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  1. #1
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    Upset E-bikes on Mtn Bike Trails

    Yesterday I went riding at the White Tanks Competitive Track In Phoenix, Az. I was in the parking lot getting ready to ride. Before I got to the parking lot I noticed a truck parked where the pavement ends and an individual was getting ready to ride, bike in truck. Didn't think anything about it. Then I noticed the rider going through the parking lot heading for trail. Something looked different about his bike. Then I saw the large rear hub. This was an E-Bike. I thought how lazy. Then I saw the trail he was leaving. The bike with power to the rear wheel was digging in the the trail, especially on the climbs & was sliding on the corners. It is like a Motor Cycle. The trail sign says no motorized vehicles. When I finished my lap went to see if he was still parked there. He was gone. That is why he didn't park in the regular parking lot
    My point is not being lazy but Mountain Bikers a losing trails. A contraption like this will not help the issue.
    So be on the look out for e-bikes on trails. Let them know about it.
    Conserned Mtn Biker

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    Let the battle begin!

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    Was there a handicapped tag hanging from his rearview mirror? If not, you should have punched him in the face.

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    ^^^ lol...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhartman18 View Post
    This was an E-Bike. I thought how lazy. Then I saw the trail he was leaving. The bike with power to the rear wheel was digging in the the trail, especially on the climbs & was sliding on the corners. It is like a Motor Cycle.
    Please take the time to re-post what you witnessed in the 'Fifty+' forum (see thread link below). You'll see there's a pretty heated e-bike debate going on & those few who are defending e-bikes claim they have no more impact on trails than the average MTB.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/fifty-years-o...ol-992022.html

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    Now go back and have another look but this time unbiased and also look at the trail damage done by a regular bike. I think you'll find they are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    Now go back and have another look but this time unbiased and also look at the trail damage done by a regular bike. I think you'll find they are the same.
    I think you're being a bit biased. If it had a throttle, it very easily could do much more extensive damage than a real mountain bike. It's darn near impossible to tell the difference without getting up close and personal. Hence the heated debates on this topic.

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    I can't wait for the "ebikes destroyed my KOM" threads.

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    Regardless of what sort of ebike it was, if it's posted non motorized, it shouldn't have been there.

    Letting the ranger know is more effective than posting on a forum btw.

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    Does an E-bike have that kind of power to make a rut from hitting the gas? I was under the impression that they don't possess that amount of umph. I have yet to encounter any on the trails, but at this point I acquiesce. i could care less so long as they don't damage trails at any rate more than us nor pose any danger to anyone due to potential throttle power or what not.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  11. #11
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    Ebikes do not have a throttle like a motorcycle correct? It's only assist based on rider pedaling.... I looked at one in the trek store and that's how it was explained to me. So I guess If you were to have explosive speed you may or may not damage the trail.... But if you have explosive speed why are you on an ebike?

  12. #12
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    Does an E-bike have that kind of power to make a rut from hitting the gas?
    The short answer is stock ebikes from your LBS no, kit ebikes, yes.

    Class 1 bikes are pedal assist with no throttle.
    Class 2 may or may not be pedal assist with a throttle on demand, same power/speed limits as class 1
    Class 3 may have a throttle and higher power/speed limits.

    The problem is that how the power is measured can vary, so it's easy to have a "legal" motor that is more powerful than intended. Aside from stickers designating the class, all three bikes are virtually identical. They are easy to mod to bypass speed/power limiters.

    The Myth of Ebike Wattage - EbikeSchool.com

    The CA regulations are solely to make people feel better since there are now regulations in place. They effectively will do little in actually regulating the bikes since it's so easy to bypass them and there will be little enforcement on the ground. The industry having pushed to have regulations defined are now free to sell, sell, sell.

  13. #13
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    I saw three e-bikes on the trail today. They blew past us so fast there was a sonic boom and a flurry of dust. I felt the tingle of electricity and the smell of singed flesh. The ruts they left behind could now serve as ditches!

    Actually they rode by us at a normal speed both uphill and downhill sections. You could hear a faint weird electrical motor sound as they rode by but nothing else out of the ordinary.

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    The throttle vs. pedal assist is dependent on the different type of hub and control circuit. A friend has an e-bike with both (and I did give him grief about using an ebike, but it's only for commuting). Depending on the motor size used and battery, they can easily spin out with enough torque to damage a trail.

    Only reason for an e-bike is if you're physically handicapped (like missing a leg handicapped) or for commuting a long distance. Even using one for commuting is lame, but at least it has the purpose of going from A to B without drive a car.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    It's hard for me to disparage e-bikes without thinking I'm just another crank complaining about some new feature the industry comes up with. Sure, it makes riding easier. Just like gears, suspension, aluminum/carbon frames, big wheels, fat tires, etc, etc. All of these were new at some point, and we buy them because they make riding EASIER. My only concern is if the motors get so powerful that riders rip up the trail or become a danger to others. Then it's an electric motorcycle and should be verboten.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

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    The real problem isn't the trail damage or lack thereof today,the problem is that its another reason for mtb access to be banned or not allowed in a future area. Ebikes and regular MTB's would be lumped together by the bike haters. Who expects any mountain bike trail organization to lobby for allowing motorized bikes on non motorized trails and how could they do it with a straight face when we've been arguing the opposite since day one?

    Where's the benefit to the exisiting mtb community and what we've built?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhartman18 View Post
    i am a sock puppet. This is a sock puppet rant.
    ftfy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    The real problem isn't the trail damage or lack thereof today,the problem is that its another reason for mtb access to be banned or not allowed in a future area. Ebikes and regular MTB's would be lumped together by the bike haters. Who expects any mountain bike trail organization to lobby for allowing motorized bikes on non motorized trails and how could they do it with a straight face when we've been arguing the opposite since day one?


