Opinion: Friends Don't Let Friends Ride E-Bikes

May 14, 2014 at 17:42
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles column Mike Kazimer


Recently, one of mountain biking's original freeriders posted an Instagram photo of himself out for a ride. Now, normally this wouldn't be a big deal – just another day in the office for a pro rider slightly past his prime trying to keep his sponsors happy with little pictures and long lists of hash tags. Except that he was on an electrically assisted mountain bike. Mind you, this is a rider who was once famous for riding the slipperiest, gnarliest trails around, back when most riders were still sporting spandex and rocking bar ends. Seeing him on an e-bike was like seeing Guy Martin puttering around on a Honda Goldwing trike, or Cedric Gracia sipping tea and knitting a sweater – it just didn't seem right.

Now, I understand that maybe, just maybe, there's a place in the world for e-bikes. If a little old lady has her driver's license taken away and wants to save energy while pedaling to the store for some Metamucil, fine, she can use an e-bike. But off-road, electrically assisted mountain bikes? They shouldn't exist, yet somehow they're gaining traction in the marketplace, especially in Europe. At last year's Eurobike trade show there were electric motors bolted to every type of bike imaginable, with eager salesman waiting to pop out of their booths and spout off the list of benefits that a heavy motor brings to mountain biking. Most of these sales pitches were along the lines of, “It allows you to go farther then you would be able to without a motor.”

Haibike Nduro
Now you can say you've seen an electric enduro bike.

News flash: I really don't want more people out on the trails, especially not ones that are too lazy to rely solely on human power to transport them deep into the backcountry. Call me selfish, but I like being able to pedal far enough into the woods that the crowds are left miles behind, and although it hasn't happened yet, I'm dreading the day when the buzz of an electric motor interrupts my otherwise peaceful bike ride. And what happens if that magical motor craps out on its slightly-out-of-shape rider thirty miles into a ride? That's going to be a mighty haul out, especially since most e-bikes weigh more than a downhill bike.

Who knows.
This is not okay.

E-bikes are every mechanic's nightmare, as anyone who's ever thrown their back out trying to heft one into a shop workstand knows, especially the ones that unwitting consumers purchase off of late night television. Try telling that little old lady you can't fix her 60 pound behemoth because you lack the necessary soldering or electrical know-how to rewire the poorly constructed contraption. I'd bet that the majority of the people who think they need an electric assist to ride a bike haven't actually ridden since their college days, when everyone rode steel Schwinn Varsitys that weighed twice as much as today's much lighter and much better shifting options. The extra weight is only one part of why e-bikes don't make sense, especially ones intended for off-road use. With modern mountain bikes available that weigh in under 30 pounds and have six inches of travel, why would anyone want to purchase a bike that weighs (and costs) twice as much?

As mountain bikers, we need to stick together and take a stand to protect the integrity of the sport against these electric intruders. Mountain bikes are human powered, end of story. Sure, climbing uphill can be hard - you might even sweat and breathe heavily while doing it, but trust me, it's worth it. E-bikes don't have a place on the trails, and the efforts being directed at developing them would be much better spent elsewhere. If those electrical engineers need a bike related project they can start by trying to figure out how to make an electronic, wireless dropper post that costs less than a month's rent, or some kind of shop tool with lasers that makes it easy to get a stem perfectly aligned the first time. Plus, does anyone truly believe that an industry that can't even agree on what handlebar diameter works best is really ready to add complicated electronics to the mix?

And what about the un-named pro who posted that image of himself mountain biking on an e-bike? He's wearing lederhosen and striped socks in his most recent Instagram photo, so it's possible that he's gone insane, which would go a long ways towards explaining his e-bike experimentation.


403 Comments

  • + 431
 Coming from the community that gets in a truck to go up a hill. Sorry, had to say it.
  • + 70
 Exactly. I see shuttling pickups all the time. Lazy bums. I will buy an e-bike when I am 80.
  • + 42
 Using an e-bike to get to the top of a shuttle trail is completely different than using an e-bike to get to the top of a climb where driving a car to the top is not an option.
  • + 112
 I wonder if hikers ever think cyclists are lazy f**** because they sit on their ass to go on the same trail, with loud clicking gears disrupting the otherwise quiet wilderness. "But I can go farther and faster on a bike" " I use my own power" really.... I suppose everyone here has their trailhead in their back yard and don't drive to the trails, I suppose you all pluck your facial hair to avoid the embarrassment of being seen with a loud electric trimmer. I BET NONE OF YOU OWN SMARTPHONES. Wow. A sport that has clearly benefited from technology in every direction will still hate new things. I have an idea, DONt BUY ONE, but don't think that you are "better" for being on your bike without power, because the guys on hardtails think full sussys are wimps, rigid thinks hardtails are wimps and hikers think you all are wimps for wrecking the trails, clicking and sitting on your ass letting your round wheels "roll" you through the wilderness
  • - 21
flag kubaner (May 15, 2014 at 5:37) (Below Threshold)
 If one of the original freeriders says it's ok to ride an E-bike, then it is. Debate over
  • + 67
 @appreticeshreder You try to climb up a hill on a DH bike.
  • + 5
 Achem Ronnie Renner please read
  • + 26
 God gave you legs now use em boy
  • + 13
 ballsdeepinpow, and appretniceshredder, I havn't heard much of riding a DH bike up hill, but pushing the 50 pound monster, thats a different story...try that hikers
  • + 9
 50lbs! Ouch.
  • + 4
 Irony served with caveats!
  • - 2
 I'll buy a new cr instead.
  • + 10
 To be Honest, if we have bikes, and we have motor bike, can't there be an in between? If you don't want one, no one if forcing you, but if you do, why would anyone care? And an e mountain bike, just opens up more opportunities for people who can't ride for a long time anymore or is just a way to get to your riding spot more quickly. Why judge?
  • + 22
 So when do we draw the line? Perhaps i should go out and just buy a Dirtbike, its "faster and easier!"
  • + 7
 You should go buy a dirt bike and an e-bike for that matter. Both of them would be super fun to use. But nothing will ever replace pedal power and two wheels.
  • + 11
 I don't mind them... and as a motorcycle guy I'm not anti dirt-bike but that's what these are. If I see you on the local mtb trail network on one of these I'm going to kick the s*it out of you.
  • + 6
 @ballsdeep--you missed appreticeshreder's point. He's having fun with that fact that when DHer's started shuttling runs you can take this article and spin it on it's head about the DH community. Kinda funny actually. Some hardtail nut with a 6 inch dirty beard saying, "Sure, climbing uphill can be hard - you might even sweat and breathe heavily while doing it, but trust me, it's worth it." Hahaha!
  • + 13
 @ballsdeepinpow my DH bike is my allmountainbike. All you just need to do is man up, slap on a bigger cassette and a smaller chainring and a telescopic seatpost and you no longer need the truck to shuttle.
I personally have nothing against e-bikes. Heck if I had the money I'd buy an e-motorcrosser. I'd rather electric over gasoline, less noise and no fumes.
  • + 0
 Motors are fun. We go downhill to go fast because we don't have motors. So if we have a motor, twice as much fun, right? Hah... why does anybody give a flying f*ck if anybody rides e-bikes. They're fun as f*ck, and if you wanna ruin other peoples fun then maybe you should pull out some of that party poop stuck up your ass.
  • + 24
 "why does anybody give a flying f*ck if anybody rides e-bikes"

Fear of trails getting closed?
  • + 8
 An E-bike is a motorcycle, don't question people on dirt bikes next time you see them on the local trails...they are coming!
  • - 6
flag saltine (May 15, 2014 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 In the united states, e-bikes are actually one of the only motorized vehicles besides stock motorized scooters that don't require a license, although this is reliant on them fitting the legal requirements... so there isn't any legal standing to close trails based on that.
  • + 0
 This E-Bike guy must be Andi Wittmann?
  • + 7
 narwalrus - "legally" all you need is some equestrian with deep pockets to make a lot of noise because he thinks e-bikes are a annoying. boom - trail closed to bikes. Not just an equestrian would do this but you get the picture.
  • - 1
 The same premise could be used to ban bikes though... it's all just a people being responsible thing. You shouldn't say people shouldn't make e-bikes just because they could be a problem... it's the same logic anti-gun folks use.
  • + 3
 friends dont let friends ride fat bikes, 29er's 27.5, mopeds, scooters, etc. etc. grow up.
  • + 0
 I didn't say that people shouldn't make them or ride them. All I'm saying is just because you don't need a license to ride an e-bike doesn't mean they cant close a trail. That's what you said in your comment.
  • - 5
flag saltine (May 15, 2014 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 Well so far in the United States not a single trail has been closed due to e-bikes, or even blocked from them in the same areas as bicycles... e-bikes are legally electric assist bicycles. Banning them from an area means banning bikes too.
  • - 2
 Yeah cause e-bikes SO popular on trails.... You know how these people are, they will shut down anything if you give them the slightest reason too. We don't want our trails shut down, so we don't want e-bikes on our trails TOO give them that reason.
  • + 2
 @narwalrus Do you want to give a source for that?
  • + 1
 angry-sasquatch... So what are you proposing? So you don't want trails to get shut down by something that's legally a bicycle... watcha gonna do to stop it? Anyways source... (15 U.S.C. 2085(b)) + HR 727 + (23 U.S.C. § 217(j)(2)) )... so it can vary state to state but in most cases... this pretty much covers it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#United_States
  • + 11
 seems pretty simple to me, if the trails are designated for non motorized use than you can't ride an e bike it has on some level a motor, by all means ride it on the trails with the motor off. I see it as a safety issue, I live in park city, UT we have for the most part fairly crowded non motorized, multi use, multi directional trails. To me it's a safety issue when you can pedal uphill 3 or 4 times as fast as the other uphill users, I feel like its just going to add to the amount of head on conflicts and collisions.
  • + 13
 Pretty much nekmtb has it... Issue is that its not human powered, its motorized, bike or not. Ebikes look the same as a regular bike to anyone who isn't a rider. When us advocates for access are finally making progress, you toss ebikes into the mix, and land managers will find it easier to just say no bikes period. If you like trail riding, this is an access issue. Keep em out of the woods.
  • + 0
 my muscles are my motor. everything else sucks.

That said, i can understand people riding E bikes because of an injury; but for my part, i don't ride when i'm injured
  • + 1
 I have it's f**cking hard work . Shame they cost more than a moto cross bike
  • + 0
 Apprenticeshredder,
New Zealand has un-countable shuttle trails, and actually have shuttle services for a great majority of the trails. As someone who's family is from ( and still lives) New Zealand, how dare you suggest that the U.S. is the only country who shuttles trails. your a fool. Come ride some trails in the Pacific Northwest and climb a few 10 mile roads before you take shit about shuttling haha.
  • - 1
 @zede "my muscles are my motor." I think we have a race here. Muscles vs motors. Ill take my muscles and race a motor, any other takers? haha.
  • + 8
 What, so now motoX is gay too??? beacuse it´s not man powered.... or cars??? ride a horse cart instead, or better still use one of those flistones car...
  • + 0
 I'll take pushing my 45 lb kona stinky 40 mins to the top of a knarly dh run any day. That 5 mins of glory to the bottom is worth ever minute of the push
  • + 2
 GalbraithBham, Get off your high horse mate. He wasn't poking fun at U.S. He was referring to the downhill community in general. Also, That's an Australian flag next to his name, not NZ. Chill bro
  • + 2
 its called walking jackasses, if the hill is to steep then walk, it gives you a much better understanding of the terrain and which line to take than riding a damn E- bike. The bicycle is one of mans greatest inventions, from being able to ride quickly and efficiently on roads to hucking 70 ft across a canyon. Don't ruin that with an electric motor
  • + 3
 i'd sooner be paralyzed than ride an e-bike...............or enduro. lol.
  • + 2
 I see where they are coming from with this article. There are better options out there heavy ass electric motors aren't the answer.
  • + 3
 You dumbasses neg-propping Stacy Kohut obviously don't realize that he's a paraplegic that rips on a custom 4-wheel full suspension bike/wheelchair, right? He had segments in the New World Disorder films (if I'm remembering correctly), and I've seen him ripping at Whistler on a couple of occasions. Jeez Stacy, that was a very insensitive comment Razz
  • + 2
 Knowing the background his comment made me LOL!
  • + 4
 Stacey Kohut is a complete dick.
  • + 2
 its not about us as a bike human,its about getting off oil and we bike humans can be the one's to start to make it better,by going E-BIKE,we must not fight it,but help it grow,just think what the guy on the horse said to the guy on the gas driven bike back in 1901,look now air we can't even breath smog,just think if TESLA had a chance for his dream,lets make it happen.,but i could be wrong,it all started with the bike.or the wheel me not no.or man.
  • - 2
 paul clarke (spelled correctly) , is jealous of a cripple.

nice work, your life must be total garbage.
congrats white trash loser.
  • + 4
 Yes stacey im jealous. And i live in Alabama in a trailer park. Also, my life is total garbage Frown
  • + 1
 Unfortunately Stacy bit your head off when you defended paralysis... unaware of his current state I'm assuming. You are deserved an apology I doubt will never come. If you check his photos (which are amazing and inspiring) you will catch my drift. Hopefully next time a little less offense will be taken by all.
  • + 2
 I'm aware of his current state. That's nothing to do with it. The guy's just not a very nice person.
  • + 3
 Well, that takes care of that. So...... this is awkward.....
  • + 128
 This article omits two important hypothetical points to why people would ride them, and has assumed that electronic bikes are a wide spread problem.

Firstly. I pose to you, who has ever seen electronic driven bikes on the trail? Or even a busy trail centre? I have not. Probably because they are too expensive, and people would call you out for being lazy. Which it is.

Secondly, assume, someone who suffers from a disability, be it heart problems, asthma, lack of one limb,anything that hinders their access to ride. Are they not allowed a aid to help them rip up the hill like the rest of us? Can they ride without a stigma attached to them, to have fresh blowing between their scalps and reacting to speed as they lose themselves in the moment, forgetting the stress and problems as they flow through a trail.

