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Electric Mountain Bikes

9/16/2013 9:42 AM

I'm curious if you think that electric assist bikes have a place on the trails, or could they be a cause for trail conflicts resulting in trail closures?

9/16/2013 4:06 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/16/2013 4:29 PM

Excellent topic/ question HuckSause. I've been thinking about just that recently after seeing so many in Eurobike galleries. That would have been a good article subject, but you beat me too it. I'm really torn on the subject.

My first instinct is that it's a horrible idea. We're cyclists because we are fit enough. We've earned our way to the top. Why should some couch surfer be able to meet me there to enjoy the downhill? (I'd beat him down of course because my bike is lighter and more nimble.) And also, where do you draw the line between an electric bike and an electric motorcycle? I'd hate to meet a Zero FX or MX coming up the downhill trail I'm riding.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be great to get your mom out on a mountainbike ride? Or help a fallen comrade who's suffered injury to get back out on the trails? And electric bikes are quiet, so they don't annoy the neighbors.

In the end, I guess I'm against them for general public use on public trails, though perhaps some sort of handicapped sticker exception would be appropriate.

Edit after seeing that V10 vid... Breaking bumps are bad enough going into a berm, do you want to start seeing them exiting a berm from uphill traffic? Or acceleration bumps (I'm pretty sure it's the same physics.) on straightaways?

9/16/2013 6:49 PM

Big Bird, you make some great points. One. Where is the line drawn between electric bike and motorcycle. Two. It would allow those who might not be able to enjoy the outdoors mobility. In my opinion I feel electric bikes lean more to the motorcycle side of things. Don't get me wrong, I ride and share certain trails with motos, however not all trails are open to them. Here is where I see the potential for conflict among other user groups with electric bikes. That being said your idea for stickers for the disabled seems to make sense. So now the question is, electric bike or electric motorcycle? How is it defined?

9/16/2013 7:10 PM

my thoughts on Hucksauce's question (electric bike or electric motorcycle? How is it defined?). I own a Honda ruckus, its 50cc its max speed cant exceed 45mph and i don't need a motorcycle license. therefore no motorcycle. If the motor on a E-bike can carry you past 45mph i would consider it a motorcycle. made street legal a E-bike that Exceeds 45mph possible would need a motorcycle license.

9/16/2013 8:19 PM

I say no they dont have a place on MTB "single trails". However they could be used on fire trails (dirt roads) to reach the top of a DH run at which point the "electric assist" will be turned off for the duration of the run.

9/17/2013 2:36 PM

the electric bicycle is the machine of the devil, it will wreck trails, cause so much damage and trouble. We ride bicycles not motorcycles. simple.
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