly, some major bike companies will be there in-force, arguing in their favor – and their arguments will hinge upon the perception that they are electrically assisted mountain bikes, not motorized OHVs. I sincerely hope that there are enough riders in this, the third generation of mountain bike trail users, who understand and respect the efforts of those who helped found this sport and who have the courage to shout down electric mountain bike makers. The way I see it, mountain bikes are a form of human-powered locomotion with which to experience the wonders and the challenges of the natural world. Engines and motors have no place in that equation. Don't screw it up.
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301 Comments

  • + 251
 The current generation of electric mountain bikes are just electric dirtbikes. I don't want people riding motos on our trails, whether they are electric or petrol powered.
  • + 81
 Agreed. A lot of motos ride my local trails illegally and tear them to shreds, the conditions get worse every year from them and they don't care about rebuilding at all
  • - 81
flag whitebullit (Jul 25, 2014 at 9:36) (Below Threshold)
 like it or not the world is a shared space, secret trails simply DO NOT exist, if its on public land, it is a public trail, and unless you have a big back yard most of the so called "secret" trails are still on public land making them public trails, no matter how far off the beaten path it is still public. learn to share your trails openly, take the chance and tell everyone about your secret trail; the bad is it might get tore down, but the good is you now have other people who share your building interest and will help. i live in a small town with alot of XC guys and guys with 10" travel bikes who build hucks that will destroy any bike without 5000 into suspension work. ill never be in a good group of builders though because they are all too secret while building but then i can find the stunt just by stumbling upon it. this is way too long of a comment, i just want people to give us riders a chance to join in the building, i might seem like a schmuck but im actually a pretty decent guy, just ask me.
  • + 41
 Well, maybe i'll get voted down, but in Squamish, trials bikes are all over the place, and there's quite a number of trails that are shared by trials bikes and mountain bikes. The trials guys put in some of the more epic trails around too. And the fastest way to break in a new trail is to invite some trials riders to ride up and down it a bunch of times. I know that won't fly in a lot of places, and electric bikes are kind of a different thing all together I guess (I'd be embarrassed as hell to be seen on one), but there are places where the trails are shared between motorized and human powered bikes with very little conflict.
  • + 46
 Squamish is totally different Paul. The mototrials riders are overwhelmingly respectful and built a lot of the trails that mountain bikers and hikers then try to claim as their own. The moto guys came first there
  • + 6
 Exactly Lee, and with Trail Building Associations makes for an amazing trail system such as Pemberton!
  • + 11
 I agree with you about Squamish and the link between trials and mtb, I ride moto as well as mtb and most of my neighbours ride trials and they are happy to help with mtb trails just as I am happy to help with trials trails. However I think that we are really lucky here in squamish because the whole town kind of revolves around 2 wheels, we generally have no issues getting grants to put trails in *touch wood* so we can have a lot of just mtb trails, some just trials trails as well as trails that are shared by both.

E bikes theyre a whole other story and dont even get me started, just keep them off the mountain! (althohgh they would be great as townies)

Edit: I just realized my whole post just basically said what you just said
  • + 13
 I know of a secret trail network that I love riding at, and I prefer to keep it secret. I didn't build it originally, and a skinny guy weighing barely 145lbs on a good day can hardly lift his own weight in bike, much less wood, so I'm not nearly as helpful as I wish could be. A small handful of riders who work hard to maintain the trails themselves go and enjoy the hours of singletrack that are waiting to be explored. Most of the land is privately owned, and the owner himself has expressed but twp concerns; no motos - and keep the trails in good condition- and he'll keep the land open to us.

I know of three people who ride in there, myself included. The only reason I can come up with that it's still open is because nobody else rides it and everybody who rides it maintains it, and nobody rides moto on it. Respect is the key word- we respect him, he respects us, and all four of us are happy. Also, none of the four of us are dumb enough to say exactly where it is.
  • + 4
 Good for you man! Sounds like the ideal situation. Keep it secret!
  • + 5
 If you can share the space with moto that's great, but fact is in a lot of places you can't. Round here there are entire areas of woodland which are unpassable with anything other than a dirtbike because of the damage being done.
  • + 2
 That's exactly right. There's an area at another local trail that one simply can't ride because it's always muddy due to the amount of snowmobile and moto traffic we get. It's been like that as long as I can remember, and there are always tire marks or other evidence of motor vehicles.
  • + 4
 Whitebullit.. If you truly cared to keep the trails you "ride" on from ever being closed or trashed beyond the point of repair, work on them, clean them up and fix them. Simple. Just by the comment you made I can simply put a "3rd generation" name tag accociated with the user name whitebullit and the person behind it.
  • + 4
 R.C.your write on,i like how you word it.Back in 1976 when i ran into the olders makeing trails they would say go take your bike home then come back to dig,then after i put time in digging i got to ride,but by digging i learn to make trails,now you as a trail digger you can't go old school,kids just joke and wait when your not there,but i make trails for every one to ride,but if i catch them a just talk safety so no one gets hurt,i've learned to share and fix there plows,i've had this trail for 13 years,the last spot lasted 10 years.so now i'm looking for new spot.LIKE EVERY THING ELSE here today gone tomorrow.
  • - 16
flag whitebullit (Jul 25, 2014 at 14:19) (Below Threshold)
 if you knew anything about me other than a comment i made while eating lunch your argument might be somewhat valid. truth is most of the people ive met on here are decent people at heart minus the secret trail thing, but then there is the holier than thou personality which just turns me off. i dont have anywhere to build because its all town property and its a small town and will get discovered and will get tore down. if the builders around here just gave people a chance to help everyone would benefit, instead of segregating factions of riders by their age or how long they have been building look at it as an opportunity to instill some of the same beliefs on younger or less skilled riders. by doing that you might just gain the respect of the newbie instead of just treating them like shit so they end up driving 2 hrs every weekend to a bike park so they dont have to deal with the small town building bullshit. you guys close a huge door on many people who didnt have the same building opportunitys.
  • + 10
 I see your point, but you're mistaking secret-keeping for that so-called "holier-than-thou" attitude. The builders aren't trying to bully or snub you by not inviting you, they're probably afraid you'll get their stuff torn down- especially if your town is as small as you say it is. I lived in a small town too, where that nice little secret trail network lives, and we just can't afford to tell all our friends who happen to like mountain biking about the network. There are too many douchebags, too many 'free land' idealists, and too many people who simply won't clean up after themselves. I've been where you are, man, and I was afraid to 'poach trails' in the small town because people don't put up with crap around here. Everybody is friendly but protective of their property and their families, so they all either have guns or train their dogs to be a little mean at first, and I was stuck trying to ride the crappy 'public trails' until one of my neighbors invited me to ride- ONLY if I swore I'd dig after I rode.

Local builders aren't all like the pros who are given money to build and ride. I was the youngun in the group when I'd go and try to help them clean up after storms and riding. They're way more likely to be dads with jobs and families and not a whole lot of time to go out and ride the trails, and frequently they don't ride them to build new features, they build to keep things ridable and fun, but most importantly they build out of respect for the land and the land owners, regardless of whether they own the land or not.
  • + 1
 Did you guys know, that there actually is a by-law in Squamish where you can ride a trials bike on the mountain bike trails, as they do not cause as much damage as a Moto. I found out after seeing a trials bike riding up Crouching one day (and subsequently got mad, and then less mad as I observed that he was doing no damage whatsoever)
  • - 3
 I just want to KRANK the throttle on my e-bike all day long!


Get it? Get it?
  • - 3
 I personally think us as downhillers do a lot more damage to a trAil than trial moto guys do.
  • - 9
flag Quesadilla34 (Jul 25, 2014 at 22:20) (Below Threshold)
 @tnerb888, thanks for being irrelevant. Maybe at bike parks where there's crews to un-roost berms for us, but i personally only see dh riders riding, not obnoxiously topping up trails for no reason. All me and my dh buds constantly do trail maintinance on all of our local trails, add to them, and rebuild jump spots. Very poor sterioyype bro. And ps,unew riders, continue tolearn, butdoo so respectfuly, don't roll over berms and jumps and kill them, ifit happens accidentaly, just rebuild it, doont be groms abt it
  • + 3
 Don't blame the downhillers Tnerb, braided lines and trail damage come from all bikes... I'm sure big bikes are easy to blame but some guy skidding a hardtail down a steep trail will cause just as much damage as a downhiller braking hard into a turn.

Moto guys do far more damage than downhill bikes for fairly simple reasons such as the increased weight of the bike, and the ability to crank down hard on the throttle in places unsuitable to pedal through hard.

As for the disrespectful riders, I saw a bunch of guys park their BMW at the start of what was once my favourite trail, I said "once" because it's now destroyed to the point where it's not worth riding to anymore. If you like a trail don't be an idiot when you ride it.
  • - 2
 The fact that any bike company, no matter how big they are, is willing to potentially ruin the sport for many in the name of making money from people they deem incapable of simply pedaling a bicycle, is terrible. Every bike company was once started by a dude who wanted to ride his bike- Mike Sinyard, Dick Burke... any of them. That they can refuse to see their former selves and launch something so potentially destructive to the community is sick.
  • + 5
 I remember riding "The Slick Rock Trail" and observing a group of MTBs being completely disgusted and put off by a lone moto guy riding the trail along side of them. Then I learned that Motos originally made the trail in the first place. What "Gen" is that?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slickrock_Trail

I also remember riding the legendary Wayne National Forest ORV Park in Ohio with hundreds of miles of trail on MTB. It was and still is amazing. Moto/MTB/Hikers/horsers we all got along. (well, I don't really like horse poop myself.)

However, "Secret" and illegally built trails on public lands are always going to be a bigger threat to Mountain Biking than anything else. It's illegal, it's selfish, it pisses off land managers to-no-end and even if it's well built(most are not), it's unfortunately wrong. This dude abides.. most of the time.
  • + 0
 Boom, ..and wait until the soon to be designated e-bike trails are better than the current IMBA zen gardens. Fourth gen rebound!
  • + 1
 You should try the Yamaha mid-drive system or the Bosch mid-drive system. It would definitely change your perspective. They have no throttles, they're light, and they're only powered by your pedaling. They're very far from dirt bike.
  • + 86
 Well a-fucking-men to that! best thing I've read on here for a loooong time
  • + 19
 Fully agreed. I have nothing against e-bikes I just don't see their place in the mountain bike world. Funny thing is the second I saw these coming out at trade shows I knew there would be land access issues because it's not human powered. Then again, nor are horses....
  • + 23
 Has anybody actually seen an e-bike on their local trails? The only place i see or hear about them is on the internet, so has it even become a problem yet? or are we all just being proactive? I also agree they have no place in the mountain biking world.
  • + 5
 @ chezotron, I guess we need a horse powered mountain bike then, right?
  • + 5
 yep. saw one, throttle wide open along the flats of crank it up last year. i threw up in my d2. haven't seen him since, maybe he or wb grew a brain and realized it wasn't such of a 'radical' idea to have electric motorcycles or mo-peds in the bike park. i mean really, one crash with another rider would probably null and void any insurance program the bp has.
  • + 1
 That would be my worst nightmare, Tim. And it has hooved tires.
  • + 7
 I'd get mad if I saw someone open throttling on trails, although I have seen a rider in an electric assist mtb on local trails. He was riding fine, although it looked like he had a disability that led to him struggling a bit climbing back out, but switching to a bit of pedal assist he rode like an average rider. I'd welcome people like that on trails, even ones that I'd built, he definitely showed respect and I'm sure if all e-bike riders are/will be like that then there would be no land use issues! Imagine the pain of being an AM or XC rider without being able to pedal properly! In this sorta case I reckon that e-bikes are fine.
  • + 11
 @MDRipper I've actually been seeing them more and more where I live. Depending on where I go, I probably see one e-bike every two or three rides. They are usually re-purposed older v10's or something of that nature, and are just as bad as everyone says. I have seen them go off trail to pass me and others while riding uphill (and throwing some roost in the process). And in the parking lot basically talking shit about how the trails "just can't be ridden" without a downhill bike, despite the fact I have no trouble on the same trails on my HT 29er.