Of course fat lazy riders should not use them, its detrimental to them and us as a community. But don't slate something that could help a fragment of our community.
  • + 41
 Finally, someone who sees the wider picture! Well said man! Don't get me wrong, I don't like electric bikes but working in a community bike kitchen I've met multiple people who absolutely love riding bikes but due to unavoidable disabilities and illnesses can't go far or have the amount of fun they deserve on a traditional pedal powered mountain bike. I personally find it hugely reassuring that if, god forbid, I do ever suffer an injury that prevents me riding my mountain bike in the traditional manner I could still get out on the trails and have a great time with my riding mates! Sure, lazy people should NOT use them but people need to view the wider picture before they make their judgments.
  • + 9
 Totally agree, never seen anyone actually use one of these on trails, although I see quite a lot of electric commuter bikes. That has actually piked my interest somewhat, as where I live the traffic is horrendous and many people use scooters to dodge the traffic jams, whereas I cycle to work via 50/50 road/off-road. But, if I lived a little bit further from work, and didnt have showers near my office, I could see myself getting an 120/140mm e-bike instead for a scooter, despite doubling the price: cruise into work, but cycle home off-road... You never know, it could promote more bike paths and reduce car traffic.
  • + 1
 I don't think Mike said that they are a wide spread problem. He observes that they are getting bigger, and wants to prevent them from getting more popular.
  • - 8
flag mnorris122 (May 15, 2014 at 4:34) (Below Threshold)
 My LBS helps in not getting them more popular by refusing to do any service on ebikes, even truing a wheel or adjusting a derailleur
  • + 3
 Absolutely, it's like question, are they fat because they're in wheelchair, or are they in a wheelchair because they're fat? I picture people having to justify their detailed medical history at the side of the trail in order to not get cussed. Would you not be tempted to say, 'are you sick buddy, or are you just a lazy f*ck?'. I imagine most people would be too afraid of ridicule to buy one unless they genuinely needed it
  • + 8
 i do agree they serve a purpose. and being in a bike shop i can defiantly agree i don't like working on them. but my concern is trail access. where i ride anything with a motor is not allowed on the trails. Would these electric motor bikes be allowed? i don't think so. and if the are tolerated whats the next step dirt bikes and atvs? not that i am against any of those its just every activity needs its own space to do it
  • + 11
 Great article! Thanks Mike. I have a buddy who had a pretty bad heart attack a few years back. He rides an e-bike now. He can pedal on the flats and downhills but needs the e-assist when the turf goes up. It's great to see him out there enjoying a bike. I've never seen him on the crazier stuff but off road paths and some single track. Good for him and why not.
  • - 1
 Great example of someone who needs one. But when it's not a genetic disability or an outright disabling injury I'm always left wondering whether healing their body would have them back on a normal bike and as a bonus come with increased health generally. Basically there is a huge difference between a degenerative and a regenerative diet, but we're not taught this in school. We get taught about calories and pharmaceutical controls and other such fails. Cue massively backlash about the importance of counting calories.
  • + 5
 They are a complete pain to work on but in my opinion that's all part of the fun of being a bike mechanic. If something comes into the workshop that I can learn from then I will take the chance and from it. Working on things you haven't worked on before is all part of the process of becoming more experienced for me for me whether it's a Rohloff hub gear, funny spoke lacing patterns or a Bosch electric motor.
  • + 16
 I've met a couple on e-bikes on one of our longer rides here (a 20+km loop). They admitted that as they got older, it got harder to pedal up hill, and pedalling was hard on their knees and hips. They loved their e-bikes because they allowed them to get out into the backcountry on a rolling trail, enjoy the scenery, and get home in one piece. And good for them.

Nobody owns the backcountry. If someone's out there enjoying themselves, all power to them. It's not up to me to dictate the how or why of why they're there.
  • + 7
 Saw one at Llandegla maybe three weeks ago. First one I've ever seen and I thought, 'Hmm look, one of those electric bikes'. Couldn't give a toss either way, as long as the person riding it is into biking and a decent human being I can't see the problem! Refusing to service them is a bit harsh though!
  • + 4
 there;s been a few times at llandegla when I've been riding up that long fire road start, that the thought an e-bike would be a good idea, lol
  • + 4
 While I don't like the idea, this is just one more "advance" in a long line that increases ease of riding. Its certainly not for everyone, but after 3 knee surgeries, and a recent diagnosis of a mitochondrial RNA defect that causes soft tissue pain and numbness, I can see myself reluctantly getting one of these in a few years, as the weight and price drops.

An E-bike will not cause massive problems on the trail, as people buying them are most likely novices, or injured riders. They will stick to more groomed trails. Getting more people outside, and away from electronic entertainment is good.
  • + 5
 I have seen them on 2 very busy trail networks in Utah once in corner canyon and the other in park city. Both of them looked like 2 perfectly healthy americans pedaling into an e bike about as hard as I would be able to, which means they were going really effing fast uphill. Both times I happened to be going downhill, also fast, and skidded into the bushes like I would for any other trail user. I am always grateful to avoid a collision, but e bike guy #1 did not look like a mtn biker judging by his gear, had headphones in said nothing to me and continued uphill at like 10 or 15 mph it took me a minute to figure out how he was going so fast. Guy #2 sporting a skatelid and board shorts said "thanks man", stood up on the pedals and took right off. As I am picking myself and my bike out of the bushes I yell "rider up!" to my friends who now must be closing in on us, what do you know another near miss and according to my buddies e bike guy never as much put a foot down.

So @willie1 you are right it seems like novices using them, and novices in general have no effing trail etiquette and around here "the more groomed trails" are the ones littered with other trail users. on a normal pedal bike a novice isn't going very fast and can't cover much ground and are more of a danger to themselves so it's not a big deal.

They do have a place in adaptive sports I agree. That place is not in trail centers, although they can be used responsibly, but in my opinion I think an E bike has as much of a right of way on the trail as an off leash dog. If you hear someone 100 yards away pull that thing to the side and let everyone go by and do that every single time. Maybe make it so the pedal assist turns off at like 8 mph instead of 25mph. In general those things infuriate me, but in reality it's the people using them. Im sure there are people who ride them and understand what real mt biking, use them responsibly and fly right under the radar.
  • + 1
 This is actually a very good point. I hate e bikes but now you've pointed it out it is actually great for riders with disabilities. It's just not acceptable for anyone else
  • + 1
 I saw one at Cwmcarn in Wales the other day, 3 dudes shredding the DH track, one on a quad-bicycle, one on an electric bike, one on a standard DH bike, no idea if disabled or not, but rad to see them all out shredding using whatever transport they could. But...if one of my able mates buys one, I am going to rip in to him big time!
  • + 69
 Pinkbike just seems to yo yo between articles saying that its all just riding bikes and we shouldn't care what type of bikes people are on or what wheels so long as everyone's out there having fun and articles like this where people are riding the wrong bikes, wearing the wrong clothes or calling their riding the wrong thing.
  • + 15
 +1 Ride and be happy.
  • + 4
 The typical disonans when public opinion gets exposed to private opinion: people, shisophreniacaly, expect the opinionator to be honest and say what he really thinks while at the same time they want him to be objective. Simply they themselves dress him up in values and virtues they expect the opinionator to have. We think: if he gives opinion that is published on a wide forum then he'd better be wise, ever knowing, and jolly (we draw a picture of him) while he is a man, just like us, he just gives his own angle on reality that we all experience. So first we assume he is alpha and omega then we judge him for not being one, based on what he wrote.
  • + 7
 Listen to the Wakster people, he doth see the truth.

The collective that is the typical PB user lambastes PB reviewers for being "in the industries pocket" etc even when reviews are objective and critical then lays into them again for having opinions in, wait for it, OPINION pieces.

*sigh*
  • + 1
 So basically on mans pudding is another mans breakfast. Depending on your viewpoint/opinion.
Both are equally valid.
  • + 2
 Yes Randy, that is the very wholeness and pointlessness of my point... What i wrote is just to be conscious what you are doing. It does not need to change the taste of the pudding. Consciousness and self awareness is a btch though... when you like your bike as it is, and you read an article about geometry and you truly genuinely being to understand, let's say, head tube angles impications on other things going on in the geo, you may suddenly want another bike. But that does not guarantee, that something in your riding will change from a viewpoint of another person, it may not change in relation to a point of reference like time measured by going from A to B. But it may dramaticaly change your experience of riding your bike. Therefore after many experiments you may eventually, unintentionally get back very close to the point of origin, while you feel like you discovered a whole new world... The point of reference is a btch, relativity is always there. Therefore we cannot save the world. But we may kill Miley Cyrus, we may actualy burn her!
  • + 1
 Well said Waki. That is the source of the discord surrounding the articles on this site.
  • + 2
 Orientdave.... Great waki translation, keep it up
  • - 1
 Man Pudding
  • - 2
 Miley Cyrus pudding...
  • + 1
 @waki, please bring your comments down to a say... 9th grade level. I'm trying to figure out what yer saying. Lol.
  • + 1
 Don't eat that pudding, Miley Cyrus just hit the expiration date! lol
  • + 1
 Um, it's a web site, where $ is made from traffic. Controversy = traffic.
  • + 1
 Robwhynot gets it!
  • + 2
 Dont you think that there are easier ways to be controversial... Jebus...
  • + 2
 Pinkbike seems to actually be acting more journalistic… think about it, the have clear types of articles that would fit in any newspaper or magazine layout - news, technology, reader submitted, lifestyle, etc and of course opinion pieces meant to stir the pot a bit by taking a position. It may not be organized in such a fashion, but that's how the content seems to flow recently. This opinion piece strikes a chord, gets pages and pages of traffic allowing the PB staffers to just have a little giggle about how great the internet is because you can do well by making people happy or do really well by pissing them off a little bit!
  • + 45
 Don't like them? Then don't ride them... it's that simple. "Take a stand"? give me a f*cking break... You sound like a hiker who wants to "take a stand" against those nasty mountain bikers. This is one of the most ridiculous articles I've read on PB recently.. utter trash.
  • + 11
 I should also point out that I have zero interest in them myself. But maybe I'll change my tune when I'm 70.
  • + 11
 PB , you are evolving into a Teen Beat trash mag.
  • + 4
 "Dont like them, dont ride them"- this mentality will have our local trails closed on the quick.
Why take a stand? Would you take a stand if people started riding moto's on your local trails or would you simply say- "Dont like them, dont ride them"

The problem I see is "ability"- Its the ability for someone with very little "ability" to grab through a leg over a e-bike (50-60lbs) and blast through trails- those No Motorized Vehicle trails. Suppose that disabled rider who lacks the ability to pilot a non-motorized bike spokes a horse, clips a hiker or tackles a trail runner and its game over, cancel Christmas and shackle trail access!

Its an Emo Ped
  • - 6
flag mikekazimer Mod Plus (May 15, 2014 at 7:48) (Below Threshold)
 @grtguy - I can assure you, I'm not a hiker - I'm a mountain biker who doesn't want to see the sport dumbed down by unneeded technology. Too often we're complacent in the face of bad ideas, and in my opinion electrically assisted mountain bikes fall into that category.
  • - 2
 Don't know why you're being neg propped FarmerJohn- there are legitimate concerns with what e-bikes will do for trail access issues, but it looks like the a lot of people can't be bothered to think that far out.
  • + 3
 hikers dislike mountain bikers in the sense that mountain bikers dislike e-bikers.... you don't want e bikes around you and hikers don't want mountain bikers on their sacred walking paths
  • + 3
 I'm pretty sure there was the same opinions in the late 80's on suspension, and dual suspension in the 90s along with disc/hydraulic brakes. I'm sure there is a place for these ebikes....but for the most part seem like a short lived novelty.
  • + 21
 "I'm a mountain biker who doesn't want to see the sport dumbed down by unneeded technology"

Does anyone else find this as humorous as I do?
  • + 5
 @dwdw I didn't read into that at first, that's hilarious!
  • + 6
 @ Farmer - When a disabled person spokes a horse, what kind should they use? Straight gauge, double butted, bladed? Should they use new nipples, or the ones the horse came with?
  • + 10
 So who is it that's making the call on everyone's behalf as to what's needed or uneeded technology again? I'll be honest, I have no personal experience with an e-bike... how powerful are these things? Are they basically electric motocross rigs? I didn't think so...maybe i'll change my mind if I start seeing these these have a negative effect on the trails I ride.

Mike, I respect that it's your opinion presented in the article, I just don't happen to agree with it at present... I'm not even sure what 'dumbing down the sport' means? You want to keep the bar high so fewer people can take part unless it's on your terms?

There's this elitist attitude I find really distastful in the mountain bike scene, it's like people who are mountain bikers don't want other people joining the fun unless it meets their approval or their rules. Seems like people are often really quick to judge.
  • + 4
 Mike, how are you going to "take a stand"? By shaming everyone you see on an e-bike? (except for that one grandmother). You think that will convince anyone? Do you really think this article convinced or shamed anyone?

This is happening and in 5-10 years, it's going to be mostly accepted to have some sort of e-assist on a mountain bike. Yes, there are going to be trail access clashes and yes people will argue that these are nothing but small electric motocross bikes. But when that happens, all mountain bikers have to stand together, e-bikers and everyone else and fight together for trail access.
  • + 5
 I am a hiker, and a biker. I don't dislike either one. As a hiker, I step aside when I hear a biker coming. Many times I will smile and say hello. I also bring my dog with me when on foot, who is always on a leash if bikes are granted access to that particular trail. There's no reason to endanger his life and the lives of others by letting him roam free. There are plenty of other places he can do that. As a biker, I must be aware of my surroundings and the obstacles that lie in my path, which can include hikers. Both hikers and bikers must watch out for equestrians, as horses can do the most damage if spooked, and nobody wants to be stomped on by a horse. I have never been met with negativity towards any form of trail use in which I choose to participate. In my experience, the people who are out on the trails are there to enjoy the outdoors, and are happy to do so with others whatever style is chosen. That being said, an e-biker is a motor biker. If the e-biker rides with caution and responsibility, I am happy to share the trails with them. If the motor takes them to locations beyond their ability and skill levels, this will surely result in danger for them and those whose paths are crossed. Hopefully, the e-bikers will obey trail restrictions. If they get my local trails closed due to causing accidents and endangering others, this is when I will have a problem with e-bikes.
  • + 7
 I don't buy your argument, Kazimer. Sub in "29er", "650B", "suspension", "dropper post", "disc brakes", "tubeless wheelsets", "11 speed cassettes", "gearboxes", "carbon rims", or "carbon downhill frames" anywhere in your argument, and you'll see how curmudgeonly you sound.
Lighten up.
Go ride a bike. Any bike.
  • + 4
 Most access is motorized or non-motorized. Can you tell and ebike from a regular bike blasting by? Most people seem to miss the MOTOR distinction here. If your trails are cool with Motorized, you're good. If not, what's your Land Manager/Owner gonna do?
  • + 30
 My buddy was run over by a car while out on a ride shattering his knee in 11 pieces, and was told by the doctor to stop doing mtb. He stoped doing it for some years. last year he tried an e bike, and did not felt pain while on the trail. the doctor told him to go out some more and if there was no pain he could keep doing it. His been doing it for some months now with no pain.
So what im I supposed to ask my buddy to give up on his opportunity to ride again because he looks stupid on an ebike?
Sorry mike but in this case friends let friends ride ebikes.
  • + 5
 Same goes for a guy in my neighborhood. Has a condition that keeps him from pedaling over 20 miles. But he built up a Canfield with an Ego system (admittedly a terrible name) and he rips. Put down 1,000 trail miles in a single month.
Bonus: no shuttle vehicle emissions.
  • + 34
 WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE STRAVA TIMES?!
  • + 2
 RIP KOM's
  • + 2
 @pbuser2299: You Sir have won the internets!
  • + 2
 e-bikes can destroy strava times? Praise the Lord for them! Wink
  • + 21
 Great article. Let me add this and that comes from many of the top Himalayan climbers. True sportmanship, true exploration is about challenge - exposure. You expose yourself to elements, to danger, luck and misfortune, but most importantly to your own weakness, you expose yourself... to yourself. And many people just don't want the last one, because deep down inside they know, that what they will find inside is not only nice things. You have to go waaay out of the path to discover yourself, the only way to get there is to say: I can do this with what I have and go as close as you can to the edge without killing yourself. They say that consiously, truly finding the edge is where it's at.

