E-bike Reviews and News


2018 Trek Powerfly FS 130mm e-bike


The Trek line of e-bikes continuous to evolve with better integration and better components for the mountain bike experience.

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BMC Trailfox Amp eMTB first ride review


Swiss based BMC has been studying the the MTB e-bike market carefully to explore where they can compete in the segment. Their entry is a no-holds-barred 150mm travel plus bike called the Trailfox Amp.

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Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay eMTB debuts


Before jumping in the e-game, Rocky Mountain wanted to do things the right way. That meant creating an all new electric drivetrain and mounting it in their hottest new trail bike.

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  • yakkoTDI says:

    A figure in a couple of years these motorcycles will have developed enough I can ride one to work.

  • tyrebyter says:

    Thank you for the motorcycle review.

  • 1900scalledwantsideaback says:

    This electric motorcycle is fascinating, but out of place on this bicycle site. Stick to your wheel house or create a second site please.

  • Chuck Collet says:

    A bicycle is human powered, pedal driven. This is not.

  • Brent says:

    These motorcycles need to be banned on mountain bike trails.

  • TryinToRideMore says:

    Good review, don’t go to Europe so won’t be able to see one in person. I say whatever keeps you riding more power to you. Haters gotta hate and baby boomers are getting older, so if it keeps you riding then enjoy! Also tried a Turbo Levo on the slickrock and have to say it was hoot!

  • kyle p says:

    Looks like fun.

  • Scotch Henessey says:

    I assume the people that make “motorcycle” comments have never ridden an E-bike? I’ve recently bought my son and I a couple All Mountain 5.0 Haibikes. Coming from a cross country racing background since the early 90s…All I can say is go out and ride one of these “pedal assist” bikes. I’ve ridden more miles and lost more weight riding my ebike than my Pivot 429. They are her to stay! I’ll say hello as I pass you on the climbs!

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Haibike makes the argument for e-mountain bikes


Want to solicit a strong opinion, perhaps even start an argument? Ask a mountain biker about religion, politics, or e-bikes. Here’s one side of the debate from a company with a lot to gain.

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  • Nikolai says:

    Sorry but a bike with any type of engine is a MOTORcycle. I am all for e-Bikes to move forward but have them join trails with dirt motorbikes instead of bicycle trails.

  • Michael Ebiker Dills says:

    Bill, you are so wrong. The singletracks belong to all taxpayers and riders. I guess 5,000 dollar bikes sold by non motorized companies are not “Unmitigated Greed:. Hmmm. Try it, you’ll like it.

  • Ken Miner says:

    Bill

    I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and talk. Just a conversation. I know we haven’t met, but I’m just a family man trying to do the best I can. Let me know. My treat.

    KM

    • Heidi Dohse says:

      Ken – Thank you again for providing a Haibike for me to race at Sea Otter this year. It was my first opportunity to try an e-Bike. I have been riding MTBs for 20 years… all that time being 100% pacemaker dependent due to heart issues. I have been a battery powered “eRider” for 30 years. Riding the eMTB was awesome! For the first time I could climb without going into oxygen deprivation. For all of you that are perfectly healthyMTB purist you don’t know what it is like to overcome the obstacles I have. I own 3 regular MTBs that cost between $5000 and $13,000. I have a road bike, gravel bike and fat bike for snow. I am a founder of the Backcountry Lifeline organization that focuses on providing tools and First Aid training for mountain bikers. I have paid my dues try to bring positive awareness about the MTB community.I have pedaled through every major MTB stage race. Don’t hate me because I find joy on an eMTB and provide hope and inspiration to people dealing with heart issues.

  • Reddi Kilowatt says:

    I love e-bikes. I just don’t want them on trails that regular non-e bikers have fought for and sweated for so long to build. Say no to e-bike industry sales pitches. They’ll ruin access and won’t really care.

  • JimBo says:

    Great article, but bike weight doesn’t damage trails. I weigh 185 pounds. My eMTB weighs 50. Together we weigh less than my 25 lb Stumpjumper and I did when I weighed 220.

    I’ll add that I lost those pounds in less than a year riding with pedal assist, so it’s clear to me that it’s far more bicycle than it is “Moto.” I rode “unassisted” for 30+ years, but am in better shape at 50+ than I was at 30…

    Quality eMTBs have extremely torque-sensitive pedal assist, and IMBA studies found that such bikes cause no more trail damage than unassisted MTBs. In fact, I would argue that electric assist smooths out my pedal stroke, resulting in LESS spin outs on steep ascents. And the added bike weight affects its handling a bit, but also allows for more stability and control on steep descents.

    As with any outdoor recreation, responsible enjoyment should be available to anyone who can benefit/appreciate/promote/CONTRIBUTE. Share the love, stop hating what you don’t even know, and try a real electric mountain bike sometime. We’ll all get old and/or sick someday, and will need assistance with more than just exploring trails.

    Lyme Disease conditions took me off singletrack for several years; pedal assist has brought me back… to LIFE.

  • JLB says:

    Hi guys,
    I am always surprised to know that trails aren’t open and public spaces in US.
    Come to old europe and just go ride ! with or without E-help, trails are for every one to share : MTB, hikers, families.

    The only limit is to respect the nature, we don’t build berms and this kind of things, except in bike parks. We need to stop categorizing MTB : it is a sport made for pedaling in the wild, full stop !

  • Matthew says:

    I am a bit disappointed you only spent 1 question discussing trail access. That IS the most heated and debated topic about eBikes. Just take a few min to read through the eBike Forum here on MTBR. HaiBike says they are “in talks” with some governing bodies… more detail would be great. What is HaiBike actively doing out on the trails to test closing speeds between a rider of an eBike going full turbo mode uphill against someone coming down? Is HaiBike showing up for local trail work days to show they are committed to preserving the trails? Are they showing up to town halls to represent the eBike Community. Why do they think adding a motor does not change the definition of it being a bike? Unlike Europe the US has very different views of trail access and some very contentious battles over land use between bikes, hikers and horseback riders. Just look at Marin and how the Hikers got MTB’s closed out of those spaces. Adding a motor makes it easier for anyone to go much faster on flats and uphills than a pedal bike. To just claim that eBikes are here, get used to it, is not going to address the very real concerns many riders have about trail access.
    “if” eBikes start to become an issue for trail access due to speed, how does HaiBike think the Land Managers are going to react? Will they go out and check all bikes and only ticket the ebikes…. probably not, blanket bans on ALL wheeled travel area very real possibility.
    I love that you interviewed a eBike Manufacturer, but you missed out on asking the really tough questions.

  • Milan Caban says:

    I see these ebikes even in here in Slovakia which I would not expect at first as they are quite expensive. And it is nice that people go out and use them (it helps in hilly terrain for sure). And I would not compare it with motorcycles definetly and believe me i dont like those on trails. My only concern was that someone dont missuse it for example to get Strava KOMs as some of us (addicts) work hard to improve and also use it for motivation so this would be demotivating if found out.

  • justin says:

    On downhilll trails who cares, you don’t use the motor anyways. But I think they should be banned from uphill human power only single track. There are lot’s of trails with fire/logging roads to the top and single track down, I don’t really have a problem with ebikes in that setting.

  • Dtimms says:

    Fan of E-bikes or not, those haibike’s are FUGLY!!!!

  • Jack says:

    Have you every try hydrogen powered ?

  • Andy's Dad says:

    JimBo glad you’re back to life but keep your motorbike off non-motorized trails. Plenty of other places to ride. Best wishes!

