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E-bikes on your local mountain bike trails?

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I have no problem with e-bikes.
Based on what you wrote it sounds like you do have a problem with ebikes, and I’ll guess you also have very little experience riding them. Hopefully one day you’ll get to know the reality, yeah they got motors in them, but if you don’t pedal they don’t go anywhere.


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I thought it'd worth visiting a motocross forum to see how they feel about e-bikes and trail access:

"...yes the e bike will open up a lot more places to ride, including backyard tracks and places that don't require a fee (river beds/fields/places we rode in the old days but noise shut em etc "
"We have some great trails and downhills here in Western PA. A little help with an e-bike could be a better way to enjoy the trails and get more downhill for the buck. "
"An e bike will definitely be more fun if your trying to get your moto fix. Faster, won’t get as tired as quickly, you can do **** like manual over objects with less effort, and if you ride for long enough it’ll still be a good exercise."
"I have a Sur-Ron for my fun little e-bike when I can't take my KTM out. I can't believe how fun the little thing is. It's silent and looks like a mountain bike. I ride out on our local park trails and only get curious questions and people thinking it's really cool. I specifically go when it's low or zero traffic out there. "
"I just got an ebike (my first MTB really) and holy crap are they fun. I just laugh at some of the dorks on the trail that give stink eye or snarky comments."
"Ebikes are so much fun, and are a great tool to train for the pro-moto guys. You can now achieve the same results of road cycling but you can do it in the dirt, and not worry about cars."
"I do think it would be sick to rip mtb trail on an e-bike ..."
"...literally I would probably be dicking around on mtb trails and other such areas with the bike I'm looking forward to the electric motocross bike, because i will be motoing in stealth ...."

"I think you will see A LOT of people going electric once the price comes down- that will lead to new riding areas."
"I have more fun on the E bike... Faster, cover way more miles, and hill climb like you're on a dirt bike! It's now just as fun uphill as downhill. "
"I love the sound of a perfectly tuned combustion engine just as much as the next guy, but I would trade all that in a heartbeat if it meant more riding areas. "
"Definitely geared toward the moto community than MTB. But it's a cool foot in the door to the MTB scene. "
"I'd love one for singletrack. Sure I'd miss working on my 2T but just hearing an electric bike's components operate would make me feel closer to my surroundings. I want to hear a knobby rip up some dirt! "
"the bike is for the moto market, it looks cool, rowdy and fun. I can be a great foot in the door to get new riders hooked on the eMTB scene. "
"I'd get 100x more use out of an e-bike. "
"And anyone that thinks ebikes are lame hasn't ridden a good ebike. The new higher end mountain ebikes are mind blowing. And, you can get a way better full body workout than you can on a regular mountain bike. Incredible for cross training moto. "


So NOW what do you think? Yay or nay?
 

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Ebikes are clearly their own use and not the same use as a motorcycle OR A BICYCLE. The degree to which ebike proponents argue they should be allowed to use an ebike on nonmotorized trails shows that pretty clearly. If it is actually the same use, shut up and pedal a real bike since you say they're the same thing.

Ebike use might be compatible with nonmotorized uses on many trail systems; in fact I would argue (and have) that they are. But that doesn't mean that they aren't a different use. They should be managed accordingly. Maybe that turns out that they are allowed on a lot of nonmotorized systems. But that should be the result of a deliberate decision. And to address a point made above, in this state, MTB advocacy group positions range from neutral to opposed to ebike advocacy and access. Ebikers need to advocate for themselves. Frankly, I'm happy to step back and let our local city open lands discussion be a boomer-on-boomer fight as the Federal agencies work out their approach.

And to head off the obvious reply, yes, I'm familiar with ebikes. My group owns 3 that we use for trailwork and race support. I've ridden them enough to know exactly what they are and how they work. Sure they're not a motorcycle. But they're not a bike either.
 

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Interesting, I'm faster downhill on my e bike, maybe because it's 180/180 travel

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That’s absolutely possible.I have a stock Cannondale moterra one.But I have friend who has about the same setup.You might of hear of him.Mark Weir of WTB.Needless to say he goes quite well on his to.My point was that an e bike is actually slower that an analog because it’s 48 pounds.so if you had both bikes setup the same it would be pretty close.The reason I bring this up is people have never ridden a class one e bike and blather on how it’s a motorcycle or moped.You as owner I’m sure have heard this silly stuf.
 

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Ebikes are clearly their own use and not the same use as a motorcycle OR A BICYCLE. The degree to which ebike proponents argue they should be allowed to use an ebike on nonmotorized trails shows that pretty clearly. If it is actually the same use, shut up and pedal a real bike since you say they're the same thing.

Ebike use might be compatible with nonmotorized uses on many trail systems; in fact I would argue (and have) that they are. But that doesn't mean that they aren't a different use. They should be managed accordingly. Maybe that turns out that they are allowed on a lot of nonmotorized systems. But that should be the result of a deliberate decision. And to address a point made above, in this state, MTB advocacy group positions range from neutral to opposed to ebike advocacy and access. Ebikers need to advocate for themselves. Frankly, I'm happy to step back and let our local city open lands discussion be a boomer-on-boomer fight as the Federal agencies work out their approach.

And to head off the obvious reply, yes, I'm familiar with ebikes. My group owns 3 that we use for trailwork and race support. I've ridden them enough to know exactly what they are and how they work. Sure they're not a motorcycle. But they're not a bike either.
If you have ridden an e bike a class one 48 pound full suspension in eco for thirty miles and not call this a bike than you must have had it in turbo 🥴
 

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If you have ridden an e bike a class one 48 pound full suspension in eco for thirty miles and not call this a bike than you must have had it in turbo
That's what you took from his post?

