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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #491
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    I had my first taste of telling someone they could not join in on a group mountain bike ride because they were on an e-bike a couple of weeks ago. That was an interesting conversation...
    Interesting! -- I have yet to witness such a conversation for someone wanting to join a group ride. Was it just "you're not welcome" or are e-bikes specifically forbidden from our MTB trails? I don't know the policy on that here. I believe that in general out west they're not allowed except where specifically allowed (along with motorbikes?). Seems appropriate. I don't get e-MTB at all. I mean, any differently than I appreciate that some people want to ride dirt bikes -- sure, there's a course for that [somewhere, presumably].

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    I had my first taste of telling someone they could not join in on a group mountain bike ride because they were on an e-bike a couple of weeks ago. That was an interesting conversation...
    Since tone and nuance tend to get lost from forum posts, and this seems to be a controversial topic, I'm prefacing this with 1)This is actually an earnest question and 2)This doesn't affect me so I'm asking purely out of curiosity and not as an effort to alter anyone's stance or defend e-bikes. You can ban orange bikes or Specialized bikes or whatever from groups rides for all I care...

    Anyway, assuming the e-bike rider rides/behaves like everyone else, what's the reasoning for excluding them? I guess I understand if there's a competitive nature to these rides, but if someone is just riding in a pack, what's the issue? Same goes for road rides...If someone wants to ride responsibly in the pack, but just not get as good of a workout (or maybe they're not as fit and want to get a good workout while keeping up with a fast group), why is that an issue for others in the group? Is it like a precautionary thing, where the potential for an e-bike to just blow up the pack makes it not worth including them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Since tone and nuance tend to get lost from forum posts, and this seems to be a controversial topic, I'm prefacing this with 1)This is actually an earnest question and 2)This doesn't affect me so I'm asking purely out of curiosity and not as an effort to alter anyone's stance or defend e-bikes. You can ban orange bikes or Specialized bikes or whatever from groups rides for all I care...

    Anyway, assuming the e-bike rider rides/behaves like everyone else, what's the reasoning for excluding them? I guess I understand if there's a competitive nature to these rides, but if someone is just riding in a pack, what's the issue? Same goes for road rides...If someone wants to ride responsibly in the pack, but just not get as good of a workout (or maybe they're not as fit and want to get a good workout while keeping up with a fast group), why is that an issue for others in the group? Is it like a precautionary thing, where the potential for an e-bike to just blow up the pack makes it not worth including them?
    In the group ride context, I think in the end it boils down to the constitutional right of people with like toys to peaceably assemble, and their corollary right to tell people who bring the wrong toys to the assembly to sod off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Since tone and nuance tend to get lost from forum posts, and this seems to be a controversial topic, I'm prefacing this with 1)This is actually an earnest question and 2)This doesn't affect me so I'm asking purely out of curiosity and not as an effort to alter anyone's stance or defend e-bikes. You can ban orange bikes or Specialized bikes or whatever from groups rides for all I care...

    Anyway, assuming the e-bike rider rides/behaves like everyone else, what's the reasoning for excluding them? I guess I understand if there's a competitive nature to these rides, but if someone is just riding in a pack, what's the issue? Same goes for road rides...If someone wants to ride responsibly in the pack, but just not get as good of a workout (or maybe they're not as fit and want to get a good workout while keeping up with a fast group), why is that an issue for others in the group? Is it like a precautionary thing, where the potential for an e-bike to just blow up the pack makes it not worth including them?
    This is a good question as someone else who leads mountain bike rides occasionally. Was this a MORE ride, Sunyata? For those that don't know, on MORE-sponsored rides, the leader is required to get everyone's signature on a waiver before the ride starts. I wonder if e-bike accidents and injuries during the ride get the same coverage?

    BTW, if it was my ride and someone showed up on an e-bike, I'd probably let them on as long as they signed the waiver... then I'd go down the roughest trails Off the top of my head, the reasons I wouldn't let someone join my ride is if:
    1. They refused to wear a helmet
    2. They won't sign the waiver
    3. They acted like a jerkface


    (1 and 3 has happened before.)

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  8. #495
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    In the group ride context, I think in the end it boils down to the constitutional right of people with like toys to peaceably assemble, and their corollary right to tell people who bring the wrong toys to the assembly to sod off.
    Interestingly posted by the guy with the goofy bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Interestingly posted by the guy with the goofy bike.
    Who better to understand being told to take his unlike toy and sod off.

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    Perhaps the vision of dirt bikes tearing up trails is a bit too real. Electric bikes regardless of the power they have don't shred pavement but even a small 125cc dirt bike can shred trails. Not to hard to make an electric MTB that has the power of a small dirt bike.

    (Caution Opinion!) I too am in the No Motors on MTB trails. People mostly MTB for fun. Not having a motor is not going to keep you from trucking the kids to school or food home. OTOH a motor can trash a trail that was hand built by fellow riders. Meat motors don't kick up a rooster tails.

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  14. #498
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
    Perhaps the vision of dirt bikes tearing up trails is a bit too real. Electric bikes regardless of the power they have don't shred pavement but even a small 125cc dirt bike can shred trails. Not to hard to make an electric MTB that has the power of a small dirt bike.
    That seems like a reasonable argument for banning any type of motor-assisted bikes on trails...fine with me. But if you've got a mixed group all riding at the same pace, other than the boosted rider probably sweating less than everyone else, what's difference does it make? Again, excluding e-MTBs just for the sake of it is fine with me, I'm just curious if there's a functional reasoning as well. I guess if I was told "we don't allow e-bikes because f*&k 'em," that would actually be more palatable to me than "we ban e-bikes because they somehow damage trails, even though we're all riding at the same speed, on the same tires, with bikes that basically all weigh the same."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
    Perhaps the vision of dirt bikes tearing up trails is a bit too real. Electric bikes regardless of the power they have don't shred pavement but even a small 125cc dirt bike can shred trails. Not to hard to make an electric MTB that has the power of a small dirt bike.

    (Caution Opinion!) I too am in the No Motors on MTB trails. People mostly MTB for fun. Not having a motor is not going to keep you from trucking the kids to school or food home. OTOH a motor can trash a trail that was hand built by fellow riders. Meat motors don't kick up a rooster tails.
    If e-bikes have enough power to roost and shred trail, then I'd be totally against them. I put a lot of back-aching work into them that I obviously wouldn't want to see destroyed.

    I've tried two e-bikes before, both briefly:
    1. Bike 1 was in a warehouse and had a thumb throttle and didn't need to be pedaled. It was intended for city riding and had slickish hybrid tires. That said, I don't think it could've provided enough torque to kick up any dirt, unless that dirt was really loose and dusty (like I found when riding San Francisco last week, but not so much around here).
    2. Bike 2 was at Lake Accotink and was a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6 Fattie. It was a blast, but required me to pedal. Can those provide enough torque to spin out? The only way I can think of is to lean way forward on the bike so the rear hardly has any traction.


    BTW, I'm not pro e-bike. I guess I'm not anti e-bike either, but mostly because I don't know if or how harmful they can be to the trails and other riders. Right now I'm waiting and seeing...

  17. #500
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Anyway, assuming the e-bike rider rides/behaves like everyone else, what's the reasoning for excluding them? I guess I understand if there's a competitive nature to these rides, but if someone is just riding in a pack, what's the issue? Same goes for road rides...If someone wants to ride responsibly in the pack, but just not get as good of a workout (or maybe they're not as fit and want to get a good workout while keeping up with a fast group), why is that an issue for others in the group? Is it like a precautionary thing, where the potential for an e-bike to just blow up the pack makes it not worth including them?
    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.

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