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This topic contains 46 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Glenhoffman@netzero.net 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #261866

    Looking for thoughts on ebikes on the trails. A buddy is getting a starter budget mtb ebike soon and I’m curious to see what it all about. I’m in the sport for the pain and suffering and the trill and excitement comes from the hard work that you put in.Guess if he comes out on the trail I’ll put him and the bike to the test and that’ll consist first a killer climb and then more killer  climbing. Then finish him and the bike off with some rocky rooty fast downhill. If there is anything left well I guess I’ll do it again but my guess is the electric assist and over weight sled are not much of a match for the fitness and discipline I have invested but maybe I’m wrong.

  • #261870

    Be advised to your buddy that e-bikes on mountain bike trails is a sensitive issue with many, and on many trails they are not allowed. I suspect this will be an evolving topic over the next few years about the future of e-bikes on the trails.

  • #261923

    How much of a “starter / budget” e-bike is your friend buying?  Many of those cheapo e-bikes should never been ridden on actual trails.

  • #261927

    It certainly will be interesting in the future with e-bikes. Its just gonna complicate a already fragile area of biking. As for the price it was just under 2000. Not nearly enough to be on any kind of real mtb trail. I would guess the first trail you’ll see them is on rail trails and I don’t want to see them there either.

  • #262044

    I think that e-bikes used on-road for commuting and errand running could make a significant impact in reducing our greenhouse-gas/global-warming problem.  That being said, I’m not for e-bikes being used in wild non-motorized areas.  Let’s keep wild areas wild and not motorized

    • #266921

      The e-bike topic always stirs up alot of opinions – of which, all are “part” of the conversation.  I live/ride mostly in NorCal.  I have run across a number of e-bikes on various rides/trails (even on National Forest protected lands).

      Here is my perspective/opinion….

      1.  Our Parks and National Forests are there for public use.

      2.  Our Tax dollars pay for the support and upkeep of those parks.  Tax dollars don’t discriminate.  Everyone pays their fair share.

      3.  The ruling for many parks and National Forest for “no motorized vehicles” was passed MANY years ago….  I believe in the 1970’s…?  At the time, I presume the intent of that ruling was to limit/prevent motorcycles on the trails.  I also presume that – at the time – there was the age-old argument that “motorcycles” may have been viewed as an “environmental hazard” and are too hard on the fragile trail system (a similar argument exists today on many trail systems where mountain bikes are not allowed).

      4.  If a trail system allows mountain bikes, they have (at least) agreed to the “wear and tear” from Mountain Bike tires.  For the e-bikes that I’ve seen, they appear to be running the same tires that I run on my mountain bike.  So, that **MAY** diminish point #3.  (there is always the future possibility with e-motorcycles are coming – even for trail riding).  Does an e-bike do any different “damage” to a trail versus a mountain bike?

      I think everyone has the right to get out and enjoy the public lands that their tax dollars pay for.  Protection of those public lands must be considered – whether that be hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, ATVs, motorcycles, etc.  If a specific trail system is concerned about environmental impact, I think the “rules” will start to shift.  It won’t be hiker/biker/e-biker.  It may very well turn to how “wide” your footprint is….?  (a factual measurement of the environmental impact).  Tire sizes may matter.  Fat bikes (or ebikes with Fat tires) may be pivot point…?  (and also be a way to differentiate between an “ebike” versus a “e-motorcycle”…?)

       

      Just my 2 cents….

    • #267838

      TRSMITH thank you for excellent points in your July 28, 2019 at 4:41 pm post on the e-Bikes topic.

      There’s too much needless conflict amongst folks with fundamentally common interests.  I  remember the 1980’s all trail access issues that Mountain Bikers faced my wife and I had our first MTBs – pretty basic Specialized Hard Rocks that that I replaced with Gary Fisher Joshuas now largely dated in tech and appearance. In the 1980’s Hikers and Equestrians didn’t want ANY Mountain Bikers on THEIR trails.

      Some of them even today, still don’t want us – over 30 years later. In the end, you know what? No one died, and for the most part nearly everyone’s happy and OK sharing most of the trails. Still hoping the USFS and BLM folks ease up on pedal MTBers and the newcomer e-Bikes for the older folks.

      AOPA calls private pilots who haven’t flown in a while “Rusty Pilots” and are trying to get them back flying. We have a lot of “Rusty Mountain Bikers” who would like to get back in the game – albeit a bit slower (I’ve had my share of MTB crashes decades ago). e-MTBs may be a way for Rusty MTBers to get back in the game albeit a bit slower.

      Re. your comment on tire type/size and trail impact, WRT Fat Tire Bikes, they would have a softer trail impact (PSI). Sort of like a John Deere 4×6 Gator UTV with its 6 massive low pressure tires – that have less PSI impact on the dirt than a hunter’s boot… In studies in the 2015 time frame, IMBA determined that e-MTBs “didn’t have a greatly different impact on trails” than pedal-MTBs, however motorcycles were another story in that study. As they say – Ride On.

