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  1. #1
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    Why Are E-Bikes Such a Touchy Subject in the U.S.?

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Wh...n-the-U-S,2089

    First of all, comparing the EU to the US is like comparing apples to oranges. The US has vastly more wilderness and a larger park system. And people aren't crammed in a small space. Michael Ferrentino's comments in the audio miss the whole point calling emtb opponents selfish and uninformed, and the (5:30) "Americans have a cultural problem with sharing". No, it's not about sharing. It's about opening the door to more and more powerful mopeds on the trails. That's the bottom line... Once the door is open for the simplest of motors, gradually more and more powerful bikes will be introduced. If we've learned anything from the bike industry is that they love to introduce newer and better "technology" every year to pique the rider's wallets. The "classification" of motor bikes is a fallacy since there's no way for anyone to police or enforce these mythical standards on the trails and was created for political reasons. What will end up happening is "other interests" will end up grouping regular mountain bikes with emtb and base trail access decision on the merits of both groups as a single entity.

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    I respectfully disagree.

    Brushless motor technology is mature. Slapping on a more powerful motor is a fairly trivial task in engineering. If it can be done, it's already been done.

    The state of the art of portable battery technology is lithium-ion, with nothing else beyond the horizon. Proof is in the construction of multiple gigafactories around the world, which all started with Tesla's first gigafactory in Nevada.

    So while you predict that more powerful bikes will soon be introduced, I think the opposite will happen: the trend will be towards smaller motors with smaller batteries, which most importantly equates to lighter weight. There will be some decrease in cost as well, although saving a few hundred $ off a $3500+ ebike isn't going to make a sizable impact.

    The e-bike all started with commuting, a point A-to-B task. That's why we see most e-bikes with 400-500WH batteries weighing 8 lbs and costing $750-$950.

    The e-MTB is a different animal. Most folks go from point A to point A. I foresee the trend being smaller 100-250WH batteries, saving 4-6 pounds, and keeping extra batteries in the car (if necessary) or extra batteries in the pack for long excursions. Even though the occasional 500+ watt boost is great for getting up steep sections, most e-MTB riders on this forum have reported keeping the assist planted in one of the "eco" modes between 100-200 watts.

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    Eric, nothing your said convinces me that emtb's and regular mountain bikes won't be grouped into one category of users. And nothing reassured me that there will be safeguards against preventing more powerful motors and bikes with throttles on the trails. Lighter and smaller batteries just make emtb's look more like regular bikes which further makes me think they will eventually be lumped in with mountain bikes as a single category of user.

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    Why are they so touchy? Answer: Ignorance, intolerance.

    All of these other reasons are just fear mongering to justify the opponents point of views.
    Last edited by PinoyMTBer; 1 Week Ago at 08:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    Regular bikes and e-assisted bikes can get lighter, faster, and more expensive, but it's the riders themselves that ultimately determine how fast they go and the intensity of "acceleration forces" (physics definition, changing speed/direction) going into the trail to damage it. A skilled & fit rider on an ebike will ride faster than a home gamer on the same ebike. That skilled & fit rider will still be limited in speed by the trail. Trails can limit a bike's speed by simply being twisty, narrow, and/or full of obstacles. A lighter bike is fun to ride. Going fast can be fun, as long as it's in your comfort zone, otherwise it's scary. Narrow technical single track is fun, extremely so with the right bike. Making the bike heavier with meaty DH stuff will impact the ride in a similar way it impacts a normal bike (sluggish)--you have to weigh the pros and cons when tuning equipment performance and come to a compromise, just like anything else.

    Here's a look at bikes in the future according to an actual bike designer: Zukunftsvisionen Canyon

    What I see is another "sunk cost fallacy". People have a lot emotionally invested in their current experience (on a bikes). They paid a lot to make such an experience finer, and stressed their funds, buying high end bits, perhaps carbon upgrades throughout, and are afraid of it becoming outdated. It's similar to all the hate around Apple. It's like the industry's moving on with bigger and better stuff and people don't want to get left behind, but they also don't want to dish out their cash for the latest and greatest. They try to cling to anything that supports their resistance against getting it. It's easy for some to continue to hate Apple, since they haven't tried it, can't afford it, and/or its standard levels just aren't attractive enough (regarding performance, value, etc.). This is just taken further with ebikes, compared to Boost and other new standards like wheel size, trying to outright ban them so there is no chance for them to take off and invoke jealousy.

    Regarding the threat to trail access, bickering among trail users is the big threat, not trail erosion. Why can't people just be nice and civil, responsible for their actions? With more people on the trail, the more worn it gets, but nothing comes close to the erosion rain causes. Global warming allegedly creating storms with heavier precipitation (due to more evaporation) isn't helping, but switching from fossil fuels to e is one way to mitigate human influence, and I find merit in that. Ex. more motivation to ride to the trailhead, instead of hauling the bike to it. Don't be surprised seeing ebike users being around during trail maintenance efforts.

    There's a saying that goes something like this: the world loves a lover, but the opposite is true, in that it hates a hater. What the haters don't realize is that ebikes are only going to get more attention the more they hate on them. If there's actually no real problem with the ebikes... It's one way to buy speed, just like buying carbon stuff is, except it only really goes fast uphill, slighter faster on flats, and compromises by handling like an excessively heavy bike going down and in the narrow twisty parts. That article the OP linked to mentioned that new ebike sales are outpacing regular new high-end bike sales. I wonder what there is about ebikes that's lovable. Is the ability to get assistance going uphill all there is to it? Does that novelty wear off, and leave you with a heavy bike with compromised geo/handling, which may be less preferable overall to a normal bike?

    I predict that there will be efforts to cut the weight down in ebikes, like Eric suggests. I'll take it a step further and predict that normal mtb riders, even those who have previously said they will never get an ebike, will be starting to buy into ebikes within 5 years. I also predict that the bike industry changes some standards on both normal and e-assisted bikes within 5 years, based on tech they learned from researching ebikes.

    I expect ebikes to get themselves banned, honestly. I'm pretty sure complaints like "biker was going uphill in an excessively fast manner that threatened the safety of fellow trail riders" can be figured out by land management organizations...
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinoyMTBer View Post
    Why are they so touchy? Answer: Ignorance, intolerance.

    All of these other reasons are just fear mongering to justify the opponents point of views.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    That's a rather dismissive attitude considering all that's been said. One of the problems with emtb advocates is precisely what you've stated. Instead of understanding and addressing the reasons for opposition proponents take such a dismissive stance that opponents are selfish and just good "sharers".

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinoyMTBer View Post
    Why are they so touchy? Answer: Ignorance, intolerance.

    All of these other reasons are just fear mongering to justify the opponents point of views.

    The same words could be used to describe people who refuse to acknowledge and understand that motor/no motor is an important delineation for many people but it would be mean spirited and divisive.


    America isn't Europe, yet. The wildness of our parks and wilderness areas are a national treasure and there are many reasons why good (not intolerant or ignorant) people would like to see that preserved. Celebrate diversity!
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    America isn't Europe, yet. The wildness of our parks and wilderness areas are a national treasure and there are many reasons why good (not intolerant or ignorant) people would like to see that preserved. Celebrate diversity!
    You presume that class 1 e-bikes will affect that pristine wilderness in some negative way. That has yet to be demonstrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The same words could be used to describe people who refuse to acknowledge and understand that motor/no motor is an important delineation for many people but it would be mean spirited and divisive.


    America isn't Europe, yet. The wildness of our parks and wilderness areas are a national treasure and there are many reasons why good (not intolerant or ignorant) people would like to see that preserved. Celebrate diversity!
    So you are a strong advocate for never allowing bicycles of any kind in our wilderness areas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    You presume that class 1 e-bikes will affect that pristine wilderness in some negative way. That has yet to be demonstrated.
    I'm not a fan of that argument either. I don't think the issue is as much about protecting the parks as it is about mountain bikes being in the same category of users as emtbs which will open up a whole Pandora's box of access issues as the BLM, National Park service, and National Forest service have all defined ebikes as OVH. I would hope we could all the on the same page regarding this.

