This study found that were many misconceptions about what constitutes an eMTB. These misconceptions seem to foster fears and concerns about trail conflict, access, and the morality of individuals using eMTBs.
Robert A. Chaney · P. Cougar Hall · Ashley R. Crowder · Benjamin T. Crookston · Joshua H. West
While the popularity of pedal-assist electric bikes (eBikes) generally is growing, electric-mountain bikes(eMTB) have not received a warm welcome by many within the mountain biking community. Anecdotally, a variety of concerns have been raised concerning eMTB use, including trail damage, trail conflict, decreased trail access, and the perception that eMTB use is not “real” mountain biking or is “cheating.”
This qualitative study involved extracting and thematically analyzing discussion thread comments about eMTBs among nine mountain biking Facebook pages.
Three predominant themes emerged: What is an eMTB?, Trails, and How should eMTBs be used? There was general confusion about the features and capabilities of eMTBs except by those who had previously used one. Commenters expressed concern over a variety of trail-related issues, including that eMTBs will damage trails similar to the way motorized vehicles do and that they could cause restricted access to some trail systems. There were inconsistent opinions on the use of eMTBs, where some comments saw riding mountain bikes as a “rite of passage” and that using an eMTB was “cheating”.There was some level of acknowledgement that eMTBs may be useful for promoting exercise, but this was mediated by the“rite of passage” belief.
These findings confirm general attitudes around eMTBs including fears, concerns, and prejudices. This study includes insights that will be useful in efforts to promote eMTBs for recreation, a tool to increase levels of physical activity, and in discussing potential conflicts about trail use.
Published January 24, 2019
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.
Responsible equestrians should actively protect trees and other park structures when out on the trail. Equine expert Lora Goerlich gives her take on this topic.
This report focuses on the issues surrounding the proposed development of the Palouse to Cascades Rail-Trail.
In the USA, sales and use of “fat bikes” (bicycles with 75–120 mm-wide tires) have increased dramatically in the past five years. These bikes are designed to open new terrain to cyclists, including snow-covered trails and softer ground surfaces impossible to ride with a standard mountain bike. In this paper, we discuss the extent and possible trends of fat bike use, potential impacts, conflicts and land management approaches.