  • #262045

    The Helena Outdoor Club in Montana had a lecture recently at a monthly meeting from the owner of Big Sky Cyclery, a man who has been in the bike business for 42 years, and has his business in a town designated as a bronze level destination city by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (due to over 70 miles of singletrack within a 5 mile radius of the city center). Part of his talk was on e-bikes, and he stated that there were e-bikes suited to every category of bicycle riding, including mountain biking, though I’m not sure a budget entry level bike would fill the bill for what you are talking about. The main niche for these bikes will be for older cyclists who still want to ride but due to cardiac or orthopedic issues or just due to old age cannot manage the hills. I enjoy riding on the jeep roads that honeycomb much of Helena and Deerlodge national forests and have seen a few elderly people out enjoying themselves on ebikes, and they rave about them for allowing them to continue to enjoy the sport they love. Before anyone gets on too high a horse about this, realize that someday, if you are lucky, you too will be the 70+ year old wanting to bike, and also realize that some of these old cyclists were pretty hard core back in the day and are probably responsible for some of the trails you ride on now.

    There are issues about where these bikes should be allowed, but unless your head is in the sand you realize there are current issues about where regular mountain bikes are being restricted from as well.

    • #267839

      Breathinghard – your May 8, 2019 at 8:55 pm post is Spot on. Let’s keep the older folks in mind. My wife moved on from her late 80’s Specialized Hard Rock to an early 2000’s  Bontrager, but now her aging bum knee has me looking at a 2020’s e-MTB to help keep her in the game. As the saying goes – Growing old isn’t for sissies

  • #262046

    ….Before anyone gets on too high a horse about this, realize that someday, if you are lucky, you too will be the 70+ year old wanting to bike, and also realize that some of these old cyclists were pretty hard core back in the day and are probably responsible for some of the trails you ride on now.

    So, I’ve heard this argument before but it seems like a very steep and slippery slope. I mean, can this be applied to any activity? I want to still be able to bench press 405lb when I’m 70, or take part in full contact martial arts and play pickup basketball with the 20-year-olds, well, OK, 30-year-olds…….can/should I use mechanical assistance to do so? Personally, I think I should step back and realize that, well, time waits for no one and I should move on to easier activities. —With everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn ,turn…..

    Don’t get me wrong, I think there are one or two cogent arguments for e-mountain bikes, but this just isn’t one of them.

  • #262067

    I certainly get both perspectives, and I won’t pretend to have “the” answer. On the one hand, I sure hope to be doing off-road close to my last days on earth, and may need assist to be able to do it. But then again, to Robert Dobbs’ point, perhaps when we’re to the point that we can’t handle the climbs, then perhaps we shouldn’t be doing the downhills either. Could you imagine the wear-and-tear on Soquel Demo Forest if there was assist for both climbs? It would likely ruin the trails.

    • #262079

      This topic reminds me of a “war” in the rock climbing community years ago. Some of the older traditional climbers who regarded climbing as an extreme sport where one pushed the limits and risked life and limb were infuriated by the new “sport climbers” who wanted to protect sketchy routes with bolts, thereby removing most of the danger. The sport climbers viewed climbing as a fun activity but not one worth risking your life over. “Sport Climbing is neither” was the mantra to the old guard, and bolts in place were angrily chopped out and some fights erupted. Today most climbing areas have many sport routes which are heavily protected, climbing gyms are everywhere and the sport has tons of adherents because, as John Long (first guy to climb “the Nose” on El Cap in a day) noted, when it came to pure fun, sport climbing had it in spades.

      You may not think getting older people out on bikes is a cogent argument for e-bikes. I can’t think of a better argument because the young folks don’t need pedal assist. The bike manufacturers, shops, and people buying up the bikes might disagree with you. Here is what Trek has to say on their website:
      “On- or off-road, they’re perfect for those who want to climb faster, explore more, or just get there a bit faster.
      Only e-bikes offer the flexibility to get in a workout, ride with a faster friend, haul a heavy load, or simply cruise. Even if your ride varies from day to day, an electric bicycle always gives you the option to do and experience more.”

      Specialized produces bikes such as the Levo, suited to handling any terrain. Clearly there’s a market here.

      Here is a take on e-bikes by Mark Weir, a veteran mountain bike racer and former all-mountain world champion whose 20-year race career spanned downhill, cross-country, road, and endurance racing. Weir is also an eight-time winner of the Downieville Downhill – a 17-mile plunge with 5000 feet of vertical drop. https://reviews.mtbr.com/crossing-the-rubicon-off-road-adventure-with-an-ebike

      Currently e-bikes are regarded as motorized vehicles by the forest service and subject to those restrictions, and I’m fine with that. But I don’t think it’s cool to look down on older people using a new technology to get out and enjoy themselves in areas it’s legal to do so, when otherwise they’d be at home or on an ATV, just because you think mountain biking should be “hard”.

