Hitting the MTB trails

General Discussion about electric bicycles.

Hitting the MTB trails

Postby flat tire » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:59 pm

Do you ride MTB trails on the ebike? What's your rider skill level, bike setup, how fast do you go, and what kind of interactions do you have with other riders?

Fortunately I live very close to some great trails, and have ridden them on pedal powered bikes for two decades, with electric visits on and off over the past two years. I ride slow, am not very skilled and almost nobody notices that I'm running electric and so far nobody has ever complained. So the electric setup is not a problem and I usually don't interact with riders outside of normal communication about who's where on the trail. If I went as fast as possible, a collision with another rider would just be a matter of time so I ride easy. I ride MX too, and this is a lot like riding a MX bike enduro style except your bike is so light and your bodyweight plays a really huge role. And you have pedals, super short wheelbase, brakes on teh bars, no clutch...it really is very similar though. It is super fun riding MTB trails with power.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby fechter » Mon May 01, 2017 12:14 am

In my area there are lots of "multi use trails", which are actually just fire roads. Most are steep, rutted and strewn with rocks. I love them. I have a couple of bikes now, one modified A2B Metro (direct drive hub motor) and another bike with a BBSHD that's still a work in progress.

The official speed limit on the trails is 15mph. I go about 10 max. More like 5mph on the steep sections or when passing others. If I tried to go faster I think my bike would fall apart or my teeth would shake loose from the bumps. I would need better suspension to go faster. Guys on regular bikes always pass me going downhill. Some of them even pass me going uphill.

I used to ride motorcycles in my younger years and developed some level of off road skill, but nothing like experts. I still like motoring around on the dirt roads with my ebike. There is a challenge in picking a line through a bunch of nasty obstacles and making it without stopping or putting your feet down.

There are some nice single track trails around, but that's where all the lycras go, so I generally avoid those.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby MadRhino » Mon May 01, 2017 1:05 am

I have a bike built for the mountain, that is just on the other side of the street. I was riding the trails everyday about half of the year, but lately I ride only when the trails are nice to speed. My street bike on the other side, is doing more mileage than ever.

I ride the mountain very early, when the trails are deserted. I have had too many crashes avoiding encounters with joggers and dog walkers. The bike trails are used by too many pedestrians now, to speed in the day. When I go up the mountain in the daytime, I ride the road and use my street bike. So when I can ride the trails, I ride very fast most of the time. One of my favourite trail is about 9.5 Km, mostly neat and hard packed with only 2 short steep technical sections and a 100ft long root garden. In my best days, I can complete the course in less than 10 minutes.

We have some trails on the 2nd summit that are difficult, with lots of sharp turns and jumps. I don't ride there much anymore, hub motors don't like repeated jumps and my bones are getting old for daily crashes. My actual dirt bike will probably be the last I build. If I continue to ride the trails many more years, it will be much slower and I would buy a good lightweight PAS BB drive MTB as they are getting better every year. Our mountain is in the middle of the city, and they are making it more attractive for the tourists every year. I am too old and too wise to go slalom between Japanese tourists and scare the sh*t out of them. :wink:
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby markz » Mon May 01, 2017 3:03 am

I ride in the park a lot, mostly paved pathways the same in manicured red dirt pathways, some short stretches have a steep grade ~20% for 100' or so to get up the valley sides. I tend to go at whatever speed the huffer's & puffer's are doing in front of me, then when they struggle I power ahead of them. When alone I speed up to 25kph or 30kph. If people are around I will slow down and do some fake pedaling. I always try to help the motor and batteries by pedaling on uphill sections whether its real short and shallow, or steep. Its battery anxiety I have.

Also I do single track every now and then but them tracks I have no idea where they go so I tend not to do them. As a child I knew all the single track sections. Since the flood a year or so ago, things have changed.

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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby flat tire » Wed May 17, 2017 3:40 pm

Update, been hitting the MTB trails a lot more and it's so much fun I decided to get a Cyclone 3KW mid drive for my Orange. I'm getting faster each time and the electric motor torque still always amazes me off a stop. I had some spoke noise but tightening em fixed that. Now I'm using enough power that my Leaf is heating up a ton so I'll probably liquid cool it since I have concerns about durability if I open it up to the air.

