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Thread: Sea Otter

  1. #1
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    Sea Otter

    Looking at the exhibitors list today to plan my assault in a little more than a week from now. Seems (to me) like the gigantic e-growth has subsided. Of course, the majors will be there, but wondering whether they will have anything new. Big surprise is Hi-Power, Stealth and M1Sportechnik with $10k+ bikes that can't be ridden anywhere AFAIK except ORV trails. IMO, there's no sense even putting pedals on those bikes. Might as well have footpegs like the SurRon. Hi-Power has a model that starts "as low as $13K". Good thing I'm driving there in my Ferrari (haha, actually my wife's Suburu, but we get to park in the front lot since they're a supporter).

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    It's a bit of a pickle for manufacturers, I think. If I'm spending $10k+ on an e-mtb, I want it:

    1) to be *awesome*. Like moto-lite. Not class 1. I get annoyed when mine (note: not a mountain bike) cuts out at 20mph, as do many folks as we've seen here many times.

    2) to be legal to ride in places I want to ride. In huge swaths of the country, e-bikes are illegal on basically all mountain bike trails, so why make class 1 stuff at all? Nobody wants an artificially limited bike if they're exclusively going out on moto trails, or if they're planning to poach anyway and don't care about legality.

    If there's a slowdown in e-bike adoption overall, I haven't seen it. Multiple neighbors have stopped by to ask my opinion about various e-bikes this year and several own them now. They are a common sight in the summer on the bike path, parked at the farmer's market, etc, to the point where they are no longer noteworthy. On the e-mtb side, I haven't seen one since last spring before the e-bikes prohibited signs went up but that has no bearing on sales in other places.

    -Walt

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    The 20 mph "jerk" doesn't bother me since a lot of my off road is either uphill or descending. Also, I've seen a lot of e-activity on bike paths too. Just seems like it might not be enough to sustain the major interest the big manufacturers invested. As reported earlier, Haibike (maybe others) got stuck with a glut of excess inventory this year, and were selling bikes for record low prices.

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    In theory, someone spending 10K knows what they want, and I think a new category of lightweight motorcycle is emerging now that batteries are so much better.

    I think there are still *many* people who don't want a motorcycle and who are not poachers, so Class 1 is perfect for them. Also, some places are opening up MTB trails to Class 1, and I believe as the experiences of land managers of those areas is shared, more trails will open up. Thank goodness I live in CO where state parks are open, as well as Jeffco Open Space, which has about 200 miles of MTB trails open to Class 1. The elephant in the room is BLM/NFS/NPS, which will be a tougher nut to crack. Eventually, I predict the hooha about Class 1 will subside and they will just be considered to be bicycles.

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    These guys are supposed to be at Sea Otter as well, and were trying to enter the ebike race AFAIK, likely with it limited to 750w.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNyNl7J8xcM

    Which are just the sort of ebikes to kill the notion that Class 1 emtbs are just bikes. It's a shame really.

    I'm considering a Sur Ron, I've got a friend who wants to make a mini bike park on his property and it'd be a gas. (pun intended)

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    I'd like a Sur Ron too, but there are no places within 50 miles where it would be legal AFAIK. Agree the Frey, with the Bafang Ultra, doesn't belong in the race even if it's limited to 20 mph and 750w. IMO, they should allow only Class 1 bikes designed to be sold that way. Then again, don't really care since we didn't even watch the race last year; the year before my most vivid memory was of a bunch of drunks calling all the riders cheaters. What a joke since the race was won by a World Champion MTB AFAIR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    These guys are supposed to be at Sea Otter as well, and were trying to enter the ebike race AFAIK, likely with it limited to 750w.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNyNl7J8xcM

    Which are just the sort of ebikes to kill the notion that Class 1 emtbs are just bikes. It's a shame really.

