Sort of a Review

2020 Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 70 B.C. Edition

Words Cam McRae
Photos Deniz Merdano (unless noted)
Date Oct 2, 2020
Reading time

I'm going to start with a little insight into where I'm coming from when I write about e-bikes. There are riders who are hooked when they first ride a mountain bike with an electric motor. Some of these riders sell their mountain bikes and never again ride without an electric boost. I'm not judging these people, but I am not in that category.

I love mountain bikes. I don't love e-bikes. I enjoy riding eMTBs because of what they offer; more speed climbing and more range, and sometimes rides that take less time so I can shoe-horn one in as a bonus. I am a mountain biker who sometimes likes to ride an eMTB, but mostly I prefer riding under my own meagre power. I reject the prediction I've seen in some other publications that eMTBs are going to make mountain bikes obsolete. I'll be turning the pedals with my own power for as long as I'm able, but I may continue to occasionally ride an electric bike off road.

If you don't like eMTBs, I'm fine with that. I only like them sheepishly anyway.


This is a fine looking and well-appointed machine, with Shimano XT components and Fox suspension. It doesn't scream eMTB like some of the others either.

That means I'm not going to dig deep into the subtleties of drive systems, torque ratings, and battery output. If that's what you're looking for, you've come to the wrong place. If you are a mountain biker who is e-curious or someone who already has an eMTB, and is considering a different model, you'll get a mountain biker's perspective on the eMTBs I try out for a month or two, rather than a geekfest with lots of statistics and comparisons with other electric mountain bikes.


The controller did its job just fine, but I would have loved a clearer indication of what boost level I was using (from Eco up to Ludicrous by the way). More on that below.

Component Spec.

The Instinct Powerplay B.C. is a lot of bike. With 160mm of travel up front and 150 in the rear, it's built for rough play, and is well-equipped for the task. Mostly. It has Maxxis Double Down tires front and rear, but the choice of an Aggressor out back was disappointing. Despite the name, it lacks the aggressive knobs found on the DHR II, DHF or Assegai, and it was easily overwhelmed when things were moist on the climbs or loose and steep on the way down. It was however nice and efficient on the road on the way to the trail. The DHF up front was just fine.


I love doing big rides from home on eMTBs, like heading over to Cypress, doing a few laps and then pedalling home over bridges and dams. Photo - Pete Roggeman

I'm not sure if it's the low-slung weight, the added mass overall, or the ability to mostly disregard climbing performance, but I find e-bike suspension very easy to set up so it performs well. The eMTB-specific Fox 36Float EVOL Grip Performance sat up admirably in its travel and responded well to bumps of all sizes and was happy to slam into the bottom of rock faces with poor transitions. I was similarly impressed with the DPX2, which I expected to be somewhat overwhelmed by forces it was exposed to by the added weight and speed of an eMTB. I expected to be wishing for an X2 but that wasn't the case.


Spec. provided by Rocky Mountain

Otherwise the spec. is suitably tailored for a bike aimed at getting rowdy. This was the first eMTB I'd ridden with a Shimano drivetrain, and it's an excellent choice. The smooth-shifting Shimano 8100 drive components are well-suited to the forces an electric motor generates. Absent were the usual clunks and crunches I've experienced in the past, particularly when shifting up the cassette under load.

Similarly the XT 8120 brakes, with 203mm rotors front and rear, reined things in consistently and powerfully. I've occasionally lost the reins riding other eMTBs because of the added weight, but that wasn't a problem with the Instinct B.C. Otherwise the Race Face AR 30 rims, paired with Rocky branded hub up front and a DT Swiss 370 in the rear, worked admirably. I had occasional and undiagnosed troubles with the Race Face Turbine dropper not reaching full height, despite the seat bolt being properly clamped.


The IPPBC holds a line very well indeed.

Instinct Powerplay B.C. Features

  • Wheels: 29"
  • Travel: 160mm front, 155 rear
  • Drive: Dyname 3.0 Class 1 eMTB Drive | 250w | 108Nm
  • Battery: 672 Wh Fully Integrated Li-Ion | 48V FAST Charger | 80% Charge in 2:10 | 100% Charge in 3:50
  • Frame: FORM Alloy. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs.

