Counterpoint: Do We Really Need E-Bikes?

Feb 8, 2017 at 18:53
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles Mike Kazimer

At this point, there's no getting around the fact that e-bikes are here to stay, especially in Europe. Nearly every brand, including industry behemoths like Specialized and Trek, have electric-assist mountain bikes in their lineup, and the advertising campaigns are in full swing, touting the benefits of riding a battery-powered bicycle.

Here at Pinkbike, there's been no shortage of internal debates and meetings attempting to figure out just how to address this elephant in the room. Can they be ignored? I wish that were the case, but I'm afraid that now that the Pandora's box has been opened, it's going to be really, really hard to close. I've aired my opinions on e-bikes before, but given Matt Wragg's recent op-ed it seems now is the time to dive a little deeper into the topic.


Photo by Harookz
Yes, you can get airborne and sideways on an e-bike. But would a lighter, non-motorized bike be a better choice? I think so. Photo: Harookz.


Let's start by looking at a few of the arguments that are commonly used to promote e-bikes.

You Can Get More Done In the Same Amount of Time
It's true; an e-bike allows you fast forward to the best part of any ride, speeding up the climbs and getting you to the descent faster than even the world's best riders could on their own power. And yes, that speed boost makes it possible to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. But to what end? Are our lives so busy, our attention spans so short, that we can't take the time to appreciate the pleasure and the pain that a long ride can bring? Modern mountain bikes have evolved into incredibly light and efficient machines – why weigh them down again with a motor and a massive battery?


It's Going to Help Grow the Sport
I'm not at all sold on the argument that e-bikes will grow the sport of mountain biking. Honestly, how many riders will purchase an e-bike, and then somewhere down the line decide, “You know what? I wish I didn't have a motor so these hills would feel harder.”

Matt Wragg mentioned it in his article, but if you're going to shell out thousands of dollars for a bike that makes going uphill easier, why would you purchase the equivalent of an off-road moped? Why not go all-in and purchase a dirt bike? Especially when you consider that in the United States, e-bikes are prohibited from many areas where 'regular' bikes are allowed, relegating them to the same spots populated by dirt bikes and ATVs. I don't know about you, but I'd feel pretty silly showing up to a trailhead with a tiny electric motor on my bike when I could have a 450cc engine between my legs and a throttle to twist. Rather than being a way to get riders into mountain biking, I see it e-bikes as being more likely to convince riders to pick up a dirt bike instead.

The best way to help mountain biking grow? Take the R&D money being dumped into electric motors and spend it on getting more kids on bikes. Invest in middle and high school race leagues. Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg. It may not have the immediate return on investment, but I'm positive it will be worth it in the long run.


They're Fun. How Can You Be Against Fun?
Of course e-bikes are fun. Why wouldn't they be? I'm sure ripping across a pristine snow-covered meadow in a Wilderness area aboard a snowmobile is a blast too, but that doesn't mean I need to endorse it. It's the baggage that e-bikes bring that I'm opposed to, the fact that they can't be easily maintained out on the trail, the looming access issues, not to mention the fact that you need to charge your bicycle after every ride, or risk being stranded miles from a home with a 50-pound hunk of metal and plastic that's a massive chore to pedal.


Aaron Bradford making his way down the upper half of stage 17.
Cruising through the forest on a non-motorized machine. Photo: Paris Gore.


Chasing the Dollar
Part of the reason that e-bikes leave a sour taste in my mouth is the way that they're being marketed, and how many companies are scrambling to add them to their lineup with little regard to the possible repercussions. Mountain bike sales haven't exactly skyrocketed in recent years, and the end of the wheel-size war has caused bike companies to look for other avenues to explore in search of the almighty dollar.

I recognize how difficult it is to survive in the bike industry, but it pains me to see how quickly companies are willing to sell out and start producing e-bikes. “If we don't do it someone else will,” is the refrain I've heard multiple times from smaller bike brands who are working on e-bike projects, hoping to avoid missing out on 'the next big thing.' Why not look to the running industry for inspiration? It's one of the simplest sports in existence, and there's no shortage of suffering when you lace up a pair of running shoes, but you don't see companies suddenly jumping ship to start producing rollerblades.

Last season, a large European brand named after a geometric shape provided the photographers covering the Enduro World Series with e-bikes in order to help them cover the distance between stages more quickly. On the surface, it seems like a generous offer, but you can't tell me they weren't banking on the fact that photos of those bikes would show up in the race reports. The scheme worked, and if you look at the coverage of the course recon days, you'll see plenty of e-bikes in action. It's a Trojan horse style of campaign, similar to what Specialized did with their elite athletes, sending them Turbo Levos to try, 'no strings attached.' In many cases the athletes or photographers weren't under any explicit obligation to do anything with the bikes, but don't you think that if the source of your income, someone that can choose not to renew your contract at the end of a season, sent you an e-bike, you'd figure out a way to include it in a cheeky Instagram post or two? I sure think so.

The headlong charge by the industry to produce e-bikes reminds me of the years that ski companies started producing snowblades, those super-short skis that were meant to keep skiers from defecting to the rapidly growing snowboard scene. In case you missed it, it didn't work, and snowblades ended up becoming the Razor scooters of the ski world.

Nico Vouilloz took the win in the Men s E-bike race.
There are plenty of pros who have accepted e-bikes, the legendary Nico Vouilloz included.
Sam Hill has a renewed focus and love for riding his bike at the EWS events and it certainly shows here in Varberg. He is currently in 1st but has Nico hot on his heels.
But luckily Sam Hill hasn't been spotted on one... at least not yet.

Trail Access
This is the big one, the most important aspect of the whole e-bike debate in North America, particularly the United States. Across the US there are thousands of miles of trails that are currently designated as being for “non-motorized vehicles only.” In many locations, getting the approval to ride mountain bikes in these areas took years of negotiations by dedicated cyclists, and even after getting the green light that access often remains tenuous.

What happens when an e-bike rider who's decided that the rules don't apply to them has a run-in with an elderly hiker while racing up the trail? In our litigious society, it's easy to envision a land manager deciding to ban bikes of any kind rather than trying to spot which bike has a motor and which one doesn't. Once access is revoked it will take another endless round of mind-numbing meetings to get it restored again, if at all. There's also the fact that as e-bikes become more common, so too will the hop-up kits that allow riders to bypass the speed limit that's imposed on them by the manufacturer, increasing the risk that incidents will occur between different user groups - just imagine how a horse would react if a nearly silent two-wheeled vehicle came speeding up the trail without warning.

As far as trail wear and goes, I don't see any reason why e-bikes would cause any more damage than a regular bike, except for one thing - remember the point about being able to do more laps in the same amount of time? Well, that's double or triple the amount of use on that particular trail, which means that maintenance is going to be required sooner than it would have had only non-motorized bikes been used. It's not as strong of a sticking point as the potential for user conflicts and losing trail access altogether, but it's something to bear in mind nonetheless.


What's Next?
With all that being said, what does the future of e-bikes look like? Well, I can say that it's getting more and more difficult to name a company that's not producing or planning on producing an e-bike – it doesn't look like they're going to disappear any time soon.

In an ideal world, I'd like to see e-biking positioned as an entirely different sport, rather than being lumped in with mountain biking, at least as far as media coverage goes. Yes, traditional and e-mountain biking are similar, but you don't see Skiing magazine covering the latest snowboard technology, do you? That may be the wishful thinking of a Luddite whose idea of a mountain bike is one that's fully human powered, but I'd like to keep the motorized and the non-motorized aspects of the sport separated as long as possible.

Overall, I don't want to see the sport that I've been fully immersed in for the last two decades diluted, watered down and ultimately cast aside by companies searching for another way to make money as quickly and easily as possible. Mountain bikes are human powered, and I'd like to see it stay that way. Here's hoping.



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 Matt Wragg's opinion here.

Must Read This Week

458 Comments

  • + 436
 If you're lazy and a bitch, then yes go right ahead.
  • + 23
 I'm disabled and i'm an a*shole, can i'll still use my e-bike too ibis??
  • + 53
 This entire e-bike debate reminds me of doping in the tour. Clearly if you are not e-biking you are going to think that you are being cheated out. As mountain bikers we are all at least a little competitive...and nobody likes to be beaten, especially
by those who cheat. So, when I think about Lance saying "yeah I cheated, but so did everyone else", it makes sense how
e-biking has taken off in Europe. Just like a snowball... This is certainly a complex issue and some people have a very good reason for e-biking, but at the end of the day only you can decide if you want to play in the same sandbox as the other kids, or go play somewhere else. I've already been beaten by e-bikes both on the road and on the trail, and I have also destroyed an e-biker on my morning commute...and it felt so so so good...
  • - 58
flag KeithReeder (Feb 23, 2017 at 8:36) (Below Threshold)
 You really can't stop yourself from being a monumental pig-ignorant bell-end, can you?
  • + 19
 @ibishreddin This is why I come to Pinkbike!
  • + 19
 @Vaclav: Its truly amazing that Rick Roll is still around. And I fell for it once again.
  • + 20
 Tbh, I see the potential in ebikes, especially for people who have actual physical problems with pedaling for long periods of time. Lots of disabled/ptsd veterans and such use mtb to rehab and to help them regain mental health and what not, and if they're disabled, they may not be able to pedal a normal bike for a long time.

Now with that being said, for the rest of us, just ride a normal bike or a dirt bike. Pick a side. I genuinely think ebikes are dumb for people who do not need the pedal assist. I have no problem with riding a moto on trails, if you don't want to pedal, get a moto.

With all that being said, ride whatever the hell you want. We all ride to have fun, not to judge people for their opinions on ebikes and such
  • + 55
 Eradicate all uphills world wide. Only downhills will be allowed. Don't need ebikes, problem solved.
  • - 20
flag Husker2112 (Feb 23, 2017 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 @steelpolish: what a genius. But that theory hurts my brain. I love the "only dh" idea, but how will he only have downhill mountains?
  • + 9
 @Husker2112: Agreed, It would be nice to be able to go out for a ride with my asthmatic brother.
  • + 30
 So are people who only ride DH with chairlifts lazy? I'm not hating I actually love the pain of an uphill climb (yes, I'm weird) but wouldn't chairlift only be considered just as bad as riding an ebike? Let the hate begin...
  • + 17
 @bartender: yes people that ride only dh are lazy. Every real dh rider I know also has a trail rig.
  • + 2
 @Husker2112: just cut out the uphills
  • + 15
 i wish i had pedal assist while haulin a trailer full of tools/material for trailwork to hard to access spots.
  • + 42
 I tried one of these new e-mtb's, and it was kind of fun actually. Personally, I ride an AM bike and enjoy the climbs but I do sort of see the appeal in these. Honestly, I'd way rather see people riding these than shuttling with trucks all day. Eventually they will be accepted and they will just be the norm, and Mountain biking will still be alive and well. There will be a bunch of people who are hating now who will all have them in a few years once the brave ones try it out first and weather these controversial times.

Who needs e-bikes? I don't think it really boils down to needs. They are just another toy and still a great way to go out and have fun.
  • - 1
 To buy an e-bike you need to get a physical and prove you are not just lazy that you were actually hurt or disabled in some way peace out guys
  • + 33
 E-bikers are lazy, but lifts and shuttles are fine right?
  • + 5
 @bartender: Aight. I see your point, but trail and dh are two distinct forms of riding. A lift is fine for dh, because its dh. But it is cheating for trail riding because uphill is a part of trail riding
  • + 13
 It's only cheating if you are a super competitive type who isn't riding one. Many will have issue with the concept that e-mtb'ers are getting more vertical in less time, but c'mon, who cares. You want to take your time and do it all manual, awesome! You want to ride on a Uni-Cycle, awesome! Want to ride on a hardtail, awesome! Someone else wants to ride an E-MTB up fast and get more laps, sure, why not.

There will have to be some trail etiquette tho. I could see E-Bikes spinning out on steep techy singletrack so they should avoid these sections or walk their bikes there. E-MTB's should really just stick to Fire Roads and easy up tracks... PLEASE DON"T SHRED UP TRAILS more than XC, Trail, All-Mountain and Enduro bikes already do !!!

Again, I'd rather get passed on a fireroad by a bunch of E-MTB's than a pickup truck spewing fumes and dust.
  • + 3
 just do the compact motor in the bb that roadies have been using to cheat with.
  • + 3
 The "I'm disabled" argument to ride an e-bike on local non-motorized trails is pointless, cause if you crash out there and you are disabled? Get out with your own power, you don't see guys disabled guys on 4wheels with motors do you? I hate to see non-motorized trails get shut down by motorized bikes running through them. It's motorized, keep it off non-motorized trails.
  • + 8
 @Husker2112: The issue of ebikes being appealing to disabled people keeps coming up and I was wondering how disabled people who like being on the water deal with this issue. There are many protected waterways here in the US, where motorized boats are not allowed and I was wondering how a disabled person would be able to enjoy those same waterways the way able bodied rowers do.

Note: This is a serious question. I'm not trying to be a jerk.
  • - 6
flag fartymarty (Feb 23, 2017 at 13:59) (Below Threshold)
 Chairlifts are powered by electricity. If you ride chairlifts then you are no better than an ebiker.
  • + 4
 @cvoc: lol yes...so simple and so true. And to be honest i dont care what other ppl ride. Its amazing how judgemental this sport has become
  • + 5
 @fartymarty: best username. Worst point
  • + 3
 The competitive person in me agrees with the masses that it's cheating and lazy. However thinking about it, I am the perfect candidate for an e-bike. I dream of getting out into the country on all day mountain epics yet I have limited time and only manage about 200 mile per year. The truth is I barely have time for 15 miles per week let alone get fit enough for adventurous riding and an e-bike could be the answer.
  • + 3
 @RollinFoSho: I agree...I have owned dirt bikes and mtbs and if I buy a Emtb I'd ride the sandy dirtbike trails near my house solo...(I ride alone a lot ...) riders need to try one and then decide...
  • + 3
 @drivereight: yes I agree , keep non-motorized trails non motorized
  • + 1
 @RollinFoSho: I'd rather see people shuttling than clogging up the trail while those who shuttled / suffered up get to rip it down. Just saying....
  • + 12
 end of feb, middle of the week, slow news day, click bait. chaching chaching........... 2 articles, over 500 comments on the two, well played......................
  • + 0
 end of feb, middle of the week, slow news day, click bait. chaching chaching........... 2 articles, over 500 comments on the two, well played...................... This!
  • - 1
 @Husker2112: the main points of the argument are legality and identity. No motorized vehicles(handicapped or not). Similiar but differnet and separate from mtb.
  • + 1
 @stacykohut: "Well, crap, what's Gwin doing? Nothing, really? And Frostbike's over, huh? Ok, then. E-bikes. Go."
  • + 5
 @Husker2112: Ah come on, you must admit I have a point thought... (I kinda figured I would get slammed for it anyway)
  • + 1
 dupl deleted
  • + 4
 @fartymarty: The fact you got so downvoted for such a simple, reasonable statement is proof that you have a valid point. There's no argument against it, just indication that they don't like it.
  • + 6
 @Husker2112: Cheating? I didnt realize that we were married or in a competition......
  • + 1
 Yet another @KeithReeder comment plummets into oblivion. Well played sir!
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: it is a point i guess. Just one that I don't agree with haha
  • + 1
 @J-McBride: @J-McBride: Not having time to workout is a lazy and shortsighted not a solid argument. People whine about being busy but they always find time for things they love or they believe they love. Getting a child, you´re making time for it, finding a new girlfriend, you`re making time for it, taking on a stressful 60h job, you`re making time for it. Can`t have your cake and eat it too.

A good start is commuting or at least including biking in a non sportive fashion, the workout is always there, with or without lycra....

Dad was disabled and riding assisted bikes (on the road) way before the industry found a new way to milk MTB, I know both sides....
  • + 0
 @drivereight: This!!!

Not everybody is entitled to be able to perform the same outdoor activities.

Would it be fun to run up and race down Mont Blanc on skis with an avalanche bagpack and no care for the conditions or other skiers. Sure, but I don`t because I know I´m not talented/experienced enough and do something adequate for my capabilities like mountains half the size and steepness/exposition. Applies to most everything in live....

