2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard cover 33
First Rides

Introducing the 2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL eMTB

Photos Dylan Sherrard
Reading time

A lot of Santa Cruz fans have likely been waiting for this bike; a Heckler eMTB in SL guise. This category of electric mountain bike seems less offensive to the pedigree of riders who have at some point considered themselves purists.

The weight, at the top end at least, is coming ever-closer to the 40 lb mark, allowing them to ride so well downhill as to be indistinguishable from bikes I've heard referred to recently as "Amish."* They look more similar as well and on my first day riding the Heckler SL this summer, a rider who was climbing and stopped to talk to Dylan Sherrard, who shot the photos here, looked at me and said, “so they are on ebikes and you aren’t?” I mumbled something like “I guess so,” since the bike was still a month away from being released.

The bike wasn't moving when this happened but the last piece of that puzzle is the motor whine that can make more powerful eMTBs, and even some in this category, a little obtrusive. Keeping any motor note to a minimum seems even more important on bikes that are sometimes ridden in groups that include un-boosted bikes.

*I dislike that term as much as acoustic but it was funny the first time I heard it


A bike park to test an eMTB? Dylan Sherrard, who took these photos, had some shots in mind, I was close by, and Seb Kemp was hungry for some interior riding. We took the lift once and did two descents in the park. The rest of our time was on Mt. Morrissey riding excellent trails that can't be accessed with a lift.


I had no reference for the first of these bikes I tested, the Trek Fuel EXe, but his time around I have a solid point of comparison. The EXe is a great bike. I've had no major issues with charging, maintenance or software, and it's a downhill shredder that just happens to have a motor and a battery. All this for a bike that weighs a little over 41 lbs (18.5 kg) in size large - although with tires best used summer only. These bikes are worthy adversaries considering their geometry, travel numbers, weight, batteries and motors. The EXe actually has 10mm less travel front and rear but it can accept a 160mm fork and the Heckler SL has a motor that Fazua says puts out 60nm of torque compared to 50 on the EXe and the battery is a 430Wh vs. the Trek's 360Wh.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  29

The trails were perfect but we needed more rain because of the nasty fire season we've had. We got stuck at the top of the mountain waiting out the deluge and the lightning before a very chilly ride down.

The Broad Strokes

  • Mixed wheel size (aka mullet!)
  • 160mm fork
  • 150mm VPP rear travel
  • 60nm Fazua Ride 60 Motor
  • 430wh integrated battery (not user removable)
  • Top tube mounted LED indicator for mode and battery level
  • 5 different power modes including Breeze, River and Rocket as well as Walk and Boost, which will temporarily give you 450 watts of power
  • C & CC frame options (carbon only at this point)
  • SM - XXL frame size options Fazua Ride 60
  • 41 lbs (18.5 kg) average weight (I did not have an opportunity to ride the bike)
  • 64º head angle in Lo position
2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  45

I was on the GX AXS version of the SL, but I'm certain it would be indistinguishable from the XX version which costs 3300 USD more. The wheels might feel slightly different but the aluminum rims might even be more comfy.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Geometry

Geometry numbers provided by Santa Cruz. The bike felt great both up and down and was particularly sorted when things got steep.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL build kits

Five build kits. The GX AXS version I was riding is only the second bike to ship with Reserve aluminum wheels. The middle three have OneUp V2 droppers, a predictable result of Pon's investment in that brand. I can't see any reason to drop more than the admittedly steep 9699 USD price tag. I'm not sure why brakes and headset aren't listed here but I'm sure that info will be on the website.

On The Dirt

In a summer without much rain, Seb, Dylan and I scored. The rain came in the night before we arrived and the dirt was spectacular. Below the tight trees on Mount Morrissey, it was possible to find some dry spots but not enough to justify wearing goggles and the Park was in amazing shape. In order to get some photos on day one, we did a warm-up lap on Morrissey, which is across the valley from the lifts, and then did one bump up with chair later to make sure we had lots of battery for a long day.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  5

The Heckler SL tips into corners with the ease I've come to expect from MX-wheeled bikes and I got comfortable on it in no time.

The bike felt great almost immediately. We pointed our bikes down Calypso Groove, a blue flow trail with enough corners and features to keep you on your toes. I did a rough set up and only had to make a few clicks over a couple of days. I didn’t get the rear end to absorb deep square-edged hits as well as I would have liked but those only came up on the last few trails and I suspect I could have used a little more air than the 192 odd psi I had inflated it to. 

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  23

The bike park has some rowdy lines, and while we didn't tip into the worst of those, the high speeds kept me on alert on the first day.

In recent years I've got on very well with Santa Cruz bikes and on the way down, when I was off the pedals, the bike rode every bit as well as a 'regular' bike. Once we had most of our photos done, we rode Bermalade in the Bike Park and I found myself hitting the transitions, despite only having spent a couple of hours on the bike. This would be NBD for many riders but I am always timid on bike park jump trails to start off with. And it is a fabulous trail, the sort that allows you to trust each successive jump once you've figured out the first one. It's probably a little like A-line used to be. Not in the very beginning, but once the jumps first started to grow.

The bike really sang on El Diablo, a black trail (at least a B.C. interior black) that had some steeper sections and lots of dh tech. It was interesting how polarizing this trail was to locals. Shredhard, who is an incredible rider, wanted nothing to do with it and two of the builders who were working on what we thought was the soon-to-open Sun Peaks Enduro trail,* had similar opinions, but Seb and I loved it.

* based on what I've read about the event, that this trail may not be included in the enduro at all - but hopefully it will be.

There were lots of combination moves like a small drop into an obstacle followed by another drop; the sort of trail that keeps you on your toes but rewards your diligence with tech flow. Confidence was essential here and by my second day on the SL, I had heaps of it. Thankfully there was even more to come.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  25

Seb Kemp enjoying Bermalade in the Sun Peaks Bike Park.

Dylan's Quebecois friend, the one who was fooled by the Heckler SL's stealth, dropped a hint for us. Apparently the aforementioned crew had been working on a trail and it was almost finished. Seb and I hiked in and talked to the builders, one of who said he didn't "give a fuck" if we rode it but he told us it would still be rough and that it remained unfinished.

In reality it was the best 'half-finished' trail I had ever ridden. It was certainly more Kamloops style as well with long, straight sections that were very steep, followed by well supported catch berms. It was the perfect incentive for us to get as many laps as possible.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  21

Sun Peaks rules. If you can get there before the end of the season, make it happen.

The dirt and duff had been fluffed to perfection by the builders, who hadn't ridden the trails yet themselves, and we found ourselves on an in-bounds loamer. The bike began to disappear after the first lap and I found myself imagining winning the upcoming event, despite the fact that Seb was way ahead of me. I was going fast enough to get myself into some trouble but the forgiving conditions combined with the very well-sorted kinematics made corrections easy. I could feel the tires squirming in the berms and I even did a couple of drifts that were controlled. I was really starting to like this bike. There were big smiles and high fives at the end of each descent.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard  4

The Heckler made me feel like an ambiturner

Motor and Battery

While not as quiet as the Trek's TQ motor, the Fazua wasn't very noisy. To my ears it was a hum more than a whine and there were times when it was almost imperceptible. The increased power was easily felt however and while it does provide 17% more torque, it felt like even more. The power delivery was predictable and natural but it usually takes me a little time to tune into the subtle differences between motors. Everything about the electric components felt very good on the trail.

I'm not generally one for recording rides but in the name of science I almost recorded our entire ride on day two, when Seb and I were helping bed in the new line. I missed a bit of time on a climb, and Seb rode it on the last descent when I was completely punched, but I recorded 1000m of total climbing and 22 km of distance. I'd guess we missed a 100m of vert and two or three clicks. I spent most of the day in the highest setting, doing my best to kill the battery and, with Seb's help I was successful. For an SL eMTB, this is impressive range.

A Couple of Glitches

After we had done a couple of laps on day two, my motor started acting up. At one point I had the motor stop on me and there were a pair of flashing yellows on the display. At first a restart helped but then it happened again. Seb got on the line with tech support - because his bike had lost power as well - and figured out how to do a hard reset and all was good for the rest of the day.

Mano A Mano

This is an impressive achievement. By several measures the Heckler SL has bested the Trek EXe, and come in at around the same weight. It has a larger battery and a more powerful motor, and 10 mills more travel at each end. Comparing the top end bikes, the Heck even comes in 1000 USD cheaper, albeit without Airwiz, shockwiz, or SRAM XX cranks. It does however have better wheels, headset, tires and rear saddle.

Both bikes pedal well when the motor is off but the EXe wins the decibel race with its whisper quiet operation. Trek also will sell you a range extender (510 USD) that fits into your bottle cage for an extra 160 Wh, pushing the total to 520 Wh. And they have a nice little integrated tool in the steerer for no extra charge. One thing not listed in the literature SC provided me, is the cassette model, and I'm hopeful they didn't sneak a GX onto the top bike, despite that likely mattering less in the age of T-Type.

2024 Santa Cruz Heckler SL Dylan Sherrard

Final Argument

I loved riding this bike. It was playful, stable, supportive and ridiculously fun to ride. The motor has lots of power and the battery has enough juice to get you into as much trouble as you'd like, assuming you conserve juice by riding in a lower mode for part of your day. If you want to burn watts as quickly as possible, you'll still be good for a three or four hour cruise.

If you are looking for a highly capable and versatile lightweight eMTB that devours challenging descents, I'd suggest you put the Heckler SL on your short list.

Santa Cruz Bikes

Cam McRae

Height - 6'/183cm (mostly legs)

Weight - 170lbs/77kg

Inseam - 33"/84cm

Ape Index - 0.986

Age - 58

Trail I've been stoked on lately - Sam's Dad's Trail

Bar Width - 760mm

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

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB


+12 Shinook DanL Jotegir Cam McRae Sandy James Oates Deltap60 SteveR Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman shenzhe DancingWithMyself Karl Fitzpatrick XXX_er GB

Reading this I thought that Cam's transition to an ebike rider now seems complete - this does sound like a fun bike though. However, the anti-ebike dislike for the most part is weak and misdirected. What needs to be called out is rider behaviour, (whatever people are riding) and I wish those who dislike ebikes would recognize that. If the goal is to "save mtb'ing" then the anti-ebike energy would probably have more effect if re-directed to things like trail advocacy, maintenance and etiquette instead. On the flippity flip, if ebike people are going to lose the "who's right" debate it will be because they behave like rude pinheads out on the trails. Ride what you want, just don't be a dink while you do.

