If you go off our comment section, the collective attitude towards electric mountain biking or the use of eBikes on trails is fairly easy to discern. However, IMBA wants to do an official head count or more appropriately a detailed survey. Recognizing the rapid growth of the electric segment, IMBA is asking for your opinions on the matter as they study the overall impact of eMTBs on trails.

Whatever your position, this is the time to speak up. Head over to IMBA’s site to make your position known.

74 COMMENTS

  1. It’s far more fun to post your opinions on ebikes in the BR comments section than to take a survey that IMBA could give two craps about your response. Then you can hit the timer and see how long they last before they are deleted if they do not meet the strict posting requirements. Ask me how i know…

    Since almost all of my responses on the topic here on BR have been deleted on the topic, we’ll see if this one stands. eBikes have no place on off-road trails that have been designated as bike-only or multi-use trails. Period. If municipalities want to allow them on paved trails and assume that liability, then have it.

  2. What I am confused about is this notion of “rapid growth.” Opinions on these eMTBs aside, I simply have not seen them out on the trails. I have seen rapid growth in their advertisement, in sales pitches, and rapid growth in industry reviews, but I have not seen them riding on trails where they shouldn’t be here in Southern California. I realize that this statement is highly subjective and anecdotal, but I get the feeling that this is an industry created buzz that will lead to negative and hurtful legislation for 2-wheeled trail users.

  3. I think it is inevitable. I’ve ridden them and with just a bit of pedal assist you can make the ride much more enjoyable for people who have some physical limitations or age just sets in and you can’t make the ride without them. Most people will say just get stronger / fitter but it isn’t possible for everyone to do this and they’d still enjoy some access to the woods. I don’t think it will destroy the trails and they are actually really fun to ride.

  4. Trail systems and cycle paths are fundamentally different in my view.
    Whereas cycle paths primary purpose is to provide improved transportation, trail systems are about recreation and entertainment. As such I see little issue with the use of eBikes in an urban context, on cycle paths, provided safety is maintained. However, I worry the presence of eMTBs will change substantially the benefit derived by many existing trail users.
    While the eBikes nearest cousin is probably the pedal powered cycle, I think that eMTBs are more closely akin to dirt bikes. Therefore eMTBs should be allowed to make use of infrastructure developed for ATV/Dirt bikes.

    Ideally what I would like is an electric assist to get me to the trailhead, but one I can then remove to make use of the trails, thereby eliminating the need to drive a car.

  5. As an avid mountain biker I love my “regular” mountain bike. But I do admit that when i rode a Bosch equipped Cube from our demo fleet I giggled the whole time. I am not the fastest guy out there but even with the assist I didn’t beat the top KOM of some of the top riders. What I did do was manage to get double the amount of kilometers in my after work ride with about the same amount of effort. What I am against is a bike on the trails with a throttle. That in my mind is a whole different beast and that is where the line should be drawn. Pedal assist bikes are coming, they are here to stay and i do think they are going to open the world of biking to a whole bunch of new people. These new people are going to spend money and if we can educate them about trail etiquette they are going to be a valuable asset to the cycling world. Does my pride hurt when i get passed, a little but i am a big boy and handle that.

  6. Matt, I think that part of that is that the cost of entry is very high and that people willing to spend a large amount of money on a bike are serious cyclists who don’t consider an ebike an option. But I do agree that all the marketing and buzz will be bad for trail access. It also doesn’t help that the poll seems to be skewed in favor of ebikes. It’s like the market has made something and now needs a demand for it.

  7. The Rapid growth statement comes from the OEMs and the parts makers who are all happy to see a new segment. When you did not sell any e.bikes 5. Years ago and now you sell 20,000, that’s rapid growth.

    The thing that bothers me is none of the OEMs seem to have bothered to ask if e.mtbs are ‘good’ for the sport of mtb in general and what they may mean for trail access in areas where there is already a hot spot between motorized and non motorized users and regulations.

