filed under: e-bikes and emerging technologies
This handbook was developed in partnership with the bicycling industry and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in consultation with professional trail builders. It is intended to be a practical field resource for the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management of electric mountain bike trails.
Published November 2017
This study aimed to compare conventional mountain bike and eMTB use. This was done by investigating 2 questions: (1) What proportion of exercise response is retained for an experienced mountain biker while using an eMTB when compared with a conventional mountain bike? and (2) What are the perceptions and beliefs of experienced mountain bikers toward eMTBs both before and after riding an eMTB?
On average, the majority of survey respondents disapprove of e-bikes being allowed on the trail. This remains true across the board for each of the major user groups; however, mountain bike rider respondents are less likely to disapprove of allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails and equestrian respondents are more likely to disapprove.
In order to better guide research into the range of potential social and environmental impacts and benefits related to the use of eMTBs on natural surface trails, IMBA and the BPSA are interested in what questions land managers have regarding this new use. The survey explicitly targeted land managers’ experiences and concerns regarding eMTB use on natural surface and/or singletrack trails – not paths or bikeways – although some land managers are responsible for both types of trail infrastructure.
The emergence of electric bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes, is a rapidly growing component of the bicycle market in the US. As a transportation option, they represent an opportunity to reduce vehicle use and emissions, as well as the physical barriers to cycling. For use on trails, they present similar opportunities to reduce barriers to cycling but, as a new use, present new challenges for trail management.