Edit: just to add some context for anyone who may find this an odd comment right out of the gate, it was initially a general reply to some of the earlier negative comments about e-bikes that are now further down in the replies.


+5 Jotegir Deltap60 Andy Eunson DancingWithMyself XXX_er

I wish I could +1 this 100 times. This is the bigger issue by far, but like most serious issues, people would rather focus on what others are doing than the issues facing their own communities. 

We have people here show up from out of town, bitch out local riders/hikers/equestrians, act like they own the forest, then leave trash everywhere on their way home. I encounter it constantly and 95% of the time it's people from nearby big cities. If you go to non-mtb trail advocacy meetings, they -HATE- mountain bikers. No one brings up eBikes, because what they despise is people on bikes (which they don't see as anything other than bikes, eBike or not) taking over trails, spooking horses, being dicks to hikers, running people over, cutting through the forest, leaving trash everywhere, etc. They've long been advocating that they restricted our access to certain areas or trails, something that they are getting increasing traction towards as the forest staff witness this behavior. One of the local managers here claims to get several calls a week about idiotic or rude behavior on the part of mountain bikers. IIRC we lost access to a big chunk of trails on private land north of us due to mountain bikers being assholes to the landowner.

These issues are about to cost us major trail access in a forest near where I am, all because mountain bikers don't know how to share and can't be courteous to other trail users. I only know a few rabid anti-ebikers who actually yell at people on ebikes they see, they are just as obnoxious to other trail users they don't deem worthy and IMO that's the larger problem.



I've always been of the opinion that ebikes getting different demographics on to MTB trails is probably going to be a net positive. So many of the 'non-core' people I saw buying a "his and hers 12,000 e-bikes" while I was working at a shop (which was a lot over covid) are so much more politically connected than any of us dirt bags.


+4 Mike Ferrentino Andrew Major Cam McRae XXX_er

Through lots of hard work and a significant amount of good luck, I've had some success at advocacy over the past five or so years.  Founded a nonprofit dedicated to a specific piece of public property, did a lot of political maneuvering to gain control, and led the effort to raise a couple million private dollars.

As Lu Kz joked, the vast majority of people that can pull off something like that have the income to afford an ebike, and if they don't own one now, they probably will soon.  And if the people that can give those dollars and pull those strings get interested in riding, there's a good chance an ebike will part of the equation.

But beyond that, a big part of the way you accomplish things like this is with arguments based on economic development (attract and retain desirable businesses and workers + tourism dollars) and the overall wellness benefits to the community.  Everybody pretty much knows that.

But most people don't carry that idea further.  People that lend you their political capital and give you their dollars for trails that are designed and built with bikes in mind care about a lot of things, including utilization, and specifically accessibility to people new to the outdoors, and mountain biking in particular - for example, true green trails you didn't crap out as an afterthought, clear signage, etc.

You know what they absolutely don't give a flying f*ck about: pearl clutching over ebikes and the purity of our sport.  That's not at all to say I don't worry about the effect of ebikes on user conflict, etc.  I like to think that if I had a magic wand, I'd be unselfishness enough to make ebikes disappear (cause damn they sure are fun).  

But ebikes are here to stay. We've got to start focusing on the fact that a significant percentage of trail users, and maybe particularly mountain bikers, are selfish dicks rather than the fact a much smaller percentage ride ebikes.


+1 DancingWithMyself

To clarify, it wasn't a joke. A bit flippant, perhaps, but I am totally serious - 60 plus, well connected ebike riders are great allies for advocacy. I've seen a handful of the folks I'm referring to actually engage in trail advocacy, with meaningful impact. 

There's one couple who got their neighbour, a local politician who would never in a million years be into bikes and trail expansion, to show up to the discussion table because they were a demographic he actually wanted to listen to.


+4 Andrew Major Joseph Crabtree Mammal Hardlylikely

Yeah it’s a people issue not a tool issue. Ebikes, bikes and hiking boots are the tools we use to access trails. I’m on trails 6 days a week on average, many of which are heavily walked on. Or camped near maybe illegally. All users are typically respectful but all user groups have dicks. They drop sippy cups of shitty coffee beverage in the woods, huck dog poo bags in the woods, drop power bar wrappers, give shitty looks to those not using their mode of travel, ride too fast on multi use trails, ride up the road when there is a trail right there parallel to that road and ride four abreast and give you a look as you drive up that road because you’re creating a dust cloud. 

To me, the ebike issue is one of making the sport too easy which creates crowded conditions which may impact all wheeled users down the road. Ebikes allow one to ride more trail in a given amount of time, more days for more people. Case in point is Joffrey Lakes. It was a hard rough hike that in itself was a filter for overcrowding. Then the trails get buffed and people show up in flip flops. Of course it was compounded by Instagram type popularity but now its permit only. Garibaldi park is permit only during the major part of the season. I can see mountain biking going that way too if it becomes more popular. Sure in a small northern town it will never be an issue but the sea to Sky north shore region it could be. 

Plus’s the whole growth for growth sake makes me kind of ill. We need to grow the sport seems to be self interest in some cases. Like shops and manufacturers. Look at the car industry for examples of this thinking. Look at trucks and see what’s available. So many trucks are just giant cars with enough plush to smother you. It’s what manufacturers say we want. Cost and complexity that doesn’t really make things better. How many apps on your smart phone do you use?


+3 bishopsmike Andy Eunson DancingWithMyself

I'm interested in the idea of ebikes making the sport 'too easy'. Of course it makes it easier, but one thing that's been made apparent over and over again when people around me take up mtn biking is how demanding it is to achieve even intermediate status. Cardio, strength, coordination, and courage for starters. Ebikes eliminate some of the cardio component (you could argue most of it, depending on how someone uses one) but the rest remain (and ebikes demand more strength and a bit more coordination). I'd agree that many people are attracted to eMTBs because they perceive it as being easier - I've heard lots of people say as much - however to ride that bike more than a handful of times requires the same perseverance that you need to transition from being a newbie mtn biker to an experienced one (minus, again, some or most of the cardio commitment). I don't think ebikes dramatically change the ratio of new mtn bikers who become regular riders, but that's entirely anecdotal. It would make an interesting study.

Growth is a different conversation but no less interesting to me. With my nsmb hat on, I want more riders out there for several reasons. On a basic level, it means more potential readers, good for our business. Taken another step, more potential customers means economies of scale and lower prices and/or better tech development. Manufacturers, shop owners, and other related businesses (tourism, hospitality, travel) would all be in the same boat. With my industry hat off, I understand the desire for less crowded trails. However it's a selfish thought, and in reality the more people that use our trails responsibly (no matter how they use them), the more people there are to support those networks and benefit from what they provide: health and wellness, a good way to socialize and be part of a community, etc. Also, by encouraging more people to use and understand the trails, we have more chances to teach responsible trail use, so that the next generation of hikers and riders is courteous to each other, picks up after themselves, etc.


+10 Andrew Major Mammal Andy Eunson Adrian Bostock Bikeryder85 Cr4w Joseph Crabtree Todd Hellinga tashi Bryce Borlick Hardlylikely bikedrd

Without trying to come across as full Luddite, I'm with Andy on this. I DO think that ebikes significantly lower the barrier to entry (cost aside) associated with mountain biking. They DO make climbing easier. They DO make it easier for riders of all skill and fitness levels to cover more ground than they otherwise would be able to, in a given timeframe. And this DOES impact trail systems. On one hand, ebike adoption increases the potential user base - encourages more people to get out and ride. That is a hypothetical, but it is being borne out in many areas. On the other hand, ebikes enable a given number of users to hit more laps, or access longer rides. This is absolutely happening. The impact that this has on regional trail systems near urban centers that are already faced with a high number of users is being felt. 

That impact can be measured in the usual ways; trail degradation and user conflicts. Both of these barometers get skewed when the number of new users increases, and those new users have little to no understanding of what came before, nor any real context to enact considerate trail etiquette. Without getting into any NIMBY stuff or good/bad posturing, we are going to have to find some way to mitigate these impacts in order to maintain access to trails in areas where these impacts are most being felt. Can't exactly put this horse back in the barn.

My own take - as a dirt bike rider, mountain biker, hiker - is that there is no one size fits all solution. There are plenty of underpopulated places where all user groups can coexist easily. There are also plenty of more urban, heavily impacted trail systems where sacrifices will inevitably be made. What may be alarming is that in those heavily impacted trail systems, it won't be just ebikes getting regulated. And it would be naive to assume that there wasn't already plenty of animus against mountain bikers in those places, regardless of whether there is an assist or not.


+2 Mike Ferrentino Andy Eunson

I agree that the increased impact due to more laps ridden on an ebike is a factor. HOWEVER, this statement can't be made without also acknowledging the big increase in mtb participants even before ebikes started to add to the mix. I can't speak for other areas, but there are far more new people riding on bikes in the S2S than there are on ebikes, so much so that the added wear and tear on the trails is primarily coming from new bikers and not ebikers. Whether that holds true in other areas I can't say. 

To your point though, that may change in the future, and you are definitely right that we need to be forward thinking and begin to accommodate for that change now than wait until the fire is raging to deal with it.



+2 Mike Ferrentino Andrew Major

With my industry hat off, I understand the desire for less crowded trails. However it's a selfish thought, and in reality the more people that use our trails responsibly (no matter how they use them), the more people there are to support those networks and benefit from what they provide: health and wellness, a good way to socialize and be part of a community, etc. Also, by encouraging more people to use and understand the trails, we have more chances to teach responsible trail use, so that the next generation of hikers and riders is courteous to each other, picks up after themselves, etc.

