Whoa! 2016 Sea Otter Classic Stirs Things up by Adding an eMTB Race to Their List of Events!

LaPierre_Overvolt_FS_900_Bosch_mountain_ebike_MTB_rear-end_cwb

No joke. The organizers of the Sea Otter have added an eMTB race event to their traditional lineup of Downhill, Dual Slalom, Cross Country, Short Track and Enduro events to the upcoming 2016 event in April. Taking place in and around Laguna Seca’s race track, the eMTB race will be a time-based race that lasts 60 minutes and is said to be a sort of hybrid of short track and cross country racing with a few road descents, single track trails and a bit of climbing. It is listed a non-sanctioned event so no race license is required, but there is prize money to be had. There is no list of restrictions as to the equipment you can use which might make it even more interesting.

Given the controversy of whether e-mountain bikes even belong on trails or not, organizing an eMTB race is a big move by organizers at such a large event. Is the charge being led by e-bike manufactures trying to edge their way further in to acceptance? How will this go down? Will we hear cheers…. or boos from the crowd? Let us know what you think about it in the comments.

SeaOtterClassic.com

 

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Brad
Brad
7 years ago

Oh boy! I can’t wait for eCyclocross and for the Grand Tours to add a new motor assisted KOM jersey in the name of e-bike acceptance.

gino
gino
7 years ago

(deleted)

bikeduder
bikeduder
7 years ago

(deleted)

the dude
the dude
7 years ago

not a surprise really.
Sea Otter is the Industry’s annual coming out party to push new products.
Obviously they want to push e-bikes… what better way than put on a race.
*sigh*

34685695
34685695
7 years ago

Wow, just wow. If I want to watch motorbikes I’ll watch Motocross.

Heffe
Heffe
7 years ago

They should go all the way and allow ebikes that are powered by internal combustion engines.

Saris Mercanti
Saris Mercanti(@saris)
7 years ago

Wow. How much do you think the e-bike manufacturers had to shell out for e-races? Quarter of a million dollars enough? half million?

Psycholist
Psycholist
7 years ago

Of course there’s an eMTB race. Bosch is a headlining sponsor. They’re not trying to get their foot in the door, they’re trying to kick it wide open.

Champs
Champs
7 years ago

(deleted)

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
7 years ago

eTour de France? Oh wait…

Ken
Ken
7 years ago

If they do it blindfolded count me in to watch – otherwise lame .

Michael
Michael
7 years ago

What a bunch of grouches…

Frank
Frank
7 years ago

(deleted)

Frank
Frank
7 years ago

Saris nailed it.

This whole e-bike thing is corporate driven propaganda.

dG
dG
7 years ago

oh come on. although i’m not crazy about this idea, it certainly belongs in… the X games or something. hmmm… let me see: a bicycle with an engine is called… what is that name again? yes, a MOTORCYCLE. i don’t care if it’s gas vs electric, it has a motor, so it *does not* belong in a bicycle race. but hey, by all means, make some money, start some e-races, etc. But not during bicycle events. That is not right at all.

skip
skip
7 years ago

I gagged coffee as I processed this. That is all.

James S
James S
7 years ago

So if there are no restrictions, can I race using an electric motocross motorcycle? I heard KTM has a nice one. Or maybe a Zero, since those are from the local NorCal area. If they require pedals, I’ll just bolt some pedals on it. So how much is that prize money?

Given the weak power of a human verses an electric motor, such a race will not have anything to do with athletic ability unless the motors are restricted down to a very low power level.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

For the race they need to include a steep Hike-A-Bike section, a fence/agte to throw the bike over, and a deep water crossing.

the other Andy
the other Andy
7 years ago

(deleted)

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

I’m hoping for a hill climb TT on a non-technical trail. If I lose some weight and buy a nice enough motor, light wheels and good frame, I can finally win my first mountain bike race…maybe?

cscf
cscf
7 years ago

The only “e” in cycling is EPO

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

Hey now, I thought ebikes were to give the disabled and no longer fit access to trails to view the outdoors? Now we’re racing them? The cognitive dissonance is strong with these ones.

cambax
cambax
7 years ago

weak, very very weak. I look forward to these ebikes further hampering the already difficult task of gaining access to trails

AbelF
AbelF
7 years ago

Brrraaaapppp brraaaappp…!! or is it hiiissss hiiiisss “?

Rich W
Rich W
7 years ago

eBikes are cool…like mopeds.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Can’t everyone look at the bright side? If this takes hold, it can mean the end of doping forever. Who needs drugs when you can just get a bigger motor and/or stronger, more efficient batteries

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

@cscf You win, sir/madam. Kudos!

thesteve4761
thesteve4761
7 years ago

My co-worker had this to say: “Can we throw rotten vegetables? If so, I love it.”

Ripnshread
Ripnshread
7 years ago

Sea Otter has officially got the toes of their sponsors in their mouth…what a bunch of sell outs. They are freaking motorbikes…

Soco
Soco
7 years ago

With a motor people will be able to ride more and more technical terrain, much to the pleasure of spectators. Eventually there will be a circuit of motorized enduro races on extremely difficult terrain; we can call it Hard Enduro! er, wait we already have that.

mortimer
mortimer
7 years ago

No matter how you put it ebikes suck. Call them what they are motorbikes with pedals (I don’t care if the motor is “assist”, it’s got a motor.

satisFACTORYrider
satisFACTORYrider
7 years ago

whaddya guys whining about? they’re perfect for imba trails?

