Former Trek Executive's Open Letter to Bike Industry About E-Bikes

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2/7/2020 11:04 AM

Joe Vadeboncoeur was with Trek Bicycles for 30 years and worked in many capacities there, including the development and growth of e-bikes. Joe has an advantaged insight into e-bikes and, more relevant to our community, eMTB. Having been at the vanguard of eMTB, he is privy to their development, growth, and industry impact. Now, as the head of his local trails organization, he has the perspective of an individual that works with land managers and trail users. It is tough to think of another person with such a two-sided view on this topic.

It very much *feels* like eMTB has become two-sided. Binary thinking is invading our brains and people have to be "for" or "against" eMTB. If you raise questions or concerns about eMTB, then you must hate e-bikes. If you don't shout curses and put them down, you must love them. This is not healthy or productive.

Joe presents his full take on e-bikes, in particular, the offroad aspect here, on his website. I strongly encourage anyone to please take some minutes and actually read it.

People for Bikes read his open letter and felt compelled to have Joe come and speak at their e-bike summit, held at Canyon's US headquarters. His talk was recorded and posted on YouTube. It is lengthy but here you go anyway:



For the link averse and those who cannot spare the 20 minutes to watch the video, here are Joe's bulleted points. These have been pared down for your reading ease, if you would like to get his full picture, I again encourage you to read his letter yourself.

Joe's Points:
First, here are the questions he wants to be addressed by the bike industry at large:
1)Do eMTB’s do more damage to trails than regular analog pedal bikes? Joe cites that there has been very little, to no real, research done. While he feels the impact is no different from a regular mountain bike, data talks and BS walks.

2) What kind of trails are safe to mix pedal bikes and eMTB on the trails? Not every trail lends itself to multi-use. As mountain bikers, we know this already, that's why there are trails we can ride and trails we cannot ride. Let's examine it through an eMTB lense.

3) Many trail groups have a history of asking land managers to allow the group to create separate trails from motorized user groups, from a safety and user experience POV. Not so much a question but Joe states that promises have been made to keep motorized transport off certain trails. Renegotiations of those agreements can be troublesome.

4) Many trail groups have received public or private grants along the way, to build the trails they are managing. Sometimes, those grants were specific for building trails for non-motorized use. Joe points out that parsing out this section or that section of trail is simply not feasible.

5) Class 1 e-bikes in NA are too powerful and accelerate too fast when on the top boost setting, for some trails and certainly some users. If you hold an e-bike demo on single track with forest service managers (who are not cyclists), you will quickly see this to be true. You will find yourself, as the demo manager, fearing that the demo riders will attempt the “turbo” setting. Inevitably they will use the higher settings, and they will come back terrified for the beginner cyclist on the trails and the liability situation with their land. This only reinforces the question in their mind that the trails may not have been built to handle eMTB. (this is Joe's full explanation, no editorial)

6) There is no guarantee that the cycling industry will not upgrade the eMTB’s available to class 2 or 3 or something beyond that. In the video, Joe points out the inevitable power-war that will come about as brands compete for the buyer's attention.

7) The industry presents that e-bikes will bring more people into cycling. I would love it if that is true, but I fear that inevitability at the same time. I do not know when the amount of use on our trails will put us over the tipping point for what can be managed.

What is Joe proposing?

1) There needs to be clear policy and regulations around e-bikes usages and power outputs/speeds, that include eMTB and use on trails that are not governed by the DOT of a state, not just a voluntary class structure that manufacturers agree to follow.

2) There needs to be much more research and data on the impact to trails, impact to other users on the trail and safety statistics of mixing digital eMTB and analog pedal MTB.

3) Trail advocacy groups can do the work, and we will do the work on the trails. But, speaking for the advocacy community, we do not have the tools or resources without the industry’s help to raise the funding necessary to ensure all of our continued access to land for trails.

4) Stop showing eMTB shredding. In fact, statistically, nobody shreds on an MTB (e or otherwise). The majority of riders will never get their wheels off the ground or hit a huge drop or bash through a berm.

