/ Is it time for an Electric Mountain Bike ?

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Seymore Butt 16 Jul 2018

Having just returned from a month walking and mountain biking in France (Gorge de Tarn and the Vercors).I was amazed at the number of riders old and young alike on Electric mountain bikes. In fact I met only two riders on non electric bikes on the trails I rode over whilst there.

I'm in my early 70's now and am still recovering from an accident I had last year in Gisburn forest (partial loss of use of my left leg and arm) but am still managing to ride, but with difficulty.

So is it time to bite the bullet, make the change and embrace the new technology available and ignore the jibes I'd get from my mates?.

baron 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

I’ve just built an electric bike from a old hardtail mtb that I had lying around.

It’s good fun and while it’s not proper biking it is a useful alternative.

Even if you hadn’t had your accident I’d say go for it.

jungle 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Convince a friend to get one, then try his/hers!

Trangia 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

 

> I'm in my early 70's now 

> So is it time to bite the bullet, make the change and embrace the new technology available and ignore the jibes I'd get from my mates?.

Yes! Go for it.

I'm having similar thoughts, but am waiting for a mountain bike to be developed that recharges the battery when going downhill.......

ChrisJD 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Definitely get one.

I know you're not 80, but:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWamHY1gs2w

 

plyometrics 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Go for it. If it’s good enough for the pro’s then riding a bike with a motor in it at your age should be fine!

Post edited at 17:46
The Potato 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

I'll be the negative responder here then, my view is cycling is a self powered mode of transport and anything with a motor is a motor bike. If I were in the situation where I were no longer able to cycle I would find another hobby. (Feel free to dislike all you want this is my personal view).

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baron 16 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

Says the 30 year old (?).

Your time will come.

Siward 16 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

I suppose an electric bike is, usually, electrically assisted rather than 100% electric powered. Thus helping you up the inclines rather than carrying you, so there's still some real cycling going on. 

 

JLS 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Whilst I'd suggest anyone, with good health and under the age of fifty, that thinks an electric bike for recreational use is a good idea, really needs to have a hard look at themselves in the mirror. You, my friend, on the other hand, seem to be a perfect candidate. Enjoy.

 

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ChrisJD 16 Jul 2018
In reply to JLS:

.... takes a long hard look at self in mirror

..... Yep, e-bike fine.

 

< I don't own one, but wouldn't dream of saying what you said to someone who was thinking of getting one >

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Toby_W 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Tried a fat bike mtb with motor.  So much fun and as it’s pedal assist you can dial up how much it adds.  I had it on boost so I could be Chris Hoy for a brief moment????

Cheers

Toby

 

The Potato 16 Jul 2018
In reply to baron:

Yep 35, but its not about me thinking I'm going to live in perfect health forever, but me doing things within my own ability without the need for assistance. If hover-backpacks were a thing in the near future how would people feel about using them to 'assist' climbing? Anyway each to their own but as Seymore Butt was asking an open question I gave one of a variety of possible responses

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ChrisJD 16 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

>  but me doing things within my own ability without the need for assistance.

Err, a normal bike is a form of (mechanical) assistance

As is suspension on a mountain bike

As are sticky rubber climbing shoes (were called cheating when they first came out)

As are ropes, why not solo it! 

 

etc etc etc

Could go on and be stupidly reductive till the cows go home.

After all, its all just 'pointless' fun, (but an essential part of being human), and we all find our own way of doing it.

Post edited at 20:29
RickyY 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Was out at the bike park today and there was an old guy zipping round the trails. Got talking to him in the carpark and said he was fairly motoring along and that I had to work to keep up with him. He burst out laughing and said it was an electric bike so he was "motoring". He said he really enjoyed biking still but wasn't fit enough to do it on his own. I'd say go for it!

summo 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

I'd say if you were 30 or 40 no way. But at 70 you should enjoy your mobility however you are able to achieve. Go for it. 

 

1
damowilk 16 Jul 2018
In reply to ChrisJD:

Entirely agree, age or otherwise is immaterial, don’t allow others to dictate some arbitrary “rules”, if it will get you out more, go for it.

