The Mountain Bike Life
The knobby tire no longer rules over the temporary concrete kingdom of the Vancouver Bike Show. It’s been a noticeable trend in the last few years. In place of mountain bike related booths, road bikes, cruisers, commuters and the increasingly popular ‘pedal assisted’ electric bikes have moved in. Apparently more people want easier access, comfort and safety without having to break in to a sweat. If e-bikes convince more folks to get off the couch and outside, I’m okay with that. Although I think they are a great idea for commuting and city-touring, here are three reasons you won’t see me e-mountain biking anytime soon.
1. Trees do not make for good charging stations
You can ride from as little as 30kms on the Surface604 fat bike and up to a purported 150 kms with Evoebikes before having to recharge the battery…as long as you’ve been riding in fair weather, on relatively flat ground and with minimal assistance. In other words, you’re going to get a lot further on a sunny summer day in Saskatoon than on a back-country adventure in the South Chilcotin mountains where it can snow in August.
The Prodigy Logan: only 51 lbs to pedal when the battery dies in the middle of nowhere

2. E-bikes are not for weight weenies
According to Surface604, the “extra weight can make them (regular fat bikes) a bear to pedal”. If only they had joined me on my recent fat biking demo they would have experienced those bear like qualities of the “heavy” 32 lb fat bike compared to their 60 lb “super light aluminum alloy” fat bike”. (And I’m sure those spider tires would have provided more sliding riding fun than my unsightly tractor knobbies.)

These fat e-bikes are fat.

3. I like pedaling
I’m of the ‘earn your ride’ ilk. There is something very basic about moving yourself under your own power, even if its hike a biking, that resonates with me. It’s my self-motivation that gets me to my destination and I take pride in that. I like the pace, I like the silence, I like the exercise and I like the disconnect from the e-world.

New company in Whistler promoting mountain biking with the promise of little pedaling.
No training or fitness required to ride up the mountain.
Keep on pedaling kids!
This year’s Vancouver Bike Show didn’t appeal to the adventurous biker in me but it was educational. E-mountain bikes don’t work for me based on where, what and why I like to ride. How about you?
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