  • Mark says:

    The word e-bike is an oxymoron. If you put motor on a bicycle it is now by definition a motorcycle. In this case an e-motorcycle or if you like an e-moped because it is pedal assisted. Anything motorized is not allowed in non-motorized areas. If you want to ride your e-moped where motorcyles are allowed – go for it – but stay out of non-motorized areas. There are tons of areas that allow motorcyles.

  • zingeruk says:

    Complete Boll0cks about ebikes not causing trail damage
    A Lev Turbo wizzed past me up a hill yesterday He was leaving a really distinct tyre track as he went , where as looking back I could hardly see where I had been riding…
    They should stick to motorized trails end of story….

  • Iron Man says:

    Sure that electric bike makes you feel like Superman riding uphill but is that mechanical assist what you really need? Maybe what you really need is one less jelly donut?

  • Alexis Hadjisoteriou says:

    Milan Caban mentioned KOMs in Strava.
    Is he aware that Strava has a e-MTB category/type? I recently borrowed an e-bike (Focus Jam2) and used it on a trail that I normally ride my MTB – sure, when I went home and looked at my data I was KOM on most sections – changing the type from MTB to e-MTB on Strava put the record straight.
    Sure I miss being KOM even for a few short minutes but you need to trust that people will do the “honest thing” and declare the type of bike they used..
    As for using e-bikes on regular trails I am all for it- My MTB and body together weigh 105kg which is more than a regular 80kg rider with an e-bike (23kg) would weigh.

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Bulls Bikes charging into U.S. market


Germany’s Bulls Bikes has been around since 1997. But the brand has only recently infiltrated North America with an extensive offering of bikes in all categories. Their biggest push — the e-bike segment.

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  • Danny says:

    Bosch computer on handlebars. Will diesel option be available? Than we could really smoke competition on the trial. E-bike MTB, just what doctor prescribed. I’m fine with city e-bikes but no trail going ones.

  • Scotch Henessey says:

    I’ve been an avid racer and rider since 1988. I love riding my Haibike All Mountain 5.0 with my 14 year old son in our local So Cal trails. We respect the landscape and anyone we share the trails with. On a fun scale…my Haibike smokes my Pivot 429. Hate all you want people…the E-bikes are here to stay.

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Focus Jam trail bike a departure from usual XC focus


Germany’s Focus is better known in the U.S. for their support of cyclocross and XC racing, but the brand is now also gunning to capture a piece of the ever-expanding trail bike market.

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Specialized Turbo Levo eMTB with trail tool twist


Say what you will about eMTBs, but this is a pretty innovative application of ever-expanding pedal-assist technology.

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  • Dtimms says:

    Is this just a different way for the bike manufactures to get E-bikes on non-motorized trails?

    • Goahead says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Anything assisted beyond your own human muscles is NOT a bicycle. They do not belong on non-motorized trails. I am tired of our world becoming lazier and fatter. I even see kids on motorized scooters, “power wheels”, and that stupid hover boards! What’s this world coming to?

  • Chuck Collet says:

    A bicycle is human powered, pedal driven. E-bikes are not.

  • Justin says:

    The rack and tools are a great system! Does the rack mount to standard mounts?

    As far as the ebike goes, if its just used by trail crews, its better (less impact) than the tractors, motorcycles, and quads that they use now.

  • Alan says:

    Great integration. I’d use it.

  • Pam Candas says:

    I’m new to this whole e-bike dislike — the argument against electric bikes is that anything which assists the rider’s muscles is not the definition of a bicycle?
    I think that’s true enough, but I don’t see it as a demerit, just a distinction. After all, if the line is “assists the muscle” then you’d have to go to a single speeds fixed gear bike because gears and freewheel hubs just help the muscles.

    What’s the problem with electric bikes on singletrack or any “non-motorized” trail?

    I’m looking to update my 90’s Trek Y-bike and the things I note about electric bikes are pretty straightforward: expensive, heavy, noisy. All of which impact only the rider and even the more expensive e-bikes aren’t more expensive than the exotic conventional bikes.

    The differences are: faster uphill and the same rider can go further.
    I don’t think there’s any argument that an electric bike is faster downhill, and they’re not more dangerous or do more damage than conventional bikes.

    So what’s the cause of e-bike dislike?

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Bosch and Troy Lee Designs launch eMTB race series


BOOGALOO is a NEW Class 1 eMTB race series that will take place at two of California’s premier mountain bike resorts this summer.

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  • myke says:

    i get it but i am still against it. the image above says a lot. it just so happens this is generally how aggressive ebike riders are on the trail. just because we can doesn’t mean we should!

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Video: Trek Powerfly 8 FS review


The Powerfly 8 is Trek’s 130mm travel full suspension e-bike. Based off the Fuel EX-platform, this bike is fully compliant with e-bike regulations and performs well on the trail.

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Mtbr’s top 10 most read articles in 2016


What are Mtbr readers most interested in? If we use the top 10 most read articles of 2016 as a barometer, it’s reviews, reviews, and more reviews. Plus a smattering of interviews and product roundups.

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Where can you legally ride an e-MTB?


Education on the proper use of e-bikes is critical to ensure we don’t lose trail access.

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  • That Guy says:

    You fail to mention whether these e-bike regulations allow the bikes on paved paths or on trails, or unpaved paths.

    As a resident of Fort Collins, Colorado, I can tell you that, after talking to local state and county rangers, e-bikes are considered motorized vehicles and are prohibited on all natural surface trails in Colorado state parks as well as all natural surface trails in county parks and city natural areas.

    I would have to assume, by your article, that the e-bike ‘pilot programs’ you mention in cities like Boulder are allowing e-bikes on paved paths for someone like a bicycle commuter, not a mountain biker.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought that good journalism consisted of checking with multiple sources and getting a broader idea of which sources agree and disagree on certain topics, not asking one person and presenting that as fact, even if it is with a disclaimer.

    Although not mentioned in this article, the misleading claim that there are ‘millions of e-bikes worldwide’ this website is constantly referencing really refers to commuter style on-road e-bikes used mainly in Asia and Europe, not mountain bikes.

    While I’m down with commuter e-bikes potentially reducing traffic congestion and reliance on fossil fuels, I’m not down with motorized vehicles on mountain bike trails. I really wish you would stop trying to make this e-mountain bike thing ‘a thing’ because it’s not, nor should it be.

    Do your research and, if necessary, find some different advertising sponsors. Stop trying to make e-mtbs something they’re not.

  • rlee says:

    E-bikes are like mopeds. If you have never ridden a moped then you should try one.

  • Bart says:

    No one has banned ebikes. They were never eligible to be ridden on trails that prohibit motorized vehicles. You can ride them in 99% of other places like streets, OHV trails and forest roads. I love how the E-bike proponents feel so persecuted.

  • TrailMasonCliff says:

    All Kansas City Metro trails on both the Missouri and Kansas side of the line are NO E-BIKE. All trails are NON-motorized ONLY!!!!!. E-Bike has a MOTOR.

    Your map is misleading at best.

  • Durk Manual says:

    E-bikes have motorized assist. That places them only able to ride on motorized trails.What exactly is the question or controversy about this? Are they trying to get on non-motorized trails now?

  • Trailpatrol says:

    Speaking as a retired park ranger, e-bikes are considered “motorized vehicles” under state statute and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and are therefore illegal to operate on trails, including paved and improved gravel state trails in MN and WI, and on mountain bike trails and in Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Management Areas (where MTBs are otherwise permitted) in National Forests.