This sandy zone is frequented by pit bikes and other wee motos. Pushing through the sandy soil would have been impossible on a regular bike but it was a blast on the Instinct Powerplay.

The Drive System

Rocky Mountain could have made the easy decision and used one of the two most popular e-bike drive systems on the market, Bosch or Shimano. Instead Rocky partnered with Propulsion Power Cycle, a Québec-based company * that developed the Dyname 3.0 Propulsion System found on the Instinct Powerplay. And Rocky will tell you it has some advantages over other systems. One big one is torque. The Dyname is said to provide 105 Nm of torque while Shimano's popular E8000 motor is rated at 70 Nm while the new Shimano EP 8 delivers 85 Nm as does the Bosch Performance CX.** And the Dyname does indeed pull well. Like most drives, the Dyname performs best at high RPMs. It's also more efficient at higher cadence, but it's able to handle situations where you get stuck in the wrong gear or are surprised by steep up, better than some others I've ridden.

*Rocky's parent company is based in Saint-Georges Québec

**It turns out I might geek out a little


The drive system with the cover removed. Wade Simmons told me keeping this lubed is vital. Because the system drives the chain, rather than the bottom bracket spindle like most other systems, it uses a conventional crank and BB. The curved black arm attached to the idler pulley in front of the crank is the torque sensing arm.

The Instinct was particularly at home on steep singletrack climbs. I spent a day chasing Wade Simmons and Andreas Hestler where they found the steepest lines they could and crawled their way up. It was one of the most beastly days I've had on the bike in years and I was a wreck by the time we got to the top for the last time. The bike performed admirably but my eMTB climbing chops are nowhere near those two legends. I did make it up some pitches I didn't expect to and this is truly a strength of the Instinct Powerplay and its Dyname drive.


The rear end is robust and it tracks very well. There is much to be said for aluminum frames.

Another thing I noticed early on was the immediacy of the drive's response to my inputs. All class 1 eMTBs produce power proportional to what you generate with your legs, but the Dyname 3.0 seems to do this better than most. This is likely the result of the way the system measures your inputs and communicates that to the drive system to determine the output needed. This is done using a torque sensing arm attached to a pulled that presses against the chain and measures its tension. The harder you push, the more tension in the chain, which translates to higher output from the drive system. While it works very well, this system has some drawbacks I’ll get to later.


I think I am more comfortable in the air on eMTBs, likely because my form needs work. Time for another clinic.


This Powerplay fits me very well, with a reach of 481mm and a 74.4º seat tube angle. Unfortunately I was riding an XL and I’m 6’ tall without gangly arms or a long torso, which means if you are taller this bike may not be big enough for you. When a new model arrives the sizing will undoubtedly grow, but for now you should try before you buy. Otherwise the geo, while not groundbreaking, does a very good job of balancing all the elements. The 65.9º head angle isn’t extreme but it handled great at speed and when things got steep, but the bike did well in the tight and twisties as well.


Geometry provided by Rocky Mountain

Instinct Powerplay B.C. Flaws

For me the biggest problem with this bike is the friction generated when the drive system isn’t engaged, either because you’ve exceeded the maximum speed for Class 1 ebikes or because your battery is spent. On top of the torque sensing arm there is an idler pulley and a chainguide that keep the chain under tension as well as the drive pinion, meaning once you’re battery is spent it’s going to feel like you’re pedalling through quicksand. The other systems I’ve ridden from Bosch and Shimano produce much less resistance when the motor is off.

In terms of noise, this version of the Dyname drive is said to be much quieter than previous iterations, and it doesn’t make as whine as much as other systems, likely because it runs at much lower RPMs. You do however hear significant chain noise because of the idler pulleys and the torque arm. I didn't find the sound obtrusive or worse than the sound coming from Bosch or Shimano systems but I thought it was worth noting.


The app is great, but it's difficult to read in your pocket or your pack.

