- “You’ll pass me at an unsafe speed uphill.” A: No, I won’t. I obey the park rules about passing at a safe speed, just like I don’t ride ebikes where they’re not allowed. If I do pass you, it’s likely because you’re climbing slower than I would on my regular mountain bike. (A low threshold, admittedly.)
- “You’re cheating your way up the Strava leaderboards.” A: Nope. I do use Strava, but I select “E-Bike Ride” as my activity, not just “Ride.” Different segments tracked, different leaderboards. Also, I don’t care about leaderboards or “segment hunting” beyond trying to improve on my own previous performance.
- “You’ll tear up the trails on that damn thing!” A: More research needs to be conducted in this area, but a 2015 field study by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) concluded that trail impacts, measured as soil displacement, “were not significantly different” between Class 1 eMTBs and traditional mountain bikes.
- “I don’t want to hear the sound of a motor while I’m enjoying the outdoors.” A: Have you heard what some rear mountain bike hubs sound like these days? I dare you to detect the low thrum of a mid-drive motor over the buzzsaw racket of many high-end rear mountain hubs coasting downhill. (For the record, I dig the sound of noisy high-engagement hubs.) Now, if Industry Nine or Chris King start making mid-drives, maybe you’ll have a point.
- “Ebikers are lazy.” A: In September, Cycle Volta reported on a European study concluding that ebikers tend to ride longer distances than regular cyclists, and a recent column by Outside’s Joe Lindsey enumerated a number of similar research findings related to ride duration and the health benefits of ebiking.
- “Ebikes: I just don’t like ’em.” A: Then don’t ride one. I might not personally care for the brand or style of mountain bike you’re riding, but I have no business saying you shouldn’t enjoy your hard-earned purchase. That would make me, frankly, an insufferable arse. It’s no different from all the 29er hate spewed by old-line riders in the early days of the then-maligned “clown” wheel size, which now dominates the high-end mountain bike market.