The evolution of trails to bikes of today- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 44 of 44
  1. #1
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,605

    The evolution of trails to bikes of today

    If trails are evolving to bikes of today, what would an ebike specific change be?

    Uphill flow?



    PS: no haters please. Don't want to see 5 foot wide trails, double track, or mx ruts. Legit* emtb inspired trail concepts welcome. *nothing illegal or discriminatory
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  2. #2
    Bipolar roller
    Reputation: singletrackmack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,178
    Pretty cool idea. Not sure if these ebikes have throttles, but I would want as my idea of a fun flow trail is one I can keep my speed and not have to pedal much.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

  3. #3
    Location: 10 ft from Hell Moderator
    Reputation: life behind bars's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    4,439
    Grab your tools and get to work. Honestly, the couple of ideas that have been floated are not compatible with multiple use trails or even mtb specific trails and would need to be built as stand alone trails imo.
    I ncredibly
    M yopic
    B ackstabbing
    A ssholes

  4. #4
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    6,479
    I don't understand their purpose in building an uphill flow trail, other than having it as an excuse for buying their product. Wouldn't it be easier to just ride a normal mountain bike on a downhill trail, like in the opposite direction on what they built? Not being a hater, I just don't see the purpose. Is it that you can then coast down the road back to the start?
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  5. #5
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    I think this type of trail would be super fun on an ebike - but it's worth keeping in mind that it would be *completely* impossible to share it with human powered bikes (or any other users). It's essentially going to be a motocross track shrunk down for ebike speeds.

    This is actually one of the big things I worry about in the long term future - mountain bikes (e or not) being confined to bike-only tracks. That's basically what has happened with motorcycles. I'd hate to only be able to ride at bike parks 30 years from now because bikes got so good/fast that nobody wants them on MUTs anymore.

    -Walt

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    7,931
    I could see the advantages, I enjoy a technical uphill as long as I can maintain some speed to play off features, not Iím sure uphill ramps of wood make sense. If speeds were kept in check, the trail could be more durable and long lasting.

    Evergreen built a climb trail on Tiger Mountain, itís not really a flow trail, but itís a fun single track climb, some fast guys really fly up that trail.

    Iím just not sure a trail designed for ebikes needs to combine flow and going uphill, seems more like a marketing gimmick by Bosch than a practical design theme. No one is going to build ebike specific trails.

    As a side note: thank you to the moderators for tightening up on the reins. I wouldnít be posting if things hadnít changed.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    14,073
    If you actually want e-bike access than I think building e-bike specific trails is a great idea. Get your fellow e-bikers together. Acknowledge you are a new/distinct user class. Identify what a fun/sustainable e-bike trail looks like [including uphill berms if that makes sense]. Provide a plan for where and how the trails will get built and who will maintain them. Approach your local land manager with the plan and show them there is a constituency for the idea. Get a few pilot projects started as demos for how it will work.

    I think that ^^^ sort of process has a real chance of success vs. the typical arguements I've read on this sub-forum.

    The nice part of this approach is that e-bikers have the opportunity to define what makes a good e-bike trail vs. having to fit into existing mountain bike and hiking trails. Maybe that's uphill berms and uphill jumps....if you'd enjoy that on those machines why not?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,318
    The direction IMO that e-MTBer's should attempt. In OC, CA there are many local shops selling e-bikes; the owners and riders could form a group to see if this is feasible. I've mentioned it to some that I'm acquainted with, and would participate, but not spearhead.

  9. #9
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    I don't know... if you go this route (start building e-bike specific trails) I think there is a chance it kills the possibility of wider access to MUTs for e-bikes in the medium/longer term.

    The thing is, it's a tacit admission that e-bikes need to be separated from other users (and that they can go so fast uphill that they need berms and jumps!)

    When I lived in Boulder, the city built a very nice dirt jump/flow/bike park. Then every time we'd propose a new MUT with bike access, the immediate response was "you already have a place to ride". Not good.