"Hell is other people " (some french wiseass)
  • + 1
 @RollinFoSho: so true, nobody needs a $10,000 carbon bike either but hey why not they are fun.
  • - 1
 HELP. I'VE FALLEN OFF MY E-BIKE AND I CAN'T GET UP!
  • + 4
 @goodwrench:

I'm asthmatic and still ride my bike over 1000 miles a year
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: non comparable.
  • + 1
 @RollinFoSho: . Great points . E bikes give a greater independence of a ute or numbers of riders for shuttling .
  • + 1
 @fullbug:

after I recover from my fourth knee surgery, that is what I'm going to primarily use mine for.
  • + 1
 If you are NOT lazy and a mega bitch..... just build an EMP gun:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvpZXmYRP4o

2017 could be the most controversial year in mountain biking history !
  • + 0
 @J-McBride: and the point is thats fine where its legal, and it seperate from mtb so emtb would not be covered on pinkbike, or other mtb sites. Vitalemtb etc
  • + 222
 "The best way to help mountain biking grow? Take the R&D money being dumped into electric motors and spend it on getting more kids on bikes. Invest in middle and high school race leagues. Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg. It may not have the immediate return on investment, but I'm positive it will be worth it in the long run."
#kudos Mike
  • + 26
 This right here. While there is a decent argument that ebikes will bring people into the sport that wouldn't otherwise enter, I'd like to point out that growth for the sake of growth has cancerous results if you don't stick to your DNA. I understand that ebikes can be considered "a different kind of bikes, but bikes nonetheless". That's all well and good that they're a 'different flavor', but ask yourself if you really want to put scrambled eggs and onions on your ice cream.
  • + 16
 Couldn't agree more. My friends who don't mountain bike laugh at me because I spent $3500 on my bike. The cost of getting a "low end" full suspension bike is near $2000 and not one of my friends is willing to pay that much and therefore I have no chance of getting them into the sport. I understand that they can get something used but they are inexperienced with buying any bike let alone one that they cant tell what is worn and what needs replacing.
  • + 16
 Bike Company PR/Marketing team: "It may not have the immediate return on investme..."

Bike Company Financial Exec: "Stop right there... No"
  • + 3
 Amen gonzo
  • + 25
 What teenager has thousands of $$$ to buy a mtb? Not many. The future of everything is in the hands of the generations under us. Why is basketball so popular among youth? Because of the cost of entry is cheap. The way to grow the sport of mtb is to make affordable quality bikes available to the masses, especially the youth. Only old dentists and young rich people can afford ebikes. I hated high school sports - I would have signed on to a bike race in a heartbeat if my school had it.
  • + 2
 @mrleach: Amazing!
  • + 17
 Why does everyone think we need mountain biking to grow? I hear this all the time.

The trails are already too crowded around here. Why on earth would I or anyone else want MORE people out biking on them? Makes no sense.
  • + 6
 @jwrendenver: A couple of reasons: If mtb is growing, then that means more trails being built, more advocacy, more areas to ride as more and more cities and towns realize there is a value to bringing in tourists. My kids ride mtb, and its likely their kids will someday also. Things are growing. More people is a problem, but it is inevitable. We have to learn how to deal with the problems, not compound them.

All of the mtb and component mfgs need their corporations to grow. If a company is not growing, its likely going to be shrinking.
  • + 8
 @steelpolish: I have seen the opposite around here. More bikers has only meant more conflict with hikers. We are not gaining trails, we are losing access to the ones we've always had. There are certain trails around here that are now hikers only, and certain trails where we can only ride downhill on even numbered days. This is not a good thing.
  • + 4
 @jwrendenver: Where abouts are you at? I would assume Colorado, but I thought that area was growing still. That's a bummer to hear your losing access. Up here in the PNW, I have seen an incredible positive growth in the last ten years.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: Yes, Denver. I went to Bellingham last summer and was blown away by Galbraith. It's a different world out there.
  • + 4
 Totally. Its a bicycle and meant to be simple. So invest to make them even more reliable and cheaper so more people and kids will ride good bikes and get hooked. Going electric is adding costs, complications and things to break. They almost fall into the Moped category...
  • + 16
 Where has this obsession with growing the sport come from? why is it always the topic of convo when it comes to pinkbike? what benefit to you as a rider comes with more people riding? other than more marketing and gimics pushed on us, higher costs pushed on us because everybody decided to jump on a new wheelsize/axle size/headtube size/BB size and each manufacturer needing to be the IT brand for Jimmy Dickhead on the cycle2work program.
When did it become a thing that you absolutely must indoctrinate everyone on the planet to enjoy what you enjoy?
"growing the sport" has lead to all this crap, how about refining the sport, make it more sustainable, allow its popularity to fluctuate organically so we dont have a market flooded with shite and a media driven to this sort of clickbait bullshit to make more pennies from the marketers.
  • + 1
 @bluumax: ooo this is a future I can get with. Nice idea chap Smile
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: you don't need thousands to get started. $900 gets a really nice starter hardtail.
  • + 2
 @steelpolish: I don't agree with that train of thought. As f'kd our country is in regards to laws, miss-management and worring about people wanting to cash out on a law suit because they got hurt on a trail (waiver or not). I wouldn't want a load of more people involved and on the trails. There would be that many more jack azzes that would f'k it up for everyone else and trails would get shut down to horses and hikers only. Plus people on e-bikes (disability or not aside) would say f'k the rules, this is a mtb trail, imma ride my happy azz up it and screw everyone else. Thus another trail shut down. I am sure there are responsible riders out there that help clean up or call out the douche(s) that is leaving trash behind, but after a while it will get to be to much. Normally I am positive person, but I just don't see it getting any better until our country and people (culture and leadership) towards mtb change. Look at BC. They love it and endorse it up there. I wish it was like that in the U.S. They would rather shut one down then have one open up IMO.

~ Off my soap box.
  • + 93
 I dunno about this. I consider myself very progressive, especially being a designer and artist, but there is just something about this that doesn't feel right???? I fell in love with mt biking because I simply love bicycles. I feel e-bikes does not capture what bicycles has to offer. There's definitely a place for e-bikes, just not on our "mt bike" trails.
  • - 16
flag MantisToboggan (Feb 23, 2017 at 9:37) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah! Not on OUR trails! If you can't ride to the top under your own power then you don't deserve to be there, right?! If you can't rail the berms or hit the jumps you shouldn't be out there either! If you have to get off and walk because its too steep, then you might as well sell your bike and take up knitting. The only people we want on our trails are hardcore riders that have been riding for years and who say they have helped build our trails. Oh, you want to just ride your bike in the forest? Enjoy nature, fresh air, the feeling of simply riding your bicycle on dirt again? Not on OUR trails!
  • + 27
 @MantisToboggan: when you start building a lot of trails maybe you'll change your tone. E bikes crush the very soul of the sport and take the accomplishment out of riding the grueling stuff. Never have I witnessed an e bike rider helping on OUR trails, not once not ever. Most people who ride these things are not disabled or old, just rich and lazy. So yea stay the f*ck off our trails
  • - 6
flag MantisToboggan (Feb 23, 2017 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 @thisspock: Apparently it's possible to tell an ebike rider just by looking at them.
So only those who help build/maintain your trails can ride your trails?
  • + 15
 @MantisToboggan: That's not what he is saying at all. If you can't ride to the top...fine, get off and walk and eventually you will be able to the more you ride, but not because you have an extra free 800 watts attached under your ass. We don't care about only hardcore riders, brand new riders are welcome as well. But when they should not be accepted is when they take a shortcut with their checkbook to an ebike. It's not that they don't deserve to be there. They absolutely do...But on the right tool (non-motorized bike) that doesn't threaten the access for everyone else. Everyone is welcome. But not every piece of equipment is welcome due to its potential negative impact.
  • - 14
flag MantisToboggan (Feb 23, 2017 at 10:18) (Below Threshold)
 @ianswilson815: Well put.
If access was not an issue and ebikes were legally allowed on 100% of mtb trails, would ebikes still be an issue (aside from damaged egos)?
  • + 26
 @thisspock: I would slow down a bit there. One of the biggest trail builders in our area rides an E-Bike. Why? He is over 50, his knees hurts, and it means he can cover twice as much ground checking out the trails to see what needs work. Keep in mind this is the guys who never rides without a saw and probably spends more hours hiking trails with a rake and a chainsaw than he does riding. a*sholes will be a*sholes but I really don't think the qualifications for being an a*shole depend on what kind of bike you ride.
  • + 1
 @MantisToboggan: No i do not think so. Look at Europe. If I recall, Ebikes are the largest growing sector of cycling over there because land access and trail usage is not a problem. For the most part you can ride anything that you can hike or that you can get to if it is public land; at least that was the case when I rode in Italy. But here in the US that is not the case and poses a greater threat given the restrictions that public land often has.
  • + 17
 @MantisToboggan: Anyone who is on the right side of the argument, me included, literally does not give one sh!t about ebikes. What makes this an issue is the absolutely inevitable issue that is going to come up with trail access. People are going to use these things on non-motorized trails, and it is going to restrict access. There is just no way around it.

This is an access issue, plain and simple. It has been too much of a fight to get mtbs on trails, and ebikes are putting that access in jeopardy.
  • + 7
 I'm 50 and my hip is going out and if the only way I could get around the trails was on an e-bike I would sell my kona process 153 and buy a e-bike.
  • + 28
 @MantisToboggan: if you can't rail that berm, keep practising, if you can't make that climb, keep practising, if you can't do the whole loop, allow for more time and keep practising... Modern first world lazy f@ckers just want the cheat code for everything, back in the day people actually tried to progress their skill and fitness as there was no other option , now people just make excuses and constantly interfere and dumb down trails, removing obstacles, roots, rocks etc and building berms in place of offcamber corners. The issue we face is indicative of a much larger social phenomenon whereby people no longer can cope... Get in debt... File bankruptcy.... Sign a contract.... Change your mind next minute... Trails too hard... Change them and rude an e-bike.... Unless you have a disability, you're a lazy over-privileged piece of scum for riding an e-bike and can f@ck right off the face of the planet! (rant over)
  • + 9
 @ctd07: Well. That escalated quickly.
  • + 1
 @RoboDuck: I'm very passionate about the subject, if you ride an ebike maybe you don't need to leave the planet, maybe just move to Fallujah
  • - 1
 @ellingferd: 100% agreed
  • + 3
 I don't like carbon but don't go off on one everytime I see the fanciest new carbon bike on Pinkbike. Each to their own.
  • + 7
 @fartymarty: In regards to personal preference I agree, to each their own. That is until it starts affecting everyone else negatively in regards to trail access which E-bikes will here in the US.
  • + 8
 @ctd07: Lol good one ! And wait, all those who think the power section of current e-bikes will never get bigger and more powerfull are just daydreaming. Find another sport where, in the name of "progress" they find ways to actually make it easier. Just imagine a mother telling her sons soccer coach : Can't we make the terrain smaller, or the ball bigger and have a smaller goals net because my son cannot run for too long, Coach : No mam this is the sport it's the way it's meant to be played. Mom : OK then can we gives those poor little boys some electric rollerblades...

Or how about powered running shoes for joggers...Or electric motors for kayak..Oh better yet a gps guided golf ball that goes directly in the hole while your e-bot super swing machine swing the ball for you calculating the trajectory , you just had to program it while eating chips. I think by nature human nature is lazy and this won't help, the law of the least effort will prevail, unfortunately.
  • + 5
 @RoboDuck: i am a similiar guy to the one you describe, although i am 60, and not suffering any lingering pain, i see the day coming and have considered going over to the dark side, as your local trail builder has. i put in over a hundred hours commuting by trail on my knolly, to put in over 500 hours of trail work last year. if i wasn't as tired or had more time, i would have done more work. i don't want to see, hear or fix the presence of motorcycles on our trails, so would not buy one. I think the weight of these e-bikes may have negative issues as well. i listen to these arguements with keen interest. they are all valid, and may impact my decision.
  • + 0
 @edwardbear: Best thing I can recommend is go take one for a test ride from a local shop. I really feel that a lot of the negative comments come from people who have not ridden them. Outside of the US where trail access is without a doubt a bigger issue I just can't believe e-bikes will be an issue. The only other exception would be if you considered more riders on the trail an issue but for my part I am always excited to see people out riding. And with more people riding than ever it makes even more sense for someone like yourself who does a whackload of trailwork (holy crap 500 hours!) to have a bike that lets you ride and inspect twice as many trails.
  • + 4
 @ellingferd: Please name one example of e bikers on non-motorized trails restricting access for all mtn bikers. Just one???
  • + 1
 @ianswilson815: I think this is the big difference for the opinions between US and Europe. Generally we have no issues with trail access therefore ebikes aren't a problem. You guys do and are fighting hard for access and don't want to lose what you do have or muddy the waters with ebikes. I think once your trail access issues are resolved ebikes wont be such an issue.
  • + 6
 @ianswilson815: Jesus, even the yanks have better ideas about protecting their open spaces for the use of all. Unlegislated Euro ebike will be the death of the sport here. Lazy, self obsessesed time poor riders who clearly haven't got enough time to ride let alone maintain some trails and give a bit back.

Yeah MTB, let's give the part timers and lightweight softies the keys to our future. Let the guy who turned up five minutes ago decide wher our sport if going.


You lot are f*cking bonkers.
  • + 1
 @RoboDuck: I've ridden one. They're for lazy people to posh to push.
  • + 1
 @edwardbear: thanks for trying to make an educated decision. Appreaciate you're a genuine Mtb guy and wouldn't want to upset the trail access issue. If the whole community could be trusted to behave this way we'd have a rosy future. Good luck and keep pedalling.
  • + 2
 @ctd07: THIS. ALL DAY LONG THIS.

And if you don't understand this, then you're in the wrong sport, with the wrong mates and the wrong attitude.
  • + 1
 @brncr6: even if it meant an increase in trail damage and eventually access issues.

We all thank you for your selfless attitude.
  • + 2
 @ianswilson815: wrong. Surrey Hills is already under threat. Ebike s will make it worse.

When 'merica has more worry about the access to free and open spaces than us, we are truly fecked.

Don't cite UK as a market with no ebike worries. A bike for the lazy generation, with apps, and widgets etc.

Not Mtb in any guise really. Heavy crap bikes. Suck the life out of the best bit of riding, the descent. And no amount of lazy easy ups is worth ruining the best bit. Unless your an XC tit hiding among the AM crowd, pretending your down, but really are too posh to push.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: so basically if I am physically unable to ride a mountain like you do stay off your trails? That attitude is selfish. The same attitude that foot people are taking against mtbs in Marin. look up Downieville , Sierra Buttes trail stewardship, a top destination in the USA. mountain bike and motorcycle get along just fine on the same singletrack.
Last Shuttle run there 3 dirt bikes caught and passed us. No problem or bitching and complaining, just 2 different types of bike on the same singletrack out having a good time.
  • + 2
 @slayerdegnar: "Please name one example of e bikers on non-motorized trails restricting access for all mtn bikers. Just one???"

I also have yet to hear of this but there are obviously plenty of trails that have been banned to MTBers due mostly to the actions of the riders that create conflict (riding way too fast near other trail users, skidding every switchback, going off trail, etc.).

It's only matter of time and I believe it will be a combination of the general perception of the electric motor assist and, unfortunately, jackass disrespectful riding style that will be the cause - mostly the latter.
  • + 3
 @Bustacrimes: I agree with the fact that they suck the life out of parts of the sport. But I was addressing it purely from a trail access perspective. In Europe, at least in Siwtzerland or Italy where I have ridden, there is no issue on Ebikes presenting an access issue because there is no legislation and you can ride anywhere that is open land. Here in the US that is not the case. Do I want an Ebike?...F$%K NO. Do I care if people ride them in an area like Italy where there is no restriction?....Not really. However, I very much care if they try to ride them here where they will have a major impact on what is potentially available as open space.
  • + 1
 @teamtoad: There isn't an example yet, you are correct. But look at the difficulty that the mtb community has already with getting access to ride. Or better yet, look at the examples of land we have lost for riding (white cloud wilderness in Idaho). Now, there will come a day when the fight for trail access comes to a head. There is already tons of vitriol against bikes being on "pristine" land or "wilderness" because of potential impact, whether that impact is real or fake. So how do you think that fight will go when Ebikes are considered part of deal for access? How do you think those against bikes being in any of those areas will react when they know that 'bike" with an electronic MOTOR would be allowed as well?
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Unfortunately, once the ban is in place, there is very rarely any resolution. In most areas of the US, I believe allowing eMTBs on non-motorized trails would be too much of a risk to all bikes. Too bad because some of the newer ones look fun. Motorized trails though, why not?
  • + 4
 @brncr6: then i would say you need to stick to trails that allow motorized vehicles or get a road bike. Fighting the inevitable war wounds of our sport that come with age shouldn't jeopardize the next generations trail access. That's some selfish shit.
  • + 2
 @slayerdegnar: There isn't one that I know of yet, and I never claimed there was. I do think it is a very real possibility, however, there will be. MTB has already lost access in places like Idaho White Cloud wilderness. www.imba.com/blog/mark-eller/idaho-trails-lost
  • + 3
 @brncr6: The issue isn't open access trails, it's closed trail centres, those places with the big red 'no motorised vehicle's' signs at the gate, up until now, the equation was simple, if petrol was involved, it was banned irregardless of engine size, simply because they're noisy, pollute the area, can be dangerously fast and scare wildlife, create ruts etc etc.

