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Discussion Starter #1
At the risk of starting a rats nest of trolling replies, I am curious about trails/systems that e-bikes are actually off limits to e bikes. Not fake signs, and speculation, but that someone has first hand documentation or information from an official that these systems and trails are in fact off limits. I have no desire to ride an e-bike anytime soon, but I do get asked quite often about e-bike friendly trails in my line of work. Most of what I can find online is vague at best, but I interpret it all to basically say that class 1 are fine at most trails and systems. Anyone have any more concrete information that is up to date?
 

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I'm not an ebiker either but thought it would be interesting to see what is out there regarding official stances. Also, it doesn't seem to matter if the land manager prohibits ebikes as I believe I've seen them in use in all the areas below that forbid them. Not sure how they would ever police/enforce it....but that is a whole different thread.

Arizona State Parks (https://azstateparks.com/frequently-asked-questions-faq-about-arizona-state-parks-trails#bike)

“Can I use my electric bike in a state park?
A: Electrically assisted mountain bikes are considered motorized and are only allowed only on state park roadways and designated motorized trails. Electric-assist mountain bikes (eMTBs) have evolved significantly over the past few years and uses of these bikes have increased tremendously. These bikes generally can travel faster than a traditional mountain bike and have caused some user conflicts on many trails.”

Scottsdale Sonoran Preserve (https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve)
“Electric Bikes are not allowed in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Electric bikes are motorized, and Chapter 21 of the Scottsdale Revised Code prohibits motorized vehicles from being used in the Preserve, with the exception of motorized wheelchairs, or vehicles in designated trailhead parking areas.”

City of Phoenix Parks
I couldn’t find anything definitively stating one way or the other but another MTBR member posted this: (https://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/e-bikes-legal-pmp-1091713.html)

“Here is an email I got from the PMP Park Manager. Exact quote.

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Thanks for taking the time to ask about ebikes in the Phoenix mountain parks and preserves.

Earlier in the year, a bill was passed allowing ebikes, Class 1 & 2 only, the same legal status as mountain bikes or bicycles in the State of Arizona. The bill does allows land managers the option of posting regulations against the use of ebikes on trails.

At this point the City of Phoenix Parks Board has not yet made a decision on whether to allow or ban ebikes on park trails. Legally, ebikes are allowed unless the land managers opt to not allow them, so technically, ebikes are allowed at this point. Parks Board may not make a decision right away, but may opt for a trial period in which to gather data and determine the best action to take based on that data.

So short answer – yes for now.

If you aren’t familiar with Classes, Class one is pedal assist up to 20 mph, and Class two is pedal and throttle assist to 20 mph. Class three is still considered a motorized vehicle as it assists to speeds up to 28 mph or greater.

Thanks again, and happy riding!

Dan Gronseth, Park Manager
South Mountain Park
Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department
Natural Resources Division
602-495-0204”

Bureau of Land Management (https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/e-bikes)

Motorized areas and trails
Search for an Open OHV area or motorized trail to ride your e-bike.
BLM-managed public lands offer many opportunities for riding e-bikes, including any Open OHV area or motorized trail.

Non-motorized trails
Contact your local BLM office for more information.
E-bikes are allowed on trails limited to bicycles and non-motorized travel ONLY IF a BLM Manager has issued a written decision authorizing e-bike use in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”


National Forest (https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/e-bikes)
“Forest Service Statement on Electronic Bicycle Use:
Emerging technologies such as e-bikes are changing the way people enjoy their visits to national forests and grasslands. Today, more than 60,000 miles of trails and roads on national forests and grasslands are currently open to e-bike use. As use trends change with time and new technologies, the way we manage lands to ensure their long-term health and resilience must change as well. This is why we are closely examining our policy to identify ways to expand access for American’s to enjoy these recreation opportunities on our forests and grasslands in ways that meet user needs while continuing to protect forest resources.”

(my notes: While they say they are allowed on 60k miles of trails and roads they don’t actually specify which ones. May be up to the individual forest management program. I believe it is very misleading. I would also guess by Schillings statement above that Tonto NF has already said no the e-bike.)

Arizona State Trust Land

I didn't see any kind of official statement regarding e-bikes
 

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No Clue Crew
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If I had my way, all trails would be off-limits. And I see mopeds every time I ride at Hawes. Sorry for the troll.
 

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I am Walt
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I know Hawes is off limits, due to it being on Tonto National Forest land. Sedona is off limits. The Arizona Trail is off limits.
I’ve seen e-bikes at Hawes a number of times, and it seems riders either don’t know or don’t care about any restrictions. Not that it is ever even remotely policed...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Titanium Junkie
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I pass many e-bikes every time I ride at Brown’s, despite the signage prohibiting it at every trailhead.
 

