Opinion: The N=1 Dilemma - What Would Matt Wragg's Only Bike Be?

May 8, 2018
by Matt Wragg  
Header for Matt s Op Ed pieces.

bigquotesI hope I have the rich person's problem of thinking 'which bike am I going to take today?' I think this is a rich person's problem, being able to choose your bike...Cedric Gracia

Every bike nerd has had that daydream, that conversation: What would your perfect garage have in it? How many bikes? Which disciplines? How would you build each one? It's a nice way to pass a little time, working each bike out, especially the ones that, when you're honest, you couldn't justify owning if you were being sensible. The old cliché for the perfect number of bikes is N+1, there is always another bike it would be nice to add. But what if the tables were turned the other way? Rather than an unexpected bonus or a lottery win, it's a tax bill or a lawsuit? What if you needed to sell them all, move quickly, streamline your life? If you had to cut them all but one, if N=1, which one would you keep?

I've been there. For a few years, my entire life had to fit into the boot of my car. I was bouncing around Europe, doing some guiding, some journalism and as much riding as I could. I had my base in Molini di Triora, but it was no good for the winter, the valley would be too cold, too miserable through the long, dark winter months. Once the season wrapped up it was time once more to pack, force it all into my poor, little Alfa Romeo and head on to the next stop. That last winter I relocated seven times, I think, sometimes just moving hut within the campsite I stayed at, other times it was more drastic. Either way, there was no room for more things, my life, my work and my bicycles had to fit into that car. Anything that wouldn't fit was for the chop.

My car circa 2012.
My life, circa 2012

These days I'm more settled, comfortable, even, and, in case you wondered, my bike collection currently stands at six right now but a mate was talking about trials bikes the other week, and I've always fancied having a go at track cycling... But life is fragile, things fall apart. Just because the going is good today, tomorrow is not promised.
bigquotesIf you had to cut them all but one, if N=1, which one would you keep?Matt Wragg

It's this I tend to dwell on more than the big windfall. Maybe it's because I still don't quite believe that I'm making a living taking pictures of and writing about bikes, or maybe, as some helpful Instagram commenter remarked recently, "you really are a negative c*nt." Either way, what if, for whatever reason you had to sell up, pack up, shift your whole life tomorrow and there is only room for one bicycle? Which one would it be?

With the long climbs around where I live there is plenty of time to consider such matters as you winch yourself to the top, and recently I had a moment of clarity, although I suspect it's one that many of you will not like too much. If I had to get rid of all my bikes tomorrow and could only keep one, it would be my eMTB. Now before you start sharpening the pitchforks, it's not for the reason you think it is...

Before we go any further, and I'm sure there will be some sighs of relief when I say this, but I don't think my eMTB is better than my mountain bikes. For pure fun, I would keep my current Scott Spark – it's probably the best mountain bike I have ever owned. But, the question is not "which mountain bike would you keep?" There's an elephant in the room when we talk about mountain bikes. One that starts to echo with hypocrisy when we start talking about environmental concerns. There's an argument that a European-made alloy bike may be slightly more dolphin-friendly than my Taiwanese-made carbon bike(s), but it's marginal at best. The one thing that is left out of this discussion is that you don't actually need a mountain bike. Not in the living from day-to-day sense. Yes, I too would say that I need to ride, it keeps me sane, keeps me happy. Certainly, I have never been more miserable in this life than when I lived in Central London and couldn't ride my bike. But when we get down to nut-cutting time, a mountain bike is still a toy. And a toy, by definition, is not an essential item. Quite simply, if you're not using it to commute, nip to the shops or whatever, then you don't need it.

This is where my eMTB is different. The problem is that I'm lazy. When I was in my early 20s I didn't have a driving license. Living in a big city I just didn't think I needed one all that much. To get to work every day I would either take the bus or menace the local traffic on my 4X bike. And menace is the right word. On the road a 4X bike with a big gear will out accelerate almost everything off the lights, it will out-turn, out-brake and out-manoeuvre pretty much anything else on the road. Throw in a 23-year-old me, full of piss and vinegar and yeah, I was probably not a great commuter to have on the road with you. Then I got a girlfriend. She made it clear to me that she would not continue dating a man who did not have a car. This seemed reasonable, so I booked some lessons and got my driving test done. I promised myself that nothing would change once I got my car, I would keep riding to work every day. That, of course, was horseshit. Who wants to suffer their arse off in the cold each day when you could be nicely sat down in the warm with some good music in the speakers? The simple fact is that the car was so much easier to use for commuting that my bicycle became neglected as anything more than a toy. This is a roundabout way of saying that I'm just not the righteous guy in a hemp shirt who is going to crank his cargo bike up the mountain each morning to buy milk.

Bike photos
The one, sort of.