Now all of a sudden we have the electric motor where you have ktm and other brand electric mx bikes that can keep up with a 250 mx bike and you have pedal-assist shopping bikes and everything in between, there's no guidelines or standards and therefore no way of differentiating between them.

The concern here is that while pedal assisted bikes are harmless, electric mx bikes aren't, but you're gonna have idiots who can't tell the difference, a few people ripping it up on high powered electric mx bikes will firstly result in a ban of electric motors as well as petrol, then the misguided idiots on pedal assist bikes, that look identical to mtb's, will not adhere to this thinking they're excluded from the ban, then, as councils won't be able to tell the difference between mtb's and pedal assist bikes.... The eco warriors and dog walkers will have their way and councils will just ban bicycles of all kind outright.

This is the scenario, someone dying or getting seriously hurt will be the catalyst, it will happen, it's just a matter of time. Thanks in advance to all the delusional idiots who use ebikes, it's literally like saying a rail gun isn't a weapon because it uses electricity instead of gunpowder, the argument for ebikes is that dumb!
  • - 1
 @thisspock: this is the elitism attitude that is hurting the sport. You have no clue. How many e-riders have you seen in total?
  • + 1
 @thisspock: "So yeah stay the f*ck off our trails"

I wonder why ebikers don't help out on YOUR trails?
  • + 2
 @ctd07: guess I'll have to look into ebikes more I thought they where pedal assist bikes.
Bikes with a throttle is a whole different type of bike regardless of power source.
But there are places that bikes pedaled by human power and powered by electric and fuel get along just find. Where they help each other and work the same trails together.
Maybe if everyone would start working together instead of one group claiming the singletrack as there's only trail access would have a lot more backers organized better,
  • + 2
 @brncr6: When I started riding we rode trails that were shared with MX bikes. It worked fine, you hear them coming a mile away. Horses are more difficult as they don't make any noise and spook if you sketch them out. There are plenty of horses where I ride and you just need to ride sensibly and be prepared to stop. Beats getting kicked in the head.
  • + 1
 @brncr6: I usd to ride mx, and there's now way I want to ride the same trails as those bikes on my Mtb. You have loads of space which we don't have the luxury of here. I suggest anyone riding the same trails as people on motorcycles needs a motorcycle, not a beefed up Mtb. This here is the issue. Pandering to the whims of every individual ends up with this scenario, where people with ebikes want to ride the same trails as normal Mtbs. Why not get a motorcycle....a good one will cost less than a ebike, be better built, and have proper existing legislation covering its use.

Ebikers are trying to forge a niche for themselves within existing sports, like a cuckoo. If the demand is so great, get out with all the other ebikers and build your own specific trails.
  • + 3
 @ctd07: LMFAO.....Best comment of the day. Take your azz to Fallujah with your ebike. See how long you'll last!
  • + 91
 screw e-bikes, i want a smart bike that rides itself so i can stay home and eat Cheetos
  • - 3
 I've seen a while back where Honda makes a motorcycle that can stand by itself. maybe they'll put that thought into e-bikes... nonetheless I still won't and wouldn't buy or even demo one!!!! Frown Mountain Bikes are more then just eeeeeeeeee - bike!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 @sideshowb: completely pointless!!!!
What's up with the people now days!!! Freeride mtb is the best!!!! Suzuki Nine Knights 2016 Documentary video is one of my highlights that I play over and over!!!!
Sorry riderless new bikes, hopefully Walmart Supercenters can supply them!!!! Which brands will make them..... oh thanks, Huffy!!! Wink hahaha
  • + 44
 "You Can Get More Done In the Same Amount of Time" That's exactly what people in the society think nowadays, and our biggest problem. That's just consumerism. Things have to be easy and go fast. People don't want to make efforts anymore, and frankly, the argument of people being too old / not fit enough to pedal brings us to the second problem in our society : performance and appearance. Honestly, anybody can pedal a bike up a hill, just use your lowest gear and take your time, you don't need to compare to faster/fitter rider (Plus if your knee are so much shot you can't pedal uphill, than I don't see how you'll manage to get downhil anyways !). You have to earn the mountain and the trails (and not just by buying an e-bike). Finally you have to consider those people that already don't respect other trail users, just imagine them on a Levo that can be hacked to reach 45km per hour (in Europe a bike that goes 45km per hours needs an insurance and a licence plate...). These things have a motor... These are motorbikes. Period.
  • + 2
 I can uplift all day on the dh bike, my knees are shot after an hour on trail bike. pedalling long climbs puts a lot of pressure on the knees totally different to downhilling. the assistance takes a lot of that pressure off at top of pedal stroke where knee is most bent. The reality is if you don't have problems you shouldn't be on an ebike. I don't mind then being branded as mobility scooters etc but that's what the are.
  • + 2
 @bat-fastard: I have no ligaments left in one of my knees after a BMX accident and still pedal uphill minimum once a week (at least 30km...). Training makes sure my muscles do what my ligament should normaly do and I'm good. If I wouldn't keep my muscles in good shape around my shot knee then yes, I couldn't ride ! Then every case is different.

If it was not to pedal, I wouldn't see te point of riding a bike.
  • - 1
 @KRVZ: its not my ligaments or muscles that's the problem, its my bones. I can walk all day but cant run 100yards. Likely have slight arthritis starting. My brother inlaw is couple years older, hes had to have couple of operations on cartilage in his knee.
  • + 2
 @bat-fastard: Sorry for you... In my case I know this will lead to some damages to my bones too with time... But then I'll quit biking and will go kayaking Big Grin
  • + 5
 @bat-fastard: Rise your seat, lose weight, and picture a bag of crisps at the top. You will get there.
  • + 1
 @lake-st: no would need surgery and new knee joints. The more or harder I'd train the worse the condition will get. why don't you google arthritis and worn joints.
  • + 2
 Yeah some people just say "well you know thanks to e-bike i can spend more time on downhill then on uphill part of trail" but for me downhill is much more fun if i earn it by riding uphill.It's not that i hate climbing i just suck at this but then again i see myself way of improving because i think that best part of being human is to improve and learn new thinks especialy that our bodies are great at adapting to new stuff we do.And it's damn annoying to ride climbs because my girlfriend is a spinning trainer and 2 other friends are racing XC so they just go uphill like thunder.But then again on flat or downhill i can show who is boss Smile
  • + 3
 @bat-fastard: 62 yrs old in May arthritis in both feet and hands, back hasn't been good after I fell of a bloody horse twice 35yrs ago, tore my calf muscle and its cooked, I just built up a lighter better bike so I can keep sight of my son uphill because going down I would need a Moto.
Like Nike says Fu@k it just do it.
  • + 1
 @lake-st: can't, never was the most athletic, even at my fittest I'd be last one up the hill. But back then it didn't kill me either. If keep going I'll need knee replacements in a couple of years so I'm getting one.
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: Hey ride on what ever works to get outside, I have most of my parts but guys I know who had hips and knees done all say they should have done it sooner they are pain free.
Cheers
  • + 41
 My E-Bike has a throttle and 450cc's of awesomeness..... My MTB has my two legs.
  • + 2
 4 sure
  • + 28
 Currently most trails that I know of are already closed to e-bikes--excepting trails that allow ATB. I personally don't thing E-bikes will negatively impact trail access if land managers adhere to that access rule.

Access is generally limited by the old school thinking that bikes do more damage to the trails than hikers. That's a "fact" that has been repeatedly debunked. Since E-bikes aren't significantly heavier than a standard bike--20 lbs heavier isn't the weight of a MX bike--the foot print a tire from an E-Bike makes isn't going to be doing any additional damage to trails, but as was pointed out, the ability to ride trails more often will likely force a trail maintenance issue. But that issue becomes moot when E-bikes are relegated to ATB trails.

It seems to me that the bigger issue is the perception that riding an E-bike and enjoying it is seen as some form of bastardization of mountain biking. Me? If someone wants to ride an E-bike on trails, I give no F$$ks any more so than if someone wants to ride a single speed hard tail on the trails or a DH bike or an "enduro" bike. It's personal preference.
  • + 0
 Trail access is limited by politics of people in power or influencing people in power. These politics, as every other politics in the world involve getting people to support your ego-loaded cause, whatever it is. One of the most effective waysof gaining sympathy is envisioning some vaguely determined entity that requires protection (like wildlife or America) then finding heroes (everyone knows some old over dedicated prick who dedicated his life to building trails or protecting some squirell, and you can see rather quickly that he is compensating for being a loser in everyday life, otherwise how can he find time to live this life if he is constantly messing around in bushes?) aaaand finding the enemy (like mountain bikers pr hunters). You get these archetypes right and you become influential. It has little to do with protection of wilderness or giving rights for recreation, it is about: give me the power and I will manage this situation for you, I know how to fix it, whatever that is.

So no E-bikes can't change that. In fact I bet my hand that if you suddenly gave a guy like Mike Kazimer any influence over wildlife access, the first thing he would do after granting more access to MTBs would be absolut, unconditional E-bike ban.

The only thing we learn from history is that nobody ever learns from history
  • + 2
 So you're saying that everyone should be limited to a certain number of rides on a particular trail per day?
  • + 10
 If someone wants to ride an E-bike on trails, I give no F$$ks any more so than if someone wants to ride a single speed hard tail on the trails or a DH bike or an "enduro" bike. It's personal preference.

BINGO


Nothing else needs to be said.
  • + 4
 @MantisToboggan: I think he was saying we should all hate on single speed hardtail riders on our Enduro trails...actually pretty sure I read that wrong. Nvrmind
  • + 8
 I think its optimistic to think that folks are going to play by the rules with these bikes. I am an admitted pessimist, but I think that it is inevitable that these things will show up on non-motorized trails and, also inevitable, there will be a new challenge to all bike access because of that.
  • + 6
 @ellingferd: no they won't play by the rules just like mountain bikers aren't playing by the rules since the conception of the sport all the way to now and for quite a long time ahead. Ever heard of "illegal trails?" Or rode a trail where bikes are banned? I've ridden a lot of these, does that make me an a*shole?

Some of them E-bikers will find ways of increasing the power and not needing to pedal, with long battery life. And they will do it for the sole purpose of dressing up a miserable light motorbike as a mountain bike. Proper motorbikes are fkng scary to ride for many (like me) and are recognizeablw from a mile on a trail, especially ones with combustion engine. No folks will not play by the rules, just like none of us have.

Can you stop it though? Hell no. Are drones like Karma dangerous and isn't it damn irresponsible to give flying devices in such numbers to so many people, when by 80/20 principle, 20% of them are fkng stupid? Can they fall on your head or the windshield of your car when driving on a highway? Yes. Can any law system on the planet execute an eventual ban? Off course not.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: no offense, but it kind of does make you an a*shole. I ride at an area with a number of "illegal" or "unplanned trails" that exist among legit trails. I don't ride them because they aren't legal, and I would like to see more development in the area without hassle. I am also a rule follower. I drive the speed limit and obey other traffic laws because it drives me nuts when other people don't. Have I ever ridden an illegal trail? Probably, and I was an a*shole for doing so and possibly risked access. Just because people do it doesn't mean it should continue and we shouldn't do anything about it. E-bikes are coming. The shiny newness and added power will be incredibly appealing and will sell well, no doubt. That doesn't mean there isn't a legitimate argument for planning and making sure that as many people as possible follow the rules and don't jeopardize access for those of us who prefer bikes without motors.
  • + 3
 @ellingferd: you are a lunatic. No offence. 15 years ago, 99% of MTB trails on Planet Earth that weren't fire riads - were illegal.
  • + 7
 I'd bet if you go to Tiger today, you'll see someone behind the gate (illegally) on an e-bike.

I only have an issue with it from an access perspective. The folks who've worked for years to ensure land access for human powered bikes shouldn't have that work at risk due to a new user group. If e-bikes want to ride trails, let them go lobby and build their own. I'm guessing they'll run into many of the same issues as the dirt bike crowd. Land access to build trails is a long painful process in the US.

The Pacific North West has some of the best trail access in the country and I am adamantly against anything that could jeopardize that.

-KT
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I live in Washington, and I ride primarily at Galbraith, Tiger Mountain, Duthie, and other trails that allow mtb riding. Since I began riding at the age of 15 (age 33 now), I have pretty much always ridden on trails that are mixed use including mtb. I have also ridden extensively on motorized trails as there are many backcountry motorized trails in Washington, particularly on the east side of the cascades, which are popular for both, and make for good riding. If that makes me a lunatic, I guess I'm a lunatic. I just try to color within the lines, and it certainly hasn't affected the quality or quantity of riding I get to do on a very regular basis. I dont know what access is like in your country, so I won't try to comment on it. However, it is very easy to ride on great, legal, established trails here in Washington state and has been for at least the last 18 years.
  • + 2
 @thom: Word! Exactly. Hope to see you at Tiger some time!
  • + 5
 An ebiker that can thus do 3x the laps of a classic biker should be forced to put in 3x as much trail maintenance work. Then we would be even - almost...
  • + 4
 @ellingferd: Agreed... Washington is a perfect example of a place with a legacy of good folks in the mountain bike community putting in countless hours of hard work to better the riding opportunities there for all. After decades of building trust and gaining respect, projects like North Mountain in Darrington and Raging River across from Tiger are finally gaining traction, raising legit $$$ and earning cooperation with big land owners and DNR. It would be sickening to see E-Bikes put a wrench in all that...
  • + 1
 @ellingferd: Well, from what I've seen on the world's most famous videos of my early days of MTB like 2005, lots of stuffwas shot on illegal trails. Every single single-track in my hometown in Poland was either an illegally built trail or a trail were bicycles were forbidden. I live now in Sweden where nobody asks anybody about building trails even in small natural reserves (which stand for most of the forests around my town). From what I've heard there are plenty of trails in Whistler area, which are not regulated or marked by anyone. Who on Pinkbike or NSMB hasn't heard of the secret network trails in Squamish?! To say that Mountain Bikers as a whole tend to stay on legal trails or ride legally on existing trails and thus they play by any rules, is a lunacy.

Takin above into consideration, If I am an a-hole for riding illegal or quasi-legal trails then, woooh, you are putting yourself in a hard spot, because that means that, just like me, a gigantic portion of super cool, gravity biased mountain bikers are a-holes as well. Having said that I have no issue with believing in your white knighthood and immense decency of the riding community in your area.

E-bikes are coming, you cannot do anything else about it but to voice your opinion against them, if you want to protect youraccess to the trail network. However it doesn't make any anti E-bike stance any more legitmate than any anti MTB stance of hiking/pseudo-environmental groups. You protect your ground which isn't really yours. But you have the right to it. Off course the E-bike ban will not be respected by many and cannot really be executed.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: You can be a "super cool" biker and an a*shole at the same time. I have been one myself in the past and likely will be in the future. I have already called myself out earlier in this thread. I am sure you and I would get along great. I don't claim to be a white-knight, I just follow the rules as much as I can. Sure, there are plenty of illegal or unauthorized trails around Squamish and Whistler. I don't ride them. There is a lifetime of legit trail to ride there and, in my opinion, the more exposure those trails have the more likely it is to affect current and future access rights. I can't "prove" that, but it certainly doesn't make it less likely that a landowner or govt. official will complain about it. IAlso, much of the public land I ride on actually is "mine", and everyone else's here in the US who pays taxes, which is why I treat it with respect and decency.
  • + 1
 @ellingferd: there is no way in the world, that mountain bikers as a whole have more respect to the "land" than e-bikers, hikers or horse riders. Some people are inconsiderate a-holes, regardless of mean of transportation. In Poland we have a National Park, with 7000ft Alpine mountains. What hikers do there is preposterous. And legal. In my hometown in Poland, there's been a massive die out of trees, nothing looks the same, all of the places I have remembered from childhood and adolescence are desolated. Yes, most of these trees were a die out, but authorities made massive cut outs of healthy, untouched trees of species that were resistant to whatever killed the other ones. Same authorities who make bans for MTBers and are good friends with owner of KTM store, allowing him and his buddies ride motos and 4-wheelers up in the mountains. In Sweden authority taking care of nature Park&Natur fks up enough vegetation around town (like to make parking lots) and allows for so much of old-growth forest clear cutting, that, with all of above you have to forgive me, for my skepticism towards the rules and going by my self-righteous version of common sense. Yes, I tend to go well with people in real life... although I talk a lot... which may be irritating.
  • + 6
 I live in squamish and do not know of any Illegal trails.