  • #262090

    You may not think getting older people out on bikes is a cogent argument for e-bikes. I can’t think of a better argument because the young folks don’t need pedal assist. The bike manufacturers, shops, and people buying up the bikes might disagree with you. Here is what Trek has to say on their website:
    “On- or off-road, they’re perfect for those who want to climb faster, explore more, or just get there a bit faster.
    Only e-bikes offer the flexibility to get in a workout, ride with a faster friend, haul a heavy load, or simply cruise. Even if your ride varies from day to day, an electric bicycle always gives you the option to do and experience more.”

    So I am ALL for older people getting out on bikes. I just think arguing the need for mech assist for them to do so is weak. There are plenty of fantastic truck trails, fire access roads etc. etc. etc. that older and younger folks can use to get their bike and outdoor fix.

    As for Trek, wellllll, I really don’t care what Trek has to say on the matter…..they are trying to sell more bikes; a huge conflict of interest!

    As for Mr. Weir, my comment is, why not just use a CRF250RX and be done with it?

    “But I don’t think it’s cool to look down on older people using a new technology to get out and enjoy themselves…”

    Whoa, Nelly! I am Not looking down on older people. I AM AN OLDER people! 😉  While not 70, I’m on the wrong side of 50. I can’t bench press 405LB anymore….. and you know what??  I’m OK with that. Nor can I keep up with 20 year-olds on the basketball court…..and you know what?  I’m OK with that too.

    That said, I still go to the gym to lift, but I don’t hang out with the powerlifters anymore. I still play b-ball now and then, but I play with folks my age and I have fun – I actually have a lot of fun…..and I certainly don’t need an electric motor to have fun.

  • #262101

    You may not think getting older people out on bikes is a cogent argument for e-bikes. I can’t think of a better argument because the young folks don’t need pedal assist.

     

    And just a quick follow up question to this….. If these poor 70 year-olds could get Anadrol or Oxandrin from their physicians and they could then go out and shred the trails they used to shred when they were 40-something, would that be a good argument for “getting them out on bikes”?

  • #262108

    Though I don’t have any interest in having one, I don’t really have a problem with e-bikes. I can see potential conflict with some e-bike users who could ride faster than their ability would warrant and be a danger to themselves and others. I could also see some issues where an e-bike rider may be too aggressive in attempting to pass a slower rider. But really, these are just case-by-case situations dictated by the individuals involved and how they choose to react to one another. As far as I’m concerned, if someone can get on an e-bike and have the time of their life while also respecting others, I’m all for it. If more people are getting out in public lands and and using trails, hopefully it will mean more advocacy for preservation of public lands and more trails being built. It may take time to figure everything out between e-bikes and traditional MTBs, but I think if people are less quick to judge and more willing to have conversations, it will work out to most people’s satisfaction. Just keep in mind that MTB’ers were once (and sometimes still are) the so-called invaders to dog-walkers, hikers and equestrians. Personally, I’ve figured out my interactions with them and have very pleasant conversations with a lot of the people I cross paths with. I expect the same to happen with e-bikers.

    • #262112

      Comparing the use of e-bikes, which is legal and as far as I can see has only health benefits for older people, to the use of anabolic steroids, which are illegal with many potential side effects, is a real stretch.

      I’m a retired physician, not using an e-bike but knowing that sooner or later I may have to if I want to continue cycling in the hills (and where I live in Montana, there are only hills). As a physician, I think anything that gets people off their sofas and out exercising is a good thing. This ESPECIALLY is true for older people, who have a major problem with deconditioning. E bikes still require pedalling and the amount of assist can be adjusted. There are other reasons people use e-bikes. One couple I saw on them commented that their e-bikes allowed them to cycle together, as the husband was a lot faster than the wife on regular bikes. On the road, e-bikes may allow older people to keep pace with the younger people they’ve been doing group rides with for years but now can’t. These people are just out there to have fun, not to prove how tough they are. In town they are becoming more and more of a commuter vehicle. I can’t see much downside to their use when used for these reasons.

      There are legitimate fears that allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails, which includes many of the bike trails in the US national forests, might worsen access problems – and there are plenty of people out there who want to eliminate mountain bikes from hiking trails already. This is a valid concern. All of the mountain e-bikes I’ve seen have been on gravel or dirt roads or ATV roads. Currently they are prohibited in non-motorized travel restricted areas.

      In my opinion, and it’s only an opinion, those who want to stop people from using e-bikes or who are upset about the idea of someone on an e-bike because it doesn’t fit their own idea of what a hard core and physically demanding sport mountain biking is, should check their ego. There’s room out there for all of us and we need all the advocates for cycling we can get. In any event, e-bike use has taken off in Europe and is getting more use in the US, so you will see them used regardless of whether you want to or not.

      By the way, I still rock climb. I’ve been extremely gratified by the respect I’ve been shown out on the cliffs by young climbers, who may have to wait a bit longer for my buddy and I to finish a route before they start on it. Many of these younger folks seemed delighted to see us older guys out there and have expressed that sentiment to us. Good to see.

