Author Topic: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?  (Read 2249 times)

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #50 on: 01 September, 2021, 09:59:58 am »
I'm all for e-bike racing - but the racers have to start with flat batteries. 30min before race start, they can start pedaling a charging system. Whatever they can put into the battery is what they have to race with. A bit like the Americas cup yacht race, where they have grunts grinding to create electrical power for the systems.

It would bring in a new level of tactics and bike type. Do you have a larger battery and try to store more power? Or a titchy lightweight battery and motor, only for use to give a boost up hills?
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #51 on: 01 September, 2021, 10:07:15 am »
Real bike racers turn up with nothing but a pile of iron ore and assorted rare earth metals.

Cudzoziemiec

  • first to the top of the hill puts the kettle on
Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #52 on: 01 September, 2021, 11:13:32 am »
No, real bike racers start by riding to Zambia, or wherever their copper mine of choice is.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #53 on: 01 September, 2021, 01:08:58 pm »
I'm all for e-bike racing - but the racers have to start with flat batteries. 30min before race start, they can start pedaling a charging system. Whatever they can put into the battery is what they have to race with. A bit like the Americas cup yacht race, where they have grunts grinding to create electrical power for the systems.

It would bring in a new level of tactics and bike type. Do you have a larger battery and try to store more power? Or a titchy lightweight battery and motor, only for use to give a boost up hills?

I believe that the HPV racing community have experimented with storing energy in flywheels, and decided that on a race track it isn't worth the weight.  The same would be true of electric energy storage.

I'm trying to persuade the BHPC to accept (road-legal, so as not to become an electron arms race) electric assist at our races, on the basis that would allow  a) the disabled people who need it  and  b) people with HPVs that have an impractical-to-remove motor  to take part.  We've cleared the insurance hurdle, but Covid has stalled things, as we really need a proper AGM bun-fight to work out how the hell we classify them.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #54 on: 01 September, 2021, 08:03:34 pm »
I estimate I was heading uphill at about 15mph and three ebikes overtook me at my estimate of nearly 30mph based on local knowledge of the road and the speed the cars were doing.
Any e bike going uphill at over 15mph surely has an illegal, over 250 watt, motor?

On the road yes, not off road in the woods.  I’ve seen e mtb on forest tracks in Dolomites and definitely not e  pedalec compliant.

Off road legality gets complicated. My understanding is that under UK law, anything capable of going faster than 15mph is a mechanically propelled vehicle and so can't be used on Bridleways, period. It could be legal on BOATs and RUPPs, but only if registered and insured as a mechanically propelled vehicle (ie moped or motorcycle, depending on top speed).  Use away from recognised rights of way would not be illegal, but is unlawful unless you have the landowner's permission.  [It could be illegal is you cause damage, but on the basis of criminal damage law, not vehicle use]. Then there are police powers under anti-social vehicle use powers, but I don't know much (anything!) about those, so won't speculate.

So a 'not road-legal' Ebike is also not legal on other RoWs because the laws governing its classification for road use also apply on other rights of way.  Just like an unregistered/untaxed/uninsured MX bike.  Ride one on a byway and you could theoretically get a motoring conviction.  But the chances of enforcement are, of course, negligible. I suspect that the only way users will get the message is if a few people get stung for high-value third party liability claims, leading to constabulary attention for driving without licence and/or insurance.

In theory, de-regulated Ebikes could be permissible at trail centres if the operator is happy. I'm not aware of any that do encourage it. And trail centres tend to be designed around slow-up, fast-down principles so >15mph capability seems pointless to me. That's not to say that an 'Ebike ascent route' couldn't be added, of course.

What's legal or not in the Dolomites is an open question... ;)

When I went down to my local cargobike, e-bike and anything else odd and non-racer shop the other day (to look for a frontrack for the folder) I was very surprised to see a lady with an e-bike, obviously very new, with a numberplate just like a moped. I didn't think to ask at the time (not my business, other customer etc etc) but I will have to ask when I go back. I am not up to speed with this pedalec stuff, french regs are evolving quite quickly just to deal with e-trottinettes. Cargobikes with 500W motors are just another thing requiring some sort of order in the chaos.

Racing e-bikes shouldn't pose a problem. Race them with the mopeds! 24h e-bike racing would probably advance the technology at quite a rate. Probably need to have formule libre with a machine value rule - a challenger has the right to buy the bike at the max permitted value; it cuts back the big budget stuff and gives everyone a chance to innovate.

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #55 on: 01 September, 2021, 08:50:26 pm »
I'm all for e-bike racing - but the racers have to start with flat batteries. 30min before race start, they can start pedaling a charging system. Whatever they can put into the battery is what they have to race with. A bit like the Americas cup yacht race, where they have grunts grinding to create electrical power for the systems.

It would bring in a new level of tactics and bike type. Do you have a larger battery and try to store more power? Or a titchy lightweight battery and motor, only for use to give a boost up hills?

I believe that the HPV racing community have experimented with storing energy in flywheels, and decided that on a race track it isn't worth the weight.  The same would be true of electric energy storage.

I'm trying to persuade the BHPC to accept (road-legal, so as not to become an electron arms race) electric assist at our races, on the basis that would allow  a) the disabled people who need it  and  b) people with HPVs that have an impractical-to-remove motor  to take part.  We've cleared the insurance hurdle, but Covid has stalled things, as we really need a proper AGM bun-fight to work out how the hell we classify them.

