Added a comment about feature Why Are E-Bikes Such a Touchy Subject in the U.S.? 11/12/2017 9:00 AM

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Added a comment about feature Why Are E-Bikes Such a Touchy Subject in the U.S.? 11/12/2017 7:37 AM

Please do not get me wrong but looking for a third party (here: Strava) and blame them is a typical tactic used in all sectors in live to put away the focus of the original topic/problem. Strava is guilty? Hell yeah

At least here in Germany we do not have big troubles with Strava. The biggest problem is that secret trails get an unwanted, official access when somebody is not locking his data.

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This feature has 37 comments.

Added a comment about feature Why Are E-Bikes Such a Touchy Subject in the U.S.? 11/12/2017 5:46 AM

Hey folks,
I am a long time reader of Vital MTB and due this topic I am now doing my first post. I am riding for more than 20years and do like for sure more the way down than up. I am not a sceptical person - I do ride 29" for several years now for enduro use which is/was quite unusual for here. Vital MTB is one of my favorit sites but this audio made me feel angry and alone.
So, why?

1) It is not like 29er
Many people say that a eMTB is theoretically the same change like 26" to 27,5" or 29". For a rider this might be right but from the industry point of view eMTB is much, much better. Let me explain. If somebody is riding 26", 27,5" or 29" doesn´t have a huge impact of the income of the industry (substitution product, probably the discount is lower with the new stuff). Butt eMTB is opening a total new customer segment (people who are interested in nature and adventure but do not have the time to get the required fitness ). So the industry is making additional money with eMTB and this in a segement which is quite a) huge and b) attractive. So the industry will push forward to sell their stuff (bikes, frames, tires, forkes, brakes... ).
If any employee of a eMTB company would deny that eMTB is great he will get fired

2.) Europeans have embraced them
Probably the sales numbers of MTB companies do suggest this assumption. Indeed the eMTB market is booming but the most owners of these bikes have not owned a MTB before.
eMTB bikers are sometimes locally accepted on trails but everybody is stating that they are doing a different sport especially if they are under the age of 60 years.
And do not forget the numberof sponsored guys / shop owner which are riding these bikes as they see their benefit.

2.) Trail access
In europe we do have spots where trail access is quite good - let´s say Leogang, Davos, ... But in general we do face country regulations which say that MTB biking on trails (not ebiking!!) is generally prohibited or prohibited by special rules (trails smaller than 2m). We do have nowadays organizations which try to do good lobbying work mostly in pointing out that MTB is not damaging the forest excessively.
So in general MTB is trying not to get more restricted than it is already right now.

3.) Separation of MTB / eMTB
Due to eMTB we are now facing problems as nobody is separating topcis about MTB or eMTB. Up to now there are several example where eMTB-biker got their way up but needed then help to get down again (by using rescue/helicopter!).
Example (German):
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/bergrettung-wenn-die-bergwacht-e-bikes-retten-muss-1.3656626
.... a couple went up with their ebikes - tried to get down - trail was too difficult so they walked down without the bikes and the rescue had to go up and bring them their bikes down...
That was for sure totally idiotic but such storys find their way in the newspapers - and again the hunters and forest owners do get practical examples for their theories

When I do ride with my buddies we do have on eMTB in our group (so I also made some rounds on it). It is interesting to see how this guy drives. In the uphill a normal MTB does need a trail - an eMTB not. He can drive through the woods faster than we do next to him (in the woods on trails). If one is doing this it is not ok - if more are doing this we are getting problems.
eMTB is different!

So what´s the biggest problem in my opinion - Trail access
What can we do to avoid these problems?
You cannot prohibit eMTB. So the industry should work that everybody accepts this sport.
In my opinion the industry should get a very close contact to the local tourismus and lobby organizations like the IMBA, DIMB, .... to work together in one direction. And I am not only talking to get more involved in discussions and presentations locally. I think they have to put loads of money in these organizations - probably trail centers have to be established?! So the industry should reduce the effort of all the marketing stuff for eMTB and should spend this money to these tourismus and lobbying organizations and their projects.

That the industry is able to get connected and put all their strength together is something we have seen with 650b where all the components like tires, rims, frames, forks where available on time. So industry, take your time, sit together and rethink what philosophie you do see behind eMTB. And if you want to sell a good percentage of eMTB in the future than take the responsibility and put your money in legal trails.

Just my 2 or 3 cents

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