    • #262136

      Comparing the use of e-bikes, which is legal and as far as I can see has only health benefits for older people, to the use of anabolic steroids, which are illegal with many potential side effects, is a real stretch.

      I never mentioned anabolic steroids in my post and I’m pretty agreeable to other people using e-bikes, so I’m confused as to why you replied to my post with that. Was that reply intended for someone else?

      Edit: Ah, I see the steroid reference now in the post above mine. Now it makes sense. Yeah, I agree…the comparison is silly.

  • #262111

    It always seems that e-bike discussions circle around providing a solution for those riders that need assistance.  And usually, that implies an older or physically impaired rider.  But of all of the (admittedly rare) occasions that I have personally encountered a rider on an e-bike, I have yet to see a rider that needed the assistance.  They have all, without exception, been riders that didn’t look a day over 30, and all were physically fit.  And they were all riding an e-bike because they wanted to go as fast as physically possible… up and down.  I’m not saying they were right or wrong in doing so.  But because of what I’ve seen, my opinion is this is likely the reality of what we’ll see more of on true single track trails.  I recently had a conversation with a couple of Rocky Mountain bike reps that supports my opinion.  They raved about their new Altitude Powerplay bike, a 160mm travel aggressive trail bike that is anything but a bike intended for an older, physically impaired, rider.  The reps made no mistake about it… it’s for a 20 something trail ripper.  I suspect other MTB makers will, or are, following this path.  So, I have mixed feelings about the future impact of e-bikes on traditional single track trails.  Although I’m 58, I am admittedly intrigued about riding an e-bike as fast as possible on some of the trails I am more than capable of riding manually.  Not because I want or need assistance, but just because I want to go faster.  But, I’m also concerned what that does for those that are peddling (me included).  And what’s the impact to foot traffic?  Most of our trails exists because we do share them with walkers.  We all know what it’s like to come up on an unsuspecting walker or trail runner.  Now imaging that scenario with a bike potentially going faster, which, by the way, may be heavier and less likely to have the ability to stop or maneuver as quickly or easily.

    A lot to consider…

  • #262128

    Comparing the use of e-bikes, which is legal and as far as I can see has only health benefits for older people, to the use of anabolic steroids, which are illegal with many potential side effects, is a real stretch.

    Well, I guess that is where you and I differ. I think, in this specific instance, it’s a fair comparison…..annnnd your reaction is about what I expected. BTW Steroids, like e-bikes, are only illegal if used, well, illegally. 😉   Physicians can prescribe them.

    But, you don’t like steroids, I get it (ethically, neither do I) so let’s change our tack somewhat.

    You seem to be caught up in a belief that these older folks have no alternatives. I don’t buy that….at all. We are talking about mountain biking, yes? It is a recreational and, by definition, optional, activity, is it not? There are plenty of other recreational/optional activities; heck there are even plenty of options to pursue in enjoying the activity under discussion (different types of trails, length of ride, pace, etc, etc, etc), and most of those options don’t require a motor.

    My fundamental concern is that you are motorizing a non-motorized activity. It has nothing to do with being “hard-core” or masochistic or sadistic. I see parents with their toddlers on Striders on the green trails where I ride. Now that is -EXTREMELY- cool. I’m certain that the other “hard-core” riders I know think the same thing. None of us expect them to ride the red or black diamond trails, or to make a 20mile ride. None of us expect them to keep pace with us, why would they? Soooooooo, if a three-year-old can manage a green trail on a non-motorized bike and be happy ……why can’t the rest of us?

     

    • #262138

      why can’t the rest of us?

      Interesting question to end a post in a series of posts that are basically attempting to dictate rules for everyone else.

      My answer is, why should they have to?

      As to FredCook’s point, I don’t really care whether someone “needs” an e-bike and, frankly, what right do I or anyone else have to tell another what they “need” for a bike? Come on.

      This thread is sounding like a bunch of grumpy old men.

  • #262142

    frankly, what right do I or anyone else have to tell another what they “need” for a bike? Come on.

    Hmmm, so what not rules?….you’re OK with someone riding a motocross bike on MTB trails?….no, you “come on.”

    We have entirely too many people (at least in my neck of the woods) trying to limit MTB trails as is. We don’t need to give them any more ammo for their anti-MTB arsenal with motorized fare.   — If we don’t police ourselves, others will happily do it for us.

    Grumpy old man? ….you are damn right! And, if you were wise, you’d get grumpy too.

    • #262229

       if you were wise, you’d get grumpy too.

      I am not going to get grumpy over bicycles. Bikes are my coping mechanism for the things that make me grumpy and I’m not looking for things to be grumpy about while riding. If someone in the woods is doing what they do while respecting others, I’m not going to get too worked up about it. I don’t have a need for everyone to do things my way.

      The comparison between an e-bike and a motocross bike is interesting. Are there motocross bikes that don’t make a lot of noise and create no air pollution? If so, and the rider is safe and (again) respectful, I may not personally have an issue with it.

