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  1. #1
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    Electric Bikes on MTB Trails

    Saw another electric mountain bike on the trail the other day. It got me thinking, do I care about this? Am I going to start seeing a bunch of fat rich dudes (no offense to large or wealthy riders who pedal) who don't pedal ripping down our trails? Can someone give me some perspective here? Do I call the ranger 'cause the trail clearly states no motorized vehicles?

  2. #2
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    If he was talking on his cell while sipping a latte, throwing the wrapper from his deluxe triple bypass lardburger on the trail, and/or being a regular ******, then I definately would call him in. If he was just out enjoying the trail, prolly wouldn't worry about it.

  3. #3
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    Do you have any local/state/whatever statutes that define what is a motorized vehicle and what is a bicycle?

    Where I live, bicycles with low powered electric motors count as bicycles, as long as they only power you while you pedal and stop helping you by the time you hit about 15 mph.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  4. #4
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    tell me more about these electrobikes. i've heard of electric shifting (is it really THAT hard to shift on your own?) but are they like those commuters that help you forward?
    fap

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    tell me more about these electrobikes. i've heard of electric shifting (is it really THAT hard to shift on your own?) but are they like those commuters that help you forward?
    It was making him haul butt. I looked them up and found them on eBay for about $6k. They have a 5000 watt motor. That's seriuos.

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    well... what about handicapped people who want to ride around in the trails? i've seen a few of those chinese motored mountain bikes in the trails around here. i think the man problem with dirt bikes and atvs is that they ruin the trail due to their weight, big tires, and high amount of torque. but if they're not spinning out ruining the trail, i really don't care. its not a pleasant sound to hear, a motor, but electric is silent so that's even better. i say live and let live.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    It was making him haul butt. I looked them up and found them on eBay for about $6k. They have a 5000 watt motor. That's seriuos.
    Sounds motorized to me. Way more power than I had when I was 15 or 16

    (not my photo: just found one that looks just like what I had)


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  8. #8
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    Does it have enough tear up the trail? If not then no harm no foul.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ou2mame View Post
    well... what about handicapped people who want to ride around in the trails? i've seen a few of those chinese motored mountain bikes in the trails around here. i think the man problem with dirt bikes and atvs is that they ruin the trail due to their weight, big tires, and high amount of torque. but if they're not spinning out ruining the trail, i really don't care. its not a pleasant sound to hear, a motor, but electric is silent so that's even better. i say live and let live.
    There are lots of ways for handicapped people to MTB without a motor.

    It was hardly silent but quieter than a gas engine.

    A 4000 or 5000 watt motor is plenty of power to pill out and I would add that the extra weight and speed could result in a lot of skidding. These would be controllable by the rider. I could ride my motorcycle down lots of trails and not do any damage if that was my only concern. It doesn't mean cautious motorcyclers should be on the trail either.

  10. #10
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    When one comes up from behind while I'm climbing and starts wanting by I will probably have a problem with it. May lead to trail courtesy issues...maybe others too. When the batteries die about 10 miles out it won't be so much fun as they beg human powered mtb'ers to save them.

    How long until they have a 32inch wheel version at Walmart?.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    Saw another electric mountain bike on the trail the other day. It got me thinking, do I care about this? Am I going to start seeing a bunch of fat rich dudes (no offense to large or wealthy riders who pedal) who don't pedal ripping down our trails? Can someone give me some perspective here? Do I call the ranger 'cause the trail clearly states no motorized vehicles?
    This was argues at length on the electric bike board.

    I think they should be considered motorized for purposes of trail use.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    There are lots of ways for handicapped people to MTB without a motor.

    It was hardly silent but quieter than a gas engine.

    A 4000 or 5000 watt motor is plenty of power to pill out and I would add that the extra weight and speed could result in a lot of skidding. These would be controllable by the rider. I could ride my motorcycle down lots of trails and not do any damage if that was my only concern. It doesn't mean cautious motorcyclers should be on the trail either.
    thats true, but having dirt bikes and mtbs next to each other is dangerous for many reasons. weight is an issue, people can get injured if somebody loses control of a dirt bike, and things like that. plus the speed issue. if the bike only goes 15mph, that's not terribly fast. my average pace is like 10 according to my gps at one of my trails, so if something was going slightly faster than me, i don't think i'd mind.

    if your biggest concern is people needing help with dead batteries......that can be an excuse to not do anything there at all lol.. there's so many reasons i've seen people need help in the trails, whether its broken collar bones or flat tires.

    i dunno... i'm on the fence about motorized bikes. as long as they don't do any damage, and don't hurt anyone else, i say whatever. if a motor's pushing a bike, or if you're pedaling it, its still a bike.

