Point: E-Bikes Are Good for the Sport

Feb 23, 2017
by Matt Wragg  
Header for Matt s Op Ed pieces.


E-bikes are a touchy subject for many mountain bikers. I get it. In fact, my first memory of seeing an e-bike out in the wild was joy, joy at smashing past the fat, lazy f*cker on a climb. There's something just wrong about an engine on a bicycle, right? The two things are like oil and water, or at least they seem that way at first... We need to talk about e-bikes though. Forget all the chest-beating PR bullshit pumped out by fatbike enthusiasts being the next big thing to happen to our sport. In Wisconsin they may indeed be the "fastest growing segment in mountain biking" as the Fatbike Forum claimed they are, but if you start looking beyond the US, the picture is less rosy. According to the Fatbike Forum's own stats the global market for fatbikes is 80,000 bikes per year right now. In 2015, Cube alone sold 50,000 e-bikes, that doubled in 2016...

The latest figures have the global market at 1.1 million units a year and in Europe they are rapidly poaching sales away from the conventional mountain bike market. My favourite statistic, according to one source is that the Haibike 12,000 Euro e-DH bike outsold the Specialized Demo this year (although I haven't been able to verify this claim). Bike shops in some countries (ie. not in the US) are reporting that customers come in to buy a 160mm trail bike and end up taking the e-version instead. Love them or loathe them, e-bikes are coming and sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "la, la, la" because you don't like the idea isn't going to change a thing. So, what the f*ck is an e-bike anyway?

Before we go any further, I need to nod my head to those of you on the left-hand side of the Atlantic. I haven't lived there, so feel free to tell me I am wrong here, but the impression I get is that your land access is hard fought and maintained. This is not the place to get into why that is so, but it is a time to acknowledge that and say clearly, that if I were in your shoes, I would be protective as hell of my trails too. And yes, e-bikes do raise some big questions and risks for trail advocacy, but we will touch on that later in this piece.


Photo - Ronny Kiaulehn
Photo - Ronny Kiaulehn


To be totally honest, the first time I rode an e-bike did nothing to shake my gut feeling that something was profoundly wrong about them. The bike was a weird mess of tubes, wires and controls, with a motor on the rear wheel and a throttle on the bars. Apparently you could wind it right out to 80 km/h if you took the limiter off. While moving fast is always fun, at least it is in my book, there was something just wrong about a bicycle where you don't need to turn the pedals. It felt profoundly uncomfortable to be zipping along, feet ready to pedal, but never to be needed. It's not the same thing any more. So before we dive down this rabbit hole let's get one thing clear: if you want something with a throttle, stop being a pussy and buy a motorbike. The same goes if you want to smash through the countryside at a steady 50km/h, regardless of how you achieve it, that is pure motorbike territory.

The second time I got on an e-bike was one of the Flyer bikes, possibly one of the first full-suspension e-bikes to reach production. With the battery mounted between the seattube and the rear wheel and the motor mounted in the rear wheel itself, it was an abortion of a thing, not the kind of bike you would ever consider riding on anything like a real trail. Yet in the last couple of years the technology has moved forwards and the current crop of e-bikes are more like something most of us would recognise as a bike. My third e-bike experience was one of these. It started with my ingrained prejudice that this was a Bad Idea. An hour and a half, 1,500m climbing and two descents later, I had to begrudgingly admit that I'd had fun. In the time I could normally do one decent trail in, I had done two and all that weight in the frame made the thing hilarious pinballing through loose rock and steep chutes. It was a different feeling to my other bikes, but not so different, and it was undeniably fun. While the engine did change the experience, the heart of the experience is still very close to the mountain biking I fell in love with some 20 years ago.

This brings us onto the most important word when we talk about e-bikes - "motorised." Legally e-bikes are considered motorised and globally the legal situation is convoluted. In fact, in most of the United States they are grouped in with motorbikes or mopeds by law. A quick look at a state-by-state guide shows differing legislation and restrictions in each state, different power outputs, different power requirements, license requirements and land access issues. Here in Europe it a bit less complicated, thanks to the EU. There are two types of e-bikes - there are electric pedal-assisted cycles (they have been given the snappy acronym of EPACs by European lawmakers), which are strictly regulated, and then there is everything else which is pretty much covered in my previous paragraph. In fact, anything outside the EPAC regulations is on dodgy ground, much of the time banned from trails for being motorised, but also banned from the roads for being unroadworthy. So from here on in, when we talk of e-bikes, we are talking about these EPACs. EU legislation means they have their power limited to 250W, they are restricted to 25km/h and the motor only functions when you pedal. So long as they comply to these rules, here in Europe they are considered mountain bikes by law and have access to everything mountain bikes have access to.

Of course while this may be the letter of the law when we talk about motorisation, the feel of the thing is another matter altogether. There is, of course, a very clear argument for them being considered motorised - they have a motor. Nobody is going to argue with you there, but it's how that motor works where the moral dilemma of the whole topic hangs. You see, you car and motorbike are motorised - they are designed so that you get in/on, start the engine and go. No fitness or manual input required. If you sit on an e-bike and do nothing, aside from falling over, you're not going to move an inch. The motor on these EPAC bikes only works when you turn the pedals. The motor works by amplifying your pedal input. So is motorised the best word to describe these e-bikes? Surely the word "assisted" is a better fit?


Photo - Ronny Kiaulehn
Photo - Ronny Kiaulehn


If you've got this far and are thinking, "Well that's not mountain biking any more," you wouldn't be wrong. It is not true to say it is the same thing, but how different is it out on the trail? To begin with, let's break down the stats on an e-bike to put the motor more closely into context. How much power is 250W? Not much is the short answer. It is about the same as 25 hairdryers... When we talk of cycling wattages, 250W is pretty small beans. If you stop and look at your Strava stats, you will see that somewhere around the 200W is more than achievable for an average rider to put out as an average over several hours of riding. Adding the average human and the bike together, 500W sounds significant? Well, not really. Top Enduro World Series racer, Greg Callaghan, has measured his max power output at over 1,600W. This is a max output, so it's not sustainable for more than a few seconds, but it puts 500W in perspective quite nicely. If you are worried about this power being unleashed on your local trails, do you also want to ban Greg from riding there too?

Then, we need to think about how fast is 25km/h? On a fireroad drag it's quite a bit faster for sure, but the way the motors work is by responding to your pedal input, so when you get onto technical singletrack that difference is much smaller. On steep, technical climbs, the reality is that you are more likely to see e-bike riders pushing their bikes up than blitzing through. It is not easy to maintain your cadence, causing the bike to stall and the rider finding themselves the proud owner of a 25kg trail anchor that is going to suck pushing up to the top. Going down it is much the same story, on the straights you can reach 25km/h fairly quickly, but you would be surprised how often you pass that mark and find yourself hauling the bike down the trail unassisted as you have passed the limiter's top speed for assistance from the motor. When you get to the corners, the motor is no help - at least for now they are not quick enough to react instantly as you try to get that perfect pedal stroke out of the corner. And it is certainly less damaging than punters dragging their brakes through a corner on a regular bike. You find yourself muscling a 25kg bike down the trail, which takes more strength and skill to do than a regular bike. Maybe Specialized Sean Estes' description of an e-bike is the most fitting - it's like a fast-forward button for the less exciting parts of the ride, but when it comes to the bits most of us cherish most, the difference is not as big as you might think.

In case you are wondering how fixed this is - these limits are set by EU law, so to see them overturned would take the best part of a decade of lobbying and political negotiation, they are going nowhere any time soon. Some naysayers worry that this is going to turn into an arms race for faster engines, but talking to engine suppliers it is clear that they are not interested in this. Companies like Bosch are currently working with the EU to look at how they can help enforce the regulations out in the real world. Why you may ask? Simple. Because by keeping the bikes within the legal definition of a bicycle opens up a whole new market for them and, hopefully, entices people to buy bikes who are put off by the physicality of mountain bikes and the perceived danger of motorbikes. If you step outside mountain biking, this is even more crucial for the commuter market, as they want a product that offers the convenience of their motors, but is allowed to use existing cycling infrastructure. They are not locking themselves into these laws out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they can see much bigger opportunity this way - they see mass appeal for this well beyond the bounds of either the bicycle or motorbike market.


EWS 8 2016. Finale Ligure Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.
An ebike, recently.


Of course, we then reach the inevitable question of trail erosion. Some people have suggested that an e-bike may be less damaging to the trail, because the power is delivered more smoothly, eliminating some of the harsh acceleration that digs into the ground, but there is no evidence to support this right now, so let's consider this bullshit until someone proves it otherwise. However, any argument that e-bikes cause more trail damage is pretty much sewn up with IMBA's 2015 findings of their study on trail erosion: "Results from the field experiment show that, under this set of conditions, soil displacement and tread disturbance from Class1 eMTBs and traditional mountain bikes were not significantly different, and both were much less than those associated with a gasoline-powered motorcycle." And that is coming from IMBA, who have recently clubbed together and decided that e-bikes are a Bad Thing, so hardly a biased source.

Hopefully by now you have a clear picture of what we are talking about when we say "e-bike." If we know what, then the logical next question is: why? At this point a lot of people roll out very earnest arguments about helping old or infirm people onto the trails, and as commendable as that may be, f*ck that. These are not the majority of people that are buying e-bikes right now, and that is not the main reason they are being sold. While many probably don't want to hear this, the main reason people are buying e-bikes is because they are fun. One stereotypical image of the e-bike user is lazy, but this doesn't seem to tally with the reality of the people who buy them. Certainly one major European bike brand noticed that their team who were focusing on e-bikes actually got fitter because they meant they were riding more than they were before.

Of course fun doesn't really cover the magnitude of what e-bikes represent. Let's start with a small example. How much time do you have to ride each day/week/month? And let's go on to assume that what most of the people reading this article enjoy most of all is going downhill as fast as they can. So if you introduce a bike that means you can get the climbing done faster and get more time doing what you enjoy most, logically, is that not more fun? Certainly from personal experience I know I am lucky enough to be able to find about an hour and a half most days to ride. Normally this means one climb and one descent. With an e-bike I can double this. Of course this leads to the question of fitness and we have to go back to how the motor works. If you want to climb 1,500m in an hour and a half you're going to have to work hard, the motor simply means you get more ground covered for your time and calories. The mistake most people make when thinking about e-bikes is thinking that it makes what they do now easier, rather than asking how much more they could be doing. The next obvious moral question is, is this any better or worse than taking a shuttle or a chairlift?

There is some cynicism right now because the industry is pushing e-bikes hard, that it is just another hype like Boost axles or metric shocks. If you step back and consider the bigger picture, what you find with e-bikes is the potential for mass participation, this is no incremental change, it is the possibility of expanding the boundaries of our sport. Among mountain bikers, we quickly forget that even a middling biker has far more fitness than most of the general public. If you don't believe me, go into any office building for a day and spend your time with people who do 40 or so hours a week at a desk.

If you've worked in an office for any length of time, you will probably have had to endure someone collecting to run a marathon. Earnestly going from desk-to-desk, to raise money for whatever good cause is in fashion this week to raise enough sponsorship to fulfill a lifetime goal of running a marathon. Yet if we as mountain bikers take a step back and consider what a marathon actually is, the simplest answer is around four hours of cardio. Now think of a four-hour ride, that's four hours of fairly comparable cardio. Most of us would be pretty tired afterwards, but it's not a lifetime ambition for most mountain bikers, it's merely a good day's riding. In our little bubble we forget that most people find the idea of doing an hour of sustained exercise deeply intimidating - something as simple as a 10km ride round easy trails may look like an ordeal to a good percentage of the general population. In steps the e-bike. By vastly reducing the fitness barrier, that opens the door to more and more people coming to do what is pretty much mountain biking (certainly they won't give a crap about our moral concerns of whether it is motorised or not). Think this is pure theorising? It is to some extent, but seeing as virtually every major manufacturer now sports an e-bike in their range, it seems to be a theory some smart people are buying into too...


Photo - Ronny Kiaulehn
Photo - Ronny Kiaulehn


One, valid, concern some riders have expressed when we have discussed this theory is what will happen to their trails. Certainly some of the less legal options out there wouldn't survive an onslaught of many times more traffic. However, there are problems and there are problems. Surely how to deal with potentially surging popularity is a good problem for the sport to deal with? Yes, there are risks, and some people are definitely going to get it wrong, so it's not necessarily going to be great for everyone, any major upheaval will inevitably have casualties. But some people will also get it right, we will need good trail advocates, land access negotiators, entrepreneurs who can see how to harness this, trail builders who can make trails both sustainable and fun. Places like 7 Stanes and Rotorua prove that mountain biking can have a massive positive impact for the whole community, and it's a pretty safe bet to say the people behind those destinations are starting to think about how to add e-bikes into their mix. They will tell you very clearly that anything that brings more money into their communities is only a good thing.

So what are we left with? No, e-bikes are not quite mountain bikes, but they are far closer to them than many of their detractors would have you believe. They are not that much faster when it counts, they don't do much more damage to the trail and they are only 10kg heavier than a normal mountain bike (and still slightly lighter than a Karpiel Apocalypse). Certainly anybody who cannot tell the difference between an EPAC and a motorbike should not be allowed to ride either. Yes, they bring challenges and risks that we will need to face, but at the end of the day, they are a way to get more people doing, what as far as they are concerned is mountain biking, and surely that is a good thing? On a personal level, if this doesn't do it for you, fine - nobody is suggesting for a second that they will replace our bicycles. Even if my collection maybe expands to add an e-bike in the future, I'm certainly never going to sell my good old-fashioned leg-powered bicycles. You can pry them from my cold, dead SPDs. But I do believe we should welcome these people and bikes, as a bigger sport will bring better things for all of us in the long-run.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pinkbike.com. For an alternate take on this contentious topic, you can read Mike Kazimer's opinion here.


407 Comments

  • + 295
 I use to ride motocross. I enjoy the bicycle. You have to earn it. If people need assistance to get further out in the woods with a motor then they have it all wrong. E bikes are great for people with disabilities and handicaps. If your healthy or not missing a limb. Go pedal a fu$!ing bike.
  • + 60
 tup I also ride mx. but, IMO e-bikes defeat the whole purpose of bike riding. if you don't like pedaling, go buy a motorcycle. e- bikes just are just going to ruin the sport. this is how good things die
  • + 88
 Did you actually read the article?
  • - 25
flag NYShred (Feb 23, 2017 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 "smashing past that fat, lazy f*cker on a climb" - dude, closed-minded as-f*k!

Not everyone on an e-bike is fat and lazy.

Ride your local trails for 10yrs on a hardtail, knowing every rock/rut/and root. Then ride them on a motorized bike. It's a blast! It turns something familiar into something new. Something FUN again.

Sometimes you might have a couple hundred dollars to burn on something new, to have a new experience. So you decide to buy a new toy, an e-bike. Then you ride the trails a couple times, have some fun, then you garage the thing. Or youride it up the block to grab a six-pack every once in a while. Or you give it to your wife so you can spend some time together on a bike.... Stop acting like it's a plague of the industry. It's just a bike.
  • + 197
 I have a disability, and I'm adamantly opposed to e-bikes and people using people like me with disabilities to validate them.


I have chronic severe ulcerative colitis, and this year I was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in my lower spine (which had been festering for a year before I was finally diagnosed), in short, my doctors are surprised I can walk one mile. I raced DH for years, and have loved bikes ever since I got my first BMX in 6th grade. I'm exactly the kind of person that an e-bike would help.


