September 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm #269405
I joined today because I am curious to see what avid mountain bikers think about ebikes. I’m 72 and have always been an outdoorsman. I bought my ebike to use primarily for hunting, but find myself riding as often as I can. I feel like a kid again and wouldn’t be riding without it. I will not ride on any trails that are used by avid mountain bikers and am reluctant to trail ride on narrow trails where folks are hiking. I like bike paths and mountain roads. I think you will find that many ebike owners are older and do not intend to compete with you, or get in the way :-). I could be wrong on this point, time will tell. I bought a Rad Rover and haven’t had any problems with it. I have replaced some of the machine screws on it though, because they are somewhat soft and the allen heads are sloppy and prone to strip. I think there is a lot I can learn here about safety and mechanics. BTW, I always pedal and use the lowest pedal assist that I can.
Ken in Corvallis, Oregon
September 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm #269469
If and ebike gets you out enjoying life and making you feel like a kid again, then by all means keep riding it! I think you will find most mountain bikers don’t have any issues with ebikes. Most of us are out doing exacting what you are doing, enjoying the experience based upon our own skill level while riding our favorite bike.
September 3, 2019 at 10:25 pm #269478
There was a recent thread on e-bikes with a variety of opinions ranging from positive to VERY negative. Here’s an example of a negative reaction in an article on this website:https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-columns/over-a-beer-why-ebikes-are-the-spawn-of-satan-mostly/
I’m 69 and ride mainly old jeep logging and mining roads which run through the national forests of western Montana, on a regular mountain bike. I’ve met a few people out on e-bikes on these roads. All these folks have been older than myself and absolutely loved their e-bikes. Personally I agree with Oldandrolling – if it gets you out, and you’re having fun on trails or roads where e-bikes are legal, more power to you, and if someone has an problem with that, that’s their issue and not yours.
You might be interested in looking at this segment the Global Cycling Network, a show produced in Great Britain but which covers some rides in the US and elsewhere. They have had several segments on e-bikes. https://www.globalcyclingnetwork.com/video/can-you-get-fit-from-riding-an-e-bike
The comments after this segment are particularly interesting. Major advantages of e-bikes for select people:
1) Great for commuting
2) Allow people of vastly different abilities and strength to ride together, as in a father and son or husband and wife
3) Allow people recovering from injuries or beset with orthopedic issues to continue riding with their friends as they did when they were well
4) Get some people out who otherwise would not want to or be able to do it
Finally, one thing mentioned by the people I’ve talked to personally on e-bikes but also mentioned in the segments I’ve seen on the GCN network, they apparently are a lot of fun for people to ride. I can’t see any downside. Keep on rolling and if you pass me on an old jeep road some day say “hi”.
September 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm #269544
First, I’ll fully support the notion that if an eBike gets you outside and riding on any kind of trail that can support it, DO IT! But I think the debate continues on trails that are susceptible to more wear and tear from either increased traffic and/or speeds. For example, this year I’ve had the pleasure to ride both both Soquel Demo Flow trail near Santa Cruz and Half Nelson near Squamish. Both require you to earn your elevation with significant climbs, and I have to believe these kinds of trails get less traffic because of that barrier to entry. If eBikes are allowed on that kind of uphill climb, I wonder the effect on the downhill? Does is turn into some of the runs at Whistler when they get “washboardy and rutty” from the traffic?
To me, that’s the debate on eBikes. I’ve got zero issue if it gets you moving, particularly if you need the assist and you’re riding paved paths and fire access road. More power to you – some day I might join you! But I am worried about impact on singletrack trail systems.
September 5, 2019 at 3:33 pm #269659
Welcome to the forums! Hope you stay a while!
I think it’s great you have an e-bike and it’s gotten you back to what you’ve enjoyed in the past. This is one of the great things in my opinion about e-bikes and technology in general. Be that an Amazon Echo that restores the variety of music a person once listened to (as with my mother) or pedal assist that gets you back out in nature without gas and fumes . . . this is what we should strive for (personal view.)
Folks here can be mixed, but the debate is generally healthy. I think opening up the trails to those who need the assistance goes hand-in-hand with taking the grind out of climbs. I see them both as huge positives.
Care to share a picture of your new ride and your new discoveries in the wild?
September 9, 2019 at 2:35 pm #269824
Ken, you have my full support. E-bikes are a mountain bike and I encourage you to keep riding. Always glad to have someone else in the community. I disagree with earning your way or you shouldn’t be out there if you physically can’t do it on your own. Plenty of people shuttle or ride lifts to the top to blaze down to the bottom. No earning there. Is pedal assist any different than having multiple gears on your bike. You have gears so you can have a mechanical advantage to climb hills or produce speed. I am plenty young and capable to climb my way up the hills and find it satisfying for myself but that is my standard for me. Downhillers enjoy the lift up. E-bikers enjoy the assist. Let us all enjoy being out there on a bike. What a privilege.
September 10, 2019 at 9:05 am #269880
I stumbled across this article which might be of some interest to some. Basically the study looked at the exercise levels done by e-bike users vs regular bike users. E-bike riders rode for longer hours and greater distances, basically using their bikes more often. Thus the total number of METS used per week was greater in the e-bike population than the regular bike population (“What’s more, e-bike riders reported similar—and even slightly higher—activity levels as those who rode a conventional bike. Reported physical activity levels for e-bikers was an average of 4,463 MET minutes/week, versus 4,085 MET minutes/week for conventional cyclists.”)
As many have said, if an e-bike gets you out and having fun, there’s a very positive gain from that. Here’s the link to the article. https://www.bicycling.com/news/a28819663/e-bike-fitness-levels-study/
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