E-bikes will ruin the party.
  • + 2
 not sure what the home brew v-10's are powered by but the bikes powered by the bosch system certainly aren't going to throw "roost" anywhere. i've ridden a cube e-bike and i doubt it would do anymore harm to a trail than a normal bike ridden by a very strong, fit rider.
Also comparing them to moto-x bikes is ridiculous even at full assist they put out around 0.5 of a horse power, you'd be lucky to get them t brake traction let alone tear up the ground.
  • + 3
 These dual suspension Bosch powered bikes you're referring to don't have throttle though, so how is someone getting assistance up because he has an issue doing this on his own a problem? @MTB-Harry proves that point. Unless you're riding a throttle bases electric bike that hauls butt, these won't tear apart trails. Differentiating the two in laws is where I can see things getting confusing.
  • - 1
 E bikes suck. Plain and simple. I don't like them.
  • + 0
 It's important to remember history - the writer has this great point:- "History shows that in every case, unregulated motorized vehicles quickly grow faster, more powerful and more capable. In their present form, personal experience shows that a Bosch-powered dual-suspension e-bike can shred on any mountain bike rider, anywhere on the mountain – and this is just the starting point for the genre. Straight-up, throttle-controlled electric-powered bikes are now readily available with six times the power of the best e-bikes."
  • - 1
 I was at the top of the Tourmalet climb of the Tour de France this week. Lots of people rode up on mountain bikes, from 1980´s specials to 5k carbon flash.
One woman showed up on an e-bike and was ridiculed the whole way past. They will never be popular with riders, who would want to be seen on one?
  • + 0
 You're not any kind of rider until you can pedal properly especiallyam XC or AM. I can hear the whining of XC strava times being taken on a v10 already
  • + 2
 mmmh...actually , the article has nothing to do with the situation in Europe....ebikes are highly regulated there. So , if the US or Canadian Government cant put a lit on the situation , doesent bother anybody over the pond . Her in Peru Ebikes are basicly unknown ...so no issue either.
  • + 9
 I've been downhilling for about 12 years now, mainly at non-uplift assisted tracks (mixture of illegal trails built by myself and friends and regulated trail centres).
Am I right in thinking that I can now buy a dh bike which feels like a normal dh bike on the downs yet will winch me up to the top of the hill without having to push ? FANTASTIC ! Where do I buy such a machine ? Ok i can see some idiots using it in inappropriate places but if only use it at safely regulated trail centres where is the harm ? (Neg. Prop away)...
  • + 1
 Tremeer, while I agree with your comment, I'm sure they're great fun and would definitely enjoy a razz on one, the problems lie within your closing sentence:-

"Ok i can see some idiots using it in inappropriate places but if only use it at safely regulated trail centres where is the harm"

Safely regulated by who? would be my response... If you leave it to those in control, those in marketing departments and those in a position to easily regulate this aspect of the sport then you're going to get all of the problems that the original article describes. His call is one to people like you and me who build trails to stick to our roots and not let e-bikes penetrate into the sport that will utimately suffer because 'some idiots' will no doubt snowball into 'loads and loads of idiots causing problems for the rest of us'
  • + 12
 E-assist bikes are regulated in europe, they can only provide assist up to 15.5 mph after that the system cuts out and your under your own power, from reading the posts here it would appear that most posters and even the author of the article have no idea what an E-assist bike actually is or that there is a world outside of the US.
the whole article just appears to be about pandering to the "holier than thou" trail hipsters that are so vocal about only riding on their bamboo frames enviro-bike that was built by a non profit gang of tibetan orphans.
  • + 3
 It's an interesting debate.
On the one hand I can completely see the author's point. You can just hear Local Authority members in a few years saying things like "ooh, all those mountain bikes have become dangerous - they all have electric motors in these days", which could potentially damage the image of the sport.

On the other hand, aren't e-assist mtb's bikes just a natural evolution of the sport/industry? Bearing in mind that riders still have a choice, I think most will still choose to keep it natural (and look down on e-bikers as some lower form of species no doubt).

Like it or not, I think for pure privateer downhilling though there is a market. If there is a market then regulation will naturally follow.
  • + 0
 I see so many riders with a 3rd generation attitude - one of entitlement to ride wherever they like and no desire to pick up a spade. Fast ebikes are only going to make people with the attitude of generation 1+2 pissed off. It's as simple as that for me
  • + 4
 they're only fast up hill mate, going back down a normal bike is quicker like i said the battery is just dead weight after 15 mph.
also i'm not sure about the rest of the uk but around south wales most trails and even trail centers are just the paths where moto-x/enduro bikes used to ride, the MTB riders have simply usurped them.
  • + 1
 Quite pissed off with the whole debate. I don't think I could care any less if I see an Ebikes out on the trails or not.
That said it would appear that it could cause very serious problems in the U.S. with trail access. ( unless they are all just being whiny Luddites )
  • + 3
 high probability of the latter.
  • + 1
 I think the weight of the battery pack will put a lot of people off. It puts me right off at the moment. Get the whole thing to less than 2kg and integrated into the frame though... : )
  • + 2
 They aren't much heavier than an old skool dh bike. I couldn't care about them either way but I think the cost will be a big enough deterant to all but those who have at some point been mtb enthusiasts. I don't see it being the next big thing. I don't see any being welcomed on club rides either!!
  • + 1
 That was meant to be all those "other than " enthusiasts
  • + 1
 Ha. Yes it's a limited market. I think my riding buddies might disown me pretty quickly.
  • + 2
 I have one leg that is getting gradually lamer as the years go by. Another 5 years and I think mine will be actively encouraging me to get one!!
  • + 6
 To equate all ebikes with motos is complete nonsense as is equating all mtb riders with the idiots who carve up walkers on trails. Certainly I can understand the problems in the USA which turns out not to be the land of the free after all.. ;-) but this does not apply over here where providing you behave yourself you are unlikely to be forbidden from riding anywhere.
Certainly open throttle bikes, imho, should be banned and are illegal on UK roads though the fuzz haven't yet started clamping down on them. Most mtb riders aren't going to go for an e bike, heavier, less flexible etc but for those of us of the elderly persuasion for example or perhaps less fit older newbies they do provide access and starting point to a sport and leisure pursuit we all enjoy. In my case it just makes my legs 30 years younger and allows me to join in with my kids. So less of the holier than though attitude, an understanding that pedal assist is a totally different beast to an open throttle bike and riders of all things two wheels can be responsible and irresponsible just like any other humans!
  • + 1
 History shows that in every case, unregulated motorized vehicles quickly grow faster, more powerful and more capable.
  • + 1
 I think you already posted that. If you are going to say it more than once at least be correct. As a uk gent you should know that all electical bicycles in the uk are regulated. They are limited to Approx 15mph at which point you are on your own effectively pedaling a heavy bicycle
  • + 60
 Electric mountain bikes DO NOT Belong on MTB trails, LET"S CALL THEM WHAT the are!!! electric"MOtor"cycles!!!!
  • + 1
 Exactly
  • + 43
 I would say electric moped is what they are, by definition and because it is more humiliating.
  • + 7
 That's what I will say to someone if I ever see them out on the trails: Cool scooter. But why didn't you just get a mountain bike?
Person will reply: But this is a mountain bike.
My reply: No it's a MoPed, aka scooter. And it does not belong on mountain bike trails. If you would like to try mountain biking, I would love to show you around the trails and go for a ride sometime once you get a mountain bike. It will take some effort, and will be harder than anything you've ever tried before, but it will be worth it, I promise! The scooter will still be nice for getting groceries or riding around town, if you don't mind being seen on a scooter I guess :-/
  • + 9
 Finally. Someone at PB willing to challenge the sponsors trying to force E-bikes on us - and I don't mean us as individuals, but us as the whole mountainbike community. Huzzah to that.
  • + 10
 Let's make this moped thing happen. It's not an e-bike. It's a moped.
  • + 6
 When did mtb get so big that we could suddenly dictate who was allowed in our countryside. If you own the land or bikepark or whatever i think you deserve your wishes respected. Otherwise deal with it and learn to live with others the wilderness is not owned solely by us.
  • + 10
 @Randybadger: I respectfully think you are missing the point. The point is that access to the countryside is in fact very limited. Not by mountain bikers, but by actual governing bodies. If they don't like a particular activity occurring in a location for whatever reason they see fit, they will not permit the use of that land for such an activity. And there will be actual consequences.
When a relationship has been established to allow a particular activity to occur in said countryside, there are expectations that are Expected to be upheld.
Enter the electric moped: If these electric motor vehicles are placed into the same category as a mountain bike, then you may be looking at a breach of those expectations. And the whole lot will get banned. No more countryside to enjoy. They will just throw all yer asses out.
So yes, I think it is our place to differentiate ourselves from an electric motor vehicle with pedal assist. And these should not be allowed to enter non-motorized multi use trails in designated non-motorized countryside.
  • - 1
 I think we have different rules governing usage of the countryside in the uk. By the sounds of it your usage in the U.S. is far more heavily policed than in the uk.
I can think of many places i could take an e bike with little resistance and little impact, i live right next to a national park.
I got the impression that the U.S. was vast and you had freedom to explore it as you see fit. Im guessing that isnt quite the case?
  • + 1
 It's different state to state, and even town to town, and even park to park. The US is Huge. The closer you are to a population center, whether major city or suburb, the more sensitive land use becomes. There are no OHV approved parks on public land anywhere in Connecticut for instance.
The more private land around you the more sensitive land use becomes. Public land and state forests land usage varies depending on the governing bodies and the relationships between them and the various communities out there. Lots of limitations. When we have an area where riding is permitted, they are coveted gems not to be taken for granted. A lot of areas allow mountain bikes access due to good advocacy, and even a willingness to look the other way in some cases where MTBers do more good than bad even if it's not officially supposed to be allowed (like trail maintenance which saves the town $). Too much new trail building, or motorized usage forces attention and things can get shut down practically overnight with rangers handing out fines to mtb'ers and motorized users alike. Sucks but it's reality.
  • + 2
 Ouch. We are lucky. The biggest problem we have to legitamized trail on private land is insurance. A friendly land owner used to be happy to let a few guys use a hill or old quarry. But now there insurers say no. Fear of litigation stops every local land owner ive asked is what stops them giving permission, its difficult for an individual to get suitable liability to. Guess thats we are all using bike parks rather than riding local trails. Im very lucky where i am. I can ride out of my front door and probably hit a different trail every week of the year. All within 20 miles of home i would likely see 4x4, moto crossers horses and walkers too
  • + 9
 Man did I get neg propped for saying that same thing a couple months ago. 1. Cycle with motor IS a motorcycle. 2. I live in the fattest country in the world. We don't need any more excuses.
  • - 1
 Again a total confusion by someone who hadn't a clue what an eBike is. By your scale then an mtb is the same as a road bike or a bmx or a town bike? Only guys on here talking sense are randybadger and b45her. No, a pedal assist (pedelec over here) isn't a motor bike it's exactly what it says it is, the clue is in the "assist" bit. That assist is regulated to .5 , 1 or 1.5 times what you put in. i.e. put in zero you get zero out, my bike is also a LOT heavier than a good mtb, around 22kgs and the assist cuts out at 15mph so all that nonsense about tearing up trails is just that, nonsense. And if the battery is dead or switched off, as mine frequently is then it's just a very heavy bike! There also seems to be a problem with understanding that when I get off mine I can do trail clearance, etc etc just like anyone else. Now talk about inconsiderate rude mtb and road bikers then I'm with you all the way...
  • + 0
 History shows that in every case, unregulated motorized vehicles quickly grow faster, more powerful and more capable.
  • + 2
 As a uk gent you should know that all electical bicycles in the uk are regulated. They are limited to Approx 15mph at which point you are on your own effectively pedaling a heavy bicycle
  • + 33
 What a lot of people commenting on this are missing is the land access point that RC is bringing up--this isn't a rant against e bikes from RC, it's a warning that the rubber stamp use of e-bikes could shoot us squarely in the foot by closing or limiting access that your local advocacy groups have fought long and hard to get for the mountain bike community as a whole.
  • - 4
flag stacykohut (Jul 25, 2014 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 no dude, we get it. we know and can foresee ALL the hassles that electric motorcycles will bring if merged with the well established mtb world. we know dude, we know. and........we have know this for years and years and years now......... no one is missing anything dude.
  • + 0
 Yup...there needs to be a fight to have or get these electric moto's associated, or merged, with the moto group...not the mtb group.
  • + 5
 is land access really as draconian as you guys make out over there in america/canada?
over here in wales we pretty much ride where ever we want on whatever we want with very little hassle from any one, the occasional "get orf muy laarrnd" from a stroppy farmer is about as far as it goes.
  • + 2
 Stacy, I think RC and Colin make the point clearer. I didn't think much of the threat to *all* trails because of e-mopeds. (Special props to FlowMasterO for the vocab correct above.)