But, I think it's bullshit that people say e-bikes ok because people like me could use them. (1) If ANYTHING happened to the bike and I was more than a mile or two from the car, I would be immediately placed in an emergency situation where I would be reliant on search and rescue; (2) it sucks I have a disability, and I desperately miss mountain biking, but that doesn't mean we should change the essence of what it means to be in a wilderness area. I love mountain biking in part because we're in nature, and away from motorised vehicles, I'm not so greedy as to ruin everyone else's time just because I can't enjoy the same thing for a little while; (3) there's alternatives for people like us with disabilities, we can ride motorcycles, e-bikes on bike paths, or do just about anything else that doesn't require changing what I see as a fundamental rule (not motors in wilderness areas); (4) I don't like being used to prop up an argument for e-bikes, when I don't think they're valid even for folks like me.
  • + 1
 @NYShred: I'm pretty confident that you did not read the article until the end, actually probably not very long after this sentence.
  • - 1
 @FrozenTreads56: Did you read it? No one said anything about bikes where you don't have to pedal. What's wrong with going a little further and getting a bit more descending for the time you're allotted? Why does the sport have to resolve around how much you have to suffer?
  • + 11
 @HamsterPants: Thank you! Each of us has a perspective relative to the environment we ride in. You articulated what my thoughts are on E-bikes very well and honestly after helping patch up folks who had the bad luck to get rag dolled on the trails we ride here in Oregon I can't imagine trying to assist someone in real need with my limited medical training should they get in some badness they hadn't intended on or foreseen because they believed technology would insulate them from the situation (person with limited mobility and inability to walk themselves and the bike out of the woods that they allowed pedal assist or a motor to get them into).
  • + 12
 I think the word disability is being used wrongly. I have what is likely the start of arthritis in my knees. I am fit and wouldn't call myself disabled in any kind of way. I have already tested a few ebikes and will be getting one as currently my riding is being limited due to my knee pain. For normal healthy fit people there is totally no need for them. But for likes of myself starting to suffer or being limited by minor health issues that will stop me doing what I've been doing for some 40 years then I do see them offering a great help. Sport to me is racing, for those who are complaining its going to damage it, going out with mates for a ride is just fun and an ebike will let me keep doing that instead of giving up.
  • + 18
 @HamsterPants:
Wow -- I have heaps of respect for your active position on this issue. So many of us are simply looking for any reason to validate the views and qualities that we already have, myself included, but you have (in part) placed conservation in front of potentially selfish concerns. Of course, others with disabilities may have their own desires, but I applaud yours here. Thanks for writing.
  • + 4
 @colemanb: almost certainly no, they are simply prop hunding MTB badasses.
  • + 2
 I was like a lot of people "What lazy F&%$ would ride one of these?!" I don't ride one, But, I have thought about one for me, an advanced intermediate level rider, for a very specific application: Our local shuttle trails. The thought of being able to crank out 2 climbs and descents,in the same TIME it takes for one round trip now, with just a bit more overall effort expended sign me up. (Chain Reaction Cycles has a great video that made this relatable to me) Shut off the assist for the descent (they all have this option), then you don't have worry about "turbo lag" and you will be working harder going down, moving that extra 8kg out of corners, over features. Unfortunately that bike (Demo Levo, Arum-e, e-Glory... you get the idea) doesn't exist. All EPACs are currently hard tails or trail bikes, not even all mountain / enduro rigs Also this wouldn't use near as much carbon as burning 1/2 tank, or more, of fuel on three shuttle runs which provides zero fitness gain on the up, (FYI 2 vehicles: 3 runs equals 12 trips by vehicle as 3 of the trips are both vehicles coming down after getting the shuttle, so no great hell environmentally, may as well go dirtbike). The companies that make e-bikes know that the vast majority of people who ride them will not be taking them into expert terrain. Those who bought one because it will make mountain biking easier, will find not so much (ever have a diehard roadie tell you descending doesn't take any fitness?). As for going "farther out into the woods", nope! That isn't the appeal, personally the thought of a mechanical system that adds that much weight and can fail (just the battery dying part way through a ride) to become dead weight on an epic, no thanks.
  • + 30
 I am sure e-bikes are fun and who cares if someone is lazy... the two problems I see are:

1) I have no faith that people will self regulate and stay off non-motorized trails with their e-bike. After enough e-bikers get caught on non-motorized trails, we WILL lose trail access because of e-bikes.
2) Blurring the lines between bike and motorcycle will create confusion on what users are okay to ride a given trail. Trails that are currently MTB only WILL start to have actual motorcyles riding them.

Hopefully I am wrong but you know I'm not.
  • - 4
flag sevensixtwo (Feb 23, 2017 at 13:16) (Below Threshold)
 @mattwragg If it takes 10,000 words to explain something this simple, you don't know what you're talking about.
  • + 12
 E-bike, dirt bike, motorcycle...all motorized. We are fooling land managers with the e-bikes and it's not long until we see trails shut down. We fight so hard to have open trails to mt.bikers from hikers only to get fucked by e-bikes.
  • + 8
 @OrionW: yes. I live in mtn bike town and own dirt bikes. I stay off of mtn bike trails on my dirt bikes. I do walk my dogs on walking/mtn bike trails. Last year I ran into a guy with a e-bike, he was quite rude and I reminded him he could not ride the trails with a motor. He basically told me to go pound sand. So this year I guess mtn bike trails are open to bikes with motors?
  • - 1
 @bat-fastard: I'm in the same boat as you as I've pretty much ruined both my knees, work to much, have a wife that works too much, and have three young kids to take care of. My time is very limited, I can't ride like I used to, and all the trails within a days trip of me are flat. I still ride my other bikes, but cruising along trails at 25mph that you would normally be busting your balls for a steady 15 makes the trails around me at least, way more fun. I'm able to find tons of hits that aren't there at slower speeds. If you're stuck in flatland USA like me maybe you'll understand.
  • + 1
 @michaeldorian: you're not earning it!!!
  • + 1
 @colemanb: Of course he didn't that would require effort.
  • + 5
 @HamsterPants: Every rider could be immediately placed in an emergency situation on any ride at any time. that's the nature of mountain biking. E bikes aren't for the disabled or lazy either. They are heavy and hard to ride fast on technical trails. They are a lot of fun but they won't get hoards of lazy people off the couch and out on the trails because lazy people are to lazy to bother.
  • + 8
 @drivereight: Do some research and have some respect for the land managers. They aren't stupid. read the report IMBA published on the testing they did with the US land managers on ebike vs MTB impact. The impact to the trails is no different and not the trail management concern.

The management concern is social because of how ebike haters will respond and behave when encountering ebike riders on the trails because of how they talk about it on forums like this.

Did you know major trail management groups are using ebikes to get crews and gear into work sites on the trails here in BC? Yeah, probably not.
  • + 2
 @OrionW: And you self regulate by never ever riding illegal unsanctioned trails or any trails that are not specifically designated MTB or multi use? I can't say that and not many others here can either. Hell I built my share of unsanctioned trails.
  • + 0
 @colemanb: This article was very explicit and really cleared up alot of misconceptions, but some people still don't understand.
  • + 1
 I'm E curious.
  • + 1
 @NYShred: I saw your comment negged and expanded and right away wanted to downvote. I decided to read instead, then I decided to downvote your comment.
  • + 1
 @HamsterPants: 1000 up-votes
  • + 10
 Most of the content on this site is shuttle or lift based riding. So downhilling and shuttles don't count as mtb biking, cause you don't "earn it". Right? We should unite against downhill now, right? Because DH riders are lazy bastards who will destroy this wonderful and noble sport of earning it. You go really fast on a DH bike, which is dangerous to other users. Your prone to skidding more. Is this pinkbike or a road biker website now? I thought it was about having fun a bike...
  • + 2
 250 watts is 25 hair dryers...uh huh.
  • + 0
 @slayerdegnar: exactly.

If you don't like them, don't get one.
  • + 2
 I ride a dirt bike & am considering selling it to buy an E-Bike. This stuff about "needing assistance" or "earning it" is udder garbage. After a 3 hour ride, i was plenty tired, but had had the most fun i'd had riding since moving to Michigan from BC... The bike, a Trek Powerfly, was 100% mountain bike; and no heavier than the old downhill rig i used to pedal (unassisted) up & down mountains in BC all the time; it didnt ride in any way like my 500 CC KTM; the comparison is totally laughable. People are talking like this motor does all the work, it does not at all & i'm guessing have never tried one.
  • + 3
 @OrionW: You're not wrong. Not to mention that we have ebikes being produced by the bicycle world, while the motorcycle world is also going down that path. To a hiker, they may as well be the same thing. Draw the line where it currently exists, motorized, or nonmotorized. Ebikes are motorized, thus stay off non motorized trails.

Specialized and the like are going to kill trail access in the US for the sake a few years of sales.
  • + 3
 @davemud: BC has less restrictions than where I'm from, U.S.of A, Santa Cruz, CA! Very much respect for the Land Managers that why we are against any MOTORIZED BIKES in our local trails! Our land managers here uses ZRZ's or Sidebyside UTVs to patrol them. We fight for every inch of our trail systems here unlike BC. IMBA does not have any power here. I'm sure they like E-bikes cause they are being paid by BIKE Manufacturer that makes them to advocate for them.
  • + 3
 @slayerdegnar: shuttle routes and lift access trails are designed for the type of bike being used on them. Most trails are not designed for or approved for use by mopeds
  • + 4
 What would be great is that Pinkbike implements a system to force readers actually read the article before they can comment on it...
  • + 0
 @slayerdegnar: agree..try to pedal a DH bike up hill...
  • + 5
 Ebikes are for Pussies - ride a motorcycle if you want a motor
  • + 1
 @powpowpow: I can't read. That would be discriminateding
  • + 1
 @NYShred: e-bikes for the lazy sloths of society that want the reward without putting in the effort
  • + 3
 @mikeyb76: e-bikes are motorbikes they are just an absolute pathetic excuse for a motorbike
  • + 103
 Saw an old guy out on the trails last summer on one. When I asked about the bike he said he loved it. His knees were shot and cant take the torque with normal uphill pedaling. He was just stoked to be out in nature. That's pretty priceless if you ask me. But for the normal capable individual, I'd hope that most would ride a non electric assisted rig for as long as they can
  • + 9
 I'm getting that way, currently don't do much trail riding as knees cant take it. Mostly DH and jumps, have tried a couple of ebikes and planning on getting one so I can go on 4hr rides that I cant now.
  • + 7
 @bat-fastard: I'm with you. My knees are absolutely shot (6 surgeries on the left, 3 on the right with another needed) and my back isn't in much better way. I still ride my mtb a lot, but 10 miles in and my knees hurt a lot which means my fitness is gradually going, which also means I can't keep up with regular riding buddies, and it REALLY sucks being at the back all the time, not to mention slowing them down while they wait. I've ridden a couple e-bikes and love them as well, means I'm back up to speed and been just as knackered at the end of a ride.
  • + 22
 I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I took an arrow in the knee.
  • + 3
 @mirskeinereingefalln: took an e-bike to the knee
  • + 13
 All you people too fragile to ride a normal bike, what are you going to do when your 60lbs of bike breaks down at the furthest part of your ride? And it will break at some point, because everything eventually breaks.
  • - 3
 @McNubbin: I'll be able to roll back down the hill to my car. we don't have uplifts here so use motor to climb, hit trails on way down and repeat..
  • + 4
 @bat-fastard: This may work in your scenario, but I think that anyone planning to use this on a multi-hour trail ride will be SOL at some point.
  • + 2
 @McNubbin: Thing is the new EU legal ebikes pedal just the same as a normal bike and most people will use it as such just using the assistance for the climbs. Unless you have tried one to see what and how they ride you don't really understand what they do. On any sort of descent the motor wont work as you'll be above its speed limit.
  • + 1
 Yes people with disabilities should be able to ride trails. The trails must be for bikes with motors.
  • - 3
 @McNubbin: not like many of us haven't been sol at some point on conventional bikes. Aka your point is pointless
  • + 2
 This mentality that only people past the age of 60 or someone who is disabled should be allowed to ride an e bike, is the very reason the they will never become hugely popular. There is so much shaming and distrust by the righteous mtb bike crowd, most people will be afraid to ride one in public.
  • + 4
 @slayerdegnar: don't worry these internet tough guys won't say shit to you on the trail. This is all a big show, 99% of these haters are pussies. I'd rather get passed by an ebike than a car or truck burning gas kicking up dust!
  • + 1
 @slayerdegnar: just from yous over the pond, they have been accepted this side and in Europe, only them with their heads up their arse. Infact if anyone has one they get pestered to let everyone have a go.
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: I don't see what the fuss is all about.
  • - 2
 @McNubbin: at least you can leave it out in nature and feel confident no one will take it while you walk home lol
  • + 82
 It's like swimming with fins.
Is it bad? NO!
Is it easier? YES!
Do de fins make everything for you? NO!


I've tried them, they are fun, but not for me a 23 year old guy, but my 63 years old dad owns one, and its the only way we can get back riding together.
  • + 0
 Interesting point. Perhaps this allays the concerns people have about e-bikes replacing their normal bikes. I certainly don't want that. Perhaps when I'm 70 or 80, an e-bike will be more attractive than it is now.
  • + 9
 Actually it's like swimming with an aqua scooter.
  • + 2
 Yeah....except fins with batteries and motors!

Your comparison is actually a lot better if you were to use swimming vs.swimming w/fins = walking vs. walking w/wheels (i.e. bike riding without a motor).
  • + 56
 Why do we need more people mountain biking? I get why it's good for "you", but why is it good for "us"?

e-bikes are not good for "us". Why is it good for me that a bunch of people who have no business being in the woods are out riding e-bikes?

Mountain bikers are like reformed drunks who feel the need to tell the world how evil alcohol is sometimes.
  • + 3
 Exactly!
  • + 1
 More riders and a bigger MTB community is good for "us" if it leads to more volunteers at trail days, more advocacy (and a bigger constituency) for access to public lands, more infrastructure like trail centers, bike parks, instruction programs, more people to meet and ride and perhaps have a beer with (people in the MTB community tend to be fun). All that before you get to anything about (the perhaps somewhat questionable) line of how growth benefits the industry and how that might trickle down with better (more money for R&D) or cheaper (bigger production runs) bikes and gear. We're well past the stage where MTB was flying under the radar and more participation meant that all those secret (and non-official) trails might be endangered - this is not like surfing where there's a very limited supply of waves at popular spots.

But that's growth in MTB in general - and while I think it's a great thing (probably because I live in Bellingham, where it's been a great thing, and go to other places like Squamish and Hood River and the Fraser Valley, where that's also true), I don't at all agree that we have to embrace e-bikes because they're going to grow the sport. That is not at all a logical conclusion, I think, at least here in the US. There's plenty of potential to grow the sport in all sorts of sustainable ways that do not require e-bikes.
  • + 10
 Everyone panics about a bunch of people flooding to the trails we all love, because of e-bikes. WON'T happen. Talk to most non-bikers and the #1 reason they don't ride is fear; most non-MTB roadies too. For the the roadie it's fear of getting injured on the trail. Most non-MTBr's think we're all cracked and don't see much in any differentiation b/n what happens in an x/c race, a 4X race, enduro / DH, and freeride events (Rampage), but for most its a fear of putting in the effort, Most people who "need" and e-bike to start biking won't do much beyond the greenways/ rail-to-trails of the world. IIf it gets their assess off the couch. Yay for them.
  • + 4
 WAKI here's your cue! Are you on holiday?

But seriously though: look at the power of the car lobby in Europe and the USA. They get their power from numbers of people using their products (OK, that, and the fact that these days it's pretty hard to live without a car). There's a lot of forest that's currently legally off limits,like the one 200m from my front door. If mountainbiking in all of its collective forms becomes bigger than equestrians and walkers put together, then maybe we'll have it our way for a change.
I seriously doubt that we will, but at least there will be the possibility of it.