  11. #11
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    My answer is: because US laws weren't written intelligently as they were in the EU. If 250W/15.5 mph limits were actually the law (and there were severe penalties for manufacturers skirting those laws) I think a decent chunk of people would have no problem with e-bikes at all.

    I wouldn't (and don't) have a problem with bikes with that level of assist, which is plenty to have a "normal" mountain bike experience for the disabled/elderly/exercise averse and should create negligible extra impacts on other users.

    But thanks to having a federal government system with a lot of state/local power over this sort of thing, we have a mishmash of random laws, most of which put both power (750w) and speed (20mph) much higher than most people are comfortable with - totally appropriate for a bike path or bike lane (what the laws were written for), but a potential disaster on a MUT.

    It's the wild west out there for manufacturers, who don't have any meaningful fear of repercussions if they sell bikes that aren't legal, which is another problem (look at Luna openly advertising 3000w kits as "legal for offroad use only" and such). We don't like regulation as much in the US as in Europe, in general, and in this case, that's probably a bad thing.

    I think (personally) the best way forward is for the manufacturers themselves to push for more rules about Class 1 (or even to create a new class specifically for e-mtb) and more accountability. Then it's up to the folks who want to ride e-bikes to push for rule changes at the local level. A LOT of trails have already been taken off the table, though, and it's going to be really hard to get those back without a sustained and concerted effort (which should have started 5 years ago, c'est la vie).

    Enough success stories at the local level will eventually (IMO) allow changes in policy at the BLM/USFS/etc, assuming that the e-bike riders and manufacturers want it badly enough to put in the work.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    I'm not a fan of that argument either. I don't think the issue is as much about protecting the parks as it is about mountain bikes being in the same category of users as emtbs which will open up a whole Pandora's box of access issues as the BLM, National Park service, and National Forest service have all defined ebikes as OVH. I would hope we could all the on the same page regarding this.
    Most of the Park memo's on ebikes reference the IMBA's stance and were written in 2015 or before. Makes sense they took a hard stance until more info on new tech could be gathered. But with the IMBA's update, I wouldn't be surprised if the Park system issued another update going the other direction. May not happen all at once, but wouldn't be surprised over the next year or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    My answer is: because US laws weren't written intelligently as they were in the EU. If 250W/15.5 mph limits were actually the law (and there were severe penalties for manufacturers skirting those laws) I think a decent chunk of people would have no problem with e-bikes at all.




    -Walt
    Do you propose a 15.5 MPH speed limit for bikes without assist as well?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Do you propose a 15.5 MPH speed limit for bikes without assist as well?
    That's just the assist speed limit. Perhaps I wasn't clear, sorry about that. Obviously an e-bike (or normal bike) can go much faster than that downhill (or on the flats).

    If unassisted riders were going uphill at 20mph, mountain bikes would all have been banned everywhere long ago. Adding more speed on MUTs is simply unacceptable. 15.5/250 keeps e-bikes in the same basic speed range as a normal mountain bike. That's a recipe for access success. More speed? Not so much.

    -Walt

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    Just read the comments by opponents - it is all "What If?" paranoia.

    Personally, I don't give a crap about anyone's opinion who has never ridden a good Class 1 MTB on trails for a few hours. I see on vitalmtb that others share my view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Just read the comments by opponents - it is all "What If?" paranoia.

    Personally, I don't give a crap about anyone's opinion who has never ridden a good Class 1 MTB on trails for a few hours. I see on vitalmtb that others share my view.
    A lot of headaches have been avoided by forward thinking. If the argument hold water why dismiss them?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    That's just the assist speed limit. Perhaps I wasn't clear, sorry about that. Obviously an e-bike (or normal bike) can go much faster than that downhill (or on the flats).

    If unassisted riders were going uphill at 20mph, mountain bikes would all have been banned everywhere long ago. Adding more speed on MUTs is simply unacceptable. 15.5/250 keeps e-bikes in the same basic speed range as a normal mountain bike. That's a recipe for access success. More speed? Not so much.

    -Walt
    1. A true Class 1 eBike can't go 20 MPH up any kind of significant grade unless a pro level rider is putting out their 3-500 watts.

    2. The difference between 15.5 MPH and 20 MPH is negligible. Why not make the limit 14.27 MPH? Or 16.1678 MPH?

    3. Be careful with your speed limits, because if a 15.5 MPH speed limit uphill is imposed, why wouldn't a 15.5 MPH speed limit for all bikes downhill be imposed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    A lot of headaches have been avoided by forward thinking. If the argument hold water why dismiss them?
    The arguments come from a position of total ignorance and blind hate, that's why.

    I've never ridden a Harley, but if I had my way, I'd ban Harley's, because they are noisy and I've heard they suck compared to my Honda. Makes sense, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    1. A true Class 1 eBike can't go 20 MPH up any kind of significant grade unless a pro level rider is putting out their 3-500 watts.

    2. The difference between 15.5 MPH and 20 MPH is negligible. Why not make the limit 14.27 MPH? Or 16.1678 MPH?

    3. Be careful with your speed limits, because if a 15.5 MPH speed limit uphill is imposed, why wouldn't a 15.5 MPH speed limit for all bikes downhill be imposed?
    1. I can take my cargo bike (75 pounds) with 3 kids riding on it (120# worth) up a 15% grade at 20mph on my 750w/20mph limit bike, which would be class 1 if it weren't for the throttle. No problem at all.

    Subtract 150# of that weight and a casual Jane can go 20mph uphill in many places.

    2. I don't think the difference between 15 and 20 mph is negligible at all. It's fine if you feel that way, but I think you'd be unhappy pretty quickly on many trails if everyone could easily go 20 anywhere they wanted to. And it's not us that matter - it's the hikers/dog walkers/families out for a stroll, who are far more numerous and *really* hate motorized stuff.

    3. The best way to not end up with a speed limit (or just a ban on all bikes, really, because the speed limits would be too hard to enforce) is to make it very, very hard to go too fast on your bike. I've suggested in the past here that trail design can help a lot - more open sight lines, chicanes and speed control features can make a trail simultaneously slower AND more fun/safe for all users. But adding a motor, unless it's very constrained in power, will raise speeds across the board, and that probably is a nonstarter. Bikes are so much faster than hikers already that it's a constant problem.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    That's a rather dismissive attitude considering all that's been said. One of the problems with emtb advocates is precisely what you've stated. Instead of understanding and addressing the reasons for opposition proponents take such a dismissive stance that opponents are selfish and just good "sharers".
    Ouch! Did I hit a nerve?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    You presume that class 1 e-bikes will affect that pristine wilderness in some negative way.

    And you presume that it wouldn't. Millions of outdoor enthusiasts don't have a voice here but I can assure you a significant portion of them value spaces that are primitive and motor-free, I realize that many people can't understand this sentiment but it's important to those who do. People have different opinions and objectives and IMO this country is still big enough to accommodate most everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    So you are a strong advocate for never allowing bicycles of any kind in our wilderness areas?
    No, but I am an advocate for reserving the right to keep them out of many of them for previously mentioned reasons. I'm also an advocate for core areas in some wilderness preserves where humans can't intrude no matter what the mode of transport.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    1. I can take my cargo bike (75 pounds) with 3 kids riding on it (120# worth) up a 15% grade at 20mph on my 750w/20mph limit bike, which would be class 1 if it weren't for the throttle. No problem at all.

    Subtract 150# of that weight and a casual Jane can go 20mph uphill in many places.

    2. I don't think the difference between 15 and 20 mph is negligible at all. It's fine if you feel that way, but I think you'd be unhappy pretty quickly on many trails if everyone could easily go 20 anywhere they wanted to. And it's not us that matter - it's the hikers/dog walkers/families out for a stroll, who are far more numerous and *really* hate motorized stuff.

