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ebikes on the Shore

May 29, 2018, 9:53 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Do people mod these things with a throttle? If I somehow ended up with one of these everything else would get put on hold until I figured out how to add a secret button to the bars.

May 30, 2018, 12:28 a.m.
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

Logically ebikes must cause more trail wear as you can cover twice the distance in the same time as a non ebikes.  Hence twice the trail wear.

May 30, 2018, 1:18 a.m.
Posts: 889
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: fartymarty

Logically ebikes must cause more trail wear as you can cover twice the distance in the same time as a non ebikes.  Hence twice the trail wear.

no - that's not correct nor logical. yes, ebikes have the potential to cause more trail wear but it doesn't mean they necessarily will and there is no real support for the notion that ebikes will cause twice the trail wear as a pedal bike. we could also just as easily say that in order to limit or reduce trail wear we won't allow any more new riders into the sport, for two riders will cause twice as much wear as one. we could also say that people can only ride two days per week, for if they ride four days per week they will cause twice the trail wear.

May 30, 2018, 2:35 a.m.
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: Kenny

Saying:

By heavens, where were all the people complaining as increased bike tech made it easier for people to get on the trails or 50plus gearing made it easier to climb?

Sure seems to be inviting the comparison, but ok, if you say you're not comparing, you aren't.  So, let's also say that you are absolutely correct and none of the points listed in the thread about why ebikes should not be allowed have any merit.

So given we have now established that ebikes pose no use issues, I am curious about two things-

First: If you are good with e-bikes, do you feel there needs to be some limit imposed with respect to the speed/power that "approved for trail use" ebikes can have? Only electric motor, but not gas? Must have "pedals"? Speed limit? 5km/hr? 25km/hr? 90km/hr? Power limit? What if one of these folks with a physical issue is too heavy for a 750watt model (or whatever is "normal"? By not allowing 1000 watt, you are discriminating against them. What if he has bad ankles and can only use an ebike with a thumb throttle? Will you discriminate against that person? Where does it stop?

Second: Assuming the first point is given a clear definition, how is it enforced? Especially when, again,  you can already buy a "chip" to run that shimano 8000 whateveritis up to 50km/hr and nobody can tell the difference. 

I realized this sounds sarcastic but I'm genuinely asking.

I get what you'e saying, but it's not a direct comparison at least. Say in the same way that an ebike is not a dirt bike. And I don't think your post sounds sarcastic, you have legitimate queries in the scope of the discussion.

So to start I'm not saying that those points I listed don't have any merit as on some level they are all true. What I'm arguing is that saying those are facts that will get mtb'ing shut down or ruined would be similar to saying that people riding illegal trails are going to get all of mtb'ing shut down, or mtb'er conflicts with hikers are going to get the trails shut down, etc. In any issue regarding human behaviour and compliance with the rules you are never going to get 100% compliance. Murder is illegal, has been for a long time and in some places even results in a death sentence if found guilty. Pretty much everyone agrees that murder is wrong, but it still happens. Just like pretty much all mtb'ers know that riding closed trails is wrong, but some people still do it anyway. Now I'm not trying to equate illegal trail riding with murder, I simply use it to illustrate the point that not everyone pays attention to the rules. It's like we all drive the speed limit all the time right? But how many of us rip through schools zones at 60k or more? So I actually do recognize and believe that pedelecs will cause some problems, what's up for debate is the severity of those problems and whether that as yet unknown severity is justification for banning them.

Before I answer your questions I will preface them by saying that initially I was against ebikes, but after more consideration I changed my stance somewhat.

So first yes, I do feel there should be limits on ebikes and I believe I even stated that earlier in this thread. I would be totally fine with reducing the current top speed on mtb pedelecs to that of the Euro standard of 25kph or less - 20? I think the speed factor is more important than the power as hills, bike weight and people's bodyweight can all affect speed  on a lower powered motored and vice versa. Yes only electric. Yes only pedal assist - no throttles. Bad ankles? If they're bad enough that someone can't pedal even a minimal amount to engage pedal assist they they're not going to be able to ride down hill with their feet on the pedals. I encourage questions but let's at least keep them reasonable and within the realm of what's practical.

Secondly, yes I agree enforcement is an issue. Right now the rules are lax to non-existant, so it's easy for the mfr's to build bikes that tiptoe on the edge of the line but don't break it as per the current regs. If the regs are tightened, ie tamper proof motors/electronics, then onus is put back on the mfr's to come up with something that can't be altered or is so difficult/expensive to alter that it becomes impractical for all but a select few. But what about those few you say? Well that's where I turn back to the idea that you will never get full compliance. Even if mtb pedelecs were banned from the trails tonight, you are still going to have a select few who will use them anyway just as some people will continue to ride closed/illegal trails on their pedal mtb's anyway.