    -Walt

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    14,073
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I don't know... if you go this route (start building e-bike specific trails) I think there is a chance it kills the possibility of wider access to MUTs for e-bikes in the medium/longer term.

    The thing is, it's a tacit admission that e-bikes need to be separated from other users (and that they can go so fast uphill that they need berms and jumps!)
    You make a good point Walt, but the reason I suggest e-bike specific trails is that it avoids all the problems of integration and short circuits all the hypothetical/theoretical arguments around integration/trail damage/etc... So I think it's an easier hill to climb than getting access to human powered trails. But, that's only stage 1.

    Stage 2 would be to use the experience gained from actually having e-bikers doing their thing to see how they work and using that data for further advocacy efforts. I think it's a lot easier to argue here is what e-bike traffic looks like on its own and here is a framework where they could work on non-e-bike specific trails. Than to work from a theoretical/hypothetical basis.

    Stage 3 is getting some specific demo MUT trails designated and see how that works with e-bikes and MTBers and hikers. If I was designing the e-bike demo trail and it was proximate to an existing human power trail network I'd lay it out such that there would be an easy way to at a later date connect the e-bike trail with an appropriate segment of the human power trails. That would allow for a test bed/demo of how interactions would work between the user groups in small zone without requiring a lot of work or risk.

    Either way it's a process that will take a bunch of time, effort and $$. The folks that are willing to put those resources in should look at the various options and decide which ones are realistic for their situation.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    Yeah, the issue is that there's a bifurcated user group here (at least in theory).

    You've got group 1 who are older/slower/disabled riders who want to just ride normal trails at basically a normal pace. They aren't interested in an uphill flow trail, or probably a downhill flow trail either. They are very unlikely to modify/DIY their bikes. They want to do XC riding. This is most of the current e-bike population AFAIK.

    Group 2 is the folks that Bosch and others are marketing to here. They want flow both directions and are highly skilled/fit riders looking for max speed/fun. They would probably love an uphill flow trail and have limited interest in MUTs except when there are sections that are flowy/have natural jumps and drops. A trail like what is being proposed/designed here would mostly serve as an alternative to riding the lift at a bike park.

    The data/experience you'll get from building a trail for group 2 is that you can *never* let e-bikes on a MUT, because group 1 isn't going to go ride that kind of trail much, so you'll get a concentrated group of fast shredder dudes/ladies on it most of the time. It would be like making a decision to allow mountain bikes or not on a trail system based on how they behaved on a lift served DH trail.

    -Walt

  12. #12
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    Here are my 2 ideas for e-bike friendly trails (note that these wouldn't be *just* for e-bikes):

    Option 1: Wide open/fire road climbing to flow trails/DH trails to descend. The descending portions would obviously need to be directional and in most cases would have to be bike only, but it would be easy to share the climb with anyone - plenty of room to pass, plenty of time to slow down and say hi, etc.

    Downside: requires bike-only sections, so not completely multiuse.

    Option 2: Very twisty and/or slow technical trails. Multidirectional/multiuse. No bermed corners, no long straights into blind corners, nowhere to pick up tons of speed. Think New England. This type of trail is GREAT to share with other users because top bike speeds are seldom over 15mph - and usually *much* slower. It's hard to run anyone over on tight twisty stuff, because you just can't build up enough speed. Generally cheaper to build than flow trails (no need to move lots of dirt/build large structures or berms) and you can get a lot of trail packed into a small amount of land.

    Downside: no longer a popular type of trail among mountain bikers, really.

    I think this uphill flow trail stuff is probably a dead end unless e-bikes are going to just evolve into e-motos. And it's going to be impossible to get non-e-bike riders to fund/support a trail they won't ride. The advantage of both of these ideas is that they're appealing to many different user groups (in theory).

    -Walt

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    14,073
    I don't disagree. It comes down to how many folks of each group are interested in putting effort into trail access. If the only people interested are the e-shredders than I agree that will lead to separate trails long term, but that would also be a sensible outcome for that kind of use and frankly not terrible for those e-bikers either as they could really get the most from their machines.

