Hmm. E-MTBs: I think I may have ridden the future, and an apology to Mark

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  • Hmm. E-MTBs: I think I may have ridden the future, and an apology to Mark
  • mccraque
    Member

    Funny you should post this! I just got back from St Anton and had the pleasure of a day on a Rotwild ebike courtesy of Jennewein Sports! Managed 1200m of ascent over 6 miles to head up the Rendl Piste and on towards Damatadter Hutte.

    As I had a bit of man flu and a knee issue this made the whole thing accessible to me whereas it wouldn’t have been without the E. and the way back down…. well you’re on a very capable trail bike. A few little “naughty sections” – I think they were for walkers but as none around I was dropping this thing around tight singletrack, flights of stairs and natural steps. Absolute blast.

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    I think that’s the key, it allows those who might not be the fittest to enjoy mountain biking.

    Some other take their enjoyment from the feeling of riding up hills. Horses for courses.

    PJ266
    Member

    They really are that good.

    I’d have one if I had the money.

    it allows those who might not be the fittest to enjoy mountain biking.

    Fit people can and do ride them too, if you think its impossible to hurt yourself uphill on an ebike you havent ridden one.

    mccraque
    Member

    If you want to pedal hills you can. You control the amount of power. You still get a work out if you want one. But you can just cover twice the ground in the same time period.

    chevychase
    Member

    I get it. They’re amazing fun. I’ve had a go on one and had an absolute blast.

    But I’ve had a go on trials bikes in the past, and had an absolute blast on them too. Who the hell doesn’t like a bit of an engine to make things easier?

    Easier = lots of fun. More fun. For longer. There’s no argument. It just is.

    But we’re all lying to ourselves if we say, sat upon our “e-mtb”s that they’e not motorbikes, that we will stay as fit, that they won’t be used for shorter rides, that in some way the strip mining for the rare-earth metals that are required is environmentally responsible (or the energy requirements).

    There’s a motor. It’s motor-biking. Period.

    Yes – it’s motor biking on mountain bike trails. But it’s motor-biking. And there’s a big industry that sees the dollars and sees that non-motorbike MTB riders are the people who are going to be tempted, and stuff the downsides – there’s money to be made.

    And fair enough. It’s not a moral judgement (other than the environmental arguments – but humans gonna do what humans gonna do). But stop with the “it allows those who might not be the fittest to enjoy mountain biking” guff.

    The six perfectly fit guys on e-mtb’s doing a single lap of the “red” at Sherwood Pines on motorbikes yesterday weren’t “not the fittest” – nor are the majority of the hordes you see tearing round the Dark Peak, or Llandegla.

    Who am I to argue? People can have fun. But stop lying to yourselves that it’s good for the environment or your waists. πŸ™‚

    mccraque
    Member

    It certainly wouldn’t replace my standard bike. But it would get you a lot fitter than a 10 mile commute in a car.

    chevychase
    Member

    Yeah. It would also get you a lot fitter than <insert self-justifying sedentary activity here>.

    It won’t get you fitter than the non-motorbike you left in the garage though. ’cause when you’re knackered you’ve got no choice but to pedal it, eh?

    That “no choice” bit is important. We live in an obeseogenic environment – if people can choose MTB fun without as much MTB effort then people will do so. And that’s fine.

    I’m all for them. I’m against the lying to yourselves tho. It’s bloody annoying.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny
    Subscriber

    Mccraque – Abosolute Blast nails it totally.

    Somouk – aye, but my point didn’t really come across – imagine the potential an ebike brings to a fit rider who wants to ride at same serious intensity. cool!

    Granted, if you live somewhere flattish and pedal at over 25kmph most of the time, its a little pointless.

    Also, over some terrain that was somewhat beyond the capability of the rental bike (not me though… *cough*), I managed to dislodge the battery which could have somewhat restricted the fun of the day πŸ™‚

    Hob Nob
    Member

    But we’re all lying to ourselves if we say, sat upon our “e-mtb”s that they’e not motorbikes, that we will stay as fit, that they won’t be used for shorter rides, that in some way the strip mining for the rare-earth metals that are required is environmentally responsible (or the energy requirements).

    They arn’t motorbikes. They don’t have a throttle & they don’t move under their own steam – they are a pedal assist bike.

