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Thread: E Bikes in Pa

  1. #1
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    New question here. E Bikes in Pa

    The elephant is in the room, we all know that...
    ...and I would like to ask all of the experts.

    Do you, would you, are you riding now, or would consider buying an "off road" type of E Bike?

    Please consider I'm not trying to start anything here, just an open orderly discussion of our ever changing world. How will it impact us?

    I would like to hear all opinions

    Thanks for your time

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    Interesting subject. On the one hand, bikes with motors are "motorcycles." On the other, an E bike is hardly a Yamaha or a Harley. Personally I'd love to use one on roads (paved or dirt), but not singletrack.
    I could see being very, very tempted to use one to power up adjacent roads, kind of like a chairlift (at a place Mt Penn or Mt Gretna), then use pedal power/gravity to cruise down trails.

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    Not interested. not unless my legs stop working.

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    You guys realize these aren't going to be out doing donuts and drifting around turns, right?

    I do not ever want to use one offroad unless my health requires it; that said, I really want a setup for either my cargo bike or my commuter. I always look longingly at the BionX kits. Too expensive yet though.

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    If anyone sees Santa, tell him I'm open to the idea of one for Christmas.
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    Two week ago their was a dude riding one down Kidder St in Wilkes-Barre. I was thinking if that was even legal. One of the reasons why I ride is the workout I get and need.

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    Has anyone here ever rode an e-bike? You can get *exactly* the same amount of physical exertion on a ride- it just multiplies your output. Or you could be lazy and cruise along. Same as on a normal bike.

    I pedalled my friend's Trek Transport+ up a steep hill. When I was in a harder gear, it was similar to pedaling up in a moderate gear on a normal bike. I just was going way faster... on a cargo bike. It was still a workout. Just with a bigger reward.

    I would never take one offroad because I don't want all the batteries and such weighing ms down.

    And part of me thinks I'd prefer to keep my experience "pure" when in the woods. Except then I realize I'm a hypocrite because I'm OK with using full suspension and a dropper post and Strava and...

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    So far as my limited investigative skills go, and according to the Wikipedia, which has obvious boundaries of internet reliability, they're not yet legal.

    To quote Wiki: "On February 4, 2014, SB997 was introduced by Senator Matt Smith, which seeks to amend PA Vehicle Code to include "Pedalcycle with Electric Assist." In a memo addressed to all senate members, Smith said the definition shall include "bicycles equipped with an electric motor not exceeding 750 watts, weighing not more than 100 pounds, are capable of a maximum speed of not more than 20 mph, and have operable pedals."

    If they're made legal, would they be permitted on state and federal lands?

    From my own personal preference, as long as I have a driver's license and legal to operate vehicle, I'd never consider one. Perhaps when age or injury makes me feeble, I may use one to assist me on hills.

    It's not as thought anything special has to be done to the bike. One could buy a front wheel laced with a 750 watt hub, switch them about for one's intended purposes, and Bob's your uncle.

    I happen to think they're a stellar idea simply because they circumnavigate governmental licensing, registration, and usury fees, as well as the monopoly the insurance companies have as a result of their "petitioning" the government for special regulatory laws.

    Will there be scofflaws who nefariously have 5,000+ watt motors in the front and back wheels? I'm sure there will be just as many people from all walks of life violate the motor vehicle code.

    If one doesn't think these bikes are very powerful, think outside the 750 watt/20 mph unassisted limit, and watch some videos. I was rather shocked at just how powerful a 2 wheel drive 10,000 watt e-bike was. You(Tube) is full of 10k 2 wheel drive E-bikes.

    The bottom line will be, whether I am for or against them matters little. I've never received a phone call from any regulator asking my personal opinion. E-bikes appear to be coming whether I like it or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    The elephant is in the room, we all know that...
    ...and I would like to ask all of the experts.

    Do you, would you, are you riding now, or would consider buying an "off road" type of E Bike?

    Please consider I'm not trying to start anything here, just an open orderly discussion of our ever changing world. How will it impact us?

    I would like to hear all opinions

    Thanks for your time
    To answer your questions: I don't ride an off road e-bike, at this time I would not buy one, nor at this time would I consider riding one off road. I do however have an 53 lb 250 watt (20 mph maximum assist speed) mid drive "pedal assist (no throttle) e-bike" I used for commuting 25 miles round trip and for doing most of my business duties as I am self employed.

    I still have it but don't use it much as I have now been riding an Catrike Road recumbent trike to prepare myself for the recumbent riding position and my muscles for an Carbon Quest XS Velomobile due here next week. Neither the trike or Velomobile are e-powered.

    I have been trying to make a lifestyle change and the Velomobile will keep me out of the weather like riding in a car, it will be pedal powered, no gas, no registration, no insurance, not much maintanence like a car.

    I will say that you can get just as good a workout from the e-bike as you would a pedal bike, or trike. The difference being with an e-bike you can cover more miles, go up hills easier, and or do your ride faster. Pedal assist is no free ride like an e-bike that would have a throttle. I have done my commute many times not using the motor at all which includes 1900 ft of climbing round trip.

    I found that the e-bike was very handy for my commutes especially when it was pouring down rain or 10 deg F (and lower with wind chill) when I would be coming home at 3:00 am from work as it would get me home faster. I also like the fact that I can go to the grocery store and carry 30+ pounds of goods (or more) and go up hills easier if I need the assist.

    As far as e-bikes off road I don't know if its a good idea as it could possibly tear the trails up and maybe cause people to go to fast and wreck or cause others to wreck. If my health was poor and I wanted to ride off road I think an e-bike would be good for that. My opinion about this is the power should be limited, especially on state & federal land. At this time I will continue to ride and enjoy my FS mountain bike and my Fat Bike with human power only!

