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ebikes on the Shore

May 31, 2018, 11:04 a.m.
Posts: 653
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Posted by: syncro

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.

I was explaining what the previous poster meant. I know that the distance is an assumption but I don't feel that its an unreasonable one given what people who have these things say - twice the distance per ride! A rough approximation backed up by anecdotal evidence. And more power causing more wear and tear is also an assumption, one that backed up by obviousness, but sure, I cant say that I have data to prove. Put MTB tires on a 400cc KTM and lets do that test?

May 31, 2018, 11:55 a.m.
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Ddean
And more power causing more wear and tear is also an assumption, one that backed up by obviousness, but sure, I cant say that I have data to prove. Put MTB tires on a 400cc KTM and lets do that test?

That's an incredibly poor comparison of a pedelec with a throttle controlled dirt bike.

May 31, 2018, 12:47 p.m.
Posts: 653
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Your suggestion is that its an assumption that more power to the ground may not lead to more wear. I'm not suggesting that a pedelelec has the same power as a dirtbike, but to test a hypothesis you test extremes. If you are saying that more power might not be put to the ground with a pedelec than with a MTB (perhaps riders spin more?), than that's a different discussion. That might be the case, don't know.

But I'm not against pedelelecs because of increased trail wear - trails on Fromme for example are armoured to death and I suspect would be fine. If I'm against them (and I keep flipping back and forth between opposition and not opposing myself), its that I don't like what they might do to access for those too lazy to pedal to difficult to get to trails. That said, I'm not getting younger and maybe one of these things will keep me on the sweet trails longer!

I'm all for the very positive benefits that they have for good people, but I'm against how the douche bags will use them. We already have enough douche bags in the woods.

And people need to consider how those who make decisions will lump them in with MTBs. If there's no separation within this community, you wont have separation outside of. And then our fate will be tied to what those who own/manage the land <u>we</u> ride on think of eMTBs. If we support and allow these things to take over, maybe they will become the norm and then we have to sleep in that bed.

I guess that's how I feel now - if theyre not abused, I can see how they can be life-altering for good people. That's an amazing thing. But I also fear that they will be abused and I fear the negative consequences for those good people who ride MTBs and those good people who ride eMTBs.


 Last edited by: Ddean on May 31, 2018, 12:55 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 31, 2018, 1:04 p.m.
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Ddean

to test a hypothesis you test extremes. 

But I also fear that they will be abused and I fear the negative consequences for those good people who ride MTBs and those good people who ride eMTBs.

Well no, you need make a test that is at least somewhat similar to the question/topic at hand.

I think fear is a lot of what's driving the anti-ebike sentiment - fears based on assumptions that have little to no proof to back them up and are often based on extremes. Basing an argument on extremes is not a good way to either prove or disprove a theory or idea.

May 31, 2018, 1:26 p.m.
Posts: 653
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Its exactly similar - does more power to the ground result in more wear? Up the power a lot and do the test. That's exactly how you test these things. Accelerated environment.

But regardless, there will be no testing. Ive been through this before and feel that its naïve to believe that anyone will be looking for proper data.

What happened to me before was in the late 80's/early 90's, where I rode environmentalist said "MTBs will cause increased wear on trails, phosphorous from soil will find its way into the nearby lakes and OVERNIGHT no biking signs went up - effectively reducing my legal riding to ZERO. This happened overnight. Police would sit in parking lots at trailheads and ticket anyone coming out on a bike. They would walk in the woods and ticket anyone on a bike. My daylight riding went to ZERO and the only time I could ride was in the middle of the night when there was no enforcement.

That is what happened to me. There will be no testing - if the powers that be determine that eMTBs are bad for the environment and they don't feel that they can enforce and they lump eMTBs with MTBs, the only places we might be legally able to ride is at places like Fromme and Squamish and MTB centers. Most of my riding is not at a MTB center so, as Ive learned to be, I'm fearful. As people in Marin county what their thoughts are.