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    I saw video posted a few months back of one of these things getting clocked going up hill on asphalt at 45mph. There is a 10,000 watt version that will do 55 and was supposed to be released in march. Do a youtube serach and you will find a lot of videos.

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    This could be a non-issue, it could become something down the road. Either way I'm going to call the County that manages that trail and see what there stance is.

  15. #15
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    Wheeled vehicles are funny things. Any clown can get on a bike and do 25 mph. I takes a skilled rider to manage what happens when things go awry. That said, a rider who pedals out 5-10 miles and a rider who motors electrically out 5-10 miles may be very different riders.
    I don't rattle.

  16. #16
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    Do we want to go after the fat lazy shuttlers as well

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    Do we want to go after the fat lazy shuttlers as well
    I don't want to "go after" anyone, just have a dialogue.

  18. #18
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    I would think that shame and ridicule would keep most of them off of the trails.

  19. #19
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    Personally, I'd never use them. The human body is way more reliable than an electric bike motor, and who would want to spend that much $? To me, it seems like a foolish and rather lazy alternative to human pedal power. Electric motors are wonderful for cars and other large vehicles, though (assuming you can afford the high electric bill).
    Noise would be a concern for me and the wildlife. And yeah, it could certainly lead to trail courtesy issues.
    I would call the ranger because it technically counts as a motorized vehicle.
    Around here, it's illegal to ride ANY motorized vehicle on the trails (you could wind up paying a nasty fine or getting sued). And because there are horseback riders that also use the trails, an electric motor would probably scare the daylights out of the poor horses.
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  20. #20
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    It'd surely change the experience but can't see why one would mind them. As long as they're not tearing stuff up badly. Guess it depends on how much power and added weight but could even be fun. I see electric assist is getting pretty popular in some places on commuters and whatnot.
    Round and round we go

  21. #21
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    I just saw a guy on a bike with electric motors this past weekend. I was going one way, he the other on a rocky piece of New England single track. When we crossed, I saw these crazy hubs on his bike and immediately turned around asked him to hold up a sec. I had to know what on earth I was looking at!

    He was a heavy set, older gentleman. A nice enough guy who happily told me about his bike. Dual motors, front and back with the power button mounted up by the gear change. He rode it like a regular bike until he got to hills which he couldn't climb, at which point he'd hit the button for assistance. He claimed what was once a 10 mile limit for him he can now stretch out to 20 or 30. He certainly seemed pretty stoked to be out there.

    From what I saw, this guy's riding wouldn't be a problem for anybody. He was traveling at normal bike speed. In fact, I would have never known it he was electrically assisted unless the motors had caught my eye.

    Maybe that's a best case scenario for electric bikes out on the trails, but I was impressed with the guy's enthusiasm for "riding". Even though he claimed he could do 10 miles by himself, I'm not real sure he would be out there at all if it weren't for the motors.

  22. #22
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    Live and let live...if its not effecting you, let it go. I wouldn't call the Ranger unless it started to cause some sort of real problem impacting other trail users. My $0.02.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by huffster View Post
    Live and let live...if its not effecting you, let it go. I wouldn't call the Ranger unless it started to cause some sort of real problem impacting other trail users. My $0.02.
    I think this is the way I'm leaning here too. Just took some time to think it through.

  24. #24
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    Land managers need a policy regarding these things, like the one mentioned earlier in this thread.

    At which point does the electricity cease to be a simple assist feature and become the main power of the thing? When does it simply become an electric motorcycle?

    The overpowered ones that can hit 50mph without pedal input are obviously excessive for use on singletrack trails but what is okay? Land managers need to consider these things and say yay or nay and set some boundaries.

    I doubt they will become enormously popular anytime soon but if gasoline prices get too excessive for the moto crowd, electric mountain bikes will start getting more popular and it may become an issue that gets out of control where there are no boundaries in place for these things.

    I can see a relatively low powered electricity assist being labeled as a mobility assistive device under the ADA. But a high powered motor being considered an electric motorcycle. How hard would that be for land managers to enforce?

  25. #25
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    This is brilliant, how lazy do people get !

  26. #26
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    I actually talked to a ranger at the trail head this morning, not making a stink, just asking what the county's rules are. He told me that nothing with a motor is allowed. It's doesn't matter if it's assist only.

    I don't see my self messing with someone riding one responsibly, and I don't mind talking to people on the trail about responsible use. I do wonder if these could gain popularity with people that just want to go faster... cross that bridge when I get there.

  27. #27
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    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/U7IkFRaGJ28" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  28. #28
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    i want one lol

  29. #29
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    I think as long as the motor is 100% electric and doesn't tear up the trails then sure. It seems to me a little dangerous to just hop on a mountain trail on a motor, but hey I guess it's kind of dangerous anyway.