  10. #10
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    Low wattage/light weight with medical release only would me acceptable to me for use on trails built for human power use. There are too many DIY'ers building and modifying these bikes to ever have a chance of decent enforcement.

    I know some of you ride in areas that have rangers out the arse. Those areas appear to be exceptions. Many parks I've visited are understaffed, and it's not common for even popular trails to get a ranger walk more than 2-3 times a year. Police/rangers are seen only when hikers/bikers call them.

    Source: My kids hate me because I like to visit park resource centers on campouts, and I seem to always get lost in conversation with a ranger or two.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

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    Absolutely not for off road use. Only way I would ever consider it would be for health reasons (having said that I have seen riders with one leg pedaling a normal bike, so if they can do that....). If you don't have a health problem, they don't belong off road.

    Like other said, for commuting I am more open minded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    Do you, would you, are you riding now, or would consider buying an "off road" type of E Bike?
    I do not, I would not likely (on or off road), and I certainly would not buy one ... for myself.

    I can almost see a legit case where an off-road e-bike could be a useful purchase for someone of limited physical health, they would get more mobility without sacrificing all effort. However, no power system is perfect and no battery has infinite capacity so I can see a person becoming stranded and unable to return 'home' when the battery ran out. So, I would not think it safe or realistic for use where the user could end up in a bad situation. Think about the electric shopping carts that end up stranded in the back aisles of Wegmans and Price Chopper. I don't know from personal experience but I'd expect there's more than one 'moto' guy who has walked a bike back to base, it's much the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    How will it impact us?
    Short Term

    I expect we'll see them out there, in various ways, and abused in various ways. I welcome the additional trail users, they have chosen to not use an internal combustion vehicle, and still go exploring. This is no skin off my back, mostly. I expect to one day try to help someone get their e-bike back to base, with a dead battery, or other issue (flat tire). I expect to both be amused by and admire the perseverance of someone dealing with the weight-penalty of a dead-battery e-bike as they pedal it home under their own power.

    Long Term

    Expect power systems and drive systems to become more effective over time. I'd completely expect at some point that there will be an e-bike with as much get up and go as a moto. For how long it can use that get-up-and-go, I don't know, but expect that to grow over time. Is this years or decades? I don't know. Is it inevitable? I expect so. At that point they will literally be e-motos, and not e-bikes. It will become a very wavy line separating the two.

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    I rode a Fat Bike eBike for a short stint the other night. A person in our club wanted me to try it out.

    Couple things

    They are fast
    They are heavy
    They don't have immediate power to braaap
    They do however build up power quickly

    Personally, I won't buy one, defeats the purpose of cycling for me
    I can see physically handicapped folks being into them, and I'm good on that.

    Where I have an issue, is people who have no physical handicap, but want to keep up with everyone else, but don't want to put the work into their biking to do it. Instead they buy an eBike or an eBike kit.

    As far as them being on the trail with me? Again it doesn't matter to me, to each their own, this is PA, most of us have been riding enduro motocross trails the whole time, I'm sure we've come across a motorcycle,quad, or side by side in our days riding. So it doesn't bother me at all, get out in the woods enjoy this state, it's pretty awesome if you get off the beaten path.
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    I will never buy one or even ride one... No desire. Part of the fun for me is the suffer fest. Besides I have a dirt bike in the shed for brapping around. If I see you riding one you will most likely be looked upon with pity and then mocked/ridiculed behind your back. However, if I see modded ebikes with "brap" capability destroying trails I will be very upset and will let you know about my displeasure.

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    I think the biggest thing folks should be talking about is safety on these things.

    IMO bikes do not have the equipment necessary to stop these things safely enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vack View Post
    Personally, I won't buy one, defeats the purpose of cycling for me
    I can see physically handicapped folks being into them, and I'm good on that.

    get out in the woods enjoy this state, it's pretty awesome if you get off the beaten path.
    ^^^This

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    Quote Originally Posted by vack View Post
    I think the biggest thing folks should be talking about is safety on these things.

    IMO bikes do not have the equipment necessary to stop these things safely enough.
    This is speaking from over 6500 miles of experience using my model of e-bike for "on road" commutes including weight and speed. E -bike 53 lbs, 30+ lbs of goods in panniers, 130 lbs body weight, plus clothing and shoes. I use bb7 disc brakes front and rear 160/180 rotors. I use the motor for up hills (never down hills). With an Allfine 11 and 41t chainring going down hills pedaling under my own power at 35-40 mph I never had any problems slowing down.

    When riding my Catrike Road the weights are the same as listed above. I have 2 front disc brakes with bb7 disc brakes 160 mm rotors. I am hitting faster speeds on it than I hit on my E-bike going down hills at 40 to 45 mph never any problem slowing down.

    I feel very safe on either bike slowing down at those speeds. If e-bikes had rim brakes I don't know that would be as safe? I also know that not everyone would ride without using the motor going down hills like I do. One thing to keep in mind when using an E assist bike you have to pedal to make it work. With this in mind you can only go as fast as the sensor will let you which is 20 mph. When the motor cuts out you are using your own power to go any faster. An E-bike with throttle is a different story.

  18. #18
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    for the trails i ride, i don't see speed as the limitation, instead, the brain's ability to process information and negotiate tech & gnar are the prime limiting factors. Electric assist will be of limited advantage, basically only on climbs. I don't see them as presenting a hazard to other users: the guys who can already ride won't bother with them and riders who can't ride, aren't necessarily going to have much of an advantage, apart from ease of pedaling on long climbs. All of the furor about them is a tempest in a tea kettle, as far as i'm concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    for the trails i ride, i don't see speed as the limitation, instead, the brain's ability to process information and negotiate tech & gnar are the prime limiting factors. Electric assist will be of limited advantage, basically only on climbs.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    I don't see them as presenting a hazard to other users: the guys who can already ride won't bother with them and riders who can't ride, aren't necessarily going to have much of an advantage, apart from ease of pedaling on long climbs. All of the furor about them is a tempest in a tea kettle, as far as i'm concerned.
    I disagree, for two reasons.