Most eMTBs you’ll see have a display that shows you vital information like how much battery you have left, how long you’ll have at your current speed and effort until it’s dead, and how many KOM’s you’ve knocked off, etc. This bike instead has an Android or iPhone app that provides all of that information, which is great if you are interested in mounting your $1000 telecommunications device on your handlebar, which probably works okay if you’re a roadie. You can check your phone if you are solo or out on a mellow ride, but if you’re chasing your buddies it’s somewhat less convenient.

And finally that Aggressor tire, which was anything but.


This guide to deciphering the LED indicators is found in the Powerplay owner's manual.

As a result, battery life and boost level are indicated by the same coloured LED light on the controller. The light is white until you are below 75% remaining, green between 75% and 50%, yellow between 50% and 25%, red below 25%, blinking red below 10% and fast blinking red below 5%. On two rides my indicator went yellow seemingly ahead of schedule, but then lasted for the rest of both rides after I rationed my power some. Having a visual and numerical indication of the battery level that you can look at whenever you like is vastly preferable in my books.


This cheap-ass bottle was likely poisoning me, but it was the only one that would fit. And only with this modified cage. And it still made contact with the shock.

I searched high and low for a water bottle and cage combo that would fit the XL frame I was riding. I finally sort of managed it with a cheap bottle with a small cap my son was given at a basketball camp. While it fit, there was no room between the bottle and shock. None of the other Powerplay riders I rode with had a bottle, so I ended up giving my combo to Andreas Hestler of Rocky when I gave the bike back. YT uses a custom Fidlock bottle for their eMTBs and while it only holds 600 ml of water, that's about as much as my shitty bottle held.


Despite some range anxiety, I was never let down by the Dyname 3.0 drive.

The Ride/Overall

I really enjoyed riding the RMB IPPBC. It rode much later than its 55lb weight would suggest* (leading me to believe there isn't a huge advantage to laying down for a carbon-framed eMTB if you plan to use it mainly with battery power) and it did all the things I wanted it to. It was particularly handy climbing what I imagined were unclimbable sections of single track, but that doesn't take anything away from its downhill prowess. In fact it was happy as hell to stamp through rooty bits and over all kinds of trail chunder and the bike liked to be ridden with some anger and attitude.

*proper Double Down Maxxis rubber is responsible for a good portion of this heft


Does it still count as a schralp in sandy soil?

While there is much to like about this bike, I think the elements I perceived as flaws might push me to look elsewhere if I was in the market for an eMTB. This model is also available in 27.5 wheels for those who appreciated a more spritely feel.

More on the Instinct Powerplay Alloy 70 B.C. Edition

Cam McRae

Age - 55

Height - 6'/183cm (mostly legs)

Weight - 165lbs/74.5kg

Ape Index - 0.986

Inseam - 34"/86cm

Trail I've been stoked on lately - Fifth Horseman

Bar Width - 760mm

Preferred Reach - 485-500mm (longer with 27.5 wheels than 29)

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Pnwpedal  - Oct. 2, 2020, 10:29 a.m.

Fifty five pounds. Damn. Those DD casing tires are necessary to handle the bike plowing through every rock and root on the trail, because good luck getting that pig to stay light on it's wheels. Add pedals, bottle and cage, tools, and a tube, and the bike is pushing 60lb. Doesn't sound like a fun time to me.


+2 flatch Sandy James Oates
Parker Roenfanz  - Oct. 2, 2020, 10:33 a.m.

I got mine up to about 65lbs with Cushcore, DD tires, Coil Rear, and the Overtimepack...I can confirm that its an absolute RIOT on the trails.  Climb, SMASH, and never worry about traction.


+2 Andy Eunson Lu Kz
Cam McRae  - Oct. 2, 2020, 10:39 a.m.

It honestly isn't much different than riding one that is even five pounds lighter. I could bunny hop and jump it and maneuver well in tight situations. Lifting it into a truck or into a roof rack for someone smaller is another matter entirely.


+1 Cam McRae AJ Barlas mrbrett
Rob Gretchen  - Oct. 2, 2020, 11:14 a.m.