    I'm considering a Sur Ron, I've got a friend who wants to make a mini bike park on his property and it'd be a gas. (pun intended)
    The bike in the linked video doesn't look like class 1, it looks like he's using a throttle to hill climb without pedaling at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    The bike in the linked video doesn't look like class 1, it looks like he's using a throttle to hill climb without pedaling at all.
    That's the future of mountain biking.
    Safe riding,

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    That's the future of mountain biking.



    Nope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    The bike in the linked video doesn't look like class 1, it looks like he's using a throttle to hill climb without pedaling at all.
    It's not a class 1, it's over the power limit, and since it's a bafang, it's software parameters are easily changed. So, not even class 2.

    It just looks exactly like a legal class 1, which is the problem.

    I'll be interested to see what fos'l finds at the expo, he's been going a few years.

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    I'll try to present an objective representation. However, if my previous trips are a reflection, there will be only Class 1, 2, and/or 3 in the manufacturer's booths with the exception of the outliers (Stealth, Hi-Power, M1 Sportechnik and the like) that will have some unimaginable entries that are too expensive and a negative example. BTW, I think Frey is supposed to be there too although they're not on the exhibitor's list.

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    I think the laws that define Class 1 were not really made with MTB being the primary user group. That distinction allows them to be legally operated on a Class 1 bike path (where the speed limit is often 15 mph), which is, I would imagine, why most people would purchase a Class 1.

    The fact that Class 1 MTB's are being made and sold isn't something that can be controlled under existing laws.

    In CA, Class 3 riders must also wear helmets and be at least 16 years of age. Class 2 ebikes must also cut off assist at 20 mph, and as such, are allowed on Class 1 bike paths.

    Hard core mountain bikers may not be sucking down the kool-aid like it's going out of style, but as someone that works in a shop, I would estimate that we have sold more ebikes in the last 6 or 8 months than we have in the previous 5 years. Both hybrids and full on MTB's. I have been seeing more of them on the trails too. And, from what I have seen, most are not what I would consider hard core cyclists. They are instead, more of your average/casual cyclists that have now found a way to integrate a bicycle into their lifestyle where they would not have done so before.

    I also think that ebikes may become like tandem bikes of the past, except that the 'relationship accelerator' effect may be greatly reduced ;~) due to the autonomy of having your own bike to control rather than being at the mercy of the captain. If you have one party that is more of a core cyclist than the other, an ebike can become somewhat of an equalizer that can allow both parties to 'ride their own ride' and still ride together.

    It seems that (here in the USA) we are inching toward the tipping point for the law of diffusion of innovation that takes sales from mostly just innovators and early adopters to where they are now getting to the 'early majority'. In Europe, where I have seen estimates that as much as half of all bike sales are now ebikes, it would seem that they have moved closer to the 'late majority' stage.

    I don't know that ebikes will easily/quickly permeate our car-culture to a significant degree. But we are selling more than ever. I think that eventually the marriage of the bicycle and modern technology will end up being the most significant development of two wheel transportation in several decades, and nobody wants to be too late to arrive at that party.

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    With eBikes as with anything you get what you pay for, and most entry level riders don't want to pay much. Also companies like Frey seem to not understand the concept of pedaling and thus pander to that market which as mentioned is probably better served by the SurRon.

    The way that things struggles uphill without pedaling does do some damage to the ebikes are faster uphill as that bike potentially is twice as powerful as any of the EU spec bikes. But I bet it weighs north of 60lbs. easily. If they do get a chance to race it I wouldn't worry about a podium position even if they find someone that knows how to pedal.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    I don't know that ebikes will easily/quickly permeate our car-culture to a significant degree. But we are selling more than ever. I think that eventually the marriage of the bicycle and modern technology will end up being the most significant development of two wheel transportation in several decades, and nobody wants to be too late to arrive at that party.
    Great observations. The three things currently holding back eBike sales are price, laws, and the perception that eBike riders are somehow beneath other riders. I doubt the US will ever see the raw per capita percentages seen in Asia and Europe, but I can easily see half of lower end bike sales ($1000 and less) eventually being eBikes. They have eBikes in China that sell for a few hundred US dollars, and it is inevitable that we see more and more sub-$1000 eBikes in the US. They won't be sold to enthusiasts, they will be sold to people who need cheap transportation and have access to a safe infrastructure that allows eBikes. I read the other day that Class 1 eBikes are finally legal in NYC. I was there a few weeks ago and saw tons of them being ridden illegally, I'm guessing within a few years they will be everywhere there. In a very dense urban environment, you can't average 20MPH anyway because of lights and traffic, so eBikes will be an attractive cheap alternative to a scooter or a car.

