Electric Mountain Bikes – Friend or Foe?

Video

There’s a storm brewing on the mountain bike horizon, and it’s electrically charged.

The Bomber by Stealth Electric Bikes has 4500 watts – or six horsepower – of peak power

Imagine climbing your favorite single track trail all alone deep in the wilderness; heart beat pounding in your ears, legs churning out a steady, powerful cadence and sweat rolling down your face in buckets. As you approach the final rocky, root-filled ascent that demands every last thread of energy, someone from behind casually calls out in a conversational tone, “excuse me”, and effortlessly zips up the brutal section of trail on a 50-pound big-hit downhill mountain bike while snacking on an energy bar.

It might sound completely absurd, but this exact scenario may soon start playing out on trails worldwide thanks to the increasing use of electric mountain bikes. And a lot of hard advocacy work could be for naught.

Watch the Stealth Electric Bikes Bomber in action:YouTube Preview Image

After decades of being lumped together with dirt bikes as motorized vehicles, mountain bikes finally emerged from shadow of dirt bikes, gaining expanded trail access thanks to the tireless efforts of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), local clubs and trail access advocates worldwide. A terrific example of this progress was the recent announcement by the National Park Service, dramatically expanding mountain bike access in more than 40 properties nationwide; something that was completely forbidden until only a few years ago.


 
IMBA president Mike Van Abel talking with NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis – Photo courtesy of IMBA

But after a 25-year struggle to gain a voice with land managers and policy makers in Washington, D.C. for trail access rights, the growing popularity of electric bicycles could put mountain bikers back in the same precarious situation they’ve worked so hard to emerge from.

“We recognize the benefits of e-bikes, yet also recognize that this type bike creates many added challenges for land managers and for IMBA’s approach to mitigating the impacts of bicycling in natural environments,” wrote Mike Van Abel, president of IMBA, on his blog. IMBA has also formally said they do not believe electric mountain bikes should be treated the same as human-powered mountain bikes, and have published a Motorized/Non-motorized Position Statement.

“We vetted our draft position through many other mountain bike advocacy leaders and groups from throughout the world,” added Van Abel. “Most agreed, as did IMBA’s board, that mountain biking should remain a non-motorized activity. Therefore, we conclude that riding e-bikes on natural-surface trails is not mountain biking. Further, we state that e-bike regulation for off-road travel should fall under motorized land management policies and rules.”

The Outlaw SS by Prodeco has peak power of 1200 watts and a 28 mph top speed

Simply looking at the advertisements for some of these powerful electric mountain bikes is cause for concern. Take the Outlaw SS by Prodeco Technologies. The Prodeco website says the Outlaw is “the first muscle e-bike”, encouraging you to “dispose of your motorcycle and climb aboard an Outlaw SS today”, adding that the Outlaw is “created to break the rules.” And break the rules it does. With a 28 mph top speed and 1200-watt peak power, the Outlaw SS exceeds current Federal e-bike regulations of 20 mph top speed and 750-watt peak power.

About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.


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  • Jason S says:

    I currently ride an ebike and also am looking to get into mountainbiking (on a pedal bike, not electric). However I ride my ebike as a commuter to work and back. I hardly ride it anywhere else…ever. It is technically a mountainbike (Specialized Hardrock 29er) although it’s not really suited to go offroad. I could probably take it on some trails but since it’s my main transpo to/from work, I don’t want anything breaking. As a pro-ebike person I would hate for a few bumholes on ebikes causing problems for mountainbikers. Hopefully users will ride electric mountain bikes in a socially responsible manner. I know I ride the bike lane on almost the entire ride to work, and I encounter other bikers and runners, etc. I always slow down and never whiz by them.

  • Scott P says:

    I don’t get it. If you want to go fast offroad without pedaling then why don’t you just buy a dirtbike? It looks to me that this is a way for people to ride electric dirtbikes on multi-use public access trails, which isn’t very cool on so many levels.

  • John says:

    Please…keep these things off the trails. Motorized is motorized. They don’t belong.

