I will answer the legit questions as it is clear that most of the poster's here have actually never ridden one.
1. First off I am talking about pedltec's as they are know in europe, this is the best place to start as this is what anyone will encounter in a shop they see. These bikes are pedal assist, there is no throttle, and if you stop pedalling, they stop working. The top of the line give you a top out at 250 watts, and have 3-5 settings which give you a setting like 30%, 50%, and 100% in the case of the Specialized, in Shimano's case it is Eco/Trail/Boost and a 500 watt hour battery meaning that in boost the battery will give you 2 hours of use if it is flat, point uphill and the time goes down from there. The output can also be dialled specifically to your needs, so you could run 15%/30%/80% in specialized case and you do that through an app. In my case you can get about 26km or 1 hr 20 min of hard riding in boost which would be the equivalent of a 3 to 3.5 hr ride. The bike also top speed tops out at 32km/hr when this happens you are riding like normal. If you are fit and ride the bike hard then you will average 17-22km/hr on an overall ride so the same as the winner of the test of metal. Pedal assist bikes make just under 1 hp, so comparing it to a dirt bike 35-50HP, trials bike 24HP is not accurate at all, I ride both a lot so I know the difference.
2. Workout. How is the workout harder, well I will get to that. But first off, the best thing about an e-bike is you can tune the ride to you. Feeling tired, choose a higher setting, feeling quick choose a lower setting, want to suffer even more than riding an acoustic bike? Set it at 5% and you have a heavier bike with a low percentage and it is harder. When I was racing all of the training principles were done on a road bike to keep your HR down and spin your legs with proper cadence and do that for LSD or intervals. With E-Bikes you now can stay off-road, something many of us prefer and tune the bike so you can go easier or harder. As stated before you get a better cardio workout and you use your legs less, i am speculating at about half as much. So for the guys asking how do you get a better workout, think of it this way, if you are riding up the fromme road and your legs don't build up lactate or get tired, would you be able to ride faster? If you answer no to this, well I can't help you. Because you can go harder you push harder getting a better cardio workout, that is the part that makes you fit. I will give another example. If you are doing BC Bike race day 4 and your doing a 3 km up hill grunt, you are in your easiest gear and suffering, I come along and give you a push, your cadence improves and soon you will shift down to the next gear as if you stay spinning too fast you will blow up, so you click down and keep spinning, but your maxing out, then I stop pushing, what happens, you basically start feeling your legs harder than before and shift up to the easiest gear and if you went to hard you slow down to recover, well with a pedal assist bike you would not do that so you keep pushing. Again you do not have to, you can go easy, moderate or anywhere in between. Now here is my thought, how many of you are riding around wondering what kind of workout everyone else is getting and why do you care. I am going easy and you pass me on an acoustic bike does that hurt you, not hurt you or do you just say hi and keep riding your pace. If you went to yoga and started saying to your neighbour that you think the hot chick at the front of the class is not working as hard as she should be, what do you think your neighbour will think. I will let you hash that over in your own head for a moment. Riding for most of us is personal, it is getting away from work, enjoying the forest with our kids or significant other, it is different for everyone so I have no idea how this question is relative at all.
3 Have not seen them in Whistler or Other Places. There is lots out there, but it is still small for sure. We have a place in whistler and we ride there with lots of people. You also don't look at the bike someone is riding, many people who are average fitness will just assimilate into the riding population. They will be a bit faster on climbs but not over real fast people. An example is on Into The Mystic-Over the Rocks-Lord of the Squirrels. To do that full ride on an ebike you would have to be in eco mode or 30% or less, so that person who might be climbing at 3-4 km/hr is now doing 5-8km/hr which is still quite slow, a fitter rider would past that person so if that is so then we should not allow the fast people on the trail. Another thing in whistler is that they have made their own rules on crown land. E-bikes are not yet classified, so you can't ban something that is not legislated legally. However they were telling people that if you see someone then tell them to turn around, seriously that is just asking for conflict and not even legal. The visa president of worca is more level headed than others and a quote from a rider there said they will start with them on the no flow zone and then graduate them onto the rest of the trails. I find it also interesting that the trails we all currently ride, well many of them are built illegally, are secret and many of us riders have ridden in Manning Park, Garibaldi etc and see no problem with that or riding these trails, but now you want to stop a user group and using legalities to do so, if you are so concerned with e-bikes then you really should be going to war with all the trails that are popping up every day with out government okays and even if you love them you should stop riding them and report them. But you don't....hmmm. On that note I do many different sports and one thing I notice in all of them is there is 10% who love the sport, 10% who hate it and 80% of the population that has no idea what you are doing in that sport. So the idea that someone is going to see an e-bike and shut down mountain biking is a pretty far stretch. In fact e-bikes will reach more people and that brings more money into the sport that is a positive way to increase funds. I would say 10% contribute back into the trails with funds and building, this is low and won't really change, so ebikes are not the bad guy here, we all need to offer more time, talent or treasure to the sport we love to improve it.