5) Stop denying that eMTB are motorized, they are. That does not mean that the Industry needs to allow eMTB to be lumped in with other motorized vehicles. To my understanding, a class 1 eMTB puts out a maximum of 750 watts (250 watts in Europe, but that is another discussion altogether). A small motorcycle puts out a maximum of as much as 10x that amount. Although the eMTB power is a lot lower, it is still power provided by a motor. Let’s admit that an e-bike has a motor and get over that aspect. The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled.

There is much more here that Joe has presented and if you want to dig further into what he has to say, please do so before flying off the handle on your keyboard, or as Joe says "Point. Shoot. Aim."
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Stay prepared for fun with Vital Gear Club

2/7/2020 11:25 AM

Regarding Proposal 4: get lost, Joe!

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2/7/2020 12:20 PM

"The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled."

Nope. Pedal assist (along with speed caps) is the clear differentiator from a traditional motorcycle. There is a big difference between how you ride something with pedal assist and how you ride something with a throttle. With an eBike you get assistance on the way up (the power isn't free and is still limited by user output). On the way down you ride it like a regular bike. If you had a throttle, even with a 20mph cap, you would ride it much more aggressively both on the way up and way down. The pedal assist keeps you in check and on downhill you ride it the same as a regular bike.

Also, I don't need a million dollar, multi-year study, to tell me that a 10 mile ride on a regular bike does the same damage as a 10 mile ride on an ebike. Same tires, same speeds. It is the same.

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2/7/2020 12:42 PM

boom wrote:

"The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled."

Nope. Pedal assist (along with speed caps) is the clear differentiator from a traditional motorcycle. There is a big difference between how you ride something with pedal assist and how you ride something with a throttle. With an eBike you get assistance on the way up (the power isn't free and is still limited by user output). On the way down you ride it like a regular bike. If you had a throttle, even with a 20mph cap, you would ride it much more aggressively both on the way up and way down. The pedal assist keeps you in check and on downhill you ride it the same as a regular bike.

Also, I don't need a million dollar, multi-year study, to tell me that a 10 mile ride on a regular bike does the same damage as a 10 mile ride on an ebike. Same tires, same speeds. It is the same.

An eMTB may not do as much damage per compared mile, but more per compared time.
Say you have a 1hr long lunch to go for a ride. On your normal ride on a normal bike, you’d do one loop. Now on the eMTB would you be able to fit two laps in during that time? Are people going to ride based off of distance or off of how long they feel like being out regardless of the bike they are on?

I’m personally for eMTB use on any motorized trail, and any non motorized trail that the local riding community votes to allow it on. They are going to know the local networks best, and will be able to determine where it could or would create the most user conflict.

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2/7/2020 2:38 PM

boom wrote:

"The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled."

Nope. Pedal assist (along with speed caps) is the clear differentiator from a traditional motorcycle. There is a big difference between how you ride something with pedal assist and how you ride something with a throttle. With an eBike you get assistance on the way up (the power isn't free and is still limited by user output). On the way down you ride it like a regular bike. If you had a throttle, even with a 20mph cap, you would ride it much more aggressively both on the way up and way down. The pedal assist keeps you in check and on downhill you ride it the same as a regular bike.

Also, I don't need a million dollar, multi-year study, to tell me that a 10 mile ride on a regular bike does the same damage as a 10 mile ride on an ebike. Same tires, same speeds. It is the same.

I agree. I know this sounds weird, but if you actually ride an ebike, you understand this. It is totally not a motorcycle. You still have to pedal on ebikes. The feeling is more like someone is pushing from behind, not a motor laying down horsepower. If you don't ride bikes normally, of course you may be a bit intimidated by it (Point #5, the first #5 that is). But that's what learning and practicing is for. And for those of us who actually ride bikes: Learning and practicing is FUN.