From my own experience I can say, above certain pain threshold I usualy find that I am lazy. And I am sure that is far from what I could endure, I quit quickly. This feeling of: you are fkng lazy and you know it! If people would hear the doubts you have at this moment in your head, they'd tell you: you are freaking lazy! Go try again! We are who we are when nobody is watching. When we ride with friends, sorry, we are with the best cheer leaders we can have no matter how much we suck. The biggest thing we can win is not the time on the clock, POD, interview on Dirt TV - it is overcoming your weakness, learning about yourself, and you do it by making things challenging. As Slavoj Zizek says: True freedom is not about transcendence, blessful state - this you can reach on a couch if you add enough philosophical value to online surfing or watchin TV - true freedom HURTS, and doing stupid sht for reasons that are hard to understand for vast majority of people, including your friends - is what makes you free.

Electric engine takes away the price to pay for an uphill - why is it worse than lifts and shuttling? Because bla bla bla bla bla . NO matter how many bla blas you put, it depends solely on why you take a lift or a truck...
  • + 3
 Couldn't have said it better myself. Waki, you might be interested in a book called "Wilderness and the American Mind". It is a fantastic study of the idea of wilderness and how history, literature and great figures from the environmental movement (Muir, Thoreau) laid a basis for the American concept of freedom; and of a freedom that must scare you and be out there on the edge.

www.amazon.com/Wilderness-American-Mind-Roderick-Frazier/dp/0300091222

I read it back in the 80s and have never forgotten it. Brilliant read and it might appeal to you.
  • + 2
 I'm no Ranulph Fiennes, I just like doing more descents in a day on a long travel bike than I could if i caught the uplift...
  • + 3
 THIS ARTICLE IS JUST POINTLESS, not everyone is capable of doing certain long rides for whatever reason: work, phisical limitations.... if you don´t like it, don´t buy it, simple!!!! same for everything you do, dont like online retaillers, dont buy from them, but dont whine. True trend creators do it beacuse it just how they are, they dont go around convincing others or promoting this and that... that´s the true person!
  • + 2
 stefanfresh - that is a very good theory. World would be a better place if it worked as it was designed to. You know, gym rigs were made for rehab. They are isolating muscle groups so while one muscle or member is injured the other may get some work to stay in shape. Well look what we do with them now, we overbuild muscles in an unhealthy manner to look attractive.

Now electric commuter bikes are meant to minimize car traffic, help disfunctioned to keep on cycling. The reality is, they are used by everybody, from one simple reason: they are easier to ride. I talked to an owner of a company called "Eco ride" who can barely keep up with the demand. He said it clearly, the best selling point is: "you sweat less", you come clean and tidy when you come to work or to a meeting. Now another Swedish brand "Apollo" is about to release electric bikes for kids, because their perfectly healthy parents who already bought "eco" bike want their kids to start exercising on bikes, and to not discourage them with the hardship, they make electric engine assisted kid bikes...

To keep things balanced, to stay closest to the truth, such bike is just a tool. Just like any other - It can be misused. Truth is - it will be misused. Truth is: attmepts to remove existing tools by force leads to deviations. Communists and environemntalists rarely get that. Now to opinion making, the only reason why knives are used more often to cut food, than to kill other people is social engineering, which main tool is opinionating like the thing Mike does here. He speaks the voice of conscience.
  • + 0
 WAKI your word hold a lot of water,your a true human,keep on trucking.
  • + 1
 Im sorry @waki I thought that was just common sense...obiously though social engineering seems to be necessary....
  • + 2
 Common sense? I struggle to fibd it around
  • + 1
 waki your on the the world has lost there common sense.
  • + 1
 I don't think everybody's stupid. There is lots of common sense among people, but it's just hard for it to pierce through the crap we gather in our heads.
  • + 1
 crap we gather in our heads precisely through what you described as "social engineering"....
  • + 1
 Ahhh so would you put latest aggressive social engineering of xenophobia and racism in the same basket as whatever negative association you have with it?
  • + 1
 Im just saying, actions speak louder than words, if you aren´t racist to someone, but on the contray nice, your friends and people around you are likely to be too, same with xenophobia, same with bike kit. If you don´t ride 26 and still kick ass, ur proving your point, while on the contrary, if you say, 26 rocks, but fail to out ride even the worse of riders, ur argument is loosing credibility, or if the only reason why you are critising a product if because you can´t afford it (which seems to happen a lot).... don´t u think???. nevertheless, social engineering in this case you referred to, is in a comercial envioment, where people´s opinions are mainly influenced by money and interests, not what actually is better. Socailly though, it is a completely different matter... I hope u understand me, and i´ve made myself clear, it is hard sometimes, to come up with the right words. =) haha
  • + 2
 Yes, that makes perfect (common) sense Smile
  • + 1
 WAKI your words make the mind think hard,its like picture tell billion story's that books can't hold,i saw a movie call frequencies its an english movie check it out its a trip,its about your body's frequencies,but word's can change it,i know you think i'm krazy well i am just as crazy as we all are that chance are awD.H.bikeing>or what ever human's do to find itaw>,cause in life you only have 1,and aw make it just a little better than the 9/5 thing all us work bee's do,once again thank for your time,keep on trucking brother,o can't wait for your next high tech.seen may be air brakes with remote viewing and wire less gear box.
  • + 1
 Nice chating with you WAKI ! we should do it mor often =)
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure knives... ie SWORDS were used for killing animals before they were used for civilized eating methods!
  • + 15
 Given the number of people who only own DH/FR bikes to ride chair lifts to the top of ski hills, and they drove to the ski hills in pompous vehicles powered by gasoline engines... i have no problem with folks using E-bikes. Eventually the batteries run down ya know... and you can't exactly plug them into a tree....
  • + 15
 My main concern with E-bike MTBs is the impact they may have on access to shared use trails. If they become powerful enough to be perceived as motorbikes by walkers and horse riders then I feel they could be a threat to bridlepath access here in the UK. I'd prefer to see them restricted to 4x4/motorbike friendly tracks (B.O.A.Ts or Byways open to all traffic) from the outset to prevent any confusion.

There's also the question of giving someone unfit the tools to get into a remote place when they don't have the fitness or skills to get back. Transporting someone who can't do prolonged exercise 10 miles away from the nearest road seems like a bad idea to me.

For commuters and leisure cyclists I'm all for it. People with knee or hip replacements or other long term injuries are often only able to do "light cycling" and e-bikes give them a get out of jail free card when a steep hill comes along.
  • + 3
 Absolutely. I heard one country was thinking of banning electric cigarettes because 'they undermined the smoking ban'. And that is an extremely good point about stranded disabled people with broken down ebikes. Maybe the roadside recovery companies will start sending out dudes on ebikes to fix broken ebikes. Ha
  • + 1
 Motors are limited to approx 17mph in the uk
  • + 8
 I'm concerned that ebikes allow unsustainable trails to be ridden in ways not possible by most riders. Consider that rutted old logging road that is a direct fall line trail. It's nearly impossible for most riders to climb, but with the help of an e-bike and 8" of travel, you've got guys ripping it apart even more than before. This then is negatively associated with bikes as a whole, which are then prohibited from the entire area.

Or the trail that is directional for a reason. A bunch of e-douches decides they are going to try riding up a directional trail, just because they can. They destroy what was once an awesome singletrack decent.

I worry about groups of e-bikes that are heavier bikes overall, with huge suspension and big tires, slogging around on muddy trails, with "delimited" motors allowing for higher speeds and more torque.

Now every MTB trail advocacy club will need to stock up on "No Motorized Vehicles INCLUDING e-bikes!"
  • + 4
 The e bikes (the real mtb ones)are pedal assist. You have to pedal to make them work so if anything you can concentrate on your balance allowing for less uphill we slippage
  • + 2
 @randybadger - thanks for the info, I didn't know about the speed limit. It's possible the situation I'm worried about is a few years away yet. Hopefully people will use the technology responsibly.

It's not difficult to imagine that the same NIMBY campaign groups who have successfully marginalised 4x4 access in some areas will target MTBers next, and that "the bikes have motors now" will become part of their campaign. That's my concern, I don't really care about strava times, or "cheating", just about the perception of our sport. To be honest there are plenty of non-motorised MTBers who could up their game when it comes to that kind of thing!
  • + 12
 Let's imagine that in 10 years from now, an electrical engine adds only 1 kg to the bike. Considering the billions invested every year by the car industry in electrical motors we never know what can come out.
Well then if i can do my normal ride + add 1 or 2 downhills because i am still fresh to go up again, well then yeah I will definitly ride an E-bike!
Also, i will be 10 years older and i will maybe not have anymore the physical condition i have now, but i will still want to have as much fun as today. If i can get some help, i am taking it.

Today, i do not want a E-bike because they are to heavy and i imagine it kills the fun when going down (never actually tried one)
  • + 0
 louisidteam - or you can just take it as Reinhold Messner who says that as he gets older, the smaller and smaller mountains he climbs and smaller deserts he crosses. The trick is to find the right challenge for your time and possibilities, technology is not the answer. It's like climbing Everest in the winter in alpine style at 30yrs old, then getting 10 sherpas to help when you are 60, and a helicopter when you are 90 and saying it is the same thing every time.
  • + 14
 Definitely the most hateful article I have read on PinkBIke. Sad to read it..
  • + 11
 I'd love one of the cube stereo 650b ones, i bet they're hilarious. Ride twice as far, so you can do twice as many descents and have more fun on the climbs, yet at the end of the ride probably still be as knackered as if you'd ridden a normal length ride on an unassisted bike, honestly whats not to like???!!
  • + 2
 It's got a motor? That's what people don't like I think. It's a mobility cart with big bars and suspension. Which is great f you need it. But if you don't... well, it's a bit too much like a scene from wall-E.
  • + 6
 You must at least see the potential fun to be had? Its clearly not a complete substitute for your regular bike...
  • - 1
 Yeah I do see your point, it does sound funny, but I don't think we should encourage it. And also I guess I just don't understand the point, if I didn't want to be the engine for my bike, I'd go the mx route, they're loads more fun than an ebike. But in response to the 'fun' issue, we have watched some children's toys become available that have removed the 'fun' involved in putting your own imagination/work into something. I just wonder if some of the fun of push bikes is that you have to push them. You cant buy bigger guns or lungs or more balls, you have to earn them. But yeah, I want a go on yours when you get it Big Grin
  • + 0
 Its 650b
  • + 10
 "As mountain bikers, we need to stick together and take a stand to protect the integrity of the sport against these electronic intruders. Mountain bikes are human powered..."

Oh yeah! and then you go to a bikepark by car (a gas intruder) and take one of those electronical intruders called cableways to climb the hill.

Don't be a hypocrite or want to tell others what to do on this.
  • + 9
 I'm a 40 year old guy on the heavy side I've been riding mtbs for close to 25 years. I have problems with my wrists ankles knees and veins. I currently ignore the pain and continue to ride downhill and roughly 30miles on an average XC There might be a time though in the future when all the wear and tear my body has seen may well have me seriously looking at an electric bike to stay on the trails or just go that bit further than my fitness currently allows. I was under the impression that most of the decent off road e bikes where pedal assist so you weren't just sitting and screwing but had control over your input. Currently uplifts offer best means to hit as many downhills as possible so what's the difference having your uplift on the bike in the form of a motor. They will also get better and lighter in time. Cube stereo hybrid 50lb. Not much more than a dh bike of 10 years ago
  • - 7
flag tobiusmaximum (May 15, 2014 at 4:45) (Below Threshold)
 Try a proper thorough detox and employ a regime of decent nutrition instead of an electric bike. Just a suggestion.
  • + 6
 Is that likely to repair the damage done by multiple bike crashes a physical job and varicose veins?
  • + 2
 You might be surprised what it can, and has, done. You are what you eat but big business don't really wish you to understand that. There is a horrifying amount of damaging shite in even what seems like a pretty healthy (mainstream) diet, when you study the subject closer. I can point you to a couple of books if need be or go online to seek out the countless testimonials of severe medical cases where the establishment left them with zero options (and often left for dead) and they did there own homework and trusted their common sense and healed themselves without drugs or surgery. I am by no means telling you what to think or how to live, just telling you the options. Pm me if you want to talk further, you get told off on pinkbike if you divert the topic lol
  • + 1
 I'm in the same boat as Randy. I blew out my knees in work and MX accidents. Carpal tunnel syndrome, ankles that don't bend anymore. Aging sucks. Top of the line suspension and wheels have kept me going for the past few years, but the right knee is bone on bone. Nothing more to be done except full replacement, and the physician said biking is out if I do that. If I can avoid the wear on my knees from grinding out climbs, I will look into it.
  • + 2
 Ageing does indeed suck. I think the worst thing is when I used to crash I would bounce, now I just break so it's hard to really commit, always having in the back of your mind the need to work to support a family and keep a roof over your head.
  • + 7
 They are not completely useless. Think about a family, where the father and son rides together , but the mom has some kind of disability, but dont want to stay out of the fun. Or think about it, what if you want to ride together with your old parents, who cant really keep up, or go longer distances with a normal bike, but also dont really want to get hit by a car on the roads. Or what if the complete opposite happens, where you are the father, and your kid is a lazy dumbass who cant keep up, becouse the idiot eat too many hamburgers. Or what if the local forestpatrol is a psycho, who wants to get you and you do need that extra boost sometimes.
Or what if you are a really wealthy e-bike retailer, who goes bankrupt, unless someone buys your stupid bikes.. So theres many reasons Smile But one thing is for sure, dont count yourself a montainbiker, if you have one of these.
  • + 6
 Dear Mike Kazimer,

I'm with you about one point: if you're a true mountain lover and trail rider, you've got to suffer to get to the top of the mountain. You've got to suffer to deserve being alone on a high mountain top and enjoy the view, the silence, and of course the descent.