    I am also sad too see that Bosch has opened their US office in L.A. And seems to be almost a lobby type force in pushing regulations to allow e.mtbs on non motorized trails.

    E.bikes are great for commuting and hauling the kids, but trail access and the people who love mtb as it is now will suffer if e.mtbs are allowed everywhere where ‘normal’ bikes are allowed.

    Peace.

  8. bart – I disagree that e-bikes will open the world of biking to a whole bunch of new people. Its anecdotal, but I don’t know anyone that doesn’t ride because they are either too unfit or lack strength to ride a traditional bike. Those people tend to ride, but go on shorter or less strenuous routes.
    I could maybe see commuting opening up, but most people I know view that as unsafe (even when stats don’t show it). And e-bikes won’t suddenly improve many people complete incompetence balancing on two wheels.
    I’m sure e-bike popularity will rise as prices come down though. That is really the biggest hurdle. Most people balk at spending $1k on a bike, yet alone 2, 3 or 5 times that.

  9. Why are e.bikes worse than using a chair lift to take you to the top with your 35 lbs downhill bike with huge suspension and then bombing down the hill like an crazed person? I think with their cost, weight and lack of throttle, the adrenaline junkies are going to avoid them. A more mature and responsible group will use them to be able to cover more miles and get more enjoyment out of their limited recreational time. But I have yet to see one on the trail or ride one myself.

  10. Regardless of the level of power added, motorizing a bicycle fundamentally changes the activity and is in no way analogous to suspension or disc brakes. Cycling is a human-powered activity and we do ourselves a disservice by allowing it to become a motorsport in the eyes of legislators, land managers, and our fellow trail users.

    Want wilderness access? E-bikes simply aren’t going to help our case

  11. Unfortunately the contact I’ve had with ‘ e bikers’ has been poor. These so machines are bringing folk that wouldn’t normally ride tough trails. Erratic riding and no trail etiquette.

  12. Singletrack are for bikes not pedal powered electric motorcycles.

    If he bike has 400w of assist and the rider is only poviding 100w to the pedals. The bike is more electric then human powered. It’s an electric motorcycle.

    The ebikes are trying to bandwagon their way to access by convincing us that they are no different. No good can come from this type of association. I’m trying to see the benefit to the MTB community. I can’t.

    Dirt bikes are a lot of fun, but they are not mountain bikes.

    Stop trying to lobby your way into Increased Sales Revenue

  13. Gotta love @Marc’s comment about wanting access for mountain bikes (to Wildnerness) while saying a modified version of current bicycles shouldn’t be allowed on singletrack. I get it, we’re all hypocrites at times.

    I’ve mountain biked and ridden my dirtbike on shared use singletrack in Moab and Crested Butte. Wonderful experiences with both, including sharing the trail with others. EBikes are WAY closer to regular MTN bikes than dirt bikes, so I’m having a really hard time seeing the problem.

    Likewise, when I see XC racer type riders on singletrack, they’re going as fast or faster than ebikes. Similarly, downhillers go way faster than ebikes. Should we be screaming foul about this? Nope.

    It’s a big world out there. Let’s share it with some others.

  14. Cousin It: surely it’s coincidental that Bosch would open an LA office, then California rewrote its laws.

    It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen this level of bought-and-paid-for support in such a small industry. Now I realize where the money is coming from.

  15. Another point comes to mind:
    There are many great brands who do not sell e.mtb’s. If this issue is important to you, then you should consider voting with your wallet and buying your next bike from a company who is not blindly pushing e.mtb’s into the market without a care as to the consequences to long term trail access.

  16. I live in OC CA and have been blown past by E-bikes on some nasty climbs on the trail. Both times it happen the riders didn’t pass with care and were wreckless in that respect as I’m not a slow climber.

    That being said I don’t think they should have the same access as hikers and mountain bikers. There are already trails which they can legally explore. The same ones sport bikes and off-road 4/4 vehicles use. Those which are designed for motor use. The idea e-bikes give access to those of disabilities is a liability statement. Do we want someone who can’t walk very well or has other physical issues on trails designed for human powered access?

