Why Electric Bikes Shouldn't Be Allowed on Mountain Biking Trails?

George S.

Well-Known Member
I've got no issues with high powered ebike existing and people riding them, I'm just worried that idiots on the bike path or hiking trail riding a 3000w bike will do more damage to ebike reputation than an idiot on a 250w bike. Instead of pretending they are the same, if 30+mph bikes were classified as mopeds and restricted to the same places it would be better for everyone.

"First off, after California, it can't really happen."

Huh? I think the CA laws actually opened the doors to call any ebike "legal" and the makers and sellers just look the other way. Neither of these are legal under CA law, but they say they are and they're all located in CA, so you'd think they'd know.

http://overvolted.com/bolt-m-1-electric-bike-now-available-for-pre-order/
https://www.lithiumcycles.com/

At least Luna tells you it's not, but it sure wouldn't stop me from riding it on the street.
https://lunacycle.com/luna-cycle-super-banana-ebike-racing-edition/
California will require certification of the power. If the manufacturers game the little certificate, they will end up where Volkswagen ended up, with the diesel fiasco.

It's really sad that the big companies seem to be gaming the power, right now.

There's no way an ebike will ever have more than 750 watts in California. You can call it something else, but they spent too much time and money to get that through, and legislatures don't revisit special interest laws like this very often.

Luna seems to like to provoke people. They put up a video of a scooter, a 2500 watt scooter, on a bike path just whizzing along.

More and more it just looks like a sad and failed industry. They don't pursue real markets that have to be nourished to develop. They obsess over the power and never define the safety issues that go with speed. You have a small 'lifer' community that has gone completely dry.

If Karl wants to develop the snow trail aspect, why not? Why he thinks a snow bike should go on the street is beyond me.

So you'd pretend a high power bike is an ebike and ride it on the streets? I mean, hey, good for you.

They'll have to sort out the power and the certification. You'll have lawsuits. You may have pressure on Bafang to not export any motor that isn't locked down to 750 watts. Just tell Bafang to stop selling illegal motors in this country or they can't import them. Seize a container at the port, something like that.

You can build a decent bike for $1000. The endless dissing of simple builds is not worth wading through. Just build or buy a bike and ride it. If you don't want to be legal, do that.
 
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Exalien

New Member
How about requiring motor manufacturers above a certain wattage to add acoustics to their design in the same way that electric cars are/will be required to make noise at low speeds?

Of course under such a hypothetical requirement, I would hope my 250w mid drive would be excluded so that I can enjoy it as I intend to use it - a bicycle with pedal assist. Im thinking more along the lines of the insane >= 3000w types where the lines between bicycle and motorbike are blurred.

And before anyone attacks me about this idea, let me say that I'm not a big believer in over regulation. I think there are way too many rules, laws, and regulations already in all areas of life in the US. After living in Sweden for a while before moving back to the states, I realized that when it comes to making laws - it's assumed that we can't be trusted to act responsibly, whereas in many European countries you are given the benefit of the doubt.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
I purchased from you a Giant Stance 2 with BBSHD (see profile photo) and I am loving it. I did a number of mods for my taste with the ultimate goal of making it into a comfortable exercise speed bike. I like the vast variety of offerings. There is a market, especially for people who do DIY's and those who want to be in control on what they do with their ebikes, and not be hampered by proprietary components and compatibility issues.Typical customers want to have freedom of choice and not dictated by the manufacturers on what the owners can or can't do with their ebikes.

In whatever aspects in life, as long as we behave in a responsible manner and respect the rights of others, then I don't see any problem with it. Hey, it's not illegal to own a Ferrari or a Bugatti Veyron or a Tesla electric car!
 
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Dave C

New Member
I am simply going to say me and my 350w Haibike SDuro share the trails quite nicely with the hikers and non-ebikes alike. Most don't even know it's an "e". More so, I'm getting older and my right knee usually doesn't hold up to more than 2-4 miles depending on the hills. So now I'm getting up to 10 miles with an equivalent workout without overly straining the joints. More importantly, I can do the distance with my teenage son. He still wins, but at least we're still out there, together.
 