    • WntSolstice says:

      Couldn’t agree more. We have enough challenges with keeping even bicycles on trails – I don’t want to have to deal with what I see as the inevitable outrage an e-bike will cause.

  • Josue says:

    Isn’t this just like a wimpy dirtbike?
    I am completely against seeing these on the trails.

  • gSPIN says:

    even if all ebikes are banned from the trails, if the UCI can’t catch mechanical doping what chance have *you* got of stopping it??
    batteries motors & controllers are continually shrinking in (physical) size, i.e. getting ‘stealth’ier.
    we’re here & we’ve been here for quite some time.
    face it, you’ve already lost.

    • Troy Smith says:

      gSPIN. If you can’t tell that a bike is motorized, I don’t think it’s one that is of much concern in the context of the problems being discussed here. For issues of fairness in a race it matters of course, but if it is so quiet and subtle that it’s not detectable, then it’s not going to bother trail users.

    • technologist says:

      give up the fight, it becomes more stealthy from year to year. http://www.vivax-assist.com/en/produkte/vivax-assist.html

      just try an ebike for a ride, enjoy it and find regulation that allow all kind of cycles fun at the trails. At the moment this disscussions sounds like the discussion hiker vs. biker 30 years ago. But you can not stop technology, accept it, use it, have fun

  • Sean says:

    I agree that these should definitely be grouped with gas powered dirt bikes. The user in the video barely spins the pedals.

    I’ll second the motion for non-motorized (gas, electric, or anything else) bikes on multi-use trails.

  • jrp says:

    A powered bicycle is no longer a bicycle. These things are lightweight (by dirtbike standards) quiet dirtbikes.

  • Carlos says:

    Looks like fun and it needs foot pegs, should’nt be on bicycle trails its a moto!

  • rain says:

    Lazy and slovenly people will always prefer motors. That way they can play too without as much work involved. I don’t see how this is at all about winning or losing? If someone needs a motor to enjoy a trail they’re gonna find a way to use a motorized bike despite opinions, rules and policys. At least the electric variants will be less noisy that the MX petro spew I pissed off the neighbors with back in the ’70′s. Then I grew up and left motor bikes for the fat wannabe kids they’re marketed at.

  • Jerry says:

    Motorized is motorized whether it is the blaaap..blaaap…of a two stroke or the unassuming whine of an electric motor. When I bust my ass to get to the top of a climb and one of these things gets there I will make sure he knows he is a panty waste biatch. Then drink my wine and have my cheese.

  • Catmando says:

    Okay so if you have a pace maker in your chest that makes you motorized…right? Look, the issue as to “motorized vs. non-motorized” needs to be rethought in light of the newer technology and what it brings to the table. If a proper standard is set for off road use I can’t see a real reason why e-motor-assisted mountain bikes shouldn’t be allowed on trails. They don’t make much noise ( no more than a standard mountain bike ) and they shouldn’t have any more impact on trails that any other form of mountain biking currently being done. As long as the torque and power levels are kept to a minimum they should be fine. Some people get to use a horse as a power source. Just because the horse is biological in nature it shouldn’t give the rider specific trail rights. A bike is a machine, an e-motor is a machine. I say we redraw the line as to what kind of a machine can be used to ride on trails. I agree very much with gSPIN, the technology is here and it isn’t going away. Best we regulate it and make “proper use” of it rather than ignore it.

  • Kurt Gensheimer says:

    The biggest issue here is trail access and advocacy. I can guarantee you that if people start riding trails on these e-bikes, we as mountain bikers are going to face some serious access issues. It’s taken us nearly three decades to get proper recognition with land managers that mountain biking is a healthy, low-impact, viable and sustainable form of recreation. E-bikes, especially ones with six horsepower motors, will seriously put all this work in jeopardy.

    If it’s a multi-use trail where hikers, horses and bikes must co-exist, having a motorized bicycle, whether electric or not, is guaranteed to piss the wrong people off. And we can’t risk that.