99% of our trails are unsanctioned but not illegal. That also applies to trails to climbing areas, bouldering spots, swimming holes, alpine hikes, dirt bike trails, and mountaineering routes etc.

As far as secret trails. Mtb-ers do not keep secrets. There is an old saying - everyone loves a secret, but everyone loves to share a secret even more. Mtb-ers are definitely the most sharing of secrets I know of. I know of a number of trails that are so-called secret trails - and are very, very popular (just look at the number 4 most popular trail for squamish on trailforks).

E-bikes - I dont know. I dont like them, give me a trials bike over one any day. But I also dont like bubblegum ice cream and it sells out at the local coffee shop. That shit is weird.
  • + 3
 @davereid: upvoted, because much like I suspect e-bikes will become, I have finally learned to tolerate bubble-gum ice cream.
  • + 3
 As you point out, access is limited by perception rather than reality. Trying to get the Sierra Club to endorse the presence of things with motors on hiking trails? Nope. At least if you look like you're dying as you pass on the uphill then the hikers see you as a fellow creature, rather than some evil, Sunday-ruining cyborg.
  • + 2
 @Pynchonite: Nailed it.

Perception trumps reality (whatever the hell that is) before "considered responses" have even tied their bootlaces.

As Waki says, there have always been, are and always will be a large percentage of users of any machine or facilities that will, as any junior high school teacher can tell you "ruin it for everybody".

Everybody that is with the exception of one particular group of people; the shareholders of the major industry players.

We, as riders, have no influence, and never will do. I await the day when Transition proudly produce their "Rider owned for life" E-bike, at which point I will throw a leg over my 9-speed 26 inch steel HT, and with a huge 'I told you so' smile on my face and a beer in the backpack, head off up to the trailhead for another day's serendipity.
  • + 1
 @davereid: you know I mean. Illegal or unsanctioned, irrelevant. They aren't official people weren't asked if they are fine with trails being built on their land. Calling people riding them a-holes is ridiculous.
  • + 2
 @meagerdude yes, its personal preference. But I argue against them due to the fact there WILL be a fight for land access in the future. There is already a lot of hate against bikes being allowed in certain areas because of the perceived (real or fake) damage they do and how they influence nature etc etc. So how do you think those against bikes will react when they know that Ebikes would be allowed, that not just human powered bicycles but also motor assisted would be allowed? The fight over land access is already tough enough, why make the road harder by introducing a motor?
  • + 2
 Could be some interesting countermeasures out there this summer such as homemade EMP guns
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvpZXmYRP4o
  • + 21
 How to grow the sport? Simple. Someone make a quality bike that doesn't cost so damn much. Get those inexpensive bikes to schools so kids can start riding. Why is basketball so popular? Cause just about anyone can buy a ball and play.
  • + 18
 The only acceptable use I can see for e-bikes is for older folks who still want to ride, but the fitness doesn't work as it once did. I have the real life example of my father who, at the age of 53, is starting to loose some ground in our group. He's the oldest, followed by some guys on their late 40's, but the great majority of us stand in our 20s or 30s. He can still keep up with us, and every now and then he still can leave many of us behind, but this won't last forever, and his love for riding bikes sure will. When day when he can no longer keep up comes, I'll be the first one to point him in the ebikes direction. Ebikes are not for everyone, and, as I see it, there is no reason for young guys to use them. But if they allow me to keep riding with my father for many long years, I can only receive them with open arms!
  • + 31
 I'm 68 with friends older and younger . None of us need E bikes , looks fun but not the sport we have enjoyed and built trails for the last 30 years. These will bring greedy disrespectful persons to the trails .
  • + 6
 Your Dad will probably be solid until 70.. check out what Ned Overend is still doing.. I am about to be 48 and as long as I stay healthy, lift some weights in the winter and take care of myself, I have not seen a decline yet.. That being said, I don't race or really care about trying to lead the pack, but I can certainly keep up with the younger crowd I ride with..
  • + 2
 This argument makes total sense in Portugal and Europe where land access is not an issue and where you can essentially ride any trail that you can hike on. However, in the US that is not the case. Here we have massive issues with land access and use and major problems getting access or losing access so the issue of e-bikes becomes a huge problem. It gives opponents to bike a huge argument in restricting bikes because some of them have motors in them.
  • + 21
 Trails will get closed in the US. Get ready for it.
  • + 13
 the eco freaks are sooo ready...

they can't wait to have a legitimate excuse to shut em down..

"they have motors" is all its gonna take.
  • - 10
flag MantisToboggan (Feb 23, 2017 at 10:21) (Below Threshold)
 Like that will stop us from riding...
  • + 3
 @stacykohut: funny thing is... you don't seem like you'd be caught dead on one of these Ebike things, and you're friggin paralyzed! Well there goes the disability marketing right out the window for EBikes. Keep doing what you do Stacy and thanks for being so damn real
  • + 1
 @stacykohut: but yet you are stoked for a dude riding an epowered chair when he posted the video?
Pick a side Stacey lol
  • + 1
 @d-man: shane is the man. never question or deny that.
he rides an e fourwheel bike, not an e chair.

the man is the perfect example of someone who has massive respect for trails and trail closure issues.

he rides where he knows he won't 'rock the boat'.

i have massive respect for him and his trail choices.
  • + 1
 @stacykohut: no argument from me but I find it funny you on one side slam ebikes but on the other it's ok.....
  • + 1
 @d-man: you just don't get it do ya?
  • + 1
 @stacykohut: what I see and hear is alot of maybe this and that will happen. I have been involved with trail access since 2000 and I see so many similarities to what the hikers were saying back then about mountain bikes. And guess what, mountain biking has been accepted by the government as aneeded industry. Instead of slamming ebikes for no reason the community should be working together to ensure ebikes can be a part of the sport.
  • + 1
 @gdnorm @stacykohut: agreed!!!!! Never thought of it before that way but guaranteed!!!! Go ECO!!!! Not!!!!!!!! I'll never buy a e-bike!!!in a million years!!
If the US would shut all trails and bike parks down that's when I'll be buying 40 acres and put big bike jumps on it similar either to a slopestyle course or either something like Sam Reynold's Dark Fest!!!!! Wink
  • + 13
 I see these things as yet another way to accommodate our overly fat society.....get off your asses people. I was just in Maui and was absolutely shocked at how many fat people I saw there from all parts of the world doing nothing but, at most, walking a few yards on the beach before going off to gorge. I realize I am from the US, likely the fattest of all countries, but it just blew my mind. It seems it's all people can do anymore to get their fat carcasses out of bed and walk to a restaurant before, at most, heading off to a movie and then back for more grub. Anyway, I see these e-Bikes as just another example of the fact that Disney's Wall-E was a clear look in to our future.
  • + 1
 Why look at it in a negative way? Turn it around and the ebike can help the people who have no stamina to get out there(you do know they still need to be pedaled right). After a year they may have built up enough to move onto a regular bike.
  • + 16
 nah...pushing my bike to the top is part of my ride.
  • + 12
 I appreciate Mike's opinions, and I realize that this is framed as exactly that, but... I really see most people who are opposed to e-bikes the way I view hikers of the 1990's. There is this "not on my trails" mentality and this idea that somehow the idea of someone else finding an easier way to cover more ground is lessening their experience--we need to stop being such hypocrites. Let he who is without pickup shuttles and chair lifts cast the first water bottle! Riding should be about fun, and if a little extra push allows more people to have a good time I am in favor. I don't own an e-MTB, and I have no plans to buy one, but I have ridden a couple on a few of my local trails because I want to have an informed opinion. Yes you can climb faster with less effort but you are still pedaling a bike (I describe it as "going Zone 5 speed with Zone 2 effort"), and the reality is that you actually descend slower. And while you can climb fire roads at 20 mph, the reality is that you are generally climbing singletrack at 8-10 mph. User conflicts occur when Strava*sholes strafe hikers doing 25 mph on descents while chasing a KOM, not from some 60-year-old guy who is just trying to find a way to keep getting himself to the top of the mountain. I view this like most things in life, "If you don't like e-MTB's, great... don't buy one." But, unless you want hikers judging the way you chose to enjoy the trail, you really have no place judging how others choose to get to the top. We applaud bike manufacturers for creating bike and suspension designs that have changed where and how we ride, and then we complain about them "chasing dollars"??? Ummm, they are for-profit businesses--every brand or store currently in the bike industry needs to be looking for any available avenue to stay profitable. I just don't get the hate... go ride YOUR bike Smile
  • + 6
 The issue comes in the unavoidable fight that is approaching over land access. It gives a lot of ammunition to bike opponents who wish to restrict access. I don't care about e-bikes specifically. What I care about is the potential for them to severely negatively affect the mountain bike communities ability to access fun trails. In Europe where land/trail access is not a problem it does not matter as much. Here, it is too much of a threat to access for mtn biking because of all the red tape and bureaucratic BS that we have to go through here to even potentially get access or better yet, keep access.
  • + 3
 "User conflicts occur when Strava*sholes strafe hikers doing 25 mph on descents while chasing a KOM, not from some 60-year-old guy who is just trying to find a way to keep getting himself to the top of the mountain."

A-men.

i've never ran into a dude on an e-bike hustling me off a trail. i've ran into plenty of dickhead Spandex Avengers not even pretending to yield the right-a-way while i'm on some hard climb and they're barreling down the hill chasing their Strava riding in some group that's 12 deep. i'll take the old dude any day of the week.

and on that note... is that even a problem? even on a weekend day in the middle of summer at my local trail bike hole... i'll run into maybe 10 people? in a 2 hour stint? when i go ride DH around MD i might not even see another single person, biker or hiker, more than half the time, or its the random teens blazing green on a rock ledge next to the trail or some shit. was in the hills of Nelson and Revelstoke on my Canada trip and saw about zero people in the dead smack middle of a summer day. saw 2 whole people at the Kamloops Bike Ranch. where are people even going that this is being envisioned as being a legit problem... like these dudes are gonna invade your trails in droves or something?

if anything, i'd imagine you might see more of these people get out there to ride stuff like the C&O Canal in Washington DC which is already a flat gravel path full of a million people and strollers and dogs... which kinda leads me to "who cares."
  • + 1
 You think hikers have changed since the 90s? Better do some searching. Lots and lots of serious hikers still out there with the exact same POV as before.
  • + 9
 Every person I've actually seen on the trail with an e-bike has been older (not that I'm super young at 40). The other day I saw an older guy, probably in his late 50s, a bit over-weight out riding with his son. Dad was on an e-bike, son was a ripper grom on an AM bike. Without that e-bike that experience probably wouldn't have happened for them. Access is going to be problem, but I don't think my ideas of what is/isn't mountain biking should have any bearing on what anyone else can/can't do.
  • + 1
 late 50s lol I ride with my GFs dad and he is 65 and rips. Its called staying in shape, age doesn't mean you need an e-bike unless your old and lazy AF. unless your actually disabled then i see no point for e-bikes. also if your so old and out of shape you cant pedal you shouldn't be on a bike period.
  • + 2
 @nismo325: you are very narrow minded. You have the attitude that surfers have about waves. I guarantee you didn't shred when you first started, so take it easy on other people who might be trying there best.
  • + 1
 @nismo325: I tried a granfondo with 2000+ on 100km last year and I was overtaken by a group of cyclists around 70 year os age (I met them later on a stop), they were as good as new, not like me, half of their age and dyingBlank Stare but ill try harder this year! mandelbaum! mandelbaum!
  • + 1
 Let's just all pledge to chastise any fit looking people out there on e-bikes... jokes aside, I'd be in for an e-bike when they get @35lbs; would be awesome for getting extra runs in w/ self-shuttle. But I'll always own a real MTB until I can't anymore.
  • + 9
 man, I would try one if they were lighter. if I wanted a less flickable two-wheeler that goes faster then i wouldve bought a moto. that said I can see myself buying an e-commuter bike sometime in the very distant future... maybe.
  • + 7
 Well my 70 year old dad just bought a trek Powerfly 8 because he wants to be able to ride a mountain bike with me. He doesn't have the cardio to ride without the pedal assist so I am totally in favor of the bikes when it comes to someone in his situation.
  • + 2
 What's he gonna do when it stops working in the middle of the woods?
  • + 3
 @skelldify: it wont happen, most of us charge our phones every night and we don't complain. His dad could charge the bike the day before riding.
  • + 2
 @JoseBravo: There are other ways for a bike to stop working than a dead battery...
  • + 2
 @skelldify: good point, then he can swap bikes with his son and let him deal with the extra kilos
  • + 11
 Make Mountainbiking Man-powered Again
  • + 0
 ebikes are man, and woman, powered...
  • - 1
 Stöd kampen för teknologiskt jämställdhet i hållbar terrängcykling.
  • + 7
 Stop crying over it already. If you dont want to ride one, than dont. If you feel cheated by someone passing you uphill on one...than either get one or workout on your legs more and or shoot up some steroids. its just a bike with a pedal assisted electric motor. keep buying 10k mtb's. The R&D money for ideas like ebikes has to come from somewhere.
  • + 7
 I am 53 years old, have ridden a couple hundred days a year for the last decade and a half. I competed in Cat 1 DH up with some success until a couple of years ago when I had a couple of rotator cuff surgeries and a left knee reconstruction. I worked through the rehabs (6-12 months per incident) and recovered well enough to shred again. Then 3 months ago I blew the PCL in right knee. This time I got an ebike instead of surgery. It allows me to ride 6-9 months sooner than I would have with yet another reconstruction. I still have 6 inch all mtn bike and DH rig. Hell I have 3 dirtbikes. Will be riding them all in a few months. Say what you want, hate me, judge me, it's water off a ducks back. Cant wipe the smile off my face.
  • + 2
 I blew out my PCl in july, last run of the day ofcourse. Ligament and joint injuries take forever to heal it sucks. Fyi PCL rehab after complete reconstruction has alot more intricacies/restrictions than say an ACL. That being said i'm glad i went the surgery route instead of living without a PCl and developing early arthritis and higher risk of dislocation.
  • + 8
 I don't mind having options out there. But definitely not something I will ever buy or even want to try out. Mountainbiking is all about sweating and earning that descent for me.
  • + 7
 I totally agree with this article, but this statement bothers me:

" I don't want to see the sport that I've been fully immersed in for the last two decades diluted, watered down and ultimately cast aside by companies searching for another way to make money as quickly and easily as possible."

The bike industry comes out with new standards every year that change ride quality in the smallest of increments, and end up costing the consumer a lot of money.
  • + 3
 not to mention, that statement borders on having the slight stench of... "this is our break... locals only bro" of surfing. i'd just tend to be careful with the difference of mentality between contributor and representative, and owner. bicycles were here long before any of these dudes were around, and i'm sure they'll be here long after they're gone.
  • + 7
 Honestly its just the trail access that worries me. Especially with people trying to lobby for wilderness access for mountain bikers I feel that E-Bikes have appeared at an inopportune time.
  • + 6
 Is it all Europeans buying e-bikes? I haven't seen a single eMTB up on the mountain anywhere in the Vancouver/Squamish area. I'm sure they're around, but they seem like they're super rare. I feel like most people around here would be embarrassed to show up on one.
  • + 10
 All I can think of is this

www.pinkbike.com/photo/11870586
  • + 5
 I bet 98% of the people who ride, MTB and road bikes never had their asses on a lift. Well only when skiing;D
  • + 0
 @hamncheez
exactly!!! Or on pick up trucks... e-bikes are good, embrace, them. If you dont like them, like me, dont buy one!!!
  • + 0
 good call Big Grin
  • + 5
 Saturday before last and friend and I were out at our local XC-downhill run to look for trees that had fallen due to a wind storm the previous night. As we were hiking up with chainsaws and axes an older man on a city type bike with a rack (who was riding UP the trail) stopped for a chat. We explained to him that he was riding the wrong way on a down hill trail and that he should expect people coming down at a high rate of speed. His reply was "That what the fellows at the bottom said, but I got a battery" as he pointed to the E part of his E-bike. Then he just started pedaling again up the hill.

Sigh
  • + 5
 This running discussion reminds me of the debate that plagued GA's first concrete skatepark in Athens. For what seemed like months, local skaters freaked at the thought of bikes being allowed. At every turn there was a restriction... No pegs, plastic pedals, dead beaver on your head on Thursdays half moon only. In the end, most of it came down to ignorance (surprise) and the fact that most of the skaters complaining couldn't get above coping... And we're sore at the thought of bikes BLASTING the deep end... Which happened, like for real... 11ft transition, BAM... GET SOME.

The whole drama fizzled out. Dude's that were committed to skating, skated and we're relaxed about whomever showed up to ride. Those that complained stopped showing up.