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Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
I am simply going to say me and my 350w Haibike SDuro share the trails quite nicely with the hikers and non-ebikes alike. Most don't even know it's an "e". More so, I'm getting older and my right knee usually doesn't hold up to more than 2-4 miles depending on the hills. So now I'm getting up to 10 miles with an equivalent workout without overly straining the joints. More importantly, I can do the distance with my teenage son. He still wins, but at least we're still out there, together.
Same here, I try not to disrupt the flow of traffic and attract unwanted attention, I even studied road cycling etiquette and their spoken and sign languages so I can blend and not cause disruption. I also give a lot of respect to other cyclists and pass them only when it is really safe to do so. Without e-power, I can only do very few miles and miss the joy of riding a bicycle.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Without e-power, I can only do very few miles and miss the joy of riding a bicycle.
MTB clubs here use common sense. Those unable will be allowed to ride the trails. HOWEVER some are technical enough to be dangerous to someone not completely able. We ride bike paths with our 350W bikes. Dead quiet and we never throttle. We ride the same speeds we would if completely able on a family trail with walkers, runners, skateboards, X country ski wheels, and more. Respect and respect comes back.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I remember when shorter skies were banned by ALL ski resorts. mogul makers they claimed. We got booted from Baldy, Sun Valley, for attempting to ride the lifts on skinny skis, X Country, We managed it a couple of times and eventually they gave up. If you were able and didn't mess with others, RESPECT, all was good. Montana had to to do abut horse trails and MC trails. Out worked out. again RESPECT. Breaking laws and getting busted and then howling about the consequences is disingenuous at best. But civil disobedience is American. Maybe they don't read Thoreau in High School anymore. I hope they do.
 

elyhim

Active Member
E-Mtb should be able to be used on trails. I find myself giving way for other cyclists and hikers because It's easier to gain momentum. I often turn assist off if wishing exercise or on for riding with my much faster friends. I use a class I pedelec, I agree throttle e-bikes should not be allowed.
 

Dave Hutson

New Member
Whether you are pro or con E bike in my mind is completely irrelevant, If you don't want or like to ride Ebikes then don't. The one and only thing determining whether are not one should be able to ride his or her bike on public trails boils down to one factor and that is the rider/operator of the bike. Unfortunately you are always going to have the showoff child that is going to spoil it for the rule abiding masses.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
E-Mtb should be able to be used on trails. I find myself giving way for other cyclists and hikers because It's easier to gain momentum. I often turn assist off if wishing exercise or on for riding with my much faster friends. I use a class I pedelec, I agree throttle e-bikes should not be allowed.
Unfortunately the lack nes berween motorcycle and ebike are being blurred. The 72w 3kw 45 mph "ebike" have no place on mtd trails deveoped, paid for and maintained by mtb clubs.
 

Roxlimn

Member
Whether you are pro or con E bike in my mind is completely irrelevant, If you don't want or like to ride Ebikes then don't. The one and only thing determining whether are not one should be able to ride his or her bike on public trails boils down to one factor and that is the rider/operator of the bike. Unfortunately you are always going to have the showoff child that is going to spoil it for the rule abiding masses.
I like to think that I understand why this is so, but should it be? If the number of erring cyclists is low, then surely banning them specifically will control that problem sufficiently, no? That and a hefty fine should be enough to keep the irresponsible in check. If the majority abide by the rules, then the problem should be easy to fix.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
That's where I first read it and yes it is measured. Crafted from what's worked well in the UK and much of Europe. It's "the thin end of the wedge" as they say. The door is open, the glass is half full.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
In MA, the Dept of Conservation & Recreation still classifies ALL ebikes as "motorized," which means there are only a couple of state parks I can legally ride them in (pedelec or otherwise), and only on "multi-use" trails (w/ATVs, dirt bikes etc.). Those parks are an hour-plus drive away!

I live next to a state park, however, that has 50+ miles of some of the best singletrack trails in the region. Until 2010 or so, I rode them unassisted, but Lyme & age knocked me off the saddle. Along came eMTBs and suddenly I was back, and now ride more frequently than I ever could before ticks brought me down.

I've befriended park staff, and they all say, "Looks like a bike to me!" The head honcho said that if I'm ever told to get my eMTB off the trail to just say "It's turned off!" and ride it unassisted until I'm out of their sight. He'll be riding one of my "extra" bikes come Spring...
 
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Alphbetadog

Active Member
Good for you! As long as your being courteous to other user and are not hurting anybody or anything, what's the problem? Young fit guys ride the trails much faster than I can on my peddle assist bikes. Ironically the only time I have been confronted by anyone about my assist bike on the trails was by a couple who had their big dogs off-leash which was also a violation of the rules...
 

MisterM

Active Member
This holier than thou attitude against emtb is the same as when cars replaced horses 100 years ago. It will die down as soon as a critical mass of ebikes arrives. I can quickly see the day when emtb's will dominate - who doesn't want the ability to climb and then have a blast going back down multiple times?