From where I live now it is about 3km into town, with some 20% ramps thrown in on the way home that quite frankly suck, even without a 10kg backpack. My eMTB is the first thing I have found that is less hassle than a car to nip to the shops. Ok, on the flat road bits a car is faster and the eMTB lags behind, but once you remove the constant bunfight that is parking, it's at least as quick, if not faster. You get a little, gentle exercise and have more fun. In fact, I have now worked out a loop where I climb the mountain opposite, which only takes about 20 minutes on the eMTB, and sneak in a lap of the DH track on the way to the weekly market. A 30l backpack is plenty to carry the fruit and vegetables for a week, then stick it in turbo mode and cruise home. If I need pine cones for kindling, I grab the same backpack and head up the mountain. If I have a meeting in the next valley I grab a second battery and plan a route. Adding in that extra bit of fun to the practical stuff means that all of last year I did around 90% of my local mileage on the eMTB, while my car lay idle, which was a first for me. Maybe you're now asking why not get a moto in that case? Aside from the hassle of buying and storing fuel, servicing and parking, if you only have space for a single bike, then there certainly wouldn't be space for a moto. On top of that, a moto doesn't scratch the itch for me when I need to unwind. It is too different from a mountain bike to cut it for me. Too noisy, not a precise enough a tool on the trail, not to mention the fact that they are banned by law from my local trails. An eMTB, however, is close enough...

This is why I would keep my eMTB before my mountain bikes. It is practical, it gets my car off the road, which saves me money and one less car on the road makes the world a slightly better place in so many ways. When we get back to the environmental math, if you use your eMTB as your day-to-day runaround, I'd bet the sums start to look rather different. On top of all that, when I get to the trailhead, I can have about as much fun as I would on my other bikes, making it the one machine that I can use for the practical things, but also for the fun ones too. So yeah, my N=1 is my eMTB, what would yours be?


163 Comments

  • + 129
 Feel the anger Luke, let it flow through you, strike me with your anger!
  • + 9
 Yes... yesssss...
  • + 31
 This article doesn’t even answer its own question: “which BIKE would you keep?”
  • - 6
flag Pedro404 (May 8, 2018 at 6:46) (Below Threshold)
 @mi-bike: You realize that even gasoline motorcycles are called "bikes", right?
  • + 0
 @Pedro404: you forgot “place in Ethiopia” and “Pink Floyd song”.
  • + 2
 @mi-bike: I say bullshit!
Just Read: "If I had to get rid of all my bikes tomorrow and could only keep one, it would be my eMTB"..................
  • + 3
 @wittereus: but an eMTB isnt a bicycle.
  • + 3
 @feeblesmith: that's your opinion. This article is abouth what would Matt's only bike be.........
  • + 3
 @wittereus: its not an opinion, add a motor for propulsion and its a moped or whatever anyone chooses to call that sort of motorized vehichle.

Awesome in as they might be in a commuter application be smart about how and where you ride them just as any other toy.
  • + 3
 @feeblesmith: they aren’t awesome in commuter application either because most commuters suck at bicycle handling and behave as if they were still riding granny bike, while they ride something as fast as a road bike. At least in Sweden they should require a “ebike license” to ride them, because people have no clue what they are doing, posing danger to other cyclists and pedestrians
  • + 2
 Yep if I could have only one bike I'd definitely pick the stupidly expensive, limited range, 25kg moped that isn't allowed to be raced and can't legally be ridden on half the trails in the world.
  • + 58
 "This is where my eMTB is different. The problem is that I'm lazy"
That sums up the entire eMTB market.
  • + 17
 Taking a bit of a sentence out of context and pasting it into your own words, painting the author a representative of an enemy tribe, and you being the righteous? Yeah, sums up the way most stupid people on the internet talk to each other. When do you present us the plan of cleansing? Or are you making a call to wail and mourn? Maybe gather petitions against production of E-bikes and send them to... hmmmmm... Not sure... listen If you can ban e-bike production and make trails again, keep lazy, fat people from our great trails, can you also use that super power to decrease precipitation in Western Sweden? Stop the rain from falling, you know...
  • + 9
 “"This is where my eMTB is different. The problem is that I'm lazy"
That sums up the entire eMTB market.”

And that sums up the ignorance of eMTB hate
  • + 4
 @ThomDawson: it's not hate.....
It's called laughter
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: exactly!
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Touchy subject, hey.
Lazy people exist, eMTB's cater to some of them. I met one this morning on the trails. I didn't feel the need to say anything or berate him. We were enjoying the same trails and he was friendly enough.