I would say that 55 lbs is pretty portly in the e-bike realm at the moment.   Getting below 50lbs does have a positive effect on the ride experience.     My Pivot Shuttle was at 46lbs and I felt that was a weight where the handling started to feel more like an acoustic bike on the descents.


Tehllama42  - Oct. 5, 2020, 11:55 a.m.

It just turns into a stack of 'might as well' decisions.  Once you're headed towards a 40+lb bike, it's going to ride like a vehicle you're a part of more than an extension of your body, so might as well make it a more capable vehicle.
Cheaper but beefier wheels, steel cassette, coil springs - and yeah, more tire are all things which make it fun.  If we could have 30lb bikes with parts that durable, we wouldn't bother riding anything else... slapping a motor on makes that 15lb delta go away a large fraction of the time it's in motion, so why not have more durable parts which require less maintenance?


+3 Lu Kz Cam McRae Sandy James Oates
Parker Roenfanz  - Oct. 2, 2020, 10:31 a.m.

I've got the same bike and have been loving it.  Personally the minimalist characteristics of the remote have been a plus, but I will agree with you that seeing the actual battery life and settings in real-time are helpful.  It looks like the model you got has the updated controller with the ANT+ compatibility.  I hooked mine up to my Wahoo Element so I can see both the battery life and settings while I ride and its been amazing so far. 

Rocky also makes a bottle adapter that allows you to run a bottle slightly to the left or right of the sock and I've found its far enough forward that I don't have any contact while pedaling.  You can even run 2 bottles at the same time if you want.

Finally, I set mine up with Cane Creek Inline Coil and the new Overtimepack...WHAT A HOOT!  I highly recommend.


Lu Kz  - Oct. 2, 2020, 4:42 p.m.

It's a bit of a bummer that they don't come stock with a shock that can run the overtime pack.


+17 Grif taprider Cr4w Vik Banerjee jaydubmah Andy Eunson Cam McRae AJ Barlas Lu Kz OldManBike 4Runner1 Endur-Bro goose8 trumpstinyhands HulaOtter Jerry Willows Mammal
Ddean  - Oct. 2, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

Nice unbiased review from someone who clearly is discussing from a traditional MTBr perspective.

BUT, and its a big but, I dont know why when folks are discussing ebikes that the first thing they do is go directly to the zones that are most at risk from ebikes. I wont highlight but you did a bit of that in this.

Rocky however is the WORST for this. I love that brand and have had a few of their bikes (have one now!) but am very conflicted because almost every promotional video for ebikes Ive seen from them is from a zone that is protected by a nasty and unpleasant climb that keeps traffic out (by design). They are giving the builders in those zones (and those who maintain those zones) a giant middle finger, saying "we are going to sell bikes to people who otherwise would not put the effort to access your trails and we are going to give them a way around your protections and we will profit and we dont give a rats ass about why you built these trails where you did". Rocky, please stop.  Should ebikes bridge that gap, these zones will be doomed.  If the ebikes could stay in unthreatening places, that would be ideal for all.


+4 mrbrett AJ Barlas Endur-Bro goose8
Pnwpedal  - Oct. 2, 2020, 12:07 p.m.

You better be careful, your rational argument about a legitimate trail access / land management issue will get you labelled as a "hater". Contrarian viewpoints are no longer accepted in 2020. :D


+3 Lu Kz 4Runner1 goose8 Cr4w Ddean
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 2, 2020, 12:54 p.m.

There is no way to stop where e-bikes will go within a trail network where they are legal. One of the main appeals is that they unlock a bunch of trails that were previously access restricted by the level of effort it took to get there. Now you can lap them.


+3 Ddean 4Runner1 goose8
Pnwpedal  - Oct. 2, 2020, 1:27 p.m.

Exactly... Now trails that saw only a limited number of riders and a limited number of laps will see the addition of a new group of riders, hitting even more laps, with each lap causing more wear than a regular MTB (by nature of riding style due to bike weight). At a privately owned bike park or other private property with permission, no big deal. On public land where MTB use is already restricted and can easily be further restricted or outlawed entirely... Potentially a very big deal. As RC said regarding the impact of electric motorized bicycles, "We have nowhere to go but down in the trail use food chain" [paraphrased].


