Video: Yoann Barelli Rides Whistler's Infamous Gargamel on an eMTB

Mar 26, 2019
by COMMENCAL bicycles  

Gargamel is one of Whistler's most technical trails. Finding the right mix of speed and flow demands precision and commitment. Imagine riding this type of trail in winter when the grip is non-existent… Yoann loves it!

After Treasure trail in Squamish on the META AM 29, now it's Gargamel on the META POWER 29, in the rain...

What’s in store for the next challenge?


  • 54 26
 Before you start... we get it it, you don't like e-bikes. However, some people do. If you don't, just move on.
  • 8 7
 Clicked on this to say "don't click"....
  • 14 9
 Don't move on, grab "normal" bike while you still can, because in few years time they will be a niche and pricey product.
  • 28 0
 @lkubica: I hate to be the one to break this to you buddy, but mountain biking is already niche and pricey. Wink
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: niche yes, but it really doesn't have to be pricey, unless you want it to be.
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: they already executed the 'pricey' part, with 3500 dollar bikes called cheap or extremely affordable.
  • 4 9
flag thenotoriousmic (Mar 26, 2019 at 9:49) (Below Threshold)
 Fair enough bit should it be on pinkbike?
  • 8 3
 @thenotoriousmic: they've made a choice at PB. My point was that if you aren't interested, you shouldn't click on the article. That means you won't see it and they don't get the clicks, even if it's just one less drop in the ocean. Many visitors don't have a problem with it being on PB, which means the articles will keep appearing. Think of it as like weird anime porn on a mainstream porn site. It's a broad church is this.
  • 9 5
 @BenPea: I like what GMBN have done by creating a sister channel for ebikes. See absolutely no reason why pinkbike can’t do the same.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: agreed, but what would motivate them to do it?
  • 1 1
 @BenPea: probably add money and not getting allthe e bike hate in the comments?
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: but the ebike firms need to capture market share from normal bikes, so they have to poach it here, which means pumping cash into all-round mtb media outlets that are willing to accept it. I mean PB is clearly looking to expand (remember, they have a road bike site too now) so they aren't going to waste time and energy on lofty principles if it means cutting off revenue streams. You just have to resist clicking and let it slide. If this leads to the end of civilization, I'll eat my words. Just please PB, tag e-bike content as such on the mobile homepage, as it's not always clear.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: and there's some f*cking weird propping going on.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: then you’ll just hate something else !
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: yeah it’s a thing pinkbike or whatever bike company is being advertised does where they down vote anything that could be seen as negative using fake profiles to hide your comments and push the ones they want people to see go to the top.
  • 1 0
 @Matt115lamb: I don’t hate ebikes at all.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: sorry ! They’ll just hate ....
  • 3 0
 @Matt115lamb: nah they’re good fun it’s just not mountain biking is it?
  • 2 1
 @thenotoriousmic: it’s really is , just makes the climbs as much fun as the downs !
  • 1 0
 I don’t own on btw
  • 6 0
 @Matt115lamb: nah soon as you introduce a motor it’s not mountain biking as fun as it might be you’ve shifted the goal posts and it’s a different sport.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: yep. It's like Handball vs waterball. Both fun but Not really the Same thing.
  • 1 0
 @Schlafmutzli: it’s like Swiss cheese and Stilton , both cheese !
  • 1 0
 @Matt115lamb: you drive a hard bargain
  • 1 0
 @Matt115lamb: more like Coffee and redbull...
  • 1 0
 @Schlafmutzli: exactomundo ! Caffeine hit
  • 23 12
 Well I got an e-bike for my mum..but young and healthy pro athlete in the Whistler woods on an e-bike?
  • 2 6
flag tiagomano (Mar 26, 2019 at 6:34) (Below Threshold)
 the only use i see for a e-bike and a pro athlete is for active recovery, he can ride without much effort and still descend if he wants
  • 9 1
 Cool, does your mum also ride a Meta Power 29?
  • 4 0
 @bg-EVIL: Cube
  • 8 5
 Also on that superwet conditions? (i know, its not new or loamtrail,but...)
And yes, e-bikes should be ridden by special(ized) people.
What we see in europe, mainly middleyears egomaniacs ride them, without helmet, agressively on uphill trails also..., never help maintain those trails, its problematic...
For Active recovery is best go to swimming pool, Sauna and yoga class...
  • 13 2
 Funny how they don't produce carbon Bikes because of ecological reasons. But an E-Bike is no Problem...
  • 11 1
 Film makers assured me that no trails were hurt in the making of this edit;
  • 7 12
flag Solozime (Mar 26, 2019 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 The max an E-bike can put out is 550 watts. Your left leg pushes more watts than that on a regular bike... So we should actually be banning regular bikes as they destroy trails more than E-bikes.
  • 7 4
 @Solozime: that's so, so far from correct that I can't help but do something about it. Pro roadies might manage 400w sustained effort. The average weekend warrior is more like 50-150. So yes, e bikes put a TON more energy into trails than human power alone would.
  • 2 1
 I think this bike uses the new Shimano steps 7000 motor. It is one of the lighter motors out there, producing and consuming less power than the steps 8000 and also easier to modulate. You saw the roost he was throwing? The way he was drifting in corners, exploding berms? That's proportional to the amount of trail damage he did there.
  • 3 8
flag Solozime (Mar 26, 2019 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 @dominic54: Yes for sustained effort but im talking max wattage for explosive power. Any fit person can easily push 1000 watts instant power through the cranks, they just cant sustain it for more than 15 seconds. If a rider on an e bike puts 1000 watts into the cranks, the max that can go to the wheel is 550 due to the motor.