My 2 cents is that the more I ride an ebike the more it feels like a 29er vs 27.5 kind of debate. ebikes aren't the best at everything. But they sure are fun, but they still have cons (weight is HUGE, battery life, extra complexity, etc.). In those cons, one could argue an acoustic bike is better for certain people in certain situations. Why not have both?! I do. Seems like a win for the bicycle industry in general!

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2/7/2020 3:04 PM

Joe- you are the first person from the entire bike industry (outside all of us techs that have had these in a repair stand) to call E-MTB's a motorcycle. Thank you. They are.


Not against E-MTB's. I feel like there is a place for them(motorcycle trails, MTB trails that allow E-MTB's, training for speed, between the legs of someone that is overwieght/out of shape/cancer patient/etc, But! i don't want to lose access to my favorite trails because of them or their users. My real fear is analog bikes getting lumped into the same category should a problem arise.

E-MTBers (in my experience(and maybe there are more respectful users elsewhere)) act like they are the exception to the rules. Most of what we ride here are multi use trails(hiking/biking/horses) but off limits to anything with a motor, but that isn't stopping too many from ignoring signs or telling analog riders to mind their own business. The E-MTB'ers I've run into act as if they can ride it anywhere, no worries, they've got money if there is a fine involved. Us, analog bikers on the other hand, (in my experience) act like we respect the area, the trail and it's users a bit more, and fear having to pay more fees/fines besides losing our access to out trails should we ride too fast past the wrong person. If you don't see the difference in attitudes between the 2 groups of riders, I dare you to come ride with us and see for yourself(OR/WA).


Have you ever seen a lithium battery fire? Are you not worried at all about that happening in the middle of nowhere? Still waiting for anyone else to acknowledge that being a possibility.

Why would an E-bike (that weighs 15-20 lbs more) not damage a trail more than a regular bicycle? Especially if you are able to get a few more laps in? Tire contact points aren't the only factor.

Have manufacturers pay for the study into land damages, licenses and laws.... you're funny.


If you need an E-MTB to participate for health related reasons, I am super glad you have that option. I will gladly shuttle you or support you however I can. But if you're rich, want a few extra laps without working for it, and need an expensive toy to show off on social media, well, yeah...

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2/7/2020 3:35 PM

Just wait til I hot wire the thing and throw skids all over your trails. It might only have a 5 mile range, but that 40 mph top speed is gonna be sweeet!

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2/7/2020 3:54 PM

This was totally worth the watch. I am definitely guilty of being a bit defensive of ebikes, even though I rarely ride them. I love the idea of studies(even though I believe they will mostly prove that ebikes don’t do more damage). Surely more people on the trails means trails might need to change, which I’m sure a lot of riders on both sides don’t want to hear. Industry guys and gals should probably push for studies on the impact of emtbs and how much power/speed limits are safe for crowded areas, and single track trail, especially before they keep spitting out more powerful motors every year.

I’m stoked on ebikes, even though I prefer my regular MTBs most of the time, but I would like to see these ebikes with less power. Im not sure about lower top speed, as I don’t think I have ever gone near top speed up single track(maybe some people can?) I think a “trail class” ebike might be rad. Either way learning more about their impact on trails seems like a good move.


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2/7/2020 5:03 PM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A moped (/ˈmoʊpɛd/ MOH-ped) is a type of small motorcycle with bicycle pedals, generally having a less stringent licensing requirement than full motorcycles or automobiles. Mopeds typically travel only a bit faster than bicycles on public roads, and possess both a motorcycle engine and pedals for propulsion.

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2/7/2020 5:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 7:26 PM

Watch this video interview with Dave Turner and tell me there's a dividing line between ebikes and motor bikes:



TL/DW: unless you're Nino you can't match the output of an electric motor. You'll put about 40W at the top of your lungs, while the lousiest electric assist motor gives you 250W on tap, and you can't tell me that ain't cheating. Wanna share the trails with me? OK, take off the battery and pedal like everyone else.
On top of that, every single sale of an expensive mountain bike subsidizes the prices of the ebikes, bringing them down, up to a point where you'll get the motor and battery as a bonus, at the same price of a regular mountain bike.
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2/7/2020 6:24 PM

Specialized has presented data from trail impact studies to their dealers. Don’t know where it came from or who did it but I have seen it.