    Where's the benefit to the exisiting mtb community and what we've built?
    yep

  19. #19
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    Its sad, every hobby I have someone is out to shut it down: bike haters, anti guners, anti fishing, anti hunters, etc. I just got back into mountain biking and people want it shut down.
    sorry got off topic there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigt338 View Post
    Its sad, every hobby I have someone is out to shut it down: bike haters, anti guners, anti fishing, anti hunters, etc. I just got back into mountain biking and people want it shut down.
    sorry got off topic there.
    I know! These e-bike backers are working on getting mountain bikes banned from singletrack in many places by lumping e-bikes and mountain bikes together. It's extremely sad, but not as sad as when trail access is lost.

  21. #21
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    Weak troll. not buying it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    The throttle vs. pedal assist is dependent on the different type of hub and control circuit. A friend has an e-bike with both (and I did give him grief about using an ebike, but it's only for commuting). Depending on the motor size used and battery, they can easily spin out with enough torque to damage a trail.

    Only reason for an e-bike is if you're physically handicapped (like missing a leg handicapped) or for commuting a long distance. Even using one for commuting is lame, but at least it has the purpose of going from A to B without drive a car.
    Why is commuting on an e-bike lame?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    Why is commuting on an e-bike lame?
    answer a): A lot of people on this website have been working on strengthening themselves and building up their endurance for many years. Would you think that it was lame for me to use an electric grocery cart because I wasn't in the mood to walk across the grocery store?

    answer b): This is a website discussion forum and people are entitled to their opinion-hence the term 'discussion'.

    answer c): Because commuting on an Ebike is lame.
    How am I supposed to pick a line through this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    answer a): A lot of people on this website have been working on strengthening themselves and building up their endurance for many years. Would you think that it was lame for me to use an electric grocery cart because I wasn't in the mood to walk across the grocery store?

    answer b): This is a website discussion forum and people are entitled to their opinion-hence the term 'discussion'.

    answer c): Because commuting on an Ebike is lame.
    I'm no fan of e-bike being considered as identical to real bikes as far as trail access goes, but on the street, who gives a damn? Most people that ride bikes also drive cars or motorcycles. How exactly does that affect someone else's fitness, or anything else for that matter? Don't see why any would give a shit about this at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Don't see why any would give a shit about this at all.
    Some, and some more than others, including your humble poster in weaker moments, think that their opinions are very important and that others should accept them as such.

    My better self thinks that before I should tell others what they should/shouldn't do, I need to be able to demonstrate the harm that results from their current behavior.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  26. #26
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    I think ISIS is the moneybacker for these demon bikes. They want to shut down our freedom and dreams. They are jealous because they have no loamy goodness to shred.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    T

    Only reason for an e-bike is if you're physically handicapped (like missing a leg handicapped) or for commuting a long distance. Even using one for commuting is lame, but at least it has the purpose of going from A to B without drive a car.
    Or, I guess, if someone just wants one. Who cares if some of us feel that they are 'too easy.'
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Or, I guess, if someone just wants one. Who cares if some of us feel that they are 'too easy.'
    I CARE. My internet, my rules. YMMV

    I really don't care that much, but I just don't see the point. If a person wanted motorized bikes, just get a motocross bike. Probably less expensive than a good e-bike, and it can be used what it was built for. Putting a battery on a bike and using it to "challenge" yourself on the trail is just cheating.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    answer a): A lot of people on this website have been working on strengthening themselves and building up their endurance for many years. Would you think that it was lame for me to use an electric grocery cart because I wasn't in the mood to walk across the grocery store?

    answer b): This is a website discussion forum and people are entitled to their opinion-hence the term 'discussion'.

    answer c): Because commuting on an Ebike is lame.
    a) The vast majority of these people drive to work. I'm not sure how I would feel about your grocery store cart, if I saw you in the cart I would assume you have some sort of issue.

    b) Never said anyone wasn't entitled to an opinion, I was just curious. I'm guessing you guys think cars and regular bikes are cool, but e-bikes are lame, perhaps I'm wrong.

    c) Commuting is lame. It's something some of us have to do.
    Last edited by derekbob; 12-08-2015 at 11:33 AM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    Some, and some more than others, including your humble poster in weaker moments, think that their opinions are very important and that others should accept them as such.

    My better self thinks that before I should tell others what they should/shouldn't do, I need to be able to demonstrate the harm that results from their current behavior.
    Tough to see what harm using an e-bike on the street, or even dirt/gravel roads, could cause. I actually wouldn't mind one for commuting; be far more likely to leave the car home more often actually.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    Now go back and have another look but this time unbiased and also look at the trail damage done by a regular bike. I think you'll find they are the same.
    This doesn't really matter. The trail was designated "non-motorized" and therefore the motorized bike was illegal.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    but wait arnt e bikes the american dream?

    All the fun of mountain bikings with none of the effort! soon the term "mountain bike fit" will be used to describe the people in line for McDonalds

    ebikes are just like having a Big Mac and Eating it to

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by F8L View Post
    I think ISIS is the moneybacker for these demon bikes. They want to shut down our freedom and dreams. They are jealous because they have no loamy goodness to shred.
    I propose not letting any more e-bikes into this country!

  34. #34
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    Interesting article about trail access and mopeds. Notice the comment section.

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    The IMBA will sell out to the highest bidder, sorry.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath View Post
    I propose not letting any more e-bikes into this country!
    *cheers*

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    a)
    b) Never said anyone wasn't entitled to an opinion,
    I know, just trying to figure out the best way to explain it.

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    c) Commuting is lame. It's something some of us have to do.,
    I have been considering riding my bike to work for over a year. I could take the Farmington Heritage Trail to the Eastcoast Greenway, and down to the New Haven trail. Would be a fun trip, but it would take me a minimum of 7 hours(counting the return trip). They have a caferteria, and I could even take a shower if I wanted to, but somehow the idea of going to work on my day off is unappealing. I do not think I could ride to work and then work all day. Plus, my job is driving a fossil fuel powered truck to deliver food to stores, doesn't really fit the idea behind the trail system. The reason that the Federal Government spent billions of dollars building Greenways and Heritage Trails is so we would be 'sustainable', in other words, grow our own food and ride bikes to work(they are going to save the earth).
    How am I supposed to pick a line through this.