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I ride a Pivot 429T and a Specialized Levo Turbo expert.
Never understood the hate towards ebikes and why they aren't allowed everywhere a MTB is allowed.
Me on my ebike doesn't do any more damage than if I'm pedaling my Pivot. There are guys riding much harder through corners doing more damage than me by far. Both get me out riding and that's what's it's all about.
Wish the laws were more clear and not have to do all the research on what trails are legal or not.
 

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I saw 3 E-bikes on the Beardsley Trail at Lake Pleasant (BLM land) on Sunday. I was curious about the legality of it. I didn't see any "No E-bike" signs.

I also saw an E-bike at Chicken Point in Sedona a few weekends ago. A buddy and I were doing the Triple H ride which was a bit brutal. I tried to get the guy to switch me bikes for the rest of the day. LOL
 

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The .05 percent
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Sounds like u ran into traildoc. Hear he likes to ride all the new world class trails on his pivot e bike and be the first to review on Trailforks. Buddy of mine ran into him and was lecturing about dogs off leash. Guess he did not have a leg to stand on when asked if that was an E bike and was he aware that they are illegal in the Coconino national forest.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like u ran into traildoc. Hear he likes to ride all the new world class trails on his pivot e bike and be the first to review on Trailforks. Buddy of mine ran into him and was lecturing about dogs off leash. Guess he did not have a leg to stand on when asked if that was an E bike and was he aware that they are illegal in the Coconino national forest.
Actually I have a great relationship with Traildoc....haha, nope. I have had words on here with him several years ago and he was a part of my long hiatus from here. However, My main curiosity is due to one part having a friend getting back into biking nursing a couple injuries who has an e-bike, and I want to make sure we are always riding ethically, and another part as a Physical Therapist that works for the government, I get asked a lot about trails for assisted bikes, and I want to make sure I steer people in the right direction. I read on the Coconino NF website nothing that specifically bans E-bikes, and specifically a reference to the NF website that states the same as above. Nothing on the tonto NF website specific to e-bikes, so that leads me to believe it's the same as coconino, likely a reference to the national forest website. Looks like some phone calls are in order.

I get the hatred for them, I had it for the longest time, but after seeing what it does for an injured rider, or someone who is frankly too out of shape to actually enjoy riding the appeal began. Now I see that the bike does not roast brodies or spin out too fast. Honestly on the climbs it only appears to be an advantage when it is a slog and spin type. They still have to go slow and crawl up just like the rest of us. I have never seen an e-bike tear up a trail. I have seen many a douchebag do that tho, bike, horse, hike, dog. I am not a full force convert by any means, but I think there needs to be a dialogue about these bikes that honestly considers their objective impact on trails before denying them access.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I saw 3 E-bikes on the Beardsley Trail at Lake Pleasant (BLM land) on Sunday. I was curious about the legality of it. I didn't see any "No E-bike" signs.

I also saw an E-bike at Chicken Point in Sedona a few weekends ago. A buddy and I were doing the Triple H ride which was a bit brutal. I tried to get the guy to switch me bikes for the rest of the day. LOL
This is what leads me to believe the no-e bike signs may be someone that just printed some out of spite and put them on the trails and noone has removed them because they look legit. Same thing with the stickers that were everywhere on SOMO.
 

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Sounds like u ran into traildoc. Hear he likes to ride all the new world class trails on his pivot e bike and be the first to review on Trailforks. Buddy of mine ran into him and was lecturing about dogs off leash. Guess he did not have a leg to stand on when asked if that was an E bike and was he aware that they are illegal in the Coconino national forest.
It was a younger guy. Wasn't a local. That guys seems to just like controversy.

Did you see any sign stating no motorized vehicles?
Yes Sir. But, from the sounds of things these guys could have had permission from the BLM. They were polite and using proper trail etiquette. I have no desire to ride an E-bike currently but I have no problem sharing the trail with them as the few that I have personally seen don't seem to cause any more issues than normal bikes.
 

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This is what leads me to believe the no-e bike signs may be someone that just printed some out of spite and put them on the trails and noone has removed them because they look legit. Same thing with the stickers that were everywhere on SOMO.
If that is the case, someone has too much time on their hands but I have certainly seen some people that appear to be worked up enough over the topic to potentially be that petty.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone for compiling this. I think this information will be very helpful to a lot of people besides me.
 

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Ebikes are still illegal on non-motorized trails in the national forests. The lone exception, that I know of anyway, was in Tahoe where the were allowed on certain trails but that is now hotly contested and a number of user groups are litigating.

With regard to signage, there are also those who buy "no bike" stickers from Rock Art and place them on carsonite posts. Not sure it's the land manager, at least in the CNF, that is doing that.

As for Traildoc, he mostly rides his eBike on off-grid trails. It's really the only way he can ride anymore. He's 71 with some health issues. One side of the coin is since when did growing old become a disability or mean that trails have to be ADA compliant. On the other hand, it's hard to argue with someone that can still ride because of the assist on the very trails that he built for your enjoyment. No easy answers.
 
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