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2/7/2020 7:11 PM

750 watts? So basically I can buy a bike that makes me a more powerful rider than the best pros?

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2/7/2020 8:24 PM

Captain.Zach wrote:

Joe- you are the first person from the entire bike industry (outside all of us techs that have had these in a repair stand) to call E-MTB's a motorcycle. Thank you. They are.


Not against E-MTB's. I feel like there is a place for them(motorcycle trails, MTB trails that allow E-MTB's, training for speed, between the legs of someone that is overwieght/out of shape/cancer patient/etc, But! i don't want to lose access to my favorite trails because of them or their users. My real fear is analog bikes getting lumped into the same category should a problem arise.

E-MTBers (in my experience(and maybe there are more respectful users elsewhere)) act like they are the exception to the rules. Most of what we ride here are multi use trails(hiking/biking/horses) but off limits to anything with a motor, but that isn't stopping too many from ignoring signs or telling analog riders to mind their own business. The E-MTB'ers I've run into act as if they can ride it anywhere, no worries, they've got money if there is a fine involved. Us, analog bikers on the other hand, (in my experience) act like we respect the area, the trail and it's users a bit more, and fear having to pay more fees/fines besides losing our access to out trails should we ride too fast past the wrong person. If you don't see the difference in attitudes between the 2 groups of riders, I dare you to come ride with us and see for yourself(OR/WA).


Have you ever seen a lithium battery fire? Are you not worried at all about that happening in the middle of nowhere? Still waiting for anyone else to acknowledge that being a possibility.

Why would an E-bike (that weighs 15-20 lbs more) not damage a trail more than a regular bicycle? Especially if you are able to get a few more laps in? Tire contact points aren't the only factor.

Have manufacturers pay for the study into land damages, licenses and laws.... you're funny.


If you need an E-MTB to participate for health related reasons, I am super glad you have that option. I will gladly shuttle you or support you however I can. But if you're rich, want a few extra laps without working for it, and need an expensive toy to show off on social media, well, yeah...

So well said Sir.

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2/7/2020 10:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 10:11 PM

Captain.Zach wrote:

Joe- you are the first person from the entire bike industry (outside all of us techs that have had these in a repair stand) to call E-MTB's a motorcycle. Thank you. They are.


Not against E-MTB's. I feel like there is a place for them(motorcycle trails, MTB trails that allow E-MTB's, training for speed, between the legs of someone that is overwieght/out of shape/cancer patient/etc, But! i don't want to lose access to my favorite trails because of them or their users. My real fear is analog bikes getting lumped into the same category should a problem arise.

E-MTBers (in my experience(and maybe there are more respectful users elsewhere)) act like they are the exception to the rules. Most of what we ride here are multi use trails(hiking/biking/horses) but off limits to anything with a motor, but that isn't stopping too many from ignoring signs or telling analog riders to mind their own business. The E-MTB'ers I've run into act as if they can ride it anywhere, no worries, they've got money if there is a fine involved. Us, analog bikers on the other hand, (in my experience) act like we respect the area, the trail and it's users a bit more, and fear having to pay more fees/fines besides losing our access to out trails should we ride too fast past the wrong person. If you don't see the difference in attitudes between the 2 groups of riders, I dare you to come ride with us and see for yourself(OR/WA).


Have you ever seen a lithium battery fire? Are you not worried at all about that happening in the middle of nowhere? Still waiting for anyone else to acknowledge that being a possibility.

Why would an E-bike (that weighs 15-20 lbs more) not damage a trail more than a regular bicycle? Especially if you are able to get a few more laps in? Tire contact points aren't the only factor.

Have manufacturers pay for the study into land damages, licenses and laws.... you're funny.