  • #262158

    Well I’m glad to see we are getting along on topic:( but heres another kicker for the motor huggers. If you think the e-bikes technology is good well hello its gonna get alot better.My buds neighbor has been rebuilding and upgrading used e-bikes and guy was saying he have one that will hit 45mph.That said you dont think the manufactures arent  gonna do the same or close? They are  gonna trim the weight ,off boost the power reduce the battery size and they’ll have full nasty e-power on the exact same beast  as without power. Now is it ok because I doubt seniors or disabled are gonna be on these racers. The question will be then and will be soon is how do ya feel about a mountain bike rippin mtb trails that’ll move like a kx65 and look like a regular mtb? They will be cool no doubt and dudes are gonna buy them but there are gonna be some upset hikers and hard core mtb riders.Its gonna get very interesting what regulations  that will come. Anybody play around with RC cars? Crazy technology and will be the same with e-bikes. All the aftermarket stuff to make them fast, might be a good stock to get in on but they are loosing the concept. Buy a ktm freeride electric dirtbike are my thoughts otherwise get pedaling.

  • #262169

    e-bike are already banned from many mountain bike trails, if they boost the power and speed they will most likely be banned from all off road trails. Any e-bike banned from bike trails would now have to compete with dirt bikes for both trail access and performance. 25% of all bike sold are mountain bikes. I doubt the major manufacturers would be willing to give up potentially 25% of their profits for a narrow niche, against established competition. Besides that, KTM already has high powered electric dirt bikes. I believe mountain e-bike technology will focus on on keeping power at the same level, or even reducing it for off road use, while working on lighter weight, more dependability, and longer batter life.

  • #262171

    The biggest concern I have with ebikes is the max speed.  While I understand the arguments for some wanting an ebike I don’t understand the need for assistance above 10-12mph, especially when you consider that the rider can go faster by pedaling but just isn’t “assisted” above that threshold.  So if you’re older or have a heart condition or some other physical limitation you could still ride at a very reasonable pace.  In fact, depending on the trail, that’s the pace many solid riders ride at.  It just seems that requiring assistance beyond 10-12mph is purely just for increased speed which then poses a potential safety hazard to other trail users.  Imagine shreddin’ down a hill with an ebiker coming up at potentially similar speed.  The ebikes today have max speeds of 15-20+mph.  The vast majority of MTB’ers cannot reach the high end of that limit without blasting down a hill.  What’s most concerning, however, is that you can override the factory settings to increase the max speed even further (up to 25mph or more) on virtually any ebike.  There are tons of “how to” videos out there providing instruction on how to do it.  As a land manager how would you even begin to manage this? And as @killer_climb mentions it’s going to be extremely difficult to distinguish a future ebike from a non-motorized MTB as the technology improves.  To the extent that this adds risk of loss of trail access for all MTB’ers then I think that’s where many have legitimate concerns.

  • #262302

    I hope your right about keeping e-bikes under control. If they dont get any faster that would keep the safety better also. I dont know about others but crashing a bicycle is much worse than crashing a dirtbike from what I’ve experienced.Something about a dirtbike where the crash happens slower as to a bicycle you just get power slammed to the ground. Maybe the weight? Anyhow wouldnt want to see inexperienced people or senoirs or disabled gettin power slammed at higher than normal mtb speeds but ya know enthusiast are gonna tweak these bikes to outdo their buddies, its inevitable. Electric is the next transportation movement in all aspects and aftermarket is at its heels.

    • #262304

      Of my mountain biking friends, two have broken a humerus, one has broken a femur (and had to be found and evacuated by search and rescue), and one had a near catastrophe where he took a spill and for a brief few seconds after the crash had no sensation below the neck. An MRI scan later that day revealed that a disc in his lower cervical spine had been shoved out but fortunately there was no permanent damage. Last year at an enduro race here a kid broke his clavicle and needed evacuation. All these accidents occurred on descents and had they been on e-bikes I doubt the motor would have been giving any assist at the time of the injury. Studies have shown that injuries on mountain bikes mostly occur after faulty jump attempts, bike tricks and falls. The vast majority of street bike injuries in recreational cyclists occur because of cars. I don’t find the argument that e-bikes should be banned because if they break down their riders could be in trouble to be a compelling argument. If a person is that impaired they should be riding with a companion. Common sense is more important than what bike you ride. Hikers being nearly hit by a mountain biker descending at high speed with no situational awareness beyond a few yards ahead of them could be used as a reason to keep all bikers off any hiking trail. Most people I know descends at speed dictated by our comfort and skill level and not on how fast we can get the bike to go. I would also point out that the persons souping up the e-bikes are probably going to be young adrenaline junkies, not older people wanting one for their assist on the hills. I can see that the opinions here are not likely to change, but I also see that nobody who has posted has ever been on an e-bike, including myself. If anyone is still interested, it is instructive to read the “comments” section after the following youtube from the Global Cycling network taken in Europe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65t3dPAZUMs. It seems that in Europe there is not the same level of controversy as there is here.