  39. #39
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    Here's some food for thought.

    There is an effort currently underway to rescind the wilderness ban on mountain bikes because they are "human-powered". Now throw e-bikes into that mix and pretty much everyone opposed to bikes in wilderness areas will be able to make a solid argument that mountain bikes are no longer human powered and that the ban should remain in place.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Here's some food for thought.

    There is an effort currently underway to rescind the wilderness ban on mountain bikes because they are "human-powered". Now throw e-bikes into that mix and pretty much everyone opposed to bikes in wilderness areas will be able to make a solid argument that mountain bikes are no longer human powered and that the ban should remain in place.
    I was thinking exactly the same thing.

    The key no matter how e-bike proponents want to spin it, is the motor. Regardless of how the motor is engaged, the bike is no longer human powered.
    Let's kick ass!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I was thinking exactly the same thing.

    The key no matter how e-bike proponents want to spin it, is the motor. Regardless of how the motor is engaged, the bike is no longer human powered.
    Yes, the e-bikes may have a huge impact on trail access issues. The e-bikes make it easy for anti-mountain biking proponents to paint all mountain bikes with the same brush and lead to trail closures. To say that e-bikes complicate matters for advocacy groups like the Sustainable Trails Coalition would be an understatement.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    IMBA needs to come out and outlaw them on mountain bike trails. We don't need trails closed to mountain bike just when most people start accepting them.

    If some fat ass wants to mountain bike he can ride roads until he is fit enough for trails.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamis63 View Post
    IMBA needs to come out and outlaw them on mountain bike trails. We don't need trails closed to mountain bike just when most people start accepting them.

    If some fat ass wants to mountain bike he can ride roads until he is fit enough for trails.
    It's too bad they can't "outlaw" people with bad attitudes too. It would be a whole new world out there.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamis63 View Post
    IMBA needs to come out and outlaw them on mountain bike trails. We don't need trails closed to mountain bike just when most people start accepting them.

    If some fat ass wants to mountain bike he can ride roads until he is fit enough for trails.
    IMBA can't outlaw anything since they're not a legislative body of government.

    However, a good many mountain bike trails are designated as "non-motorized use" by government regulatory agencies and I think it's clear that designation excludes e-bikes.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    The short answer is stock ebikes from your LBS no, kit ebikes, yes.

    Class 1 bikes are pedal assist with no throttle.
    Class 2 may or may not be pedal assist with a throttle on demand, same power/speed limits as class 1
    Class 3 may have a throttle and higher power/speed limits.

    The problem is that how the power is measured can vary, so it's easy to have a "legal" motor that is more powerful than intended. Aside from stickers designating the class, all three bikes are virtually identical. They are easy to mod to bypass speed/power limiters.

    The Myth of Ebike Wattage - EbikeSchool.com

    The CA regulations are solely to make people feel better since there are now regulations in place. They effectively will do little in actually regulating the bikes since it's so easy to bypass them and there will be little enforcement on the ground. The industry having pushed to have regulations defined are now free to sell, sell, sell.
    To simplify the matter, in my experience most trails under state and federal jurisdiction fall into two general categories related to wheeled travel; motorized and non-motorized.

    If it has a motor, power being irrelevant, then it's banned from a non-motorized trail. If it has a motor, then it's only allowed on motorized trails without any sort of power restrictions.

    Everything else is fluff.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Chuckha62 electric assist bikes will not move without the rider pushing the pedals. Don't push you don't move. So yes they are still human powered, just with some assist. My wife has one and it allows us to ride together without it she would not even ride. So for us they are great. Seeing she is riding with me if she is tearing up the trails eith it then I guess I am also. I think e assist bikes are fine, add a throttle and it is now a moped not a bike.

  47. #47
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    To simplify the matter, in my experience most trails under state and federal jurisdiction fall into two general categories related to wheeled travel; motorized and non-motorized.
    Yup

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    Chuckha62 electric assist bikes will not move without the rider pushing the pedals. Don't push you don't move. So yes they are still human powered, just with some assist. My wife has one and it allows us to ride together without it she would not even ride. So for us they are great. Seeing she is riding with me if she is tearing up the trails eith it then I guess I am also. I think e assist bikes are fine, add a throttle and it is now a moped not a bike.
    And a motorcycle doesn't move unless somebody twists the throttle... A car doesn't move unless you push down on the pedal... Are those human-powered?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    And a motorcycle doesn't move unless somebody twists the throttle... A car doesn't move unless you push down on the pedal... Are those human-powered?
    That's a very poor comparison since those other vehicles don't require constant motion or any appreciable amount of strength and endurance to maintain momentum. Can you wedge a brick on the pedal of an ebike and make it maintain momentum? How about duct tape the pedals like you can a twist throttle? :/

    Maybe you should actually go ride an ebike on a trail before making such poor comparisons.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    Chuckha62 electric assist bikes will not move without the rider pushing the pedals. Don't push you don't move. So yes they are still human powered, just with some assist. My wife has one and it allows us to ride together without it she would not even ride. So for us they are great. Seeing she is riding with me if she is tearing up the trails eith it then I guess I am also. I think e assist bikes are fine, add a throttle and it is now a moped not a bike.
    Is the "electric assist" in the form of a motor?

    If so, then it's not allowed on non-motorized trails. Period.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    Chuckha62 electric assist bikes will not move without the rider pushing the pedals. Don't push you don't move. So yes they are still human powered, just with some assist. My wife has one and it allows us to ride together without it she would not even ride. So for us they are great. Seeing she is riding with me if she is tearing up the trails eith it then I guess I am also. I think e assist bikes are fine, add a throttle and it is now a moped not a bike.
    Seriously? You can assert that with a straight face?

