Posted by: zigak
Posted by: Sethimus
i never even sat on one dude, i live in berlin, there are no mountains here, at all. my fun these days are cyclocross bikes. i just work for a company that sells them while studying horticulture and needing to pay the bills. i dont even want to be in this industry any more as it just sucks. be it from the media side or now on the industry side, i've seen both. but e-bikes are here and they are staying, even more when the technology is shrinking more and more. and from my perspective there is no direct impact on trails just by having a motor instead of using your own legs to power your vehicle. at least with pedelecs, which are the only bikes that are legal here. electric mx bikes is what you should be concerned by, not some low powered e-bike...
I would like to challenge the bolded statement. It's been doing rounds, everybody in bike business is spouting it without any reservations.
My honest opinion is that the e-bike will find it's niche(s) and that's it.
One of those niches is certainly commuting. I'm all for it, replacing ICE cars with an e-bike, you have less congestion, less pollution and a fitter user. Honestly I don't see a downside to that one. This is also the segment that is generating the biggest number of sales, and those numbers are extrapolated shamelessly on to the other segments. However commuters need bikes that are cheap, bulletproof and last looong time - you can't make extra profits on that one.
There's a segment I call summer holiday bike, where an older (+40) couple buys 2 matching ebikes and make a holiday out of it. As you never know what kind of roads you will be riding on, it doesnt hurt to buy a little sturdier bike, maybe even a mtb (as the salesman suggests) and you end up with a 150mm e-fully riding (at most) the gravel roads. As these sales are not utility driven, but rather expendable income driven, you can make a killing on those as a bike company. But as far as I can see, the companies don't get who is actually buying these bikes so far. The marketing efforts suggests that they think those bikes are being bought by "serious" mountain bikers (readers of nsmb, pinkbike etc) who actually use their bikes on a regular basis hence the need of replacing them at much closer intervals. The actual numbers sold over the long time will be much, much lower.
The segment of e-mtbs for bros that the majority of mtb community is so afraid of, is preeety preeety* tiny. First of all those bikes are prohibitively expensive, second if you can afford a bike this expensive wouldn't you rather buy a regular bike for the same money and third, if you can afford it, chances are you work all day for it and not a lot of time left to ruin the reputation of the mtb community at large. And another thing - this segment is stealing your own customers, you're not gaining new ones, you're just converting existing customers to e-customers.
So to sum up, bike industry - scale back on the pushing of these e-mtbs, it won't pay as handsomely as you might think.
Just my 2 cents based on anecdotal evidence. I have been wrong before, maybe I am now too.
*coming october 1st