  • #262364

    Well said, my buds e-bike should be showing up any day and I’m dying to try it out. Guess for some biking is about the fitness , some its transportation and a lot of people are in it for fun. I’ll report back about the beast as soon as it shows up.I know he is super excited to get it and since he wouldn’t ride his old cannondale with me it looks like he will ride the e-bike with me.

  • #263020

    Well, the bike showed up and needless to say I have no interest in it at this point. Didn’t even go check it out and heres my b…h. Of course I  was notified the bike showed and a pic and all that but when he said he took it down the rail trail me and the wife ride sometimes and 30mph down and 25mph back kinda irked me.  Around 12 miles  down and back. Let me just say on average we ride around 7 to 10 mph having fun so thats three times the speed of a recreational biker. I have a problem with that and like i said wheres the first trails you’ll see them, rail trails. Needless to say we wont be biking together I would think, but maybe and if we do it  will be on terrain he’s gonna be uncomfortable with for sure. I might add that he is 38 and me well I’m old and grumpy and broken but I’ll still put it together and ride with the kids on all types of terrain. Maybe by the time e-bikes are excepted on trails I might be a little more receptive.

  • #263065

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>A friend of mine broke his hip and now it has been about two month and he is riding his e bike to recover on group rides while other riders are on their REGULAR MTBs. I dont see it as a problem at all and there is no trail damage either as from motorcycles or horses. As long as a rider can handle their bike it wont a problem.</p>

  • #263068

    I did see a older women on a e-bike yesterday on a rail trail and I’ll have to say I took a step back.  She was just cruising along with what I would guess her daughter and grand kids and just enjoying the ride at the same pace everyone else was. Guess if ya look it in a positive perspective  and not with your head in the sand it’ll be just fine. I know my wife gripes about the slightest hill and if she had a button to push ,well she would ride more. Then again if she would just give her legs 20mins to warm up and understand its good for your health she would feel some sense of fitness after just a few 10mile rides also and she is starting to see that. But I get its  not all about fitness for some and just getting out for a ride is enough. Yesterday opened that up to me. Still wanna take my buddy and his e-bike on a couple of hours of killer climbs just to make him pedal that lead sled back home crying all the way about how it sucks not having any battery left. He’s way to young for pedal assist and my old a.. just wants to prove it.

  • #264738

    Mr. Dobbs, you said

    “I want to still be able to bench press 405lb when I’m 70, or take part in full contact martial arts and play pickup basketball with the 20-year-olds, well, OK, 30-year-olds…….can/should I use mechanical assistance to do so?”

    Why are you comparing recreational trail riding to competitive sports. On trails where e-bikes are allowed, no one loses. As long as everyone obeys the rules it is a win-win situation. Sure some may not obey the rules and there could be repercussions, but that happens all the time already with riders on regular bikes. I know of several larger trail systems where I ride that now allow e-bikes, and it has changed nothing for me.

  • #264745

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I don’t want to see 20 year olds on 50# bikes tearing up the trails but nice to see people who can’t otherwise enjoy the sport getting involved. I don’t think it should be a free for all because I could see issues with people getting in over their heads and the land managers are going to have to balance access and safety.</p>

  • #264810

    Why are you comparing recreational trail riding to competitive sports. On trails where e-bikes are allowed, no one loses. As long as everyone obeys the rules it is a win-win situation. Sure some may not obey the rules and there could be repercussions, but that happens all the time already with riders on regular bikes. I know of several larger trail systems where I ride that now allow e-bikes, and it has changed nothing for me.

    No, no, no, they are both recreational, that is precisely my point. This is something you do for fun (I’ve been a recreational weightlifter for decades). Since this is recreational that implies (for me) optional. IMHO you don’t need electrical assistance for something that is an optional human powered activity. I think it best if you choose the option of taking an easier (non-amplified) path….whatever that may be, for whatever the human-powered activity is.

    Reading the opinions here I have come to the conclusion that we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out for a nice long jog….on my Segway. ;- )

  • #264879

    Ebikes have motors so they should be allowed anywhere that allows motorized use and not allowed where motor use is not allowed. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

  • #265053

    This is topic I have been tracking for a few months now and have yet to comment anywhere on but I want to start now. First e-bikes are pedal assist. They are not electric motorcycles. I have seen the argument comparing them to electric motorcycles. Nonsense.

    I am not sure I understand why people are so against them. We are supposed to earn the ride. Is that argument? We don’t like e-bikes because of the advantage they give people or the speed they provide. What the heck is a modern mountain bike? I ride a hard tale with eleven gears. Should I be offended by someone who has a full suspension with twelve gears because they have an advantage and can ride faster and farther? I prefer to climb to the top of the hills I ride down. Should I be offended by those that shuttle or use lifts at downhill parks? There is definitely motors used in both those scenarios. Maybe I am offensive to the guy on the rigid bike or single speed. Maybe we should all go back to the roots and ride like the birth of the sport hodge a bike together instead of the sweet rigs we have now. Why is the line drawn at e-bikes. Why not bigger wheels, better breaks, more gears (mechanical advantage)?

