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The first sign of the apocalypse

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Well said. in the end, those riders are responsible for knowing their limits and researching trails before they go. I suppose it's subjective, but I'll need to pay attention to how these are marketed, but I will be cognizant of whether they convey that idea to customers. are there examples of advertising that might make riders think that the motor will make up for a lack of skill? perhaps.
likewise, a really nice, sharp knife does not make you a chef and might in fact lead to a loss of a finger. a fast car does not turn you into a race driver, and might in fact result in soaring into a ravine to your death.

E-bikes are not the problem here. I’ve seen plenty of people put knobbies on their commuter bikes and take off into a trail that was way over their pay grade. Did it bother me? Not in the slightest. The bike did not make the decision to hit that trail, the rider did. I do just what AB did here. I tell them how to get back to their comfort zone and answer any questions they may have about how a change in equipment might help them enjoy themselves a little bit more.


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11 minutes ago, Tree Magnet said:


E-bikes are not the problem here. I’ve seen plenty of people put knobbies on their commuter bikes and take off into a trail that was way over their pay grade. Did it bother me? Not in the slightest. The bike did not make the decision to hit that trail, the rider did. I do just what AB did here. I tell them how to get back to their comfort zone and answer any questions they may have about how a change in equipment might help them enjoy themselves a little bit more.


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I take offense to that statement. Yes, I told them how to get safely back to civilization, but then I also called them out on the internet. Please don't diminish my "hey you kids get off my lawn" stance. I have a reputation to uphold as the local curmudgeon. If people start thinking I am just a good guy the whole empire implodes. And the folks at AB world headquarters will stop paying my padded expense reports.

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2 hours ago, Tree Magnet said:


 I’ve seen plenty of people put knobbies on their commuter bikes and take off into a trail that was way over their pay grade. 


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That's how they learn sometimes. It's a thing of beauty.

😂

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On 7/30/2021 at 5:06 PM, hurronnicane said:

Speaking of old guys, we ran into a couple of mountain bikers on trails outside of Pagosa Springs yesterday.  They were in the middle of a significantly bigger ride than us.  One was from Austin who said he was almost 70.  The other was a local and he is 75.  I’m about to turn 64 tomorrow but it sure helps to see people out there doing big stuff even older than me!

Was this the Turkey Springs trail system?  If so, what did you think? I've heard it's great. 

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10 hours ago, June Bug said:

Was this the Turkey Springs trail system?  If so, what did you think? I've heard it's great. 

It was indeed.  We liked it a lot!  Well used, but not crowded, multiple places to access the trails, and not insanely steep.  We look forward to returning and explore  some more.  It also offers plentiful boondocking spots.  We were camped super close to a trail and ten minutes from town.

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31 minutes ago, Tree Magnet said:

If there ever was a bike demographic that doesn't like to pedal, it's dirt jumpers.  Makes sense to me.  They also aren't as focused on weight but that thing better be built like a tank!

I'm looking for a weight. it's not that DJ riders are not concerned about weight, it just comes in second to strength. throwing around a lighter bike is always nice. there's no way that thing is light enough to confidently throw a tailwhip without a lot of help from gravity. it just sounds awkward and unruly. I've been wrong before, but I don't see this as a good application for a motor. similarly, there are motorsized skateboards, but those are for cruising, and no one is grinding handrails on them except as a novelty. the choice for these kinds of applications will remain analog.

you'll also notice that Ruff Cycles appears to be the first to do this. the rest of their bikes are beach cruiser-type bikes. if this was a good idea, you'd think a company that makes emtbs and DJ bikes already would have tried it by now. Specialized would have been the first to make a eP3. I predict it's gonna fail.

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Good points.  Heavier bikes are harder to move around in the air when things go sideways (on purpose or not).  However, they should be able to put a very small battery on these things because you aren't going to go miles and miles.  If it's just a big heavy monstrosity, it's going to break and is dumb.  What might be interesting is if you could put a battery/motor on a DJ bike that you could take off once you get to the jumps.  I suppose there are some situations where the jumps take a ride to reach.  Nothing worse than trying to pedal a DJ bike a couple of miles standing up the whole time.

