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ebikes on the Shore

Dec. 13, 2021, 12:03 a.m.
Posts: 1288
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: bux-bux

Funny how the MTB community/industry seems to have a major woody for ebikes.  Yet in the road and gravel community they are pretty much no where to be seen.

It's hard to love road riding and gravel riding without liking to train. I've never heard of a roadie getting shuttled to the top of Seymour so they can descend the road. In fact, the descents and flats in the tour are just the placeholders between climbs. E bikes don't really jive with that vibe. 

I wonder how many of the mtb riders who are in favour of e bikes have any road/gravel background? Vs those who are anti e bikes. I suspect that riders with more experience on road and gravel will have less interest in e bikes of any sort, but I don't have any evidence. 

The fact that mtb climbs tend to be pretty challenging and the downs so much fun makes ebikes a more natural fit in mtb than other disciplines (for some riders). I just bought a power meter for my road bike rather than investing in any sort of electric motor, so you can all guess what camp I belong to. I've never been one to shuttle or take the lift, so I can't imagine what interest an e bike would hold for me.

I am happy ebikers enjoy their activity. The one thing I wish they could stop is being amazed at what they can ride. What did they think was going to happen when they strapped 1000 extra watts to their drivetrain? I think what they really find amazing is that it still feels like cycling to them? I find it so annoying for the reviewers to all wonder at what they can do while riding an ebike. "It's amazing, I did 3 laps in the time it takes to do two" or "I made it up that really hard climb". Kinda obvious. I actually appreciate the focus specialized has put into making the e help be seamless or less dramatic with their lighter weight options. It shows that they realize the real trick is convincing cyclists they are still riding a bike. May not be for me but I can appreciate others may like it.

Dec. 13, 2021, 6:13 a.m.
Posts: 2445
Joined: April 2, 2005

Posted by: bux-bux

Funny how the MTB community/industry seems to have a major woody for ebikes. Yet in the road and gravel community they are pretty much no where to be seen.

whats the point in a bike that has a motor that only supports a max speed of 25km/h (in europe)? even an untrained person can usually ride a road bike faster

i sold maybe 5? road/gravel bikes this year with the mahle hub motor, all to the 70+ crowd, usually life long road bikers who still want to ride up mountains but are not as strong as they used to be


 Last edited by: Sethimus on Dec. 13, 2021, 6:17 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Dec. 13, 2021, 8:54 a.m.
Posts: 106
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: RAHrider

It's hard to love road riding and gravel riding without liking to train. I've never heard of a roadie getting shuttled to the top of Seymour so they can descend the road. In fact, the descents and flats in the tour are just the placeholders between climbs. E bikes don't really jive with that vibe. 

I wonder how many of the mtb riders who are in favour of e bikes have any road/gravel background? Vs those who are anti e bikes. I suspect that riders with more experience on road and gravel will have less interest in e bikes of any sort, but I don't have any evidence. 

The fact that mtb climbs tend to be pretty challenging and the downs so much fun makes ebikes a more natural fit in mtb than other disciplines (for some riders). I just bought a power meter for my road bike rather than investing in any sort of electric motor, so you can all guess what camp I belong to. I've never been one to shuttle or take the lift, so I can't imagine what interest an e bike would hold for me.

Guess I am in the minority of riders who have an eBike but have a road background.  I started grinding out long road rides and kept doing them up until last year, when I had a road crash that busted up my face pretty good.

I have an Intense Tazer MX and I love riding it, it is a lot of fun.  But I still enjoy long rides (and climbs) on my Yeti or my singlespeed.  The eBike is just a different kind of fun for me.

Dec. 13, 2021, 12:50 p.m.
Posts: 241
Joined: April 26, 2004

someone has gone to a lot of effort to express an opinion

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXCNETJMuMd/


 Last edited by: taprider on Dec. 13, 2021, 12:55 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 13, 2021, 10:17 p.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov. 30, 2021

Eh, you guys are good sports! I expected a little more salt. Good attitude, haha.

However, considering this might be the most iconic sub forum on the most iconic mtn biking site in the known universe, I am surprised more don’t “fk the ebike”.

Imo, motorbikes don’t belong on the shore, or on established mtn biking trails. Don’t care what they look like.

And no, I won’t ever ride one…just like I won’t ever SUP or foil, or eat animals, etc.. Sometimes one just knows how it’s going to play out, and after 60yrs, I know I will continue be happy to ride a mtn bike on the shore. Still, I’m not gonna laugh at you on your motorbike, but some will.

