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