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YAY, E-bikes!

Electric_City

The orangutans are loose!
Apr 14, 2007
1,568
405
Since Gary can't make it here for a little bit, why not!

(@Gary, this isn't personal and it's not really aimed at you. Just my opinion!)


So the last 2 Thursday night rides 3 guys show up with their E-bikes. They tell EVERYONE how awesome it is! BUT IT'S NOT EASIER! Just faster!

During the ride I felt like I was talking to "Chris Burns. Your companies computer guy" from SNL. The real Chris had his power fail during a climb. These 3 guys go into a tech frenzy over "how many times did it blink" to "unplug it for 3 seconds and plug it back in. It will reset the cpu" which Chris replies "I can't. I left the key to my bike at home." to "I can run a diagnostic test on my bike with my phone". WHAT THE FUCK?

Chris (46 yo mind you) tells me to try his on a shitty powerline climb. 5 fucking speeds and powered by a Yamaha? I left it in the easiest and felt embarrassed. As you pedal, a motor kicks in and powers you. My God... He's telling me to put it in "turbo!". For what? I'm already in 7th fucking gear and leaving him behind. There's more power? Yep! 4 more "speeds".

Here's the thing- It doesn't "assist" you. If you turn the cranks, not pedal, but simply rotate the cranks with your feet, the bicycle will accelerate. Are you comprehending that? I'm shaking my head that people actually use these and call it mountain biking.

Phil (52yo) needs one cause he was in a car accident and f'ed up his knee real badly. 3 surgeries later, a permanent limp and the other knee was replaced 2 years ago. In his case, honestly, it's perfect. I'm glad he has an option to get out still.

This past week they're insisting that I ride one. Phil brought along his other one. We did 7 miles and 1,000' of climbing. The whole ride they kept yelling "put it in turbo!" On flats, up hills, down hills, pavement, wherever. If I didn't say "My God" 50 times out of embarrassment, then I didn't say it at all. It didn't even have the feel of mountain biking. It's a little difficult to judge your line cause as soon as you touch the pedal, the bike accelerates faster than you're used to. Bad lines? Who cares! It just powers up and over those rocks!

I don't think my heart rate was at 60% all night.

Post ride, Phil was talking about wanting a new E-bike and was comparing his current "E" to his other E and the one he's wanting next year. In the middle of the conversation he starts talking about the "acoustics"... After him saying acoustic for about the 5th time, I said, do you mean the sound it makes? He said, "No, my acoustic bikes. My old non-electric-bikes"...

W
T
F

As far as those who say "I just take it out so I can do some DH runs after work"- That's the lazy way out and you know it. Pedaling a 3-6" travel bike is part of the ride. A DH bike? Push it or take the lift. I know guys in their 60's 70's that can out climb teens, and these guys aren't that into the DH segments. They don't need an e-bike and neither do the young generations.

Pros-
-I can write this after officially using one and I can't wait for Gary to chime in!
-It will hopefully ruin strava.
-For the physically injured/disabled, they can still get out and enjoy the trails.


Cons-
-THIS. IS. NOT. mountain biking.
-Will make trail access a bigger issue.
-Another problem that the LBS will have to deal with.
 
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Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
28,689
2,725
What models? Some shit Chinese ones with cadence sensing may well feel that way.

The Shimano, Brose (Specialized), Panasonic, and Bosch ones with proper torque sensing shouldn’t feel like that when in the non-Turbo modes.



Edit: see Gary’s post below. Apparently Shimano has the most natural feel. I’ve ridden Brose and Shimano and thought both felt good in Eco and Trail.
 
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Electric_City

The orangutans are loose!
Apr 14, 2007
1,568
405
Phil bike that I rode last night was a Trek Fat e-bike.
Chris has a Yamaha. I mean Giant trance/reign?

My post is mostly about Phil's bike since that's the one I rode for a (short but too long of a) ride. Chris's bike I rode for 200yds?
 
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eric strt6

Resident Curmudgeon
Sep 8, 2001
15,809
5,098
directly above the center of the earth
As a banged up senior citizen. fighting my way back to fitness from a spiral fractured fibula and 2 fractures of the Tibia. I will just say no to anything resembling a E Bike. I take pride in powering my own way up and down even if that means pushing the bike. It's why I never ever wanted a dirt bike (moto).
 

toodles

Turbo Monkey
Aug 24, 2004
2,912
1,249
Australia
Some twat over here on a modified e-bike just took out a walker AND a rider on the same day. Now we wait for the inevitable blowback. Dumbasses

They're pretty sweet for getting old guys and post-injury dudes out riding again though. We've got a couple of old DH riders that have been away from the sport for a few years using them to come along on trail rides now.
 