That said, why doesn't RC offer the solution that these new e-contraptions should only be allowed where gas-powered motorcycles already ride? I can see the merit in the range-extending capacity of the EGO-kit equipped FS bike in the backcountry, but NOT at the local (Seattle-area) lap like Tiger Mountain, Tokul Creek or dog-help-you Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park.
  • + 4
 Yes @b45her, land access is a big problem in many parts of America. Trail systems often serve populations of 100s of thousands or millions of people, and the trail users that predated mountain bikes really threw a fit when we started to appear on the trails. It is a constant battle to retain access that we have fought for. All it takes is one kook to cause an incident on a trail and now we are back to making our access arguments all over again. The default position of land managers is "no bikes", we have to constantly argue otherwise.
  • + 24
 It's extremely simple.

Bicycle + Motor = Motorcycle

No motorcycles on the trails.

End of discussion!
  • + 1
 ^^^^ BINGO! We have our winner. If it's a bike with a motor on it (combustion or electric)....It's a frickin MOTOR BIKE!
You can dress it up like a mountain bike but the reality is, it's not a mountain bike. Why is this even an issue worth debating???
  • + 0
 There are plenty of parks and trails for the MTX guys. The moped guys can and should ride with the other motorcycles.
  • + 0
 Sorry, but thats nonsens ...ebikes are and should be "assited"
  • + 3
 No it isn't OM, open throttle yes that is a motorbike but a pedelec isn't. Come and try mine sometime and you might then understand. What they are is enablers, if you are fit and probably younger then you wouldn't want one, for me it permits me to ride with my kids and grand kids at the sort of pace they can do which otherwise would be impossible. It's not what you ride it's HOW you ride...
  • + 18
 The way I see it is that if you have some sort of disability that stops you from or really hinders your riding then by all means get an e-bike and then don't put any bans on them. But if anyone gets one because they're too fuarking lazy to ride uphill properly is just bad. Really bad. They should make it a prescription thing haha
  • + 36
 How long before every Tom, Dick and Harry decides that he's got an ailment that keeps him from pushing pedals and now he wants to ride his electric motorcycle on non-motorized trails? It's like saying we should let disabled people ride jet skis in public pools because they can't swim.
  • - 1
 @mountain bart, well noted. It seems that most critics who are anti e-bike view e-bikers as lazy riders looking for speed and gnar. In Euroland at least, this is FAR from the case. The only trail users I have seen on e-bikes are old(er) people, who may or may not have a disability. How many of you who are hating on e-bikes have actually seen them on the trails? Is your anger purely based on what you think is happening or what is actually happening? I'm curious what is going on in your part of North America...

Commuters aside, I see a lot of the push for e-bikes (again particularly in Europe) because trails are quite steeper generally speaking that ones in the US. People who I have seen on an e-bike are on one simply because this is the (seemingly) only way they can get up the trails to enjoy them.
  • - 1
 I agree that people with a disability should be able to ride the same trails as us all. However, I don't see a good way to limit anyone from buying them. I'd love to see them be more of an exclusive market. I do think an e-bike would be awesome for my commute to and from work. It's only 9 miles on smooth pavement, so I can't justify it. I can't be that lazy or pay that much for a commuter bike that I beat around anyway.
  • + 5
 They really need to be dubbed OHV Electric Motorcycles, requiring a registration and license for operating, and adhere to the same laws and restrictions as every other such motorized OHV. Even for people with disabilities in my opinion.
This would allow them to exist and be used by people that perhaps really need such a device for transportation and recreation, but would not allow them to coexist on non motorized multi use trails. They should follow the same rules and regulations as a motorcycle... Because they are motorcycles. As well, there are on road restrictions for scooters due to speed limitations. Should these be the same?
Electric Motorcycle with pedal assist. It's a damn scooter and should be treated as such.
The bike companies pushing this shit should hang there heads in f*cking shame.
  • + 3
 @ PHeller.......

bingo.you win.
  • - 8
flag cougar797 (Jul 25, 2014 at 10:35) (Below Threshold)
 Disabled people dont mtb, I dont see why thats even an argument. Thats like saying a wheelchair bound individual ahould be able to place a motor on a wheel chair and participate in a foot race.
  • + 6
 @cougar, your analogy is about as helpful as your limited view of "disabled". E-bikes help people with minor disabilities access trails that they would otherwise not be able to. It's one argument for why they should be considered. Who have you seen using an e-bike?
  • + 6
 well cougar, the first part of the above post is just a LITTLE off the mark.

i know a few, and they rip..............one arm, no hands/no feet(artificial limbs), blind,crippled,stroke victims, etc etc......

so, that aside.


the second part of your comment does hold some merit........
letting marcel hug race against kenenisa bekele would have been a more accurate comparison though.
  • + 2
 @PHeller - I never leave comments but I am literally in tears right now laughing at your comment...we'll put.
  • + 5
 I guess I'm a bit of a dinosaur in the respect that a person should earn their turns. In Canada, as in other areas of the world, successfully navigating in the outdoors is more than pointing a bike up or down a trail & off you go. There are terrain hazards & recognizing them, weather hazards & how to be prepared to deal with them & finally but not least, animals that while not hiding behind every tree to jump out & eat you are opportunistic & will easily recognize an easy meal. Ebikes open the wilderness to a whole group of users who are not prepared or ready to access areas they have no business being in.
  • - 2
 Electric Motorcycles with pedals can stick to the fire roads and OHV areas. @ ka-brap WTF? you don't think the US has steep trails? You must be a moron. Ever heard of Hike-a-bike? Try that on an electric moped.
  • + 4
 @offroad, I'm from the US and have ridden all my life in many areas. And while the US and Canada have for sure amazing trails, the Alps win for steepest terrain, ask anyone who as raced a World Cup. Have you ridden much in Europe?
  • + 2
 Offroad34.

Off course the US has steep trails. The Point is The Alps are a younger geological formation, less eroded then the most places in the Continental US. Therefor It can be said that the Alpine-Terrain is generally steeper.

Pushing or hiking a bike is nice if the climb is a couple of hundred feet, If you are looking at a 10mile plus with constantly very steep forest road you will have to look at it differently. You can change your gearing or maybe use the help of an electric motor if you feel like. If hiking or pushing your bike is your only answer you will be hiking multiple hours up for 15minutes of downhill... You might become a seasoned Mountaineer that way but definitely not a better mountainbiker Smile

The other thing is shuttling is not really an option either in most places at least not if you don't want to have serious, very costly problems with the police as everything is privately owned land in Central Europe. On an e-Bike you don't have a registration and you can kind of sneak away...

FYI just opposite to ka-brap I am from Austria but live in the US. Just like him I know both. You should try riding in the Alps some day, its definitely worth the trip and a very very very different experience.
  • - 4
flag PHeller (Jul 25, 2014 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 I tried riding up the wall in my dining room a bunch of times but I'll be damned if I can do it. Guess I need an electric motorcycle to sneak away from the wife while shredding that wall.
  • + 4
 @PHeller, I never said "if it's too steep, get an e-bike". I said that if a person is too old or has a minor disability that keeps them from pedaling a normal bike up a long, steep hill (like the ones we have here in the Alps) then I think that option should be available for that person.
  • + 1
 PHeller, very cool, you have a wall ride in your dining room? I used to have a mini ramp on my patio...
  • + 3
 f*cking prick. I'm disabled (visually impaired) and I'll crush you on a bike a*shole.
  • + 5
 Hey cougar would welcome you to come ride some Darkside or Cypress laps with me some day. Been riding the Shore for 25 years with a disability
  • + 0
 For you guys who are disabled, do you need/want an electric motor? If you guys have been riding without for so long, can't others do the same?
  • + 1
 Haven't been to the Alps but am planning a euro trip next year so I guess I'll understand a little more then. I cant pedal up everything here so I will certainly be pushing espeacially if I don't train more this year. I will be flying into Germany and start the road trip from there. Any suggestions?
  • + 2
 Off... depends on what you want to do. If you Just want to ride Parks go to the south east of France. Port de Soleis (Morzine-Les Gets-Chatel) or Les 2 Alpes and Alpes de Huez and teh dozends of little parks in between. They are all within a driving distance of 4 hours if you i you fly into Geneva.

It you want to pedal... norther Italy, the Dolomites and the Lago di Garda area are pretty sweet but no (less) lift access in general.

You could also go Austria and see yourself how "boring" the WC track in Leogang really is (sarcasm!!!) and go to Schladming and Saalbach-Hinterglem the following days. Good thing is all thees places are so close to each other on a SoCal scale it all could be considered local. Of course there is great steep places everywhere in between but you would have to have a local guide to find good riding. Mots of it is illegal in some kind of way as a lot of land is privately owned.
  • + 1
 I guess I was just thinking unable to pedal when I said "disabled". Kathwill I would willingly hit you up for a guided shred if I ever have the pleaseure to venture into your neck of the woods man! Im considering that a real invite just in case.
  • + 1
 I still think "E-Bikes" are "motor" bikes not mtb's though.
  • + 1
 cougar797. so what? who cares? let people do what they want to do!
  • + 1
 Awesome, Thanks. Def want to hit a couple parks, but would also like to do a couple 20-30 mile all mountain rides. No e-bikes!
  • + 18
 Every time RC posts one of those controversial blogs:
geeksyndicate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/kevinhart.jpg
  • + 15
 NIMBYism at its finest. Can't we all just get along? Why must each type of trail user think their preferred recreation is superior? Hikers that think bikes don't belong. MTBers that get pissy with hikers. Equestrians who want it to themselves. Where does it stop?

I MTB 4-5x a week and it's my first love but I've got news for all you Johnny come latelys. Most trails were developed by hikers, equestirans, and/or motos. It comes down to respect for other use groups. To categorically throw a blanket over one particular group is just unfair. There's plenty of rogue uncourteous MTBers out there giving us a bad name as well. How many videos here on PB glorify all the damn MTB skidding that erodes trails?

To paint motos with a broad brush is similarly just wrong. Yes I can rip a nice trench with my KTM but a responsible OHV user does not. To say OHVers don't maintain trails is equally nonfactual. Have a look at some of the trails in the Sierra Nevada of CA. I can name 3 off hand that were sweet MTB trails until they were outlawed to OHVs in the late 90s and now they're completely impassable. OHVs were the ones maintaining them...they have to as HAB is simply not an option over large deadfall.

Multi use works in places like Sun Valley ID and Crestted Butte where you'll see all of the above living in perfect harmony. Maybe it's cultural, maybe it's less dense usage.

I never see myself on an E bike as I want the silence and effort when I MTB. I moto as often as possible for the thrill. And I hike when I want something different All that said if you want to E bike more power to you. Just because your form of recreation doesn't match mine so what? I'll mind my business, you mind yours, we'll say hi on the trail and be on our merry way.
  • + 5
 A few more thoughts, I'm not a skier but pretty sure when snowboarding came around skiers in general were anti snowboard for a lot of similar concerns as listed above. In the end snowboards elevated the resorts and technology as a whole. I'm a self ascribed curmudgeon but I can appreciate technological advancements and the benefits they bring to anything 2 wheels. If you want to roll with your full rigid 35 lb Mantis in fear of technology more power to you but to promote such self divisiveness we're not doing ourselves any good as a group. Maybe stop spooning Jimmy Mac and pining for the 80s and start thinking about how we move forward.
  • + 3
 Yep, being outlawed from a lot of places and trails mountain-bikers should not be the same douches and denies anyone else their fun but show they are better than that and can actually share so maybe one day hikers will share their trails with us too..