    I don’t plan on an e-bike anytime soon. I want to earn my ride but that doesn’t make the e-bike user wrong. If it gets a senior out there instead of being confined or limited or it gets that overweight kid biking then I am rooting for those people. I thought that is what our community was about. We root for people to grow in our sport and enjoy the bike they have. If it happens to be a 20 something that just wants speed, so what they can afford it. Like I said before what is the difference between better gearing or more gears or light weight carbon frames.

    Even if you are arguing about more trail usage will destroy trails. Trails get more and more used each time there is an advance in mountain biking that allows longer faster rides. Maybe the focus should be in getting more people involved in trail maintenance instead of hating on e-bikes.

  • #265857

    Just watched a video about biking in Colorado that is featured on the front page of Singletracks.  It blows gigantic holes in the argument that e-MTBs are harder on trails.  What is harder on trails is young people shredding down the mountain with no regard for their health, safety or the damage they are causing the trails.  I’m 62, in good health and enjoy riding my Bulls EVO e-MTB with my younger son who rides a non-motorized MTB.  My bike causes no more wear and tear on the trails that his does.  He gets up to 160 BPM heart rate while I hover around 110 BPM.   It allows me to keep up with and enjoy challenging trails with my son even though there is a 21 year age difference. I’ve never used my bike to tear uphill passing those who are “earning” their ride.  As mentioned in earlier posts, Many people start at the top of downhill runs and have certainly not “earned” their downhill run.  You young purists need to get over your egos.   You have no exclusive right to use these trails just because you have super-light, high performance MTBs and you are young and in great shape.  Your real focus should be on yourself and those that are truly shredding the trails with their reckless abandon on the downhill runs.

    BTW, A class-1 e-bike is pedal assist only and mine stops power assist at 18 mph.  I would be in complete agreement that somone riding a 45 mph e-bike should be limited to motorcycle trails.

  • #265869

    Thanks, EJRocket. It’s good to hear from someone who has actually used an e-bike.
    I’m reminded of a discussion that occurred a long time ago during the running boom of the 1970’s. Prior to then marathons such as Boston were run by a few folks who were pretty fast. After the running boom began marathons changed and had thousands of people running pretty slow times. A book on marathoning by an elite marathoner made the comment “If you can’t run a marathon in under 4 hours you shouldn’t be running them”. The reply, which I believe came from Bill Bowerman, a famous coach, was “I’d rather see 5,000 people running a marathon in 5 hours than 5000 people watching a TV newscast about 20 people running a marathon in 2-1/2 hours”. I agree with Bowerman and feel that if e-bikes get more people off the couch getting some exercise as long as they stay where it’s legal, it’s great. Not everyone wants to be competitive. Many of us who used to be competitive find that age has changed the equation from getting stronger to having the most fun as our primary goal.

  • #265878

    I just finished reading the entire thread, and it immediately reminded me of conversations/debates with my friends who lament the demise of the stick shift manual transmission. “You have to earn that perfect shift” or “the connection to the car is lost” and other refrains all ignore the main point – the transmission’s job is to manage the power band and make the car more versatile. My friends are mostly bent out of shape because stick shifts were the pinnacle of cool when they were younger. They are not upset about the demise of the leaf suspension or a live rear axle being replaced by independent rear suspension . . . but the fury about the stick going away feels similar to some of what I’ve viewed in this thread.

     

    Translated to this e-bike debate, here’s how it appears to this 50-year old (now on the good side of 50) who’s also new to the sport.

     

    First, here’s a video from Seth’s Bike Hacks about age and mountain biking. I bring it up because it was posited e-bikes are for older individuals who want to engage w/ using MTBs. Any age is a great age to begin this sport/hobby/lifestyle/addition and it definitely has a great deal of benefit. E-bikes are a great way to do this, and it’s not just limited to age. It can be anything from injury, different ability, respiratory and/or pulmonary concerns or even (shock!) just wanting to make it easier.

     

    This is not a bad thing. This is a GREAT thing.

     

    To turn away or otherwise turn ones nose up at e-bikes (MTB or otherwise) I feel makes a grave mistake. It’s yet another way to get more people into this thing we all share a passion for.

     

    Next, here’s a video from GMBN where one’s on an e-bike, and one isn’t. It’s made with tongue in cheek, but they do make some very clear points.

     

    I agree the current target for these bikes is not those who are older. I believe it’s for people who want to climb easier, go faster, expend less energy pedaling. It potentially puts more people on the trails we share as it makes this sport more accessible with less effort. It does open up the possibility of more individuals riding irresponsibly. Similar to how the popularity of SUVs lead to some folks who don’t use them properly (What? The road is washed out? I’ve got a RAV-4; hold my beer!) the same is true with e-bikes. There is certainly a percentage of riders who – when given the option of more speed – will take it because they could . . . without thinking if they should. #JurassicPark #ThanksJeffGoldblum

     

    That is NOT the fault of e-bikes. That’s the responsibility of the rider.