On the other hand, it does mean a major traffic increase on trails around cities. There's no getting away from that.
Also, have you seen what an eMTB battery cost to replace? If you thought an X01 cassette was expensive...
  • + 7
 Spot on, @wibblywobbly , I don't want to see more people in the woods; actually, I usually ride on my own and prefer to not see any people in the woods. If I wanted to see people, I'd go to the nearest shopping mall. I can even have a beer on my own and still enjoy it.
  • + 1
 That's kinda selfish, don't you think? More people riding = more joy shared.
  • + 6
 Damn straight, stoopid ebikers coming over here, takin' our trails...let's build a wall to keep them out and make them pay for it...oh...hang on...would that make me a massively intolerant douche?
  • + 1
 I hope I'm wrong, but I think in future, most of e-bikes won't be purchased by the "others", but by "us"...being few years older, trying to have same amount of fun as now, with bad knees, back problems...
  • + 0
 I fully agree!! Why does every more niche sport need more people participating in it? Next there's going to be E-ski touring to grow the sport......
  • + 5
 @luke-miller: I agree with this part. We're always being told we need to grow the sport, get more women involved, more old people, more gays, more transgender males with ginger hair and epilepsy, more centaurs, etc etc etc...

I can't see how having more people involved is going to make the sport any better. It's about me out on my bike in nature. Getting more people into biking isn't going to help me with that. Probably the opposite.
  • + 49
 Maybe nitpicking, but I totally disagree with 250 watts not being a lot of power. Peak and sustained are totally different things. 485 watts sustained makes you a world class athlete. So giving the average rider 250 watts means they could break the world hour cycling record from a watts perspective. Also, I think the author has no clue about hair dryers. Try 2500 watts, not 25.
  • + 21
 I believe he said 250W = 25 hair dryers, meaning they would be approximately 10 watts. That is inaccurate by a factor of about 100
  • + 21
 Yeah, I was reading that and thinking that was a bit dismissive of 250w. It's pretty widely accepted that during the Armstrong era of the TdF (ie: rampant doping), 5.7w/kg of sustained power on climbs was the tour winning formula. Well, I'm an 80kg rider, so 5.7w/kg is 456w. If the bike can produce 250w, I only have to sustain 206w to achieve potential TdF winning power output.

Don't dismiss 250w as not much power. This is why there's such a furor over hidden motors in the road side of things. The ability to turn a donkey into a thoroughbred race horse.
  • + 15
 Yeah, this was pretty much where I realized this guy is just a shill for e-bikes. To compare an extra 250w sustained power to a pro's peak is intellectually dishonest. Add an extra 250w at my weight and my FTP is pushing 8.0 w/kg. That's 1.33 doped up Lance Armstrongs.
  • + 15
 Definitely not nitpicking @norcal101, I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed this. Throwing in a peak wattage of 1,600 doesn't "put 500W in perspective quite nicely," as Matt wrote. It's simply in there as a distraction. People read that and go, "Yeah 1,600 is waaay bigger than 500, I guess he has a point." I can hit around 1,200W peak power during a sprint, but it also feels like my eyeballs will explode. That said, maintaining 500W is pro-level road cyclist for sure. My FTP is 290W and I consider myself to be an above average rider. Throw another 250W on top of that and I'm edging into world class territory.

The author either doesn't fully understand power or he was deliberately trying to obfuscate the truth.
  • + 6
 @ARonBurgundy: Edging into world class? Unless you're over 95kg, having an FTP of 290w + 250w is most definitely solidly in world class power output.
  • + 2
 @ScandiumRider: okay, totes world class.
  • - 2
 @ARonBurgundy: You are all forgetting that the ebike will cut out at 25 Km/h.
  • + 4
 @zonoskar: point taken, but what about uphill?
  • + 1
 yeah, and it's 250w NOW, it won't top at this figure, they will always get more powerfull
  • + 2
 @freerabbit: eh, not so much. I think they are pretty limited in speed and power assist due to EU laws to stay within the legal definition of mountain bike. I think the next major steps will be miniaturizing components so e-bikes look more and more like regular bikes.

@ARonBurgundy: yeah. Could you imagine sustaining 25km/h up a 10km climb with an avg grade of 9%? That would be awesome. Haha.
  • + 2
 @ScandiumRider: last ebike article had a guy in Japan say he uses an ebike for commuting and about $5 of Chinese parts enabled him to bypass the governor and decouple the pedalling aspect.

Bjorns Kranked kit is at this point already.
  • + 2
 @gonecoastal: I know there's lots of places to buy dongles to remove the limiters on these motors, but what I meant was I don't see the EU law allowing more than 250w or 25km/h anytime soon.
  • + 41
 E-Bike = Motorbike.

Not Mountain Bike.
  • + 5
 ^^^^^
This! We have a hard enough time keeping our trail systems open to bikes. Equestrians cant tell the difference and soon all bikes will be banned! Wink
  • + 5
 "is that a motor on that thing?"
  • + 10
 @moefosho: Equestrians (at least a certain subset of them) want everyone off 'their' land who isn't part of their group. E-bikes, normal bikes, hikers, dog walkers, they really don't give a shit who you are, you're not welcome and they'll tell all kinds of ridiculous tales to get the authorities to intervene. E-bikes won't change much in that regard.
  • + 12
 @excavator666

E-bike = E-bike

I don't know who is further from reality: a guy who says E-bike is a mountain bike or a guy who says E-bike is a motorbike. I mean I know, it is rather obvious. Go, fricking go and survive 2-3 years jumping around MX track and come back to me with your theory. Go ride a street bike on a track and tell me E-bike has anything to do with a motorbike... Jesus Christ...
  • + 1
 An e-bike is to a motorcycle what an electric wheelchair is to a car. No person with half a brain would call any of the bikes pictured above motorcycles just like nobody is going to think the fat guy doing laps around the grocery store in an electric scooter is Michael Schumacher.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: an ebike has a motor so by very definition it is a motorbike, this is not open to discussion, it is a fact. Another type of motorbike is a Kawasaki 450... Or a Hyabusa.... Doesn't change the fact an ebike is a motorbike, a really sh!t motorbike; it will never be a mountain bike! Marketers need to stop marketing them as such.
  • + 1
 @ctd07: let's leave it to those poor souls who care about such things. Marketers can say whatever they want. Go sue them. I like it how 90% of people voicing negative opinion about E-bikes think that their say may matters and can change anything. It's like anti Trump movement
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Wow, I must've touched a nerve there. Are you surreptitiously considering an e-bike?

You're getting hung up on semantics though. A motorbike doesn't have to be fossil fuelled, it is any bike with a motor powered drive train.

I'm a purist, and if you're not pedalling your mountain bike under your own steam, then you can f*ck off. (If you physically can't pedal, then that's a different story.)

There's a market for e-bikes, but if manufacturers think that people are going to sit by silently whilst they dilute MTB, they're so wrong.

Hence why I contributed my opinion to this open article, asking for opinions.

Or was it rhetorical?
  • + 1
 @jonbrady85: so you're saying ebike riders are fat...I see what you did there Wink (also I agree that regular mtb riders are like racecar drivers)
  • + 2
 @excavator666: no you didn't touch any nerve. Have a good day
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Incidentally, I usually appreciate the different perspective that you put on things around here, but the rampant butthurt that you displayed here is unusual.
  • + 0
 @excavator666: am I butthurt about e-bikes?
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: No. About people's opinions on E-bikes.
  • + 2
 @excavator666: no I am just annoyed about bigotry no matter the subject.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Again, semantics.
  • + 1
 @ctd07: no, it is open to discussion because the difference is that motor vehicles, motorbikes, motorcycles or whatever you want to call them are capable of moving under their own power and only under their own power. The e-bikes being sold and discussed above are not. Pedal assisted bikes are still human driven.

Compare it to the exoskeleton suits being developed for soldiers and the disabled. If I wear one that helps me run faster or carry heavy objects, would you still consider me a human being or would you call me a robot?

Humans are on their way to converging with technology.The lines between them are going to blur and you are not going to be able to apply 100+ year old definitions to new technology.
  • + 2
 @excavator666: hermeneutics
  • + 1
 E-bike=e-moped
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Tomatoes, tomatoes.
  • + 1
 @excavator666: cucumber between mater melons
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Beef curtains.
  • + 2
 @excavator666: Now you got me excited
  • + 28
 Mate if you don't think land managers see the MTB industry and participants descending on their turf like a god almighty plague and pestilence, wait til the participants can do "riding more than they were before", seeing thus not as a direct twice the footprint, or double the passes on a single point. And then the increase in the number of participants you have identified "are a way to get more people doing, what as far as they are concerned is mountain biking, and surely that is a good thing".
No for a land manager that is not a good thing at all, and will result in a harder job for advocacy, and more blanket bans. So no, it is not a good thing for MTBing.
  • + 8
 Exactly. The article addresses this in a quick dismissive paragraph, but this is the entire issue. Sell what you want, but don't let that effect my hard-fought and often disputed trail access.
  • + 6
 Agreed. Dude doesn't realize what access means in the Western hemisphere. Lots of angry hikers who are more than happy to equate mtbing with motocross. Getting blasted on the uphill by a dude in a dingy RAGRAI t-shirt and a backward helmet on an out-of-control motorized bike will not make them happier. They seem ok getting to the side (or at least moved by pity) if you at least look like you're working for it.
  • + 24
 It's too bad the bike media won't stand up for the integrity of the sport. It seems bringing more money into the bike industry is more important than preserving the integrity of mountain biking.
  • + 14
 Yup. I love mtn biking, but I'm growing to hate the people who make and sell bikes.
  • + 22
 You can re-use this article in the future:

You'll just have to replace "mountain bikes" and "e-bikes" with "e-bikes" and "e-dirt bikes", respectively. All your arguments will apply.

Oh, and let us know how your 4 hour marathon went... it's just 4 hours of cardio after all.
  • + 8
 @S3tigoHide..."...let us know how your 4 hour marathon went..."

Indeed. My ebike opinion is moot here based on the general PB sentiments, but I know a bit of running. I've done a 10k in under an hour, and it was a hard effort...couldn't be sustained for 4+ x that distance. My fiance has run several marathons at varying levels of fitness/training...4 hours for a marathon is a pretty epic time for most intermediate/amateur runners. So:

"a four-hour ride, that's four hours of fairly comparable cardio. Most of us would be pretty tired afterwards, but it's not a lifetime ambition for most mountain bikers, it's merely a good day's riding."

...is not so at all. Unless you're EWS, you're not conducting "merely a good day's riding" at 4-hour marathon pace. You're just not. So add this to the pile of anecdotal assumptions/comparisons made in this editorial.
  • + 2
 Maybe one day there will be electrical exoskeletons that enhance your running capabilities. I can see the comments coming "its the same but more fun" :-P
  • + 24
 The idea that 4h of riding is the same as running a marathon is asinine. Try going for a 20k run, less than half a marathon and see how you feel.
  • + 10
 haha, I was thinking the same thing. I ran 20km the other day, thought I was gonna die. Can't imagine doing a marathon.
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: 20k is still pretty solid! Great winter training
  • + 8
 totally agreed. a marathon is WAAAYYY harder than a 4hr ride.

but its "just 4 hours of cardio." nah dog go run a marathon and tell me how that compares..
  • + 2
 Try swimming for an hour non stop then...
  • + 1
 Exactly! I've spent four plus hours riding plenty of times. However, even if I were able to finish a marathon at all, I'd likely need two weeks to recover. haha!
  • + 1
 @teamtoad: I've done a marathon. It's bloody hard on your body. Took me a week to recover. Did an 80 mile off road ride last summer. That was easier than a marathon.
  • - 1
 This sub-thread is stupid. It depends on how hard you ride for the 4 hours. At the same output as running a 4 hour marathon (which not a lot of people can do), it is pretty close to the same.
  • + 1
 @SJP: I think the point is that the author makes it seem like a marathon is simply "4 hours of cardio" - which is greatly underestimating the effort necessary to finish a marathon.
  • + 1
 @SJP: I could do a four hour ride at a casual pace every day for a good number of consecutive days. I could not say the same for a marathon.
  • + 21
 E bikes on the street fine, not on the trails.
  • + 5
 I'd love to have a nice e-bike for commuting throughout my hilly, traffic infested hometown of Seattle! However, it's hard to imagine how having them out in the singletrack in widespread use would NOT eventually lead to additional trail access issues here in North America. There are enough skidding yahoos out there as it is now without throngs of e-mtbers added to the mix.
  • + 14
 You don't get to dictate terminology through twisting the definition. You'll say 'assisted' but the caveat is really a motor. A motor is defined by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. Just because yours only engages when you pedal, doesn't somehow remove the fact it's a motor. Quit being pussies and call it what it is, motorized.
  • + 7
 Exactly. Then quickly exclude yourself from all areas designated "non-motorized access only". Thanks very much...
  • + 13
 I think e-bikes defeat all the purpose and spirit of cycling/mountabiking. It sends the wrong message, "don't try harder, buy a bigger engine". i've seen them in all ebikes posts "You still pedal? Sucker! you don't know what fun is about"

Of course some will say "how about bike parks and lifts", well most of the people who ride never had their asses seated on one, and still, it's all about PEDALING only, even in DH. The thing is, through all my 20 and something biking years, I've been in shape and out of shape and never had any problems acknowledging that in this sport, fitness and effort are part of it, just like running. That's why there are others witch evolve motors, like enduro bikes.

Now the "knees" thing, I've ridden with people 70+ on granfondos, even some people who had horrible motorbike crashes and destroyed knees, they still ride, even with some limitations, but they do it for the challenge, they don't want to do short cuts, believe me.

For me, putting an engine on a bike will kill the spirit of the sport.
  • + 5
 well I'm one of the ones with knee issues, I can and do uplift DH not a problem as often as I can. But if was to pedal for over an hour my knees suffer and painful for the next week. I can walk all day with no issues but the added strain kills them. I've tried assisted bikes and really like them as will keep me on the trails. Not everybody is blessed the same bones and joints.
  • + 0
 So pedalling assistance is an unwanted crutch. Disc brakes are not a crutch for slowing you down. Suspension is not a crutch for softening trail features out. Dropper posts are not a crutch for more comfortable riding positions Wide range cassettes - not a crutch. K time to go out and ride my fully rigid fixie and enjoy life.
  • + 10
 I'll be damned before I put a motor between me and my bike's drive train. The whole point for me is to sweat, and grunt and dig deep into myself to feel alive. If a hill kicks my butt one week, I set goals to eat better, train, focus, and go back for a second attempt - not stick a freaking motor on the bike. I used to get shuttled (a decade ago), but I found that I enjoy the day more when I pedal my way through, event if it means one descent instead of three. I'm no top athlete, but I've ridden really long, really satisfying days many, many times without assistance.

As for the fun argument, I bet they are fun. But I bet poaching a flow trail on a riding mower is fun too. It just seems more like gimmicky fun rather than a decent new direction for the sport.

"[The] production of too many useful things produces too large a useless population." Karl Marx, Human Requirements and Division of Labour, 1844.
  • + 9
 250W is the average power output, nothing to do with the peak output so comparing it peak rider output is not a fair comparison. The peak motor output might be much higher, combine that with the peak rider output and you have a faster rider. Also, that enduro racer who has a massive peak output spent years training to get to the point where he can do that, he has the skill alongside it to make sure he doesn't use that peak power at the wrong time and crash into someone.
  • + 8
 I dont really support the use of e-mtb's unless its for a specific purpose, potentially for those with diasabilities. A mountain bike isn't some efficient form of transport, it is a form of leisure and I believe that in order to maintain the sport as a form of leisure we need to keep it as pure as possible. I support the e-bike as a time-saving commuting machine but I do not support the e-mountain bike
  • + 2
 I've seen one proper use for ebikes on the trail, as a ride for the cameraman in marathon MTB races.
  • + 1
 @t-stoff: I like this idea. I like this idea a lot actually.
  • + 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7NvUDwVdjs

the chasing footage is by an ebike cameraman, they show up sometimes in the video (crossing the finish line behind an athlete)
  • + 8
 Serious question: do you think there's a rational conversation possible about ebikes? Really?