Yup, cool story
  • + 1
 This so much. Everyone complaining out of no real reason besides the (admittedly important) trail access problem in the US.
  • + 5
 @beeriggs: Way back in the day, when some PBer's were still playing dodgeball with their dads ( and most PBer's dads were still playing dodgeball with their dads ) they said the same thing about MTB's, then they said it suspension forks, then they said it about rear suspension, then they said the same thing about disk brakes, then they said the same thing about dropper posts, clippless, flats, presta valves, lock on grips, titanium, carbon, aluminum, thru axles, wide bars, short stems, Leat braces, full face helmets. The internet didnt invent the troll, trolls use the internet.
  • + 5
 You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. No matter how you dress it up Ebikes are not mountain bikes. Anyone I have met on the trails have always had to give an explanation to why they have one. If you have a disability that's a different matter altogether.
  • + 5
 I had a go on a Turbolevo this weekend and have to agree it's not really a mountain bike. I quickly found the best way to ride it was like a moto and to treat the pedals like a throttle. Forget smooth delivery of power, stand it up, smash the pedals up to the entrance of a corner, stop pedaling, tip in and turn, stand it up and smash the pedals again. It was very fast (very very fast) and also very noisy. It was a blast but felt a bit like riding on old 50cc two stroke, it even sounded like a moto with the motor/gearbox cutting out and whining off the power and then screaming away when I was on it, whoever thinks these things are quite wasn't pedaling very hard.
  • + 5
 "Well, that's double or triple the amount of use on that particular trail, which means that maintenance is going to be required sooner than it would have had only non-motorized bikes been used. It's not as strong of a sticking point as the potential for user conflicts and losing trail access altogether, but it's something to bear in mind nonetheless. "

But every rider won't be riding 2-3 times more, making lap after lap... The people interested e-bikes are people who are passionate about mtb but their lifestyle from there 20's is not compatible with their lifestyle in their 40-50s. riding 4-5 days per week, bumming around in that little mountain town, has turned into working 60-70 hour weeks schlepping it in the city and maybe riding twice a month.

I could either pay a guy to shuttle me up in his shitty chevy pickup and get a few quick laps in or I could pedal my ass up on an ebike, bum leg and all, and work my ass off for a couple fun laps. Either way my impact to the trail is exactly the same...
  • + 5
 I think the real question may be "Why do we feel threatened by them?". Personally it won't change my enjoyment of the sport. And I'll wear my pedalling badge of honour with pride. If they started to clog up the trails because of popularity, then yeah, maybe I'd feel threatened. I'm just not sure that's going to happen.
  • + 5
 I watched a video of some older gentleman (in their 60's) riding e-bikes on some trails, I could tell from the video they weren't bikers or athlete's (jeans, a t shirt tucked into there pants a full face helmet, and dentures, and out of "shape") but I'll tell you, the smile on their faces, was so big and the POV camera view you could see their inexperience.

For these ones... Who am I to say anything?! I think it's awesome they actually tried mtbing in some form, or motorbiking though it's a weird faded line for them.

E-bikes have a place for some.
  • + 5
 I rented an E bike last Saturday to see what it was like. I rode 44 miles, probably about 24 more than I would have. My HR for the ride averaged 25 beats less than what it would have, and I went just under 2 mph faster average speed than usual. I got in 5 great descents instead of getting 2. I don't recommend you try one out if you want to continue to hate them.
  • + 1
 For the way you ride a bike, it's made no difference. For the way I ride a bike, it spoilt the best bits.

For the amount of trail maintenance you do, it will make no difference. For the amount I do, it will make more work.

Glad you enjoy Ebiking.

Its not for all of us and so I will continue to "hate" them, and what they represent. People like you.
  • + 6
 40% of all bike sales in Europe are e-bikes... They are coming Will never replace a regular bike by any means. They are hilariously fun to ride though. Still not buying one yet..
  • + 2
 That's ridiculous,what are the sources to that information? 40%?? Maybe in the comuter range,and even there doesn't seem accurate.
  • + 5
 I don't care what people ride.. however, I don't like them.. I agree with.. put the money into getting kids into bikes!! In the Front Range of Colorado, great things are happening with the High School Mountain Bike League, last fall all races had around 1000 riders!! My only beef is you have to be rich to be involved. Just trying to get my own kid a bike sucks, they are very overpriced especially when you know they will out grow them so quickly.
  • + 7
 maybe pinkbike should grow a set and remove the disclaimer at the end of the article...pussies
  • + 5
 In my opinion e-biking can be quite good for city trafic and stuff like that, I see more and more people riding bikes instead of driving their car to work and maybe it can bring less fit people into this means of transport
  • + 4
 I do see the argument about these bike. I am an amputee who was injured in afghan. I ride a normal bike however struggle on some climbs. I currently just use a lower chain ring. It will come a point in time where I cannot do this so this would be a good option. I also have a friend who has a paralysed leg so an ebike means he can come with us all and bike. For this reason I think there a good thing. For able bodied people who just want to ride ruther?? I think they just need to go to the gym and put some more effort in.
  • + 2
 Right! That's what I'm saying. People take for granted that their bodies are healthy and uninjured, even if they may not currently have a lot of fitness. People should be more like you and be more willing to push themselves especially when they have no excuses like having lost an arm or leg.
  • + 4
 Yeah just what we need Fkn more baby boomers fkcn up everything they used to think for kids that couldn't shave and sucked, but now is cool, now they rock up on theyre e - bike and think they can screw our trails, then the the usless lazy fks instead of earning theyre fitness and getting in shape e couch they're way up hill so they can ruin trail pixies work and get in the way of real riders on the way down, again as usual the masses of lazy pricks ruin what was a great sport for they're own selfish benefit,stay on the couch, I have no time for e - riders, no excuses either don't cry me a river about injuries I have had more than most and worked hard to get back on the bike, I didn't cheat didn't need any crutch, take yr e-bike and shove it up yr yuppie Audi bike rack at best I hope someone steals yr e-precious and sends it to the scrap heap where it belongs! ( cavet e-bikes have a place in cities and that's it period) Stay off the dirt u fkrs!!
  • + 0
 Sounds like you have a bunch of personal problems if ebikes get you this worked up. Maybe talk to someone being going postal.....
  • + 5
 One common trait I see in all of these published discussions is that "in the United States" portion.

If the United States didn't exist, and that part of the debate removed would it be as big a deal?
  • + 3
 There's a guy in our club who has a heart condition, whose alternatives were to give up mountain biking or get an e-bike. And he chose an e-bike which is great as he remains physically active and an involved member in our club.

I was talking to him about his e-bike and he said it was unrealistic for them to become a significant issue mainly because of the price - they add $1000 to the same level of bike and then over time you are looking at expensive battery replacements on top of the standard bike servicing.
  • + 3
 With a motor, E-bikes riders will be able to go ripping UP the downhill singletracks, and rut the crap out of it. This can also lead to uphill-downhill conflicts, and the ebikers will in all likelihood cry that uphill "riders" have the right of way.
  • + 0
 trust me thay dont
  • + 0
 And maybe a tree will fall on someone. Better ban all trees close to trails..... you are clueless Rut up a dh track???? Oh and by the way uphill riders DO have the right away.
  • + 1
 @d-man: And rectal-cranial inverted twats like yourself think it is okay to compromise the entire trail network by encouraging two-way traffic? I didn't say up a DH track. Even locally, there are already clear signs of E-bikes going up the blue-run singletracks that trail riders and xc rider (i.e. the majority of riders) come down. So learn to read, stop exaggerating, and pull your head out of your ass.
  • + 1
 @cerealkilla: whoa there tough guy, where did I encourage someone to ride up dh tracks? I simply question your idea that an ebike will damage the trail more than a regular bike will shredding down. Weak argument. I also stated a fact that uphill riders do have the right of way.
You absolutely said up a downhill track read your comment.
Are your trails signed and designated as dh only? If not then you have no argument. Are they dh only because you can't ride them?
  • + 0
 @d-man: You ramble like a lobotomy patient. "Downhill singletrack" is the downhill segment of any trail. Not a DH track. The majority of trails have a distinct up and down segment, and only a moron like yourself would spin up the down section and expect people to get out of your way.
  • + 1
 @cerealkilla: So, you mean to tell me that there is no such thing as an out-and-back ride? Please. Unless there is signage to indicate otherwise, yield to the uphill rider.
  • + 1
 @cerealkilla: ramble on? No just shooting holes in your weak argument with logical statements. Keep Killin the cornflakes....
  • + 1
 @d-man: Shooting holes? More like shooting blanks.
  • + 3
 I had a closed mind on e-bikes until one demo day in WBC, I couldn't find a full suspension bike that I wanted to try out. Someone asked me if I wanted to try a Cube pedal assist full suspension bike. I told the guy, no thanks. But he said give it a try and said that everyone who has tried one of the bikes usually comes back with a grin. So, I gave it a shot. Right off the bat at the parking lot, I fooled around with the speed adjustment and turned the setting to turbo. A few pedals in and holy crap - I was flying! I went up Braggin RIghts and did something like 23km/hr on the steep initial section of the trail. I came back down to find my friend to get him on one of these bikes, but he was only interested in trying to find another demo bike. So, I went full out onto Braggin RIghts again through Merlin Views. Did the whole loop and back in 30 minutes which would've taken usually 1.5 hours. Unbelievable! From that point on, I've helped built a couple of pedal assist bikes for general commuting use. Until you've tried one and open up your mind to this, I don't think you can really say anything negative about it. I think I had more fun that day demoing a Cube pedal assist bike over a short travel StumpJumper. The only downside of the e-bike is that they are heavy. When it falls on you, it's stays on you, not like a lightweight trail bike that bounces off..
  • + 1
 Absolutely they are a blast to ride.I've heard this same comment from a few naysayers after demoing one.
  • + 3
 The more I rear your article I realised we should pay you double the salary and super assist your endeavours and voice, and remove all other commentary on the matter. Cheers for writing the most informative article on Pink Bike this decade.
  • + 3
 I personally don't care either way what you ride Im still on a 26 my mates 27.5 and 29rs . Our group who ride every Sunday with our dogs and enjoy a beer at the end of the ride are all in about to or are over 60. One of our group who like me is an avid motorbike rider but has had major surgery on his knee along with a body that has had multiple injury's was just about to hang up his MTB , he just couldn't bend his knee enough and had no power left in his 65 year old frame. He now is back in the group every week riding like a demon and laughing and drinking beer after and enjoying life again. He can ride better than a lot of 20-30 year olds. I personally don't see anything wrong with his choice of vehicle , if it keeps the tyranny of ageing at bay fuck it . Horse's for courses . Stop hating and get on with your own shit stop judging others and their choices life is too short just shut the fuck up and ride.
  • + 6
 Pinkbike is a mountain bike website not an e-bike website. Lets keep it that way.
  • + 3
 I found the point about (spending the money on getting people joining the sport at a lower cost and making it more available) very key. I found with too many potential lifetime riders get sick of cost and either don't fully get into it or never start.
  • + 3
 I have a slight bias towards "No ebikes", but I ultimately can't make the decision for anyone. I love the purity of regular MTB; it's a nice break from the ever increasing invasion of technology. Nothing to charge or plug in, no one can get ahold of me. My favorite times are out on the trail with friends, I love ripping down as much as attempting to clean a tough climb by my own power. There seems to be a nice simplicity to it that, for me, would be gone with ebikes.
  • + 6
 well said, especially describing the "large European brand named after a geometric shape " haha
  • + 2
 Mountain biking is a rewarding yet expensive privilege that relatively few people in the wide world are able to enjoy. It seems to me that if we engage in the privilege of riding mountain bikes, we should be willing to work hard and embrace the challenges that come along with it, such as climbing and developing strength and endurance. When you remove the hard work from the sport, it really makes me question whether you should participate it it at all. If you must resort to a motor its like taking your privilege one step further and saying, "I deserve this sport and all the pleasure that comes along with it, yet none of the work to get there". It's the type of thing that gets really embarrassing if you imagine yourself explaining it to someone in a third world country. "before e-bikes all we had to get up hills were lightweight modern mountain bikes that cost $3-5k. Thankfully we now have e-bikes to save us from our great misery and they only cost $5-7k". Unless you are disabled, please do not cause us the societal embarrassment of being a people that are so lazy that they must purchase their way up a hill that no one is forcing them to go up anyway.
  • - 2
 When did riding your bicycle on a mountain turn into a club with rules that participants must abide by? Suddenly we must prove that we are worthy to ride and that we deserve being there??
It's a toy that your ride around on to have some fun! Seems like a lot of people just need to go ride their bike and be thankful that they can still 'participate' without the need for assistance.
  • + 5
 @MantisToboggan: First of all, this is just my opinion. I feel that people shouldn't allow machinery to make them lazy. There is a reason we have among the worst life expectancy rates among developed nations. Because we promote things like sports equipment that reduce the amount of exercise required to participate. All that is required is practice, not a motor. The motor and battery are going to end up in a landfill someday, be responsible and don't take a largely emissions free sport and make it more polluting. There are a lot of people out there that will fall victim to the marketing of e-bikes. They might give in and even enjoy the hell out of it. But in the end they will have missed out on the opportunity to gain the fitness and health that comes from putting in the hard work, rather than putting it off. This is just my opinion. If you have your health, then you should not take it for granted and shape your body into something that serves your interests rather than buying an e-bike to sidestep that part of the progression. I'm not directing this towards people who genuinely need assistance.
  • + 1
 @mccthug: exactly!
  • + 1
 @mccthug: Thanks for your opinion and I totally understand your point of view, but do you think there is a decent percentage of people who are not looking at riding as an activity? As a way of getting fitness? But rather as a way to enjoy just riding a bike and being outdoors with a significant other/family member/etc on their local trails? I view it as a tool for those people that want to get out there and ride, for example, to the top of the lookout to enjoy view, where improving fitness is secondary to fun and enjoyment (even though their fitness will without a doubt improve as a result).
  • + 2
 @MantisToboggan: if you want to see the view at the top of the mountain, first you earn the view.

A lot of society's problems these days is because people can't be bothered to take the time that it takes to have earned the view. If the first few times you have to put up with a view from half way, so be it. Eventually, if you persist, you reach the top.

The view is actually diminished by making it easier to get there.
  • + 2
 @Husker2112: So as a counterpoint to your assertion that there is potential in these bikes. Who is going to drag Sgt. Rock back out of the woods when his battery dies? or that person that isn't quite strong enough to pick the damn thing up if they fall with it (and we never crash our bikes ... ever).

It's great to be all warm and fuzzy about the potential for extending this amazing sport to as many people as possible ~ and don't get me wrong I love to share ~ but it's a bad idea, especially in traffic dense places *Black Rock on a cool sunny day here in Oregon* where you have a helluva a lot of riders of varying skill sets riding the same trails. The last thing I want to deal with is someone in over their head relying on a technology that will insert them into an equation their body cannot get them out of.

Lastly, I will stand by my assertion that an E-bike is a moped and not a bicycle and doesn't belong on any trail system other than perhaps one specifically for e-bikes.
  • + 2
 I have seen practical application of e-bikes. Here in 'berta, the Province was doing a pilot project with them for use by their conservation officers. Great idea if you ask me. The CO's were oooot and aboooot on the trails, heading uphill and down, checking on riders, hikers, equinestrians (its now a word) , trail runners, etc, and they could cover a lot of ground. There is def some utility there.
  • + 2
 This ->"Take the R&D money being dumped into electric motors and spend it on getting more kids on bikes. Invest in middle and high school race leagues. Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg"
  • + 2
 I own an ebike for commuting purposes, and I enjoyed it so much I've now bought a non-motorized mountain bike for the weekends. If my work place had showers I'd ditch the ebike. I commute about 2500 miles a year and the ebike allows me to get to work without being a mess.
  • + 5
 They are MOPEDS. Licensed and kept to Moto trails. That's all there is to it. Plain and simple.
  • + 2
 I'd really like to know how e-bikes got their start. Thinking about it now, it feels like an answer to a question nobody was asking (at least nobody I know) - but that can't be right, since demand for them is apparently so high.

Anyway I don't like how this op-ed leans so heavily on opinion. As an example, a greater counter-point to the argument "you can get more done in the same amount of time" is "yes, true, but that means the total calories you're burning on the uphill is less." Everyone loves the downhills and hates the ups, I know, but fitness is some part of the equation here and e-bikes cut into that. Sure the overweight office workers of the other article get on a bike and pedal easy-rated trails, but without losing much weight since they aren't burning many calories.
  • + 2
 Isn't a big part of the appeal of mountain biking the fitness aspect and accomplishment that comes with climbing to the top or finishing a long ride?

