Remember the time when we used cabled telephones? Yep, neither do we. Times are changing and so is the need to simplify our everyday lives, which often means leaving the hard work to AI and machines, and getting more time to actually live.
Mountain bikes have experienced the same shift in demand. Last year the cycling industry witnessed a huge surge (according to a Forbesarticle, it’s 200% increase) in e-mtb purchases. While it’s not a secret that mountain bikers are very particular about their requirements and are normally hard to impress, it is also true that more and more of them are now considering switching to electric mountain bikes to diversify their riding experience and extend the range of their routes, capabilities and adventure.
E-mtb’s deliver all that. They’re simply pure fun to ride. They get you to more places, even the unimaginable ones, in a faster, greener way which leaves you more room to explore new terrains and views without the sweat and exhaustion. Since their emergence in 2014, e-mtb’s have been continuously perfected so that today some are unrecognizable from their regular versions.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably planning to add some extra power to your trails and upgrade to an e-mtb to ease your climbs and descents. We’ve gathered six of the main reasons why pedal assisted mountain biking is all the rage right now and how it can enrich your cycling experience.
Uphill cycling is easier and quicker
Most mountain bikers will be pleased to see how motor power can support their efforts to conquer the heights. While regular mountain bikes require your maximum pedaling capacity for steep slopes, e-mtb’s reduce it to a level where the torque gives the much needed push to the back wheel, so the climb feels almost effortless. Overcoming rough surface obstacles like small stones and tree roots now becomes totally feasible. Most mountain ranges have a rear hub motor, but some models are equipped with an invisibly mounted mid-drive motor, just like the Econic One Bandit and Adventure, which is considered a game-changer in mountain biking. A mid motor is lighter and quieter than the rear hub motor and it has a torque sensor resulting in a more intuitive and quieter performance uphill.
Descents are safer
What’s great about downhill rides is that they’re as similar to regular-bike descents as you wish them to be. You control the pedal assistance and either wizz or fly your way down the hill. Emtb’s have super responsive handling and air suspension to cushion the bumps you’ll be rolling over. They’re also equipped with fat tires which means better grip and stability on fast descents. High-speed junkies needn’t worry about safety as the latest emtb’s boast two to four-piston hydraulic disc brakes that watch your back.
Superior handling capabilities
While it is true that the size and weight of the battery affect the handling drastically, the components of modern electric mountain bikes are so well balanced that you may get a commuter bike feeling riding them. This is done through making the battery and frame lighter and customizing the suspension, but largely it’s a matter of choice if you want to use your e-mtb as an all-rounder or want to tackle more technical terrain. Handling can also be tackled by playing with motor position or battery range extenders which can compensate for a hypothetically smaller battery.
Longer rides and more outdoor fun
It’s not rocket science, the presence of a motor and a battery immediately translates into increased ride frequency and distances. You’ll simply save a lot of your own power and actually go for as long as you’re happy or the battery allows you to. Mountain e-bike batteries can vary in concept, weight, durability, range, so be mindful of that when choosing a machine. Usually electric bicycles need a re-charge in two to six hours, but that’s what removable batteries are for. (You can even put an extra one in your backpack for some peace of mind). After all, if your goal is to prolong the joyride, there should be external support. The e-mtb makes you faster on gravel paths and more stable on steep climbs. It relieves the strain on your body and provides for longer and more pleasurable rides.
Safety and control are better with an e-mtb
Considering the fact that you can ride a bike in almostall terrain and conditions, you naturally look for something solid and capable. A machine that you can trust enough to let it control the kinematics, if needed. The lower center of mass and the suspension of the e-mtb improve the rider’s feedback from the ground. The tires, which take much of the riding force, offer better traction and precision. Not to mention the extreme responsiveness of the brakes. Tip: the bigger the disc brakes, the better the stopping power. Those factors will secure your rides in unimaginable ways.
Electric mountain cycling improves your health
You’ve probably heard that electric bike fans are accused of being lazy, but the truth is riding an e-bike, be it a road bike, a cross country or an e-mtb, means longer aerobic exercises. Those may not build the same bulky muscles you’d see on ‘normal’ cyclists, but you will develop a leaner shape, improve your stamina and breathing and considerably raise your serotonin levels.E-mtb rides are also a great workoutfor your core, as mountain climbing demands a lot of upper body strength. So don’t be fooled by the effortless feel of e-mtb’s, you will have enough body work to do to keep you in good shape and spirit.
In conclusion, it’s entirely up to you to decide if an e-mtb is right for you and only you can weigh the pros and cons. The best thing to do is to book a test ride or borrow someone else’s bike to have a real touch and feel of how the ebike behaves on gravel and in more challenging, alpine terrains. Then you’ll only need to find the option which fits best into your budget.