It's categorical thinking: motors-bad. People can't comprehend that not all motors are the same. I've even had people tell me that rider will "hack" the motor, as if it's possible or even easy to just make an induction motor more powerful.
  • + 3
 As to the first question agreed. Positions are entrenched. Civil debate on this is possible but increasingly difficult
  • + 13
 « hacking » motor is allready possible. In europe, motor are blocked a 25km/h. And some user unlock them......

So the difference between small motorcross and e-bike begin to be small ....
  • + 4
 @Cyrain: Fake News - Russian intelligence interfering with race results
  • + 6
 @Cyrain: it's was less technical then you would think, a sensor picks up the speed of the wheel via a magnet. Switch that sensor to the top of the chainstay and throw a cadence magent on instead and your top speed is significantly higher. Power output is identical but it doesn't stop. And because you're not messing with the software your warranty is still.in place.
  • + 3
 Look at a 05 phone now a 17 phone, now why would you think that wouldn't happen to this "device"? They aren't really predominately phones anymore, Moores law and 5 years same story, pro or con or what will happen...
  • + 6
 In answer to your first question, at least in the US, it functionally can't be. Trail access is so tenuous, that we can't risk someone using the existence of e-bikes as justification to ban all bikes.

At the end of the day, I'm really not that concerned with how somebody else has fun, as long as it doesn't destroy trails I care about, & e-bikes fit within that. But I can't advocate for them in the US with how many enemies MTB trail access has.
  • + 1
 @schlayer: funniest comment yet.

so good.
  • + 2
 Here's a thought; with an EPAC, to use authors term, you could conceivably create a singe speed that acted like an infinitely ranged geared bike Most cyclist can only produce 1/4 to 3/4 HP or (185W to 550W if you prefer) sustained, the gears allow us to leverage that poor output to create more speed. Higher speed = more energy consumed (watts being produced / used) If you make it go faster, with out increasing the battery size (a lot) you aren't going as far or as long. Just saying.
  • + 0
 @groghunter: genuine question here, Do american riders really take access rules so seriously? there are quite a few places in the uk where we are technically not supposed to ride but we just take no notice and do it anyway.
Why do you get so hung up on rules which to me seem to be pretty unenforceable?
  • + 4
 @b45her: Yes, lots of people don't follow those rules. Part of the problem is a lot of our trails are multi-use, so if we were banned, you'd have hikers & equestrians narcing on us. & enforcement on some of the trails that started out as allowing MTBs but are now closed is much more stringent that what you're experiencing, The Marin county area being an especially good example. Heck, a trail system just got closed to bikes last year because somebody showed up to a council meeting with a strava printout showing MTB riders were going "too fast."

But ultimately, part of my investment comes from the fact that I'm on the board of a local non-profit, fighting for more bike access, & I really don't want to see the progress we've made rolled back because somebody found a willing govt official to declare that "we can't enforce the ban on e-bikes because we can't tell the difference between them & regular bikes, so all bikes are banned."
  • + 5
 @b45her: it's more enforceable than you think. There are trails were bikes aren't allowed but no one really cares, to be sure. There are also trails were getting caught will get you a significant ticket, and rangers around who catch enough people that it is a concern.
  • + 3
 @Weens: in many parts of Europe, Police couldn't give a slightest sht. It takes a country like Trentino *cough* Italy *cough the Northern Italy" to get Police to chase mushroom pickers, mountain bikers and what not. I was stopped for doing S-turns and bunnhyopping on the street... In Sweden I rode through the middle of big crossing, wrong way, on the red light, at night, no lights, no reflexes, straight into a Police Car and they didn't even bother to roll down the window
  • + 5
 @groghunter
Absolutely. And this applies to many of the more sensitive areas in BC as well. Many areas won't have an issue, but in the zones that are hotly contested by other (more "established") user groups, the current hard-fighting trail orgs won't want to triple their efforts in order to completely redefine what we want to consider non-motorized access.
  • + 5
 An interesting fact: People who are too lazy to ride a real mountain bike are too lazy to fix/maintain the trails they are smashing laps on motor-assisted.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: Ebikes will fit nicely into the Sierra Clubs arsenal.
  • + 0
 The problem is ebike proponents deny that an ebike is a motorized vehicles. A rational conversation will never occur if we can't at least agree on this point.
  • + 0
 @ACree: I'm glad you bring that up because there cannot be any rational discussion in the subject of trail access for bicycles on a site like Pinkbike since we are a bunch with very limited "pool of participants". Most of us are gravity biased mountain bikers. Sorry mate it's a bubble and there's a whole world outside that does not like vehicles in nature. And bicycle is a vehicle. Now a motorized vehicle looking like a bicycle doesn't change much in the perception. The majority of users of nature and in fact majority of cyclists (roadies+ fireroad XCers) cannot give less fk about us, and many of them would like us to get a life somewhere else. I am lucky enough to live and talk to all sorts of users of nature and most of them could not care less. We are idiots frying to kill ourselves on outrageously expensive bicycles. As you can see from my post it is very easy to put yourself in a position of not fancying MTBers. And therefore MTBers whining on E-bikes carries a fair load of hipocrisy. And I want to underline the fact that I am against assisted E-bikes on hiker/biker shared trails, I have nothing against them on bicycle specific trails as long as land owner allows them. Then I am fully against E-mopeds like Stealth Bomber, I think people who sell them are scums and their clients are either absolute idiots or a*sholes. If my neighbor had one I would report on him to the Police about that moron using illegal vehicle on streets and even worse in the woods.

Again. Be very very careful with pedal assisted E-bikes. They are after all mountain bikes whether you like it or nor. They are human powered/ motorized mountain bikes. And no pro rider but extreme cases of Fest guys will ever say no to his sponsor if he asks them to ride one to promote the genre.

Cry me a river of your cancerous thoughts.
  • + 0
 Most of all like with every single discussion himan beings can have: there can be no rational debate if people play teams, and sorry but this article is a great example of team playing bullcrap with real MTBers taking the high moral ground, they have no foundation for. The truth is always a matter of a compromise. Always. The only question MTBers should be asking themselves is how to create room for E-biking, how much and what sort of own ground to give them, instead of throwing fists at the sun, because they are coming big time.
  • + 0
 @AverageAdventurer: except that pretty quickly the motor overheats from putting out too much power, and goes into "limping along" mode. I wouldn't be advocating this.
  • + 1
 @markjaggard: except the power output is still regulated as is noted in the article above and is no different then if you're riding the bike normally. Just won't know when you pass the speed limit it's supposed to cut out at. Think of the gear man. It'd be like having a family sedan with 180hp that's limited to 30. Then you remove the speed limiting portion and finally get to use third, fourth and fifth gear. Power output is the same but now you can move faster. Same load on the engine but thanks to the marvel of engineering that we call a derailleur you can move faster.
  • + 8
 Trail access is the most important issue in mountain biking, and if there is one thing hikers, equestrians, and lawmakers hate more than mountain bikes it is anything with a motor. Trail access is too hard fought to lose ground over motorized bikes.
  • + 7
 Stop trying to confound the issue to suit your argument, with the word "assisted". BS.

Does it have a motor? Yes. Then it's motorized, period. That definition doesn't depend on how that motor is activated, be it via a twist throttle or turning the cranks.

I would go further and say, these are electric motorcycles.

We can tell the bicycle corporations to go F off by voting with our wallets.
  • - 4
flag enduroelite (Feb 23, 2017 at 11:22) (Below Threshold)
 These systems do n ot have throttles, they ASSISTE your pedal stroke.
  • + 6
 @mattwragg - the comparison of four hours on a bike vs. 4 hour of running a marathon doesn't compute. The big deal with running (or, in my case, shuffling...) a marathon is not that it's four hours of cardio exertion. The problem is impact, and what that does to your body. Ride hard for four hours, or run equally hard (in terms of cardio), and you'll have done a similar amount of work, burned a similar amount of energy, all true. But the running will leave you way more sore in both muscles and inflamed connective tissue. Even professional distance runners can't do more than a handful of marathons at race pace in a year - compare that to how many epic XC or endurance races MTB racers do.

Your point about the average office dweller being woefully out of shape, however, is well taken...
  • + 6
 I got as far as the Greg Callahan comment, the difference with e-bikes is that you're putting Callahan power into the hands of morons, backcountry trails that should only see the top end of the rider demographic using, because they have the skills and fitness required to get them there will now see every mom, dad and little Johnny doing laps on, that's NOT sustainable. Then theres the issue of what happens when some fat mess isn't able to get themselves home from the backcountry when their battery goes flat and they realize they are in over their head r.e fitness or skill level?
  • + 3
 I ride yearly in the Chilcotin range and every year there are more and more ill-prepared joeys doing plane-drops into the alpine. Just wait till they realize they can take an ebike instead of the $600 plane ride, and strand themselves in the exposure.
  • + 1
 @mammal: super sketchy concept.
  • + 6
 ITS CRAZY HOW MUCH YOU PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY ARE PUSHING THIS $#!T ON US JUST SO YOU CAN MAKE A BUCK.

u probably wouldnt jump out on a football field with pads ready to smash somebody unless you're in shape, youve practiced and you're ready for the moment (unless you're looking to get hurt). i think the same with a bike.... if you're not in good enough shape to ride, going faster isn't going to help you. BUT it will help get up the hill!- maybe you're doing the wrong kind of riding? it's essentially a motorcycle with a bike industry's way of shifting gears. i like mototrcycles. e bikes look fun, but i just can't ride them where i do my bike. Nor do i want the occasional hikers, bears, and horses to have to compete with that traffic because in the end i will be the one that loses my right to pedal through.

PUT ROAD TIRES ON THEM AND SELL THEM AS TOURING E BIKES. KEEP THEM ON THE ROAD IF YOU MUST CONTINUE TO SELL PEOPLE YOU'RE STUPID FAD.

AND JUST WAIT TIL AN E BIKE BATTERY EXPLODES AND SETS A FOREST ON FIRE........

money- cuz thats all yall care about
  • + 5
 I'm just about finished with my patent on hiking shoes that actually walk trails for you. You will be able to hike further and longer. I'll have snow shoes, cross country skies, and rock climbing shoes as well. Please visit my site at goingfullretard.com If you cant pedal up a hill or are just to lazy, then don't buy a mountain bike.. This debate is sooooo freaking mind numbing!!!! Anyone who needs an electric bike to mountain bike shouldn't be mounting biking, they are a hazard to others.. Electric bikes should stick to pavement..
  • + 5
 I don't think e-bikes will ever be *good* for the sport. I don't see people ever transitioning from ebikes to regular bikes, which means they're not really planning on participating in the community outside of their own ebike powered riding days. At best it allows elderly or disabled riders to participate, which is fine.

It's great for the industry to make a buck, however, which definitely seems like the overall driving force.
  • + 7
 E-Bikes stand to be a major road block in the fight for more mountain bike access of wilderness areas in the U.S. Also, you're a pussy if you need help pedaling.
  • + 4
 Exactly. Especially out here in the West (I live in Colorado). Way too many other trail users looking for ANY excuse to block off more trails to MTB's
  • + 6
 How long does it take to dry your hair with a 10 watt hairdryer? Can you plug it into your e-bike for trail side hair styling while you wait for your pedal bike friends to get to the top?
  • + 4
 How about the reduction in fitness? If the motor allows you to go twice as fast uphill then you aren't burning as many calories on the way up. This is a counter-point to the argument that e-bikes will get chubby office workers into the sport. Sure, they'll be on a bike, but they won't lose the chub.
  • + 5
 My local descent is a 1 hour single-track climb. 3 climbs and I'm beat. I gotta say, I like the idea of expelling the same amount of energy, but get 9 runs in instead. Not convinced, but curious.
  • + 4
 Can you down ore an article? 250 watt boost is quite substantial. I would be willing to bet that the average ftp of pinkbike riders doesn't exceed that value. The way that the boost works too makes it so that you can put so much torque to the rear, and that is what rips at a trail. Greg Callahan also can't put that out of every corner, or do it that many times, peak powers drop offf very quickly, and are rarely hit in trail riding conditions. This is a misleading article, for a number of reasons.
  • + 4
 Can we just take steroids instead! Lol I am a purist when it comes to bikes....beer and coffee too. I have no problem with electric bikes.....I think they are the obvious choice to replace all gas power recreational vehicles......just stay away from the bike trails.....bikes and trails are a like my religion. Lol
  • + 4
 People who modify their ebikes or put 3000 Watt motor on their bikes don't care about trail access or advocacy. They don't even come to pinkbike. It's not the old or disabled people riding 250 watt motor on your trails that will get your trails closed to mtbs, it's the 3000 watt motored e-bikes riders. And where you allow e-bikes, people with modified e-bikes will certainly ride there as well.
  • + 9
 *read title.
me: "no."
  • + 4
 Around here, E-bikers started pedalling UP the trails...that is my main problem with them.

I check the state of each trail before riding it (for fallen trees etc) so I can hit it full throttle, but last summer I started crashing into people pedalling up on their E-bikes. Mostly they were pretty obviously "new to the sport" (which many here consider a positive thing), so they knew nothing about how the trails were intended to be ridden. In the discussions that ensued they turned out to be smug and unreasonable...

So, in my opinion, E-bikes are a danger for everyone on the trails.
  • + 2
 Some of them even destroyed the jumps, which of course were uni-directional and unridable on an uphill...
  • + 4
 The comment about power is misleading. Adding 250w is absolutely a big deal. For example, my functional threshold power, which is the max power I can sustain for 60 minutes, is 295w. So you Are almost doubling the power of a 6'4" cyclist weighing 195 lbs and who trains regularly with a power meter. Max power is misleading as I, the average enthusiast, could probably hit 1200w without any serious training. So yeah... an extra 250 watts is a big deal if you actually understand what the numbers mean as they relate to the practicalities of FTP.
  • + 3
 Exactly !

I don't bother that much about the discussion. I just think that the 250W is much too high imo.(depends on your weight off course). An extra 250W is a lot if your goal is just to 'assist' someone with pedaling. (unless he/she is really heavy)
  • + 4
 "By vastly reducing the fitness barrier, that opens the door to more and more people coming to do what is pretty much mountain biking"

More noobs on the trail hurting themselves is bad news for a lot of trail systems. Especially in places where there isn't a strong cycling culture. I can imagine a mom & 3 kids on e-bikes getting up a climb to find out the hard way that getting down is a bit more complicated. Fitness and dedication has always been a natural barrier to keep the weak and/or less skilled and/or less dedicated off harder trails.
  • + 0
 Fitness and dedication isn't a barrier in a bike park. Anyone can turn up, rent a bike and get whisked to the top of the mountain. Kinda similar really.
  • + 2
 @carlitouk: But it's a bike park, so it's really up to that park to determine who and what rides there. It's a private organization. Most trails are on public land or are in a public private partnership. One yahoo breaks there neck and it can mean problems for years or in some cases the trails/features get taken out all together. The liablity issues are huge and there is a chronic shortage of labour to maintain the trails cause no one is paid. Giving a big boost to those trails rarely means better riding.
  • + 6
 Ya because a mom is gonna drop $7000 each on E bikes for herself and 3 kids. So $28 000 later mommy and little Billy and the rest of the family get to the top of a trail only to realize its a little too difficult. But F*ck it, mommy throws caution to the wind and advises her kids to try the trail anyway. Of all the moronic arguments you could have used to get your point across this ranks amongst the stupidest I have seen.

I am also sick of the term noob being used to criticize new comers to the sport. Like somehow they are less deserving of being able to ride bikes than we are. We were all new at some point and everyone should be given respect on the trails regardless of skill.

