Do eBikes belong on the mountain?

Bike Hub Features's Photo Bike Hub Features 06 Mar 2017

It’s been a year. Since their arrival. These most unprincipled battery bikes, with on-board power aiding their propulsion.

 

Much like creeping taxation, quinoa everything in restaurants and mobile data pricing, the ebike draws our collective ire. Judgement is absolute and crushing. ‘It’s not a bike. It’s a motorbike… If you can’t ride, go spin on a Wattbike at Virgin Active. Get fitter… They’ll ruin trail access for all of us’.
 
A year on, from the first proper e-mountain bikes (e-MTBs) becoming available in South Africa, has sufficient time passed for reflection, and perhaps, appraisal? Well, before Pravin’s next budget, where ebikes could quite possibly become another tax revenue item, instead of an incentive - as they are in Europe, my feelings toward them have altered.
 
I should be the prototypical ebike hater. My mountain bike is a South African brand single-speed 26. Crisis. Could I be more fundamental in my traditionalism? Yet I’m conflicted about these battery mountain bikes.

 

Click here to view the article

Reply

intern's Photo intern 06 Mar 2017

Heh, slightly related, but a dude on an ebike wiped 3 of my KOMs in the local MTB park last week on an ebike. What made it sting a bit more is that the chap in question is tubby, approaching 60, a lawyer and this was his first Strava ride ever.

Those motors obviously do make a difference :).

Reply

BigTom's Photo BigTom 06 Mar 2017

Heh, slightly related, but a dude on an ebike wiped 3 of my KOMs in the local MTB park last week on an ebike. What made it sting a bit more is that the chap in question is tubby, approaching 60, a lawyer and this was his first Strava ride ever.
Those motors obviously do make a difference :).

I heard there is supposedly a separate category for ebikes on Strava. Anyone know if that is correct?
Reply

NicoBoshoff's Photo NicoBoshoff 06 Mar 2017

Which has me wondering why all I ever see on my social media feed are sponsored athletes or ambassadors sharing their e-boners with the world?

 

Just lay off it a bit Spez.  Last I checked they actually sell some other actual bicycles.

Reply

Patchelicious's Photo Patchelicious 06 Mar 2017

These bikes are ok if:

They are in their own catergory in races and Strava, and if the don't do damage to the trails.

If they get more people out riding, well good?

BUT if I catch a dude on an eBike taking one of my KOMs, I will connect his eBike battery to his nipples.
Edited by Patchelicious, 06 March 2017 - 08:39 .
Reply

NicoBoshoff's Photo NicoBoshoff 06 Mar 2017

And let's stop walking around that big old elephant in the room.  This is just the industry realising it's nearing a point of diminishing returns on the conventional bicycle so they are forcing us down a new path of "innovation" and generating demand.

 

Because actually starting to focus on getting bikes to market cheaper is a waste of time.

Reply

NicoBoshoff's Photo NicoBoshoff 06 Mar 2017

As to your question. Sure, they belong on the mountain.  I'm not the kind of guy to go tell the fatso at the casino buffet that he perhaps shouldn't be having that fourth serving of waffles.  Let him think he's got it all if that makes him happy.

Reply

Duane_Bosch's Photo Duane_Bosch 06 Mar 2017

I heard there is supposedly a separate category for ebikes on Strava. Anyone know if that is correct?

That is correct.

Reply

xero7's Photo xero7 06 Mar 2017

I heard there is supposedly a separate category for ebikes on Strava. Anyone know if that is correct?

 

That is if the general public understand how strava works. Nobody adds their bike correctly, thus having it picked up as an e-bike automagically will be troublesome. If you know it's an ebike, just flag the activity.

Reply

Duane_Bosch's Photo Duane_Bosch 06 Mar 2017

That is if the general public understand how strava works. Nobody adds their bike correctly, thus having it picked up as an e-bike automagically will be troublesome. If you know it's an ebike, just flag the activity.

No no. When you upload a ride you can mark it as a ride, ebike ride, xc ski etc etc. I think that's what he means.

Reply

carbon29er's Photo carbon29er 06 Mar 2017

E-Bikes definitely do not belong on mountain trails.  It has been hard enough for mountain bikers to get access to some trails without adding a motorised option to the objectors arsenal.

 

If you cannot get up and down the hills under your own steam then stay off the trails. Don't spoil the access for those who can.

 

If strava if your only objection to an e-bike on the trails then you really are not seeing the bigger picture.

Reply

Patchelicious's Photo Patchelicious 06 Mar 2017

E-Bikes definitely do not belong on mountain trails. It has been hard enough for mountain bikers to get access to some trails without adding a motorised option to the objectors arsenal.

If you cannot get up and down the hills under your own steam then stay off the trails. Don't spoil the access for those who can.

If strava if your only objection to an e-bike on the trails then you really are not seeing the bigger picture.

And IF the "objectors" don't have an issue with it?

If the potential issue in your opinion is the trail owners, perhaps just checking with them before you take your eBike on their trail is a quick and simple solution?

I am sure some trail owners won't mind, and perhaps those trails can be classified as eBike friendly and other can be simply and clearly state "No eBikes".

eBikes are coming, so we should rather prepare for them rather than fight it.
Edited by Patchelicious, 06 March 2017 - 08:38 .
Reply

NotSoBigBen's Photo NotSoBigBen 06 Mar 2017

I guess this is what is meant by own category, 2 issues with that in that most just let Strava decide what the category is which normally means 'Ride' and secondly there are those who don't want anyone to know that it was on an 'assisted' bike and just accept the 'kudos'?

 

E-Bike.JPG

Reply

Thermophage's Photo Thermophage 06 Mar 2017

Oh no! Not innovation! Not change! My poor Strava KOM's!

Yes they belong. They're in the spirit of true mtb riding anyway. Chill chat and rip it on some ST on the way down with your mates.

Reply

Pure Savage's Photo Pure Savage 06 Mar 2017

E-Bikes definitely do not belong on mountain trails.  It has been hard enough for mountain bikers to get access to some trails without adding a motorised option to the objectors arsenal.

 

If you cannot get up and down the hills under your own steam then stay off the trails. Don't spoil the access for those who can.

 

If strava if your only objection to an e-bike on the trails then you really are not seeing the bigger picture.

 

Surely if you get more people onto the trails paying subscriptions, making it safer and growing the community its only a good thing. 

 

Lets not poo poo them just because they are not our cup of tea.

Reply

stringbean's Photo stringbean 06 Mar 2017

#6 100%
I believe they don't belong on the mountain but do believe we have nothing to worry about.At the moment they are only been ridden by pro's or ambassadors pushing them for the big companies OR the just plain fat and lazy.
Won't take long before pro's and ambassadors go back to their normal bikes and the fat and lazy by nature just park them all in the garage never to be ridden again.So we will see them on the trail now and neth but before long you won't see any.
Don't be fooled by the big companies saying it's going to take over.
They all just imported a shitload of ebikes they want to get rid of.
How many fat bikes we see on the trails now days?
Reply