If you need an E-MTB to participate for health related reasons, I am super glad you have that option. I will gladly shuttle you or support you however I can. But if you're rich, want a few extra laps without working for it, and need an expensive toy to show off on social media, well, yeah...

Generalizing everyone that has ridden an eMTB "E-MTBers act like they the exception to the rules"....is bullshit. As I say in every trail meeting i've been to when this is brought up, we have always had 'an asshole' problem, it existed before electrics. This problem exists in skate, snow, surf, tennis, golf, etc.....not everyone is a cool law abiding person.

So theres that.

Oh, and your analogy about the bikes being heavier causing more damage-is funny. So-I am 140lbs, am I supposed to call anyone 160lbs and up a 'trail terrorizer'?

Your last comment about EMTBers being rich, not working for their laps, or showing off expensive toys is uncalled for and out of line....I am not rich, I rode an ebike at lunch today for 45 minutes and averaged 164heart rate, so I worked-why not ride my regular bike? because I want to go farther than I usually do in the short time I have to ride AND theres a couple sections-well, many sections that are impossible to ride up because they are too sandy and steep, I also rode it because it's fucking fun.

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2/7/2020 10:49 PM

boom wrote:

"The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled."

Nope. Pedal assist (along with speed caps) is the clear differentiator from a traditional motorcycle. There is a big difference between how you ride something with pedal assist and how you ride something with a throttle. With an eBike you get assistance on the way up (the power isn't free and is still limited by user output). On the way down you ride it like a regular bike. If you had a throttle, even with a 20mph cap, you would ride it much more aggressively both on the way up and way down. The pedal assist keeps you in check and on downhill you ride it the same as a regular bike.

Also, I don't need a million dollar, multi-year study, to tell me that a 10 mile ride on a regular bike does the same damage as a 10 mile ride on an ebike. Same tires, same speeds. It is the same.

Ever gone on a ride with someone on a deregged ebike? Definitely NOT the same speed as a regular Mtb.

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Fristonboy

2/7/2020 11:11 PM

boom wrote:

"The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled."

Nope. Pedal assist (along with speed caps) is the clear differentiator from a traditional motorcycle. There is a big difference between how you ride something with pedal assist and how you ride something with a throttle. With an eBike you get assistance on the way up (the power isn't free and is still limited by user output). On the way down you ride it like a regular bike. If you had a throttle, even with a 20mph cap, you would ride it much more aggressively both on the way up and way down. The pedal assist keeps you in check and on downhill you ride it the same as a regular bike.

Also, I don't need a million dollar, multi-year study, to tell me that a 10 mile ride on a regular bike does the same damage as a 10 mile ride on an ebike. Same tires, same speeds. It is the same.

Jim_Oxborrow wrote:

Ever gone on a ride with someone on a deregged ebike? Definitely NOT the same speed as a regular Mtb.

No, but the topic posted is about class one ebikes and that they are too powerful.

I test rode a Levo today. I noticed that when I pedaled while going downhill I got no benefit from the motor. I actually could generate more speed pedaling while going downhill on my normal bike. My times on all my downhill segments were slower than my regular bike.

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2/7/2020 11:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 11:23 PM

Captain.Zach wrote:

Joe- you are the first person from the entire bike industry (outside all of us techs that have had these in a repair stand) to call E-MTB's a motorcycle. Thank you. They are.


Not against E-MTB's. I feel like there is a place for them(motorcycle trails, MTB trails that allow E-MTB's, training for speed, between the legs of someone that is overwieght/out of shape/cancer patient/etc, But! i don't want to lose access to my favorite trails because of them or their users. My real fear is analog bikes getting lumped into the same category should a problem arise.

E-MTBers (in my experience(and maybe there are more respectful users elsewhere)) act like they are the exception to the rules. Most of what we ride here are multi use trails(hiking/biking/horses) but off limits to anything with a motor, but that isn't stopping too many from ignoring signs or telling analog riders to mind their own business. The E-MTB'ers I've run into act as if they can ride it anywhere, no worries, they've got money if there is a fine involved. Us, analog bikers on the other hand, (in my experience) act like we respect the area, the trail and it's users a bit more, and fear having to pay more fees/fines besides losing our access to out trails should we ride too fast past the wrong person. If you don't see the difference in attitudes between the 2 groups of riders, I dare you to come ride with us and see for yourself(OR/WA).