This.  It's really nice to see someone look at trails through a lens other than their optimal experience.  

It's pretty rich to complain about how selfish many trail users are while simultaneously wishing fewer people got to experience the increase in overall well-being that comes from physical activity in natural environments.


+4 Andrew Major Andy Eunson Bryce Borlick Hardlylikely

It's insane how many people on the NS don't do ANY trail maintenance.   Ride 150 times a year and won't pick up a rock or branch on the trail.  But but, I bought a builder a beer once!


+3 Suns_PSD Mark Julian Sammons

Who told you I was transitioning? ;)

Nothing is complete. I will always love mountain bikes.


+1 BarryW Cam McRae Joseph Crabtree dhr999 Andrew Major

I hope so Cam, but as time has gone on and evidenced by your reviews, it seems your love affair with your ebike mistress has grown to the point that she's now your main squeeze and the pedal bike has been relegated to second place. It makes me wonder how long till Ferrentino and Major succumb to the lure of the battery and write a positive review on one. That will be an article that breaks the NSMB servers.


+6 Andy Eunson Cam McRae Joseph Crabtree Ryan Walters Andrew Major Julian Sammons

"Never say never."

I am happily old fashioned enough to want to keep my mountain biking electron free for now. That extends to shifting as well. Maybe it is because I get to ride dirt bikes (which I treat sort of like eating foie gras - best only done on occasion and even then savored with the knowledge that this is a very wrong thing), but I am comfortable with the suffering and the slow decaying of my speed and abilities.

But talk to me again after a knee surgery, or a hip replacement, or a heart attack. By that point I might be ready to change my tune.

The difference here between my viewpoint and some others is that I don't really see good guys or bad guys in this. I don't really see emtb as that much more of a sullying of the natural act than mountain biking itself when compared to hiking around barefoot, if you get my drift. Any attempt by any faction to parse themselves as somehow more pure, more virtuous, or more righteous, gah. I dunno. From 30,000' we all look like ants hell bent on eating our own shit.


+7 Cee Cee Andy Eunson BarryW Adrian Bostock Hardlylikely Joseph Crabtree gubbinalia

It makes me wonder how long till Ferrentino and Major succumb to the lure of the battery and write a positive review on one. That will be an article that breaks the NSMB servers.


“…but I am comfortable with the suffering and the slow decaying of my speed and abilities.

But talk to me again after a knee surgery, or a hip replacement, or a heart attack. By that point I might be ready to change my tune.


I love mountain biking. So much so that I’ve been derisively referred to as a “one dimensional character” on more than one occasion. I’d like to keep doing it as long as I can, on my terms.

But the silver lining of months off my bikes with my Achilles rupture was the realization that when I can’t ride on my terms I’ll do something else. 

I bristle at this notion folks spread around that riding a plug-in is somehow an inevitable fate. With the unspoken ‘therefore’ being that we might all as well get on board. Certainly that’s how most brands and many shops have approached it, but in the end we choose whether to get wagged or not. 

I bump into riders I know all the time who’ve at least partially switched to using a motor for mountain biking (playing bikes in the woods/not talking about commuting) and they harangue me regularly about this pending GOTCHA moment where I’ll fall to my knees and embrace the gospel that somehow an E-MTB is a Time Machine that will add hours to my days, weeks, life. 

I love mountain bicycles and the beautiful way they efficiently convert human potential to fun. To each their own, absolutely, but to me plug-ins don’t deliver the same experience.


-2 Joseph Crabtree gubbinalia

I respect your love for pealing under your own power as I have the same/similar philosophy, but like Mike said, who knows what the future will hold. Personally I’d hate to see someone choose not to do something simply because one aspect of it doesn’t work for them.  Getting up the hill under one’s own power is only part of the mtb’ing experience. And to be clear, while that was a poke at you, it was not a malicious one. 

The introduction of e-bikes has not only been a sales/marketing experiment, but a social one as well. My main concern is that the fallout from drawing hard lines in the sand will create difficulties for all trail users further down the path.

+7 Mark Andy Eunson Tim Hardlylikely [email protected] Joseph Crabtree gubbinalia

Getting up the hill under one’s own power is only part of the mtb’ing experience.

@Mark, in my world one of the core tenants of mountain biking is that it’s self powered. 

Mountain bicycling is what I love to do for fun, fitness, recreation. I like it the way it is/was. 

Put another way, there are many situations where I would absolutely buy an e-bike for commuting, but I wouldn’t consider what I was doing “cycling” when I was riding it. 


For the record, E-MTBs, I’m not ignorant to what the products do. I’ve probably ridden more different E-MTBs than 99% of NSMB readers as part of my wrench-turning gigs. I’m a Luddite not an ostrich. 

Also, I celebrate mountain biking’s scofflaw roots. You want to go ride your trials moto on Fromme? I’m certainly not going to fink on you. Do it respectfully (if in doubt courtesy has the right of way) and leave no trace and I won’t even mug at you when you BRAaaaaaaaaP on by.

I just don’t like being treated like a moron and an asshole. Which is what brands, like Specialized “It’s You, But Faster” and a lot of folks have been doing since day one essentially ‘sneaking’ motors into the existing advocacy structure and riding culture by claiming that the addition of a battery powered ‘assist’ didn’t fundamentally change the nature of the vehicle and experience. 

Pro-plug-in folks are quick to tell Barry to f*** off when he refers to E-MTBs as “motorcycles” or “mopeds” but somehow classifying them as bicycles makes more sense? No, it’s just very convenient for the companies selling them and people who want to ride them. Stealth-E bikes are just another layer of that. E-Bikes are their own animal that didn't previously exist, not a moped and not a bicycle? Cool, I agree. 

Anyway, on the trail I’ve only had a couple issues - climbing single track - where e-bike riders were knobs and e-bikes were part of the problem (they wouldn’t have caught me without one) but for the most part (99.9%) I only have awesome interactions with all other trail users - dog walkers, hikers, runners, E-Bikers, etc. 

And, I couldn’t care less if you ride one and where you ride it as long as you yield courteously and give time or money, as you’re able, to support the folks maintaining the infrastructure you’re using. But I’d honestly have more interest in someone telling me about their newfound love of Pickleball than their epic E-MTB experiences. 


If I couldn’t mountain bicycle starting tomorrow, I’d layout a sweet frisbee golf course on Fromme. I’d get my CoreRat vest modified to carry disks and I’d have a little one-wheeled cart (tubeless 24” Minion DHF w/ CushCore. Dominion T2 brake with 160mm rotor) to lug my Yeti Cooler full of beer around.

+1 Andrew Major

Andrew - that's a fair statement. At least we can agree on the trail etiquette point, which in the big picture of the trail user community may be the most important point to consider.

+2 Andrew Major Hardlylikely

"But talk to me again after a knee surgery, or a hip replacement, or a heart attack. By that point I might be ready to change my tune."

I know a guy who had double knee replacements at age 70 about 8 months ago. He hasn’t gone electric yet and I don’t think he will. I also know a couple guys close to my age who have. Back backs and  knees plus age and electric is good for them. But the target market for theses bikes is not the old guy in tan shorts pulled up to his tits with compression socks and orthopaedic shoes. It’s the 30 to 40 age group that can afford the bikes like this but maybe don’t have the time to ride into enough shape to climb. Or riders that just hate climbing and don’t have easy access to lifts. Ebikes are all about doing more by adding an assist  

Some think that as they age they will need that assist to hit up the high trails and rip some black or double black on the down. Thing is recovery from injury and willingness to risk it tapers off dramatically for most people. And I don’t think anyone really wants to tell people with injuries or chronic problems that they can’t ride an ebike. But those folks are the minority. I can guarantee you if the market was for shorts up to his chest man, all we could buy would be those shitty fat tired $1000 pos e-bikes with a small chesterfield on the back for the grandkids. 

Maybe popularizing and growing the sport with e-bikes won’t present any crowding issues and conflicts. Maybe it will.  But I think there needs to be thoughtful conversation about that potential now. Not after some government body says fuck it, you’re all banned from trails other than bike parks. Or some other regulated scheme like permits to limit numbers.


+8 Mammal Cr4w Andrew Major Suns_PSD Velocipedestrian Sweaman2 lewis collins R.bobbby

I've been warm to the idea of SL eBikes for a while now, with budget and space being my main hangups. 

And then you mentioned tech support. I will never put anything on my bicycle where I have to make a phone call to maybe fix it.


0 Sanesh Iyer Joseph Crabtree

I'm sure there was a time in my younger years when I would have said the same thing Sanesh!



I will say, that policy applies to analog components too. I regret owning a shock I can't rebuild in a parking lot.


+1 Sanesh Iyer

100%. I'm into these in concept but the added points of failure is a sticky point for now. I guess once you have batteries on one thing may as well have batteries on everything.


+2 BarryW Cam McRae

Kudos to NSMB for highlighting this and I think it's worthy of a bit of a discussion.... what happens if you don't have cell service? Are you left trying to pedal out with no assistance? 

I leery of these bikes for a number of reasons but anything that makes riding less "easy" is a no from me - so basically no batteries anywhere beyond a small GPS.

Edit: Easy in the sense of get on ride. Potential blockers if you will


+1 Cam McRae

I think the argument can be made that there is a certain level of responsibility on the part of the rider to understand how their bike works and what to do if something happens. That can range from repairing a flat to resetting an e-bike. We should be prepared to deal with the unexpected, even if that means having to walk out.


+6 Mike Ferrentino Bikeryder85 Joseph Crabtree Todd Hellinga R.bobbby Velocipedestrian

Don’t forget obsolescence.  Say what you want about old bike being crap, they still function as they did and can usually be upgraded (minus geometry).

I’ve got a (used to me) cargo ebike and if its motor goes, I’m looking for a used one or a custom made adapter to put a new one on.  Bosch.  Based on that experience, I’m leery of sinking $ into an ebike as I can see it being disposable and nearly worthless as it ages less gracefully.



Nailed it.