    3. The best way to not end up with a speed limit (or just a ban on all bikes, really, because the speed limits would be too hard to enforce) is to make it very, very hard to go too fast on your bike. I've suggested in the past here that trail design can help a lot - more open sight lines, chicanes and speed control features can make a trail simultaneously slower AND more fun/safe for all users. But adding a motor, unless it's very constrained in power, will raise speeds across the board, and that probably is a nonstarter. Bikes are so much faster than hikers already that it's a constant problem.

    -Walt
    1. I've never seen a Class 1 pedal assist that would put out 750W. Sounds like you bought a "Class 1" that is skirting the rules. My Haibike with a Bosch CX Performance motor, the highest output one they sell, won't get me anywhere near 20 MPH on a 15% grade, even if I put all of my power into it, and I'm a stronger than average rider.

    2. I honestly don't know why you are so concerned about uphill/downhill. What difference does a theoretical 15.5 vs. 20 MPH uphill make when someone going the opposite direction can go 30 MPH completely silently, just by releasing the brake lever? Isn't it incumbent upon the rider to control their speed around other trail users regardless of what direction they are going?

    3. A class 1 eBike is required to cut power at 20MPH. So class 1 eBikes do not "raise speeds across the board". I can go a lot faster downhill on my 6 inch travel enduro bike than I can on my hardtail eBike. Which bike is an issue?

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    I agree with Walt (and think Harry has espoused the same) about the speed limit. Probably the rules won't change. Is it possible for off road areas to post speed limits (15 mph on flat trails, 10 mph on uphills) effectively (just a question, not an argument)? IMO, the best way to regulate e-MTB's on trails is by speed limits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    And you presume that it wouldn't. Millions of outdoor enthusiasts don't have a voice here but I can assure you a significant portion of them value spaces that are primitive and motor-free, I realize that many people can't understand this sentiment but it's important to those who do. People have different opinions and objectives and IMO this country is still big enough to accommodate most everyone.
    That argument is kind of weird one to make here.. It's the main reason there's strong opposition to any kind of bike in the wilderness. There's probably quite a few people who think all bikes detract from the primitive quality of areas designated wilderness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PinoyMTBer View Post
    Ouch! Did I hit a nerve?
    No, but I've probably ridden with you.. the mountain bike community is a small place.

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    I don't care how fast e-bikes go.
    I don't care how much power e-bikes are allowed or not allowed to have.
    I don't care if someone doesn't have to exercise as hard as they might on a mountain bike.
    I don't care how much trail wear they may or may not do.
    I don't care if they are allowed on MUTs.

    The only thing I care about is that if there are any problems with e-bikes, those problems never affect mountain bike access in any way. Keep the common-sense distinction crystal clear at the obvious motor/no-motor line, then let them stand or fall on their own.
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    Thought Walt was talking about the difference between Europe having controllers on ebikes cutting off assistance at 25 kph (15.5 mph), vs USA controllers cutting off at 20 mph (32 kph).

    Whenever existing solutions face competition from new disruptive technology, they find ways to combat it, including spreading misinformation. Taxi business vs Uber. Retail vs superstores (walmart) vs online retailers (Amazon). Automobile industry vs Tesla. Heck, even Edison (DC) vs Tesla (AC) and fossil fuels vs renewables. It happened with bigger wheels in mtb, and disc brakes on road. The road guys were successful in delaying widespread use, to give their sponsors time to develop it on their own bikes. The mtbers were successful in discouraging fork and tire makers from investing in new bigger wheel optimized parts... brands saw a wave of demand come and go, but now that the hate's gone down, they're creating another wave with new products.

    Calling it the wild west makes sense. Legislation take a while to make their way through the system protect things with true merit. Wording accuracy is important too. Inaccurate wording is what's keeping a lot of bills from being passed these days. Differentiating ebikes from regular bikes has already happened in some states. They're not considered to be just like mtbs. They're just saying that there's some overlap in which one category happens to be similar enough. Creating categories gives the industry a clear target to shoot for, when optimizing their designs for a certain user group. Seeing how category 1 gets such support for access, they can justify pitching their designs to people on normal bikes, and put effort in managing this cash cow. Some might even target/condemn modding outfits that threaten the segment.

    Speaking about this kind of stuff just emphasizes the fact that ebikes are disruptive new tech. Speed differential is a valid concern. People can say DH bikes let riders go 35+ MPH, that people going 10 MPH would have to deal with, the same way people speak about the issue with ebikes going uphill (not likely with 250W motors, 750W sure). DH guys are kind of rare and are quickly past, not seeing them again for a while. E-mtbs can clog up a downsloping trail if they are being ridden by novices. I don't really see such a big threat from emtb. The speed differential between a cyclist and motor traffic on roads keeps many off of the road, but a big difference is in the weight. An ebike adds under 15 lbs for the motor and battery, not counting reinforcement of other parts. The rider can modulate their speed too, to pass with swiftness at an opportune moment when the trail allows it.

    I wonder why there's no collision laws for pedestrian and sporting traffic. Should be like the ski slope etiquette, where the faster/skilled person should avoid the slower one. Could use something to protect people on foot or bike from being hit from the side of from behind, beyond negligence laws.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    And you presume that it wouldn't. Millions of outdoor enthusiasts don't have a voice here but I can assure you a significant portion of them value spaces that are primitive and motor-free, I realize that many people can't understand this sentiment but it's important to those who do. People have different opinions and objectives and IMO this country is still big enough to accommodate most everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by DL723 View Post
    That argument is kind of weird one to make here.. It's the main reason there's strong opposition to any kind of bike in the wilderness. There's probably quite a few people who think all bikes detract from the primitive quality of areas designated wilderness.
    JB's post makes 100% sense to me, I'm one of the people he's talking about. I'm also good with hiking trails that don't allow bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I don't care how fast e-bikes go.
    I don't care how much power e-bikes are allowed or not allowed to have.
    I don't care if someone doesn't have to exercise as hard as they might on a mountain bike.
    I don't care how much trail wear they may or may not do.
    I don't care if they are allowed on MUTs.

    The only thing I care about is that if there are any problems with e-bikes, those problems never affect mountain bike access in any way. Keep the common-sense distinction crystal clear at the obvious motor/no-motor line, then let them stand or fall on their own.

    Be good for the manufacturers to know. You can blur the lines as much as you want, they're still a separate entity; and if they impair MTB access, expect trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    3. Be careful with your speed limits, because if a 15.5 MPH speed limit uphill is imposed, why wouldn't a 15.5 MPH speed limit for all bikes downhill be imposed?
    The local trails I ride have a 15mph speed limit, it is actually pretty common in California.

    I have not seen any rangers enforcing it however.
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    1. A true Class 1 eBike can't go 20 MPH up any kind of significant grade unless a pro level rider is putting out their 3-500 watts.

    2. The difference between 15.5 MPH and 20 MPH is negligible. Why not make the limit 14.27 MPH? Or 16.1678 MPH?

    3. Be careful with your speed limits, because if a 15.5 MPH speed limit uphill is imposed, why wouldn't a 15.5 MPH speed limit for all bikes downhill be imposed?
    1. So many ebikers claim "they are just bicycles" and "they just provide a little assist" so if that is the case, why do you need to be able to go 20mph up a significant upgrade when a real bicycle can't? This is the second time on this site I've seen someone post that the US should have followed the EU regulation of 15.5 mph with an ebiker then immediately responding that that is too slow. This just really makes me think it is about the motor and not about being a bicycle with a little help.

    2. And that is a big fear, once class 1 ebikes are deemed ok, the argument goes to the difference between 20 and 25 is negligible so 25 MPH should be allowed and it goes on from there. Again, if you really just want to ride a bicycle with a little help, what is wrong with having to ride it at bicycle speeds?

