Pinkbike Poll: Is It Still a Mountain Bike If It Has a Motor?

Sep 27, 2016 at 15:16
by Mike Levy  
Nothing sets the forums or your social media on fire like an e-bike post, with everyone having an opinion on what is probably the most divisive topic in mountain bike circles since the 27.5'' wheel size debacle. But while a mountain bike is still a mountain bike regardless of what size wheels it's rolling on, it gets a bit foggier when you talk about strapping a battery and electric motor to your pedal-operated toy. By all means, ride whatever you want to ride and have fun doing it, but let's figure out what it is that you're doing.

Forget, just for a moment, about any fear you might have of electronics and dead batteries, and let's all crawl down off our high horses when it comes to what's pure and what isn't. Hell, we'll even pretend not to worry about the serious land access issues that could arise, especially in the United States. Why? Because before we do any of those things, we first need to figure out if a mountain bike that has a pedal-assist electric motor powered by a battery is still actually a mountain bike.

Well, is it?

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E-bikes AREN'T mountain bikes

We all know the major difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle - it's mostly the bit about the motor, and, more specifically, the lack of it on our pedal-powered machines. Simply put, when a bicycle has a motor on it, it stops being a bicycle, doesn't it? This little thing known as the Merriam-Webster dictionary thinks so, saying, ''a 2-wheeled vehicle that a person rides by pushing on foot pedals,'' when you ask for the definition of a bicycle. It doesn't answer with ''a 2-wheeled vehicle that a person rides by pushing on foot pedals that is also assisted by an electric motor,'' does it? Nope, it most certainly doesn't, and a bicycle stops being a bicycle as soon as more than your legs are moving it forward.

Haibike Nduro
It might be a ton if fun to ride, but that doesn't make it a mountain bike.

This isn't about mountain bikes versus e-bikes, or one being better or more fun than the other; it's simply about making a clear distinction between the two. A mountain bike doesn't have a motor of any kind on it, regardless of if it's made by a cycling company, gas or electric powered, or if it's self-propelled or assisted. End of story.

E-bikes ARE mountain bikes

Suspension, disc brakes, dropper seat posts, geometry; you can't stop evolution, and the people who balked at those advancements in mountain bike technology and design over the last twenty years sound a lot like the same people who are turning up their noses over e-bikes. Things change, get used to it, and you'd be silly to allow a stuffy one hundred and sixty year old dictionary to define what is and isn't a mountain bike in 2016. The bottom line is that these e-bikes are being designed and made by cycling companies, feature many of the same components, and are meant to do pretty much the same thing, only much more of it and at a faster speed. That sounds like fun, doesn't it?

SR Suntour
This sure looks a lot like mountain biking to me, motor or not.

You can complain all you want about motors and batteries, but e-bikes cover more ground, and usually at a quicker pace than your antiquated motor-less mountain bike. And, most importantly, you're still mountain biking while you're doing it.

Can an e-bike still be a mountain bike?

Is it still a mountain bike if it has a motor and a battery that works as a pedal assist?

Are you considering trying an e-bike in the next 12 months?

Are a bunch of companies focusing a ton of their efforts and marketing towards motor-assisted bicycles? For sure, but let's look past that for the sake of this poll. And forget about when, where, and how a bicycle might be better than an e-bike and vice versa. Just answer this not so simple question: is an e-bike still a bicycle?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 259 6
 "we'll even pretend not to worry about possible land access issues that could arise, especially in the United States. "

But that's the KEY to this issue Mike. One that can't be ignored. And from decades of trail advocacy I can tell you that it would set back biking in BC
  • 66 9
 I couldn't agree more, and many words have been written about those upcoming issues. But I'm just curious to know what percentage of people believe that a motor-assisted bike is no longer a bike, and vice versa. And thinking hypothetically, what if land managers / the government saw a major distinction between the two?

What if an e-bike isn't viewed as a mountain bike at all? What if it is?
  • 180 6
 It's a pedal assisted motorcycle. It was created to give the poor motor a break on those tough climbs.
  • 94 5
 @mikelevy: It's these issues of definition that fascinate me, as well as how they translate into issues of policy. The first and most urgent fundamental question before us is, as you have said, "Are e-MTBs still mountain bikes?" When that question has been answered, the next will most likely be, "Should e-bikes be allowed on mixed-use trails under special circumstances?" The first question is one of definition and the second is one of policy; evidently, the question of policy is by far the more complicated of the two.

Virtually any rider would endorse Martyn Ashton's right to ride his custom Sender wherever he wishes, despite it being a genuine electric motorcycle. This exception is an empathetic reflex, and if applied, it should be applied equally - that is, he shouldn't get to do it just because he's famous. The problem is that bicyclists don't fall into easily defined categories in terms of their abilities; we're a continuum. Ashton is an extreme example of a disabled rider, but not every disability is as visually evident as his. Two riders, one with an autoimmune disorder and one who's just quite slow, could easily exhibit the same VO2 max and power output. Which deserves to use an e-bike? Both? Neither? Who decides? What qualifies someone as being sufficiently disabled to warrant e-bike usage, or even disabled at all? I mean, we're all disabled relative to Schurter. Should motor wattage perhaps be limited to prevent the excessive and reckless speed that is most likely to cause trail conflict? If so, how would those limits be enforced? Furthermore, would they have to be proportionate to the disability? Who decides THAT? What makes the issue of e-MTBs so onerous in particular is that there is neither infrastructure nor precedent to answer these questions.

I wish I had a reasonable, clear and clean solution to this problem; I have none. That e-bikes represent a credible and imminent threat to our sport is manifest; whether the threat stems from their potential for flagrant misuse, or their existence outright, is somewhat less clear. At this point, my tentative answer is this: that there is perhaps a speed that NO trail user, regardless of discipline, should be allowed to exceed on a given shared-use trail, for the sake of public safety. That doesn't seem too unreasonable, and it's pretty fundamental. Professional racers can descend just as quickly on a conventional mountain bike as on an e-bike, as can many amateur riders. If Richie Rude came blasting down one of my local shared-use trails, he would not be spared the ire of hikers and equestrians just because he wasn't being helped by a motor ; he would be put to the torch for speeding just as surely as an overenthusiastic e-biker would. It clearly isn't the philosophical "impurity" of an e-bike that makes it problematic; it's the speed and associated potential for trail damage.

Two more thoughts. Firstly, it seems to me that e-bikes will for the forseeable future be acceptable in bike parks. Descending at 20 mph only puts e-bikes in conflict with non-bicycle trail users, and it seems absurd to the point of hilarity to imagine an e-biker colliding with a regular rider by CLIMBING into him at that speed. Secondly, I can think of another special circumstance, other than disability, that might allow for e-bike use - park rangers. I'm not one, so I wouldn't know for certain, but it seems to me that in many regions, patrolling footpaths by 27.5+ e-bike would be tremendously more efficient than by horseback or on foot, and even more so in an emergency.
  • 56 107
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 30, 2016 at 0:58) (Below Threshold)
 You guys are missing the fundamental point: Yes E-bike can easily make it hard for human powered MTBs to get access to trails - now... WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Whining? Starting a club against E-bikes? What will you call it? Real mountain bikers association? How many times do we need to raise angry voice to start IMBA and then 5 years later sing "Kumba Ya"? There's too much bollocks said by people who froget where they come from. You may raise your tone against E-bikes when you will be in position where hikers are today. Right now, you are still an annoying kid coming to the playground of a neurotic alcoholic called government - you are not in a position to get on a high horse. You just aren't. You are in position to suck that gentlemans balls, get the cock all the way to the thrat gargling: please let us ride bikes on trails. How can they respect us, when we fight between each other? How can they respect us at all? Based on what? Crankworx? BCBR? Rampage? oooor maybe Cape Epic, Trans Alp? Funny, the biggest and most hiker friendly group of mountain bikers are fireroad racers, they don't need trail access. NOT REAL MOUNTAIN BIKIIIIING! - yea yea, acceptance for E-bikes decreases, the closer you get to FEST series and CPGang. The real mountain biking...

Then, you can't even stop the industry from pushing the thing. You just can't. Their lobby seems even better than your lobby for trail access. Mountain bikers have pretty much nothing to say about E-bikes and what they do, they behave like a mad preacher speaking of evils of abortion. That reflects reality rather closely. Some people call it truth.

Show concern, but know your place. That is freaks in the woods.
  • 66 6
 if its a mountain bike can you use one for XC racing?
  • 14 19
flag lkubica (Sep 30, 2016 at 1:38) (Below Threshold)
 The problem is not how you call it, but that it makes places accessible for people who do not like to sweat. Is something wrong with it ? No, but it can cause banning any bike from certain places, which will simply become overcrowded. But there are plenty of mountains on this planet, so everyone will find a proper place. And as Waki said, you cannot do anything about it. This is simply a price you have to pay when some sport become (overly) popular - you may say that this is not MTB, it does not matter, what matters is that guys on e-bikes think it is MTB and they are happy to have contact with nature (still better then having a beer at home).
  • 27 43
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 30, 2016 at 1:45) (Below Threshold)
 @iffy: it's much easier to regulate a race than trail access. And also much easier to execute that regulation. Always remember: rule is one thing, execution is another. And that plays against "real mountain bikers".
  • 22 24
 @lkubica: "for people who don't like to sweat" From the mouth of a person who has NEVER ridden one!
go get on one and take it for a blast then see how much sweat is dripping from you!
  • 10 0
 Actually, I'd say the trail-access thing is key to us in importance, but is more a *consequence* of the definition argument that has arisen. RC's article today, and @Bluefire 's responses here and in that thread cast more light on the complexities that this throws up.

I'm leaning towards thinking that adding a motor changes the design limitations and parameters enough that it should be classed as a motor vehicle - issues of weight, suspension design (chain growth, pedal bob) etc that are critical to a purely human-powered machine can become secondary when a motor can simply over-ride or compensate for those limitations. And the manufacturers *will* engage in that arms race - more and more powerful motors, greater weight, higher speeds, greater range - and for us, hello controversy and goodbye trail access if they *are* classed as mountain bikes.

On the other hand, no-one would want to deny Martyn Ashton and other riders with 'legitimate needs' (note the inverted commas - how do we define this even?) access to trails on an assisted bike... and the devil is gonna be in these details. @bluefire expresses this better than I can.

tldr - I'm still undecided. It's complicated, but the definition of an e-bike is key to figuring this out.
  • 39 8
 @smallsilences: if you are registered as disabled then you can ride your ebike where you like, otherwise motorised transport restrictions apply, easy.
  • 23 32
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 30, 2016 at 1:56) (Below Threshold)
 @iffy: yes that is reasonable. Motor - no trail access, get your own trails. Disabled person - no probs, take motor on our trails. It's just that, who is going to sketch up such legislation?
  • 5 0
 @iffy: That's actually pretty sensible. And while it's gonna vary a lot between countries, a lot of those classifications/registration systems are already in place for other things like driver's licenses, public transport access etc.
  • 6 1
 @Harverto: It is true, I have not. However, I have been overtaken quite a few times by a smiling guy who passed me uphill with 3x my speed. Maybe it was just a coincidence, it is possible that he was an XC champion riding an e-bike simply by accident, who knows.
  • 9 10
 @lkubica: I agree, you can sit back and ride one with minimal effort, it maybe they have a bad knee and can no longer put maximum effort in or they could just be unfit and trying there hand at bike riding.

If you try one and put effort in to it I promise you will sweat, also if you ride it hard your upper body will have a workout as well from muscling the extra weight around.

As for the you being passed... I was upset when the old fat man passed me in his Ferrari with his trophy wife in the passenger seat! dose it mean he was a F1 driver, who knows???
  • 15 7
 Exactly. these are vehicles which are equipped with their own propulsion systems. They are motorcycles by any definition employed by land managers to determine usage eligibility. Like it or not that's what they are. Anyone who wails about how it helps them keep riding after an injury can stuff it. I have the same problem. I bought a KTM 250XC, complete with license plate and insurance costs. But hey, no more ankle strain and I can keep riding.
  • 17 45
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 30, 2016 at 3:38) (Below Threshold)
 @Harverto: but if you got a chance on a track with same cars, you'd kick his arse isn't it? You'd also screw his trophy wife better isn't it? Envy MUCH?

@cripps: how exactly riding a MX makes you any better? Cuz what it's a widely recognized sport? I show you E-bike rider and you show me Ricky Carmichael? Butyou are not Ricky Carmichael... you are just a dude on a motorcycle, who feels better about himself cuz he rides a motorcycle. How good are you at it, is irrelevant isn't it?

What kind of fkng idiotic bunch of half-arsed arguments is that? How insecure do you have to be about yours position in this world to get triggered by a dude in a Ferrari or to look down at someone cuz you ride moto? BEJESUS

I tell you what, get 2 small kids out of the house in the morning to get them to the day care, feed them, dress them up, all without losing your temper and I will appreciate the size of your penis. It's about perspective, life is too big to have deep emotional issues with E-bikes.
  • 10 7
 @WAKIdesigns: I would plough her like a john deere in a field!
  • 8 1
 I agree, the meaning of mountain biking in terms of what drives one's personal passion is at the heart of this. And the land access repercussions are probably the most tangible concern. On the flip side, the environmental benefits (compared to a car or engine powered "motor" cycle, of electric bikes (at least as a commuter) are also important to recognize.

Whether those Canyon contraptions featured in the misnamed EWS Preview should be defined as mountainbikes is the least relevant question we could ask...

I'm not against ebikes (as commuters or workhorses), I just worry about what they may do to the sport I participate in, which is a pedal powered bicycle based activity. I feel they should be featured on their own separate website...not marketed through a bicycle focused media outlet.

We could call it Pinky Bike!
  • 5 1
 It won't be too funny when unskilled riders start injuring themselves because they are pushing the bike beyond their skill levels. However I think it's good that people with certain disabilities can still go out and enjoy the beautiful trail systems throughout this wonderful world!!!
  • 29 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Missing the point a little? I choose to ride something self-propelled now to spare myself the ankle strain. Being as bicycles and off-road motorcycles do not differ significantly in price anymore I'm not sure what you're reaching for with your little tirade. I made no advertisements of my skills, abilities or economic status. You inferred all of that. Stop projecting. As I ride something self-propelled now I am subject to licensing, insurance and land access restrictions. E-bikes should be subject to these as well in my opinion. I hope your family is happy and healthy.
  • 9 11
 @mhoshal: most E-Bikes are limited to 15.5mph when the motor cuts out! They are heavy and can be hard to ride over that speed unless going down hill.
Most riders on normal bikes will travel that speed on the flats/gentle climbs and a lot faster on the descents!

Wouldn't an unskilled rider be capable of hurting them self on any bike???
  • 9 1
 There should be an option asking "Would like to try but not interested in a purchase."
  • 10 5
 Can anyone tell me what damage (if any) an E bike is supposed to do on trails? I have hired one a few times and not because I'm idle or old but because I was interested and I think they have there place.For me it was the fact sometimes I am short of time and I love DH and it allows me in a spare hour to get more downs in.Also if you are exploring it doesn't matter if you go down the wrong trail its not a hardship to get back to the top.Now I would only have one if money was no object and I could have it as well as my other bikes.Now the bikes on the market cut out at around 15 mph so as to speeding down a trail it would be no more faster then a normal bike and also pedaling up is a gradual assist even in turbo so there is no wheel spin(trail damage ).
  • 16 2
 @WAKIdesigns: At what power level would you no longer consider it a mountain bike? It is a difficult question once you go down that road, er trail as the case may be. Or is it a mountain bike if it has pedals? Can Yamaha, or Honda put pedals on a motor bike and call it an E-Mountainbike?

There are a lot of trails for motor bikes and in my view that is where E-Bikes belong. It makes the above question simple. In Europe maybe the regulations for trail use are more liberal than in NA. But if you have a bunch of people show up with E-Bikes on a mixed use human power trail, it is easy to see mountain bikes being banded from those trails. If mountain bikers don't see them as mountain bikes then what do you think hikers and equestrians will view them as?

I'm not against E-Bikes but they are not mountain bikes they are motor bikes. In the US there are trail advocacy groups for motor bikes (AMA...). One day I maybe require the use of an E-Bike to enjoy the outdoors on a trail, but I would be foolish to just show up at a mountain bike trail and not expect a controversy. Just because mountain bike makers develop a product doesn't make it a mountain bike.
  • 36 15
  • 15 21
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 30, 2016 at 4:39) (Below Threshold)
 @Gttroy: in the perfect world no motorized vehicle should be allowed on mountain trails. European regulation seemed to take it quite well though: Max 250W, power cut at 25km/h, no hand operated throttle, motor goes only when you pedal. Even commuter bikes are subject to this.
  • 34 9
 @mikelevy: I've said it before. They are (Mopeds). Plain and simple. This is a Black and White as it can get. Mtn bikes don't Have Motors Period..... Let's all agree on that. Now please STOP any and all further coverage of Mopeds on this site and all other Mtn bike sites and publications. They aren't Mtn bikes so why are we letting them ride on our coat tails?
  • 12 47
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 30, 2016 at 4:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Bikethrasher: haha anti abortion grannie hitting a gay dude with a bible. Please stop hahahaha
  • 14 15
 @lkubica: So because someone passed you on an e-bike that means it requires no effort and no sweating? You really have no idea. Maybe instead of him being a 'xc champion' it was because you were painfully slow? Just as likely really.

Also, since when does the speed of someone riding a bike uphill (also without churning up the trails as we all know they don't) matter to you? Unless you are the type to be angry that someone passed you so therefore they are 'cheating' and 'not mountain biking'.

Absolute bollocks.
  • 1 1
 @Harverto: is 'a John Deere' rhyming slang?just asking
  • 8 6
 @cripps: Spoken like someone who doesn't understand.

An e-bike does not have 'it's own propulsion system' at all. That would mean you sit on it, and it rides without you doing anything at all. Which is not the case. If you don't pedal the 50lb bike weight, they simply do not move an inch.
  • 6 3
 @mhoshal: Yeah, because the internet isn't filled with people doing that on 'normal' bikes already . . . . Oh, what is that column on this very site, 'fail of the month' . . . . Nice try, but unskilled people will operate normal bikes, e-bikes, cars, machinery, etc etc and will all make tits out of themselves.

An e-bike is no different at all.
  • 7 20
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)

Get a grip dude and try to learn the differences between the two things.
  • 7 11
flag torero (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:04) (Below Threshold)
 @mgolder: E bikes have a throttle... In your feets.
  • 10 17
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:05) (Below Threshold)
 @Bikethrasher: Nope. Can you get on an e-bike and ride without any pedaling? Do they have a throttle requiring no effort to actuate?

E-bike, a pedal bike that can go wherever the hell it likes as it does no more damage to trails than normal bikes, that gives a little power up to a maximum of 15mph as long as you are still pedaling the whole time and actually riding it. Otherwise, no assist. So, how is it not a mountain bike then?

And seriously the tired 'but but but, my precious memories of bikes don't have pedal assist on them' is not really an argument that holds any weight.
  • 3 1
 @mgolder: Valid, and thank you for at least being respectful about it. I even propped you. I do still think that there will be a regulatory concern which needs to be addressed proactively by the industry and its partners, and I still think that total consumer value is going to depend on the outcome of that conversation due to total cost involved.
  • 3 0
 @iffy: simple! have e- bike class. end of story!
  • 1 0
 Edit- did a double post for some reason
  • 14 3
 @Bluefire: what if no one cared?, then would anyone even notice?, and if no one noticed would there even be a problem? and if there is no problem than why are we even having this ridiculous elitist conversation? Oh yeah people on bikes are judgement pricks with a nerd complex and must see themselves as better than others on 2 wheels......such is the bullshit elitists of the first world!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 @Earthmotherfu: John deere is a tractor! you use them to plough fields!
  • 5 8
 @torero: Haha. Clinging to that as your whole argument is just awful.

Ok, name me a motorbike that can be ridden everywhere without the engine being on?

Then remember that an e-bike can still be ridden as normal with no pedal assist activated . . . . You know, because it is a bike.
  • 1 5
flag Bird-Man FL (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:27) (Below Threshold)
 @mgolder: I agree!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @iffy: has been done already...
  • 4 6
 @mgolder: You couldn't be more incorrect about Ebikes

Try watching this- don't see any pedaling
  • 6 7
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: So your argument rests on videos of items that don't need pedaling? But we are talking about bikes that need pedaling to move? You know, the ones that the actual bike manufacturers all make and sell with specific pedal assist motors that cut out at 15mph.

The fact you think that videos of deliberately made custom high powered electric bikes are somehow the same thing or even relevant at all says it all about you and the point you are trying to make.

But, nice try though.
  • 53 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Stop being a Sleezy Politico. Or a woman picking out an outfit for the day. This isn't difficult. Stop making it difficult. We have clear rules here in the US. We have Nonmotorized trails and Motorized trails. If your bike doesn't have a motor aka Mtn bikes. You can ride non motorized trails. If your bike has a motor you can't. Why is this so difficult? I have nothing against Mopeds. I do have a Problem with people telling me they are Mtn bikes. Motor+Bike=MotorBike it really is that simple. Stop blurring the solid line.
This site is easily the most powerful site the Mtn Bike community has. If it stops all Moped/ E-bike coverage. The industry will take notice. We must show that we are two different groups. The sooner we make that clear the better.
E-bikers we are not the same.E-bikers you need to start your own sites and work on trail access for your selves. We worked very hard to get where we are. Just like it doesn't make sense for us to join forces with Dirt bikers and off roaders. It doesn't make sense for us to allow Ebikers to attach themselves to us. The sooner Mtn Bike Media segregates us from Ebikes the stronger our stance is. We fought hard to get people to understand that Dirt bikes and Mtn bikes aren't the same in my town. It took some time to educate people on the obvious difference. Once people finally realized there was a difference. Many doors where opened in our community. More trail access and new nomotorized trails.
Sorry Ebikers I am not one of you. Stand and be proud of who you are. It's time you made your own path.......
  • 4 3
 @iffy: hang on a second - XC racings not Mountain Biking
  • 2 2
 @mgolder: honda c70 and c90. Hardwork but it can be done.
  • 8 0
 @mgolder: I think his point was made these aren't hard to modify objects you can already buy kits put them on dh bike and essentially make them dirt bikes but are still classified as an e-bike. I'm not sure how it is in your area so I won't comment but in mine you can get mopeds with pedals that are E-bikes but require absolutely no human power unless you want to just push or twist the throttle and go. I know the argument is for pedal assist bikes but I've already seen E-mtb's with a throttle sure it was probably aftermarket modification but it can be done and is done. The problem is how long will it take for trials to be shut down because of this loop hole, my local trail is on conservation land we lease it with the agreement that no motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails so then the argument is well it pedal assist until enough modified ones show up then what happens?
  • 5 12
flag makdthed (Sep 30, 2016 at 6:15) (Below Threshold)
 @Bikethrasher: Dude - for clarity can you tell us how a moped is the same as a Pedal Assist E-Bike that the mountain bike industry are making

Forget the term e-bike, that is too ambiguous as it can mean 2 totally different things, so, in terms of simply moving these things - how is a MOPED the same as a PEDAL ASSIST E-MTB - I am genuinely interested in how and why people see these bikes in the way you do because there is a definite mis-communication from the MTB industry, and even more so, the MTB media, about the difference between the types of e-bikes.