Also the scenario you described could happen at any bike park or trail system. I have seen it many times at my local bike park where someone with a lower skill level attempts a trail that they shouldn't. Regardless of E Bikes its the riders responsibility to judge their skill level accordingly. Ebikes will have no effect at all on this.
  • + 3
 @JesseE: I get you, but in all fairness, I've never heard of a bike park preventing someone less experienced from riding there.
  • + 2
 @Senna8730: It's a persons responsibility to judge their skill level, sure, but they're not the only one's who pay the price when things go south. Bike parks not only have better insurance to cover accidents, but also the resources to make trails that are easier to progress on. So many local systems rely on volunteers who build the trail to their liking, which typically isn't "easier", so. I don't think bikes that allow users who want to put in less effort will be a positive thing for a lot of local trails. Big technical climbs are a natural way of keeping the less advanced off more technical terrain (not in bike parks, obviously). Making it easier to ride trails helps no one. Also, riding a mountain bike on a trail isn't some god given right, it's a privilege of those who have access to trails and a bike to ride on them. On trails where pedalling up to descents is involved I think e-bikes are a negative. They make riding hard trails easier and bring more people to those trails who might otherwise avoid them.
  • + 1
 @carlitouk: I guess I should have stated that my opinion is for public trail systems, not private parks. Private parks can do as they wish, but public systems have far more stakeholders to worry about and I think e-bikes invite more complication to that situation. I'm all for people learning and getting better and progressing and sometimes riding scary shit. But when you take a huge part the challenge out of the ride it ups the amount of risk by making harder terrain more accessible to peole who would otherwise avoid it. This happens it bike parks, I get it, but I'm sure if bike park owners could avoid those situations they would.
  • + 2
 @JesseE: I should be heeding my own advice and I will apologize since my reply was needlessly aggressive. However, I still stand by my points. I do understand the other side of the argument. No one wants their trails clogged with riders whose skill does not match the trail. However, that still doesn't give you or me the right to say who can or can't use them. Accidents will happen with riders of all skill levels, in some cases its more likely that an advanced rider will have a catastrophic crash due to the speed involved. Its true that an accident can have a negative impact on the trail system due to liabilities etc but I can't imagine the statistical odds of that happening change much with Ebike use. Granted I don't have any evidence to support that but I have to believe that totally incapable novice riders don't buy an Ebike for a tremendous cost right out the gate and then muscle it up a technical climb only to attempt a trail out of their skill level, subsequently crash and then sue the local municipality because of it.
  • + 2
 @Senna8730: ha, don't worry about it. it's the internet, we're supposed to argue! Smile I'm probably too biased based on my local trails which are on city owned land and in a precarious position with city hall and every other type of user. But I can tell you that here the harder trails often begin with brutal climbs which I'm sure have kept one or two people off who shouldn't have been there. Get a few uninitiated rich kids on E-bikes zipping up those things and I promise there will be more accidents. Or even someone getting to the top not winded ripping down the other side... One broken neck and there's a very good chance the city will come in and rip out tonnes of hard work. Obviously that can happen any time, but I think the more you make these advanced trails accessible the more opportunities to bring for disaster. Also, I just think it's lame to not pedal yourself to the top if you aren't at a park with lift access gravity based riding. And lastly, say E-bikes become the norm and trails are built with e-bikes in mind; I wonder if the climbs start to become unattainable for anything but the fittest athletes. Second lastly, adding batteries and all the waste associated to a wonderfully simple sport sucks too.
  • + 4
 This whole fiasco must be terminated as soon as possible. All federal and provincial jurisdictions who have power of authority must come out hard and concise in regards to E bikes. They are a motorized vehicle. Period. Any area where motorized vehicles are not permitted also includes E bikes. period. The multitude of wilderness advocacy groups, and pretty much all other trail user groups will slay mtn biking as a whole if allowed to grow. I support them wholly, even when they can be a little holier than thou if you know what I mean. I know it would be a disaster here in North Vancouver if E bikes got a foothold in the market and started to be a serious alternative to actually riding your damn mountain bike! If allowed to fester and grow the end result will be banning of all bikes. Period!
  • + 6
 I thought ebikes were for peeps who lost their driver's license, stay off my track drunk bitches!
  • + 3
 This article was about 40X longer than it needed to be and contained zero persuasive logic or appeals to emotion either way; it was basically water-cooler BS ramblings put into paragraph form. And running a marathon is way harder on you than riding for four hours, the two aren't even remotely comparable.
Let's revisit this topic in 20 years when all of the egocentric clowns talking shit about ebikes are old enough to have bad knees or backs but still want to ride. 100% chance tunes will have changed.
Keeping horse shit and f*cktard headphone-wearing joggers off dedicated bike trails is more of a concern than ebikes will ever be.
  • + 3
 The moment there is a throttle, it's no longer a bicycle. Pedal-Assisted Power is one thing, that could technically be considered a bicycle. But when you're not required to pedal, and you're given a twist throttle on the handlebar, you're now using a motorcycle. Pretty straightforward, keep motorized vehicles off my trails please.
  • + 3
 Anything about e bikes good for tha sport is a total sell out, Its bullshit and in 5 years mark my words, you will all be bitching about them, Fkn couch potatoes stay on the couch, keep yr e bikes to the city commute! Industry is raping its own!
  • + 3
 This is not about the versatility of e bikes. This is not about the fact that e-bike will "open up" mountain biking to folks struggling with injury/ailing body. This is about access and don't forget that. Trail access for mtb is tenuous and hard-fought. You can bet your fancy new specialized turbo boost nonsense "bike" that as soon as someone on the other side of the access argument gets wind of people regularly using these motorized bikes on trails there will be a brand new struggle for access.

I don't care if you ride one of these things or not, but ride them where motorized bike are allowed or dont ride them at all. They are motorized bikes, plain and simple. Perhaps the e-bike crowd should see this as an opportunity to develop their own riding areas. Whatever, just don't ruin the fun for everyone because your knees feel better when the bike is doing 3/4 of the work for you on the way up.
  • + 5
 And, to speak to the "its only 250w" argument. Yeah. Right. Have you looked at this website before? 90% of the content is reviews of products which are meant to make our bikes lighter and perform better. People nowadays will try to enhance or "hack" anything. Lets take e-cigs/vaporizers as an example. There is an entire industry dedicated to modifying something as dumb as an e-cig. As soon as these things are really on the market, I can guarantee there will be people (probably the same ones "modding" their e-cigs) who modify e-bikes to produce way more power. These are also the same people who will likely start powering up non-motorized trails leaving clouds of watermelon vape and monster cans strewn in their wake.
  • + 3
 @ellingferd: "leaving clouds of watermelon vape and monster cans strewn in their wake". that's a good line.
  • + 0
 I disagree, I think anywhere public funds are being used to build and maintain bike trails they should/will be allowed, ADA anyone....pick your poison, public access or public funding.

Evergreen, will have to deal with the fact they're dependent on state funds for everything they do, and subject to discrimination laws. Now, there is a world of difference between a pedal assist and a throttle, but that'll be fought out in the courts. Long term, assist bikes are here to stay, they'll get smarter, lighter, stronger, and in a few years common.

Chances are you opposed full suspension, dropper posts, hydraulic brakes, carbon, because I hear the same tired arguments, it'll be to easy, they'll take away our trails and Joey's will ruin them all anyways....nobody is that special, time moves on, deal with it.
  • + 2
 @graniteandrew: There is not a world of difference between a pedal assist and a throttle. Both are motorized.

Give the aftermarket a few months and there will be throttle conversion kits.

Embrace ebikes if you hate the sport and want to kill it.
  • + 5
 I give it up to @mattwragg for having the fortitude to come out on the unpopular side of this debate on this website. Took some nuts, for sure.
  • + 3
 Forget about the motor. If you want it motorized, get a real motorbike and stop being a pussy. Instead, make our mountain bikes cheaper and more reliable, people will own more bikes and more people will be hooked. The motor makes them more complicated, expensive and less reliable which defeats the purpose and beauty of a bicycle which are simple and self-powered.
  • + 5
 I stopped at, "I haven't lived there, so feel free to tell me I am wrong here, but the impression I get is that your land access is hard fought and maintained. "
  • + 3
 Meh. I'm not going to sacrifice fun descending and better fitness in order to have an easier go of it on the uphill. It doesn't really matter what the big bike company ad people say - it's simply not going to be built to be as much fun on the DH. Not to mention the stigma associated with the things. I prefer to have other mountain bikers like me.
  • + 3
 I ride DJ's, pump tracks, and fast flowing DH jump lines. I am 34, I ride because i love it! The adrenaline, nature, the sound of my tires ripping into the trail and the fresh air is just exhilarating.

With that said, I could never ride an e-bike. it will literally weigh me down and ruin my experience.

"its only 10kg heavier"... this is a killer for me. We purposely buy components that are light weight for a reason. Changed out my forks and saved 2 lbs, its night and day!! How can I get used to riding a bike that is over 20 lbs heavier?!

It will never happen for me.

You will not see e bikes in the competitive side of the sport as it defeats the purpose. Without the pros riding them it will never be big. Its popular now because it new. But what about mopeds? We has assisted bike . bikes with motors long ago and how many mopeds do you see?

The is just a fad...

Once the hype and new toy smell wears off its just another dust collector. how many people under 20 are going to buy an ebike ?
  • + 1
 I agree with you, but i don't think it's a fad unfortunately. Ten years from now i think we will see more e-Mtb than self propelled bikes. Instant gratification is addictive. Not everyone wants to ride for five years before begining to get to some sort of fitness level and actually begin to appreciate the climbs ( i do but i'm a freak). Fun is all what matters now, and the fun must be NOW. I think the path to get in shape is where you learn about yourself it's not easy but it served me in all aspect of my life.
  • + 3
 Until the units become smaller and weights lower its just another fashion statement. (i know thats close with additive manufacturing and nano tech coming into play, but not right now). We all know how much weights play into mountain biking, and morseo, fun mountain biking, rather than plowing and rolling.

To do the 40 mile trip to the official trails with all that water and kit would be awesome, getting there and still having energy, all thumbs up. But id still want the same playfulness I get from 30lb bike.
To use it on the unofficial trails 10miles away..id rather get the exercise. Same reason I don't use uplifts and prefer wild trails. Mountain biking is as much about my body as the adventure. But with it becoming a mainstream bro thing..the times they are a changing.
  • + 3
 I have my own story to share involving E-bike, normal bike, and local trails in the south east of France, cancer, lot of pain, land management, and trail building. . In the south east of France, around Nice, where, sometime, you can meet Vouilloz, Nicolaï, Barel, Bruni, and other top gun, riding the local trails. Our trails are natural. They are 90% of the time, on the public land. Everybody can take them, hikers, horses, bike, e-bike… Motocross is forbidden as they don’t have any plate, enduro bikes are forbidden also, but nobody care. Building or modify a trail is forbidden, you can secure the trails, but building jumps is forbidden, you can but don’t be surprised if it’s destroyed 1 month later…. Most of the trails are open to everybody, we learnt to share, but a*sholes on all side still exist.



That’s 28 years I’m riding. 2 years ago, I had a thyroid cancer. It took me 2 month to correctly recover, and then I had a severe pancreatitis. It took me nearly one year to recover, and it’s still not really perfect. 2 years ago, I was riding a Mondraker Dune on my local trail. But with all my health problem, I was really tired, and I went from 30/40 km and 1500/2000 meters positive to 10 km and 400 meters/+. What were my choices? Improving my bike, so I bought a Dune Carbon, and I had 2 km to the ride. And I was still really tired. For example, for 10 km, I needed 3 or 4 days to recover. As an ex racer, it was really a pain in the ass to see myself so down, and not be able to do a sport I love. So, in august 2016, I bought an E-bike, a Mondraker Crafty XR. And I kept my Dune Carbon. I restart to ride as I was still struggling with health issue. Did it help me? Maybe, but more on a psychological aspect. And since January, I restart to ride my normal bike. But, as, with two children, and my job, and the lack of time, I keep riding also my e-bike when I don’t have enough time. I found a good balance.

I don’t follow people who keep saying “you have to earn it to enjoy it”, for me it’s completely stupid. I’m more on a “enjoy it and share”. During the time I spent without being able to ride correctly, I would have stayed at home and prevented myself to do one of the thing I really most. Riding my bike.

And I don't follow also the "no dig, no ride", because, it looks like "Bro, it's our trail, don't come here, you are not welcome".

Seriously, it's far away from the concept we all have about MTB, share, enjoy, have fun.

So, if somebody want an e-bike, good for him, if he wants a normal bike.... Good for him.

And E-bike is huge at the moment in my place, did it change something? No, i saw maybe 3 or 4 new faces, no more. But I see more my old friends who started to stop riding because they were around 50/60. By the way, I'm 40, and I really love my 2 bikes.

Oh, and one of my mates, who is from US told me a good story last time. (He is doing the EWS by the way, so not a slow fresh fish), He was against E-Bike, then he rode his bike in switzerland, then around Nice and Finale Ligure, and he understood the E-bike concept. He was able to ride everything, but understood that the terrain was so steep and so difficult, that for some person, E-bike could be really interesting for the normal people who does not ride everyday. For exemple, in my place, you have a minimum of 10 km to do to take the first trail, and not 10 flat Km, 10 km at 10/15%. And even the fire road are steep sometime.

@ Matt Wragg, thanks a lot.

@haters No problem if you don't understand, I'm having fun riding.
  • + 4
 I feel if we keep talking about E-bikes then the industry will think we like them and will continue to ramp up production, therefore we should ignore them and never mention them again.
  • + 2
 Yes. and more importantly, don't buy them, don't buy from brands that push them, and let you local shop know why you aren't buying that brand.
  • + 3
 "good for the sport"... what does that mean? I don't think that more people on [bikes + epacs] is necessarily good for anything. Good for the sport, to me, means more trail access and better bikes. EPACs probably provide neither of these. Do EPAC rides support IMBA/similar in greater numbers than traditional cyclists do? I doubt it. Does development of EPACs impact traditional bikes in any way? Probably negatively - since companies are diverting design resources to the more lucrative EPAC market. So, I don't see them as a win for the cyclist.
  • + 7
 Did you see that Dead horse? Let's kick it
  • + 3
 Since when did pinkbikers turn into to environmental/ cardio fanatics? Most of the videos and media on this site show, lift and vehicle assisted riding. Usually with no pedaling involved to "earn" the descent. Pedal assist bike still require effort and so does downhilling. Downhill is more fun. Why the ridiculous hate?
  • + 2
 Taking the shuttle to the top is okay. The lift at the bike park is okay because the skiers already carved up the slope. Digging for Galena will have a veritable Beetlemania in the comment section, but nobody will bemoan the helicopter lift to the top. But put a motor and battery on a bicycle and ride it on trails? You can go to hell.
  • + 2
 "the simplest answer is around four hours of cardio. Now think of a four-hour ride, that's four hours of fairly comparable cardio"

I'm all for bikes and MTB, that's why I read this blog, but the author probably hasn't run at all (and please don't take this as an insult; nowadays everyone seems to have very shallow skins).
Running and cycling aren't quite comparable in intensity and the toll they take on your body. If you think running for 4h is comparable to riding for the same time (and that assuming the flattest of pavements for both), you are very wrong!

As an anecdote (which I know doesn't prove anything, but there are studies, look them up if you're interested): the longest ride I've done recently went for 6h (not counting dead time, stops, etc, only effective riding time): I went to some "nearby" waterfall for a swim, in total about 94km with 1.5km of long get-off-the-bike-and-push hard ascents because I live in "Valley Land", Mexico. The last kms of flat pavement arriving home I was keeping a great pace; I remember being very surprised of not being more tired. Of course, the next day I was in pain, but manageable.

I once ran for 22.5km (a bit more than 2h) in flat pavement and ended up almost walking the last kms. I couldn't move without pain for maybe 3-4 days after. The same day I couldn't even bend to pick things from the ground... And back then I was running a lot!