    FWIW, i’ve ridden one once – the Spec turbo levo – it was a riot.

    They arn’t motorbikes

    Oh FFS, yes they are. Perhaps if you want to be pedantic then we could put a space or a hyphen between the words just be be completely correct. But they are bikes with a motor. Motor assisted bikes. Motor-bikes.

    Or motorbikes for short

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny
    Subscriber

    Haters gonna hate, including me! I do tend to hold onto strongly held internal beliefs, until evidence proven to the contrary.

    I believed that ebikes were an affront to proper mountain biking.

    I thought they are excellent for post shopping transport, to get people out of cars regularly for commuting, dragging kids in trailers to school etc, but not for proper mountain biking. I thought they were for lazy buggers who couldn’t be arsed to ride up hills, partially because as a huge fat bloke I take great pride in pedaling my carcass up big hills and embarrassing ‘fitter’ folk. I even wrote to Mark off of this here parish to tell him to stop covering e-bikes as it wasn’t proper mtb’ing.

    Ah. Bugger.

    Last week in St. Anton at the end of a holiday Tyrol tour, my 11yr old and I decided to rent ebikes for a day, as there was no uplift for bikes, and my son (*cough*) didn’t want to slog straight up 2000m of fire roads to get to nice singletrack.

    They were fairly bottom range e-MTBs, hardtail, too small for me, poor suspension etc etc, but, blimey, that was a ton of fun. First time I’ve been looking for berms whilst riding uphil, and able to ride up kilometers of scrabbly and ridiculously steep trails. Reminded me of the first time I rode an MTB in the early 80s in terms of eye opening.

    At PPdS, in the week before my ebike revelation, a local mate who has been riding a levo for the past year, and he is a proper ‘enduro’ rider, admitted he now prefers it to his Bronson as an all round tool.

    Its just the distance that can be covered and the max fun that can be extracted at all times that sold it, and now i have to say I agree.

    Yes, they are not for everything, and a bit pointless for group riding unless everyone else has one too, but my lord what a lot of fun. Bring on the development and evolution, I will be embracing the ‘e’ at some point in the next 12 months for sure.

    And, of course, Mark, please accept my apologies. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I’m thinking of hiring an e-bike when I go to Austria in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to weighing in with my opinion after that πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    At the risk of biting….

    Oh FFS, yes they are. Perhaps if you want to be pedantic then we could put a space or a hyphen between the words just be be completely correct. But they are bikes with a motor. Motor assisted bikes. Motor-bikes.

    Or motorbikes for short

    When I was a kid, if anybody turned up to school on one of these, we would literally have died from laughter if he’d said he’d ridden a motorbike in….

    I think that’s the key, it allows those who might not be the fittest to enjoy mountain biking.

    Some other take their enjoyment from the feeling of riding up hills. Horses for courses.

    A friend of mine who’s twice managed 1,000,000 feet of climbing in a year (that’s about 3000′ every single day of the year) has had an e-bike for 6 months and says he’s fitter than he’s ever been. He rides with Hans Rey, Brian Lopes, Troy Lee etc, so he’s pretty good for an amateur!

    One thing he has mentioned is that his pedalling technique has changed – he runs a 38t chainring on his 1×11 hardtail (and lives somewhere very steep) so he’s normally a low cadence standing stomping pedaller. With the Levo he’s found it’s much more about spinning a low gear really fast, and riding like that (probably helped by the very long chainstays) he can pedal up things that would be impossible without the motor helping out, and it becomes a serious technical and physical challenge to get to the top without heart exploding or toppling back down the mountain.

    My local hills aren’t so big and I don’t have a few k spare so I’m fine without a motor for now but I can see it’s a big part of the MTB future. I love uplifted days and an ebike is like taking an uplift vehicle with you, without the environmental impact.

    chevychase
    Member

    A <insert statistical outlier> who’s a bazillion percent fitter and apply it to <ordinary Joe> argument.

    It’s like people who say “BMI doesn’t apply to me”. Yes it does, fatty. You’re not a statistical outlier…

    Edit:And strip-mining and electricity isn’t “without environmental impact”. It’s lower, yes. But they’re hardly “green”.

    Like I said. They’re great fun motorbikes. My only real beef is people who kid themselves otherwise…

    Oh FFS, yes they are. Perhaps if you want to be pedantic then we could put a space or a hyphen between the words just be be completely correct. But they are bikes with a motor. Motor assisted bikes. Motor-bikes.