    Listen, I think it's great that your wife can ride with you. As long as it's on trails where motorized vehicles are allowed.

    Again, I've ridden a Sondor E-bike. I think it's fun as hell. NOT on a non-motorized trail.
    Let's kick ass!

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    Sorry don't agree and I will fight for the rights of assist pedal ebikes to ride on trails. Anything with a throttle I will not support. Both posts were typed with a straight, serious face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    Sorry don't agree and I will fight for the rights of assist pedal ebikes to ride on trails. Anything with a throttle I will not support. Both posts were typed with a straight, serious face.
    I get your passion around this issue because your wife needs pedal assist to ride with you. But even though she has to pedal to make the bike go (vs. using a throttle) the bike still has a motor. That makes it a motorized bike, which is where the problems start. Those of us who only ride unassisted, all pedal/no motor MTBs are already having to fight to gain/keep trail access. So if you decide to fight for e-bike access on non-motorized MTB trails and you're successful, then you put MTBs at risk of being lumped in with e-bikes. That's music to the ears of those who are looking to boot MTBs off of trails and make our fight that much harder. So what you're really saying (maybe without meaning to) is that you care more about what's best for you than our sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    Sorry don't agree and I will fight for the rights of assist pedal ebikes to ride on trails.
    I have no problem with this, just as long as there is always a distinction between e-bike and real bike access. There is no good reason for mountain bikers to all of a sudden become responsible for motorized bikers. I say let them stand (or fall) on their own merits as long as it doesn't affect real bikes in any way. As long as a clear distinction is maintained, good luck to you. But let's kill the silly notion that a vehicle with a motor isn't motorized. You can't just dismiss an obvious fact, no matter how people try to dance around it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F8L View Post
    That's a very poor comparison since those other vehicles don't require constant motion or any appreciable amount of strength and endurance to maintain momentum. Can you wedge a brick on the pedal of an ebike and make it maintain momentum? How about duct tape the pedals like you can a twist throttle? :/

    Maybe you should actually go ride an ebike on a trail before making such poor comparisons.
    Why would I do that? It's a fair comparison given his definition. I've ridden an e-bike or two before, and I fail to see how that is relevant to the trail access duscussion. Maybe you should do some trail work and trail advocacy before making such poor recommendations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Why would I do that? It's a fair comparison given his definition. I've ridden an e-bike or two before, and I fail to see how that is relevant to the trail access duscussion. Maybe you should do some trail work and trail advocacy before making such poor recommendations.
    I build trails as a part of my job and I volunteered clearing brush on a runner and equestrian-only trail yesterday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I fail to see how that is relevant to the trail access discussion.
    If you don't think e-bikes potentially having the same access rights as non-motorized MTBs presents a threat to MTB access then you're either not paying attention, not thinking it through or have a personal reason for supporting e-bikes that overrides logic.

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    can someone explain how an electric assist bike is a problem? I will agree an ebike with a throttle can be a problem but not an e assist. And please don't say, because it has a motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    can someone explain how an electric assist bike is a problem? I will agree an ebike with a throttle can be a problem but not an e assist. And please don't say, because it has a motor.
    Okay, because it is powered by electricity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    can someone explain how an electric assist bike is a problem? I will agree an ebike with a throttle can be a problem but not an e assist. And please don't say, because it has a motor.
    because they have a motor /s

    It's substantially easier to regulate "no e-bikes" than it is to have different classes and designate different categories of e-bikes. More nuances just make all regulation muddier. Someone who doesn't know better (read 90%+ of the population, and the peoples who actually own/manage the land we want to bike on) will not be able to distinguish between a 10hp throttle e-bike and a 100w electric assist bike with a grip shift.

    There should be some sort of system where you can get an e-bike licensed for regular MTB trails (on an individual basis, for peoples with handicaps), but that should be the exception, not the rule. IMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    can someone explain how an electric assist bike is a problem? I will agree an ebike with a throttle can be a problem but not an e assist. And please don't say, because it has a motor.
    Sorry...its because it has a motor...and here's why. Over the years MTBs have gained access to many trail systems based largely on the fact that a MTB is a non-motorized form of transportation. However, this access is constantly being threatened by various interest groups and government actions. If pedal-powered e-bikes are classified the same as a non-motorized MTB then they will have the same trail access rights as a MTB. At that point the lines get blurred and MTBs and e-bikes gets lumped together and we lose the one distinction (no motor) that makes MTBs legal on so many trail systems. Those who already want MTBs banned will be licking their chops and use that to their advantage. So there you have it...the problem with e-bikes is the motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGringo View Post
    If you don't think e-bikes potentially having the same access rights as non-motorized MTBs presents a threat to MTB access then you're either not paying attention, not thinking it through or have a personal reason for supporting e-bikes that overrides logic.
    You misread my post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F8L View Post
    I build trails as a part of my job and I volunteered clearing brush on a runner and equestrian-only trail yesterday.
    Then you are obviously encouraging trail damage as potential work for your job. E-bikes with a throttle or increased power output will cause trail damage. Anybody that works on mountain bike trails would be well aware of the damage done by skidding tires.

    Giving inexperienced riders access to more speed will lead to increased skidding through corners and stopping points. Giving increased power on climbs will increase tire slippage on loose surfaces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    You misread my post.
    OK, sorry about that...feel free to clarify.

