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  1. #1
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    I guess I'm a hater or a trail access lover.

    Good day fellow cyclist,
    I wanted to inform all of you about a debate that I think the majority of Mountain bikers may be interested in. If you didn’t know or noticed there is a forum called E-Bikes on MTBR. Silly to have a forum like this on MTBR, a few of them who claim they would not go on designated non-motorized trails are pushing for the right to change the laws to allow them while others try to justify riding them now because their interpretation of the laws don’t mean for E-bike but only for motorcycles (dirt bikes) or certain E-bike of a particular wattage or type of assist. Either way I feel this is a real threat for access to certain areas or cause those who dislike off road bicyclist completely to use their arguments to help rid all bike off trails.
    Below are a couple links to the forums regarding the debates, just reading the comments of the E-bikers educated me on how they think and what they want to accomplish which is why I am going this far to post this so you can read and make up your own mind. Starting off is the debate on whether E-bike forum should be on MTBR at all. I think most agree it should be elsewhere such as a moto forum but NOT on a bicycle forum such as this.
    Please try not to respond to this thread, instead go to one of the links attached and begin the discussion there. Thank you.
    I hope for the mods to lock this thread now.

    On the E-Bike forum;
    Does this forum belong on MTBR


    On the Site/feedback issues at the bottom of the forum list;
    E-bikes, Yes or No?
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

    E-bikes are Mountain Mopeds

  2. #2
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    Hater. LOL

  3. #3
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    The access issue is the main discussion point. Can someone PLEASE provide areas that have lost access to MTB trails because Ebikes were accessing the area?

    How about allowing Ebike's to use existing trails at night when there is very little traffic?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    The access issue is the main discussion point. Can someone PLEASE provide areas that have lost access to MTB trails because Ebikes were accessing the area?

    How about allowing Ebike's to use existing trails at night when there is very little traffic?

    They are prohibited from non-motorized trails in the national forests and BLM land so that is a non starter.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    The access issue is the main discussion point. Can someone PLEASE provide areas that have lost access to MTB trails because Ebikes were accessing the area?

    How about allowing Ebike's to use existing trails at night when there is very little traffic?
    Legit question: It's my understanding that the vast majority of Sedona's trails are on USFS land. How do you think access would fare if eBikes were suddenly allowed?
    I can see where it might be a non-issue due to low volume, or it might be a total nightmare due to people getting hurt.

    I think a 40lb Levo on any of the steep stuff of the "H" trails could be bad. USFS is only gonna evac so many folks out before something happens.
    There's been a lot of heartburn to secure the access that area currently enjoys. It could be erased with a quickness.

    It might also not even make a ripple in the water.


    I actually don't think eBikes would be that much of an issue down here in PHX. I can't think of many trails that are really, truly inappropriate for eBikes.
    My contention with eBikes are:
    1) It's currently illegal on most trail systems, and I'm a bit of a stickler for rules. At least wanton disregard for them. The "F-you, I do what I want" attitude makes me rage.
    Corollary to above: The sentiment of "it's still a bicycle, dude" also makes me rage. It's not. quit pretending it is, and put in the sweat equity lobbying for your own access and quit piggybacking on *actual bicycles*
    2) I truly believe there is no way to regulate the modding of wattage and thusly the speed of these things, and that poses a safety hazard for every single other trail user, and *WILL* result in harming our sport as a whole.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

  6. #6
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    Stock up on 12spd drivetrain components before you can no longer buy "pedaling" parts.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacoBeer View Post
    Good day fellow cyclist,
    I think most agree it should be elsewhere such as a moto forum but NOT on a bicycle forum such as this.
    But E-Bikes are definitely not motorcycles...are they? Are you saying we shouldn't even have the forum? I mean, they are made by mountain bike manufacturers with mountain bike components. They are basically montain bikes with motor assist. This is a mountain biking site....what am I missing? Maybe they shouldn't be allowed on trails...but we should be able to discuss/debate it, no?

    I don't think stopping discussion of controversial topics in mountain biking is the answer.

  8. #8
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    So no one has come up with any areas that have been shut down due to those terrible riders who are poaching the mountain bike trails in your area. At this point its just a talking point with no actual action taken by the land manager.

    Has anyone ever heard about the Caliente, NV future riding destination? It is going to be on BLM land and some other maybe State Park land. Apparently there are lots of environmental issues that have slowed down the build process.