But I'm lazy in other ways, just not when it comes to pedalling a bike to where I want to go with it.
  • + 2
 @watermouse: where you live is an influence to. My local descent is a 500 metre, 10 percent climb. I get two runs in, 3 on a good day. With the help of an emtb, would be ace to get 6 or 7 runs in Smile impossible at the mo, especially in summer when we hit 40 Celsius every day.
  • + 1
 @carlitouk: I was up at Golfie trails yesterday, if I lived there I'd make sure an e-bike was in the collection.
  • + 33
 professional trolling, click bate, and the least effort in a pink bike article since 1997. booooooooo!!!!
  • + 33
 Next up; Why we need more new standards.
  • + 5
 Could live without reading it
  • + 5
 @bluumax: I thought about writing that one for April Fools.
  • + 28
 Having recently taken part in two events (Sea Otter and the BIKE Festival in Riva del Garda) which claim to celebrate cycling but do so with endless traffic jams, immense parking problems and, in the case of the BIKE Festival, with and endless procession of shuttle vans, I can only applaud Matt's balls to publish this piece.

E-MTBs can do some serious good to our planet: get cars off the road, get more people on bikes, get rid of shuttle vans, you name it. If you read carefully Matt says his only bike would be an E-MTB because it would basically also prevent him from using his car. That's a fantastic point, and one you should think about next time you load yourself into your fossil-fuel burning car or truck or van to get to the trails.
  • + 3
 Yeah man, well said. This article makes a lot of sense!
  • + 12
 @tuberus Thanks! And yeah, this is the bike I used to get around the Garda Festival, parking is alwaya hellish.
  • + 5
 Tottally agree, ebikes for utility purposes have the potential to spark a local transport revolution, a revolution which is desperately needed. The car is not the solution. Matt makes a good point here. I agree, if your utility transport and pleasure rocket is the same thing it's a win for everybody.
  • + 5
 If you use your e-bike instead of your car for commuting or to avoid shuttles it is indeed environmentally friendly. But if you use it instead of your man powered bicycle it is harmful to our environment. The energy it uses comes from somewhere, a fact that is often overseen, although seemingly obvious. So please don't play the environment-card when talking about e-bikes for recreational use.
  • + 8
 You actually were at Lake Garda recently and still think ebikes can do the planet any good?

Well, at least they do some good for Thule, since people have to get stronger carriers to mount two ebikes on their SUV...
  • + 3
 I had big bike clear out this year after 12 months of persistent injury kept me off the bike. I ended up selling the road bike, CX bike, XC bike, DH bike... I've kept my 140mm FS 29er, and my HT eMTB. In honesty, after all the injuries I bought the ebike just to get back out there, but it is fantastic... I can do my shopping on it and commute on it, while taking in a 500m climb and DH single-track on the way! I don't use a car, and I'm out on a bike more than in the last 5 years. Without it my rehab would have been nearly impossible. I'll use the FS this summer to hit up some of the smaller biker parks, but my everyday ride will be the ebike.
  • + 2
 @Costir: But you can make electricity from sustainable sources, while burning gas.. not so much. Mind you... and theres the fact that you can actually turn daily commutes into rides.
Or get a prius and a normal bike. haha
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh: You are absolutely right. You can. Do we? But that is not my point. There might be a lot of good reasons for using an e-bike as a recreational mtb. But the argument to be doing something good for the environment by riding your e-mtb for fun and using energy that is nowadays at best partly from sustainable sources is definitely worth rethinking.
  • + 2
 @mattwragg: Makes me wonder, if a e-bike is a hindrance at times (for instance if some of your favorite trails are out of bounds for bikes with pedal assist), wouldn't the ideal "only bike" be something convertible? I don't know how many of those there are now, but I suppose most people who ride e-bikes don't do so on every ride (hence also own a regular bike without pedal assist). The only convertible bike that could do that would be the Olsen bike (regular derailleur drivetrain or singlespeed, Pinion or Shimano Steps). Aren't there more (not including bikes with the motor in a wheel hub)?
  • + 0
 @vinay: I'm not a big fan of the conversion kits - partly because I don't think they work as well as a purpose-built bike (who wants that much weight on the rear axle?) and partly because they are less regulated and I accept the need for ebikes to be strictly regulated if we want to use them on trails. Also, where I live, the guys that are regularly clearing trails are almost all riding ebikes exclusively now.
  • + 4
 @Costir: it's a reasonable argument when you consider that the amount of energy consumed (and output) by ebikes is so laughably small compared to a car (think literally 1%) that even if you derive the energy from the same sources you're still far better off environmentally. If your riding, like most people's, involves driving to a location and/or shuttling, there's a very good chance you come out ahead - you'd have to ride the bike about 100 times further than you'd drive the car in order to consume a comparable amount of energy. Or flipping it the other way around, if the bike saved you even 2% of your driving mileage, you'd still come out ahead.

In my eyes at least the big argument against ebikes is trail/land access. I'd consider riding one but I don't want to contribute to trails around me getting shut down, but that's a somewhat regional concern. In places where that isn't an issue it'd be a more likely option.
  • + 2
 @mattwragg: Yeah, I didn't mean the ones with the motor in the hub. Though actually in your case where you seem to appreciate the motor largely for the utility purposes and not necessarily for "real" mountainbiking, it may actually be an option. The Olsen bike I refer to (olsenbicycles.com) is actually built around a Pinion gearbox but he now also offers mounts to replace that for a Shimano Steps motor. And you can still install a rear derailleur. But yeah, replacing the Pinion gearbox with a motor shouldn't mess too much the center of mass of the bike.