Who the hell cares if someone chooses and electric motor to get up the hill a little easier?
  • + 3
 Ahh @tcmtnbiker, and @ michibretz, voices of reason! You said it exactly. It's not the bike, it's the rider that counts. The citizens of the land of the free screaming about eBike users and being as derogatory as they can just shows them up for what they are. Not people I'd want to ride with. Perhaps if they thought about them as levellers allowing different people of different abilities to ride together? Funnily I don't hear them screaming that lifts are against the sport so I take it they all cycle up the Alps? Hah didn't think so! We are getting a lift for mtbs locally soon but I'm sure all the naysayers here will eschew that for the pleasure of riding up the Seven Stanes.....roflmao
  • + 0
 It's all cool until someone is a douchebag and decides to invite all his douchebag friends to tear up the local trail that local advocacy groups have put hundreds of hours of sweat equity and partnership building with local land owners and property managers. E-bikes, just like OHVs, promote laziness. I'm not saying there aren't very actively involved motorized vehicle organizations out there, because I have worked alongside some of them, but you know how they became organized? By agreeing to allow non-members to be fined if they were caught on their trail networks. The OHV community is far more damaging and therefore far more EXPENSIVE in both management, labor, and materials necessary to have sustainable use. Many mountain bikers are lucky to have hundreds of miles of free trails within their region. Do you really want to pay a fee to use all those trails because the E-Bike guys refuse to help maintain the erosion they've caused ripping up climbs that were never designed for that type of vehicle?
  • + 12
 I'm a volunteer MTB instructor for our local trail advocacy club/group. I work with a lot of people who are new to mountain biking and simply don't have the physical intelligence and/or strength to manage human-powered riding. Adding an electronic motor to include a group of people (people who don't want to or cannot pedal uphill) sounds like a pretty terrifying concept.
  • + 1
 This thought occurred to me as well.
  • + 13
 The first part about the different generations of trail users from 1st generation builders down to the 3rd generation users that show no f#cking respect at all could not have been said better. Props to you RC
  • + 3
 Yea... So trail work advocacy groups don't exist? cause I'm pretty sure that you're not going to consider those gen 1 or 2 users of a trail.

I do trail work every month. I lead trail work THIS month. I would be a gen 3 user of any of these trails, they're all publicly recognized trails, some have existed for decades.

I kinda resent being labeled as having no respect for trails, when I spend a significant amount of my time volunteering to keep a positive relationship with land managers, & to keep trails safe & sustainable.
  • + 5
 i think hes refering to secret trails that aren't open to the general public. In this case gen 3 is a bad thing. On open to public use trails, thats an entire different scenario.
  • + 3
 So I only don't have respect for secret trails? Or is painting people with the "you got here later than me, therefore are less worthy" brush perhaps elitist bullshit?
  • + 3
 Good on ya mate for being so involved with your local trail scene, I think RC was suggesting that a majority of gen 3 users are people that are not as involved as yourself and simply find out through word of mouth about a trail somewhere that a few people have made from scratch then they just turn up with loads of people, ride the trail to death, litter in the area then simply leave without putting any effort into maintaining the trail. They probably go and tell a few more people about the location and before you know it the area is destroyed or closed off by the landowner because of all the attention at the once secret spot.
It is incredibly frustrating to have to abandon an area that you spend a lot of time and effort building because people find it and destroy it by littering or building something stupid in the middle of the trail. Not much I can do about it if its in a local forest though, they have the same right to be there as I do. Its a problem that a lot of people have to live with if they want something local in their area unfortunately Frown
  • + 4
 The bit I don't understand is, if a trail is unofficial or secret and effectively on private or out of bounds land, what makes anyone think they have more right to it than anyone else. Technically no one should be there.
  • + 3
 I think that if someone stumbles upon a trail and its pretty obvious that someone else has put a lot of work into it, then they should respect it by fixing anything they damage and keep the place tidy. If they like riding these trails then its only fair that they contribute something........ They didnt just appear overnight, sometimes months or even years of work go into making something. Its not much to ask.
  • + 1
 I get that bit and appreciate it. What i dont get is why we as bikers think we have any more right to the great outdoors than say a rambler, e biker, skiier and so on and so on.
  • + 2
 Hell, I'd settle for equal access: Still lots of places where you can use any non-motorized vehicle EXCEPT a bicycle.

That said, since I saw e bikes appear, I've made two predictions:

1: as RC points out, there will be access issues, and we will all get painted with the ebike brush.
2: everybody is going to hate on them right until somebody does something on one you can't do on a normal bike, at which point, a lot of people are going to want them.
  • + 4
 Maybe we have better access to the outdoors in europe. I always assumed that a lot of the U.S. was untamed wilderness. By the sounds of it you are fairly restricted
  • + 4
 I could think of a whole boatload of my area where an e bike would enhance recreational mtb riding without causing any hassle. Im right on the edge of a national park too.
In the beginning of mtb in the uk ramblers point blank didnt want to share the trails with these "new contraptions". We got a lot of that back then. Its taken over twenty years for walkers to accept us. I just sounds odd to me to here us bikers, a group until not so long ago marginalised hating on another sport without fully understanding its impact
  • + 1
 While there's a lot of wilderness, it's all administered by different agencies, just like Europe. These can include: BLM (Buerau of Land Mgmt.) USFS (US Forest Service), NPS(National Park Service) State land trusts, County land trusts, City lands, etc. They all have different levels of access(Bikes are completely forbidden in National Parks, for example) but even then, they can declare certain areas off limits(as example, on my local mountain, one side of the highway leading up it is no bikes: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recarea/?recid=25692 ) Interfacing with all these groups, who have lots of people trying to get their time, is a huge challenge. Something that's not so fun? How long they remember finding secret trails that MTBers make(We're still dealing with the fallout from a trail that was removed 3+ years ago,) & how much they hold it against us.
  • + 2
 I am beginning to see where there is so much hate towards ebikes in the states.
  • + 2
 It could very easily turn into a fight for our right to ride singletrack in any form. It's also a well known, understated fact: equestrians don't like bikes. Equestrians as a group, are better funded for lobbying than we are.

You know what they'll hate more, though? ebikes.
  • + 9
 Well said Richard. Another similar thing is also happening amongst bicycle commuters vs E-bike riders in a lot of Canadian cities. No "set-in-stone" rules from any government level on what exactly a E-bike or electric scooter is. Take the pedals off an E-bike, and bang, you now have a "motorized vehicle". I see the need for electric vehicles, and even the O2 powered motorcycle (which is pretty cool! o2pursuitdeanbenstead.wordpress.com). But if you don't pedal it under ONLY your own power, find and build your own trails. We as mountain bikers have worked too hard, for too long for what we have created. Just my two cents.
  • + 4
 totaly and utterly WRONG, take the pedals off a bosch e-bike and it won't move at all.
  • + 2
 I think you might be wasting your breath, I have said exactly the same for months of this debate and just get hate and neg props
  • + 9
 Can't see a problem with the e-bike myself
You still have to peddle them, you can't just pull a throttle and away you go! using a 5ltr pick up truck or a ski lift to get to the top is better than someone pedaling an assisted Bike to the top?? When my knees finally give in to the arthritis I'm suffering with will I be allowed to carry on with the sport I love or ridiculed??
  • + 2
 Enjoy what you can, while you can. When age catches up to me, there may come a time when I can't really enjoy this sport anymore. I will find an alternative. That's life. Neither my own personal shred, nor yours, are reason enough to sully the sanctity of the sport.
  • + 2
 Sanctity my arse. Mtb has been around for about 3 decades and change radically in that time. For every development there have been ten really bad ideas. Just deal with it or find another hobby to bitch about petty things
  • + 1
 Sanctity... OMG.... And well said andythom28... Exactly where I am and although I'm a pretty easy going chap and would help any fellow biker regardless of what he was riding I'd request that all unthinking eBike haters carry an 'I hate eBikes' badge so I can sneer with superiority as I lend them my multi tool .....
  • + 8
 Dear Bike Industry: please mass produce inexpensive commuter e-bikes and push the country into an infrastructure shift.
Make e-bikes for transportation, not recreation.

Moto-MTB's are Motos. end of story.

In California, we're finally getting to a place where land managers are really sitting down with all user groups including mtb riders and there is a possibility for proper legal trail networks. Motos pretending to be mt.'s could really throw a wrench in that.
  • + 3
 This is the best post by far in regards to the topic...not that there have been a lot of bad posts. This one in particular, IMHO, hits the nail on the head and flush into the wood with one swing of the hammer.
  • + 7
 e-bikes should stay on public roads, taking you from your home to your work, to your grocery store, to you weed store where ever. but not up our dirt trails! if you can't pedal up a hill ride it MORE! it's that simple. We don't need a bunch of n00bs who can't ride on the trials running into hikers because they are going to fast with their "assisted" bikes.
  • + 0
 I can't wait until I meet Kate Upton in jogging shorts at the end of the trail with a broken-down e-mtb with a dead battery, and I laugh in her face and pedal away without letting her even look at my multi-tool.
  • + 7
 Victor Hugo once said, "One cannot resist an idea whose time has come."

We are living in an age of exponential technological expansion, and we have to learn to embrace innovation and find it's proper place in our MTB culture.

All of you guys who are so quick to beat down the idea of Ebikes should first look at the potential benefits and weigh them accordingly.
  • + 9
 This is your best work yet, RC. And shame on "mountain bike" companies making e-bikes. Poisoning the sport for personal gain.
  • + 10
 I'd go further and say that here, possibly, is the best, most honest piece that has ever been written whilst I have been reading on PB.

RC, you have been the one contributor to PB who tends to write from a position of mediator; someone who has both seen and distilled the thoughts of those on the production side of the equation and equally, the consumer audience. There is often in your work an underlying feeling that you are trying, successfully I think personally, to engage the consumer in thinking slightly more about their choices by giving us insights into some areas of bike riding that we had either not known or thought about.

And that is where this one line jumps out of the page and runs screaming out towards us where we may not be the intended target, and it is this one:

"There is a perception by powerful interests within the industry....