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    I was stating that having experience riding an e-bike on singletrack is not necessary to understand the negative implications of allowing e-bikes on all mountain bike trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatSkott View Post
    There should be some sort of system where you can get an e-bike licensed for regular MTB trails (on an individual basis, for peoples with handicaps), but that should be the exception, not the rule. IMHO
    Probably one of the best ways to do it. Wish it was this simple though. Who decides they "need" an ebike? I think a Government agency with a doctor's note would be the best method, but would any government organization actually do it, and most doctors who know nothing about mountain biking probably would say it's too dangerous. Very adamant that you wear a helmet though. I doubt anybody wants to be responsible for saying someone who is handicapped can ride a mountain bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Then you are obviously encouraging trail damage as potential work for your job. E-bikes with a throttle or increased power output will cause trail damage. Anybody that works on mountain bike trails would be well aware of the damage done by skidding tires.

    Giving inexperienced riders access to more speed will lead to increased skidding through corners and stopping points. Giving increased power on climbs will increase tire slippage on loose surfaces.
    I understand what you are saying but have you seen this to be true with ebikes? If so then we should be worried about strong fit riders too. It would seem like this is more of a problem to do with trail etiquette and responsibility than whether a bike has a motor or not.

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    At the risk of oversimplifying... The delineation should not be the manner in which the motor is engaged. The delineation should be the fact that it has a motor at all. Sorry Bmach for repeating something you do not want to hear, but it IS as simple as that.

    Anything else is a Red Herring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I was stating that having experience riding an e-bike on singletrack is not necessary to understand the negative implications of allowing e-bikes on all mountain bike trails.
    Amen to that. Couldn't agree more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    At the risk of oversimplifying... The delineation should not be the manner in which the motor is engaged. The delineation should be the fact that it has a motor at all. Sorry Bmach for repeating something you do not want to hear, but it IS as simple as that.
    Yep

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    Lets say it would be ideal to allow low power e-bikes on mtb trails.

    The e-bike, non-e-bike distinction is obvious and enforceable.

    The low power e-bike, high power e-bike distinction is MUCH less obvious, especially to those peoples who control the land we want to use. They don't want to learn the distinction and no-one wants to be the one to choose which vehicles are allowed and which aren't, especially when peoples make their own custom machines or modifications.

    Any motorized implementation can become throttle, you just change where the wires connect to. Even if it's more work than that it's easily doable.

    This leads me to believe that it will be damn near impossible to allow low power e-bikes and not allow high power ones.

    There are enough trails that allow motorized vehicles that you don't need to use our trails, especially if you risk our access to them. If your trails don't allow motorized vehicles take it up with the person who made that decision. Don't just expect to get away with your smaller motor.

    EDIT: It seems that aside from Bmach, we all agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Probably one of the best ways to do it. Wish it was this simple though. Who decides they "need" an ebike? I think a Government agency with a doctor's note would be the best method, but would any government organization actually do it, and most doctors who know nothing about mountain biking probably would say it's too dangerous. Very adamant that you wear a helmet though. I doubt anybody wants to be responsible for saying someone who is handicapped can ride a mountain bike.
    An e-bike card would be as easy to get as a medical marijuana card(easily abused)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatSkott View Post
    The low power e-bike, high power e-bike distinction is MUCH less obvious, especially to those peoples who control the land we want to use.
    Aside from the stickers that should be on ebikes that indicate their classification, there can be little to no visible distinction between Class 1, 2 and 3 ebikes. As well as the fact that it's very easy to tweak exisiting bikes who often already go faster than the current regs.

    Here's a kit sold as a legal class 2, that will propel you a claimed @40mph as well as having a throttle override for the pedal assist. It looks like every other FS ebike out there. How can you tell the difference?

    e-RAD 750 Watt Mid Drive Conversion Kit Review - ElectricBikeReview.com

    A link to how stated wattage is very fuzzy.
    The Myth of Ebike Wattage - EbikeSchool.com

    While I'll agree that those who are claiming to ride class 1 ebikes now with minimal to low damage to trails are likely truthful, it'll be a very short matter of time before the common ebike is roosting.

    Google ebike speed mod and the like, it's easy to bypass the speed limiters. It's a growth industry as well.
    E Bike Tuning

    From the advocacy side, they're a disaster, only providing ammunition for those who would like us gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    From the advocacy side, they're a disaster, only providing ammunition for those who would like us gone.
    ^^^This is the ONLY point we should be concerned about right now. All the discussion about classes of e-bikes, levels of power, pedal-assist vs throttle, conversion kits and the potential for trail damage are all secondary. There is only one threat and that is if any bike with a motor is classified the same as a MTB and given the same trail access privileges.

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    Thank you Harryman and OldGringo for explaining the issue so clearly!

    I can't really add anything to what you guys have said.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
    Sorry don't agree and I will fight for the rights of assist pedal ebikes to ride on trails. Anything with a throttle I will not support. Both posts were typed with a straight, serious face.
    You will have a tough fight on your hands my friend. It will be very difficult to sway the opinion of most mountain bikers (look at the posts of this thread) and even more difficult to change the attitudes of land managers and the general public.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Then you are obviously encouraging trail damage as potential work for your job. E-bikes with a throttle or increased power output will cause trail damage. Anybody that works on mountain bike trails would be well aware of the damage done by skidding tires.

    Giving inexperienced riders access to more speed will lead to increased skidding through corners and stopping points. Giving increased power on climbs will increase tire slippage on loose surfaces.
    Ban fit riders!

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Probably one of the best ways to do it. Wish it was this simple though. Who decides they "need" an ebike? I think a Government agency with a doctor's note would be the best method, but would any government organization actually do it, and most doctors who know nothing about mountain biking probably would say it's too dangerous. Very adamant that you wear a helmet though. I doubt anybody wants to be responsible for saying someone who is handicapped can ride a mountain bike.
    This is totally covered by the ADA guidelines that have long been in place.
    An e-bike would be considered an OPMD (Other Power-Driven Mobility Device).
    Peope with certified disabilities can use them pretty much anywhere a regular bike is allowed, along with any other device they choose unless the local land managers have done a trail inventory and have documented why specific devices cannot be used on specific trails based on number of clearly defined criteria.