I agree regulation is important but in order to do so, it would be even more important to first map out what the real effects are on the trail, safety etc. instead of base a regulation on public perception. Considering the avid discussion, it strikes me as odd that such a research doesn't seem to have been conducted yet.

The reason I recommended a "convertible bike" was that I currently have no need for pedal assist for my current condition and where I ride. Except for those odd trips to some proper big mountains, there they may make some sense but it wouldn't justify the investment to get a complete bike just for that.

@Socket: Agreed for the biggest part, for a small bit I don't. Yes if someone who'd otherwise shuttle uphill would now pedal up, this is going to cut fuel use massively. And you don't need (to feel sorry for) someone to ride the car back down the hill again. But as for riding to the trails. Remember a regular e-bike (and the kind of support built into emtb) is tuned to no longer support a rider when going faster than 25km/h. If people take the car to the trailhead, it is because they want to travel (much) faster than 25km/h. So if they'd otherwise use the car to get there, they'd do so too with their e-bike. I can mount two bikes behind the car and two bikes on the roof. The rack behind the car is certified to carry two bikes of up to 30kg so these could be e-bikes. The racks on top can take only bike up to 16kg or 18kg (not sure). So that should be good for regular mountainbikes, but not for e-bikes. So I can currently drive to a trail with four people in the car and their four bikes behind and on top of it. If these were e-bikes, I could take only two so that'd imply the same four riders now need two cars. Now this is all very hypothetical and your scenario may apply too at times. It just goes to show it isn't all that black and white.

In traffic though, yeah for sure e-bikes get people out of their cars. My girlfriend could ride her heavy regular bike to work in 75 minutes or take the car and it takes only 15 minutes because she can then take the tunnel under the canal. That saves her two hours a day. As much as she likes riding her bike, it is not something you want on every workday. She then got a high speed e-bike. Obviously she still can't take the tunnel but it now takes her 45 minutes to get to work. Still one hour more travel time than when driving but acceptable and more predictable (as she doesn't have to worry about traffic jams).
  • + 1
 @vinay: Aside from those Olsen bikes looking kooky as f*ck, I get your point. And it is a good one. I have a story coming up where one brand did the opposite - mount a Pinion gearbox on a Steps-equipped bike. I think that could definitely appeal to some people.

IMBA are actually doing a lot of that work in the US, but it's not getting a lot of publicity as it's not coming up without strong arguments to ban ebikes... Which is not what most IMBA members want to see. There is also a very interesting social study on the impacts of ebikes happening in Colorado right now, but I'm not sure when the results will be out.

Here in France there isn't the same research because, quite simply, away from the internet there isn't a debate - people are buying and riding these bikes in great numbers, to the extent where regular mountain bike sales are almost non-existant in comparison around me. Even talking to some Americans, away from the comments section, the real-world response to people riding ebikes seems limited to mild heckling from other mountain bikers.
  • + 1
 @mattwragg: I think the Olsen bike is clever both from a small scale production point of view (only change the headtube area of the mold for different sizes and geometries) as well use (no split rear triangle for the belt drive). He would even make the bike stronger for you if you're concerned or want a better crash replacement policy. The opposite sounds interesting too and is actually something people seem to have been calling for for a while. That is, how can the industry come up with frames adapted to motors but slow to offer frames that take a gearbox. This new compatibility sounds nice.

Good to know IMBA is investigating it though it is a shame they seem reluctant to reveal results that their members may not like. If they're that easily influenced, we may need another more independent research. I hate to see the mountainbike community turn into a bunch of entitled middle age farts who cling to their rights and possessions and shoo the newcomers away. The klunkers didn't first dig their own trails before they first bombed down, the first skateboarders didn't buy their own pool before they first dropped in. Without any proper research, I see no reason to keep e-bikers of my local trails. On the other hand, if research actually shows some valid points against them then sure there need to be regulations as well. Even where they're actually well accepted, like where you're based. Of course those doing trail maintenance are riding them but then again, those building and doing maintenance also bring in diggers or quads.
  • + 2
 @FuzzyL: right. Because endless traffic jams and shuttle vans that cross each other on a tiny mountain road are much better...
  • + 1
 That's lovely, i mean,a lot of people ride near home but go with their 4x4 5.0 turbo diesel trucks and ride their bikes in forests talking about how much they love nature and animals, but there's some hipocresy about their speech, why dont you just ride your hell of expensive bike to the trail?
  • + 1
 @tuberus: And any of that gets better if there's Ebikes mounted on the cars in the traffic jam?

