Posted by: Stuminator
young & old
I’m going to throw another perspective out here that I’ve been chewing on. Being in a position where I do a lot of riding with kids, it’s hard for me not to view this through their lens. I have an 8-year old that is not super keen to be a hammer on the hills. Of course, seeing grown adults rip by on pedal assist, as we aimlessly wander up the hill has her asking: Dad, do they make pedal assist for kids? I’ll spare you the details of the conversation but basically, she’s legitimately puzzled at the prospect of struggling up the same trails that able-bodied adults are laughing at. Rightfully, I think.
In my whole time in the industry, every new product gets criticised. The front suspension, the rear suspension, the dropper post, the disc brakes, it’s all cheating, cheating, cheating.
Schley’s comments in the above article are unarguably true, but all of the developments that he cites are largely developed to aid with descending. My 8-year-old is certainly enjoying these developments but won’t be aided by pedal assist anytime soon. From the perspective of a kid, that makes it distinctly different than the other “cheating” mechanisms. I know my oldest would really enjoy the full Lord of Squirrels descent, but without putting in some work, it probably won’t happen this year.
Don’t mistake this for e-bike hate. I know people who ride pedal assist bikes and I like riding with them just as much as other riding partners. I’m in the market for a commuter with pedal assist, and I’m not going to reject the prospect of riding an eMTB when the joints say it’s time. Though, IMO, it only seems reasonable that I’d ride one on trails that had been sanctioned for eMTB.