Another one: I regularly (3-4 times a week) go riding on local bikeways (less than 500m of ascent) for about 20-30km / 2h and I could take that as a warm-up for the rest of the day, while if I go for a 10k run I know that's all I'm going to accomplish that day... and the next.

Running and Cycling/Mountain Biking aren't even close.

Now, e-bikes are ok, I don't see all the fuss. If you like one and are fortunate enough to be able to buy one, by all means, get one! If you don't like them, stick with your old bicycle. I think it's very simple.
  • + 2
 about an engine on a bicycle, right?

This was said at the very beginning of the topic and as far as technicality goes a e-bike would not have a engine because a engine is internal combustion device were as a motor is a electric and they whoever it was that wanted to name earlier on they too were bicycles with engines fitted to them.

So a e-bike is actually the truest form of a motorcycle just wait till the sierra club figures this or better yet let's get the Sierra Club to work with us and protect our trails from what could potentially be the worst possible thing to hurt our access to the trails we all care about so much.
  • + 4
 there is absolutely no reason for a young healthy human to ride an e-bike but lazyness!!!! No benefit from e-bikes to our sport...
  • - 1
 Why should a young healthy human ride a carbon bike? Or one with suspension? Or gears? Young healthy humans should only pedal steel rigid single speed bikes while dragging an anchor and smoking cigarettes.
  • + 1
 @jonbrady85: good call although I quit the booze and fags (cigarettes to you lot across the pond) years ago.
  • + 2
 @jonbrady85: This argument is so tired... the most fundamental aspect of a bicycle is that it is human powered. Anything else you can do to a bike is to enhance comfort and control (or in the case of disk brake, just make a component that actually works in the environment that it is used). And it is quite apparent that even with these things, the best rider is going to be the fastest, not the one with the fanciest materials and suspension. I have no problem with E-bikes existing, but they are not part of the MTB sport; they are their own thing. There is no reason for them or their advocacy to be the responsiblity (or burden) of the MTB community. I've seen paralyzed people hand pedaling trails on three-wheeled bikes. Compare this to riders saying how much they need to use motorized vehicles called 'e-bikes' on non-motorized trails because their knees are too sore to pedal as hard or fast or long as they used to. It's bullshit. Again, I'm sorry for anyone with physical issues. I'm quite sure my own surgically repaired back will end my biking career sooner than I want. I deal with pain almost daily and have to follow quite a regimen just to be able to ride with manageable discomfort, and the battle gets tougher every year. But I'm not going to shit on the sport I love to prolong my participation in it by declaring that a vehicle with a motor is a mountain bike and should enjoy all the same rights and access as an actual bicycle. It is just selfish and self-serving.
  • + 7
 E bikes are stupid....
  • + 6
 the assumptions made to support the author's arguments are cringeworthy
  • + 2
 This is pretty naive, first eBikes may not be all that powerful and may be a little hefty right now but remember how hefty mountain bikes were just 10 years ago? Battery capacity doubles on average every 10 years, there is progress in electric motors. You're basically advocating electric MX bikes as belonging on MTB trails. We don't all live in Moab and we have enough issues with trail access without eMX bikes out there.

_MK
  • + 6
 add a motor, remove the soul
  • + 2
 'Hacks and Bodges E-Bike' Step 1 remove cranks. Step 2 mount bike Step 3 attach cordless drill the bottom bracket Step 4 attach zip tie to drill trigger keeping it on Step 5 ride around with you legs spread like you're riding a huge E-balance bike Step 6 shave your legs and buy a roadie because you're a fag.
  • + 5
 Not a mountain bike period. Not mountain biking period. Something else altogether. Have fun doing it where it belongs.
  • + 2
 In the U.S. at least, I think it should be dealt with on a local level.

In Vermont, 90% of the trails I ride are dedicated MTB trails. People trail run and walk on some of them, but the vast majority of traffic is from mountain bikers. These trails are maintained by mountain bike associations, and build specifically for us. We are incredibly lucky to have so much hiking, biking, and equestrian trail, all specific to their own uses, that we very rarely have on-trail conflicts. So here, (even though I think e-bikes are contrary to why I enjoy the sport), I think e-bikes would be fine on most trails.

Unfortunately, our situation is vastly different from the majority of the U.S. where there can be a crunch for space and trail access is limited and precious. In these areas, e-bikes are just a bottle of kerosene thrown into the fire...
  • + 2
 I don't own, nor have I ever ridden an e-bike. Ever since I was 5, I've always ridden my bike wherever I wanted to go. Sometimes hundreds of miles, even on a dh bike. I've owned several motorcycles also. Now, I don't believe the three belong on the same trails. But I can totally see why some people would want an e-bike. I actually sold one of my old monster T forks to an older gentleman that was building his own custom e-bike. His plan was to ride it thru the desert for hundreds of miles. Sure he could have ridden a motorcycle, or a bicycle. But, he wanted an e-bike. I see people fairly often ridding e-bikes in the city going to work. I really don't see a problem with neither of those particular situations. If anything, people should be happy they are using non emissions emitting modes of transportation. But clearly, I wouldn't want to run into a dude on one at my local mountain bike trail network, or a motorcycle or any other form of motorized vehicle. At the same time, if I go on a dedicated atv trail system, I wouldn't want to see a mountain bike or an e-bike.
  • + 3
 As if we don't have enough issues with forest services and hikers, lets let lazy riders have motors. This will only fuel the argument against mt bikes on trails. E-bikes are bad for the sport!
  • + 2
 i honestly dont get peoples issue here. it isnt a motorbike. its a mountain bike with a bit of help. a bit like a 160mm enduro bike is a bit of help riding round a trail centre, or saving 50grams with a carbon bar.
i am time poor. i want to ride more. i tolerate climbing. an ebike means i could ride more in a morning and be home to the family. its still exercise, it makes climbing fun and it sounds like they are still fun to descend.
does it mean the trails will be over run with idiots who shouldnt be on there? probably not. tech trails are still hard to ride.
do surf lessons mean that the good waves get crowded with kooks dropping in on everyone all the time, no?
if you think an e mountain bike is a motorbike then you are a moron. simple.
i dont have one but id sure like to try one.
if you dont like them dont buy one. just spend your money on 12 speed or boost or matching kit instead.
go ride your bike, whatever it is.
and please read the entire article properly.
  • - 1
 My thoughts exactly. This was a well written open minded article. It's a shame most pinkbikers are not the same.

Maybe North America will get it one day (and this applies to their trail access issues as well).
  • + 0
 Well said! Too much bullshit written, I use both e and normal bikes (I am very lucky to be able to afford this) but it does mean I get to pack way more fun into my bike time starved life.
  • + 6
 Call them motor bikes for f*ck sakes
  • + 2
 Will ebikes kill the trails that we love?

The curious thing about ebikes and their "European invasion" is what they show about the difference between the riding mentality of the two continents.

In the US we place a high value on liberty. In Europe they value equality. Our value of liberty lends itself to divisions between the DHers, singlespeeders, bikepackers, flowtrailers, and all other self identifying user groups. This fragmentation beaks down our collective bargaining power when it comes to trail negation and undercuts our liberty to build and maintain new trails. It is reflected with the responses written in this ebike thread - "This is the way I do it and it is the only way it should be done".

Europe values equality over liberty and this leads to a better relationship between subsets of the biking community and is reflected with their larger adoption of the ebike user group. This, in turn, increases the participation in biking communities and is reflected in the standardization of regulations, better access to trails and more streamlined adoption of new trails.

Will ebikes kill the trails that we love? Doubtful. Will the American mentality of existing user groups towards this new segment of users place in peril the trails that we love and slow future development? Absolutely.
  • + 1
 ebikes are becoming more frequent where I ride but they are rarely on the "proper" trails. Personally I hate E-bikes but so far haven't had many negative experiences. I think ebikes are not going away, maybe it will settle down into niche , maybe it will end up being a significant part of the Mtb community. I think we would be better off making sure that people are encouraged to behave and ride responsibly. In my logical brain Im happy that people who other wise wouldn't might get out and ride, in my heart I wish the earth would open up and swallow ebikes in a fiery painful death but, I also can't stand karaoke, doesn't mean others can't enjoy it so long as they sing their stupid songs responsibly.
  • + 1
 Is pedal assist better now cause all the pedal assist I've tried was laggy and draggy. Give me a throttle please without the weight of a motorbike or the terrible noise or need for fossil fuels. Put the battery on my back not on the bike. Make the motor removable.
  • + 1
 I work for a specialized dealer and sell lots of Levos through our shop. There are some seriously cool stories of people getting back out doors who couldn't before ie a guy who lost a lung. I don't like e bikes I don't like seeing them on our local trails and for the most part the people buying them are very non cyclist like. Kind of dorky assholes who know more about electronics than cycling. As a sales professional who is an expert cyclist I no longer appeal to this crowd. They don't care that i am passionate about cycling all they want to hear are power numbers in the battery and motor. I don't know that shit! If we could just separate cycling and e-biking this subject would be a whole lost less complex.
  • + 1
 It just sounds like you're a terrible salesman.
  • + 1
 So we can blame you when trails get closed.
  • + 1
 I agree, it opens new doors for people who dont like to climb and that wanna go further on a ride , still never personnaly tried one but I really woulf like too ... i thing i would loose pleasure on the downhill because of the weight, but otherway the concept is awesome
  • + 1
 Shimano MTB StEPS systems....nuff said
  • + 2
 Still don't know how I feel about these things. Personally it's a no go for me, but I could see it being beneficial for some under some circumstances. As long as it's safe and doesn't wreck the trails I don't mind it.
  • + 1
 The only application for a motor on a bicycle is maybe for a downhill because those are heavy and are quite the bitch to be pumped up a hill. In other words, I could see one be used in leau of shuttling or using the ski lift to get your downhill bike to the top.
  • + 1
 Some of the statements in the article don't hold water. No pro racer could ever beat any normal rider up a climb. Never. I went and tested a Specialized Levo ebike on singletrack as part of an outing to understand the tech and come up with appropriate policy guidance. I'm fit, a good technical climber, but not a racer. An unskilled person with no fitness would still have gone 2-3 times as fast up the singletrack climb. On the bike I never broke a sweat, though I did get my hear rate up a few times. My legs certainly didn't get much of a workout. They are pretty fun, especially going up or on rolling terrain, I'll give you that. But if you ride an ebike, you'll get out of shape quite quickly. Ebikes, at least the Levo, have a massive amount of power, and you have to pedal just barely enough to get the e-boost to kick in. It's not a proper workout. Anything else you hear is just spin from the marketing managers trying desperately to open up the regulations.
  • + 1
 My only complaint about ebikes is that the tech obsolecence have so much speed that is higher than standard mtb, they have better motors better battery dedicated gear, brakes, suspension... every month as the market grows.... so is difficult for me to spend so much money (not so far to a good mtb) for a ebike that will be old faster than a mtb. I think that ebikes are far from be at the top of theyr potential.. low wheight and high battery autonomy are at now the goal of the next years.. or months? I don't thinks that ebike will be the SUV's mtb in terms of market... but the hybrid way to go cycling.
  • + 1
 Like em' or not we should all embrace because we are not that big in numbers that we can afford to be divided as a group. If we ever want recognition from government or access to public funds we need to stick together. If your sick of not having more trails or want more trails built/allowed then you need to recognize we need support from local/state/federal government! We get that by sticking together in our shared love for bikes and the outdoors.
  • + 1
 Regardless of what your opinion on E-Bikes is, the in-fighting within biking as a whole is completely useless and self defeating. For the record I don't have an e-bike and don't see the need for one. However, I don't see the need to criticize them either.

I have seen this same essential argument play out for years at Skateparks and let me tell you it helps absolutely no one and ruins the experience for everyone. Every skatepark is full of people who either skateboard, bmx, scooter, mountain bike or rollerblade. Everyone is there for the same reason, to have fun doing the sport that they prefer. However, its inevitable that one user group thinks they are better and more deserving of using the space which leads to fights and confrontations despite the facility being used more or less in the same fashion. This ruins the fun for EVERYONE. The same thing is destined to happen with Ebikes.

Entitled mountain bikers are going to whine and stamp their feet "But its not mountain biking...wah wah wah, I am better than you cause I use my legs and I am so good at exercise." If you don't think its mountain biking that is totally fine but it does not change the fact that everyone has a right to have fun and share the environment where multiple sports can be done. So go ahead critics and keep whining like children and see if that stops people from riding Ebikes. Surprise! It wont. What it will accomplish however is making a nice trail a hostile environment where everyone is fighting with one another about something completely trivial that wont change YOUR fundamental experience. Could the trails be busier with more people outside enjoying themselves? Absolutely, but that is something that you will have to learn to live with just as I have with busier skateparks and guess what? Its kinda nice seeing tons of people outside having fun and you learn to appreciate it.

Do I like it when I am at the skatepark on my BMX and there are 30 scooter kids ripping around? Not really. However, because I am an actual human being I can recognize that they have just as much of a right to be there as I do and I share the facility and end up having fun anyway. I won't let it ruin my day and neither should you.

So how about everyone grow up and learn to share
  • + 1
 Love PB and they will have to buckle like is being done here it's reality but they and all the pro e bike people outright ignore what the digitalization of mtbs really means and how once let loose there's no stopping it nor the outside digital world that will follow it. Why wouldn't we see more and more tech added, auto braking, stability control, dual wheel drive, line choice assist, rider machine interface etc etc. Its not what could happen it's what will happen, why wouldn't it?!?!
  • + 1
 Instead of having 250W of power, why not reduce the amount of power so that it is simply a pedal assist on the way up? Imagine a significantly smaller power output that just made it slightly easier to get up the hill. Then you can reduce the size of the battery and/or motor, thus saving weight and making the weight penalty less of a hurdle.

I see e-bikes in a different light. Imagine a DH bike with one of these tiny motors. You ride the trail with a smaller weight penalty than one of these big, heavy batteries we currently see. Then when you get to the bottom, you put your seat up and you can actually ride up again instead of pushing. It may also eliminate the need for uplift services, which environmentally probably cause more damage to fireroads than e-bikes.
  • + 1
 some of the new bikes are exactly that, they have smaller batteries that are actually more powerful but less capacity. The bosch motor isn't great but some of the new ones like shimano are drag free when not in use. This gives you the boost for the climbs but with less disadvantage when the fun starts. Having tried a few the 250w seams a good figure as can let you climb with some effort still required.
  • + 1
 After reading the article and the comments it's pretty clear that the UK is a little more relaxed about e-bikes compared with the USA, this would appear to be due to access issues and concerns about losing trails. I can understand both views and I think a lot more myth busting needs to be done before the picture becomes more transparent. Anyway, I can't afford an e-bike just yet so i'm going to put a car battery in a backpack and strap 25 hair dryers to it... wind assisted pedalling.... the wind-e-bike. Sorry !!!
  • + 1
 I am not sure if physical limitations (regardless of reason or type) should be a reason to justifiy e-bikes on traditional MTB trails. I feel your pain my knees hurt too. I appreciate that the guy wants to get out with his dad. But how do we draw a line with mechanical advantage creating access. If I want to go climb El Capitan or Everest should I have the right to find some device that makes it possible for me? Of course not. I know people that have physical limitations but they find a way without the assistance. They might have to work harder deal with more pain but they push thru. We have plenty of choices of how we spend our free time. We need lines that we do not cross. If I want that motor I will get a motorcycle and use it where appropriate. For me even though bicycles have progressed with technology they still represent simple human powered transportation wether over payment or dirt. If that hill is a strugle I quess I need to get out there more and overcome my weekness.
  • + 1
 I see folks on e-bikes every single day which I am 100% sure would spend there hole day on the couch when having no e-bike.
And they are sweating and they are getting fit and they are supporting our sport.

I am in sales and one easy calculation is, selling bigger volume is decreasing the price.
So as more bikes are out there as cheaper the parts will get.