+2 Cam McRae DancingWithMyself

A mullet Hightower low power lightweight ebike available in a well-conceived XXL. Goddamnit. Be careful what you wish for.



One of my only complaints to the HT3 is its limited shock fitment options. Is that true for this bike too?



I’ll see what I can find out Alex.Can you tell me about the specific limitation you are trying to avoid?



On the HT3 you can pretty much run the super deluxe air and the fox float X.  None of the higher volume cans (not sure if those are even needed tbh) and no coil (which might be a cool option). I think the limitation on the HT3 is the size of the tunnel. Does the Heckler have a, um, bigger tunnel?



Coil compatible I believe I’ve seen someone from SC saying in a video, likey how the bronson is



I know you are meh about them but the super deluxe works extremely well on the HT3.

The bearing eyelet can be let go for a DU bushing if necessary too. Its 230x60 isn't it?


+2 Cam McRae B1001

I like the purple Dinosaur Jr vibe.


+2 Cam McRae Ray Freeman

Nice to see my neck of the woods featured here, especially in such a positive light. Glad you got the new trail when fresh  - I think it'll be a fundamentally different trail experience before and after a full season, and it's a real privilege to be able to get that comparison in. 

The addition of the Morrisey network in general has really made the whole area much more robust - it's starting to feel like a MTB town rather than a crummy tourist village with a great bike park attached. You do see a ton of ebikes on the Morrisey side, which I guess makes sense. But the climb trail is so well built, I don't feel the need myself. There's a ton of climb trails out there that can't walk the fine balance of "gets me where I want to go but isn't too steep" - the Morrisey climb is perfect because it doesn't waste the rider's time while being an excellent grade. That's not to say there aren't areas up there where the range extended exploration function of an ebike wouldn't be welcome - but if you go, best be careful because unlike where you guys are used to, once you're away from the park, you're unlikely to find anyone who isn't a bear.*

I've never ridden an ebike in the park. I can imagine the additional weight would make them quite the wild ride on some of the high speed, straight line classics like Barn Burner, DH, or Mach would be like. Maybe not the 'Cruz, but the 'full power' version. 

*I once spooked two back country hikers on the last weekend of October who hiked up the back side and were camped at an Alpine lake - needless to say we were all surprised someone was out that late and far up!



The climbing trail was really nice. Engaging enough and very good use of the grade. And each of the three down trails was well worth the effort - except El Diablo for Kamloopian riders!


+2 Bikes Cam McRae

Idunno if it's a bicycle, a moped, a motorcycle or a box of crackers - but it's hard to hate on anything that comes in a colour like that.


+2 Cam McRae Andy Eunson

I came to read a (great) review and ended up witnessing a debate that seems to have been running out of steam over the last few years. Surprised to see such energy on this topic in this thread. I have a regular mtb and an emtb (SL). Both are awesome and provide similar and different riding experiences. I have no complaints on either bike style. Have been seeing more emtb riders and most are enjoying themselves and don't seem to be diminishing the quality of trail experience for others. A seminal study on emtb trail impacts a few years ago was inconclusive...seems minimal actual excessive trail impacts. Most trail damage is coming from the overall increase in use from all user groups. Negative trail experiences tend to come from rider behaviour, regardless of the style of mountain bike. I was on Frisby Ridge two days ago and surprisingly, saw quite a few emtb riders (I was on my regular mtb)...they did not negatively impact my day on the trail (despite there being a ban on emtb's on that trail). Here on the Cumberland trails, UROC adjusted their policy (formerly against emtb's) in alignment with the realities of emtb growth. Every bike shop here in the Comox Valley sells and services e-bikes and see them as just another part of their offerings. We need to focus our attention more on trails advocacy, support for our clubs, sustainable funding, and rider education/etiquette rather than continue this outdated debate. The horse has already left the barn.


+1 Cam McRae bishopsmike BarryW

I too was a die hard 'banana power only' biker but I have to say that I'm having so much darn fun on my Relay and the only speed difference is I'm notably faster on wide open fast trails mostly. It just allows me to get rid of these more boring bits quicker.

Absolutely loving it.

Also, I feel the Fazua 60 is the best motor/ battery combo in the mid power space.


+1 DancingWithMyself

amazing looking bike. Interested to see the reliability of the Fazua system in the future, seems like lots of issues from other media sources as well


+1 Julian Sammons

Wow lots of comments.

Seems some are very beholden to defining the world they see within current terms and are required to fit things into those compartments.


+1 Andy Eunson

Do bikes really need to be getting longer by a few mm every time a new frame is released? Aren’t we there yet?


0 Pete Roggeman bishopsmike

I have been on the Bullit for > 2 yrs, the Bullit is Heckler on roids/ slacker angles and the 1st atempt at an E-bike by SC, 170/170mm travel, no flip chip, E-ZEB & roxshox deluxe.   I weighed the 630W shimano battery at > 8lbs, I didnt weigh the motor  it but an EP8 so   > 6 lbs. SC claim a 49 lb bike weight but its 52+ on my scale for the cheapest ( 11500$ ) spec Bullit.

aside from some Firmware issues (the dreaded E010) with the 85nm EP8 which went away with 4.1.8 update the motor has been no problem, I don't really get SC's shift to  a less powerful 60nm motor ?

I've chewed thru a couple sets of the maxxis DHRII/ Assegai DD combo and i'm still buying them so its a  good tire IME, They go on the WTB i30 rims super easy and inflate with just a floor pump, another NSMB editor complained about the  WTB i30 but I havent found any probelm and no dents so YMMV

rockshox rear shock was losing air after every ride but its been good this year after a servicing last winter,

I run the ZEB with less air than SC recommends  to get more travel and its been fine so no reason to upgrade

The Guide RE's are no screeming hell but they seem to work ok, I bled them once and they stayed bled, now on my 3rd set of pads, no reason to upgrade

I am just coming up on 3500 kms at a 12kph average speed so its all been low speed single track, no issues with the Sram NX drive train, but  I have just sourced  the replacement parts and its < 300$ for the cogset/ steel chainring/ x01 chain so drive replacement seems pretty cheap to me ?

Shop bro shot me a text 2 yrs ago and i pretty much bought the Bullit  without trying it

I REALLY dig the mullet but I can only compare it with a Yeti 5.5 29/29

A great bike IME with a great spec so I just keep riding it and replacing whatever wears out



How long did it take you to get the 1,000m (~3,280 ft) running in full power mode?  I ask because as someone with both a normal bike and a full power ebike, I've long wondered what the draw is of the midweight ebikes.  I've ridden with guys before on midweight ebikes (1st gen Levo SL, Kinevo SL) and they also got about the same 1,000m / 3,200 ft range, although they had to run in much lighter power modes.

My reference point is that I did a 3,150 ft human powered ride Sunday in about 2:45.  The previous weekend I did a 5,700 ft ebike ride in just over 2 hrs.  

It just seems like the small battery bikes don't have much more range than someone in good shape, so I'd rather get 60% more range at the expense of a few more pounds.  

Also the weight differential starts plummeting once you start comparing apples to apples components.  Like, the SL is spec'd with with a Lyrik, EXO+/EXO tires, and either their 30 AL SL wheels (which are not "enduro" rated according to them) or 30 HD carbon wheels (which are not "ebike" rated according to them).  So there's definitely a bit of shenanigans on SC's part trying to keep the spec weight down.  Lots of people riding a Bronson or Nomad are running Zebs, DDs, and 30 AL HD wheels.


0 bishopsmike Joseph Crabtree

Our elapsed time was about 2:40 or so. And I'm with you in that if I was forced to choose I would undoubtedly go with a full-power eMTB because they open up more possibilities. You'll also, for now at least, find more people to ride with. My Sight VLT has a 900 Wh battery and it's incredible what you can do on it. I also like the way they ride downhill and aside from my difficulty bunny hopping, I don't find them detrimental to my riding ability. In terms of suspension performance, cornering, and descending grip, I think my 57 lb Sight performs better than an equivalent mountain bike. It'll be interesting to see how this evolves as the lower powered bikes get more powerful and the full powered bikes get lighter. I absolutely see a use case for bikes like the Heckler SL but it's far less broad than something like the Bullit or the original Heckler eMTB.


0 BarryW bishopsmike

Pricey, glitchy and harsh. Sounds great.


+2 B1001 bishopsmike dhr999 BarryW

I believe there are other take aways that were mostly positive and the harshness was almost certainly a damping set up issue, which is all on me.


+1 bishopsmike dhr999 Joseph Crabtree

Lol! I got a sweet downvote from Barry! I guess he hates accuracy?


0 Cam McRae Sebov B1001 Joseph Crabtree bishopsmike Hardlylikely

I could just write " more articals about e bikes" on everything that gets written  but I think what we need to do is just ignore Barry which is what you do with any troll ... do not engage



This comment has been removed.


When I was in France, a lot of people used the term "muscle bike." I much prefer that to acoustic or Amish!



I like that!


-2 Bikeryder85 Tim Joseph Crabtree Hardlylikely Suns_PSD B1001 bishopsmike dhr999 Nick Maffei thaaad


Let's all go sailing. It'll be fun, we can race, sail for the sheer joy of it but let's all go sailing!

But one person shows up with an electric motor that they use 'while sailing'. Sure, they are still trimming sails, still tacking, jibing and moving weight around. They say they are still 'just sailing but better!' And they still have to launch the boat, rig it a'd all that. 

Is that the same? Does that count as the same as just sailing? When does it become not sailing? Would the other sailors accept that in their circle? I can answer all these questions and the answer is no. That is 'motor sailing' and if you're on a race no bloody way can you use a motor, no matter how little wind there is. Why? Because this is wind powered sport. Not motorized. 

In the same way some of us (like @AndrewMajor and others on here) want to sail, not motor sail. And the dilution of the sport hurts it at its core. It dilutes what makes it special. No matter that you aren't 'harming' me. You harm the legitimacy of the thing itself. 

I know that pretty much 100% of the pro-ebike crowd on here would protest if they suddenly shared the trails with motocross riders. Or any other internal combustion recreation. But somehow you partition off a part of your mental hard drive for ebikes to sit because 'they are different than motorcycles'. Take a long look, maybe you're wrong.