    This is important to keep in mind, as it completely makes irrelevant the whole angle that not opening non-motorized trails to motorized use is somehow keeping disabled people off the trails. If someone is disabled, it would in many (if not most) case actually be illegal to bar them from accessing trails on an e-bike, whether or not those trails typically allow motorized traffic. I truly don't think anyone really gives much of a damn about disallowing disabled access though; it's for a good reason and usage rates would be insignificant. Plus you'd have to be a dick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Ban fit riders!
    Ask the land manager why they don't allow dirt bikes. (trail damage is most likely)
    Then ask them why they don't allow e-bikes (keeping in mind that some e-bikes are more powerful than some dirt bikes).
    Then ask them why they don't just check every e-bike someone wants to use on their trails to see if it should be allowed. (they'll say it's an unreasonable amount of work)

    It will be nearly impossible to allow low power pedal assist e-bikes and not allow electric rooster tail dirt bikes with pedals.

    No matter how fit you are you can't make up the 500W+ sustained power difference.

    This is besides the point of whether pedal assist is even in the spirit of actual MTBing.

    I'd rather have a trail that doesn't allow e-bikes than a trail that doesn't allow ANY bikes, especially considering 90+% of riders will still use regular bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F8L View Post
    I understand what you are saying but have you seen this to be true with ebikes? If so then we should be worried about strong fit riders too. It would seem like this is more of a problem to do with trail etiquette and responsibility than whether a bike has a motor or not.
    No, I don't think so.
    As I understand it, the lowest power classification of eBike can add up to 2.75 times your pedaling power.... so you have the power of 3.75 humans. No amount of training and EPO will boost a "fit rider" anywhere close to the power output of an average person on the lowest power eBike.

    Not to mention the issue already raised about less experienced riders traveling farther and much faster, potentially doing more trails damage or getting themselves in way over their head in remote places.

    There's nothing to stop a family of MTB riders and Ebikers from going out on multi-use trails and a having a grand old time together. I'm all for eBikes as a means to get more people outdoors, off the couch, out of their cars, commuting by bike, and even shredding on trails THAT ARE DESIGNATED FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES. But we must not allow them to be classified alongside fully human-powered bikes or 40 years of trail advocacy will get washed down the tubes. The Fed Gov't is already poised to kick MTB's off of thousands of miles of trail that could potentially be designated as wilderness in the future.... we're already hanging by too thin of a thread to do a 180 degree about face on our basic argument as being non-motorized.

    For people who are passionate about this and want to put their money where their mouth is, this group is selling t-shirts to raise money for donations to IMBA to reinforce with $$ the fact that the majority of the MTB community is against eBikes' potential designation as a non-motorized bike....
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGringo View Post
    ^^^This is the ONLY point we should be concerned about right now. All the discussion about classes of e-bikes, levels of power, pedal-assist vs throttle, conversion kits and the potential for trail damage are all secondary. There is only one threat and that is if any bike with a motor is classified the same as a MTB and given the same trail access privileges.
    Agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I was stating that having experience riding an e-bike on singletrack is not necessary to understand the negative implications of allowing e-bikes on all mountain bike trails.
    Totally understand and agree assuming you are talking about the advocacy argument and not the actual "trail damage" argument.

    It's amazing what lengths the anti-MTB crowd will go to in an effort to have the trails all to themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F8L View Post
    Totally understand and agree assuming you are talking about the advocacy argument and not the actual "trail damage" argument.

    It's amazing what lengths the anti-MTB crowd will go to in an effort to have the trails all to themselves.


    It's amazing the slight of hand the ebike crowd will stoop to to poach non motorized trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatSkott View Post
    Ask the land manager why they don't allow dirt bikes. (trail damage is most likely)
    Then ask them why they don't allow e-bikes (keeping in mind that some e-bikes are more powerful than some dirt bikes).
    Then ask them why they don't just check every e-bike someone wants to use on their trails to see if it should be allowed. (they'll say it's an unreasonable amount of work)

    It will be nearly impossible to allow low power pedal assist e-bikes and not allow electric rooster tail dirt bikes with pedals.

    No matter how fit you are you can't make up the 500W+ sustained power difference.

    This is besides the point of whether pedal assist is even in the spirit of actual MTBing.

    I'd rather have a trail that doesn't allow e-bikes than a trail that doesn't allow ANY bikes, especially considering 90+% of riders will still use regular bikes.
    No, it's really not hard to differentiate between pedal assist and hub-powered bikes. Any idiot can do that. Is the motor in the hub? Is there a throttle? It's about as difficult as telling the difference between a regular bicycle and a pedal assist model.

    The reason that e-bikes aren't allowed is because the rules currently don't allow them. Nobody has done any survey of typical usage of e-bikes, so every assertion of massive trail damage is a complete fabrication.

    If they are allowed, as they are in other parts of the world, then land managers will have to make individual decisions based on facts...just like we regular bicyclists would want them to do for us.

    Not sure if you guys realize this, but an 180lb rider standing on 175mm (6.9") cranks produces 103ft/lbs of torque, and if you did it at 50 rpm comes to just under 1hp, or over 700w...and you can do it for a few minutes at a time pretty easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    No, it's really not hard to differentiate between pedal assist and hub-powered bikes. Any idiot can do that. Is the motor in the hub? Is there a throttle? It's about as difficult as telling the difference between a regular bicycle and a pedal assist model.

    The reason that e-bikes aren't allowed is because the rules currently don't allow them. Nobody has done any survey of typical usage of e-bikes, so every assertion of massive trail damage is a complete fabrication.

    If they are allowed, as they are in other parts of the world, then land managers will have to make individual decisions based on facts...just like we regular bicyclists would want them to do for us.