    OTOH if the more chill e-bikers come out as the lead group the result will be a more compatible trail example and more likely lead to integration, but perhaps lead to dissatisfaction for the e-shredders if bike power/speeds/right of way rules lead to a less than awesome experience.

    That circles back to informing the land managers who the constituency is for e-bike access. If a group or sub-group is not willing/able to advocate they won't get resources and access that's just how it is. Keeping in mind a company like Specialized could lead the charge on advocacy efforts for chill e-biking if they saw a worthwhile market there for those bikes even if the typical chill e-biker isn't going to get busy with a pick axe.

    If you want to go the other route and get access to existing human powered trails you have to get buy in from the land managers, hikers and mountain bikers. That seems like far harder challenge than going the e-bike only route.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #14
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,811
    As a trail designer/builder, the pendulum is swinging back away from flow for a percentage of the riding public because it's becoming pervasive and popular with land managers. Where it once was unusual, it's now common, at least where I ride. That being said, it's certainly popular with many beginning and mid range cyclists and fits the needs of the green/blue trails of many a system. I'd think an ebike would excell on it because of the ability to keep momentum and I'd choose an uphill flow trail over a fire road climb every time.

    Tech trails are what skilled riders want, and with bike tech where it is, they're hard to build. When I started riding in 1985, there was a 4" rock feature that was my nemesis on a regular loop. I used to think about it ahead of time. Now, anyone on a modern bike wouldn't even notice it. Tech trails are both limited to what the environmental resources you have on hand, and the permissiveness of your land manager. You basically need naturally rocky terrain and hopefully some decent elevation changes to work with, either lots of small up and downs, or larger single descents. There are just less opportunites to build them.

    Walt, as usual is spot on, bike specific trails are a tough sell for most land managers, and an uphill flow trail that would mainly benefit ebikes even more so. Considering that many MUTs are also build by mtb orgs, I wouldn't be confident they would bother, at least in the US.

    Aside from uphill flow, I could easily see making climbs much steeper, or a flow section into a really steep climbing ramp, to keep things challenging. Assuming that your local soils could support it ofc.

    They've been building e-uphill flow in the EU for a couple of years, but in a bike park/ski area setting.

  15. #15
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,605
    I personally have learned to enjoy zig-zaggy smooth, fast, and gentle climbs up hills. I believe the story behind the trail design was that Eric Carter himself, wanted to build a trail that his kids could comfortably climb. As an adult on a SB5c, riding it at its max allowable speed, it was hella fun. At e-bike speeds, it'd have to be wider with bermed corners to support that speed, else you'd be braking on an uphill, at least if you were try to "race" up. I'd rather go without the racer/strava aspect. I find it's more fun without having to touch the brakes, which is what I consider to be "flow".

    Diddie Schneider is apparently a legendary trail designer/builder. Things I noted and was amused by:
    - Uphill pump rollers
    - steep uphill higher difficulty B lines that short cut the zig-zags
    - uphill sharp/steep curves
    - uphill skinnies and wood features
    - anti-erosion

    Hmm, I also thought that riding "moguls" uphill was kind of fun on my e-bike, when I tried riding raw mx "singletrack". Was more enjoyable climbing up it, than riding down. xD Had to essentially try to ride the tops, to avoid pedal striking, zig zagging to stay high as possible and out of the pits.

    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Grab your tools and get to work. Honestly, the couple of ideas that have been floated are not compatible with multiple use trails or even mtb specific trails and would need to be built as stand alone trails imo.
    Your suggested approach only works on land you own, like your own backyard. Going in without a plan is no good, in terms of quality. Developing your trailbuilding skill on public land or land you don't is a definite no-no; some of the bad consequences: https://www.adventuresportsnetwork.c...?sf182384750=1

    If an opportunity arose to help create new legit trails, I'd like to be prepared. Having knowledge of some of these ideas might help. Was hoping people would post pics/vids of what they thought was especially fun on an emtb. Not only uphill, but anything dirt really... what trails do you gravitate to? Singletrack, wider trails, rock crawling? Particular DH trails, taking the shortest and straightest way up?
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  16. #16
    Location: 10 ft from Hell Moderator
    Reputation: life behind bars's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    4,439
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post



    Your suggested approach only works on land you own, like your own backyard.





