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  1. #1
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    Electric Mountain Bikes Are Coming

    I think that one of these would be very cool to play with, in the right atmosphere, but really, I'd just assume buy a real dirt bike & get after it properly on dirtbike trails, instead of buying one of these things. I'm sure you can buy a better used dirt bike for cheaper than one of these electric mountain bikes. It just seems like a way for people to validate motorized vehicles on our precious trails. Why would anyone want to ride one of these, instead of stepping up and using legit power on a trail built for real power & speed, as in MX trails? I have no problem with people being lazy - that's their own business - but when they put powered vehicles in our sacred environments, it is certain to cause problems for people other than themselves. It will cause serious problems for mountain bikers whom are working hard to gain acceptance to trails & natural areas as human-powered users.
    I'm worried about advocates of electric bikes on trails f-ing things up for non-powered trail users. Kind of the same way that cellular phone providers end up installing cell towers wherever they want, no matter what people do to protest, or Wal-Mart moving into small towns against the will of local citizens. When money & economic leverage/gains are factors, the other side always loses.
    I'm wondering if people such as Kerry or Miles have been in discussion about the effect of these machines on trail use, & how this will affect mountain bikers in New Mexico.
    As far as I'm concerned, these things have a motor, so they are motorized vehicles - not bicycles. I pray that they do not have a negative affect on mountain bike trail access and that they do not become identified as mountain bikes, with land managers.

    Check out the angry single speeder's article:
    Electric Mountain Bikes – Friend or Foe? | Mountain Bike Review

    Regardless of what I think, I realize that my opinion is only mine and that others have opinions, too. What does the NM mountain bike community do to prepare for the arrival of these machines, that will certainly be looking for access to public lands. I'm not referring to playing MTB123-style devil's advocate bullsh!t for argument's sake, or entertaining abstract ideas, but real opinions from the hearts of people in our community. What do you guys think? What measures should NM mountain bikers start taking in regards to acceptance or denial of these machines? How could we seperate ourselves from being identified with these machines? Is it wise to even do that? What have discussions in the offices and meetings in the USFS & BLM been like regarding the arrival of these devices? Has there been any discussions like this among land mangers? Should the local biking clubs begin preliminary discussions/idea submissions to public entities in order to be prepared for this issue before it can have a negative affect on our user group?
    What do you all think?

  2. #2
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    Is a powered bike really much different than using a chair lift? Or a shuttle? A chair lift doesn't help one spin the tires, I guess. But lift riders seem to have a much different perspective on skidding than those who pedal up. Powered ascents give one the ability to cause more damage than one can cause with leg power alone, as do powered bikes.

    It's easier to draw a line, though, between powered and unpowered bikes. This would make it easier to make and enforce a rule.

  3. #3
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    Honestly I don't care. More users means more/better trails. Better than a horse.

  4. #4
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    Chairlifts and shuttles do not physically operate on the trails, as an electric bike would, while ascending trails. Chairlifts operate on leased or owned land, where the decision of the individuals that run the operations on these leased & owned lands determine the useage - which is usually community or profit-driven and designed specifically to accomodate downhill traffic user groups. I see no difference in terms of downhill traffic, as anyone who goes to the top - electrically, human-powered, or chairlift/shuttle-powered, will be certain to maximize their downhill reward on our single track trails to the limit of their own ability. What about the powered machines, themselves? It seems obvious that the powered vehicles going uphill will be interfering with many trail users - or not, depending on the attitudes of the other trail users.. On the down, it will be no different than it is currently, because an electric motor on a mountain bike, will not make the bike go faster than it already does with gravity - at least not with current available technology.
    What if the electric bikes were allowed to use any roads to get up and then descend? Would that be bothersome? Is it any different than using trucks with your friends? I can see how it could possibly increase downhill mountain bike traffic on multi-use trails, which could be either good or bad, depending on the local community outlook on such things. Some communities could stand to profit economically from that situation, as Moab does with dirt bikers, 4x4's and mountainbikers. That point makes it seem logical to let communities determine how to deal with this issue according to how it affects them, specifically. Good points, Rod.

  5. #5
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    My initial thoughts are that motorized is motorized, so the case is pretty clear for land managers to ban them. However enforcing this is a whole other matter with the funding they have. I personally don't want to see them, if the motor is strong enough to fully (partially if pedal assisted?) haul someone up a steep trail, then it has plenty of torque to wreck our non-motorized trails. I'll be giving our BLM and FS folks a heads-up so they are aware of the issue. I would assume that they can't last that long on a charge, so this won't be an issue on steep and long trails, but XC trails could be a different story. Energy storage of liquid fuels dwarf battery storage.

    No problems with them on moto trails of course, have at it.
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  6. #6
    Thread Pollution
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    New To Mtn. Biking

    ... introducing mtn. biking to a whole new culture
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    SingleSpeed,in the way
    Amateur
    Dogs over Cats

  7. #7
    I ride with tools
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    If that's what it takes for some fat slob to get his lazy @ss up the hill, it don't bother me none, as long as he yields to me when I'm climbing up under my own power.