So thank you RC, thank you. I get a funny feeling here that you are not writing this for us this time; I get the feeling you are genuinely worried enough to nibble the hand that feeds, the hand that in so many cases has it's existence denied. I too genuinely hope people on all sides of the equation understand the MTB world is, to use your analogy, in the third generation stage which requires some to stand up and highlight the future that awaits us unless we all wise up. Excellent piece.
  • + 6
 Plain and simple, these are electric dirt bikes. It is obserd that people would even fathom the idea that these are, in any way at all mountainbikes! It blows my mind. I can tell you now that I will be reporting ANY motorized vehicle on the trail to the local rangers!
  • + 6
 So refreshing to read an article against e-bikes that didn't have the sole argument that they are against the "spirit of mountain biking". I love it when random idiots tell me the only way I'm "supposed" to enjoy riding and that there's only one way to appreciate nature. Thank you pinkbike police for saving me!! Too bad the last line threw it all away
  • + 5
 The largest land owner in this region is the federal government and more specifically the National Capital Commission (a crown owned corporation) which overseas the federal greenbelt forests and park lands, and the Gatineau Park. Part of their properties are an extensive network of pathways which are paved which anything with slick tires or more can use) or crushed gravel/stone (which you really need a CX/Hybrid/Touring bike at the minimum). Already last year they've had to announce a ban of e-bikes on the paved pathways because people are taking E-scooters on them. In ontario, an electric scooter looks for all intents and purposes like a real gas engine scooter, except they're electric and have speed governors and are not required to be licensed/insured/plated or have a motorcycle license to operate. They still however weigh 100+ pounds and if the rider of it crashes into you, its going to hurt a lot more than the kid on the old ten speed. I haven't seen any on the trails yet myself but there is at least one local with a bionix electric converted Fat bike, which he uses on winter trails and quite possibly summer off-road trails also. Again, heavy bike but it still has pedals and a chain drivetrain so its apparently not subject to the e-bike ban on the local pathways. As of yet anyway.
  • + 5
 Ripping trails on a moto=fun. Ripping trails on a mountain bike = fun. I don't care what any of you say but ripping trails on an electric mountain bike has to be a F'n blast! I don't see what the big deal is- There are trails for all kind of users out there and this will just mean the electric bike guys will have to build some more trails and the other trail builders and land owners will have to post signs stating no motorized vehicles. It's that simple. Innovation and change aren't going to stop. deal with it.
  • + 3
 Nobody is arguing its not fun. Moto is a blast, and the existing trail network for motos is already very large The issue is whether you allow e-bikes on non-motorized trails, and as RC makes a case for, the answer should be a firm "NO". I don't think anyone is against e-bikes in an absolute sense, they're great for commuting, and a hell of a lot of fun in the back country on motorized trails. Just keep them off non-motorized trails.
  • + 1
 Yes many people are against e-bikes- read the comments. My suggestion was specific trails for them. I don't think anyone wants to be bombing down a hill at top speed meeting an silent e-bike bombing up the hill at top speed! bombing up a hill- that has a nice ring to it...
  • + 5
 My right leg is half paralysed from a spinal injury ( it only has about 50% of the power it should have) and I still ride a 180 mm travel free ride bike to the top of every trial where I live. It takes me a while and I get passed a lot (hardly ever get passed going down though) and I wouldn't ride one.
  • + 4
 You guys need to step back and look at the big picture. As outdoorsman, we need to band together. Sure, horses poop and hikers are slow and cyclists sneak up on you and dirt bikers make woops, but it's all stuff that's just a minor nuisance. The forces of big business (mining, logging, development etc.) are very powerful and far more destructive than all outdoorsman combined. Shame on you Richard Cunningham, as a cycling public figure, writing to espouse the segregation of trail users. Yes, mountain biking had to fight for its place on the trail, but only because of the separatist mentality you now encourage. If you don't want to ride an e-bike, horse, unicycle or moto, then don't. But don't call it stupid or lame. Other outdoorsmen enjoy their activity as much as you enjoy yours. They started as groms and put their time in just like you. They deserve your support and we all need to get along. Otherwise big business and government will be free to spoil our land while we squabble with each other and drown out our unified voice.
  • + 2
 Well said indeed, and it sounds as if in the US you need even more banding together than we do here. I'm frankly astonished that you guys are so constrained and I think you all ought to be gathering combined strength to open up your National Parks, I think the founder of those parks, a Scot, would be horrified.. That is not what he intended at all
  • + 4
 Nice work RC. I have the rare position of working for the USFS for 24 years. I also personally owned my own small bike shop back in the day. I see a lot of the same attitudes that skiers had towards snowboarders in regards to use of the trail systems. There always is and always will be a culture clash. Hikers will hate on bikes of any kind no matter how the bike looks, feels or sounds. Horseback riders have their own set of bias. I personally don't care if you're on a unicycle, a fatbike, a mini pony, a pogo stik or an e-bike. I don't care for horse sh$t in my tires, or hikers who won't let me pass, but I don't want to ban their freedom. If you drop all the bias everybody just wants to enjoy their time on the trail. I would like to try one myself first. As for the future of advocacy and land management, it always has been and always will be a culture war.
  • + 4
 A comment on e-bikes:

A full hurrah for commuting/urban e bikes as another way of getting people to commute distances they may not otherwise be able to. (I would rather the laziest sod riding a e-assist bicycle than driving a car.). But as far as mountain bikes are concerned they have no place - doing xc and not that fit? You're riding along tow-paths and the pleasure comes from the scenery/being off the road. Doing 'proper' xc - you're fitness will improve with your skills and you'll be loving it so why press a button to go faster and risk a crash? Want the thrill minus the climbs - you're an uplift sorta person, enjoy! (n.b. not that spending a day uplifting is easy, far from it!)
But riding an 'enduro' e-bike? G.T.F.O. This sport SPORT is not for you, *if it were you would enjoy starting any of the above* (the crucial bit) =]

Land access rights - bloody hell, in the Peak district (UK) and northern wales it's still causing a hell of a lot of problems, and there are still such groups fighting for access and coming up against nonsensical, untrue arguments from 'other' parties. Part of which is caused by abuse from the 'ahem' 3rd generation.

Lastly - the ebike argument runs parallel to the smooth trail argument imho. E - assisted bikes are great for helping some people cycling, and smooth trails are great for getting some people into mountain biking. However they should not be the driving force: they have no place on mtb trails and you cannot eschew the core of mountain biking (all terrain riding - rocks, roots, bogs, gravel etc.) in favour of creating more money by making it 'easy' and not catering to the already converted mtb masses (who lets face it, are far more likely to spend their money going to new trails etc.)
  • + 4
 Thought we had heard the last of this. E bikes aren't the next big thing They are never going to replace a conventional argument. They do look fun though. Much as I like these opinion pieces they tend to turn into unqualified hate pieces. If you all rode as much as you type bikers might be a happier bunch
  • + 3
 e bikes in the UK must can only help you to pedal, they are not allowed to power you independantly. I think ebikes are great if you want to commute - why shouldn't you get a little bit of help on the way to and from work/school/uni etc I really don't see the point of them on a mountain bike though, imagine falling off one and it hitting you.
  • + 1
 Same in US, it is a pedal assist, not an electric motorcycle. I am getting one when I am 80.
  • + 3
 These hypothetical trails you've started your whole wordbelch with: are they illegal? Why do you need to keep them secret? Sounds like they may be illegal. Oopsie. That's a non-starter, for me: righteousness from thieves never really wins me over. If I'm to imagine these secret trails are legal, my suggestion as an adult would be to look at improving your community outreach. Try and establish that "sense of ownership" of the trails that leads to peer pressure--maintenance and preservation may spring from there. If you're having trouble, ask for help. People do want to be included, and people do want to help.

Sweet clickbait ramble, though. I dig it. You ever think of automating--getting some coder to write a program that optimizes Sky Is Falling Net Rage Index? Or would that be unpure?

I rode some e-Bikes this weekend, had a ton of fun. Remember fun?
  • + 5
 Bingo Owl. Who you gonna call when someone is illegally riding their sweet AUDI EBike 50 mph up your secret/illegal downhill trails?

Who? That's right. Nobody.

I can't believe more people can't see the enormous potential of Ebikes.. Emagine trails that are just as ridiculously sick going up, as they are going down. All green & solar powered by a panel on your roof of your house(or car), or even better, by your employers power bill.

I don't know.. Maybe some people are just scared stiff they will start looking like idiots shuttling their DH bikes with their 10 mpg gas guzzling Escalade Monster Trucks, while the folks with Ebikes are quietly riding their bikes from the house to the trail head, from out of state!

Future looks bright and you can't stop it! We're gonna need to legally build a lot more trail.

www.audi.co.uk/audi-innovation/concept-cars/audi-e-bike-concept.html

Love the fold down seat, genius.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_h-WxZgMfM
  • + 3
 RC spoke about sharing the same trails with equestrians that mountain bikers labored to build for the purpose of mountain biking. As far as I'm concerned horses cause just as much damage to soft trails as motorized vehicles do the only difference being that motorized vehicles don't leave huge turds all over our trails. Are horses acceptable because they are non-motorized?
  • + 4
 you nailed it in the 5th paragraph, RC.. "a bold sense of entitlement". nothing like zero sense of history or respect for those who made it possible for you to lose sight of the big picture.
  • + 7
 Well said. I think a lot of naïveté is going to be shattered soon.
  • + 3
 I welcome moto riders on the trail. Most of the trails were originally built and dug by the rear tire of a moto, if not, by some hiker. This is obviously before the popularity if riding ballooned and much before the time of the greater percentage of the post-pubirty 2 cents posters that are giving their Riotous opinion on what mountain biking should be. Everyone has access to the trails and no one has the right to come up with this "They Don't Belong" attitude. Sounds like a case of Trail Racism!! LOL! I was in Downieville last weekend and Moto x Riders were in force up and down 3rd Divide. No problem! I stopped, smoked a bowl with them and everyone had a good time. E-bikes do have a place, just as any electric vehicle does on any particular road. RC, great article and Thanks for keeping up the great literary word all these years! You can't stop progress and I would be more worried about the trail nazis putting fishing lines with hooks on the trail than anything else. No thats crazy and that makes me wanna go apeSh*t on someone for sure!
  • + 3
 @zgroove - where I live and ride in Europe unfortunately we're already seeing "trail nazis" planting 5'' nails in boards hidden in the trails, or small tree trunks being laid across trails just to hinder bike riders. It's mostly hunters, local village folks (who maybe have cattle in the vicinity) and to some extent a minority of self-righteous radical tree-huggers. Giving more people access to limited resources will only increase the headaches IMO. The "They Don't Belong Here" attitude is a natural tendency that humans have (i.e. "birds of a feather all flock together") especially when money is involved (I spend more hence I have more rights)...
  • + 3
 Electric bikes and most gas powered trials bike riders are a lot different than motocross and enduro moto riders. Bicycle industry based bikes don't have the wheel spinning power that destroys trails. Trials riders also do not typically tear up the trails like MX and enduro moto riders do.

While I'm not going to buy and electric assist mountain bike any time soon I do think this is going to be the next major development in the bike industry over 5 to 10 years. They will become much lighter and more efficient and be either intended as a light duty pedal assist where the assist is only used in short bursts perhaps even as an alternative to the small step multi-gear drive trains we have now and a heavier duty always or almost always on assist.

This is the same question that has been getting asked about regular mountain bikes for decades. There is no more hope of keeping capable electric mountain bikes off bike paths and out of the mountains than there has been keeping all of us out for the past 30 years so get used to seeing more electric bikes on the trails.

If you condemn folks who want a power assist bike just because you don’t you’re no better than all the hikers naturalists and other narrow minded people who tried to prevent mountain biking from becoming the sport we all love today.
  • + 3
 It is not possible to prevent companies from inventing things people want to buy. Only solution I can see is to have this led by our trail builders who from my perspective are the officers of the trails. I listen to them and enforce their wishes when I can. Post signs on your trails that say no motorized vehicles. The Internet forums can hammer eBikes as uncool and that may make a difference. Yes, this was tried with 29ers, but that was a lame and pointless fight.

Honestly, I do think we will start seeing eBikes on the trails, way back deep in my favorite trails that take me 90min of hard climbing to get to. Maybe I don't like this because I feel I worked hard to get there and the fact that someone can do this more easily and faster than I can somehow makes my accomplishment less special? I don't know. Maybe just something I'll get used to when it starts happening. If so, I will be nice about it, and show respect to get respect.
  • + 2
 Not sure why you got neg propped, seemed a sensible comment to me.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: I hear your wise words, man.
The issue, deeper down, is question of bike manufacturers "cashing in" in increasingly larger amounts.
Hardcore riders who can actually *ride* up the damn mountain will always be a sub-sub-section of a larger group of untrained hacks, weekend warriors and thrill seekers. In this group however the manufacturers will find plenty of folks with more cash than brains and/or skills, in business parlance "a market". Most if not all the brands I see advertised on PB and elsewhere cater to one or more of these markets, and the biggest brands need to have presence across multiple markets if they are to sustain their activities and turn a profit.
And as we all know, the manufacturer produces and sells the goods and it's up to someone else - mainly those pesky legislators - to come up with laws, directives, limitations etc, which in turn will be addressed by one or another well funded lobby.
There's really very little we can do to oppose to this degeneration: it *will* happen, under our own eyes. As mountainbikers we will to police and attempt to self-regulate but in the end entropy will prevail.
I see a future where alpine transalp-style rides won't be allowed at all, and we will all - DHers, FRers, Xcers,E-shredders, etc - be bunched in one big category which will only be allowed to ride in restricted and designated areas, just like chimps roaming freely in their zoo enclosures....sad.
  • + 3
 Normal person on an assisted bike will cause less damage to the trail and disturb less other users than an asshole skid kiddie. E-bikes are NOT motorcycles. They are silent and they do not roost and they are no faster than a regular bike downhill. And it is like 20 extra pounds, not a 200lb on a moto. They just ride a bit faster uphill.
  • + 3
 What if I am a serious mountain biker who enjoys the occasional e-bike ride (which I do, cause its a shitload of fun, just like everything else related to bike riding, the trails I ride are still there by the way, I did not destroy anything) am i not allowed to ride my local trails?