    Not sure if you guys realize this, but an 180lb rider standing on 175mm (6.9") cranks produces 103ft/lbs of torque, and if you did it at 50 rpm comes to just under 1hp, or over 700w...and you can do it for a few minutes at a time pretty easily.
    Quit having a selective argument focused on potential trail damage. I know some in the forum who are against e-bikes have voiced concerns about trail damage but its far from the central issue. The primary issue is this: if any bike with a motor is classified the same as a MTB and given the same trail access privileges, then those who want to ban MTBs from some trail systems will have exactly what they need to push that agenda. If you're a MTB rider and you don't get that then we're in trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    No, I don't think so.
    As I understand it, the lowest power classification of eBike can add up to 2.75 times your pedaling power.... so you have the power of 3.75 humans. No amount of training and EPO will boost a "fit rider" anywhere close to the power output of an average person on the lowest power eBike.

    Not to mention the issue already raised about less experienced riders traveling farther and much faster, potentially doing more trails damage or getting themselves in way over their head in remote places.

    There's nothing to stop a family of MTB riders and Ebikers from going out on multi-use trails and a having a grand old time together. I'm all for eBikes as a means to get more people outdoors, off the couch, out of their cars, commuting by bike, and even shredding on trails THAT ARE DESIGNATED FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES. But we must not allow them to be classified alongside fully human-powered bikes or 40 years of trail advocacy will get washed down the tubes. The Fed Gov't is already poised to kick MTB's off of thousands of miles of trail that could potentially be designated as wilderness in the future.... we're already hanging by too thin of a thread to do a 180 degree about face on our basic argument as being non-motorized.

    For people who are passionate about this and want to put their money where their mouth is, this group is selling t-shirts to raise money for donations to IMBA to reinforce with $$ the fact that the majority of the MTB community is against eBikes' potential designation as a non-motorized bike....
    Motorbike tee ? Lindarets
    Thanks for that. The argument is not new and I cannot argue against it because other than some hypotheticals, it may come true. I guess I find it hard to hold steadfast to either side because I can see the pros and cons. Unfortunately it's not as easy as just saying they need to stick to the motorized trails because those trails are not designed for mountain bikes and would be horrible to try and ride in most cases. I.e. it's not a solution. We need to come up with better solutions if we are going to solve the "problem". Just saying NO to e-bikes is just sticking your head in the sand. They are coming and we need to figure out a real workable solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I was stating that having experience riding an e-bike on singletrack is not necessary to understand the negative implications of allowing e-bikes on all mountain bike trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by F8L View Post
    Totally understand and agree assuming you are talking about the advocacy argument and not the actual "trail damage" argument.

    It's amazing what lengths the anti-MTB crowd will go to in an effort to have the trails all to themselves.

    For me it's not the advocacy argument or the trail damage one. They simply don't belong everywhere, and neither do mountain bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGringo View Post
    Quit having a selective argument focused on potential trail damage. I know some in the forum who are against e-bikes have voiced concerns about trail damage but its far from the central issue. The primary issue is this: if any bike with a motor is classified the same as a MTB and given the same trail access privileges, then those who want to ban MTBs from some trail systems will have exactly what they need to push that agenda. If you're a MTB rider and you don't get that then we're in trouble.
    Actually, they already have all they need and you people have laid out all the reasons to bar e-bikes as well as mountain bikes in this thread, and just about every other e-bike thread.

    Saying that a pedal assist e-bike is the same as a motorcycle is only slightly more stupid than saying a mountain bike is the same as a motorcycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Saying that a pedal assist e-bike is the same as a motorcycle is only slightly more stupid than saying a mountain bike is the same as a motorcycle.
    When using a quote you should make sure your remarks are directed at the right person. You won't find the word "motorcycle" in any post I've written. The motorcycle comparison is silly and takes the focus away from the central issue. What I have said is that a pedal assist e-bike has a motor. There's no emotion in that...its just a fact. However, there is emotion when a bike with a motor gains access to trails that ban motorized vehicles. That presents a threat to our sport by helping those who already oppose MTBs on those trails. So if you're an e-bike supporter and call yourself a MTBer then you have to decide what you really stand for...what's best for you or what's best for the sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Saying that a pedal assist e-bike is the same as a motorcycle is only slightly more stupid than saying a mountain bike is the same as a motorcycle.
    If your bike has a motor for propulsion it's a motorized bike (arguing against this is basically saying you interpret the english language wrong). If it has a weak motor, it won't do any more harm to trails than a cyclist (I agree, don't repeat this please). If it has a powerful motor then it definitely can. IT'S DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH A POWERFUL MOTOR AND A WEAK ONE. Especially if the strong one is made or modified to impersonate a weak one (and those already exist).

    You can use anything at all as a throttle: a grip shift, power meter (in the case of pedal assist), or you could hook a switch up to your eyebrows, it doesn't matter. This is why it's impractical at best to use "pedal assist" vs "throttle" distinction, all you change is where the throttle wires go. You can also hide a throttle INCREDIBLY easily. You can also have a very powerful pedal assist bike. FFS you could attach pedals to a top fuel dragster and call it pedal assist. NOT A PRACTICAL SOLUTION.

    The classification goes by what's enforceable, not what actually causes damage. Weak e-bikes should not be classified as bikes for that reason. No one wants to be responsible for checking and enforcing which e-bikes are allowed on their trails, especially if it's so much easier to say "no e-bikes".

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatSkott View Post
    Ask the land manager why they don't allow dirt bikes. (trail damage is most likely)...
    Noise is even more likely. That is why dirt bikes are banned from almost everywhere around here. Dirt bikes have big gas engines and megaphones for mufflers, so they are fµ˘King LOUD and nobody wants them around. Of course, not all dirt bikes are like that, but that doesn't matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    Noise is even more likely. That is why dirt bikes are banned from almost everywhere around here. Dirt bikes have big gas engines and megaphones for mufflers, so they are fµ˘King LOUD and nobody wants them around. Of course, not all dirt bikes are like that, but that doesn't matter.