I'm all for Ebikes that replace cars. Unfortunately, from my experience so far, most Ebikes just replace mountain bikes, which means they are transported right to the trailhead in exactly the same way, and the battery power is then used to shred more trails within one day. Not a bad thing, in itself, but from an environmental point of view, that doesn't make anything better, but worse.
  • + 2
 @FuzzyL: Kind of depends on where you live, I guess. This morning I dropped by a local shop that mostly does bikes for commuter use. I was just there to cut my fork steerer and he had the guide I could use. The people there confirmed that they indeed sell more e-bikes than regular bikes, but these are all for street use. In part they replace rides previously done on unassisted bikes, but they mostly they replace rides that would otherwise have been done by car or public transport (because of the distance, windy conditions, cargo or just the hurry). But I think most people keep their unassisted bike too. At least I don't know anyone who has an e-bike but no regular bike. Usually when people go shopping, drinking or for dinner, they don't want to leave their expensive bike unassisted so they usually choose their regular bike for that.

Now as for e-mtb that's a different story. An mtb is not for transport. It is a toy to go out and have a blast. Or others may be more serious and call it "sports". Either way, nor will an e-mtb be used for transport, it won't replace a car. Unless the car was being used for "sports" too of course. Not sure if Nicolas Vouilloz still races rally cars, but he does race e-mtb. If he did quit rally then yes, that may be the odd one who replaces a car by e-mtb Wink .
  • + 17
 Wonder how many of these haters have cars and are thus only part time bikers?
I have done regular 9mile commutes on a 170/150mm 41lbs/19kg bike in my youth. Now an ego or similar removable motor kit equipped enduro would be the ticket.
  • + 14
 i personally don't understand all the hate towards ebikes.

i still to pedal it out and earn the descent, but an ebike is just another version of the same experience.

as a music fan, i've had the exact same discussion between the "purists" who only listen to music on high-end stereo systems and in a controlled environment, and those, like me, who favor the "practicality" of having music with you wherever you go, (first with walkmans, now with mp3s). Then the ipod comes along and people's perception shifts.

in the end, it comes down to what you prefer, or need, and there's no wrong answer really. if i could afford one, i would buy an ebike tomorrow and care less what others think, just like any other aspect of life.
  • + 13
 For something to be a real quiver killer for me it would have to be capable of doing a bit of everything but not want to kill me on a half decent DH/bikepark day, so something on the enduro side of a trail bike would be my pick.
  • + 14
 Be honest people. If you all had the luxury of choice i.e had an e-mtb in your fleet I bet many of you would choose it if you could only have one.
  • + 1
 I hope it would be a small minority.
  • + 3
 Yeah why not I'd get more runs in on the local natural stuff while still having to pedal up the hills.
  • + 2
 Yesterday I had a rare opportunity - a full day, no kids, no responsibility. I got out on the trails ASAP after a sausage cob and coffee. Absolutely smashed the shit out of the trails, 4 full runs top-bottom and back up again and I was dead by 1pm. Nothing left in the tank to enjoy the descents and the whole rest of the day wasted. If an ebike is gonna let me hit those same trails all day long I’m down. I’m not interested in wasting my time and energy riding uphill in the slightest.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: i know what you mean. I had my birthday as a day off from work and family last monday. The bikepark nearby was closed, but they have a special emtb uphill trail and you are allowed to ride the park as well. So i took two batteries with me and did 11 runs with 3000hm up and down in 4 hours. Best birthday present ever Smile
  • + 10
 In all honesty my friend and I have this discussion a lot and always my trail bike beats my other bikes on most points (and I own an ebike). They are just more fun and in my eyes more fun than my ebike, and far more versatile
  • + 1
 Hardcore steel HT for the UK has to be the way to go.
  • + 1
 I only have one bike, not cash related just personal preference. It's a single speed hardtail. Pretty flat where I live though and I usually ride from the door.
  • + 0
 To be fair....your hub driven "ebike" is not an ebike. Its a converted mountain bike
  • + 1
 @kymtb0420: I actually have a Haibike not hub driven but a Yamaha motor, similar design to one above- still prefer my trail bike
  • + 3
 @sewer-rat: cool....you just don't have any haibike pictures out of your 1100 pics.
  • + 2
 I take it back.....I went deep into your photos. This guy is telling the truth. He does like his empire more.
  • + 2
 @kymtb0420: On the hub or frame, what's the difference? I would say if it's got an electric motor to assist you it's an ebike, regardless of where the motor sits.
  • + 0
 @metaam: its 2 different types....hub driven is more like a moto and most have a throttle. The eMTB is a crank motor that has pedal assist and no throttle. Huge distinct difference that I feel is lost in the eMTB argument.
  • + 0
 @kymtb0420: Fair enough, though I can't personally see the difference from a validity point of view. Assuming the motor is 250w, both allow you to ride further using less effort and you can apply all the reasons given in these comments to both types of motor.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hater of ebikes. I think most mountain bikers using a converted bike would still pedal, but if you don't initially pedal at all and just rely on the throttle, then all that can mean is extra pedalling later on to cover the same distance, so I struggle to make a distinction.
I think if I went down the road of pedal assistance, I'd go for the conversion.That way you can easily convert back and get the best of both worlds.
  • + 1
 @kelownakona: Lots of conversions are made to comply with the law, and let's face it there are plenty of youtube videos telling you how to chip your ebike. It's not like there's anyone out on the trails policing any of this.
  • + 1
 @metaam: You're right there, but there should be some mechanism to make sure ebikes are legal, I have heard talk of Bosch and Shimano equipping their motors with black boxes to verify they are legal - I do feel quite strongly that if you're wanting to go faster, buy a legit moto and keep it off the trails.
  • + 1
 @mattwragg: I'm not so sure people are too bothered. I know of someone well renowned in the UK MTB industry who can no longer pedal due to health reasons. He has a converted bike which is capable of 45mph. Lots of riders in the area where he lives (I can only think of one ebike owner amongst them) know about it, but I've yet to hear anyone slating him for it. I don't think the authorities will be knocking on his door anytime soon.
  • + 3
 @metaam: I don't think it is other riders we need to worry about in the UK. It is walkers and horse riders. Walkers (especially older ones) in Surrey are a particularly unfriendly bunch. Dog walkers also fall into this group.