    One, I think the sort of novice who might think this is a great way to go fast on MTB trails is exactly who's most likely to get hurt on one, 0.4 seconds after they realize that negotiating tech & gnar are the prime limiting factors.

    Two, I fear these will lead to a new wave of anti-MTB enthusiasm from land managers and other users. Those people won't know (or care) that ebikers aren't us, and once there are 1 or 2 out there the sky will be falling.

    I personally have no interest in them. And I'm annoyed at what seems like an industry-driven effort to get MTB riders to take up the fight for ebike access on MTB trails.

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    Kill it with fire!!!!

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    addendum, just noticed this e-moto ... Harley-Davidson goes electric | Ars Technica

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    A novice who balks at paying $2500 for a decent FS XC or All Mountain MTB is also going to balk at paying $3500-5000 for an eBike. It's not going to take long for a rider to find his limitations. I vividly remember my 1st mtb ride at wissahickon not so very long ago: i rode up from rittenhousetown and quickly got lost on trails that were way over my never-before-been-mountain-biking skill level. I may or may not have crashed, speed was not even remotely a factor, but the rock, roots and gnar scaring me shˇtless most certainly was. After I managed to find my way out and rode home, my first move was to order a set of 700c road tires for my 29er, as i'd concluded that perhaps mountain biking wasn't for me. Aside from experienced riders with mobility issues, eBikes are being marketed and sold to dilettantes who will either use them to commute or ride on canal paths. At their price point, i don't see them intruding much onto the trails.

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    Coincidentally, speaking of the Wissahickon, I may be off-base here but my group recently saw a couple riders out on the trails riding nearly identical bikes and it was a quick glance but they both had very large and odd-looking hubs. What originally attracted attention was their lack of helmets and then we noticed the hubs. It was too fast of an encounter to be sure, but consensus was it seemed like some riders unfamiliar with the Wiss on some sort of e-bikes. Haven't seen them since, so it's possible limitations were found.

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    Lee, this is a great question!Personally I would never own one.An electric moto yes!I rather see mt.'s only on dedicated mtb trails.I don't care if they wanna use them on moto trails but I don't think they would be that great there.At least some of the stuff I have ridden my moto on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mxer View Post
    Lee, this is a great question!Personally I would never own one.An electric moto yes!I rather see mt.'s only on dedicated mtb trails.I don't care if they wanna use them on moto trails but I don't think they would be that great there.At least some of the stuff I have ridden my moto on!
    Yo Rog!

    Yes, I think it will take time, but it will evolve.

    How ya Been...
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    Yo Rog!

    Yes, I think it will take time, but it will evolve.

    How ya Been...
    ...lets moto!
    Your email the same?Lots to tell ya!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mxer View Post
    Your email the same?Lots to tell ya!
    Hell yeah!!!! I would love to rip around on one...

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    No, I would not buy one.

    I have no interest in even trying an E-bike. To me they are motorcycles of one form or another and do not belong on MTB/Hiking/Horse Trails. Despite arguments for their use, I am not swayed in their favor. If I am no longer physically able to ride, I will walk.

  29. #29
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    I just think it's funny how these seem to be such an assault on everyones (wo)manhood.

    "Not unless I lost my legs", "not without a medical release", "not until I'm 90" etc.

    Folks love to ride for fun.

    They are fun multipliers. Do I ride non powered? Absolutely, 99% of the time.

    Do I, and anyone else who rides mine, have a big old, sh*t eating grin when they get off it? Yes.

    Am I able bodied. healthy, and in halfway decent shape? Yes.

    Do I want rip roaring, trail tearing versions that don't require any effort on the trail? No

    Would they too, be fun in an appropriate trail system? Yes.
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    sorry but E bikes = motorized and should not be allowed on nay multi use non motorized trails.

    for how much MTBer have to fight to maintain trail access, motorized bike that can go faster are the worse thing for user conflicts.

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    I can only say that if an ebike was the only way that I could get out and enjoy nature then I would get one and ride within the established rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RepoMan2112 View Post
    Coincidentally, speaking of the Wissahickon, I may be off-base here but my group recently saw a couple riders out on the trails riding nearly identical bikes and it was a quick glance but they both had very large and odd-looking hubs. What originally attracted attention was their lack of helmets and then we noticed the hubs. It was too fast of an encounter to be sure, but consensus was it seemed like some riders unfamiliar with the Wiss on some sort of e-bikes. Haven't seen them since, so it's possible limitations were found.
    those bikes you saw probably had internal gear hubs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    those bikes you saw probably had internal gear hubs.
    Yeah, you're probably right. It was such a quick passing that we didn't even remember if there were derailleurs or not, so let's go with that!

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    Yesterday I went to the Philly Bike Expo, and there was a casual MTB ride, like 13 miles long but about half on road, and two dudes had e-bikes.

    I found them... offensive. I couldn't process why, though. I kept my distaste hidden though.

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    Ironically, they were the slowest bikes on the trails. I couldn't help but think that if I had one, I'd be KoM-ing all the climbs, but there you have it. Despite what everyone says about what a menace they are, they're slow, unwieldy devices, generally ridden by beginners. As such, they pose no more hazards to the trails and the people who use them than Walmart bikes or entry-level hybrids; they're more a rolling roadblock than anything else from what I've seen so far.

    It was good to meet you yesterday, Jared! If you ever want to come down to the city for a ride, I'd be happy to show you the real Belmont- the sections that we rode yesterday are pretty tame.

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    Good to meet you too! I might take you up on that, the furthest south I ride with my friends is Nockamixon but I have a friend who lives in Havertown and wants us to try more places down near Philly.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    Ironically, they were the slowest bikes on the trails.
    I see your point, it has added a 5th dimension, and a learning curve will have to take place on how to adapt these new hybrid pedaled/driven devices!...