    Or you could advocate for the opportunity to build on public land.
    I ncredibly
    M yopic
    B ackstabbing
    A ssholes

  17. #17
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    Harry, I agree that making "technical" trails is hard now.

    But making *slow* trails isn't too hard. You just can't let the trail go in a straight line for very long. Bumpy chunky stuff in awkward spots, even if not "technical" can also help.

    We have a couple of trails here in PC that nobody ever wants to ride with me. Going as hard as I can (descending) I can average maybe 10mph on them. It's (IMO) a blast, you don't end up back at the bottom of the mountain 5 minutes after you started descending, and you're fighting the terrain/scrabbling for traction the whole time. *Subjectively* they feel fast to me - but I'm no threat to any other trail user no matter how fast I'm trying to go.

    The moose are a threat to *me* sometimes, but that's another story.

    Neither of them is "technical" in any meaningful way - you could ride them both quite easily (and I have) on a rigid bike. You can quite easily climb up both of them (and people do). Great stuff. But incredibly unpopular.

    -Walt

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bigwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,429
    It all depends on what experience you are looking for, no matter what type of bike you ride.

    The evolution of trails to bikes of today-img_0406.jpg
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    396
    I don't get it. Don't people know that an ebike turns an existing ordinary uphill trail "into" a flow trail. LOL. I enjoy this special "new" type of trail every time I ride. Egads.....

    Anyway, there are a couple of things the purist pontificators overlook in their usuall nay-sayings. First, riding under full power uphill greatly diminishes battery life and shortens ride time. The idea is to get to the top and enjoy the most downhill runs possible. Secondly, riding uphill on an ebike whilst pedaling hard causes the front suspension to unload on corners reducing traction. Imagine a 200 lb guy pedaling his 50 lb ebike straight uphill. There isn't a huge amount steering involved so there is little need for much traction on the front end. Now imagine that same scenario with the front suspension unloaded on an uphill corner. Last year I broke my leg doing just such a maneuver. Using full motor and full leg power my front tire washed out. My foot came off the pedal and planted firm as the bike was going down. Having a moto background I didn't really think this would happen that easily, but bike position on a moto going uphill is really different than on an ebike whilst pedaling.
    The usual forum naysayers are always quick to point to excessive ebike speeds. My experience is that if a normal mountain biker rides 4 mph on a real hill then the ebikers might ride 8 mph. That is hardly lighting fast. I have also used Strava on many different trails to see just how fast the traditional mountain biker is going when compared to my ebike. It can be extremely difficult to take the KOM from a traditional mountain biker. Strapping a battery to a bike doesn't come with the necessary skills to actually ride a bike at high speed. The only way I've come close to a legitimately fast KOM was if the ride was extremely steep or extremely long. Cheers

  20. #20
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    Um, it's Bosch that wants to make uphill flow trails, not me. I'm not sure if you mean *they* are naysayers, or someone else...

    I agree - build trails to allow e-bikes to get up the hill fast on wide/open stuff where there's zero chance for conflict, have your fun/flow on the DH with the regular bikes where speeds are the same and everyone is happy.

    -Walt

  21. #21
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,605
    If someone made two paths right next to each other. One was a 3ft wide clear path that was relatively smooth, wide, straight, and clear, with painted borders and another was just a 10+ft wide lane of uneven dirt covered with grass and other obstacles you can't see until you get within 15-20ft, which would you rather ride?

    That's a description of the side of a road leading out of town. Don't seen anyone including mtbers riding the dirt instead of the shoulder or bike path. People make it seem like they enjoy dodging trees and rolling rocks. If someone put signs and utility posts (dodge them like trees), cones (shrubs?), and a bunch of debris (downed tree branches or trash) on the smooth, wide, straight, and clear shoulder/bike path, does the mtber get happier? Almost seems like a paradox.