As a rider i'm not in the slightest bothered about ebikes or even motos as long as they don't ride past you at warp speed. I think as long as ebikers are considerate there wont be any issues.
  • + 1
 @metaam: Yeah, but, no, but... The problem is that it creates a long-term worry, that as and when something bad happens with someone riding one of those (let's say hits a dog walker), the response will be to ban all ebikes/bikes. I know this is a big concern for some people I know living and working in the UK. For me, it feeds straight into the arguments of the anti-ebike crowd, but to be honest, if someone around me was riding one, providing they were sensible and polite, I wouldn't feel the need to say anything untoward.
  • + 9
 I can see the sense in this but then I'm 50 and my knees are starting to hurt so, I give up doing the thing I love that's been at least as big a part of life as the wife and kids and buy a Mazda mx 5 or I get an ebike and carry on riding. If I'm going to be made to feel bad about having the ebike I'd rather have the Mazda. Getting old sucks.
  • + 11
 Screw what other people think, an ebike has kept my old man riding with me and my brother at 66 even after 2 knee replacements, he introduced us to mountain biking 25 years ago and still rides with us now. We have never heard a single negative comment about it out on the trails, in fact it is exactly the opposite, people see it as a positive that they will still be able to ride as they get older. The American contingent have valid concerns about trail access and ebikes, that is completely understandable. We don't have those issues over here...
  • + 2
 I'd make more fun of your hairdresser's car.
  • + 2
 @choppertank3e: You say that, but you can pick up an old Mazda MX5 for less than my ebike costs... I have almost been tempted by one - stick some skinny tyres on it and go and tear up and down the Col du Turini with it (I live at the bottom of that road). I have to have a sensible car for my job (I have a VW Passat which is less than electrifying in the bends), so really fancy something cheap, fun (read: RWD) and disposable.
  • + 2
 @mattwragg: They are brilliant fun cars, I had a mk1 1.6 with a greddy turbo conversion and suspension upgrades, absolutely hilarious in the twisties!
  • + 1
 @choppertank3e: That's what some of my mates said !! but as @mattwragg has said the mx 5 is fun and cheap.
  • + 10
 E's are good, E's are good ,whaa whaa ahh.. . . . . . . . . . I'd probably keep my Intense Primer and get some light wheels and tyres for the road.
  • + 10
 If your N 1 choice is a bike with an engine you have to wonder if you still like to ride bicycles
  • + 1
 @darionollie You're right, because of my ebike, I only did 4,000km on my regular bikes last year.
  • + 3
 @mattwragg: ....so you aren't that lazy ass like you wrote
  • + 1
 @darionollie: What you did there is make assumptions about me based on your prejudices.
  • + 3
 @mattwragg: I did not make any assumption, I asked you to wonder about your passion for bicycles and you replied about the thousands of km you anyway do on a regular bike. So you certainly love bicycles, but now I'm not so sure that in a real choice situation you'll still choose the E-bike.
  • + 0
 @darionollie: Can I recommend admitting you were wrong and leaving it at that? You’re starting to go a little tin foil hat-y now.
  • + 6
 Is the continual barrage of Ebike articles, however coated, going to sway people over to 8000E purchases ? I love Mondrakers, the forward geo works for me, my Dune and Factor cover all the bases... am i considering splashing out 9000E on a CraftyE ? errrrrr no. I might think about a KTM 450 EXC for the same price though ;-)
  • + 6
 Crap artickle but my N=1 bike would be a trailbike on the burly end that can handle an occational trip to a bikepark. I'm keeping my Banshee Spittfire for now in other words Smile
  • + 1