    E-bikes are low powered motorbikes and should be treated as such, a motorbike!

  17. @Jeff – I think the main difference with e-MTB’s and lift served DH is that lifted served DH runs are almost exclusively dedicated bikes runs, designed and maintained for specific bike use (DH), all in one direction and with no pedestrian/equestrian conflict.

    I am not sure how one can draw the parallel you did other than “not earning your descent”. Nor can one ensure that they will be used by a more mature audience, especially the ones spec’d with enduro levels of suspension travel and capability. See pic on top of the article.

  18. @Myke I made that point in the survey. Not ONE person who’s come into the shop looking at eBikes has ridden a bike in the last 30 years.

  19. This seems pretty cut and dry to me: they should be treated as motorized transportation completely separate from mountain bikes.

  20. @Myke – you bring to mind a question that will likely sound insensitive to some, but should be asked:

    If someone isn’t physically able enough to even pedal a bike on a trail with their own power, are they physically able to safely handle a (heavier, more cumbersome) bike in rough terrain at speeds possibly higher than able-bodied riders can attain?

    One thing about regular, human-powered bikes – people usually develop handling skills as they develop fitness, as both are required to do longer rides. These eMTBs circumvent this process.

  21. Thank you IMBA for taking this survey. A clear line needs to be drawn between mountain bikes and Ebikes before trail access is jeopardized. Swift action should be taken to ban Ebikes from all non motorized trails.

  22. E-bikes, great for commuting and pavement. Ban them on all trails. The parks dept/forest service do not have the man power to check for batteries, or for battery size. They ebikes will only get more powerful and more destructive, and will get all bikes banned.

  23. No, just no. This is no different that asking if we should allow motorcycles on trails. Does it matter that its electric rather than internal combustion? It’s bad enough convincing hikers to tolerate the mountain bikes.

    I believe Moab’s slick rock trail was originally developed by motorcyclists. So was El Corte de Madera in the Bay Area. If we want to go back to the motorcycle era in these places, fine, but let’s admit what e-bikes are: quieter motorcycles. Why on earth IMBA is even involved in this I don’t know. These aren’t mountain bikes.

  24. The whole point of this discussion is about trail access. I don’t see much room for debate in classifying e-bikes as ‘motorized’. They have a motor (whether or not it is throttle or pedal-assist is irrelevant), thus are motorized. Secondary effects including who is on these bikes, if they do this or that, erode trails, blah blah is going to be up for subjective debate always…

    Regardless, why does it even matter what IMBA thinks? Isn’t this just an issue for city/count/state/landowner decisions?? I mean, this isn’t a federal issue that needs to go to the Supreme Court for a ruling. Particular areas will do as they seem fit – some will classify e-bikes as ‘non-motorized’, some will classify as ‘motorized’ and some will classify in their own category and have areas that are ‘non-motorized, e-bikes allowed.’ Case in point – Moab has already classified these as ‘motorized’ in their jurisdiction, and guess what – they have plenty of trail options for everyone to go around.

    Now the big danger is if eBikes bring unwarranted extra attention to certain trails, prompting non-biking landowners / regulators to shut down access to ALL forms of biking. That’s where I’ll lose it.

  25. Also, the argument that eBikes will allow people to experience trails with diminished physical health or fitness is mostly specious, and incredible. Those with physical limitations are not going to be out in the woods far from home any more than they would be on a traditional MTB. If anything goes wrong, they still have to get home. If their battery dies they have to ride an even heavier bike home. This has nothing to do with improving access for the disabled.

  26. If someone e-bikes up a mountain on an access road, then kills the electric assist and descends on the single track just like the rest of us do, is that e-bike use? or ….what the hell would you classify that as?

  27. Of course, I can distinguish between a gas fed, oil burning, smokey, smell, noisy, 20hp MOTORcycle with footpegs, and a bicycle with a 500 watt hub motor, ten pounds of batteries and pedal assist.