I did a test ride day on an e-bike because I am lazy and was looking for strong assistance uphill.
But I found out, the support is very small and I pushed the pedals as hard as usual.
It is just normal if you pedal a bike that you use all the power you have, the difference is, on an e-bike you are faster on the top of the hill.
The result of that day was, my average heart rate was higher than usual, because going uphill was more fun and you start pushing for more, especially on the technical climbs.
I did three times more descending on one day and trails which were usually just for transition to the next DH were getting kind of descending feeling, even if they had a little rise.
  • + 1
 E-bikes are good for people who want E-bikes, it isn't more complicated than that. So are E-trikes good for people who can be convinced to buy an E-trike. Nobody has ever determined that Mountain Biking is good for people or nature in the first place.
  • + 1
 I've never ridden an Ebike but I cant wait to get one. They look like a lot of fun adding another way of getting in more turns. What is wrong with that. Ebikes closing trails makes no sense. the average person cant even tell the difference. Less talk about them the better. I have a dirtbike and thats a whole different experience. It makes noise and takes gas. Haters go a head and hate all you want. There coming like it or not.
  • + 2
 Sorry, I don't think the comparison to Greg Callahan is appropriate-he's worked his tail off and earned it. It would be a pleasure to have him steal whatever Strava times I might have.
  • + 1
 So many myths surround the e-MTB discussion, and, admittedly, living in Finale and riding my Cyclocross rather than contemplating to purchase an e-MTB, I believed in some of these myths, too. I am advocate of trying things first, though, to arrive at a more informed judgement, so I tried one, and liked it. Dirt UK has a great feature on their website looking at some of the myths surrounding e-MTB's and I encourage you to read it @ dirtmountainbike.com/bike-reviews/e-bikes/e-mtb-vs-mtb-facts.html. BTW, I'll get one and my arthritis in my hip will thank me for it;-) Just keep an open mind, guys, that's what I learned.
  • + 4
 Seems like its just taking part of the challenge out of mountain biking which makes our sport what it is
  • + 2
 How would E-bikes affect Strava times?
I personally do not take Strava that serious but to a StravaTw@, I'm sure having your KOM taken by a guy who probably didn't even break a sweat would be infuriating!
  • + 1
 f*ck Strava! I wanna get an ebike just to get all the KOMs in my area (road and dirt).
  • + 5
 Ebikes, you cool, but you better not fuck with my trail access
  • + 5
 "E-Bikes are good for our sport"

Is that really still our sport? Wink Wink
  • + 5
 "E-bikes are good for my money" he said.
  • + 5
 Pretty stoked about some tandem E-bikes.
  • + 1
 "By vastly reducing the fitness barrier, that opens the door to more and more people coming to do what is pretty much mountain biking (certainly they won't give a crap about our moral concerns of whether it is motorised or not). Think this is pure theorising? It is to some extent, but seeing as virtually every major manufacturer now sports an e-bike in their range, it seems to be a theory some smart people are buying into too..."

Ah...aren't carbon 29ners with 12 speed drive trains that easily weigh under 30lbs the new fitness barrier reducer. My distance, speed and fun factor has increase dramatically simply with how much has evolved in the last 6 years with mtb bikes. Even the first dropper post I bought six years ago increased my speed noticeably with reduced stopping and better body positioning for riding all aspects of trail. E mountain bikes are not mountain bikes, pure and simple. No matter how close the industry is telling you emtb bikes are to real mountain bikes, it is a lie. The sale of bikes, all bikes, never really dramatically increases year to year. In fact, they are really the same from year to year. Goes ask the NBDA. With the increased competition among manufactures who have blown up their business too much and want to sustain what they have they look to any new idea as good, practically. Sorry for the problem with digression.
  • + 1
 Why does it matter to any of you how someone else gets up a hill? Yeah, you slaved away to build fitness, but so what? Do people only deserve to do a thing if they put in the same effort?

The arguments in these comments are 20% unknowns ("They might impact X, we shouldn't risk it") and 80% self-righteousness. A greater population on which to build cycling advocacy can only help us. If you're not in a race and you find people passing you offensive, get over yourself.
  • + 6
 Have you ever been to a community meeting to discuss concerns about mtb access in the past? Motor=horror to people who have fought to restrict mtb access. I will bet you an e-bike that this will be an issue as soon as these bikes inevitably pop up on a non-motorized trail. It will be a slow build, but many of those who fought and lost the battle to restrict access to mtb are just waiting to make a new argument, and then it opens it all back up again. They aren't going to care about anything other than the motor. Hell, it could be slower, but the mere fact that it has a motor will drive these people insane, which will be terrible for those of us who would like to continue riding in these areas.
  • - 1
 @ellingferd: The opposing argument is that ebikes are bad, they can't effectively police ebikes, and therefore they should ban all bikes. I don't see the benefit of conceding the first point. If you do, your argument becomes "yes we can police them"; even if that were true in the short term (and I don't believe it is), every generation of electronics gets harder to distinguish on sight. As with road bikes, we won't be able to do it forever; then you're out of legs to stand on.
  • + 3
 @alexdi: I think you are right, that ebikes are inevitable. The pessimist in me can see it coming, and regardless of whether or not you support ebikes, there will be restricted access. The other side of this argument or, the angry hiker crowd, will prevail on this eventually. I suppose there isn't much to be done other than to see how it shakes out. However, I'm certainly not going to advocate for motorized bikes on non-motorized trails. I will advocate for stiff penalties and access restrictions for individuals who do break the rules.
  • + 3
 Awesome article. eBikes are coming. Id love to get one but will wait for a few years as the tech evolves. Less weight penalty mostly.
  • + 0
 check out Shimano STEPS!
  • + 2
 You fools there motor-cycles it's a bicycle with a motor remember engine is a internal combustion device a motor is a electric motor get it right I'm sure the Sierra Club will!
  • + 1
 Personally, I'm all for biking no matter what. I wouldn't ride an e-bike on the trails, because it's just not why I ride. Nobody owes me more miles on trails. If you feel that you do deserve to ride more trails than you're currently riding then that's your problem and an e-bike is one of those solutions.

I've had one interaction with an e-bike rider on a climbing trail on Mt. Seymour and it was not pleasant. He caught up to me and my buddy on a hairpin and tried passing us. We're not slow and not fast but regardless of who was riding what, don't be a dick on a bike. maybe he was carrying an e-bike stigma and decided to take it out on us?
  • + 1
 e-bike? no way. never gonna buy one 'cuz the family budget doesn't extend to that sort of luxury. BUT if it did I'd get a size small so my son or daughter could ride it up Fromme and I'd pedal theirs until we reached the top and they could then descend trails that are currently out of reach for their little legs to climb to.
  • + 1
 I think a lot of people haven't considered the difference between trails in urban parks and trails far from civilization. This article completely misses that distinction. In areas where you seldom encounter other people on the trail, ebikes won't cause significant problems. But in city parks there is conflict on the horizon. Parks in or near urban areas are frequented by casual trail users who don't have much experience or etiquette. This includes bikers, hikers, stroller pushers, dog walkers, etc. Kids and even adults will get a new ebike and go ripping through the park without realizing that they're bringing a stealth motorcycle to a pedestrian trail. They will have far more speed than news rider have historically had. Prior to the advent of ebikes, speed was gained in conjunction with experience. Now people will have speed without experience. In my local park we already have enough trail conflict on nice weather days. Getting from the parking lot to the single track requires passing dozens of walkers. Between every singletrack segment, we must again pass walkers with dog leashes, strollers and headphones. Those walkers might only go to the park twice a year and have no clue they're about to be buzzed by a rider on a silent motorcycle. They already get so startled that they yell and literally leap off the trail. I've seen a bunch of angry yelling and even a couple walkers fall over from being startled. But ebikes aren't going anywhere. They're amazing. Unfortunately they will also cause conflict in heavily traffic'd parks. Motorized vehicles will have to be limited in some trail systems and not others. The fact the motor is electric is just a distraction
  • + 0
 i am 18 years old and i ride my enduro however in order to enjoy some quality riding time with my dad and for him to be able to climb with me as he is very busy with work he can not stay in shape. Thanks to highbike (e-bike) now he can come and ride with me without being incredibly tired at the top and enjoying the downhill.

His bike has assisted pedaling where he can choose the level of assist this way controling his pulse rate so he doesnt go to high as his age is dangerous.

so for all you dumb f*ckers who hate on it, just think that this can help many people and families
  • + 0
 i think e bikes look great, the engineering that goes in to frame design is amasing,the only problem is that thay are not powerfull enough,il buy one in a couple of years when the market is flooded and ther going cheap,buy a new lipo esc and 5000w motor==,,fun fun fun.
  • + 1
 Best question I ever got on trail was: "Hey bro, you know the quickest way out of here? My e-bike is out of batteries." I couldn't help myself from smirking and pointing towards the highway while I rode off for another lap.
  • + 1
 E-bikes are almost as ugly as Mopeds... Just does not look right. They look like "tourists" mountain bikes. It must really suck when this thing breaks or the chain get stuck or whatever you can think that can go wrong...
  • + 5
 www.pinkebike.com
  • + 0
 So is an electric car not considered a car? It is.

Thus I feel that there is little difference from an electric bike to an electric motorcycle: it's a motor driven mean of conveyance and therefor no longer should be considered a "mountain bike" or used on trails made for such.
  • + 1
 You didn't read it seems. E-bikes (at least the European ones, which are the main market atm and what the article is about) ASSIST the rider with giving power proportionally to the power pit down on the pedals. You do not have a throttle button and the assistance stops after 25km/h. what a great motorcycle
And BTW i don't like e bikes, have ridden some, would never buy
  • + 2
 Just like everything these days e-bikes are just bridging gaps in perceived marketing opportunities. Buy a dirt bike if you need a motor.
  • + 2
 idk e bike is what over 8k CAD? go buy a dirtbike? what?¿ its a lost. like why not spend that money and bring back 26er. Gurantee success.
  • + 4
 i feel like e bikes would be a fat american thing lol
  • + 1
 Right, funny that way more are sold in Europe and Asia
  • + 1
 @bman33: Theyre more progressive than 'Merica
  • + 1
 @sean9002: Haha. I know. What are we thinking actually pedaling our bikes under our own leg power?
  • + 3
 @sean9002:

American is actually pretty ass-backwards...if you take all the folks who live here and put them into a pot (disregard what part of the country the live in)...you will find that half of them still believe that women, minorities, anything that is not white male is innately an inferior kind of human....

that being said, e-bikes deserve their own category and their own fricken trails...it is in no way mountain biking...biking requires human power...

this shouldn't even be a debate...e-bikes need to go away, forever.
  • + 4
 4 hours of biking is not comparable to 4 hours running...
  • + 3
 Guy 1 - "Hey man, nice car!"

Guy 2 - "It's not a car, its a Tesla, it runs on batteries."

Guy 1 - :scratches head:
  • - 1
 I think that E-bikes are great for people with disabilities, or even the elderly who just don't have that strength anymore. But if an able bodied person is riding an E-bike, I have to ask myself ,why? It seems at this point you've decided that riding bicycles is just too much work. In which case, why not take up moto?

Part of the reason I like cycling, of all disciplines, is that you have to work for it the entire time.
  • + 0
 I wouldn't buy one myself even though ive had a go and thought it was fun but our mate of ours has terminal cancer longtime rider and if it wasn't for E Bikes he wouldn't be able to ride with us so i totally applaud them
  • + 3
 These are not mountain bikes and should never be treated as such.
  • + 2
 repeat after me, there is no such thing as an "e-bike" its an electric motorcycle.
  • + 3
 "sorry guys I cant ride today, I forgot to plug my bike in"
  • + 3
 ....The rest, is just marketing.
  • + 3
 I don't mind what bike anyone rides, as long as he rides a f#%king bike
  • + 2
 If the motor and the battery weighed under 5 pounds I would consider it for long climbs
  • + 1
 You should take a look at what Shimano and BOsch are doing along the lines of E-motors for MTB. You would stop considering and start saving to buy!
  • + 1
 If you have a strong opinion about ebikes(assisted) , but never tried one, get out there and try one before you make up your mind.
  • + 3
 I don't find words, to say how I hate this commercial bullshit
  • + 1
 Call it pedal-assist, call it an e-bike, but bottom line is, it has a motor, it should be allowed where other motorized vehicles are allowed and nowhere else.
  • + 1
 e-bikes are fine. Because they are nothing new. A new wave MOPED is all. Keep the to moto trails, and license them. No real conversation here.
  • + 1
 I guess I'm thinking that there are many military vets whose bodies are broken and this could be a great help.... but as for me... I'd never buy one.
  • + 6
 Broken combat vet, but my mtb is what I use to NOT need the VA and keep myself as strong as I can...the health issue is sideways to what will likely happen here, 3D printing and custom frames are sadly far behind the curve of e bikes and an industry that will have no issue turning to whatever tech is deemed the "future"...
  • + 4
 No
  • + 0
 Great Story Matt Wragg! From my side I can agree 101%. Try it ... and you will love it. The future is now. It´s fun, it´s another level of trail riding .... and a perfect training for the proper Enduro Rider!
  • + 1
 Why the f*ck is mountain biking becoming to political... what happened to going out and thrashing trails??
  • + 2
 "what happened to going out and thrashing trails??"

The Ritchie Rude wannabees riding mach chicken, going off trail, and skidding every switchback is exactly what contributes to some trails being closed to MTBs here in North America.

Ultimately, I believe whether standard or eMTB, most trail access issues will continue to be more about the rider than the bike.
  • + 1
 Fact Check: The Hailbike is $7,999 EUR. NOT $12,000 as reported by this article.
  • + 1
 One e proponent had his bike catch fire wish I had seen that, totally awesome,! Trash should be burned
  • - 1
 Much like fat bikes, ebikes are fun extra bikes. I wouldn't consider somebody who only rides fat bikes a mountain biker, the same goes for ebikes. But by all, means, take one out for a rip now and again.
  • + 1
 Your en eMtn Biker not a Mtn Biker. Can someone make another category to this type of riders.
  • + 1
 Some even destroyed the jumps, which of course were uni-directional and not ridable uphill...
  • + 2
 Very well written and I totally agree with your arguments.
  • + 2
 Are we talking about e-bikes or fat bikes? I'm confused...
  • + 1
 E-fats?
  • + 0
 I suppose not allowing E-Bikes on trails would be like not allowing the super fit pros on them either....A 'pro' can shred more and climb faster than a pleb on an E-Bike....
  • - 2
 I think E-bikes are great. Here at the shop we have a cruiser, dual sport and MTB E-bike.

The only one I fear is the dedicated mountain bike. The other ones really help folks with prior injuries or maybe physical disability get out and ride hard pack gravel nature trails or rides along the beach and of course for commuting... But the E-bike? It worries me a little more being as I have already found a guy at our local trails riding around and just smashing up climbs on his E-bike and eating up the softer trails.

Now obviously not every E-biker has disregard for vulnerable trails and just goes up and trashes trails but it's showing that there are already folks doing so.

Also, I like Strava, I like all my buddies and I striving to be in the top 10 of all the climbs and descents. It's fun chirping eachother if someone beats someone by a few seconds and what not... With E-bikes, f*cking forget it unless there is a way to tell if they are on an E-bike no sense going after a KOM if buddy with record did it with team BOSCHE on his side lol.