    A couple years ago I did a post asking the deciders to consider making this future destination Ebike accessible. This place is out in BFE and my thought was to get as many riders as possible to check this place out. Can you imagine trying to get an economically challenged town some additional business from a bunch of older highly skilled Ebike riders with a lot of cash to spend on lodging, food. entertainment and Geritol?

    I can tell you for sure I am not going there to ride when I can just as easily go to St. George or Hurricane. Just saying. When I last asked if any trails had started there I got total silence.

    In Sedona we have about ten miles of user created trails that are up for adoption. It sure would be nice to see those Ebike accessible as a testing ground.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    It sure would be nice to see those Ebike accessible as a testing ground.


    If it's NFS it ain't going to happen.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  10. #10
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    lbb you are certainly right for now. Hopefully there will be small cracks in the policy and eventually Ebikes will be mainstream.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    But E-Bikes are definitely not motorcycles...are they? Are you saying we shouldn't even have the forum? I mean, they are made by mountain bike manufacturers with mountain bike components. They are basically montain bikes with motor assist. This is a mountain biking site....what am I missing? Maybe they shouldn't be allowed on trails...but we should be able to discuss/debate it, no?

    I don't think stopping discussion of controversial topics in mountain biking is the answer.
    Dirt bikes are not THAT different from a mountain bike.. are they? Two wheels, knobby tires, full suspension, chain drive, disk brakes. They're basically mountain bikes with a small engine.. what am I missing?


    The problem with having the eMTB forum on this site is that it in itself legitimizes their use as 'mountain bikes' on trails that are meant for non-motorized use. I have no problem with people using ebikes for commuting or traversing the neighborhood multiuse path, but that is not what the $9500 Specialized Turbo Levo FSR or $5000 Trek Powerfly are buying these bikes for.

    Just read the following quote right off the Specialized site:
    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized
    Whether you're riding trail, speeding up your commute, or just having the time of your life out on the road, our Turbo electric bikes give you the power to go farther and faster then ever before. On the road, these e-bikes are capable of achieving 45 Km/h while you pedal, and on the dirt, they give you the power to ride more trails. Think of it like superhuman strength, only it's more like a superhuman is helping you as you pedal.
    You know the manufacturers are doing nothing to educate buyers regarding the legality of eMTB use on non-motorized trails because 1: It is currently a grey area in many locations, and 2: They wouldn't want to scare away potential customers. I would like to think that a local bike shop would be a better source of this information, but I am afraid that your local Specialized dealer who is forced into ordering X number of eMTBs per year as part of their sales contract is not going to want to jeopardize those sales either..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    lbb you are certainly right for now. Hopefully there will be small cracks in the policy and eventually Ebikes will be mainstream.
    I certainly hope that you are as wrong regarding the proliferation of e-bikes as you are about everything else..

  13. #13
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    This is going to be an issue up for much debate in the coming years... I am currently in Crested Butte, CO where this issue has been brought up at a recent CBMBA mtg. This is the first year I have seen e-bikes poaching trails in CB area.... I stopped one couple and discussed this issue with them on Snodgrass Trail. The girl justified her use of an e-bike so that she could keep up with her hubby. That seemed like a rather lame excuse ... kind of along the lines of "I breath so please provide me with access." I informed them that NFS trails do not allow e-bikes but they seemed confident that they were following the rules ..... (new signage will correct this per above mentioned mtg.) I'm hoping that with the plethora of available places for motorized vehicles to ride that e-bike owners realize this and stick to those areas.

  14. #14
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    We are just seeing the beginning of E-Bike technology... what does it look like in 5 years?

    Human powered bikes have gone through a lot of changes in the last 100 years but one thing is consistent, the limiting factor has always been the wattage a human can produce. Some might argue that suspension designs and different bike technologies have allow us to go faster but those gains, IMHO, are marginal because usually those gains are only 5-10% faster (I made that up, it's probably less); E-bikes are a whole different ball game.

    I'm anti-e-bikes for (non-motorized) trail use but pro e-bikes for commuting. For the commuting use case I think it's a wonderful technology. You want to go fast on the trail... HTFU.

  15. #15
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    Mountain biking should be hard. One should pay his/her dues. I don't argue in the e-bike forum. My thinking is, "if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand."
    P.S. My wife doesn't ride because she doesn't like to climb. I won't buy her an e-bike.
    Tequila tonight, tomorrow we ride!

  16. #16
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    A sign of things to come? These went up in Park City recently.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    But E-Bikes are definitely not motorcycles...are they?
    The way I see it is this... It is a "Cycle" (as in a thing that has two wheels and is rideable by a human) and it has a "Motor" (you know that thing that uses electricity to generate watts or power), so "Motor" + "Cycle" = (you guessed it) MOTORCYCLE. Now go ahead and somehow try to justify this as incorrect? Pedal assist
    "You either want to or you don't."