Sebov  - Oct. 3, 2020, 11:19 p.m.

True. But in my local experience (Bavarian Alps) people are not riding more laps, they are going further or ride more trails. In the Alps we do not have a bike trail network, there is often a long detour on gravel roads to the (hiking) trail head for an often tricky (not made for bikes) and short (often direttissima route) descent. So biking in spring/autumn is actually just possible in summer or on weekends - when you meet a lot of hikers who don‘t like bikers. So going right now afterwork for just one „lap“ on an E-Bike is a great option.

And most of the E-Bike crowd are just riding the gravel roads - it‘s a new group in the Alps. They are not die hard mountainbikers who are hitting the trails. They are on kind of sightseeing tours to the huts for drinking and heating. Nevertheless the environmental protection groups are starting to fight against E-Bikers: „too many people on the mountains“. 

As a Doc I would say that we should also be happy that a lot of people are doing some sports instead of just cruising along the streets in the Alps. It‘s nice here so the crowd is coming anyway...


+8 4Runner1 Peter Carson goose8 Cr4w HulaOtter Vik Banerjee Jerry Willows Mammal
Ddean  - Oct. 2, 2020, 1:35 p.m.


Those who built and are maintaining those trails (they do not maintain themselves) put them behind a big climb for exactly that reason - access was a squirrel catcher limiting traffic and thereby limiting the effort required to maintain the trail to something manageable. I would hope that those on ebikes would respect the builders and other keepers of the trails wishes if no ebiking signs show up on them. Some might say that the builders cant legally keep ebikes off any trails, and they'd be right, but they didnt build the trail and probably havent helped maintain it. If they did, they would almost certainly respect the builders wishes.

Theres a place for ebikes for sure,  but its not in sensitive areas where those who are caring for the trails chose the location specifically to limit traffic. Its also not where Rocky has done a few of their promotions.

In follow up, Im not talking about authorized trails such as 7th that might be viewed by some as having a difficult climb infront of it. 7th is exactly where ebikes should be in my view.


+5 Ddean 4Runner1 HulaOtter Vik Banerjee Mammal
Cr4w  - Oct. 3, 2020, 7:52 a.m.

Yeah that's not going to happen. People who feel entitled to climb fast and far without putting in the time and dedication to actually be able to climb fast and far also feel entitled to ride whatever they damn well please. Twice if they want.

Until we have mini portable EMPs this Is how It's going to be. These access-limited-by-fitness trails will start getting a few barriers sprinkled on the trail, something your average person couldn't get a 55lb bike up/over/around.


+1 Peter Carson
Jcmonty  - Oct. 2, 2020, 12:19 p.m.

As one of those guys that got an ebike, but really wanted to just have a mtb that let me "do more" in the limited time I have,  I would  highly recommend checking out the Levo SL (or the next variant "enduro SL" whenever that  actually comes out).   I think that this type of bike is the future for those on the fence. Maneuvers like a mtb in most scenarios, and you still get plenty of support when you want it.  It's  not going to win drag races, but I always found the "turbo" or "boost" mode of most ebikes , not that practical or fun unless it's purely for a non-MTB experience.

In terms of weight, you do get used to  the 50lb+ of heavier ebikes,  but it's definitely a different feel IMO.   On the SL  - I have no problem with it anywhere I would like to take it, and I prefer it on the DH and bike park (though mine is heavily modded 170mm Mezzer, Ext Storia  w/ Cascade Components link).

YMMV  -  I am admirer from afar - San Diego - where ebikes are a plenty and roots are minimum.


+4 Ddean ackshunW Mammal mtnfriend
Michel Vis  - Oct. 2, 2020, 8:29 p.m.