    There is a local bike path with a 1 mile long steep hill, and I have been passed several times recently by ordinary-looking people in street clothes riding eBikes as I go up the hill on my road bike. More of that to come, I'm sure.

    I should start an eBike brand called "DUI Bike". I get the feeling a LOT of cheap ebikes will be sold to people who have lost their driver's license.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I should start an eBike brand called "DUI Bike". I get the feeling a LOT of cheap ebikes will be sold to people who have lost their driver's license.
    For sure, just like with bikes now, where you see spendy bikes under enthusiasts, and big box store bikes under everyone else, and they'll be common. Instead of seeing dudes doing the hobo pedal, which is where you coast in every possible situation until you're almost stationary and falling over, you'll see ebikes being mostly used as mopeds on the roads and bike paths, which is what I see now. Nobody pedals a Pedego unless they have to IME....

    Make sure your DUI bikes come with road handlebars preflipped upside down, you'll corner the market...

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    According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN), all 500 exhibitor's spots are sold out, and there are almost 40 ebike companies represented. As mentioned before, except for Pivot with their (IMO) superior suspension system and Tern with a dynamite cargo bike,
    I'm not expecting much except more "me too" products from the "majors".

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    When will Santa Cruz break two vows and release an electric fat bike? Time to put Pivot to shame with MSRP >$11K

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    When will Santa Cruz break two vows and release an electric fat bike? Time to put Pivot to shame with MSRP >$11K
    They do, through their partner Kranked Bikes. Kranked Bikes ‚Äď Ride Hard Ride Free

    They blow Pivot away with not only the price (all the way up to $15k!) but easily in pure performance with 750watts nominal, (so legal ebike for all the forum rule nazis), and up to 2250watts of peak power!

    Sea Otter-86764a38-2f78-4056-a311-d2352633365d.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sea Otter-98f17483-5493-4024-b80a-cd17814febb7.jpg  


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    Looks like it requires a backpack battery. Also, JMO, but calling that motor, which appears to be a derivative of the Cyclone 3000, 750w is not kosher. "Bikes" like this won't help e+ individuals gain access. In CA, Class 1 bikes are supposed to be identified as such on the frame; doubt they'll do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    Looks like it requires a backpack battery. Also, JMO, but calling that motor, which appears to be a derivative of the Cyclone 3000, 750w is not kosher. "Bikes" like this won't help e+ individuals gain access.
    Ya, it comes with a battery and a backpack to hold it. However, this and other ebikes just as powerful are 100% legal ebikes. You may not like it, just like I donít like any ebike, regardless what power they have, on any non-motorized trail, but them the rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    In CA, Class 1 bikes are supposed to be identified as such on the frame; doubt they'll do that.
    Oh, man thatís pretty funny! That fn state thinks they can fix everything with a sticker. Like making coffee houses put up stickers warning people they will get cancer if they drink coffee in California. Ya, I am sure thatíl do wonders to stop cancer.

    Has anyone in California actually seen one of these stickers? And by seen I mean post a picture of one on an ebike. (I am actually really curious if any manufacturers are doing this considering the vast majority of ebikes are bought online and from probably out of state.