I think the whole f*cking anti E-bike thing really doesn't go much farther than Pinkbike... When people come into my shop, just average folks (the 98% of people coming to a bike shop)they see these bikes and immediately gravitate towards them... So why wouldn't I sell them a f*cking 4000 dollar bike if that's what they want? Remember want and need are different but a "need" doesn't sell as well.
  • + 3
 In Canada, E-bikes are not allowed to be sold with throttles, its an assiste. Sell them what they want!
  • + 2
 That is really disappointing to hear from the LBS's mouth. As a majority, we are so attracted to a immediate satisfaction that we overlook the future implications. I agree with you that motor assist on cruisers, hybrids, or commuter bikes is a great idea. Many people who have disabilities can take advantage of the technology. However, I find it hard to believe that those same people require the same for a mountain bike. Call me out if I am wrong here, but if you can't hike up a mountain because you're not in shape or per chance disabled in a way, what makes you think you'll be any better off with an E-bike and breaking down somewhere far from your luxury SUV?
  • + 1
 Martyn Ashton, Stacy Kouhat, both pretty disabled, neither one rides an E-bike. Nuff said.
  • - 1
 Martyn ashton does ride an ebike ya dope! He also has an offroad wheel chair powered by GoldenMotor....an ebike company.
  • + 1
 Only thing an e-bike is good for, are towing me on my Dh bike to the top of the trail
  • - 2
 I bought 3 e-bikes for my family - for my 7 and 11 years old daughters and for my wife. This is the only way we can fully enjoy time together in the mountains without them complaining of having to hard time on the uphills. I use the normal mtb enduro bike. Now with e-bikes we have fun as never before - there is no better thing for youngster to give his father (well trained) a hard time and seeing him sweat so much to keep up with him. And the rides are no longer to long for them..
  • + 3
 HUMAN POWER ONLY
  • + 2
 f*ck your motor.
(PS motorbikes are cool, on dedicated trails/tracks).
  • + 0
 So we should further encroach on habitat, lace it with more trails and displace more wild life? We have to be stewards of the land first and riders second. Should we also ban everyone who can afford a better faster bike than you because it makes them faster and they can ride with less effort?

Get off your high horse and learn to share the trails with others. you're going to have to do it anyway so why not now rather than later?
  • + 1
 @davemud: What high horse? There are no right answers here, just opinions. And I stand by mine Dave. As for stewardship, I'm with you, but confused why its been brought up.
  • + 2
 "only 10kg heavier"

Only.........
  • + 2
 not all, newer ones can be 10lb heavier so an e-enduro bike the weight of some dh bikes.
  • - 3
 First off by definition ebikes have motors not engines. Motors are electric engines are internal combustion so stop using both words. Secondly get over ebikes because they are here and many many more are coming. There will always be riders who are faster, better and ride easier than you so get over it. Shut up and go ride.
  • + 1
 I bet everyone that hates e-bikes on here has never ridden one.
  • - 3
 E bikes will eventually morph into ultra light E motos cos pedals to them are like appendix - Born with one but you do not need to live with one either. But having said that, if I'm going for some epic 100 days bike tour off the grid, I don't mind having a motor for emergencies.
  • + 1
 So you would haul around 8k+ of dead weght "off grid" for 100 days for "emergencies". I think your idea of off grid is much different than that of most people I hang with.
  • + 2
 @jethromtbr: Yeah, 8kg+ is too much. Maybe something like that ones that they use for mech doping. I admit 'off the grid' at its purest sense in too much for me.
  • + 0
 Could make same points for exoskeletons and robotic avatars so just shrug your shoulders and sign yourself up?
  • - 3
 I was really sceptical at first about e-bikes or pedal assist bikes until I actually rode one and built a couple. I can see why e-bikes, especially pedal assisted ones, are being sold more than a few thousand dollar downhill or enduro bikes. They do make a lot of sense when it comes to price/weight ratio. Yeah, you may hate the thought of it, but the reality is, it does put a grin on your face after you've ridden it, especially in turbo mode. I still like my Stumpy and I love the challenges of riding technical trails with my own muscles and sweating it out, but riding one of those pedal assist bike on technical trails is a challenge in itself, especially coming down with a heavy bike. Going downhill, an experience downhiller will beat an e-bike any day. Going up a steep mountain, hands down to the pedal assist bike. But it still takes an experience trail rider to handle the technical terrains. I've had a pedal assist bike fall on me on a tight turn going down and I can tell you that it's painful as hell. For roads and streets for long casual rides, e-bike's the bomb! Seriously, try one out, go on a steep hill. If you still don't like it, you're damn hardcore. But once you turn 50 and up, those bikes make a lot of sense. It's the gearbox that everyone is waiting for Wink .
  • - 2
 Been thinking about it and came to the conclusion that e-bikes are to cycling what fins are too swimming. They fulfill a utilitarian function that can't be denied, but improperly used they can become a crutch.
  • + 0
 I wonder how much CUBE payed this guy to write this article for pro ebikes??
  • + 1
 Nothing. This is my opinion. Next question?
  • + 1
 for emergency crews and such they sort of make sense. Why not moto though?
  • + 1
 Haters gonna hate. But riders gonna ride, no matter how.
  • + 1
 Great article. If only the haters would actually read it!
  • + 1
 ebikes=mountain bike Viagra
  • + 1
 *SON BUENAS PARA VUESTRO BOLSILLO, NO PARA EL DEPORTE* hablemos claro.
  • - 3
 As I sit here and read this article, I am updating firmware on an Ebike and programming it to set service intervals into it. Ebikes are not bad. Why would you want less people out riding? Why would you want bike shops to go out of business? Doesn't that mean more money for our sport which in turn give us more of a market which could lead to more trails and more people to go riding with? I
  • - 3
 I don't understand why the argument always comes down fitness with some holier than thou attitude from a roadie turned gravel grinder who wants to brag about how much elevation he does.

I don't mountain bike for exercise, I do it because it's fun as hell. The exercise is obviously a nice byproduct and I like to push my fitness levels but at the end of the day I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun and I would still do it even if it had zero affect on my physical fitness and health.

What's not fun is spending an hour laboring up a boring ass fire road for a 15-20 minute descent. What's not fun is making a weekend trip to mountains with 50+ miles of trails and only being able to ride a fraction of them before I'm beat for the day. I only have time to ride on the weekends which means 1. I don't get into good enough shape to make multiple trips up and down a mountain in a day under my own power and 2. I need to make the most out of the time I do have to ride.

That is why I like the idea of pedal assisted e-bikes. I want to get the most out of the time and money spent on weekend mountain trips and if e-bikes help me get up easier so I can ride down more frequently in a day then so be it. They are not motorcycles. They are not the same as any kind of motorized bike with a throttle. They aren't going to make ruts or destroy berms. Quite frankly, the power a professional rider puts to the ground is probably more than I would put down on any pedal assisted bike.

Now, fully motorized bikes with a throttle and no pedals are a different story. Something that is essentially an e-dirt bike probably isn't appropriate for bicycle trails but those aren't being mass made like the Levo. A bicycle that gives your pedaling a boost is still a f*cking bicycle no matter how much anyone wants to deny it.
  • + 2
 Just one counterpoint: I ride park and I ride trail. I don't ride road bikes. I think the fitness point is legit.

Not everyone who thinks fitness is important is immediately a dork.

I'm not saying your other points don't have merit.
  • + 1
 your guys are like the hiker's in the 80s against the MTB, schame on you!!
  • + 1
 Here is Oregon, getting a top 20 position in a marathon is hard as f*%k.
  • + 1
 Have we all learned nothing from this article?
  • + 2
 Triggered!
  • + 0
 Once again, it seems like most commenters haven't even read the article.
  • + 0
 I read it mantis but it's not what is well said that I take away from it, but what do you take away from it, what's the underlying message here to you?
  • + 2
 @ov3r1d3:

Simple - it's just a bicycle with a little assistance. Like a little helping hand gently pushing you up the climb to the top or allowing you to keep the pace with your friends who are taking you around their favorite trail.

The animosity here is what is fueling the challenge of access. If everyone just realized that these are just heavier bikes with a little assistance, I doubt we'd still be discussing ebikes like this and would be more in line with how they are viewed in other countries.
  • + 1
 @MantisToboggan: Sure a 'little helping hand gently' more than doubling most riders average power output.

If you are an average cyclist and all your friends are world champion XC riders I can see how that might work out well...

If it really was just a little assistance and limited to maybe 20km/h I could probably get on board but that is NOT what the industry is pushing here.
  • + 1
 @Tim2:
How about if you are an average cyclist and your buddy/girlfriend who is on the ebike and is new to the sport?
250w max and 25kph is not much - I would bet that the vast majority of average riders will have no problem keeping up or exceeding that.
  • + 0
 @MantisToboggan: Or you could do what's been done for ages with bringing newbs to the sport. Ride slower with them.

250W is a lot. And this is the 1.0 versions we're seeing.
  • + 0
 Great article! I appreciate your perspective Matt Wragg.
  • - 1
 Can someone please explain to me what the actual damage is that Ebikes do to trails that make them so controversial?
  • + 5
 You're now doing 4 laps instead of 1, therefore 4x the traffic, 4x the wear and tear, and 4x the maintenance required to keep them operational, not to mention the people that would likely be riding the trails would likely be newer/less skilled riders who would damage the trails more than most experienced riders.
  • + 1
 @robaussie99: so the solution would be to limit the amount of traffic for all bikes then? If a guy on a pedal bike wants to do 4 laps he shouldn't be allowed to? Im not yrying to argue, I'm just playing devils advocate here.
  • + 2
 If you allow 250 watt ebikes in the trails, what's stopping a guy with a 3000 watt ebike from riding said trails?

A 3000 watt ebike could probably destroy trails, and who's going to be policing the trails and stop those bikes?

Much easier to just ban all ebikes in the trails.
  • + 3
 @onetrykid: Now thats a valid argument. Maybe there should be a ban on bikes that exveed a certain amount of power? I mean really a 250w ebike is essentially turning an average rider with 10k to blow into a Tour de france athlete. We can't go banning people that are able to crank out too much wattage on their own can we?
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: The fact that you need to self-pedal to/from/up the trail to do that many laps is whats known as "self-regulating" if you can do 4 laps under your own steam, go for it.
  • + 3
 @Tmackstab: the difference is that there are probably very few people capable of doing 4 laps like super fit rider guy can, and the motorized bike makes it way easier for a lot more people to now do multiple laps on what they previously would've only done 1, or maybe 2 on a Saturday once a month. Now picture a new fresh trail opening up and everyone being able to do as many laps as their battery power will let them, and see how that works out for the new trail....right now the pool of super fit riders is 'relatively' small, e-bikes make every one super fit and the impacts to the trail system fall from that heavy increase in use and wear and tear a lot faster.

I'm not actually against them in shuttle/downhill primary trail areas as a replacement for vehicle shuttling, and I think there could be a place for them on some designated trails or systems specifically managed to include them. But I steadfastly believe that they should not be allowed on non-motorized trail systems or trails not specifically designated for their use.

I'm heavily involved in advocacy for our local club and this position is generally shared by most, although probably a bit more liberal towards them than others opinions. We advocates have serious concerns about the long term impacts related to how they'll change the use of trail systems and how they'll interact with other users as they're capable of using the trail system in fundamentally different ways than they're currently used.
  • + 2
 @flipfantasia: Thanks for that. I just wanted a viable reason why e-bikes shouldnt be allowed other than 'They suck'.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: no worries
  • + 1
 No they can't because testing in the US so far shows ebike and normal MTB impact is the same.
  • + 1
 @davemud: per run....downhill.
  • - 1
 I also worry that if trails become tailored to e-bikes there may be climbs that become way too hard for tired dads like me.
  • + 2
 Do you feel the same about trails that get tailored to DH or flow riders with dangerous jumps and serious risks that used to be slower more technical trails?
  • + 2
 @davemud: I don't really have strong opinions about gravity stuff, but I feel for riders who used to ride & love tech who now have smooth bermed out flow trails. That said, the gear has nothing to do with that, does it? Are the bikes of today to blame for a lack of technical trails or the fact that people love berms and find them less scary than ugly gnarl? Do people have to invest more money just to make it down the trail? That's how I feel about a world where E-bikes are the majority. If a trail building starts to cater to powered bikes, what happens to us schmucks on old fashioned pedalled powered bikes? Just a question, I'm not sure, but it doesn't feel good
  • + 1
 @JesseE: Ebikes don't need different trails. The whole point here is they can be used like the average trail bike on typical trails. People fear what they don't understand and you can't understand the ebike experience without doing some dirt demos on them. They are fun and nothing to fear 57% of those who hate or fear ebikes haven't actually tried one.
  • + 1
 @davemud: i totally respect that position. Still scared !
  • + 2
 I rode a trail in the North of NZ that was tailored to E-bikes, it was really flat with heaps of features. Only problem was, I could not ride fast enough on my normal bike to enjoy the features....
  • + 1
 @davemud: Ebikes don't need different trails but different trail would also be awesome....imagine rad trails going up and down. Uphill jumps, wallrides bring back the skinny then flow into some tech descents.......the possibilities are endless and awesome! plus you can ride any of the existing trails and have way more fun

CM!
  • + 4
 @davemud: The point of e-bikes it to make money; period. If you don't believe this, you are delusional. Bike companies are not coming out with entire bike lines to suite the small percentage of people with disabilities that only hamper pedaling; they are putting this out there as a quick fix for people who don't have the time or motivation to get in shape enough to ride trails, and therefore would not buy a bike to begin with. I feel sorry for anyone that has gotten injured or isn't as fast as they used to be. I had back surgery 17 years ago and it has been a struggle to stay in shape enough to be able to ride and I still suffer from pain; I have good days and bad. When it gets too tough, I will start doing shorter rides or easier trails. I have no interest in having a motor do work for me. If you do, that's great, but don't call it a bicycle. I have no doubt they are fun; I'm sure motocross bikes are fun too. I see no reason for the MTB community to embrace either thing. Let them fight for their own trails and advocacy and I wish them good luck, but that's it. And comparing a motor to suspension and disk brakes is just plain silly; control is not equal to power. A correct comparison? A runner with bad knees wears a exoskeleton with 'power assist' legs that only move when they move. Or a tennis play with a bad elbow wears and exoskeleton with a 'power assist' arm that only moves when they move. How about that using a motor is cheating in a race, but all of a sudden it is just an 'accessory' on the bike like better breaks or suspension? Please. And what about e-bikes for kids? If the argument is that older folks as they slow down or break down should be able to slap on a motor and call it the same sport so they can 'keep up', why not give kids that are weaker a motor, too? Is that what we want? Instead of kids working to get fit and better, give them a motor so they can keep up with Mom and Dad right from the beginning. If you think it won't happen, again, you are crazy. E-bikes are bad for mountain biking. It makes me sick that mountain bike companies are making them and even sicker that mountain bike sites like this are pushing their virtues for mountain biking. It's all BS to sell product short-term without considering the long-term ramifications to the sport.
  • + 0
 @shawndashf1: Motor is an assist only. Even with the assist these are 60 pound bikes that are physically challenging to ride. Mountain bikers who don't want to share the forests and trails with a new user are ignorant of our own history or hypocrites. MTBs used to be the user in the woods that existing users didn't want allowed and now you want to do what they did.

Get used to sharing the trails with new users because they are here. We won't stop them any more than the hikers and environmentalists stopped us. Stop whining about cheaters and go ride, walk or whatever it is you do.
  • + 0
 Motorcycles need to abide by the rules which are in place for motorcycles.
  • - 1
 should change the name of this site to TrollBike bunch of babies.....
  • - 3
 Theres no nobility in pedaling.
  • - 3
 If it gets seats in asses, It's good for the whole cycling industry.
  • + 3
 What is good for the cycling industry is not necessarily good for cyclists. And as time goes by we seem to have more and more abundant proof of that.
  • + 0
 @codypup: whats so bad about ebikes?
  • + 2
 @enduroelite: My point was an attempt at a broader perspective in that what's good for manufacturers doesn't necessarily benefit us as riders. But in the end, I feel like I want an e-bike as much as I want my wife to get a boyfriend on the side.
  • + 1
 @codypup: you can either run with the wind, or let it knock you over. That being said, what time should I come around to pick her up? Make sure she's wearing a flowery dress, I like flowery dresses...
  • - 2
 I'm indifferent about ebikes
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