Getting more comfortable jumping the bike now too. At first that was really weird due to the combination of pedals, wheelbase, and comically huge throttle torque rotation effect due to the huge mass of the rear wheel and its quick response.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby markz » Wed May 17, 2017 6:07 pm

Thats one thing I should have done with my Conhismotor kit, they seemed tight so I left them be and rode 700km before I had problems and I am thinking its due to the bus bike rack and the heavy weight I had on the rear rack.
Shoulda kept checking the spokes more frequently. Live & Learn.
Im going to convert to moto rim, been having some flat tires too.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby nutspecial » Wed May 17, 2017 6:27 pm

I was MAKING a trail tonite, with the bike. Similar to this trail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBmy5BLBbi4

Except I am trying to initally do it from scratch with the bike instead of hand pulling/trimming. . . . It's interesting.
I'll go back and manicure like b4 later. Whatever these weeds are they suck- every year they come back like 10ft high and in force lol- a 4wheeler or truck would be the ticket, cuz I'm afraid to attach scythes on front of the bike :)
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby WoodlandHills » Wed May 17, 2017 6:38 pm

Where do you live and ride? Is a 3000w eMTB legal there? I am building one too, but there aren't a lot of places to ride it around here. My Class 1's are permitted on any of the trails just a few hundred yards from my house, but the OHV area is about an hour away.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby flat tire » Wed May 17, 2017 10:57 pm

You WANT your spokes tight. Not loose.

I live in Houston and you can PM me if you want to ride. I am lucky to live directly next to a park with miles of really awesome MTB-specific trails. My bike has 6KW of power does nearly 60 MPH and of course that's very much not allowed here. I keep it from becoming a problem by exercising my good judgement, and being extremely careful about minding other riders and calling out my position on the trails. 99% of people, even cyclists, don't realize my bike is electrified or don't care. Whenever someone DOES figure out that it's electric, they're really excited about it and think it's cool.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby markz » Thu May 18, 2017 4:01 am

99% of people, even cyclists, don't realize my bike is electrified or don't care. Whenever someone DOES figure out that it's electric, they're really excited about it and think it's cool.


Yes which means use your common sense, and dont be pissing people off, dont be goofing off and speeding past people. Even with a large hub motor on the back people dont realize, rarely if ever do people know its electric, of course I play along with some fake pedaling :D
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby dogman dan » Fri May 19, 2017 6:18 am

Good plan,, just don't be an ass out on the singletrack, and you don't piss off the local riders. This is how I have done it, and nobody cares if I ride motors on the trails, which are clearly marked no motors. No trail cops yet on these national monument trails, and now,, not likely to be anytime soon.

But I also like to ride when nobody else will be there, vs Saturday morning. Then I can rip all I want with a more powerful bike. :twisted: If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it happen?
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby WoodlandHills » Fri May 19, 2017 11:11 am

If you think you are getting away with riding your 6kw eMTB on Multi use trails without anyone noticing you are delusional. Visit any MTB forum and you will quickly see that everyone knows that's an ebike and that its presence offends everyone: most people are simply unwilling to provoke an incident while all alone on a remote trail by confronting you.

It is this irresponsible flouting of inconvenient regulations and overweening sense of superiority and impunity that will be sure to make many friends and open trails for wider use by all ebikers...... amirite? After all everyone loves a selfish sense of entitlement and the attitude that rules are for "those other people" not someone like me! I know I always respond positively to folks like that......... :?
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby RonnieBrowen2106 » Fri May 19, 2017 1:09 pm

WoodlandHills wrote:If you think you are getting away with riding your 6kw eMTB on Multi use trails without anyone noticing you are delusional. Visit any MTB forum and you will quickly see that everyone knows that's an ebike and that its presence offends everyone: most people are simply unwilling to provoke an incident while all alone on a remote trail by confronting you.

It is this irresponsible flouting of inconvenient regulations and overweening sense of superiority and impunity that will be sure to make many friends and open trails for wider use by all ebikers...... amirite? After all everyone loves a selfish sense of entitlement and the attitude that rules are for "those other people" not someone like me! I know I always respond positively to folks like that......... :?
.......
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby Chalo » Fri May 19, 2017 2:38 pm

You can't please everyone, but you can abide by the law.

You ride over 20mph on sidewalks? I argue that the rules were specifically written to prohibit what you're doing, whether you think you're acting responsibly or not.