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Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
3,022
1,110
UK
Yamaha motors are one of the least intuitive mid motors around.
They're pretty high torque and start to pull just resting your leading foot on the pedal. Iongest I've ridden one for is 10 miles on a heavy ass Giant E hardtail. I hated it. The owner is a friend who's a leg amputee and let me borrow it one morning (I rode my regular bike in the afternoon (still fairly fresh) . it works pretty well for him. Emtbs have allowed him (after upgrading to a Merida and then Kenevos) to ride more technically challenging terrain he never could have on a regular bike.
Those (pretty awful) motor assist traits you noticed are not the norm anymore.
I'm not a fan of the old bosch motors either TBH. what motor did the TREK have?
Try a Shimano E7000 or E8000 both of those feel really natural for an (obviously) assisted bike. Especially in eco.

Oh.. And if course Ebikes make climbing easier. WTF other reason is there for owning one?



FWIW I do still ride at least one regular bike pretty much every day. I still prefer regular bikes and don't see that changing for a long time yet.
 
Some twat over here on a modified e-bike just took out a walker AND a rider on the same day. Now we wait for the inevitable blowback. Dumbasses

They're pretty sweet for getting old guys and post-injury dudes out riding again though. We've got a couple of old DH riders that have been away from the sport for a few years using them to come along on trail rides now.
Could you offer a news article on this, please?
 

toodles

Turbo Monkey
Aug 24, 2004
2,912
1,249
Australia
Could you offer a news article on this, please?
I don't know if it made the news. Was reported on a local riders forum here by the MTB that got hit.

To further blur the lines, we've got normal bikes on trails - legal depending on trail, e-bike (pedal assist) on trails - legal most places MTBs are, modified or bridged ebikes (still pedal assist but unrestricted) unsure - illegal on the road/dunno about off-road and now the electric motorbikes (throttle operated, no pedals) illegal.

Now I'm all for people riding whatever they want, but I'm cautious that the layperson won't be able to differentiate and the reports of trail collisions will just say bicyclists collide with young family leaving them maimed. In the end, we can only hope the riders are responsible enough to leave no witnesses so the blame falls back onto native Australian wildlife.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
5,656
3,053
What extensive level of RnD and testing is required to elevate your product to being ebike compatible when it's a grip?

Screenshot_20190706-212347.png
 

Vrock

Linkage Design Blog
Aug 13, 2005
270
42
Spain
I've been thinking for some time about why you guys hate E-Bikes so much and you are not going to like what I think...

America is not what it looks like. All the cool places are in remotes areas. Nobody lives there, and very few people rides there. The average Joe rides in crappy places all year round and only goes to a "MTB Resort" once or twice a year. Your average local trails are a manicured trail system built into a tiny forest reservation with very few elevation. You ride your car to the trailhead. Riding for an hour is completely normal. If you are a beginner you can cut it short and do a half loop or 3/4 loop. Everyone shuttles.

Some of you are lucky, live in a nice place, ride in the mountains and earn your elevation, but you are the minority.

TL/DR Beginners in USA have it easy.

In my country nobody rides their car to the trailhead and nobody shuttles. You get out of your house and start pedalling, cross the city, climb a mountain and then go down. We do big loops. The smallest ride you can do here is 1.5 hours long and has 500 meters of elevation. A good ride on a sunday morning is going to be twice as much.

If you are a beginner you have a small chance of becoming a cyclist. Most of the time they give up. You can even be a huge fan of the sport, but if you have a problem and get out of shape you are completely fucked.

TL/DR MTB in Europe is a lot harder and E-Bikes help a lot.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
28,689
2,725
My typical short loop here in Colorado is about 7 miles and 1600 feet vertical. A long loop would be more like 12 miles and 2400 feet vertical. Those stand true whether on the e-bike or a normal bike. The only difference is how long the climbing takes.

Yes, we all do generally drive to the trailhead except for those who made the fine choice of living right by the trails, but it's not like we lack mountains here, and shuttles are rare.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
9,465
3,055
In the cleavage of the Tetons
It’s really more the threat of having entire trail systems shut down by the hikers and equestrians that fuels the hate.
Your theory is interesting, but is overwhelmed by the tenuous nature of mt. Bike trail access in the US.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
28,689
2,725
It’s really more the threat of having entire trail systems shut down by the hikers and equestrians that fuels the hate.
Your theory is interesting, but is overwhelmed by the tenuous nature of mt. Bike trail access in the US.
This. Trail access seems to be a whole different ballgame, with Europe much more tolerant. (Sierra Club-equivalent isn't dominant?)

Here in the front range, as I like to point out, Class 1 e-bikes are 100% legal on all trails any other mountain bike can be allowed on when in Jefferson County Open Space or Colorado State Parks. I would suck it up and pedal/push up slowly if this wasn't established canon here.
 