  8. #8
    Bandolero Crew N.M.
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    I can't see those things being an issue any time soon. Hopefully they won't be stupid enough to try to go up DH trails. That would be a serious issue. Keep them on motorized access trails and then who cares. They can call it what they want but it still a motorized vehicle. The one positive over motorcycles is the don't make near the obnoxious noise and exhaust a motorcycle makes.
    Sent on my Droid while hitting that $h!t

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbike52 View Post
    I can't see those things being an issue any time soon. Hopefully they won't be stupid enough to try to go up DH trails. That would be a serious issue. Keep them on motorized access trails and then who cares. They can call it what they want but it still a motorized vehicle. The one positive over motorcycles is the don't make near the obnoxious noise and exhaust a motorcycle makes.
    I just can see em catching on. Like tj said why not just buy a dirt bike.... unless they get way better engines and batteries they arnt very usefull in thier current state.. if they get better and get more popular it will spike more R&D possibly better parts and even more gearbox desings. Damn then i moght buy one.

    Any ways more people using outdoor trails is a good thing. More people for advocacy trail work and another group to donate money

  10. #10
    Airborne Flight Crew
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    I see it confusing trail use issues for those that are not well informed...
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard – website

  11. #11
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    IMBA's position is spot-on IMO. I agree with Fuglio, more folks getting out is better, but I see these as not being compatible with non-rutted singletrack, hikers and confusing the whole non-motorized issue. Clearly, they are motors. These won't help our case to get into wilderness. This will cause the need for more trail work, and these users, I'm guessing, are even less likely to donate trail work hours. Although the percentage of MTBrs that do volunteer are higher than most outdoor activities, the numbers are still tiny.



    Motorized/Nonmotorized Recreation Policy Statement

    IMBA is first and foremost an advocate for mountain bikers and the sport of
    mountain biking. We seek to find solutions that work for a large range of
    trail users, but our allegiance is to mountain biking. IMBA's secondary focus
    is building and maintaining sustainable single-track trails. Singletrack is the
    preferred trail of most mountain bikers thus we support actions that
    improve access and trail conditions and oppose those actions that would
    degrade the trails and the experience of riding them.
    IMBA believes all recreational uses of public lands should be managed on an
    individual use and trail-by-trail basis through the diligent application of
    benefits based management, preferred use and environmental impact
    assessment. These land management principles work together to give people
    the outdoor experiences they seek in a way that mitigates the effects
    associated with their use so that future generations can enjoy similar
    experiences.

    FAQ
    Q: Is IMBA for or against motorized recreation?

    A: Neither, IMBA is an advocate for the interests of mountain biking and the
    development and maintenance of singletrack trails.
    IMBA objects to land management practices and principles that address
    mountain biking and motorized uses as a single class. Mountain biking
    involves a spectrum of riding styles with a narrow band of environmental
    impact that are similar to hiking and equestrian uses. When classification Is
    necessary, mountain biking should be part of the non-motorized class.
    IMBA objects to use of the term "mechanized" when describing bicycles
    because the legal and regulatory definition of this term is unclear. The term
    Mechanized has needlessly complicated forest planning and travel
    management. As a result, mountain biking has been managed differently
    than other non-motorized uses. When referring to only bicycles, materials
    should simply use bicycles.

    IMBA also objects to the use of double track devices on single track trails
    because they widen the trail, Widening the trail pushes the trail beyond its
    engineering and can lead to trail degradation. Widening the trail also
    diminishes the single track experience.

    Q: Does IMBA work with motorized recreation groups on advocacy issues?

    A: IMBA is happy to partner with many different interest groups to develop
    win-win solutions. However, on some issues the interests of mountain bikers
    and motorized users are aligned, on other issues they are not. In all cases,
    IMBA will advocate solutions best for mountain bikers.

    Q: How does IMBA view electric assist and electric bicycles (e-Bikes)?

    A: Electric bicycles are a welcome addition to the cycling community. They
    allow for carrying heavy loads and offer assistance to those who could not
    otherwise experience much of the fun of cycling and add a de minimus
    amount of additional impact. However, the use of a motor whether internal
    combustion or electric would require changing the classification to a
    motorized use. IMBA would support the use of e-Bikes anywhere that we
    could also support other motorized uses.

    Q: Are there existing rules and regulations for electric bicycles?

    A: The European government is out front with regard to the classification
    and regulation of electric bicycles. Under EU Rules, the legal status of electric
    bicycles adheres to a regulatory framework related to power output,
    (whether pedal assist or powered by an auxiliary electric motor). speed.
    battery type and machinery related to consumer safety. Under current EU
    rules, if an e-Bike's power and speed exceed limits of .25 kW (250 Watts) or
    25 kM/hour (15.5 miles/hour), it is then classified as a Moped and would
    have additional regulations for insurance, licensing/registration, helmets,
    driver's licenses and age requirements. The EU rules do not specify on or off-road
    use of e-Bikes.