Have you ever seen a lithium battery fire? Are you not worried at all about that happening in the middle of nowhere? Still waiting for anyone else to acknowledge that being a possibility.

Why would an E-bike (that weighs 15-20 lbs more) not damage a trail more than a regular bicycle? Especially if you are able to get a few more laps in? Tire contact points aren't the only factor.

Have manufacturers pay for the study into land damages, licenses and laws.... you're funny.


If you need an E-MTB to participate for health related reasons, I am super glad you have that option. I will gladly shuttle you or support you however I can. But if you're rich, want a few extra laps without working for it, and need an expensive toy to show off on social media, well, yeah...

"Why would an E-bike (that weighs 15-20 lbs more) not damage a trail more than a regular bicycle"

The range of rider body weights makes 15 extra pounds of bike weight insignificant..

Possibly this important study will conclude that trails should have a weight limit and weight station at the trail-head. If the rider + bike (ebike or regular) is over the limit, no riding for you. Horses of course will not be subject to these limits.

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2/7/2020 11:52 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 11:54 PM

"What's an e-bike" it's exactly what you think it is. I always love when some official city/state/federal somebody is always just confused about what's going on in there jurisdiction. "If the industry or awesome people who do ____ had just come to us asked for permission / guidance / approval / designations we'd have a much better handle on this situation. Oh and we wouldn't mind some extra tax dollars and fees be given to us to manage this". From razor scooters (I do we wish they came to the skateboarding lobby? in 2004 and said were going to ruin your skateparks) , vaping, Uber, bump stocks, electric cars, autonomous vehicles, drones. "Why wasn't a study done?", "what about the childern?" The study always comes after the fact. Why do a study before you know anyone wants one. The bike industry dumps millions as a whole into e-bikes, now it's a problem to be regulated.
I'm to lazy to do the research, but I'd estimate e-bike is at least 20 years in the making. It's on you if you didn't get ahead of this, if in fact it's worth getting ahead of. Maybe it's riding in NV, but the concept of "no you can't do that here" is very confusing to me. We were always more concerned about MX bikes ruining our jumps, than "is the sight line and trail width of sufficient distance".

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2/7/2020 11:53 PM

Soo... MTBs - whites, eMTB - blacks (etc).
Look almost the same but nah, not equal. MTBs don't want eMTBs to access same places.

Intriguing, isn't it... )

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Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1 2016

2/8/2020 12:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/9/2020 12:56 AM

boom wrote:

"Why would an E-bike (that weighs 15-20 lbs more) not damage a trail more than a regular bicycle"

The range of rider body weights makes 15 extra pounds of bike weight insignificant..

Possibly this important study will conclude that trails should have a weight limit and weight station at the trail-head. If the rider + bike (ebike or regular) is over the limit, no riding for you. Horses of course will not be subject to these limits.

That's just science, right? More force applied by more weight. It seems like this would be on the low end of the argument against e-bikes because, yes, no one is mad at 220 lbs guy for riding on the trail vs 160 lbs guy.

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2/8/2020 12:08 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/8/2020 12:20 AM

This was fairly entertaining.

MTB Bikes are RAD. I want to get shreddy, I like to get shreddy, I need to get shreddy. I’m gonna get shreddy on my anolog bike as I have been for 20+ years and now I’m gonna also get extra shreddy on eBikes because they are super duper rad.

I’m gonna not be a dick to other trail users even though they are often entitled dicks themselves and deserve a good kick in the nutz - of course I won’t. I’m gonna ride legal trails and I’m also gonna poach trails (where I live it’s a necessary part of riding if you wanna get shreddy - poaching is poaching regardless of the type of bike).

In other words. Nothing’s changed.