I get that the downhills are fun. I have a DH bike and take lifts all the time. I actually would have no problem with a full on electric DH bike that replaces the need for a shuttle or lift. If you want to ride downhills, get a full on DH bike and ride real downhill trails. But riding an electric trail bike? That does nothing for me. The challenges are part of the fun.
  • + 2
 Being a High school teacher and developer of mountain bike programs, races, and ultimately courses specific to sustainable development, I see first hand how even a small amount of support from a major company has a far lasting impact on recruiting new riders to the sport. If more new riders are recruited, then more bikes and products are purchased which ultimately drives research and development dollars for new and better technology. These new riders then become active in cycling communities wherever they end up as adults and this drives trail development and initiatives that increase opportunity for all involved. The challenge I face is securing any support from companies that profit from the bike industry. The reinvestment seems minimal or lacking. My "new" riders are not in the market for an Ebike. The market for the Ebike is the person like me who has been in the sport for years, gone through dozens of bikes, and is old and lazy. (This is the theoretical old and lazy me, I still pedal and charge and have no desire to own an Ebike because it simply is not for me) The Ebike is not a tool to recruit new riders; this is a marketing ploy and disguises the bottom line of growth and profit for companies. However, this is not something that should be judged unfairly. Companies need growth to fuel development. If this growth is generated from diversifying the market share or creating a new market entirely I say go for it, but please refrain from feeding me a line about recruitment. If we are talking about recruitment it would be in every large company's best interest to invest at the first stages of development in a riders life. Once you get the bug you will be a rider for life and that is ultimately what sustains and grows our sport. Currently, I am far more likely to receive a donated shovel from a hardware store than a brake lever from Shimano. If we were able to shift this practice we would quickly realise an increase in ridership and riding opportunities for us all.
  • + 2
 "In an ideal world, I'd like to see e-biking positioned as an entirely different sport"

This! And, I think as consumers, we have to let our favourite companies know that we aren't onboard with what they are pedalling (see what I did there?). Yeah, eBike sales are growing, but they are still a fraction of total sales, and our money talks pretty loudly. I also have no problem complaining (gently) about seeing eBikes in bike shops, much the same way I would complain if they started stocking motorbikes. It's all moral relativism, but consumers are allowed to draw lines.

Will my next bike come from a company that makes eBikes or from a shop that sells them? I have a lot of brand and bike shop loyalty, but I also ride a damn big moral high horse, so I'd have to say that I'll probably opt to buy from places/companies that share my annoying righteous attitude.
  • + 2
 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.

The only part of the critical Ebike argument that holds any merit is the legal trail access issues for people mostly in the USA. Guess what? If you live in area where Ebikes are a threat to access you should probably join a trail advocacy group and actually try to figure this out. Or you can just keep being self righteous a*sholes on the pinkbike comment sections and see how far that gets you....idiots.

Learn to share, help the fight for trail access, or sit down and shut up
  • + 0
 well put, so many hipster elitist, they all want everything there way or no way at all. who cares what someone is riding more people out using the trails equals more people advocating for the cause. we need this in the states where non bikers are trying to make human free zones!! that is no bikes at all. also I have a few buddies who have had some bad injures from the army and they need a E bike so they can come out and ride, and I am more then willing to share the experience of great trail rides with e bikes while I pedal.
  • + 1
 Sharing the trails with equals is not the issue.

Sharing the trails with people who claim they don't have the time to get fit, or to do as much riding as they like, or are impacting the trails more (even through the increased repetition of climbing and descending which is the ONLY real benefit they offer) is an issue. Sharing a trail with people who by their own admission are too unfit, too lazy, too time poor or too disabled to maintain it is a negative long term outcome. Sharing a park with other sports isn't a problem.
  • + 2
 This all reminds me of purists ridged riders complaining about suspension making the sport too easy. I cant see ebikes making as much of a mess as people are worried about. They certainly wont go away. Its just another option to use to get out there. And the complaining has the same flavor as banter over wheel size.

I live in an area where the biking and hiking trails are built and maintained by trials motorcycle riders. Why? because its efficient. And we share, and it works. ebikes don't scare us that much. In fact we want some because the logging road access is steep and challenging. It better than shuttling trucks.
  • + 2
 ha ha ha .. its .. its ..its ... ha ha ha .. its an .. its an e-bike article .. ha ha . lol, oh my god, I cant breath ... ha ha .. ha ha, on my, you little devils pinkbike, oh ha ha ha ha .. an e-bike article, ha, where is my popcorn, lol, i need to watch people give opinions on something they will never use anyway .. ha ha HA HA .. just look at the first comment . HA HA HA .. lazy .. he said lazy and bitch to prove he is better than all of us .. ha ha oh shit, i think i pissed my self, oh, HA HA HA, fish hooked ... hooked in .. LOL .. LOOK 300 comments already and its only been up for 5 mins .. ha ha ha , damn, I need a beer ... hook line and sinkered ... ha ha .. NO ITS A MOTORBIKE .. has anyone said that yet .. ha ha ha , a motorbike, lol .. don't know if i dare look ... oh my, better then the bitch fest of 2013 and wheel size lol .. motorbike .. DUH .. i love stupid people who are better then everyone else lol .. OPINION .. its MY OPINION .. lol, yeah ha ha ha .. e-bike article .. eeee .. you are naughty mr pinkbike lol, ha ha ha .. hmmm .. pinkbike .. pink ... hmm
  • + 2
 The article completely misses the point. I bought my first mtb in 1986 and instantly fell in love with mountainbiking. I'm in my mid fifties now, have arthritis and days out on the bike have ben a struggle; who wants to be the one holding the group up? I now have an e-bike and as my wife commented she saw me smile out on the trail for the first time in a long time. There's space for e-bikes to exist alongside normal bikes, they are here to stay so get over it.
  • + 2
 As an injured / disabled mountain biker that can't ride anymore without the aid of gravity and a shuttle, I'm loving the recent availability of the ebike. Why should I give up the sport I love simply because someone else doesn't approve of the reasonable assistance now available to me?
  • + 2
 you lost me at this:

"I'm sure ripping across a pristine snow-covered meadow in a wilderness area aboard a snowmobile is a blast too, but that doesn't mean I need to endorse it."

if there is 8' to 10' of snow on the ground why would anyone be against snowmobiling?!?!
  • + 2
 Because snowmobiling compacts snow. This is most serious when snow is shallower, and snowmobilers don't confine themselves to deep snow. Compacted snow melts more slowly - appreciably so. In high mountain areas, where the growing season might be two months or less, that valuable growing and flowering time can be seriously impacted. And sometimes they'll even run through are area with no snow at all, causing catastrophic damage to the delicate, slow-growing alpine plants. And because they negatively impact wildlife such as deer and wolves, increasing stress sometimes even to the level of panic. Populations can be displaced. Mortality rates, in the already winter-stressed animals, can be increased.
  • + 2
 Because he has never done it before. So it should be illegal....
  • + 1
 @MichaelLinehan: seriously? You have one clue. Snow melts at anything above freezing temperatures. Period.
Run where there is no snow? Ha, ya I'll look for dirt and rocks to run my sled on.....
I visit the areas I sled in the summer and there are no visible signs of damage other than garbage left behind.
The stress on wildlife is argue able.
  • + 2
 If you promote the idea that MTB is a lot of fun, that riding parks and shuttling trails is the best, then you should't be surprised when someone decides to get an E-Bike.

It's really hard to sell bikes if you tell your customer the truth: that climbing is torture and that you need to be almost a masochist to love this sport. Spend a couple of months riding XC and trailbikes and then tell me if you want an E-bike or not.
  • + 2
 As I grow older, the number one lesson I take away is that EVERYONE is an individual. I'm probably biking for a different reason than someone else. My mom recently wanted to start riding her bike periodically, how many "Tour De France" f*cks does she give, or has she ever given, or should she? Absolutely zero, the "Tour De France" doesn't effect her.
  • + 1
 And she may come up, and start talking about the Tour De France soon enough, but I can assure you my entire life she's never cared about it.
  • + 2
 i had to add comment. against should get more. e-bikes will define us: who else can be both totally against and so welcoming at the same time. this is the line but go ahead, us core of dirty brothers and sisters will out live this
  • + 2
 This is worse than Ski vs snowboard, come on
Let everybody do what he wants and is correct based on common sense. If a guy comes blazing up a hill with a "hacked" e-bike and causes an accident, of course, his fault. If a normal mtber rides recklessly through the forest in the effort of getting KOMs and crashes with a hiker, its the mtbers fault.
Limited to 25 km/h I cannot see the problem all of you have with e-bikes.
Also this comparison to motorcycles is so wrong. Do you really want a pedalling guy probably doing around 20-25 km/h in the streets besides cars? Or in designated moto spots? what the hell..

If I get passed on a fireroad by an e-bike, where the hell does it affect me? I couldnt care less. I'll pass him on the down. Or not. Whatever. I enjoy mountainbiking. If someone wants to close a trail because "bikes became motorcycles now" the landowner is an ignorant. I know the situation in USA is very complicated and I get e-bikes do/might make the problem worse. Yeah e-bikes may be final cause, but in the end the problem was there before- the landowner didnt probably like MTBs before.

I have tried some e-bikes from Trek and also Scott. It is pretty cool, I get the hype. But I'd never buy one, even if the price was comparable to a similar normal mtb.
  • + 4
 Bicycles with motors are called motorcycles. Motorcycles aren't anything new. These motorcycles need to be treated with the same set of rules as other motorcycles.
  • + 0
 Yes, exactly this. They are motorcycles and should be treated as such.
  • + 1
 So you would like to have e bikes on the freeway and cities besides cars? good point fully agree
  • + 1
 @daweil: yes these ebikes have throttles and motors, they should be registered as motorcycles and have restrictions of use. They should be treated just like dual sport mopeds.
  • + 1
 @hcmoore: The day I see an ebiker on the autobahn and crowding streets between cities (100 km/h allowed here most of the time, depending on the road) doing 25km/h.. then I will be against e-bikes. Maybe you have some crazy kinds of pedelec that actually go to 70 or whatever high speed, if thats the case I agree with you and take back my statement
  • + 1
 @daweil: bicycles use roads like cars and motor bikes... I think these ebikes, especially anything with a throttle, should have to meet street legal rules for motor bikes. Registration, license, turn signals...
  • + 2
 I don't really care what bike someone rides. If e-biking takes off I hope riders have the courtesy to recognize the hard work of mtb trail builders and the ongoing fight for trail access.

It only takes one person to get injured by an e-bike that moves faster and with more velocity that a MTB, and trails will be closed.

One possible solution: e-bikes make their own trail network because they can travel further afield and then everyone gets along.
  • + 2
 coming from someone who sufferers with intense knee pain, where riding for more than 1 hour can cause me to be laid up in agony.

anything to reduce strain and stress from a sore joint which can mean i could ride for longer is good and it's good for trails and the industry as a whole if more people can get out to ride, as you could have more trail centres, and more power behind trying to get more rights of way opened up.

my only argument against E-bikes is, not to allow twist 'n' go E-bikes, as they are electric motorcycles/mopeds, and only to have pedal assist E-bikes to be classified as E-bikes
  • + 1
 Yip, late 40's with too many years on the knees right from the bmx days. The assistance takes strain of my knees so I can keep going. If your fit and no issues then why would you want an ebike? but wait till you get older and joints start to go..
  • + 4
 i got an e-bike........end in don give a massive F*$k.To the ones how dont got one, dont judge and have fun work your ass off on uphills cuz you do i guess
  • + 2
 "Invest in middle and high school race leagues. Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg."

This times 1,000. The barrier to entry to this sport gets higher every year.
  • + 2
 I think about people who aren't in as good a shape (older family members, out of shapes friends, etc). It would open up some great trails for them. I'll be getting one for commuting on the road at some point I think. I just don't enjoy the hills around my house as much as I do on the trails. Finally, I had the opportunity to test one out on some trails at a Trek demo day; it was so much fun! I sold my dirt bike about a year ago and the e-bike brought back memories of railing corners on the Honda. I think the it would be a good compromise.
  • + 1
 Somebody made a good point, that DH bikes are already e-bikes. Maybe they should be n-bikes, or c-bikes?? N for nuclear or natty gas, and c for coal - where do you think the electricity comes from to boost those gondolas? Also, people bring up "cheating." Unless you're in a race, nobody is "cheating." Some guy riding beside you, and possibly faster than you, on an e-bike, is not cheating. He is merely on an e-bike, and going faster. Nobody is 'racing' you or busting your balls. Relax. So long as e-bikes remain silent, and don't make a goofy noise then hopefully all will be well. If a star wars/star trek zinging sound develops, well then a forest shiv could be justified.
  • + 1
 I like to do medium to long training rides on the road and some times I wish my wife could join me. She's not a super proficient rider nor does she have the stamina to do a 40 to 50 mile road ride. Enter the E-bike. Now she can join me and even pace me on some sections. That's pretty much the only use I see for a e bike. I rode a Levo at Sea Otter it was fun for a while but soon as the battery craped out it was the biggest piece of $^*t if ever sat on.
  • + 1
 In our litigious society, it's easy to envision a land manager deciding to ban bikes of any kind rather than trying to spot which bike has a motor and which one doesn't.

Yes. Trail access is not guaranteed, and e-bikes threaten the interoperability of most trails that I've ridden (bikers + hikers).
  • + 1
 To those of you saying that e-bikes are for 'lazy' people I think you need to focus on your reading comprehension and re-read the previous article and then go and actually ride one. You'll ride just as hard but just get more done. That's it. I'm fortunate that I have an XC bike, a road bike, a dirt jumper, an enduro bike, a motocross bike and ...yes an E-bike. They all have their place and they are all fun. Stop overthinking it and go and have fun FFS!
  • + 1
 E-bikes are horrible for the environment, think about how many more laps a rider would take down a trail? Instead of one or two descents, you could get three or four!

If you are looking to get the most laps in, pop that bike on the back of your pickup truck and run some shuttle laps with it. The emissions and wear on a gravel road from your V-6 or V-8 SUV or truck is hardly nothing at all compared to that of the spotted owl killing, newt squishing and fish electrifying terror of the modern E-bike.

Beware the E-bike! The Eeeeee bike! (truth be told, if they had simply added "co" to "e" and maybe offered several models of "Prius" eco-bikes, this would not only be a non-issue, but they'd be celebrated!).
  • + 2
 Also people who spend thousands on difficult to recycle aluminium steel and carbon bikes, components, gear, tires, tubeless sealant, gloves that wear after 1 season, special shoes, cassetes, chains, oil and lube, now E BIKES are the evil bad for the environment devil whaaaaat are you smoking people
  • + 1
 Batteries fitted to bikes to make them fun for Lazy people that then go in land fill.....and use natural resources.

That's not eco and it's why they didn't event try that lame excuse. But you did Wink
  • + 1
 I don't want to choose a side on this argument, but all the pro-ebike points I see are stupid-
Disabled: Probably shouldn't be riding a 160 bike anywhere.
Save time/more ground covered: Dude, slow down! Riding is like good food, you eat a little at a time, chew and digest. E-bikes are fast food for people with excuse priorities (work, kids, etc.). Want a big epic day? Make time like a normal person.
Makes companies money: Whatever. If they really want to push gizmos, I think gearboxes are a much better waste of time.
Uphill advantage: Everything that is wrong with society is in this reason. What's next, self-propelling kettle bells in crossfit class?
  • + 1
 Mike, I have been riding on fire trails before there were mt. Bikes and then bought a mt bike when they first came out and then rode until I was seventy and had slipped discs and spinal arthritis rendering me unable to get up the hills. Then along came MT. E bikes and I was back in the saddle. I thought I would never ride again until I got on a bike with a Bosch CX motor!! Really fantastic. Get back to me when your my age . I would love to see if your purist attitude has been altered by age. Oh, never mind , I'll be dead when your seventy. Enjoy while you can.
  • + 1
 I had similar feelings about the e-bike as well. What's the point? Maybe they were targeting elderly people to have some assist uphill? Anyway this topic almost leads back to the wheel size problem: why do we need bigger size? Go faster or more economic? Maybe on the trekking bike with 25kg extra package riding 100km for days.... But for MTB?
  • + 1
 Here we go again.
Considering that the imapact of e-bikes on trails has been proven to be the same why should they be banned?
Is it because your precious Strava times are at risk? Is it because others are having more fun? Is it because it's human nature to hate anything new or different? Is it because you can't afford one?
My hunch is that it's all of the above or a little of all.
  • + 1
 For decades lamers have been cheating their way to the top of the descents and it was ok. Now some people have decided they wanted to be assisted to pedal to the top and it is not ok ?

I smell hyprocrisy.

