Overbiked on an ebike – is that a thing ? ..awaits the haters :)
old duffer and recent ebike convert. In my early 50’s and heading for shoulder reconstruction surgery later this week after a front wheel washout 5 weeks ago on a techy section and smashed shoulder. I’m going to be off the bike in rehab for 6 months I reckon and I think the time has come, after too many broken bones, to redirect my riding to less technical stuff, more big sky, natural west of Scotland terrain, avoiding drops, big rocks etc !.
So the question is, current bike is a new Orbea Wild FS M-Team, 2020, 160 travel both ends, 29er and I will be looking at the option of either sticking with the Orbea, or changing it to something else, if/when I can ride again next year. It fits me well and is a decent weight carbon frame and great spec. If it wasn’t an ebike I’d be thinking of chopping from 160 to a 120mm travel, light xc type bike (I used to ride an Anthem of that ilk), as I would be feeling/thinking I was way overbiked for the type of terrain I am wanting to focus on. But does same apply to ebikes ? My logic says maybe not, as the extra weight of the bigger travel doesn’t really matter and as it’s an efficient geometry and setup is it a compromise as it might be on a non ebike ? Thoughts ?Posted 10 months ago
My logic says maybe not, as the extra weight of the bigger travel doesn’t really matter and as it’s an efficient geometry and setup is it a compromise as it might be on a non ebike ?
Seems the correct answer.
If it’s an E-bike then i can’t see a downside to more travel 🙂Posted 10 months ago
I think weight is less of an issue with an e-bike, and this tends to tempt people towards longer travel, and more ‘gnaar’, but I imagine the same principles as apply to a normal bike still hold true for an e-bike. Shorter travel would still be more fun under most day to day conditions I suspect.Posted 10 months ago
surely the answer is to get a second ebike?Posted 10 months ago
No idea, but don’t make any rash decisions until you’re actually out riding again. Your view may well change.Posted 10 months ago
I think there are two strands to this.
General pedalling around. You’ve got a motor to call on, so the weight of carrying round 40mm of extra travel doesn’t matter.
Weight/handling. An ebike is always going to be a biffer, you’re chasing your tail if you start trying to get it to handle like a sprightly XC bike.
I can’t remember what you’re doing with your other bikes, but perhaps for that sort of riding you don’t need an ebike (no short sharp climbs etc.?) but could treat yourself to a properly lightweight fast XC thing (come on, 100mm not 120 😉 )? Or perhaps it doesn’t really matter as you aren’t going to need the lighter handling/chuckability on that sort of a ride? It could be counter productive for when you ride the ebike too, as the gap in how they ride is going to be wider.Posted 10 months ago
Effectively, by dialling down the drops/jumps/rocks, you are saying you want to be slightly overbiked for the trail you’re riding. The main reason for moving to a shorter-travel bike is to make climbing a bit easier, which is not really an issue on an ebike, and modern geometry ebikes will feel good on the flat and easier downs.
Plus it’s natural to lose confidence after a big injury-causing off. It may come back a bit once you’re rolling again, and you might want to tackle something slightly more gnarr than you’re considering now.Posted 10 months ago
if i was to get an ebike for off roading I’d go for the longest travel option i could because as you say there’s no penalty for the extra travel when climbing as you have assistance and you still get all the benefit of the suspension on the downs. plus modern shocks make the ride not too terrible on tarmac tooPosted 10 months ago
Ach, really sorry to hear about the shoulder Iain, hope everything works out OK. For what its worth, 2 friends (sorry, older friends – one 56, one 62) both had it done electively, both back to being waaaay better than they were before.
IIRC, was it you who smashed up their face real bad a few years ago too? At 45 and fat, now running a wee company, I rarely ride outside my comfort zone but still have a great time MTBing. I’m sure you can find a happy medium.
On the bike thing – as with the others, who cares, its an eBike! My LBS recently sold this custom build to a repeat customer (he previously bought the same things 2 years previously). It’s his money, he wants to ride a bike like that, why the **** not? Crack on!
Posted 10 months ago
IIRC, was it you who smashed up their face real bad a few years ago too?
aye, t’was I, almost 6 years ago to the day 🙂
Thanks for all the ideas and thoughts, very useful and seems to be a consistency of views that tie in to my own, so even better, cheers.Posted 10 months ago
Far better to have that bit too much travel on an ebike due to the weight of them, we’ve got one with 140 travel and it can bottom out on the really easy stuff, yeah go for less travel on a normal bike but if you decide on an ebike, I’d stick with the same amount of travel that you are used to now, so you’ve always got the scope there and no chance of bottoming out on terrain you’d class as non-techy xc stuff.Posted 10 months ago
Would having a 160mm travel e-bike not tempt you into riding more gnarr maybe doing more damage ?Posted 10 months ago
Would having a 160mm travel e-bike not tempt you into riding more gnarr maybe doing more damage ?
You have to deliberately go to them places/trails/routes though don’t you.
So for me, no. I wouldn’t go do BPW Blacks just because i had a 180mm bike…. I MAY do a few reds… but even then, i’m not 100% convinced.Posted 10 months ago
No idea, but don’t make any rash decisions until you’re actually out riding again. Your view may well change.
this is the most sensible thing on this post.Posted 10 months ago
I sold the best bike I have ever owned, whilst laid up after surgery, thinking I may never be well enough to ride it. I am now and regret ever selling it.
Any reason you can’t buy the same one Ton ?Posted 10 months ago
ton and chakaping +1
Every bad buy/sell decision has been when I am ill/injured. Wait until you are better.Posted 10 months ago
MEh i sold a Kona Process 153 after 3 rides when it tried to kill me… I don’t regret it.Posted 10 months ago
Any reason you can’t buy the same one Ton ?
the new model looks like a shitting dog…………. ;o)Posted 10 months ago
and I am 7 years older with a body held together with nuts n bolts, and don’t want to get carried away whilst riding anymore.