Electric_City

The orangutans are loose!
Apr 14, 2007
1,568
405
I've been thinking for some time about why you guys hate E-Bikes so much and you are not going to like what I think...

America is not what it looks like. All the cool places are in remotes areas. Nobody lives there, and very few people rides there. The average Joe rides in crappy places all year round and only goes to a "MTB Resort" once or twice a year. Your average local trails are a manicured trail system built into a tiny forest reservation with very few elevation. You ride your car to the trailhead. Riding for an hour is completely normal. If you are a beginner you can cut it short and do a half loop or 3/4 loop. Everyone shuttles.

Some of you are lucky, live in a nice place, ride in the mountains and earn your elevation, but you are the minority.

TL/DR Beginners in USA have it easy.

In my country nobody rides their car to the trailhead and nobody shuttles. You get out of your house and start pedalling, cross the city, climb a mountain and then go down. We do big loops. The smallest ride you can do here is 1.5 hours long and has 500 meters of elevation. A good ride on a sunday morning is going to be twice as much.

If you are a beginner you have a small chance of becoming a cyclist. Most of the time they give up. You can even be a huge fan of the sport, but if you have a problem and get out of shape you are completely fucked.

TL/DR MTB in Europe is a lot harder and E-Bikes help a lot.
That 7.67 mile ride I did on an e-bike (we did the same ride the week before) was 1,236' of climbing. We call it Thousand-feet-Thursday's.

We park at the top of the hill. But I'll be damned, no matter what way we go, we keep climbing.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,355
2,541
AK
If you are a beginner you have a small chance of becoming a cyclist. Most of the time they give up. You can even be a huge fan of the sport, but if you have a problem and get out of shape you are completely fucked.

TL/DR MTB in Europe is a lot harder and E-Bikes help a lot.
Trust me, we have a patent on fat people that don't exercise here in the United States. People in the US are far too obsessed with getting married, having kids, buying a house, having a high paying job, going to college, going to church, etc...Very few people here make any time for or prioritize being healthy. We (that ride) are the minority. It's not just about trail systems, it's the lifestyle that many people have designed themselves into.
 
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Vrock

Linkage Design Blog
Aug 13, 2005
270
42
Spain
My typical short loop here in Colorado is about 7 miles and 1600 feet vertical. A long loop would be more like 12 miles and 2400 feet vertical. Those stand true whether on the e-bike or a normal bike. The only difference is how long the climbing takes.

Yes, we all do generally drive to the trailhead except for those who made the fine choice of living right by the trails, but it's not like we lack mountains here, and shuttles are rare.
Colorado is amazing, probably the best place to live in USA. But even there I'm sure beginners have a place to start, a small park with easy trails. And shuttling is an option, so you can go from beginner to expert without any problems.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,355
2,541
AK
Colorado is amazing, probably the best place to live in USA. But even there I'm sure beginners have a place to start, a small park with easy trails. And shuttling is an option, so you can go from beginner to expert without any problems.
Colorado is not a city. Colorado is a state. If you live in the Denver Metro, where a vast majority of the population does, you live miles and miles from any trails, out in the "plains". Then half the state is as flat as Kansas, because, well, Kansas is the next state.

So what you say holds true for some of the population that lives in mountain towns or up against the mountains, but not so much for the majority of the population. Same issue you are saying with Spain, for most people, these aren't realistic options.
 

Vrock

Linkage Design Blog
Aug 13, 2005
270
42
Spain
This. Trail access seems to be a whole different ballgame, with Europe much more tolerant. (Sierra Club-equivalent isn't dominant?)

Here in the front range, as I like to point out, Class 1 e-bikes are 100% legal on all trails any other mountain bike can be allowed on when in Jefferson County Open Space or Colorado State Parks. I would suck it up and pedal/push up slowly if this wasn't established canon here.
In my case for example I only find hikers in the trails that are very close to the city. We respect each other and the trails are open to everyone but cyclist are the majority and you have the feeling that the trails belong to us.

The only "enemy" that we have are the land owners that sometimes close the public trails that cross their farms. When they try something like that they get a huge reaction and they have to open it again.
 

Vrock

Linkage Design Blog
Aug 13, 2005
270
42
Spain
Colorado is not a city. Colorado is a state. If you live in the Denver Metro, where a vast majority of the population does, you live miles and miles from any trails, out in the "plains". Then half the state is as flat as Kansas, because, well, Kansas is the next state.

So what you say holds true for some of the population that lives in mountain towns or up against the mountains, but not so much for the majority of the population. Same issue you are saying with Spain, for most people, these aren't realistic options.
After Switzerland, Spain is the most mountainous country in Europe. 80% of the people live in a really nice place for Mountain Biking and we have the best weather too, so you can ride all year round.