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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

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    dasgeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    [...], but I'm comfortable generalizing that e-bike riders are not going to be serious roadies.
    Really? There are plenty of roadies who ride e-bikes for transportation and race on non-e-bikes. They're not serious roadies?

    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I think the bigger question would just be "why should e-bikes be welcomed to [fitness-focused] group rides?". Are rollerblades welcome in running groups? It's maybe more nuanced than that, but not much.
    I think the question is are MTB rides solely (primarily?) fitness-focused? I'm not an MTB'er myself, but I can see how one could see MTB'ing as like hiking, so using an ebike that makes the effort similar to hiking, seems reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    This is a good question.

    For faster road group rides -- or maybe I should say roadie group rides, there is a subtext of competition and certainly physical fitness that would just make riders on ebikes unwelcome. And since it would be roadies, it would probably be an extremely cold unwelcome. Let me tell you, as an early adopter of disc brakes on the road and a late adopter of shaving my legs, even relatively small violations of the norm on road bikes is noticed. And pointed out. Roadies are a bunch of judgemental a$$holes -- and I own my participation in this ecosystem. Heck, I wouldn't ride behind someone with a camelbak in a road race and sure as hell wouldn't ride around an the typical e-bike in a group ride. I'm sure there are exceptional circumstances that would change my stance there, but I'm comfortable generalizing that e-bike riders are not going to be serious roadies. And when your trusting your safety to those riding inches from your wheels, that matters.

    I could appreciate general concerns from a safety perspective of having much heavier bikes in the mix, though I think that would bear some more careful consideration. As others have noted on this & other threads the overall weight increase might not be that great as a %.

    I think the bigger question would just be "why should e-bikes be welcomed to [fitness-focused] group rides?". Are rollerblades welcome in running groups? It's maybe more nuanced than that, but not much.
    Frankly, the root of my question is just wondering about how awkward that conversation would be. If it's just roadie-type snobbery or fitness snobbery (as a snob about many things, I don't use that word judgmentally) , that's gotta be rough trying to explain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Really? There are plenty of roadies who ride e-bikes for transportation and race on non-e-bikes. They're not serious roadies?
    Sure, but they don't show up for the Saturday morning fast shop ride with a e-bakfiets full of groceries, do they?

    I mean, I wouldn't really know as I would be shunned for my nonconformist ways, not to mention savagely dropped on the first serious climb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Really?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    There are plenty of roadies who ride e-bikes for transportation and race on non-e-bikes.
    No there aren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    They're not serious roadies?
    Pretending that your second statement is true, no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I think the question is are MTB rides solely (primarily?) fitness-focused? I'm not an MTB'er myself, but I can see how one could see MTB'ing as like hiking, so using an ebike that makes the effort similar to hiking, seems reasonable.
    Riding a e-MTB is not reasonable if you plan to ride your motorized bike on any state/county/federal trails where motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited.

    "motor plus bike = motorbike." See Pinkbike.com for clarification, if you think this is about skinny people versus fat people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Really? There are plenty of roadies who ride e-bikes for transportation and race on non-e-bikes. They're not serious roadies?
    Sorry, yes, I guess I meant folks that only ride an e-bike or that show up to the group ride on one. No one that races a regular bike on the weekend would ever think it was ok to show up to a fast group ride on an e-bike.

    (... But do you actually know more than 1 road racer that rides an e-bike? I have a limited sample but i have never met an e-bike rider on my commute that is even remotely a roadie, much less a racer.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Riding a e-MTB is not reasonable if you plan to ride your motorized bike on any state/county/federal trails where motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited.

    "motor plus bike = motorbike." See Pinkbike.com for clarification, if you think this is about skinny people versus fat people.
    I hate to go over this again, but at the federal level, and in Virginia and many other states, traditional e-bikes (<750W, no boost over 20mph, pedaling required, no throttle) are not considered "motor" anything. They're just bikes. If I was a MTB enthusiast, I'd be much more concerned with trail overcrowding and jackasses riding wet trails than some noob puttering around on a 750W e-bike. I can't help but feel like this is just angst because some people think e-bikes are lazy and not cool enough to share trails, but expressed as this concern troll-y "it's harmful to the trails!" argument. At least, that's the perception of this fairly experienced rider who neither owns nor plans to own an e-bike and who generally views more riders of all types as a positive for society.

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    As an aside, do the commercial eMTBs offer no e-assist above 20mph? I know the Spec Turbo assists up to ~28mph. I assume their eMTB does too? I haven't looked at specs but have the impression that this new wave of e-bikes is a lot faster than fall under this non-motorized categorization.

    Yeah, I think riding wet trails is a bigger problem.

    But really, I don't think this is about people thinking others are *lazy* per se. I don't go around think people that ride in cars or motorcycles are lazy. Its just a different mode of transport when you add a motor; cycling has always been about human powered mechanical transportation. So when you have motorized vehicles wanting to be treated like bicycles, it seems pretty reasonable that there's going to be some "um, no" from the cyclists.

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    Whoops. I guess I opened up a can of worms...

    E-mountain bikes can tear up trails if the user is not a seasoned MTB rider who knows how to shift their weight to keep the rear wheel from spinning out. I, like drevil, spend a lot of time keeping the trails in the area maintained and it really bugs me when people tear them up. I have seen first hand what an e-MTB can do to the trail if the rider is not careful or courteous.

    This was not a MORE ride but was at Lake Fairfax, which, according to FFX County park rules and regulations, motor assisted bicycles are only allowed where motor vehicles are allowed, which is NOT ON THE TRAILS.

    When I explained this to the gentleman with the e-bike, he stated he had a non-motorized MTB and would bring that to the next ride. Apparently he had no idea that you could not ride those types of bikes on the trails...

    That being said, I am all in favour of e-bikes that get more people out on bikes for transportation and leisure on non-natural surface trails (as long as they are not being jerks, of course). But because of the nature of mountain biking, I still can not wrap my head around the whole e-bike movement. MTB riding is supposed to be a challenge. There is a lot of pride in being able to get up a really steep, loose hill or keeping your momentum through a tough rock garden. E-bikes take that away and can instill false confidence, which can cause some pretty gnarly crashes.

    Lastly, mountain biking should never be compared to hiking. Most people, despite their fitness or experience, can go out and hike a fairly difficult trail without fear of major injury or death. You need fitness AND experience to be able to ride even medium technical trails without immediately crashing and hurting yourself. Even the most seasoned riders still make mistakes and crash. While mountain biking, there is never a question of IF you will crash, but only WHEN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    I hate to go over this again, but at the federal level, and in Virginia and many other states, traditional e-bikes (<750W, no boost over 20mph, pedaling required, no throttle) are not considered "motor" anything. They're just bikes. If I was a MTB enthusiast, I'd be much more concerned with trail overcrowding and jackasses riding wet trails than some noob puttering around on a 750W e-bike. I can't help but feel like this is just angst because some people think e-bikes are lazy and not cool enough to share trails, but expressed as this concern troll-y "it's harmful to the trails!" argument. At least, that's the perception of this fairly experienced rider who neither owns nor plans to own an e-bike and who generally views more riders of all types as a positive for society.
    I'm pretty sure a park ranger isn't going to care, especially if there are complaints of "motorbikes tearing up the trails".

    And it's not troll-y to argue the fact that MTBers have been advocating for access to trail systems (for 30+ years!!!) based on the notion that they don't ruin trail infrastructure like a motorbike does. For MTBers, it's about stewardship of scarce resources, not elitism.

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