There is a balance point though somewhere between an all out ban and a no rule, free for all. That point will have a level of use that minimizes the potential chaos while still allowing people who would ride mtb pedelecs in decent/respectful manner access to a good selection of trails (not necessarily all trails). Right now there seems to be far more people who are opposed so the call for an all out ban seems strongest. My guess is that will change, as will the sport to a certain degree whether ebikes are in our future or not.

IMO there are two types of ebikes - regulated and non regulated.  I don't have an issue with regulated ebikes but do with non regulated which I put in the same category as motos.

For me the big issue is about regulation and how it is done.  Personally I like the EU system of limiting to 250W and 25km/h.  There needs to be a licencing system similar to cars and a regular check to see the motor hasn't been modified or some Wi-Fi link up to the regulator so they can be monitored.

Non regulated ebikes riders shouldn't be allowed on mtb trails however as pointed out above it will be difficult to police just as riding illegal trails is difficult to police.  The type of people who are going to modify their once rgulated ebikes are not the type of people who care if they can legally ride a trail or not.

May 30, 2018, 9:46 a.m.
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: fartymarty

Logically ebikes must cause more trail wear as you can cover twice the distance in the same time as a non ebikes.  Hence twice the trail wear.

no - that's not correct nor logical. yes, ebikes have the potential to cause more trail wear but it doesn't mean they necessarily will and there is no real support for the notion that ebikes will cause twice the trail wear as a pedal bike. we could also just as easily say that in order to limit or reduce trail wear we won't allow any more new riders into the sport, for two riders will cause twice as much wear as one. we could also say that people can only ride two days per week, for if they ride four days per week they will cause twice the trail wear.

I think what he means is that assuming that they cause no more wear per equal distance as a pedal bike, that because you're going twice as far there is in total twice the wear on the trails - same amount of wear on any specific trail but more wear overall due to distance traveled. Makes sense to me, although assuming equal wear per foot traveled is a generous assumption. More power should equal more wear.

May 30, 2018, 10:11 a.m.
Posts: 1196
Joined: May 23, 2006

Posted by: syncro

. we could also say that people can only ride two days per week,

Yup. Divide up the population into even/odd numbered days allowed in the lot on Fromme for instance.

May 30, 2018, 11:13 a.m.
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb. 2, 2015

I cant imagine MTB on an ebike, I'll freely admit I am a snob that way.  Its a pathetic motorbike and a ponderous MTB; neither of which appeal to  me.   I also commute by bike and am fortunate to have a short and pleasant ride; but if I didnt I would have been an early ebike adopter years ago.  I snickered at the plus wheeled MTB ebike I started seeing in my work parkade this past winter, but then saw the owner one day.  she was middle aged and overweight and I though good for her for getting out and riding instead of just driving.  

As stated in previous posts, all the arguments against ebikes are pretty much replicas of the hiker vs. biker or skier vs. snowboarder rants.  I am seeing many more ebikes on the paths and trails this summer, yet absolutely none of them are shredding anything.   The riders are doing well just to stay upright while gently cruising along.  I watched a group of 10 local top riders ride hard down a trail and thought to myself that they likely put more wear and tear on that trail  in 5 minutes than a 100 ebikers ever would.  Why are the top riders "cool" but the ebikers should be "banned"?  I think the concerns about motor mods, improving technology, etc are very valid but I also am at a loss as to how to manage or regulate that in the real world. Why would I begrudge my excellent LBS a new source of revenue, both sales and service?

All this to say that I really think its all shades of grey; the sport will evolve however it will evolve, for better and/or worse.

May 30, 2018, 1:09 p.m.
Posts: 83
Joined: Aug. 22, 2011

Posted by: Ddean

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: fartymarty

Logically ebikes must cause more trail wear as you can cover twice the distance in the same time as a non ebikes. Hence twice the trail wear.

no - that's not correct nor logical. yes, ebikes have the potential to cause more trail wear but it doesn't mean they necessarily will and there is no real support for the notion that ebikes will cause twice the trail wear as a pedal bike. we could also just as easily say that in order to limit or reduce trail wear we won't allow any more new riders into the sport, for two riders will cause twice as much wear as one. we could also say that people can only ride two days per week, for if they ride four days per week they will cause twice the trail wear.

I think what he means is that assuming that they cause no more wear per equal distance as a pedal bike, that because you're going twice as far there is in total twice the wear on the trails - same amount of wear on any specific trail but more wear overall due to distance travelled. Makes sense to me, although assuming equal wear per foot travelled is a generous assumption. More power should equal more wear.

First, there is an assumption being made that the e-bike IS actually going twice as far. It may be able to ascend more quickly than the average non ebike, but that doesn't necessarily mean the ebike is going any farther during a given ride.

Second, trail wear is heavily dependant by riding technique and behaviour. I have seen more than enough riders lock up their rear brake to steer through a fresh layer loam and no motor was involved.  IMO, this is not dependent on the choice of bike being used but rather the operator. 

