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Tag: Electric mountain bikes

Electric mountain bikes vs Mountain bikes: What is the Difference?

 

 

 

 

The advent of electric mountain bikes has been a bone of contention within the mountain bike (MTB) community. Some people see using an electrically-assisted mountain bike as cheating, whereas others think they’re a great evolution in biking and that there’s room for both eMTB riders and MTB riders. Here we discuss some key differences between electric mountain bikes and traditional mountain bikes to help you decide whether you should buy one.

 

Target audience

Mountain bikes are aimed at a very particular niche. People who love cycling off-road, and those who are fit enough and experienced enough to ride over such dangerous terrain safely. It takes a lot of practice to get good, and it’s an exciting but also very gruelling activity. Electric mountain bikes aim to open up the activity to more people.
They’re aimed at those who are less experienced at cycling off-road, or perhaps older people who wouldn’t feel comfortable going off-road without some electrical assistance. Even experienced mountain bikers who are recovering from an injury can enjoy the benefits of an electric motor. It also opens up the activity for your friends and loved ones, who want to join you on your mountain bike adventures but aren’t able to keep up. E-mountain bikes lower the barriers to entry for mountain-biking so more people can enjoy it.

 

Do more with an electric mountain bike

Following on from the previous point, as well as allowing more people to take part in mountain biking, e-mountain bikes allow even experienced riders to do more than they otherwise could. With assistance from the electric, you can ride faster, travel further, and conquer tougher terrain. Peaks that were previously out of reach can now be reached, and steeper inclines are easier to ascend now you don’t have to rely solely on your own power.
Electric mountain bikes allow many people to do more within the sport of mountain biking than they otherwise could. Purists may see it as cheating, we see it as technology helping us to achieve more than we previously thought possible. Is sending an email “cheating” when compared with writing a letter by hand? Of course not!

 

 

As a form of exercise

A criticism that mountain bike enthusiasts may have regarding electric mountain bikes is that they’re a less effective form of exercise. The claim is that the electric motor takes much of the strain away from the rider, thus making the activity less of a workout. The logic makes sense, but is this actually the case? A good way to test this is to compare the average heart rates of a person riding a mountain bike vs an e-mountain bike. One experiment did just that and found that the heart rates are almost identical, suggesting that both vehicles are an excellent form of exercise. Riders shouldn’t be worried about skimping on exercise if they choose an electric mountain bike over a traditional mountain bike.

 

Weight difference

The battery and motor of electric mountain bikes add considerable weight, so much so that they can be twice as heavy as traditional mountain bikes. You’ll certainly notice this when you have to carry or push the bike over rocks, a stream, or even up to some stairs. That being said, when you’re actually riding the bike, you’ll hardly notice the added weight thanks to the motor. The assistance provided will carry the lion share of the extra weight, so it’s effectively cancelled out. Also, the added weight may actually give you more stability and control when riding downhill.

 

 

Battery vs no battery

A natural concern that many may have in with regards to the battery life. With a traditional mountain bike, you only need to worry about your legs running out of juice. An electric mountain bike brings with it some more potential worries. What if you forget to charge it fully before setting off for a day on the hills? And what if the battery runs out while you’re miles from anywhere?
The truth is, ebike batteries are excellent nowadays, and they’re likely to last longer than you can! It may take some extra organisation to ensure your bike is fully charging before you embark on your journey, but it’s unlikely to run out of battery before you call it a day. Plus, if the worst should happen and your battery does die before you’re finished, it’s still a fully-functioning bike – you can just ride it home! You won’t have any assistance, of course, but you won’t need to push it by hand.
At their core, both mountain bikes and their electric cousins are very similar in how they’re used. While electric mountain bikes cater for a wider audience, there’s no need to see them as a “challenger” to traditional mountain bikes. There’s space for both in the world, and electric mountain bikes may act as a gateway to mountain bikes for some people. If you’re interested in buying an electric mountain bike, check out our very own Sierra. An extremely powerful, rugged yet comfortable e-mountain bike.

The best mountain bike trails in Europe

More and more people are swapping the city break for a trip into the mountains. Away from the chaos and smog of the city, you can breathe in the fresh air and get some well-needed headspace. Taking to the highlands doesn’t mean putting your feet up though – there are lots of activities to do. Mountain-biking is an ever-popular choice for those looking to escape the city, and it’s been made more accessible with the arrival of electric mountain bikes. To help you with your next getaway, here are our top European trails for your electric mountain bike

 

Lairig Ghru, Scotland 

  • Difficulty level: Hard 
  • Length: 7 miles 
  • Estimated time: 1 hour 15 mins 
  • Maximum altitude: 484 metres 

This might be a relatively short ride, but it’s one that’ll test the ability of even the most experienced rider. This single-tracked route will see you skirt fern-covered hills and bound down some steep pine forest declines, before arriving in the same place you started – the hamlet of Coylumbridge. Be aware though, you may have to hike-and-bike in places as the terrain can get too tricky to ride across! 

 

Find the GPS map of the Lairig Ghru route here.

 

 

Dolomites Loop, Italy 

  • Difficulty level: Expert 
  • Length: 35 miles 
  • Estimated time: 6 hours 
  • Maximum altitude: 2141 metres 

The Dolomites are a haven for mountain bikers, with hundreds of different routes crisscrossing craggy outcrops, alpine forests, and verdant mountain meadows. This particular route, circling from the small village of Pozza di Fassa, encompasses all of these, along with some challenging inclines (up to 29%) – only experienced riders should attempt this one. 

 

Find the GPS map of the Dolomites Loop route here.

 

 

Dolomites Loop

 

Boadella Reservoir Loop, Spain 

  • Difficulty level: Intermediate 
  • Length: 17 miles 
  • Estimated time: 2 hours 30 minutes 
  • Maximum altitude: 373 metres 

This more accessible ebike route circles the Boadella reservoir in Catalonia, providing spectacular views of the surrounding scenery. A gentle road, with only one section of moderate incline, wind around the lush mountains, providing the perfect viewpoint from which to look down on crystalline waters of the lake and reservoir.

 

Find the GPS of the Boadella Reservoir Loop here

 

Boadella Reservoir Loop

 

Mittenwald Loop, Germany 

  • Difficulty level: Expert 
  • Length: 40 miles 
  • Estimated time: 7 hours 
  • Maximum altitude: 1791 metres 

Known for its painted houses and world-renowned violins, Mittenwald epitomises the German region of Bavaria. With three climbs, this route is mainly single-tracked and passes through forested valleys, meadows, and streams. 

 

Find the GPS of the Mittenwald Loop here.

 

 

Mittenwald Loop

 

Grande Traversée du Massif Central, France 

  • Difficulty level: Expert 
  • Length: 870 miles
  • Estimated time: 8/9 days 
  • Maximum altitude: 1,567 metres 

For those that really want to put their ebikes to the test, there’s the famous French route, the Grande Traversée du Massif Central. Stretching all the way from Avallon in the centre of the country to Cap D’Agde on the French Riviera, this mammoth trail cuts through 5 national parks and passes lakes, mountains, and even volcanoes. If you’re not up to the entire tour, you can take on individual sections which are equally enjoyable – check out the trail’s official website to see what suits you. 

 

 

 

Europe is full of great tracks and trails to test out your electric mountain bike. With a little help from an electric motor, you can scale all but the most demanding mountain routes – leaving you with enough energy to enjoy the rest of your break. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, FuroSystems’ Sierra electric mountain bike is the ideal companion for Europe’s best trails – with a light frame, powerful motor, and a high-density battery, you’ll be racing up mountains as fast as you can bomb down them. 

 

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