  28. @Delquattro you make a good point, however, please keep the following in mind:

    1. How is the e-bike getting to the trail? In / on a car I would think, otherwise the battery would be dead before the ride even starts. The Honda in my link above is road legal and burns a heck of a lot less fossil fuels than a car.

    2. 4 stroke motorcycles don’t burn oil, and modern ones are pretty darn clean.

    3. http://bfy.tw/2dJX

    4. 500 watts is a lot of power compared to the average cyclist (200 watts sustained I would think), this could mean a potentially dangerous speed differential.

    4. http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/ make electric motorcycles, and I don’t want to have to share trails or cycle paths with these beasts.

    In my opinion neither the Honda above nor e-bikes belong in areas where motorized vehicles are prohibited.

  29. Who really believes that it’ll stop with pedal assist? People love to mod and hack even the simple stuff on a bike, it’ll only be a matter of time before you can download some software to let your setup put out 2500W and go roost…

  30. eBikes of all kinds make sense. The “not on my trail” perspective on e-Bikes are like the hiking organizations that doesn’t want to share with mtbs, or the ski resorts that cant find a way to share with snowboarders, or the skateparks that ban scooters and bmx bikes, etc. Of all groups, cyclist should appreciate what these don’t want to share, “purity of use” type arguments.

    If e-bikes are bicycles, by some agreed upon definition, and not underpowered motorcycles, then they should be embraced by biking organizations like IMBA. Otherwise, e-Bike users will just organize separately, just like mtb bikers did not too many years ago. That will just further divide the already fractured voices of the biking communities.

    Heck, mtb biking seems to change some every year, who is to say that eMTB’s don’t have a place on trails. Did mtb need 29’ers, 650b, 1x, electronic shifting, carbon fiber DH frames, Red Bull Joy Ride, etc. eMTB will undoubtedly have a place, its just not as clear where yet. Maybe they are not allowed on certain trails, and the “share the trail” signs need an update with eMTB yielding to all others. I live in a hilly area and one of my neighbors gets up the hill on his road e-bike. I don’t see why it would it be so wrong to allow someone to get up the same kind of hill on a trail on an eMTB. I’d even say that my local hiking organization seems to intentionally design new trails that are so steep that only the most fit mtb riders even try, so new riders and kids never even try. eMTB’s could help. You can alway bring out the “environmental impact” arguments that seem to make mtb advocates cower. Our local mtb park gets trashed every summer and that is great, because it means it getting used a lot. Its not a museum.

    Banning or severely curtailing eMTB’s use will divide the mtb community. IMBA needs to get ahead of eMTB use cases, reconsider the trail building guidelines perhaps, envision how and when to share, and when not to. They need to be ahead of this, not putting out namby pamby surveys asking you how concerned you are about a new innovation in the mtb world.

  31. If they are pedal assist only (no throttle) and the motor stops providing assistance at 25 kms/hr then I cant see a problem with them. They are just unfit people riding like fit people but cheating, who cares?

    Anything with a throttle is not welcome on single track as far as I am concerned.

  32. IF it has any type of assist, motor, throttle, electricity assistance or gas, it should not be on trails. Bike companies need to find another revenue stream. Keep these OFF the dirt. Concrete–ok. But no eAnything on trails. Full stop.

  33. I think eBikes are great. They make bicycling accessible to more people. People who:
    — Feel bicycling takes too long to get where they’re going
    — Don’t want to pedal much
    — Live in a hot climate and don’t want to arrive at work sweating
    — Don’t like straining up hills
    — Don’t like cars overtaking as fast as they do
    — Might feel that on-road cycling is fast enough, but off-road cycling is too slow under human power
    — Obese
    — Handicap or health issue that prevents pushing hard on pedals
    — Allows people to keep up in group rides that couldn’t on pedal bikes
    — People who might be open to a motorcycle, but don’t want to deal with engine maintenance/noise/pollution, government licensing, registration, property tax, etc.