  18. #18
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    This is funny. I am heavily involved in both mtb and moto.

    eBikes are way closer to the mtb world than moto world. Culture is totally different.

    eBike users and mtb users enjoy many of the same components and gear. Tires, suspension, bike racks, helmets, shorts, ... Same bike companies, ...

    eBikes should be on this forum.

    That said, I am fine with them being banned from non-motorized trails. Would also be OK if they set a limit on power and allowed them. If I had one, I would totally ride it everywhere, unless there was a sign that said otherwise. That may change over time, but for now it is a gray area and enforcement is lax. Trail warriors would be my biggest concern.

  19. #19
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    So if this is allowed

    I guess I'm a hater or a trail access lover.-fsr.jpg
    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...6fattie/118335



    what keeps this from being allowed as well?
    I guess I'm a hater or a trail access lover.-ktm.jpg
    KTM Freeride E-SX 2017


    And is that what anyone wants?

    Those two have more similarities than differences. Unlike a regular mountain bike and dirt bike - where one has an engine and one doesn't.

  20. #20
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    ^^^

    This has always been my stance as well.

    I know by definition it's a "slippery slope" argument, but I think this time it hold merit.

    Let's say, hyopothetically, the rules are amended to allow for legal use of that Levo.
    In current stock form it doesn't produce enough power to really be a big problem. Grudgingly, I'd probably accept this.

    But now, two things come into play:
    1) signage at the trail head now had language allowing for electric assisted vehicles, which is always going to be open to interpretation, and attempts at circumvention and "I didn't know" asshattery.
    2) There is no way to reliably regulate that the above Levo is indeed stock and legal, which further makes it difficult to say which is legal, and which is not. If there's no easily verifiable, and clear delineation of wattage, then the grounds to say the Levo is OK, and the KTM is not is going to be argued.

    Now you can claim "One is clearly a bicycle, and one is clearly a motorcycle, that won't happen, stop being Chicken-Little" all you want, but I think we all know that the culture of this country is very much not with the "spirit of the law" but with "how can I get away with and still be jjjuuuusssst on the legal side?"
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

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    If I understand it correctly, E-bikes only provide pedal assist, they do not provide power without pedaling and thus cannot move under their own power. To this I say you would have to phrase the rules such that the electric assist can only be applied while pedaling. If the vehicle is capable of applying power on its own, it is illegal.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    A sign of things to come? These went up in Park City recently.

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    That's interesting my 65 year old friends are there right now. They say the Ebiking up all the trails is awesome. His wife could never ride those trails with him before. It has opened up a whole new recreational experience for us old people. Temps were around 75 today. What a Country!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    So if this is allowed

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...6fattie/118335



    what keeps this from being allowed as well?
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1143293
    KTM Freeride E-SX 2017


    And is that what anyone wants?

    Those two have more similarities than differences. Unlike a regular mountain bike and dirt bike - where one has an engine and one doesn't.
    Why would u ever buy the speshy bike when you could get the KTM cheaper. E bikes are so lame.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbyte View Post
    The way I see it is this... It is a "Cycle" (as in a thing that has two wheels and is rideable by a human) and it has a "Motor" (you know that thing that uses electricity to generate watts or power), so "Motor" + "Cycle" = (you guessed it) MOTORCYCLE. Now go ahead and somehow try to justify this as incorrect? Pedal assist
    By your definition, that vehicle that we actually call a motorcycle, is not a "motorcycle". But an ebike is?

  25. #25
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    I am not concerned with the environmental issues .... I think some of those points get kinda whiney... I, instead, would focus on limitations of humans. Each of us has limitations. As I grow older should I expect that everyone understand my limitations and accommodate these limitations with easier forms of transport? If someone wants to clean a certain difficult section of trail should we expect them to: 1. practice 2. get fit 3. accept their limitations or do we provide assistance so they can participate (kinda like everyone getting a trophy in soccer)....... People need to prepare for anything they participate in .... and make time for that practice.... Americans continually expect that someone should provide them an easier path to their goals... e-bikes being one... So, I'm a 275 lb. lard butte and 750 watts just isn't quite enough power to give the "mtb" experience so I'd like about 2000 watts ..... You don't think the motors will continue to power up???? as battery technology improves??
    How about the e-bike community make their own trails .....they'd get fit in the process...
    I think e-bikes are a viable and necessary piece of technology for commuting, running errands, exploring forest servie roads, etc....
    Last edited by 90minIPA; 06-24-2017 at 07:26 AM. Reason: edit mistakes