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That's what you took from his post?

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Ok and I was one of the first pioneers around when mountain bikes were basically invented.what’s your point?Ive been riding since 1974.raced motocross and rode with Joe breeze Gary fisher and I live and ride with a guy that won the downieville downhill 8 times.he seems to think it’s just a mountain bike with assist and so do most people.So why even think there needs discussion of separation of category?
 

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Ok and I was one of the first pioneers around when mountain bikes were basically invented.what’s your point?Ive been riding since 1974.raced motocross and rode with Joe breeze Gary fisher and I live and ride with a guy that won the downieville downhill 8 times.he seems to think it’s just a mountain bike with assist and so do most people.So why even think there needs discussion of separation of category?
You keep name dropping and humble bragging. No one in this thread cares.

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Ebikes are clearly their own use and not the same use as A BICYCLE.
They are more like a bicycle than a motorcycle. I ride it the exact same way I do my clockwork bike only I go faster. You have provided another inexperienced opinion, nice try


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They are more like a bicycle than a motorcycle. I ride it the exact same way I do my clockwork bike only I go faster. You have provided another inexperienced opinion, nice try


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Learn to read. I agree with that and wrote that in many cases ebikes are compatible with nonmotorized use. See my post above about my organization owning 3 ebikes. I’ve ridden them plenty.

Here’s the thing: advocacy takes place within a context of recreation and land use planning/management. The profound ignorance of any of those concepts displayed by those arguing in this thread for their ebikes demonstrates that none of them are advocates. They just want what they want and want others to do it for them. Get off your butt and do the work.
 

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As somebody who lives at a tourist destination, I can also say that demo e-bikes are spreading like a virus out here.
Park City trails are already crowded and the tourism industry wants to create a new summer tourism boost with rental ebikes. No thanks, too many people here already.
 

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As ebikes grow in popularity (and, unfortunately, power) we can expect their usage to become more regulated. This isn't a question of "If," but of "When, and by whom?"

If the ebiking community, including the manufacturers, do not regulate themselves, then they can expect this regulation to come from the broader community. Unfortunately for all mountain bikers, this broader community is comprised of hikers, runners, equestrians, and even people with no vested trail interest - car drivers. Many of these people are just looking for an excuse to get rid of bikes altogether.

Manufacturers have shot themselves in the foot by continuing the practice of disguising ebikes to look like regular bikes as much as possible and the ebiking community is shooting themselves in the foot by pretending that ebikes are "not really" motorized. Hikers, runners, equestrians, and car drivers cannot tell ebikes apart from mountain bikes by sight, but they certainly understand the difference between human powered and motorized. These members of the broader community feel deceived and their reaction is to try to close trails to all bikes since they can't distinguish between ebike and regular bike.
Nevermind the false equivalence of class I, class II, and class III, which is totally indistinguishable and lost on the broader community. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that something sold as a class I ebike will remain a class I ebike.

I have no interest in ebikes myself, although I want that option to remain on the table for me in the years to come. I also truly believe that class I ebikes are just fine on the trail.
Ebike riders and manufacturers, however, need to spend their time, effort, and energy convincing the broader community that ebikes belong, not infighting with mountain bikers.
First steps might be for the industry to ensure that class I ebikes stay class I ebikes, to make very clear visual distinctions between class I, II, and III ebikes, and to stop claiming they are the same thing as regular bikes.
Just admit that ebikes have a motor, then the broader community can have an honest conversation about where and when limited motor usage is appropriate.
 

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Based on what you wrote it sounds like you do have a problem with ebikes,
Work on your comprehension.

I own and enjoy all sorts of vehicles.
That doesn't mean I can't tell the difference between them.

Derrrr....
 

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You keep name dropping and humble bragging. No one in this thread cares.

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Only to push to the fact that I have experienced enough in my life to not be insecure about people riding e bikes.I ride road mountain and occasionally an e bike.You say no one on this thread cares but I think you do not speak for everyone.And again I’m 60 years old and have been around.The main point I’m trying to make is as road or mountain biker riders we need to all get along and look out for all our interest.Not bragging or here to name drop.Just letting you know I have been here since it all started and the battles we have lost and won to share these trails.Stil today the birthplace of mountain biking is only open to 9% of trail to riders.mainly fire roads.
 

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I have been here since it all started and the battles we have lost and won to share these trails.Stil today the birthplace of mountain biking is only open to 9% of trail to riders.mainly fire roads.
Sounds like you guys have mastered losing. Congrats.
If I'm ever looking to lose access, now I know I can get advice on that from the guy in the corner patting himself on the back.
 

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C. It's inevitable. E-MTB's are the future. Adopt the same rules as Europe. Basically, low power class 1 only with no throttle and treat them the same as acoustic bikes.
This is where I land. I really don't have a problem with people on ebikes acting in a responsible manner, just as we all must. I also like the idea of reasonable limits and the Class 1, pedal assisted only one is a good all around fit for trails shared by hikers and bikers. It also fits on signs easily :)

With the wide variations in "Human power only" given that some of us can roll along at, say, 350 watts and others would struggle at 100, Class 1, speed limited pedal-assist only bicycles should fit right in with trail and user impact more dependent on rider skill and attitude than the hardware.

To summarize: As non-assisted bike users we should consider riders on Class 1, pedal-assist only bicycles as "one of us".

The rest of them don't belong on MTB trails.
 

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To summarize: As non-assisted bike users we should consider riders on Class 1, pedal-assist only bicycles as "one of us".
The only opinion that matters is that of land managers.
What Joe Average Rider (or some dude who knows a dude who's Mark Weir's bestestest buddy) thinks means squat.
 
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