    There are plenty of cement trails in Denver/Aurora that seems like a more appropriate place for an electric bicycle, imo.
    Ride long, ride safe...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    I actually talked to a ranger at the trail head this morning, not making a stink, just asking what the county's rules are. He told me that nothing with a motor is allowed. It's doesn't matter if it's assist only.

    I don't see my self messing with someone riding one responsibly, and I don't mind talking to people on the trail about responsible use. I do wonder if these could gain popularity with people that just want to go faster... cross that bridge when I get there.
    I think that's a reasonable position to take. it keeps the rules clear so managers don't have to check motor power or anything at the TH. But still the motors are getting smaller and such a bicycle is going to be much less obvious to a land manager. I could see some places engaging in a crackdown and potentially banning all bicycles if too many idiots get out there with the high powered machines and start causing trouble. Guys like the one mentioned in the OP will be unlikely to be noticed by most.

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    I just hope this doesn't get out of hand and we start seeing trail "cops" a lot more....
    Ride long, ride safe...

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    EDIT: Shoulda read through the thread first. Weight/crashing/bad gotcha.

    So educate me a little on the harm here?

    I understand a motorised bike is prohibited because of the emissions.

    An electronic assist motor however?

    If it's because these riders don't "earn" their spot on the trail by being lazy and taking advantage of progresses in technology hand me the tar bucket and sack of feathers right now.

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    The Erosion argument is so silly

    I mean really, THIS is erosion.Name:  erosion.jpg
Views: 792
Size:  29.2 KB




    if someone wants to ride an electric bike instead of peddling good for them, nature is a wonderful thing, what is wrong with allowing others to love in a way of heir choosing?

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    This topic came up on my regional forum and got a bit messy. Bottom line they are not legal @ least on our local trails. Our local trails are already stressed due to multi use. Mountain bikers don't need anymore negative attention and it seems we would be lumped in w/ electric bikes in a bad situation.

  35. #35
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    some old guy, no big deal. some stupid kids, now i can see them locking the front brake, hitting the throttle, and doing "burnouts", leaving a giant hole in the trail.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    some old guy, no big deal. some stupid kids, now i can see them locking the front brake, hitting the throttle, and doing "burnouts", leaving a giant hole in the trail.
    Yea we wouldnt want kids to have fun now would we.

  37. #37
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    An electric assist bicycle is a motorized vehicle.

    If you think public and forest lands should change their access regulations then that is an entirely different debate. I for one am thankful for the relatively small amount of open country left that is not fouled with motorized contraptions. Let your legs and lungs determine how far you can go.

    I don't hate those unfortunate enough to be physically handicapped in some way, and perhaps exceptions could be made.

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    If it doesn't reck the trail and doesn't go that fast and it is assisting the person I'm okay with it but if they start allowing them to be raced, there will be a huge protest against it.

  39. #39
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    an electric motor on a bike to assist up a hill is fine but a bike that is run completely on a motor, whether gas or electric, is still a motorized bike and should have their own eingine. Last thing I want is when climbing a single track hill is a motor bike going by. Their are a lot of people, both teenager and adult alike, that would start to abuse the trails with these bikes given a chance.

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    Apropos nothing....I am not a luddite and have embraced advancing mountain bike technology but I have to draw the line at electric-powered anything on a mountain bike. At the very least and by definition a mountain bike is completely man-powered...otherwise it's a motorcycle.

    I include electronic shifting as something I will never touch. Man-powered or nothing.

    Why, for that matter, do I want help climbing hills? Mountain biking is not my job and I'm not trying to make it easier or more efficient.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    Mountain biking is not my job and I'm not trying to make it easier or more efficient.
    So you ride a Walmart bike then? Didn't think so.

    You probably have a nice, easy-rolling bike that's got all sorts of techology from wheels to driveline that make it easier or more efficient.

    We all have our line of what we consider fun verses work. Not a bit bothered by people who want to go have fun on an electric bike. I think they're neat, honestly. Light, easy on the trails, zero emissions, quiet....what's not to like?

    When I ride my motorcycle on the trails it's just for fun, I don't even think about the Amish aspect of having it do the work...because that's mostly a flawed argument anyway when we're talking about true offroad.

    If you think you're not working your body to do ride a motorized offroad bike (electric or gas), I got news for ya....it's work. You go further and it takes more time to get the same workout, but there's a reason fat guys don't ride Supercross. It kicks your butt.
    "Wait, this thing doesn't have a motor?" - Socrates

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    Saw another electric mountain bike on the trail the other day. It got me thinking, do I care about this? Am I going to start seeing a bunch of fat rich dudes (no offense to large or wealthy riders who pedal) who don't pedal ripping down our trails? Can someone give me some perspective here? Do I call the ranger 'cause the trail clearly states no motorized vehicles?
    Yes. Unless it is a rider who is disabled in some way (fat slob who never met a buffet they could say "no" to is not a disability) and this helps them to be out and participating in the sport.