  • Rob Clark says:

    For what I spend on my mountain bikes they should come with motors… 5k for bike,what a joke. Ranting aside – motorized bikes, regardless if of output are motorized vehicles and have no place on our trails.

  • Mark Lagrand says:

    At 51Year’s, 21Month’s Non Smokin, Baught a KHS Prescott, Lovin It, Excerise Every Day. Think I’m Gonna Put A Helper On The Rear Axle! Doesnt Mean I’m Gonna Be A @#$%^* And Ruin It For Everyone! P.S. One Thing I See On This Blog, Guess Ill Buy My Own Island And Put A Gate On It, EveryBody Happy ?
    Enjoy Life While You Can, I Am,

  • Lew says:

    I’d be very against e-mountain bikes in most situations, if someone pulled one out of the back of a car at a trail head in a western country I wouldn’t be very impressed. However I live a polluted city in mainland China, and having batteries could help me get to cleaner higher mountainous areas to go ride off road as there are only footpaths and farmers tracks and no official trails. The only thing putting me off is the weight of the batteries and the range, so for now I put the bicycle on the back of my motorcycle.

  • Jamie says:

    I hate these things already. A bunch of fat Americans on mtb trails, cheating. Just what we need…as if we aren’t obnoxious enough already.

  • Frank Stanton says:

    Having had a person on an electric assist bike go down in front of me on a paved trail when they hit a little sand last year I can see these being very unsafe in the hands of an inexperienced rider. The guy on 10,000 watt bike looked like he was going to flip it over at one point. And in the video they mention that you’ll run out of traction before running out of power, which tells me there isn’t anything there to limit wheel spin.

    Look at these bikes and you will see that visually they are somewhere between a mountain bike and a dirt bike. These bikes have an electric motor, which in my mind makes it a motorized vehicle. There are plenty of fire roads and other dirtbike trails I’m sure these things would be allowed, I don’t want them on the same singletrack I’m riding putting me in danger because I’m not moving as fast as they are.

  • syad says:

    Technically an ebike would be a true motorbike. Dirtbikes have engines, not motors.

  • roger says:

    Gas or electric, both MOTORIZED! Keep them off the local trails, eventually they will get shout down by the BIG inviromental groups we’ve been fighting to keep MTBing in our local trails! Let’s learn from the past!

  • roger says:

    it’s not reallly mt.biking or cycling if you are just pushing a button, there’s word for it, motor-cycling or motor-biking!

  • Steve says:

    Proponents of ebikes who say it gives my disabled/unfit friend/partner access to the trails we lucky fit/able-bodied people can ride, consider this: Riding trails into remote areas is not a right, it’s a privilege borne out by one’s ability to get in there and get out. If a disabled or extremely unfit person finds themselves in the middle of nowhere with a flat battery or major mechanical, what then? I’m a reasonable mountainbiker, but a useless swimmer. I don’t demand the right to swim the English Channel and create a mechanical aid that allows me to realize my “right”. I accept it’s not within my capabilities and stick to what I can do, or I get on a boat and give up on the notion of being called a swimmer.

    • Kw says:

      Maybe we should have never harnessed fire and just accepted the fact that we should all live close to the equator if we don’t like the cold. I wonder if your opinion will stay the same when you get a little older and can truly appreciate a little help enjoying the things you once enjoyed so much.

  • RW says:

    I have one and I’m not fat. I sure I can beat you up any hill you choose without an e-bike. I commute 30 miles a day and own 4 “normal bikes”, in addition to the E-bike. In the winter I can keep riding all week, regardless of the weather and wind, just by using the e-bike when it gets bad out.. No smog and it costs about 20 cents to charge each way. My e-bike is totally silent…Why is it responsible to have an electric car but not a electric bike? I can go way faster and do way more damage going down hill on a peddle bike than I ever will on an e-bike. Ever see one of the many videos of a downhill-er tearing up the trail? Tree-huggers do and that’s who you are fighting for access. But lets shame a possible ally and send them over to 4-wheeler dark side.