Man up and take the lane. Bike lanes are for going bicycle speed, and sidewalks are for going pedestrian speed. Does your locality even allow riding normal bicycles on the sidewalk? Most don't.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby WoodlandHills » Fri May 19, 2017 3:29 pm

RonnieBrowen2106 wrote:
WoodlandHills wrote:If you think you are getting away with riding your 6kw eMTB on Multi use trails without anyone noticing you are delusional. Visit any MTB forum and you will quickly see that everyone knows that's an ebike and that its presence offends everyone: most people are simply unwilling to provoke an incident while all alone on a remote trail by confronting you.

It is this irresponsible flouting of inconvenient regulations and overweening sense of superiority and impunity that will be sure to make many friends and open trails for wider use by all ebikers...... amirite? After all everyone loves a selfish sense of entitlement and the attitude that rules are for "those other people" not someone like me! I know I always respond positively to folks like that......... :?
You really can't please everyone. I agree that it should be fine to ride at whatever power level you want as long as you are responsible. The laws are there to limit and help prevent reckless riders from doing stupid things. I have only a 48V 1000w bike, so I am some what legal here in MN. You are not supposed to go over 20 MPH, but I do anyways. Nobody even bats an eye. I always slow down when people are nearby on sidewalks that I drive on along the highway that has no bike lanes. I am always very aware of other drivers and am very respectful and obey the road laws at all times when on the road. As long as your not being reckless the police have better things to do. It is there job to keep people safe, if you pose no safety risk, the you are good.


So you are "respectful and obey the road laws at all times when on the road", you only ignore them when you are on the sidewalk.....? Well, in that case it's all good then, right?

One thing I wonder about though: how come the folks who might want to share the sidewalk with you don't deserve the protections of the laws too? Is it because they aren't important enough to matter to you, or that you are simply so darned responsible that the rules don't apply?
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby dogman dan » Sun May 21, 2017 7:17 am

We aint talking about street riding here anyway.

And NO, I did not mean ride a motorcycle on the no motors posted MTB trails. 6kw will throw rocks and rut up the trails. Pedals or not, that's a motorcycle. People lovingly maintain these mtb trails, and cutting them up with a high power bike is beyond rude. 1000w does not wreck the trails though.

Which is why I went out and cut 12 miles of bootleg trail, near my house. I only take 1000w to the national park trails.

Most can't go make a trail for their motorcycle with pedals, but I could since it was a desert area heavily used by motorcycles and ATV's already. Technically, its a city park, in fact, the place is just another illegal dump site. So that's where I ride my 2kw motorcycle with pedals on singletrack. Why not 6 kw?,, cuz in my state, my 2kw bike is street legal. So I can legally ride the thing to the trails, about 1.5 miles from my house. Or ride all over the mesa, linking dirt roads with street along the way.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby markz » Sun May 21, 2017 11:00 pm

Interesting point "cutting your own bicycle trails"

You got me thinking now :twisted:
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby flat tire » Mon May 22, 2017 9:45 pm

We have a lot of misplaced anger in this thread, and some things that need to be clarified.

First, my wrist manages the power and I don't tear up the trails. I don't need to do that to get a great workout and have a lot of fun, and frankly, despite what you may think about 6KW (INPUT power) this bike is hardly overpowered. It's a direct drive Leaf 1500 hubmotor on 20s and output is really inefficient at anything under high 30 mph. I also have to be extremely careful with the power I use to make the most of my battery capacity.

Most riders I see head on for just a few seconds and I typically pull off for them. Now, in the event I overtake someone, I enter "bicycle stealth mode" until I'm out of sight which will be a few seconds as these trails are extremely twisty and technical. So, most riders really don't notice that I'm electric, and if they did, the majority are other men hopped up on testosterone who significantly outweigh me...if they were pissed they would let me know.

I do talk to other riders from time to time, everyone from road cyclists to the woods guys. They all think the ebike is cool, and a big part of that is I am really friendly with my riding and go out of my way to avoid bruising human-power egos. :D
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby dogman dan » Tue May 23, 2017 6:44 am

I'm not mad at you for riding your 6kw bike on mtb trails.

You got a lot more control over your right hand than I ever have. I had to quit riding motorcycles at all for about 30 years, because my "bad right hand" was just going to get me killed if I kept riding shit that could go 90 mph. Me,, I just have to keep it down to the 1000w bike on the trails, because on the steeper parts, I would not feather the throttle. I'm talking about the bits that are 20% grades and above. I'd throw rocks going up it. But I would be able to ride mellow if the trail is mellow. these trails I was talking about are not so mellow.

