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Finally an article I was hoping would be enlightening but got very little out of it. I am a trailbuilder, I have been working on the same trail for 20 years and this year because of Covid, I had to do a lot more work on my own since we could not congregate.
I do ride up the trail with my ebike and I do pay attention if someone is coming down. Most people have no idea how capable these bikes are. There are climbs that are impossible on a regular bike, become possible with the right setup. It is always challenging to climb with tools or nails in your pack but it is wayyy faster and less effort compared to hiking in.
The next evolution is building a builder bike with a stronger motor (350 watt instead of 250 watt) keep the speed limit at 32km/hour but give me more torque please!!!!
There are a few options for trailers but most of them are terrifying going downhill (trailer brakes anyone?)
I agree the ebikes will become more and more important not just for mountain bikers but other trail users as well. think about people working in Provincial and Federal parks, they have already inquired about ebikes for trail maintenance and there are a few ideas brewing on how to maximize the trailer use so that it could be used to haul dirt from a pit to a trail section, carry tools, carry rocks or other usage (parts of benches, parts of bridges). there is lots to think about!
Please don't fear change, your 8 speed fully rigid bike is indeed an antique and I am not getting any younger and I will use technology to my advantage any time I can.
On that same note, I do have a single speed bike, it's not 29er, 27.5 or 26 it's a 20 inch wheel BMX that I use at the pumptrack. the right tool for the job!
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