  • HillBillie says:

    Motor E, fossil fuel or bio fuel, will get you a free trip to the county lock on the trails in my neighborhood.

  • MP says:

    “We have a strict no motor vehicle policy, so if an e-bike falls within Federal speed and power limitations, at least as of right now anyone can use an e-bike on our trails,”

    How does this statement make sense? It has a motor. Therefore, it is a motor vehicle. Yet it’s somehow allowed at the same time because it meets some federal definition?

    Seems like the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority just needs to interpret the term “motor vehicle” to its advantage, then enforce its regulations.

    • Anthony says:

      It makes sense because eBikes are not legally “Motor Vehicles”, in CA at least.
      They have nor require no VIN number, unlike those evil, oft-maligned Mopeds
      Read the Vehicle Code and weep.
      This sounds so familiar; try to ban what you don’t understand…

  • Todd says:

    E-bikes may have their place, but not on our trails. Around town commutes, knock your self out. But on the Mtb trails, no way in h*ll. Go ride the atv/dirt bike trails.

  • MP says:

    Shouldn’t we all just start calling them mopeds. You know, for all the ignominious associations that term brings to mind. That’s essentially what they are.

  • Big Al says:

    A motor is a motor. Don’t embarrass yourself by riding an e-bike in the woods.Can’t wait to see the first one on a trail. I will laugh in your face and call you a puss.

  • Colin says:

    These shouldn’t be allowed on my trails! Uh, I mean the public trails that someone else built and that I ride on. These bikes are almost as loud as an electric toothbrush! It hurts my sensitive ears! And what’s worse, is that they can go faster than me! It hurts my feelings when they pass by me, so I call them names. But they ignore me when I call them fat, so now my only way to vent my frustration is to write internet comments about them and say that they should be illegal :’(

  • Danolator says:

    Keep that sissy stuff off my trails! If you need an eBike, it’s time to move into your retirement community. You can ride your eBike around the block, and then take your hover ’round to the community center.

    • Mark Wynn says:

      Agree … or just go straight to the golf cart.

    • Artimus says:

      Some of us just like to ride eBikes and normal MTN bikes as well as motorcycles etc… anything on wheels. I ride my eBike on local trails because its fun to but I do with respect for other people on the trail regarless if walking, biking running etc. Basically to everyone that deserves it. It’s not always necessary to get exercise on the trails, it’s soothing to cruise through the trails effortlessly on an eBike every once in a while.

  • Happy to Ride E Bike says:

    I know the shuttle services are overwhelming the down hill spots. You have to pay. You have to wait. Accessibility to good trails is questionable. I know some of these e bikes are game changers and allow us as bikers to explore further and take on new challenges daily. Bikers love sitting in the seat and I know they love new adventures. I am so ready to take on trail routes that are further and more complicated with a ebike. No Gas, no noise, same diameter tires as a mtb. The e bikes 26r dont do any more damage then a 29r peddler would do period. More contact on the ground is more contact and some of you bikers need to understand your arguments need to valid with justification. The ability for a guy to drop in ride and route and then ebike/pedal up seems like it would allow less gas consumption. More runs for the rider and one heck of day. I am so ready for this technology to keep blowing up. Then the urban uses are twice the benefits of the standard bike today. No pollution, easy parking, go further.

    If someone was going to trample your flowers its was meant to be pedaling or not.

    Right on E Bikes!

  • Mindless says:

    Open Wilderness to human powered bikes. Keep assisted bikes elsewhere.

  • Johnny Got Dough says:

    I love e-bike technology…. I hate having them on trails.
    For commuting it’s brilliant, enjoy a nice serene trail in the woods on this thing… no thanks.

    • Mark Wynn says:

      They are not bicycles. They are cycles with a motor — motorcycles. There should be no electrical devices on a bicycle except for lighting. That goes for electric motors as well as electric shifters, etc.

  • RT says:

    Ebikes are great as a commuter option.