    Q: How do other national mountain biking organization's view e-Bikes?

    A: IMBA's informal poll of its affiliates in Europe, Australia, Canada, and
    South Africa were unanimous in agreement that e-Bikes are motorized and
    therefore when utilized off-road should be regulated as with other motorized
    off-road travel.

    Q: Should IMBA take the lead to help governments regulate off-road e-Bikes?

    A: An organization (the International Light Electric Vehicle Association)
    currently exists for the purpose of promoting industry standards as well as
    favorable government rules and regulations for e-Bikes. IMBA may seek to
    partner with industry and other organizations to influence how e-Bikes are
    managed in order to advocate for what's best for mountain biking.
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  12. #12
    Is the bike OK?
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    Looks like fun

    I ride XC, DH, and motocross and after watching the video TJ linked I can see a place for these in addition to the three types of two-wheeler's I ride. I would not take my 250 lb motorcycle on a log ride or drop a ladder bridge and I wouldn't ride this down a DH course over my DH bike that gets hauled up on a chair or truck. However, I can see riding one of these in a park built full of jumps and north shore stunts without gravity to feed it (i.e. places like the planes states). It has a weight disadvantage over a DH bike but there’s nothing like the pop of a throttle when you’re launching off the end of a jump or drop. I agree that these should be considered motorized as far as XC trail use is concerned but I can see having parks and areas designated for battery powered bikes that wouldn't necessarily allow gas powered motorcycles due to noise and pollution issues. It does make for a complicated trail use issue but I really doubt we’re going to see enough around NM to become an issue for a long time. The city's will probably have much more issue with them than the trails.

    This is more on the full on motorcycle version of electric bikes but check out this video for KTM’s electric moto. Really good video if you haven't seen it an appreciate moto. These would be ideal for enclosed stadium motocross racing.

    Last edited by nealpederson; 03-26-2013 at 09:46 AM.

  13. #13
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    Haven't we called those mopeds for the last 100 years or so? Other than using fossil-fuel-generated electricity instead of gasoline, what's the difference. Pretty sure they are already regulated by land managers and NMDOT, if you get below the marketing fluff.

  14. #14
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    This guy will need to adapt to the electric bike apocalypse:
    I'm Faster Than You - YouTube

  15. #15
    Genius
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    Couple thoughts.

    1. They are not built to last. One crash at 10+mph and the thing is toast.
    2. It's only going to be allowed were motos are.
    3. What I don't like seeing that I already have for years is these engine powered bikes out on the paved trails around Abq.

    I am recalling being passed by one of these last year up on tramway. The Guys crank came apart not long after passing me. I stopped to chat with him and learned he only had it a couple weeks. He was forced to walk home. I also remember seeing a 300lb man that got stopped at a redlight on the Juan Tabo bridge over I40. When the light turned green, the bike could not overcome the incline and he was forced to walk it up, holding up traffic.

    They are still lacking in quality and are undependable so I don't believe we will see much of these in the near future.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  16. #16
    Airborne Flight Crew
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    Couple thoughts.

    1. They are not built to last. One crash at 10+mph and the thing is toast.
    2. It's only going to be allowed were motos are.
    3. What I don't like seeing that I already have for years is these engine powered bikes out on the paved trails around Abq.

    I am recalling being passed by one of these last year up on tramway. The Guys crank came apart not long after passing me. I stopped to chat with him and learned he only had it a couple weeks. He was forced to walk home. I also remember seeing a 300lb man that got stopped at a redlight on the Juan Tabo bridge over I40. When the light turned green, the bike could not overcome the incline and he was forced to walk it up, holding up traffic.

    They are still lacking in quality and are undependable so I don't believe we will see much of these in the near future.
    Yep, may not be *only* a land manager nightmare, it will be the people that buy them who feel entitled to ride them everywhere. Hope this dies down for a while. The term "E-Bike" is a disservice. I like moped much better (thanks tyrbyter!)
    Airborne Flight Crew

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  17. #17
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    There's an existing stigma already regarding electric bikes--mountain or road--that I think will be too difficult to overcome enough to have these become a problem.

    Once the battery starts to fade you have a much heavier bike to move around. Seems like a chance I'm not willing to take. That, and if it handled anything like my bike and had the reliability, I think it would be so overtly expensive that who would even try?

  18. #18
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    They're considered motorized vehicles and would be subject to the same regs as a gas powered dirt bike. I've ridden a "Zero" (elec motorcycle). It was weird but not something one couldn't get used to.

  19. #19
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    "They're considered motorized vehicles..." There, done. Thanks Kerry.

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