Note: I'm not interested in e-biking, nor by lift assisted riding, yet I'm in the camp of let people do what they f**king want as long as they don't damage or leave shit in the trails, have a low impact on the natural environment and don't behave like jerks.
  • + 1
 Re: chasing the dollar. argument misses the point that in Europe, e-bike sales are growing while regular bike sales are shrinking. A few sources:
- www.bike-eu.com/sales-trends/nieuws/2016/5/e-bike-sales-shows-double-digit-growth-in-main-markets-10126236
- ecf.com/sites/ecf.com/files/CONEBI%20market%20report%20analysis%202016_1.pdf
- www.bike-eu.com/sales-trends/nieuws/2017/2/norway-e-bike-sales-doubles-compensating-for-drop-in-overall-market-10128997
- www.bike-eu.com/sales-trends/nieuws/2016/7/e-bike-import-shows-vast-growth-in-2015-10126775

Companies aren't just looking for new sources of revenue, they are responding to a market demand for these products.

This addresses a second point you make: the growth of the sport. The conventional cycling market growth is slowing, while the e-bike market is growing at an exponential rate. It can reasonably be assumed that the cycling landscape is shifting whether we like it or not.

This leads to a third point you make: trail access. A shifting cycling market will require a re-think in access policies, development, and management. Current infrastructure isn't equipped to deal with this new market or the growth of 2-wheeled access in general. It is unfair to saddle our current trail stewards with the burden of this growth but it would be unreasonable to adopt a "head-in-sand" approach to future development.
  • + 1
 Ebike sales are growing as it's being forced on dealers to have models on the shop floor. The enthusiast bike shop owner has been slow to embrace them.

Conversely, the guy who retired early and opened a bike shop with his savings because he's a "passionate cyclist" has got fully on board as he sees an opportunity to part people from large chunks of cash, and the brands are making selling them profitable as it's suits there future business models.

Why have a sport that only fit people can participate in. Dumb it down for the unfit and everyone can buy a bike.
  • + 1
 Instead of eBikes, maybe we could just have a giant billboard at the bottom of every trail with a picture of the view at the top. Then everyone could just take their Instagram photo, get their Facebook likes, and hop back in their cars and drive home.
  • + 1
 I tend to agree with the separation of "E-biking" and actual "Mountain Biking." I liked someone's running analogy. Running on a track is vastly different from running cross-country (although even cross-country running seems to be getting more and more track-like.)
  • + 1
 Great article, some really good points. I especially agree with the section about growing the sport. I've tried getting several people into mountain biking, often doesn't work out. It's a hard sport and it's certainly not for everybody. That's one of the things I like about it. Having pedal assist will not make people interested in Mountain bikes.
  • + 2
 A motorcycle, dirt bike, and an e-bike...all motorized. What's the argument? You want to ride an e-bike on trails, fine...I want to ride my motorcycle on trails, you guys ok with that?
  • + 1
 Really who cares as long as you respect your environment and fellow trail users BUT there is a valid argument that pertains to motorized vehicles on trail systems. if authorities are sticklers on this rule then E-bikes are out or stick to designated areas.
  • + 1
 I’m 65 and ride regularly... gravity riding... down is the fun for me. My point of view on e-bikes:

For the more up or greater distance - the exercise part
I have NO more interest in attaining more up or distance than I have in performing more reps with my weights by having an electric lift assist.

2. For the down - the fun part
re “I had done two” and “10k heavier”
I’d rather have one optimum down ride than two with a bike that is 22lbs heavier, with a bunch of that weight high off the ground.

No thanks. No e-moped for me.
  • + 1
 I agree, I think part of going for a ride is the fun and the exercise, something about earning your runs makes it fun. That being said, E-bikes do have a place as a alternative to driving to and from a destination, my 10 year old single speed has served me well for this purpose, it would be nice tho if i didn't show up to work terribly sweaty from the ride in, or offer the option to ride to people that may not be in good enough shape yet to ride to work. As far as e-mountain bikes, I think you might as well get a dirt bike because we all know mountain bikes are just as expensive and not nearly as durable as a dirt bike.
  • + 2
 Great article Mike and I agree completely, 2 different sports. E bikers should be responsible for developing there own trail infrastructure, not just assuming existing trails are fair game....
  • + 1
 Maybe the problem is more American territoriality and land ownership and letigiousness. I'm sure ebikes aren't a problem in Norway. Yeah erosion is a problem in sandy areas but motorbikes help make berms and keep vegetation down on limestone and hard clay soils. There are plenty of people illegally using mx bikes which are cheaper and more available and the world hasn't ended yet.
  • + 1
 "The best way to help mountain biking grow? Take the R&D money being dumped into electric motors and spend it on getting more kids on bikes."

This. Every public school should have a fleet of strider style kick bikes. Getting kids on bikes is the absolute best way to grow the sport. Get them hooked early and you have a life long customer and bicycle enthusiast.
  • + 1
 I see a lot of e-bikes here in The Netherlands. While commuting. But never out while mountanbiking. I think this whole thing about e-bikes being so popular is mostly for commuter/city bikes, not mountain bikes. City bikes is a way bigger market (in nr of bikes) in Northern Europe than mountain or road bikes, btw. I'd like to see some real stats on e-mountanbike sales.
I do have to admit that due to the fact that we don't have long descents with the corresponding long climbs, it makes a lot less sense to ride an e-mtb out here than it would in the alps or so.

One more, completely unrelated point: every rider that uses shuttles or chairlifts to get to the top should really stfu about e-bikes.
  • + 1
 "every" ?
  • + 1
 I like this argument. I would not want to get back home to plug another electronic plug to a socket.

It's Going to Help Grow the Sport
I'm not at all sold on the argument that e-bikes will grow the sport of mountain biking. Honestly, how many riders will purchase an e-bike, and then somewhere down the line decide, “You know what? I wish I didn't have a motor so these hills would feel harder.”

Matt Wragg mentioned it in his article, but if you're going to shell out thousands of dollars for a bike that makes going uphill easier, why would you purchase the equivalent of an off-road moped? Why not go all-in and purchase a dirt bike? Especially when you consider that in the United States, e-bikes are prohibited from many areas where 'regular' bikes are allowed, relegating them to the same spots populated by dirt bikes and ATVs. I don't know about you, but I'd feel pretty silly showing up to a trailhead with a tiny electric motor on my bike when I could have a 450cc engine between my legs and a throttle to twist. Rather than being a way to get riders into mountain biking, I see it e-bikes as being more likely to convince riders to pick up a dirt bike instead.

The best way to help mountain biking grow? Take the R&D money being dumped into electric motors and spend it on getting more kids on bikes. Invest in middle and high school race leagues. Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg. It may not have the immediate return on investment, but I'm positive it will be worth it in the long run.
  • + 1
 E-bikes are the single stupidest thing bikes companies have ever come up with! I hope it bites them in the ass in the end. I for one will never buy a new bike from a brand that makes E-bikes. If they all start making E-bikes then no new bike. Screw um!
  • + 1
 Trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access, trail access!

Do they not get it? There is no mountain biking without trail access on public lands! And that shit is lazy. I have enough fat ass, no climbing shuttlers on my trails!
  • + 2
 Move to Europe- no problem
  • + 1
 Lots of comments on this one. My 2cents. I'm 58. Iv been riding bicycles, motorcycles, my whole life. I found a ebike sitting at my neighbors and rebuilt it. It's a blast, and I was getting lazy about riding until I found this. I now have two, rather high powered. I ride both on paths and off road. It's not comparable to motorcycles, so the " just buy a motorcycle" argument goes out the window. No one's going to be bombing up any hills, they are not powerful enough. The bikes are fast, so on flat ground there could be collisions. It's more of a hybrid between a moped (I guess) and a bicycle. Lots of fun, but so is .....(fill in the blank). And stop hating.
  • + 2
 E-Bikes should be used as a tool for trail builders, race officials, the elderly and the handicapped. They should not be a training tool or a supplement to a normal mountain bike.
  • + 1
 This is bitter sweet for me, they go against a lot of what I hold dear about riding. F**k It's annoying being passed by them on a climb.
However, these hateful things allow people to ride who would’ve otherwise lost the ability. My father taught me to ride, but muscle-wasting following a spinal injury stopped us riding together a few years back, e-bikes change that. The same for an old riding buddy with a heart condition.
Yes, they suck and there are a lot of lazy bastards trashing trails with them, but, and this is a big but, for some these represent a second chance to do what we all love.
  • + 1
 Although the thought of e-bikes makes my blood boil as I see it as a threat to the only sport I truly love (well skiing is fun too), I don't foresee e-bikes ever becoming mainstream...so f*ck it

If there is ROI to be had, you can bet your ass that all of the big boys will hop on the e-bike train ASAP...

I knee jerk is to say let's ban them at all local trails, but what about the one-off guy who is physically incapable (DISABLED, not fat) of riding...why ban him from the fun?!

Tough subject
  • + 3
 Let's ask the Land Managers and The Park Rangers and see what they think? It may look like a mt.bike, but it's not. It's a motorcycle.
  • + 1
 I've never liked to talk shit ab e bikes even tho I don't ride them. Because when I get old need an extra push to ride my bike imma buy one. It's the passion to go out n ride bikes with your friends plus all guys riding downhill n bike park like if it a lot of effort pedaling.. let them talk crap because they clearly don't realize that they're not putting too much effort either.
  • + 1
 Actually, most of you are missing one major and growing user group - and one who supports a lot of trail building efforts - those who are older, ie 60+ yrs and still ride.

While I am in that group, I would nor would my wife ever buy an ebike, however, I have friends whose wives would be very interested. They are not aggressive riders, hate uphill climbs, but like being on the trails as a social activity.
  • + 4
 Social media and the internet has killed our once sacred sport many years ago.
  • + 1
 @Jclem but can you really say you rode Woopsie Woodle without a photo and a hastag?
  • + 1
 I could see these in a bikepacking scenario or if the person has physical limits. Otherwise just pedal your balls off and get in shape. Not that i care either way if you have one or not haha. Hopefully they could incorporate a bike where when in the "off" mode, pedaling would charge the battery back up. That way youd only need the battery to help you in those long winded climbs and would extend the charge life.
  • + 1
 Bikes fall apart all season long as it is. Think how fun it's gonna be now. More abuse on components that already aren't durable enough. Plus the extra 20 pounds of weight and the trouble of an electrical system?
More shit you can't get fixed at your lbs.
How sweet is your year old I-phone?
Going from 100% to dead with no warning.
Pathetic battery life in the cold.
I'm gonna carve my next bike out of wood.
Maybe they call that skiing or skateboarding...
  • + 3
 The Consumer can decide what he likes or not .... but this new "BIG THING" is now still there and a perfect alternative to human powered "Classic" Bikes ...
  • + 1
 At 69, I've enjoyed single track riding a long time. I've never been the athlete the young rockets are and I see my future trail days limited without the e-bike as the same hills get longer and steeper. I've ridden several e-bikes and I would rather ride a traditional bike but the near future is e-bike or sofa. A 70 yo friend is already there having lost a kidney to cancer last year. We did a simple trail out west with him on an e-bike and if you could have seen the joy in face afterward, you would have to be heartless to deny him that pleasure. I'm not sure how many more trails he will get to ride, even beating his cancer, but be assured - each one will be very special.
  • + 1
 If someone is disabled absolutely. But if not ,no freaking way. And no ebike should be able to go faster than 10mph. Had these fat guys pass me at 15 mph on a climb, that is dangerous and unnecessary . I also think to be able to ride one MTB trail you should get a handicapped placard with special permission. If not this will ruin the sport. ITS A MOTORIZED VEHICLE, thats a fact.
  • + 1
 e-bikes are stupid! It's all about money and has never been about getting more people to ride. One big problem is that these e-bikes will get faster. I can see in the future an e-bike going 50 mph uphill, creating a dangerous environment for everybody else. These e-bikes are a good way to get all bikes banned from the trails. e-bikes = GREED!
  • + 1
 "Take the R&D money being dumped into electric motors and spend it on getting more kids on bikes. Invest in middle and high school race leagues. Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg. It may not have the immediate return on investment, but I'm positive it will be worth it in the long run."

Thank you, this is the answer and it's amazing that no one in the industry really takes it that seriously. Short term thinking will have short term results.
  • + 1
 Perhaps one day in the future when you are older and your knees are knackered ,and you want to carry on doing the sport you love, perhaps you will get off your high horses and buy one yourselves, if the thought of it so offends you that you would rather give up then I hope you enjoy playing golf or whatever shite sport you would rather do .As for me I am buying one next month and I intend to keep on doing the sport I have been doing for the last 25yrs . and if you don't approve, tough shit ! I will be the old git flying by you with a f******g big grin on my face.
  • + 0
 same boat, just deciding what to buy when sales start after summer.
  • + 1
 Thank you for this article Mike...i totally agree with it. Specially on the point that people are already trying everything they can to "remap, retune or bypass" the settings to get them to go faster...its only a matter of time until someone gets badly hurt or (even worse) hurts someone who is going at a slower speed on a bike and not on these hybrid machines. On another point you make about trail access, given that i ride in the UK which is already a pain with so many restrictions between where you can/should ride and not, this is only going to make it worse.
  • + 1
 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
 Dear author, I hear my dad talking about good old days, when they worked 24h a day and still had plenty of time for party.

"Are our lives so busy?"

A 40 h week is like holiday for me! And on weekends I take care of the kids, so my wife can work.
Maybe I should stay home at all not disturbing your ride?

"They're Fun..... snowmobile is a blast too"
This is your comparison? Why you don't say: drugs are fun too? Bet you studied journalism!

"Chasing the Dollar"
This bad companies want to make money, who are they to think this is they way business is been done?

" run-in with an elderly hiker while racing up the trail"
We have some many e-bikes out there on the trail, hikers die every day. So we banned the hikers from the trails.

Overall, this looks like a Donald Trump speech to me. Full of alternative facts!
  • + 2
 The negativity is amazing.These things are awesome. Go ride one or carry on not knowing the fun you're missing out on. It's just not worth answering all these misguided points by people who haven't ridden one.
  • + 10
 I haven't tried heroin supermike, but people who have also REALLY like it, and like E-bikes I'd prefer not to know what I'm missing out on. You don't have to be offended by the thought of an E-bike to know they're not for you. (for me anyway) MTB is 59% fun and 41% hard work and I like that balance.
  • - 5
flag supermike306 (Feb 23, 2017 at 11:34) (Below Threshold)
 @bvd453: That is a terrible comparison! Of all the things you could have picked... ?!
  • + 4
 @supermike306: Well, they're both expensive, less healthy than their more mainstream counterparts, and looked down upon socially. I think that's a pretty apt comparison. Interestingly, we have similar taste in bikes otherwise (I'm a huge fan of my V2 Banshee Rune).
  • + 2
 @bvd453: Well it's certainly way better than heroine for you haha. I don't know about looked down upon? The internet hate is nowhere to be seen on the trails. But I guess I am addicted to it. I just want to get out more and more it's like I've re-discovered how excited I was about mountain biking as a kid. I end up working just as hard on my e-bike, maybe even harder than a normal bike, and it's more of an upper body workout. I usually end up doing more miles and often turn the assist right down, especially when riding with regular bikes.
  • + 3
 You and @KeithReeder can ride off into the sunset on these things and never come back
  • + 1
 Ridden one. A very poor second to a proper Mtb. Definitely cool if you are lazy and happy cruising around flat and rolling trails. Don't jump well, don't descend well.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: at least you tried one so you have something to relate to. What bike was it just out of interest? My levo descends very well it has to be said. Especially with a few tweaks to the setup. I don't think all bike companies have it nailed. I tried a trek and wasn't impressed, the weight and suspension wasn't balanced well imo
  • + 2
 @supermike306: The Levo is the best I have tried, agreed. Best power delivery and well thought out. Rode the Trek and a Haibike, didn't enjoy either for reasons stated. Even the Levo struggled on my local trails. But the main reason for an ebike isn't for riding steep, loamy, techy singletrack, or whips and doubles. so maybe I am being a bit harsh,
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Well I like that you have some reasons for why I they aren't for you, I had to make some changes to unleash the potential, but with some stiffer casing tyres, more travel up front and monarch plus on the back, it rips. Admittedly an ebike will never be as agile as a proper mtb you are right there
  • + 1
 The current Administration in the US is planning on selling alot of your public land, you won't have any land to ride your mountain bike or e bike. That should be a big concern for Americans and anyone who might want to travel there. There are bills in Congress that needed to be squashed right now. Not entirely sure how the American system works, but if you do know how it works or what you can do, now is the time.
  • + 2
 You can put different wheel sizes, wheel widths, more gears/less gears, what ever your preference and we are all still mountain biking. As soon as you put a motor on it, it is no longer a mountain bike, it is a motor bike.
  • + 5
 E-bikes have their place, but not on a mountain bike trail.
  • + 1
 You guys are trippin. Bike snobs. E bike allow riders with disability to shred. They may touch few in numbers but the impact is great. Put down your sweet ass hand ground, hand roasted, local coffee and reflect on the dumbass things you just said with the perspective of a war veteran without a leg. Losers man.
  • + 2
 If they allow disabled people to ride that otherwise couldn't without extreme difficulty, then E bikes make a lot of sense, but I see the Majority being sold to wealthy fat and lazy weekend railtrail warriors?
  • + 3
 An E-bike is a moped and not a bicycle and doesn't belong on any trail system other than perhaps one specifically for e-bikes.
  • + 4
 I don't like batteries, they degrade and don't they normally end up in a landfill?
  • + 1
 I really think there is an application for ebikes especially when talking about older people and people who may not be able to access trails on normal pedal powered bikes. Not every trail should be fair game but it is not for us to say who can access these areas and who can not especially if there is not excessive harm being done to them. Yes, there are a ton of specifics that need to be hashed out but this is just a new innovation not the end of mountain biking as we know it.
  • + 0
 If you want to get the up hill done fast go to the whistler bike park or shuttle...the whistler bike park trails are super fun, jumps, fast tech, and 10 hours of non stop fun. Mind you 10 hours of no stop laps every day really starts to hurt your hands after a while and bike park requires lots of upper body strength to haul ass all day long. A E-bike cannot take the burden of the Whistler bike park trust me a Enduro bike starts to feel a little scary on schleyer and Canadian open...if you want to have the experience of going up hill and using a couple hours cardio and burning legs then hop on a trail bike and ride up to the trail. That's fun to, and you get trails that don't have breaking bumps that could swallow a kid whole. A E-bike takes away from the climbing experience of a XC or Enduro ride so it's not looking good for the E-bike. The only time (don't hate me for this) a E-bike is ok is for someone has a legitimate reason for not being able to climb a capable Enduro machine. For example maybe they are a partial paraplegic and cant ride park because they cant take the big hits and breaking bumps and don't have full use of there legs so they need help putting the power down to go up hill. They can climb a fire road nobody cares about ruining a fire road(BTW a E-bike won't ruin a fire road they are made for cars, atvs, and forest fires trucks) just turn the assist off for going downhill on a trail so you don't ruin it. E-bikes are stupid for people who are just lazy, if your lazy go play call of duty all day while I'm riding trails that aren't on the map.
  • + 0
 I wonder how many people here have ridden decent ebikes.
I have a couple month ago (a few different models) and.. yeah everything they say is true:

