Electric Mountain Bikes: A Gimmick?
When electric mountain bikes first appeared on the market many dismissed them as being a gimmick only suitable for older, lazier or unfit riders. The thinking at the time was that the average rider, the fit rider, and certainly riders under the age of 60 would never want to ride an e-mountain bike, because they were more expensive, heavier, and less agile to ride than normal mountain bikes. This sentiment was echoed repeatedly by many customers who came into our shop, with the majority of them claiming they wouldn't get an electric mountain bike until "they were at least 60 years old".
Very quickly though things changed, partly because e-mountain bikes got more capable and more playful, but partly as people started to discover other fantastic reasons an electric mountain bike is so awesome. We've pulled together ten of those reasons here to perhaps inspire you to consider trying and then purchasing an e-mtb. After all, the current way of thinking has almost flipped completely with, many people now admitting that the only people who don't want an ebike ... are people who've never tried one! Here at Gravity Nelson we have found that our rental/demo ebike fleet has converted many doubters into keen advocates of electric mountain bikes. Gravity Nelson’s rental ebikes are an excellent way to get introduced to the wonders of the modern e-mtb. Whether you live in Nelson and want to try one out, or are visiting Nelson and just want to make the most of the trail network here, Gravity’s rental ebikes provide an insight into the myriad of benefits ebikes offer.
The Myriad benefits of Electric Mountain Bikes for everyone:
1. Time Starved mountain bikers:
The reality is that modern life is busy, and finding time to sneak out for a ride can be tough. Even more so if you are tired from work and family and sometimes just don’t have the energy to get out the door and face a one hour uphill for just 15-20 minutes of descending. With an ebike you can fit in three or more times the number of trials in that spare hour and a half you have found, and you won’t be exhausted at the top of the climb… making the descent more fun. Simply not facing a daunting climb makes it that much easier to get out the door, have the endorphins and adrenaline kick in… and return home with a smile on your dial.
2. Less Fit or recovering from an injury:
An e-bike enables you to ride up hills like you were fitter, and younger, but also injury free. Simply a blessing for those of us who are recovering from an injury, but itching to get out and not let our skills get rusty.
3. Maximise descending and improve your descending skills:
With the ebike making light work quickly of the ascents, and you not arriving with an empty tank at the top of the hill, you can focus on razzing the descents and fit in three or more times as much descending in the same amount of time, helping you refine your descending skills. The higher weight of the ebikes also helps improve your skills and strength as they require better timing, better technique and a bit more muscle to throw around on the descent… which means when you get back on your regular bike you will be stronger and more skilled which translated to faster and more fun descending! One provisio here is that because they require better technique, electric mountain bikes also punish poor technique, so it might be worth investing in a coaching clinic or two to take your skills up a level and make the most of your electric mountain bike.
If you are new to a riding area and worried about getting a bit lost and struggling to get back to the car park, then the ebike can remove most of that stress so you can feel more free to explore a ride center and try new trails. With a built in “up-lift” you can try new descents that might not have easy or short ways back. This is particularly true in riding areas like Nelson with big and steep vertical ascents up the hills, the idea of exploring new areas with 700+m climbs can be quite off-putting.
5. Range extension:
Get to places you normally couldn’t in one day, or simply cover more ground in the same amount of time. Keen to tick off a 40km loop with 1000m of vertical ascent like the Coppermine Trail in Nelson… totally doable with an ebike. Keen to ride every trail in Codgers mountain bike park in a day… totally doable with an ebike. Wanting to check out some more remote backcountry riding but not sure if you have the legs for it… totally doable with an ebike.
6. Pack rat:
Want to pack more gear? now the weight doesn’t matter. Whether on a one-day ride where you want to pack an extra rain-coat, a picnic blanket and a bottle of wine, or on a multi-day ride and wanting to pack some extra yummy treats, now the electric motor takes the sting out of that extra weight on the ride. Multi-day rides like the Paparoa, and the Old Ghost Road suddenly become much more enjoyable with an extra couple of kilos of warm dry gear and your favorite red wine.
7. Get fit:
Wait, what? yes, ebikes can actually help you get fitter and stronger. How? strap on a heart rate monitor and set yourself some heart rate goals for the climbs, no matter which motor setting you are on, you can still work hard, and the extra speed from the motor assistance makes the climbs FUN… the sensation of speed just makes it so much more enjoyable, that’s right, have fun while climbing, you might not even notice you are training hard because the climbing is so fun. Just make sure to monitor those heart rate goals and you can have more fun training than you thought possible. The extra weight of the electric mountain bike can also provide you a full body work-out on the way down as you will have to be just a bit more aggressive and assertive with throwing the bike around.
8. Level the playing field:
Do you love biking but lose motivation because you are always being dropped by your mates and left behind? or alternatively are you super fit and you want a loved one to keep up with you and ride with you? Ebikes are here to help, if you are the slower one start riding an ebike and you can keep up with them while working on your fitness and skills. If you are the fitter one, then buy your slower loved one an ebike so you can ride together and both enjoy it. This is especially helpful for families wanting to ride together when skills and fitness levels vary widely.
9. Get out the door:
The sheer fun, and the reduced fear of the uphill translates into jumping on your bike more often and riding more often which helps immensely with mental health and physical well-being. From personal experience the electric mountain bike removes the "I'm too tired to go for a bike ride" excuse, and most times, once you get out the door and pedaling a bit you end up feeling significantly less tired than you thought, plus BOOST or TURBO mode is always there to help you out if you really are tired or a little sick and under-powered.
10. Personal shuttle:
Gravity are obviously big fans of shuttles to explore Nelson’s trails, to take the sting out of the huge uphills, and enable you to razz down the long vertical descents nelson is famous for. However, its not every day you can get together a group to book a shuttle, or not every day that your schedule coincides with the shuttle schedule. An ebike is like a private, personal shuttle with no timetable, no group minimums, and a completely flexible itinerary!
Electric Mountain Bikes: So Many Reasons to Try one
So there you have it, ten reasons electric mountain bikes aren't a gimmick, and not one mention of being old or unfit!. Sounds like it might be time for you to try one out. Gravity has several models of rental/demo electric mountain bikes you can rent, so get in touch NOW. And of course once you’ve rented one and seen all the benefits, don’t be shy about coming to us to have a chat about buying one !-)