  • Adam Glick says:

    Here’s a guide to where e-bikes are allowed on singletrack in New England: http://nemba.org/news/where-can-electric-mountain-bikes-be-ridden-new-england

    In summary, all the NE state land managers classify e-bikes as motorized vehicles and they are only allowed on trails designated for motorized use. Major private trail systems (like Kingdom Trails in VT) also do not allow e-bikes. Since many of the MTB riding destinations in NE are public trails, this raises the question of the bike industry pushing a product out that they know cannot be legally used on most trails. Further, People for Bikes must know this, too. Bike shops…well they should know by now and they should also be educating prospective buyers of e-MTBs about the legality of their use on most of the singletrack inventory and where they can actually be ridden legally in each state.

  • alias says:

    I appreciate that MTBR has tried to broach this sensitive subject, but a few poorly researched paragraphs are clearly insufficient for such a hot topic. May I respectfully suggest that you either invest the time to put out a thouroughly researched article , or if this is too dificult, please stay with inconsequential reviews.

    thanks,

  • Riley says:

    I tried one of these bikes in the bike shop parking lot and it was a hoot. But, we recently had an incident where e-biker was riding wrong way uphill the downhill flow line crashed into someone coming down sending the non-e-biker to the hospital. The e-bike’s uphill speed and missing the oneway signage due inexperience(e-bikes seem to appeal to this crowd), cluelessness (hmm…never had the fitness to be here before) or speed of travel( poor guy never saw it coming) are particularly problematic. I suspect that the e-biker may not of even known that they were not allowed in this area

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SRAM EX1 e-bike drivetrain review


SRAM realized there was a need for a drivetrain and braking system made specifically for the higher demands of e-bikes. Check our verdict on their efforts here.

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Maxxis Interbike 2016


Featuring redesigns of iconic Maxxis offerings, plus the addition of a new eBike-compliant range, the world famous tire maker keeps us rolling into another product year.

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Bulls Bikes Interbike 2016


Bike manufacturer grabs the e-bull by the horns, unveiling 20 new e-bike models at Interbike in Las Vegas.

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Trek Powerfly 9 FS Plus e-bike first ride review


The Powerfly series is Trek’s initial entry into the eMTB market. It’s their best selling range of bikes in the European market and is making making its U.S. debut. Click through to learn more and read our first ride impressions.

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  • Butters says:

    @Daniel Toomes – was the first thing i did to my partners ebike. Dumb move – she kicks my butt uphill and anywhere flat…

  • Michael Mccombs says:

    I dropped Mountain Bike Action over the Jimmy Mac – electric bike issue I am unsubscribing and deleting your bookmarks Goodbye greedy idiots.

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The Angry Singlespeeder rides an e-bike and doesn’t hate it


Some may think the introduction of e-bikes (aka MORBs) will ruin the sport of mountain biking. But after spending a few months on one, the ASS doesn’t think these contraptions will suddenly take over every trailhead across North America.

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  • Scotch Hennesy says:

    I rode a buddies MORB. I too am a purist…but returned from a small loop with a big smile. I don’t ever see myself buying one of these…but it allows my over weight buddy to get out and ride with me. He beats me to the top of every climb now. Hey..anything on two wheels is ok with me. Thumbs up!

  • 25lbs&counting says:

    Nothing against e-bikes, it’s just how long will it take before upgrade kits become available and turn these things into high watt dirt bikes? That is my issue and then we’ll be back to square one with trail access. Trying to demonstrate to land access groups that not all mountain bikers are the kind that tears up trails trying to get “rad”.

    • Matthew Klure says:

      This is my biggest Argument against the MORB on my local trails. There are plenty of OHV trails these bikes can be on. The problem with allowing only a certain wattage and below on Shared Hiking and equestrian trails is no one is going to be policing them, better to just blanket ban them from trails shared with pedestrians and Equestrians, we have enough trouble in-certain area’s of this country just keeping access on those trails.

      Also I have ridden one of these, they are a blast to ride, just not on certain trails.

  • Tom says:

    Tough topic. No black and white. Kurt, I will give you a good-natured hard time about the statement that below 30% isn’t worthwhile, so you didn’t try it. Huh?! Parachute, open mind, try before you spout off, etc……

    Anyway, I have an older friend who was partially paralyzed years ago in an mtb accident. He’s recovered pretty darn well, but remains a bit on the weak side. He has tuned his Turbo Levo to 15% power using the app because “it’s exactly what I need to keep up with my wife”. Damned if he isn’t riding that thing 5 days a week.

    My biggest worry about the surging popularity of these creatures is that it will result in more crowding of my already overcrowded local trails.

    But I still want a real electric dirt bike to replace my beloved KTM 200 (for use only on moto trails, of course).

  • Jim says:

    I’ll be 69 years old in a couple of weeks, I’ve been riding mtb’s and road bikes for over 30 years and I have as yet to ride an e-bike. Hopefully I’ll never see the day where I consider riding one of these e-bikes. I won’t pass judgment on those that for whatever reason choose an e-bike, but for me my credo is, “you have to earn it to burn it”.

  • Roy says:

    I’m in my sixties and don’t need one yet. However as time marches on the climbs do seem to get harder. On a mountain bike trip last week we averaged over 3000 feet of climbing a day with our biggest day at 4800 feet of sometimes very steep climbing. There were times I wished I had a little help getting up those hills. As a strategy for stronger and weaker riders to spend time together it seems ideal.
    I have ridden the Turbo Levo and don’t think it’s advanced to the point that many people would want to buy one. As with all things the market will decide if these bikes have a future. I hope they do as I hope to ride well into my eighties.

  • somacose says:

    I posted this earlier today on the Singletrack mag homepage but as i’m an e-bike user, and infrequent poster on the e-bike forum section – too many opinionated haters so i don’t bother with it now so i thought i may as well copy/paste my thoughts on the matter.

    If it wasn’t for my Scott E-Genuis 710+ i wouldn’t be able to ride due to a 25yr old spinal injury that over the previous 8 years has now progressed into an inability to walk more than 20yards without tripping up, and these days i’m lucky if i can manage to work for 4 hours/day before i have to head home and shuffle around the house whilst bouncing off the walls to maintain my balance. This is due to a deterioration in my leg power output to such an extent that when i go out on the road for a couple of miles with my Kinesis Tripster i can get overtaken by people walking and if there is a hill, no matter how small then it’s pretty much game over – return to base.

    Previous to 2008 my spinal cord injury gave me no power output problems at all, i was usually to be found knocking in upwards of 400 miles a week on my Soulcraft single speed, i could comfortably lap Kirroughtree (a local 33km trail) in under 2hours without getting off the bike or placing a foot down and you could say riding a bike was the focus of my entire life, whether or not that’s a good thing is another issue altogether. I bought my first proper mtb, a Muddy Fox Explorer back in 1986 at the age of 14 whilst growing up in Argyll where the freedom of a fat tyre bike with gears and brakes that worked was revolutionary, I explored everywhere within a 50 mile radius of my wee village (Dalavich Loch Awe) and i covered thousands of miles on that bike before i got the desire for N+1 so you could say i was a pretty fit n’ able rider.

    My current E-Bike allows me to continue to get out n’ about, albeit at a greatly reduced pace compared to my previous riding ability, even when i select turbo mode through the motor it will only produce a multiple of the torque i can place through the crank which being practically fuck all means that “fuck all x 300% assistance” still equals very little forward motion compared to my previous riding ability.