    On the other hand, if you show them an isolated open field of slippery surface material, they all start trying to skid on it, but quickly tire of it. Or if there's some sort of skinny path (a curb or parking block) that looks safe enough, they try to ride it. Ramps and half pipes... wide ass roads seem kind of fun if there's interesting sights or have some exposure (e.g. White Rim). I guess there needs to be some sort of risk involved, and some sort of pre-determined route. If anything resembling singletrack appeared on the dirt and grass, more riders will choose to ride it.

    If a plain/straight graded dirt sidewalk appeared, but there was a fence built alongside it, would mtbers bother riding it compared to a paved shoulder which allowed for more freedom to choose direction? I'd say they'd prefer dirt, but would ultimately choose based on minimizing inconveniences and maximizing fun. The pavement is faster (more fun, less effort spent) and has less chance for traffic congestion. Would one prefer a more permanently built pumptrack (wood, asphalt, concrete, etc.), or a dirt one that requires them to perform regular maintenance work?

    Just thinking out loud to figure out what MTBers really want. Definitely not simple. They just seem to like "trails", no matter what the surface is made of, preferably a very specific pre-determined path that leads them somewhere desirable but takes them on a trip with challenge that equates to fun, where effort and skill is rewarded, and with minimal inconveniences/interruptions (e.g. traffic from other users).
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  22. #22
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    Are you trying to argue that mountain bikers would prefer to ride on pavement? The whole debris-covered bike path thing makes no sense to me, where were you going with that?

    Seriously, I have no idea what you're trying to say. Most trails (at least in the west) don't really go anywhere. The journey is the whole point, the destination is irrelevant.

    -Walt

  23. #23
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,605
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Are you trying to argue that mountain bikers would prefer to ride on pavement? The whole debris-covered bike path thing makes no sense to me, where were you going with that?

    Seriously, I have no idea what you're trying to say. Most trails (at least in the west) don't really go anywhere. The journey is the whole point, the destination is irrelevant.

    -Walt
    I'm trying to put chunks of observations into the bigger picture and combining it with idealism to see a more utopian version. I'm not trying to simplify. I'm trying to be more comprehensive.

    I touched on how the surface matters less than safety, consistency, and the effort required. I believe variety here is better than homogenization. I highly doubt people adamantly insist on a certain kind of dirt. I touched on how trail obstacles tend to not be particularly desirable when it's loose or artificially detracts from the flow. Artificial seems fine, when it has pump track, bmx park-like, and ladder features. I also touched on trail width/openness, and how it's not particularly desirable when it's too wide open without any defined lines, nor when it's too constricted. I hinted on the maintenance aspect.

    Did you misunderstand the part where I said, "path that leads them somewhere desirable"? That could be to a particular section along a trail, or to something idealistic, such as simply being away from others and into isolation. So you are repeating my point, where I said takes them on a trip, which is the journey, and how the journey has parts that makes it fun and rewarding with minimal stress/frustration.

    I'm missing a whole lot of perspectives. Perhaps people can add how World Cup DH riders like their trails. Some of them complain about how there's only 1 line. Or how freeriders like their trails, or how beginners like it... does anyone appreciate a place that can refill their water? Or prefer the convenience of being closer to the city? Do people dislike when a trail double backs on itself, passing close to another part of it, perhaps encouraging short-cutting, or is that considered to be an interesting feature/option? Do people like when trails are a network, out-n-back, loop, etc? How about the combination of sports, such as fishing, rock climbing, or whatever?