    ...Of course there is always someone in the background working on a better mousetrap...LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Good to meet you too! I might take you up on that, the furthest south I ride with my friends is Nockamixon but I have a friend who lives in Havertown and wants us to try more places down near Philly.
    definitely hit me up then. Belmont rules, not that you would know it from the route that we took- it's seriously fun and techy.

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    I think these stupid things and the people who ride them should gtfo before they ruin the whole trail system for everyone.

    I hope I don't see one of these e-bike morons anytime soon.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    I think these stupid things and the people who ride them should gtfo before they ruin the whole trail system for everyone.

    I hope I don't see one of these e-bike morons anytime soon.
    My goodness, your Keyboard Ninja skillz are off the charts my friend!

    Let's see you be so irritable to an actual face as opposed to a concept. As well as comprehend that they cause no more damage than you locking up the brakes with your pedal bike (better get to hatin' on all the human powdered newbs on your trails who don't understand brake modulation yet).

    Dollars to doughnuts, you walk into my shop, I hand you a free ice cold one off the keg, show you all the different flavors of non E powered bikes I sell as well as ride personally, then let you take my BioX Moonlander for a spin, and you'll realize it's two wheels good, not us vs *them*.....

    NEPMTBA has been here, sure he'll vouch for my non Satanesque nature
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    Sorry I went off the deep end. I just think the purpose of a bike is to use your muscles. If you want to use something motorized why not get a go cart, dirt bike, atv? And take these things on trails they are approved for.

    It would seem a bike shop owner who sells electric bike systems would support them, they are bringing you extra income.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    Sorry I went off the deep end. I just think the purpose of a bike is to use your muscles. If you want to use something motorized why not get a go cart, dirt bike, atv? And take these things on trails they are approved for.

    It would seem a bike shop owner who sells electric bike systems would support them, they are bringing you extra income.
    No worries! I find it fascinating that this topic makes people do so in a way that they don't normally about other types of bikes.

    I've sold exactly one system to date. Hardly a best seller, and my shop isn't exactly set up to become the mecca of eBikes anyway. But, a whole lot of fun, and as I've tried to point out in other posts, simply another way to have fun on two wheels.

    So vastly unlike a gas powered moto, it astounds me that folks seek only to tie them together as one in the same.

    I'm a cyclist first, by all means. But do I take this one out for a ride now and then, indeed, and it's a ball. Quiet, no ability to tear up trail at all, none. I'd need to use the brakes to do that.

    Not saying buy one and forget your other bikes, not at all. But seek one out, and pedal it around, and then see how unfounded all the hand wringing about this is.

    Like anything new, yes, it needs regulation, but not necessarily from a trail perspective. The rip roaring, silly 5000W frankenbike systems that are out there at the fringes? They need to be regulated like any other, truly powerful motorcycle. Registered, licensed, insured, the whole bit.

    If I were in better shape, I could ride faster without the E power (they're limited to 20 MPH), so it's hardly a granny crushing demon from hell, unless the person behind the bars is a mindless jackass of course, but there's nothing we can do to prevent that, and those guys aren't limiting their bad behavior to E-mtb's anyway.....
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    Where I live (Indiana), e-bikes are not permitted on nonmotorized trails, because they have motors. The state does not care if they are e-assist or not. That is probably the simplest stance to take, to keep law enforcement's lives simpler. It can be hard enough to identify some of the newer ebikes as being ebikes in the first place. Let alone requiring LEOs to check for throttles, wattage, and that sort of thing.

    On a personal level, I've got no trouble with pedal assist models, especially for commuting and cargo bikes, but start tweaking the system to give it a throttle and you've lost my support.

    There are a couple riders that hit the trails locally on e-assist bikes. So long as their behavior on the trails does not make them stand out from the rest of the riders, I doubt anyone will take notice. But the first time a modded ebike with a throttle and thousands of watts runs some kids off the trail, I think LEOs will go after ALL ebikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    But the first time a modded ebike with a throttle and thousands of watts runs some kids off the trail, I think LEOs will go after ALL ebikes.
    If I were confident that LEOs and land managers here would go after only ebikes, I'd be a lot less concerned.

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    Re: E Bikes in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    If I were confident that LEOs and land managers here would go after only ebikes, I'd be a lot less concerned.
    Our club has a good relationship with the state DNR. We have had frank high level discussions with them about this issue and they understand the distinction. But I get your hesitation. Not everyone has that kind of relationship with land managers.

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    Definitely a question that winds people up!Lol Keep in mind that other trail users feel this way about mtb riders.I have had to fight the good fight for trail use for both my hobbies.Motorcycles and mtb's.

    Keep in mind in some areas where we ride our mtb's the trails were cut and fought to be used by the moto guys.I am for keeping the ebikes on these trails.JMO

    If you really want to work all your muscles and ones you never knew you had try racing a 250lb 50 horsepower mc through the woods.Lol

    Lee, is the better mousetrap an ebike with cr500 power?If so I will buy one from mendon!Lol

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    Wait, Craig are you a BionX dealer now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Wait, Craig are you a BionX dealer now?
    Yep, don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful!

    The rep left the demo Pugsley with me for a few weeks, last fall.

    Prior to that, I pretty much shared the prevailing negative opinion.

    Is it my main ride? Hardly. Does it work awesome as a groomer for when the snow gets deep? You bet. I pack nice straight trail as opposed to the effort based wobbles of the non ebike riders. Makes for better trail.

    Sold one, but have let tons of folks try it. Pretty much to a person, the response is, wow, that isn't what I expected, at all, very cool......
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    Good, I'm glad we've finally figured out that a guy who is selling e-bikes thinks everyone should buy e-bikes. Now maybe we can proceed with the discussion among people who don't have a none-too-eagerly-disclosed financial stake in the outcome?