But that's it. I don't agree with all the rest of your article, and being part of the bike industry I don't even feel your words are coming from an industry insider as well.

Why would being electrically assisted on the way up be so hatefully prohibited, whereas shuttling in big, noisy and polluting 4x4 vehicles legit?

How many people are going to use an e-MTB ro ride alpine trails? You seem to think there is going to be an e-bike invasion on your favourite trails. Really?? Please... MTB is not going to be a common sport, no matter what, and there won't be loads of e-MTB's on your trails. At the moment we see new people renting XC e-bikes during their holidays to ride along in the woods. These people would have not rented a standard bike otherwise, and they won't be riding technical trails, never.

Whereas e-MTB's are new, e-bikes are not. They've been around for many years now and we know what works and what doesn't. We mostly sell e-bikes to commuters, not only grandmas. These new riders prefer to spend their money for a bike and not for a car or a motorbike to get to work. These people are buying their equipment in bike shops, not online (yet...).. Want to support your LBS? During the last 3-4 years, our e-bike department has been able to get the shop out of a difficult financial situation. Where are the DHers, trail riders, dirt jumpers? Online...

You don't like e-MTB's: that's fine! But you talk about them the same way hydraulic disc brakes, suspensions, carbon etc... were critized at their time: without knowing, being pessimistic and totally blind towards the improvements and benefits the industry can get, which is very narrow minded.
  • + 0
 On the down side I imagine replacement batteries will be cynically priced in specifically shaped difficult to enter casing?
  • + 6
 I guess the author of this article has never ridden an e-bike!

Well I have ridden one and I am not a fat lazy rider either! (I ride 120+ miles a week on the road and regularly trails and races off road at the weekends) so I am no stranger to some hard pedalling!

Comparing an ebike to a normal MTB is not comparing apples with apples, it's a different sport! Nor is it an easy option!
Instead of cruising the trails, the ebike gave me the extra boost to push even harder! Smash out the climbs and race to the next descent, which is the fun bit anyway!! Descending is just like before, no assistance is needed, so no "cheating" there... Or use the assist on flat sections which are usually a drag! Tear through the flat sections like they are descents of a "normal" bike!

Also...
Who likes waiting for an uplift? I sure don't! I have been up the hill and descended in the time they are loading up the bikes onto the trailer! If you want a day riding a bike park or short -mid DH runs, this is the tool for the job. Ride up instead of push up, make the most of the day!
...and is that less lazy than getting the uplift bus????

It makes sense, but let me clarify, its no replacement for an MTB.

Don't hate until you have ridden one!
  • + 2
 Oi! Stop changing my mind about them..
  • + 4
 Truthfully. The whole sport exists within parameters set by the individuals involved. None of us HAVE to ride a mountain bike. Very few of the people on this site own whatever bike they own as a matter of necessity. We do it because we like it and outside of specific race disciplines that demand a specific piece of equipment, we buy the bike that suits us for reasons that are our own.

I have a 10 speed hardtail trail bike. It is not the best bike for doing just about anything (my regular riding partner kicks my arse everywhere but on twisty flat or downhill singletrack). But it's the bike I chose because it meets the parameters I set for myself. My personal parameters do not include electronic assist and are unlikely to at any point in the future (by the time I'm old and decrepid enough to be able to use that decrepitude as an excuse, the downhill bits of trail will be kicking my arse just as much as the uphill anyway). All of which is fine for me. Other bikes that fall outside my personal set of standards include DH rigs you need to push or drive uphill and light as a feather XC bikes that cost a ridiculous amount of cash and require me to have an arse of steel to ride.

But if you want to ride these go right ahead. If I one day become unfeasonably wealthy I may join you. My personal opinion is that those other bikes exist outside of what I want from Mountain Biking as a hobby and while I'm pretty sure I will never be convinced otherwise, I also remember thinking suspension was a load of superfluous shit so who knows. Be happy with whatever Mountain biking box you have chosen to live in. If the choice someone else makes is not screwing it up for you - why should you give a shit.
  • + 7
 Look guys there is only one reason why some people fear E-bikes... because the E-bikes are... STRAVA KILLERS!!!!!
  • + 2
 I was riding at my local DH trail on Sunday, a guy on an E-bike did 3 laps to our 1...SMH Next Sunday I'm gonna bring my dirt bike and STRAV that! lol
  • + 2
 If the e bike got 3 descents on a dh trail to your one I would say you have your reason to buy one right there
  • + 3
 Maybe your one run was worth more than his 3 runs? bla bla bla rubble rubble
  • + 4
 So many haters. I'm testing the hai bike at the top of this page this weekend as the ones I've tried before are ace. I'm a dher of 13 years and sick of having to pay did uplifts, only getting 15, 2 minute runs and spending 95 percent of the time on an uplift bus or in bike park Wales is case not getting on for months. What would you rather do? Ride all day doing lots more runs or pay to spend most the time in a van? An uplift day at the forest of dean equals riding time of 30 minutes max.
Steve Jones was there the other day on a cube leccy bike and loved it. He rode to the top and down the standard track dh in 8 minutes, it takes 25 minutes in the van! Plus it isn't a lazy option you still have to pedal it, it doesn't do it all for you. All the haters are just jealous, no one enjoys busting their guts to the top to not get the full enjoyment out of the downs because of tiredness. You can now have a bike to do it all xc and dh.
Don't slate it till you've ridden one and when you have you'll understand.
  • + 2
 Finally someone who understands! +++
  • + 1
 Cheers mate. Well I've just ordered my hai bike xduro nduro pro as it was the best bike I've ever ridden, so everyone else can wait for the uplift all day while I smash out 30 runs a day.
  • + 4
 I see e-bikes as a great alternative to shuttling in a truck. It saves gas, it saves the hassle of loading and unloading bikes, and it means no one has to sit out a lap because they're the ones stuck driving. That said, they have no place on XC trails.
  • + 4
 If E-bikes can get people off the couch/xbox/facebook/ and out of their cars then its good.

A friend has a townie bike with e-assist, it's awesome. We live in a town with some large hills and it allows her to get groceries, ride to work etc.
  • + 1
 Forgot about pinkbike trolls
  • + 4
 @ Mike Kazimer: I've paid my dues. I have ridden thousands of miles on bikes made before you were born, without your modern suspension, brakes, and easy slacked out geometry. Who the hell are you to tell people what mountain biking is about? The real problem with mountain biking is stupid kids who think they know something!
  • - 1
 I'm a stupid kid? I'm flattered, but I started biking in 1994 on a hardtail with cantilever brakes. I've paid my dues too.
  • + 3
 Hahaha, TOLD. I started racing downhill in 1998 and riding mountain bikes before that... part of me thinks you haven't "paid your dues" until you have raced downhill on hardtail with V-Brakes and a huge Tioga saddle.
  • + 2
 I didn't check your age. Its even more embarrassing to write crap like this then!
  • + 1
 I agree with Willie, I've been riding since 1991 and although I can still hang with the younger set on my local trails I think e-bikes are an interesting option for bigger backcountry rides and times when I can't get friends together for shuttle runs. I don't see what the difference is between lift/shuttle riding and this. And I don't really care what anyone else thinks of me, I ride bikes to have fun and spend time in the mountains. If an e-bike can help me do that I'm down for at least trying it. I'm hoping to get an EGO kit soon and see what its all about.
  • + 3
 This article screams of intolerance and selfishness. You seem to think you have authority on who can use what bike on which trails instead of trying to include as many people as possible in the community. You have this preconceived, fixed notion of what a mountain biker should look like and do.

Sure, it's incredibly satisfying when you reach a set of trails purely under your own steam, and I don't think that will go away any time soon. But e-bikes actually do enable people to ride further than ever before without having to constantly shuttle with pickup trucks. How is that not an improvement? It's also better for the environment.

And bike shop mechanics are supposed to keep up with new technology - that's the nature of their job. Mechanics weren't up in arms when hydraulic brakes were introduced; nor should they be with electronics. People and bike shops must adapt and see new technology as an opportunity, not a threat to their existing business. To not do so is to be left behind.

The sport will always change, and it's up to us to help guide it and foster change. Think of the progress that manufacturers have made in the last decade, none of which would have happened if people kept complaining about the sport becoming "too easy". E-bikes are an opportunity to bring a whole new set of people into the community, and that can only be a good thing.
  • + 3
 There is another way to look at E-bikes.
Technology advances, morphs, and jumps categories over time. E-bikes are a platform for developing the tech around electronic motors. Outright power is less important than decreasing weight and reducing the size of the technology. There will also be a drive to improve weather resistance and overall battery function. At some point in the future (given continued interest) there is likely to be an inflection point that spins the technology back to the moto side. I for one would welcome more mainstream use of electric power. Imagine moto, snow-mobiling, and jet-skis as near silent, low environment impact outdoor activities.
It might be enough to bring me back to those activities - which I loved - but always felt guilty about afterwards.
  • + 3
 I want to borrow one and head out to smash all tbe strava kom's. Come on boys, why does Pinkbike try to start an argument about every new thing that comes out. Like the 29er, the sixfiddy, if someone wants to buy an electric bike, let them, better someone enjoying a trail than sat at home I say. The electric 29er fatbike full sus, like a low powered motorbike with pedals. Bikes are bikes, get over it and get out and ride whatever you want to ride.
  • + 4
 Lol nice article PB... Haters Gona hate! I love my e-bike for ripping around town and running small errands. Now I'm Gona throw some minions on it and go fuck over your strava accomplishments!!!
  • + 3
 Wow! On a site where you'd have to pry so many people's 26-inch wheels out of their cold, dead hands, most come out on the side of e-bikes. Didn't see that coming.

I look at it this way: If you want to ride a bike, ride a bike. If you want to ride a motorcycle, ride a motorcycle.
  • + 1
 Yeah. People keep mentioning being fresh for the descents etc. Well, newsflash, if you put down the pint and the pie and ride your bike to the top regularly you'll get fit for the descents. That's how it works. You don't go 'oh, this would be a better sport if I had assistance for the tough bits'. It's ying yang. Dare I say, what goes up... Must come down. This is why enduro riders will end up wiping the floor with everyone but top level downhillers, because they ride their bike up and down. You should have to show a disability card to buy an ebike. Or a skirt.
  • + 3
 I ride an E-bike to work every day. Compare it to the speed of a Road Bike with the handling and braking power of a sick DH bike. It is the absolute funnest ride to work ever...
Of course I built myself an exceptionally cool ebike.

People can say whatever they want about ebikes but until they've actually tried one you are unlikely to form an objective opinion. It is impossible to ride one without enjoying yourself. - Ever had a lousy time at the Go Cart Track...? Probably not.

These bikes already have a place in cycling and are here to stay, with emerging battery technology things are going to get silly-fun!

Having said that, a DH bike with a motor? Not for me. Takes away from the connection of; rider-earth-gravity.

If you want to freeride in the backcountry with a motor, buy a four-stroke Ktm shred the uphills and the downhills with super powers, that's what I do.


People that hate ebikes are just like the outdated crusty people that alienate skateboarders or the old school cyclists that frowned upon DH riding in its early days. Is taking a chairlift to the top of a mountain and bombing down cheating...? Is shuttling with trucks cheating.

When you hate things you alienate yourself from the ever changing world around you. Embrace the changes my friends its all good!
  • + 3
 I would not go for an E-Bike or 650b or 29er anytime soon. I do personally stick to the basics of mountain biking.

But hey, if those gadgets, inventions, evolutions or whatever you want to call it can help people ride more, longer, better or simply just ride to have fun on a bike, well so be it! Let’s all ride and be happy and healthy together.

Please don’t make mountain a select club of snobbish individual, and don’t forget bikes are the most democratic way of transportation after your legs!
  • + 3
 Another sensless comment from pinkbike... It's totally clear that the author never rode an ebike.
Its so much fun and at least you have to put in the same power like you would on a normal mtb. You just go 10km/h faster..thats it.
Unqualified comments like this really make me angry!
  • - 1
 I've ridden an e-bike.
  • + 2
 Then how are you better than the unnamed freerider
  • + 2
 Are you serious that it was not fun at all? I'm enduro racer and rode a lot of different E-Bikes as well, its so much fun to go fullgas on flat trails.. For sure i don't buy one for now, but in some year, why not?
Youa are ignoring the industrie which is earning so much money with this new trend, which is also paying the development of your new carbon enduro bike!!!
  • + 3
 i think e-bikes will have it's place in cycling. i think it's just another way to go out and play outdoors. i ride dirt bikes and i certainly enjoy it a great deal. an e-bike or e-dirtbike would open up trails that may be otherwise be closed to gas powered bikes. if you want the cardiovascular workout, you will still opt for a pedal bike. that won't change. e-bikes are heavier, just as expensive, and have limited range, so even with widespread acceptance, those are all barriers to some random joe schmoe just buying one. i doubt you'll see your local trails suddenly get more crowded.

I see "true mountain bikers" need another target to hate...first it was 27.5/650b, then "enduro", now e-bikes... *sigh*
  • + 1
 exactly good sir. I have bikes of various configurations (pedal, electric and combustion) and each one has it purpose for what i want to do at the time.

ebikes got me back into cycling after i got sick and put on a heap of weight, my ebike enabled me to get back on the bike and loose 25kg (55 pounds) while doing it. My cardo has also improved 10 fold.

