Busy Lives Call for Faster (Electric) Bikes–Retch!

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Busy Lives Call for Faster (Electric) Bikes–Retch!


This topic contains 53 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  G.W. 11 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    @kawazoomer@hotmail.com¬†doesn’t the fact that California made rules/laws classifying certain categories of ebikes only prove my point that they are fundamentally different than a “classic” bike? ūüėČ

    I still don’t see ebikes bringing in a new crop of riders. You even seem to concede this by saying the people you see are adding motor to bikes that they already own.

    Cheaper ebikes would be great, but even better would be cheaper mountain bikes! A “cheap” ebike is still gonna run a couple grand. Just look at the site you linked to for proof:¬†https://lunacycle.com/gravity-ebike-fsx-275LTD-complete-electric-bike/¬† Not to sound elitist here, but that bike barely clears the bar for being trail worthy. Unless you’re riding exclusively buff trails – which we don’t have around here – you’d be lucky to make it through a season on that bike.

    And again, I personally don’t think ebikes are cheating and I don’t care if anyone rides one. Honestly, I would love to own an ebike. For commuting and grocery-getting though.


    Since this thread has completely departed the initial discussion of the “business” of our lives and how that affects our trail time and become an all-out ebike brawl, I’m-a just gonna leave this right here…

    Over a Beer: Why Ebikes Are the Spawn of Satan (mostly)


    To each their own.  I am a fatty fatterson so I need all the exercise i can get.  No E-bikes for me.


    Fair enough¬†kawazoomer. I’m honestly pretty conflicted about the whole eMTB thing. Like I said, I¬†don’t have a problem with¬†a lot of the arguments for e-bikes, but this one just kinda rubbed me the wrong way, especially coming from a brand like Specialized that has such a heritage in MTB racing and competition.

    I do stand by my assertion that saying one is too busy to do something–anything–is just an excuse for not prioritizing that thing. Maybe using the word lazy is a bit harsh.


    Mountain bikes never had a soul, and it would appear that you don’t either.

    Yes, your arguments are so well-reasoned and grounded in logic that you don’t have to resort to name calling or personal attacks. Oh wait a minute, you just called me a soulless bastard. Never mind.


    To be fair, I did start the name calling when I said some e-bike riders are lazy.


    Specialized makes crappy overpriced e-bikes. Brose blows!


    I haven’t been on my bike in going on two years due to health reasons. Outwardly I’m a fairly fit 37 year old and you wouldn’t know I had an issue that keeps me off my bike by¬†passing me on the street.¬†I would be lying if I said I was not SERIOUSLY considering swapping my Trance out for an E-bike to get me back on the trails at this point. Is it cheating? Not if I’m not racing (never been a racer, I’m an explorer). And a pedal assist bike has¬†still got to be pedaled, and it still has to be maneuvered up over and around things. Thats going to use your core just as much if not more (due to the slower speeds and extra weight) than a regular bike, and spinning pedals is spinning pedals to a degree, it’s good for lubricity and keeping your knees in good shape, and will be an aerobic workout for your¬†cardio-pulmonary system, just one thats a bit more mild and controllable. If all that can be done while enjoying nature and the outdoors without hurting anybody, why would I not do it?

    From my stance, an e-MTB will let me, my brain, and my pleasure center ride on the trails, but my engine will feel like I’m riding on the road. Being a roadie has no appeal to me, but my body can take it. Riding MTB is much more intense and I just can’t output the power anymore. ūüôĀ


    My wife calls me an elitist because I tend to sneer at technology I don’t use. I suppose she’s right – Otherwise I’d be riding a penny-farthing. On the flip side, a friend of mine with an e-road-bike says, “It’s just like riding a bike, but without the exercise.” So there’s that, which kind of galls me, but then again, he doesn’t have any pretensions of riding the way I try to. And then there are people like musikron above, who completely blow my snobbery away.

    Guess e-bikes are like life – There isn’t just one way.


    @musikron if an e-bike get’s you out on the trails keeping you happy and keeping you biking… then you are fully justified in using one. ūüėČ ¬†Just like all the other injured riders out there…. and the elderly. But for the average joe…. not so much…!


    I think E-bikes are great. But we need to be firm that they’re a new category of two-wheeled vehicle and trail user.

    I got to have a brief ride on a stranger’s Levo at the trailhead the other week. I’d read so much about how “there’s no throttle, it’s a subtle assistance, it’s just like you’re having an awesome day with really strong legs”. But after a few cranks, I absolutely had the sense that a motor was driving the wheels, and that the cranks were the throttle. I worked out that I could “blip” the throttle with a quick crank, and the bike would accelerate by itself with the motor on for a second or so. I commuted to work on a cheap dinky 125cc motorscooter for a bit over a year, and it really reminded me of that kind of power/acceleration.

    And yes these things are extremely expensive for casual and beginner users. That 125cc motor scooter I mentioned? I sold it for $250. My current motorbike is a 2010 Honda 250cc and it’s worth about $3.5K – australian dollars, which is approximately three US quarters (seriously, about $US 2.5k).


    Not interested in them now, but gotta admit I am intrigued by them extending my riding well into my “golden years” or god forbid I get a knee injury that prevents riding.¬† Just hope there isn’t a huge backlash from forest and park services that hurts trail riding advocates.