 Spitty is a great bike!
  • + 1
 Agreed; if I had to keep only one, my Spitfire would probably be it.
  • + 7
 Probably keep my gravel/adventure bike.. I can't believe I've just admitted that..
Salute
  • + 2
 i just thouth the same ... with a litte bit of feeling guilty ... :-D
  • + 1
 @Dropthedebt I thought for a long while that my road bike would be the one bike I drop down to, if needed. It was the fact that you can use it almost everywhere that did it for me.
  • + 7
 Extra extra read all about it: Mountain bike journalist uses e-bike to go to the shops.
  • + 9
 I just puked on my phone
  • + 8
 RIP Pinkbike comment board....
  • + 6
 Just wait for Ze Amerikanern to wake up
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: I suspect the Americans are blocked from reading this.
  • + 10
 I’m awake and I am angry! The hate flows through me. I’m going back to bed, this has got to be a nightmare @WAKIdesigns:
  • + 3
 I've been a roadie that enjoys mountain biking for most of my long cycling life. Location matters - Yorkshire roads and Sheffield area trails for me. However mixing with cars and lorries is and always was shit. If my stable is cut down to one bike it'll be my BTR Pinner, which can do a long days riding or a charge down my local tracks at Wharnecliffe and Grenoside. I'm only aged 69 years, so e-bikes are of no interest to me yet.
  • + 2
 N=1 for me at the moment would be a steel hardtail, or ti if money no issue. Adjustable head angle, adjustable chain stay length, maybe an eccentric bottom bracket, some rigid forks, some suspension forks, three sets of wheels and tyres- 29x2.1, 29x2.3 or 2.4 and 27.5x2.8. This would probably cover everything I do on a bike.
  • + 3
 My Mondraker Foxy XR, works fine everywhere. If I was actually fit my Process 167, with 650b wheels. For commutes I would always have a cheap bike, you don't need room or much money to have a bmx as a spare bike.
  • + 2
 I do not have to deal with the N=1 dilemma, actually I have 4 bikes in the garage, but the only one without the dust on it is the eMTB.
So my choiche is pretty obvious.
The riding experience on eMTB is simply more “intense” than regular bikes, I live in a steep region (pretty close to Matt place), with regular MTB we usually climb paved roads to reach the fun part (downhill) now, with eMTB, I plan my route to find the most technical off road uphill and this is the most fun and challenging part of the ride, the downhill is pretty much the same experience than regular MTB.
If I have to choose only one bike to commute to work I probably choose my gravel because it is simply faster and more practical (light) than eMTB or e-city bikes.
Cheers haters Smile
  • + 1
 I'll do the Santiago's walk on an Ebike , shortening the time by 70% and making me feel newer,faster,better, modern and progressive. Still an outdoorist, still talking about bycicles like a pro, talking about what I've read about the Santiago's meaning like a robot. Then I'll come back home unchanged, meaningless but with same buying power to search for a spare battery and a longer trail.
  • + 1
 If I can have only one bike, it is sad but I have to be practical. I need the big cargo bike. Nexus 7sp geared hub (recently built a new 3kg rear wheel) hub dynamo, front and rear racks. To get to work, go places, go shopping, ride the kids around. I think it gets about 150km a week, can't do without it. So yeah, that'd be the end of the BMX and mountainbike for me. Hopefully I won't have to choose though. Luckily as as the mountain unicycle (MUni) technically doesn't qualify as a bike, I can still keep that one to ride the trails and be entertained Smile .
  • + 1
 this constant articles around ebikes, and how cool/good/better can change die hard "real" mtbikers (whatever that means...).
Realy who likes to push their bikes on endless climbs?
Wouldn't it be cool to add 3 to 4 descents to our weekend rides?