    Did he come up behind you yelling STRAAAAAAAAVA!!!!!!!?
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  43. #43
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    In California, a bicycle is defined as anything that powered by human power. If you live in CA I would absolutely call and complain. It's only a matter of time before there's electric style dirt bikes. Do those count too even though they can rip up and down but aren't operated with a combustion engine?

    I actually saw 2 guys riding electric "assisted" bikes up the steepest mountain in my area the other day. Sadly, I started after them and still beat them to the summit by quite a few minutes. They applauded me and told me I was insane and I responded "No, you guys are just lazy". I proceeded to rip down the mountain because their beach cruiser electric assisted bikes were no match for 160mm of terror.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swingset View Post
    So you ride a Walmart bike then? Didn't think so.

    You probably have a nice, easy-rolling bike that's got all sorts of techology from wheels to driveline that make it easier or more efficient.

    We all have our line of what we consider fun verses work. Not a bit bothered by people who want to go have fun on an electric bike. I think they're neat, honestly. Light, easy on the trails, zero emissions, quiet....what's not to like?

    When I ride my motorcycle on the trails it's just for fun, I don't even think about the Amish aspect of having it do the work...because that's mostly a flawed argument anyway when we're talking about true offroad.

    If you think you're not working your body to do ride a motorized offroad bike (electric or gas), I got news for ya....it's work. You go further and it takes more time to get the same workout, but there's a reason fat guys don't ride Supercross. It kicks your butt.
    But it's not a "bicycle" if it has a motor. It's a moped. Or a motorcycle. I repeat, I love technology and embrace it but electric motorized mountain bikes are not "bikes" per se.

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    A lot of mis-information here. I work at a shop that sells electric assist bikes. The largest watt they have in the US is 500. In the US, by Fed law, they cannot go over 20 mph. In know way do they produce enough power to be spinning out or hurting the trail.

    At first I was completely against them, but after seeing the people that buy these and their limitations, I am for them. Last month we sold 2 to guys in there late 70's that could not get up most hills anymore. It has changed their outlook and now they are riding everyday again. The large crowd still do not want them, still too much work.

    Now outside the US that is a different story, they do have electrics doing well over 20mph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    A lot of mis-information here. I work at a shop that sells electric assist bikes. The largest watt they have in the US is 500. In the US, by Fed law, they cannot go over 20 mph. In know way do they produce enough power to be spinning out or hurting the trail.

    At first I was completely against them, but after seeing the people that buy these and their limitations, I am for them. Last month we sold 2 to guys in there late 70's that could not get up most hills anymore. It has changed their outlook and now they are riding everyday again. The large crowd still do not want them, still too much work.

    Now outside the US that is a different story, they do have electrics doing well over 20mph.
    Great concept for public roads, paved bike paths etc. Pedal when you can and get a bit of a boost when you need it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Great concept for public roads, paved bike paths etc. Pedal when you can and get a bit of a boost when you need it.
    Exactly. If you want to enjoy nature and you are not fit for a bike, you can always hike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    Yea we wouldnt want kids to have fun now would we.
    Do you let your kids destroy public trails?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    A lot of mis-information here. I work at a shop that sells electric assist bikes. The largest watt they have in the US is 500. In the US, by Fed law, they cannot go over 20 mph. In know way do they produce enough power to be spinning out or hurting the trail.
    So you are telling me this bike, which looks like the one I saw on the trail is impossible to get in the States (its available for pick up in Denver and ships to the lower 48 for $100) and that it's 4000 watt motor is intended to go only 20mph?

    HPC XC-4 EXTREME ELECTRIC 26" BIKE BICYCLE - 4000W POWER SYSTEM & 21" FRAME | eBay

    Someone is misinformed.

    Edit: In the description it says: "Keep in mind, this type of power is way beyond the legal definition of an electric bike by federal standards. Legal top speed in most states for electric bikes is 20MPH. For this reason, this bike is considered for off-road use only!" "Top Speed: 50+ MPH"
    Last edited by RIVER29; 08-28-2012 at 09:04 AM.

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    Sounds like another case of trail police.


    Electric bikes on MY trail?



    NOT ON MY WATCH!

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    Around here lots of places (certainly not all) are posted no motorized vehicles...

    So basically they are already banned from the good high trials around here.

    On the other hand not a priority for the wardens yet.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    Sounds like another case of trail police.


    Electric bikes on MY trail?



    NOT ON MY WATCH!
    Obviously you haven't read this thread, my take on it is as long as the users are responsible I'm not making a stink .

    My last response was just to point out that SOME of these bikes have the potential to do serious damage to the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    Obviously you haven't read this thread, my take on it is as long as the users are responsible I'm not making a stink .