Even Pinkbikes Facebook headline says "is an e-bike still a mountain bike" which is so wrong that I almost bought a ticket to Canada just to bitch slap that twats that wrote it!!
  • 5 0
 @makdthed: I won't speak for bikethrasher but here in Canada it's pretty rare to actually see a moped like Europe has, what we have are E-bikes which are like mopeds but have pedals attached to them so if you have a choice you can "pedal" them. People use them for city commuting or they can't get a licence (you don't need a licence or insurance to ride these). There has already been issues with these things on city trails with people driving them down them since they are technically not a motorized vehicle as long as there are pedals. Not exactly the same as a pedal assist bike but at least that's were issues arise in my neck of the woods.
  • 6 5
 If e-bikes can get people to ride who would generally not be able to due to injury, then wonderful! But those of you who don't need one, don't get one!! America is fat enough already... We need the exercise
  • 4 11
flag d-man FL (Sep 30, 2016 at 6:48) (Below Threshold)
 How will it set back trail advocacy specifically? Don't use the excuse of trail damage because i already see it in every video edit. For recent example the Kovarik video, he is tearing up non bike park terrain.

I would bet 99% of the population would not know a rider is on a e bike when it goes by them on a trail.
  • 5 0
 @ninjatarian: not only is that a really funny line, it's also bound to become the norm. Motors and batteries are getting more and more capable as conoetition heats up. German ebike magazines are testing acceleration. It won't be long before the human rider's input into propulsion will look rather small as part of the overall equation. Electric mopeds, really...
  • 9 1
 @mgolder for me: motor=moped independently of pedal existance...
  • 3 0
 @Bluefire: This is one of the most comprehensive dissections of E-Bike related woes I've ever read. So much food for thought!
  • 9 8
 I love to ride Mtb. We finally got our batch of Trek Powerfly FS8's in and I test ride one.

It was frickin awesome!!! The DH portions of trail were kinda meh compared to my regular rig. The weight of the bike made it difficult to really throw the bike around or get any air off the jumps.

However, the climbing was a riot!!! It's weird since you have to pedal to get assist when in some sections I'd prefer going 50/50 on the pedals to float over rocks and roots. The best part though was riding the e-bike for about 25miles during the day then later going to my shop's group ride, which averages about 12 miles, with plenty left in the tank to shred. Being able to ride for longer periods without being totally gas'd was very cool.
  • 2 6
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 7:22) (Below Threshold)
 @ivankvkharkiv: It doesn't matter what it is 'for you'. The simple facts show you the truth. That they are not mopeds. By your logic if you said the moon was really a discarded sock 'for you' you assume that that is fact. It wouldn't make it true just because you believe it.
  • 3 6
 @Earthmotherfu: but they aren't designed to be able to be ridden both ways on a whim. And also contain petrol engines. So not even remotely relevant to e-bikes that have to be pedaled on order to move.
  • 4 2
 Its just sad that it seems the industry is insidiously deciding what it fun for the customer.
  • 4 7
 @VTwintips: why's that? Have they stopped selling 'normal' bikes or something? Seems to me you have the choice and nobody is trying to force a concept of fun on anyone.
  • 13 4
 @mikelevy: when you put a motor on a two wheeled vehicle they call that a motor cycle
  • 11 2
 @mgolder: by calling black white and white black won't make your ideas more convince. There are a lot of forums for motorcyclists. PB is for bikes wihout motors. Independently of how you call them bikes with motors or mopeds...
  • 4 1
 From the English dictionary. Moped. a motorized bicycle that has pedals in addition to a low-powered gasoline engine designed for low-speed operation!
  • 1 5
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 7:52) (Below Threshold)
 @ivankvkharkiv: So, you created pinkbike and decide on the content do you? Good to know I guess.

You have no say or anything in what this site is about now or ever will be about. The fact this discussion is happening proves you wrong.
  • 1 0
 @Harverto: from the few I've seen they go alot faster then that man, but I do agree people can hurt themselves on a pedal bike I do it all the time lol
  • 3 1
 @mikelevy: A moped.
  • 1 0
 And according to @haverto and the English dictionary if it has pedals and motor then it's a moped.
  • 9 1
 @mikelevy: I think it's pretty simple - it's a moped. I know Wikipedia isn't a solid source, but the page for mopeds fits the description you will find anywhere else.

"Strictly speaking, mopeds are driven by both an engine and by bicycle pedals, but in common usage and in many jurisdictions the term moped is used for similar vehicles including a scooter, though this is quite erroneous."

So there's no engine, it's a motor. An electric all-terrain moped, if you will. Mountain moped.
  • 3 0
 @smallsilences: perhaps it could be like a handicap parking permit? If you really have a legit need, you get a tag and hang it from the bike? Or maybe a big, fluorescent sticker? (that might not work with the current trend in paint jobs.... it'll blend in too much!)
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: You can do something, you always can. First of all, you can NOT buy e-bikes if you don't want to see them on the trails. If the e-bikes don't catch enough, the industry will get to the next "big" thing -- "Plus" e-bikes? Wink
  • 9 0
 @mikelevy: "What if an e-bike isn't viewed as a mountain bike at all? What if it is?"

Its really a moot point though. Non mountain bikers arnt going to be able to tell the difference between the two. They both look so similar to the untrained eye, that they will undoubtedly be lumped in with "mountain bikes" regardless of what the mtb community decides.

When some hikers see trail damage, or someone going irresponsibly fast. they arnt going to go all CSI trying to determine if their immediate emotional response might be directed at the wrong type of bicycle. They are going to look around, see people on bikes, and blame them, all of them.

Even if it is decided that ebikes, arnt/are bikes, how does that change anything. This is like the transgender bathroom debate of mountain biking. They are here. It cant be policed. Its up to individuals to act responsibly.

From what ive seen with motos, im not optimistic about e bikes on mtb trails. It would be nice to think that all the ebikes will just use the assist to get to the trail head and then pedal the extra several pounds of battery/motor around with them, and NOT roost all the turns... but i dont think thats going to happen.
  • 5 8
 @trialsracer: have you ridden one? A moped has a throttle and does not require pedaling to move. Ebikes require you to pedal. Ebikes have much more in common with regular bikes. If you test ride one you'll see what I mean.
  • 1 8
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 8:14) (Below Threshold)
 @Harverto: exactly..... Gasoline.
  • 4 8
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 @mhoshal: They go faster than what? The assist cuts out at 15mph...... The bike can go as fast as a human is able to pedal it. You know, just like any bike.
  • 3 5
 @VTwintips: test ride an ebike and you'll see it's very similar to a regular bike. I did and had a blast!!! I live for the DH but an ebike had me salivating on every climb. I'd love to get one of these on the Monarch Crest trail!!!
  • 4 1
 @Bikethrasher: Except this trail issue to particular to the US and Pinkbike covers mountain biking world wide. Stop assuming that your trail access issues are similar or the same as those in the rest of the world. The vast majority of trails in Europe have been there for hundreds of years before bicycles were invented and it makes no difference whether the bike is a mountain bike or a pedal assist e-bike. The same shared trail user etiquette applies.
  • 10 1
 @mgolder: Bullshit. It would take very little technical know how to change that. Twist the throttle 50mph EBikes already exist aplenty. Only thing missing is BRAaaaap. Get a clue people Pandora's box anyone?
  • 5 13
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 8:28) (Below Threshold)
 @Bikethrasher: Clearly you have no clue. E-bikes that are e-bikes mountain bike manufacturers sell them do not have throttles. So you're wrong there. Also, you mention nodded e-bikes...... But they aren't sold nodded are they by the manufacturers are they. That's like saying adding a turbo to your car stops it being a car anymore.

Your logic is what is bullshit.
  • 3 3
 @weebleswobbles: and a low powered GASOLINE engine!
Don't just pick and choose the bits you want!

Take the bad with the good!
  • 1 0
 @iffy: But even with a motor, do you really think a disabled person can deal with the tech? Log rollers, rocks, descents with drops?
  • 10 0
 @mgolder: Wait, so are you trying to say that some bikes with electrical motors can still be bikes, but at some arbitrary point (throttle, maybe? speed limit? power limit?) they cease being bikes? Seems like a more clumsy and arbitrary way to define the genre. If some manufacturer sells an e-bike that is only pedal assist (which you still consider a bike) and some industrious folks wire a throttle to it (which isn't particularly difficult), does that then make it no longer a bike?

I'm just trying to figure out where your line is. Because a line drawn at "Does it have a motor or not," is a lot more clear and logical than "does it have a motor and something else undefined or not."
  • 2 0
 @Harverto: true, true. While ebikes don't have the gasoline engine it does have an electric motor. This I think is not for me. No I have not ridden one, nor do I plan on riding one, and definitely will not be buying one. For disabled persons I think ebike is ok, and I guess the journos get a pass too
  • 11 1
 Let's flip this around. Would you allow an E horse on the trail? It doesn't poop, spook, etc and seems to have a lot of benefits in spite of the fact that it can reach a horses top speed in a decent time. Would we allow said E horse on the trails? Would we be okay with someone passing us on their brand new e horse? Its the same concept, using something besides organic movement for propulsion. As of now, we allow animals and human powered machines. Honestly, E bikes shouldn't be allowed on the trails. "Pedal assist" is just an excuse for being out of shape. If there is a medical reason for such, then why not just get shuttled to the top? Wait, you're trying to reach somewhere remote yet you have a condition that could hinder your ability to get back from a remote place? How stupid are you? Let me just get somewhere that I possibly can't get back from. Point is, no non organic propulsion allowed on the trail. Period. If it doesn't poop and it's powering your ride, it's not allowed.
  • 3 8
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 @tjallen: Does it have built in speed limits before it cuts out that all proper manufacturers are adhering to? Does it absolutely require pedaling in order to even move a single inch? Can it be ridden via pedal power only should it need to be?

Yes to all. There is a good line to start from. Pretty obvious line as well really.

Any modded e-bike beyond those very basic parameters is not part of the discussion no matter how often people try to make it so.
  • 2 5
 @weebleswobbles: Why get so upset by something you have never tried.

I will confess I was very much like most people on hear saying its crap without ever ridden one!
One day I had the opportunity to try one and decided why not. it took all of 3 minutes to decide that I would one day own one!

Blind leading the blind open your eyes and minds.
  • 13 2
 Beyond the question of e-bikes being mountain bikes/motorbikes ( btw, that question is well answered in law books, please refer to them ), and how we consider them, I am genuinely sad to see how the community behaves toward e-bikes. Why so much hate from the get go ? E-commuters have always been commuter bikes ( just like fixies) and nobody ever complained, why adding a fork would change anything?
These "things", as we'll call them here to avoid any bias, have 2 wells, suspensions, a chain, like any Trek or KTM. And that is important, because they are made to enjoy the same things, being outdoor having fun riding trails. ( and believe where I live there is NO SEPARATION of trails between musclebikes and motorbikes (KTM ...) and it works fine). Someone respectfull of trails will do so on a bikes, an e-bike, a MX , and a jackass will ruin everything whatever he rides. Nobody waited for e-bike to show up to close trails, I has been a thing for a long time.

Now, I'd really be happy if everyone, instead of ranting against each other because his bike sports a battery or not. That is a detail, the real danger for MTB is the behaviors of riders toward HIKERS ( and vice versa). It is when someone goes down mach chiken and he barely slows down when passing pedestrians, it's when mountainbikers (muscle, motor, magic, whatever) scare the hell out of others that the sport is in danger.

Unfortunately I haven't been everywhere in the world but I know the alps pretty well. When I went for Chamonix to Zermatt by bike the guide kept repeating us to pass pedestrians no faster than a running/walking man, not to scare them. He kept saying that keeping charging was 1) a form of selfishness/ disrespect 2) the best way to have bikes banned from singletracks and relegated to fireroads ( or worse). Those who believe their middlename is "Gwin" think they are in control ( or not) and know what's going on, but hikers just see berzerks coming hot on them with little escape ( and that's frightening).

So rather than spending all of our precious energy shouting without listening the others, if we want the 2-wheeled hobbies to grow happy and healthy, we have to spend a lot of time doing educating riders to behave properly on trails. To end on a very provocative note, I'll simply point out that the bikers acting as if the mountain was their own ( which usually is not) are the first to point e-bikes as the main threat to the sport.

Please end this debate quietly, let pinkbike be a joyfull website where everyone is stoked for everything, go ride BUT PLEASE BEHAVE LIKE A TRUE RIDER, respect others, that's what's important.
  • 7 2
 And... just an incocent thought...
if e-bike aren't mountain bikes because there is a motor helping you going uphill...... how come we call downhill bikes ... mountain bikes as well when you have to take a freaking lift to go up ?
  • 1 0
 @iffy: except it doesn't work that way, at least in Canada. We split areas into motorized and non-motorized, not based on the individual condition. There was a case were a lawyer with MS was ticketed for riding a segway on a city pathway and was fighting it - all motorized vehicles are prohibited from Calgary pathways, including e-bikes, which is stupid. They already have speed limits so why exclude people who are disabled, lazy or facing a 25km commute?
  • 1 1
 @mhoshal: how is that any different than unskilled riders of non-powered bikes pushing beyond skill levels and hurting themselves? That's pretty much the definition of 80% of all fails of the month.
  • 4 2
 @mgolder: I agree. E-bikes are not for me, but who cares? maybe the Strava crowd - which is what we really should be working to outlaw from our trails!
  • 3 0
 @mgolder: Oh sorry, I didn't know that the people buying these wouldn't be riding on trails affecting our access.

You win.
  • 1 0
 @iffy: pretty sure legislation like this wouldn't fly in most places. It is difficult to restrict one group of people from something while allowing it for another. The only example I can think of right now is allowing a disabled person to ride their wave runner in a protected waterway while restricting able bodied people to kayaks and row boats.
  • 2 7
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I know I 'win' as you put it, because I am not close-minded and I accept that e-bikes are bikes, because they are bikes.

Also, not sure what your point is for, as this isn't a discussion about access rights is it. It is a discussion about the definition of something. So all you have done is ignore the bits where you are wrong and then move the goal posts to talking about access instead as if that is some kind of confirmation. It isn't.
  • 2 0
 @amrskipro: If that is the case, then what is the problem with classifying ebikes as motorcycles? Since other parts of the world don't share the access issues the US has, then classifying them differently should not be a problem.
Ebikes are an evolution of 2 wheeled sports. They are NOT, however, the same as regular bicycles, as they have a motor, and should be treated as such. If that difference does not prevent you from riding your local trails, awesome. Some of us don't have that luxury, and this issue makes the proper classification of this new mode of transportation paramount.
  • 6 2
 @makdthed: A Moped is a bicycle that has a Motor. Thus Moped. It doesn't matter what powers that motor. It's still Motor plus bike equals motor bike. It's really quite simple. People stop making this so complicated.
This issue isn't only about trail access. It's about calling a product what it really is (Moped). Pedal assist or Twist the throttle til the battery dies then pedal that thing home. Ebikes are nothing more than battery powered Mopeds. Why is this so complicated?
  • 3 1
 @mgolder: Bullshit. There are more than a few EBikes that will do 50mph with a mere twist of the throttle. And yes they can dig a plus sized trench. Even do proper burn out as well. I've seen it with my own eyes.
  • 2 1
 @Bikethrasher: but that is not what the MTB industry are making and promoting, those are different beasts, pedal assist DO NOT HAVE THROTTLE !!!

Yes, there are e bikes that have throttles and no, we would not want them on the trails - the MTB industry need to distance themselves from self propelled e-bikes, rename, remarket and reeducate so people know exactly what pedal assist is all about, anyone doing what you say, then yes, give them a stern talking to, but they are not what the industry is trying to sell us
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy: Pointing out the merits of E-bikes and discussing the fact that they do not belong on single track is a whole other article. The caption in front of this column says "Simple question" "is it still a mountain bike if it has a motor?"

The simple answer is, no.
It may be an off road E-bike, but it is not a mountain bike.
  • 1 1
 @Bikethrasher: not complicated, mopeds can be self powered with not pedaling .. BUT the MTB industry are not making those, they are making pedal bikes that assist with a motor, so yes, very simple as the difference is quite obvious
This is, of course, about the MTB industry and NOT all the other bikes that are ebikes and that have been around for ages, mainly commuters and also, unfortunately, some companies that have slapped thatr hub motor thing on supermarket style mountain bikes, these should be ignored and are the kind of things that beginners will buy, use a few times before remembering that the outside is a bad place and retire them to the back of the garage never to be seen again
  • 2 0
 @Bluefire: Two thumbs up for a very succenct discription of the issues. As you point out, no matter which camp you are in, the answers are not simple on the policy side.
  • 7 0
 @mgolder: Ebikes aren't bikes.

Full Definition of bicycle
: a vehicle with two wheels tandem, handlebars for steering, a saddle seat, and pedals by which it is propelled.

Add an electric motor and it's now a motorized vehicle, not a bike. Pretty straight forward. No open or closed mindedness needed
  • 1 3
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: have you ridden one?
  • 5 0
 @Stampers: What does that have to do with it? As was pointed out earlier to me, this is about the definition.
I quoted the definition of a bicycle.
  • 6 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Ebikes for the lazy sloth losers of society that want the reward with out putting the effort. That's the point you cant understand.
  • 6 4
 @WAKIdesigns: You have to be totally PUCKING STUPID to think it is still a bicycle when it has a motor or engine.
  • 3 1
 @properp: I saw a bloke on Ktm ebike a few months back.he was sporting a bushy beard with handlebar moustache,a short sleeved plaid shirt,very tight fitting canvas trousers and rather elaborate 'convict' tattoos as replacement sleeves finished off with a pair of laced colonial style boots.he looked like he was having a whizz of a time on it but his leather satchel kept flapping around in the wind when he got over 20ish mph.he was more of a metro man I think.
  • 2 0
 @Stampers: nice. ride the monarch crest and get it closed to MTB's
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: they do it for hunting, people with disabilities can use a crossbow during bow hunting season
  • 6 0
 @LukeDKlassen: if you're too fat to pedal or physically unable to ride without a motor then maybe mountain biking isn't the sport for you. It would be like me asking someone to change the rules of chess cause it's too complicated for me, I'll stick with checkers haha
  • 8 0
 @makdthed: Silly little man. I've ridden 3 different EBikes 2 had throttles one was pedal assist. They were all fun kinda like hooking up with a fat chick. Battery powered bikes are in their infancy. Do you really believe manufacturers are really going to restrict speeds for long? Sorry that's just not going to happen. If I can make my RC Monster truck go from 40mph to 70mph standing back flipping beast. By merely switching batteries. You honestly don't think Ebikers wouldnt do the same thing? Sorry your not fooling anyone here. As the poll above clearly shows EBikes are not Mtn bikes. It's time you man up and go it on your own Ebiker. The Mtn bike community wishes you all the best.
  • 6 0
  • 2 0
 @marxbix: you must not be aware...motobikes are allowed on monarch crest
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: same people who sketch up all the other exceptions under the American disability act (guild dogs in no pet areas, unconventional vehicle controls, electric wheelchair inside building and pedestrian sidewalks, and the list goes on). Those still remain exceptions to the rule and not standards to keep things in line. Can you imagine walking into a store with everyone flying around on electric scooter with their dogs next to them? They're would be blanket bands and those with disabilities would loose their privileges as well.
  • 1 0
 @Stampers: no and I don't want to. And regardless of if I want one or not, is irrelevant to the fact that it's not a bike because it has a motor
  • 3 3
 Man, you are a hypocrite. Hikers and naturalists used all of the same arguments and tactics against MTBs but it didn't stop anyone here from riding their bikes on the trails did it? E bikes are no different than our MTBs were. Get over it. E bikes are coming to the trails near you and like MTBs they will bring tourism dollars so you won't stop them.

E assists doesn't mean effortless and if you had ever tried to ride a 50+ pound e bike at your normal speed on your favorite trails you would know these things that weigh more that 10 year old DH bikes are anything but effortless to ride fast.
  • 1 0
 @mike-levy: specifically it is a motor bike albeit electric, as far trails go these will be destroyed in a short time due to the extra power applied through the rear wheel over normal human input at the crank.
There could be a place for them but it would have to be Ebike specific trails requiring maintenance at more regular intervals, this would make such trails more costly to access to cover the extra time and man power to maintain them.

Maybe normal trail access should be extended to any registered disabled individuals, but outside of these requirements let's keep existing trail networks for those who have earned the descent.
  • 4 4
 @TTTT: Absolute bollocks. Pedal assisted E-bikes do not have enough power to destroy trails like that. You haven't ridden one and it shows directly. Trails are destroyed mainly on descents by all sorts of bikes, mainly by sheer number of people. Poor technique is a factor represented by ALL groups of cyclists. Brake bumps and ruts in Morzine are not made by E-bikes isn't it? Trail erosion is a problem that can be dealt with only via trail maintenance, and this research made by IMBA with cyclists eroding trail surface as much or less as hikers is straight bollocks. Bikes erode surface more as soon as descent is involved, especially when it gets too dry or too wet. You have to be a total idiot not to see that. So please, get a saw, rake and a shovel and do some trail work before you toss sht at e-bikes for your own shortcomings.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: hi waki, big fan of your comments, you might be surprised to know I actually put a lot of effort into building and maintaining trails and have done for many years, probably more so than riding and agree wholeheartedly that poor technique does in fact create a fair deal of track erosion, having ridden Morzine and surrounding areas brake bumps were the bane of my life preferring to take lines to avoid these at all costs.
But I can also say with absolute confidence my local area I have built many trails have eroded far quicker through Ebike use than any half decent mountain biker.

Not Ebike hater but don't wish to see them all over the trails, but I guess progression is what it is and we have to roll with it whatever form it takes.
  • 1 2
 Thankfully not an issue in the civilised world...
  • 4 6
Exactly - the level of (in the literal sense of the word) IGNORANCE around the subject (most notably on the other side of the Atlantic, so I shouldn't be surprised, really) is staggering.

I saved this for just this kind of conversation:

VP is a world-class athlete by any definition and SHE gets e-bikes.
  • 2 5
"It won't be too funny when unskilled riders start injuring themselves because they are pushing the bike beyond their skill levels"

Oh sure - because that NEVER happens on normal bikes...
  • 4 5

"Can anyone tell me what damage (if any) an E bike is supposed to do on trails?"

The already thoroughly-proven answer to that question is: NONE.

