Today I will tell you 4 surprising MYTHS about Electric Mountain Bikes. Here at BestComfortBike.com, E-bikes can be a contentious subject, yet they are the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle market. If you’ve been out on a bike recently, you’ve seen people riding all types of Electric bikes. And if you spend time on the trails, you may have noticed that a lot more people are enjoying mountain biking with the pedal-assist of a motor. That means many people are buying their first or even their second e-bike.
Perhaps you’ve been skeptical about the fun or function of an e-bike, and you’re interest in challenging your opinions, or you are excite about purchasing your first e-bike. I hope on my first e-bike a few months ago- the Orbea Rise and I was happily surprise. While I still prefer an analog bike for most of my rides, I want to debunk some myths (a few of them were even my preconceived notions) and give you my take on a few things.
MYTH 1: THEY AREN’T FUN ON THE TRAIL
Fun can be define in several ways, but the way I see it, the fun has a few categories most people would agree on: momentum/speed, not having to walk your bike, and getting to ride more trails. You can choose your adventure, making it easier or harder by how much of a boost you want from the motor. E-bikes are effectively like a resistance dial on a spin bike. The pedal assist can smooth out more dramatic spikes in effort when the trail gets extra steep.
When mountain biking, momentum is your friend, and speed is fun! Most of us ride mountain bikes because we like to well…ride. We don’t enjoy walking our bikes, and pushing the bike uphill can happen more often when we are tired. The option to get a little extra boost on a steep section can help if you lack fitness, are tired, or don’t have that high-end wattage for a few seconds. Momentum also helps you get through rock gardens, especially if it’s hard to pedal in the middle and you need to accelerate and carry speed. E-bikes can also do longer challenging climbs that you couldn’t previously ride more accessible. Another way e-bikes make trail riding more fun is that you can cover a greater distance in a shorter period. Most of us are time-crunched and face the frustration of having access to the same lunch loop or after-work ride. Having an e-bike gives you the freedom to potentially cover more ground and ride a wider variety of trails.
MYTH 2: E-BIKES ARE CHEATING
My challenge when people say that e-bikes are cheating is “cheating compared to what?” Yes, the effort on an e-bike can be more effortless because you have access to a motor. However, most pedal-assist e-bikes have different modes that provide different levels of assistance. The type of assistance you get is mostly from adding extra torque when you need it. That means that you still have to pedal the bike, and you still have the option to build your fitness or even suffer a little bit if that strikes your fancy. You can get the reward of working hard while riding an e-bike, get your heart rate up, and build aerobic fitness.
MYTH 3: YOU CAN’T BUY HIGH-PERFORMANCE E-MOUNTAIN BIKES
Electric Mountain Bikes can come spec’d with high-end components, carbon frames, and tuned suspension. Some e-bikes look clunky, while with others, you have to look very closely to even tell it’s an e-bike. Carbon frames and lighter components make some e-bikes lighter than others. They are also built with stellar trail riding geometry so that you can rip it on the descents.
MYTH 4: ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT OF SHAPE RIDE AN E-BIKE
Every rider has different desires for trail riding, and an e-bike can check all the boxes! You’ll see people of all fitness levels and ages riding e-bikes. There are also e-bike races and many pros that ride e-bikes. It might not be your daily driver, but many riders enjoy having one in their garage.
As a Professional Mountain Biker, I like using my e-bike on recovery rides so I don’t overexert myself on trails which is easy! I also enjoy it if I want to explore a new area or session a descent. As a mom of very young children, I rode my e-bike while pregnant in my third trimester, making mountain biking a lot more fun! I also use it for taking my son out on rides on the shotgun seat!