I’m 40, and have an ebike for commuting. Those that criticise it or call it a cheat bike don’t really get the point, for me it’s not a bike substitute, but instead of the car. I wasn’t bike commuting much due to a lack of a shower at work, I now virtually never commute by car, and likewise on short trips around town, to restaurants etc. It’s use far exceeds even my optimistic forecast!

I’d totally get an e-MTB if I thought it was the limiting factor on my getting out. I’ve even considered getting an e-fat bike for the long river valley approaches for mountaineering and ski touring here in NZ, but prefer to let the technology mature for a few more years, to become cheaper, more weather resistant and with greater range.

wilkie14c 17 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

so by that logic, all the riders in the TDF are using DI2, eTap etc, which probably use some sort of stepper motor that’s electrically operated, are in fact racing motorbikes?

Im about to build one ready for my commute this coming winter. At 50, riding headwinds and rain at 5 in the morning ain’t no fun. Just want that extra help to make it easier. 

Looking at a second hand hybrid with disc brakes. Seen a road legal kit for it and having a go on a guys from work, loved it straight away.

Law presently says you can only have assistance while you are pedalling and top speed of 25kph or 15.5mph. That only applies to full bikes though, kits aren’t covered by this (yet) but there are some great kits out there with thumb throttle and loads of power for mountain biking.

thepodge 17 Jul 2018
In reply to wilkie14c:

It still applies to kits, if it's got a throttle it's a moped, if it's not pedal assistance it's a moped, if it exceeds 25km it's a moped. Mopeds need tax, insurance and registering.

As for all these people saying they are fine for the ill, the old, the disabled, the fat but no one else, get off your high horses and being so elitist, you make me want an ebike just to get away from you quicker. 

1
Duncan Bourne 17 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

I'm for hover backpacks where do I sign up.

I appreciate that you wouldn't want artificial assistance but as one gets on in life it may sometimes be the difference between some exercise or no exercise. Or being in the hills or not being in the hills. I intend to cycle unassisted for as long as possible but eventually my knees won't allow that and the same for walking, as i already use walking poles.

Rog Wilko 17 Jul 2018
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> I'm for hover backpacks where do I sign up.

This made me smile.

> I appreciate that you wouldn't want artificial assistance but as one gets on in life it may sometimes be the difference between some exercise or no exercise. Or being in the hills or not being in the hills. I intend to cycle unassisted for as long as possible but eventually my knees won't allow that and the same for walking, as i already use walking poles.

But this is the serious bit. Why would anyone give up the passion(s) of a lifetime on a principle such as cycling being totally unassisted? What about cable cars which allow the aged to go on enjoying walking around Cham? Potato, you're entitled to your opinions (as my history teacher used to say) but they're wrong.

Seymore Butt 17 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Thanks for the reply's everyone, some interesting thoughts to take on board, even the negatives.

I must admit I've always thought it cheating myself having to use assisted power from another source. But hey lets give it a go.

Only got the wife to agree now to spending another $3-4 Grand after buying a new car a three months ago.

Humm!! Maybe I could sell her car.

Bulls Crack 17 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

OK I'll disagree. Having some assistance form a motor opens biking up to people who might want to do it but currently can't for a variety of reasons including health/ and age. I know several people around here with its very steep hills who have taken up cycling more recently because they're no longer put off by the drastic gradients! 

baron 17 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Convert one of your old bikes.

£700, job done!  

kathrync 17 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

If you are currently riding with difficulty and an e-bike would help you to enjoy it more and keep getting out there for longer, then go for it.

Stuart en Écosse 17 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

That's fine for you, but not the OP.

FWIW, I feel the same as you regarding my own cycling but I've had several chats with people in the Alps and Pyrenees on E-bikes who would for a variety of reasons not have otherwise been there. Met a couple on the Col de l'Izoard last year, he looked very fit and was on a high end carbon roadie, she had a long term injury and was on an e-bike. It meant they could cycle together up big cols, previously she had gone in the car. Win win.

Self charging bikes would be a brilliant solution to city transport, and self charging E-fatbike would be the ultimate offload travel machine.

