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E-bikes and trail impact


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#1 Maven

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 10:07 AM

Food for thought.  Giant/Liv had a private demo event at Castle Wood on July 25 so a lot of e-bikes running a similar loop repetitively.  I noticed excessive trail disturbance on the climbing portions of the route and elsewhere but mimimal.  To the point that I was thinking what is up with the trail.  Then it occurred to me e-bike impact?  I am sure this is the preverbal rabbit hole but gave me concern. CW is some of the toughest established trails around so others may even be more susceptible.



#2 ohearl

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 11:55 AM

I doubt it was only due to the ebikes. Most likely from so much traffic at the same time. An ebike, riden correctly, will not damage a trail any more than a regular bike. Unless....they have so much speed, they need to brake hard and skid just like regular bikes.
Earl Poe
Only 5% of the earth is paved.
Uphills are worth it because it means you get to go down, hill that is!!

#3 Craig

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 09:26 AM

I doubt it was only due to the ebikes. Most likely from so much traffic at the same time. An ebike, riden correctly, will not damage a trail any more than a regular bike. Unless....they have so much speed, they need to brake hard and skid just like regular bikes.

 

This is correct.

 

The "pedal assist" types of ebikes which are most popular with the big bike manufacturers are not capable of spinning/slipping the rear tire on a natural surface trail purely due to acceleration.  Like a "regular" bike, you can unweight the rear tire while turning and pedaling, which will allow you to roost on your buddies with one pedal stroke, but the assistance stops the millisecond you stop applying pedal pressure to the drivetrain.  While there are some minor detail differences between the three, I've found this to be true on ebikes with Shimano's STEPS system, the Bosch system, and the (optimized by Giant to their specs) Yamaha units that are used on Giant/Liv bikes.


Craig Seibert, GORC Board Member

GORC/St. Charles County Parks Liaison


#4 Maven

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the replies. Interesting thoughts. After witnessing this at CW I am concerned.

#5 Craig

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 05:13 PM

I did not look at the trails after the demo was over Thursday, but would be curious if some Castlewood regulars were able to compare/contrast the tread disturbance to something like a UFD race, and it's resulting traffic in a short time frame.

 

 


Craig Seibert, GORC Board Member

GORC/St. Charles County Parks Liaison


#6 Craig

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 05:32 PM

Thanks for the replies. Interesting thoughts. After witnessing this at CW I am concerned.

 

Several of GORC's BoD Members have been following the ebike topic over the last several years, so the issue isn't totally alien to us.

 

The "internet sourced" bikes (or kits) with backpack batteries, separate throttles that allow full power at the press of a button, and that follow no industry standards are more of a concern.  Both from the "will the tread hold up to what is being done to it, without further armoring/complete redesign" aspect, and from the "entry lever rider skillset on a bike capable of < 25 minute Matson laps" aspect.

 

This is ignoring the speed differential between the various user groups ...  


Craig Seibert, GORC Board Member

GORC/St. Charles County Parks Liaison


#7 Maven

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 06:41 PM

I can say from riding trails post race with 100s of laps this trail disturbance was unique and unusual. Hence why I took notice. Typically my experience has been a none muddy race improves the trail overall.

#8 The Krackheads

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 01:01 PM

Not a fan of these type bikes but have to see the positive in what they bring to people who don't have full abilities to ride.

Throttle style e bikes are not a bike but a motorized vehicle and should not be permitted off-road on public propoerty.

What are the various municipalities view with these bikes? At some point the e assist stops and its the riders pedaling that propels the bike correct? So downhill speed is limited or can be limited but a 45 lb e bike has more mass so in theory would be faster than a 25lb bike?

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#9 ohearl

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 01:34 PM

The ebikes are pretty heavy. I find that the pedal assist benefit is going uphill, but downhill, the motor stops and I carry the same speed as my regular bike. The motors do have speed limiters on them.
Earl Poe
Only 5% of the earth is paved.
Uphills are worth it because it means you get to go down, hill that is!!

#10 Craig

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 05:28 PM


A) What are the various municipalities view with these bikes? 

B) At some point the e assist stops and its the riders pedaling that propels the bike correct? So downhill speed is limited or can be limited but a 45 lb e bike has more mass so in theory would be faster than a 25lb bike?

 

A) Last time I checked, everything in St. Charles County (LV & SCCP's) deems e-bikes to be motorized vehicles, with exceptions made for people with disabilities.  Not sure about St. Louis County, Mo State Parks (Castlewood), SIUE, or the NFS (Mark Twain Forest/CB/Middle Fork area).  I suggest checking with your favorite trail's Land Manager before making a purchase, so you have the most up to date info.

 

B) The "pedal assist" bikes sold that meet US standards cut out at 20 mph - you can still pedal the bike faster than that, you just won't be getting any help.  The better quality e-mtn bikes sold by the name brand manufacturers will have larger diameter rotors, etc, and are pretty well thought out.

 

While not the ONLY source of info, some interesting tidbits about how the rest of the world deals with e-bikes can be found via https://en.wikipedia...ic_bicycle_laws.  It's Wiki, so don't base your legal defense on what you read in the article ... of note, check the output (W) and speed limitations in the EU.


Craig Seibert, GORC Board Member

GORC/St. Charles County Parks Liaison


#11 kraisydave

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 06:14 PM

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#12 ohearl

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 07:22 PM

The benefit of the pedal assist units is that they give the rider a boost up the steeper sections where the rider may have had to struggle more. The rider still has to pedal. I think they allow more people access to the sport.
Earl Poe
Only 5% of the earth is paved.
Uphills are worth it because it means you get to go down, hill that is!!

#13 epirtle

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:07 PM

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#14 yellkayak

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 06:28 AM

Just like every other motorized conveyance the e- bike will get more horse power every year. The modest assist will turn into motorcycle type power in just a few years. The jet ski that used to be able to be ridden by kids had to be regulated by law because they got too fast, the same goes for the ATV. There are already e- bikes for hunting that you don't have to peddle. The e bike don't belong on trails for bikes horses and hikers. There are all levels of trails in the area if the hills are to big ride a different trail and work your way up to more demanding terrain, we all did it.

thanks Gary






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