    3. Again, are you looking for a bicycle experience or for a motor to push you along faster than an actual bicycle would be traveling?

    If ebikes would actually behave just like another bicycle on the trails, I would be a lot more open to them. But I keep seeing they have a desire for more speed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    Be good for the manufacturers to know. You can blur the lines as much as you want, they're still a separate entity; and if they impair MTB access, expect trouble.
    Pretty simple, and keeps MTBers from having to care one way or another about all the technicalities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    2. And that is a big fear, once class 1 ebikes are deemed ok, the argument goes to the difference between 20 and 25 is negligible so 25 MPH should be allowed and it goes on from there.
    I was thinking the same thing. Reminds me of what someone else posted earlier about advocating for access for a certain group but only if they meet a certain classification. You eventually have situations like this.... "Why should my bike not be allowed since the only difference is it has a throttle?"

    "The problem, which seems to have been purposely created, is that this category of transportation has multiple groups and someone determined that at least one of the groups is not appropriate for multi use trails. That would be like saying 9 speeds are ok but any other speeds are not. Or certain breeds of horses are ok but others are not. Kinda of insulting to land managers"

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    No, but I am an advocate for reserving the right to keep them out of many of them for previously mentioned reasons. I'm also an advocate for core areas in some wilderness preserves where humans can't intrude no matter what the mode of transport.
    Then we agree on both of those sentences. Scary, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    I agree with Walt (and think Harry has espoused the same) about the speed limit. Probably the rules won't change. Is it possible for off road areas to post speed limits (15 mph on flat trails, 10 mph on uphills) effectively (just a question, not an argument)? IMO, the best way to regulate e-MTB's on trails is by speed limits.
    So you really think there should be an unlimited speed limit for MTBs and a 15 MPH speed limit for eMTBs?

    That's insane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    So you really think there should be an unlimited speed limit for MTBs and a 15 MPH speed limit for eMTBs?

    That's insane.
    I do not think that is what is is saying at all. If there a speed limit it would be for both motorized and non-motorized bikes. That is only fair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    1. So many ebikers claim "they are just bicycles" and "they just provide a little assist" so if that is the case, why do you need to be able to go 20mph up a significant upgrade when a real bicycle can't? This is the second time on this site I've seen someone post that the US should have followed the EU regulation of 15.5 mph with an ebiker then immediately responding that that is too slow. This just really makes me think it is about the motor and not about being a bicycle with a little help.

    2. And that is a big fear, once class 1 ebikes are deemed ok, the argument goes to the difference between 20 and 25 is negligible so 25 MPH should be allowed and it goes on from there. Again, if you really just want to ride a bicycle with a little help, what is wrong with having to ride it at bicycle speeds?

    3. Again, are you looking for a bicycle experience or for a motor to push you along faster than an actual bicycle would be traveling?

    If ebikes would actually behave just like another bicycle on the trails, I would be a lot more open to them. But I keep seeing they have a desire for more speed.
    1. I don't see anywhere that I said I needed to go any faster than a "normal" bicycle. Please show me where I said that.

    2. You are paranoid. A class 1 ebike is now specifically defined in many US states to cut assist at 20 MPH, and People for Bikes is pushing to have that limit adopted across the country. The 20 MPH limit is arbitrary, just like 15.5 MPH, 55 MPH, 30 MPH, or 20 MPH in a school zone. Why choose an arbitrary limit on trails that is different than what is already legislated as the Class 1 ebike limit? What are we going to do, create a Class 0.75 for trails? It makes no sense. Just use 20 MPH.

    3. I guarantee if you start pushing a specific SPEED LIMIT for uphill riding, that same SPEED LIMIT will be applied to all bikes in both directions by the powers that be. Just use the already legislated power cutoffs. Please explain what logic you would use with a non-cyclist to advocate that ONLY eBikes should be limited to 15.5 MPH uphill, while a non-eBike has an unlimited uphill speed, and both eBikes and non-eBikes have no downhill speed limit? And what is an "uphill" anyway? 1%? 3% 5% 15%?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    The local trails I ride have a 15mph speed limit, it is actually pretty common in California.

    I have not seen any rangers enforcing it however.
    15 MPH uphill AND downhill, right?

    Which is why I am saying that if people go off the hook with silly "eBike only" speed limits, or "uphill only" speed limits, the people making the rules are just going to apply them across the board, to all bikes, uphill and downhill.

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    I'm thinking that 99.9999% of trails will never see any monitoring of user speeds whatsoever, so the whole discussion is pretty much a waste of time to begin with, unless your one of the unlucky few that has to ride in one of those areas where heavy-handed enforcement is common. So glad there's nothing like that going on within a couple thousand miles of here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    15 MPH uphill AND downhill, right?

    Which is why I am saying that if people go off the hook with silly "eBike only" speed limits, or "uphill only" speed limits, the people making the rules are just going to apply them across the board, to all bikes, uphill and downhill.
    15mph speed limit. The sign does not specify up vs down.

    To be fair though, I am only able to ride uphill at 2-4mph depending on how steep it is. 15mph uphill is something I could only accomplish with a motor assisting me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    1. I don't see anywhere that I said I needed to go any faster than a "normal" bicycle. Please show me where I said that.
    From this conversation (snipped quotes):


    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    My answer is: because US laws weren't written intelligently as they were in the EU. If 250W/15.5 mph limits were actually the law (and there were severe penalties for manufacturers skirting those laws) I think a decent chunk of people would have no problem with e-bikes at all.

    I wouldn't (and don't) have a problem with bikes with that level of assist, which is plenty to have a "normal" mountain bike experience for the disabled/elderly/exercise averse and should create negligible extra impacts on other users.
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Do you propose a 15.5 MPH speed limit for bikes without assist as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    That's just the assist speed limit. Perhaps I wasn't clear, sorry about that. Obviously an e-bike (or normal bike) can go much faster than that downhill (or on the flats).
    -Walt
    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    1. A true Class 1 eBike can't go 20 MPH up any kind of significant grade unless a pro level rider is putting out their 3-500 watts.

    2. The difference between 15.5 MPH and 20 MPH is negligible. Why not make the limit 14.27 MPH? Or 16.1678 MPH?
    Maybe I misunderstood you but it sounded to me like you would not be happy with the EU standard in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post

    2. You are paranoid. A class 1 ebike is now specifically defined in many US states to cut assist at 20 MPH, and People for Bikes is pushing to have that limit adopted across the country. The 20 MPH limit is arbitrary, just like 15.5 MPH, 55 MPH, 30 MPH, or 20 MPH in a school zone. Why choose an arbitrary limit on trails that is different than what is already legislated as the Class 1 ebike limit? What are we going to do, create a Class 0.75 for trails? It makes no sense. Just use 20 MPH.
    The point was that they should have used 15.5 like in the EU. Again, sounded to me like you wouldn't be happy with that speed, the difference between 15.5 and 20 MPH is not negligible at all. And 15.5 is closer to bicycle speed, and you are welcome to go faster with the motor cut out. Are you looking for assist in a bicycle-like experience or are you looking to go faster than a bicycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    3. I guarantee if you start pushing a specific SPEED LIMIT for uphill riding, that same SPEED LIMIT will be applied to all bikes in both directions by the powers that be. Just use the already legislated power cutoffs. Please explain what logic you would use with a non-cyclist to advocate that ONLY eBikes should be limited to 15.5 MPH uphill, while a non-eBike has an unlimited uphill speed, and both eBikes and non-eBikes have no downhill speed limit? And what is an "uphill" anyway? 1%? 3% 5% 15%?
    I don't think there should be speed limits but I also don't think there is any reason to provide more assist to get an ebike uphill faster than a regular bike if ebikers are really just wanting a little help with the bicycle like experience. If you want to go faster than a bicycle, you are wanting a motor experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    Then we agree on both of those sentences. Scary, isn't it?
    And even though we disagree on other things it doesn't mean that either of us are ignorant, intolerant, or mongering fear. Common ground> divisiveness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    Be good for the manufacturers to know. You can blur the lines as much as you want, they're still a separate entity; and if they impair MTB access, expect trouble.
    From what I've heard through the grapevine, P4B is preparing a position that emtbs are not mtbs, and should be treated as a different class of vehicle, so maybe the manufacturers are going to come at access from that direction now?