    Was hoping people visiting the ebike forum would be less narrow-minded and offer good input. How about posting pics/videos of what you'd like to see more of in the future? I think I saw one of your videoes where you were practically going 6-7 mph downhill in some New England style tech. Do you honestly want to see more of that? I'm not judging... I'm mostly here to learn.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    58
    One thing that sometimes gets lost in discussion like this is the subjective and relative nature of "steep" and "long" and "fast". :-) I ride some uphill sections that are considered unrideable without a rest stop by all but the fittest riders. My super-fit friends will often look back at me on these sections and ask, "How are you doing?" because they forget I am on my Levo. LOL. My commitment is always to keep up with them in terms of level of effort on these rides. A couple of weeks ago, however, I was using a new battery that had been reset to factory settings. So the lowest assist in ECO was 20 percent. Too much assist, in other words, to keep my heart rate up as high as my buddies at the pace they could maintain. I told them at the top with a shrug and we had a good laugh. They were merciless on the next technical downhill section and left me for dead. I think it would be cool to see new trails blazed and maintained (subject to environmental consideration), and if they feature more uphill, so be it. There will always be humans up for the challenge. Who is the arbiter of what's objectively "too hard"? We have trails in the Lake Tahoe area that are clearly tougher because of the altitude as much as the terrain. Trails specifically and explicitly designed for eMTBs? That sounds like a bad idea to me. Additional, new MTB trails explicitly open to Class I bikes as well as regular MTBs is good for everyone. I don't like much of what they show in the video.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    7,931
    I'd ride the dirt, done that many times, it's the reason I ride a mountain bike.

    If I was on a road bike I'd ride on the road, maybe..

    There are an infinite number of ways a bike can be ridden, and the ways that people choose to ride are equally varied.

    I'm not sure where you are going with this comment other than to say "it depends".

    In which case I agree

    Oh, and by the way, I do enjoy dodging trees and rolling rock, just saying...

    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    If someone made two paths right next to each other. One was a 3ft wide clear path that was relatively smooth, wide, straight, and clear, with painted borders and another was just a 10+ft wide lane of uneven dirt covered with grass and other obstacles you can't see until you get within 15-20ft, which would you rather ride?

    That's a description of the side of a road leading out of town. Don't seen anyone including mtbers riding the dirt instead of the shoulder or bike path. People make it seem like they enjoy dodging trees and rolling rocks. If someone put signs and utility posts (dodge them like trees), cones (shrubs?), and a bunch of debris (downed tree branches or trash) on the smooth, wide, straight, and clear shoulder/bike path, does the mtber get happier? Almost seems like a paradox.

    On the other hand, if you show them an isolated open field of slippery surface material, they all start trying to skid on it, but quickly tire of it. Or if there's some sort of skinny path (a curb or parking block) that looks safe enough, they try to ride it. Ramps and half pipes... wide ass roads seem kind of fun if there's interesting sights or have some exposure (e.g. White Rim). I guess there needs to be some sort of risk involved, and some sort of pre-determined route. If anything resembling singletrack appeared on the dirt and grass, more riders will choose to ride it.

    If a plain/straight graded dirt sidewalk appeared, but there was a fence built alongside it, would mtbers bother riding it compared to a paved shoulder which allowed for more freedom to choose direction? I'd say they'd prefer dirt, but would ultimately choose based on minimizing inconveniences and maximizing fun. The pavement is faster (more fun, less effort spent) and has less chance for traffic congestion. Would one prefer a more permanently built pumptrack (wood, asphalt, concrete, etc.), or a dirt one that requires them to perform regular maintenance work?

    Just thinking out loud to figure out what MTBers really want. Definitely not simple. They just seem to like "trails", no matter what the surface is made of, preferably a very specific pre-determined path that leads them somewhere desirable but takes them on a trip with challenge that equates to fun, where effort and skill is rewarded, and with minimal inconveniences/interruptions (e.g. traffic from other users).

  26. #26
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,605
    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I'd ride the dirt, done that many times, it's the reason I ride a mountain bike.

    If I was on a road bike I'd ride on the road, maybe..

    There are an infinite number of ways a bike can be ridden, and the ways that people choose to ride are equally varied.

    I'm not sure where you are going with this comment other than to say "it depends".

    In which case I agree

    Oh, and by the way, I do enjoy dodging trees and rolling rock, just saying...
    If I had to simplify, I'd say it's more about being given many bad options, and choosing the least bad one without breaking rules. xD

    Of course, have to factor in the desire for a specific level of challenge to make it fun. There's got to be more desires factoring into that choice though. I'm trying to learn what those are exactly.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,465
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Here are my 2 ideas for e-bike friendly trails (note that these wouldn't be *just* for e-bikes):

    Option 1: Wide open/fire road climbing to flow trails/DH trails to descend. The descending portions would obviously need to be directional and in most cases would have to be bike only, but it would be easy to share the climb with anyone - plenty of room to pass, plenty of time to slow down and say hi, etc.