    My last response was just to point out that SOME of these bikes have the potential to do serious damage to the trail.
    If you saw this bike rolling past you, would your immediate thoughts be "Man, this guy is going to damage my trail?!"



    Max speed, 20 MPH. And I'm sure most of you have gone faster than 20 MPH on a certain trail. Battery won't last that long and you still need to recharge it by pedaling. What I gather from this thread is that 1/2 are cool with it and the other 1/2 are the elitists, but hold their tongues on these types of bikes. I don't care if a person uses it. It's their right and I'm not here to judge them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    If you saw this bike rolling past you, would your immediate thoughts be "Man, this guy is going to damage my trail?!"



    Max speed, 20 MPH. And I'm sure most of you have gone faster than 20 MPH on a certain trail. Battery won't last that long and you still need to recharge it by pedaling. What I gather from this thread is that 1/2 are cool with it and the other 1/2 are the elitists, but hold their tongues on these types of bikes. I don't care if a person uses it. It's their right and I'm not here to judge them.
    Actually it's not their right as those types of bikes are forbidden by law and if you read my last post you would notice the word SOME being capitalized. Get a grip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    Actually it's not their right as those types of bikes are forbidden by law and if you read my last post you would notice the word SOME being capitalized. Get a grip!
    Do you have a link to said law?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    Do you have a link to said law?
    I live in Larimer County CO, I'm sure it's somewhere in their rules of use online. Again, if you would have read this thread I actually asked a ranger what the county rule is, he could have lied to me but I doubt it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    I live in Larimer County CO, I'm sure it's somewhere in their rules of use online. Again, if you would have read this thread I actually asked a ranger what the county rule is, he could have lied to me but I doubt it.
    so...you don't have a law.

    Gotcha.

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    Here, it's in the bottom left hand corner:
    http://larimer.org/parks/bluesky_brochure.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    Here, it's in the bottom left hand corner:
    http://larimer.org/parks/bluesky_brochure.pdf
    Fair enough.

    One argument can be made that it is an electric assisted bicycle and is not in the same class as say a dirt bike or ATV. I'm sure that the park rangers would agree with that. I've seen electric bikes around the state park that I ride in and it has those same rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    Fair enough.

    One argument can be made that it is an electric assisted bicycle and is not in the same class as say a dirt bike or ATV. I'm sure that the park rangers would agree with that. I've seen electric bikes around the state park that I ride in and it has those same rules.
    When I was researching the laws on this I found that CO state law says that electric assist bikes are banned from bike paths and trails unless marked otherwise or overridden by local law. You'll have to find that one on your own if you want to double check... I'm not arguing this anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    so...you don't have a law.

    Gotcha.
    You don't need to be such an ankle biter.

    Unfortunately, lack of common sense and ever increasing population dictate that we have laws covering everything. Here is one line in a govt. forest service manual on trail accessibility guidelines.

    Nothing in these guidelines permits the use of a motor vehicle on a National Forest
    System trail that is not designated for motor vehicle use.

    There is lots more here if you care to read-

    http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/prog...lity/FSTAG.pdf

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    I work part time in an electric bike shop, and most of them of built for commuters.

    They have 500-700 watt motors and the bikes weigh about 70lbs. In comparison, a pro cyclist puts out about 400 watts max and their bikes weigh about 15lbs.

    However, there are a few which are more powerful. A popular commuter model is the Grace One, which has a 1.4kilowatt motor.



    A Stealth Bomber has a 4.5kilowatt motor



    In comparison, 1hp is about 750 watts, and the average 250cc dirt bike puts about 30hp.

    FYI, the Grace One is about $8000, the Stealth Bomber $11,000. I don't think I am going to see too many on the trails.

    But if I can handle dirt bikes, horses, and hikers (plus faster mountain bikers), I think I can handle e-bikes too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    Fair enough.

    One argument can be made that it is an electric assisted bicycle and is not in the same class as say a dirt bike or ATV. I'm sure that the park rangers would agree with that
    don't be so sure about that. all it takes is one vocal person to make a stink, or one irresponsible rider to cause a wreck by going too fast and the rangers will be forced to follow the letter of the regulations whether they like them or not.

    look at how much effort rangers in popular places put into enforcing speed limits on singletrack. radar guns in the woods.

    a motor is a motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    But it's not a "bicycle" if it has a motor. It's a moped. Or a motorcycle. I repeat, I love technology and embrace it but electric motorized mountain bikes are not "bikes" per se.
    I don't accept you as the arbiter of what is and what isn't a bicycle. Nor do I accept your version of what's worth doing and what isn't.

    You're not that important.
    "Wait, this thing doesn't have a motor?" - Socrates

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    Even around the techy Bay Area, I still have yet to see any e-bikes on the trail.