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    Making the cut off too aggressive will just lead to rampant "modding" to circumvent the cut-off.

    P4B (People For Bikes) already treats ebikes as different. They gave ebikes their own zone between regular bikes and other motorized vehicles. Their model is what went into legislation. What you refer to as Class 1, is an actual defined category due to their model. What's going on is that IMBA recognizes that there's some overlap with class 1 and normal bikes. People are being alarmists, thinking that more powerful motorized bikes will be bunched with mtb and lead to the worst case scenario for mtb...

    US class 1 is diff than EU class 1. EU: 25 kph (15.5 mph) <= 250W. US: 20 mph (32 kph) <= 750W. This is just how they decided to define it over here.

    I think there's genuine reason to be concerned. There's little enforcement on trails. If there's stuff going on like people using ebikes to get deep into places to conduct illegal activities, and it's ebikes that enable it, ebikes will be a target for control. Sadly, rules only keep good folk in line, and even good folk will break rules if they see "everyone else" doing it, such as breaking the speed limit. mtbers probably are just bystander victims in the crossfire as disruption alters things as we know it.
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    P4B has a survey currently going on. Basic questions about biking riding in your area but a box at the end you can write in to let them know what you think:

    https://corona.researchfeedback.net/...k=150783940236
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    P4B has a survey currently going on. Basic questions about biking riding in your area but a box at the end you can write in to let them know what you think:

    https://corona.researchfeedback.net/...k=150783940236


    Done, thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    From what I've heard through the grapevine, P4B is preparing a position that emtbs are not mtbs, and should be treated as a different class of vehicle, so maybe the manufacturers are going to come at access from that direction now?
    Hooray for common sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    It's about opening the door to more and more powerful mopeds on the trails. That's the bottom line... Once the door is open for the simplest of motors, gradually more and more powerful bikes will be introduced. If we've learned anything from the bike industry is that they love to introduce newer and better "technology" every year to pique the rider's wallets. The "classification" of motor bikes is a fallacy since there's no way for anyone to police or enforce these mythical standards on the trails and was created for political reasons. What will end up happening is "other interests" will end up grouping regular mountain bikes with emtb and base trail access decision on the merits of both groups as a single entity.
    Yes. That is the problem.

    If motors were not an issue we'd have allowed low power ICE motos on MTB and hiking trails before now. There is nothing magically different about an electric motor and an ICE motor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Yes. That is the problem.

    If motors were not an issue we'd have allowed low power ICE motos on MTB and hiking trails before now. There is nothing magically different about an electric motor and an ICE motor.
    There's concern over fluid leaks contaminating the water table. Both are fire hazards, but there's IEEE standards that ensure Li-Ion batteries fail in a safe manner (don't eject during thermal runaway).
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    So you really think there should be an unlimited speed limit for MTBs and a 15 MPH speed limit for eMTBs?

    That's insane.
    Are you just intentionally being obtuse? There's no speed limit, there's an assist cutoff. You can still pedal >15 mph if you want to, on any bike. The motor just cuts out after 15. Simple.

    Look, the point is this: if e-bikes are considerably faster than normal mountain bikes, they won't work on most MUTs. If they are easier/less work, but similar speed, it'll be fine. 15.5mph and 250W (what a fit adult can generate on their own) seem like reasonable numbers, and (as per the title of the thread) they seem to be working ok in Europe. More power and speed will just mean permanent assignment to OHV trails, so adopting the EU rules is IMO the best way to have a chance at access.

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    They are pretty strict about the 250W and 25 kph class 1 rating in the EU. They're allowed on trails, like a bike. Anything higher is treated unlike a bicycle. Lobbying efforts are making a push to keep the cut-off, but increase the power limit and include throttles, but there's resistance from some who don't realize that current standards are hampering utility/cargo bikes. There's also talks about getting more category classifications like the US has. The US seems to be ahead of the curve, IMO.

    In some high density Chinese cities and NYC, ebikes are banned from the streets, since the riders themselves have shown total disregard for traffic rules. Regular bikes were not. ebikes were specifically singled out as a whole, no exception to low powered pedelecs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    There's concern over fluid leaks contaminating the water table. Both are fire hazards, but there's IEEE standards that ensure Li-Ion batteries fail in a safe manner (don't eject during thermal runaway).
    TThe fluid leak thing though possible isn't something that really adds up to squat.

    Are Li-Po batteries never used on e-bikes? Those things go don't fail in a safe manner at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Yes. That is the problem.

    If motors were not an issue we'd have allowed low power ICE motos on MTB and hiking trails before now. There is nothing magically different about an electric motor and an ICE motor.
    A bike with an ICE motor is *completely* different from a pedal assist bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Are you just intentionally being obtuse? There's no speed limit, there's an assist cutoff. You can still pedal >15 mph if you want to, on any bike. The motor just cuts out after 15. Simple.

    Look, the point is this: if e-bikes are considerably faster than normal mountain bikes, they won't work on most MUTs. If they are easier/less work, but similar speed, it'll be fine. 15.5mph and 250W (what a fit adult can generate on their own) seem like reasonable numbers, and (as per the title of the thread) they seem to be working ok in Europe. More power and speed will just mean permanent assignment to OHV trails, so adopting the EU rules is IMO the best way to have a chance at access.

    -Walt
    Why 15.5 MPH when 20 MPH is already the adopted class 1 limit? Class 1 ebikes are *not*considerable faster than normal mountain bikes. Neither a Class 1 ebike nor a "normal" mountain bike moves on its own power. Both require a human to pedal them, and the speed they go depends on the rider. I guarantee a pro MTB racer, whether it be uphill, downhill, or on flats, is faster than me on my ebike. I believe it was on velonews.com where I read a story about a race at Sea Otter where they had races where Class 1 pedal assist ebikes and "normal" MTBs were allowed, and "normal" MTB racers were sprinkled through the results including in the top five.

    There is no way there is going to be a 15.5 MPH standard in the US now. That ship has sailed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    From what I've heard through the grapevine, P4B is preparing a position that emtbs are not mtbs, and should be treated as a different class of vehicle, so maybe the manufacturers are going to come at access from that direction now?
    Let's hope that happens. I would be a step in the right direction. Up until now they've been doing their best to try and make them more similar than dissimilar. I hope they start an emtb advocacy group and I hope they get trail access where it's allowed and on their own merits. And let's keep the two modes completely separate and distinct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    1. I can take my cargo bike (75 pounds) with 3 kids riding on it (120# worth) up a 15% grade at 20mph on my 750w/20mph limit bike, which would be class 1 if it weren't for the throttle. No problem at all.

    Subtract 150# of that weight and a casual Jane can go 20mph uphill in many places.

    2. I don't think the difference between 15 and 20 mph is negligible at all. It's fine if you feel that way, but I think you'd be unhappy pretty quickly on many trails if everyone could easily go 20 anywhere they wanted to. And it's not us that matter - it's the hikers/dog walkers/families out for a stroll, who are far more numerous and *really* hate motorized stuff.

    3. The best way to not end up with a speed limit (or just a ban on all bikes, really, because the speed limits would be too hard to enforce) is to make it very, very hard to go too fast on your bike. I've suggested in the past here that trail design can help a lot - more open sight lines, chicanes and speed control features can make a trail simultaneously slower AND more fun/safe for all users. But adding a motor, unless it's very constrained in power, will raise speeds across the board, and that probably is a nonstarter. Bikes are so much faster than hikers already that it's a constant problem.

    -Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Why 15.5 MPH when 20 MPH is already the adopted class 1 limit?