Third, the idea of licensing ebikes, let alone non e-bikes, will never happen because it's already been tried. Some states and provinces required bikes to have plates wa-a-a-y back but was deemed largely unenforceable, and a waste of resources. I think we can all agree that ICBC and/or the police have much higher priorities than verifying that ebike owners haven't tampered with their software and sensors. 

I have no plans to buy an e-MTB, but a commuter bike for my 30 km commute... hmmm.


 Last edited by: Captain-Snappy on May 30, 2018, 1:22 p.m., edited 4 times in total.
May 30, 2018, 1:18 p.m.
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

Posted by: Ddean

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: fartymarty

Logically ebikes must cause more trail wear as you can cover twice the distance in the same time as a non ebikes.  Hence twice the trail wear.

no - that's not correct nor logical. yes, ebikes have the potential to cause more trail wear but it doesn't mean they necessarily will and there is no real support for the notion that ebikes will cause twice the trail wear as a pedal bike. we could also just as easily say that in order to limit or reduce trail wear we won't allow any more new riders into the sport, for two riders will cause twice as much wear as one. we could also say that people can only ride two days per week, for if they ride four days per week they will cause twice the trail wear.

I think what he means is that assuming that they cause no more wear per equal distance as a pedal bike, that because you're going twice as far there is in total twice the wear on the trails - same amount of wear on any specific trail but more wear overall due to distance traveled. Makes sense to me, although assuming equal wear per foot traveled is a generous assumption. More power should equal more wear.

That's exactly what I meant but as pointed out we aren't limiting the amount of people into the sport so I guess trail wear is a moot point.

May 30, 2018, 1:38 p.m.
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

I would figure that if they wanted to dedicate trails for eMTB's that they'd be a lot more fun for those who choose to ride those than riding them on MTB trails. Think of the features on the climbing parts of the trails that you could have! Uphill gap jumps! Ascending on skinnies! You can put solar powered supercharge charging stations along the trail too.

May 31, 2018, 12:29 a.m.
Posts: 1196
Joined: May 23, 2006

One followed me down Bobsled today.

May 31, 2018, 6:29 a.m.
Posts: 889
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Ddean

I think what he means is that assuming that they cause no more wear per equal distance as a pedal bike, that because you're going twice as far there is in total twice the wear on the trails - same amount of wear on any specific trail but more wear overall due to distance traveled. Makes sense to me, although assuming equal wear per foot traveled is a generous assumption. More power should equal more wear.

Well there are two things not quite right with your statement. One is that there is no certainty that someone on a pedelec is going to travel twice as far as someone on a pedal bike - you're making the assumption they are, it's not a given. Second is the notion a pedelec will cause more wear simply because it has more power. On a downhill there is nothing to say a pedelec will cause more wear; just as Captain-Snappy says it depends entirely on the rider. When it comes to uphills a pedelec may actually cause less wear because it's easier for the rider to maintain speed and momentum on a difficult section where a rider on a pedal bike may lose traction and spin out.

May 31, 2018, 9:23 a.m.
Posts: 1270
Joined: Feb. 17, 2009

I used to not care and I’m still sort of indifferent. However, my buddy broke both of his legs in a snowboard accident that had the first responders questioning whether he will ever walk again.  Two years later he has a Rocky Poweplay and it’s entirely changed him by giving him access to the outdoors.  He rides it in Squamish, on Fromme and in whistler and honestly, it’s cured much of his depression and it’s helped him with his rehab as he’s able to get motion out of the knees with reduced load.  Maybe eMTBs aren’t so bad.

May 31, 2018, 9:41 a.m.
Posts: 83
Joined: Aug. 22, 2011

Posted by: rnayel

I used to not care and I’m still sort of indifferent. However, my buddy broke both of his legs in a snowboard accident that had the first responders questioning whether he will ever walk again.  Two years later he has a Rocky Poweplay and it’s entirely changed him by giving him access to the outdoors.  He rides it in Squamish, on Fromme and in whistler and honestly, it’s cured much of his depression and it’s helped him with his rehab as he’s able to get motion out of the knees with reduced load.  Maybe eMTBs aren’t so bad.

I'm all for that. IMO, more riders ((traditional and 'e') mean more support for MTB trails in general. Motos with

May 31, 2018, 10 a.m.
Posts: 83
Joined: Aug. 22, 2011

Posted by: ac

Do people mod these things with a throttle? If I somehow ended up with one of these everything else would get put on hold until I figured out how to add a secret button to the bars.

A traditional throttle requires a variable degree of movement. You can't effectively have a tiny depressable "secret button" that acts just like a full sized 'wrist' throttle because the human finger does not have the reliable capability required for extra fine movement. And then add in moving at speed over rough terrain? #ideasthatshoulddieonthetable


 Last edited by: Captain-Snappy on May 31, 2018, 10:06 a.m., edited 2 times in total.

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