    Or motorbikes for short

    Motorbikes work without pedalling. Ebikes don’t.

    chevychase
    Member

    Since the invention of “e-bikes” the definition of motorbike has widened. The’ve always been “bikes with a motor” tho.

    You need to just adjust your opinions to the 21st Century πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I’ve decided E-bikes are to MTBing as MTBs are to trail running.

    Trailing running is fun – so pure; just me, a pair of trainers and off I go. Long runs are hard work as is slogging up hills but I loved it. MTBing gets me on pretty much the same terrain but it’s not quite so pure what with all the machinery making me so much more efficient. The same length journeys that would beast me when running are now relatively easy. But now I get to go so much further; I get to see so much more – it has opened my ability to explore further for longer. I’d never have voluntarily given up running and am glad both exist.

    Replace running for MTB and MTB for E bike and it’s just the same.

    My first E bike will be an urban shopper though – still waiting for a quality cargo bike (Kona ute, Surly Big Bummy esque but with a good bosch motor) to come out.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    Since the invention of “e-bikes” the definition of motorbike has widened.

    In your opinion, as one of ‘those’ who struggles to understand the difference.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    A visual representation of this thread

    alpin
    Member

    Ebike = bike with motor = motorbike.

    Just not a motorbike in the traditional sense.

    I guess you could argue that a motocross bike only goes forward when you twist the throttle. The more you twisty the throttle, the more energy the motor gives you.

    With an Ebike the throttle is the cranks. The faster you spin them the more the motor kicks in.

    @ Mark, I don’t buy any magazines now if they have any Ebike articles. The same as I don’t buy magazines about road bikes, touring bikes, motorbikes, cats, fishing…. I’m not interested in those things.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    With an Ebike the throttle is the cranks. The faster you spin them the more the motor kicks in.

    What Happens if you spin the cranks faster on a normal bike?

    oldtalent
    Member

    Who am I to argue? People can have fun. But stop lying to yourselves that it’s good for the environment or your waists

    I dont give a hoot about either, they are fun, thats all that matters to me.
    They are not motorbikes. I have owned many motorbikes over my lifetime & an assisted bicycle is not a motorbike.

    I dont buy the magazine either as I base its contents to be similar to these forums, full of roadbikes & arguing about politics.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    I don’t care either way, but the e-bike haters arguments are laughable; sorry, they are!

    chevychase
    Member

    “@ Mark, I don’t buy any magazines now if they have any Ebike articles. The same as I don’t buy magazines about road bikes, touring bikes, motorbikes, cats, fishing…. I’m not interested in those things”

    Agreed, they need their separate space.

    But they’re being marketed to mountain bikers – you wouldn’t get much traction in the motocross space. Who would give up all that power?

    As for the trail-running argument above. I was a *lot* fitter when I used to do that. In the same way that if I gave up MTB for eMTB I’d be less fit again. πŸ™‚

    alpin
    Member

    bearnecessities – Member
    I don’t care either way, but the e-bike haters lovers arguments are laughable; sorry, they are!

    Goes both ways….

    If the motor is not a motor, what is it then?

    As I said, in the traditional sense they are not motorbikes, in as much as you don’t fill it with petrol, they don’t go brrrrap!, they are less likely to make your missus a widow, but they are bikes with a motor.

    Your definition of a motorbike varies to mine.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    As for the trail-running argument above. I was a *lot* fitter when I used to do that. In the same way that if I gave up MTB for eMTB I’d be less fit again.

    A case study of one…. and if we extrapolated that globally it might well be true. I wasn’t however so that’s scuppered that argument πŸ™‚ . The truth is that there will be a huge variance.

    Personally I’m happy that they are in Singletrack. Probably about the right amount of coverage and as interesting to read about are every other bike test for a genre I don’t plan on buying any time soon. A lot of MTBers are curious about them so that’s reason enough. I’m not so anal about these things as to be sure but I don’t recalled ever seeing a ‘p’ next to Alpin’s name so his opinion about if their coverage means they would stop him buying the magazine is largely irrelevant to Mark I would imagine. Far more chance of an uptake in readership with slightly broken mtbers of yore coming back into the fold and interested in reading about the innovation of a possible solution*

    Again, this is not to say EMTBs are for broken people exclusively but they certainly will make up a proportion of the market.