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We saw some older gentlemen at Hartman Rocks on eBikes.  They had to all be in their mid to late 70s.  And the trails they were riding were open to bicycles, motorcycles, hikers and maybe horses too.  I’m glad I can still do it without an eBike but was equally happy to see these guys enjoying themselves!

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Yeah, as long as the trails allow them, then it is great that they are out there.

I now have my new analogy, however. People that ride e-bikes on trails that do not allow e-bikes are essentially the same as people that ride on wet trails even though they know they shouldn't. They know the rules but don't care because they are selfish, it is all about them.

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On 8/21/2021 at 6:52 AM, AustinBike said:

Yeah, as long as the trails allow them, then it is great that they are out there.

I now have my new analogy, however. People that ride e-bikes on trails that do not allow e-bikes are essentially the same as people that ride on wet trails even though they know they shouldn't. They know the rules but don't care because they are selfish, it is all about them.

Riding muddy trails damages the trail. Riding an e-bike on a trail that allows other bikes doesn't really cause any more damage than a pedal bike. 

I'd say a better analogy is riding an e-bike on a trail that does not allow e-bikes is like riding at night in a park that doesn't allow visitors at night. They still know the rules but don't care because they are selfish, it is all about them. However, they didn't hurt anybody, the trail, or any property. That is until they get caught breaking the rules (fair or unfair), and the powers that be restrict all two wheeled access. 

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I finally got a chance to ride an eBike. It wasn't an eMTB, although it did have a suspension fork. What amazed me is the level of power assist you get! I started out in the middle setting and then tried the turbo setting. Sure you have to pedal, but a mere press on the pedal kickstarts the motor and sends you flying. Even in a high gear you could start from a complete stop without any problem because of how quickly the motor engaged. I'm not sure if eMTBs operate in the same manner, but I just can't see how riding something like that on the trails around here would be challenging (or fun). 

There are countless use cases for eBikes and even eMTB. I just wish the advertisers / resellers would focus on those specific use cases vs. portraying them as an evolution of MTB. It doesn't even bother me to see able bodied guys riding them on the same trails I ride - I just shake my head and ride on. If we ever get to the point though where manufacturers lose interest in engineering bikes that are 100% pedal power because there's too much money to be had selling motorized versions, that will be the time for me to give up MTB and spend more time on the golf course, where I prefer to ride in a motorized cart anyway.       

Edited by throet
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2 hours ago, throet said:

 

There are countless use cases for eBikes and even eMTB. I just wish the advertisers / resellers would focus on those specific use cases vs. portraying them as an evolution of MTB. 

This has been my problem with them as well. They were introduced as a way for people with limited ability to get out and enjoy mountain biking. Not one ad features an older, overweight orr handicapped person, just factory/pro riders shredding like they would on any analog bike. It's BS.

To take it even further, Saris now sells an e-bike specific motorized platform rack. This is said to be for people who can't lift their 50lb ebike onto a regular rack. Now, if they're incapable of lifting their bike 10-12" how in the hell are they going to drag it back onto the trail when they crash? Also, the rack weighs 63lbs so who lifts that onto the back of the car?

Marketing is cancer.

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2 hours ago, throet said:

If we ever get to the point though where manufacturers lose interest in engineering bikes that are 100% pedal power because there's too much money to be had selling motorized versions, that will be the time for me to give up MTB and spend more time on the golf course, where I prefer to ride in a motorized cart anyway.       

Probably not going to happen.

My marketing sense says we are ~2 years out from the great e-MTB pull back. Basically they were fueled by the pandemic and people who had lots of disposable income and wanted to find a "safe" sport.