With due respect, I don't get the "do more" argument.  Get a bike that allows for physically harder, but maybe slightly mellower technical rides (i.e. hardtail, rigid bike, singlespeed, etc.).  If you only have an hour, a short lap like that is perfect.  Then on the weekends, grab the full-sus and go for a 2 hour climb before you hit all the fun on the downhill.  Horses for courses, I guess, but it seems like the easy-out argument to me.


Jcmonty  - Oct. 3, 2020, 11:38 a.m.

"Do more" to me is more downhill in an allotment of time or equivalent workout.   To me, that's more fun, which is the primary reason I ride bikes.  The compromises I didn't like with a typical ebike was the less responsive handling.  My current bike solves that.

If I lived where there was more variety or less ebike friendly trails, I would be happy to ride a standard MTB


Tehllama42  - Oct. 5, 2020, 11:48 a.m.

Trail access dependent - if I want to ride more than just the network of trails I bought a house next to on purpose, the options are loading onto an automobile or getting something like this.
Practically, given the otherwise lift served park near me, and plethora of great motorized access trails nearby, something like that really does let me do more... and I could probably string together 50km of immediate local trail riding in an afternoon also.  
I do enjoy running my hardtail, especially for short laps, ditto the trail bike.  Having to put some maintenance and thought effort into making the perform right is a slight faff (I'd love to just toss DH tires and run coil everything, but riding miles of pavement to get to preferred trails makes that hard for after-work rides), again this is something motorization indirectly solves, if very inelegantly.
The argument is there, it's just not $8000 strong for me.


4Runner1  - Oct. 3, 2020, 8:54 a.m.

I don’t understand the “do more” argument. What does that mean?


+3 taprider Vik Banerjee Mammal
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 3, 2020, 1:05 p.m.

Do more means doing climbs faster so one con ride down more in a given time. That doesn’t mean much to me. I enjoy a hard climb. Many don’t. I think when people say climbing is boring they are actually saying it’s too hard and I’m too soft.


+1 Vik Banerjee
fartymarty  - Oct. 4, 2020, 8:26 a.m.

Andy E - you nailed it.  Earn your turns!!! The older I get the more I enjoy the challenge of a good climb.  

Edit - maybe this is a sign we (as a mtb collective) are moving away from our tarmac bretheren who relish in pain and suffering....

As a side note I've not ridden and ebike (so all of the above must be read as such) but am pretty sure I would love it if I did - hence am conflicted in my opinions on them.  Personally as long as trails aren't getting closed as a result of their use and their riders are respectful of other trail users I'm good with them.


+1 Pnwpedal OldManBike 4Runner1 Endur-Bro Ddean taprider Vik Banerjee Lu Kz flatch Peter Carson Absolut-M Sandy James Oates Pete Roggeman
wizardB  - Oct. 2, 2020, 3:10 p.m.

Motorcycles and e-bikes( which are motorcycles)  do not belong on mountain bike trails, they belong on the moto trails with all the other motorized equipment.


+3 Peter Carson Absolut-M Sandy James Oates Ddean Pete Roggeman Cam McRae 4Runner1 Endur-Bro taprider
flatch  - Oct. 2, 2020, 7:01 p.m.

They are not motorcycles, quit trolling.


Sebov  - Oct. 3, 2020, 10:53 a.m.

Not an E-Bike fan. Tested an Orbea Wild FS (25kg) - great plowing when going straight, didn‘t like the weight on technical trails. My wife didn’t like the handling in the garage either. Ended up buying a Levo SL as family bike, now my wife just has to pedal harder when towing the kids trailer. Good for my when trying to follow on my normal bike! Great performance when passing the transition to no assist (just 25 km/h in the EU). Now I really like the opportunity to ride the E-Bike on afterwork laps (more laps) or longer rides e.g. when searching for/trying out new trails. So same here: sometimes those motor stuff isn‘t that bad but I wouldn‘t sell my Megatower =)


KavuRider  - Oct. 3, 2020, 7:35 p.m.

"Do more" for means I can ride from home to the trailhead (10 miles), do a decent sized loop with lots of climbing and then ride home. No need to load up the truck. I have done this on my regular bike but it takes me a lot longer. I simply don't have the time now. 