I ride my ebike to work every day because who wants to arrive at work all sweaty and stinky (there are no showers). Yes some have limited range some don't. One of mine has a 140km (87 miles) range.

I wouldn't say "true mountain bikers" road cyclists are the same if not worse (they insist on hurling abuse at ebike riders) it's more closed minded cyclists.
  • + 8
 so who is this "pro"?
  • + 6
 Yeah i wanna get in on that lederhosen action.
  • + 2
 "original freerider" & "wearing lederhosen (riding for a german bike brand)" = richieschley
  • + 2
 I thought it was Vouilloz, as he seems busy riding his electric bike and speaks a lot about this new market...
  • + 3
 At least he doesn't wear Lederhose... Yet.
  • + 3
 There's a lot in the article to agree with, even if the author was a bit of an elitist about it. What I'd like to communicate to him is what people into ebikes get out of it, as this seems to be something he can't imagine the appeal of.

First, we are not simply lazy. I'm 6'1" 190lbs, I lift, and when it's time to do cardio I hit the treadmill. Cycling for me is about pleasure. Ebikes are intensely pleasurable to ride because of the severe disparity between the size/weight of the vehicle and the propulsive force. Some of the high end kits can achieve top speeds of 55+mph, while even 'cheap' ones easily hit 35 on flat stretches, provided at least a 1kw motor and a lithium battery capable of providing the motor with the amperage it wants.

This level of performance comes as a pretty wicked delight, from something you can easily pick up and carry, or even fold away into a briefcase. Especially since the silent, smooth, fumeless power that's moving you seems to come from nowhere and can later be fully replenished in a little over an hour for less than a dime. That's god damned wizardry. Riding a performance ebike feels like Zeus descended from the heavens, tenderly cupped your buttcheeks and then flung you over the horizon at warp 9 while you hold down the throttle and cackle like a demented goblin. It's not proper cycling, no argument here, but it's fantastic fun, and you should try it before you knock it. Nobody's going to take away your master cyclist card or judge you as harshly as you've judged ebike riders in this article.
  • + 3
 Stop callin them powered mountain bikes and call them light, electric motor bike and it's completely different.

How cool would it be to have an inner city electric Supercross series running inside old warehouse! It would be almost silent and waaayyy to much fun!

Idea is copyrighted so you have to pay me 1% of any earnings when our new sport gets bigger than the NFL.
  • + 3
 I don't think it makes any sense for anyone to reject e bikes before even riding one in the trails for themselves.

As for the lazy riders?
Don't worry, they're too lazy to be out riding anyway.

If they're out there riding an e bike, doesn't that simply mean they just enjoy the experience cycling?
To each their own, there's nothing wrong for anyone to do what they enjoy w the effort they deem neccessary.

No, I have not ridden an e Mtb before, but I'm looking forward to trying one.
Why reject new ideas afterall?
  • + 3
 I was just reminded why, when I get the chance to go for a ride, I don't like to ride with other people. Maybe I don't have the best bike or my clothes don't match my helmet. Maybe I could stand to lose a few pounds. Maybe I have a whole lot going on in my life that only allows me to get out on my bike a few hours a week if I am lucky. Maybe... But the last thing I need, or will let is some judgmental prick, tell me that the whatever I have decided to do for fun isn't cool.
"As mountain bikers, we need to stick together and take a stand to protect the integrity of the sport"
Count me out of your little club. Maybe I'll be out on a bike or an e-bike a skateboard or a scooter. Maybe Cedric Gracia and I will be sipping tea and knitting a sweaters. Whatever it is I'll be having fun and not caring what it is you think of me.
  • + 3
 A good portion of the better riding spots, like the deep back woods, are under some form of government agency management with strict controls on "motor" vehicles. I hope all that is needed a re-visit to the legislation to clarify interpretations, then rangers and the like start handing out violations tickets....
perfect ending to their $10k adventure into mtbiking
  • + 1
 Lol.... If the losers can catch you when you let rip through the woods on your ebike! Big Grin
  • + 6
 Just curious if you talked to said freerider about his use of the e bike before you decided to publicly slag him?
  • + 3
 ebikes are the future. imagine a world without roads, just endless singletrack. and you have the option to power off and pedal? dude. i understand where the frustration comes from, but you need to pick your battles. don't fight the future.
  • + 4
 Above all cycling is (or should be) fun.
I really don't care if there is a motor, varying wheel size, suspension or whatever else involved.
Getting on the trails is what it's all about.
  • + 0
 True. But is it still cycling if you're not required to pedal?
  • + 4
 its assistance... not a throttle... if you stop pedalling it stops assisting... I wish people would bother to understand the thing they are slagging off!
  • + 1
 Who cares? Its a bike with 'ASSISTANCE'. Just established you like them though, which explains your defensive nature. Sorry that loads of us are having a pop but it's just not cricket. As an Englishman I think you understand that.
  • + 2
 I'm with you robhill, I see the benefits. I assume tobius is young and fit.
  • + 0
 Not especially, 34 and certainly no tough mudder. It all just feels like the pop up barriers at the bowling alley. I don't know if it's a question of fitness, because rob is right in saying that I would go further and faster too, but something is telling me to stick in the resistance camp. I wouldnt say that thinking the rider should propel the bike unassisted makes me a purist but the 'bike' to me, is, and always will be 100% manpowered. I'm not into it but fair enough if you are, I'm just saying it technically ceases to be cycling in my eyes.
  • + 2
 According to Ernest Hemmingway, there are only three sports and cricket is not one of them! So let's not get into that!

I'm not going to lie, the first time I heard of the things I was honestly disgusted by the things!... Until i rode one!
4 of us went out, all on e-bikes. All mixed ability. Myself (regular trail rider) 2 guys in their late 30s, one with a replacement hip and a 21 year old MX racer! The 4 of us could ride together, limited only by bike handling ability!
Its a rare experience to be able to ride a trail in a mid sized group (with big ability range) and not having to wait around for people!

Ebikes cannot be judged without being ridden. I'll admit I don't actually own one, but whenever the opportunity comes to demo one, I always take it!
  • + 1
 no sht robhill Wink I tasted Ice cream yesterday, I will eat just that if you catch my drill Big Grin
  • + 3
 Rob is the ambassador of E! Or he's on commission lol. I need to stop reading his posts... Or I'm gonna want one.
  • + 2
 I think it goes down as on of those ideas the seems great for a whole bunch of reasons but at the same time seems like cheating or a bit naughty. I felt a bit like that when I jumped onto a 29er and smashed my strava times without massive effort
  • + 2
 So do they have enough power to roost corners? thats the only real problem i can see with these

I didnt even know these existed until this article, other than the one ronnie renner rips around on which looks alot more heavy duty
  • + 2
 In California, e-bikes are not "motorized vehicles." See (b)(3). An e-bike is as much a motorcycle/dirtbike as a golf cart is a sportscar/truck.

E-bikes CAN be used in areas where signs posted state "no motorized vehicles allowed." Almost all of those signs will have a Vehicle Code (VC) or Municipal Code (MC) posted at the bottom which defines the restrictions. Almost all the time "no motorized vehicles" refers to liquid fuel internal combustion vehicles that require licensing to legally operate. According to CVC, an e-bike doesn't require licensing and is not a motor vehicle.

V C Section 24016 Motorized Bicycle Electric Motor Safety and Equipment Requirements

Motorized Bicycle Electric Motor: Safety and Equipment Requirements

24016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:

(b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:
(1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.
(2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
(3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.

(4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.

(5) Every manufacturer of a motorized bicycle shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).

(c) No person shall tamper with or modify a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 so as to increase the speed capability of the bicycle.

www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc24016.htm
  • + 2
 guess what guys, science makes new things possible. evolution and innovation are going to happen. You're going to be left behind on the porch standing there yelling at it. E-bikes seem like another branch of the discipline of biking. Guess what, its a pretty diverse culture. If enough people want them a market will exist for them. "Its new so its scary and I dont like" it seems like the cry from an unimaginative mind.
  • + 3
 Let people ride what they want to ride... who gives a damn...

The only thing that bothers me is why Enduro is written without an E on an E-Bike... trying to hide something? doesn't make any sense...
  • + 2
 Here we go again. I'll try to make this short.

- E-bikes are pointless for anyone with basic fitness. The addition of battery, motor etc. makes for a heavy bike and hampers handling.

- E-bikes can be great for older people and people with disabilities. There is an 80+ year old Austrian guy that designs and builds uber light e-bikes and goes on great epic rides on them (can't find the link - if anyone else knows what I'm talking about please post a link). Say what you will but this guy can ride an e-bike and be freacking cool at the same time.

TLDR version: E-bikes are good for older people/ people with disabilities. E-bikes are pretty much useless for persons with normal fitness.
  • + 1
 It would have been shorter if you have said:

"I HAVE NEVER RIDDEN ONE AND HAVE NO IDEA"

and saved all that waffle!
  • + 1
 But waffles are tasty...
  • + 5
 E-bikes are great if you have an illness or an injury. I know someone with Lupus that would greatly benefit from an e-bike!
  • + 3
 I have Lupus and find it harder and harder to ride off road now, unless I can get a lift to the top of the trail. Gone are my days of epic rides :/ An ebike is something I might look in to in the near future, so I can continue to mountain bike! I'd rather ride an ebike than not be able to ride at all!

The guy who wrote this is a douche. I wouldn't wish anyone to have Lupus or any autoimmune disease/illness/disability, but if he could experience what it's like for a day/week to have a condition that limited his riding and life in general. Would he use an ebike or quit riding?
  • + 2
 Completely agree with everything you are saying here. electric city bikes ok fair enough I don't care but not on the trails! I vow to rip the absolute piss out of anyone I see (who does not genuinely need one as obviously there are exceptions to any rule) riding one of these out in the woods...
  • + 0
 I'll stand with you on that.
  • + 1
 i'd totally buy an e-bike for commuting since i live in LA and dont need a license for anything under 49cc
  • + 2
 Read half the comments but most are from people who know nothing about riding them. I ride mountain bikes and Electric mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are great for single trail, electric are great for firetrails. Single trail is too tight and technical for most motors to be of benefit and it just is no fun to carry extra weight. point 2. There are many kinds of motor set ups. Mid drives are noisy - as you can here the drive train zipping and the higher wound motor. rear hub motors are practically silent so nobody is going to give a flying fudge about there annoying sound. point 3 safety: On any kind of trail mountain bikers are more dangerous as they go faster expecially comeing down the hill. Electric bikes dont need to do crazy shit to have fun going fast, we choose to go fast when it is safe. I have had more crashes on my mountain bikes and more near accidents on my mountain bike, and I have ridden it less. What kind of rider am I? Call me fat, call me lazy what ever. I enjoy life and getting out into the open air, pedalling at my own choice. You won't know I've got an electric, until I pedal past you guys pushing your bikes up the hill. When it's obvious you cant see me and there's nobody around, WOT
  • + 2
 www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules
Minimum age of 14 years, and limited to 15mph with a 200w output motor, and the requirement to wear a helmet...
Don't really see an issue, if the roads and trails became cluttered with e-bikes you can bet the rules would change, and registration and licences would be required, the government wouldn't miss out on an earner that's for sure ;-)
  • + 2
 E-Bikes have there place relax... What if your knees eventually get so bad that you can no longer pedal like you do now. I'd love to have an E-Bike to ride when I can no longer pedal 100%. And compared to a moto they are so much peaceful.
Don't get me wrong tho, we don't need kids that are perfectly able to pedal to get an E-Bike and lazy their life away..
  • + 2
 12 months ago I may have agreed with you. However since then a pre-existing medical situation has worsened considerably meaning kidney transplant looms and I'm plagued with reduced energy levels. It's purely and simply down to my Haibike Xduro that I'm still able to hit the trails every weekend with my MTB buddies. And keep up. Their respect for e-bikes has grown considerably as a result, and the mix of e-power and human power works perfectly to produce happy results and keep a strong team of friends together. I'd encourage you to take your blinkers off and consider the wider picture Mike Kazimer.
  • + 2
 pedalling is lame....I ride DH and its either hike-a-bike, lifts, or shuttle. Don't like it? Put your lycra back on and go rip it up on your xc bike. I don't care. If you think XC or Edura is the same is DH.....I'll meet you at the top of Joyride and we'll c.

If I couldn't shuttle where I lived I'd look at an E bike if they weren't so much $$$ and weight
  • + 2
 So little update.
I went around Cannock Chase on an Nduro Pro last weekend!
I got looks of disgust as I DESTROYED people up the climbs!

Fact of the matter is... they were spinning their pussy rings with 200rpm through the cranks and I was hyper-ventilating due to the effort I was putting in, being blinded by my own sweat! The fact I had a motor just made me do it faster!!

So while they were being self rightous spinning their ridiculous 32 to 40 "enduro" drive trains, crawling round the trail, I was having a coffee!
  • + 2
 The authors a nob and has never ridden a hai bike. Quietest bike ever. Ordered mine this week and I'm a fit 30 year old that just wants ride ride dh all day and not wait around all day for uplifts. Ride them boys before you criticise something you no nothing about.
  • + 3
 26" 27.5" 29" e bike etc. f*ck off shut and just ride. If you bitches spent as much time in the saddle as you do discussing this shit all of yo would be better for it. Bring on the neg props. Suck it!
  • + 2
 This guy has the brain of a lemming.
I have read that people were saying that train will kill babies in their mother's womb during their introductions. I'm pretty amazed that he didn't use this axe of development.
On an interesting aspect, he maybe is the undoubtable proof that space travel exist?!! Directly from the 20th century's beginning!!!
PS: It's an "electRIC" bike.. not "electronic".. except if you consider that a bike with a speedo is one
  • + 5
 Can we please get to a more important question surrounding all these comments- Does it come in 650b and 29"? :-)
  • + 2
 I am/was wholeheartedly against these emountain bikes. However a month or so ago I was pretty far out there on a trail and ran across an old looking guy on one. He was 83 and was just gushing over with pride that he was able to get so far out there on a bicycle again. It made me really think about it when I saw the childlike smile on this old guy's face just being able to be out there on the trail.