but then I remember why I keep pushing around climbs... without e-mopeds!
  • + 1
 Well have to say just got an e bike or M bike (Mobility Bike) & since got it have done more riding, but also had much fun, but have not used my other bikes much at all but but they also feel so light and nimble when do use, so all good!
  • + 3
 e-bike hype is getting slow huh? expect a few articles about plus sized wheels, that hype train has slowed down. e-plusbikes perhaps?
  • + 1
 yeah, well written. seen many e bikes in city. i dont see anything wrong with it. viva la revoluzione in Sweden lol itll get more people to leave their cars at home. a big argument for ebikes
  • + 0
 what would you prefer, secretly banging Angelina, or not to gang her but everyone think you did? Who gives a shit...

Don't be ashamed of riding a moped, thousands of asians do everyday.
You just choosed something that's not a mtb. Cheers.
  • + 0
 When I hit 40 last year and with work and kids getting in the way of keeping my fitness as good as it used to be I came to the same conclusion too! I had to change up a few things to get it exactly as I like it, but my Haibike AllMtn is the ONE! It is the most fun and versatile bike I ever owned.
  • + 2
 I'm the same age, same demographic and use case... I bought a Cube eMTB and haven't looked back. Easily the best all rounder bike I've had - allows me to ride the trails I love much more as I can get the climbs at the start of of the way much quicker. It really allows me to maximise the fun in my more limited riding time.
  • + 4
 Fortunately I will never have to deal with the n+1 dilemma.
  • + 0
 In my experience there's no escaping n+1. You can always have more bikes.
  • + 1
 @kelownakona: Yep, but once you've got that you can get another.
  • + 1
 my Transition Covert 26 (with 27 wheels) has been my only bike for 8 playful years, climbs ok, descents ok, can take it on a city spin and even commuted with it for couple of years, no problems what so ever.
  • + 1
 I know the bike I'd build if I was limited to one, some thing like an NS soda Evo or that 26 process. Question is medium or large???
  • + 1
 A soda is a seriously good shout tbf.
  • + 6
 #drinkwater
  • + 3
 Poor man Cedric's dilemma
  • + 1
 Yeah!! That's what I thought Big Grin
  • + 1
 Proba ly from Bronson marketing Big Grin
  • - 1
 @mattwragg Wouldn't you be better off with one of those conversion kits, so you can have a normal, reasonable weight bike for the times when you don't want the motor (like riding with non ebike buddies)? I've never ridden an ebike, but if I was interested and could only have one bike, I think that's the way I'd go.
  • + 1
 @metaam I'm not a big fan of the conversion kits - partly because I don't think they work as well as a purpose-built bike and partly because they are less regulated and I accept the need for ebikes to be strictly regulated if we want to use them on trails.
  • + 4
 Lazy french
  • + 3
 Salted or sweet popcorn, choices choices
  • - 5
flag Pedro404 (May 8, 2018 at 3:42) (Below Threshold)
 Does anyone actually like sweet popcorn?
  • + 4
 @Pedro404: yes if you're really odd you go for 50/50
  • + 9
 @fatduke: 50/50 is where it's at.
  • + 5
 @gibbon-on-an-orange: I prefer 50:01
  • + 1
 @Pedro404: Never even had salted popcorn. Must be a North American thing. I'll *stick* with my sweet popcorn anyway. kthxbye
  • + 4
 @colincolin: Apparently it's more like sweet popcorn is a German thing. I'm from the Czech Republic and there's not much sweet popcorn around there.
  • + 3
 Not a fan of Matt Wragg anymore ;-)
  • + 1
 call him matt wack now :-)
  • + 1
 Shall I cancel your newsletter subscription? Wink
  • + 1
 Scrolled down, looked at the pictures ( did not read a single word but the title on the homepage ). Here`s my two cents : Transition Patrol ! Out !
  • + 3
 Good for you but ebike =/= bike so you N=0
  • + 1
 I would keep my Trail Hardtail, but on my daily rides I would really miss my titanium XC bike. The BMX and the Enduro get the least time, and the road bike I already sold...
  • + 2
 Hoping to get myself and the wife on ebikes to ditch the car for our daily commute so thanks for the article!
  • + 3
 Someone got shares in an ebike company?
  • + 0
 itd be my salsa bucksaw fatbike. haven't ridden my new switchblade yet but im hoping it will take the podium soon. bring on wales next weekend!
  • + 1
 Glad I read the the first sentence of the last paragraph first, saved me some time there! Ebikes suck
  • + 1
 All mountain hardtail. Going on 8 years, my only bike, mountain biking is still just as fun.
  • + 2
 I'm sad that this turned into 'just another eMTB article'
  • + 1
 I'd keep my 170mm enduro bike. Its comfy, fun and very forgiving. And I'd stay strong pedaling it around. And it looks cool.
  • + 1
 My 3 bike garage has 150mm FS 29er, a DJ and a rigid single speed 29er…
I would keep my rigid SS 29er…
  • + 2
 I fit 3 mountain bikes inside my Alfa Romeo...
  • + 3
 Lame article PB
  • + 1
 This article is about commuting not mountain biking...
  • + 1
 I love how 'one bike theory' is a hypothetical conundrum.
  • + 2
 Ebike, gtfo
  • + 1
 Probably needs a dildo seat too
  • + 0
 My N=1 (and only bike) is my Surly Krampus. Possibly the most versatile mtb ever made.
  • + 1
 Man you can call to carrefour, they will send the food to your home
  • + 3
 No, they won’t in the mountains.
  • + 1
 Maybe a drone! I like my ebike as well, I hope they will be lighter soon @mattwragg:
  • + 1
 @Abantos: I'm all in for drone deliveries!
  • + 1
 Actually, this article isn't answering the title's question !
  • + 0
 'Ebike' = Immediately stopped reading.
  • + 4
 Judging from the comments: No "interesting pics" = no reading of actual article. (skip to comments to see others' judgment)
  • + 1
 booooo. booooooo.
  • + 0
 The ideal number of bikes is always n+1
  • + 0
 I also want a boot full of spare tyres!
  • + 0
 You should have said, I ended up throwing those Conti mud tyres away - it turns out I prefer to stay indoors when conditions get that heinous.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.092288
Mobile Version of Website