And something else: how many of you ignorant negative internet junkies have ever seen an e-bike on a mtb trail and had a negative experience related to this encounter?

Please reserve judgement until you are actually informed about the subject!! E-bikers do not ride trails they ride fire roads, in the alps. Why should the industry not provide these people with bikes they enjoy? Are we the only ones entitled to fun on a mountain bike? Are they not allowed to have fun because they are weird? guess what we also look f*cking weird in our pink and neon yellow TLD pyjama's.

And RC I respect you a lot, love reading your articles but im afraid you have officially become old once you started thinking everything used to be better in the old days. The world is changing get over it.
  • + 1
 Hey oh yes roflmao.... And I'm old but not obviously as old as RC is.....
  • + 5
 Woah woah, Didn't we see a picture of you on an E-bike about a month ago and you said it was a blast?
  • + 7
 I've ridden ATVs and motos, driven Jeeps through mud and up rock piles. Does that mean I want them on my trails? Nope.
  • + 31
 j-t-g ^^^ Yep! I have ridden e-bikes on both roads and trails, and done some DH stuff too. I have also ridden 10HP e-powered baby MX racers on moto trails and shreded BMX tracks on the same. My e-Bike posts on PB were fifty percent to inform readers that e-bikes were real and fifty percent troll (sorry, but it was too fun to pass up). E-bikes are a blast to ride and I can see how, in a rental fleet, they would fit into the buisiness model of a bike park. On back country trails and in parklands, and in the spirit of what a mountain bike is, I stand firmly against their use. I will not be including them in PB tests nor first looks in the future.
  • + 1
 THANK YOU!!!!!
  • + 1
 no, no electric motorcycles in bike parks either please. who cares if it 'fits into the business model of a bike park' or not.................... one type of trail is not more 'sacred' than others..........they are all mountain BIKE trails..................no power assist with bikes. gravity or human powered only please.
  • + 4
 When you own a bike park or a piece of land or a bike trail then you can choose who and what rides on it. Until then deal with it.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham - "I will not be including them in PB tests nor first looks in the future."

Enough props and thanks cannot be given for your last comment. Thank you for taking a stand!
  • + 5
 RC please tell us what the "spirit" of mountain biking is and why e-bike riding is not accruing to this so called spirit. It sounds like you're being an elitist
  • + 0
 Ok, lets put it out like this: If you take a dirt moto, and you make it lighter, is it still a moto? If you take a moto and put an electric motor on it, is still a motorcycle? Therefore, if you take a moto, make it a lighter and add a electric motor, is it not still a motorcycle? Lasty, if you a take a motorcycle, and attach pedals to the output shaft, but you never use the pedals, is it now a bicycle?
  • + 4
 An e ebike is still a bike, not just by law. You would know if you would have ridden one
  • + 2
 @RC so rather than educate your readers and perhaps get across the point and difference between regulated pedal assist (pedelecs) and open throttle ebikes, you choose to stir up and encourage division. Me, I think a better calling would be to promote understanding and cooperation. we all want the wild places preserved, we all want trails and tracks to be accessible and usually the more people on your side the better regardless of what they ride.
Reminds me of that old sketch from the Frost report on class.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYY1QGK0jQ
Substitute mtb, eBike, uplift users, moto riders as required....
  • + 2
 Great perspective. When/if they push our sport out of the forests I'll be the next generation 1. Building lines, dodging badges. They can have us as friends or as a plague; and its really their choice. Shovel built betchez.
  • + 2
 People that race on Strava would have raced without Strava. It is not Strava's fault.

People that disrespect your trails will do so on any bike, not just e-bikes.

Land owners blame mountain bikes for damage done by motorcycles, because they are stupid. E-bikes will make no difference to this stupidity.

If you want to pedal up hill purely on your own power, fine go ahead and do so, but don't jump on your elitist pedestal and deny someone else that cannot get up that hill without a bit of help (old, injured, the spouse) the pleasure of being outdoors and getting some views.

Hiding all your trails and keeping them secret shows the land owners that only a select few are using them. If 100's or 1000's of riders use a trail then they are more likely to keep it open. They are not the devil, they just cater for the majority and you and your buddies on your secret trail are not the majority. Look at NZ, they understand this. Even in anti-bike Australia we have had walkers banned from a trail after the walkers tried to ban mountain bikes simply because there were more mountain bikers using it than walkers. Power in numbers keeps trails open. Not rants on a new type of bike.
  • + 2
 if the electric MTB in question is essentailly an off the shelf bike with a motor added like a haibike e-bike i don't see a problem on them on trails but if it's designed from the ground up to be like an electric motorbike then it should be subject to the same rules as a petrol powered bike.
  • + 2
 Yes exactly, if half the commentators on here just spent the time understanding the difference between pedal assist and open throttle bikes instead of lumping them all in as "mopeds" or "motos" then they might grasp the reality.

It's quite obvious the majority of comments are written by people who have no understanding that a pedal assist eBike doesn't let you sit in the saddle and twist a throttle, you actually have to pedal, and with a generally heavier bike that effort is not minimal. Be nice if a few of the more strident actually went out and tried one and then they might be qualified to comment. I've ridden both in my day so most of what is written here about ebikes is ignorant bull.
  • + 2
 I think a bigger issue than whether or not an e-bike is allowed on mtb trails is that a large number people have no trail etiquette at all. As a kid I was riding dirt bikes from the age of five with my dad on a variety of trails, many of them started as horse trails. He taught us basic trail etiquette based off of common sense. Simple things like," If you came upon a hiker or horseback rider you slowed or came to a stop to allow safe passing. If it was a horse, even shut your bike off so you don't spook it." Another thing he taught us was to always ride in a manner that we could come to a stop or get off the trail we came around a corner or over the crest of a hill and there was a person or new obstical that wasn't there last time you rode the trail. He also taught us that we did not have the right to the trail even if we built the trail, which we built many, and that if we hit anyone there would be consequences. Hit someone with any size of bike, scare a horse so it throws the rider, and that person could potentially not walk or work again due to my actions."
It is due to a lack of trail etiquette that we see so much conflict between user groups.
Regulating trails to say one user group or another can or can't use it won't stop the idiots from using it as they do not care about the consequences of their actions and will ride whatever they want. I have built a trail catered to riding with my seven year old on leased private property and have an issue with people coming in and "help" improve the jumps so that they are bigger etc. and then be told a xc rider that hit my son that my son shouldn't be on these trails as he wasn't fast enough!!! They were his trails to ride.

This brings me back to the original start of this article the three types of trail users. It doesn't matter what type of rider you are, whether you built the trail or are just user we need to get more people riding that have common sense and teach trail etiquette to the kids at a younger age.
  • + 1
 Very well said indeed! It would be an honour to meet you on a trail sir!
  • + 1
 I think thats what RC is most concerned about. We can't do anything about idiots on bikes, but typically, if you earn your trails through labor and conditioning, you will become more respectful of the trails. As soon as we've got knuckle draggers with the ability to make the hardest climbs and cover miles without breaking a sweat, how long do you think it will be before the trail and other users are disrespected?
  • + 2
 First off....he said "toilet" in the write up. Haha...
Second, being a lover of all things considered toys I would absolutely love a electric mtn bike! And any of you claiming you wouldn't are liars. Fact.
Do they belong on REGULAR trails? No. Would they be righteous on their own trails? Shit yeah!
  • + 2
 While I don't like e-bikes or whatever you want to call them, all I'm getting from this article is:

"I'm older than you, I've been here longer than you, I'm better than you, therefore my opinion is valid, yours isn't. I'm entitled to ride a bike, you just think you are"

Usual rubbish from Richard Cunningham then.
  • + 2
 I've been riding bikes for 30 years so I am more entitled. Also you must be wrong because my way of biking is the right way, we most certainly don't want or need any change of this sort. I for one will not endorse this abomination. While at the same time writing yet another article about said subject guaranteed to generate enormous coverage!
  • + 2
 I use a dual drive surly big dummy every single day to sneak all my tools up the hill and trail build. Because it's an "ebike" I don't use as much energy pedalling the boring climb so I can go a lot harder digging trails and get more done. The amount of trail I have built has doubled since using the motor to get up there. I could not give two f&Wink /$ what bikes ride my trails because whoever it is I am sure they are having fun. I dig four nights a week and I need my legs the rest of the week to ride my "mountain bike".
  • + 2
 Here I sit in front of the computer reading the hate mail present in front of me and can't help but think I'd rather be riding. I feel that the e-bike do have a place in the industry, but sincerly feel there is a place to ride and places not to ride. It be great to get shuttlers to ride up to their perspective downhill trails and go down, where you wouldn't use the motor or help you climb up that 5k on gravel/forest service roads to the downhill trail head.

I'd also say e-bikes stay off xc or all mountain trails for sure there their for you to get some exercise not strava sizes

Once again there is a time and place for e-bikes
  • + 2
 jimmy mac quit MBA this week , as MBA choose to continue to have mopeds in there mag. stupid as they already publish a sister mag. thats about mopeds. i cant see moped manufacture money being all that big enough to push the mag in this direction good on you jimmy for sticking to your guns
  • + 2
 A very interesting article, which makes some very sound points. However I do not see the need to seperate riders into generations. Seperating requires generalising, and that labels a great deal of people wrongly. This is just the kind of thing I dont like to see in mtb as it only helps in further dividing a community. Of course for the sake of analysis and discussion it can be useful as it simplifies matters. Though individuals should be judged on just that, an individual basis
  • + 1
 The writer makes some good points that I hadn't considered. Another issue I have with e-bikes is that they've turned a (relatively) environmentally-benign product and pastime into a lithium-hungry, energy-hungry, mining, shipping, processing-hungry commodity. Yes; I know aluminium's hardly eco-friendly, but it feels like e-bikes have really ramped up the consumption impact of cycling...
  • + 1
 eventually, the mountain bike community is going to have to differentiate moped vs e-bike based upon the power output of the motor; and then limit access to the more powerful category.
this is going to have be a shift in the industries perception of what is acceptable.

just sayin, its prob going to happen.
  • + 5
 Choose your batteries and be a dick about it....
  • + 1
 What about the greedy company-types who are simply drooling over E-bikes as a way to suck more money out of our wallets. How about a great big "screw you" to those that are bound and determined to push the market segment forward so they can make a buck, without any thought at all for the consequences. Sheeeeesh- you all turned on a new tire size in a hurry with all sorts of industry conspiracy accusations. Where is your anti-corporate acumen now?
One more-- cycling has been distinguished for being a HUMAN-POWERED activity. We lose this quality, we lose the essence of the activity.
Okay, two more- if E-bikers want to ride trails. They can build their own to suit their straight-lined, corner-cutting, heavy-assed riding style.
  • + 1
 The flat earth folks on this thread are ridiculous.
1. Stop with the Motor + Bike = Motorbike. Irrelevant semantics. We all know that if you put these things on a spectrum, e bikes are one degree of separation from mtb's, and 10 degrees of separation from motorcycles. No throttle. No noise. No exhaust. Limited to 20 mph. Same size tires as many non pedal assist mtb's.
2. Riding an e bike in an ATV/Motorcycle area would be extremely dangerous, for all concerned. Also, ATV areas are well outside most cities - not a viable option for daily riding.
3. Limited e bikes (like Specialized Levo for example) do NOT damage trails.
4. How would an e bike affect your mtb experience? They are slower down, maybe a couple mph faster up?
5. With regard to the losing hard won access to hikers, limited e bikes will have little to no impact - and certainly less impact on hikers than the DH crew that fly down trails on the verge of losing control, scaring the sh!t out of hikers (I see it every time I ride).
6. With regard to losing hard won access - don't you think your trail riding interest would be better advanced by the inclusion of the demographic that is drawn to e bikes (e.g. 50+ wealthier riders)? Do you really think that trying to keep your "community" a small aggressive group of unfriendly judgmental diehards will advance your greater interests of opening up more public lands to trail riding?
7. You have no inherent superior right to use a trail than anyone else, nor do you have any right to limit the number of people using trails because you were there first.
8. What argument remains? Oh, your personal opinion as to what mountain biking should be. Let that control how you ride. But why should your opinion on what the sport should be controlling over the rest of us who choose to ride in a different manner?
  • + 1
 Have any of you ridden one? I didn't think so. I have been testing a Bultaco Brinco, they are incredible and make MTB more enjoyable, and we get to do more of the bit we like, going downhill fast.