    That covers the people, now what can electric power add to the bike, besides going faster and going without pedaling?
    — Tires can now be larger for more comfort without worrying about the aero impact
    — Tires can now be beefier for more puncture resistance without worrying about negatively effecting rolling resistance or making the ride harsher (because you can compensate by going bigger)
    — Frames and components can be made more durable without worrying about the additional weight and drag. This can allow obese people to ride safely without overstressing components. This can tolerate more abuse like jumps, curb hopping, and pothole hitting. This can allow more cargo to be carried.

  34. I forgot to add:

    I’d love to ride an eBike with throttle response that could measure my power output and multiply it by 1.25. In that way, the boost I get increases with my effort. So I would be heavily rewarded for riding hard. 100 watts would be rewarded with a 25 watt boost, 300 watts would be rewarded with a 75 watt boost. I would also love to watch a professional exhibition race with that throttle mapping.

  35. Please, please, please. Get on the IMBA site and let your opinions be known.

    My concern is the IMBA is in the process of throwing real MTBs under the bus. IMBA was present at interbike with Bosch and other OEMs, people for bike and other lobbying groups who have a financial interest in Ebikes. All of whom have recently been donating to IMBA.

    IMBA research papers are being used by these groups to try to get access on bike trails for ebikes.

    So I ask you all to contact IMBA and keep them honest. Keep electric motorcycles the hell off bike trails.

    The big goal here is more trail access. Adding electric users to our club will surely limit trail access.

  36. The people that make these motor bikes – and that’s what they are, will wave a few bucks about and if it isn’t already a done deal it soon will be. There is too much money to be make for our voices to mean squat to these people.

  37. @David B. ” The “not on my trail” perspective on e-Bikes are like the hiking organizations that doesn’t want to share with mtbs, or the ski resorts that cant find a way to share with snowboarders, or the skateparks that ban scooters and bmx bikes, etc. Of all groups, cyclist should appreciate what these don’t want to share, “purity of use” type arguments.”

    – I think the fact that we as MTB’ers have so much experience being excluded from trails is actually a big reason for the resistance. We’ve fought so hard for our access. We don’t want anything to jeopardize it. Including a motor (no matter how it’s controlled) on to an already vilified piece of equipment is going to hurt our cause, not help it.

    “Heck, mtb biking seems to change some every year, who is to say that eMTB’s don’t have a place on trails. Did mtb need 29’ers, 650b, 1x, electronic shifting, carbon fiber DH frames, Red Bull Joy Ride, etc.”

    – The upgrade of adding a motor is different from the examples you listed in a major way. Wheel size, gearing, methods of shifting, frame materials, suspension have no impact on the production of power to propel the bike. Some of these upgrades may modify the way the power is put to the ground, but the power source remains the same – the rider. There has never been a wheel size or component group that has ever produced power for the rider.

    When you add a motor to produce propulsion, it becomes a motorized vehicle. Simple. If you want to debate whether or not our trails should allow motorized use, then have that debate. Don’t try to convince people that something with a motor isn’t motorized.

  38. If its got a MOTOR its a MOTORbike. Period.

    If its to help the handicapped that’s fine. But make it like handicap parking. If you don’t got the placard or plates your going to get a fine.

    Keep motorbikes off our trails and off our websites.

    The industry is pushing this BS in the name of $$$, let them come up with another wheel size instead.

  39. No motors that move the bike forward/backward or whatever d*mn way should be allowed on bicycle trails. There is a fundamental difference between a bicycle and bicycle with a motor on it. Why isn’t this understood and why are people trying to act like there’s a difference because the motor is on a bike frame? They also act like because it’s an electric motor it’s somehow better, a gas assist bike would never fly. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I love motorcycles, I love 2 strokes and I own several, but they are not allowed on the mountain bike trails, they have their own trails.

    I have seen an ebike roost on a local trail and the owner was spoken to at the trail head which angered him and he told us his ride got “ruined” by us, much like what he was doing to the trail we built and maintain.

