IMBA's eMTB / Electric Mountain Bike Survey

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11/7/2015 10:00 AM

Brandon noted this survey in the sea otter ebike race post, but i figured it was worth pulling out separately for the sake of discussion and knowledge.

IMBA has a survey on their site about E mountain bikes and how you feel about them. e-bikes on the trails in the U.S. are a hot topic, so make your voice heard, for or against them.



11/7/2015 10:40 AM

Think about motocross rejects throttling 180-200mm mountain bikes UP trails that were previously limited to trail and XC bikes then rallying down those heavy and clunky e-bikes down at mach-stupid. I'm a downhiller, but one who respects trails and trail users, and unfortunately not everyone on my side of the sport is the same. Sure, there are some fun trails I ride on my 160mm bike that would be fun on a full 200mm downhill bike, but I leave that bike at home for those trails because it's simply not the right bike due to some climbing and just the overall hike it would involve. Put a battery and pedal assist on, though, and now that 200mm downhill bike isn't so difficult to take to these trails, and those motocross rejects I mentioned earlier will have no problem taking the big-eBike out there, now. And do you think those guys are going to push up a tech section they cant power up with their 50-pound plus bike? Nope... they're going to widen the trail so they "don't mess up their climbing flow..." Trails will get wider, bigger and faster bikes with less skilled riders will be more common, and if you think hikers and equestrians have issues with MTBers users now, imagine the conflict when "dum-dum" comes screaming around a blind corner 10 miles an hour faster than a rider on a traditional bike and scares last nights dinner right out of grandmas pants. The end is near if eMTBs continue to become a thing and are allowed access to non-motorized trails. THE END IS NEAR.


They call 'em fingers, but I've never seen 'em fing.

11/7/2015 2:50 PM

If it has a motor, electric or any other type, it should be considered a motorbike and subject to trail limitations. Period. Same thing with riding E-bikes or "power-assist" bikes on roadways. License them like any other motorized vehicle. Problem solved.


11/7/2015 4:43 PM

Done. (Thumbs down emoji.)


11/8/2015 4:39 AM

I think that it opens another option for people who have knee or other medical issues.
Purists will never give anyone on an ebike any credit.
XC spandex racers are just concerned about their strava times.
I say give it a go and see how it pans out.
Not concerned in the least because I still have my bike and that's all that matters.

P.S. I couldn't ride my 450 faster on mostly any trail I ride anyways.


11/8/2015 8:14 AM

e bikes = lazy


11/8/2015 6:34 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/8/2015 6:35 PM

EMTB's that come from bicycle manufacturers pose no threat to our MTB scene. They are great for older/less capable riders that still want to enjoy the trails but are perhaps not physically able to so anymore. The real threat comes from these:
These bikes are very fast, top speed of 80kph and weigh 50kg. They destroy trails and make advocacy harder to achieve than it already is. These are gaining in numbers in Australia and they are a scurge on the cycling scene, riders of these have no regard for rules or other users on or off road and are a menace to us all. The problem is that the wider public sees these contraptions as bicycles because they have pedals on them when they are really just long travel electric mopeds. the speed and weight of these things makes them fall into the category of a motorcycle and should be registered as such, but unfortunately for us the government turns a blind eye to these things and they continue to wreck our trails illegally.


11/8/2015 8:59 PM

I feel for the people who have medical problems and can't ride a regular bike anymore. Maybe there should be a rule or law that makes it like having a handicapped placard on your car. I have already encountered problems with them on trails that are DH specific as an unwritten rule have people going up it now when they couldn't even come close to pedaling it before. When you expect to have a clear trail it is unnerving to have someone unaware of the expectations riding against traffic. Equestrians already hate a lot of bikers, same with hikers. Putting a motor on a bike and making it go faster will only make it worsw.


11/8/2015 9:12 PM

My uncle's fiancé had CF and he got an electric bike and it allowed them to go on rides together. They stayed on pavement but I like the idea of a handicap tag or license that allows use on normal trails.


11/9/2015 9:48 AM

I think these things are a terrible idea!

The argument about disabled people using them scares the crap out of me, as a former bike patroller. Do we really want to assist people with a physical deficiency to get further into the wilderness if they are not self sufficient? For example, what happens if they taco a wheel on their 60lb behemoth? Will they have the physical capacity to hike themselves back out if they were reliant on an electric motor to get there in the first place?

That is even before we start to consider the affects of that extra power through the rear wheel on the trails.

Motor + Bike = motorbike. Electric motor + Bike = Electric Motorbike. eMTB does not exist.


11/10/2015 5:09 PM

There's a place for these. Maybe not in all places a regular pedal bike can go, but definitely more places than my 250cc 2-stroke. We just need to figure out the access restrictions and self-police.

Let's not forget that we MTBers are often looked down upon by "purists" who hike or ride horses only.