Post edited at 12:06
The Potato 18 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

To counterbalance my negativity 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJETokbfnNI

 

thepodge 18 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

That vid only really serves as misinformation. 

ebikes in the USA are subject to different rules to those in the EU. EU bikes are far lower powered. 

wbo 18 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:do you cycle to work? One you're doing 25km plus a day, no matter if you're tired, or there's a screaming headwind they start looking a good idea, especially if you want to do some training other than cycling.

To the OP - go for it, why not?

 

Hardonicus 18 Jul 2018
In reply to Stuart en Écosse:

I think e-bikes are also be interesting for extending feasible commuting distances. I do 7 hilly miles each way, but I imagine on an ebike 20 mile radius of possibility would easily open up, especially if you have a charging point at work.

Post edited at 10:22
Guy 18 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

I have a slight concern that some of these bikes are getting converted/hacked which means they are motorbikes but pedal assist bikes are brilliant.  As commuter transportation they must be about the best thing out there.  Cleaner than anything apart from a pure bike but the ability to soft pedal in to work without breaking into a massive sweat whilst still going at a reasonable pace, then you can hoon it home, great!  

They wont replace pure bikes because the weight of them will always be felt and let's face it there is something gorgeous about a pure bike but they do have their place.

DubyaJamesDubya 18 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

> Yep 35, but its not about me thinking I'm going to live in perfect health forever, but me doing things within my own ability without the need for assistance. If hover-backpacks were a thing in the near future how would people feel about using them to 'assist' climbing? Anyway each to their own but as Seymore Butt was asking an open question I gave one of a variety of possible responses

So Skiing. You don't/wouldn't take the chair lift?

squibbcakes 18 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Dude, I'm 41 and ride a full sus ebike.

I love it. It allows me to ride around 100km a week on trails and down hill tracks.

Its a pedal assist which means it only helps when I pedal.

I have lost weight and toned up due to use and the fact you have to manhandle the bike about on the trail (its about 23kg).

I have my reasons for getting it and i spent ages justifying my purchase to ebike haters. What I have since realised is that if I had tried one at any point in my life, I would have wanted one.

What I tend to find is that people who hate them, Shout cheat or generally grumble about them don't understand them. 

Also, they are usually pushing an old 2004 downhill bike up a push track when I sail past them doing roughly 3-4 runs to their every 1.

Miles of smiles await you my friend.

drpetermorgan 19 Jul 2018
In reply to squibbcakes:

four of us did the C2C last month, we're all 73 and one of us used an e-bike (self-converted and very heavy) : it was great as it allowed us still to cycle together in spite of advancing years and health problems. 

By the way you can hire e-bikes with fat tyres at Chalet reynard on mont ventoux allowing easier access when the lifts are not working (most of the time)

wintertree 19 Jul 2018
In reply to The Potato:

> I'll be the negative responder here then, my view is cycling is a self powered mode of transport and anything with a motor is a motor bike. If I were in the situation where I were no longer able to cycle I would find another hobby. (Feel free to dislike all you want this is my personal view).

What about riding quiet electric pedal and motor assist bicycles that are legal on cycle trails?  That sounds like a great hobby.

Post edited at 11:25
In reply to The Potato:

Well done for expressing your personal view. You can't have the same passion for mountain biking as I do as I will look  at anything, when I get older and  am struggling, to keep out on the trails. Met a 70+ year old guy in Chanmonix last year who was still ripping trails with blokes 40 years younger thanks to his E-MTB.

LastBoyScout 20 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

I think they're a great idea for many people, but the purist in me wouldn't want one just yet - part of the enjoyment for me of riding is doing it under my own steam.

If you want one, get one. Just don't ride up my arse on the trails or barge your way past, as seems to happen.

Jim C 20 Jul 2018
In reply to baron:

You can get a conversion kit for your own bike , my neighbour  had some medical issues that would have prevented him ever again getting on long trips on a normal bike, he converted to electric, and can now still join in on trips with 'fitter' friends. 

 

 

Post edited at 19:52
Rog Wilko 24 Jul 2018
In reply to Seymore Butt:

Just been on my first Ebike ride from Leysin. The machine was a Scott with Bosch electric fittings driving through the bottom bracket. It works really well. Four levels of assistance to choose from ranging from Eco to Turbo. You can choose how much effort you want to make. Great!


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