    It’s not the same as riding a normal lightweight bike, nothing like it to be honest (at least for me) as i’m constantly aware of the remaining battery levels, If the battery runs out of power then i’m up shit creek so i always plan ahead as pedalling the bike without assistance is not really possible nor practical and the increased weight of the bike and motor really makes itself apparent when it comes to “attempted” quick changes of direction, It’s not the type of bike that leads itself to being lifted over obstacles/fences/gates more than a few times before you realise that the route you have taken is foolish. It’s good at holding a stable line through rocks and over roots which is partly due to the weight/plus sized tyres and it’s quite capable of getting air but you’d better be aware of the mass beforehand as it has a tendency to drop the front end rather quickly – as long as you get over the rear it’s capable enough.

    Having said that i would not be without it as otherwise i’d have to consider myself an Ex-MTB Rider but the weight of the bikes need to come down significantly in future and further thought has to be put into battery placement as having such a weight high up on the frame does not do the handling any favours. The inherent drag/stiction from the motor when it is not in use is very noticeable when pedalling but it freewheels fine, i’m confident these issues will get sorted over the coming years.

    It’s a brilliant bike for my needs but if given the choice i’d swap it in a heartbeat for the ability to ride my Soulcraft like it was 2007 again.

  • Sun says:

    Once I cross over the age of 70 (another 26 years in my case) I sincerely hope I’ll be able to get a little electric assist with only a 3-6# penalty.

  • Wuffles says:

    I really, really wish the focus of this debate would be on the actual issue: trail access. It sounds like ASS went and had a good time on some motorized trails. Awesome! That’s a use of e-bikes pretty much anyone other than a complete purist can get behind. And maybe that can be the driving influence to expand motorized trails that are aimed at e-bikes rather than full on motos.

    Just don’t use them on non-motorized trails.

  • dimitri says:

    Absolutely NOT! As chair of a local MTB chapter and as someone who spends a good chunk of my time advocating for bikers to be allowed on park trails, these bikes are NOT welcome. The industry is going in the wrong direction and I will boycott any bike manufacturer who is selling bikes for anything other than commuting.

  • Bicyclist says:

    “The amount of hate some mountain bikers have towards MORBs ranks on the same level as hateful old hikers whose goal in life is to keep mountain bikes off every inch of singletrack.”

    It’s not about that or that electric MTBs are not fun, it’s just that they have no place on non-motorized tails. That’s it. It needs no spin from that point.

  • freeski1057 says:

    Let’s get real here. The technology of e-bikes is in it’s infancy. They WILL get lighter, more powerful, and more agile. I am skeptical that many of these bikes for mountain biking will be used by folks with disabilities (though their will clearly be some); most I’m fairly certain will be used by those who aren’t fit enough to ride unassisted or worst case by those simply looking to go faster than they can on their own power. On motorized or multi use trails I have no issue but I think by definition they don’t belong on non-motorized trails. I’m not a “hater” and won’t be getting in anyone’s face about them. I think e-bikes in general have incredible potential for commuting and tooling around town in place of cars but I can’t support allowing use on any non-motorized trails.

    • outhere says:

      Real world, the class 1 e-mtbs have multiple assist levels, and even with 500WH, range is quite limited, so the tendency is to milk it best you can, by using the lower levels, to get in longer rides. You start putting out some effort in that case, and if you want to ride hard uphill, over 10mph, you need to put out as well. Why bother? It is very fun 🙂

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Magura unveils inverted Boltron e-bike fork


Magura’s latest offering is an inverted suspension fork designed in conjunction with motocross suspension expert WP that is specifically for ebikes.

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Haibike Xduro AllMtn RX first ride review


The Xduro AllMtn RX is Haibike’s entry into the electric all mountain/trail bike category. Read on to see how it stacks up against the competition.

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  • stiingya says:

    I am concerned with e-bikes and their potential to impact trail access. But I have to admit I could see a time in my future when a peddle assist bike would keep me riding with the kids when my knee and lower leg injury will put a stop to it otherwise. Also, plenty of mountainbike trails are already open to motorcycles. Some trails were for moto’s before mountain bikes were a thing. So there is the “potential” for a happy medium. BUT man it only takes one idiot with a mail order decoupled throttle to loose his/her balance roll that throttle back and near instantly accelerate to 50MPH and run into a hiker. And then the hammer will come down on all mountain bikers for it… the more e-bikes that hit the trails the more regulation it’s going to require. And at some point the only way to pay for that regulation is going to be fee’s/permits/registration? to/for mountainbikes. (at least in densely populated areas)

    BUT anyway, that e-bike aesthetically looks like a thrown together pile of parts. What the heck is going on with the stem angle, length and handlebars. Clearly whoever through together this e-bike has no business creating mountain bikes. The whole thing with the geometry sounds pretty shady to me. It looks like a purpose built e-bike frame. But it seems like they were stuck ordering a catalog bike with frame geometry from 1992?

    The scary thing is the geometry of that bike, short top tube, long negative rise stem is pretty much intended to get some newb thrown over the bars on an unplanned forward weight shift. Especially with the bike probably in the 45-50lb range. (plus you get that nice heavy bike potentially swinging around smacking or landing on top of you)

    The terrifying thing is because of the battery assist that newb may find themselves OTB and injured or with a mechanical WAY out in the middle of the desert/mountains/forest where they NEVER would have been otherwise.

    When it took a technically skilled highly trained athlete to climb Everest it was still good odds that you’d never summit and die if you tried. But now that just about anyone who can afford to buy a ticket can go climb Everest people die all the time. (well not actually right now because so many people have died of late that they are not allowing anyone to climb, but they just go to other peaks) I fear that e-bikes will bring at least some of that to mountain biking. People getting in way over their heads…

  • mtb says:

    This is a cycle with a motor on it. I believe it therefore qualifies as a motorcycle. I am greatly concerned that e-bikes (electric motorcycles) threaten the already delicate balance of mtb use in multiple-use areas. As such, I do not believe mtbr.com should continue its recent attempt to capitalize on e-bike fodder (to wit, the current bike which obviously is not designed well– refer to the post above mine regarding an objective review of poor design of the geometry) and I am now beginning to think of mtbr.com as an e-bike site– which does not even cover decent e-bikes.

  • Alex says:

    Hi.
    I want to comment regarding two areas:
    1. Geometry. As you mentioned it is upright and short. And you said this is a disadvantage, well I would disagree, I blasted this bike 3000 fit down on a technical trail and it felt just right. It all depends on your personal preference and riding style. I personally don’t like stretched out bikes and I feel this bikes geometry provides a unique options for people like me. It’s nimble and agile, not twitchy.

    2. Stating that Specialized Levo Turbo is industry leader show how unfamiliar you are with the E-mountain biking industry. Levo is out for a year, when you have companies like Cube and Highbike that came out with great products 5 years ago. Many European companies have amazing bikes that put Levo and all it’s technical issues to shame. Levo is a great bike but very expensive, makes horrible sound when chaining gears and no assist level control on the handle bar. Not an industry leader. Look at BUULS, Felt, Trek, Scott, MOUSTACHE, Haibike and many others euro brands that have amazing offering.

  • Alex says:

    I forgot 3rd point. You want 66.5 Head tube angle. Get $100 angel-set from Cane Creek and here you have it.