And again, when @Cam compares someone like me to some idiot assaulting people in the woods is insane and rude on a pretty extreme level. If you don't want to engage then do it with grace. You exercise your freedom to ride motorcycles and call them bicycles and then write about them on a mountain bike website. I exercise my freedom to hijack your reviews of them. Interaction metrics be damned.


+8 Etacata lewis collins Shinook Suns_PSD B1001 Deltap60 Graham Driedger bishopsmike dhr999 thaaad Tim Joseph Crabtree

Barry, I don't really care to engage. However, in your sailing analogy, just know that what you're describing is, based on your favourite but flawed 'motorcycle' commentary, considered a motorboat. Not 'motorized sailing'. It's hysterical that you wrote that all out and ended up with motorized sailing. You're also getting wrapped up in racing and some sort of involuntary participation which is not relevant here. Bike racing with and without motors is happening, and no one's confused about it. No one's riding ebikes with you, Barry, that's pretty clear. I'll leave the second part of that unsaid.

Also, your contention that ebikes are diluting the sport is an opinion. You're fine to have that opinion. Just know that there's a difference between Barry's opinion and that of others. There are a lot of people riding ebikes who understand 'what makes this sport special' and they don't seem to mind. Between pedantic trolling and acceptance of a little motorized assistance, I think it's easy to pick a side.

Don't ride ebikes, don't like them, that's fine, I totally understand if it's not your jam. But definitely go off to your favourite sailboat website and tell them to stop using outboards except when they're docking and make sure to tell them they're ruining everyone's day on the water. I've sailed enough to know your analogy doesn't hold up just like I've spent enough time on the trails on all kinds of bikes to know that what's between your ears is a lot more important than whether you employ extra watts to help you out between the ankles.


-6 Hardlylikely Sebov lewis collins Shinook B1001 dhr999 Nick Maffei thaaad


Most any sailboat but the smallest dinghys have motors, but they are not considered motor vessels while under sail power. 

International maritime law considers vessels under sail power as distinctly different than vessels under engine power. My analogy is not incorrect because of this fact. When you are sailing (as your only power source) you are a 'sailboat', under power then a motorboat. How did you miss this? Sure, as I note above, most decent size sailing vessels do have motors, but the analogy assumes some basic knowledge of the listener. And that as with any analogy, it might not be 100% perfect, but that the point of the argument is true and correct. 

To the other points I've tried to make, what other sports have accepted motors into human powered sport?




Long jump?



+4 Shinook B1001 dhr999 bishopsmike

BarryW, if you squint really hard, your argument almost makes some sense. 


+1 Hardlylikely

>International maritime law

>How did you miss this?

Sorry, we never got called to the international maritime law bar.


+3 B1001 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae bishopsmike Joseph Crabtree

Racing is such a small subset of sailing, I mean absolutely tiny, compared to recreational or cruising. I've sailed for many years, owned and refit many boats, and I've never once raced. I can count on one hand the number of times someone I've sailed with has raced, so this analogy really doesn't hold any water especially when you start talking about it tainting the legitimacy of the broader sport, which is total hogwash considering nearly every keelboat that exists has some form of motor even racing boats. Sure, some sailors like to act smug about how little they use a motor, but the reality is for most people if they plan on getting somewhere, they have to use the motor at some point and some have to just by the nature/design of their boats.

These subject matters are completely different and not analogous at all for a lot of different reasons. You can keep trying to draw comparisons, but even in doing so, you just show you are more intent on burying your head further into the sand and raising shorted points on subjects you don't understand. It's even more ironic when you consider your formula for deciding if a cycle is a motorcycle is: "x + motor = motorcycle", using that simplistic logic applies to sailboats would have every sailboat defined as a motorboat. You can start talking about maritime laws and right of way rules, but the nature of the boat doesn't change when the motor turns on, a sailboat is still a sailboat.

As for eBikes and motocross bikes...have you ever actually seen an eBike? Seriously, I'm asking, because sit one next to a moto bike and you'll see why this analogy is just asinine. They are smaller, quieter, lack a throttle, are speed limited, don't smell, don't use gas, require pedal input, and have a significantly smaller tread, among numerous other differences. For someone so fixated on this as a definition like it's some sortof 'gotcha' or means something (spoiler: it doesn't, it is a word and doesn't encompass any of the legitimate concerns around eBikes), you seem to not know much about either of them.

There are legitimate concerns and criticisms around eBike use, I'm not denying that, but the comparisons you are drawing, the issues you raise, and the way you are trying to argue this just shows you are more pissed about having to share trails than you are legitimate issues. 

As for other sports, no, it doesn't impact me in the least bit if people using aids to help them participate. If some 70 year old has a motor attached to a kayak so they can kayak, who the hell cares? Does it impact you in the least bit? If a tennis player needs orthopedic support to participate, again, I do not care. You could walk down the line, don't care. The same applies to basically everything. The difference between you and me is, I can appreciate that some people require these things and as I get older, I'm finding that there will likely be a day I fall into that category. It doesn't diminish my experience in the slightest. You, on the other hand, seem more intent on concerning yourself with what other people do despite the fact it impacts you in no way shape or form. You'd do well in Congress I guess.


+3 Shinook DancingWithMyself Hardlylikely

I too have noticed that the anti-MTB crowd makes no distinction  between e and non e; to them we are all evil. 

And I completely agree that the behaviour of mountain bikers is one of our most important issues. We get adrenalin-stoned on descents and sometimes act like bigger assholes than we normally would. An awareness of this phenomenon has enabled me to counteract it, but many don’t care. 

I have also noticed a few eMTBers barging their way past riders on the climber rather than patiently waiting for a moment that makes sense. If I’m on e I avoid the climber in busy times but otherwise I’m happy to give someone time to let me by. 

There is a subset of emtbers (and new mtbers) that have no idea about land use issues or advocacy. Some may come along and learn some manners but others will not but I think it’s important to politely engage those who don’t get it.

I make the effort to be extra polite and friendly to civilian types I see on the trail, telling them how many more are coming if we are passing them and smiling, slowing down and engaging them. Those interactions won’t counteract a single shitty experience with some bro, but 13 of them will help.

PS - I am a funny subset of sailors who has maybe sailed 20 times but more than half of those were occasions were races.


+1 Cam McRae

I just commuted home on my pedal-powered- graveller, past fresh orange spray-paint on the 25 meters of sidewalk bike-route of the West End just before Stanley Park that shouted "SLOW DOWN" a dozen times.  The anti-anybike crowd is still out there.

Can't we all just get along?


+6 Pete Roggeman Andrew Major Cam McRae SteveR Mike Ferrentino DancingWithMyself Hardlylikely Joseph Crabtree

I personally do not like eMTB and I do agree that they tend to dilute the MTB experience that I am looking for. However, I think creating this binary of acoustic vs motorized is simplistic and counter productive. There is way more nuance to it. For example, adaptive mtbs aren't technically bicycles, but I think we all agree they have more in common with mtb's than they do with soapboxes. 

It's more accurate to approach it as a spectrum. At one end we have a fixed gear, rigid, brakeless bike. The simplest form of bicycle. On the other, we have a motorbike. In between we have all these other types. And in that sense, it's obvious (to me at least) that eMTBs and acoustic MTBs are pretty darn close together on that spectrum. That's why banning eMTBs or getting all worked up about them is a really unsatisfactory approach. 

I think the real problem we have here is we (the riding community) is really struggling to adapt with the growth of this segment of the sport. A good analogy is the invention of the car. Previously, streets were shared places dominated by pedestrians. Cars came, and their ubiquity and convenience transformed these shared places into car dominated spaces. People actually hated cars when they were invented, because they were tools of the rich that ruined and made the streets unsafe for the poors, often because there weren't clear guidelines and laws. But cars were so convenient and attractive, soon enough everyone had them, and we lost what we had without even realizing it.

The worry we have with eMTB is that we are really failing (in my opinion) to reconcile these new tools with the pre-existing networks and standards of behaviour we are used to. And I think all this "eMTB's are motorbike, not bikes" is just burying our head in the sand and not acknowledging the real issue: "eMTBs are here, getting more and more popular, and we aren't dealing with this new type of trail user."


+3 Cam McRae Coiler DancingWithMyself

You make great points. The car analogy is interesting. Different in the sense that the societal forces there are very public and universal whereas we're talking about a privileged subset of a privileged sport, but the end result is instructive. I'm not too sure how many trail networks are overrun as a result of eMTBs - not because I'm an authority but because I haven't heard it said too often - however ebikes have taken prominent steps forward during Covid in North America. In Europe that growth spurt was already well underway. So trails are busier, but I think Covid created a lot more trail users during the last three years than ebikes did.

PS: If we can all agree that 'acoustic' is a terrible term for a bike (aka a non-electrified two-wheeled pedal machine), I might stop twitching. Acoustic has to do with the sense of sound, not the omission of electricity. Analog works, sort of, but I like just calling them bikes (b/c they haven't changed) and ebikes.


+1 Hardlylikely

The car analogy is really interesting, but I’ll admit it breaks down a bit and can be used to push hyperbolic arguments. But there are some interesting parallels and scary conclusions. For example, due to the safety concerns of cars and pedestrians mixing, we created a set of rigid rules that essentially excluded pedestrians from roads, and they became the domain of the car. Now obviously we analog (way better term) riders aren’t going to lose our trail access. But I do think there it's conceivable that more explicit rules will start being needed to deal with eMTBs, which could seriously affect the way we all ride.

By way of local example: on the north shore we have very clear up and down routes. Alot of these are established by the limitations of analog bikes with the existing trails. No one is biking up expresso, because that would just be ridiculous on an analog bike. But with eMTBs, not only is that possible, its probably the most efficient climbing route to get to that section of Fromme. So now trail managers might need to start integrating the capabilities of eMTB into their signage and trail strategies.