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    I strongly feel that some people need to get a grip. Trying for strava segments is gonna do more trail damage than these ebikes are. I reserve the right to make fun of them though.

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    I don't really know what to say about this...
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/i8R-AK1qAmA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    The E Bike crowd could lobby for their own trails, kinda like "earn you're turns". MTBing has enough access issues without having to contend with motorized interlopers, most of which have done little or nothing to help us gain trail access. Rather, these will most assuredly hasten the loss of an already precarious hold on what little trails we do have access to. I can already hear the pitter patter of the feet of the Sierra Clubbers rushing to mobilize against these. My two cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVER29 View Post
    So you are telling me this bike, which looks like the one I saw on the trail is impossible to get in the States (its available for pick up in Denver and ships to the lower 48 for $100) and that it's 4000 watt motor is intended to go only 20mph?

    HPC XC-4 EXTREME ELECTRIC 26" BIKE BICYCLE - 4000W POWER SYSTEM & 21" FRAME | eBay

    Someone is misinformed.

    Edit: In the description it says: "Keep in mind, this type of power is way beyond the legal definition of an electric bike by federal standards. Legal top speed in most states for electric bikes is 20MPH. For this reason, this bike is considered for off-road use only!" "Top Speed: 50+ MPH"
    Actually if they can go over 20 mph they are considered an ATV. So the law would apply as to an ATV and if you were to use it on any road would require a license. For the under 20 mph ones they are still considered a bicycle.

    Our shop does not or will not sell any that go over the 20 mph limit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    The E Bike crowd could lobby for their own trails, kinda like "earn you're turns". MTBing has enough access issues without having to contend with motorized interlopers, most of which have done little or nothing to help us gain trail access. Rather, these will most assuredly hasten the loss of an already precarious hold on what little trails we do have access to. I can already hear the pitter patter of the feet of the Sierra Clubbers rushing to mobilize against these. My two cents.
    ^^^ This. $6k+ is a lot of money for a casual rider but there would be rentals and riders who would not give a shite about etiquette or sustainable trail use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    If you saw this bike rolling past you, would your immediate thoughts be "Man, this guy is going to damage my trail?!"



    Max speed, 20 MPH. And I'm sure most of you have gone faster than 20 MPH on a certain trail. Battery won't last that long and you still need to recharge it by pedaling. What I gather from this thread is that 1/2 are cool with it and the other 1/2 are the elitists, but hold their tongues on these types of bikes. I don't care if a person uses it. It's their right and I'm not here to judge them.

    Nope...but be thinking.."wonder how many pounds of pot he's transporting in that seatpost.."
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    Quote Originally Posted by swingset View Post
    I don't accept you as the arbiter of what is and what isn't a bicycle. Nor do I accept your version of what's worth doing and what isn't.

    You're not that important.
    Well God bless you, child. You don't have to accept anything I tell you. But a motor on a bike makes it a motorbike. I'm not a puritan or a zealot but at the very least we ought to define a bicycle as a vehicle that is completely human-powered.

    Are one or two lightweight electric motorbikes on the trails going to bother me? No. But I live in ATV land and who's to say that electric ATVs won't now be allowed on the trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    Well God bless you, child. You don't have to accept anything I tell you. But a motor on a bike makes it a motorbike. I'm not a puritan or a zealot but at the very least we ought to define a bicycle as a vehicle that is completely human-powered.

    Are one or two lightweight electric motorbikes on the trails going to bother me? No. But I live in ATV land and who's to say that electric ATVs won't now be allowed on the trails?
    In Idaho they have great system of telling the difference between MTB and motos (allowed on many trails together) and ATV's, it's very simple they count the wheels. More than two...not allowed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty View Post
    In all , electric assist does serve a purpose. If someone feels they need it to make a ride worthwhile given their physical limitations, I would applaud them.
    Where would you draw the line between an electric assist bike and one of the 50+mph ones or those you can see in the video above? People are going to ride them just like ATVs but on more fragile trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty View Post
    I wouldn't draw any lines governments do. see this wikipedia link for your locale.

    Electric bicycle laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You can argue what is and isn't cycling, bus as someone whose been on both sides of the issue, I see no harm in assists.
    is riding at night with a light, an electric assist? technically yes, should it be illegal no.
    I was sooooo in your corner right up until the light comment. Comparing a light to an electric assist is like comparing....well there isn't anything I can think of to use as an example that is equally dumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G0at View Post
    If he was talking on his cell while sipping a latte, throwing the wrapper from his deluxe triple bypass lardburger on the trail, and/or being a regular ******, then I definately would call him in. If he was just out enjoying the trail, prolly wouldn't worry about it.
    This statement pretty much covers my view on this
    is.
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    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Weird idea to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty View Post
    I wouldn't draw any lines governments do. see this wikipedia link for your locale.