4. E-Bikes better than shuttling. As per the video you can now get a full DH bike with pedal assist and it can rip the down and feels like an xc bike going up, its amazing! So where I live in Squamish, back in the day everyone rode to the trails here, now a days it is odd to see someone riding up, almost everyone drives their car from anywhere in squamish to the trail heads, I won't call these people lazy but if riding an e-bike is lazy......hmmm. E-bikes allow you to ride from home even if you lived at the bottom of lonsdale or over the bride, the ride up to fromme becomes as fun, it is as hard as you want it to be and that is less time in traffic and looking for parking and bothering the poor neighbours that have to live near trail heads, that right there is a huge bonus. I live in the mid highlands in Squamish and after my morning ride I always rip down for coffee near the highway, there is no way I would do that and turn around after coffee to ride back up home, however now i do and love that part of the ride. For rippin to work, riding down to get that thing you forgot at the store and e-bike is great for all those things and it keep you out of your car. You will definately ride more. I was down to 2 rides a week since I also ride moto, trials ride, hike, paddle and kite, now I ride twice a day 20-26km each session. For the guy who was talking about 100 days of riding, I do that in under 2 months on top of all the other stuff, usually three sports a day when you count hiking with my daughter. Your just not wasted in your legs and your cardio recovers fast so you can do more. I love that!
5 Can an ebike spin out, yes just like a regular bike, if the ground is loose and you are not in proper position and are trying to climb something too steep, you can spin out on any bike. But you do not do any more damage than an acoustic bike, in fact the e-bike allows better momentum uphill so you will do less damage as you are rolling forward with momentum. On Downhills it is the exact same.
6 They are heavy! Yes they are, lift one and you will be shocked. all my e-bikes come out at 50 pounds. 2 are aluminum and one is plastic, they all weight the same. However this is 15 pounds more than most enduro bikes that people are riding these days. I ride 2.8 tires and 180 mm travel so much of the weight comes in there, with acoustic bikes that you are looking at you go back and forth of what you want with what you want to pedal up so many go with less suspension and narrow tires due to this fact. However pedal an ebike and to me it makes no difference. It climbs better than my old race bikes at 25 pounds and depends like a dh bike. If weight is the issue then I am 140 on a 50 pound bike that is 190, if that is to heavy and will cause damage then everyone over that number needs to stop riding now, cause your too heavy. Again riding one of these bikes will enlighten you.
7 They are being shoved down our throats. Interesting to those that say this, do you have disc brakes as there was a lot of gimmick comments on those when they came out, my favorite one was that what if you bust the hosing and you lose your brake fluid, never actually seen that happen. Do you use a seat dropper post, plastic frame, 27.5 or 29r wheels, well welcome to progression, it has all come out because it makes everyone a better rider, it was not shoved in our face, people invented it, we chose it, and the ebike is the same.
8 Trail Usage. I started riding in 1990, we use to get the angry fists from every hiker for every argument people have made here. Since i started, the sport has gotten bigger and bigger, which is awesome, trails get built, they change, some die off others are created, some get funding others do not, it is just like life, one big adventure. If you are concerned that more people will join the sport and more will ride more, well that happened a long time ago, if you are concerned then why dont we say anyone who started after 2009 has to stop, ya sounds stupid doesn't it, trail usage is growing faster than ebikes right now so you cant blame that on ebikes. One of the things that was used on LOTS on Whistler was that it has a high usage, ebikes will add to that. If we are really concerned with an alpine trail and it being over used, then why dont we try a positive approach and say hey guys we (worca) built this awesome trail and we want to see people enjoy it, however due to usage and where it is it requires a $15.00 a day user fee or a $80.00 a year fee for all users. This money would go directly back into upkeep and to other new alpine trails. I think everyone would be on board with that. A way more positive approach to banning a small but growing user group and blaming all root causes on them.
9 I put this post on here because personally what I see on forums and out there is sad, I call it bullying. For those of you who do have kids, well you probably would not be too pumped if your little johnny or jill came home from school after being called fat and lazy. In fact many of use wear a pink shirt to say we won't stand for it, however what I see grown adults doing daily and also in regards to ebikes and the people who ride them is pretty sad. If you are calling out and judging others, well guess what proud parents, your passing that shit on to your kids. And for that you should be deeply ashamed. I have yet to see any real comment from any rider that makes sense. I have yet to hear someone say, tried one, not for me, cause that would be the only reason not to ride one. Oh and for those who say they have ridden one, I just ask for how long. You would not allow a newly to ride the whistler bike park for 3 runs on a dh bike and then write a magazine article on the whole sport. The same goes for e-biking, you gotta ride one for a week to grasp the full effect. It is just another way to ride! Cheers
Facts Check out EMBN on Youtube they have done all the tests, fitness, which is faster etc and it is a great show
Best training tool
Faster on ebike or regular bike