    Sorry I’m from the E-Bikes are the “Spawn of Satan” crowd. Martyn Ashton doesn’t ride one. Stacy Kouhat doesn’t ride one and those guys are friggin paralyzed. Keep those damn things off our trails!!! There’s too many folks that’ll abuse them by “chipping” the governing circuits, making them even faster. They’re motorcycles regardless of what nomenclature you use.

    And who are they for??? An experienced mountain biker that possesses the skill set to competently handle one isn’t going to be the main customer of these things. ¬†An experienced MTB knows about the handling deficit of the extra weight, and the trail access issues that “motorized transport” will cause on multi use trails and the general negative political ramifications these things have within the MTB community. So that leaves the primary client for an Ebike an inexperienced rider in late middle age that fits the income demographic. That person is going to more than likely be out of shape and have no idea how to handle a Mtb. So let’s hand them a really capable, yet heavy full suspension mini motorcycle and tell em to ” Let er rip!” out on the trails that we fight so hard to have access to??? NO F@*king way! This is nothing but the bike companies trying to go after a wealthy demographic that is so riddled with ennui that they can’t think of what to do next to alleviate their exquisite boredom. Stay the f*ck off of my trails.

    Was that too harsh?


    Hey @kawazoomer, sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I didn’t intend to be contradictory. My point was that the Luna ebike is being sold as an e-mountain bike, but if you tried to actually ride that on a trail, you would be disappointed.

    I’m not following your logic here:

    So a street bicycle because it does not clear the bar for being trail worthy is not a bicycle? Street bike, mountain bike, electric bike. Do you see a pattern here. If a person takes a trek mountain bicycle and adds a motor to it. I then some how magically stops becoming a bike.

    A “street bike” (I’m guessing you mean road bike, here) is a indeed a bicycle. A mountain bike is indeed a bicycle. An electric bike is fundamentally different. It has a motor that is not 100% human. It’s a bike in the sense that it looks approximately like a bike and it has two wheels and similar components, but that’s about it.

    Put it this way, let’s say you have a soap box racer. It’s got four wheels and a steering wheel along with a seat for the driver. It’s powered by gravity so you need a hill for it to go. A friend shows up one day with his soap box racer, but his has a Ford Boss 302 v8 in it. Sure, they may look the same, but are they now not fundamentally different?


    Why does one need to go farther, faster?

    I have a “busy” life and I like the fact that when I’m on my bike I can dictate the speed I want to go, metaphorically or ¬†otherwise.

    People shouldn’t need to go farther to feel accomplished.


    Just another way for bike companies to sell their product. I know for sure that if I’m busy to ride my regular bike then I’ll be busy to ride e-bike as well.

    Pretty much same as “busy” people willing to workout at home, buying a treadmills and other equipment and not using it because they’re busy.


    Hey Kawazoomer, thanks for continuing the conversation. I checked out the motor you were referring to and in the pictures it shows a throttle. Some feel there’s some grey area with pedal-assist e-bikes, but if you’re adding a motor that has a throttle, that seems to be well outside that grey area.

    Does your bike now have a throttle? If so, how can you rationalize that it’s fundamentally a bicycle? Using the example of the Luna motor with a throttle is not helping your argument. If you no longer have to pedal to be propelled forward, how is that a bicycle? At that point your pedals have become de facto footpegs – a place to rest your feet while you twist the throttle.

    I understand, but don’t agree, with your logic here:

    When I add a BBSHD electric motor to your Zen Trail, it does not magically stop becoming a bicycle. When the motor is turned off, it is a bicycle. You still have to pedal it. Without the battery, your Zen Trail is a bicycle loaded down with 13 extra pounds. It never stops becoming a bicycle. No motorcycle has pedals.

    Sure, with the motor off it’s just a heavier bicycle, but with the motor on, it’s… not a bicycle exactly. It’s not a full-blown motorcycle either, so it’s somewhere in between.


    Just because you have a phone in your car that texts does not mean it is illegal

    This argument doesn’t always work. In fact, we don’t even have to look beyond mountain bikes to see an example of this in action…

    Riding mountain bikes is illegal in US National Parks. Not only that, anyone caught with a mountain bike on a trail where bikes are not allowed in a National Park is subject to a fine.¬†Some have found that if their bike is broken down (that is, both wheels removed, the frame + wheels strapped onto one’s back) they are able to get around the rule. But the point is, it’s too easy to just hop off a bike and say, I wasn’t riding it!

    Getting back to¬†your car example, there are plenty of states where even having a radar detector in your vehicle is illegal. Doesn’t matter if you were actually using it or not.


    Fair enough. Honestly I haven’t read the existing laws on motorized vehicles, so for all I know they could be written either way: no motorized use allowed, or no motorized vehicles allowed. In the first case,¬†it would seem to be legal to push a dirt bike along a trail. In the second, you couldn’t even have one in the area. But I agree, it totally depends on how laws are written.


    “Still a bicycle, just someone or something helping you pedal with a pedal assist type ebike.”


    The flaw in that logic is inherent right in that sentence–it’s not “someone or something.” ¬†It is most definitely something, definitely not someone; two entirely different cases.

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