    STATO
    Member

    Alpins next motorcar

    km79
    Member

    ^ its a motorised vehicle, as is a car. Just like an ebike is a motorised bike, just like a motorbike.

    STATO
    Member

    ^ its a motorised vehicle, as is a car. Just like an ebike is a motorised bike, just like a motorbike.

    So is an ebike a motorbike or a motroised bike?

    alpin
    Member

    I had a P once. Got bored with the general content of the mag. Have loads of old issues in my folks loft.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    For obvious reasons this thread got me wondering what – exactly – is a motorbike. My initial Googling told me that motorbike is another word for motorcycle. A couple of definitions of motorcycle:

    a vehicle with two wheels and an engine

    (source)

    a two-wheeled vehicle that is powered by a motor and has no pedals

    (Source: I just asked Google to define motorcycle)

    This then begs the question of what the difference is between motor and an engine:

    A motor is a machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy and so imparts motion.
    An engine is a motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work.

    (source)

    So, *if* a motorbike is the same as a motorcycle and *if* a motorcycle must have an engine to be a motorcycle and *if* an engine must have combustion to be an engine then e-bikes are….

    ….

    ….sorry I ran out of sh*ts to give at that point πŸ˜†

    [edit: I’m conscious that the two definitions I provided don’t agree with each other anyway. I shouldn’t have bothered]

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    ….sorry I ran out of sh*ts to give at that point

    πŸ˜€

    [edit: I’m conscious that the two definitions I provided don’t agree with each other anyway. I shouldn’t have bothered]

    But neither of them could possibly include an E-bike, but for different reasons!

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    Your definition of a motorbike varies to mine.

    So why bother arguing whether they are motorbikes? Since both sides know what an e-bike is: All it shows is that people seem to have different definitions of a motorbike. As the seamstress said in the nudist colony.

    slowster
    Member

    I can see it’s a big part of the MTB future. I love uplifted days and an ebike is like taking an uplift vehicle with you, without the environmental impact.

    my lord what a lot of fun. Bring on the development and evolution

    Be careful what you wish for.

    The need to propel yourself back up the hill under your own steam in places like Surrey Hills probably dissuades some people who essentially are only interested in freewheeling down hills. If low cost e-bikes greatly increase the number of riders in places like that, then I suspect that will in turn increase the likelihood of landowners imposing restrictions or bans, and of local authorities responding to pressure from locals to introduce controls over cycling where previously there were none.

    Whether they’re technically motorbikes or not doesn’t really matter. They’re still lame.

    Markie
    Member

    then I suspect that will in turn increase the likelihood of landowners imposing restrictions or bans, and of local authorities responding to pressure from locals to introduce controls over cycling where previously there were none.

    Hopefully they won’t put controls over cycling, but rather would put controls over e-biking. Two separate things.

    andyt1054
    Member

    Where I live in the south of Germany (Konstanz) the city is a very bike orientated, in the last year or two e-bikes have really taken off. There are a large number of ‘ebike’ only stores and every other bike whether it be road/MTB or even recumbant cycle has an electric motor… A few days ago I even saw an ebike for an 6-8 year old in the local bike shop ‘Joos’

    People of all ages ride them….

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    But stop with the “it allows those who might not be the fittest to enjoy mountain biking” guff.

    Really?……are you honestly attempting to play that game?, I’m just back in from a 27 mile ride 50% off-road/50% road on my Scott E-Genius including 2211 ft of climbing, I’d love to be able to ride that route as i used to on my SS but unfortunatley MS has left me unable to walk further than a few yards at a time and pedalling a normal bike is out of the question as i barely have enough leg strength to stand up never mind push down on the cranks so the e-bike allows me to continue to get out and enjoy myself whilst keeping my fitness up.

    I still have 2 bars of battery left despite needing to ride it in turbo/full assist mode (i can’t get my legs to provide enough power to use the lower settings) so after a well deserved iced coffee and a joint i’m now away back out to play on my motorbike whilst i lie to myself that it is doing me any good.

    chevychase :

    I’m all for them. I’m against the lying to yourselves tho. It’s bloody annoying.

    Seeing as it upsets you so much i’ll continue to lie to myself………… πŸ˜‰

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