    Richard Cunningham's piece on Pinkbike from earlier this year is the most insightful discussion of the issue I've seen. Link here. And this interview of the guy who quick as editor of MBA is interesting, too.

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    Craig,

    Have you had that bad beast over to Dryer park?...LOL

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    Good, I'm glad we've finally figured out that a guy who is selling e-bikes thinks everyone should buy e-bikes. Now maybe we can proceed with the discussion among people who don't have a none-too-eagerly-disclosed financial stake in the outcome?
    All due respect? Putting words, thoughts or actions on me that I never said, when you know me from Adam is a bad idea for furthering discussion. These will never be my bread and butter, ever, nor am I seeking to make that the case. I make more selling tubes than I'll ever make selling BionX. My interests here are far more cerebral than capitalism and it's omnipresent drum beat.

    If one's having an opinion counter to yours is just too much to bear, my apologies, you're welcome to yours, I don't mind at all, that's what discussions are for.

    I find that vast number of anti ebike folks have never even been on one, and as such, can only be expected hold the vaguest of notions as to what their deal is. As such, I simply wade in to temper the disdain. Again, a pedal assist bike has as much in common with the idiotic 5000W systems as a bicycle does to a crotch rocket.

    It's really ironic how much the anti E crowd sounds like a bunch of Sierra Club, anti MTB wet hens......

    As to Jimmy? First off, adults should drop the Y their Mom added to their names, once they graduate high school (unless it's imperative, such as Ray, Tracy, etc), and second, it's funny how those with superiority complexes rarely see it in themselves, so his opinion really doesn't have much traction with me, sounds like the same SoCal Brah who ran MountianBikeAdvertising to the point of irrelevance.
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    E-bike dealer guy,

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    All due respect? Putting words, thoughts or actions on me that I never said, when you know me from Adam is a bad idea for furthering discussion.
    What words am I "putting on you" exactly? That you think everyone should buy an e-bike? You've posted three times in this thread about how every person who rides yours is totally amazed at how delightful it is. If you're complaining that it's unfair to read "everyone loves mine" as "everyone should buy one," then you should be a lawyer not an e-bike dealer. All due respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    My interests here are far more cerebral than capitalism and it's omnipresent drum beat.
    Okay, cerebral man. But you're still selling them, or trying.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I find that vast number of anti ebike folks have never even been on one, and as such, can only be expected hold the vaguest of notions as to what their deal is. As such, I simply wade in to temper the disdain. Again, a pedal assist bike has as much in common with the idiotic 5000W systems as a bicycle does to a crotch rocket.
    But here's the thing that you keep missing, like everyone else with a financial stake in selling these things: we're not opposed to e-bikes because we think they don't work well. I'm sure a 250 would be a laugh and a half on singletrack, too. We're opposed to e-bikes because they're a threat to trail access for mountain bikes.

    And, because you can't talk that threat away, your response boils down to personal attack, wet hens and wrong first names and blah blah.

    But I think RC's argument is more persuasive:

    Viewed from those outside the sport, a mountain bike is a mountain bike. Categories like downhill, cross-country, freestyle and enduro are not perceived by those who are either disinterested or opposed to their existence. I know this, because I have participated at public hearings and town hall meetings, more times than I would choose to recall, where the future of mountain bike access was being weighed by non-cyclists. We are all mountain bikers to them and we ride mountain bikes. When the day comes to ban electric mountain bikes as the latest upheaval to threaten the once-peaceful experience of enjoying a backcountry trail, we all will be lumped in with them. In the minds of anti-bike people, if one mountain biker can have a motor, it won’t be long before they all do. Logic and history supports them. Could you blame the park service for voting against mountain bike access in such a case? Help them help us, by removing any form of the word, “electric” from the term, “mountain bike.”

    The moment will soon arrive when key land managers meet to determine if e-bikes should be banned from off-road use and from public trails. Sadly, some major bike companies will be there in-force, arguing in their favor – and their arguments will hinge upon the perception that they are electrically assisted mountain bikes, not motorized OHVs. I sincerely hope that there are enough riders in this, the third generation of mountain bike trail users, who understand and respect the efforts of those who helped found this sport and who have the courage to shout down electric mountain bike makers. The way I see it, mountain bikes are a form of human-powered locomotion with which to experience the wonders and the challenges of the natural world. Engines and motors have no place in that equation. Don't screw it up.

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    OldMan, just because folks find them fun, doesn't mean, they, or anyone else, "should" buy one, from me, or, anyone else. I simply mention it as a way of saying, don;t knock it till you try it, and even then, you don't have to buy one because you liked it.

    If you knew me, or my business, you'd know that the last thing I ever do, is push sales of anything, ever. You come to me because you want something, and I have it, plain and simple. Odd way to work in this day and age of consumerism and commissioned toilet paper sales, but it's true

    The thread is a conversation about them, their uses, their issues, etc.

    As such, I'm just adding, or perhaps tempering, the unfounded often vituperative mindsets regarding them, most often tossed by folks who are having a kneejerk reaction to them despite not having ridden or understanding them, as they seem to be an affront to ones manhood or something.

    Most concerns seem based around the potential for trail damage, which is unfounded, ask anyone who's ridden one, the E aspect isn't damaging anything. I already said the super powerful ones need a distinct, far more stringent classification, so let's resist posting up the video of that moron roosting dirt filled doughnuts in the desert.