    A big case for access is human powered. We’re the new kid at the table. Land Managers and Enviro groups have been saying for years,”Mt Bikes are going to open the door for other destructive uses and don’t belong, now look they’re saying they should have access with motors, they’ve been deceiving us this whole time… easiest to just ban everything with wheels!”

    Have fun with that. Sierra Club’s balance sheet is 50% of Shimano’s total and their contributions are roughly $10M more than shimano’s income from Bicycles. That’s one foe with some serious cash to deploy against us.

    Lets not create more access issues by trying to include something that isn’t our sport. Let the emotor mt cyclists form their own advocacy group and fight their own access fight. I’m happy to stand against them getting access to protect the nascent gains we human powered mt bicyclists have made.

  • Kyung Jae says:

    I regularly ride my mid-drive e-bike Kona Stinky on singletracks with regular bikes. There is no advantage going downhill in terms of speed, but it does allow me to take the side road back up and ride certain sections more times. I wish I could bomb up a singletrack but, in reality, the course really limits speed especially in terms of traction. Areas where it’s common for the rear tire to slip or pop an accidentally wheelie are exacerbated under even the slightest throttle.

    In the end, it really is about common courtesy. Even on my regular bikes, I’m not going to bomb down a hill at full speed when joggers, hikers, dog walkers, and/or horses are coming up. Just because a car can go X mph doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or legal for it to be going X speed. Well, there’s always going to be that rich kid with the $10,000 Bomber (which should be registered at the DMV) that ruins it for the rest of us. Hahaha

  • Vik says:

    Powered MTBs are dirt bikes. They should be treated like their gasoline powered brothers.

    • Kyung Jae says:

      That’s a very black and white way to view things. At this time, e-bikes regulation has a lot of gray area and a whole lot of confusion. There is a federal definition that does put a clear line between what is classifies an e-bike as a bike vs a moped/scooter/motorcycle similar to how golf carts are not cars.

      The high profile, high power e-bikes like the ones mentioned in this article are, indeed, motorcycles in disguise as e-bikes and should be treated like their gasoline brothers similarly as a Nissan Leaf or Tesla Roadster are very much cars. However, the vast majority of e-bikes have an operating power of around 450w, give or take ~200w, which is literally 0.6 horse power (750w ~ 1hp). They are not dirt bikes by any means and any intermediate XC rider can burst incline speeds faster than an e-mountain biker. The e-bike may be able to sustain a higher rate of speed longer uphill and able to ride the same section of single track more times on a trip, but it is in no means faster on the uphill or downhill than a conventional bike especially on technical courses.

  • Mark Wynn says:

    There should be no electrical devices on a “bicycle” except for lighting. Just sayin’

  • Scott says:

    I think there’s a time and place for everything. As much as I love long backcountry rides, there needs to be areas that are even off limits to bikes too. Some places need to remain as untouched as possible. That means, hiking only. I get that people want access to things but there has to be a limit. We can’t create access to everything and we shouldn’t.

    I think ebikes are great for those who want to get around town, or on light gravel roads who otherwise would drive a car or an atv, but singletrack needs to remain singletrack as much as possible and wilderness needs to remain wilderness…not even bikes. If you can’t get there on human power, you can’t get there. I hope non-human powered vehicles will be banned on most singletrack and mtb trails.

  • JD says:

    Unlike most posters here I have actually been on trails with ebikes. Setting aside the obvious access questions, the power to handling prowess equation is highly problematic on any single track. Making wilderness less wild in order to provide access to the weak and infirm is wrong- headed. Let the technology be virtual reality to bring the trail to the weak rider, rather than advanced batteries to drag the rider into the wilderness.

  • PT says:

    A motor is a motor. These things climbing up hills will tear everything up. I moto and mtn bike but respect the rules and ride them in places designated for each respective use. When I’m mtn biking on a non-moto trail, I’ll stop moto riders and tell them that I ran into a ranger looking for them and that I moto as well but not on these trails. Makes them feel like they’re on your side and gets them onto legal trails.