Now when I see a young fat ass with a beer or a a pack of cigarettes just motoring up the climbs I bust a lung on. That is entirely a different story.
  • + 2
 What happens when I can't peddle my bike anymore due to: injury, arthritis, born with disability?
Too bad for me I guess? What if I was that great guy who used to be the one who always had something funny to say during the ridding breaks, (that everyone in the group loved having around) who came out on rainy days to do maintenance when no one else wanted to? and now due to injury my only options maybe the E-Bike!
Come on people we are lucky to have this sport exploding like it is, how many trails and parks are there to ride now then there were 20 years ago? the more 2 wheels we have turning the more terrain we will have for "access", thats what we all seek some kind of "access" whether it's freedom, distance, elevation, technical, scenery,..ect.
I am a two wheeled enthusiast and love everything it stands for!
  • + 2
 Yeah, I say whatever turns your crank. If I see a buddy of mine show up on one of these bikes, I'll laugh at him. And when his overly complicated POS gets rattled to Sht on real mnt bike trails, I'll laugh at him. But if he truly enjoys the experience of riding it, cool. I like motors so who knows, maybe I'll be the idiot on it one day...
  • + 0
 Have you not seen the thing? Its not exactly a back yard cobble together bike!
  • + 3
 "Buzz of electric motors"? You certainly haven't even been in close enough proximity to one to be even speaking about them. Lose the ignorance and the articles will sound much more intelligent.
  • + 2
 @ mike kazimer.. I got your point, but the true is that you can do whith your money what ever you want...ride and e bike some times woul not make you loose a championship. BUT i strongly disagree with the use of the elderly in a bad example. Disrespect the people in tird age in any media is not acceptable. Most of them suffer now the illness of the hard work. At our age instead jumping and riding bike, they were building our community and keeping our culture. I hope we never had to drove a powered wheel chair to a drugstore or a doctor.I hope when we get the tird age the young people intead bulling our speedless life they found the way to Help and show respect.
  • + 2
 iv been riding all kinds of trails with my experimental DH ebike(mid drive) that i build for 6 months now...i was afraid of the reaction on the trails but surprisingly so far every mountain biker i met was fascinated and exited as me about it....im pedaling as much as i would without, the only difference is the speed, it's not crazy fast(up 15mph/down it's up to my balls that day 30/32mph) but it's faster enough to go up the trails with out crashing or interrupting other riders, i did some rides with other mountain bikers with DH bikes and i didn't get any bad vibes from them as much as im getting right now from reading all this comments.....
my rides are 70% up the hill, i get to go more runs with the ebike i have lots more action and absolutely lots more work out....im NOT LAZY and NOT FAT i just love Enduro activity as much as everyone that reading pinkbik.com, i do ride dirt jump and free ride bikes without motor and get the same joy of ride. i don't see it in the feature becoming big, the DH or Enduro ebike that getting develop by the big names are way too expensive and it wont get cheaper. my built-up came up to $1600 with all new components except for the frame (Azonic Eliminator 2004- $240 on ebay) since its just experiment. im looking to get a newer and better DH frame in the near future....but no worries ill be riding my other bikes as well...
  • + 3
 Who gives a fuck who rides what on a trail as long as you get to ride and enjoy yourself .i seen a bloke on a ebike at my local trails everybody was whispering shit about him and his bike no need what so ever .
  • + 3
 I can't tell if I am past my prime since I am flying up the hills on my eBike Smile I will try to look sad and out of shape the next time I ride past the author. My vote is for "fun for everyone" !!!!
  • + 2
 I'm totally hooked on e-mtb'ing! So much so that I believe it is the future of the biking world. For the last 30 years I have watched and participated in the biking world endlessly improving the mountain bike to the point where is an amazing trail shredding machine, vehicle. Every improvement has 1 purpose: To gain performance! Fusing a small electric motor to this vehicle suddenly allows this performance to happen not just on the downhill portions but on every part of the ride. This is a huge paradigm shift. Suddenly the mountain bike achieves epic performance all the time. It is amazing. You ride further, faster. This is the whole deal, right? Now I can go deep, access my favourite trails, ride hard for 2 hours and be home with no shuttling or use of the car, having ridden 30 km of singletrack. I'm loving it!!!

Like any vehicle, if used in a harmful way to other people or environment it is a problem. Ridden with respect and it is just another bike on the trail. Ride hard, ride free.
  • + 2
 "Try telling that little old lady you can't fix her 60 pound behemoth because you lack the necessary soldering or electrical know-how to rewire the poorly constructed contraption." Why is this relevant to this discussion?

Here's an analogy... Bikes come with shocks? Tell the little old lady you don't have the necessary shock rebuilding know-how for her poorly constructed contraption. Oh wait.. The industry has evolved so that any half competent shmo can change their own shock fluid?

The majority of bike mechanics not being competent with electrical work becomes economics. If customers have complicated repairs and there's a limited number of mechanics that can do it, that means that the few can charge a premium. BAM! Supply and demand.

Also what if in the next ten years, an electrically assisted mountain bike with six inches of travel weighs under 30 lbs?

TL : DR The author doesn't understand history, innovation or economics.
  • + 0
 Or the author is strongly opposed to bikes that aren't powered solely by humans without the assistance of a motor...
  • + 1
 @mike

He is definitely that, but GOR's point is that as the tech grows and spreads the need to get them repaired will result in people filling that need.
  • + 1
 That and Mike nailed it... Haters gonna hate!

I think everybody is generally against motorized vehicles on our trails for erosion/safety reasons but it will be interesting how that perception changes with a softer/quieter aspect of electric pedal assist.
  • + 2
 The take home message I get from this article, is that the displeasure with the existence of E-bikes is largely grounded in the mentality that we need to protect access to our ever in danger mountain bike trails. Trails that are largely illegally accessed, ridden and built. There doesn't seem to be any PB opinion pieces on accessing and riding illegal trails, and how THAT destroys the environment far and above what any E-Bike would.

Maybe the energy that people devote towards degrading other people's bike/riding choices should be re-directed to trail sustainability and development that can sustain increased usage.

Mike, I normally really enjoy your articles, but this one is somewhat ridiculous. I have ridden with Bjorn (founder of Kranked e-bikes), as well as ridden one of his E-bikes, and it was a hell of a lot of fun. As he says, as he gets older, less fit, and his body breaks down (from years of intense riding himself), his e-bike has allowed him to venture further into the backcountry and (re)access trails with his younger, more fit riding buddies that he may otherwise have not been able to ride.

Again, I think the point we really need to take home is that maybe there needs to be more energy and advocacy towards trail sustainability and sustainable trail development, and less energy towards degrading what people ride and how they chose to access the trails and enjoy the outdoors in ways they may not otherwise be able to.
  • + 2
 I have absolutely no interest in Ebikes, but it's hard to understand how this isn't OK and bike shuttling is. Or sled accessed skiing/boarding which I bet a lot of people on here do as well. I shuttle and sled ski occasionally so I'm no enviro saint either, but I do prefer to climb most of the time.

And as for the argument that it increases traffic on all the trails that are way out there and not shuttle-able, that's true but I always had the impression that a lot of those trails were originally horse or hiking trails? Bet those people had the same to say about us mountain bikers.

I've heard that some of the old, classic, steep trails up here in the Sea 2 Sky were originally trials motorbike trails. But now some people get mad when those guys continue to use them.
  • + 2
 i actually find myself seeking out climbs almost as much as descents now. it's not that hard, just do it. and as a mechanic, i RUN when i see an assist bike coming through my door. they are an unbelievable pain in the ass to work on.
  • + 2
 Everything said in this article was said in the early 90's regarding full suss bikes. Heavy, loud, too fast, for lazy unskilled people, yada yada yada. If you really want some ridiculous arguing about who should be on the trails and shouldn't, look back to the 80's and the Sierra Club/ Horse rides vs. ATB'ers. As long as everyone conducts themselves with respect for other users out there, there's room for everyone to get out on the trails.
  • + 2
 I didn't even know e-MTBs were a thing now. Until now I had just seen road e-bikes. But I think I'm OK with this. I'm not going to buy one any time soon, but maybe my opinion will change as I get older? As others have pointed out countless mountain bikers take cars or lifts to the tops of runs, so I'm not sure e-bikes can really be criticized without being a bit hypocritical.
  • + 2
 I think the word that comes to mind reading the article is "elitist". Just because you like a certain type of riding in certain clothes with certain gear it means anyone else should be ridiculed and shamed... Pathetic.

Reading the comments though I am glad to see the article does not reflect on the greater mountain bike community. Most bikers seem to be more understanding and open minded.
  • + 2
 I was thinking about this. I need to ride 10km road to my local mountain or 25km road to a really good mountain. If I buy a Rubbee and save energy on the way out (www.rubbee.co.uk) and stash it in the woods while I ride the trails normally then use it to get home. Surely that's reasonable? However I agree a dedicated 'e' mountain bike is an abomination.
  • + 2
 An e-bike will alter the trail. The torque will cause wheel slip in spots such as punchy climbs, just like moto's do. I'd like to know IMBA's stance on e-bikes. It's good to have this discussion, because the tech will change quickly, and we need to be informed to make the right call for the health of our hobby.
  • + 1
 They amplify your effort... its not a throttle that shreds the ground to bits like an MX bike... you better go and ban XC race whippets from the climbs if you go by this rule, as their legs generate far greater punch than the majority of average trail riders out there!
  • + 2
 I have good friends that don´t have the time or the dicipline to train and get fitness requiered to come with me to the trails, if this folks can use an eBike and be my bike partners it will be really cool, more people on bikes more fun, Is what I think, ebikes are not just for people sufering some kind of iliness.
  • + 3
 LOL these industry guys are smart. They get everybody riled up, with this retarded article which is supposed to be against e-bikes. And suddenly everybody is defending e-bikes.......
  • + 2
 This world is comin to an end becuase of wasted materials and energy such stupid inventions bring. Look at how lazy this how f*cking planet is. Get of your asses and pedal that 30lb+ son of a bitch. It's not like you can regret bein healthy and active
Down the road!!
  • + 2
 Dont talk unless you have ridden one. I rode an electric v-10 and it was SICK. A completely different sport. Of course using it just to do any riding you would normally do is lame, but imagine bombing UP nasty dh courses (as long as no one is coming down) It was really really awesome.
  • + 6
 the bloke who wrote this needs to climb out of his own ass.
  • + 2
 I don`t like E-Bikes at all but is not cool that a MTB web site try`s to stop the Bicycle industry to do different stuff, just let the industry grow in every way and the pussys get on those bikes, there is people for everything. True riders will always keep on peadaling on real bikes!
  • + 6
 On the upside, ebikes distract us from bickering about wheel size.
  • + 2
 People who are serious about riding will take a long to time to accept these if they ever do, at least when it comes to xc/trail riding. A very big part of the experience is climbing and fitness, so this takes that out of the equation (just look at the explosion of Strava users). I take pride in my somewhat decent fitness level, so I really doubt I will want assistance any time soon. I also like riding a hardtail over squish, so can't relate to those who want to make the trail much easier than a 100mm fork will do. But, I do appreciate the application for those who have had heart attacks and/or disabilities. I'd love to think I could rock my trails post HA with a little "assistance" .
  • + 6
 Pick a power source and be a dick about it.
  • + 2
 "They shouldn't exist"

Says who? Of course this article is an opinion of one person however, it's a bit arrogant and narrow minded.

What is so bad about an eBike? Do you believe it's cheating? There are many people who don't race nor care to be the fastest and don't train and workout all the time.

If I'm a healthy young kid, young adult or older person and just want to go out (off road) to see nature and get lost on the trails just to ENJOY nature then an eBike is an option.

One can hike but there's no law against using a bike to do just that.

Also, there are people who are injured, have weaker lower backs. Messed up knees or joints where an assisted eBike may help.

There is a place for assisted bikes if there wasn't then companies would not be mass producing them.

As for the eBikes that are equipped to be made for DH purposes it would be nice to have an assisted pedal for going up the damn mountain so you can RIDE back down without the need to shuttle and waste MONEY and GAS.
  • + 2
 "I'm dreading the day when the buzz of an electric motor interrupts my otherwise peaceful bike ride".
You know, there are still places where the buzz of a fuel engine can and often do interrupt your otherwise peaceful bike ride... They're called enduro (yeah, enduro, see the irony?) motorcycles, the are loud, they stink, they destroy the trails, but they are allowed almost anywhere here, and where they're not they ride anyway cause nobody really cares.
So, I, for one, welcome our new electric motor overlords, if that means less noisy and stinky motors on the trails.
  • + 0
 But it won't though, it'll just mean both motorbikers and ebikers. I don't see any real motorbikers trading in for one of these ebikes
  • + 2
 "Don't count yourself a rider"?"not a true cyclists"? Come on, every advancement that comes out is greeted my haters, 29" wheels, 650B, adjustable seat post.....All always referring to the imaginary perfect bike and biking practice they do. By that denomination if your bike has suspension, you ride on air and springs, not a trail, you took the very edge off the trail , THE LIFE OF THE TRAIL, in the name of comfort. if you ride rigid well then you poser better recognize that real bikes had steel seats, and to imagine that you put comfort before blood and sweat every single time you are on a bike makes me sick. Cycling should only be about what group of elite athletes you belong to, not whizzing through the air faster than you could ever run.
  • + 2
 Sounds like the article is using all of the same arguments hikers are using towards mountan biking. Stop being affraid of everything new people. I totally agree that e-bikes on the trail isnt the way to go, but there is no reason to go all armageddon over this. E-bikes wont take over the trail for a very, very long time.
  • + 6
 Nature and trails bellongs to everybody!
  • + 2
 Lots of good points on either side of the 'fitness' aspect of it but what about the 'safety' aspect? Uphill speeds of 15mph combined with downhill speeds of 30+mph!!!!! I've had 2 head on crashes on my moto at our local riding area that is made up of narrow 2-way trails, I can't imagine what that would feel like with no moto gear on...

Also, I could see hikers and horses complaining even more because they would also be startled by e-bikes zooming uphill instead of just having to worry about what's coming downhill.
  • + 3
 It's a lot of fun to drink on a Saturday night and smoke your riding buddies Sunday morning up and down the hill with a massive hangover on an e-bike.. just saying..
  • + 3
 This is the shittiest article I have read on here...back to vitalbmx... Pinkbike has jumped the shark with this elitist dribble.
  • + 1
 This article reminds me of that meme " stop liking what I don't like! " Oh yeah and call the whaaambulance. But seriously if there are companies that are developing these e bikes then there is a market for it. There are buyers or these e bikes would not be gaining traction ( haha a pun )

I guess the hatred is expected much like 29 vs 650b. 35mm bars is better, enduro vs everything else. It's no surprise there would be hatred for e bikes. Personally I wouldn't own one but I'm not going to be offended if I see someone cruising past me on one. I guess PB and it's writers are going to endorse what they like and ridicule what they don't. In my opinion it's not what mountain biking is about. We should welcome innovation and technology into this sport. If not we should all still be riding hardtails on 60mm coil spring pogo forks, pedals with toe straps and archaic frame designs.