It's just more reactionary BS from these ridiculous Flat Earthers...
  • 3 2
 @TTTT: sorry for stupid assumption. We've ridden Trek Powerfly and Spec Turbo Levo on our local trails to check know the devil and found no way they could erode trails to any bigger degree than normal bikes. The worst case has been people riding XC bikes with semi slick tyres as they are much more likely to slide with locked wheel. Nevertheless the worst erosion is always found on descents. Issue is completely different with retarded motorcycles dressed up as bicycles like B-52 Stealth bomber which have hand operated throttle and cranks. These are two completely different beasts. I have seen these in the woods and I have seen the damage they do and they are illegal in all possible ways. Their owners looked like rednecks, they didn't even wear helmets. People selling these in Town, look like white trash marriage. Again, no relation to bikes like these Cubes that EWS photographers ride
  • 3 5

"Mtn bikes don't Have Motors Period."

You don't get to make that decision.

"Let's all agree on that"

No, let's not.
  • 4 4

Oh, FFS - we're TALKING ABOUT pedal-assist bikes, you clown!
  • 2 5
That's dangerously open-minded, Stampers - you'll frighten and confuse many of your compatriots with that attitude...
  • 2 5

"when you put a motor on a two wheeled vehicle they call that a motor cycle"

Idiots do, that's true...

You DO understand that when you're riding a normal bike You are - entirely literally - a motor?
  • 2 4

Oh FFS - the fact that it might be possible to convert an pedal-assist e-bike to throttle only (which is massively harder to do than you seem to think, incidentally) is a desperately retarded "argument",
  • 2 0
 What if I leave my motor at the trail head? I'd rather a removable kit. I've tried pedal assist. It sux. I want a throttle. I want an ebike so I don't need a car or a road bike. I need to pedal 20ks of road and fireroad to get to trails. I'd rather show up fresh, ditch the weight, have fun, then cruise home. Ebikes are greener than pedaling if they are charged by renewables.
  • 2 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 2:35) (Below Threshold)
 @AZRyder: ""Pedal assist" is just an excuse for being out of shape"

Like Victoria Pendleton, right?

  • 2 4
"not complicated,"

Clearly too complicated for that knuckle-dragger...
  • 2 5

"Ebikes for the lazy sloth losers of society "

Like Victoria Pendleton? (look her up. muppet):
  • 3 5
 @Gills: You've spelled it wrong: you're a MUPPET.
  • 3 6
 @weebleswobbles: "it's not a bike because it has a motor"

YOU are a motor when you're pedalling a normal bike, you dolt...
  • 2 3
"as far trails go these will be destroyed in a short time due to the extra power applied through the rear wheel over normal human input at the crank."

A complete, bare-faced, ignorant, thoroughly disproven, LIE.
  • 1 0
 @weebleswobbles: I would highly recommend trying one before drawing your conclusions
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: guess I misunderstood the whole concept, my comments are based on people who have used bikes with throttle operated controls and in other instances have as with many other powered vehicles made modification to extrude even more power than originally intended.
  • 1 3
 @properp: i would suggest trying one before making accusations of the type of rider that will ride ebikes. I love mtb and I have a big stable of rides. This is a definite n+1 for me. Until you demo one I would not comment with such one-sidedness
  • 1 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: if you have ridden one you'd understand why I ask. Demo one, ride it off road and then come back to talk.
  • 2 4
 @Stampers: I advise not to discuss anything with properp, It is hard to argue with his experience coming from shredding the exposed ridges and treacherous valleys of mountains of Florida. I hope I can come to Miami one day, the Vancouver of Carribean.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: peoples who own ebike mostly don't have enough technique and skills when uphill and descend, and they will destroy mtb ahahahaha
  • 3 1
 @Stampers: I have rode several of them. They are a pathetic example of a motor bike. If I want to ride my motor bike it will be my 450 Honda.
  • 1 4
 @properp: Useless argument. You are comparing them to motorbikes for some unknown reason. 'Pathetic example of a motorbike'........ Yes they are, as they aren't trying to be motorbikes are they you numbskull.

Also you have 'rode' several, despite hating them.... Odd that you would have 'rode' several then. Sounds more like you are just saying you have to try and emphasise your massively flawed argument.

And feeling you have to tell everyone what actual motorbike you own..... What does that prove? Other than showing you are trying to brag about it.
  • 1 3
 @adirint: it is quite obvious that if you spend time writing on Pinkbike your fitness and skill are far from being perfect...
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: i think the criteria has to be modification. No matter what you do to a bike you can not make it go 40 mph up hill - eagle or no eagle Smile . E bikes have an electric motor and therefore can be easily modified to have more power and go faster. What do we all do when we buy a shiny new bike - modify it. Carbon wheels, new drivetrain, lighter parts - all to go faster. What does every car/ motocycle enthusiast do witht the motor- modify it. I know for sure if i had one (e bike) i would be going off jumps at 40 mph and powering through turns spinning tires. E- bikes belong on motocross trails. It is the best way to bring motocross back - quite and no smoke
  • 1 3
 @ilyam3: eagle makes you climb at 2Mph... EU standard for e-bikes is clear: max 250W, power cut at 25km/h, no hand operated throttle, engine runs only when pedalling. Everything else is classified as motorcycle and requires registration and insurance, also being subject to road tax. In this way 90% of E-bikes are illegal in all possible ways, you are not even allowed to use it on cycle path or on the street. Most of them cannot be registered since theyrequire license plates and appropriate lighting and blinkers.
  • 3 3
 Off course North America is ahead of everybody and allows motors as big as 750W, top speed of 35km/h and hand operated throttle to that speed. I guess they deserve it...
  • 4 0
 Why are you all still talking pedal assist?
Who decide what manufacturers are part of the ‘industry’?
My Lenz Lunchbox is from a small builder in CO, so does that mean he isn't part of the industry?
There are many small manufacturers making high powered non assist bikes that will tear up trails.
You can't choose to conveniently ignore that because you want to.
  • 2 3
 Oooh, I just read that Sweden limited the power assist speed to 20kmh. I will grill a Policeman on how they execute that law, next time I see one.
  • 1 0
 @mhoshal: and you don't think this happens now???
  • 1 0
 @mgolder: good to at least one other person with a little commen sense.
  • 1 0
 @Bikethrasher: I've built the trails, did the trail advocacy for our trail network and you think i should do it again so i can ride an ebike??? Sorry not going to happen. Until I see real reason as to why an ebike is so bad. I will ride what I want where I want.
  • 1 0
 @mountaincross: pink pedal assisted contraption
  • 3 1
 @mgolder: if you want to ride an e-bike that's great just don't try to ride it on a bicycle trail. Bring it to the MX track I'm sure is guys would love to play with you. Smile for a face full of Roost you fool.
  • 1 0
 @Bird-Man: the sierra club cares.
  • 1 0
 @Stampers: no thanks. I have bikes with a two stroke motor. It's called left leg and right leg thanks. I can pedal fine and would like to enjoy what trails we still have access to before all you idiots destroy the trail access we been working for many years to achieve. Dont show up at my local trails with that shit
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: My point is - it is easy to modify or convert any bike with the motor - pedal assist or not into high power throttle bike.
Here is only one example with 2 sec of searching. There will be more kits and modifications on the market very quickly.
  • 2 2
 What a disingenuous question. Of course a it is not a mountain bike. It is an electric mountain bile. And it does not belong on a trail in the same way that a motorcycle does not. Pinkbike is hostage of the bike industry, what a shame.
  • 1 3
 @duzzi: Oh grow the f*ck up. Seriously. 'Pinkbike is hostage to the bike industry' . . . . You missed an 'a' out firstly, and secondly and much more importantly you sound so over-dramatic it is worrying. They are bikes, therefore they will be on this site. Either just accept it and shut-up, or leave and never come back.

I promise you, you will not find any sites of this kind of size where e-bikes will not be appearing.
  • 1 2
 @ilyam3: You assume everyone will be doing these modifications though. Which is just nonsense and not relevant to the argument in any way.
  • 1 1
 @Stampers: been riding actual mtb for many years now. NEVER go full e-bike. I don't even want that di2 shit on my bike. The bicycle is by definition a perfect machine and I like to keep it purely mechanical thanks
  • 2 1
 @weebleswobbles: ^^^^this is just feckin boring now.its got to the point of who's a thick twat,who isn't,who's got the biggest knob etc.go ride your whatever and get a grip.
  • 2 0
 @Earthmotherfu: I'll see you there bring your ebike
  • 1 0
 @Earthmotherfu: bring the e-bike so I can recognize you
  • 1 0
 @weebleswobbles: I'm coming on my nannas e scooter and I'll cane all your arses Wink
  • 2 0
 @Earthmotherfu: haha made me laugh so hard. Cheers! I'm gonna hit the trails now in a much better mood. Thanks mate, Happy trails
  • 1 0
 @weebleswobbles: yes enjoy.going out for blast myself now.Salute
  • 2 0
 In what way is an eBike a mountain bike? It has a motor.

Are people dismissing the motor aspect because it's electric? Electric motors are higher performance than gas. Google Tesla S P1000D. Destroys every gas car in the quarter mile.
  • 2 3
 @ilyam3: so what you basically mean is the ultimate paranoia. Any bike can be converted to an E-bike, which means nobody's safe, every mountain biker can become an E/biker. It's a typical function of totalitarism

Step.1 there's an enemy, whos's the enemy?
Step.2 It's them, kill the enemy.
Step.3 They're among us! Find them and kill them!

Step4.It's me. Ends either with becoming healthy or with suicide.

  • 3 3
 @sevensixtwo - if you can't tell the difference between 5200W Stealth Bomber motorcycle with cranks, and a 250W bicycle with a tooth brush motor then I wonder if you can tell a difference between vagina from an ass hole Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: The difference is biffins bridge..
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: one probably smells a little sweeter. Scratch and sniff if you are confused
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: And you're using an example of a person who is financially gaining by promoting an E-bike as an example of someone who doesn't fit the "out of shape argument" you were trying to disprove.

*Hint* When choosing an example to refute an argument, try not to choose anyone who gets paid to endorse the thing you're arguing for. It's like saying that pro athletes truly enjoy Monster Energy drink because you saw them drinking out of one of the cans.
  • 1 1
 @sevensixtwo: people are differentiating it b/c it's pedal assist. I.e. No throttle. It's truly a new category of bicycle. It has very little in common with w motobike. Demo an ebike and you'll see what I'm getting at.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: your mom likes both so I lose track
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: but seriously, the eBike has a motor. It's actuated via pedal, but technically it's a motor.

Like the tranny you banged the other night. It definitely looked like a girl, but even a small penis is still a penis none the less. So by definition it's still a dude.
  • 3 1
 @sevensixtwo: don't bring your personal preferences into this debate for analogy purposes....hehe
  • 2 1
 @sevensixtwo: thought you stopped home that night sweetmeat?Wink
  • 2 1
 @weebleswobbles: I always advocate the tip o the tongue testWink
  • 1 0
 @Earthmotherfu: no go if it tastes like the bitter part of the pecan
  • 2 2
 @weebleswobbles: that's what she said...
  • 1 0
 @SteelCityMTBer: @SteelCityMTBer: Some Joey doing skids on his Dh sled will do more damage then most factory built E-bikes are limited in power, say 300 watts, and are pedal assisted not throttle control.

The damage will come when people retro-fit 1000 watt+ kits to bikes. A friend of mine recently imported one of these kits from china, a Bafang bottom bracket mount kit with throttle control. It does nearly 80km/h on the flat and can get air going up hills that I'm crawling up in granny gear. following along behind it i can see the small roost of dirt coming up off the back wheel and it can dig holes if you press the throttle while stationary. Hes since stopped using it on the trails because of the damage it was doing and hate he was receiving. It can be limited to pedal assist and a speed cut out, but why would you when you have 1000W available at the push of a button?

I think 300watt or less pedal assist only E-bikes are awesome for certain types of people. Most people who buy them aren't going to ride them on our trails anyway
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: westboro cycle club haha
  • 1 0
 @SteelCityMTBer: Some Joey doing skids on his Dh sled will do more damage than most factory built E-bikes are limited in power, say 300 watts, and are pedal assisted not throttle control.

The damage will come when people retro-fit 1000 watt+ kits to bikes. A friend of mine recently imported one of these kits from china, a Bafang bottom bracket mount kit with throttle control. It does nearly 80km/h on the flat and can get air going up hills that I'm crawling up in granny gear. following along behind it I can see the small roost of dirt coming up off the back wheel and it can dig holes if you press the throttle while stationary. He has since stopped using it on the trails because of the damage it was doing and hate he was receiving. It can be limited to pedal assist and a speed cut out, but why would you when you have 1000W available at the push of a button?

I think 300watt or less pedal assist only E-bikes are awesome for certain types of people. Most people who buy them aren't going to ride them on our trails anyway
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: (Firstly,great article. Second, I'm speaking purely from the current UK perspective, having worked in bike retail, around the world, for the last 10 years).
E-bikes are definitely not bicycles; Just as Snooker is not the same as 8-ball Pool...But they do both require the same skills and happen in the same place.
In the UK the law is completely clear: since 1/1/2016 it is illegal to sell a power-assisted bicycle (mtb, road or commuter) with a motor more than 250watts. Speed is limited to 15.5mph (25km/h) and throttle-only only gets you to 3mph (5km/h).
(Bear with me here...) The problem for commuting is the speed, which just isn't fast enough to keep up in most city traffic and furthermore the UK doesn't have road infrastructure seperating bikes from cars, mostly just painted (virtual) lines on the road. However, if I'm facing a 30mph headwind on the way home on a friday evening, after a long week, with 112miles already in my legs over 5 days, 15.5mph would be heaven. Problem: cars pull out in front of you (from side roads) because drivers don't anticipate a 'bicycle' to be going that fast!
My point here is: great product, in wrong environment/facilities and sharing with other non-bike aware transport gets disappointing results.
(Now lets talk about mtb) E-bikes make riding more accessible, so more people will be riding 'bikes'. Great! But, as others say in this thread, e-mtbs don't work everywhere; they're best on long, steep climbs; you can even ride super-steep, uber-tech climbs that would be impossible/boring grinds on any mtb, so fast its as fun as descending. Honestly. On technical singletrack the power surge when you do half a pedal stroke, before a berm or to avoid a rock, can spit you off-line. Descending wide-path or wheels-on-the-ground is better than an mtb, because you can hold more speed or quickly regain speed. But, in the air they're too heavy, for jumps designed for 'normal' bikes.
Overall: to get the most out of E-mtbs and really continue growing participation off-road-riding we need e-bike specific,purpose built, graded, trails. Which you could also ride on a normal bike.
For us in the UK; E-mtbs (under 250w) should remain classed (legally) as bicycles. As in comments below, legal bikes are not fast enough to make a clear difference/distinction between an e-mtb and a fit rider on a 'normal' bike.

Overall: you could ride a non-e-bike on an e-bike path. But its not as much fun (as it could be) to ride an e-bike on a 'normal' bike path.

So finally, my questions to you are:
would changing the legal classification of ebikes actually solve the problems of trail access? Or create more?
Would the US be better served by having clearer guidelines on the power/specs of e-bikes in different catergories (mtb, road, commute) ?
  • 2 0
 exactly. the whole reason I rip around on my MTB rather than a dirtbike is because there are virtually no restrictions in the area I live in; for bicycles. Add a motor, and suddenly I need to go far into the back country to avoid causing problems.
  • 2 1
 @mr-eric: "what about for the people that dont have any friends to ride with, or very little"

They never have sex. Nobody wants to touch their genitals. They wash them everyday and then one day they die. That's what happens.
  • 1 0
 Ebike motor+battery when one of them getting fu*ked up then congratulation... Extra weight and extra mechanical problems need bigger back pack for battery and motor for spare ahahahah
  • 1 4
 @adirint: hahahahahahahahahahahahahha... ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhah... aaa!!! aaaaa!!! aaaaaaaaaaa!!! ooooh oooooooh uuuuuugh uuuuugh hahehahehahe heha hahahaahahahaahahahahahahahahah, shits and dies
  • 2 5
Don't feel guilty if you like e-bikes, nothing wrong with that, still much better than being gay Wink

But seriously, the only "problem" with e-bikes is that they will bring masses to MTB. I do not think that a signle e-bike can do more damage to a trail than any other allmnountain bike. But the sole purpose of creating/purchasing e-bike is easier riding uphill, and It is quite stupid to argue with that. So, easier = more people = more damage - simple. The effect will be more (e)bike dedicated trails and most probably total ban for all bikes from non-dedicated trails. Any regulation to distinguish bikes from e-bikes will fail, the industry has already taken care - it is enough to read this thread to see how thin the line is.
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: In the States, if it has two wheels and a motor it is subject to follow the same laws as a motorbike/motorcycle. If the motor, electric or mechanical, can reach a certain speed or has a certain displacement, then it will need to be licensed.

As for a local and central governments in the United States are concerned, the majority of land managers and Advocate groups see the law as it's designed, and are working on getting E-MTB access that the law has forbade.

I for one don't see a problem with E-MTB as it will mostly be used by the aging crowd, weak kneed rider(s). And I truly do want to see a smile on everyone's face at the top of the ridge! And many of these older riders have a lot of wisdom to pass on.
  • 2 0
 @XCMark: you really believe it'll only be used by aging and weak kneed?
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I've seen seven of them in use now, all being rode by older people, older than my 40yo self. So with that, and not seeing an E-MTB trend among the able bodied young'ns who seem to have a majority voice of concern regarding E-MTB and it crippling MTB access; no proof of that by the way; I'll say ,"yes, I do believe that the majority of E-MTB sales will be from people around the age of 50 or better. And, will probably buy more into the pedal assist, then electric-drive".

On the matter of MTB wilderness access: The Wilderness Society and the Seirra Club used online Strava data to show the USFS the dangers of mountain biking multi-use trails in the wilderness. E-MTB has never been brought up by the to conservancy groups that lobbied to have MTB removed from the wilderness... There have been several articles about it here on PB.
  • 2 0
 @XCMark: In Gothenburg Sweden I've seen 50+ yr old guys and women riding mountain bikes with electric motor driven pedal assist. It's been 3 times so far that I saw them 5 bikes in total, 5 normally, little sloppy looking people. On another side of the spectrum, I saw two mopeds dressed up as mountain bikes (B52 Bomber) were ridden by two 4-wheeler looking men, 170 tall, 90-100kg, in their 50s, without helmets, in khaki T-shirts and baseball hats, camo pants and military shoes. They looked as sterotypical as they could. People who sell B52 Bomber two wheeled somethings in town look a bit like owners of a store with gym supplements. Guy selling legal commuter E-bikes under his own company and few other more luxurious models (inc. E-Fatbike) looks as normal as it gets.

That says a lot. I also must say that I am not completely sold on allowing MTBs into remote wilderness either, and perhaps even in forests closer to town we should have a clearer separation between biking and hiking only trails, for the good of everybody.

I must say, recently something cracked in me and as much as I plan to excell at MTB, I start to dislike mountain bikers in general more and more. From this position I say f*ck the growth of the sport.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Yes I understand where you are coming from, but lets not single out the ones who ride bikes.

In general, Fuk the growth of the human species, Smile
  • 2 1
 @iffy: In Sweden, 5 years ago came a generation of blokes who could ride into the woods with next to no skill, thanks to major development in trail bikes. Before 2010 trail bikes were kind of sht with only a few exceptions (Nomad, Enduro), they were basicaly long travel XC bikes, often sold with terrible tyres. I call them dropper generation since it was about time KS and RS started making droppers. So there's one surge coming in. These days comes the new generation of Joey's on slack sht, Canyons, YTs, Nomads etc, since the bikes got lighter and cheaper, geometry has almost landed and people respond bby buying them. XC folks go, oh wow, this rides almost as fast on fireroad as my XC 29er and muuuch better on the trail.

Each time the surge comes, you get trails filled with folks with little idea what they are doing, with little experience with interaction with other trail users, they just discover a brand new world and want to get most of it. Like we all did, like everybody does. But these days it's much more of them than back in 2005. Oh yes, we get bikeparks popping up, trail centers growing everywhere and it is all thanks to that growth. But there is no denying that this takes it's toll on access to wilderness or any other non-official MTB trails.

I just find it quite assholish to be a relatively harmful ingredient in the use of natural areas, and point fingers at who is more harmful. We have to be aware that we are supporting our own cause for purely egoistic reasons, which are not exactly clean. Compared to hikers, Mountain bikes are noisier, cause more erosion per unit and are scarrier to other users. That's it.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Diks are Diks wherever they are and whatever they are doing.

Nothing wrong with tech or anything else its how we use things that matters.

And dogs that are not under control and poorly trained are probably the worst and scarriest thing I encounter when out and about on a ramble through nature.
  • 1 0
 @XCMark: Ah taking a sample of 7 in one area and translating that to the entire country.

Well done.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: have you tried 50+ magazine?
  • 2 0
 @Earthmotherfu: nah... too early for seeing doctor Finn Bottom. I can still trust a fart and go to pee in a pub with my friends still being there after I finish. No interest in teenage girls either, I can't even listen to freshly graduated students.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: or teenage boys,I've got two and they're a pair of tits.told them tonight about e bike(no interest in bikes whatsoever)and here's their reply "sound epic,beats the shit out of peddling"and here in lies the answer for me with e bike,kids are bone idle,won't walk anywhere,mum does everything,order everything online so no need to go out,skype etc etc.these e bikes appeal to teenagers because they don't really have to excerpt any energy bar steer them.chap at Rutland cycles said to me that the spesh £2k e bike is a licence to print money for them,can't get enough.its gonna be mayhem on the roads and paths and trails soon with all these dippy teenagers whizzing around stoned on a life of electrical gaming drudgerySmile
  • 2 0
 @Earthmotherfu: And then you get them a Gaming PC, XBOX or PS and they don't even want to play GTA 5! What's better to do with a video game than getting a tank and driving over cars and pedestrians? Driving a full bus off the cliff, kicking old people, or whacking a prostitute's head open with a baseball bat? Flame torch and burning people alive in downtown LA anybody? You show them that and they go "meh". What's wrong with these kids?!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: haha and then there's the headphones..not normal sized ones,these are the full on flight deck cans with stalk.chuntering away at 2a.m to some dude in hongkong"chi,hit him with the spade and pick up that proton frag tied up at the minute dressing a wound with my medipak,tony chongs online but his comms are down"sweet JesusSmile
  • 2 0
 @Earthmotherfu: Terrible. They have no clue how to exercise violence and pure sadism through gaming... I have a 5 year old daughter and I can't wait to see a boyfriend in 10-12 years or so... I will do evil, evil things... ask questions... like: "what do you want to do tomorrow?". Or... use some slang word in a wrong way. Apparently, misusing their language makes them very upset.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: lads have girlfriends who come around.i like to answer the door with just Troy lee liner on with semi.mrs tells me off lol
  • 2 0
 Hahaha Big Grin get Spec or RF bibs with SWAT pockets. Open the door wearing just that with a pump sticking out of one of the pockets. When my son becomes a teenager and pisses me off with something, I'll wait for two days for things to settle and then will take him to the side and quietly tell him about masturbation. That it is ok and stuff. That he can tell me if something troubles him. That he has to keep doing it or his dick will fall off.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: ..what's will he do on his first date at the cinema?"ever so sorry Suzy,but my dad says if I don't knock one off at 9....
  • 1 2
 @KeithReeder: lol pedal assist and throttle it 's the same thing. Both can be setup to run full throttle and if you have ever ridden an E-bike you would know only skilled riders ride E-bikes as all parts of riding become faster and that is also the case with motor vehicles
  • 2 0
 @the12be: how is pedal assist and throttle driven the same??? If you don't pedal you don't move.....
Only experienced riders because the speeds are faster??? I almost think you've never ridden a bicycle. They have brakes right? Most inexperienced riders I have seen and taught are on the brakes all the time. Thus slowing them down right? How the hell does an ebike make them faster? All it does is make the experience easier.
  • 1 0
 @d-man: From an engineering perspective, it's the same. But here's the real issue: this article has over 1K comments. Everyone saying different shit. If we can't agree, how are lawmakers going to? Electric bikes will cause loss of trail access.
  • 1 0
 @d-man: you can setup the controller for slow pedal movement full speed so pedal or throttle is the same
I see you point about inexperienced riders but you can set a controller on a electric bike to do abs braking/regenerative braking and as the speeds are higher than standard mtb you have to be looking further and react faster which is the same as a motorcycle and that's why I think ebike are motorbikes (ebike 80mph +up hill - mtb 50mph if your good on a step hill)
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: It's called "statistical analysis".