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90minIPA View Post
    I am not concerned with the environmental issues .... I think some of those points get kinda whiney... I, instead, would focus on limitations of humans. Each of us has limitations. As I grow older should I expect that everyone understand my limitations and accommodate these limitations with easier forms of transport? If someone wants to clean a certain difficult section of trail should we expect them to: 1. practice 2. get fit 3. accept their limitations or do we provide assistance so they can participate (kinda like everyone getting a trophy in soccer)....... People need to prepare for anything they participate in .... and make time for that practice.... Americans continually expect that someone should provide them an easier path to their goals... e-bikes being one... So, I'm a 275 lb. lard butte and 750 watts just isn't quite enough power to give the "mtb" experience so I'd like about 2000 watts ..... You don't think the motors will continue to power up???? as battery technology improves??
    How about the e-bike community make their own trails .....they'd get fit in the process...
    I think e-bikes are a viable and necessary piece of technology for commuting, running errands, exploring forest servie roads, etc....
    90, so it would be OK with you if Ebikers made their own trail system to ride their bikes? I for one would like to see the FS and BLM allow that.

  27. #27
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    I've never seen an Ebike on the trails I ride. Must be a fad like those pesky 29er's

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    90, so it would be OK with you if Ebikers made their own trail system to ride their bikes? I for one would like to see the FS and BLM allow that.



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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    That's interesting my 65 year old friends are there right now. They say the Ebiking up all the trails is awesome. His wife could never ride those trails with him before. It has opened up a whole new recreational experience for us old people. Temps were around 75 today. What a Country!
    And here's one of the major problems.

    "Check us out! We're poaching trails and we don't care!"

    Come poach trails in my area on an ebike and you'll find out very quickly that there are consequences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    And here's one of the major problems.

    "Check us out! We're poaching trails and we don't care!"

    Come poach trails in my area on an ebike and you'll find out very quickly that there are consequences.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    S I can assure you my 65 year old friends are not creating any problems on the Park City trails. They are just out cruising the nice Park City trail system that has tons of climbing that sucks when you make it to the ripe old age of 65. Silent can you please show me pictures of your mom and dad out mountain biking together?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    S I can assure you my 65 year old friends are not creating any problems on the Park City trails. They are just out cruising the nice Park City trail system that has tons of climbing that sucks when you make it to the ripe old age of 65. Silent can you please show me pictures of your mom and dad out mountain biking together?
    Nope. GFY. Btw the PC trail system does not have "tons" of climbing and just like most paved trail systems, is relatively flat. Nice try.

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    I think we should also ban those damn single planker snowboarders from our lovely ski resorts where we great outdoor enthusiasts called "skiers" enjoy the fruits of our historical and cultural sport without the evolutionary changes in technology by somebody who quite honestly has no clue about "our sport"....Oh wait I forgot....That already happened.

    Bring on the e-bikes, get rid of hikers. My .02

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    S I can assure you my 65 year old friends are not creating any problems on the Park City trails. They are just out cruising the nice Park City trail system that has tons of climbing that sucks when you make it to the ripe old age of 65. Silent can you please show me pictures of your mom and dad out mountain biking together?
    So, your friends ride pedal assist electric bikes on trails with posted "no eBikes" signs, and your rebuttal is: "They're old".....?




    Quote Originally Posted by BiGWaVeDave View Post
    I think we should also ban those damn single planker snowboarders from our lovely ski resorts where we great outdoor enthusiasts called "skiers" enjoy the fruits of our historical and cultural sport without the evolutionary changes in technology by somebody who quite honestly has no clue about "our sport"....Oh wait I forgot....That already happened.

    Bring on the e-bikes, get rid of hikers. My .02

    Well, if those snowboards had motors, you'd have a good analogy.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

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    My legs as a motor are a pathetic force of nature. I can however kick some ass on a downhill grade without a motor and using that same force of nature. I don't see the big stink about pedal assist. People who say it tears the trail up have no concept of reality when they are blasting down singletrack at 30+ mph.

    As for rules and regulations. I know of at least 5 miles of illegal singletrack, built by riders within the hawes system that were constructed in areas of known tortise habitat without FS consent that everyone rides. Where were all the hardcore rule following, e-bike hating hypocrites then? Oh I guess that is cool cause it meets the cultural bias.