  • Bryan says:

    After reading through all these comments I cant believe what a bunch of whingers people have become! I guess the consensus here is that electric bikes are evil because they ‘tear up’ (scream) the environment and that they shouldn’t be allowed on ‘our’ trails. Trails that for years you’ve all been fighting for your ‘rights’ to ride on.
    First of all, trying to latch on to the environmental angle claiming that these bikes are more destructive than a regular bike is somewhat disingenuous.
    The majority of these bikes are of similar size and weight to a regular bike, certainly the ones that people can afford anyway! It makes me cringe when people try to do that because they sound just like the hikers that you see on the trails that give you that look when you pass them. The same look people on horses give to hikers when they ride by them and the very same look people on bikes give to people on bikes give to people on horses when they have to slow down … as if to say….’get off MY path’!
    Only one word for it .. snobbery!
    Everyone seems to have an argument why each of these groups shouldn’t use the trails but fail to recognize that they are there for everyone to use.
    Now it would appear that there is a new group to hate.. those pesky ebike users!
    I think the first paragraph of the above article thinly disguises the real problem people have with ebikes or more specifically the people who own them.. and it isn’t anything to do with ‘advocacy work’. No its just plain jealousy folks, the fear that someone else has got to where you are with less effort. Its a natural human instinct I suppose but when this is used to exclude a particular group on trumped up grounds then that is not right!
    Ebikes are not motorbikes. They are not as heavy and they are not as fast… and that is why legislation bans motorcycles from trails where walkers are present. Cycles often have their own trails off the main routes that pedestrians and horses use so that you can (and do) really go for it on the downhill sections. This is the same whether your bike is powered or not. So it would appear that the real disdain comes from the fact that people on ebikes can get back to the start of their next downhill easier… and lets face it that’s what we’re all looking for… the next good downhill section.
    Just for the record, I don’t own an ebike, my bike isn’t even that good, its a knackered old GT avalanche but I love to get out there and hit the trails and come home absolutely filthy. I assume that’s why most of you ride too. If some people choose and can afford to buy a bike (and they are bikes) that allows them to ride for longer or do that really good section ‘one last time’ then so what? You still have to be bothered to get your bike on the car and get out there guys so I don’t subscribe to this perception that the trails are going to be full of couch potatoes eating a Mcdonalds while doing a ‘no-handy’ on a 70% incline while your grinding it out.
    If you think that these bikes are going to encourage some people to ride beyond their ability .. that may happen but that happens on regular bikes anyway… and in any case if you see someone fly off an ebike because he’s going too fast for the conditions, just do what you do when your mate flies off their bike… laugh your head off and call him a silly tw@t!

    • Ramon says:

      Thanks for your post. I remember in the past people that complained about mountain bikers……snow boarders…..ect….anyone that did not fit their mold how life should be.

  • ned says:

    i cant be bothered to read through this garbage to see if my points already been raised.

    but honestly how is being passed by a 6hp ebike on a singletrack any different to you passing an unfitter/less experienced rider on the same path?

    pull your head out of your asses, embrace the technology and hope that in the near future we can all be riding 6hp 35lb all-mountain bikes.

  • Cole says:

    BH Emotion Jumper is perfect EMTB for older folks that love to ride and also for folks with limitations like bad knees, back, hips, etc that can’t power up some of the trails…the Neo Jumper is 350W and ridden in economy Pedal Assist mode it is plenty for the trails and rider…RESPECT for other MTB’s and Hikers is a must…I rode at Dinosaur Valley State Park for a week with other MTB’s and none ever knew or suspected I was on an Electric MTB…two knee operations have limited me somewhat, but the Neo Jumper has made it a pleasure to ride again!