  • Chris says:

    My wife is 57 years old. She loves mountain biking and does her best to come with me when she can. She has also had 19 surgeries and has permanent nerve damage in her back and legs. Walking is painful but biking is a better position for her. She has always wanted to go riding with me on some of the tougher trails here is S. California. One of her legs is permanently weak. She is tired of walking her bike up some of the hills and has never been up some of my favorite trails. UNTIL she tried an Ebike. She went up Space mountain with me for the first time and loved it. She went on a few other trials she could never have done before. It opened up her mountain biking experience as if she shed 30 years off her life. She could never do Guadalaska trail before. Or any number of trails out here.
    So if you want to ban ebikes because you think it is cheating or some petty reasoning…think again. Sure there are jerks abusing them by treating them as motorcycles, but that is just not the case for the majority of Ebikers. There are also mountain bikers who thrash the trails and knock people down because of their selfish natures. I’ve been a victim of that on numerous occasions.
    I’m 67 and I will get an Ebike when I can’t make it up my favorite trails on my legs alone. And no one should tell me otherwise.
    On a side note, I was looking at the onboard computers on some of the demo Ebikes. The average speed on the displays was typically around 6 MPH. Hardly an indication of racing around like a motorcycle.
    Bottom line…it’s not “cheating’, it’s not abusive of the trails, it’s just people who love trail riding out doing what they love when they can’t quite do it without the assist anymore. Or, as one poster said, getting in shape so he can do without the assist.

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The Angry Singlespeeder: Strava versus eBikes


Both eBikes and Strava have vocal opponents — but which is greater danger to trail access? The Angry Singlespeeder weighs in with his opinion.

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  • Rich says:

    Kurt, I’ve decided I want to drink beer with you and Vernon Felton…..

  • Ken says:

    Not everyone wants to be a chatty Kathy when they ride, I mostly ride solo and use Strava for exercise , Koms are just intervals. Some dudes want to talk and hangout in the parking lot too ,again , not for me , how bout some respect for those wanting to push the limits on the trail and step out of the way or go ride some place where you can fart around and take pictures of turtles instead of clogging up the trails that many of us want to blast through ! You’re the guy that wants to text in the fast lane all the while deliberately trying to slow down the drivers willing to go faster than the posted speed limit . STRAVA!!!

    • Davey Simon says:

      Well said Kurt.

    • tom says:

      It sounds like you took what he said as ‘all strava users do this’, which he never did. What he said is undeniable that some strava users do it (make cuts in trails, dumb them down, lack respect for other users).

      He never said using GPS or pushing your limits was bad either.

    • GuyOnMTB says:

      “how bout some respect for those wanting to push the limits on the trail”

      I respect your need and want to have some speed and competition to your use of an internet based application for your mountain biking hobby. As it is my own hobby and going fast is fun, real fun! I look up to those who can show me how they did it faster in this and that area of the trail.

      However, I can not, will not and just don’t respect people that feel they need the fastest times over a “multi-use trail”. Multi-use trails are for everyone to “enjoy”, and for everyone to enjoy those types of trails bicyclist can’t be going up or down them at speeds dangerous to unsuspected, surprise, group meat-ups. We mountain bikers have trails that are rarely used by foot traffic or are designated for bikes or that warn foot traffic that there ‘will’ be bikes moving fast. These are accepted places of dangerous speeds and is generally accepted by the surrounding public hikers and equestrians.

      When your times over multi-use trails are important over peoples safety, you demonstrate a clear disregard for your fellow countrymen, or the people that have you as a guest. And demonstrate only ‘self-importance’, without realizing you might be potentially hurting your ability to “enjoy” that area in the future, unless the self importance perceives trail poaching as necessary to inflate ego.

      When there are only a few trails left around metropolitan areas to achieve KoM, the trails will be so cluttered with users, achieving that KoM will be next to impossible and the ego that created that fixation with have ruined what could have just been an awesome ride.

    • Smithhammer says:

      You do realize you can go fast and “push the limits” without being a Stravasshole, right?

    • Jimmy says:

      Yea you tell em Ken. cant post top ten so you hate strava. we get it.

  • George Hayduke says:

    If e-bikes hurt access for mountain bikers, it will be mountain bikers fault.

    – E-bikers will use non-motorized trails. Mountain bikers are already telling them they’re the devil, so no expectations to live up to.
    – Hikers and equestrians won’t know the difference between mountain bikers and e-bikers, and complaints from them don’t change.
    – Mountain bikers, with their panties in a bunch, will report every e-biker they can.
    – Land managers will then ban ebiker and mountain biker together, because that’s how it works.

    So basically, mountain bikers will ban themselves in a fit of stupidity.

  • Peper says:

    Strava is only shows a ranking change once in a blue moon on your “home trails”. It’s just not possible or safe to ride at your fastest ALL the time.

    ****I don’t mind your E-BIKE but don’t ask me to move over! Wait till it’s safe to pass and then go by or turn and go on a different trail. That’s e-bike etiquette.

  • broadsword says:

    just another piece of sensationalist crap from the ass… whats worse… destroying a trail with non-respectful riding, getting a trail closed by being dumb enough to publicise your use of it on strava or purposefully trying to invoke a reaction with articles like this?

    we’re human… for all its good and all its bad… cycling is so mainstream now that there’s idiots in every minute sub-section of it… we’re all entitled to our views but actively trying to incite frustrates me

    i dont like ebikes… but not everyone who rides them is a thick ignorant tosser… i like strava… but not everyone who uses it is a thick ignorant tosser… i like cross country… but not everyone who rides it is a thick ignorant tosser… i like all mountain… but not everyone who rides it is a thick ignorant tosser…. i love my single speed… but everyone who rides them arent thick ignorant tossers!

  • p brig says:

    Off road mopeds are motorized vehicles and illegal anywhere I ride. I would show one the same love I show illegal ATVers.

  • Chris Sullivan says:

    I just came back from my first 1.75-hour bike ride on my e-tricycle. I ride paved paths and roads. I obey all the rules. I want to live until the end of the ride. I have had MS for 18 years. I have no opinion about non-road bikes, trails, etc. But remember if it weren’t for e-bikes some of us would have to stay home.

  • Juan says:

    I have already become accustomed to riding alone (anyone hear heard of the book, Bowling Alone?). I can get Strava, in a way. If I was younger I would probably be down with it on occasion. Still, good points made. But ebikes piss me off more. On seperate trails, ok. How about human powered trails (a la Bootleg canyon–remember those signs?) for human power only? Is that too much to ask. Maybe I’m just not used to it yet. Now back to watching everyone staring at their phones.

  • Joe Paluch says:

    Kurt,
    Strava has allowed me to expand my circle of riding friends by 10x to 20x. Before Strava it was the same 2-3 guys. By using Strava I was able to find others that ride similar trails as me an grow my network of riding friends. It also allows me to fun and scope out new riding trails and routes. Now as your concerns about trail use and closing down trails due to speed I have to say that is unique to your locations. California is state that run by people bent on Gov’t control and is not tolerant of proper trail use. Arizona on the other hand welcomes mountain bike use and realizes that it is good to share trials. No park rangers with speed radar here. No here park rangers organize night rides for Mtn bikers are welcome their input on trails. Strava is a great way to show how much use (ie value) these trails have to community.

  • Tom says:

    Bang on, Kurt.

    Again.

  • Justin says:

    Great article. Strava is destroying mtn biking and for sure part of the reason trails in S Ca get neutered and skidiot destroyed. E-bikes are fine anyplace you can ride a motorcycle.