I am a big proponent of “why the **** not get more tavel” on an, e-bike but would temper that with, a bike with less travel could be made to be handle is a more lively/fun manner.
That said I wouldn’t bother with a bike much under 140mm though, unless your off-roading does become more gravel than mtb…
Your Obera Wild is fabulous looking bike, that I would not be giving that up in any sort of hurry (TBH it’s be worth as much now as in 6 months time) . That and, as my 75 years young friend is thoroughly enjoys his new Levo, I’d say suck it, and get the **** back out there as soon as you can.Posted 10 months ago
Wholly agree with letitreign and z1ppy. I ride a 135mm trail bike and a 150mm ebike and the extra travel is very necessary in my mind to accommodate the extra weight. I wouldn’t go higher, though. Riding a Levo, I have to admit the new Kenevo caught my eye but I decided it was too much bike. That’s only partly due to the travel, as I’m sure that wouldn’t have worked against me much at all. It was much more to do with the geometry and length which I new would kill my local trails and leave me feeling very bored. I’ve also found that the more conservative lengths of some ebikes are of benefit due to having a lot more bike to move around and more inherent stability from the bike’s weight. The Kenevo very nearly spans two post codes!Posted 10 months ago
So I’d suggest basing a short-list on character/handling and worry about travel later. One of the reasons I chose the Levo was I felt it hid its weight better than any other I’d tried at that stage.
People often say long travel bikes sanitize easier trails and that short trave/hard tails make them more fun. If your toning down the gnar a shorter travel bike makes sense e-bike or not.Posted 10 months ago
If it was me I’d initially ignore that it’s an eBike … for the riding you want to do will being over biked spoil the fun or would being able to smash through nearly anything increase the fun?
but don’t make any rash decisions until you’re actually out riding again. Your view may well change.
Not an ebike but I surprised myself with being over-biked…. 2-3 weeks I was all YEAH…. then it started to get a bit boring on the downhillsPosted 10 months ago
Another old rider here with a duff shoulder and neck, so I can appreciate where you’re at.
My Mrs recently got a Trek Rail to replace her stolen Cotic RocketMAX. Luckily we’re both tall enough to fit the same bikes, so I’ve borrowed the Rail a few times – and I’ve been really impressed with its handling for a ‘big’ bike. It has 160mm front/150mm rear, but it feels more nimble than some 140mm trail bikes I’ve ridden. I did wonder whether my wife would be completely overbiked on it, as she’s a real chicken downhill, so doesn’t really need a bike that capable – However, it’s such a confidence inspiring and comfortable bike to descend on, she’s riding way more stuff downhill than she’s ever done before.
Having the motor, there’s no real trade off in climbing having the extra suspension. Something I’ve noticed is that my neck and dodgy shoulder are far less sore and clunky after a 3 or 4 hour ride than on my lightweight analog trail bike that got pinched – I think part of that is down to it being less strenuous on steep and long climbs, and the other part is have more suspension to suck up the rocks when it gets rough.
i guess what I’m trying to say is don’t worry about being overbiked. If you want a good alternative to the Trek Rail, the Specialized Levo’s feel a bit more trail orientated to me (150mm travel FWIR), and slightly less eBikey (if that’s possible).
Anyways, I’ll stop waffling on. Best of luck getting your shoulder sorted.Posted 10 months ago
If it’s an E-bike then i can’t see a downside to more travel 🙂
Its a great bike, just ride it when you’re well enough.Posted 10 months ago
You’ve already invested in the Orbea. Just hang on to it but ride easier terrain and stop breaking yourself every so often. PS Your latest injury may now postpone my e-bike purchase by several months, selfish git!Posted 10 months ago
Keep the Orbea
I ride a Merida e160 and have a 120 in the house too, rode the 120 at the weekend in the Forrest and as much as it was fast and fun , I’d rather have been on the 160
If you have an e bike the suspension travel is pretty much a moot pointPosted 10 months ago
Don’t rush the decision but 6 MTHS without using it just check what is best for looking after the battery for that length of time not been usedPosted 10 months ago
Realistically you’re going to be getting arthritis in that shoulder. I’ve done something very similar myself.Posted 10 months ago
I know from experience that bigger travel and fat soft front tyres hold the burn off pretty well, keep the big ebike.
Id stick with 150mm travel+.
Reasoning being that while you can be overbiked going downhill, its really quite hard to be that overbiked. You just pick up more speed.
Going uphill/flat then you can be overbiked because you hit a point where the suspension is doing all the work wile at the same time stops you accelerating. Chuck an extra 250W in the mix and it’d rarely be a problem.
But if you’re just worried about lost fitness, get a road bike or zwift for the next 6 months and keep fit that way. Cheaper than a new e-bike and not cheating 😂Posted 10 months ago
My best injured purchase was my recumbent trike to ride one-armed. Still ride it now for fun. If you were down south I’d love you to ride it.
Buy what you want. I don’t think being over-biked is really a thing. I’m still a mincer on a big bike, compared to riding my CX bike on the same trails 😀 . Just being out there does it for me.Posted 10 months ago
Thanks everyone, looks like I’ll be sticking with the bigger bike. Just need to get surgery and on the mend now…Posted 10 months ago
They dont call ’em powercouches for nothing – you’ll be gaining 4 kilos a week once you start riding it so the extra travel will come in handy pretty soon
(I used to do xc round the new forest (flat bog, largely) on a 7 inch travel bullit with a boxxer on it – was great fun and actually ded fast over flat rutted ground, which made the corners more fun anyway)Posted 10 months ago
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