The comment about tearing up the local trails is laughable I couldn't tell you how many mountain bikers I see altering or destroying trails, braking through berms removing rock sections because it doesn't suit their riding abilities or they feel they can do whatever they want. I see some mountain bikers disrespect hikers and other trail users. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and cause areas to be shut down because of our actions.

Just go ride YOUR bike.. don't worry about what other people are doing. Be respectful to others on the trails. It really is that simple.
  • + 0
 E-bikes are not a new technology similar to disk brakes, carbon, suspension, wheel size, ect, so you can't use this argument saying that it is simply progression in technology, just like everything else that we enjoy today on a modern mountain bike. E-bikes fundamentally change what a bike is. From the very first bike that was invented to the most technology sophisticated bike made today, they all have one thing in common, you propel them by pedalling, using your own power. Therefore, an E-bike is no longer a bike; it is a motorcycle and should be restricted to motorized trail. Motorized vehicles cause so much more damage than a human powered vehicle. Don't believe me? Try riding your local OHV trails. Enjoy the wide, loose, rutted, dusty, whooped out, conditions.
  • + 3
 this is the most uninformed article i have ever read, the author is slating a product that he has absolutely no clue about. nothing but a clueless buffoon.
  • + 1
 absolutely!
  • + 1
 Wow is this china tell one person the trails are off limits then everyone cant ride on them this isnt a grey area. Do u think hikers like bikes no do u think the animals like hikers and thats who owns the trails the wildlife we should be honered that we get to use the trails at all and not ignorant to who can and who cant be on them douch bags
  • + 1
 I find that most people who complain about e bikes have bigger egos than most. Every cool machine has a place in my room and garage. Pedaling Bikes, motocross,Down hill and now the new machine M1-sporttechnik E bike fastest most powerful e bike on the market. Live and let Live to all you negative people. trust me all you negative posters if you rode my e bike you would smile from ear to ear.
  • + 2
 if you don't like e-bikes fine, but you seem to wasting your energy trying to put down someone else's next thing - The traditional bike industry wasn't too excited about "freeride" when it was suddenly the hip thing
  • + 1
 I see no place for electronics on bicycles at all. That's what makes a bike a bike. The fact that its all human powered. Although, electronic suspension and braking are going to inevitable new standards, there is no way I will ever allow fat bogans to intrude the trails with their new fangled dual wheeled zip zap mountain motos.
  • - 1
 Totally agree with you man. Bikes need pedals, motorbikes need motors.
  • + 16
 I live in Europe, and I see e-bike riders on the trails. None of them appear to be too fat (especially by American standards) to pedal a normal bike. Most appear to be on the older side of things, and/or perhaps with some sort of physical disability. These bikes allow them to still get out and enjoy their sport, which is awesome. I'd rather they be doing that than being at home gardening.
  • + 1
 I wasn't calling the people who ride e-bikes fat, I was saying I wouldn't want e-bikes to be ridden by fat, overweight, etc, people. I agree with you, an exception could be disabled and older people.
  • + 2
 @Sailor, Agreed. A motor clearly adds functionality that pushes it outside the traditional definition of bicycle and makes it something else entirely. If you want to go for a motorcycle ride that's fine, ride a bike with a motor someplace where motorized vehicles are legal for use. But don't zip around the trails on e-power and tell me you went for a bicycle ride, and especially don't tell me about it on a website dedicated to coverage of bicycles. Everything about the ride becomes irrelevant to someone generating every watt with their legs. PB, please leave coverage of e-bikes to the numerous websites dedicated to various forms of two-wheeled motorized travel. I don't mind so much that it exists (well I kind of do, but different story), only that it's being classified wrongly.
  • + 1
 I think it is necessary to distinguish: 1 / go to the bike park,
2 / do all mountain
In the first case, I think that might be a good excuse to reorganize ascents.
In the second, however, I think that should not exist.
A friend of mine has just bought hibike posted above but 'already' been excluded from the group Sunday bike.
  • + 1
 I think it is necessary to distinguish: 1 / go to the bike park,
2 / do all mountain
In the first case, I think that might be a good excuse to reorganize ascents.
In the second, however, I think that should not exist.
A friend of mine has just bought hibike posted above but 'already' been excluded from the group Sunday bike.
  • + 1
 Anyone who's ridden the trails with a mid-drive Haibike or with the Bosch electric system can tell you that this is a very ignorant article. He very obviously didn't ride one before he wrote this, or his opinion would have been much different. They're closer to normal bikes than most would think. Comparing them to a dirt bike is outlandish. I would encourage anyone who thinks otherwise to try one on the trails for themselves before they gain a firm opinion in any direction.
  • + 1
 Gentlemen, Gentlemen: I am one of those lazy bums who ride an e bike. I had a total hip arthroscopic replacement recently and I was not able to regain riding capability until I discovered the world of electrics. To say that it is a Godsend is such an understatement. I can now ride again, my first love! I ride 30-50 km/ day and usually charge the battery twice. I am careful to keep my speed down when passing normal bikes and I do not off-road at all even though I could easily. I was also a purist before the operation (five years ago I rode year round in the sub arctic on a carbon mb), so e bikes were not even a thought then. After owning one for several months, I can say it changed my life: It costs less than 50 pence a day to operate and provides me a stellar leg and all-over workout because I control the level of intensity from the electronic panel. Slicker than physical therapy and it paid for itself after 8 missed PT visits! So, don' t be too hard on us e bikers. It is still a bike and we still have to work at it (especially when the battery quits 5 km from home and we have to pedal that 65 pounder up several hills!). With good wishes to all! PS: The girls like it too!
  • + 1
 OK you FREAKING morons! If you are so damned worried about trails being closed, THEN STOP ARGUING! That's right - you all need to get along, or the trails WILL be closed until some bureaucrat decides who is right. If those of you who are prejudiced decide that it's "OK" to accept the new guys, and defend them equally, then there will never be an issue! Grow the hell up and learn to live together, or stay home!
  • + 1
 You sir are a closed minded, un-evolving, pretentious, elitist halfwit who's arguments against ebikes are unfounded and your claims lack evidence. Open your mind, research the technology, try them out before preaching your words of hate.

Most ebikes can be easily pedaled out of "the back country" or is it that you only have the ability to pedal a bike that weighs no more than a box of matches?

wanker
  • + 0
 Who me? I appreciate the compliments, but I still don't feel that e-bikes have a place on the trails.
  • + 0
 Mike kazimer, your opinion is SHIT, you don't own all the trails out there, do you? i use an electric bike on trails , i would love it if some douche bag like you tried to tell me to get off the trails i use, i wouldn't hesitate to run you down. maybe it's because i'm in Canada, but i've been running my e-quad for 7 years now in BC and have not come across someone with your attitude.
  • + 2
 E bikes are another option to own a cool toy. First comment sums up how we want to have our cake..eat it too. And get fat. And ride our bikes.
  • + 4
 They might be fun. I don't want to ditch my bike but I want a go on one.
  • + 0
 People on e-bikes ride much faster than what they can handle, btw it's also much harder to stop when your bike weights 25kg. Monday I had a 60 year man passing me in the city when I was going arround 40 kph, he had no finger on the brakes....
  • + 2
 In the UK at least assistance is limited up to 16mph... above that you are pedalling under your own steam!

They stop no different to a downhill bike... 25kg ebike with a 75kg rider... comparable to an 18kg DH bike with an 82kg rider. both feasible combinations...

It doesn't matter what bike you are riding when you use a death grip! Its dangerous whatever! It seems kids these days ride BMXs with no brakes at all, surely that is more dangerous than an ebike with few extra (strategically placed) kilos!
  • + 3
 The no brake bmx is my biggest pet hate. I can hear in my head how old I sound when I complain about how dangerous and illegal it is.
  • + 0
 yeah 25kph that's what is given only with the engine. If you add pedaling you can easily reach 40kph, even 60 if you go hard on the pedals. Anyway what I wanted to say is that people are reaching speeds that they will in no way reach with their own power and that's dangerous on a bike if you're not used to naturally, even more with trafic and pedestrian
  • + 2
 you can do that on a road bike wearing a lycra 1 piece, tyres as wide as your finger, micro brakes and a mini baseball cap on your head... but thats acceptable! Pretty much anyone seen on an offroad trail without a helmet is outlawed, its pretty much not done. If you have commited the money to buy an ebike for the trails, chances are you are going to have decent helmet and kit to go with it!
  • + 4
 Rather have an ebike over a 29er
  • + 0
 Aren't E-bikes just Mopeds? As long as these are regulated like the motorized transportation they are, there's nothing to get upset about. If riding Mopeds appeals to someone more than pedaling a mountain bike, have at it. As long as you're not riding non motorized trails, I could care less.
  • + 3
 get used to them , they aren't going away...kranked is making a really nice model..


krankedbikes.com/kustoms
  • + 0
 E-Bikes should be classified as electric motorcycles. If Teslas' are classified as cars and not electric wagons then why should this be any different? If an E-Bike wants to go anywhere a motorcycle is allowed I am completely fine with it.
  • + 3
 Stay tuned for the author's next article "Friends don't let friends not earn their downhill", coming soon.
  • + 0
 How did you guess?
  • + 3
 It's like a fat girl... they may be fun to ride for a bit but you don't want your friends to see you on one!
  • + 3
 I didn't see you all crying when you were posting Ronnie Renner to the homepage on his e bike.
  • + 0
 Well, That's an hateful article in which I wouldn't like to be involved at all, but, you, MIKE, USING AS SUPPORT FOR YOUR UNPROFESSIONAL AND APPROXIMATE ARTICLE MY "CALLITWHATEVERYOUWANT" electric machine based on a freeride bike, YOU have involved me....
So I would say: PLASE BE INFORMED ON WHAT YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT AND ON THE SUBJECT OF THE PICTURES YOU USE, that is not the case.
Beware guys, from people dividing you into categories forced to be one against the other, from people having uncontrollable fears, that would divide the world in black and white things, always pointing fingers to whatever is different......
Open your minds.....we are talking about human vehicles not bikes alone, Ok, you don't consider an e-bike a bicycle? good for you....but when you say that they are only useful for a little old lady.....well, I would say: c'mon on nxt EUROBIKE, you are welcome to try my bike....at least you can agree that it is better to keep these 10+Hp x 25Kg out from any little old lady....