    BTW I don't e-bike, but I just think the reaction by the MTB community is a hypocritical joke. Someday if we are all lucky enough we are gonna want to ride with our grand kids, and a pedal assist might make perfect sense and be a real viable solution to be on trail systems.

    I think The mtb community should embrace technology, be it gearboxes, hydraulic brakes, or electric systems of shifting, seat dropping, ride logging.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiGWaVeDave View Post
    Someday if we are all lucky enough we are gonna want to ride with our grand kids, and a pedal assist might make perfect sense and be a real viable solution to be on trail systems.



    I already ride with mine, without the assistance of a motor. Aging out is inevitable, emotorbikes are not.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Nope. GFY. Btw the PC trail system does not have "tons" of climbing and just like most paved trail systems, is relatively flat. Nice try.

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    Sorry, I guess I should clarify. I'm thinking of ebike legal trails in PC. You know, the paved ones. My mind just doesn't work like yours.

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  37. #37
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    I want to embrace the technology I really do. And I feel for the older riders who can't climb anymore but can still handle a bike. But, I really don't think bikes that can go uphill as fast as they can go downhill are really that great an idea on multi-use trails. There will always be the bad apples and personally the user experience I'm seeking is somewhat similar to a hiker in that I don't enjoy being passed within inches of my handlebar at 20+ mph.

    Ebikes just create more user conflict. As cyclists, we've got enough as it is dealing with the Sierra Club and the like. Ebikes should be limited to motorized trails. I don't care if they have pedals or not.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    S I can assure you my 65 year old friends are not creating any problems on the Park City trails. They are just out cruising the nice Park City trail system that has tons of climbing that sucks when you make it to the ripe old age of 65. Silent can you please show me pictures of your mom and dad out mountain biking together?
    One ran into me while I was climbing last week, put a nice gouge in my leg.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I'm not interested in arguing about if an e-bike is more moto or more MTB blah blah. The only salient issue for me is will hikers and horse back riders use e-bikes as a way to shut out MTB's?

    YES, they will.

    I ride moto on ST. I ride MTB's on ST. I ride horses on ST and I hike on ST. I hear the arguments and complaints from each user group and I can tell you, without a doubt, that e-bikes will and are being used to enhance the argument on behalf of horse riders and hikers to close the trails to anyone and everyone else.

    Just consider the arguments surrounding "wilderness" designation, and tell me where an e-bike fits into that.

  40. #40
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    The most cogent post on this topic^^^.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    One ran into me while I was climbing last week, put a nice gouge in my leg.
    More details please. Gender, Age, Which Trail, Did they have personal liability coverage, did you go to emergency, how soon will you be able to ride again, did you get their picture?

  42. #42
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    I am confused are you saying equestrians and hikers ride Ebikes to shut out mountain bikers? I personally doubt many hikers or equestrians have any clue whether they are being conflicted by a mountain bike or Ebike.

    Most Ebikers are very right of way oriented. Most were once very proficient mountain bikers.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post

    Most Ebikers are very right of way oriented. Most were once very proficient mountain bikers.


    Pure unadulterated ********. Most are newbs that have no cares or concerns about trail edicate or even simple manners. Go somewhere else to baffle with ********.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmj831 View Post
    I'm not interested in arguing about if an e-bike is more moto or more MTB blah blah. The only salient issue for me is will hikers and horse back riders use e-bikes as a way to shut out MTB's?

    YES, they will.

    I ride moto on ST. I ride MTB's on ST. I ride horses on ST and I hike on ST. I hear the arguments and complaints from each user group and I can tell you, without a doubt, that e-bikes will and are being used to enhance the argument on behalf of horse riders and hikers to close the trails to anyone and everyone else.

    Just consider the arguments surrounding "wilderness" designation, and tell me where an e-bike fits into that.
    This is the best response and insight to this whole thread. I also have participated in all the user groups and you are right on point.

  45. #45
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by kmj831 View Post
    I'm not interested in arguing about if an e-bike is more moto or more MTB blah blah. The only salient issue for me is will hikers and horse back riders use e-bikes as a way to shut out MTB's?

    YES, they will.

    I ride moto on ST. I ride MTB's on ST. I ride horses on ST and I hike on ST. I hear the arguments and complaints from each user group and I can tell you, without a doubt, that e-bikes will and are being used to enhance the argument on behalf of horse riders and hikers to close the trails to anyone and everyone else.

    Just consider the arguments surrounding "wilderness" designation, and tell me where an e-bike fits into that.
    Good job! "Potential loss of trail access" trumps any benefits of allowing an ebike on non-motorized designated trails IMO.
    Mole

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