Posted by: pepperjerome1
New member on NSMB, please forgive me if I'm missing the point on a few things that have already been discussed. I am an e-bike rider and I am a downhill rider. Yes e-bikes are big in Europe and will probably get bigger here in North America.
I'm just curious that given the choice, would you rather see more hikers, horseback riders or e bike riders on the shore?
More than anything, there is proper trail etiquette and I am always conscious of letting someone clear a pitch before asking if I can pass. An a*hole is an A*hole, whether it's on a e-bike or an XC strava kind of guy. Everybody is getting older and you reach a point where you realize that if it makes you more happy to use an e-bike to travel further and get more fun, it becomes a no-brainer. After purchasing my used e-bike, I ended up selling my Trek Slash that gathered dust for 2 months before I made the move. Now my e-bike is my training bike because it is 52 pounds and when I get on my DH, it feels like nothing!
A few very important points about e-bikes that I have discovered:
1-e-bikes can be the great equalizer in terms of climbing in cases where the climb is not technical
2-e-bikes will quickly point out your biggest flaws, i.e. if you are a bad technical climber, the e-bike can be quite a handful given the delay in power to the rear wheel in key situations. Same goes for pointing it downhill, it is 52 pounds and requires more abilities if you ride technical descents.
3-e-biking is a different bicycle sport than xc, enduro or DH as your effort is more constant as opposed to peaking when climbing and low on descent. most of the time I pedal my heart out on the e-bike because that is what all of us have been doing on group rides for ever and that means more opportunity for descents in a short amount of time.
4-e-bikes could create bigger problems if someone is not ready for the backcountry. That being said any numpty could also get in trouble in the backcountry even hiking, normally aspirated biking or horseback riding.
5- the smiles per miles ratio is off the charts as railing a berm going uphill and feeling like you are going downhill speeds when you are on the flats is very, very fun (if you have really good twisty trails)
I think it is important to have varied views on this subject, as it is an emerging sport and we should be sure that it doesn't create more problems than it brings opportunities for more people.
I am happy that some people are willing to progress their thinking (56 pages on this thread!) and some people will try an e-bike then they can really appreciate that it's not for everyone but the ones who do have them love them!
Nice to have you as a new member. I think you have summed up the pluses of an ebike nicely. It sounds like a great activity for you. I think the issues with ebikes are not adressed by your post though.
1-you point out that you like it because you can ride so much more so much faster. That means substantially more trail wear. Do uphills and flat corners need to be built like a flow trail now with bermed corners to account for ebike wear and tear? I think motorcycle enthusiasts would say the exact same things about their KTM's that you said about your ebike (different workout due to weight, can go so far, everything is so fast and fun) but there is a reason we don't let motocross bikes on mtb trails - they cause too much wear. Bike trails are largely made by bikers for bikers on a volunteer basis. Allowing people doing a different sport to use (and wear) the trails is not a forgone conclusion, but the bike industry certainly pushes ebikes as just a better bike and assumes access without finding solutions for the issues such as right of way, climbing a descent trail, increased trail maintenance etc.
2-many riders find the advertising of ebikes as the "evolution of the bicycle" simply wrong. The bike industry uses this argument to assume access for their product to mtb trails. It's frustrating to have to argue against the industry and ebike owners for the sake of trail maintenance and access all the time. You yourself point out that "e-biking is a different bicycle sport than XC, enduro or DH." What would you say if you were riding your DH bike at whistler and an XC rider was climbing the trail? You probably wouldn't appreciate that? It would be nice if the e-bike enthusiasts could have consideration for the decades of hard work that has gone into gaining access and developing the amazing trail networks we enjoy by not assuming access, bringing solutions to the table and not claiming their ebike is the evolution of the bicycle.
This all being said, I am glad you enjoy your ebike. Sounds like the right choice for you. As for your question as to what I would like to see on the shore. I think hiking is a great activity, low impact and should be welcomed. That being said, I don't think they should hike up downhill trails. Same as I shouldn't ride down hiking trails. As for multi-use trails, bikers should show more respect to hikers IMO. Horses are horrible for trails IMO. Luckily they don't love going down the trails on the shore. I have no issue sharing multi-use trails with them either. I put ebikes in with motorcycles. I don't mind them but I wouldn't mind if they were on their own trails either. Again, wouldn't mind sharing multiuse trails with them but I do have concerns about how they will develop (increased power) and how that will affect trails and safety.