    RC's comments would be exactly the same if you switched out the words related to biking, and made it hiking, so I see it not as sage comments, but just a my activity is okay, and yours isn't, mindset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    Craig,

    Have you had that bad beast over to Dryer park?...LOL
    Couple times, yep, but the fat tires and one sided fork garner way more attention! I prefer "normal" bikes for the vast bulk of my rides though. Mostly run the dogs in the AM with it, and bust trails once the snow flies!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    If you knew me, or my business, you'd know that the last thing I ever do, is push sales of anything, ever. You come to me because you want something, and I have it, plain and simple. Odd way to work in this day and age of consumerism and commissioned toilet paper sales, but it's true
    You may be the 50-cent-words Mother Theresa of ebike dealers for all I know or care. You may spend all day talking your would-be customers out of buying your stuff. Bravo.

    But whether you have a financial stake in this issue is not about your subjective saintliness. It is an objective fact. You are an e-bike dealer. And people are entitled to consider whether that has something to do with why you're posting from out-of-state about how gosh-darn-fun they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    RC's comments would be exactly the same if you switched out the words related to biking, and made it hiking, so I see it not as sage comments, but just a my activity is okay, and yours isn't, mindset.
    So, you think we should ignore the danger to MTB trail access posed by e-bikes because focusing only on MTB access makes us mean and unfair? Do I have that right?

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    I think the OP said he wanted opinions from all experts. Someone who has ridden and sells them certainly qualifies.

    Good points to at least consider the possibility they might have a negative effect on trail access.

    It would be nice if this could take the tone of a discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    So, you think we should ignore the danger to MTB trail access posed by e-bikes because focusing only on MTB access makes us mean and unfair? Do I have that right?
    Ignore? No. But put it in perspective, decide what makes the most sense, with actual real world data as to damage potential, and set aside the sky is falling mindset, as it's unfounded.

    As for the rest of it, I make no bones about finding them fun just as I find fat bikes, 29ers etc fun, or that I'm a retailer, it's right there at the bottom, any time I post. I'm all for conversation, but have no time for continual sparring with out of staters (since apparently that's a problem too) who just want conflict....
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Ignore? No. But put it in perspective, decide what makes the most sense, with actual real world data as to damage potential, and set aside the sky is falling mindset, as it's unfounded.
    So, to you, e-bikes do pose some threat to MTB trail access, but that threat is worth it because (a) the threat is tiny because [I'm not sure], and (b) e-bikes are so peachy.

    Like Pinkbike and the former MBA editor lots of riders who've posted, I don't agree that the threat is tiny. But, at the end of the day, I don't care. If promoting trail use of motorized bikes creates that those trails will be closed to MTB use--even an itsy-bitsy teeny tiny one--then I'm against it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtale View Post
    I think the OP said he wanted opinions from all experts. Someone who has ridden and sells them certainly qualifies.

    Good points to at least consider the possibility they might have a negative effect on trail access.

    It would be nice if this could take the tone of a discussion.
    Good discussion is very important...

    ...like I said the elephant is already in the room, certain ares will see lots of e bikes legal or illegal on trails, where as others places will ask the question: "What the heck is an e bike?"

    Just as we have seen the dirt bike and quad use on trails we will see e bikes jump through the same hoops. Weather someone sells them is the American way.

    I go to my auto parts store and buy products for my street legal vehicle and the disclaimer on the box states clearly not for highway use, it is my decision to apply it to my vehicle.

    Just my nonsense sense...

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    i don't have a horse in this race, but i think there are a lot of misconceptions about e-bikes being bandied about by the keyboard cowboys who are vehemently opposed to them without knowing a thing about them or the people who typically ride them. In principle, I've been personally against e-bikes on the trails, but after seeing two in action a week ago, my stance has softened considerably. From what i've seen of them, they're nothing like the hyper-charged demi-motorcycles that the anti-electron purists allege. They're mobility assisting bikes: the target demographic, both economically and physically aren't adrenaline-crazed kids who are going use their bikes to go out and destroy trails and steal everyone's strava KoM's.

    The people i've seen on e-bikes are decidedly middle-aged and are neither particularly fit, nor particularly skilled riders. As such, the bikes offer them the ability to get out and enjoy the outdoors, ride a bicycle, improve their fitness and explore the woods on a bicycle. They're doing most of the work and exerting as much effort as they're able, the electric assist isn't giving them super-human speed or allowing them to ride beyond their abilities- it is allowing them, though, to get on a bike and enjoy nature. They're still slow and their riding ability limits them to beginner trails. I don't have any problem with that at all, whatsoever. if anything, the extra hardware seemed to be more of an impediment on the trails that we were riding than a boon. having ridden behind someone on them, I found myself being more irritated by how slow he was going than anything else, but that was entirely my problem, not his.

    it boils down to this: presently, the e-bike demographic is mostly older, less fit, less skilled riders. The furor about e-bikes seems to be more about an ignorant, elitist attitude, keeping potential riders off of the trails than anything else. if you polled most of the experienced riders who'd be capable of doing all of the bad things that you claim e-bikes can do, I'd wager that 99% of them would rather spend $4500 on a better handling, lighter human-powered mountain bike than a 50# bike with unwieldy handling and extra weight. i've said it before, this is a tempest in a tea kettle and you guys are getting worked up about a non-existent threat. While Craig (MendonCycleSmith) admits that he sells bionix kits, he's no e-bike monger who's actively putting our trail rights at risk; he has experience with them however and he's worth listening to. relax, go out and demo an e-bike before you start saying what an awful and horrible menace they are. They're probably not for you, I get that, but they're also not what you think they are.

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    I can say I met Craig in person and he is a very knowledgeable laied back guy with some really cool s**t in his shop...

    ...cool S**t = old bikes and great dog!

    I have friends who other wise would "not" be riding out in the woods with us due to injuries and life illnesses, but the e bike opens that door for them.