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    I haven't looked for them, but saw one (and not some removable "tack on") on a Raleigh bike last year at Sea Otter. If i remember, I'll look more carefully this year.
    BTW, AIR there was a company at Sea Otter two years ago that had "ebikes" that were exactly like the Kranked. They rented them out for two or three hour "tours" on their private property in norcal. Don't know whether the business plan was successful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebeau View Post
    Ya, it comes with a battery and a backpack to hold it. However, this and other ebikes just as powerful are 100% legal ebikes. You may not like it, just like I donít like any ebike, regardless what power they have, on any non-motorized trail, but them the rules.



    Oh, man thatís pretty funny! That fn state thinks they can fix everything with a sticker. Like making coffee houses put up stickers warning people they will get cancer if they drink coffee in California. Ya, I am sure thatíl do wonders to stop cancer.

    Has anyone in California actually seen one of these stickers? And by seen I mean post a picture of one on an ebike. (I am actually really curious if any manufacturers are doing this considering the vast majority of ebikes are bought online and from probably out of state.


    I bought my Haibike in Colorado and it has a "Class 1 " sticker underneath the downtube, near the bottom bracket. It is clearcoated over so it was put on at the factory, not after it was painted.

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    Thanks for the information. The CA bill that "created" the "Class System" required all OEM manufacturers to do that for bikes sold after 1/1/2017 AIR. Kind of a moot point at this time since there is so little policing anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebeau View Post
    However, this and other ebikes just as powerful are 100% legal ebikes. You may not like it, just like I donít like any ebike, regardless what power they have, on any non-motorized trail, but them the rules.
    Under all of the state and fed regulations, ebikes are classified under the nominal claimed power of the motor itself, not how much power you're getting out of it at the moment via controller settings, so it wouldn't be legal in any instance. But, as you say, it's not like the people selling or riding them care, or there is anyone to check.

    I'm really only wondering if Fos'l brought home a lonely little Tern ecargo bike to live with him....

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    Pretty funny Harry; actually my wife thinks it's a pain having it in bed between us at night, but she's getting used to it. If we go bikepacking this summer, sure hope she acclimates to sleeping outside the tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    Under all of the state and fed regulations, ebikes are classified under the nominal claimed power of the motor itself, not how much power you're getting out of it at the moment via controller settings, so it wouldn't be legal in any instance. But, as you say, it's not like the people selling or riding them care, or there is anyone to check.
    Hmm, they say the ďdrive unitĒ (which i am guessing is the motor) is a E2 Superdrive 750W. And they say it is 750w nominal and peak 2250 Watts. From what i understand of ebike motors is that they can produce a peak power of up to 3 time their nominal wattage. So to get 2250 peak watts a motor with a 750watt nominal would be needed, making this a perfectly legal ebike. Or am I missing something?

    Although, as you pointed out, it really doesnít matter since no one is going to enforce power restrictions anyway. Opening up a trail to low power ebikes is also opening up the trail to high power ebikes. Thatís just the way it is going to go it seems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebeau View Post
    Opening up a trail to low power ebikes is also opening up the trail to high power ebikes. Thatís just the way it is going to go it seems.
    Not if the trail is opened to 250W Class 1 ebikes.

    I think California decided on the 750W thing, Colorado did not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Not if the trail is opened to 250W Class 1 ebikes.

    I think California decided on the 750W thing, Colorado did not.
    Class 1 is 750w by definition, everywhere it's been adopted. Which is the point of the class 1-3 system, so manufacturers can sell the same ebikes in all 50 states.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebeau View Post
    Ya, it comes with a battery and a backpack to hold it. However, this and other ebikes just as powerful are 100% legal ebikes. You may not like it, just like I donít like any ebike, regardless what power they have, on any non-motorized trail, but them the rules.



    Oh, man thatís pretty funny! That fn state thinks they can fix everything with a sticker. Like making coffee houses put up stickers warning people they will get cancer if they drink coffee in California. Ya, I am sure thatíl do wonders to stop cancer.

    Has anyone in California actually seen one of these stickers? And by seen I mean post a picture of one on an ebike. (I am actually really curious if any manufacturers are doing this considering the vast majority of ebikes are bought online and from probably out of state.
    Here you go.