Edit: here is a timestamped video of an EWS rider pushing over 2000 watts instant on a road bike for all you uneducated potatoes.
  • 8 2
 @Solozime: Nope. the bike isn't going to limit the power to the wheel - that'd be pretty counter-productive! They're power-assist, not independent drive. It's person-output-plus. If you triple someone's effective energy production then the trail has to absorb all of that.

The point, though, is: where do you think all that extra energy goes? Into the trail. Which means moving material around, which means more wear, more weight, bigger toothier tyres because there's no longer a disadvantage running them. Have a look at what motocross areas look like.
  • 1 0

Fun fact: A brake skidding tire will impact a trail with around 5000 W. Vs a EMTB Rear Tire with around 800W on the uphill.
  • 8 0
 Did anyone else see the back step out @3.25 going over the bridge?! Fresh set of pants next scene for sure.
  • 7 1
 Quality rider no mater what bike he's on. Would like to if that trail is on with a CX bikeWink
  • 3 0
 Was expecting to hear motor sounds, at least a bit of whirring from the gears inside. Is he just riding without the battery helping in these scenes, or is it just carefully edited out?
  • 3 2
 I just read into it and I think this bike is equipped with the newer steps 7000 motor instead of the older 8000 motor. It is less powerful and more subtle, probably a bit more silent too (though the sound you hear also depends on the resonance in the frame). I think that's also what they're trying to get across here. That he can modulate it well enough to climb these technical slippery uphills and ride skinnies. Lapierre also made a bike with a less powerful German motor (Fazua if I recall correctly). I think it is a good development. I know there are whole tribes of people who climb (or shuttle) fireroads to the top but I'd much rather see technical climbs instead. Twisty/rooty/rocky/narrow climbs are probably also less prone to erosion so I'm all for that. If these kinds of bikes reduce the demand for wide boring fireroads then I guess it is a good development. Not saying I see myself buy an e-bike anytime soon. But then again there is a lot of stuff featured on this website that I'd never buy Wink .
  • 2 3
 @vinay: 99% of ebikes only see wide fire roads, this is just image-setting content. That's until we vets get really old and broken enough to have no choice but to use the next generation of ebikes on actual trails, and those bikes will be almost indistinguishable from analog rigs and therefore less god damn embarrassing to be seen on.
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: I don't do stats. I wouldn't be surprised if most top level (expensive) bikes aren't used to their full potential simply because those who work so much to be able to afford them don't have enough time left to work on skills and strength. The kids who do ride loads every day and push their limits ride aluminium Deore/SLX equipped bikes. So yeah, as for the expensive bikes, this probably goes for both e-bikes as well as race-spec bikes. Doesn't mean that the race-spec bikes aren't good enough to be pushed to the limit. I'd say the same goes for these e-bikes.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: I'd say that if you really need help on the ups, you're probably not going to be pulling up trees on the downs, so I take the point but e-bikes are more likely to be bought as a toy (= more leisurely use) than a high-spec normal bike. Just my 2c.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Don't confuse strength and fitness with skill. I wouldn't be surprised a good few BMX specialist would be able to handle a DH bike just fine on the downs but burn themselves out on longer climbs. Not that they aren't fit nor that they aren't strong. But in their training they avoid becoming a diesel. A fit TdF racer may beat everyone on longer climbs but that doesn't mean they would do as well on the technical descends.

