Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)
  • Are e-bikes going to change the character of trails we have?
  • Premier Icon bubs
    Full Member

    This is not an anti e-bike thread but just a question after reading the PB review of the new, rather weighty and powerful Whyte E-160 RSX? In places like the Surrey Hills I’ve noticed trails either becoming gulleyed and more rutted or the opposite and almost smoothed out. This could obviously just be weather, increased usage again and general erosion but following an e-bike along a flat sandy trail yesterday it was clear it left deep tyre marks behind it where as my (underpowered) steel hardtail left barely a trace. Do you think we will need to armour more trails or change how the trail pixies go about making them? It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some Winterfold/Redlands trails are now a lot more challenging, but does this open them up to more severe weather damage in winter or is it just the next step in trail evolution?

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Yes. I think so. I did a little enduro race a while ago where ebikes had their own category and the ground was pretty soft. The holes and ruts were massive!
    Also, my local trails – there are tons of new lines avoiding the techy bits – especially avoiding tree roots, where clearly weightier bikes have avoided the hard to ride parts. Easy to tell, because they go up sections no normal rider would bother taking. Only bothers me cos when I’m on my ebike I want to take the techie lines, but they’re almost invisible now!

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Big berms being built on trails that most riders on regular bikes have no hope of getting anywhere near 15mph on, so wouldn’t need a banked corner.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Free Member

    There’s loads on my local trails and they’ve not changed that much so far.

    Maybe trails are getting ridden in quicker – so might be getting blown out quicker as well. The jury’s still out though.

    Premier Icon P20
    Full Member

    Probably , there has been comments about not being able to ride trails on their normal bike due to ruts, mud, etc, but doable on an e-bike. So I guess it changes the mindset to an extent, trails that would perhaps be ‘rested’ are continually ridden.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    Yes, no, maybe.
    Only difference I can see is that uphill corners are getting a wider line around them due to increased speed.

    Biggest trail destroyers round here are all the visiting riders. 😉

    Premier Icon failedengineer
    Full Member

    Hang on, I’m a fairly skinny 10st and a bit. My ebike weighs 25kg. My previous MTB weighed about 13Kg. That’s an increase of 12kg, or 26.4lb. There must be plenty of riders out there who weigh 26.4lb more than me (so about 12 stone) riding 13kg and a good bit heavier, conventional MTBs. What’s the difference to trail damage? Are you sure this isn’t an anti-ebike thread?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Are you sure this isn’t an anti-ebike thread?

    Absolutely sure. Some of the OP’s best bikes are ebikes

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Horses mess up bridleways in winter too. I’m not anti horses. It’s just a fact of life and the question was asked, so I gave my experience.

    Premier Icon bubs
    Full Member

    It really isn’t supposed to be anti e-bike just a question about trail evolution and I guess how this impacts more sensitive areas.

    My ebike weighs 25kg. My previous MTB weighed about 13Kg. That’s an increase of 12kg, or 26.4lb. There must be plenty of riders out there who weigh 26.4lb more than me (so about 12 stone) riding 13kg and a good bit heavier, conventional MTBs. What’s the difference to trail damage?

    I guess that is an extra 24.6lb on a lot of bikes.. Those heavier riders will become heavier still. Plus you have the extra power… Riding up trails that were historically descents etc.

    May be it’s just a case of more trails being ridden more of the time? My friends with e-bikes will generally cover a load more ground than me… So not the bike but the volume?

    Just to be clear, I would love an e-bike but I can’t justify the expense at the moment.

    Premier Icon madhouse
    Full Member

    In short, yes.

    Bikes are heavier and faster which means greater braking forces on the way in and the motor means more torque so more erosion on the way out. Kinda like a dumbed down version of riding an MX bike around I guess.

    What this means is that we’re definitely in a period where the materials used in trail building may need to be looked at, or possibly where charges are made they’ll need to go up as the maintenance schedules will need to adapt as more will need to be carried out. I’m sure none of us want our favourite spots getting turned into hardpack motorways so there’s lots of challenges ahead for the keepers of our trails.

    The most annoying bit is that the ‘strava lines’ are getting more pronounced (especially uphill) and more plentiful which means trails are getting messy and sprawling. Just because eBikers can ride everywhere at 15mph there are sections of trail that aren’t meant to be ridden that fast, embrace the technicality rather than simply blundering through the undergrowth please.
    I’m not against eBikes, I couldn’t give a monkeys what you ride … ride it like a dick though and I might just tell you so.

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    Hang on, I’m a fairly skinny 10st and a bit. My ebike weighs 25kg. My previous MTB weighed about 13Kg. That’s an increase of 12kg, or 26.4lb. There must be plenty of riders out there who weigh 26.4lb more than me (so about 12 stone) riding 13kg and a good bit heavier, conventional MTBs. What’s the difference to trail damage? Are you sure this isn’t an anti-ebike thread?

    I can’t even begin to understand this mish mash of metric / imperial units, but i’m 9700 decimalised ounces and my ebike is 30 imperial foot bushels and I’ve completely ruined all my trails no more than I would on any other bike.

    Premier Icon tetrode
    Full Member

    If more than 1% of the people who rode the trails spent just two days a month helping to maintain them, this really wouldn’t be an issue.