    There is no way there is going to be a 15.5 MPH standard in the US now. That ship has sailed.
    Again, I'm not saying that the 15.5 standard *should* exist. I don't care either way if e-bikes are ever widely accepted on MUTs in the US. I'm saying that the US standard being so much faster/more powerful is a big reason that the bikes are less controversial in the EU.

    You might be right that there will never be a 15.5 standard here. And there might never be legal access to many trails, too. Higher speed=more trouble. More power=more speed. It's that simple. If e-bikes provide a similar experience and similar impact on other users, they will eventually get more access. If not, they won't.

    The EU is often held up here as a success story - and my point is that there is a reason for that: reasonable power/speed limits, and enforcement for the manufacturers. Might be worth imitating.

    -Walt

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    Class 1 20mph works for me. You’ll never do it uphill so really doesn’t matter. Most everybody I see riding goes as fast as they possibly can. Up, down, flat.. whatever. The trails and sight lines are the only speed enforcers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Again, I'm not saying that the 15.5 standard *should* exist. I don't care either way if e-bikes are ever widely accepted on MUTs in the US. I'm saying that the US standard being so much faster/more powerful is a big reason that the bikes are less controversial in the EU.

    You might be right that there will never be a 15.5 standard here. And there might never be legal access to many trails, too. Higher speed=more trouble. More power=more speed. It's that simple. If e-bikes provide a similar experience and similar impact on other users, they will eventually get more access. If not, they won't.

    The EU is often held up here as a success story - and my point is that there is a reason for that: reasonable power/speed limits, and enforcement for the manufacturers. Might be worth imitating.

    -Walt

    Using the European limits for eMTBs might not be the worst thing in the world. There are a few videos on youtube showing european eMTBs vs regular powered ones and the electric ones are still faster, overall. But the gains are basically going uphill. Going downhill there doesn't seem to be huge advantage and on flat areas, the assist limit is more of a hindrance. A 20 mph limit just widens that gap.

    But having a 15 mph limit for all class 1 ebikes would throw a huge wrench in the commuting style ebikes. So it would have to be a emtb limit. Just not sure how that would be enforced other than maybe greater than 100 mm suspension travel makes it a mtb?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    P4B has a survey currently going on. Basic questions about biking riding in your area but a box at the end you can write in to let them know what you think:

    https://corona.researchfeedback.net/...k=150783940236
    Done, thanks for sharing it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    And you presume that it wouldn't. Millions of outdoor enthusiasts don't have a voice here but I can assure you a significant portion of them value spaces that are primitive and motor-free, I realize that many people can't understand this sentiment but it's important to those who do. People have different opinions and objectives and IMO this country is still big enough to accommodate most everyone.
    Yes, it's true that I have a different perspective. I'm as confident about the low impact of class 1 e-bikes as you are that they will somehow be destructive to the pristine wilderness.

    Anyway, I think the majority of those people would just as soon ban all bikes from the primitive wilderness and I strongly doubt that they would differentiate between a class 1 e-bike and a conventional mountain bike.

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    You guys are spinning your wheels dissecting all the numbers. The real touchiness comes in a less logical manner.

    I've been reading various haters raves, and they aren't so specific about speeds etc, they just are enraged that someone would use a motor. It is usually followed up by some chest beating about how many years I've been biking, and how many gnarly rides I do powered by my own studdly legs.

    I am puzzled why they are upset about what someone else does for their fun. Perhaps they aren't very good at having fun. Perhaps someone passed them on an e-bike and deprived them the opportunity to show what a bike beast they are. I think they are the same people who worry about other folks driving the wrong type of car, drinking the wrong beer, or having weird sex.

    I know from riding that we much prefer an ebike to a motorcycle, and that we ride them very much the same way we ride a regular bike. We just go farther, and have more fun for the same amount of effort. We use the lower power settings, the higher ones screw up the riding experience in most conditions. When we meet people on the trails they frequently don't even realize we're on ebikes.

    I'm sure there will be a-holes on supercharged bikes who detract from people's experience, but the problem won't be the bike, it will be the a-hole. They will be jerks whether on an e-bike or on a regular bike trying to top their Strava time on a busy trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    You guys are spinning your wheels dissecting all the numbers. The real touchiness comes in a less logical manner.

    I've been reading various haters raves, and they aren't so specific about speeds etc, they just are enraged that someone would use a motor. It is usually followed up by some chest beating about how many years I've been biking, and how many gnarly rides I do powered by my own studdly legs.

    I am puzzled why they are upset about what someone else does for their fun. Perhaps they aren't very good at having fun. Perhaps someone passed them on an e-bike and deprived them the opportunity to show what a bike beast they are. I think they are the same people who worry about other folks driving the wrong type of car, drinking the wrong beer, or having weird sex.

    I know from riding that we much prefer an ebike to a motorcycle, and that we ride them very much the same way we ride a regular bike. We just go farther, and have more fun for the same amount of effort. We use the lower power settings, the higher ones screw up the riding experience in most conditions. When we meet people on the trails they frequently don't even realize we're on ebikes.

    I'm sure there will be a-holes on supercharged bikes who detract from people's experience, but the problem won't be the bike, it will be the a-hole. They will be jerks whether on an e-bike or on a regular bike trying to top their Strava time on a busy trail.
    Not hate, ego bruising or such. Not legal where I ride in MA. And real concerns about losing mt bike access.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Anyway, I think the majority of those people would just as soon ban all bikes from the primitive wilderness and I strongly doubt that they would differentiate between a class 1 e-bike and a conventional mountain bike.
    I'm one of those people. I like mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, river running, go kart racing, and lots of other things, maybe someday I'll be into electric bicycles too but not at this time. There's an appropriate place for every activity and sometimes they overlap and sometimes not. As much as I love mountain biking I'm grateful for places where they're prohibited because I respect other people who desire a different experience. There's room for all.

    I've said it before but tracks on the ground aren't the only impact left behind. Also I now support banning all bikes from primitive wilderness areas because the "slippery slope" that many people feared is proving to be a reality. Mountain bike supporters assured everyone that the line was etched in stone, human powered and no motors but they were wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Anyway, I think the majority of those people would just as soon ban all bikes from the primitive wilderness and I strongly doubt that they would differentiate between a class 1 e-bike and a conventional mountain bike.
    Exactly the point - the probability that user groups won't differentiate mountain bikes form e-bikes IS the issue. You've summed up exactly what the whole point is, while somehow failing to grasp its significance. Camel nose....
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm one of those people.
    I'm one of those people too.


    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    Exactly the point - the probability that user groups won't differentiate mountain bikes form e-bikes IS the issue. You've summed up exactly what the whole point is, while somehow failing to grasp its significance. Camel nose....
    No, your confusion comes from the fact that I don't share your opinion of its significance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm one of those people. I like mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, river running, go kart racing, and lots of other things, maybe someday I'll be into electric bicycles too but not at this time. There's an appropriate place for every activity and sometimes they overlap and sometimes not. As much as I love mountain biking I'm grateful for places where they're prohibited because I respect other people who desire a different experience. There's room for all.