    Downside: requires bike-only sections, so not completely multiuse.

    Option 2: Very twisty and/or slow technical trails. Multidirectional/multiuse. No bermed corners, no long straights into blind corners, nowhere to pick up tons of speed. Think New England. This type of trail is GREAT to share with other users because top bike speeds are seldom over 15mph - and usually *much* slower. It's hard to run anyone over on tight twisty stuff, because you just can't build up enough speed. Generally cheaper to build than flow trails (no need to move lots of dirt/build large structures or berms) and you can get a lot of trail packed into a small amount of land.

    Downside: no longer a popular type of trail among mountain bikers, really.

    I think this uphill flow trail stuff is probably a dead end unless e-bikes are going to just evolve into e-motos. And it's going to be impossible to get non-e-bike riders to fund/support a trail they won't ride. The advantage of both of these ideas is that they're appealing to many different user groups (in theory).

    -Walt
    New England rider here. Tight, technical, twisty, yup that's what I ride on for the most part. Not popular? That is for the most all I ride on and build. Going to disagree with you here. I think trail types are so defined by the terrain, topography and soil types. The kinds of chunk I pedal on require so much in the way of trials moves such as lofting the front wheel, so many times. Seems not to be e bike friendly, imho. And e bike specific trails? Not seeing that happen. No mt bikes allowed? I would just need a fake battery case.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    281
    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    new england rider here. Tight, technical, twisty, yup that's what i ride on for the most part. Not popular? That is for the most all i ride on and build. Going to disagree with you here. I think trail types are so defined by the terrain, topography and soil types. The kinds of chunk i pedal on require so much in the way of trials moves such as lofting the front wheel, so many times. Seems not to be e bike friendly, imho. And e bike specific trails? Not seeing that happen. No mt bikes allowed? I would just need a fake battery case.
    poacher 😂

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,465
    ^^^^ Um, sure. I'll just wait for the first e bike specific trail. Just let me know, K?

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    281
    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    ^^^^ Um, sure. I'll just wait for the first e bike specific trail. Just let me know, K?
    I got one at my house, cuz private property is the only legal way to separate non-licensed travel.

  31. #31
    Location: 10 ft from Hell Moderator
    Reputation: life behind bars's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    4,439
    Quote Originally Posted by Linktung View Post
    I got one at my house, cuz private property is the only legal way to separate non-licensed travel.



    Pics of your handiwork?
    I ncredibly
    M yopic
    B ackstabbing
    A ssholes

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    281
    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Pics of your handiwork?

    Sure, give it a few months though

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    452


    This one looks fun to try.

    I should rent a class 1 e-bike to have a justified opinion, also barrow/rent a 750w + with throttle.

    Dirt bike trails all over the place, would you get kicked off on an ebike?
    Sometimes Rickety, not a turd

  34. #34
    Hitching a ride
    Reputation: Schulze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    3,191
    Ebikes are just motorcycles.

  35. #35
    Frame Building Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489

    Moto trails are totally good to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turd View Post
    Dirt bike trails all over the place, would you get kicked off on an ebike?
    Of course not! You can ride an e-bike on any moto trail you'd like. If there were more of them around here, I'd have an e-bike just for that purpose (but it would certainly not be class 1!)

    -Walt

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    452
    http://utahdnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/...87f879570f7ac3

    Walt, because of speed or lack of throttle?

