Take the 2019 Mtbr Ebike Survey

Yeah, nay or undecided?

E-bike

Ebikes in Downieville, CA

Ebikes are a significant force happening in the bike industry today but it’s not an easy subject to tackle. Help us understand your interests and concerns by taking the survey below.

We’ll publish the results shortly and compare them to the survey we ran last year.

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  • jak says:

    Yes, for sure, especially for older legs getting back in to biking… weight is a problem. Keep it low and mid bike… obviously rear drive.. higher voltage/smaller battery gives more push when needed but not as much range.. strap everything down well (I ripped the brake signal wire out the first day, sigh).. minimal wiring is obviously more rugged. Some rear hubs have better wire configurations than others. … maybe next I’ll upgrade to disk brakes… 8^)

  • Rich says:

    Yeah,, have to quit mtb because of severe heart desease that had stroke me in the trail, but hopefully now i can relive my passion : riding my bike, but an e-bike , not my first choice but my only one remaining , my heart desease is call ARVC.

  • Adam Causewell says:

    ust more marketing spam. I have yet to see a single article from MBA or any of those that sell and market ebikes that addresses REAL issues. People riding ebikes UPHILL on descent trails? Insurance for clubs and landowners that does not cover ebikes? Adding more speed and energy and increasing potential conflict with non-biking traffic? Inexperienced riders with limited fitness getting in over the heads? I’m in full support of responsible integration of ebikes on the trail systems that pedal-powered riding clubs have paid to create and gain access to. However, I have not seen ANY effort by the ebike-sellers to address the issues above. Instead, you moan on and on about your perceived “opponents and haters” and make false comparisons to paddleboards, snowboards, and early MTB access. Not for one moment has an actual ebike proponents stepped up, and said “yeah, those are important considerations, here is what I propose…” It is because of this total silence on important issues, and irresponsible marketing that we will see problems. NOT because ebikes are bad…but because the people profiting off them only thing about profits, and not responsibility. It’s fine and well that ebike-sellers want to piggyback on the success of the pedal-powered bike industry….but at least step up and show some fiber by talking about constructive ways of doing so, instead of just whining about the haters.

  • goodDirt says:

    Just like self driving cars, it is not going away. Lots of ignorance on both camps especially from people quick to judge based on zero experience.

  • Fastfish says:

    So long as it stays Pedal-Assist I’m for it, I’m 59 my wife is 58 we love to ride and this would help her a lot and me in the future to stay out there on the trails exploring & enjoying.

  • Rob says:

    Maybe some of the issue is the burden of proof question: Does eMTB have to prove that there are no issues or does everyone else have to prove that there are issues? For me it is black and white in that there is a motor on the bike. It is called an assist but the assist comes from a motor. Legally I don’t know if they are considered motor vehicles. But if there is no enforcement it actually doesn’t matter what the law is.

  • Dirtbag says:

    This is akin to snowboards when they first came out and electric cars of today. Both were ridiculed and look where its at it today. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It allows folks enjoying the trails and gets folks out there. Specially the ones with health issues or are no longer able to physically endure the grind. We all get to that point guys.

  • Robert Lee Morgan says:

    as a solo rider is fine, but when you get a fast ebiker flying up hills and trails with lots of riders it can get dangerous when passing. this can increase one’s risk to themselves and others. ebikes on the road is another issue, for there plenty of room for passing.

  • Brian says:

    It all comes down to trail access to me. I don’t care for eMTBs, but I have no problem with e-bikes for commuting/bike path riding as a means of transportation or outdoor recreation for people less abled to pedal a bicycle completely under their own power.
    IMBA and other smaller less supported organizations have worked tirelessly for decades now to ensure that we have access to the trails we love. E-MTB’s endanger our existing agreements with landowners/managers as these officials often have tenuous relationships with mtb’ers and an even dimmer view of motorized equipment. Muddying the waters on what makes a mtb separate from a motorized vehicle from a landowners perspective is a bad thing, and it could result in us effectively being the baby that is thrown out with the bathwater. Address that issue, and I’m happy to ride with you.

    Don’t screw with my trail access.

    • Rick says:

      Well said.
      Is anyone so delusional as to think that mountain bikers have won the war to gain universal understanding and acceptance from the trail access community?

      Here’s a prediction: The first time you see an add for an “Undetectable Power Increase Kit” for an e-bike, you can start the egg-timer on our current trail access level. In five years, we’ll be reading about the locust infestation that we thought for certain was just a few harmless grasshoppers.

  • winsail says:

    Descending e-bikes are similar to No motor MTB Bikes. Uphill is really the difference. Going 4-10 times the speed of a normal uphiller can pose issues
    for hikers, runners, horses and downhill riders meeting an e-bike on a trail. Solutions to this are 1 direction trails. This is probably a good solution for most trail use conflicts. E-bikes are here to stay but like mountain bikes in the early 80’s there may be consequences for just riding then asking permission later. The result in Northern and central CA was the closure for all mountain bikes on some great trails. Many of these trails are still closed to MTB today nearly 40 years later. History is the teacher and we need to follow the lesson. We really need solutions to share the trails not bickering among our two-wheeled fellow riders. Advocacy and responsible riding will also go a long way. As an example being a weekend warrior with a new e-bike and caring less about the 100 other riders you will see on your local popular trail will create enemies, haters and outright bans for e-bikes. Disclaimer:
    I do not own or ride an e-bike and don’t plan to buy one in the near future. I have tried e-bikes in the past and they currently are not for me but that could change in the future. I just hope there is a at least 1 local trail still legal to ride once I buy one.