I like my ebike but I also love my regular bikes.  I totally get the arguments against them and I could blather on about how I try my hardest to be a good ambassador on the trails, but I am just one rider. 

Btw I live in the States in AZ. And I'm riding a Haibike Xduro Nduro (yup). 56 lbs I believe but I don't really notice it on the trail.


-2 Jerry Willows Mammal
WestCoastCanuck  - Oct. 3, 2020, 9:07 p.m.

Wow! Nothing like an emtb article to get the comments section going! 😆 In my very humble opinion, nothing is going to stop the emtb movement. (Regardless of how much we judge others.) I certainly can appreciate some of the fear and concern that are being expressed and shared on here. However, from what I’ve seen, the people that are riding emtbs are people that otherwise would probably not be riding, were it not with an assist. People that have medical or physical afflictions that prevent them from getting out and enjoying something that I know so many people here love and cherish and enjoy. It’s funny because that is the same reason that people get all hot and bothered about emtbs. They feel that it threatens this beautiful sport. Obviously, I cannot predict in what way that emtbs will impact our sport but I believe that it will be positive way more than negative. The fact that more people are out riding is nothing but a giant plus in my book. This will translate to more resources put towards mountain biking. Whether that’s better/more trail access or better bicycle technology or just more breweries to support my love of a post ride beer. I used to get pretty torqued about the massive growth in popularity of our sport when there would be tons of newb’s in my way. But, I just took a step back and remembered how far we’ve come as a sport. It also reminded me of all the times that the media would question whether DH would be the death mtb’ing when it started becoming popular. (Looking squarely at you RC.) Now we have lift accessed DH for the masses. And now we have the technology that allows for people who might not be able to ride, the chance to ride. How freaking awesome is that?!?

I say we stop caring about what everyone else rides and just be happy that they are riding. 

Sorry, kind of word vomited there... 😉


+1 Andy Eunson
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 4, 2020, 9:11 a.m.

Funny thing is 9 out of 10 e-MTB riders I've seen on the South Island so far have been young fit looking guys riding in groups. It's rare that I've run into someone that looked like they needed an e-MTB to ride the trails. 

Without the gatekeeper of the effort required to climb there is a whole new consumer segment to sell $$$ machines to and unleash them on the trails.


+1 Cam McRae
KavuRider  - Oct. 4, 2020, 6:12 p.m.

I guess I fit into that category?  Young-ish and relatively fit.  

I dig difficult climbs on my regular bike, I ride a Yeti SB5c most days and love logging big miles on it.  But I also love my eBike.  Not sure what my point is.  I just like bikes.  And I feel that eBikes fit into that world.  

Like I said before, I can see why people are concerned that they could open a lot of previous unaccessible trails to more riders.  I'm not really sure what can be done about it.  It is kind of like the side by sides (Razrs) that are now dominating OHV trails.  As long as people are willing to spend the money, they will be out there.  I guess the industry should have tried to be a bit more proactive about this whole thing, but they weren't.  Not sure how to put the cork back in the bottle now.  

Just like on my regular bike, I just try to be a good ambassador and try to have positive trail interactions.  And I don't ride my eBike where I know it is not allowed (Sedona for example).


+1 Cam McRae
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 4, 2020, 10:52 p.m.

I don’t think people care about what kind of bike is ridden but we do care how much and how many people ride. Ebikes allow one to ride more distance in a given time frame. More trail time, more wear and tear. More people more wear and tear and more potential for conflict with non riders. Some places aren’t crowded so it’s not a big deal at all other places are already crowded at trail heads and it could be a problem. I know. That’s the argument hikers used against us riders way back. And you know what, bikers stepped up and formed associations and did and do a lot of trail work now to build and maintain those trails. Now a “new” group wants in. Fair enough. Most of those ebikes will probably join NSMBA or their local association and may even come out on trail days. That’s good but it still means more people out there. I’ve noticed even hiking this summer there are far more people. Probably COVID and park restrictions related but I do know outdoor activities in general are more popular. Kind of rambling I know but there are potential issues out there and we should be ready to address those ahead of time.