If you don’t like eBikes don’t get an eBike, but shut your suck-hole when I’m riding mine cuz I’m doin the same shiz gettin rad that I’ve been doing for more than half my life cuz I love MTB.

Also, there’s no fixing stupid. Novice riders do dumb shit regardless of the type of bike they’re riding.

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2/8/2020 12:35 AM

boom wrote:

"The industry also needs to stop presenting that we are somehow better than motorized users because we have to pedal to access that power. It is immaterial that a motorcycle does not have to be pedaled."

Nope. Pedal assist (along with speed caps) is the clear differentiator from a traditional motorcycle. There is a big difference between how you ride something with pedal assist and how you ride something with a throttle. With an eBike you get assistance on the way up (the power isn't free and is still limited by user output). On the way down you ride it like a regular bike. If you had a throttle, even with a 20mph cap, you would ride it much more aggressively both on the way up and way down. The pedal assist keeps you in check and on downhill you ride it the same as a regular bike.

Also, I don't need a million dollar, multi-year study, to tell me that a 10 mile ride on a regular bike does the same damage as a 10 mile ride on an ebike. Same tires, same speeds. It is the same.

Jim_Oxborrow wrote:

Ever gone on a ride with someone on a deregged ebike? Definitely NOT the same speed as a regular Mtb.

boom wrote:

No, but the topic posted is about class one ebikes and that they are too powerful.

I test rode a Levo today. I noticed that when I pedaled while going downhill I got no benefit from the motor. I actually could generate more speed pedaling while going downhill on my normal bike. My times on all my downhill segments were slower than my regular bike.

Of course that is why you will find a vast majority of the new breed of ebikers on trails have deregged them and are going fucking mentally fast!!!

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Fristonboy

2/8/2020 4:00 AM

slowroller wrote:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A moped (/ˈmoʊpɛd/ MOH-ped) is a type of small motorcycle with bicycle pedals, generally having a less stringent licensing requirement than full motorcycles or automobiles. Mopeds typically travel only a bit faster than bicycles on public roads, and possess both a motorcycle engine and pedals for propulsion.

Matbe you're unaware the pedals on a moped are just for getting the engine to start and have no effect once the engine is running. The pedals basically become pegs while the engine is running.

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2/8/2020 8:16 AM

Personally, I don't have an issue with class 1 ebikes on trails. They are no faster than a regular bike on a downhill and a strong rider can still go faster up the hills.. There are several KOMs on climbs I couldn't touch even with the help of an ebike. An ebike doesn't make an average rider into Nino...

As far as people hacking and unlocking bikes, that's an issue.. Their is definitely a wild west situation in the ebike world. There are rules and regulations, but little to no enforcement capabilities. I know of one SoCal based company that sells legal bikes, but then has a friend of the company posting info all over as how to unlock the bike. Not good. The latest Bosch motor actually has anti-tamper programs that if it detects changes, the motor goes into limp home mode. Do that 3 times and you need a very expensive diagnostic tool from Bosch to fix it. But, there are, in my opinion, many companies making what should be classified electric motorcycles and putting pedals on them to avoid the additional regulations that come with a motorcycle designation.

As far as an elitist attitude towards trail use, the "I spent so much money so I can ride where I want" is the exact same argument hikers and equestrians have used against MTB riders for years now... Literally, word for word.. Hell, there's a good chance the regular pedal bike guy spent more money that the ebike guy..

Stop showing the ebikes shredding... I can get behind that.. It's a terrible attempt to convince the ebike haters that an ebike can be cool. I don't think I have sold a single ebike to someone who thought an ebike will let them be a freeride superstar. Most of the people I've sold ebikes too are just hoping to get out a little more or keep up with people younger and more fit than themselves... I even have on guy that has lost 40lbs since buying an ebike back in November and is now considering a regular bike to add to the stable. It might be boring from a marketing standpoint, but show me the 80-something guy that can still ride the hills everyday.. Or the couple that can ride together because one works a ton of hours and the other rides everyday... Showing someone doing a backflip in Utah on an ebike is just trying to appeal to a group that isn't ready to buy one yet.