I'm an MX and an MTB rider, but that thing is different, you'll not be able to put it into any category, that's the fun, think about a 2wheel that is powerful as a light dirtbike, but is only 25-30Kg (range dependent), that cost you nothing in gas, that is clean for the sphere and for your hands, that you may lift upstairs, and that you may service yourself like a bike in your living room or garage....finally add that you may pedal and maintain it at 25Kph no problem and you have an idea of what is an extreme of an electric-motor-bike-cycle. It would never like to be called a bicycle while flying by motor....but, still, it is that....even for you, Mike, at least without motor and batteries....Smile
  • + 2
 I'm with him on the 'laser aligning stem tool' I worked in a shop for years. Always the hardest part about a build... Gettin that damn stem straight. Smile
  • + 2
 If you need a laser to put your stem on, you have bigger problems!
  • + 1
 I think the stealth bomber is sick, but it isn't worth 11k. I woud rip on it if I didn't have to pay for it, but that's hayabusa money for a electric bicycle. Lower price, more would consider it.
  • + 1
 E bikes level the playing field so that people of varying fitness can enjoy the same ride. Get over it! It will probably get out of hand some day but that is life. Enjoy the ride while you can...
  • + 3
 What's the difference between an E-bike and a lift? Not much
  • - 1
 There is nothing on this Planet more efficient than a bicycle and a rider, considering the amount of energy needed to move a given mass. Putting any engine into a bicycle (except human body) is like having a laptop and using it to hammer nails. Want to go uphill faster? Grow stronger!
  • - 1
 There's no place for E-bikes, if you cant be bothered to pedal up a hill then don't pretend to be a mountain biker. E-bikes are for lazy fat sods, and i'd rather see everyone move to ''forward geometry'' and 29 inch wheels than E-bikes. and anyway no one could actually use an electric ''enduro'' bike for enduro racing because you'd be disqualified immediately. and the whole thing about getting farther and faster is complete bullshit- i'd like to see an electric ''enduro'' bike beat a downhill bike down a descent.lol.
  • + 2
 1. Is it not good enough that people are just getting outside in whatever mode they can?
2. Go to Europe.
  • + 2
 Why we discuss different sport here? ebikers should go to www.pinkebike.com and everything is solved Smile
  • + 2
 I think e bikes have nothing to do with the pure and unique Arth of biking to do this can not be the future !!!!!!!
  • - 1
 !!!!!This is the most ignorant article ive ever seen on pinkbike u should be ashamed to have published it .I garentie you ignorant ass holes ride your cars to the trail system or too the bike parks you are exactly what is wrong with society.! Everyone has something to say about the other guy! look deep and when u realize the trails are for everyone maby then youll have dislodged your head out of your ass ! And yes I do ride a ebike anndwould love to see any of u try and stop me! Pft wineing little bitches!
  • - 1
 Just get them re-classified as off-road motorbikes, which is what they basically are. Existing legislation can then deal with them and if people stop Motocrossing around the Peak District, Lake District and Wales and use an e-bike instead then I am all for them, much quieter than a CRF450 ripping up the trails. By the way I don't think they'll make you fat, MX bikes are more tiring than MTBs, so I can see an E-bike giving you a similar workout!
  • + 6
 I'm not so sure, mx is a workout because it's massively heavy and you have to hang on for dear life and smash into shit at 60mph. I just don't think an ebike would be that much hard work. Don't get me wrong, I understand you can do anything flat out, but hoovering is a workout if you do enough of it fast enough.
  • + 2
 You could have a point, I remember my old YZ250 used to try and pull my arms off as it accelerated to 60mph in less than 4 secs! Smile
Still, nailing DH on a MTB gives you a anaerobic workout which presumably you would be able to do more times in a day on a e-bike, still better than sitting at a computer all day Wink
  • + 2
 I think if people are too unfit and lazy to want to ride an ebike, they will be too weak to ride an ebike on a trail...
  • + 2
 How would this affect the battle over trail usage in areas that are already trying to ban bikes? Just a thought.
  • - 1
 What kind of disability do you have that you can ride an Ebike but not a pedaly bike? Maybe we should pave all of the trails over too so that it is easier for access? That does seem to be the trend these days in many parks...
  • - 1
 They're disability is the lack of skill it takes to shred the gnar...
  • + 3
 We mountain bike not motorcycle...
  • - 1
 Electric mountain bike are a slap in the face not only to the sport but every single athlete that participates. Mountain Biking is a life style which requires you to be in good shape so you can pedal to the top of huge mountains like enduro riders train so hard to do. it takes out the reward feeling you get when you pedal up a big hill/ mountain and look out over the valley floor and know that you earned every part of the decent you are about to enjoy.
  • + 2
 I agree completely with you here although... the way I ride an ebike, I would do exactly what you have just said... but have done it 3 or 4 times!
  • + 3
 Redbull, are you saying that mtb is exclusively for people who are in good shape?
I though it was a fun pastime for all kinds of people in all shapes and sizes from all walks of life.
I don't see how my love of cake pies and beer diminishes my love of bikes.
  • + 0
 All respect for getting out there and having fun aside. It is painful to be overtaken by someone on one of these e-bikes, when you put a lot of effort into keeping fit to ride faster and for longer.
  • + 1
 but in all seriousness what does it matter what other people do and don't do?
  • + 2
 Bollocks mate - if my mate needs it through medical reasons or whatever I'll support him, because that's what friends do
  • + 0
 Not to worry. They will go away when manufacturers realize no one is buying them. It's just another fad companies use to fill up the flour space at the trade shows.
  • + 4
 ...but they are selling... in vast numbers
  • + 2
 i will accept any unwanted ebikes. i might sell them, but i'll take them.
  • + 2
 just ride your bike. whatever it is
  • + 3
 100% agree
  • + 2
 Struggling to care what anyone else rides.
  • + 1
 Well if one can ride an e-bike on the trail, another can also ride a motor bike on it?
  • - 2
 Other than the cases where riders can't ride due to physical injury I can't see the value in e-Bikes. For most mountain bikers light weight = good so adding the motor is going to reduce the riding experience for most of us. Also I can't see these electric motors handling a good dunking in a muddy puddle very well. Besides, if you don't want to ride up the hills go somewhere with a shuttle or a lift.
  • + 1
 You will be surprised how well they handle wet conditions, i ride mine in the wet and mud all the time including the pouring rain. Well when i am not on my 100% human powered counterpart that is
  • + 2
 To wilderness areas only!
  • + 1
 most of the trails i know are for "non-motorized vehicles". i am pretty darn sure an e-bike has a motor.........
  • + 1
 Who really cars what people ride. As long as they are out there, not damaging the trails, and reaching their goals.
  • + 1
 if your a mechanic you will be in agreement with me. E-bikes = biggest pieces of shit out
  • + 2
 Enduro ebike are the future.
  • + 2
 haha, so much puritanical hate. Good luck fighting that losing battle.
  • + 0
 If it has a motor it should not have pedals. Electric moped would surely be a fun thing on STEEP trails, but hell yeah, pedalling is the way to go.
  • + 1
 I disagree with electric bikes, but I disagree with people telling me what to think even more.
  • + 1
 Gonna make those Strava KOMs a b!#@* to keep on all those secret trails...
  • + 3
 E bikes? Gross.
  • + 2
 ego kits are where its at
  • - 2
 here is what i think keep the mountain to mountain biking by pedaling or hiking up hill to ride down earn it. If you want a motor buy a dirtbike its been done already. As an industry mechanic i can say the ebike is only for lazy people who cant get off the couch' and if you have trouble pedaling up what makes you thing your in any shape to go down. This is a sport were if you make a mistake your going to get hurt' if your 80 years old chances are your not riding dh. that being said the extra weight of the bike would have significant effects on are trails such as big pot holes from breaking.also the brakes would wear faster and cost you more money to maintain so might as well get a lighter bike without a motor that wont only cost a fortune to maintain. also the shop labour we as tecs would have to charge to make it worth are time would be big money' air go e bikes suck fucking balls.
  • + 2
 I'm proud if uphill n finish to the top using an normal bike...
  • - 1
 26ers - cool
27.5ers - cool
29ers - dorky
E-bikes - for lazy motherf*ckers who don't understand the concept of a human powered mode of transportation that enables our mind/body to sync up on the trail.

Phuck e bikes
  • + 1
 'concept of human mode of transport'? seriously? Ever heard of hybrid?
  • - 1
 E-bikes are not the way to go, everyone knows that, but lederhosen and striped socks... Really? You lost my support on that one!
  • - 3
 Interesting to see the split here, some calling great article (me included) some calling hate crime! It's a bike. It has a 3 to 1 mechanical ratio so you can pedal it. It's the best man powered contraption ever devised. It does not need an engine. (do I need to say 'unless you really need it' again?) take up motocross if you want a throttle. And if you're honest enough to say youve not got the balls for mx, then get a 125 or an 80.
  • + 1
 It has no throttle... You HAVE to pedal it for it to move. It's up to you the rider if you want the motor ON or OFF. Off means its "just a bike". On means you can shuttle yourself up and do more of the fun stuff: coming down. Not lazy at all, shuttling is lazy. You are getting more exercise than the guy in the shuttle van.
  • + 0
 Minor detail, either way it's a totally different sport or cheating at mtb. Take your pick.
  • + 1
 Cheating? I took up riding a bicycle on trails in the mountains as a hobby precisely because I thought it was a fun outdoor activity free from rules and constraints.. Now you tell me there are rules.. Dang.. Will there be referees with whistles to blow at me if I'm riding the wrong sized wheels or if my rig is electric pedal assist will I be mercilessly ejected off these mountain trails? Please tell me it ain't so
  • + 0
 The woods don't have rules. But like I said it seems you prefer the 'different sport' option. I'm all for having fun on whatever you want. Go round the woods on a pogo stick if you like, but don't try to tell me it's a walking stick.
  • + 1
 I get your drift but its not as if anyone's trying to conceal the fact that these are motor assisted. Just because they are built on mountain bikes doesn't mean anyone's trying to pass them off as a mountain bike.. It is its own beast and cycling genre.. If folks are struggling with this concept they are totally gonna spit flames when hover bikes start proliferating the trails!
  • + 0
 Lol, yeah... Which reminds me of a question I thought of the other day, if there was a bike available that entirely smoothed the trail, like you were literally floating along, would anyone want it? It made me ponder. All the developments are supposedly to 'go faster' (although I don't believe this as a hydro gyro won't make you go faster) but is that the ultimate goal? Or do we wanted some adversity to deal with? I mean, if you want to go fast, you can hit route 66 on a hayabusa. I'll stress this is unrelated to ebikes, really it's just about some sort of bonkers nanotechnology suspension system of the future.
  • + 1
 So you ride a single speed, fixed gear clunker? Or a penny farthing? Everything has developed been to make riding easier! ?Think of the bitching when multiple gears were introduced. Talk about a bunch of lazy unfit riders needing such a thing.

The western world is overrun with obesity. People need an access point to start getting more active. This is a step in the right direction!
  • + 0
 Am I meant to give a shit about obese humans who need special help to get off the couch? They didn't need any help stuffing cakes in their face....

Give them a meatjacket and release the hounds. That'll help them.
  • + 1
 You have enough invested to post here on the subject. Smile
  • + 0
 Invested in obese humans? People don't need an access point, they need to stop doing eight packs of jam donuts. I guesstimate that ebikes would help a small proportion of fatties who bought them. The rest would most likely just stay fat and go the same speed as normal people with only a portion of effort. I used to care about people like that, until it took me ten years to realise they don't care about themselves. Harsh, but my limited sympathy goes elsewhere, to people who deserve it.
  • + 0
 Huh? Me? Give a f*ck about what? And are you saying I need to be qualified/certified to state that fat people should eat less donuts? And clarify... Am I offering advice or telling people what to do?... you can't have both.
  • + 0
 So is offering advice a crime now? Given that I can interprete it either way. And is this all really just to tell me that there are people who won't give a f*ck about my opinion? Because that's not news, it's blatantly obvious. And you've still not stated exactly what advice it is that I need to be qualified to give. The biggest problem on this planet is people blindly trusting 'experts/authority'. Experts, or largely as most people see them, are establishment experts. Law enforcement, doctors, teachers etc. But they're just parrots of their training. The training comes from... The establishment. And is designed to protect it. So unless a qualified expert says it, it can't be the case right? Thankfully, more and more people are catching on everyday, to the fact it is closer to the inverse... If it's a qualified expert talking it's probably rubbish. Study the industries and paradigms that support the current world system of control. They're full of qualified experts. What a surprise.
  • + 2
 Okay.
1) I don't need the acceptance or permission of a person/group of people to have an opinion about them
2) I don't need any sort of qualification to suggest/advise that a high quantity of very sugary baked goods is not good for an overweight person
3) I have heard that phrase, often from people who require an experts permission or advice in order to employ common sense. The second half of 3) is not totally clear so I'm not referring to it.

Is this better?

I know more than you may think about nutrition, obviously 'donuts', as a figurative example, is not to be taken as part of a dietary plan for every person. But if you need me to tell you that maybe I should start at the beginning again. I'm enjoying locking horns with you, none of it is personal ofcourse.
  • + 1
 Have you not just made it more clear that I'm right? You have 'fat' friends that shred? Presuming you don't mean shred the curtains when they've run out of doughnuts, I guess you mean riding. If they shred, why are they still fat? Must be their genes lol. Willing to put money on there being some involvement from incorrect diet, for which 'donuts' is my reference point. Its an extreme example of bad food but I'm guessing you don't want the full list of things to avoid.
On the subject of them putting up with comments and stigma, they obviously weren't bad enough to make them sort it out. And whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I've never been fat, but trust me, fat people aren't the only people who get given shit. I put up with shit all through school and beyond. And it only bothered me on the odd occassion it was true. If more people were black and white about the subject (eg: replying 'yes, you're getting fat' instead of 'you look fine') we wouldn't have anywhere near the obesity problem we do. So herein lies the question, are you doing your friend a favour by being quiet about his enormous gut, or are you doing them an injustice? People are free to be however light or heavy they like but don't expect special treatment or sympathy.
P.s. being able to eat donuts and still shred is totally possible. I wasn't addressing their bike skills. I also referenced 'fat' people because that was the reference point within this thread, for people who shouldn't own an ebike. I think that's common sense though, if you're overweight you definitely don't need assistance.. you need a kick up the ASSistance. Smile
  • + 0
 Absolutely, the slanging usually arrives just after the 'having something to say' departs. I also agree that nutrition advice for more than an individual is pointless, that's why I said clearly it's not specific dietary advice. It's tongue in cheek, more amusing than saying something in depth about losing weight. If a fat person is offended by my statement then that is most likely because they know the truth in it. If they're not offended by it, then they probably believe it's their thyroid or something and that nothing can be done. Either way, my words are just words. Some fat people will interpret them and be upset, but really they're upset at themselves. Some will probably find it's the last little push they needed to get started. I understand your desire to not hurt feelings, but life is dualistic and by being afraid of hurting feelings you may not assist the person who needed that extra push or to be told they can't lose the weight, or that they can do it or whatever. I'm definitely the sort of person who reacts more to being told I can't do something. But anyway, people are complex, you'll hurt some of them and half the time it'll be their problem deep down, not what you said. If you go into a town on a Friday night and say 'nice trousers' to twenty different blokes in the same voice with the same gestures and same intent. Pretty sure you will get a couple of new friends and a couple of new enemies. Why? Because what you said isn't important, it's what they understood that matters. And I can't be responsible for that. Say what you think and let others deal with themselves. Anyway, shall we have a slanging match now? (That's a joke)
  • + 2
 It might just be. And I probably share some of your sentiments (which means I'll try to remember them) so this is why a reasonable natter is good. In la kesh.
  • + 0
 The only reason I am on this site is to buy a downhill bike to make into an ebike. They are awesome, and you are a douche.
  • + 0
 what a waste of a bike
  • + 1
 you just dont understand and have a typical 1 track mind like the rest of you idiots. You all need to relax sit back and get a mullet up ya's for thinking this is a bad idea. Hey lets get rid of cars too because of the damage they are creating in this world or even better stop using your iphones to tell all your friends and show then the pics of your illegal tracks you make in the bush. Get a grip guys, why cant we all enjoy this beautiful world together.
  • + 0
 As long as it's not fat 6 year-old kids riding in those dumb-ass motorized Cadillac Escalade kid toys, I'm okay with it.
  • + 1
 Lighter what in the hell are you talking about my DH weighs 44.76 pounds
  • + 0
 now the fat out of shape idiots will be out in the woods who the fuck invented this shit
  • + 1
 A fat, out of shape, idiot?
  • + 5
 Yes there are many here in the US
  • + 0
 Soooo... another sign needs to be posted at the trailhead that says "no e-bikes allowed". Solved?
  • + 1
 --
  • + 0
 E-bikes are shit. That is all.
  • + 0
 Sooooo, none of you tools ride moto?
  • + 1
 they all should. then no one would see a use for an e-bike!
  • + 1
 That's why e-bikes are dumb. We have dirt bikes, why get a shitty version for more $? Let's see new CRF or ebike? Wait, ebike with ENVE wheels and next SL cranks, XX1 and a double barrel air CS (to improve e-pedaling performance up). Thank god for credit cards!
  • + 0
 Good article pinkbike. Couldn't agree more.
  • + 1
 this is shit
  • + 4
 Totally agree - if i want to be a lazy git and use a motor to get to the top whats the problem? The author mentions the noises of elec motors spoiling his quiet ride - has he heard Hope hubs? Hell i want to buy one just to annoy this overly-worthy, overly prescriptive bell-end.
  • - 2
 Its an electric motorcycle if you don't pedal... these things look more like off road mopeds...
  • + 1
 +1 and just as cool
  • - 2
 People that want something to power themselves up a hill other than there legs should get a motorcycle.
  • + 3
 What if you just want assistance? Because, you know, that's actually the point of e-bikes. People trying to equate them to motorcycles are disingenuous at best.
  • + 1
 @Vidikron: because they have a motor get it motor+cycle
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