Smash cut to 2023 and the $7-8K e-MTB is battling against vacations and new cars again. Guess what happens? e-MTB was not competing against human-powered MTBs, they were battling against other forms of recreation.

The reality is that they got many people into the sport but those were not people long for the sport. The cost and maintenance (as well as degradation in batteries) are going to make e-MTBs less appealing. But the people buying 100% human-driven bikes will continue to be strong and you'll see the manufacturers focused on that crowd again.

e-MTB is not the natural evolution of MTB. E-bikes from a commuter perspective will become much larger as a segment because that use case makes way more sense. Especially as the traffic in Austin gets worse each year.

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23 minutes ago, ATXZJ said:

 Now, if they're incapable of lifting their bike 10-12" how in the hell are they going to drag it back onto the trail when they crash? Also, the rack weighs 63lbs so who lifts that onto the back of the car?

easy, you hire a strapping young lad to be your mtb caddy. don't you already have one of those? or are you some kind of commie who doesn't want people to be allowed to have fun any way they chose?

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24 minutes ago, AustinBike said:

My marketing sense says we are ~2 years out from the great e-MTB pull back. Basically they were fueled by the pandemic and people who had lots of disposable income and wanted to find a "safe" sport.

this has been what's worrying me. there was an interview — I think it was posted here a while back — where a bike company exec said specifically that they are focusing all their engineering and marketing on e-mtbs with the expectation that most of their sales will be e-mtb in a few years, and that acoustic bikes will become a novelty. not e-bikes in general, but e-mtbs. there are some places and instances where an e-mtb makes perfect sense (shuttling in mountainous places, people with limited physical abilities, trail tool hauling, just for fun) but there's no way there will be sustained demand for that kind of thing on the long run due to cost of buying and maintaining these things. most people cannot afford a nice bicycle, let alone something that costs even more with a more and a battery. certainly not enough to maintain the level of commitment that some manufacturers are putting into it. we all know that's going to crash at some point. I could be wrong, but it seems unsustainable.

however, e-bikes that replace cars for getting around town is 100% going to blow up, in a good way, and I am 100% behind that. fewer cars, more butts on bikes, demand for better bike infrastructure, less overall pollution. yes please.

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I likely said in this thread I have an ebike (Radwagon), but I hardly ever ride it.  I use it to run to grocery store for whoops items and an occasional I dont feel like riding a bike but want the "wind in my hair" feeling.

So... yesterday I have a Dr appt 1.5 miles away I figured lets just take the ebike up there easy peasy.  Checked the tires night before- kinda flat, pulled it out in the AM and pumped them up.  FF to time to go and lo and behold the battery is dead (stay tuned) so since I was in mode to ride a bike I grabbed another one and pedaled away.  Dr office was nice enough to let me park it lobby and kept an eye on it.

Get home check the battery and start charging.  4 hrs later it shows green- which isnt long enough for an empty battery and guess what... I had forgetten the key sequence on the push pad to turn it on- thats how infrequently I ride it.

My neighbors ebike is sitting in my Garage as the company came and put a better controller on it while he was on vacation.  It still isnt as zippy as my Radwagon but the Monday guy said it was all in the motor one has vs the other. 

If i didnt work from home and work was 13 mile away like it was when I commuted I would be all over riding an ebike, hell there were days on the way home it was almost faster to ride the bike vs the traffic.  My wife works 1.2 miles by street and maybe 0.8 via some sidewalk shortcuts to work and she absolutely refuses to ride the ebike to work.  So to each their own.

oh yeah its has made a beer run or two

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I look at it this way, the MTB market will break down into the following categories:

1. "Traditional" mountain bikes, human-powered. 

1A. Beginner bikes (<$2500) for people getting into the sport

1B. Performance bikes (>$2500) for people that participate in the sport long term

2. e-MTB

2A. "Traditional" bikers who want to add a new arrow to their quiver; basically have money to spend, and "why not?"