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

Closed course, bike only trails – one place I actually have no issue with eMTB’s.
And I do hope e-dogs are allowed.

slam man
7 years ago

Why does “Bike” Rumour feature motorbike news!????????????????????????????

bart
bart
7 years ago

I love how angry people get about e-bikes. I bet they are the same people that b*tched about about suspension when that came around saying it was cheating but are now riding 5 inch travel bikes and loving it.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

bart – The thing with suspension is that the rider still puts out the power. Suspension just adds control. The analogy doesn’t really work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t argue for e-bikes on their own merit.

bart
bart
7 years ago

JBikes – Well the arguments back then certainly resemble some of the anti E-bikes comments here. Unfair advantage on the descents, not having to pick lines ect. so yeah it kind-of equates, but we are so far past that now that suspension is the norm. As for e-bikes, I think they are awesome, one of the best rides I had this year was on an e-bike, I climbed almost as fast as one of the racers that works with me (he still would have beat me by about 10 min on this longer climb) I managed to get about double the amount of Kilometers over my normal after work ride and had a blast and still got an amazing workout. Would I buy one? Nope not yet. I still like my regular bike more, it is more fun overall. will I get frustrated when people on e-bikes pass me on a climb, for sure just as much as a guy on a not e-bike but I am working on that. am i excited to see more people out on the trails? for sure. the more people that ride, the more people that will hopefully fund new trails and build Mountian biking as a sport. I hope to see old people fat people lazy people all out on the trails having a blast. am i going to get pissed at inconsiderate idiots on E-bikes. You bet just as much as those on regular bikes. but where i do draw the line is with a throttle. if you have a throttle and can sit back and not have to work, you are on a electric motor bike. That is the line I draw. and that is where i think it should be drawn. is that going to be hard to police? you bet. if you have a shop near you that has demo e-bikes particularly a bosch system, see if you can go ride it take it for a rip, for someone that was a bit on the fence, it was an eye opener. I dare you.

34685695
34685695
7 years ago

Bart, you’ve made a simple error in your comparison. There is a fundamental difference between a bicycle propelled by the rider and a bicycle that gains propulsion from a motor. Namely that the device can no longer be considered human powered.

bart
bart
7 years ago

if i put no effort into a pedal assist bike it cannot move – so…….

bart
bart
7 years ago

guys that can’t get out and ride much can now go ride with their racer buddies and almost keep up and have a blast. that is cool.

Brandon
Brandon
7 years ago

Clearly 90% of you haven’t tried one or even know what your talking about.

I bet you all still love long stems too.

scentofreason
scentofreason
7 years ago

Maybe for the finish line they can have the e-bike riders ride over the coffin where our trail access is buried.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

bart – I don’t really have an issue with e-bikes as a regular biker, but I can see them increasing speed differentials with hikers, more than regular MTB’s already do. And this can cause problems. And pedal assist only is nice, but that is really hard to limit/regulate as well as ouput This is the major source of my reservation.

fred
fred
7 years ago

you make a good point bart, but (speaking from experience) riding a motorcycle off-road is very athletically demanding, but that doesn’t make it suitable for MTB trails. My biggest concerns with e-bikes are:

1. Damage to trails.
2. Danger to other trail users due to increase speed differential.
3. Environmental impact of battery production.

Brandon
Brandon
7 years ago

fred – I think your missing the pedal assist part. You cannot “roost” trails and rip it up any harder than some fitness machine riding the trails. They simply amplify your pedal input. They are also governed to 30km/h so anything beyond that is all rider input. I cant see them damaging anything anymore than a traditional bike.

bart
bart
7 years ago

Jbikes – agreed, there needs to be some trail etiquette and you can’t just blast trail, E-bike or otherwise. and the throttle issue is going to be hard to police. But E-bike are coming and we need to look at Europe and how they manage trails so we can play this right, they seem to get along well. Output for major brands are limited and are easy to regulate but it is the “off brand” electric hub companies that are hard to keep track of however if you are on an offroad e-bike why do you want a really heavy wheel? Crank driven systems are the way to go, it is just like having racer legs, riding a 50 lbs Kona Stinky from 2003.

don
don
7 years ago

comments on this rock. the few that are in favor are very very few. Local shop that got “convinced” to carry them still has all 4 on the floor 5 months later. ebikes have no place and I’ll do everything in my power to eliminate them from any local trail system.

bart
bart
7 years ago

Fred

I’m slower on an e-bike than the racers here at the shop – no more damage than them, weight of the bike? just like riding a 2003 Kona Stinky off road. Danger to others? well the racers here at the shop are faster and that doesn’t seem to be an issue however there are a**holes everywhere. and yes battery is bad but so is my carbon bike that can’t be recycled – at least the e-bike is aluminum and I can drop off the battery at the local recycling center.

Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen
7 years ago

eBikes are so old news. I invented a new thing called the gBike. It’s like an eBike, but uses revolutionary device that is powered by controlled and harnessed explosions. Unlike an eBike, you can ‘recharge’ it with an easy to carry liquid. I expect acceptance among every branch of cycling, (deleted).