    Premier Icon uselesshippy
    Free Member

    I think the problems the op said about in the Surrey hills, are less about ebikes, and more about the massive amount of all riders there now.

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    I think we’ve had previous threads about Surrey Hills!

    Surrey Hills at Bursting Point?

    Premier Icon StuE
    Full Member

    I have both an ebike and an mx bike, believe me the ebike is absolutely nothing like the mx bike in any way

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    Trail erosion is just a myriad of things, ebikes is probably a small portion of the that, most issues I see is from poor braking, use in poor weather or overuse without trail fairies around to help.

    Premier Icon scruff
    Free Member

    I build trails more than I ride, its not the combined weight its the extra speed into corners / technical sections and torque out of corners and slower sections / uphill. That and some assisted riders being less skilled which compounds the above issues with more straight lining / braking bumps / erosion. All of this happens with normal bikes, but more so with assisted bikes which have bigger rotors & more aggressive tyre treads which do dig into the ground more by design.
    As for weight, me on my normal bike weighs considerably more than my little friend on his new ebike. Im also a much better rider than he is.

    Premier Icon walleater
    Full Member

    ^ good morning Scruff.

    Around here uphill braids are a new thing. Why go around a corner when you can just ‘slappa da boost’ and keep going straight!

    Premier Icon scruff
    Free Member

    Evening Will, Im in Espania!
    You should start a ‘straight on police’ Instagram account.

    Premier Icon walleater
    Full Member

    Nice! Is that near Tunstall? 😀

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Folks have been bemoaning Strava shortcuts, straight lining corners and braking bumps caused by less skilled riders for as long as people have been building trails.

    It’s not a new thing with Ebikes by any means.

    Berm cutties don’t do trail fairies any favours.
    See that done a lot on YouTube at the moment, and on any bike.

    There’s just more people concentrated into fewer areas, same as we’ve seen in all the outdoors since the pandemic kicked in.
    People are looking for the next thing to blame.

    Premier Icon chestercopperpot
    Free Member

    Not noticed damage from e-bikes, but have definitely seen damage from Sur Ron bikes. Bad damage from wheel spinning on lips and before take-offs (nice big holes just before jumps great eh) and full throttle out of mushy spots. Damage done in seconds that a mountain bike couldn’t do in several years!

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Horses mess up bridleways in winter too.

    Lots of horses where I live (New Forest) and yes they make a lot of single track almost unrideable on my 33c tyres bike but they have been around for a while so not a new thing…

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Full Member

    Although like for like an ebike will probably do a bit more damage than a normal bike, I tend to agree with Kayak that it’s more likely the increase in popularity (though ebikes probably have a big part to play in that).

    Premier Icon klunky
    Free Member

    Erosion is a big factor where I ride.
    It’s not so much the weight or torque etc just the usage.

    A loop I ride might take me 2 hours. I have seen folks on ebikes do 2 or 3 loops in the same time.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    All I’ve noticed locally is new lines on uphill sections that would be tricky on a normal bike. As others have said it’ll probably be the fact that it gives more people easier access that will be the greater concern. Higher traffic volumes leading to greater erosion. Not seen any evidence myself though.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Full Member

    I can imagine a lot of head ons with ebikes going up what were traditionally downhills.

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    Ebikes means less skilled riders taking short cuts. I mean the odd Strava line has always been a problem but there are definitly more now. And definitely less trail fairy’s too. Lazy bastard bikers. I ride mainly an eeb but also do loads of digging and ride all the overgrown tech bits on old trails so I think I’m allowed some moral high ground 😂

    Premier Icon lobby_dosser
    Full Member

    i think the Stratavistas and the Enduroists chasing racing lines and KoM are causing a lot of issues.

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    horses… but they have been around for a while so not a new thing…

    What? You think this needed explaining?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I blame all those EWS riders for ruining our trails.
    Bloody pros coming from all over the world to ride down our trails at ridiculous speeds destroying them.
    How dare they.🤣
    As a side note the Ebike stages were a lot less wrecked than the other stages.

    I prefer to get out there and work on them than bitch and moan about who’s doing the “damage”.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    I think you’ll see climbing lines up very steep parts of the trails that are unrideable on anything but a motor assisted bike.

    And holes/bumps on the exit of berms and corners.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    What? You think this needed explaining?

    Clearly. Shall I explain it for you?

    Premier Icon muddyground
    Free Member

    Not sure on extra damage. Where I am in Surrey, Reigate, I hardly see anybody out these days. Saw 4 other bikes today on my 3 hour spin on the North Downs. Pre pandemic there would have been loads out. I suspect Peaslake would have been rammed today. Some ebikes would be welcome, as the trails are becoming seriously overgrown.

    My mate and his crew are now ebike converts. Instead of putting their normal bikes into cars, and driving to Peaslake, they now use ebikes straight from home. The 40 minute drive to Peaslake is now a 60 minute ride, which is obv more fun. I guess this is better than driving, and may explain the abundance of ebikes at Peaslake?

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Clearly. Shall I explain it for you?

    Man, what a dimwit

    Premier Icon renton
    Free Member

    I think it’s more down to the face that ebikes make trails more accessible. Especially in the winter periods when riding a normal bike is hard work. Ebikes just blaze through stuff in that instance.

    Certainly where I ride the trails are getting more and more torn up and all the wear seems to happen in the wetter and colder months.

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

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