Of my own need to study the issue I talked with dealers who sell E-MTB in my area, which happens to be almost in the middle of some the best trails the PNW has to offer.

Their responses were that E-MTB rides are being bought by a majority of older people, around 45 and up. It was the same across all five shops. And that there is a slow growing trend of younger people buying E-commuter style bikes.

My favorite LBS a few months ago sold an E-MTB to a man who had back surgery to help him walk properly again. I just learned about this when asking the E-MTB question to the various shops.

I hope this helps you understand where I'm getting my perspective of the issue.
  • 75 10
RIDE WHAT YOU WANT, BUT I'll stay old school, with my 10 speed and cable actuated drivetrains.
  • 18 15
 Yeah well, I bet that if after an injury you had to choose between no bike and an E-bike, you would choose the latter and ride it as close to a classical mtb as you can... People really never see the big picture...
  • 7 2
 @gdrion: i'd choose to become pro bike mechanic. or own a bike shop Smile and just sit there talking about bike everyday and drinking beer.
  • 9 0
 10 speed!? I'm still rolling on 9 speed Deore...
  • 7 17
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 Wow, you are so cool staying 'old school'. If only the industry would follow your lead eh. Also no, just no, they are not motorbikes. That suggests they have a throttle and require no input from the rider and all you do is sit there, twist a grip and fly around everywhere. I'm gonna assume you have never ridden one of course, otherwise you would know the rather massive differences.
  • 7 12
flag Krzymndyd (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:12) (Below Threshold)
 You obviously have not got on one. I guarantee after riding one you would change your mind. They are pedal assist so if you don't pedal you don't move. I will tell when you start sure you are going faster because of the motor but you are still sweating your ass off from pedaling. I was on the same band wagon as everyone else until this last week when I got to go on a ride. 1800' climbing 5000' descending covered 32 miles in under an hour and was sweeting my ass off. They are fun and do have their place. Quite honestly if more showed up on the local trails I wouldn't give a rats ass. The big problem with these bikes is not the bike but is the uneducated rider or jackass that starts plowing off trails. But most lazy fat asses will just go to motorcycles
  • 11 0
 10 speed is now old school???
  • 11 4
 @gdrion: Actually, the people that see the bigger picture wouldn't because they understand the access issues this will create. It's the short sighted that don't give a shit that will ride these on the trails.
  • 3 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I have been looking into the land issues and really you will only have a legal problem in so cal if you are on a bike over 1000w. That's where it is considered a motorcycle
  • 2 4
 @gotay I assume you are still on 26" wheels then also?
  • 1 0
 Everyone who wants to do sport will stay without motors and with 10 speed cable actuated drivetrains. All the others just want to ride independently of their sport activity. I want to do sport too...
  • 4 0
 @mgolder: They are motorbikes. Motorbike=bike with motor it is obvious from it's name. And it is not about "old school" or "new school" it is about the meanning of subject this community is about. So is this community about MTB or about Motorbikes? I came here to talk about MTB not about motorbikes. For motorbikes there are other spesial communities...
  • 3 0
 @Bird-Man: 8 alivio))) And I am going to switch to zee 10sp but with throwing out megarange chainrings from the cassette...
  • 9 0
You mean to tell me you covered 32 miles in under an hour??? Your average speed was above 32mph? You don't have to lie to make a point lol or at least make it believable.

And the argument about whether or not you're getting a workout is not the question. I get a workout riding my moto, too.
  • 1 2
 @joalst: the trail is an old dirt road. You have one hill to climb which I averaged 20mph up then it's all down hill from there. We hit top speed of 96 km/h and the last 9 miles were on flat street rd. Yes I averaged over 32mph and am not making stuff up. Normally I do this ride in 2 hr and some change depending on how I feel. Sorry if you can't believe that.
  • 1 0
 @northernwig: 8speed for three bikes. Do I win? Singlespeeded 8 speed as well.
  • 2 0
 10 speed is not that old skool brah.
  • 1 0
 @northernwig: same here man! 9 speed seems proficient
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: E-MTB did not create, and has not been part of, the two conservancy groups concern with MTB access in the wilderness. It has always been Strava data from multi-use trails. Please learn about the issue so to not accidentally spread false information.
  • 41 7
 Hmmm. Weird one. Firstly, I do not like e-bikes at all. But I think montain bikers should be careful how they argue. Most people on this topic sound like old, bitter hikers or forestry people that have a hate against MTB. In this case it is just mountainbikers that act the same torwards e-bikes.
Secondly: Normally the gravity fraction gives a shit how or how fast they get up the mountain, because it is all for the fun on the downhills. But apparently that changes with the word e-bike. Sounds hypocritical. I see a lot of made up arguments there. On the downs it does't matter which bike you ride, they all go the same speed/do the same damage/whatever. And don't come with that BS argument "But they can cover three times as much ground in the same time and therefore do more damage". That's not reality. It just does not happen like that. There maybe one exception and that is Vouilloz :-).
So how is an e-bike not a mountain bike? Despite all the hate even I have for them, I think they should be allowed everywhere, where a montain bike is allowed. Since it is a mountain bike. That is just my thought when I try to think in a rational and fair way. Of course there is a lot more energy and resource involved in production and a lot of e-waste afterwards. Which is not ideal, but I only hear that arguement very occasionally.
So there you have it. I cringe when I see the Finale pics with the media guys on e-bikes, but you have to stay fair at the same time and try to make fair n square arguments. Most stuff I read on hear sounds more like religion or lobbyism tbh...
  • 8 2
 Agree 100%. A lot of hate, with little reasoning.
  • 6 3
 This is a good post. I agree with you. I for one would love a downhill bike that I could pedal up hills too. There are a lot of compromises made to make bikes pedal. Low travel suspension, two piston brakes, air suspension, narrow tyres with thin casings etc. If you could get a downhill bike with a 65 degree head angle that had a motor, you wouldn't need a trail bike, all mountain bike, endure bike. It would just be one bike, designed to get you up the hills without fuss, and offer you the most fun on the downs. I think most hikers and horse riders have a problem with motorbikes primarily because of the noise. That is not a factor with e bikes. Also, they aren't any faster than normal bikes downhill, so that avenue of scaring hikers is certainly no worse.
  • 7 0
 Especially the first part about acting just like the backwards hikers (not all hikers are like that, but those that are, are a pain in the ass) we all hate to meet is spot on. How could we stoop so low as to act like the thing that irritates us most?
  • 7 0
 To some extent I agree but the trouble is not the people who ride reasonable e bikes but the people who see an ebike and go "you know what would be good, the power of 4 of Chris Hoy plus me to get me up the hills." and fit a 2000 watt motor and then try to use what is essentially a motorbike with vastly under powered brakes and tyres around people who are expecting mountain bikes.

If you are walking down the trail at a popular mountain biking area you expect people to come up behind you fast on mountain bikes, you are ready for it, it doesn't scare you. When walking up a steep trail people are not expecting bikes to come up fast behind them, that is when they get scared and scared people generally get angry once the fear fades. Angry people tend to make a lot of noise an try to get the source of their fear banned. Lumping regular mountain bikes in with those irresponsible motorbikers in mountain bike disguise is the worry.

There are irresponsible mountain bikers. I understand that but the high powered eBikes are likely to appeal to those riders and allow them to be even more irresponsible.
  • 2 1
 @jaame: check out the haibike nduro pro with 180mm travel and slack angles. I've just ordered the dh model as well, can't wait. No more uplifts.
  • 5 0
 Ok, strap a useless 10kilo wieght to a DH rig an tell me they handle the same.......
  • 3 1
 That Santa Cruz v10 with the motor looks awesome. ebikes are not a problem for us, they are food for legislators. The law must decide what is a motorised bicycle and what is a motorcycle. KTM have the freeride e, for example, which is clearly a motorcycle with the price to match!
  • 5 0
 Spot on. I'm with you in so far as I'm not a fan of e-bikes on trails at all, however our collective disdain for them (and more specifically how we present our arguments) is oozing with irony. It's my own personal opinion that as soon as you provide any additional forward propulsion power outside of gravity and our legs, it stops being a bicycle. However, I also know that riders with disabilities are chomping at the bit to find a means that allows them return to the sport they love so much. That in turn makes it difficult to make the blanket statement that they shouldn't be allowed on trails. This is a good debate to have for sure, we just need to choose our words more wisely, and also be more willing to consider compromise than we currently appear to be.
  • 7 1
 Where I'm from a big surprise for me in 5 years of trail building is how similar mountain bikers are to the "forestry people" railing hate against mountain bikers. We're our own worst enemies half the time. We rail against horse back riders and moto's, but then turn around and if somebody isn't building a trail we like, or one that we are capable of doing, we rail against that too.

I've watched it carefully and to me it's human nature to look at people doing something and think, "Oh I don't like that, so it's wrong." It takes a special and rare person to see people having fun, regardless of what it is, and not judge them for it.

Having said all of that, I'm stoked that E-bikes are fun for people, the same as I am for moto's, or horses, or anything. However I don't think that they're the same as mountain bikes regardless of sharing some similar components. I don't really understand why they rate the same trail access as a mountain bike does.
  • 5 2
 I agree with this for the most part. I also think there is a good chance that E-MTBs can help increase trail access. Land is typically controlled by people with money, often those people are older, and not in great shape (for mountain bikers). E-bikes might actually allow those people access to trails. Those same people now become advocates for trail access, rather than opponents to it. It is important to look at all possible conclusions and outcomes before sticking our heads in the sand.
  • 3 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 2:53) (Below Threshold)
" It's my own personal opinion that as soon as you provide any additional forward propulsion power outside of gravity and our legs, it stops being a bicycle."

Gravity assist is OK, but electric assist isn't? That's hypocrisy, isn't it? And we're just ignoring the fact that YOU'RE a motor when you pedal an ordinary bike?

It all boils down to this: if you need to pedal it to make it go IT'S A BICYCLE. Any other view or objection is just an arbitrary division based on no logical thinking, much ignorance, and massive uninformed bias.
  • 2 0
 @Rucker10: Nice to know there are other riders who like motos, hikers and bikes. I rode a knarly singletrack yesterday covered in horse tracks and shit. I thought "what a great horse rider this person must be" and dodged the poo like a videogame nasty. Some of the best trails I've ridden were made by motos and hikers and quads clear overhanging brush and sometimes pack stuff down. 4wds turn many boring fireroads into DH mayhem. I've done and liked them all I just like MTBs best.
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: dude, i seriously had too look at your age after reading this post..............

there is now way a 56 year man could come up with these comparisons, its just not possible to be that off the mark at such an experienced age.

are you sure you are really 56?
  • 1 0
 Exactly. Well said.
  • 1 0
 @briceshirbach: Yup. Spot on. The arguing sounds just like a group of people who instead of trying to figure out how to work together and get along but instead are just burning each other to the ground until everyone dies. The elitism presented in these comments is an exact representation of how hikers and equestrians talk about us. I've ridden one and I'm on the side that the 250w pedal assists are simply bicycle then moped. Lets have a productive discussions how we can all get along. I believe it's a good thing for the sport. I dont own one, but I do believe they should be able to enjoy the same trails. Share the world people.
  • 3 1
 @KeithReeder: No, I don't think you fully understand what hypocrisy actually is. I will say, your criticism is both hypocritical and ironic. Oh, and your point about pedaling is as arbitrary as my own opinion. The difference is I stated mine as such, and you stated yours as factual.
  • 2 0
 How would one go about unsubscribing from this comment thread?
  • 25 2
 Wikipedia: "This individual sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self-reliance."

Self-reliance...not motor reliance.

Mountain biking can be tough (and enjoyable) just like trail running, hiking, climbing and any other outdoor activity. If you can't bike up the hill, practice till you can. If you can't run a 5 minute mile, practice till you can, don't go out and buy rollerblades instead.

Anyway, I think E-bikes have a purpose and that is to help handicapped or elderly people enjoy the outdoors. For other people I really don't get it.
  • 1 10
flag Harverto (Sep 30, 2016 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 Wikipedia: if that's your reliable source please step away from the computer!
  • 5 1
 I always think of those exo skeletons that are developed for soldiers to carry more weight. Once the technology becomes available for commercial use, people will go everywhere with their electric walking machines and pretend it's the "better" experience Big Grin
  • 2 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 2:55) (Below Threshold)
 ""This individual sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self-reliance."

And ALL Of these come into play when riding an e-bike.

"Self-reliance...not motor reliance."

So you don't load your bike onto your car to get to your trails? You would never take a chair-lift up to the top of a downhill run?

  • 3 0
 @KeithReeder: Actually in my case no. I bike to the trails and we have no chair lifts.

Anyway, in my opinion E-bikes are not mountain bikes, simple as that.
  • 24 7
 A mountainbike is something you pedal up and down mountains. A motorbike is something used for transportation that has been adapted to ride trails, just like bicycles have changed over the years. If it has 2 wheels and you propel it under your own power, it's a bicycle. If it has 2 wheels and a motor, it's a MOTORcycle.
  • 9 4
 "A mountainbike is something you pedal up and down mountains."

So downhill bikes are not mountain bikes? Because I rarely see someone pedaling one up a mountain.
I used to dislike ebikes a lot, but recently I visited Switzerland (where those are at least as popular as in Germany, if not more) and I noticed that really pretty much every road there goes uphill, which can be quite annoying.

When it comes to the argument that they may somehow destroy the nature, what will have more impact;
1) An ebike?
2) A truck that will transport you up?
3) A chairlift you build in your bike park after chopping down a few hundred trees?

The only things I don't like are the weight, the price and the fact that if your ebike breaks down, you need an expert to fix it. But I can imagine situations when having an ebike could be the best of all the bad options.
  • 5 4
 @Extremmist: Downhill bikes are true mountain bikes! You only pedal or walk your bike up a hill to have fun on the way down. That's how it all started.
  • 5 5
 @Imnukepf: So you admit there's nothing enjoyable about uphill climbs? Then the motor isn't really taking anything away from the sport, is it?
  • 3 3
 But an e-bike will not move without you propelling it under your own power though. And, if chosen (or if the batter runs out) can be run with no pedal assist at all. So, it is a bike.

How many motorcycles can still be ridden anywhere with no engine attached to them?
  • 12 1
 There's plenty to enjoy about climbs. There's the burning feeling in your legs that lets you know you're pushing yourself, the heaving in your chest that lets you know you're burning some fat. There's the reward of pulling a perfect wheelie around that tight switchback corner, the great feeling of hooning along up over some slippery roots, the joy of hopping up onto that steep slab. Descending is more fun, but climbing definitely has it's rewards too
  • 5 4
 @Extremmist: Great point. Shuttling DH bikes with a truck or chairlift is not much different from e-biking.
  • 2 1
 @Extremmist: it will weigh more and do more damage to the trails
  • 1 0
 @codfather1234: remember that a lot of people do running, which has no "downhill fun" in it at all. Keeping yourself fit and fun are equal reasons to participate in the sport.
  • 2 1
 @axleworthington: Mechanically, fundamentally, not accurate. When piloted as a vehicle, a downhill bike is a bicycle. The fact that it is transported to somewhere where gravity assists with traveling by an independent system doesn't change the fact that it's a human-power bicycle, just makes it far more enjoyable to operate such a specialized single-purpose bicycle.

In some ways, yes, there are similarities. As passenger vehicles become increasingly automated, self-shuttling will also become a thing. Still doesn't change the underlying fact about where the motive force is coming from.
  • 2 4
 "A mountainbike is something you pedal up and down mountains."

Exactly. And that's PRECISELY what you do with e-bikes...
  • 1 2
 @codfather1234: you're talking about XC or trail riding, I was talking about DH bikes which are not meant to be cycled uphill - as their name suggests, every component of those bikes has been designed with downhill riding in mind. We both know nobody will ever climb a hill on a DH bike with 10" travel.
  • 1 1
 @Imnukepf: so I guess anyone on a 45 lb DH bike can't ride trails because the extra weight will ruin the trails....

Where's your evidence to back up your claim? If you've ridden an ebike you would understand.
  • 26 9
 You might as well ride a dirt bike.
  • 16 0
 Yeah, like a really shitty one
  • 7 3
 I don't really think the two are that comparable. Riding an e-bike feels exactly like riding a normal bike (albeit a heavy one), the difference is that when it comes to going up hill it just feels like you are really fit. You still have to pedal, so the technique for getting up and over obstacles is still the same, you can't just whack the throttle open and power over things like you would on a dirt bike.

Then, when you point it downhill, it's basically the same as a normal bike, although I guess you could accelerate away from slow corners a bit quicker, but exiting most corners you're going to be somewhere near the 15mph where the motor cuts out already. Again, it's not like a dirt bike, you can't stay seated and use the throttle to power through.
  • 5 2
 That's just it. Younger guys will buy a dirt bike before an e-bike. The people buying e-bikes are older folks and people with health issues. It's a different demographic than Pinkbike readers. I would love to set up one for trail building though: load it up with a chainsaw, pulaski, etc....
  • 3 2
 @Woody25: I agree, it's a motorcycle that does a good job simulating the mtb experience.
  • 2 9
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 2:56) (Below Threshold)
 "You might as well ride a dirt bike."

A common view among the ignorant and intellectually lazy...
  • 14 1
 Please Pinkbike, Stop talking about E-bikes! We don't want to see them. We don't want to hear about them.
  • 3 9
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:15) (Below Threshold)
 "We don't want to see them. We don't want to hear about them."

You get to decide that?

I didn't get the memo...
  • 12 2
 Corporate profiteers and their compliant media pushing this nonsense are our enemies, intent on harm. Encouraging the use of electric motorbikes on what are now non-motorized trails is shameful. Mountain bikers should boycott each and every one of these sell-outs. Surfers and climbers aggresively defund themselves from similarly motivated exploiters and so should we. Pinkbike needs to get off the fence and decide if it's going to be on the side of mountain bikers, or its corporate advertisers.
  • 2 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:05) (Below Threshold)
 "Encouraging the use of electric motorbikes on what are now non-motorized trails is shameful."

Do you feel good about yourself, being this ignorant?

E-bikes need to be pedalled, just like ordinary bikes: they cause no more trail damage than ordinary bikes: you get just as much of a work-out as from ordinary bikes (you just go longer and have more fun in the process); and the support cuts off at a speed most people can easily reach without assist anyway.

So what - EXACTLY - is the problem?

I'll tell you. Ignorance and prejudice.


In practical terms an e-bike is just the 21st century equivalent of that extra power-gel you find in the bottom of your bag that gets you home when you've blown up.

They're NOT The Devil...
  • 21 12
 As Steven Williams put it: "They’re not motorcycles. They have no throttle, provide no power unless you do, and are limited to 15.5mph. If you tried to sell me a motorcycle like that I’d punch you square in the face."
  • 34 10
 They have a throttle, it's just operated by your feet. Cars have foot-operated throttles too, and require isometric exercise to keep powered. Same difference.
  • 7 4
 The limit is only firmware controlled and has been hackedsince the beginning so they are only supplied limited. A little like if you chage your fork. This makes them dangerous. They also go up faster than the intention putting other riders in potential danger. As the go up faster the assumption may be that the rider can come down faster. This creates a further hazard. The assumption is that riders with lesser fitness are riding trails not designed for dh bikes potentialy, putting a less able rider in a potentially dangerous position. They weigh more that a trail bike and have a large mass, and will be ridden by riders without the protective helmet of a Dh rider. This puts the rider in a dangerous position.. the list goes on. They have merits for a very small disadvantaged minority but they have a greater probability of causing harm than a standard mountain bike.
  • 3 2
 @scottzg: 'xactly. it sounds extreme but its not. people going 25kph-40kph (country/law dependent) going for 30min don't even sweat at all. The pedal movement necessary for the throttle to turn on is really minimal. As you as you spin, even at 5watt, the throttle will provide. Its really not that far off a throttle switch.

disclaimer: i see ebikes (users) 5 days a week. they're all happy with it, but its like a super light motorbike to them.
  • 5 9
flag jaame (Sep 30, 2016 at 0:59) (Below Threshold)
 Just look at it. It's a mountain bike. It's got a motor, but it's a mountain bike.
  • 2 2
 @scottzg: Not all e-bikes are equal. Some have throttle assist while others have pedal assist.
  • 3 0
 @bankz: obviously never ridden one, i guarantee you will come back from a ride just as tired as a normal bike it's just you will have ridden further or been out half the time.
  • 1 4
 You need to have a good look around.. You can get an Ebike to do upto 80KPH...And yes it has a hand throttler.
  • 5 0
 @BrightBulbPhoto: thats an electric motor cycle not an assist bike they are very different.
  • 1 5
flag BrightBulbPhoto (Sep 30, 2016 at 4:37) (Below Threshold)
 @b45her: INCORECT....They are modded bicycles...
  • 4 8
flag mgolder (Sep 30, 2016 at 5:15) (Below Threshold)
 @scottzg: Ha ha. No. You really are just trying to find any minimal amount of bollocks to cling to. They do not have a throttle. You do know that you can have the assist turned off on e-bikes right? So, how many cars or motorbikes do you know that can keep driving/riding with their engines gone?

None. An e-bike however, as it is a push bike with pedals that are needed in order for it to move, can keep on going regardless. So yeah, it is a bike.
  • 1 1
 @BrightBulbPhoto: the most power full e bike is made by M1 they claim 70 km but we got it up to 100km and it's pedal assist
  • 3 3
 @betsie: You make some stupid assumptions here. Apparently all e-bikes 'will be ridden by riders without the protective helmet of a dh rider' . . . . Why would they need that? Is an e-bike more likely to hurt me than a normal bike when going 25mph or whatever down a bumpy trail? No, of course not. You are asusming the riders of e-bikes are all of a set type, which makes zero sense.