    Sea Otter-img_9999a.jpg

    All of the ebikes in the shop I work at have the stickers. We only have either Class 1 or Class 3 bikes.

    Some verbiage of the CA law:
    =================
    24016.

    (a) An electric bicycle described in subdivision (a) of Section 312.5 shall meet the following criteria:


    (2)

    (d) A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle described in subdivision (a) of Section 312.5 so as to change the speed capability of the bicycle, unless he or she appropriately replaces the label indicating the classification required in subdivision (c) of Section 312.5.
    ================
    Many of the Class 3 ebikes are, for the most part, not distinguishable from a Class 1 ebike to the casual observer. However, I could see that there could be some situations where being on a Class 3 bike on a Class 1 bike path/trail could be problematic.

    If you were involved in some type of collision, and the local law enforcement were summoned to the scene, they could potentially check to see if your bike was in compliance to be operated on a Class 1 path/trail.

    I have heard of law enforcement using radar to detect speed of riders on bike paths/trails. This would be another opportunity for them to check to see which type of bike you're riding.

    In California, you must always wear a helmet on a Class 3 ebike at all times, no matter what age the rider is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    In CA, Class 1 bikes are supposed to be identified as such on the frame; doubt they'll do that.
    I was curious to what these stickers looked like so I googled image searched for them. Couldnít find a single picture of one on a bike, but did come across information that says OEM manufactures must put this sticker on their ebikes. However, kranked is not the OEM, Santacruz is, so it looks like karanked bikes can give the finger to the sticker system and have no worries. It is technically a kit system and can be completely removed.

    Apperantly, kit ebikes are the way to go as they are not required to have any sort of stickers indicating power or class.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Here you go.
    Some verbiage of the CA law:
    =================

    (d) A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle described in subdivision (a) of Section 312.5 so as to change the speed capability of the bicycle, unless he or she appropriately replaces the label indicating the classification required in subdivision (c) of Section 312.5.
    ================
    Thanks for the pic! Couldnít find a pic on a bike anywhere online, just an article showing what the stickers would look like, which of course look completely different than the stickers you posted.

    I was wondering from the some of the verbiage of the law you posted, does your shop sell the individual stickers to customers who want to make changes to their OEM ebike? From the verbiage, different class stickers will need to be readily available to consumers. I am sure that wonít be problematic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Here you go.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9999a.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	94.0 KB 
ID:	1192814

    All of the ebikes in the shop I work at have the stickers. We only have either Class 1 or Class 3 bikes.
    It wouldn't be hard to get a sticker made for your non-class 1 bike to let it pass a casual visual inspection as class 1.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    LOL If i put one of those stickers on my Moto does it count. FYI there are no test standards in the USA that verify manufactures clams. You can put a 7500 watt motor in a bike, limit it to 20 mph and put that sticker on it. Good to go!
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    Iím still waiting for someone to post a picture of a citation they have received for riding an eMTB. The trails where I live are horse-only and are poached hourly by dMTB riders. Sanity will drive eMTB adoption. Mountain biker dies on Auburn, CA trail - Mtbr.com

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    What's a dMTB? Does it come after aMTB, bMtb, cMTB and before eMTB?


    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    It wouldn't be hard to get a sticker made for your non-class 1 bike to let it pass a casual visual inspection as class 1.
    Just google: "250w ebike stickers" People have been at it since laws have been enacted. The whole sticker thing is just to make it seem like the state reps and industry care, it's truly ineffective. It'll end up with all ebikes being allowed, or none, in any particular parcel of land.

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    [QUOTE=Harryman;13627198]What's a dMTB? Does it come after aMTB, bMtb, cMTB and before eMTB?