2B. People who would not normally have gotten into the sport but will give it a go with an e-MTB because it takes away a lot of the challenge that they see in not having the skills, they can more easily tackle the features with power.

2C. Specialized niche uses like shuttling for downhills.

2D. People with physical limitations that are now able to ride at all, or are able to ride longer because of the motor.

 

Manufacturers would be foolish to abandon traditional bikes. That is the only price point that makes sense for getting people into the sport and there is money to be made off of people like us that are committed beyond the pandemic.

In the e-MTB category, 2A will probably fade away the same way 96er's didn't make it and electric shifting never took hold - it's not a flashy tech crowd, they get jazzed about things that allow them to ride better, not just things that are the next shiny object. Especially when you have to choose based on today's route.

2B will lose interest because when you spend $7K on a bike and have to constantly take it to the shop for things like flat tires or squeaky brakes you'll just get frustrated. Also, the fact that you just can't ride them anywhere is going to be a big issue (shops are probably not being that forthcoming at this point.)

2C will remain but it will not be a large enough market to be serviceable long term.

2D are the guys that get screwed on this one because they have a legitimate need. The combination of limited access to trails and high service costs because of the low volume will be additional challenges. Most of this group can service their own bikes (unlike 2B) but they will not be able to service the electric drive train portions and those will be costly and take longer to address as fewer shops will want to deal with them.

 

Yeah, I've carved the market up for a marketing project a year ago. Long term viability is there for the urban/commuter market because there is a wider appeal, lower entry prices and better infrastructure. The e-MTB market does not have a good long-term prognosis.

The easiest way to think about is is just by looking at this group. Here is a group of people that have no qualms about shelling out $5K on a bike and most of us are unconvinced. This is like Hyundai trying to compete in the Lamborghini/Maserati market. Yes, they *could*, but they will not be successful long term.

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22 minutes ago, Taco Man said:

I likely said in this thread I have an ebike (Radwagon), but I hardly ever ride it.  I use it to run to grocery store for whoops items and an occasional I dont feel like riding a bike but want the "wind in my hair" feeling.

So... yesterday I have a Dr appt 1.5 miles away I figured lets just take the ebike up there easy peasy.  Checked the tires night before- kinda flat, pulled it out in the AM and pumped them up.  FF to time to go and lo and behold the battery is dead (stay tuned) so since I was in mode to ride a bike I grabbed another one and pedaled away.  Dr office was nice enough to let me park it lobby and kept an eye on it.

Get home check the battery and start charging.  4 hrs later it shows green- which isnt long enough for an empty battery and guess what... I had forgetten the key sequence on the push pad to turn it on- thats how infrequently I ride it.

My neighbors ebike is sitting in my Garage as the company came and put a better controller on it while he was on vacation.  It still isnt as zippy as my Radwagon but the Monday guy said it was all in the motor one has vs the other. 

If i didnt work from home and work was 13 mile away like it was when I commuted I would be all over riding an ebike, hell there were days on the way home it was almost faster to ride the bike vs the traffic.  My wife works 1.2 miles by street and maybe 0.8 via some sidewalk shortcuts to work and she absolutely refuses to ride the ebike to work.  So to each their own.

oh yeah its has made a beer run or two

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Yep, you addressed a lot of what I just typed out. You are correct.

The biggest freedom for me is walking down to the garage, grabbing a bike and going out for a ride.

Electric bikes feel like the TV that we have in our screen porch. It's cobbled together through a series of network connections. My wife will declare one day that she is going out there to watch some TV (after 6 months of inactivity) and all hell breaks loose on the tech support front.

 

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3 hours ago, AustinBike said:

 

The biggest freedom for me is walking down to the garage, grabbing a bike and going out for a ride.

 

 

I feel the same way about AXS and other electronic devices on bikes. If i have to charge it, or bring my god damned phone, it can fuck right off. At this point, im rapidly growing sick of the technology in my life, in our society and I want it gone.

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