Oh, they go uphill faster (which by the way isn't necessarily true either, just another wild assumption), so they must be coming downhill faster?! What on earth is that all about. That logic applies to any bike surely though you know.

Also, you keep mentioning unskilled riders and 'dh' bikes? Why?
  • 1 2
 @mgolder: It's "no sense", not "zero sense".
  • 2 1
 @jaame: If that is all you can say in relation to the discussion as a whole I think it proves me pretty much correct. Thank you for the validation
  • 3 2
 @mgolder: ...and I can push my car. that doesn't make my car a shopping cart.

it has a motor, therefore it's a motorcycle. The method of activating the motor is immaterial.
  • 3 2
 @scottzg: No. The motor is not needed though is it. They can be ridden without the pedal assist in any way and it still operates as a bike. This isn't too hard to grasp. Just get over it, they exist, they are pedal bikes and they go up mountains like 'normal' bikes do, by pedaling them there.

Pushing your car (as well as being the worst attempt at an argument for a while on here) is not even remotely the same thing.

Oh wait, are you so scared someone will get to the top of a hill a bit quicker than you that this is where the fear and anger at them comes from? Why does it matter that they offer a relatively small amount of assist up to 15mph then they cut out? Why is that such a big deal? Baffling stuff.
  • 2 2
 @mgolder: motor= motorcycle. it's very simple!

pushing my car is your argument, not mine. it doesn't matter if it's speed limited, my car is still a car even though NASCAR cars are faster and a different driving experience.

I don't have a problem with electric motorcycles, I have a problem with calling them bicycles. They are not.
  • 1 4
 @scottzg: You mentioned pushing your car, I sure as hell didn't bring that up. So yes, that is actually your argument. If you can't even know what you are replying to then why is your opinion one worth accepting?

No, motor = motorcycle is not how it works though. You are nitpicking at language to try and prove your point and it just isn't right at all. A motorcycle needs constant power from the motor in order to move.

An e-bike doesn't need any motor power in order to move. Infact, they demand that you power it to move it. And then you can even ride it with no motor assist at all with no hindrance in it's ability to ride.

So no, not even remotely the same thing. Keep trying.
  • 4 0
 a car doesn't need any power to move either, I can push it. riding an ebike is like pushing an idling car. it's a stupid argument and you should stop making it.
  • 3 0
 @scottzg: This. Exactly this.

An automobile is an automobile because it can provide motive force for itself with an engine.

If you put a bike trainer inside a car and insisted that it only move when the driver turns over the pedals, it doesn't make it cease to be an automobile...
  • 6 1
 @tehllama: am i the only person that notices its just the muricans that have a problem with e-bikes? in most of mainland Europe they are accepted without issue, some resorts even have dedicated e-bike routes.
i might be wrong but it appears that lots of muricans are confusing e-assist bikes with those electric mx jobbies that ktm and a few others have been playing around with over the last few years.
  • 4 0
 @b45her: Disproportionately, trail access is a large problem for a lot of us out here. The fact that it's motorized is what most of the legislation will focus on, and as soon as MTB's are lumped into anything motorized, hordes of hikers and horse people will have little trouble generating legislation which closes access to wheeled vehicles.

Electric assist and electric motocross are going to be increasingly similar (at least the trials-type eMX and all-mountain eMTB's will evolve convergently). I'm not confusing them, I'm uniquely aware (having done chemical engineering research on improving power density for fuel cells and battery systems) that as power density evolves, the 'assist' portion of that will be increasingly irrelevant... if 750W of power is available simply by turning over the pedals, it might as well be a motorcycle. If it's speed-limited, then it's just a speed-limited motorcycle.
  • 3 0
 @tehllama: in the UK they are limited to 250w of assist any more and it is classed as a motorcycle. the motors are not capable of outputting any more, the top speed limitations can be circumvented but you still have to pedal your ass of to keep them moving at that speed especially up hill.
i work at a shop that has a demo cube e-bike and have ridden it quite a few times and the majority of people don't even notice that its an e-bike let alone fly into fits of rage and that includes walkers and horsey folk.
  • 1 0
 @mgolder my assumptions are not stupid they are sensible and based on the experience of seeing people ride e bikes and hearing people talk about them. Even the though of suggesting they are "stupid" shows great immiturity and niavity. I am not here to fuel your argumentative ways but simple state what I have heard and experinced. I wish you the greatest of fun with your ebike experiences.
  • 4 0
 @b45her: Americans don't have a problem with pedal assisted motorcycles, we have a problem with calling them bicycles. Americans who call them bicycles are serving their own selfish purposes at the risk to non motorized cyclists.
  • 1 5
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:06) (Below Threshold)

"Cars have foot-operated throttles too, and require isometric exercise to keep powered. Same difference."

The bullshit on here just beggars belief...
  • 1 1
  • 1 3
 @jaame: "It's "no sense", not "zero sense"."

Just dumbing it down for the US witch-burners on here...
  • 1 3
 @b45her: "am i the only person that notices its just the muricans that have a problem with e-bikes? in most of mainland Europe they are accepted without issue, some resorts even have dedicated e-bike routes."

Yep - glad I live in the civilised world...
  • 1 4
 @betsie: "my assumptions are not stupid

No, they really are - because they're ASSUMPTIONS, yet you present them with the authority of incontrovertible fact.

And they're SO not that...
  • 2 0
 @b45her: Regarding motorcycle trail access,I've also noticed the prevailing difference of opinion between Europeans (and most others) and North Americans here on Pinkbike. Round where I live we don't have "ride centers". We have wildlands. The mission is not to supply the stressed out hordes a place to play, but to preserve that wildness and the inherent benefits it provides our society. We had to fight to convince our land managers that our bikes are not simply sleds, but are actually alternative transportation. We want the same deep experience as the floppy hat crowd! What benefit does driving around have for the mountains or for you is the question that needs answering by those promoting the electric bicycle. I politely suggest that it might be this basic difference in how we in the American west view the purpose of our open spaces that leaves some confused.
Look, if someone invented silent air hockey, would you be fighting to get it put in the library?
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: Someones got the foaming dog fever.
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: So tell me hamster mad. What bike was I talking about....You seem so knowledgeable about something I have yet to even describe.
  • 20 14
 ebike got me back on the bike, when you not in shape middle age that really wants to get in to mountain biking and all the trails around you have big alleviation, emtb is the way to go...but once you in shape it's time to sale the ebike and upgrade to real mountain bike with no motor....
  • 6 5
 and i think this is good just not on certain trails.
  • 8 5
 why wouldnt that be the same for a young out of shape person?
  • 3 2
 I don't understand why my comment got downvoted. I very much understand the reason given above. But at least where I live and ride, if e-bikes started showing up on trails we would have no trails for any mountain bikes. I think trail usage rights need to be adjusted to make for place where e-bikes are allowed. And maybe that can happen on some pre-existing trails.
  • 7 1
 E-bike can be a mountain bike (when you forget about the old dictionary and legal definitions) and they are a fantastic idea for certain people, people that want to get out and ride bikes and have fun, that's what we all do it for right? people that might not have the fitness or health to enjoy a normal bike, that's where they can bring mountain biking to more people.

However i don't think they should be considered an evolution to take mountain bikes to the next step (like suspension and brakes etc) racing should be racer vs racer and using a motor to go faster is cheating when it comes to the pinnacle of the sport and competition.
  • 12 6
 It's amazing to me that a community that is constantly fighting closed mindedness, ignorance and knee jerk reactions is having a reaction like this to a new branch of the sport.
I'm a long time bike rider (everything from BMX to road to mtb to motocross. Hell. I even have a few vintage bikes) and now I'm an e-bike owner. Why? Because after my initial reaction of "those things suck" I tried one and realized a few key things. Firstly it is the perfect tool for my wife to use and actually be able to keep up with me. It's a great way for riders who don't have the base fitness required to experience a real mountain bike ride.
Secondly. They're darn fun to ride and they are a great work out. Sure you can go and spin with the assist dialed way up and barely break a sweat. You just won't go very far due to the limits of the battery. If you are a rider already you will just go out and hammer and get a lot more done in a shorter time. You will still be beat. Just like you would be on a regular bike. The added weight does also make for more of a workout on a descent.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there:

1. They're motor bikes / mopeds: No. They don't have a throttle and will not move unless you pedal. Even a moped that requires a pedal start has a motor that takes over 100%.
they're dead quiet and unlike a bike with an internal combustion engine they make no noise and don't pose a fire danger ( two major reasons why MOTOR bikes are often banned).
The one's classed as e-bikes have pedal assist and shut off at a certain speed. This is a fundamental difference between an e-motorbike with a throttle.

2.They damage trails: They really don't. You don't go roosting around like a motocross bike. The real impact the bike has on a trail is the same as a regular bike. Especially one with fattie tires. The grip more and therefore spin and slide less and actually, in my experience, damage the trail less than my regular trail bike.

3. Unskilled riders will get themselves into trouble: Anyone can ride above their head and break themselves off. Just watch a WC DH race. Because of their weight E-bikes are more challenging to ride over technical terrain. Up or Down.

4. E-bike riders will endanger other riders while pedaling uphill: No. Even though they're capable of doing 20mph before the motor stops assisting you can't really climb anything steeper than a mild fireroad with the assist at 100% to achieve that speed. In reality you're just plonking along 2-3mph faster than normal. If you were to try and climb at full speed you range will be severely limited.

5. You're cheating: Really?? I didn't realize I was in a race. Those of you in a constant virtual race (Strava) need to get a life or actually go out and race. I really feel that this is the major reason why the mtb community is against them. If we're being honest with ourselves.

6. It will bring more people to the trails: So what? Isn't there strength in numbers. Who are you to say who can enjoy the joys of being on a trail. Perhaps that will lead to a larger acceptance of the sport and more trails being built.

7. More people will go deeper into the back country: Not really. As it stands now you're pretty limited on range. In my experience ( a fairly fit rider) I can get about 20 miles and 4-5 thousand feet of climbing in which is about the same as what I would consider a big ride for me. That is largely at only 15% assist which overcomes the weight of the bike and makes me feel like me on my best and fittest day. I'm still working hard. The difference is that I can do it in under two hours.

8: They endanger other trail users: No more than a regular bike. A lycra clad hammer head going up trail will pose about as much threat as the average e-bike user and the full face clad DH / Enduro rider bombing down a trail certainly will.

9. They're not mountain bikes: True. They're not but they're about 90% the same and negative perceptions aside I really don't see a real reason why the deserve all the hate. Just like a hard tail xc bike is not the same as a DH bike an E-bike is not the same as either of those two. They're all for different applications but none are bad unless you try to use them outside of their intended use.

10: E-bikes belong on off road vehicle trails: Absolutely not! I would never EVER ride an e-bike on the same tries I ride my CRF 450 R on. The speeds are so different that it would be seriously dangerous to all users.

11: They use electricity therefore they suck. Well if you ever drive to a trail head in a car, shuttle your bikes or use a ski lift. You are a hypocrite. Lets not mention that if you live in a developed country, use electricity to power your smart phone, computer and basically your whole life then you should't have an issue here.

So where does this leave E-bikes? With a serous identity problem and I see no way around it. If even the mountain bike community takes a knee jerk negative reaction to them they have no hope of surviving.
Lets keep things in perspective relative to the worlds real problems. You're riding a bike on a man made trail somewhere pretty. It's not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Even regular trails users are not doing the planet any favors. IMHO these are first world problems that really don't warrant some of the reactions I'm seeing here.
It would be nice if we could all take an objective and reasonable approach to something new but that's just not the way humans are wired in general. Our initial reaction to anything different is to be against it and perceive it as a threat. Sad but that is just the way the world works...
  • 4 4
 Even though it may not seem like it, I really liked your post, especially for how informative it is, how I feel about it aside.

1: Still motorized. Unless the motor cutoff is set to walking pace, they are effectively faster on whole trails. Can still be modified fairly easily to function off a throttle pedal [especially since disability-mobility variants will exist].
2. More users, plus the ability to bring more momentum into areas. It may not be significantly more per user, and still better than horses, but cumulative impact is still more trail impact.
3. Completely true - but making the vehicle itself harder to maneuver (added weight of battery/motor) plus more speed is still a combination that will result in crashes from newer users. Not actually that big a negative, but will happen.
4. Still relevant with the speed delta between an uphill motorbike and a hiker - until other users learn to expect something traveling faster than a full speed sprinter heading uphill, there will be trail conflict. As power output and batter life increases, riders will be able to go uphill at twice the speed in most instances.
5. AGREE - who cares really
6. See point 2.
7. On current models, sure. As power density for batteries increase along with efficiency of motor packages, we'll see an order of magnitude increase in range. Have to look at what's likely to happen in the future, not just what's right in front of our faces.
8. See point 4, and with some further clarification that they are faster and heavier vehicles. Even without breaking the pedelec archetype (which will also happen), they will still be faster heavier bikes. Add more users (see point 6) and incidence of incidents will go up, period.
9. Nailed it - THEY'RE NOT MOUNTAIN BIKES. The similarities and perception issues you mention are part of why they pose difficulties for trail access and advocacy. They are cool vehicles in their own right, but that doesn't make them bicycles, and in instances where human-powered access is the paradigm shared use trails are built around, they'll be a negative disruptive force for wheeled access.
10. Yes, they do in the US. Because they're motorized, they should be used on trails where motor vehicles are permitted. Private land is also a great place. Just because you don't have the type of OHV trails that would be favorable for this class of vehicle doesn't invalidate the fundamental point.
11. Quite the opposite - for the same reasons Tesla vehicles are the future, eBikes will be the future of off-road motorcycles for many applications. As they become more powerful, they'll see more use. Electric trials motobikes are already getting better, and will continue to. Very lightweight ones will blur the line with eMTB's, which is actually a really good thing.

I agree with a lot of your analysis at the end - new and different things are usually bagged on unnecessarily, but objective analysis has to be honest. They shouldn't be used or viewed as bicycles. They are their own unique thing, which will actually be extremely rad once the power density is sorted out, and areas where their usage doesn't conflict with other users found.
  • 1 3
 2. Yes they do, see twowheeler's comment above.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: How many non-serious riders are going to go out and buy a 4-10k e-bike that is trail worthy? I'm guessing most real e-bikes will be sold to existing riders with a quiver of bikes. They're already riding the trails...
  • 1 0
 @Dustfarter: right now, you're totally right. As the batteries get better and cheaper, with the overall cost of the bikes coming down with economies of scale, it will be very possible to have $2000(us) eBikes which are quite capable, and those will bring a lot of riders in who don't have large quivers of bicycles.
Ironically, as eBikes become more awesome, which they will, then a lot of the issues discussed above will show up in the forefront of discussion, particularly regarding access in multi-user trail situations.
  • 1 0
 @Dustfarter: Forgot to mention that the cost will also be lower because one bike WILL do it all.
If you have double a normal human output on tap for a couple of hours, there won't be that major a distinction between an XC bike and an All-Mountain bike. The 6-8" travel bike will be plenty quick over smoother stuff (especially with electronically controlled suspension bits which can go to platform/lockout reactively based on accelerometer inputs), so one would require only one bike for everywhere eMTB's can go. The real question would become lighter, lower range with single crown, or burlier with a double crown (although the inverted forks hay obviate even this question)
  • 1 0
 Mountain biking has generally been one of the nicest group of people of any sport I've participated in. I can't believe as a community we are experiencing this much infighting and hatred. Makes me kind of sad. Surfing was a lot like this. I guess we as humans have a hard time with change and not simply jumping to conclusions when something is slightly different.
  • 1 0
 @michaeldorian: has someone invented a surfboard with a motor?
  • 6 0
 Do you ride your mountain bike on terrain that isn't a mountain?
Errmaagerrd it's a grass bike
nerrrrrrrrrr it's a path bike
waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa it's a man made trail bike
  • 6 1
 The poll lacks a "have you tried an e-bike, and how did you like it" - option.. Got to say, I didn't, too heavy and difficult to throw around on mellow trails, but I still think that a mtb that assists you until 25kph is definitely a mtb and not a moto.
I don't like that it's so forced by the industry though
  • 5 0
 Well, the poll pretty much shows the (pinkbike) public says NO to e-bikes being a bicycle/mountain bike.

But, the push still continues to sell us something we don't want or like, and didn't ask for. Sort of like, if you say something enough times, it becomes "true". Not happening with the e-bikes. At least as far as pinkbike users are concerned.

But whatever. The main point - it has a mechanical non-human motor = not a bicycle, no matter how you dress it up or market the thing.
  • 1 0
 Couldn't agree more. We live in an area where a lightweight electric moto would be awesome on OHV trails, so there is actually a use case[Coyote/Chamisoso to Poker Chip - yeah]... instead we'll end up having to deal with advocacy and access issues because clowns on motorized bikes will try and insist that they're no different than bicycles.
  • 1 3
 This poll is nothing more than sheep following the herd. If nay sayers actually tried one as others have admitted the results would change.
  • 5 0
 have to say, after seeing this bike in the woods, and watching the guy climb our steepest climb like he was on the rail trail.. I was impressed. But first I called him a cheater, then made fun of his bike.
But after he jumped off and said, give it a try... I sang to a different tune. I have a 2015 Giant Reign which I love to death and I have 5 other worthy rides... he told me the bike is 50lbs and if you put 2 clicks to the switch, it is like knocking 20lbs off the bike and would feel much the same as my Reign. And seeing you still have to peddle the bike to have the motor assit you, that's indeed how it felt going up hill. And being 50lbs it felt as stable as my Intense M3 dh bike.. It also cost $200 cheaper then my Reign at $5800. I might not own one now but at 57 years old I might soon enough..hahaha. not getting any younger and this will keep me riding a Hell of a lot longer. Also at full I had the rear tire torqueing up a rocky climb like a dirt's bad ass
  • 3 0
 Two things - firstly, if you are still shredding at 57 then hats off to you, but I think going onto an ebike is just going to make that fitness you've worked all your life to spiral downwards, like those old people that use 'mobility scooters', once they start, their physical mobility reduces and they are stuck in it until death.

Secondly, you say you had the rear tire torqueing up a rocky climb like a motorbike? I think that is exactly the thing that many of use who treasure our trails are worried about. Adn imiagine if you did that on a multi-use trail in front of some hiker who who just LOVES to complain to the local paper of government representative about how much damage MTBs are doing to the environment. Not cool.
  • 1 4
 @iamamodel: "but I think going onto an ebike is just going to make that fitness you've worked all your life to spiral downwards, "

Wrong - it means that the same level of fitness will be maintainable for much longer.
  • 3 1
 @KeithReeder: So taking the lift will make me as fit as walking up the stairs?
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: Keith don't be a Markusthefarkus
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: You no at my age I am proud at my ability to still crank out a loop with the young pups and stay up front. but snowboarding, free riding and DH injuries have piled up over the years and it is making it hard to ride at a high level..
I've told my friends that when the time comes, we should get dirt bikes so we can still get out and rip, do some hair scramble, turkey runs and just ride. We see dirt bikes in the woods all the time and have no problem with them..matter of fact we get into it more often with hikers then anyone else. where I ride it's us the mtn bikers that do all the trail work. So I take it to heart when an a*shole with a walking stick stops to give me a piece of their mined. They lose!!!!
When I said a rocky section, That's what it was ROCK solid rock, which did nothing to degrade the trail.. Hell I can get my mtn bike to do the same thing on a slick day...spin..
So if I decide to get an E-bike, its because its just another way of keeping my riding a bike at the pace I enjoy without jumping on a HONDA..
At some point in your life you will understand where I am coming from.
My nick name from my friends is the leader, not because I'm the fastest or the best. It's because at my age you have learned to think before you shoot your mouth off.
I am that guy you see in the woods with a chain saw and a rake and shovel keeping our trails in good condition for everyone to enjoy. I do like your concern for our sport!!
Stay thirsty my friend!!
  • 5 0
 In Alberta the Province defines areas where motorized and non-motorized vehicles are permitted to be used. An E-bike is a motorized vehicle, that is unquestionable. Ebikes are prohibited on most mountain bike trails. In the National Parks Mountain bikes are only allowed on a few designated trails, and must be non motorized.
  • 2 0
 This is the same caae in BC
  • 2 0
 And here in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • 1 1
 except bikes under 750w are classified as bicycles. I have yet to see a provincial statement saying ebikes are prohibited on trails. Stop making untrue statements.
  • 1 0
 @d-man: from

"Motor vehicles, including motorcycles, ATV's and similar vehicles, are restricted to the vehicle roads and parking lots."

There is a passage in the same text referring to bicycles being permitted on designated trails.

The source for the link above was the BC Parks regulations. Here's the link

BC Parks takes the position that ebikes are "self-propelled vehicles" per s. 24. Please.. I'm just the bearer of news. This was what I learned from the Chilcotin planning process.

What I do know is that BC Parks rangers use ebikes for maintenance ie for getting stuff in and out. What I can suggest is asking for permission for you as a trailworker to cart stuff in and out for trailwork
  • 2 2
 @leelau: this goes to show the ignorance and arrogance of the bc and national parks management.
National parks is willing to spend millions on installing fences to keep wildlife off the hiways but nothing on trail maintenance and then give tickets out to individuals who try to keep trails usable.

Not all e bikes are self propelled, and to allow workers to ride them and not public is hilarious if its true.

I am sure nobody will ever notice me riding a levo on any trail network, why ask for permission from people who have no idea what they are making decisions on. Of course they will say no because they are to scared to do something different than what they have always done.
  • 1 0
 @d-man: Thanks for your work on Brewer. It's a seriously under-rated classic. Good luck to you in your area. Way less population pressure there then over here in SW BC
  • 2 0
 @d-man: e-Bicycles are classified by Provincial legislation for use on roads within that Province. Road legislation is the jurisdiction of the Provinces. You're quoting how the Ministry of Roads, or the The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (in BC) defines a bicycle. That has no bearing whatsoever on how Parks (Provincial or Federal) regulate the trail systems. The Traffic Safety Act (in Alberta) or the Use of the Highway and Rules of the Road Legislation doesn't apply in off road situations. For mountain bike trails that are built on public land in Parks (or Wildland areas, or Public Land Use Zones) the government department with jurisdiction over that area makes the rules. In Alberta, areas of Parks are designated to allow either Motorized or Non-Motorized travel off road. If you think your ebike is "non-motorized" then there is little hope of having a sane discussion.
  • 20 11
 Ride what you like.
  • 11 10
 The amount of people that these can bring into the sport is what I am concerned about. The more the merrier.
  • 7 4
 @whattheheel: the kind* of people
  • 2 2
 @zede: The kind of people that we need to get MTB to be more socially acceptable, and more trails open. Old rich white people, preferably on boards.
  • 1 0
 @Clarkeh: maybe here it's not the same, but the guys I pedal with are engineer, researchers, doctor, project leader etc. You can't do better if your are looking for socially well accepted people, and your "old white rich people" will never give a shit about mtb because they won't get dirty. And don't hope that politicians will start mtb thank to emtb because they anyway don't have time for sports.
The only new people e-mtb is bringing are lazy and/or old people which is obviously a bad thing
  • 1 0
 @whattheheel: I get a bitter sweet taste from the recent burst of new riders trying out the sport. Specifically DH. I think it's great that more and more people are getting into the sport and making it more mainstream. It's also great that so many more people are getting to enjoy what is great about the sport.