    Electric bicycle laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You can argue what is and isn't cycling, bus as someone whose been on both sides of the issue, I see no harm in assists.
    is riding at night with a light, an electric assist? technically yes, should it be illegal no.
    No an electric light isn't moving your bike, it's just light the path a little different then an electric motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty View Post
    I'd hate for mountain bikers to become like all the groups that tried and are still trying to limit mt bike access, by becoming discriminatory of any type of cycling that is new or different just because it is different.
    Tell me how riding a mtb frame with an electic motor doing 50+mph is "a new type of cycling"? Unless you draw the line somewhere, we will be treated by the new least common denominator. All the bolshevist environmental groups are salivating at the prospect of being able to throw mtbs in the same bag with motorized vehicles, this is like their dream come true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Tell me how riding a mtb frame with an electic motor doing 50+mph is "a new type of cycling"? Unless you draw the line somewhere, we will be treated by the new least common denominator. All the bolshevist environmental groups are salivating at the prospect of being able to throw mtbs in the same bag with motorized vehicles, this is like their dream come true.
    I think this pretty much nails it. No matter which side of the fence you are on politically mountain bikes currently enjoy privileged status because they are non-motorized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I think this pretty much nails it. No matter which side of the fence you are on politically mountain bikes currently enjoy privileged status because they are non-motorized.
    Catering the the Bunny Huggers is what has gotten us into the position we are in today, where we argue over how much erosion a friggin mtn bike tire might make on a trail, where we beg for land usage, and walk on eggshells while we still lose land, Absolutely Pathetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty View Post
    I've stumbled across this thread and realized there wasn't anyone posting who actually owned an electric assist bike, so I thought I'd chime in.

    I have been riding mountain bikes for 25 years, I'm fortunate enough to live where there are miles of great trails out my back door. I had long been involved in trail advocacy and spent countless hours designing and building a trail system that is now classified as an imba epic.

    3 years ago, I was afflicted with a severe heart condition, caused by a virus. I could no longer ride more than a mile or two and even then I needed to stop on every slight incline.
    finally things got so bad I spent 1/2 a year in the hospital and was released until after a transplant. I was in horrible shape, and even had severe nerve damage to one of my legs. Plus my doctors did want me to exercise, but not push it "too" hard,

    I wanted to get back into cycling, but wanted to ride with friends, and not be alone in the woods. The electric assist was the way to go. I setup a hardtail with a bionx 350watt high torque setup. It served my purposes fantastically. I was able to ride all winter, as I got stronger, I was able to rider longer because I'd use the battery less. Eventually I got to a point I was ready to ride without the assist.

    So I have a few points that may help in understanding electric assists place in the mountain bike world.

    • A lazy person is at home on the couch not on the trail.
    • With electric assist you still have to work.
    • An assist kit makes a 25lb hardtail closer to 45lbs, most people would prefer the joy of the lighter bike. I know I do.
    • for someone trying to get back into shape it is an excellent training tool.
    • it will not do any more damage than a regular mt bike, yes it adds 20-25lbs to a bike, but I routinely see people who more than 25lbs more than me, and I don't think they should be excluded.
    • Now that mountain bikers have some access we should be about being inclusive not like the snotty groups that long tried to keep us off the trails.

      In all , electric assist does serve a purpose. If someone feels they need it to make a ride worthwhile given their physical limitations, I would applaud them.
    Thanks for sharing your story

    I was amazed at the responces by members who even after reading your story, still seem to maintain a tough stance against electric-assisted bikes despite being disabled or not. I personally find electric bikes fascinating, would I own one, no, I'm more than able to move about under my own power. But I'm fascinated with the technology that would allow a disabled person the ability to experience bike riding that would otherwise not be able to do so. As for Fat and Lazy people, those people tend to stay at home eating pizzas while playing video games. An electric bike sounds simple but you're still having to work and put up with the same conditions as everyone else on a trail aka weather and bugs etc.

    I think we should come down off our high horse a bit and acknowledge the fact that there I some practicallty to electric assisted bikes such as for disabled people. I further salute any over weight person hitting up the trails, whether it's crank or electric power. Now with that said, electric bike owners should work along side other bike riders in maintaining parks and trails.

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    Electric Assist Cycling is the wave of the future for commuting, so technology will continue to increase. Electric motors are become super light and powerful at a rapid pace. Eventually if they make their way into MTB's, they will tear up trails faster than just our legs will.

    Regarding off road singletrack, there should be a pretty clear cut line - its either human powered trails, or not. If a rider cannot ride singletrack designated for bikes w/o electric assist due to health issues, then they should be sticking to gravel/fireroads and paths.