  40. How long before we have stories of unexperienced eMTB riders getting stranded, or hurt on trails like Porcupine Rim, or the 401 Trail? How long before we hear stories of tourists coming to my hometown of Austin, TX and renting eMTBs to experience “Austin Mountain Biking” on the Barton Creek Greenbelt whizzing by unsuspecting hikers and dog walkers before venturing out to “the good stuff” only to lose it on our beloved limestone ledges. If eMTBs are truly marketed towards expanding the sport to the less physically able and unexperienced these will become true concerns.

    Another concern to me are the riders out there who will inevitably tinker and hack their eMTBs to produce more power. This has been done with every other motorized piece of equipment, why not these? This creates a new cat and mouse game of enforcing “proper speed and power restrictions”. Anti-mtb trail users will be given even more reason to view us as the Mt. Dew drinking, trail shredding rebels we’ve been accused of being.

  41. Electric mopeds are going to lead to a general crack down on all cyclists and the little bit of freedom left to cyclists in the US will disappear under the weight of increasing regulations and law enforcement attention. The closer bikes move toward becoming motorcycles the more all cyclist will be treated like motorcyclists, requiring ever increasing regulation. It was fun while it lasted, but the cycling industry see eMTBs as a cash cow in a flat market and they won’t stop pushing this agenda.

  42. @ Brian – I, for one, could care less if people get in over their heads via their own incompetence/stupidity.

    In general though I agree with your last paragraph. Your average hiker/equestrian will not know the difference between an e-MTB and normal MTB. Sorry they won’t. Trail speed differentials are already the main sticking point, tickets already being given for excess speed, even for riders in full control and with good sight lines/no trail traffic. E-bikes offer the possibility to extend this to uphill sections. And very little sympathy will be given to a rider that isn’t at least admired for using their body/lungs to achieve that uphill climb while yelling “on your left”. On hard uphills, many hikers will comment to me how amazing it is I can ride this (and no I’m not some wonderman trials style rider). Add in ebikes, and this will go away, replaced by frustration and rightly so. I’m mean, why should a hiker feel the need to be displaced by someone literally taking the easy way up?

    Commuting and road use is different because by and large, bikes on roads are considered vehicles and one can ride them where there is no pedestrian traffic. This simply isn’t the case on shared use trails. Dedicated bike trails, I’m see no issue with e-bike’s if the owner allows it.

  43. Simple questions for those that support eMTB’s
    – How are rangers/regulators supposed to know what complies with output limits and assist types as ebike proliferate and are modified?
    – Do we have (or want top pay for) the personnel to check for noncompliance or after the fact excess-speed issues?
    – Once an issue is present, what mechanism is in place to tell the razzed/upset hiker that this was an eMTB, not a MTB?

    See this – stealth bomber, a 10,000W eMTB – pedals and all. To my mom, this looks like any other bike with a weird frame.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbM5YgAys80
    and this

  44. hypocrats …. are totally against ebikes …
    I have news… you will get older as well …
    They indeed get all hyped up about the latest pinkbike movie where 20 year old shredding the trails ……
    ( driving up in pickups or chairlifts )
    lol

  45. They make an electric kit for Honda CRF 250/450 that gives you 33hp at the rear wheel. Can’t wait to rip up the trails and ruin the eBike movement for everybody 🙂

  46. And what will happen if an eBiker runs over and kills someone’s cat!?! How will the cat owner know it’s an eBike and not a bike from our tribe?

    Or the eBiker who runs a red light and angers all the motorists? They’ll just continue to hate us real bikers (especially if the eBiker was wearing spandex).

    And imagine the rage when a surreptitious eBiker wins a monument cycling race! Oh, wait, that’s already happened? Sorry.

    BTW, land managers WON’T be able to tell the difference between eBikes and regular bikes because they’re so d*mn similar, with similar speeds and impacts! Now that’s worth pondering.

  47. @JBikes – I live in the Midwest where, as I think about it, pretty much all the trails have natural speed governors: traction, sight lines, obstacles, other trail users, corners, etc… I’m a pretty fit/fast rider with good skillz (z skillz are faster than s skills), and when I’m honching the trails to my limits, I believe I’m getting close to the ceiling of possible speed. Some eBiker with skillz isn’t going achieve significantly faster terminal speed, they’ll simply be able to maintain high speeds over a greater distance.