On the flipside, I can't even count how many times I've been coming down double black diamond runs and come out of a corner with a couple of people who've never ridden DH, just standing in the middle of the trail with their bikes strewn around, gawking at the "huuuuge jump" ahead. Then I usually end up off the trail trying to avoid them.

I guess it just boils down to new riders never learning proper trail etiquette. I think that if ebikes bring more folks onto the trails, I think that there needs to be more outreach to educate folks on proper etiquette.
  • 2 0
 @whattheheel: @whattheheel: Not what I'm living m8. We used to be a minority and we had NO problems. In the last 5 years MTB sales have exploded, or at least AM sales have, with the corresponding increase in numbers of guys on bikes in parks, up in the mountains and all over the countryside... and recently ALL I'm hearing from walkers and runners is hate.

I'm looking at trails I've been riding for 20 years being shut to me because of 'the more'.
  • 1 3

"The only new people e-mtb is bringing are lazy and/or old people which is obviously a bad thing"

Utter, utter bullshit:
  • 1 0
 @zede: really???? pretty broad assumption buddy. I enjoy ebikes, I also ride mtb over 100 days a year, own a trail building company, ride horses, moto, snowmobile, ski tour,
  • 1 0
 as long as it is NOT a E-bike
  • 4 0
 I can answer the second question (no, I don't see myself ride one) but I can't answer the first. Even the option "undecided' doesn't quite cover it. It is like asking what color is a chameleon. If you're pushing your bike up the hill, are you riding your mountainbike? It sure is part of mountainbiking (even digging is, in a way) but you're walking at the moment. If you're taking the uplift? Again, you're not riding, you're sitting down as a passenger. If you're riding your (conventional) bike up the hill, yeah then sure you are mountainbiking. If you're riding an e-bike up the hill. Well, apparently that's what this whole rant is about. As when you go over a certain speed (downhill or traversing) the motor disengages. Does it matter much then? You could just as well have the motor in your backpack (and I don't mean Rob Warner style). Does that still make it a motorbike? If I have a cucumber and an apple in my backpack, am I riding a fridge?

So we're talking about the lower speed stuff. It doesn't matter for the rest of your ride. Now say you're on a section you'd be able to ride at 15km/h. A motor could potentially bump you up to 25km/h. Instead, a very strong and fit rider could ride your regular bike and just go 25km/h unassisted. Does that matter much to the trail, whether the e-bike goes 25km/h or the strong rider goes 25km/h unassisted? I'd say not. Sure the regular cyclist may be more subtle whilst climbing but then again, a strong road cyclist on a mountainbike wouldn't necessarily be all that subtle either.

So that's the question you're asking here. If the bike bumps your lower speed up to the speed a very fit rider could accomplish unassisted and for the rest of the ride is exactly indentical to a regular mountainbike, should it no longer be called a mountainbike? Why would you want to know in the first place? If you encounter a chameleon that has the unheard capability of, aside from all it's regular colorways (had to put in here), can also have black and white stripes. Would it no longer be a chameleon and should it be treated as a zebra instead?
  • 5 0
 It's ironic that there is a sizeable number of "mountain bikers" that don't see an issue or distinction between a bicycle and a motorized bike, but nearly all US land managers do.
  • 1 1
 And what says the land managers are right? Many still believe bikes damage trails more than other users. Wrong people to take guidance from.
  • 4 0
 My LBS modded of these and were hitting 60kph on the thing. You can't tell me that its not a god damn motorbike. These are bad news for trail access in areas which are contentious to begin with. I secretly hope some government regulations clamp down on these things and classify them accordingly as motorbikes.
  • 4 0
 I'm not a fan of those things. Unfortunately I have to sell "e-bikes" at the shop i'm working at (I rather wouldn't). Can't let people notice. So I know a bit about the matter. I'm a montain bike enthusiast myself, still riding 26" wheels and not about to change a thing (I also have to sell 27.5" and 29"-or fake 28"- bikes)...I rather wouldn't. And yes i have tried them and i hate them since i first rode one. But back to topic. In Germany the definition by law is pretty clear but only few know about it. There are Pedelecs which are bikes that electrically support your pedal imput. The are only allowed to have a nominal output of 250W and can only support up to 25km/h. Only those are treated the same as bicycles! Then there are S-Pedelecs which support up to 45km/h with a nominal output of 500W max. They are considered mopeds that need to have a licence plate, you need a driving licence, need to wear a helmet and so on. At last there are e-bikes which are basically electric mopeds. So you don't need to pedal at all. Same rules as for S-Pedelecs and mopeds. Nevertheless pedelecs have thier right to exist. But only for those who really need it. My dad for example, 67, bad lungs and cardiac insufficency. He was riding bikes his whole life until he coudn't keep up with his mates any more because of his helath. Baught himself a pedelec mountain bike and since then can finally have a good time riding with his friends (and sometimes me) again. I'm really not a fan of "e-bikes" but for those who need it they are a blessing. Healthy guys in their 20s or 30s riding "e-bikes" however can go f*ck themselves.
  • 1 3
 I bet you do well in sales with an attitude like this. If you don't see the benefits of bigger wheels you have your head in the sand.
  • 2 0
 @d-man: just because I don't like them doesn't mean i don't know about advantage/disadvantage and it doesn't mean I can't sell them Wink That's why i wrote "can't let people notice." I tolerate diffenrent opinions.
  • 5 1
 Im up in the air about them. At first I couldn't understand why. Ive been riding XC 20+ years, and just didn't get it. I went to a Specialized Demo Day, in June and took theirs for a spin. Its crazy, it will make you laugh at how easy the climbs become. Im not saying that its for me but there is a market for them. For example, last nights group ride. A woman who always comes out, who struggles near the end of the group, and we are often waiting for her (not that we mind) now has the Specialized E-Bike. She now is mid pack. Having fun, yet still working hard. The bike doesn't have crazy kick. You can't twist the grip and rip up the ground. It just made her faster, and capable of enjoying the group ride that much more. Sure there were the jokes. About being a docking station, or wondering what her wifi password was, but in the end the group rode faster, and she had a great time.
  • 10 6
 I will go get a ebike when I'm old and my knee are fxxk. By then I'll not call myself a mountain biker.... Probably myself adventure grand pa. Meanwhile, ebike calling itself mountain bike, please go away.
  • 3 0
 I'm getting that way Frown knees are fine uplifting, cant pedal much more than an hour climbing or hip n knees sore for a few days. Just getting wore out with 40 years of bike jumping under my belt. I know time is coming, just holding off to as batterys motors are still getting major upgrades ever year.
  • 3 0
 the word "bike" has been used to call motorcycles. So is this a bike in these terms, I say yes. However, if you look at how did the word "bicycle" came about, then this may not be a bicycle. bi means two. cycle means "circle". two - circle. Does the two refer to the two legs circling/pedaling or the two wheels rolling forward? It seems like it's the latter.
  • 3 0
 If the motor and battery were removable, small enough to fit invisibly in a standard frame, added only say 2-3lbs to the weight of the bike, and cost only £300, how many people have one then? I think an awful lot of people would find that hard to resist.

You've got to figure that's what the march of progress is likely to give us in say five years? I think at that point the motors will become as common as dropper posts, just another tool to allow you to get through the ups so you can enjoy the downs.
  • 1 0
 That's what I'm looking at. Maybe not easily removable motor. There's battery packs at about 3lbs that are hight powered and enough for couple of hours, the motors are too big, high powered to enable start off where what I need is a boost to kick in when pedaling.
  • 2 0
 An awful lot of people were spoiled kids, they grew up and still don't accept that you have to do an effort to get a reward. I really hope e bikes get banned like Heli skiing
  • 1 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:48) (Below Threshold)
 @zede: "they grew up and still don't accept that you have to do an effort to get a reward."

You're really not very bright, are you?

E-bikes DO NOT MEAN no effort. Exactly the opposite, in fact. What they mean is CHOICE.
  • 3 0
 @KeithReeder: ooops i offended some random old ebiker....Im not bright, i dont ride with electricity, but i know enough of English to know that the opposite of "no effort" is not "choice". As I said ebikes are for lazy or disabled people that can't accept that life is hard. I feel sorry for them but i dont give a damn.
And to clarify, no there is no choice, you can't pedal without the electric assistance (too heavy)...and the mode in which the motor just compensate the extra weight is a joke
  • 3 0
 @KeithReeder: hypothetical scenario here. any likeness to real people or events is purely coincidental. British guy keep rubbing Reeder owns a bike shop. When ebikers hit the market this 56year old bloke decides it's the best shit since sliced bread. Fills his bike shop with ebikes. Then he gets on the website pinkmoped to convince others that the latest and greatest is the e-bike so that he doesn't lose his ass with a shop full of shit with an electric motor
  • 6 3
 Not yet endorsing E-bikes......but how many of you spend a day shuttling up the mountain in a motorized vehicle and then gravity brings them to the bottom. Kinda the same principle as an E-Bike but probably a little more eco friendly that throwing your bike in the back of that diesel or gas burner and haulin back up to the top all day long........just sayin.
  • 1 1
 shuttling is fortunately not trendy in Europe but e bikes are. The big difference is the users. People shuttling are good at mtb and relatively young (or let say not old ) while people on e bikes suck at mtb and are generally old. These two things are definitely not comparable
  • 2 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:43) (Below Threshold)
 @zede: "while people on e bikes suck at mtb and are generally old"

You're not just FULL of shit, it's actually overflowing.

I'm 56 (is that "old"?) and I could almost certainly ride rings around you on an ordinary bike. But it's a simple fact that there's more fun to be had, for longer, on an e-bike - and that's why I ride one.

If you can't understand that, I suggest you pay more attention in school (because you're - what? 14 years old, based on the infantile crap you're coming up with here...)
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: still the same old offended dude. I rode quite a lot in France and Austria, and i can tell that 95-99% of the people on ebikes i saw completly suck a mtb. Im quite slow in uphill but still I managed to pass some ebikes on a climb.
That being said Im pretty sure the riding level is different in uk, so i dont doubt that the level of the crowds riding e bikes is also different. Since emtb was originally a german thing, you should come in germany, austria and swiss and see how most of ebikers are here
  • 3 0
 But you drive your shuttle rig up a road where cars are allowed, and ride your Mtb down a trail where they are allowed. There's a bunch of different arguments going on here - but the big one for a lot of us ( depending where you live) isn't about speed or hypocrisy or environmental footprint or get off my lawn, but about what it means for trail access when increasingly powerful e bikes use mtb trails without clear definitions and access laws already in place. Great if you live somewhere where they already have classifications and power limits and access laws etc in place, but in other areas it'll be jumped on by opponents of mtb as an excuse to shut trails down, since they aren't going to bother distinguishing between a normal mtb and an e-bike.

My 2c would be to class e-bikes as a completely separate vehicle, and let e-bikers lobby for their own trail access. In a lot of cases that may well be mtb trails, and the lobbying could happen by mtb groups and companies, but either way, sort out the legality before risking spoiling it all for everyone.
  • 1 0
 @smallsilences: this is a fair and rational solution.
  • 5 2
 I think the masses misunderstand the future of an e-bike!
Its the evolution away from gasoline and provides a platform for many people who can't ride regular bikes.
Do I agree with e-bikes blasting trails, not really but as a bike for adventures or commuting it has a high value.
Most trails, we get our thrills out of the natural features but look at modern trails, wicked sections turned into buff flow trails to better suit more riders, well thats what an E-bike represents, a platform to better suit more riders.
I see a future of people running to stores, moms picking up kids and people running around town on little mini e-cars or bikes rather than heavy gas guzzling pigs that we call cars!
Think about its abilities.
When hikers look at us mountain bikers their impression is we are destroying the trails, true or not? So, why should we be bashing a platform that will ultimately be our living future?
  • 3 0
 It's called a moped and this isn't even a question. In Canada these fall right into the definition of a limited-speed motorcycle, and will be subject to the same laws in short time once their popularity brings them onto roads in larger numbers.
  • 2 1
 Yup. There is still the possibility of having some really awesome areas set up for limited-speed off-road motorcycles, because battery development will make that into a cool thing.
  • 2 0
 @tehllama: yup, I'd imagine mini MX tracks, charge a fee, let em rip.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: Yeah, I'm picturing massively long stuff with a mix of technical, 4X, and flow sections which doesn't need a ton of vertical drop becoming a new and totally badass sport, especially if it's competitive. These could be longer sprint sections with limited battery thing, and then it would be a mix of battery management and pace maximization (much how Formula E works).

I do think that some of the emerging sport possibilities would be straight up killer - 10 mile sprint races with Turbo-LEV type bikes over mixed terrain that includes everything from drafting to dropping DH track-rough stuff would be badass to watch or participate in. May not be an olympic sport, but would be a pretty awesome extreme sport, and maybe a cool idea for paralympics.
  • 1 0
 @tehllama: That would be pretty cool, and would give credence to the Ebike thing imo. Since it wouldn't be piggybacking off the efforts made for trail access, and would allow users to engage in a way that suits the bikes. win-win.
  • 1 0
 @tehllama: paralympics?

what the hell are you talking about?

wow.what planet are you from?
  • 3 0
 This debate, while no doubt entertaining and certainly good platform for thought experiment is totally irrelevant. An ebike is neither a mountain bike nor a motorcycle. It is a new category. This is like asking folks in the 80s if mountain bikes are pedestrians or equestrian. "They are pedestrian- human powered and don't take dumps on the trail". "No, they are equestrian- they aren't walking and can move at a high rate of speed".

As for land use in the States thus far I believe that the USFS called them motorcycles. So go ride them on 2 track and moto trails. Perhaps the ACLU will get ahold of this and open them for disabled everywhere. Hopefully keen land managers will see this is a new activity and allow them on some trails, not on others. Things like numbers of users, lines of sight, balance of hikers, horses etc would give a good idea when it is ok and when it is not. We are talking about public land use. Not mountain biker land use, not hiker use etc. The goal should be to allow the maximum number of people the maximum number of ways to enjoy their public lands.
  • 1 0
 You don't take dumps on the trail? I thought that was what the new baggies over bib shorts concept was for.
  • 3 0
 Why are people against these things. Who doesn't dream of rolling up to your local shuttle zone and blasting pedal laps like its no ones business. Or just imagine the getting to the top of a tough climb and still having energy to enjoy the views and descent
  • 3 0
 Mountain bikes are fun. E-bikes are fun. Dirt bikes are fun. But they're not the same creatures. Anything with a motor (of any kind) needs to stick to trails where motorized vehicles are allowed. Yes, that means E-bikes. This doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.
  • 3 0
 its simple. its a moped. fun to ride but you don't want your friends to see you on one. it should be allowed on all the same trails that motorcycles are and none of the trails that motorcycles are not. those signs you see that say "no motorized vehicles", that's you Mr. e-bike. There is no real gray area. There are plenty of trails that allow motorcycles and thats why I still have and ride a KTM enduro bike. There are however NO singletrack trails off of Mt. Wilson for instance that allow motorized use so you clowns that are riding trails that are off limits to motorized bikes need to check yourself and drive to a place where OHV is legal (Gorman, Texas Canyon, The Sierras, Baja, etc).

look at the history or motorcycles. most of the motorcycle companies were actually bike companies. they started by strapping motors to the bike frames they already made (and even kept the pedals to start them). so, from the very beginning putting a motor on a bicycle = motorcycle.

if you want to ride a motorcycle, buy one of these: and hit me up and i'll take you on rides that will make you soil your trousers. if you don't want to deal with gasoline you could buy a real e-bike:
  • 2 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 4:06) (Below Threshold)
 "its simple. its a moped"

Well it's the logic of a simpleton, if that's what you mean...
  • 4 1
 This is where the sea change of the sport occurs.

Clearly, as evidenced by this poll, the main constituent of the sport reviles the notion of a bike that does the work for you. Meanwhile, almost every single mountain bike journalist has cow towed to the bike industry, enabling (promoting even) this, the evisceration of the soul of the sport, because they know which side their bread is buttered on. They dare not bite the hand that feeds. Secure in the notion that as long as they continue to rationalize and obfuscate, that their publication will retain its comfy little spot with the people who pay them.

I fear that "journalist" isn't really the appropriate term any longer. Industry shill, lobbyist, spin doctor... any one is more accurate at this point.

Easy for me to say, right? My career isn't on the line for speaking the truth and taking a stand. I can only vote with my legs, and commit to never owning an ebike.

If, COLLECTIVELY, current riders AND journalists put up a united front against ebikes, then maybe there would be a chance that the industry would pull its head out of its a$$ and stop trying to shove them down our throats. But, it seems as though every mtb outlet has the same response "they're here, there is nothing we can do about it, so just shut up and deal".

I'm sorry but that's just plain deplorable. The literal soul of the sport is at risk, and it's loudest voices just sit idly by.
  • 4 2
 For anyone who is naive enough to think that these "Bikes" won't soon have full, non-pedal assist power, with lots of trail destroying torque, that will be INDISTINGUISHABLE between what Mike Levy is trying to portray as "still a bike" and an actual fully motorized bicycle/motorcycle hybrid, this WILL happen.

And it will more than likely happen before anyone can stop it. Then you can kiss your trail access goodbye. Forget about the whole Wlderness access battle. Equestrians, and hikers, and land managers, and forest rangers WON'T CARE what it is that you're TECHNICALLY riding. They don't have the time, or the resources to try and distinguish between the two. As soon as the stories of trail damage, people getting stranded in the wilderness, collisions with other trail users, (not to mention the exploding number of riders who would get into the sport because they no longer have to move their lazy asses up the hill), trails will start getting shut down.
  • 2 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:44) (Below Threshold)
 "the main constituent of the sport reviles the notion of a bike that does the work for you"

Which e-bikes DO NOT do.

More cluelessness...
  • 2 0
 I have never ridden an ebike so I don't know the crack with them, but I do live in the UK and its big hills with no shuttles to get up the hills and I don't drive a car. Now the question is does this make me a person knowing I can get more miles to my ride and have more fun on the bike at the destination I ride to. Well the verdict is they build them in Japan and in the UK we think of the ebike as cheeting. At the end of the day if I can stay out on my bike for longer then the ebike will have its place but at the moment i think its early days.
  • 1 5
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:58) (Below Threshold)
 "in the UK we think of the ebike as cheating"

"WE" think of the ebike as cheating?

Who's this imaginary "we" you've invented?

Because THIS UK rider KNOWS there's nothing remotely hooky about riding an ebike.
  • 3 0
 Pink bike editors this morning: our site view numbers are down, we need something to get the community all riled up and then someone suggests "how about an article on e-bikes" followed by every one at once saying "perfect"
  • 2 0
 Why is this even a topic? The geniuses at pink bike obviously want to create drama which really benefits no one. The answer is so clear its ridiculous. Of course it is not a bike, its a motorcycle/scooter. It has a motor in it...
  • 2 0
 I have an e-bike along with a couple other human powered bikes. In my experience all hikers, horseback riders, and other mountain bikers have been really excited about the bikes. The only ones who seem bent out of shape are the people on here. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. E-bikes for me are amazing in that I can get in a great ride and still make it to work on time...
  • 12 9
 I'm getting one, we bit more opened minded in Europe and these are welcome, not the high power ones that I would consider motorbikes but the ones that offer assist up to the power a normal rider has.
  • 8 27
flag zede (Sep 30, 2016 at 0:42) (Below Threshold)
 I'm open minded and you are not welcome on the trails. I will block you if you try to pass me uphill and I will spit on your stupid motor bike we your battery will run out of power.
  • 23 2
 @zede: That doesn't sound very open minded to me.
  • 16 3
 I'm getting to point where knees and hips cant take anymore than an hours climbing. When you've been on bike for 40 years you might start to understand. A smaller motor and battery pack is what I'm looking at, something to give me a 50% boost to keep me going to take pressure off joints. You'll still likely go past me on the climbs but at least I'll still be biking..
  • 2 5
 @bat-fastard: I started real mountain biking with a group of people that were all above 50 and all riding for at least 30/40years. They were kicking my ass uphill and downhill and they probably still do uphill now. Why ? Because old doesn't mean weak and normal 60 years old people should be able to climb 1500m with a bit of training.
My previous comment was more making fun of a European guy stating that European are more open minded; I didn't expect to be understood as European are as dumb as other people
  • 2 5
 @bat-fastard: I'm sorry for you if you are so rusty you can't ride a normal bike anymore but maybe then you have to accept the reality. It's completely dumb to go against your body, if you can't pedal anymore, your body probably can't take a crash either. If my body can't handle pedaling when I get old I will simply stop riding. I love mountain biking but if one day I can't pedal anymore I will simply stop.
  • 5 2
 @zede: "I will block you if you try to pass me uphill": Top-Notch Douche-baggery. This is the type of behavior I expect from anti-mountain biking Sierra Clubbers, not fellow mountain bikers.
  • 1 1
 @zede: took a big crash in morzine this year. ribs have now healed nicely and booked for next year again. I can uplift day in day out.. Yes some people are blessed with athletic jeans, I was a back of cue for them. Even in my 20's when was at my fittest would always be at the back of a group on a climb. Going down is a different matter but.. People are different some are more able than others its nothing to do with fitness or training. I know plenty of ones my age with aches n pains and quite a few have bought haibikes already.
  • 1 0
 how can someone read "I'm open minded and you are not welcome on the trails" and still think it s gonna be a serious comment ?
I don't give a shit if they pass me uphill, it s anyway generally the opposite that happens. But i would not call e-biker fellow mountain biker : i'm going up thanks to my legs, i'm closer to hikers than ebikers.
  • 2 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:25) (Below Threshold)
 @zede: You'd need the services of a great proctologist - to get your bike back from where I'd shove it - if you tried that with me, princess...
  • 2 1
 @KeithReeder: go back to your ukip meeting
  • 1 1
 @zede: don't need to we won.. bye bye
  • 2 0
 While I personally wont be getting one, I find the arguments here laughable. These machines are neither mtb or motorbikes. They are the offroad equivalent of a mobility scooter and are great for disabled or less able bodied people, for everyone else I see them as plain lazy. As for trail legislation laws...we don't all live in America and some of us couldn't care less about your dumb laws. I am more offended by the recent (self obsessed) gopro and drone trend than these bikes. At least they get more people on two wheels. If you worry about being passed by one of these on the trails, you are sad and your trails are too wide!
  • 1 5
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:33) (Below Threshold)
 "These machines are neither mtb or motorbikes. They are the offroad equivalent of a mobility scooter and are great for disabled or less able bodied people, for everyone else I see them as plain lazy"

Ignorance really must be bliss, given how much of it is happily being demonstrated on here:

Tell VP she's disabled, not able-bodied, or "plain lazy"...
  • 2 0
 I came here expecting a balanced argument so it makes me laugh to see the argument for e-bikes is essentially: 'Stop living in the past, man! If it's made by a bike company then it must be a bike'
Shimano also make fishing reels, I'm not going to put one on my bike though. Smile

Realistically, e-bikes aren't really bicycles, hence why they have a different name. I'm not totally against them, I just think they should be limited to people who really need them.
  • 1 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:30) (Below Threshold)
 "Realistically, e-bikes aren't really bicycles"

Realistically, you don't know what you're talking about. They are 100% "bicycles".

