Expanded Outerbike Schedule Offers eMTB Demo Opportunities

Organizers hope all 7 events will include electric mountain bikes.

Electric mountain bike demos have been available for a few years at Outerbike Moab.
Electric mountain bike demos have been available for a few years at Outerbike Moab.Outerbike

With Outerbike expanding to seven locations next year, including four new venues, riders will have more opportunity than ever to test-ride electric mountain bikes at the series of consumer MTB demo events.

Specialized, Pivot Cycles, Scott, Rocky Mountain, Bosch, and Haibike are among the brands that have brought eMTBs to Outerbikes in previous years. Outerbike’s organizers are in the midst of recruiting exhibitors for the 2020 schedule.

Events will continue next year in Moab, Utah; Bentonville, Arkansas; and Crested Butte, Colorado. Outerbike has also added three-day demos in Deer Valley, Utah; Killington, Vermont; Duluth, Minnesota; and South Lake Tahoe, California.

Outerbike 2020 Schedule

  • June 19–21: Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah
  • July 24–26: Killington, Vermont
  • August 14–16: Crested Butte Colorado
  • August 28–30: Duluth, Minnesota
  • September 18–20: South Lake Tahoe, California
  • October 2–4: Moab, Utah
  • October 23–25: Bentonville, Arkansas

More information: Outerbike.com

Out of the heritage locations for Outerbike, Bentonville offers the most opportunities for eMTBs because there are no restrictions on Class 1 pedal-assist bikes on the region’s extensive trail system, Outerbike co-owner Mark Sevenoff noted. In Moab, Outerbikers can ride the 10-mile Bar M double-track loop right from the demo site, and organizers also shuttle riders to ebike-legal trails in the area including Amasa Back and Sovereign Trail. Sevenoff said they also may offer eMTB shuttles to the famed Slickrock Trail next year.

In Crested Butte, “ebikes aren’t typically allowed at the resort, but we get a special use permit. People can take them up the lift, and go up and ride all the park bike trails,” Sevenoff said.

Outerbike-goers try out a trio of Specialized Levo eMTBs.
Outerbike-goers try out a trio of Specialized Levo eMTBs.Outerbike

Outerbike’s new venues for 2020 have varying levels of eMTB access.

“Tahoe has very few restrictions in part due to some new rulings by the Forest Service, so we’re excited to have some good ebike opportunities there,” Sevenoff said.

This summer, the National Forest Service authorized the use of Class 1 pedal-assist ebike on 130 miles of non-motorized trails in Tahoe National Forest. That move was countered by a lawsuit filed in October on behalf of several outdoor advocacy groups, including the Backcountry Horsemen of California, the Back Country Horsemen of America, the Wilderness Society, the Forest Issues Group, and the Gold Country Trails Council. The suit alleges that the Forest Service did not conduct a proper environmental review process or notify the public adequately before allowing ebikes on select trails.

“I’m certainly paying attention to that,” Sevenoff said. “But I think even if the Backcountry Horsemen close certain trails, I think there will be some solid ebike opportunities out there.”

In Duluth, ebikes are not allowed on many of the classic trails near the Minnesota city’s downtown, but attendees will be able to demo eMTBs at Spirit Mountain’s summertime bike park. "We’ll have a loop and some select trails there, but it’s not open everywhere like Bentonville is,” Sevenoff said.

Killington Resort allows Class 1 eMTBs on all its trails, and Outerbike is still hashing out access at Deer Valley Resort in Utah. At the bike parks, Sevenoff said he hopes riders will have access not only to lift-served downhill trails, but to uphill and cross-country terrain for all types of mountain bikes, including eMTBs.

“A lot of bike parks don’t have many uphill opportunities for cross-country riders. Bike parks are great—they’re all set up for big events, all the infrastructure’s there, and people can do lots of laps traveling downhill. But people want to try any bike—an ebike or a regular bike—to see how it pedals. So it’s important to have some of those options. A lot of people value that part of the ride more than the downhill. In many cases, the uphill is where the machine really shines,” he said.