     

    There is no more wear on a trail from an e-MTB than a traditional MTB. The emissions are the same. The effort needed from the rider is different so a traditional MTB will provide health benefits faster. The two require very similar skill sets – nearly identical.

     

    My view as a newcomer here is the group should embrace e-bikes because it brings more into the fold. We should definitely help explain to those who are e-biking stay within their skill levels. Pedal assist will give more speed and power, but it won’t give you more skill to handle that speed. Again, just because you could . . . doesn’t mean you should. But this is bringing more people to the trails and – potentially – more people who will appreciate and protect the outdoors. This could be a gateway for a few more people to commute to/from work on a bike a couple days a week. Perhaps it lowers the stress levels of a handful of new riders who spend less money on an unhealthy coping mechanism. Maybe it allows that one family member to join the ride. Let’s welcome them all.

     

    Granted, that’s just my opinion.

  • #266450

    There are issues about where these bikes should be allowed, but unless your head is in the sand you realize there are current issues about where regular mountain bikes are being restricted from as well.

  • #266452

    Well folks , all  I can say is dont ride a ebike. I road my buds 2g rear hub drive ,crappy full sus fat ebike and I’ll have to say it was serious  fun especially since I have some fitness in my legs. Still prefer to ride my hard tail as much as I can but on a off day a full sus  nasty ebike for some down hill would be pretty darn cool. Issue is something that’ll be fun is probably in the 5g range and they  are definitely heavy and expensive. You do not want to ride them without the assist I can tell you also. So beware if you haven’t ridden one because you might be surprised,I was.

  • #267507

    Ebikes certainly have a place. To each his own. If someone wants to ride an ebike, what is that to me?  At 54, it occurs to me that if I tried an ebike it would likely make many rides much more fun.

     

    BTW, it is always entertaining to see some young, fit rider complaining about the evils of ebikes on the shuttle ride to the trailhead, lol

  • #277763

    Well since my knee replacement in Nov 18 I invested in a fat tire foldable e-mountain bike for winter outdoor rehab in Alaska winter.

    It worked great and my regular mountain bike buddies were totally on board with this new bike. Plus, they liked playing with it also.

    Joe

  • #277842

    My opinion about e-bikes is that they are for the elderly and disabled. If you want a motorized toy step up to an MX bike. Bicycles are not supposed to have motors on them and they should be called electric mopeds at the end of the day not e-bikes. My opinion about them is they are for the oversized pathetic members of humanity who cannot carry their own weight up the hill.

    • #277844

      Properp, How long have you been riding, have you ever riden MX and where would you ride a MX bike and see the wilds of nature? I have done both, rode and raced MX, and Hare scrambles, both motorcycles and ATV. I used to love to trail ride, but a huge percentage of all woods trails in the US have been closed to motorcycles since the 80s. For recreational woods riding the only reasonable option for most people now days are mountain bikes.

       

      I also started riding bicycles off road in Michigan in the 60s before there were mountain bikes. I built my first Klunker in junior high, same time the guys Marin County were doing it. So at 62 if I want an ebike so I can still enjoy the trails without having to drive 20 hours to a motorcycle trail system, as one of the earliest participants of this sport I am going to do it, and I couldn’t care less what you think.

  • #277845

    Ahhh, back at we are! I’ve always been a bike rider dating way back to my bmx days. As for the trails i agree about dirtbiking and where is there to ride. I have a 2017 ktm i raced  harescrambles with last year and only ride time i would get was at race days. Only four rides this year and and again at a race. Takes the fun out of it when that seems to be your only option to ride a dirtbike. On the other hand i got back into biking last january in the freezing cold and cant say enough of how glad i am about riding bicycle again. The trails are plentiful always different and within a half hour in any direction to ride.Skills are still improving and can ride any day or everyday. A ebike i’m sure would be fun at some point but i think ill be back to finding areas to ride as you can cover sooooo much more area on a ebike. 20 miles of mtb trails is nothing for a ebike therefore  i would be back at the same spot im in with the dirtbike, a expensive toy just sitting. At my early 50s i still ride like a kid, jumping, wheelies , manuals,just flicking the bike around and feel with the weight of a ebike you would loose alot of that fun factor.  The fitness is good for us old guys also! If im lucky enough to grow older and still trail ride, a ebike would be very good option no doubt.

  • #277896

    I am a 59 year old cyclist who rides some technical trails.  I have to practice and develop my fitness and technical skills to both climb and descend the trails. I do not want some beginner on an   E bike ruining my trails and endangering themselves and others. The fact that the trails near me have some tough climbs helps keep my trails from being over run. I do not endorse E bikes on any single track in my area. If someone is too debilitated to get on a bike , they should not be out bombing thru single track on a POWERED vehicle. E bikes are here and not going away.

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