    E-assist is great overall though, as hopefully we will one day live in a world with a majority of people commuting and running errands on electric bicycles. Even off-road motorcycles will eventually evolve into hybrid zero emission rigs, with little to no sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5 View Post
    Eventually if they make their way into MTB's, they will tear up trails faster than just our legs will.
    do you have supporting evidence for this assertion? I'm guessing no, because it just isn't true. aside from the bike being 20lbs heavier, there is no more damage done, than if I were a 20lb heavier rider.

    Regarding off road singletrack, there should be a pretty clear cut line - its either human powered trails, or not. If a rider cannot ride singletrack designated for bikes w/o electric assist due to health issues, then they should be sticking to gravel/fireroads and paths.
    [/QUOTE]

    why? Is there any good reason for this?
    I heard the same thing about mt bikes, when they first came out. We are now seeing the same baseless attitudes amongst our own. When working for trail access for mountain bikes our worst enemies always were people who classified themselves as cyclists. saying things like bikes can say the world but they'll destroy trails.

    bunk! then bunk now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecializedWindsor View Post
    Personally, I'd never use them. The human body is way more reliable than an electric bike motor, and who would want to spend that much $? To me, it seems like a foolish and rather lazy alternative to human pedal power. Electric motors are wonderful for cars and other large vehicles, though (assuming you can afford the high electric bill).
    Noise would be a concern for me and the wildlife. And yeah, it could certainly lead to trail courtesy issues.
    I would call the ranger because it technically counts as a motorized vehicle.
    Around here, it's illegal to ride ANY motorized vehicle on the trails (you could wind up paying a nasty fine or getting sued). And because there are horseback riders that also use the trails, an electric motor would probably scare the daylights out of the poor horses.
    Yes and no, sure a electric engine isn't tougher than the human body, but what about electronic limbs and that sort of stuff? [Deus Ex, anyone?!]

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    Back OT: E-bikes should be only driven by people who have a license for it, Please start with that in Holland and keep the old people from the road, they cause more accidents than anyone else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasmachineman NL View Post
    Back OT: E-bikes should be only driven by people who have a license for it, Please start with that in Holland and keep the old people from the road, they cause more accidents than anyone else!
    Yea if only certain people were allowed to do certain things, only the strong should survive and only the wealthy should have fun!!!
    And those pesky old people, I mean what can be done with undesirable people?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaystein View Post
    I think as long as the motor is 100% electric and doesn't tear up the trails then sure. It seems to me a little dangerous to just hop on a mountain trail on a motor, but hey I guess it's kind of dangerous anyway.

    There are plenty of cement trails in Denver/Aurora that seems like a more appropriate place for an electric bicycle, imo.
    It doesn't matter if its 100% electric, an electric motor is still a motor. Most bike trails have a "no motor" vehicle policy and this would be a violation gas or electric.


    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    The E Bike crowd could lobby for their own trails, kinda like "earn you're turns". MTBing has enough access issues without having to contend with motorized interlopers, .
    +1
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    The E Bike crowd could lobby for their own trails, kinda like "earn you're turns". MTBing has enough access issues without having to contend with motorized interlopers, .
    +1

    +2

    It doesn't matter if its 100% electric, an electric motor is still a motor. Most bike trails have a "no motor" vehicle policy and this would be a violation gas or electric.
    Not sure why this is so hard to understand. What is the difference between an electric assist bike and a low powered gas bike (moped) with a really good muffler?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty View Post
    A moped makes sound an electric assist bike is quiet, a moped is primarily engine driven, an electric assist just assists. .
    You made some interesting points that I was looking forward to reading further about but all your posted just got deleted
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    Did someone reference the Holocaust in a thread about electric bikes??

    I invoke Godwin's Law.
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    I have a Stealth Fighter(69lbs and I'm 150lbs). It really does not impact trails anymore than any other mtb. There is no burn-out/rooster tail kind of power. I still pedal my a$s off all of the ride, and have to on steep up hills, but its like having super PED strength. Ok, maybe I ghost pedal on some inclines. Let me live

    Even though I can do 32mph on flat street, I can't go any faster on the trail than non-E mtb due to all of those pesky trees, etc. What it does, is allow a 40yo, busy dad with badish knees to enjoy mtb'ing again.

    My bike has a heavy hub motor. This looks nice to me:
    Haibike Xduro AMT Pro 2014

  99. #99
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    This is only the beginning. Hybrid bikes that store energy from braking that look like and are as light as mountain bikes today will be coming in the future. They won't ride on batteries all day, but they will allow you to cover more ground, switch between electrical and human power, etc.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  100. #100
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCON2009 View Post
    This looks nice to me:
    Haibike Xduro AMT Pro 2014
    that does look nice, no weight mentioned though. I kind of want one but i might feel like a tool at more serious places, but i would poach trails in golden gate park and it would be kind of a range extender on longer rides until it dies and then more like a boat anchor

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