David Turner Talks E-MTBs: ‘We First Worlders, We Want More’

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If you’re not familiar with David Turner, then it would be worth reading Chipps’ interview with him from Issue 109 of Singletrack Magazine. He’s a guy that designs bikes that he wants to build and he wants to ride, and he rides because he wants to experience his surroundings and hear the dirt under his tyres. So it was not without some suspicion of the answers she might get that Hannah asked him about his thoughts on e-bikes.

Had she realised just quite how extensive his response would be, she might have got a cup of tea and a chair first – David manages to talk about how he feels about e-MTBs for five whole minutes without interruption. But you’ve been forewarned, so make yourself comfortable and listen to David enthusiastically and entertainingly bemoaning the tendencies of the human race and the false promises of e-MTbs.

As well his wider thoughts on e-bikes, he particularly picks up on the tendency of people to ‘chip’ e-bikes. Although this is a practice we’re aware of, we’re not aware that it’s a particularly common thing, at least in the UK – what do you think? Are people illegally souping them up as a matter of routine?

Safe to say that David won’t be bringing out a Turner e-bike any time soon! But he has brought out an on-trend ‘all road’ bike, for 28-38mm tyres, that he thinks is the ‘road bike that most people should be on’. To find out about that bike – and hear about the kind of riding he enjoys doing – hop on over here.

He has gone with one new trend though: an all-road bike.


Travel and accommodation for this trip were provided by Crank Tank Impact Sun Valley Media Event.

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Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Comments (9)

    I see 3 or 4 modified ones on my commute, usually doing around 20mph, but one guy has a DIY kit bolted to a old hybrid and he regularly does 30mph up hill and even faster back the other way (A270 out of Brighton towards the university in case anyone else has seen him??).

    3min45 in is the scary bit… Looking at it in a historical MTB way – suspension hasn’t got rid of rigid bikes, full sus hasn’t got rid of hardtails… But then again bigger wheels have got rid of 26″, disc brakes have done for caliper/V… so it’s hard to say if he’s right or not!

    I agree with him on his point about the progression of one’s fitness on a pedal cycle.

    Coming from someone who fits into the obese category and is gaining strength on the bike week upon week now, I have much distaste for ebikes as a whole unless they’re used by disabled and the elderly wanting to keep out there to keep moving those joints/muscles.

    He also raises a good point, where will the progression of ebikes end…???

    Heck. Yeah. DT.

    DT knows his business so I buy his analysis entirely. The more so since I walked into an ebike store myself the other day to browse and I found myself with the exact same thought. Wow for way less than I paid out to build my FS MTB I could have had one of these – why on earth wouldn’t I? They look great and I can go further on one in a day. Then I did think but I’d not want to lift it on and off the roof bars and anyway it’s only got a 4 hour range. But when they weigh 35kg and go for 8 hours then I’m in a mess of trouble.

    I think he has totally nailed it and what is really interesting is that he has seen the writing on the wall for his own company (more’s the pity).

    Bahhh Humbug – More moralising Merican conservatives, happily push technology until they don’t like it then stop – As someone who has been putting a lot of bums on seats of Ebikes this spring and early summer, my experience has not been as he describes, with the amount of people who ask about chipping as minuscule, and they’re not quicker down stuff ( Or if they are, it’s because of unsprung mass and CoG not the motor) He’s right about spoilt first worlders of course, but he’s happily earned a living out of that for years. True that they are a reflection of our society, in that you can get a lot more done in the same time, but the problems (IME) is society, not ebikes, just look at guns….

    So stwmatt, whatyasayin – that ebikes don’t kill the planet, bikers do!?


    @tdog – Most people on this forum (and bike addicts in general) are not just riding utilitarian commute bikes are they, or not constantly upgrading their bikes, or if not upgrading them wishing they could.

    Don’t get me wrong people on bikes is ace, fitness, being outside, being aware of how beautiful are planet is and needing to have “Nature” to do your hobby in, must all be overall good, but the industry is hardly environmentally clean, I doubt ( But don’t know) That Ebikes carbon footprint are much worse than regular bikes, My gun comment was obviously tongue in cheek, but the argument is kind of similar, that ebikes are bad, because a group of people will misuse them, they shouldn’t be allowed/banned/uninvented, the reality of most of the people making that argument is that’s a cover up for there real feelings, and that’s a moral one about “honest” cycling and “earning” ( On your 9k non ebike) the descent, you have to look at Richie Cunningham hate pieces on PB to know where a certain group of cyclists are in regard of ebikes.

    My Experience of E – bikes in the last 4 months of looking after a demo fleet apart from the cost of entry to ownership, has been that they are an incredibly democratising thing , a wide range of fitnesses can ride together and ages and abilities, if you’re fitter use a lower setting and vice- versa – I also know of people that have bought ebikes got a lot fitter, and have bought regular bikes again, i myself had a fear that having a free availability to ride ebikes would stop me riding my regular one, that has not been the case, iv’e rode both of my bikes more than ever, and I’ve also got better at riding a higher cadences to boot, my own preconceived ideas were thoroughly shattered.

    I should also add I haven’t worked for STW for years and these opinions are mine alone!

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