Dec. 14, 2021, 5:17 p.m.
Posts: 129
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

That's the kind of conflict I envisioned when e-bikes became a thing : https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-rider-flees-scene-on-electric-motorcycle-after-allegedly-hitting-and-injuring-mountain-biker.html

In 5-10 years (or less!), when ebikes will look like regular bikes and will have the power or Sur-Rons or other faster emotos, even if they're restricted, people will de-restrict them. Who will draw the line and who will enforce the rules ? Will I still be able to ride my regular mtb in the trails without getting passed by ebikes going 40-50kph all the time ? I hope so but I really doubt it now, and I also know that unfortunately, it will piss me off. And riding peacefully (but fast) in the woods is why I started mountain biking 25 years ago. The 2025-2030 vision I have is less inspiring. Maybe I'm too desilusionned, sorry!

Dec. 14, 2021, 5:54 p.m.
Posts: 1288
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: martin

That's the kind of conflict I envisioned when e-bikes became a thing : https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-rider-flees-scene-on-electric-motorcycle-after-allegedly-hitting-and-injuring-mountain-biker.html

In 5-10 years (or less!), when ebikes will look like regular bikes and will have the power or Sur-Rons or other faster emotos, even if they're restricted, people will de-restrict them. Who will draw the line and who will enforce the rules ? Will I still be able to ride my regular mtb in the trails without getting passed by ebikes going 40-50kph all the time ? I hope so but I really doubt it now, and I also know that unfortunately, it will piss me off. And riding peacefully (but fast) in the woods is why I started mountain biking 25 years ago. The 2025-2030 vision I have is less inspiring. Maybe I'm too desilusionned, sorry!

Hate to say it, but this is already happening on commuter bike paths. My wife and I regularly ride our gravel bikes all over the lower mainland and we both notice that we have the most close calls with e-mopeds (and I call them that because they are using a throttle often). These "riders" have low skill (often), do not follow any sort of "rules of the path" and seem to prioritize their rush over any other issue (like rider safety). We have had them travelling 30km/h down the middle of the bike path between riders going different directions without slowing down or paying notice to anyone else using the path.

I too have the ability to travel 30km/h+ without the help of a motor, yet I don't do that on bike paths. If I want to travel around the speed of car traffic, I join the cars. I also have much better bike handling skills than the average e-moped commuter (I doubt they could take a corner in a peloton at 40km/h+) but still don't ride quickly on bike paths due to respect for riders I share the path with who may not feel as comfortable having riders pass them in close proximity at rapid rates.

Dec. 14, 2021, 6:20 p.m.
Posts: 129
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

It's happening on bike paths here too in Eastern Canada. Many "regular" cyclist are not very courteous and downright dangerous when passing between two opposite direction-riding people, so adding a motor on that doesn't help and makes this more frequent/dangerous. We even have a few e-cars (technically a "mobility scooter") , almost the size of Smart cars, driving on the cycle paths at 30+kph, but that's another topic I guess. Seriously, I just had a kid and I'm not sure that I'd want him to go practice riding on the cycle paths anymore because of those jerks, which is really sad. 

I don't want to generalize, but with what I have seen in the trails this summer around here, most mtb e-bikers were less experienced than other riders and less "respectful". Is it because they're new to the sport, or because nobody told them the trail etiquette ? I don't know, but in 25 years of riding, I have never seen any 45 year-old mtber riding up a hill and brake-skidding in the corners to show how fast he's going on a regular bike. But I've seen it being done on an e-bike and the guy was proud. 

Anyway, it sucks that we'll have to deal with those new electric things now. Call me old-school, but I just loved when we used to ride our pedal bikes in the forest without having to deal with motors, regulations, and the conflict occasions that those new vehicles bring into the sport. Some people say it's a different sport, but if we're using the same trails...

Dec. 14, 2021, 9:13 p.m.
Posts: 478
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Its just how its going to end up. Everyone has their heads in the sand and it's going to be a shitty end result for all of us.


 Last edited by: bux-bux on Dec. 14, 2021, 9:29 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 15, 2021, 1:40 p.m.
Posts: 1713
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

Posted by: RAHrider

Hate to say it, but this is already happening on commuter bike paths. My wife and I regularly ride our gravel bikes all over the lower mainland and we both notice that we have the most close calls with e-mopeds (and I call them that because they are using a throttle often). These "riders" have low skill (often), do not follow any sort of "rules of the path" and seem to prioritize their rush over any other issue (like rider safety). We have had them travelling 30km/h down the middle of the bike path between riders going different directions without slowing down or paying notice to anyone else using the path.