    I've said it before but tracks on the ground aren't the only impact left behind. Also I now support banning all bikes from primitive wilderness areas because the "slippery slope" that many people feared is proving to be a reality. Mountain bike supporters assured everyone that the line was etched in stone, human powered and no motors but they were wrong.
    Agree to disagree, maybe we need another thread? The whole mechanized transport in wilderness referring to bikes? Bullshit. Mt bikes weren't even around. They were allowed until the Sierra club $$$ got active. Read the original wilderness act? The whole idea was human power. To get out and enjoy. They allow horses to chew up the trail, packs of them, but bikes are an issue? Hmmm. No chainsaws and wheelbarrows? How does one do trail work or clear windstorm/blowdowns/fire damaged trees? And mechanized transport? Does that included oarlocks, ski bindings, hiking poles? Seems crazy. I DO get the whole concept of wilderness, bikes should be allowed on a case by case process. Maybe to start with just some connecting routes. Think about a bikepacker. Seems the perfect set up. All the hikers would be congregated at the trail head areas, bikes packers can really get out there and cover some distance. Like away from the day hikers and crowds. Thats my take. So stepping in piles of horse shit and hiking on chewed up trails are OK, but a bikepacker just ruins everyones experience? Hmmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Agree to disagree, maybe we need another thread?
    Yeah probably another thread, but if you read my post you'd see that my contention for not allowing them is that electric bikes are apparently on their way to being legally classified as bicycles and I am wholeheartedly opposed to opening the door for motorized transport within wilderness boundaries.
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    ^^^ Agreed. Hence the need for clear separation of them, and IMBA has muddied the waters greatly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Yes, it's true that I have a different perspective. I'm as confident about the low impact of class 1 e-bikes as you are that they will somehow be destructive to the pristine wilderness.

    Anyway, I think the majority of those people would just as soon ban all bikes from the primitive wilderness and I strongly doubt that they would differentiate between a class 1 e-bike and a conventional mountain bike.
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    I'd like to leave at this table that part of the outrage (better term than "hate") has to do with the intrinsic definition of what bicycling as a sport is. (Leaving out the utility as a means for transportation)

    At some level having 2 wheels is a definition but further refinements includes pedals and generally being "human powered".

    It should be unnecessary to say that adding a motor is beyond the sport's definition but in this day and age it seems like "anything goes". ("I'm wearing a dress so I get to use the Lady's Room")

    At some level an analogy might be like having girls in the Boy Scouts or boys in the Girls Scouts; probably no harm but it totally screws with traditional definitions.

    Another analogy might be what defines sport fishing; generally hook and line as opposed to gill nets or electric shock or dynamite. Respecting definitions matters.

    Trying to include e-bikes in the sport of bicycling spits in the face of American traditional values and perhaps this is why all the outrage here as opposed to Europe. Don't like American traditional values? Move to Europe!

    I'm all for establishing e-biking as a separate sport; separate from bicycling and separate from motorcycling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post


    ....If there's actually no real problem with the ebikes... It's one way to buy speed, just like buying carbon stuff is, except it only really goes fast uphill, slighter faster on flats, and compromises by handling like an excessively heavy bike going down and in the narrow twisty parts...

    Hahaha...really, dude? You can cut the weight of a mountain bike in half and you're still using most of your power to move your weight, not the bikes, up the hill. If the motor lets you go really fast uphill then that's kind of the point, you're taking most of the difficulty out of the sport and it is not equivalent to buying a carbon frame. I have a 21-pound rigid bike with a titanium frame, carbon fork, carbon rims, and a once top-of-the-line XX1 drivetrain...and I still struggle up some hills.

    I'm not exactly busting on Ebikes. There's nothing wrong with them...but they aren't bicycles and maybe don't belong on a mountainbicycing forum.

    And Ebikes are not "introducing more people to our sport," as the latest talking point maintains. If you put a motor on it it's a different sport, not "our sport."

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    And Ebikes are not "introducing more people to our sport," as the latest talking point maintains. If you put a motor on it it's a different sport, not "our sport."
    And the fact there's an ebike section on the premier mountain biking forum could be sending the wrong message and confuse a lot of people.

    There needs to be a long thick neon line drawn between the two.

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    As far as I can see, the only bicycle that reflects traditional American values is the fatbike, since every red-blooded American knows that bigger is better. And the only way to make a fatbike more American is to put a motor on it.

    Surely you aren't claiming the a carbon fiber contraption made in China that can only be enjoyed by anorexic ectomorphs epitomizes American values? If so, you need to get out more and visit a shopping mall, a WalMart or an NFL game, put the two side-by-side and ask which they wanted to ride back to their SUV in the parking lot.

  76. #76
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    What does Lance Armstrong ride?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    Hahaha...really, dude? You can cut the weight of a mountain bike in half and you're still using most of your power to move your weight, not the bikes, up the hill. If the motor lets you go really fast uphill then that's kind of the point, you're taking most of the difficulty out of the sport and it is not equivalent to buying a carbon frame. I have a 21-pound rigid bike with a titanium frame, carbon fork, carbon rims, and a once top-of-the-line XX1 drivetrain...and I still struggle up some hills.

    I'm not exactly busting on Ebikes. There's nothing wrong with them...but they aren't bicycles and maybe don't belong on a mountainbicycing forum.

    And Ebikes are not "introducing more people to our sport," as the latest talking point maintains. If you put a motor on it it's a different sport, not "our sport."
    What happens when the tax paying public perceives "our sport" to be Slow And Silent Two-wheelers That Can Share Trails With Hikers And Horses? Because most of the public do not care one bit about "religious wars" between the various sects of two wheelers.......

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    As far as I can see, the only bicycle that reflects traditional American values is the fatbike, since every red-blooded American knows that bigger is better. And the only way to make a fatbike more American is to put a motor on it.
    Exactly what William Harley and Arthur Davidson (and others) did over 100 years ago.

    Brilliant!

    You do know what we call their innovation, right!?!?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    What does Lance Armstrong ride?
    An e bike with the cheater motor in the downtube? Seen some of the vids from the tour de farce with the bike on the side after a crash, with the wheel spinning crazy fast? Wait, what?

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    As far as I can see, the only bicycle that reflects traditional American values is the fatbike, since every red-blooded American knows that bigger is better. And the only way to make a fatbike more American is to put a motor on it.

    Surely you aren't claiming the a carbon fiber contraption made in China that can only be enjoyed by anorexic ectomorphs epitomizes American values? If so, you need to get out more and visit a shopping mall, a WalMart or an NFL game, put the two side-by-side and ask which they wanted to ride back to their SUV in the parking lot.
    If you think walmart and single drivers in suv 's are what the USA is all about? I fear for the next generation. Yikes.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    The whole mechanized transport in wilderness referring to bikes? Bullshit. Mt bikes weren't even around.
    Saying bikes don't qualify as mechanized transport sounds a lot like when certain e-bike folks used to try to argue that a motor isn't really a motor.
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    Read the original version of the wilderness act, then get back to me. There were no mt bikes at the time, and they were permitted in the wilderness until certain hiking groups spoke up. Check out the STC page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Read the original version of the wilderness act, then get back to me. There were no mt bikes at the time, and they were permitted in the wilderness until certain hiking groups spoke up. Check out the STC page.
    BWCA is designated under the WPA. Sail boats, sail boards, paddleboats, pontoon boats, bicycles, wheeled carts, and portage dollies aren't allowed except in rare circumstances. Mechanical assistance is rarely permitted. Up until a few years ago, that included rowboats with oarlocks. Those are still prohibited by the printed regs, but the rangers' policy manual now states that they don't enforce the rowboat provision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Read the original version of the wilderness act, then get back to me. There were no mt bikes at the time, and they were permitted in the wilderness until certain hiking groups spoke up. Check out the STC page.
    Kinda like there were no e-bikes when the Motorized Vehicle guidelines were established?

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    So my coal fired, steam boiler fat bike is good to go? Only weighs 92 lbs, keeps the chili hot too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Kinda like there were no e-bikes when the Motorized Vehicle guidelines were established?

    It was actually in 1965 when the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society petitioned to change the draft regulations to include bikes. The legislators at the time shut them down and intentionally allowed for bikes (unconfined recreation) to exist in Wilderness. The term Mountain Bikes was first coined in 1964.

    Motor boats are used in both the boundry waters and the river of no return Wilderness. It would be a huge benefit to Wilderness and the National Forest to have controlled dirt bike allowances. Historical human access gets lost in many places where combustion bikes are banned as the trails get unusable from downfall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    Hahaha...really, dude? You can cut the weight of a mountain bike in half and you're still using most of your power to move your weight, not the bikes, up the hill. If the motor lets you go really fast uphill then that's kind of the point, you're taking most of the difficulty out of the sport and it is not equivalent to buying a carbon frame. I have a 21-pound rigid bike with a titanium frame, carbon fork, carbon rims, and a once top-of-the-line XX1 drivetrain...and I still struggle up some hills.