    500 watt, 1000 watt…heck, someone will probably make a 10,000 watt motor someday, probably incorporating a new BB standard. But just because they have the power doesn’t mean it will be usable.

    I’m making two points. The first is that the skillz-equipped eBiker’s impact on a trail isn’t going to be much different than XC racer dude. Easygoing eBiker is going to ride similar speeds as Joe RecRider. And so on.

    The second point is that people are inventing doomsday scenarios that, to my ears, sound exactly like all the other trail user groups that have screamed about the horrible things that will happen if mountain bikes are allowed on their trails.

    Which sounds exactly like the skiers who screamed that snowboarders would ruin the alpine world. And the skaters who proclaimed that freestyle bikes were going to destroy ramps and parks.

    Well, in those situations the sky never actually fell to the ground. Fear lost those battles.

    You and I don’t have to like other trail users. We can think that hikers are lame, that fat bikers are absurd and that anyone without a dropper post is pure jack wagon. But being outraged by these other users and demanding they stay off of MyTrail isn’t a very reasonable position. Plus, it will wound your soul.

    If you made it this far in my response…thanks.

  48. I honestly do not see that e-bikes will erode the trails faster, or create more user conflicts. I object to them wholeheartedly based solely upon the fact they have a MOTOR, period. They are not human powered and have no place on a non-motorized trail.

    I’ve ridden one. I liked it. Doesn’t change a thing for me. People also bring up trail access for the disabled or the elderly. Sorry, some things just can’t be done by some people. It sucks, but it’s how life works.

  49. @Chuck – I appreciate your honesty about why you object to them despite acknowledging that they probably won’t create conflicts or erode trails faster.

    I see the pedal-assist e-motor as a piece of equipment on what is otherwise a traditional bike. It modifies the riding experience for the user, but it has no true impact on other trail users or the trail itself.

    If you agree with that, then I invite you to consider what it means to say, “I don’t think that X should be on the trail because of how they’ve equipped their bike.” What if people said no suspension forks on bike trails? Or no clip-in pedals on bike trails (like a bunch of people tried enforce in BMX racing)?

    Thanks for the discussion. It’s healthy.

  50. As a sport, as a community, it is imperative that we mountain bikers stand opposed to eMTB’s. We must differentiate ourselves from motorsports enthusiasts and to align ourselves with other silent sports, low-impact trail users. If we want to maintain access to the trails and areas that we have, and gain access to appropriate trails in Wilderness areas, national parks and other restricted area, we need to clearly define our sport as a human-powered endeavor on simple machines.

    e-Bikes are valuable when they can provide an alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles: commuters traveling by e-Bike instead of cars, or fleets of rental e-Bikes giving tourists access to the south rim of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite Valley with out the pollution and congestion associated with automobiles. However they must stay in areas already utilized by motor vehicles, and not foisted upon our motor-free trails.

  51. An electric motor is still a “motor” even if it’s attached to a bicycle and is therefore already banned on most of the single track public trails in the US. I hope it remains that way. Human powered only please.

  52. Why are we discussing MOPEDS on this site? Look at it this way, is a Tesla a car? Yes, an electric car. If that is true, I will call electric bikes what they are, electric mopeds. Mopeds are already regulated, and I will push for that same regulation in my state, and recommend you do the same.

    Why doesn’t the Govt pave all trails to make them accessible to everyone with disabilities, age related issues etc.? When your kness give out, guess what, no more hiking on rocky slippery trails five miles/kilometers into the woods. Enjoy it while you can. Getting into nature requires mobility. When most of us turn 80 or so, prudence will dictate we dial it back to what we can do with that walker, cane or fancy three wheel trike.

    In any event, can we stop talking about electric mopeds? I think the Moped Rumor site is waiting to claimed at Go Daddy.

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