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    Well-said, Gigantic, but if I'm the ignorant keyboard cowboy you're responding to I think you're missing my point. Don't tell us that they're fun and harmless. Tell us that you've talked to the City Parks & Recs departments, FOW, and the other multi-use trail land managers where we ride, the people who already are under steady anti-MTB pressure here. Tell us how they all promised you that there's no added danger to MTB trail access from e-bikes on trails. Tell us about the poll you did that assures you that other trail users recognize the difference between a mountain bike and an e-bike, so that the inevitable e-bike trail friction won't become another club to hit MTBers with. Tell us about the independent studies that show that adding a bunch e-bike trail usage won't impact the trails.

    Mountain bikers are the wrong first audience for the e-bike PR campaign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    I have friends who other wise would "not" be riding out in the woods with us due to injuries and life illnesses, but the e bike opens that door for them.
    To quote a PB comment, "How long before every Tom, Dick and Harry decides that he's got an ailment that keeps him from pushing pedals and now he wants to ride his electric motorcycle on non-motorized trails? It's like saying we should let disabled people ride jet skis in public pools because they can't swim."

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    OMB,

    Good point, but a bit to the extreme...
    ...and we will all get old.

    I care about the ones that ride with me and I can only speak for my area. Being a trail builder I haven't seen any excessive wear issues due to e bikes, and these guys are very conservative riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    So, to you, e-bikes do pose some threat to MTB trail access, but that threat is worth it because (a) the threat is tiny because [I'm not sure], and (b) e-bikes are so peachy.
    Final engagement here...

    Peachy has nothing to do with it, that's just for those who hate on them without any actual butt time on one.

    My concern for access, damage etc, stems from the seeming lack of development oversight. Should they be allowed without reservations, and then continue to grow in power to the point that they become motocross strength on non moto access trails, yes, things could get bad.

    However, keep development where it is, output wise, and there's no risk of damage at all, so, no risk of closures due to that issue. Right now, the argument is, it has a motor, therefore, a motorbike in all capacities. It's like saying the 3.5 beer you buy in Utah is the same as Everclear because they both have alcohol content.....

    Mindless, granny mowing idiots will be idiots regardless, be they ebike, or pedal, no stopping that, trail closures or not.

    Enjoy your day!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    However, keep development where it is, output wise, and there's no risk of damage at all, so, no risk of closures due to that issue.
    How do you enforce a limit on trail e-bike power? How do you get around the fact that a lot more users = a lot more trail damage?

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    Our state has established limits on e bikes HP and speed as far as road use goes.

    I guess you could use tax dollars to enforce it...

    Just like you enforce people "not" to speed on in autos highways...
    ... but "your" taxes will have to go "up" to hire e bike police that will prolly be on high HP bikes that would do more damage as they chase e bike riders who have broken the laws.

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    I will be the first to admit I know very little about these bikes but that my first reaction to them was/is somewhat negative. Feels like cheating (if I have to climb that hill then so should you!). But then anyone could say the same about gearing, or more cush etc.

    Thing is, these bikes are here and I want to be better to be educated on the topic, which includes listening to people who have knowledge of them, before drawing any firm conclusions. If they can be held responsible for tearing up trail and creating hazardous trail interactions, then ban them. But that's not what I'm hearing from the people who have used them.

    It's awesome that some people who would otherwise be unable to get out on the trails can with this technology. As far as the struggle between the various user groups for the land managers' ear and access one could, frame the argument that the accessibility that e-bikes provide is a valid reason to create more opportunities for mtb trail access not less.

    Still feeling a bit negative about them though and do worry about how they will be used. Ever see what some guys do to their kids Power Wheels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    How do you enforce a limit on trail e-bike power? How do you get around the fact that a lot more users = a lot more trail damage?
    Fair question, and some folks won't be responsible, but that's hardly an ebike issue, but a people issue.

    As it stands, federal regulations limit ebikes to 20 mph. Just as easy to put a wattage limit too. Above that threshold, they would be treated as a separate class or vehicle. Yeah, more government sucks, but without it, you'd have ebikes that could do highway speeds already, and the silly 5000W systems would be all the rage with *that* crowd.

    More power isn't terribly useful in the pedal assist models anyway, tough to explain why, and a big part of why I suggest a test ride to better understand the dynamics of them.

    More users will equal more damage, same issue faced by any MTB group looking to increase ridership. As others have said, the bulk of riders out frequently, are older, and likely not that "rad" anyway, just out for a ride in the woods. Not likely that with their advent, the woods will be overrun anyway. Since pedal assists can't break free via pedal input any more than pedal only bikes can, it'll be your newb riders skidding the brakes that tear stuff up if anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Yep, don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful!
    Good to know! I've been kicking around getting a setup for my commuter Ogre. Or for my Big Dummy. I can't decide. But when I do I'll be calling you, I'd rather you have the business than a shop I'm not familiar with.

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    Craig, once I am back up north I will have to drive up with Lee and take one for a ride.Get a feel for my old age mtb.In trade we can get you out on a moto to enjoy nature and the outside world.Moto's can be quite effective at that also believe it or not.

    Of course we can go WFO also for a completely different challenge and workout!

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    Thanks guys!

    Glad to take you up on a moto ride, (and please do stop by for a test ride, you'll giggle, I promise) I've done so a few times, not too much property around here for it though, and I've never understood how to handle all the extra weight, kinda freaks me out. The BionX is enough extra rear end weight that it hopelessly screws up logovers.

    Jared, been thinking on getting a cart built so I can commute to work with the dogs in tow, 5 miles, shouldn't be too bad at all. These things are great for that sort of thing, and the one I did sell will see heavy commuting use for sure.....

    Now back to our discussion at hand!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    i don't have a horse in this race, but i think there are a lot of misconceptions about e-bikes being bandied about by the keyboard cowboys who are vehemently opposed to them without knowing a thing about them or the people who typically ride them. In principle, I've been personally against e-bikes on the trails, but after seeing two in action a week ago, my stance has softened considerably. From what i've seen of them, they're nothing like the hyper-charged demi-motorcycles that the anti-electron purists allege. They're mobility assisting bikes: the target demographic, both economically and physically aren't adrenaline-crazed kids who are going use their bikes to go out and destroy trails and steal everyone's strava KoM's.