    I'm not exactly busting on Ebikes. There's nothing wrong with them...but they aren't bicycles and maybe don't belong on a mountainbicycing forum.

    And Ebikes are not "introducing more people to our sport," as the latest talking point maintains. If you put a motor on it it's a different sport, not "our sport."
    What exactly do you picture as an ebike in your hypothetical scenario?

    Am I being short sighted, thinking of the emtbs that have been officially featured on this very site, and other mtb sites? The ones with 250W pedal assist motors from Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, Shimano, from name mtb brands, such as Specialized, Trek, etc., which fit the class 1 classification?

    Do you understand how much power 250W is, compared to the power output in your own legs? Do you recognize that there are multiple assist levels that use less than max power? There's also power-to-weight ratio to consider.
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    No, your confusion comes from the fact that I don't share your opinion of its significance.
    Not opinion. Fact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Not opinion. Fact.
    I'm a little skeptical of the "facts" presented by an organization with the name "North Country Trail Defenders".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    What exactly do you picture as an ebike in your hypothetical scenario?

    Am I being short sighted, thinking of the emtbs that have been officially featured on this very site, and other mtb sites? The ones with 250W pedal assist motors from Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, Shimano, from name mtb brands, such as Specialized, Trek, etc., which fit the class 1 classification?

    Do you understand how much power 250W is, compared to the power output in your own legs? Do you recognize that there are multiple assist levels that use less than max power? There's also power-to-weight ratio to consider.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    I'm a little skeptical of the "facts" presented by an organization with the name "North Country Trail Defenders".
    The fact I am getting at is other user groups are already lumping eBikes in with regular MTB's and using the justification that because they are so hard to tell apart just BAN THEM ALL.

    That is one thing many of the users on this site were fearful would happen, and now it is happening. Other user groups, no matter how ridiculous it might be, feel that allowing any eBike to have access is a slippery slope to bikes that are closer to a motorcycle, and so they are preaching full bans.

    So when a user says "camels nose" they are not just projecting an opinion about how eBikes might be viewed, they are stating a fact that user groups do view it that way.

    I don't think it is right, but it is happening. Without eBike specific advocacy groups this sort of thing will happen in other locations.

    I for one would hate to see my MTB access revoked because of a user group such as the "North Country Trail Defenders" decided it was too hard to tell an eBike from a regular bike and just BAN THEM ALL sort of attitude.

    There has to be a better solution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    If you think walmart and single drivers in suv 's are what the USA is all about? I fear for the next generation. Yikes.
    Ask those MAGA hat wearing folks at WalMart if they think they believe in traditional American values, I'm thinking they will probably say "Yes". Ask them if lifted diesel pickups and big motors reflect traditional American values. I suspect you will get a hearty "hell yeah,". I also think they will say that spandex and Lycra wearing bicyclists are elitists too worried about keeping the low class riff-raff off the trails.

    Basically I think America is about what most of the people who live there think it's about. Not what a small elite think it is. And there are a lot more WalMart people than MTB people, so who is the elite and who is not?
    But I could be wrong.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    The fact I am getting at is other user groups are already lumping eBikes in with regular MTB's and using the justification that because they are so hard to tell apart just BAN THEM ALL.

    That is one thing many of the users on this site were fearful would happen, and now it is happening. Other user groups, no matter how ridiculous it might be, feel that allowing any eBike to have access is a slippery slope to bikes that are closer to a motorcycle, and so they are preaching full bans.

    So when a user says "camels nose" they are not just projecting an opinion about how eBikes might be viewed, they are stating a fact that user groups do view it that way.

    I don't think it is right, but it is happening. Without eBike specific advocacy groups this sort of thing will happen in other locations.

    I for one would hate to see my MTB access revoked because of a user group such as the "North Country Trail Defenders" decided it was too hard to tell an eBike from a regular bike and just BAN THEM ALL sort of attitude.

    There has to be a better solution.
    Maybe ban OEM eMTBs and permit only DIY eMTBs with big ugly, easy to see, Bafang motors hanging from the bottom bracket. No way to confuse one of them with an ordinary MTB.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodlandHills View Post
    Ask those MAGA hat wearing folks at WalMart if they think they believe in traditional American values, I'm thinking they will probably say "Yes". Ask them if lifted diesel pickups and big motors reflect traditional American values. I suspect you will get a hearty "hell yeah,". I also think they will say that spandex and Lycra wearing bicyclists are elitists too worried about keeping the low class riff-raff off the trails.

    Basically I think America is about what most of the people who live there think it's about. Not what a small elite think it is. And there are a lot more WalMart people than MTB people, so who is the elite and who is not?
    But I could be wrong.......
    Google "walmart spandex"; lots of Walmart shoppers have this in common with cyclist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post

    Another analogy might be what defines sport fishing; generally hook and line as opposed to gill nets or electric shock or dynamite. Respecting definitions matters.

    Trying to include e-bikes in the sport of bicycling spits in the face of American traditional values and perhaps this is why all the outrage here as opposed to Europe. Don't like American traditional values? Move to Europe!
    .
    Perhaps one of the most ignorant posts I've ever read on the internet.

    Please, who defines American Values? Is inclusiveness one of them, or is that out of fashion these days?

    PS, in much of Europe, fishing regulations are much more restrictive than here in the oh- so traditional homeland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    Perhaps one of the most ignorant posts I've ever read on the internet.

    Please, who defines American Values? Is inclusiveness one of them, or is that out of fashion these days?

    PS, in much of Europe, fishing regulations are much more restrictive than here in the oh- so traditional homeland.
    Perhaps I should say the same about yours?

    Seems you may not have the depth to get my point. Nor my sense of humor.

    You're OK with including gill netting with sport fishing? After all they're both just forms of fishing.

    The e-bike discussion continues...
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    News flash: Miniature golf will now be considered to be golf. Table tennis will now be considered to be tennis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yeah probably another thread, but if you read my post you'd see that my contention for not allowing them is that electric bikes are apparently on their way to being legally classified as bicycles and I am wholeheartedly opposed to opening the door for motorized transport within wilderness boundaries.
    Yes, but in your post above you say “room for everyone “ you mean, except ebikers? We pay taxes and the same bs everybody else does, plus ride normal bikes. Sierra club can go Wipe their ass with their hand and wish there was a logger to cut the tree and make TP! The reality is that most “purists” are a bunch of hipocritical knuckleheads.
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    The sky is falling!! No, it’s not. A different sport is entering the arena. It’s a change for sure and no one likes change. There’s good people that enjoy riding Ebikes and most of them have been a cyclist for years. There was a reason every major manufacture started producing Class 1 Ebikes with no throttle’s years ago. It’s obviously going to be on a case by case basis everywhere for acceptance on MUT’s. The LM are going to have to step up and understand this new sport. Some will post no ebikes, others won’t.
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    8,297
    Quote Originally Posted by Gutch View Post
    Yes, but in your post above you say “room for everyone “ you mean, except ebikers? We pay taxes and the same bs everybody else does, plus ride normal bikes. Sierra club can go Wipe their ass with their hand and wish there was a logger to cut the tree and make TP! The reality is that most “purists” are a bunch of hipocritical knuckleheads.
    Yes room for everyone, electric bike riders included, not room for everyone within wilderness boundaries of course but then again wilderness zones aren't everywhere. I'm fine with walking in wilderness areas, I love riding my bike but I'm not so obsessed that I'm immobile without it.

    I would never presume that just because a horse is or person on foot is allowed somewhere then by god I should be allowed to bring my bicycle there too but that seems to be the attitude here, all or nothing.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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