While riding around the city this summer with my kids, some of the worst behaviour I observed was seniors on e-cruisers.

Dec. 15, 2021, 3:01 p.m.
Posts: 1288
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: PaulB

Posted by: RAHrider

Hate to say it, but this is already happening on commuter bike paths. My wife and I regularly ride our gravel bikes all over the lower mainland and we both notice that we have the most close calls with e-mopeds (and I call them that because they are using a throttle often). These "riders" have low skill (often), do not follow any sort of "rules of the path" and seem to prioritize their rush over any other issue (like rider safety). We have had them travelling 30km/h down the middle of the bike path between riders going different directions without slowing down or paying notice to anyone else using the path.

While riding around the city this summer with my kids, some of the worst behaviour I observed was seniors on e-cruisers.

I hate always having a negative take on these things. I live in comox part time and here I see more seniors on ebikes than regular bikes. There is no doubt that ebikes increase vitality in some populations by providing an activity they enjoy. City bike lanes are a different story and e-transportation is making that complicated. Electric scooters, electric bikes and whatever other contraptions make for challenging politics. If you think about it, when it was just bikes (on trails or paths), if you passed someone, you wouldn't see them again. As well, faster riders also tended to be more competent ones. Now I pass ebikes on downhills, get passed (sometimes) on uphills and then repeat. It gets frustrating sometimes as what formerly was a relaxing ride is now a constant negotiation with other forms of transportation with riders that don't necessarily share the same skill or etiquette.

Dec. 15, 2021, 4:01 p.m.
Posts: 2467
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

This almost sounds like people complaining that they're having to share space with other people who are doing things differently. Oh the humanity. In a city the size of Vancouver we can't all have our own private little piece of paradise, so we have to figure out someway of getting along. So what's the solution? Maybe some sort of mandatory licensing for ebikes  so people learn the rules of operating an ebike and are checked on having the skill to operate it safely?

Dec. 15, 2021, 7:52 p.m.
Posts: 1724
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: syncro

This almost sounds like people complaining that they're having to share space with other people who are doing things differently. Oh the humanity...

...

/\Did you see the video of the guy with a broken jaw?

Dec. 15, 2021, 8:02 p.m.
Posts: 2467
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Hepcat

Posted by: syncro

This almost sounds like people complaining that they're having to share space with other people who are doing things differently. Oh the humanity...

...

/\Did you see the video of the guy with a broken jaw?

I did - and the asshat on the electric motorcycle needs to pay. 

I just tend to think the outrage and visions of doom and gloom (at least locally anyway) is a bit overblown at this point. If people think it's a big enough concern then maybe it's time to start some sort of action group to focus on bringing in better regulations around the use of any electric operated cycle. I just hate seeing complaints with no suggestions of viable alternatives. And no, I don't think banning e-assist-bikes outright is a viable alternative - SurRon's and similar products are a different story tho.

Dec. 15, 2021, 8:19 p.m.
Posts: 129
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

syncro, you are right that if enough people have concerns, they should start a group of thinkers or lobbyists to try to get some regulations up, and I am guilty of not having enough time to take up a project like this. While the "visions of doom and gloom" might not seem real right now, it is easy to visualize what could happen in the future, and a good practice might be to try to find solutions to the inevitable problem before it happens.

To reply to your comment saying that "This almost sounds like people complaining that they're having to share space with other people who are doing things differently. Oh the humanity...", I don't know how cross country skiers would appreciate having snowmobiles driving besides them on the same trails, or baseball players playing on a tennis court at the same time, or F1 cars rolling besides Nascar racers, etc...

In my opinion, when the original sport's experience gets less and less interesting because of new and unnecessary nuisances (like having to pull over to let ebikes pass by all the time - in the future, getting passed by a 40kmh SurRon, riding more rutted trails because ebikes can ride the same trails 3-5x times instead of 1, paying more access fees to cover for trail maintenance, policy enforcements and other upcharges caused by the new electric bikes category), then I think that it's not a question of being open to others, but more of how can we keep our sport's experience like it has always been.

What would bmxers say if people were riding dirt bikes on their tracks? What if hockey players started to play with magnetic sticks and pucks, would that still seem interesting for most people playing hockey? It would be easier for newcomers and more instantly satisfying, but that's not the point of hockey. 

Just my two cents, but I think that having those conversations on forums is a good way to start thinking and make our thoughts evolve. The industry sure didn't try to open this conversation and seems to keep its head in the sand on the subject.


 Last edited by: martin on Dec. 15, 2021, 8:24 p.m., edited 1 time in total.

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