    The people i've seen on e-bikes are decidedly middle-aged and are neither particularly fit, nor particularly skilled riders. As such, the bikes offer them the ability to get out and enjoy the outdoors, ride a bicycle, improve their fitness and explore the woods on a bicycle. They're doing most of the work and exerting as much effort as they're able, the electric assist isn't giving them super-human speed or allowing them to ride beyond their abilities- it is allowing them, though, to get on a bike and enjoy nature. They're still slow and their riding ability limits them to beginner trails. I don't have any problem with that at all, whatsoever. if anything, the extra hardware seemed to be more of an impediment on the trails that we were riding than a boon. having ridden behind someone on them, I found myself being more irritated by how slow he was going than anything else, but that was entirely my problem, not his.

    it boils down to this: presently, the e-bike demographic is mostly older, less fit, less skilled riders. The furor about e-bikes seems to be more about an ignorant, elitist attitude, keeping potential riders off of the trails than anything else. if you polled most of the experienced riders who'd be capable of doing all of the bad things that you claim e-bikes can do, I'd wager that 99% of them would rather spend $4500 on a better handling, lighter human-powered mountain bike than a 50# bike with unwieldy handling and extra weight. i've said it before, this is a tempest in a tea kettle and you guys are getting worked up about a non-existent threat. While Craig (MendonCycleSmith) admits that he sells bionix kits, he's no e-bike monger who's actively putting our trail rights at risk; he has experience with them however and he's worth listening to. relax, go out and demo an e-bike before you start saying what an awful and horrible menace they are. They're probably not for you, I get that, but they're also not what you think they are.
    If people really want to get fit they shouldn't be using any kind of motor. Next runners will have some bionic suit to make running easier.

  74. #74
    bigger than you.
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    i think you don't understand how unfit most americans are and how that lack of fitness serves as an impediment to its own improvement. I got back into cycling after having some cardio issues several years ago. I was far from out of shape, having been involved win motorcycle roadracing and done power yoga regularly, as well as being an avid swimmer but it had been 10 years since i'd ridden a bicycle and 20 years since i'd cycled actively, when i was mountain biking and doing duathlons and triathlons after getting out of the army. Getting back on a bicycle, even pedaling up the gentle grade at the end of my street, was hard work. I stuck to road and paved trail riding for 3 months before i'd even ventured onto the trails and even then, the hills were murderous. At the time, I was 42 years old and in better average shape, with a lifetime of sports activity.

    look at the average e-bike demographic: 50-70 year-olds who have probably not ridden or even participated in any athletic activity in decades. A pedal assist bike will serve as an aid and help them overcome their physical liabilities, but it's not like they're not going to be tooting around on electric motorcycles. They guys on the group ride were working as hard as anyone there, harder perhaps because their level of fitness was quite a bit lower than the mean. Again, I think that before you start lambasting these technologies and the people who use them, you first need to understand what they are, how they work- what they are and what they are not, as well as have some compassion for the people who might use them.

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    Good point Gigantic!I have three different hobbies and if I focus on just one I am in great condition for it.I find that if I go and do one of the other activities I will be whipped no matter how good i feel while just pedaling for an example.Oh and yes one of my hobbies is motorized and it will whip you into shape!Non believers should give it a try before passing judgement.

    So I try to engage in at least 2 of the 3 hobbies at a time.Big thing is recovery!Hareder to come by for my 47 yo carcass though!LOL

    Anyway sorry for the thread hijack.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    If people really want to get fit they shouldn't be using any kind of motor. Next runners will have some bionic suit to make running easier.
    All the more reason to ride one so you can understand the deal. Not so you buy one, just so you see what it's dojng for you as a rider.

    You still need significant rider input. And, you can choose the level of assist. If someone is motivated to get in shape, they won't always choose the easiest path, but it's nice to know when you're totally beat, you can get a boost up that last hill home, etc.

    I'm just as sweaty and my heart is still pounding at the top of a good climb, I just got up there quicker.

    It is *cheating* if you want to call it that, over non powered riding, but it's not cheating like you'd think it to be, at all.

    Someone using this as a booster to get off the couch and into an exercise regimen? All good!!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  77. #77
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    Well that didn't take long.

    October 22, 2014 PA house bill 573

    "On October 22, 2014 PA house bill 573 passed into law, which is Act 154, which changes the definition of "pedalcycle" (bicycle) in the PA state vehicle code. "Pedalcycle" is now defined as a vehicle propelled solely by human-powered pedals or a "pedalcycle" (bicycle) with electric assist( a vehicle weighing not more than 100 pounds with two or three wheels more than 11 inches in diameter, manufactured or assembled with an electric motor rated no more than 750 watts and equipped with operational pedals and travels at speeds less than 20 mph). This bill allows the usage of pedal assisted bicycles in PA that follow the adopted state guidelines."

    Electric bicycle laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The cake is a lie.

  78. #78
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    According to its sponsors, the upshot of the new law (linked here), which will go into effect later this month, is two-fold:

    1. Vehicles that are defined as pedalcycles (a definition that appears to encompass any trail-use ebikes: I believe the 20 mph limit mentioned in the previous post is the speed it can reach by motor only on flat ground) no longer need to be registered, insured, and titled; and

    2. The act sets a minimum age for operating a pedalcycle of 16.

    One of the act's sponsors said ebike riders had been ticketed in PA for not having registration.

    The definition of pedalcycles pops up in PA law in other ways besides just registration, insurance, and titling, so presumably the effect of the new law is broader than its sponsors describe. But, to my casual eye, I don't see anything suggesting ebikes can ride on MTB-legal trails in any context.

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