We are a group of biking fanatics that love to ride, and we think we should give something back to our sport.
Want to see what’s up with e-bikes generally and/or electric-assist mountain bikes in particular? Then come demo a bike. We have a medium BMC Speedfox AMP 3 to demo as well as Trek’s Powerfly models in full-suspension and hardtail.
Given the type of bike shop we are we have a large number of customers who are enthusiasts and as such tend to take a dim view of e-bikes saying they are “cheating” or “I don’t need that (since I’m not old/infirm/etc yet).” With all due respect I think that criticism misses the entire point of e-bikes. Sure, if you are older or have an injury that is inhibiting your ability to ride as you once did…or even ride at all…then e-bikes are a revelation; opening up routes and terrain that you might have never considered riding. But even for “regular” people, if there is such a thing, e-bikes allow longer rides in more difficult terrain; you can go further, climb higher and do more descents. Because of that it’s a “less of a workout” argument doesn’t hold up.
Anyone who has ever watched non-cyclists ride a regular bike will quickly observe how economical they tend to be. Typically they will pedal just enough to get moving and then coast, only pedalling again when their speed drops so low they might tip over. Clearly cycling isn’t their thing and they are consciously or not trying to expend as little as energy as possible. I bring this up not to disparage non-cyclists but rather to point out that “cheating” is possible on any bike; how hard the ride is is entirely up to how hard the rider chooses to push themselves. I’ve done rides on e-bikes at threshold and I’ve done them with one hand on the bars and with lunch in the other; just like on my regular bike. Are e-bikes for everyone? Of course not, just like 6″ travel bikes aren’t for everyone or full-on DH bikes aren’t for everyone.
Similarly is having a 14 lb road bike cheating? If you want a better workout you should have a 30 lb bike. Is downhill mountain biking cheating when you use the lift to get to the top? No. These are different kinds of bikes for different kinds of riding that offer different riding experiences. Riding an e-bike is it’s own experience and isn’t better or worse: just another way to enjoy being on two wheels.
If the above doesn’t sway you then I’d suggest the “don’t knock ’til you’ve tried it” argument. Without fail when we send people out on test-rides on e-bikes they come back with a huge grin on their face. These bikes are just fun to ride, plain and simple.