Maybe that’s a bad example, because anyone with any common sense or pre-planning isn’t going to do that. But there was a story kicking around the nsmb forums of someone on an eMTB just ripping around the woods on lower Fromme, blazing across the mountain off-trail. That would be absurd on an analog bike, but with that extra couple hundred watts on an eMTB you can make it happen.

That’s the worry I have with eMTBs: they open up access to a huge area, with potential for even more loam lines forming all over the place. The amount of unsanctioned trails on Seymour and Fromme is pretty crazy right now, and they are becoming ridiculously visible and ridden in. We are lucky now that these are limited by where we can reasonably access them, so I think in big picture terms the land managers turn a blind eye because the impact remains reasonably limited. But that might change when we have these trails going further and further, maybe even deep into the watershed.

Anyway, that’s my alarmist take on eMTBs, at least here on the shore where I ride.


+2 Andrew Major DancingWithMyself

one of our trail networks is largely dual direction trails with a small handful of downhill oriented trails.  e-bikes riding up the downhill trails happens regularly in the spring when we get out of towners coming in for the snow free trails. is it an issue?, probably. I sure get a lot of email about it. 

analog bikes do ride up expresso. again, an issue, maybe, probably depends on the time of day. 

your car analogy is fairly succinct. the car lobby drove the policy on public land and we now have terrible un friendly infrastructure that requires people to own cars and nearly bankrupt citys because if it. there are a pile of studies on the is you can google.  now we are repeating that with letting manufacturers dictate public land use for recreation. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but the examples we have are not great. governments tend not be be very nuanced when they ban things. all bikes get lumped together. which to me is the big issue with e-bikes being labeled non motorized. I get a lot of questions from non cyclist about this. trying to explain to them what is and is not permitted always ends in the same response. “ that’s dumb, they either have motors or they do not.” let not even try to draw comparisons to the federal liberfailed attempt at update the canadian gun laws… I mean, that went well. 

I do get a kick of the kids riding full throttle ebikes, ripping around the sidewalks and roads in urban areas. no insurance no helmet, no cares. reminds me of growing up in the sticks and my friend with motos doing similar things.  though these days no parent would let their kid rip down a public road on a moto with out a helmet. but it’s an ebike so it’s all good.


+3 Adrian Bostock Andy Eunson Hardlylikely

We've adopted so many things from road bikes, only to later to realize they didn't work at all.  But we just blindly adopted the speed and power parameters of Class 1, which was developed for road.  

National mountain bike advocacy groups dropped the ball (probably partly because they rely on manufacturers for funding), and the manufacturers push ahead for profits.  People for Bikes (a name for the industry lobby so misleading it's worthy of "Thank You for Smoking") went all over the country pushing the road bike classifications for everything.  All the while, Europe had a lower power standard we could have used for recreational mountain biking.

And there's more than enough blame to apportion a good chunk to local bike shops, which so often want to act like they're quasi nonprofits.  I'd bet that even when ebikes were new, everyone was really nervous, and ebikes were not allowed on local trails, most local bike shops stocked them and sold them.

And now we've got what we've got.  To what degree would the problems with climbing up descending trails and riding off trail like an ATV go away if power was limited to 250 or 300 watts instead of 750 watts.  I'd argue to a great degree, but we'll never know.

I think the biggest problem our sport faces is the lack of a revenue source, which means the manufacturers are the interest group with the money, which means that in many ways they are in charge.  And regardless of the image they try to project, at end of the day they will act to maximize short-term profits, not in the long-term best interests of the sport.

This becomes an even greater problem as we build more and more highly-bike optimized trails that are expensive and time consuming to both build and maintain.

Imagine if golf courses were built and maintained by nonprofits and volunteers, who relied on voluntary contributions.  Meanwhile, the equipment manufacturers made all the money, basically on the backs of the nonprofits and volunteers. And the advances in equipment increased demand and required more of the courses, longer, deeper rough, faster greens, etc., putting more and more stress on the nonprofits and volunteers

The manufacturers only gave back a relatively insignificant amount of dollars relative to what they made.  And any manufacturer that wanted to charge a significant premium and give back a more meaningful amount would go under, because people would just buy the competitors cheaper products.

Sound sustainable?


+4 Mike Ferrentino Todd Hellinga Ray Freeman Cam McRae

At the last MTB tourism symposium someone pitched the idea of 1% for trail to come from the sale of bike related goods from the manufacturer and go into a trail fund. Would it work? would the cost just automatically get passed on to the consumer? We will probably never know because like the overworked non profits and dirty hippies we are, no one has yet acted on getting this off the ground. Though ORCBC did but a pile of money from the provincial government for a trails fund. we will see where that goes… I do have concerns of the government being the only major source of funding for trails. 

Adding more people to trails does not automatically add more capacity to to organizations managing the resource. One side of the coin is that getting more people on trails is a net good, the other is that more people = more problems.

+3 Adrian Bostock Hardlylikely Cam McRae

Adrian - Super hard to get those things off the ground, and being in the woods with  a tool and your dog is way more fun. 

In the US, my state has something like that, basically an "REI-tax" on those sorts of outdoor goods.  But as the bill worked its way through legislature, it got amended so that applicants have to have conservation (or something along those lines) as a primary  mission. So, the whole effort ended up taxing bikes and ropes and such, but mountain bike and climbing clubs weren't really in a position to apply for the funds.

Plus, the state awards itself a huge chunk of the funds to acquire more land (even though it doesn't have sufficient funds to manage what it's got) and build "infrastructure" in parks that already have too much pavement and too many buildings.  So getting the pot of money is only half the battle.

My outsider, one-trick-pony take is that the way forward is to cut out at least some of the bureaucracy by going to a user fee (a.k.a. pay-to-play) model and funneling the money straight to the nonprofit doing the building and maintenance.  That's what we're in the process of implementing, but it was quite a trick to pull it off.

I am totally sympathetic to the argument that the government should provide trails to citizens free of charge.  And maybe in some parts of the country/world governments are well funded and progressive enough to spend money on high-quality trails, but not 'round these parts.  We knew the calvary wasn't ever going to come, and we were very fortunate to figure out a way to fend for ourselves.  

It was unique confluence of circumstances that allowed us to pull it off.  Unfortunately, not sure it's much of a model for others at the present time.

+4 DancingWithMyself Mark Hardlylikely Andrew Major

@DWMS. The provincial government is currently navel gazing on how to manage recreation and what a new management policy may look like. Having had an opportunity to participate in this, one of my take ways is that an attempt to implement a Pay to Play model is coming to mountain biking, at least to sanctioned trails. It exists in other recreation sectors and it has long been talked about, both pros and cons, in local advocacy, but there is almost no mechanism in place action it. No one at this point knows what it looks like, or if it’s a certainty, but my guess is that in the next decade we will see an attempt at this model.

I am not saying I agree with it. But it seems like there is an appetite with in government to try it.

+2 Mark Hardlylikely

Adrian - Here's my take, for whatever it's worth.

I know people have reservations about pay-to-play.  Somewhat tongue-in-cheek and full admitting the bike is an outlier, it's worth noting that we're having this discussion attached to an article about a $12,000 bike.

More reasonably, I'd agree that in utopia the government would fund the construction and maintenance of progressive, purpose-built trails.  Or that all the people that use those trails would voluntarily contribute.  And those may very well be the "right" solutions.

But within reasonable bounds, I'll almost always choose "effective" over "right."  I don't give anything back to the world by sitting in the corner being philosophically pure, sniping at those that aren't.  

In the US, the Recreational Use Statutes passed by most states somewhere around the 1960s create an obstacle to a user fee, but not a parking fee (fellow Americans, think about your experiences with fees on public lands and have an aha moment).  It's a dumb but valid legal distinction.  But if you're trail system doesn't lend itself to a parking fee, it's also a very troublesome legal distinction.

However, the RUS is antiquated and crying out to be overhauled, and there's potentially a way to do that doesn't involve the mountain bike community carrying the water.  Some efforts have already been made nationally.  Slow process, but have a call on Tuesday and hope to get news that there may be some movement.

+1 Andrew Major

Just to play devils advocate here and to put a BC lens on it. The biggest buzz word in land use planning right now is Accessibly. Now that can be taken to mean many things, but one of the main barriers to entry is cost. especially among low income families. I realize this is deeeeep in the comments about a $12000 ebike. Mountain bike trails have always been open to all non motorized users as no charge. if you want to gain advocates, get the hikers, dog walkers and trail runners on you side. they out number ebikers by several orders of magnitude. 

Historically trails were volunteer built and maintenance. That is not as true these days as it was, but still most trail development comes from provincial funding in one form or another. To take infrastructure which has either been developed by volunteers or by tax dollars and to add a user fee to it is problematic when viewed in terms of accessibility. 

again just playing devils advocate.

+1 Andrew Major

Adrian - You're absolutely right about the downside being accessibility.  Pay-to-play is definitely not without its drawbacks.  

I've been verbose enough without trying to add more nuance, but I should have said I think pay-to-play needs to be a much, much more common strategy to secure ongoing funding for nonprofits and trail systems.  But there are certainly going to be trail systems where it isn't a good strategy for a variety of reasons.

And you're right about foot traffic.  It's a huge mistake to ignore hikers and trail runners - not only because they need trails too, but also because, for the vast majority of trail systems in the vast majority of communities, that's where the money is.

In my area of the US, it's incredibly common for state parks and wildlife management areas to charge a parking fee or require a land use pass.  So the "tax dollars" argument isn't a very compelling one.  But that's certainly not the case everywhere.

Really enjoyed this discussion.  Thank you.

+2 Coiler DancingWithMyself dhr999 Joseph Crabtree

Very lucid and well-articulated comments Coiler. Thanks for sharing them.

Edit - the subsequent additions by Adrian and DWM have been great as well. What started off pretty meh has blossomed into a productive discussion. 



+3 Cam McRae Adrian Bostock DancingWithMyself

@ Adrian Bostock and DancingWithMyself

Great comments/discussion that warrants it's own article. 



+3 Mark Hardlylikely Andy Eunson

I'm game.  