    ďDumb Mountain BikeĒ contrasted with Smart Mountain Bikes that allow tuning the difficulty of the terrain anywhere from 50 to 120 percent. If you are over 50 and flirt with maximum heart rates, you might as well be playing Russian Roulette. It doesnít matter what your objective level of fitness might be. People drop dead. I have tracked my bodyís response to excercise on mountain bikes for the last 28 years, as an example. An eMTB allows me to smooth the peaks in effort to beneficial level. Itís not that complicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjorn2Ride View Post
    People drop dead.


    Worse...everyone dies. Everyone. Might as well just play Russian Roulette on my dumb human powered death chariot.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    I'm 55 and have always been a risk taker...... It might help end the scourge of old guys dropping dead over their handlebars around here, although I haven't heard of any croaking in over 30 years of riding mountain bikes, we do kill a few runners every year.

    Good thing ebikes are so much safer for older riders.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ce-netherlands

    https://www.thelocal.ch/20150623/spi...afety-campaign

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    My wife and I traipsed around SO for 5-6 hours on Friday with special emphasis on seeing the Non-Class 1 bikes; HPC, M1Sportechnik, Stealth & Frey. To us, these booths were minimally-attended, not surprising since the bikes are expensive (except Frey) and can't be ridden on any trails except those where motorcycles are allowed. Only thing of interest IMO was a really well constructed 28 mph city bike from M1 ($6,500 retail). Maybe other reports will have something incisive about OEM's, but I didn't see anything that made me think they were pouring $$$$ into e-bike R&D (with the exception of Bosch).
    Last edited by fos'l; 04-22-2018 at 10:01 PM.

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    Meant to mention the most surprising product (to me) and peripherally associated with e-bikes were foam inserts for tires which were used with tubeless systems. They claimed some bump absorption (I always thought air was the perfect spring), run at lower pressure, rim protection and probably you'd meet a buxom blond on every ride. The aspect that was intriguing was that at least one, by Vittoria, looked like it was substantial enough to be run flat, a great feature since I never want to repair an e-flat in the woods primarily because the extra weight of the bike would be a pain (to me). Expensive at $150+ per set.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    Meant to mention the most surprising product (to me) and peripherally associated with e-bikes were foam inserts for tires which were used with tubeless systems. They claimed some bump absorption (I always thought air was the perfect spring), run at lower pressure, rim protection and probably you'd meet a buxom blond on every ride. The aspect that was intriguing was that at least one, by Vittoria, looked like it was substantial enough to be run flat, a great feature since I never want to repair an e-flat in the woods primarily because the extra weight of the bike would be a pain (to me). Expensive at $150+ per set.
    Check out the World Cup DH #1 (Crotia) replay on Red Bull TV.

    Several riders including Minnaar flatted on the course littered with sharp rocks, but none of their tires came off the rim and they didn't look *that* flat.

    Quite a contrast from last year's rear wheel carnage when Minnaar and Gwin flatted.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    Meant to mention the most surprising product (to me) and peripherally associated with e-bikes were foam inserts for tires which were used with tubeless systems. They claimed some bump absorption (I always thought air was the perfect spring), run at lower pressure, rim protection and probably you'd meet a buxom blond on every ride. The aspect that was intriguing was that at least one, by Vittoria, looked like it was substantial enough to be run flat, a great feature since I never want to repair an e-flat in the woods primarily because the extra weight of the bike would be a pain (to me). Expensive at $150+ per set.
    What kind of flats do you get? I'd say 90% of my flats are repairable with a tubeless tire plug. Doesn't require any manhandling of the bike. Just stick one [or a few] in the hole. Pump up and ride away. Depending on where the hole is you can leave them in for the remaining life of the tire or if it's in the tread you will need to fix the hole, but can do so later at home.

    10 plugs = $5 and weigh nothing.

    Blackburn Replacement Tire Plugs | Jenson USA
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    It wouldn't be hard to get a sticker made for your non-class 1 bike to let it pass a casual visual inspection as class 1.
    No matter how easy something seems, you'd be surprised at how many people won't put in the effort to get things like this done. Sheer laziness or complacency.

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