They don't rip the trails up like a moto, those on here who say that is the case clearly have not ridden or even seen one of these bikes (I ride MX and dirtbikes so I know what I am talking about).

E Bikes help get you up the hill quicker so you can enjoy the fun part and get back downhill more often. I only MTB with lift served or uplift days, am not interested in pedalling uphill for 2 hours for 10 mins of descent. They are coming and will not go away and are far more green than me being bussed up a hill 8 times on uplift days.

They are a no brainer for me - my NukeProof Mega will be in the for sale section soon...
  • + 1
 Whether you have to do a token gesture with your legs or wrists is irrelevant - if it's powered by anything but human wattage then it's not a mountain bicycle. At it's core it's cheating really. Cheating at mountain biking. You may as well turn on Strava and go for a drive to get KOMs, or go doping to win. You're missing the point of riding in the first place.

Sure, as a way for disabled people to access trails and the great outdoors, then fine. I can accept that. BUT in much the same way as disabled access has become a legislatory necessity for the majority of companies in the UK, I don't want to see e-bike suitability become a necessity to allowing mountain biking. What happens if you run out of charge? What happens if your complicated electrical drive system throws a relay or fuse? What if, having purchased an e-bike, you are able to get to remote locations that you can't get back from without one? Do you expect the gracious land owner to cover your ass with sufficient escapes to allow them to get liability insurance at a reasonable price? At least with a human-powered vehicle, there is a reasonable chance that if you could get there by yourself, you can get back by yourself.
  • + 1
 1)When e bikes are as light as a regular bike everyone will want one
2)Building trails is becoming cool with the 3rd gen
The "builder" movie coming soon will add to that.
One day we'll all ride our e bikes on government sanctioned trails downtown.
  • + 1
 RC, I agree completely with your opinion. Maybe if you can still pull some strings at your old mag we can stop being force fed reviews of electric "mopeds" on trails. I realize that MBA has ties to electric "moped" magazines and moto magazines, but if publications continue to show usage on trails it is just going to fuel the fire. How about we all cancel subscriptions or flood the publications with letters telling them to stop. When a new reader walks by and picks up a magazine and sees some dude ripping up a single track on an electric "moped" he or she says damn I don't have to work hard and I still get to ride maybe I will finally go biking. I don't think that is helping at all. E bikes can be a future for transportation purposes but we need to walk lightly with regards to our trails.

Thanks for the great article RC. Like always worth reading.
  • + 1
 I do not really have an opinion here, I have never been on an E bike but do not see the day coming anytime soon where they will have the torque that is so destructive to trails like motorcycles have. I did run into an older couple on the trails one day on E bikes and thought it was great that they were out enjoying something that I love to do. I am certain I would have never encountered them if they were under only their own power.
Now I may feel differently if we had a network of trails that were very exclusive to mtb . bikes and these E bikes were becoming a burden clogging up trails and such but as it is, all of our trails while being meant for bikes and hiking are unfortunately very unprotected and you find the people on atvs destroying them, not out of curiosity of where does this lead or ignorance really not knowing it is not for them but simply to be fu@king a$$ holes that while never having tried it, know they hate mountain biking.
  • + 1
 Another totally ignorant article written to create conflict. Has the author ever ridden an electric assist bicycle?(pedalec - the bosch system) They are not like a motorcycle, they are not throttled moto like dirt bikes, they are not wrought with berm blasting ground ripping power. They simply add power to your pedaling, based on your output, to help people that can tdo it normally due to injury, disability, rehab, etc... You wouldn't even notice one unless you were really looking. All you guys worried about your strava times and trying to protect your manly egos need to relax and understand your opponent better before attacking. I have never witnessed such an emotionally based opposition to a technological development in my life,......wait, check that: suspension fork, then full suspension, then disc brakes, adjustable geometry, then long travel adjustable trail suspension, then 1X drivetrains, then dropper posts, then 27.5" wheels, etc.. The general lynch mob who refuse to let go of their blankets are why we are all still suffering pneumatic tires, external drivetrains, and chains for gods sake. Let things progress. this will be a small segment of the market, probably a big rental segment, but will help people get out and enjoy the outdoors. Christ at least they are electric, non pollutant, and fairly benign.
  • + 1
 Very well put and I agree with the sentiment. I think however that it's a fate that we have to resign ourselves to that e-bikes will be everywhere in a few years and solutions have to be found that include them in trail access, otherwise all mtb'ers will have land access problems Frown
  • + 1
 I've never seen an e-bike on any trial where I live, in fact I have never seen one in person. I do think one good thing is that they will be somewhat inherently self regulating:

If you don't have the fitness or skills to ride to the top of trails you probably don't have the skills to ride down and after 1 or 2 attempts the e-biker will make his way back home and use it for grocery getting like it ought to be used.

Just my thought.
  • + 1
 My concern is having somebody with little-to-no bike-handling skills at the controls of an e-bike. They will likely go faster than they could/should on a "regular" bike and, more than likely, wind up seriously hurting/killing themselves and/or others.

I rue the day that the shop I work at decides to carry them...if that day ever arrives.
  • - 1
 I WILL BOYCOTT ANY SHOP THAT SELLS MOPEDS.
  • + 0
 Ironically, I just saw one of these e-diots (do I get credit for coining the phrase?) almost take a pedestrian out coming around an uphill sidewalk at 15-20mph...which he wouldn't have been doing half that speed under his own power.

No further questions, your honor.
  • + 1
 I've weighed in on E-bikes before, and my opinion hasn't changed. The idea of a DH rig with a motor is awesome, but they don't have any place on multi-use, non-motorized trails. Too much room for conflict in such a situation, because there's always going to be more than one douchebag that can't be bothered with using common sense. Hell, that happens even without the motor. Keep the moto-mountain bikes off the bike trails, they are capable of going places the average non-motorized bike rider cannot or will not go, so take it to an ORV park and wow the motocross guys with it. Even so, I'd still like to ride one. Just not on the local bike trails.
  • + 1
 The answer is education not trying to ban things, that never works. I'm all for introducing road/ trail etiquette into primary schools, we used to have a cycling proficiency badge over here which was usually run by a local police officer. Believe me there are plenty of road riders as well as mtb riders who need a compulsory class in etiquette and responsible riding. For me no riding if any kind without a cycling proficiency badge would be a big first step!
  • + 1
 Im on the side that E-bike should not be used on our mountain bike trail. here in creston alot of our trail are on private land. and the land owners still want no power bikes of any kind. they dont like having a tone of poeple ripping up and down all day. but they let us mountain bikers push up and let us build trail an we respect to trail and the rights of the property owners.When you got to push/ride your bike uphill for over and hour of hard work you really start to appreciate the enviroment around you. So if someone is just ripping un and down without really putting in anywork they are just abusing the trail for the ones that built then and got the right to build them in the first place. Also if you cant put the effort in to power your own bike then you should do something else like watch tv and sit on the couch were your lazy ass should be.
  • + 1
 I ride in North Vancouver fairly regularily and have yet to see an E-bike on the trails up there.

I find the MTB industry tries to "wag the dog" a lot. E-bikes is all just marketing crap and I have too much respect for my mountain biking brothers and sisters to seriously think they will ever enter the mainstream..
  • + 3
 mightyted, maybe a bit of wag the dog but Richard has a point that many people don't realize, e-bikes are getting better and better every year to the point where you can get a 45 pound ebike with a Bosch crank motor that will be able to ride at 40-50 km/h on the flat (while pedaling and using motor). Maybe not right now but very soon you will see more of them. Prices are coming down, technology is improving and it is more and more available to anyone in both the US and Canada. I owned one for commuting, it was great but I agree that there is a need to be respectful of other users and the trail itself. Otherwise it will be a free for all and our beautiful trails will look like dirt bike trails, thrashed and deeply rutted. I don't know if a full ban is the right answer but we have to find a way to ensure the trails and access don't suffer because of a few misbehaving morons.(Not all e bikes owners are morons!!!just the ones that take trails and access for granted)
  • + 1
 Great article. I love Strava but only try for PR's and KOM's off peak hours. Dicks will be dicks, with or without Strava. There's plenty of hikers and joggers that are complete ass holes also. I hate the erosion argument. Water is the most erosive element land managers have to deal with! Horses are probably high up on the list. I can't imagine riding an ebike until I'm in my sixties or seventies.
  • + 1
 Moto bikes have helped the kern/kennedy meadows trails out a ton, forming lines.
I'd aay it depends on the area. Soil type, # of users, user demographics etc.

We've got a certain mtb mag already anti dh bikes anywhere but resort trails.
Imho, E bikes will not be sold in mass...too kooky
  • + 1
 Once prices drop, they will sell a metric shit-ton of them. All the casual riders will like them - commute and such.
  • + 2
 But surely we can rely on the good judgment of all mountain bikers and respectful behaviour from everyone who ride e-bikes?

And if you believe this I have a nice bridge to sell you.
  • + 1
 Good read and it certainly reminds me that as a resident of BC, and someone who has lived in a few different places accross this beautiful province, we are extremely lucky to have largely, with some obvious exception, lived a priveledged existance in regards to land access. I'm not saying it is easy building and maintaining trails or navigating the social/political mazes required in advocating for and legitamizing trails, but compared to the battles fought in the States, and California specifically, there is a reason we may not include some of these thoughts in common discourse. E-bikes do blur some lines -though not really (they have a motor right?...so it's a motorized bike?...technically a motor bike?)- and as such should likely be considered a different segment and one that those who wish to pursue legitamizing can do so (without my support)... but that said I also am priveleged to love mountain biking, can physically tolerate the climb with some pleasure and minimal physical barriers (aside from muscle development that barely rivals most prepubescent girls) and support what I view as a pure, or unassisted, experience in wild spaces. The physcial activity in the area provides a connection, as it should (we only have brains to support competant locomotion within an environment), and I worry things like e-bikes reduce that connection and with it value and respect. It is a basic rule that cost and value are related (not just $ but resource expense relative to resource availibilty).
  • + 1
 The evolution argument happens every time someone innovates. The haters are the ones that whine how hard won their fruits were. They are the road blocks to change. Good example, 26 inch wheels. Don't block innovation, let it evolve. It will live and die on it's merits. Just like long travel. Just like internal combustion. Not all change is good, yeah I get it. But hating change is just hating. I had hoped that we had come a long way since hating because we don't understand, but the truth is, we have not.
  • + 1
 This is like saying, "ok! Going to start playing football with a beachball!!!." It's not hate, it's not wanting to distroy the integrity of our sport!
  • + 1
 e-bikes != human powered vehicles. There's some great innovation going on here, and in dirt bikes, and in sport bikes. Thats not the issue- and claiming it's just people being afraid of change is to miss the point entirely. An e-bike is a motorized vehicle. The clash happens when people claim they should be allowed on non-motorized trails, which in turn affects access issues for all MTBers.
  • + 1
 Share the trails! You want to be accepted, learn to share. Don't care if have to watch for other types of vehicles. Don't care if it lessens you experience. Everyone has the right to the trail. Everyone has the same rights whether or not you agree. If you cannot get that through your head then you better leave the USA. The USA is based on freedom for one and all. Get over it!
  • + 2
 Wait, so you think motos should be ridden on hiking trails and horse paths? Sounds like a great idea, no conflicts will ever arise from that situation, and I'm sure all parties will be responsible.
  • + 1
 I wonder if there have been many mountain rescues where e-bikes have been involved? I fear that newcomers to the sport or people getting back into it will see the e-bike as a means of skipping the months of wheezing up fireroads to gain fitness and then will venture into the unknown with an e-bike that breaks down in the backcountry. While mountain rescue crews seem to be pretty understanding people, I assume they wouldn't appreciate having to rescue "mountain bikers" who managed to get miles and miles into the countryside but were too unfit to be able to ride back to the trail head.

