Enough with the E-bikes we hear you cry but, love them or loathe them it won’t be long until you’re over-taken by one on a climb. If you can’t beat them, is it time to join them or at least give it a go? Here are 10 reasons you should consider give e-mountainbiking a shot.
1. Get to places you couldn’t in one day
There is a whole lot of world out there and sometimes you just can’t fit as much of it into one weekend as you would like. Getting where you want to go and still having energy to ride some descents when you get there is a gift that E-mountainbikes can give you. If you want to ride a whole trail centre in one day or see what is over that next hill, turn on that motor and spin those pedals. Just remember to make it back before your battery dies, it could be a long walk home.
2. Meet new people – make new friends
Anything that is a little new and a little different will always cause a stir, so, if you crave some attention and want to chat with random folks out in the world, riding an E-mountainbike is a sure way to get people chatting. Be wary though, after picking up your bike and exclaiming that it weighs a ton/isn’t as heavy as they thought, they’ll then want to whack it into turbo and do some full speed hooligan razzing. You run the risk of being left standing, bikeless, in a lonely forest while your battery is drained but an overenthusiastic e-bike convert.
3. Pack what you like into your bag because weight doesn’t matter
Ever considered whether you really need that 3rd jacket or whether taking a whole cheesecake in case of a sugar low is really a good idea? You probably decided that you really couldn’t justify the weight – well now you can just chuck it in your bag. You’ll have the legs to get up the hills anyway so enjoy your feast at the top of the hill while snug in all your jackets.
4. Help a fit friend train
Training for an event can be a lonely occupation, they need to get the hours in but mates can’t (and don’t want to) keep up on the climbs. An e-mountain bike means you can ride alongside while asking open-ended questions and maintaining a consistent pace (with the use of display screen). Motivational comments like “whoa, I can drop you and I’m not even trying” may or may not be appreciated.
5. Improve your descending abilities for when you’re back on your regular bike
Practice makes perfect, well, maybe perfect is a stretch but, practice definitely makes slightly better. Riding the same trail several times builds your confidence and helps you learn the twists and turns. You’ll feel lighter, stronger and ready to throw some shapes when you get back on your regular bike.
6. Enjoy riding trails, not the uplift truck
“E-mountainbiking is cheating” we hear regularly, it most definitely is if you are entered into a race and you haven’t mentioned you are motor assisted. If you’re getting winched to the top of the hill in a van or on a chair lift, well, that’s kind of cheating too. Use more calories, get more fresh air and avoid having to sit in an enclosed space that reeks of sweat and egg sandwiches.
7. Fit in a few more trails around real life
This is one of the most stated reasons for riding an E-mountain bike, they aren’t just for the ill and recovering don’t you know. They are great for people who have grown up and discovered that life isn’t all riding through muddy puddles and eating whole Sorreen loaves in the rain, they are for people with other commitments in their busy lives. After your 9 to 5 during the week, you might have to build the shed, mow the lawn and visit your mother in law at the weekend. Fitting multiple trails into the 90 minutes you manage to salvage for yourself will re-energise you before you go home and cook the dinner.
8. Get some inside knowledge so you can tell your mates why e-mountainbikes suck
There will always be haters and we totally get that, we don’t like change either. My advice to those folks would normally be “don’t get an E-mountainbike” but, there has to be something in knowing your enemy. Take one for the team, go for a quick ride so you know what it is that you are blasting on social media.
9. Ride with mates/family members who have different fitness goals to you
It’s not all about covering distance and smashing up climbs, riding an E-Mountainbike in a mixed group means you can keep riding with your mates/husband/wife/son/daughter who are at a different stage in their life to you and maintain your social circle. Mountain biking is incredibly good for mental health and social interaction is a massive part of that, seeing your ride companions drop you on the climbs can be disheartening and, given the choice of losing a favourite ride companion or having them ride an E-mountainbike, your mates would choose E for you.
10. Have a huge amount of fun
I challenge you to get on an E-Mountainbike, turn the cranks, and not smile. It’s fun and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Pedaling up a hill at the same rate as a pro without the training is fun, keeping up with your mates and getting out further than you normally would is fun as is doing a e-power assisted wheelie over a tech section you normally struggle on. It is different from riding regular bikes and the people riding e-bikes aren’t pretending that they aren’t. Throw off the shackles, have a little fun!
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Words: Catherine Smith Photos: Catherine Smith, Christoph Bayer, Trevor Worsey