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E-Bike Vs Mountain Bikes l Are E-Bikes Ruining The Mountain Riding

E-mountain bikes, as a particular type of E-bike, can make it more accessible to the outdoors for those who might otherwise be physically or socially excluded. E-mountain bikes can help equalize the riding skills of different riders.

E-bikes are also controversial because they allow riders to travel further and faster in rural areas. The new technology has sparked intense debate among walkers, horse riders, and cyclists about the acceptable level of noise, speed, and erosion.

There is a general perception on various internet forums and social networking sites that e-mountain bikes riders are lazy, selfish, and anti-social. They are also accused of being too dependent on their motors and traveling at unsafe speeds for other countryside users, which can lead to damage to the trails and wider environment.

Read This Article: Best Electric Mountain Bikes in 2022

Considerations for the environment

An all-terrain bike with a motor and battery may allow more people to enjoy the outdoors. Many riders are concerned about the environmental impact of heavier components, wider tires, and increased torque.

Research has shown that mountain biking is a complicated sport. It involves riders, bikes, and terrain. Riders learn to pay attention to their bodies and bikes through careful experimentation. They also gain a deeper appreciation for the terrain and feel of the trails.

It has been proven that this can influence their interactions with other users groups. Mountain bikers will make concessions to walkers and horse riders on the basis of mutual understanding of the terrain. Riders will often follow walkers uphill but may wait to pass horses on steep trails in order to avoid causing injury or distress to the horse.

E-bikes can be dangerous because they have a motor that makes it easy for riders to forget about the terrain and other needs. Riders will prioritize getting uphill quickly or traveling as far as possible on one battery.

While many of these concerns and complaints are valid, they are mostly based on anecdotal evidence instead of actual research. We spoke with 30 e-bike riders in England as part of our current project that has not yet been published. Our findings have shown that electric mountain bike riders are more responsible than people might think.

The benefits

Participants who have been interviewed so far shared with us their constant questions to non-e-bike riders about how tired or difficult it is to ride. This helps them adjust to the group’s pace and energy level.

Participants who cycle with non-bikers also stated that they place themselves behind the wheel to avoid “rubbing others’ noses in it”. Others have claimed that they swap bikes with other riders when they feel too tired.
Bicycles for man and woman in the Dolomites Mountains landscape.
Are you making the outdoors more accessible?

E-bikes are also seen as having a greater social impact on crime, ill-health and social exclusion. One participant, a former soldier with disabilities, said that his e-bike was the catalyst for a new social enterprise that addresses youth crime through cycling. A number of older participants also claimed that purchasing an e-bike led to significant improvements in their mental and physical well-being.

Both risks and rewards

We’ve heard of riders dragging walkers through their paths. One of our participants in the bicycle industry was aware of two cases where e-mountain bikes riders had gone too far into the wilderness and ran out of battery. He needed to call an air ambulance.

The riders’ relationships to the battery and the onboard computer further illustrate this concern. Despite the fact that our research is still ongoing and many participants have reported how the Bluetooth connection between their bikes, GPS tracking apps like Strava, allowed them to “compete” against their friends.
A man riding an electric bike through the woods.
E-bikes can be a great way to split opinions among riders.

Although these are isolated cases, they add to existing research that shows how tracking devices can be integrated with other technology in sport or physical activity to allow for immoral, disrespectful, and irresponsible behaviors. Strava’s promotion of fast, competitive riding has been linked to increased trail erosion and damage.

Rob Warner, a popular mountain bike commentator, said that electric mountain bikes are “the most significant thing to have happened to mountain biking since mountain riding”. They enable people to overcome social and physical barriers and allow them to get more exercise outdoors.

However, it is still unclear if the environmental risks outweigh the benefits for society, culture, and health. Future conversations should be based on evidence and not anecdotes.

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