I've been leading the effort on this local trail system since 2015.  Thousands of hours of work and years of being very careful what I say.  Clearly, I've got some stuff to get off my chest.  This site has been a much needed outlet.  Unlike therapy, it's free and I can do it all times of day and night!

If I can crack the whip hard enough on the website guy, in the next 3-4 weeks we'll launch our new website and parking fee (with parking app we talked a tech company in CA into developing for us for free with idea there's a market for what we're doing).

A lot of people in the states who know about us are interested in what we're doing, because it's fairly unique.  Once we get things fully operational, I'm actually planning to write a few things and start by seeing if NSMB is interested, because NSMB seems to have a soul.  There's not another national outlet in which I'd be interested in dealing.  Even if the articles never see the light of day, I need to get some things out of my head and onto paper for my own sanity.


-19 Jan Vilim Papa Joseph Crabtree Sandy James Oates finbarr Nickh hotlapz Morgan Heater Brad Sedola flatch Suns_PSD Andeh Sethimus Shinook OldManBike DancingWithMyself Sebov lewis collins B1001 Graham Driedger dhr999 bishopsmike Ray Freeman XXX_er thaaad

Bicycles only please! 

This is a motorcycle, not a bicycle.


+6 Perry Schebel finbarr flatch XXX_er Sebov B1001 dhr999 thaaad BarryW Joseph Crabtree

Clearly you haven’t ridden this bike Barry. You aren’t a bot by any chance are you?


-11 Vilim Papa finbarr hotlapz Morgan Heater Cam McRae XXX_er Shinook DancingWithMyself Sebov B1001 dhr999 bishopsmike thaaad

Does it have a motor Cam? If it does it might be a low powered, motorcycle, but it meets the definition perfectly.

Motor + cycle = motorcycle. 

Not really sure how you don't get that simple fact. 

And how would riding it change my mind or the facts of the matter? It has a battery, AND a motor. I'm sure it's fun, but I'm here for bicycle content, not motorcycle content. Remember folks, this evolution is what gave us... Motorcycles. And no matter how stealth you make it this is not a bicycle because those are human powered.


+1 Cam McRae thaaad BarryW

If you turn the motor off and it still works, is it then a bicycle? Just saying because if I’m with a group I ride my (full power heavyweight) Levo turned off. Or I ride my singlespeed hardtail. And they’re both bicycles. 

I don’t have the space for two full-sus bikes and I commute on this electric one as it’s faster, more fun, less tiring and I can go the long way via the trails.


+2 Shinook Jotegir Graham Driedger dhr999 thaaad Tim Joseph Crabtree Hardlylikely

Sorry Barry, I no longer read beyond your first post. I’m reminded of Mike Vandeman though, who spent years telling me the same thing over and over again, hoping to convince me mountain bikes and mountain bikers are evil. This was both before and after he assaulted a mountain biker with a saw in Marin County.


-6 Hardlylikely XXX_er Shinook Mammal DancingWithMyself dhr999 bishopsmike thaaad

So at least you're engaging but on an insane level?

Your comparison is patently insane. Mine is basic words, basic logic, and apparently beyond you.


-1 Shinook dhr999 thaaad BarryW Tim Bikeryder85 Joseph Crabtree

I don't know what you are saying, but if you are talking to me, please see above.

+7 BarryW Andrew Major Shinook Cam McRae Pete Roggeman bishopsmike XXX_er

Cam, Barry, I think there’s a middle ground here.  Yes Barry is technically correct—eMTBs arguably don’t meet the strictest definition of a ‘bicycle’.  But two Federal US agencies (USFS and BLM) have concluded class 1 eMTBs are a special subset of motorized vehicles that land mgrs can treat as essentially a bicycle when it comes to opening certain trails.  And land managers can therefore treat it as different than a motorcycle.  So Barry it seems that given the name of NSMB, it is appropriate for NSMB to review eMTBs.  Endless semantic discussions about the grey area class 1 emtbs occupy, and the word ‘Bicycle’, seem inherently doomed.   I’m not up to date on Crown land mgmt…

+3 Ride.DMC Jotegir bishopsmike dhr999 Joseph Crabtree

"Motor + cycle = motorcycle." - This isn't the 'gotcha' you think it is. 

eBike opponents say this like it is some sort of immutable wall of words that can't be defeated. They then bury their head in the sand and act like it wins every argument about eBikes when in reality it just exhibits the repeaters lack of nuance and consideration. "Everything is simple to the simple minded" comes to mind, maybe you should open yourself up to what people have to say, hear, and learn instead of just repeat the same tired, meaningless phrases that show a lack of understanding on the subject. 

And yes, you absolutely sound like Mike Vandeman, so do most of the NIMBY aggro anti-eBikers out there. You can act like you are no different, but it's the same mentality wrapped up in a slightly more accepted form of ignorance.

It's also the same reason we can't have any meaningful discussion on eBikes, access, and their place in the world, because it's inevitably hijacked by monkeys throwing poo.

-4 Shinook dhr999 BarryW Andrew Major DanL Tim Joseph Crabtree Hardlylikely

Barry is now abusing the writers, it can't be much longer until he gets his pedantic ass banned from NSMB !


-1 Tim Joseph Crabtree Hardlylikely Shinook DancingWithMyself dhr999 thaaad

Abusing the writers? In what way? 

I'm making a point about the sport I love. And get dismissed by Cam, and compared to someone that apparently assaulted a mountain biker. 

Who's abusing who here?

And @Frorider

"have concluded class 1 eMTBs are a special subset of motorized vehicles that land mgrs can treat as essentially a bicycle"

That's quite literally my point. Do you base your life off of governmental definitions that are written by lobbyists? I certainly don't and your words above say it all. They are motorized vehicles, but somehow a legal loophole was created to allow them to be grouped into the bicycle category for land management. Still motorcycles in fact, practice and function.

+2 DancingWithMyself bishopsmike dhr999 thaaad BarryW Joseph Crabtree

the writers are trying to write articals most  of us want to read and Barry is  calling them insane, why do we have to debate the E-bike when its already here ?

I never see Barry make any contribution to the sport he claims  to love besides complaining about e-bikes

For those who don't like the E-bike content just don' t read it or  go away altogether

+1 Tim Joseph Crabtree Hardlylikely Etacata dhr999

@Shinook it's interesting that this is always the response. That anyone who cares about this being a human powered sport is wrong and they must accept the motorizing of it. 

I ask where the subtlety is in putting the motor on in the first place? Do you ever ask yourself if you're destroying a sport 'so I get more laps'? Where is the discussion about hijacking a sport? Can YOU be subtle about that? 

You say this is why we can't have meaningful discussion about access for ebikes and their place in the world, sure, but you're stance is absolute same as mine. They are just the same as any bicycle to you, and while that's factually incorrect you hold to it. Subtlety? I think not. But I say they are unequivocally not bicycles so they don't belong in this world and you scream I'm wrong. I'm not changing this sport into motorcycles, you are. 

And @Cam I've commented a bunch on lots, and lots of other topics and give kudos for good thoughts, we'll written articles, etc. It feels like you can't see past your opinions about motorized recreation being = to mountain biking so you've written me off entirely. And to that point I think E-mobility for city use or in any way replacing cars is awesome. These are low powered motorcycles that don't require a license and in that mode they are the best! You paint me as one color, but it's your color blindness showing here.  

How about an article where each regular writer puts their thoughts down on WHY an emtb is or isn't a bicycle?

+3 Jotegir bishopsmike DancingWithMyself Hardlylikely Tim

Cam took the bait this time, but he would be the first to say that we welcome dissenting opinions - always have. It's frustrating when those opinions are repetitive and lack nuance, but Barry has every right to be here and say his piece. If we didn't believe that, you're right that we could ban him, but that's not our style. Besides, it's always fun to have someone like him around to get people riled up.

And yes, Barry, your positive comments elsewhere are noticed and we appreciate you as a reader and for engaging.

-2 Hardlylikely dhr999 bishopsmike thaaad

@Pete Roggeman

Thats the thing, I'm not here to bait anyone. Just here saying what more than a few of us think about allowing motors into our sport. 

I do truly, really appreciate  your comments here, thank you for actual responses. 

It baffles me how much this feels like an upwards battle when to an outsider (because I do poll non-riders on this) they addition of motors makes most think you would then be riding motorcycle trail systems, NOT mtb trails. Why does saying 'bicycles don't have motors!' Feel like such a taboo? Is that actually a fringe belief? 

On the argument of 'how are you harmed by these?' I would ask the opposite, how are you harmed if these are indeed motorcycles? 

Really I hate the dishonesty. I hate that these are called 'bicycles' by anyone. That people are dumb enough to buy them for more than a Honda Africa Twin. You know, a real, high tech, road legal, ready to ride the world, dual clutch gearbox, navigation computer, etc, etc motorcycle, but this 'bicycle' costs as much and the reviewers justify that. Call these motorcycles, change the name of the site and I'll never protest ever again (unless you start reviewing whiskey and then I'll be happy, but heartily complain!).

+20 DanL Jerry Willows Velocipedestrian sverdrup Mammal Tim BarryW OldManBike Adrian Bostock Bikeryder85 Jan Taiki DMVancouver Cam McRae lewis collins Joseph Crabtree Todd Hellinga SteveR bishopsmike Vik Banerjee [email protected] gubbinalia B1001 dhr999

Cam, I know that folks like Barry, and myself, who feel that the motorization of mountain biking has attenuated the activity are ever increasingly in the minority. Especially with the coming wave of Stealth-E rigs. And I know that the refusal to just cede the conversation is increasingly annoying to folks, like yourself, who are on the winning side of whether a mountain bicycle is by nature and definition human-powered or otherwise. 

And, I know, sorry Barry, that his posts on the subject are a bit like listening to Don Quixote on CD, but it keeps skipping so it's just the same passage being read over and over, and over, again. And over again. But it doesn't seem to me that anyone is really interested in having the conversation anymore anyway so there are no points for originality or craft. 

Respectfully though, there's a massive difference between a lunatic like MV assaulting innocent strangers with a saw in the forest and someone posting in an online community because they want to be sure their vote is counted on the kind of content they'd like to read and see. It's fair for Barry to point out that it's an insane comparison.

