Perfect place to ride e-MTB bikes.....an Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trail System!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Perfect place to ride e-MTB bikes.....an Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trail System!

    Hi Folks,

    As a disclaimer I have no time on an e-MTB so I'm talking through my hat here. That said, I don't believe e-MTBs should be used on multi-use trails because of the speed differential between them and regular MTBs/Hikers/Horses.

    However, I know a perfect place for them where they would be the weapon of choice! Here in CA we have OHV areas set aside primarily for motos. Local to me is the Georgetown Ranger District Rock Creek Recreational Trails. I ride there quite a lot in the summer evenings because they're at 3,200 feet elevation and I can hide from the oppressive heat on my local neighborhood trails. I've never seen another MTB rider I didn't take there. There are no hikers or horses and I've only seen a handful of moto riders.

    A primary reason I don't see other MTBs is that the trail system was laid out by a guy with a motor on his cycle and therefore goes straight up & down fall lines. I can only average 4.9 mph on my regular MTB because of the steep climbs. Hell, I'm happy if I can just make it up some of the climbs. I'm sure part of that reality is that I turn 67 next month and 20 year old legs would be very handy in being faster on the climbs!


    However, the DH sections are killer on the MTB and I can hit max speeds of 25 mph. With the ability to hear the motos coming from a long way away I never worry about about a head on collision even though our closing speed would be wicked fast!

    All that is leading me to consider an e-MTB for this trail system as it would be legal, safe for other folks and greatly enhance the fun factor on my rides!

    Here is a Trip Report I did on one of the many rides available in this OHV Trail System:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...th-865938.html

    Finally, all the moto riders that I encountered were friendly. Of course I always pulled over and let them pass, regardless of direction, because it was so easy for me to know they were there. Also I've seen so few of them that it's a non issue.

    I hope we can all agree that this is a great place for an eMTB. If that happens won't that agreement be refreshing!

    Have fun however you get dirty!

    Michael
    Last edited by michaelsnead; 06-23-2017 at 07:26 PM.
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  2. #2
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    I haven't been there before but it sounds like a great place to ride!

    I assume this is the place:
    Georgetown Rock Creek OHV Trail System - Maplets

    I have family in Nevada City (great MTB trails there, of course) so I'll have to hit you up the next time I'm out that way!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BootneyLee View Post
    I haven't been there before but it sounds like a great place to ride!

    I assume this is the place:
    Georgetown Rock Creek OHV Trail System - Maplets

    I have family in Nevada City (great MTB trails there, of course) so I'll have to hit you up the next time I'm out that way!
    Hi Mr. BootneyLee,

    That's the place! Have fun if you go and let me know if you like it!!

    Take care,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  4. #4
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    If you're in CO, check out Rabbit Valley. Amazing singletrack open to basically everything.

    San Bernadino mountains have a ton of OHV trails that would be a blast on an e-bike too. There's probably a ton more, of course.

    -Walt

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    If you're in CO, check out Rabbit Valley. Amazing singletrack open to basically everything.

    San Bernadino mountains have a ton of OHV trails that would be a blast on an e-bike too. There's probably a ton more, of course.

    -Walt
    Hi Walt,

    Thanks for the suggestion! If I actually pull the trigger on buying one of these I'll keep that in mind.

    Take care,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    If you're in CO, check out Rabbit Valley. Amazing singletrack open to basically everything.

    San Bernadino mountains have a ton of OHV trails that would be a blast on an e-bike too. There's probably a ton more, of course.

    -Walt
    Trails like those are the reason I'm building a 72v 3000w full suspension mid-drive. I'm looking for something quiet with good range at eMTB speeds with big power when needed. The plan is to run a pair of 10ah 72v packs in parallel for around 1.6kwh at full charge and see how long a 3-speed IGH will last. Having an extremely low noise level is paramount for me, I like being able to surprise animals on the trail, that's why even a 4-stroke is too loud. I see deer all the time and have twice surprised bobcats on my Class 1 on my local park MUTs and am looking forward to taking the new build on the OHV trails up by Troy Meadows later this summer.

    Ironically, I am having problems getting it to run correctly at low speed: right now it's more of a MXer and I'm really looking for a trials bike. Throttle modulation at 1/8 turn or less is crap and none of the changes to the Phaserunner help......

  7. #7
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    I spent a lot of time when I was younger dreaming up electric enduro ideas (back before Li-Ion batteries, I'm old). If I had any appropriate trails around here I'd probably make them a reality now, but Summit County is very much the land of human power and I don't have as much time to ride my normal bike as it is. Maybe when the kids are in school full time I'll revisit.

    I'm not sure if I'd bother with pedals, though. The human power starts causing geometry problems just due to crank length/BB height. You gain a lot running footpegs instead, and if you're using 3kW of juice... my 300W isn't going to be missed much.

    -Walt

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    I'm running 75mm unicycle cranks to avoid having to get a green sticker to access OHV trails. According to the controlling authorities having pedals and an electric motor means it's a bicycle in their OHV world and thus does not need to be licensed. You can pedal 75s, but they are really more of a "rotary footpeg system".

  9. #9
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    Funny how pedals and cranks are interpreted by the moto world as "automatically a bicycle" and how a motor, no matter how small, is interpreted by the bicycle world (at least some of it) as "automatically a motorcycle".