  • Mike says:

    To all the opponents of electric assist I can only say wait till it happens to you. When you get a condition that threatens your ability to ride you will do an about face trust me. I have been biking for 40 years and yes laughed at electric bikes till I snapped my leg so bad they had to patch it up with metal. I can still ride a reg bike and do but I also have a hi powered electric as well for those days when my leg is killing me.I was seriously considering giving it up till I got the electric. It’s all about respect and common sense. My electric will do over 30 mph on the trails but I don’t fly down the trails at warp speed putting fellow bikers in harms way . If I can see ahead ya I crank it, of course, I’m a speed junkie and this my friends is a whole new sport. It doesn’t matter if you are driving a car on the road , racing in the woods or sharing a trail you have to respect your fellow riders. I’ve raced against a couple hundred guys in the woods on dirt bikes that show more class then people on bike trails. If you think those legs are the only way to power a bike you are dreaming . Like I said, wait till it happens to you.

  • Bill Crawford says:

    These would be great. Sure there is alot of complaining. I personally would enjoy one. I cycle hundreds of miles a week both on and of road as a triathelte. Many of these are so expensive and until the price comes down I don’t believe we will be seeing alot. I would love to get a girlfriend or someone that doesn’t have my skill set to ride in assist mode. This will be the future wether you agree or not.

  • stu rogers says:

    I think these bikes look great, sure like anything if idiots ruin them then they could be dangerous but i am not as fit as i used to be. one of these would allow me to enjoy an all day ride without doing myself in, hey i even consider one for commuting. I would not go down hill any faster than on any other bike it would just help me up the hill. Now consider this if by using an e bike you no longer need to use up lifting services be it vehicles or lifts then surely the overall effect is better for the environment ? They are not dirt bikes they are e bikes, they do not make a racious noise or tear up the dirt. I wish I can have a go and arguing that by having an e bike you are irresponsible is just a dumb argument. As for the comments you should only get on the trails if you deserve to be there well good luck to you fella next time your bike fails you in the middle of knowhere or you injure yourself I will still stop on my e bike and tow you back to safety

  • stu rogers says:

    there should be a like button on this page, lots of good pro comments coming out, good stuff sure if people want to race then they need seperate e bike classes but for trail riding lets all be friends and help each other out here, or i might just pitetion that everyone has to ride 30 year old clunkers so that we are all on equal terms !!!! get over yourselves peeps the future is here embrace it

  • Artimus says:

    Life is short, quit your bitchin and enjoy what ever you do. Be respectful, responsible and tread lightly for the next generation wants to enjoy it too.

    eBikes are fun

  • slamman says:

    This debate is simple.
    1. if you want to ride a bicycle… buy a bicycle and ride where bicycles can ride!
    2. If you want a motorized bike… buy a motorized bike and ride where motorized bikes can ride!
    Motor cross is heading in the electric direction, now mtb’s are looking at adding electric motors; WHICH WILL GET TWEAKED, TUNED! The result, the two will become one! So when in a few years time all the people who welcome electric mtbs start moaning about trails being closed due to the damage and issues of motor bike ripping up the countryside, or riders coming UP a trail at 20 plus MPH, and hitting them, you only have yourself to blame!
    This is all the fault of lazy manufacturers looking to open a new market for the naturally lazy human race.
    Trail centres already suffer from erosion, just imagine what motor cross bikes will do and these will become motorcross bikes in the future. Just look at kids tweaking mopeds, which are only suppose to do 30mph, some how they can do 70. same thing.
    Maybe this sites name needs to change MXBR?
    and the rest PinkMX, MXBikeradar, SingtrackMXworld,
    Downhill will vanish and just become MX, in fact mtb will die long term! Why the hell would anyone want to pedal an MX bike….??????????
    THINK ON PEOPLE!!!

  • wtsmith says:

    These are effectively electric mopeds. For commuter purposes they’re amazing.

    For off road … its kinda cheating. And it strikes at the heart of why many environmental groups are so vehemently opposed to mountain bikes in federal lands, more bodies in wild spaces.

    I’m sure we can recognize the difference between access for those with limited ability and those who are joyriding. Maybe a handicapped sticker just like we use for parking spaces.

  • pepelepau says:

    Why do they put pedals and cranks in that “mountain bike” if he doesn’t use them at all to pedal. Doesn’t make sense.