E-MTBs are allowed in British Mountain Bike Orienteering events.  They have their own separate class.  They tend to be scored but not explicitly ranked - if that makes sense.  The pedalling is only part of the event though...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #56 on: 01 September, 2021, 09:34:53 pm »
I'm all for e-bike racing - but the racers have to start with flat batteries. 30min before race start, they can start pedaling a charging system. Whatever they can put into the battery is what they have to race with. A bit like the Americas cup yacht race, where they have grunts grinding to create electrical power for the systems.

It would bring in a new level of tactics and bike type. Do you have a larger battery and try to store more power? Or a titchy lightweight battery and motor, only for use to give a boost up hills?

I believe that the HPV racing community have experimented with storing energy in flywheels, and decided that on a race track it isn't worth the weight.  The same would be true of electric energy storage.

I'm trying to persuade the BHPC to accept (road-legal, so as not to become an electron arms race) electric assist at our races, on the basis that would allow  a) the disabled people who need it  and  b) people with HPVs that have an impractical-to-remove motor  to take part.  We've cleared the insurance hurdle, but Covid has stalled things, as we really need a proper AGM bun-fight to work out how the hell we classify them.

E-MTBs are allowed in British Mountain Bike Orienteering events.  They have their own separate class.  They tend to be scored but not explicitly ranked - if that makes sense.  The pedalling is only part of the event though...

Seems reasonable.  In the HPV racing context the 25kph speed limiting means that on most tracks the top half of the field won't get any benefit beyond perhaps a less wobbly start.  The slower riders have a lot to gain, but as an eclectic mixture of the unfit, young, disabled, Not Really Trying and riders of comedy bikes, I don't think many of them are going to be upset if someone else is faster.  Of the remainder, I suspect the majority would be happy as long as it's clear who was using a motor in the results.

There was a surprising amount of support for allowing people with road-legal electric assist to participate when I mooted the idea at the AGM a couple of years ago.  Chris Parker pointed out that about 50% of ICE trikes sales are now electric, and I think most people would be keen to include those riders in some way at our events.

I suspect what we'll end up doing is running a ghetto 'electric' class for a year or two, while we see how things go.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #57 on: 15 September, 2021, 12:47:10 am »
My understanding is that under English law, anything capable of going faster than 15mph is a mechanically propelled vehicle and so can't be used on Bridleways, period.
It could be legal on BOATs and RUPPs, but only if registered and insured as a mechanically propelled vehicle (ie moped or motorcycle, depending on top speed).
Anything with a motor is a mechanically propelled vehicle, unless it's an e-bike that meets the rules (15 mph motor cut out, pedal to go rather than throttle, power limits). There's no new class of vehicle, but rather a rule that legal e-bikes are pedal cycles.

There's no such thing as RUPPs any more (since 2006). They are mostly restricted byways now, which are like bridleways, but also permit "any vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles" (e.g. horse & cart).


Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #58 on: 15 September, 2021, 12:54:30 am »
Bikes of any kind make tyre ruts enabling water to run down the hill. Apparently the stream also takes soil and so the erosion is increased.  Footprints of walkers are bad enough of course. I read that there is a 45 minute queue for the summit of Mount Snowdon :o
Example of what can happen. At the top it was a regular 4x4 wheel rut, only 2-3" deep.

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #59 on: 15 September, 2021, 08:14:33 am »

When I went down to my local cargobike, e-bike and anything else odd and non-racer shop the other day (to look for a frontrack for the folder) I was very surprised to see a lady with an e-bike, obviously very new, with a numberplate just like a moped. I didn't think to ask at the time (not my business, other customer etc etc) but I will have to ask when I go back. I am not up to speed with this pedalec stuff, french regs are evolving quite quickly just to deal with e-trottinettes. Cargobikes with 500W motors are just another thing requiring some sort of order in the chaos.

A mate lives in NL and tells me there are 2x grades of e-bike, defined by the assistance speed cut-off. I think the top one is something like 45kph, for which you are required to have a reg plate, indicators and wear a helmet.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #60 on: 15 September, 2021, 09:18:42 am »

When I went down to my local cargobike, e-bike and anything else odd and non-racer shop the other day (to look for a frontrack for the folder) I was very surprised to see a lady with an e-bike, obviously very new, with a numberplate just like a moped. I didn't think to ask at the time (not my business, other customer etc etc) but I will have to ask when I go back. I am not up to speed with this pedalec stuff, french regs are evolving quite quickly just to deal with e-trottinettes. Cargobikes with 500W motors are just another thing requiring some sort of order in the chaos.

A mate lives in NL and tells me there are 2x grades of e-bike, defined by the assistance speed cut-off. I think the top one is something like 45kph, for which you are required to have a reg plate, indicators and wear a helmet.

Yep. Speed pedelec. They are basically a moped in all but name. They aren't allowed in some cycle infrastructure. great for interurban travel.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Are e-bikes ruining mountain biking?
« Reply #61 on: 15 September, 2021, 09:51:33 am »

Example of what can happen. At the top it was a regular 4x4 wheel rut, only 2-3" deep.


If that is what water can do then water should be more carefully regulated. With allowances for 'good' water, of course.
Never knowingly under caffeinated