 Last edited by: Ddean on May 31, 2018, 1:27 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 31, 2018, 1:40 p.m.
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

It's similar in  you have two modes of transport with two wheels and your question of does more power to the ground equal more wear is valid,  but the two are not similar enough in terms of power output - that's a critical factor. Testing extremes is only worthwhile if you have no idea of outcomes. So I think it's fair to say that a high power output device that is throttle controlled could place significant wear on a trail due to wheel slippage as in your 400cc dirt bike example. Now ask yourself, how similar is that to a pedelec? Does a pedelec have the same potential to rip up dirt as the dirt bike? I don't think it's necessary to test that extreme nor valid to even make that comparison. 

Your example is the classic case of people using extremes and fear to rationalize a poor decision based on little to no evidence. I'd suggest that we don't fall into the same trap.

May 31, 2018, 1:45 p.m.
Posts: 653
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

I hear you and you're 100% correct in how this discussion should be approached. 

I wish that you were the one making decisions on these things.

May 31, 2018, 2:12 p.m.
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Ddean

I hear you and you're 100% correct in how this discussion should be approached. 

I wish that you were the one making decisions on these things.

ouch, my head just hit the ceiling. 

I like to think the people making the decisions are using similar reasoning, but as other have brought up enforcement of the rules is a legitimate concern. From that end, it's easier to either turn a blind eye till the problem reaches a critical mass or just take a blanket approach and ban them altogether and not have to worry about sorting out all the little details. I always come back to the idea that I like to believe that most people will ride responsibly and the number of people that will cause problems won't be so much as to cause the whole works to fall apart.

May 31, 2018, 2:26 p.m.
Posts: 653
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Ive learned the hard way that the lowest common denominator usually wins.

June 1, 2018, 8:26 p.m.
Posts: 627
Joined: March 25, 2011

Do you think perhaps that NSMBA is in a bit of a sticky situation not wanting to bite the hand that feeds, so to speak? A few of the big shops on the shore have been selling and demoing them for a couple years, Rocky guys noddle around on them unapologetically.  Tough spot to be in, lots of angles to satisfy.

June 1, 2018, 8:48 p.m.
Posts: 756
Joined: March 18, 2017

I rode an e-bike today. 20+km/h up a slightly inclined logging road in the middle of the cassette and "Tour" mode.   

What a short fucking Reach on that thing LOL

June 3, 2018, 4:41 p.m.
Posts: 521
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

which bike? did you like the rest of the ride?

June 4, 2018, 1:08 p.m.
Posts: 1397
Joined: July 11, 2014

Posted by: awesterner

Do you think perhaps that NSMBA is in a bit of a sticky situation not wanting to bite the hand that feeds, so to speak? A few of the big shops on the shore have been selling and demoing them for a couple years, Rocky guys noddle around on them unapologetically.  Tough spot to be in, lots of angles to satisfy.

I saw a couple unpainted Rocky ebikes on Forever After last week. I assume they were scouting for BCBR route or something. Chuckled at how they were unpainted though.

June 5, 2018, 11:41 a.m.
Posts: 756
Joined: March 18, 2017

Posted by: JBV

which bike? did you like the rest of the ride?

Cube something or other with a 36 up front. Ironically those bikes seem to be fitted for people either built like a cube, or that's their bike fitting philosophy; "SBG; Square Body Geometry" I only rode it on a gravel road.  I'd be interested in taking out one of the Devinci e-bikes or a Nicolai e-boxx bike with modern geo numbers but the chances of that  happening are slim.

I have enough pedal powered bicycles now that I can't see myself needing to purchase one with a large battery attached to it.  If I need to cover more ground I'll get a KTM woods bike or a trials bike.

June 5, 2018, 12:50 p.m.
Posts: 1042
Joined: May 30, 2004

Posted by: Ddean

Its exactly similar - does more power to the ground result in more wear? Up the power a lot and do the test. That's exactly how you test these things. Accelerated environment.

This is typically not how accelerated testing works. You can’t just keep cranking up the intensity of a test and expect to get good results. 

In this case, just cranking up the power output to the rear wheel will not get valuable results because there is a non-linear relationship between power to the rear wheel and trail wear. All data is garbage once you start tearing up the trail by spinning the wheel.

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