I think more than a few gravity racers (enduro and DH) use or at least benefit from either pedal assist or shuttle/uplift for a good bit of their training. Not that they wouldn't benefit from a bit of climbing every now and then, just that when a training session is supposed to be about descending they should spend the majority of their ride time doing just that and not climb 30 minutes (unassisted) for every 5 mins of DH.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I'm talking about average members of the population, not the tiny proportion of people with high levels of skill and a training history that is incompatible with climbing.
  • 1 0
 What's the music in the first min 1/2? Sounds like Ludovico Einaudi / video game (Halo) music.

Edit: Thomas Newman - Any Other Name (American Beauty Soundtrack)
Had to look it up, because it sounded familiar. Was part of a youtube music playlist I was listening to regularly.
  • 1 0
 In light rain last year, I was sitting at the top of Upper Howler waiting for my turn to drop in when I saw a couple riders climbing towards me. The front one was working really hard but the guy behind just cruised past and kept going. That rider was Barelli on an e-bike doing it easy - and on his way to Gargamel (the only trail above Upper Howler?). The guy who got passed didn't know he'd been passed by a pro or an e-bike, so he felt a bit better when we told him.
  • 5 0
 Yoann Baraaaaapi
  • 2 1
 Beautiful line and video. For another life...

Why do we have to wait for ebikes to see strong riders climbing up? I love seeing technical climbings, not a problem if it is slow.
  • 7 4
 Rabble rabble, grrr motorbike, rabble rabble rabble.
  • 6 3
 He should go to a place where motorbikes are allowed!
  • 2 2
 For tracks like this eBikes are plain simple the best: killer grip and planted/stable as hell. No more sketchy deflections in rocky stuff. Love it! But the uphill without the annoying shimano sound was fake news Wink
  • 1 0
 There was a race here where the e-bikes were included in the overall times of the day.
Anyway, don’t get me started on that.
  • 2 0
 Now that’s what I call a Commencal-commercial
  • 2 1
 Unfortunately all I could think about was Kevin spacey being sucked off by a dubiously aged blonde virgin....
  • 2 4
 Honestly If your fit enough to ride a bike, ride it! I love the fact I have to train hard to complete an Enduro race. Using a motor to assist my performance wouldn’t satisfy me... personally.
Amazing feeling after a 6 hour day knowing my legs done all the work. Anyway I understand that bike companies ask their pro riders to promote E-bikes.
Rant over.
  • 1 0
 Incredible video, and cool looking trail. VOY for me, up there with vital raw annual round-ups and tommy caldwell videos
  • 1 0
 Thanks! Appreciate it
  • 1 0
 3:25 too much power on the wooden bridge
  • 1 0
 This Yoann Barelli guy looks like he can ride. He should try EWS.
  • 1 0
 Startuje w EWS Razz He's racing in EWS
  • 1 0
 He's a great rider and all but I heard the cameraman was on a unicycle
  • 1 0
 I can confirm this
  • 1 0
 Very enjoyable to watch, as usual. Barelli rips !
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