They go when you pedal them; they go when the battery's flat; they go with the support turned off;

The only significant difference is that they give you the choice to have a hard or an easy day, and they'll get you home if you blow up on a hard day.

Not rocket science, is it?
  • 3 0
 @KeithReeder: nope, it's very simple: motor+ bike= motorbike

these ones simulate the mtb experience, which is cool, but painting stripes on a horse does not make a zebra.
  • 3 1
 I've noticed that here in the UK that a lot of organised rides (guides of an area etc) are stating that E-bikes are not permitted due to insurance complications. This could have an effect on their use at trail centres and bike parks here so that may be the crunch point for us.
  • 2 0
 Amazing to get users out on the trails that wouldn't otherwise be capable (old people for example).

I've you've got no physical reason for using them, not cool.

They don't ride like real MTBs any way, you stop pedalling, it's like dragging the brakes. You have to pedal constantly to maintain any sort of speed, which means you can't ride properly.

Sitting down twiddling the pedals isn't MTBing IMO, that's just off road road biking.
  • 2 0
 I think the poll needs another option - I'm not considering one in the next 12 to 24 months (hopefully) but when the time comes where fitness, health or age means that I can't enjoy riding like I do currently, then I'd consider one.

Can't believe there's so much hate towards something that can get more people out riding. More riders means a bigger demand for places to ride, which in turn means that more trails and routes become viable for both those on Ebikes and those doing it themselves.

I can't speak for the draconian access rights in the States but I know here (UK) any pedal assist bikes (not the stuff like the twist and go Beta's and KTM's that you can buy) whilst frowned upon by some are not flat out banned.
  • 3 1
 You have to charge an e-bike and i've never plugged my regular bike into a power point which means the enviromental impact of my bike ends with the manufacturing process. Now the e-bike just keeps e-bike charging ah not a big deal but yeah now there is going to be tens of thousands of these things on charge using yet more fossil fuel when a bike is suppose to be the green option. Then you have all these big companies telling us how green and geared towards the future they are and they've just created yet another fossil fuel hungry piece of shit for the consumer to waste their money on. Not to mention the batteries that will not last and will probably require at least one replacement in the usual life span of a bike and those batteries have to go somewhere, the landfill. I can only hope that people that buy these things run out of battery miles from home and have to pedal it home anyway. Have fun with that, pedalling your 35kg bike. Maybe at that moment someone on a regular bike flies past you gives you a grin and you'll know you fucked up. Peace.
  • 1 1
 Do you drive a vehicle to your trails? If so your arguement is worthless.
  • 2 0
 to me it's down to if it's pedal assist or throttle powered, as a pedal assist you're still putting in effort and physically powering the bike, and it won't move unless you pedal it, while a throttle e-bike that is an electric motorcycle, as just twist the throttle and off you go making some rooster tails, and ripping up the trail, but at least most e-bikes are pedal assist, as they use either bosch or shimano drive systems. but some ways it could go to needing a blue badge to use a non-pedal assist e-bike on trails or bike parks.
  • 2 0
 If a bike has a motor it should be defined as a motor cycle regardless of whether it has pedals or not, if you look back at the very first motorcycles the majority of them had pedals but they were no longer called bicycles. This brings me to my opinion which is that ebikes are not mountain bikes they're more of an "electric motor cycle", some people may not agree with this but that is exactly what an ebike is it's a bicycle with a motor that is powered by electricity so I don't know where all the confusion is coming from.
  • 13 7
 pinkbike is really pushing the e-bikes. Fuck e-bikes and fuck pinkbike.
  • 2 2
 You apparently were not at Interbike...or Eurobike....
  • 3 3
 Bye then....
  • 3 1
 All the MTB sites are, you are gonna have to quite the internet if you don't want to hear or see "e-bikes", but, like 27.5 and all the other "unwanted" changes its not up to you, the media and industry will wear you down .. they will win .. they always do ... and they will win with pedal assist MTB ... before you know it you will be admiring them and wanting them and not even be aware you are doing it .. the marketing gods have powers you can only dream of ... you have been warned .. hide .. hide before they get you ......
  • 2 0
 I don't know if it is certain brands or what but I've see a couple "E-Bikes" at our local hill and they seem to go pretty quick without pedaling up and across. So if the argument is that it helps pedaling I haven't had to see one actually have to be pedaled in order for it to move. Another point is that sure they are currently limited to a certain speed but it's not like you can't modify it to go faster, sure you kill the battery faster but it can be done. E-bikes are a great thing for general biking purposes it helps people get out that can't but for mtb it's a slippery slope, how long will it be until there are v10s with electric motors strapped to them on your xc trail pretending to brap around. I'm sure it's different else where but I have seen old DH bikes with gas powered motors attached and I'm sure its just a matter of time. These are the down sides I have seen.

One question for those how say they are good for people with previous injury I'm kind of wondering what sort of injury would keep you from pedaling but not controlling the bike, I ask this because currently I'm recovering from a knee injury which hurts like hell to put power down when climbing up hill but also when holding a line while cornering and going through rough stuff so I don't see how a E bike could help me. Just curious about other people experiences before I make an opinion.
  • 3 0
 Whether an e-bike is a mountain bike or not, few things are as rewarding as finishing an awesome trail completely on your own power. ← that's my opinion anyway, and I think there are many who would agree with me...
  • 4 1
 "A bicycle, often called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other."

  • 2 0
 My LBS posed an interesting pic on FB (I think for discussion bait) of a trail maintaince volunteer using an E-bike to lug up all his shovels and shit to groom the trails for everyone else. I hate e-bikes, but this was a situation where I thought okay ya that is okay. Based on what we're seeing at bike shops and trade shows, I'd say they're here to stay, and its how to manage them going forward.
  • 1 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 4:01) (Below Threshold)
 "I hate e-bikes"

Because you don't know the first thing about them, I imagine...
  • 3 0
 No its not a mountain bike, mountain bikes dont have motors.

Its and E bike, an Electric bike with an electric motor.

If a dirt bike didn't have a motor would it still be a dirt bike?

-The End.
  • 5 0
 If it has a "motor" (of any non-person power) it is a "motorcycle". Problem solved. It was simple really.
  • 1 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:55) (Below Threshold)
 "If it has a "motor" (of any non-person power) it is a "motorcycle"."

But "person power" is a motor: you are providing the MOTIVE POWER, therefore you're - literally and figuratively - a motor!

All you're doing here is demonstrating where your personal prejudices incline you to draw the arbitrary line...

Not so simple after all, eh?
  • 2 0
 pink bike bicycle or E bike is a 2 Wheel Vehicle Definition bi means 2 ,, cycle means wheels = bicycle
does it a have a motor yes do you still pedal yes does it bring more people to the outdoors YES so is Good for the sport, the environment, and the Industry.
I think we should stop the arguing and get on with the regulations

I propose the E bike should be Pedal assist and not exceed 10 miles an hour on its on power...
  • 2 0
 These are not mountain bikes. These things are nothing more than under powered motor cycles that have no business on the trails. I'm over 40 and when when I'm to old to ride a real mountain bike up hill I'll start riding lift access.
  • 3 1
 Only real difference between a dirt bike and a modern full suspension mtb is a motor. You put a motor on it... regardless of it being electric or gas... it's a dirt bike. Period. I really can't figure out why people can't figure this out. A zero is still a motorcycle even though it's electric. Some of it comes down to power output... i get that argument. But modern electric bikes can rip around and 25mph easily without the rider pedaling. And that's not smashing down hills. That's flat ground. Do I see a purpose in electric bikes and electric pedal assist.... yup. Commuting on one would be rad. You can decide how much excercise you want to the point of really only using the assist on big climbs. But on trails with hikers and mtb riders crawling up climbs I don't like the idea of a bike ripping up a climb at 15-20 mph. And this is coming from a fat boy that prefers shuttling. LOL!
  • 7 0
  • 2 0
 I'm 50 and I'm still fast.. Strong climber and fast as hell DH on a Tallboy Carbon.
I've seen a lot of changes in my life of moto/enduro racing.
Mark these words: there will be a generation of recreational Mtn bikers that wouldn't consider riding without motor assist.
What's good about that?
  • 2 4
 "What's good about that?"

What's BAD about it? You saying it is?
  • 1 0
 @KeithReeder: I thought it was a little obvious- a generation of kids that can't climb out of their driveway without electric assist. Does this sound like the direction we want Mtn biking to go?
Back in the day, if you were tough enough you could ride a scooter down the sidewalk.
Now we have electric scooters. Everybody's doing it...
  • 3 0
 I loath everything about "E-bikes" Not on my trails please. I have spent my entire life owning dirtbikes as well. It is a motorized vehicle! Very simple! We are entering a world of pain!
  • 3 1
 "'There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.'" - Herbert Spencer-
Wow I knew I should've commented last night when there is only 20 some odd people that commented.
I live in extremely beautiful, diversely terrain, and multi climate place!
I have seen this type of attitude when it came to lots of sport such as kite surfing, standup paddling, and back in the day when snowboards came around!
All of those sports has gotten people that normally wouldn't be interested in it off the couch and outside!
And the biggest reason why all of them I've gotten so popular and grown so exponentially is....
The feeling you get from it is so fun and does not compare to anything else that you've done in your life at that point!
Plain fact you can't stop how something feels no matter what you say or you do!
Here's a little fact and story. I know a couple of Redbull athletes, if you know anything about Redbull there's only two or three athletes and every athletic category that can wear that gear. These people/ athletes are the apitame of or the very top tier of whatever sport they're doing.
These people can pretty much take any sport and never doing it,shred at it way above any normal human beings level, they are very talented and gifted people!
That being said the two RedBull athletes I know have the ebikes and they have ref mountain bikes, but all they do is ride Ebikes! Do you think these elite athletes want to deprive them self of the feeling of exercise that they get from a regular bike? Would they not be on a regular bike?
They tell me that they get more exercise and go further and do much more extreme things the new Ever would on a regular bike!
The studies have shown that the impact is non-registrable compared to regular bikes! And I haven't heard of any extraordinary incidents more than any mountain biker between pedestrians in them!
I think forms like this is great because it starts conversation good or bad and it will help us form what we need to regulate these things.
Whether you like it or not these things are the future and their coming!
Either get behind it and help shape and inform people, or get out of the way!
  • 2 0
 Every sentence in the "E-bikes ARE mountain bikes" comment section could be said about a motorbike such as a KTM or Honda. Two wheeled vehicles with motors are great indeed, but they're motorbikes regardless of whether the motor is an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. They are not bicycles and should not be allowed access to bicycle trails or paths.
  • 1 1
 Except ktm and honda have no pedals......small difference
  • 3 0
 Can anyone tell me will a stick in the front wheel of an e-bike cause the rider to go over the handlebars flying like Superman? Wanna fly ebikers? Show up at my local trails riding that shit
  • 2 0
 The definition of mountain biking should not be confined to the physical act of propelling oneself with a bike onto and up a mountain. It's also the emotion one gets from being away from asphalt and experiencing nature in all of its wonders. That being said, if one needs assistance in getting to this wonderful headspace, whatever the circumstance that requires them to use a PEDAL ASSIST bike, then we shouldn't deny them that joy.

Mountain biking is a feeling, not the act.

If it's the act only, then we need to also do something about the overweight, video game-playing skid kiddies having their dads drive them to the top in their Chevy trucks. Is that mountain biking, or is that reciprocating engine-assisted cycling?
  • 3 2
 Well if you think about it - that's how Harley Davidson was established - they took a bike and put a motor on it. So how is this any different from a motorcycle when you have some kind of an engine??? If it is not you - it is not a bicycle. Must be human powered and dependant on me only - no cheating with electricity or another power source for driving forward.
  • 2 1
 E-bikes are E-bikes, they are a new market, even if some of them look like trail bikes. A market that attracts new people stranger to mtb. Maybe the don't fit all areas of the world or trails, but here in Italian Alps, especially in the Dolomites they work great! Less fatigue on the uphills to fully unleash on the downhills! I was skeptic at first ,then I've tried one and I must say they have a purpose. Yes shuttles and chairlifts are awesome but they aren't always available, so guys E-Bikes are becoming a new "toy" to ride trails.
  • 1 0
 My father in-law is in he 70's and rides off road a few times a week in spain, he recently had to have a hip replaced which kept him off his bike for a while, he used a e-mtb as a recovery tool which was great, he is back riding his normal bike now but still gets the e-mtb out from time to time as he says its enables him to go further and therefore longer. I think anything that makes more people get on a bike and do some exercise has to be a good thing
  • 1 0
 The argument that pedalelects only will do 25km/h is bs. If anyone wants to go faster there are currently already a multitude of options to "tune" your ebike motor to both eliminate the speed control (up to 75km/h on the most popular Bosch CX) as well as adjust the multiplier so the force required to get the motor going can be changed. All of the options hide the tuning chip, which plugs directly into the motor in less than 10min, so no one can tell the bike has been modified. There is also an app for that.

a href="">Bosch Speed Box/a>
  • 1 1
 Yeah and most cars can exceed the speed limit by about double. I think the battery would last all of 20 minutes at that rate. What do you propose anyway? A speed limit? A license to for the bike and another to ride it?
  • 1 0
 I worry that these stupid ebikes will be detrimental to keeping singletrack single... At least now most motorcycles/dirt bikes do not go on our tight single track because the larger bike is cumbersome and/or they don't have the skill. Now we are talking about a much more maneuverable and lighter bike hitting the trails. I don't know how much power these things have but if they can roost around corners and hole shot, there goes our singletrack if this trend actually takes off with the motorcycle crowd....
  • 1 0
 I really don't get why you'd want one. Like, a serious failure of understanding. Maybe if you NEED one. But why the hell would anyone walk into a shop, look at the monstrosity of a motorbike/mountainbike/mobility scooter hybrid, and say: "Yep, that bloated boat-load of awful looking, poorly executed, ill-concieved, inefficient global warming is exactly what I need in my life"

Voluntary E-bike users need disdain. And even more than that they need pity. And even above this they need therapy.

Or maybe that's just me...

(edit-removed a comma).
  • 2 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 4:11) (Below Threshold)
 "But why the hell would anyone walk into a shop, look at the monstrosity of a motorbike/mountainbike/mobility scooter hybrid, and say: Yep, that bloated boat-load of awful looking, poorly executed, ill-concieved, inefficient global warming is exactly what I need in my life""

Oh sure - a perfect description of this:

Seriously - could you at least TRY not talking such shite? Just for a bit?
  • 2 0

I stand by everything I said. That's hideous, inefficient, and poorly concieved. It's a coal-fired, precious resource-mined, fat and unsafe bucket of lazy for anyone who has fully finctioning legs.

(rage edit) In addition - it would be better for your inter-personal skills, and the general wellbeing of your heart, if you didn't take personal offence at a clearly comedic commentary of personal opinion. And especially don't take a personal vendetta against me when this is the first of my (very few) comments you've replied to.
  • 2 0
 @KeithReeder: A FINAL REPLY:

  • 1 0
 I jumped on one of Specialised fullsusp e-bikes at Crankworx Rotorua this year for the first time. I "pedalled" to the top of the gondola then took it down the air DH course. I enjoyed arriving at the top still fresh and ready to hit the trail straight away, I didn't enjoy how heavy and awkward the bike was on the way down, and it rode with out any of the real advantages of a motorbike (to the point I will never bother riding one again) so for me its simple, they're not a mtb cause they simply don't act/feel like one in reality, they act/feel like a gutless motor bike.

For others that want to use them for whatever reason, go ahead, the trail will filter the type of rider skill/bike normally so I really don't expect to many issues, particularly with enduro and DH. As long as they can keep up and don't kill the flow for others I rekon ppl can ride any bike that has pedals wherever they have the skills to do so.

If too many riders is the issue, build more trail. If getting permission to build is the issue, petition until it becomes a reality, or just move to NZ. We have better beer too.
  • 1 0
 I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would buy such an underpowered motorcycle. Motorcycles are fun. A great way to get out. They also work for the injured and the unfit. I positively love the big Ducatis. I also love bicycles. Both road and mtb. But don't pretend a motorcycle is a bicycle just because it has a wimpy motor.
  • 1 0
 Whether it is a mountain bike or not is not the real issue. The real issue is should we allow it to share trails with real mountain bikes or not. I believe e-bikes are a big safety concern to the rest of the trail users. They should be used only on extra-wide paths like dirt roads and others designed to help a rider see way ahead to avoid collision with other path users.
  • 1 0
 The actual definition of bicycle is "is a HUMAN-POWERED, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other."

E-bikes have a motor, they are motorbikes, shitty ones, but still motorbikes, not mountain bikes!
  • 1 0
 E-bikes makes sense for commuting on the road and for riding in private downhill bike parks. Otherwise they seem to have a potential to get much closer to motto's which can tear up the trails. Braaaap! E-bikes should not be allowed on most public trails. Then again, each circumstance and community is different.
  • 1 0
 I rode one of these at the weekend at a Bike demo. Never thought i would enjoy it but i was pretty tired after trying about 10 different bikes in the morning. The bike obviously climbed really well... because i didn't have to put much effort in but you can adjust the motor to suit... so you don't have to ride the bike on turbo constantly. In terms of riding down the hill, didn't need the motor at all and it rode just like a normal bike but a bit heavier.
I don't understand why people hate really, yeah it's assisting you but it's not taking the fun out of it!
Decades ago guys would have said you were "Cheating" when you rode a bike with more then one gear... then of course you were "Cheating" cause you rode a full suspension bike instead of a hardtail... these are all common things now so just accept that something like this may just become the future
  • 1 0
 Well, I now ride both a turbo levo and an s-works enduro. I believe if the ebike does not have a throttle and you have to pedal it, then it should still be considered a mtb. If the ebike has a button or throttle and propels the bike without pedaling, then it should not be considered a mtb.
  • 6 5
 I can push my motor cycle with my feet if I like, or I can use the engine to assist me, does that mean I can ride on the trails? No and I wouldn't want to, that defeats a huge point of mountain biking. If it has a motor and it's a cycle it's a motorcycle and does not belong alongside us on the trails. Separate trails id be okay with, but the moment I hear am electric engine buzzing past me on a climb someone is getting hurt. #EBikeDeathSquad join me. Thankfully where I live the USFS and the BLM both do not allow them on our singletrackch because they are indeed motorcycles
  • 3 2
 Was on the way back from a downhill bike park last weekend when a man on an all mountain e-bike (mudguards, bell, reflectors, brand new thing) asked me the way to the park. I told him and watched him cycle effortlessly up the hill and realised the argument about people hitting trails waaaay beyond their level at high speeds is entirely true.
  • 1 0
 Excellent point, sir. These are the days of the amateur. With guys like him taking over the bike parks, they better double down on EVAC helicopters!
  • 7 6
 If it's got fat tyres, is it a bike?
If it's got gears, is it a bike?
If it's got disc brakes, is it a bike?
If it's got suspension, is it a bike?
If it's got mudguards, is it a bike?
If it's got panniers, is it a bike?
If it's got leather tassles on the handlebars, is it a bike?

@pinkbike if you need any more ideas for polls, I'm your man.
  • 5 4
 Funny how most of the negative comments come from the USA, Canada ect (no I'm not bashing two beautiful countries). I think that the Land access issues play a major role and can really screw over mtb riders being allowed to enjoy some amazing terrain and views.

If I lived in a country that has such a hard time gaining right's to ride in areas/trails I would be hating on anything that would potently upset the issue even more!

If these issues didn't exist I think there would be a larger uptake on E-bikes as the rest of the MTB world is heavily influenced by American trends, No there are NOT motorbikes (unless it has a twist throttle) but they are blurring the lines between the two.
After riding one I have to admit it was the most fun I've had in a long time on two wheels, There will always be people who wouldn't touch one with a barge pole, they can be a lot of fun its just a shame some people can be so narrow minded, If we carried on like this we would all be still going about on a horse and cart
  • 1 0
 although land access is responsible for the vitriol, it's bizarre that somehow the brits think that motorcycle= twist throttle + fast, not motorcycle= motorized. It's like they're all in on some prank.

it's a motorcycle, that doesn't mean it's not fun or should necessarily be banned everywhere.
  • 1 0
 I don't have any problems with e-bikes with pedal assist and speed limit, because I doubt their impact on anything is different from a regular bike, but I can understand how in the real world it would be hard to figure out which ones are hacked to remove the limit, so you could fine/ban the people riding them. I guess the question is if enough people would hack them for it to become a problem.
  • 3 0
 I have tried one and it's funny. But it gives me that feeling that it's cheating!!
When i'm old i will get one, until then it will be "1 horse powered machine".
  • 1 0
 did the same, thought the same..but bit was cool
  • 5 2
 Great. These e-bikes have a good chance of ruining 30+ years of trail advocacy and landed ownership relationships around the world.
  • 2 1
 I really love the idea of frail, old, disabled, etc people accessing riding thanks to e-bikes. We all get the buzz from riding and the more the merrier in that sense. But you can't just dump that kind of product on the market and expect existing trails and trail users to cope with that change straight away. Are they mountain bikes? No - in the same way that an MTB trail can't also be a MX trail because it won't cope, the same should apply to e-bikes so we need them to be a different category of bike to draw that distinction. Does that mean we should kill them with fire? Also No - existing trails and their surfaces should be assessed, with e-bikes allowed where appropriate.

Land access is definitely a complicated other factor in the debate though, and I sympathise with those over the pond whose trail access really could be at threat. By calling them mountain bikes, it creates an additional reason to ban all mountain biking on a particular trail or area. By calling them something different, that enables the access for e-bikes to be negotiated separately without putting existing MTB access at risk.
  • 1 0
 If we call an e-bike as such, then it is not a mountain bike. Just like a cyclocross bike isn't a mountain bike.

I support any innovation that would help those who have difficulty pedaling a bike onto the trails. But, let's stop trying to define it as a mountain bike. There's nothing wrong with it being an "e-bike". If access becomes an issue for e-bikes on trails, then it is the responsibility of its users or proponents to work on getting access.