The same could be said of regular mountain bikes going into the backcountry but it is a hell of a lot easier to figure out when its time to turn back when your legs are powering you.
  • + 0
 Great article.

One thing though and that is the increasing resistance to non-hiking forms of recreation on public lands by conservancy groups. This includes mtb, walking your dog, climbing, etc. With money always an issue, there are an increasing number of these "conservancy" type groups who influence access policy by partnering with public land managers. I used quotes because it's not so much about how to better manage recreational lands in ways everyone can enjoy them but to exclude those activities that are inconsistent with their view or belief.
  • + 0
 Ive seen one on the trail on a dh bike outfitted with this electric junk he was saying he rides it to work some times to lol. I dont see the point on dh fr applications. I think the best is to put them on beach cruisers for old ppl and call them what they are.
"Motorcycle"
Pedaling is part of the sport isn't it?
  • + 0
 In my mind there are only two places for electric assisted bikes, one as an easy, cheap road commuter. Two for people who would otherwise be unable to mountain bike because of a disability/injury. Other than that, people are essentially using it as a loophole for riding motos on biking/hiking designated trails.
  • + 2
 Richard, great article.
I'm curious as to where our largest collective advocacy organization, IMBA, comes down on the question of e-mtb-bikes?
  • + 0
 Mountain bikers sure do love to panic about this technology called electric bike and treat it as the end of the world. I'm a mountain biker of the first wave described in RC's editorial. I also see his point and he has a valid reason to think these vehicles could threaten our recreational way of life.
Something never mentioned in these "scary" articles is the benefit of e-bikes. I don't want them on our singletrack either, but they will make great transportation to and from work, or just around town as commuter bikes. For people like me who are slowly becoming disabled as the years roll by, I would ride an e bike to work instead of a car. You can put panniers and baskets on it to get groceries and beer runs for those who still like beer and wine, etc. I like to ride my old hard tail to work most days, but would consider an e bike on brutally hot days so I don't show up to work exhausted and overheated, as well as snowy or rainy days.
I think the bicycle manufacturing industry should focus marketing towards converting motorists into e-bike commuters, instead of getting lazy people onto our singletrack by eliminating a climb or two, only to have them quit anyway from blisters, forearm pump and sore taints, cause most non cyclists are racist against chamois and Lycra as well as breaking a sweat on a hill.
  • + 3
 I usually don't agree with RC, but this is spot on. Thank you for writing this.
  • + 0
 If you can't understand why an e-bike is lame then you don't really understand the core concept of a bike, a human powered mode of transportation, an effective one at that. The issue with e-bikes is a philosophical issue, a moral dilemma. Riding mountain bikes on the trails is a pure form of enjoyment. One of the purest forms of enjoying life. It encompasses all things that make life worth living. Something as simple as adding a motor to a bike destroys it's original form and turns it into something that isn't anywhere near as honorable as a self powered bike. The people that ride e bikes aren't the like minded people that i'm used to knowing as mountain bikers. It's a different breed birthed from society, one that does not find merit in hard work and self reliance. E-bikes are a reminder of the qualities in humans that will inevitably lead to the end of our own existence.
  • + 2
 You really don't understand what biking is and I've been doing it for at least four decades longer than you. How dare you insinuate from your youthful ignorance what I am or how I and many many others like me feel about biking. Get yourself an education on what ebikes, particularly pedal assist bikes actually are, meet some actual responsible eBike riders, who will mostly be older generation who were pumping pedals before you were a wee gleam in your daddy's eye, then you might be qualified to comment.
  • + 0
 In my opinion, as the first couple paragraphs cover, as long as E-Bikes respect the trails I couldn't care less riding alongside with them... But the moment they begin to affect the flow and ways of my local trails, then we have a problem! As long as E-Bike users aren't doing crap like cutting us off, or destroying the trails, I think the least we can do is respect them as much as they respect us...

Just as Cunningham says it... "Don't screw it up!" Wink
  • + 0
 This shouldn't even be a discussion. An E-bike is a MOTOR bike. If it's not human powered then it doesn't belong in the same classification as things that are. In a place where motorized vehicles aren't permitted, E-bikes (motorized vehicles) should not be permitted.
  • + 4
 the mountain bike scene now is just a bunch of whiners.
  • + 0
 or whiners complaining about whiners.
  • - 2
 Too right. Some fat guy without a helmet passes you on a climb riding an e-bike, so fucking what. You're not really into what you're doing if you let these things effect you. Stop whining!!!!!
  • - 4
flag PHeller (Jul 25, 2014 at 10:33) (Below Threshold)
 How's the world look with your head in the sand?
  • + 0
 Inevitably this technology will continue to evolve and as it does it will be cheaper and more accessible. As we've seen there are currently a number of very fast off-road "ebikes" that emulate bicycles (many are on DH-type frames) but cost has kept them away from the masses.

This is a great article as it examines how the popularity of these machines could jeopardize our trails and therefore our sport. Just as the A-holes who insist on ripping down multi-use pedestrian/equistrian trails in the name of Strava glory give mountain-bikers a bad name, so too will these. I fear the day when I get passed going uphill by someone out of control going 30 MPH!

That said, eBIkes will have their place in cycling as the years go on. Let's just hope that trail operators see that they are no different than ATV's or dirt bikes.
  • - 1
 E-bikes are the WORST thing that mountain bike manufacturing company's are trying to sell people. Forget everything else press-fit this, 148mm that, and proprietary bullshit. These products are a threat to the trails WE build, love and fight for . These corporations don't helped us create the places their products threaten, so they just don't understand or the risks to our way of life. I will boycott them and all of there products, they are not a welcome addition to our community.
  • + 2
 He said no motors on bikes, so no di2 either. They use servo motors. Hahaha
  • + 3
 Elephant in the room - Strava. Discuss.
  • + 1
 It doesn't help to have Mountain Bike Action magazine pushing electric bikes. Of course they push what ever the manufacturers pay them to push.
  • + 3
 jimmy mac quit this week because of this issue
  • - 1
 Engine is a internal combustion device motor is in technical terms is a electric device because of this being true a motorized 2 wheeled device is a "Motorcycle" the earliest days of engine driven cycles were bicycles adapted with engines.

No matter how you look upon this subject and regardless of what so-called cool name(eBike)you throw on them this is the continued evolution of the motorcycle.

Please everybody lets all work together to keep them off our trails!

Fastfish
  • + 0
 I am speechless. very good article, very good arguments. i was thinking about this for a long while but now i can grasp the idea thanks to this work. cheers and thanks from the second generation Wink Salute
  • - 1
 Agree that e-bikes are basically e-Motos and shouldn't be used on MTB trail systems. It's just going to cause major problems to advocacy groups and local trail building organizations. Then again the same can be said about illegal trail building. In which case your 'Gen-1' people are just as big as a pain as 'Gen-3' (Since we are pigeonholing people into gens). It's not fun having to explain to the park service why your MTB club can't regulate it's own area because someone decided they needed to cut improper trail. Also, don't interp what I'm saying as "secret trails are bad". All I'm saying is that all illegal trails cause headaches for anyone interested in building legal trails, secret or not.
  • - 1
 This article should be a sticky at the top of Pinkbike. I will no longer purchase products from companies that sell E-Mountain Bikes. Just wish they would be called motorcycles so we don't get lumped in and loose access to public lands.
  • + 1
 Its a motorized vehicle it should only be allowed where a dirt bike is allowed. Bottom line_____ its not that difficult and shouldn't be a debate.
  • + 2
 When the word "opinion" is in the title, there's always going to be an argument here.. Smile
  • + 0
 Ok dirtbikers have there own trails (well the respectful ones) mountain bikers avoid hiking trails unless other wised posted...

why should electric bikes be on a downhill train...Sorry but NO!
  • + 3
 Strava, or it didn't happen.
  • + 3
 E-bikes = Shuttling = Lifts
  • + 2
 I want an e dirt bike, for doing self retrieval and accessing back roads. Not for trail riding though hell no
  • - 1
 Echoing what others have already said. It's really not complicated, add a motor to a bike and you have a motorized vehicle. Motorized vehicles should only travel on trails designated for motorized use.
  • - 2
 E-Bikes are motorized, why do we keep beating this dead horse? They clearly don't belong on non-motorized trails no matter what the excuse! Land managers will surely shut down these trails we fought so hard to keeping open for non-motorize use.
  • - 2
 If you're too out of shape to climb the mountain and think an E-bike is the fix....then go get a dirt bike and ride OHV trails. These e-bikes will ruin the access of trails for the group of MTBers who are already fighting tree huggers and horseback riders.
E bikes on mtb trails is like saying "I can't run the whole 56k so I will do so on my Segway that way I can still enjoy the experience". Sorry, unless they are in the bike lane, keep them at home.
  • + 3
 OMG e-bikes are awesome
  • + 0
 Cheers RC, this was a well thought out, well written argument, and I thank you for bringing awareness to those who were unaware of the situation at hand. Good work!
  • + 0
 I 1st saw an E Bike at Triscombe, in Somerset, and thought C**t . I want the power train for my pram though as the hills around here are honking to push it up
  • + 1
 There is a crapload of comments on this and someone probably already said it but most people cant build worth a damn!
  • + 1
 the only good i can see from these e-bikes is the wheelie capability!!! think i want one, or atleast a go on one
  • - 1
 Saw a dude riding his $10000 dollar electric downhill bike (Not calling it a mountain bike) on the road yesterday. Hope I never see him on my favorite trails.
  • + 1
 Sooner see RAD clown bikers given more shit tbh
  • + 1
 For me it's all about "no dig, no ride".
  • + 0
 I think everyone should just get on there bikes and stop whining about shiz that really doesn't need to be bothered about
  • + 1
 now to go work on some secret trail.
  • - 3
 There is no such thing as an "electric mountain bike" -- that's BS. People who ride those are in effect riding cars, they're not doing any work, no effort, they're a plague, not the kind of people who appreciate actual bicycles.

At the same time if you are creating trails illegally, you're also not respectful of the environment, you're causing erosion and sullying public lands that everyone owns, not just you, and if you're on private land without the owners knowing, you're worse than parasites.

Rules about illegal trail building are made for actual legitimate reasons, it's not "the man" stepping on your throat with an iron boot, illegal trails open up the owners -- that's us tax payers -- to liability, there is trash, there is arsonists, there is illegal fire rings, all the usual problems when aholes make illegal trails even beyond erosion and unsightly damage.

So electric toy riders are equal to aholes that make illegal trails. They deserve each other.
  • + 0
 One of the reasons I did not renew my mountainbike action subscription: too many adds for: www.electricbikeaction.com
  • - 1
 Secret trails/locales only is a bunch of B.S. And E-bikes suck unless you are semi handicapped and still want to enjoy the the trails with some help.
  • + 2
 the end is near
  • + 2
 E-bikes are for pussies
  • + 2
 Waki?
  • + 0
 What do motorized mountain bikes and fat chicks have in common? There fun to ride until your friends see you.
  • + 9
 It's his job to test new products. Sure, it was fun in the right venue, but RC has clearly laid out his opinion above. Well said on both issues RC.
  • + 0
 non-cyclists don't need to be cyclists,or e-cyclists, they just don't!
  • + 1
 Well said!
  • - 2
 One of the best ways to keep e-MTBs off the trails is by letting the local bike shops know that they should be discouraged in selling them. (Or servicing them).
  • + 0
 Keep e bikes off trails!!!!!! That is all.
  • + 0
 RC..,have You ever ride an E-Bike ?!?
  • + 3
 He did and loved it, yet he still does not understand how e-MTB's are currently being used (not on trails) and that there is no harm in them. a*sholes are a*sholes whether they ride ride electric or not.
  • + 1
 Fuck gen-three users.
  • - 1
 I guess all technological progression isnt always a good thing.
  • - 1
 Ebikes are stoopid. Just buy a mx for less cSg
  • + 0
 E bikes.... lol weenies
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