  • fasterjason@yahoo.co says:

    I totaly agree. I put in 200+ hours a year building and maintaining trail. I don’t call them cheater lines, I call them strava cuts, and they are the bane of my existence. There is plenty of work for me to do and blocking short cuts keeps me from doing it.

    On the other hand, E-bikes would allow me to cover a lot of ground pulling a trailer full of tools or packing a chainsaw after a storm. I would not worry about detailed tree-down reports because I could cover several trails with a lot less effort.

    E-bikes are here to stay and I hope strava goes away.

  • 1trekGA says:

    An e-bike can reportedly climb at 20 mph. On a bi-directional trail, that is a dangerous, even deadly scenario. I may finish my old-age MTB days on an e-bike, but feel a speed governor may be justified for these situations. Particularly for climbing. (10 mph?)

  • ben beeno says:

    Strava hasn’t changed my group rides. We go up slow, sometimes fast, we chat, we stop, sometimes we bring beer. We go down fast, because going fast is fun. We upload our rides. That’s it. Recording them on Strava hasn’t changed how we ride. It doesn’t make all users into assholes.

  • Frednic says:

    E-bikes are just going to create more trail users. Here in San Diego on a weekend our trails already remind me of our roadways at rush hour.

  • Jude says:

    Excellent!

    Strava, although useful and utilized by myself has the potential for much more damage to the trail and to our cycling community than solely any eBike. Strava’s main good point is keeping track of mileage for not only health but even better for actual equipment usage for servicing or replacement.

    Thanks for your perspective Kurt!

  • cruz5280 says:

    As always, great points that I mostly agree with. My 2 cents:
    Strava- it’s a great way to track activity and improvements through the season. It’s a TOOL that people use differently. If we can agree that not everybody will become more reckless and take more risks to improve their times, than it should be acknowledged that a tool like Strava doesn’t, by default, make everyone more reckless. People that use the data from Strava to take more risks are the problem, not the app. For clarification, I don’t use Strava consistently b/c I prefer, at times, to be unconnected to the world and don’t carry my phone.

    – eBikes….a great mode of transportation for people to explore terrain where motorized vehicles are allowed. I’m not a fan of sharing non-motorized trails with motorized vehicles. There is a great case to be made for people with physical limitations as others have listed above (MS, etc) being able to enjoy trails as they had in the past. Unfortunately there is no way to limit use to those people. I’ll leave that decision to people smarter than myself.

  • kc says:

    strava-good… e-bike-good, world hunger-bad

  • Herm Kresser says:

    What if Strava just eliminated any negative incline KOM’s? They probably have the technology to do that.Last time I checked,KOM was given the coveted climbers jersey!

  • Ben says:

    Strava is stoopid, but so is world hunger, smoking, and substance abuse.

    It’d be lovely if people cared more about others than themselves.

    First world problems.

  • Ben says:

    Oh, and Ken is a jackass 😉

  • Juan Gomez says:

    I think everyone who I’ve talked to who dislikes electric assist mountain bikes has never ridden one. I was one of them. Until a close friend loaned me one of his. It was made by Haibike and was an enduro. I love riding down the mountain and don’t really care about riding uphill. The first thing I noticed was how fun it made it riding uphill. You actually build cornering skills going up switchbacks. In fact you build a whole new skillset that is near impossible to do on a conventional bike. Skills that ultimately help in control.
    Next I noticed how I could accomplish 95% more trails and complicated climbs than before. It made my riding experience far more consistent. No more getting off my bike to push up hills or taking breaks. After a few rides I became a stronger and better rider. The bike I rode had plus size tires and oversized 4-piston disc brakes. Even though I’m now faster going up and down hills, I’m actually in better control doing it.
    Mountain bike instructor, Simon Lawton of fluidride once told me that going faster doesn’t make you dangerous. It’s the lack of skills that does.
    I know for me, I need to wake up the next morning and go to work so I can feed my children. No matter what I ride, I will ride it fast but with control.
    So now with my assist bike I’m riding I’m spending more of my time riding down hills and less uphill.
    As far as Strava, I have experienced far more good than bad. It offers accountability, personal record tracking, and plain fun.

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SRAM EX1 e-bike component group first look


Almost all e-bikes currently use the same drivetrains as normal bikes and they seem to work well enough. But spend some time with them and one will realize that it can be made to work better. Find out what we think of SRAM’s latest effort.

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  • Gerald Capodieci says:

    I really like the large range and agree with less cogs/stronger chain allowed by the 8 speed. I find that I frequently shift 2 cogs at a time just to make a noticeable difference.Today I’m not interested in ebikes but perhaps some day. But, if I could get the wide-range 8 48×11 speed system for my Shimano 1 by bike, I’d do it today.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      >>Gerald

      Yup, really want to this on a normal bike. Stay on each gear a little longer and avoid the constant double-shift. Advantage is less shifting, much stronger drivetrain and straighter chainline.

  • ian says:

    I’d love a lighter 8 speed wide range cassette for my non-E-bike.

  • Joe Dirt says:

    We’re still pretending e-bikes are real bicycles?

  • GuyOnMTB says:

    E-bikes are not Bi-cycles, in US law they are classified as “motorized vehicles”. They should have their own website. “E-bike” is just a marketing word that is actually confusing to people that may not understand our laws.

  • eric says:

    My response isn’t about fearing change. Motorcycling is a different sport which has been around much longer than mtbing. Stop pretending that these things are anything else. Motorbikes also happen to be awesome too, just different. They also tend to make very poor trailmates with bikes and hikers (oh yeah, and horses…)

    I’m afraid the only distinction between ebike and motorbike is that ebike riders can more easily poach trails. I fear this will end badly with mtb access getting hurt by it.

    Can someone explain again why these are being covered here?

  • DE says:

    Great to see you guys reporting on ebikes now. I rode traditional mountain bikes my whole life like most people, but after getting an ebike, my old Carbon XC bike just never gets used anymore, for the simple reason that I have just as good a work out on the ebike since I cover so much more ground in the same time and have way more fun doing it!

    I travel 2 or 3 times faster uphill and go back down on a long travel bike which is much more fun and safer than the shorter travel XC bike which I previously needed for climbing the big mountains where I live. I can ride up the mountain and down 3x in the same time as I used to do it once on the old bike! Since the pedal assistance cuts out anyway at 25 km/h Going down is the same speed as on a long travel non ebike but going up is just so much faster and more fun now.

  • dirt person says:

    lol these clowns who hate on ebiikes saying they will close trails, have no fookin ikdea that these places were opened by dirtbikes, which have…….motors………wake up you werent the first to ride off road

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Martyn Ashton’s electric assist Canyon Sender conquers Fort William


In the ongoing debate about e-bikes, this might be the best in-favor argument we’ve encountered yet.

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  • Butters says:

    The aforementioned comments by Captain Obvious and friends don’t have any place in this article. Give it up already you bunch of plonkers.

  • blaklabl says:

    Wow, the hate is strong in here! If any of you really loved mountain biking as much as you profess to & had a traumatic accident that took it away from you, I’d wager that you’d have a much different view of what is depicted above.

  • mtb says:

    A cycle which is propelled by a motor is referred to as a motorcycle. I am unable to understand how this is relevant to mtb enthusiasts, whom are the typical readers of the site. I agree with above comments that the gentleman featured in the article is being used to sell e-bikes. It is great that he can get paid to do what he loves, but this clearly is not mtb, nor a substantial reason for mtbr to justify e-bike coverage.