- it is fun
- it is heavy
- it feels like a light motorbike
- i still prefer my non-ebike, i see ebike as a different sport (lightweight motorcross)
- the battery life kinda sux
- "pedaling" is like twisting a throttle, but with your feet, really.
  • + 3
 Hmm should I buy a truck and dh bike to ride shuttle trails, or only an ebike and save $5000.
  • + 0
 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.
  • + 3
 Strava needs a new category to support E-bikes to keep the results isolated. Especially on climbs and flats.
  • + 1
 Yesterday my friend told me he would like to have an e-bike that has a "wheelie mode" that controls the power needed to hold the front wheel in the air.

Then I punched him in his face
  • + 5
 Pedal power fo life yo!
  • + 1
 The eagle shed a tear when Curtis Keene posted a pic of the eBike the big "S" loaned him. Thankfully, that other fast Yankee, Ritchie Rude, won't have to appease Yeti with a nonsense eBike post on social media.
  • + 2
 So everyone keeps mentioning lazy people and thats who the bikes or for. I do not see anyone complaining about people who shuttle trails
  • + 2
 Who cares, if you want to ride one do it, you do not have to please the masses. if you think it's fun or you see a positive side to e bikes then go for it and have fun
  • + 4
 Do we need self driving cars? Do we need anything?
  • + 0
 E-bikes have everything I don't want... I don't want help from a machine when connecting to nature. I want it to be me whose suffering on long steep uphills and earning a great downhill. That's the essence why I am out there. Thereby, in my opinion, people should be more willing to put some effort in something they want in return. Psychologically it makes you stronger. Besides they are heavy, have more maintenance, more costly, worse to the environment..
  • + 4
 People still ride snowblades?
  • + 5
 F**K EBikes!
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: I agree on most of your statements, and would go even further.

In my opinion, it need to be absolutely clear that the e-mtb thing is simply a different sport to normal mtb. I hate this saying “ …you can ride more trails…” Than yes, lets put two balls to a football game or two pucks a hockey game there will be more point/goals and it would be even quite fun for a while, but it is f*cking different game.
Please don’t compare it, and no one will be a winner, for me the e snafus the mtb.

There are applications were pedal assist makes sense to me:
- Commuting (if a car is replaced)
- Delivery services and professional use
- Help disabled persons

But it is so unnecessary on mtbs, look at costs the benefits economic and environmental aspects.
Mtb to me is connected to nature and the experience in the woods. Why should I buy hazardous waste (battery) ECUs and plastic waste and ride it through the woods?

Sorry to say but a healthy guy buys and rides a e-mtb with full conviction is a wanker to me. He jerks off on the trails, a quickie, riding longer distance, faster, more often and so on… please don’t jerk of on the trails. Thanks.
  • + 0
 eBikes are the in-between gender of motos and mountainbikes, with a weight problem. Think of an overweight hermaphrodite Wink .

No one believes them to be cool - yet. They maybe helpful, but not cool.
Wait until electric cars are affordable for normal humans, then there will be eBikes, that will be light and powerful - and cool.
  • + 0
 No one has mentioned the environmental impact of Electric Bikes! We as bikers and users of nature should be ambassadors for the green movement. Overcomplicating bikes by adding electronics and battery radically increases their manufacturing carbon footprint. Ii dont really thing we should be increasing CO2 footprints and for this reason id never own one.
  • + 0
 People have been cheating their way to the top of the descents for decades and it is ok. Now some people want some additionnal help to climb their way to the top and it is not ok ?

I smell hypocrisy.

E-bikes can be nice for disabled people or those that have some cardiac issues too. I'm not the least interested in e-biking nor lift assisted riding but I'll happily share the trails with them as long as they don't behave like jerks, have a low enough impact on the environment and the mountains don't get overcrowded. If it happens to be the case, just filter people based on merit and in my mind lift assisted riders should have to surrender way before any e-biker.

Note: I don't buy the argument that bike with a motor are motorbikes thus should be regarded the same way. An e-bike is quiet and don't ruin a trail as much as much as a motorbike solely based on the available power and the tire profile it can use.
  • + 4
 Do We Really Need E-Bikes?

No.
  • + 1
 Even if had some extra dough to buy one... I feel like I'd be in the shop be looking past the eBike at the latest and greatest of a traditional peddle bike instead. 'Yeah, I need a new 29r or a DH rig first...'
  • + 3
 For me it is very simple:
From now, never buy a bike from a brand that propose an mopped-e-bike.
  • + 4
 No. That is all.
  • + 1
 "Focus on lowering the cost of entry into the sport, and on producing well-equipped, reliable mountain bikes that don't cost an arm and a leg."

Nailed it.
  • + 1
 Yeah that is a good point, the new Marin hawk hill is proof of that.
  • + 0
 Turbo Levo's rule. Get the f*ck off "my" trails. I run your truck dropping lazy fat f*ckin ass over bitch. I own all the trails I ride. When I see non motorized to spray paint over the sign and ride that bitch
  • - 1
 I'll be getting one, but i'll still have a slope bike and a DH bike. I'm just not able to pedal for more than an hour or my knees kill me for a week after. Just waiting till they evolved as new batteries and motors are looking good.
  • + 2
 maybe you need some bike fit, or fitness, it's not an engine that will solve your health and knee problems.
  • + 1
 @t-stoff: nothing to do with fitness, Its simple wear tear on my knee joints and maybe bit of arthritis. I'm not the only one my age with similar issues and some have already bought ebikes. the assist motor takes a lot of strain of the joints which is the cause of my problem. I can uplift all day in the alps not a problem longer than a lot, don't have to stop mid runs etc.
  • + 4
 No
  • + 1
 I'll ride my Gutbo Levo where I want when I want fuck your rules. Shut off the chairlifts and stop shuttle dropping you lazy fuckers
  • + 0
 Whine whine whine, yawn. If you don't like it. Fuck off. Simples. Ride your stupid pedal powered bike and ignore the people who chose a pedal assited bike. So sick of this BS E-bike argument.. first world problems. Pathetic.
  • + 3
 E-Bikes should only be sold at pharmacies with a doctor's prescription
  • + 3
 Do we need trucks Smart phones Fat bikes Yes. Because they are fun.
  • + 1
 If they (people who ride e-bikes) help to build trails and to repair them, fine with me. If they are too lazy to do that than you know what Smile
  • + 2
 I want a E snowboard, with a E jetpack avalanche escape espresso machine backpack.
  • + 0
 If it gets a fat cunt out riding and brings someone else joy why not have them , a do see they could be a problem if some idiot cycle up a downhill path, but if they use them in a safe manner why not have them
  • - 1
 Pretty sweet for our mailman. people with certain disabilities or with a health condition who are therefore unable or hardly able to enjoy riding bikes without assistance should feel free to ride a pedelec. everyone else stay away!!!
  • + 3
 No need to call climbing "pain", I just call it exercise.
  • + 1
 E bikes = lazy, I get dropped all the time, strava loving, I have never helped maintain a trail and of course gay .......Fin
  • - 1
 eBikes are coming it is a fact. For those that throw the naive comment that its lazy or cheating, well, yes it is if you go out and do the same amount of miles as you would on your mountain bike under your own steam.

If your fit and able it opens up the the door to be able to access areas and riding possibilities once out of reach for most normal riders. If you get a chance to ride an ebike do, you can get a physical workout from them, you still have to pedal and the assistance is only up to 15.5Mph. You are always going to get people who abuse the system, but thats life.

If your ill, disabled, elderly and it allows you to access a sport for longer throughout your life that's only a good thing.

Whats this mean for trail centre's. Well in the uk and long term - wider investment into facilities, ebike companies are publishing growth figures in the 200%'s year on year and thats not because they sold 2 units last year, many ebike lines actually out sell some companies top end models, all big brands sold out of their ebike lines last year as demand was high. there were 450k ebikes sold in Germany in 2015/2016.

The demand is there, you might not fancy one plenty of people do though.

Whats this do for your local bike shop? well 90% of ebike purchases are made in store not online. Its driving new customers to your local bike shop when many "proper" riders have abandoned them to the online giants. If it keeps cash in the tills of my local shop i'm all for it.

At the end of the day, its not voodoo its not like being on a trail with a motorbike, its a new addition to a sport thats getting more people onto bikes and wider investment into the cycle industry. How can that be a bad thing? No ones forcing you to ride an eBike, just have an open mind. eBikes will be a common sight in the next two years, so you can spend your time crying over the dilution of the sport as the article cries or get on with riding your bike and enjoy others on two wheels with smiles on their faces in whatever form it may be.
  • - 1
 E bikes are for fat lazy bastards who feel they are entitled to experience the same places as normal mountain bikers without putting in any effort to get there. IF you ride an E bike I hope in the very near future a real mountain biker and a moto guy see you riding your stupid little E bike and kick your ass!!
  • + 3
 The beauty of a bike is that it is human powered, nuff said.
  • - 1
 I'm all for e-bikes for people that are not able to ride uphill anymore. It gets them outside and enjoying the trails. What should happen is that these bikes need to be licensed and only ones with disability licenses permitted on the trails. Everyone should be able to enjoy the trails. Hikers seeing a disability license on a bike have no right to complain (would they complain if a motorized wheelchair were on that trail, heck no.

Give those with disabilities a chance to enjoy the trails. If you do not have a disability and are caught riding that bike on a trail, fine that person (yes, employ mtn bike trail police - preferably from bike clubs that also do trail maintenance) that can fine and/or ban a rider from a trail for illegal use of e-bikes.... okay, too far maybe and one should really police themselves on what is the right thing to do. Just don't use strava to see who's e-bike has the fastest lap time.
  • - 1
 I bought one, I love it. I build, ride, race, I can kick your ass on a SS hardtail, a 150mm trail bike, my dh sled, or my new 150mm WhEEbike, it gives better access for building, more bang for your buck on DH, eliminates any need for a shuttle truck, and is the future, like it or not. I can access a quick 8k' in descents on my illegal and privately built local DH zone, that on a normal day would take 2-3x as long. End of story. People can cry and whine all they want, but change is coming. RE access to publicly funded trails in the NW, good luck defending a discrimination lawsuit, under the ADA clause, pick your poison, public money or public access. And lastly, if you haven't actually ridden one, stfu until you do.
  • + 2
 Keep Pinkbike E-bike Free !
  • + 0
 I personally don't need one, but for those with injuries or other weaknesses that cannot be corrected with exercise, an E-bike could prove beneficial.
  • + 1
 Interestingly, Wragg's article made me want an Ebike less than this one. thanks for the article
  • + 2
 the never ending discussion.....just get out and ride
  • + 1
 Kids these days. Want all the fun but don't want to put in the work to earn it.
  • + 0
 A so called "E bike" is not a bike! By definition, it is a "motorcycle"! It is powered by a motor. Is the next move. To allow motorcycles on designated bike trails???
  • + 3
 No ! We Don`t !
  • + 1
 We dont need to "grow the sport". Hell, we dont even need to grow the population,
  • + 0
 Ebikes are a crutch for aging baby boomers, who feel their wealth entitles them to an eternal youth, without concern for anyone or anything else.
  • + 0
 E bikes are fucking stupid and should be banned from all mountains that pedal bikes are on its just a ploy to make money in the bike industry
  • + 1
 E-bikes, how to make all mountain bikers fat because we all drink beer. Next generations of fatties coming to life!!
  • + 2
 Dead horse gonna kick the shit out of it
  • + 1
 That first picture is very cool, but i´m sure it´s not his preferred mountain bike for the big jumps.
  • + 1
 Mountain bikers don't need ebikes but fat lazy people who want to bike on trails absolutely do.
  • + 1
 Nuclear power bikes go uphill all the time never stop , dig a hole chuck it in when you're done !
  • + 3
 Ummm, NO?!
  • + 1
 If I want an Ebike, I'll get one of these... www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx
  • + 2
 Just ride your damn bike.
  • + 1
 I've joked about this but, also kinda serious. Just call them 'mobility bikes'
  • + 2
 E-Fat is the (new) coke of biking.
  • + 2
 As usual, I m here just for the comments. Ow wait. Popcorn is ready.
  • + 2
 Pedal or moto
  • + 2
 Great article!
  • + 1
 Jane, you ignorant slut.......
  • + 0
 I never thought I'd say this but I wish they'd just introduce 28.1875" wheels and Roost+ spacing to keep us buying bikes
  • + 1
 Motor on a bike = Motorbike. Seems pretty cut and dried.
  • + 1
 This article needs a good dose of evidence to back it up.
  • - 2
 I cant wait to look back 15 years from now and laugh how 90% of PinkBike was on the wrong side of history. GET WITH IT.. you cannot stop natural human progression and technology.
  • + 1
 Great article well rounded point of view clearly expressed, big thumbs up.
  • + 1
 Remove those pedals and put footstep...
  • + 1
 Now Strava times are going to go through the roof.
  • + 1
 No we don't need E bikes. Stupid idea!
  • + 1
 Pretty stoked about some tandem E-bikes.
  • + 0
 HELP. I'VE FALLEN OFF MY E-BIKE AND I CAN'T GET UP!
  • - 2
 Go ahead, show up at SoMo trails in Phoenix with your ebike. You'll leave with a chunk of SoMo granite sticking out of your helmet and your bike at the bottom of a cliff.
  • + 1
 Dick
  • + 1
 Great arguments
  • + 0
 E bikes ftw i wanna be able to keep uo to the boys on the moto cross track
  • + 1
 Bikes
  • - 1
 Can't wait to read all the astro-turffed comments about the old guy with a heart condition who can now ride his bike
  • - 1
 Finally i can combine my two favorite sports. Drinking and biking. So hell yes. I love E-bikes.
  • + 1
 Triggered!
  • + 5
 I'm so triggered right now. I feel like a democrat on Trumps inauguration day
  • + 1
 @jgreermalkin: or like Trump on Trump's inauguration day
  • + 1
 @Sweatypants: Hahahahahahaha! The crowds were yuge!
  • + 1
 You win.
  • + 0
 and the brain wash started, "yes we need ebikes" ......NOT!
  • - 2
 I'll get one when I need one. Hopefully that'll be when I'm much longer in the tooth
  • + 0
 Hard Noooo !!
  • - 3
 Please stop using the word "triggered" you f*cking posers,Mmkay thanks
  • - 2
 Terrible. Probably best if you stay in your box and keep a closed mind.
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