    And if that's the only reason then E bikes should absolutely be allowed on THOSE trails. E-bikers (e-cyclists?) should ask for the privilege separately from standard cyclists because that may not be the only factor.

    We need to make it as easy as possible for property managers to manage the trails we want to use (with a healthy dose of advocating ourselves). Lumping e-bikes and bikes together does not do that.
    Last edited by TheGreatSkott; 12-14-2015 at 11:37 PM.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    For me it's not the advocacy argument or the trail damage one. They simply don't belong everywhere, and neither do mountain bikes.
    Agreed.

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    When mountain bikers started riding hiking trails, we were banned. Hiking only signs went up and we started to form advocacy groups. The battle began and through decades of work we gained rights to many trail systems, built many new systems, and continue to fight for trails. I don't recall anyone making the argument that a mountain bike was really just a walking device and should be aloud on hiking trails, or that its clearly a mechanical horse and should be aloud on equestrian trails.

    So now e-bikes come along. They are clearly a different thing, not a dirt bike but not a mountain bike either. Let them form their own clubs and advocacy groups. Let them lobby for trail access. Let them build their own trail systems. I would be all for that.

    But do not lump them in with mountain bikes. Let them live or die on their own merits. The mountain bike groups out there should have about as much to do with e-bikes as they do with the local snowmobile club, or dirt-bike club, or nature photographers club or whatever other organization that's out there fighting for access to nature. As has already been stated the issue is advocacy and trail access. Allowing e-bikes on mountain bike trails would be a huge boon to e-bikes and ha huge setback to mountain bikes.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGringo View Post
    When using a quote you should make sure your remarks are directed at the right person. You won't find the word "motorcycle" in any post I've written. The motorcycle comparison is silly and takes the focus away from the central issue. What I have said is that a pedal assist e-bike has a motor. There's no emotion in that...its just a fact. However, there is emotion when a bike with a motor gains access to trails that ban motorized vehicles. That presents a threat to our sport by helping those who already oppose MTBs on those trails. So if you're an e-bike supporter and call yourself a MTBer then you have to decide what you really stand for...what's best for you or what's best for the sport.
    You are not the only person on the internet.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyWilliams View Post
    When mountain bikers started riding hiking trails, we were banned. Hiking only signs went up and we started to form advocacy groups. The battle began and through decades of work we gained rights to many trail systems, built many new systems, and continue to fight for trails. I don't recall anyone making the argument that a mountain bike was really just a walking device and should be aloud on hiking trails, or that its clearly a mechanical horse and should be aloud on equestrian trails.

    So now e-bikes come along. They are clearly a different thing, not a dirt bike but not a mountain bike either. Let them form their own clubs and advocacy groups. Let them lobby for trail access. Let them build their own trail systems. I would be all for that.

    But do not lump them in with mountain bikes. Let them live or die on their own merits. The mountain bike groups out there should have about as much to do with e-bikes as they do with the local snowmobile club, or dirt-bike club, or nature photographers club or whatever other organization that's out there fighting for access to nature. As has already been stated the issue is advocacy and trail access. Allowing e-bikes on mountain bike trails would be a huge boon to e-bikes and ha huge setback to mountain bikes.
    A voice of reason and truth...thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    You are not the only person on the internet.
    I thought this was the world wide web...what is the Internet of which you speak?

    Come on man...read the BobbyWilliams post (#97) and admit that you're skirting the real issue.

  98. #98
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    ^^ your comments are dangerous! Let me ask the question: Will e bikes partner with motos? If so there will be lots of monies backing e bikes. By the way I know lots of trails that were built by motos back in the 1970s when motos were big and everybody had one, so coming forward mt bikes are now riding in those places, simply because motos fell out of style due to cost and cost of maintenance to a moto! Lets not forget the quad element, if it wasn't for the over running of quads everywhere mt bikers would have way less trails to ride now!

    Lets blame the industry right off the start...Is it time for mt bikes to fall out of style? No they have developed lots of reasons to be here, but how many times can the industry reinvent the bicycle? Is the E bike the next step? Will all the industry get behind the the money trail? You bet!, they will, like a bloodhound sniffing out a criminal! But on one note I can imagine Santa Cruz won't make an e bike, they don't even see the fat bike as a real bike...YET!... LOL

    I see lots of industry chatter and lots are making e bikes now! While the mt bike industry is mesmerized by fat bikes and mid fat tire sizes others are interested in easy of pedaling and acceleration. I do agree that e bikes will have their own places and mt bikes will not be allowed. Then we will here the screaming, but in return I guess mt bikers will feel as the hikers did when mt bikes were allowed on hiking trail for the first time.

    Just my take, I own both, and the more toys in the box the better it is, just pick and ride and enjoy, of course following the rules to some extent.

    Do you really think e bikes are going to die any time soon? Electric is the future, even though mt bikes don't require a liquid fuel, so cost of use is relatively low to operate. The motos I own take a bit of money to operate them, and not that I disagree with that it is my choice. So an e moto is almost free to operate also. Making it more like a mt bike!

    Did I go in a complete circle seeing it from both directions at once?

  99. #99
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    The word 'e-bike' just sounds so friendly and green. In the western USA states they run on coal, the byproducts of which are breathed mostly by economically depressed people conveniently placed in the middle of nowhere.

    Motors, industry, wilderness. Words that do not belong together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    ...snip...
    I don't see why the average mountain biker should give a damn one way or the other about "The Industry" and what is good or bad for it. If you're in this game for profit, your motives are suspect, your viewpoint tainted by $$, and what's good for you is not necessarily good for mountain biking in general.

    All the moto money out there has worked out to jack shit for access where I live. It'll be the same with e-bikes. The one thing that really pays off around here is sweat equity, heavy involvment, and responsible use. Nobody takes Honda's profit margins into account when deciding if motos are going to be allowed access.

    In short, **** The Industry.

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