  • Cooper says:

    That “I’m holding a sign” guy was freakin hilarious! Haha!

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Mtbr is covering e-bikes and here’s why


E-bike’s are coming. Here’s why and how Mtbr plans on covering the emergence of these motor-powered mountain bikes.

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  • Paul says:

    Yep – valid viewpoint. I think it’s short sited but never mind.

    One thing – please don’t use global ‘ebike’ stats to support your mountain e-bike views. I’m guessing but I would say 90% of e-bikes produced and sold are urban bikes to be used in urban environments. I am 100% for those. They make great sense. What you are talking about promoting are mountain bikes with motors to be used in environments current only accessed via foot or human powered bicycles. The proliferation of powered bikes in this environment is miniscule in comparison to the urban, and much more fraght with issues – it is these issues, and the currently tiny market share, you should be balancing your choice of coverage against.

  • p brig says:

    Where I ride motorized vehicles of any sorts is off limits, regardless of the type of propulsion.

  • UseYourBody says:

    10 thumbs down.
    Ebikes in the city? Sure. Ebikes wreaking havoc on trail access? Your weakly-phrased Politic stance makes it obvious you don’t give a damn. Stand with the trail riders who bring their passion, experience, and skill to this site. Or don’t.

  • Martyn Pearce says:

    I support you reporting on them. I am an experienced mountain biker who suffered a serious injury last year and have been unable to head out on the trails since. I can ride a road bike (poorly!), but as I struggle to walk and have seriously reduced strength, would not be able to handle some of the climbs at our local park. An e bike would get me out there (I can’t afford one) and would put some fun back in my life. Do not judge people or things unless you know the full story.

    • Vik says:

      Nothing wrong with riding an electric motorcycle on trails that allow them. Where I live that’s none of the mountain bike trails as motors of any kind are not allowed.

  • Dan E says:

    Electric assist is motorized propulsion. All other “evolutions” that have occurred did not change the basic principle of a bicycle: Human-powered travel on two (bi) wheels (cycle). So, to illustrate your references to your target audience, of those e-bikes cited in the Navigate Research (if you had actually purchased the report instead of simply reading the free-to-view web page synopsis), you might have realized that well over 95% of the numbers cited worldwide are for street-bound e-bikes, and with over 50% of those in China. Further research behind your rational would have also revealed that 50% of the number cited do not qualify for ebike status in either the US or the EU, as their power output is in excess of the maximum wattage, speed is in excess of the maximum for assistance, or they are simply electric motorbikes “detuned” in an effort to qualify them as bicycles.

    I can’t wait for them to be re-classified as motorized vehicles so that we can prevent motorbikes (they have a motor, nobody can say otherwise without lying) from being lumped in with bicycles.

    Way to roll over. Opportunity to take a stand averted. Welcome to eMTBR.com

  • preston says:

    “So whatever our personal feelings may be about e-bikes, it’s our obligation to discuss and review components objectively”

    No its not. The site is called MTBR. If you want to review e-bikes then start a new site called EMTBR. This site is supposed to be about bicycles, not motorcycles.
    I guess all I can do is implement the same policy I used on Bike Rumor which is to never click on a commercial article about e-bikes.

  • JD says:

    you guys should start an EBR website and keep these separate.

    mtbr doesn’t support rogue trail reports, and shouldn’t support a product the forrest service is locking out (with good reason)

  • TC says:

    Here, I fixed it for you:

    Like Donald Trump, e-bikes can and should be ignored.

    … or join all responsible media who regretted their decisions to give DT free coverage.

  • Darryl says:

    This is great News! Electric bike market is growing. Top to bottom their technology has improved. When choosing bikes to test however, make certain to include the inexpensive ebikes as well. The electric bike market isn’t just Haibike and Specialized. Not everyone can afford or may not have the need $3500 plus ebike. The ebike market is also little know companies. Thanks again.

    • Darryl says:

      One last thing! All STREEL LEGAL electric bikes, sold in the US, top speed is restricted to 20 mph (32 kph). That is regardless of the bike’s motor wattage (750W limit). For that reason, MTBR shouldn’t limit your test to just 250W motors. You should be aware that there are different technologies powering ebikes. There are mid-drives and hub motors, geared and direct drive. Some bikes utilize 2 motors (push pull) such Easy Motion EVO AWD (http://www.emotionbikesusa.com). Thanks again.

  • Chris says:

    Saris, e-bikes are not bikes; they are motorized vehicles. An e-bike is a vehicle (a bicycle) with a motor.

    An e-mountain bike is an off-road motorized vehicle. Full e-stop.

    A power limit (250W) and a hand throttle prohibition seems arbitrary at best, and derivative at worst. Cite your source and reasoning. MTBR editors? Peer-reviewable study? Industry manufacturers?

    I have a guess, but admittedly it’s only based on the MTBR article about the history of hands-free hydration systems next to the paid advertisement from a hydration system manufacturer next to the hydration system product giveaway.

  • pb says:

    Relax, ebikes are fine. MTB parks aren’t the best place for them, specialty trails or times perhaps? Touring at least, it’s a bit silly not allowing them on bike-only through trails, pretty much anywhere else bikes are allowed. And EU etc should adopt the US guidelines for limits. Lots of people taking a risk with the law that wouldn’t need to.

  • Heffe says:

    I’d rather see the electric motorcycles, mopeds or whatever pushed off to their own site.

  • Lythandra says:

    Put me in the “not interested in coming here anymore if ebikes are going to be here” category. MTBR was the first good bike site and I still come here because I’ve been around for a while but theres plenty of other options now.

  • gordo says:

    Panties be Ebunchin up.
    BBRRRRRRRAAAAAPPPPPP!!!

  • Nick says:

    Keep reporting on ebikes and watch your site traffic dissappear. Ebikes are not bikes. If they were they wouldn’t need to be called ebikes, they would be called bikes. Riding with a motor is the opposite of what mountain biking is about.

  • Vid says:

    Unless you are riding a fully rigid, 26″ singlespeed, how can you complain about one more level of mechanical assistance? Make no mistake, gears and suspension are all mechanical assists to make you go faster whether up or down. You have to pedal an electric pedal assist bike to make it go–unless you are going downhill, it’s not moving unless you pedal. Yes, you can go faster on a pedal assist bike, if you keep pedaling it and the assist cuts out after a certain speed. I’ve heard the arguments that people will modify their e-bikes to go faster. Possibly a few will so punish them instead of everybody. Now if there is a throttle that is a completely different matter. From everything I can track down, an e-bike does no more trail damage than any other bike. You cannot peal out and kick up dirt and rock like a motorcycle. And no, I don’t own an e-bike. I don’t see one any time soon in my future, at least not a mountain e-bike. Just think all the cries of “the sky is falling” are way overblown. Strava is having a much bigger impact on trails access than a few people riding e-bikes will.

    • Chaz says:

      Because it isn’t “one more level of mechanical assistance”, they use a battery that has to be charged that then runs an electric motor. They store potential energy to be used on the trail.

    • N says:

      It’s simple, none of the BICYCLE advancements of the past thirty years, have done anything to change the fundamental equation that the sole power source for the bike is the rider. Sure you can stick a motor on a bike, and make it into a motor-bike, whether you want to call it a moped, a motorcycle, or an e-bike, is just semantics. My rigid single speed XC bike and my plus-tired full suspension bike are completely different riding experiences, but they both only make it to the top of the hill if I pedal my fat ass up there, or get off and push. If I want a motorbike to hit the BLM trails around me, I’ll get a proper 500cc dirtbike, probably cheaper and faster than the Turbo Levo.