    Always thought a 500-750w, class 1 would be over the top for me on jeep/ATV stuff (if the speed limiter removed)


    Need to rent one to get a clue what its about, have no interest using it on bike trails but it would be cool to be able to ride long steep climbs in the Uintas that only a few would even consider to hike-a-bike.
    Sometimes Rickety, not a turd

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    452
    Figure if one was to build an e-bike trail it should be a very long loop with no interconnects. Needs a long grueling climb in an area that get overgrown quickly. Keep it bikeable for none e-bikers who like to do that kind of thing. The e-bike friendly advertising would help get more people on the trail and keep the weeds and shrubs beat down because the deer and lack of human powered people cannot do it alone.
    Sometimes Rickety, not a turd

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mudguard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,459
    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Warp View Post
    Imagine a 200 lb guy pedaling his 50 lb ebike straight uphill. There isn't a huge amount steering involved so there is little need for much traction on the front end. Now imagine that same scenario with the front suspension unloaded on an uphill corner. Last year I broke my leg doing just such a maneuver. Using full motor and full leg power my front tire washed out. My foot came off the pedal and planted firm as the bike was going down.
    I don't think I've ever owned a mountain bike that I can pedal around a corner. My BBs have always been too low.


  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,752

  40. #40
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,605
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I don't think I've ever owned a mountain bike that I can pedal around a corner. My BBs have always been too low.

    Forget pedaling going straight too, if a wheel falls into a MX rut. BTW, is that with the fork also compressed?
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Curveball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    3,479
    E-bikes aside, I've noticed changes in trails apparently in response to the longer-travel and more capable pedal bikes on the market today.

    Trails are typically wider and less twisty than they used to be with more jumps incorporated. It appears to me that the modern enduro/trail bikes has also changed the character of trails. Oddly, with all of the suspension development, it seems that trails have gotten smoother too.

    Not always the case of course.

    It kind of makes me reconsider the past studies that showed bikes having a similar impact to hiking. Maybe not so much with the faster bikes of today. It would interesting to investigate that.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mudguard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,459
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Forget pedaling going straight too, if a wheel falls into a MX rut. BTW, is that with the fork also compressed?
    I suspect that was with the shock removed... I need to change the spring stop I'll do it again with shock and fork compressed.

  43. #43
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,824
    I stopped in this thread to try and gain some e-perspective, but...

    1) for the "evolution" of trails - at ~1:54 in the video they are speaking about minimizing impact (and riding around the trees) after showing how many machines and artificial fill they've brought in, then show a guy hauling stuff on a trail that's wider than the frame of the video. I don't want to see any trails like that.
    2) while uphill flow is a real thing (ebike or not), it often has more to do with how strong the rider is, and if they can push a gear that syncs up with the terrain. Ebike or not, uphill flow will still depend on what gear you can push, so the stronger rider will either have to ride slower on a "designed" flow trail, or the weaker rider will still not be able to push a high enough gear - at least at the correct speed.

    Seems like a Bosch emotor commercial, with a poor premise.

    Rather, just show me what the bike can do - ideally, in the hands of a novice.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,402
    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    E-bikes aside, I've noticed changes in trails apparently in response to the longer-travel and more capable pedal bikes on the market today.

    Trails are typically wider and less twisty than they used to be with more jumps incorporated. It appears to me that the modern enduro/trail bikes has also changed the character of trails. Oddly, with all of the suspension development, it seems that trails have gotten smoother too.

    Not always the case of course.

    It kind of makes me reconsider the past studies that showed bikes having a similar impact to hiking. Maybe not so much with the faster bikes of today. It would interesting to investigate that.
    Yes. Steeper trails, bigger sight lines and higher speeds are desired so riders can get the most of the new bike technology. Slow, tight, old school tech is always going to be cool but the new crop of bikes like to go fast!

    In the end though, all trails are good and variety on a system is best imo.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-18-2018, 01:18 PM
  2. Toddler to Teen ... The evolution of bikes for kids.
    By zul in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 12-11-2013, 09:11 PM
  3. Got a picture printed in USA Today today
    By Finch Platte in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-17-2013, 12:36 AM
  4. Dainese Evolution jacket
    By campykid in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-06-2011, 07:21 AM
  5. Ellsworth Evolve or Evolution 29er model info
    By Bizman in forum Ellsworth
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-31-2010, 08:16 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.