Personally, if I can't pedal anymore, I'm taking up something else. UNLESS, there's an invention that I can put on my legs to help pedal a mountain bike again.
  • 1 0
 I'm not personally a fan of e-bikes but I can't ignore the fact that it has made it possible for people like Martyn Ashton to continue enjoying the sport he loves. For example it was an e-bike he used when he rode down the Fort William World Cup track back in June. In this respect they definitely have their place, although it might not be for all of us.
  • 1 0
 Right now I see these as an abomination to the industry. But in 20 years when I'm 60 and still wanting to escape out on those long single tracks rides and technical climbs.... well I'll likely be praising the electrical assist that enabled me to keep doing what I love.
  • 1 0
 My 3yo has just started blasting around the place on his balance bike, no hill is too steep, brakes be damned. It's fantastic to see him, however it makes me sad to think that electronic motors WILL be a part of his future if he keeps up MTB for the next 20 years. They are a fad now but it's human nature that if they make hard things easier then they will become the norm in years to come.

Personally I think you should earn your descents (easy to say when the highest mountain in Ireland is just over 3000ft) and mountainbiking is as much about the ups as the downs (with the odd treat of a lift assist day in the bike park).
  • 2 1
 So what it boils down to is... do you want motocross bikes on your local trails, in your local parks, intermingling with bikers, trail runners and dog walkers?

Electric bikes aren't slow or low-powered versions of "real" motorcycles. Three years ago, an electric motorcycle won the pikes peak hill climb. The fastest production motorcycle is an electric motorcycle. They can go over 200mph and do 0 to 60 mph in less than one second. And this technology is still progressing rapidly. While already fast, each year they are getting faster.

We could try banning just ebikes above a certain speed or power. Yet that would fail. It is impossible to enforce exactly which bikes are allowed or not allowed. Slow bikes look exactly the same as fast bikes. With that in mind, i am advocating that ebikes be considered motorcycles in terms of trail access.
  • 1 4
 "So what it boils down to is... do you want motocross bikes on your local trails, in your local parks, intermingling with bikers, trail runners and dog walkers?"

No - and as ebikes ARE NOT motocross bikes or motorcycles, we're good, aren't we?
  • 2 1
 Anyone ever notice that when you combine the word motor with the word bicycle you get motorcycle? Have you thought of the history of the motorcycle? It all started with people slapping motors on bicycles, and an e-bike does the same thing.
  • 1 0
 I rode one. I liked it well enough I guess. But the way the power assist came on and off was totally wrong. It made technical riding all but impossible, when you're ratcheting around objects and surging briefly to get up and over stuff. The bike felt like a toy, one I wouldn't trust for technical riding. It felt like any improvement in this area is a long ways off since the primary market for these things is noobs on paths (for now). In theory I could see some kind of assist that you switch on for your 60 minute fire road climb being sort of appealing but will it be light enough and effective enough to be worth carrying up and down again? Will I no longer be interested in building my climbing fitness?
  • 1 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 3:50) (Below Threshold)
 "But the way the power assist came on and off was totally wrong. It made technical riding all but impossible,"

You'd think differently on this (my ride):
  • 2 0
 "and you'd be silly to allow a stuffy one hundred and sixty year old dictionary to define what is and isn't a mountain bike in 2016. " .....but everybody believes in what the +3,400 year old Bible tells us.
  • 1 0
 As others have mentioned, my only complaint is that it will eventually cause access issues for the rest of us. 95% of the trails most of us ride are designed non-motorized use. These could ruin access for the rest of us.
A motor is a motor, doesn't matter if it's electric.
  • 2 0
 It isn't the fault of a little pedal assist that your dicks will shrivel up and fall off due to the immense lack of 'masculinity' you all seemingly feel when someone is simply faster than you on an e-bike. How sad.
  • 1 0
 I forgot to add that I would love to see every trail in the world be made into multi-use (hike, bike, horse, motorcycle) but at this point in time its very clear, if it has a motor = motorized trails only. Write your congressman or congresswoman.
  • 1 0
 I feel like e-bikes in the backcountry would spell death for all mechanized access, and so think the MTB industry and community in the states should distance themselves immediately... but I would love to try a yardbike for instance - if you're gonna go electric, you might as well just go full-electric.
  • 1 0
 Do not classify them as a "MTB" because once the industry says its a "MTB" that is all legislators will recognize. The industry (as silly as it sounds) should label them as pedal assist motorcycles (like a moped) so that they can't be lumped in with MTBs when legislative decisions are to be made. Pinkbike, you can start that trend of addressing them as something different so we all don't get screwed.
  • 3 0
 E-bikes have no place on mountainbike trails in my opinion. And please pinkbike STOP reviewing / giving airtime to motor bikes on this site. Cheers bud! ????
  • 1 0
 'A bicycle is a human-powered vehicle with two wheels in tandem design to transport by the act of pedaling one or more persons seated on one or more saddle seats on its frame' - if there is a electric or gas motor at that point it's a motorbike/motorcycle
  • 1 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 4:07) (Below Threshold)
 "'A bicycle is a human-powered vehicle with two wheels in tandem design to transport by the act of pedaling "

That's a perfect - PERFECT - description of an e-bike!
  • 1 0
 Take a longer travel bike, add a motor of any type and the way I see it, it's a minimalist Moto bike. Are these damn things going to rut the hell out of all the far out trails that are earned by their grinder of an ascent?
Maybe there is a benefit for bikepackers, but just like if you try to cheat your way to chads gap without permission, I think the stink eye will be ever prevalent at slickrock and enchilada toward E bikes.
  • 1 0
 Here in east of France, a few people are taking actions to make things better.
Trails are usually maintained by groups of hikers, mostly older guys who initially didn’t like bikers much (we didn’t like them much either Wink ). A dozen of bikers have helped them maintaining or creating trails, we’re sort of young and full of energy so I think we did about 800m of trail in a day.
Basically after a beer everybody’s chatting and it’s all good.
All in all, there’s a minority of stupid bikers and stupid hikers making all the noise, and a vast majority of nice people just wishing to enjoy the trails.

The point is, if every biker and e-biker using the trails would « sacrifice » one day of the year to get in touch with such groups and maintain the trails, those childish feuds would disappear.

I’m not even talking about e-bikes as I don’t think they will be much of a problem. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think countless waves of « e-riders » will suddenly storm and destroy the trails.

Like some have said in those comments, I would draw the line between « normal » e-bikes limited to 250W and 25km/h, and those that look more like an electric bike with hand throttle and a backpack full of batteries.

Also, speed record and aggressive riding, whether electrically assisted or not, should be limited to non-sensible areas or bikeparks.
Funny thing is, for now those that are the most vocal against e-bikes haven’t been much vocal about helping maintaining the trails…
  • 1 0
 I'll buy an E-bike when I can't ride anymore with out assistance hopefully I'll be about 70 by then, Until that day comes I ride bikes as I ride for the fun of riding, if I wanted to have a motor I'd buy a mx bike and do it properly.
  • 1 6
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 "Until that day comes I ride bikes as I ride for the fun of riding"

Do you seriously think that fun is IN ANY WAY diminished by riding a good e-bike?

Clue: the opposite happens.
  • 2 1
 no and yes. are they a mountain bike. no are they a motor bike. yes that is the very definition of a motor bike. a bike with a motor. for some yes I agree in their development and use, ie for disabled riders they are a great way to get them out. But how long before pedal assist becomes pure motor and suddenly that e-bike is a tesla car, pure sports powering riders along at speeds that trails simply aren't designed to cope with. you all ready see riders on here roosting corners when trail developers shudder at such behaviour for the destruction it causes, imagine ordinary folks doing that at pro speeds. Land owners might very well rethink their allowance of bike trails when mtbers have fought sometimes for years to get access to land to create trails for the riders.
  • 2 1
 It's a motorbike, a bike with a motor! A bicycle is human powered duh, motorized vehicles belong with other motorized vehicles, there is a loophole?no, being quiet doesn't mean sneaking around on trails is any different than a gas powered dirtbike, no motorized vehicles sign's mean no motorized vehicles! At all, go ride that silly motorbike with other motorized vehicles, and f off multi use trails.
  • 1 7
flag KeithReeder (Oct 1, 2016 at 4:03) (Below Threshold)
 "A bicycle is human powered duh,"

And a human is therefore THE MOTOR.

By your logic (I use the word VERY loosely) we'd have to ban that too...

Duh, indeed.
  • 4 0
 @KeithReeder: you went full retard! Human powered means anything without a motor, skateboard, running, walking, bicycles, all are in the same category of not motorized, it's not complicated! But it is for you apparently, human power is not motorized stupid.
  • 1 0
 I would love a E bike fat bike with gun rack and a game trailer. Electric bikes are stealthy unlike atvs perfect for hunting as a long time mountain biker and motorcycle addict I can see they're usefulness. $9500 special bike no way buy a real moto and a Giant Reign done deal.
  • 1 0
 Eck, there's some good reading in this lot. All I've come to understand is that people don't know the difference between mopeds, mountain bikes, pedal assisted bikes, electric powered bikes and John Deeres. I also now need another brew
  • 2 0
 Provided it is still a road legal pedal assist, there are a few out there that have twist and go throttles that will go to 40+ mph.... that falls under the category of motorbikes and has no place on a mtb trail
  • 1 0
 Obviously everyone here that is anti-eBike has no clue what they are actually like. I've got 2 Haibikes and will continue riding eBikes forever. They barely provide any assist, and are nothing like a bike with a throttle. They don't make someone faster than a good mountain biker already is, and the batteries only go a couple hours, there are no trail access problems. Anyone that has a problem with these bikes, has completely lost the spirit of getting out and mountain biking in the first place. If a little bit of assist needs to be banned, we better start banning all DH oriented bikes, they have way more assist, do more damage, and create way more trail access problems.
  • 5 0
 That's all fine. But *you* need to either ascertain that you do have legal access to your preferred trails, or then lobby for access to those trails for your e-bikes with your relevant authorities, not just piggy back on the efforts of those who won access for 'traditional' mountain bikes by simply defining them as the same thing. In 2 years time, current speed, power and range limitations of e-bikes are likely to have been far surpassed. And then all it takes is a few hoons, some unsympathetic authorities and boom, you've lost trail access for all of us on traditional bikes as well.
  • 1 0
 Holy shit scrolling to the bottom of this one has strained my little pinky.....may have to get an iPad with an Electric autoscroll! But seriously as waki said why blur the line....motor It gas,diesel,electric,hydrogen powered is no longer human powered! I left the motorcycle hobby long ago after discovering that mountain biking had all the 2 wheel thrills along with gravity induced thrills not to mention the healthy lifestyle outside. No ebikes on my trails thx......they can go ride at the mx track and all the miles of other motorized type trails. I will not switch teams when I get old and say now I should be can become that
  • 1 0
 i am sure the comprehensive comments above cover it but for me i dont care what anyone is doing out there so long as it doesnt adversly affect my few hours of nirvana each week. Mainly trail access, safety, and perhaps a seperate Strava catagory. othet than that I really dont care what or why people are riding.
  • 1 0
 Was riding my Local trails and when I came up to a newbie asking me if he could ride along because he didn't know the trail system. Told him to ride in front because he had already been on the section of trail before and that I would take the lead on next section. Busted my gut trying to keep up. Finally realized he was on e bike after wondering how the F$UCK this guy is riding so fast. Got the last laugh... took him on some technical climbing sections that even his ebike couldn't help him out on.

No to motorcycles on my local trails.

  • 1 0
 My view regarding electric motor assisted mountain bikes is - why? Generally for me, mtb was always about fitness & fun. Carving up the tracks on weekends, smelling the fresh air, competing with your mates. With a motor to help your propulsion, your times around the track will be that much faster, where is the fun? Does it feel that good when you pass unassisted riders? Do you do it for the views? Go for a hike instead. Obviously you no longer compete against your pb times, so what attracts you to the e-bike? Speed? Why not go for a real off-road motorbike instead? 250cc 2 stroke powe KTM, honda, yamaha etc.. E-bike has no relevance in the world of mountain biking. If you need assistance on the trail, you shouldn't be riding the trail in the first place, or at least scout an easier trail & work your way up unassisted. I don't see how disabled riders benefit from e-bikes. They only assist, so one must still generate pedal power. An actual motorbike would be more fitting, you can go fully automatic too..
  • 1 0
 They're motorcycles. End of story. Stop calling them anything but. There are so many forums about how to chip them and cheat the limiters on them so you can unleash the full power of the motors. If you guys think for one minute that the technology is going to stop with the pedal assist platform. Uuum.... No. Using folks like Ashton as an excuse to let any schlub with a boo boo on their knee or a sore back on to the trails with a motorized vehicle where only human powered vehicles are allowed is quite frankly insulting to the intelligence of the Mtb community and insulting to Rider's like Martyn Ashton who sure as fuck has paid his dues. This is just a money grab by the bike companies to get every unskilled coach potato out on the trails with a machine that far exceeds their riding capabilities. The end result will be destroyed trail access and many injuries. These things don't need pedals the pedals are there simply as a wedge to gain trail access for motorized vehicles. It needs to end. It's a very destructive trend.
  • 1 0
 Haha, what a load of tot about nout! Who cares if its a mountain bike or not! I bet its a lot of fun and thats all I care about. Its a mountain bike which everyone can travel fast on. I really cannot see why theres a massive debate, don't like them don't buy one, like them, buy one. I've been a mountain biker since 1991 and if I buy one and I'm no longer labelled a mountain biker when I ride on the trails I won't really care as I'll soon be gone with a smile on my face and you can eat my electric dust!
  • 1 0
 It's a moped. It's also an MTB. A Mountain Terrain Bicycle is a bicycle built for riding on mountains. It's more MTB than these brakeless, gearless HT slopecycles & street bikes you all think are MTB because, wheel size. :/

I'm not a fan of them, but I am a fan of electric power as much as I am a fan of human power. I'm not convinced these would cause any major problems as long as all people involved aren't dicks & douches & I'd much rather share trails with riders on these, than dickheaded equestrians with their 1500 pound shit factories & hikers with their stupidity, ignorance & probably walking some 20-200 pound shit factory too.

XC guys never cared for DH guys on the trails & vice versa, but there are ways to make it work. As long as the rig ain't noisier than what we're already ridin' then I really couldn't give a shit. GTFOI.
  • 1 0
 I own a specialized turbo levo fsr comp and it is a very very fun bike. I use it responsibly on legal trails. I bought it because I have severe patellar tendinitis and wouldn't be able to ride a trail otherwise. So I do downhill, and I ride this. If I could ride a bike for longer than 5 miles without severe discomfort, than i wouldn't own a ebike. There is a place for these bikes, but I have to admit that I'm undecided if they should expand trail access. If the trails became overwhelmed with ebikes, I think mountain biking wouldn't be the same. If you haven't ridden one, ride one! Its a ton of fun no matter what your fitness level is.
  • 2 1
 Mountain is terrain. Motor is Power. Humans are the motor in a "manual" bike that is ridden on a Mountain. The evolution to this question would be "Is it still a mountain bike if ridden in a valley?"
  • 4 4
 Reading the comments it looks like the way skiers used to talk about snowboarding.

I'm sure all of you elitists don't use the chairlift either?
What is the difference. No tickets?
Use it as a shuttle to get to the top then switch over to freewheel.
  • 4 0
 Except snowboards didn't have engines and these motors can be modified to far exceed their limitors.
  • 1 0
 If it has pedals AND a motor it's a MOPED.
If a car has an electric motor it's still a car. Most jurisdictions have or had moped licensing (I'm old enough to remember).Enough with the Newspeak.
  • 1 0
 Well its riding a bike in the mountains, so I guess its "mountain bike riding" but its most definitely not a cycling discipline nor is it a bicycle its got a bloody motor and should be seen as another sport all together.
  • 10 7
 WHAT IF trail access actually increases as they bring more people to the sport? Ever thought about it that way??
  • 3 2
 Mountain biking is increasing at a huge rate regardless of e bikes, are we to stop making mountain bikes completely and put a cap on it all, thats it folks, bike production has stopped, we have to all share the bikes that have been made to date, no new ones ever! .. that will help wont it, if there are access problem with land its due to the massive increase in bikes in general, nothing to do with e bikes. thats a new story, yet to be told
  • 4 0
 It won't .. Access is hot button issue (in the US particularly) .. E bikes may bring more ppl to the market, but it will also simultaneously shut down hug sections of forest to cycling.
  • 4 0
 I really don't understand the increase the size of the sport argument. Hey, the industry likes having more bikes to sell, but I personally would rather keep my favourite trails and patches of wilderness quiet save for me and a committed few; and especially(!) no motors.
  • 4 0
 @Ozziefish: I agree. The "Grow the sport" argument/position, only seems to serve the industry types, not everyday riders.
  • 2 0
 @cmcrawfo: I am sincerely sorry if that's true buddy. I just can't get my head around it, here in the UK the industry is exploding and more and more trails are opening not closing. If ebikes help keep employment up and people getting out that would of otherwise been on the sofa thats got to be a good thing right?

As for the argument on the industry, you have only got to look at the amount of trail centers and bike parks opened in Wales in recent years to see that
  • 2 0
 Jisus, but how needs more people on trails in crazy over populated Europe anyways? Would you enjoy a jam? North America is a different story, but apparently, they have other reason to worry about.
  • 2 0
 @milkdrop: imagine if they did make dedicated ebike trails and those trails were even better than existing ones, would it then be OK for regular MTBs to use it?? or would we end up back in this sorry mess
  • 2 1
 @sewer-rat: They are called dirt bike trails.
  • 2 0
 @cmcrawfo: ah we only have bridleways and cycle routes, both can be used fella Beer
  • 9 5
 "Are you considering trying an e-bike...?" f*ck no.
  • 7 7
 I refer to todays 'History and Deception' article

"So, What Happens to Mountain Bikes?

The truth is: e-bikes never were mountain bikes. They were never designed to be human powered. Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to pedal one with a dead battery can attest to that. E-bike makers, however convinced a lot of people that they actually were mountain bikes and explaining that lie, unfortunately, will fall upon mountain bikers, who will also bear the brunt of the inevitable user-conflicts and burnt bridges that will be left in the wake of electric-powered off-road cyclists."
  • 11 6
 Moped. Not a bike.
  • 3 2
 moped work without pedel , ebike "pedelec" NOT!! think you gys are not up to date!
  • 1 0
 It an Electric Moped
  • 5 2
 The nope button would only let me push it once Frown
  • 3 0
 E-bikes are just electric mopeds… Just like their “cousins”, the internal compulsion engine mopeds!
  • 4 2
 Tried one for the first time a few months ago. Never laughed so hard in my life. In fits of laughter up all the hills and had bags of energy for the descents.
  • 2 1
 Pinkbike, why do you care about the label?
Why do you get so upset for having an extra option for cycling?
Why do you hate people that have the same hobby as you and just want to spend more time on the saddle, in nature?
  • 1 1
 youre point saying its not a bike ''a 2-wheeled vehicle that a person rides by pushing on foot pedals,'' well thats the same as an ebike then. it has 2 wheels and if you dont peddle you dont move.
and what about those who have problems riding a normal mtb? my mate got run over by a car and now has one leg sorter than the other. he found riding a normal mtb was getting painful and not like it used to be. he got a lapire ebike and is back out on the trails. so he shouldnt be riding cos he need an ebike?
  • 1 1
 how would a hiker even know it has a motor on it , when your going down passing them? When your going down your not pedaling anyway ussualy. If they are quiet and the same size as a regualr bike, who on the trail would give a f*ck, much less even tell the differnce. So what if unskilled riders "hurt" themselves by riding down past their abuilities? how is that differnt from doing the same on a normal bike, which they do now?
  • 1 0
 It has a MOTOR (whether it is Battery Powered of Fossil Fueled), = MOTORcycle. So it is only eligible to go where Motorcycles are allowed to go. Simple, don't try and merge and complicate a straight forward definition.
  • 1 3
 "It has a MOTOR"

And YOU are the motor on an ordinary bike. What happens now? Only bikes without RIDERS allowed on the trails?
  • 1 0
 @KeithReeder: I keep seeing you around this thread. I must say congrats... your more stubborn and the root of the issue than anyone else.
I must also say: f*ck YOU

Yes, I am a motor to a bike. I feel the max watts that I can produce. What happens now is whenever I accidently scare a hiker I can apologize for working so hard to get that fast. If I had a motor... I can't quite say the same thing, hikers would be puzzled as to why an electric moped was on these trails.
  • 6 2
 Friends don't let friends e-bike
  • 3 0
 I only came for the arguments, and the ancient tradition of downvoting Waki.
  • 1 0
 If a bicycle has some sort of forward propulsion aparatus that does indeed help with our cycling, then its a freaking motorcycle! If you wanna get better at riding a bike, ride longer and ride everywhere and every damn day
  • 1 0
 i can see a lot of people trying these, personally, I can afford one, but I love the challenge or pedaling a real bike, I like bikes to be as simple as they can, the more they have, the more youll have to fix later.
  • 1 0
 It has an electric MOTOR its' a motorcycle... except its' a really wack motorcycle, soo ride dope mtbs' on mtb trails, or ride really underpowered motos' on moto trails. pretty easy choice for me.
  • 3 0
 I know this will vary depending on where you live but in the US the answer is a big "f*ck no that's not a bike"
  • 3 1
 Man, every time I hear that puffy vest wearing, Specialized Rep talk on ebikes I just cringe. He's definitely working for the right soulless shit-bird company.
  • 2 0
 They have a motor and therefor should not be allowed on non-motorized trails, regardless of how much power they provide. Simple.
  • 1 0
 ebikes seem like a GREAT idea for city riding. Heck they are fine for trails and roads that allow motorized vehicles. But for trails that only allow horses, hikers and way
  • 1 1
 If you're riding an electric mountain bike on the trails I think everyone would say they were mountain biking. Therefore it must be a mountain bike because you need to be on a mountain bike to go mountain biking. Am I taking crazy pills?
  • 1 4
 Nope, you're right on the money there.
  • 2 0
 Holy cow, talk me to death about ebikes please. I see talking heads in jars like on Futurama in a fairly near future that I don't want to be a part of.
  • 1 0
 Why are they not called electric scooters? Mopeds from the 70's were not called bicycles simply because they included pedals, cranks and a chain. No place for motorized bikes on our trails thank you!
  • 1 0
 I appreciate this article. Woke up, used the bathroom, read this and alot of the arguments and opinions. Then I thought. Hey, I'll go ride my mtb this morning. Cheers fuckers!
  • 1 1
 It`s not a mountain bike just because it is not pure human powerd?
Everyone agree that DH rigs that using lift up to mountain and ride down is mountain bike
No chain run is also mountain biking.
I don`t sure E-MTB is mountain bike or not, but it certainly can do mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 Pedal or engine, it's really quite simple. If it has an engine, please only ride in areas that allow motorized vehicle access. Don't be a fucking dick, welcome to Canada.
  • 4 1
 If you want an e bike buy better a motocross
  • 4 1
 "fat chicks and scooters" is alll
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 I have two ebikes and two mountain bikes and if you put a motor on any thing it is a motor vehicle end of And if you said No two riding a engineering bike then your going two miss out ebikes are awesome
  • 1 0
 ok last time is this a motor bike ?

Hell YES lol

this is my 72 vott 5000watt E-bike
  • 2 0
 Are the e-bikes gonna take away all my KOMs?! Oh wait...I don't have any KOMs