  • Ydnar says:

    This is not the direction your site viewers want. I for one do not want the ebike being legitimized by such a well known site. The whole ebike on a multi-use trail thing makes me throw up in my mouth a little. On the ROAD as a commuter, sure it makes sense, but there are other motorized vehicles on the ROAD. Start a new website for these things, don’t group them with actual mountain bikes, because they are not. Shimano also makes fishing reels, are you going to start having fishing articles too?

  • Rusk says:

    Is MTBR going to cover other motorcycles as well? If there is to be no distinction over motorized vs non-motorized, then why make a distinction of electric vs petrol powered motors?

  • TheHFC says:

    I had my first encounter with an “eBike” in the wild this week. It was kind of a drag. The rider was descending a wide trail that I was climbing. He was pinned descending, pedaling hard (motor whining), bouncing and sliding into a blind corner. On a trail frequently used for ascending by both walkers, runners, and cyclists. I had to work to avoid being run down by this creature. Great. Nice etiquette. Was it a drag only because this individual was on an “eBike”? No. It was a drag because the least experienced goober in the woods was on a machine that allowed him to go faster than he had any business going, placing others at risk. And this is one of the fundamental problems with electric motorbikes: You can take the least able person and put them in a position where they have as much (or more) power than an elite level racer, without any clue about how to judiciously manage that power and responsibility. (Cross Discipline Example: 18 yr old Seth Enslow in Crusty Demons Of Dirt)

    *sigh*

    Bike + Motor = Motorbike

    Somehow this comments thread fails to effectively illuminate the problem of handing douche bags too much power. Oh, wait, there was the Trump sub-thread…

    I agree with several others position that electric motorbikes belong in an urban environment, or wherever motorized vehicles are allowed. They do not belong on limited access single track trails. Period. And if the new stated MTBR position is to treat electric motorbikes as if they are just bicycles then that is a sad sorry day. You might as well just sell the domain name to Specialized or Bosch for that matter. At least that way the MTBR staff could maybe get healthcare benefits to go with their journalists pay package.

    But if you’ll must, then I’ll suggest some guidelines for reporting on this issue:

    Reporting on how the bicycle and motorsports industries are determined to produce electric motorbikes, and documenting the industry’s various creepy two-faced efforts to legitimize that twaddle – GOOD journalism

    Legitimizing electric motorbikes by calling them eBikes, reviewing electric motorbikes as bicycles, comparing electric motorbikes to bicycles, and in general blurring the distinction between electric motorbikes and human powered bicycles – BAD journalism

  • Schwengey says:

    Who cares if electric bikes are going away or not? People care that they are not allowed on non-motorized off road trails and they shouldn’t be. Knock yourself out on motorized trails. Also as commuter bikes they’re great but stay off non-motorized trails.

  • todwil says:

    So is this mechanical DOPING………Also? Bobke we need answers!!!!!

  • GuyOnMTB says:

    I understand that MTBR reaches people in most every country, and many of these countries have different laws and designations of what constitutes “human powered” to “human assist”. Here in the states, we classify under law anything with a motor to be a “vehicle”.

    Marketing directions put the prefix “e” in front of “bike” to inform the consumer that they are selling ‘electric bikes’. However, in my land, there is no such thing as an “electric bike”. There is either “human powered” or “vehicle”. Not all vehicles need licensing or insurance. Not all “vehicles” have to be human transport to be designated a vehicle. Though the law is very specific, if it has any type of motor driving if forward or reverse, it’s a type of “vehicle”.

    Lets say that in my country this guy wants to take his “e-bike” out to the woods and ride on public, multi-use trails. Technically it’s illegal under law to take a motorized vehicle of any type on non-motorized paths(which also means trail), this can and does include motorized dirt buckets, even if it’s not ridden, because it ‘transports’ materials. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but what is important is this guy will get a fine if caught doing so.

    So the industry is misleading consumers and causing more tensions between NIMBY’s, Wilderness protectorates and outdoor enthusiast.

    In my country, the USA, it’s an electric-motor-bike, not an E-bike. Motors are not allowed on many USFS multi-use trails, or county trails. This type of vehicle should not be marketed in the US in mountain-bike form in an “e-bike” description.

    There are trails in the US under USFS protection that allow e-bikes, but not every state has bike only trails. And if it happens to be an official “bike only” trail. I think I’m okay with “human-assist electric-motorized-bikes” on non-multi-use trails.

    • GuyOnMTB says:

      “In my country, the USA, it’s an electric-motor-bike, not an E-bike. Motors are not allowed on many USFS multi-use trails, or county trails. This type of vehicle should not be marketed in the US in mountain-bike form in an “e-bike” description.”

      … Unless the description is changed to something like ‘electric-motorized mountain bike’ because the consumer should have some bit of information pertaining to regulated designation so they could avoid get in trouble for thinking it can go where mountain bikes can go, legally.

  • SK says:

    Well I hate big wagon wheeled bikes but I had to accept their existence so you guys have to accept Ebikes . Tough luck but they are on the rise and it’s great .

  • SV says:

    I ride in a mixed group with regular and ebikes. I am all for it. They are no more damaging to trails than regular bikes IMO and the fatter tires might even be gentler. It has allowed a buddy who is a cancer survivor to stay riding with us. I am getting one for my wife so she can ride with me. We are in our mid 50’s. I can see myself transitioning to this type of bike over the next 10 years. I have a road bike, two mountain bikes, a fat bike for winter trails, and an ebike fat bike to punch through the snow on climbs sounds especially attractive.

    My wife trialed an ebike this weekend and it is the first time she had a blast riding with me in years. I almost blew a coronary trying to keep up with her on the climbs but I am so stoked she can join me on long climbs once again.

    This is the future and will open the sport to a lot of people that currently cannot ride due to age or illness. I am all for it. And yes I also have a dirt bike and this is completely different.

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Bulls Bikes Copperhead 29 RSi, Copperhead 3 RSi 27.5 and Wild Edge Team 29


German brand Bulls Bikes expands their US offerings this year to include two new alloy hardtails, a monocoque carbon full suspension 29er and yes, a full suspension e-Bike.

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Haro’s new Shift LT with long travel and electronic drivetrain compatibility


The Shift LT offers 140mm of travel for a more all mountain type of ride. Also, the Shift Plus gets some updates and there is an e-Bike prototype on the horizon.

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Is a mountain bike with a hidden motor faster for XC racing?


Hidden motors have been discovered in a high profile cyclocross race recently. So folks are starting to wonder if these provide a significant cheat advantage in an XC mountain bike race today.

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  • JDUB says:

    This explains why I’m always last!!

  • TacoBeer says:

    Take a good look at how all this goes together, (hidden motor, hidden battery pack, hidden switch) it was specifically designed for cheating. Anyone using/ purchasing this was not thinking for commuting, they wanted to cheat but were afraid of needles.

  • Jim says:

    I wonder many riders will show up at club rides with motor assisted bikes so they can drop other riders on the sly? The rec riders who equip their bikes with the Vivax motor want to have motor assist, but don’t want anyone to know. There are more powerful systems on the market, but visually it’s obvious that they’re motor assisted. Just like the cx rider that was caught, the sly cyclist will be found out and be mighty embarrassed.

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