There are still quite a few Barry-types out there, though increasingly feeling unwelcome, and I think that from trail access to content, it behooves folks riding and writing about e-bikes to be good winners and acknowledge that until very recently one of the tenets of this activity was that it was un-motorized. 

And yes, folks could simply choose to ignore the E-MTB and Stealth-E content on NSMB but the fact is that none of that content was initially pulled into this sphere. It was pushed, hard, by e-bike manufacturers. "It's you, but faster." And, again respectfully, I think pushback should be expected if not encouraged. Riders should define mountain biking, not manufacturers.


+2 DancingWithMyself B1001 dhr999 thaaad BarryW Joseph Crabtree

I'm not sure how an eMTB has attenuated your experience on a bike Andrew, but I'm sorry to hear it. I don't think they had any impact on my riding before I rode one, but there were fewer of them in the wild back then. 

I'm comparing Barry to MV because his comments literally remind of MV's emails. He would drone on with the same rationalizations over and over again, not realizing he wasn't communicating anything new or novel and certainly nothing that would change the mind of a mountain biker. Their actions and motives may be different, but they speak the same language. I wasn't insinuating that BW was a lunatic like MW, but his approach is identical. 

I don't mind sensible pushback at all and when I hear it I'm happy to engage in a polite discussion. I'm done with BW however, and I don't know what you are referring to in his responses because I didn't read them. The old "eMTBs are motorcycles" chestnut is just so stale and unimaginative that it's not a discussion worth having.

+7 sverdrup Mammal BarryW Bikeryder85 Joseph Crabtree Vik Banerjee Hardlylikely gubbinalia thaaad B1001 dhr999

Cam, I would submit that there's a lot more to the total mountain bike experience than riding a bicycle in the forest. By the significant cost of entry barriers and inter-compatibility alone, the motorization of mountain biking has been a significant change actor on the community.

Beyond that, I don't really have anything more to say than what I put above but I would like to highlight one of my points again, if I can be so obnoxious as to quote myself:

"There are still quite a few Barry-types out there, though increasingly feeling unwelcome, and I think that from trail access to content, it behooves folks riding and writing about e-bikes to be good winners and acknowledge that until very recently one of the tenets of this activity was that it was un-motorized."

+3 sverdrup B1001 bishopsmike dhr999 thaaad Taiki Joseph Crabtree

My experience of riding or thinking or talking about mountain biking has not been impacted negatively by the fact that others ride eMTBs or that I do. 

I don't believe I have failed to acknowledge that mountain biking was once an exclusively human-powered activity, aside from people shuttling, or riding chairlifts, or planes or helicopters to get where they are going to ride. Or even a ferry. 

Mountain biking also used to be unsuspended and un-hydraulic. It used to be exclusively done on tires with tubes inside and there was nothing electronic aside from the odd bike computer. Once upon a time you could ride a downhill bike uphill, but that has been an exclusively motorized activity much longer than eMTBs have been around. All of those could be seen as 'change actors' as well. Many riders thought suspension would spell the end of mountain biking, along with disc brakes and yet it seems the sky remains where it's always been. 

None of this has any relationship to my desire to avoid a pedantic conversation that begins with "e-bikes are motorcycles," particularly when I have already beaten that dead horse with the person who dragged in the carcass. I'm sure BW is fine gent to talk to if the conversation doesn't turn to "ebikes are motorcycles" but in that circumstance, I will politely avoid engaging. And this is probably in the best interest of everyone.

+9 BarryW Peter Leeds Taiki Cam McRae Andy Eunson Joseph Crabtree Todd Hellinga Vik Banerjee Hardlylikely gubbinalia thaaad B1001 dhr999

@Cam, I’m sorry, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the idea that motorizing mountain bikes is the same as adding disc brakes and suspension or that riding trails on e-bikes is just like helicopter shuttling discussions. 

I agree that politely avoiding discussions is not an issue.


[*edited to remove quotation marks | 9:28pst 2023/09/12]

+4 BarryW Mammal Joseph Crabtree Todd Hellinga

Merely clicking an up arrow seemed inadequate to convey my appreciation for Andrew’s posts here.

+4 SteveR Cam McRae OldManBike Hardlylikely
+4 Cam McRae Andrew Major Andy Eunson Vik Banerjee

Pretty much my thoughts too, Andrew, but you put it so much better than I.  Not a fan of e-mtb, but I don't let e-bikes bother me. My ongoing concern is where the creeping motorization and lust for MORE! might eventually take us.

+5 Andy Eunson Vik Banerjee Hardlylikely Velocipedestrian gubbinalia

Salud, @SteveR,

To quote one of my favourite characters, at this point worrying about e-bikes "would be like worrying if the sun gonna come up." I've chosen to try and focus my energy on what's uniquely weird and wonderful about the human-powered mountain bicycling experience.


I feel disassociated from the evolution of the more-machine (more vert, more speed, more distance, more laps), and no one has a crystal ball. But, I have one industry prediction I'm quite certain of that I haven't noticed being shared anywhere else. It's my bet that over the next couple of years, all the major e-bike brands - Specialized, Trek, Santa Cruz & The PON Stars, SRAM - are going to get very heavily involved in trail advocacy.

No, not to guarantee continued access for E-MTB and Stealth-E rigs where mountain bikes are allowed, that's a given at this point. But rather to try and shut the gate behind them thus ensuring that mountain bike trail access - and 'mountain biking' as an activity - remains concentrated in the Class-1 e-bikes that benefit - in terms of range, speed, and rider effort - from the weight savings of expensive carbon frames, carbon wheels, Transmission drivetrains, etc.

The next MTB culture conflict isn't for me, it's for folks (and let's face it, brands) trying to choose a new line in the forest between motor-assisted-pedaling, pedal-assisted-motoring, vestigial-mini-crank-throttling, or "f***-it foot pegs."


The most surreal conversation I've overheard in a bike shop in years was two full-juice E-MTB owners ranting about a Surron owner they'd crossed paths with on local trails. Now, in my mind, a Surron of any output is very clearly not an E-MTB but trying to explain the difference to a Light Bee X owner is apparently not unlike the experience of trying to differentiate a Turbo-Kenevo from a Stooge in some circles.

0 Mark Joseph Crabtree

@BarryW - you never replied to my question - if I can ride my ebike with the motor off (which I frequently do), what then is it? I’ve never seen a motorbike that can go uphill with the motor off - but my ebike often does.


-2 Joseph Crabtree DancingWithMyself dhr999 thaaad

It's a moped. That is a set definition and means it isn't a bicycle. 

Not sure what point you're making here. You could rig up pedals into a motocross bike, would that turn it into a bicycle? Not really! 

Some mushers train for the Iditarod race by having their sled teams pull old cars with the doors taken off, maybe even the engine dropped out. Does it then become a sled? 


Really I think that if you put motorization into any traditionally human powered sport you would be laughed at like you were crazy. 



Rock climbing...



Can you give me one other example where it has been accepted like into the mtb world? Hell, it's like playing chess but with a 'limited intelligence assistance' program. We would ALL laugh at that person. I'm just doing the same for bicycles in the woods.


+1 Cam McRae bishopsmike Joseph Crabtree

Motors have been accepted in mountain biking since the dawn of mountain biking, that’s what an uplift vehicle is. So is a chair lift or gondola. You literally use a motorised device to turn some of the energy from its motor’s fuel tank or battery into potential energy stored in the bike and rider, which then provides the dominant power source for the bike as you ride downhill.

This same thing happened with skiing too, except skiing began cross-country, whilst MTBing actually started with downhill!

There’s also the strange attitude that it’s ok to drive a car to the start/finish point of your ride but not ok to ride an ebike - when my ebike rides are 99.9% from my house. It’s all very odd.

+1 bishopsmike

Well said a.funks.

-1 Joseph Crabtree

The problem with your ebike comparison to a moped is that with a moped the primary mode of propulsion comes from the motor and they can be used without the pedals, whereas with an ebike the primary mode of propulsion comes from the rider and the bike won't move unless it is pedaled. So in talking about an ebike, no matter how much thou doth protest, a moped it is not.

+1 Cam McRae bishopsmike roil BarryW Joseph Crabtree

If it has bar ends and the rider wears Lycra, still a bicycle


0 Shinook Joseph Crabtree

Love it!


0 Shinook Joseph Crabtree

@Joseph Crabtree - I'm just replying to my own post so you have another chance to downvote me!


-3 Shinook DancingWithMyself thaaad

OK, It is amusing that you would dig into the system to find who has downvoted you but not surprising considering your defensive comments.

Cheers,  Joe


+4 Mike Ferrentino Andrew Major Cam McRae thaaad

If by 'dig into the system' you mean 'hover over the vote number'.  

But I do think North Shore Moped Bros .com has a nice ring to it.  I should land grab the acronym URL for that before its gone.


LOL. All users have access to that feature right from here - as mentioned above. Not a very deep dive. Give it a shot. 

Nice of you to chime in though!

Cheers back, Cam

-1 hotlapz

This comment has been removed.

+8 flatch Mammal Cam McRae BarryW Andrew Major Suns_PSD Jotegir Hardlylikely

BarryW. In the US I read about how politicians take likes and shares on social media as confirmation that whatever policies they are pushing are popular. But it’s just their base of a minority of people making it seem as if it’s a popular opinion. It might be a similar thing here too. Every time someone clicks and opens an article it gets recorded as a positive whether or not the clicker thinks that. Just something to think about.


+4 DancingWithMyself Andy Eunson Sebov roil XXX_er thaaad BarryW Tim

Don't visit this site and click on these articles if it's not your cup of tea.


-1 Tim Joseph Crabtree Hardlylikely Sebov B1001 dhr999 thaaad

Why not? Keeping silent while the world changes for the worse is rarely seen as the noble action.


+3 dhr999 Cam McRae thaaad

BarryW. I respect your commitment but arguing for a subjective opinion to be forced on a larger group is hardly a noble action.


Please log in to leave a comment.