Environmental Impacts from Mtn Bicycles, Electric Mtn Bicycles, & Motorcycles

Soil Displacement and Erosion on Bike-Optimized Trails in a Western Oregon Forest

In the fall of 2015, under contract with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), with counsel from a field of recreation management experts, and through a review of existing studies of erosional impacts from trail users, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) conducted a scientifically controlled field study.

by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)

In the fall of 2015, under contract with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), with counsel from a field of recreation management experts, and through a review of existing studies of erosional impacts from trail users, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) conducted a scientifically controlled field study designed to measure relative levels of soil displacement and erosion resulting from traditional mountain bicycles, electric mountain bicycles (eMTBs), and traditional off-road motorcycles (i.e. dirt bikes). The observations were compiled in controlled environmental conditions, with each type of bike making multiple passes on separated sections of the same trail within a single test site.

Attached document published January 2016

About the Author


The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great mountain biking experiences.

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