+1 Cam McRae
Sean Chee  - Oct. 3, 2020, 11:57 p.m.

The price premium on e bikes is still way too much for me to consider one. The delta should be mid three figures, not the mid low four figures atm. For current e bike prices I would much rather buy a mx or enduro motorbike.

The kenevo and ransom e are perfect for me. Ride up fire road, fire back down the trail. But there's no way I can justify the price. For the same money I can buy two mid-top spec regular mtbs.


+1 Cam McRae
Stuart Lawrence  - Oct. 5, 2020, 7:28 a.m.

Refreshing to finally find a current and realistic review of the RM Powerplays, seems there is little out there since the 'coffee grind' noise issues from a couple of years back that look to have been addressed somewhat (as long as you keep things lubed).   Being as the new Bosch and Shimanos have knocking noises going downhill, seems we have to choose a noise compromise somewhere.   

Intrigued to know whether you had the choice of a L vs XL.   RM puts us 6 footers at the max end of a Large and the low end of an XL.   As its next to impossible to find bikes to try sizing this year, no demos etc, interested to know what swayed your decision to ride XL and are you normally riding XL bikes due to leg length?


Cam McRae  - Oct. 9, 2020, 1:42 p.m.

The reach of the XL at 481 is in my sweet spot while the L at 454 would be too short. It's very brand dependent for me. I ride a Lg in Yeti and Kona and an XL for YT - but they make an XXL in many bikes as well. I like a roomy cockpit so I make the choice based on that rather than leg length. I do have long legs but a 200mm dropper usually solves that problem. 

I suspect the next gen of bikes from Rocky to be like the new Altitude, which has reach numbers between 474 and 486 for size large depending on your setup choices.


+1 Cam McRae
Tehllama42  - Oct. 5, 2020, 11:45 a.m.

Remember those big chunky bricks with visibly distinct antennas that used to be cellular phones?  We're at this stage - usable, but clunky and bulky.  Motorizing a mountain bike is just going to keep getting better, and the first time somebody makes a legitimately solid gearbox eBike, I'm probably wasting money on that.
I suspect many people will figure out that a 250W boost that lasts for half an hour in a package that adds <10lb is probably plenty to make an otherwise all-mountain bike into a 'lap the mountain twice' bike, and once we're no longer funding a big NRE design effort, companies can spam out the basic viable design and these can become $4000 utilitarian bikes.
Honestly, because many of the trails by me are already mixed use trails where motos are allowed, an eBike makes tons of sense... but I know I'd wind up down the rabbit hole of running custom battery packs and modifying electronic speed controller code to get the kind of performance I want, at which point I might as well quit my day job and just do that.


Heath Lockhurst  - March 7, 2021, 7:57 a.m.

You should submit your resume, Ebikes are here, and this bike is a monster. 30 years of hardcore DH in Nelson, BC. I have an Evil Wreckoning that I Rode twice last summer. 2400km and I won’t go back.


yahs  - Oct. 8, 2020, 10:58 p.m.

L A M E.

Iove the "don't have time, I get more laps argument." ....How selfish have we become? MTB lost its soul a long time ago.


+3 mtnfriend Andy Eunson Adrian Glover
Cam McRae  - Oct. 9, 2020, 1:47 p.m.

Mountain bikers have always been selfish. Skiers are selfish. Surfers are selfish. Riding chairlifts is selfish. etc. 

Building and maintaining trails and supporting your local trail organization is less selfish, as is helping other riders and being friendly and welcoming out on the trails, and those activities are disconnected from your opnions on ebikes.


Heath Lockhurst  - March 7, 2021, 7:59 a.m.

I just love people commenting on the performance of ebikes who have never ridden one. They are here, and here to stay, and are fracking awesome. No performance downfall, in fact, it rides better then my Wreckoning on EVERYTHING. Get the right model, build it how you want and never look back.


Artzi Strul  - Aug. 17, 2021, 4:24 a.m.

hi am looking at  a  bc edition as my next bike  am 184cm so xl would  be  best option ???


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