I've ridden a few different ebikes and I can see where there's a place for them. Am I going to get one? Not yet... Ask me in 15-20 years... But, if money was no object, yeah, there would be one in the quiver... If only to allow me to ride the day after blowing up my legs on my regular bike..

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2/8/2020 8:43 AM

The one thing we all need to remember here is that if it has a motor. People will and in this case already have figured out ways to make it more powerful and go much faster. If you know anything about electric motors and batteries it doesn’t take much to an hack an ebike to make it go faster. Or add a throttle for that matter. Don’t even try to tell me it’s not possible. A quick google or YouTube search will enlighten you. I have a friend that builds ebikes and with a few tweaks they will do burnouts on demand and roost just like a dirt bike. I’ve ridden a modded one he built, and yes it’s a blast no doubt. Kinda like and electric dirt bike with out all the bulk. He was very clear about the fact that it isn’t a mtn bike and that it shouldn’t be ridden on nonmotorized trails. Its awesome for shuttling by the way.
I’m not saying that everyone will do this. Most people in fact probably won’t. But to say no one will is like saying no one will tune their Subaru STi or jack up their truck. The problem is it only takes a few bad apples to ruin everything for everyone. Just ask any dirt bike rider or 4x4 enthusiast about trail access. Most modded vehicles are pretty easy to spot. The biggest problem here is you and I wouldn’t know the difference between a modified ebike and a regular one. Its more obvious on trail when your going down hill and the guy coming up hill is going just as fast if not faster than you. Definitely not something you expect on nonmotorized trails. That’s a problem and I have already experienced it here in Colorado on more than one occasion. So if it startled me. I can only imagine what other trail users are thinking. Ban all bikes! Most likely.
Ebikes have their place just like dirt bikes, jeeps, horses, hikers, and mtn bikers have their place. In order to keep the peace. All these user groups should be separated as much as possible to reduce conflict. Most trails should be directional as well. That alone would solve most conflicts on trail. Alternating days users can use trails helps as well. More Mtn bike only trails. This is amazing and zero conflict on trail.

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2/8/2020 8:54 AM

Building trails specific for e-bikes is a terrible idea. There aren't enough biking trails already. If they start getting built for e-bikes only, imagine how butt hurt everyone will be. Look how butt hurt everyone is already.

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2/8/2020 9:12 AM

I wonder what percentage of e mountain bikers are actually hacking their $5 to 10k ebikes and voiding the warranty? Highly doubt it is "the vast majority." Pretty sure Specialized can also detect this through their app.

Also hilarious that in this day and age people would say something like "stop showing ebikes shredding" as though that is a realistic option.

"In fact, statistically, nobody shreds on an MTB (e or otherwise). The majority of riders will never get their wheels off the ground or hit a huge drop or bash through a berm."

OK. On multiple levels this is one of the silliest and most unrealistic statements in this thread. By that logic people should stop showing videos of people shredding regular mtb as well. From ads, to YouTube, to movies... People make content that gets attention and is entertaining, that isn't going to change. The reality is that no matter what the sport, videos showing people shredding and doing things out of the ordinary are entertaining and watched. I mean Is Hollywood going to stop creating movies showing cars driving insane in public streets and sidewalks breaking all the laws? Those things are meant for commuting.

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2/8/2020 9:13 AM

Upon hearing his #4 proposal I will never again purchase a trek product. Shredding is the point of the sport, this mans view is irrelevant.

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2/8/2020 9:34 AM

Cheating. This is a sentiment that continues to come up. Why does everybody care or feel like it is cheating? Are they cheating you and your strava times? Do you feel like the e-bike rider is cheating themselves? Or is your ego hurt when you get passed by some fat guy who just got turned into Nino? But if it's a cancer patient, it's now OK? Like wtf, can't you just worry about yourself?

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2/8/2020 10:05 AM

Shhhhh. Nobody shreds

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@jason_gainey