Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

e-MTB: Battery powered Mountain Bikes

Posted by Tony | September 2, 2010 | 6 comments so far

Ghost E-Ndure Electric e-MTB
You thought that electric bikes were for the seriously unfit to pop down to the shops to get their groceries in. Well wrong. They are big business and love them or loath them they are coming to mountain biking. I’ve even invented an acronym; e-MTB!

The latest figures from Germany (apparently the big European market for ebikes) show that the market in ebikes is booming.

The lastest news from Eurobike shows some amazing e-MTBs. A 3 speed Ghost E-Ndure Electric that will let you climb up alpine passes or ride at 18mph on the flat. The only (major!) downside is the weight…26kg. Err, Catch 22. You need an electric motor for that!

There’s even a completely insane e-bike built by Nicolai for Grace Bikes with a frame completely filled with batteries that’s good for 40mph! (MarkW, your bike is soooo yesterday).

Grace Bikes e-MTB

Of course non of these e-MTBs are legal for the top speeds mentioned but – nudge, nudge – they can be de-restricted for special circumstances. The Grace is actually nearer an electric moped than an MTB but definitions merge at this extreme end of e-MTB.

Of course, do I want an e-MTB? Well no way can I see myself riding one (well not until I’m decrepit) and I’m not looking forward to seeing them on the trials but I’m sure they will appear eventually. Maybe even for downhillers that have bikes that you can’t pedal back uphill they might appeal or for people who want to get out into the hills but that can’t just make it up the hills.

Surely though the beauty of bikes (MTB and road) is their lack of weight, simplicity, elegance (have you seen a good looking e-MTB yet?), all of which is lacking for e-MTBs…at the moment. However with mass production and an increasing market driving e-bike R&D the bikes will improve.

I’m afraid I can’t explain things more than I’m simply ideologically opposed to e-MTB and I’m not looking forward to the moment when I’m passed on a hill by a smiling e-MTB’er.

Filed under 2010, News in September 2010


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  1. DaveW says:

    Well there’s nothing wrong with it really, but it isn’t a bicycle, it is a motorbike. Motorbikes are not really a new innovation – and you can get motorbikes that are a lot more powerful and effective off road than these.

    Also, as it is a motor vehicle, surely you wouldn’t be able to ride it on bridlepaths legally?

    And the Forestry Comission, National Trust, Hurtwood, etc. all restrict motor vehicle use on their land.

    Although of course enforcement would be tricky, particularly if they run silently…

  2. Matt says:

    I too hate the idea of these e-MTBs, because they’re not really MTBs if they have their own power are they?

    Instead, they’re motorbikes or at best mopeds as Dave points out, they just happen to use MTB tech as their starting point. Maybe to allow those dreaded MX guys to venture farther afield than their current machines allow.

    I shudder to think of these things turning up at trail centres or hammering down Barry Knows Best or our other local riding spots. Enforcement has got to be an issue that’s going to be a real problem for land owners.

    Imagine the further bad press we’re going to get from other land users too? They’ll just lump these bikes in with MTBs, to our detriment.

    Besides, it’s cheating. ‘Earn your descents’!!

  3. Mark J says:

    Do you think I can get one in time for Dusk till Dawn?

    It would do away with all that unecessary pedalling……..

  4. JamesPro says:

    They are already out there, Adam was on it last night!!!!!! 😉

    e-MTBs are only good if you lose your licence and cannot ride a proper motorbike!

    What do you do when the battery is flat…. that would be a hard ride home!!!

  5. Related: Specialized Turbo e-bike shakes things up | Muddymoles

  6. chaz matis says:

    I Bought me a Hardtail MTB with a discreet electric Package…2000wt 52AMP Lithim Cobalt has capabilities of high speeds up to 35MPH…However, I am having the blast of my life being able to keep up and challege myself at greater levels each day. You see i’m 46 a abit overweight…and loved BMX as a child…But the advanced challeges and adrenaline hype in MTB wouldn’t have been achieved at this level so soon without electric assist. Some guys have biked 10 years to develope legs of steel enjoy these flat Texas creek side trails…and the cool thing is, it has taken me all of ten weeks to loose 17 lbs and bigger tires to catch me up to speed. Yeah, the Pro’s laugh and think its a crying joke, the Intermediates don’t no what to think and the Novices just stop, look, and wish they had an eletric assist of the kind…So while I’m out theresweating, with a steady heart rate, just having the time of my life,and above all else feeling the thrill of the Pro’s. I just want you to remember, Professional weight lifters, need a spotter to help them to the next level too…
    E-MTB is Me!! love it or hate it!! With just a touch, i control the pain to my gain.


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