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Sept. 13, 2023, 6:50 p.m. -  DancingWithMyself

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?

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