  • Bileeeeee says:

    Yeah I ride an Outlaw… thats right.
    Proud to say it, love it.
    My bike is rated for 17 to 20 miles but I take the bike double that 40 miles +
    So Yes I pedal and pedal plenty or battery would die.
    What the E bike does is make the ride smoother faster and more enjoyable. Whats wrong with that?
    I go further, faster, farther.
    I was over it but now Im more into it, don’t cha see?
    Gets me on the bike way more which means more exercise.
    All you haters are just that…haters….

  • Ramon says:

    If it is not noisy and does not spit fumes out who cares? Might allow people that could not enjoy the out doors the ability too. My favorite activity was mountain biking before getting injured in combat. I can barely walk Thus I am very excited that this tech might allow me to enjoy my old trails. Open up your minds, if I we respect nature who cares if you working hard or not.

  • john ;peck says:

    I’m 65, and when my knees finally go completely, I pretty sure
    I’ll want one of these damn things. Lookin’ better all the time.

  • Reno464 says:

    I agree with many people here that this is the hiker vs. MTBer argument that in California was still prevalent all the way into the late 90′s and the skiers vs. snowboarders war for South Lake (thanks Heavenly snobs). None of these reached real acceptance until after a couple of X Games which eventually led to the Olympic committee recognizing both as real sports ( thank you MTBers for leading the way for alternative sports acceptance). This fight for our trails was not 30years ago, it was just 12 years ago and is still to this day a fight. Fellow MTBers I feel your pain as I got a ticket for bombing down a fire road in 1998 on a hard tail to fast. I thought it was insane getting pulled over by a truck on a national trail for a perception of our community.

    This just seems to be a string full of hatred and resentment on both sides. I would like to see the older MTBers such as my self come together and realize how much our sport is growing because of this technology. Don’t look at what the top end of equipment can do, but, look at what the average user is doing. We don’t ban Ferraris for what they are capable of do we? I also ride ATVs and motorcycles and I am accustomed to the fight for off-road access (Let’s face I love all things with wheels!) but, this needs to stop being so hateful and ignorant on both sides.

    After 12 years of war and spending my time between deployments in a swamp I decided to move back to California and pick MTBing up again. I tried XC for a year before I realized that my body, due to injuries could not take it any more and I sold my FSR Comp and bought an Ellsworth Rogue. As I realized my MTB life would be stuck stuck in descending only mode I decided to look into other options. I soon found that an ebike kit attached to my DH bike would be awesome. It allows me to go back up the mountain without killing myself. I bought an ebike kit that allows me to do 43mph! Yes 43mph if I pedal hard in top gear. But it can only do this on flat paved surfaces for 30 seconds. Going up hill on motor alone is at a crushing 8mph at a 10% grade. That is not breaking any land speed records. But, I understand when the purest are going 2mph. I must seem like an “A Hole”. Ya I’m only 30 but, I couldn’t do a quarter of what I’m doing now without my kit.

    My mid drive kit puts out 1200 watts of power and 2400watts max for 30 seconds. No! I don’t ride around town at top speed for hours on end. I’m not Lance on a fast road bike, I’m a disabled vet just trying to make good bike time on a very heavy rig. Due to this kit I now ride everyday to work I love helping to make a better world by no longer using my car as part of my ten mile each way commute. I am actually safer riding across the 3 bridges by being able to hit a comparable speed to the cars when my bike lane disappears.

    Most kit builders use DH frames for their conversions because they can take the extra weight.most of us pedal their bike a lot for max range, because let’s face know body is good at pedaling a 60lb bike without help.

    Yes I am a user of the trails and I don’t wish to get anyone upset so I regulate my speed uphill and around town. But, I go downhill fast cause I can, and I have very capable DH equipment to do so and I don’t need a motor for gravity speed thank you. Stop judging the entire community on a couple of rich kids or the occasional garage engineer.

    MTBers unite or else we all will give the hikers more ammo as long as we are fighting against each other.

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