    • James Nessler says:

      I have found that most places where an ebike would help me is on steep climbs, most of which are usually technical. For that reason, I don’t believe speed will be an issue. Both types of bikes are the same on downhills. Recently I saw an ebike that looked like a motorcycle, and actually had a throttle. It could move without pedalling. Ebikes MUST be kept as pedal assist only. Public perception is very important concerning access.

  • Lynn says:

    My short answer is yes, to e-bikes. This is not a simple integration into trails just yet. There are some things rules and legislation can do to support e-bikes. Private landowners as well as public federal and state trails need to post which trails are available to ebikies, just like they post for horses, bikes, and hikers. There are some things that capitalism cannot police. I read a comment about newbies getting over their heads, buying, riding,and severely injuring themselves or others. Since the technology exists, no one can prevent anyone else from purchasing or using an ebike. This is where common sense has to kick in or , yes, new ebike users will get hurt.
    The advantages for the older, sick, or injured outweigh the problems we, as a bike community, will face with idiots using ebikes. As a personal anecdote, I only know one person who has an ebike and he is much older and enjoys the outdoors, but can no longer do some of the things he use to. Several friends like the idea of an assist from a bike, not to burn down the trails but to stay social and enjoy the outdoors.

    • Steps Gush says:

      Lynn, a cogent and well stated position. Thank you. As for those that break the rules and show a careless disregard for fellow bikers those are more than likely the same individuals that we see bombing down the trails regardless of what kind of bike they are on. It’s a personality issue….not a bike issue.
      I would like to add this for those healthy, younger riders out there that seem so vehemently opposed to pedal assist bikes. You are not always going to be young, healthy and fit as you begin age. You may think you will always remain healthy, and I applaud you for your beliefs but no one beats Father Time! It’s a zero sum game. And if you spent a lifetime being a responsible rider and found you could never hit the trails again, I’m sure you might reconsider your opposition. That is human nature.
      I’m, 67 and still MTB on my full suspension non e-bike. I hope that even after 3 total knee reconstructions (lacrosse and soccer), and addition 3 meniscus surgeries, as well as 4 herniated discs I can keep pedaling under my own power for years to come. But, if I cannot, I would certainly be a massive downer to know that I have lost the outdoor activity I enjoy the most.
      Just as cell phones are a menace in the hands of certain drivers, we cannot punish all drivers who own cell phones and follow the rules.

  • chaz says:

    Lester Binegar: “and shows these bikes to be just that, a bike”

    If that’s the case, why not just ride an actual bicycle? Maybe because they aren’t just a bike? If you want to ride one, fine. But please don’t pretend they are bicycles.

    • craigsj says:

      chaz: That is what he’s doing, because an e-bike IS an “actual bicycle”. If you don’t want to ride one, fine, but please don’t pretend that aren’t bicycles.

  • James says:

    Still the same pro e-bike biased questions as last year. When you buy an ebike, what kind do you want? No option for “I don’t want it at all”. 🙁

  • Shane Arrian says:

    I think that the electric assist bikes are really just more easy to pedal (arguably lazier) bikes and really aren’t anything like a dirt bike or a moped. There’s not a throttle and you can’t really burn out in one. When I’ve rode them, they just helped me get up the hill easier and faster.

  • SSSteve says:

    Watch what say about bikes on the trail e bike or Mt .bike. That said I am not a fan of e bikes on trails’ If you ride a Mt. bike you probably started out slow building skills and endurance and enjoy the challenge. I do not see that happening on an e bike.

  • Rick says:

    It saddens me to think anyone with a knowledge of motorized sport….and the segment of society that embraces it….believes that e-bikes are of no potential harm to cycling.

    The never-ending demand for more power, more traction, and more speed will gradually drive e-bikes ever closer to motorcycles. Trail erosion will increase, outcries from other trail users will grow louder, and eventually, access keepers will lose patience and declare anything two-wheeled banned. I witnessed this exact scenario with the advent of 3 and 4-wheeler ATVs back in the 70’s and 80’s. The ATV crowd declared their machines no different than regular dirt bikes, and insisted on access to established motorcycle trails. The resulting “easier to ride than motorcycles and thus increased access and fun for more people” mantra fueled the closure of most trail areas due to lawsuits from inexperienced, helmetless fad-chasers and damn near killed the sport.

    Call me alarmist. Say the e-bike thing is a very different animal. I hope you’re right.

  • GA MTNBKR says:

    This survey was poorly designed. Just asking questions without specifying which class of ebike you are surveying makes the results invalid. There are 3 classes of ebikes. One class (Class 2) is a throttle assist ebike and moves under its own power. No one should want a Class 2 ebike on non-motorized trails. Class 1 pedal assist ebikes (top assist speed of 20mph) should be allowed on non-motorized trails for a variety of reasons (old age, disabled person, trail maintenance use, etc.) Class 3 ebikes are pedal assist but top assist speed is 28mph. We don’t need Class 3s on non-motorized trails.

    • Rick says:

      And of course, e-bike riders will respect any guidelines and exclusions posted on trails. Their respect and appreciation for the tenuous nature of trail access….and the way it can be swiftly lost….will drive their compliance. Yup.

  • joey says:

    Motor- cycles belong on Motorcycles trails! Let grandpa take a ride on BLM land and have a blast. Single track trails with hikers is no place for motorcycles………

  • Mr-EPIC says:

    I think the real problem is we should not be comparing eMTB, MTB or motorcycles, they are completely different 2-wheel disciplines. Fitness claim is bunch of crap, if you are riding hard on a MTB or eMTB you are getting exerciser, at the end of the day it’s all about having fun. What I think is funny hikers, don’t want MTBikers on the trails and MTBikers don’t want eMTBikers trails, can’t we all just enjoy the trails together.

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