    Really those are both pretty stupid. I guess for me the cutoff might be where the human no longer makes most of the power or something but it's really just a big grey area.

    Could you attach some flip-out passenger footpegs to the frame below where the cranks mount and then just never actually use the cranks?

    -Walt

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    We have lots of moto trails that aren't very busy but the main problem is the inclines are designed for motos only. Many sections are way too steep.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody01 View Post
    We have lots of moto trails that aren't very busy but the main problem is the inclines are designed for motos only. Many sections are way too steep.
    Hi Mr. Cody01,

    That's why this seems like such a perfect venue for an eMTB. You get the assist from the motor for the climbs but on the DHs you still have all the advantages of a lighter eMTB over a much heavier motorcycle. All that and it's legal to boot. Win/Win!

    It's a little surprising to me that we haven't seen this discussed before when access issues are being bandied about.

    Take care,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  12. #12
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    You might need to make some considerations for climbing very steep stuff with frame geometry and/or fit/positioning, but trust me, 3" (or bigger) tires and 500+ extra watts will get you up some crazy steep loose stuff if you want to do it. Moto trails are often fall-line and too steep for bikes (though not always) but multiply your power by 3 or 4... and it's totally doable.

    -Walt

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    I'd think with the right tires and right gearing, you could get up just about anything a moto could, just not as fast.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=llttrvNxFyM

  14. #14
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    It would be interesting to design a hillclimb e-bike. Given enough power it would just look like a (crazy long swingarm paddle tire) moto, of course. If you limited yourself to 200W or something and actually needed the human power it might just look pretty much like a normal XC bike with really low handlebars and big tires. Short cranks (which actually make sense for most people for most riding anyway) would be good to keep COG low, though I don't know how much power you'd lose on 75mm unicycle cranks...

    Hillclimbs (technical/steep ones) were actually a thing in the early 90s on the NORBA circuit. The bikes got pretty weird (smaller front wheel than rear, 16t front chainrings, Hanebrink 14" tire sand bike, anyone?) but it faded away pretty quickly.

    There was also an event that I can't remember the name of in which you'd attach a truck tire to the seatpost of your bike and try to climb a big steep dirt hill, and whoever got the furthest would win. Anyone remember what that was called?

    Oh, and Scott Trials!!!

    Jeez I'm old.

    -Walt

  15. #15
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    This thread is about riding an ebike in a legal manner and have fun doing it. Has nothing to do with "is it a bicycle" or any kind of access. There are many threads already discussing those topics. Please remove the post that troll and derail this thread, just not needed in this one.

  16. #16
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    Agreed, this is supposed to be about riding e-bikes on moto/OHV trails, and how fun that could be, and how to optimize an e-bike for doing that. Not poaching non-motorized trails, or future access concerns, etc.

    Now, I'm also not sure it really ends up being about e-bikes because if I'm on a moto trail I'm going to want a freaking ton of power - because why not? Which starts to beg the question of why you'd put pedals on at all (though apparently it's a good way to dodge the green sticker fees!) and have to deal with the various problems involved with putting 3kW (or whatever) through a pathetic bicycle drivetrain.

    Regardless, though, even a 250W bone stock e-bike might make some otherwise uninviting/unrideabe moto trails pretty fun. It would be neat to come up with a list of good places (I mentioned a couple already). And it would be a blast to go pass someone on a moto (presumably on a downhill) on what appears to them to be a bicycle.

    Funny story, I once "raced" the Cloudcroft enduro (motorcycle enduro) on my mountain bike (no, I did not win) because of an unexpected mechanical issue with my KTM. You have to go have your bike checked for spark arrestor and noise level to race on FS land, so I dutifully walked over with my hardtail Schwinn (I think that was when I was riding for Schwinn, not positive though) and prompted a minor crisis because I couldn't "start" the bike for the sound check! Nor did I have a spark arrestor, of course... they ended up letting me ride it anyway and I did get to pass some of the slow folks on the downhills, which was neat. Then there was a 7 or 8 mile false-flat dirt road with a key time that required like 40mph and that was the end of that, I just went for a ride on my own for the rest of the day.

    -Walt

  17. #17
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    Where i live, I ride my e-mtb on 35 miles of OHV trails and I like the challenge.
    These are not groomed flow trails.
    They come with roots, ruts, short technical climbs and long technical climbs.
    I ride these same trails on motos and most of the climbs that are a challenge on a e-mtb are a total non issue on a moto.
    First off I had to significantly lower the gearing on my Haibike and then move the stem and seat forward to try to keep the front end on the ground.
    At some point even if you have the pedal/assist power, mtb's have too high of center of gravity to climb the steepest motos climbs.
    As I mentioned in another thread I demo'd a Turbo levo and it climbed much better than my bike but had many more annoying pedal strikes and less suspension travel.
    Turns out the levo's bottom bracket is over an inch closer to the ground which would explain better climbing and more pedal strikes.
    It is also a challenge to come around a corner and face a short steep climb and be in the correct gear before you stall out.
    Also, you have to stay out of the ruts or you cannot pedal.
    In my opinion, you will be a better rider riding moto trails than flow trails.
    Highroad

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