I don't think I'm alone in this. And I don't think people who spend many hours a year lovingly maintaining MTB trails would like it if gas motorcycles used the trails, even if they promised to keep the throttle in control. Several times a year, some a-h--- on an ATV gets on the national park trails, and cuts em all up, and then the MTB club gets to work their asses off fixing it.

But unofficial trail, those not posted no motor vehicles,, that's game on. :twisted: Luckily there is tons of that around here too.

I DO believe bikes with less than 1001w should be allowed on MTB trails. The rules in other National Parks and Monuments are a travesty.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby craneplaneguy » Tue May 23, 2017 3:14 pm

Flat tire: I have zero issues with you riding a 6 K bike on any trail, I totally agree the amount of power does not meant squat. What matters is whats between your ears and your throttle hand. And it sounds like you are responsible on the trail, great. As I like to say : my car goes 100+ mph, but when I go through schools zones..... I go 25 mph." Simple as that! When I mix with mtbr's, (rarely) I go no faster then them. When I'm on my own, and luckily I can ride many places here and never see anyone, I can do what the hell I want with no problems!

Having said that though, you should be made aware, or reminded, that anti ebikers love trolling this site, and will gleefully post on other sites, anti ebike sites, about you. You will be held up as a poster boy for how we are "cheating", blah blah blah. Why make it easy for them? BTW, I ride a tweaked BBSHD and like I said earlier "get' what you are saying, when riding responsibly it really doesn't matter how much power you HAVE, it's how much you USE, and most important, WHEN. Just try it keep it low profile, and posting here is just giving ammunition to the haters.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby craneplaneguy » Tue May 23, 2017 3:40 pm

On the making trail thing.... I have 40 acres of open ground, open field in CRP (conservation resource program) but a slice of it runs along a creek and is thickly wooded. I have long had a trail (just big enough for walking) through a small part of it, used when I check my hydro electric system every few days (it's at the bottom of my property.) A few days ago, after I had just bought a Greenworks 60 VDC lawn mower from Lowes,, and noticed when taking it out of the box that they have a bunch of other tools that work off the same battery, and this got me thinking :roll: . One of these tools is a 16" chainsaw, I read a few reviews and people seem to rave about it. So, that lead me into the epic struggle of the last few days: I am extending the trail, and widening it just enough to make it feasible to RIDE :shock: No easy task believe me.

There is 147' of rise in a 1/4 mile to it, and I am figuring it out as I go, it isn't going to be a cakewalk but fairly technical, I am just following my nose as I cut and trim. Some big rocks cannot be moved, lots of them actually. I am amazed to find that I am really getting excited about it, something is making me work my ass off anyway. So far I am using just a big pair of tree limb nippers, and a bow saw. The only reason I am posting this in the middle of a sunny day is I had just gotten home from work and AGAIN no visit from the big brown truck! So I had to wade through the phone menu at Lowes and ask WHERE THE HELL IS MY NEW SAW?! I ordered it the 16 th. for hell's sake, and until the sucker gets here, even though I have most of the small stuff out of the way, I can't freaking RIDE it due to the bigger logs in the way. Lowes is keeping me from riding my new trail! I just got through apologizing to the helpful and nice lady at customer service, once I had determined that she was not personally responsible for me not getting to ride the new trail,(ha ha) I was a little pissy with her earlier. We had a good laugh when I explained what the deal was, hard to explain to others this whole ebike riding mania I suffer from, you all probably get it. It will FINALLY be here Thursday, my 68 th birthday as it turns out, you'd think I'd have better things to do then worry about cutting in a new fat ebike trail, you'd be wrong. I'll post a few pics when it's done.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby WoodlandHills » Tue May 23, 2017 3:48 pm

The car analogy is a false one, if you want to make it equivalent compare it to driving your car on the sidewalk that goes through the local park: does it really matter how slow you go when you shouldn't be there at all. The same applies to eMTBs and emotorcycles, if you want one ride it where you are wanted. And if you decide that the rules do not apply to you because you are "responsible" or "special" or something else, don't try to pretend otherwise and cloak it some mumbo-jumbo. Just tell the truth: you are superior to others in many ways and because of that the rules meant for those others do not apply to yourself. While you are at it please also admit to yourself that when the local MTBers finally get tired of you flaunting your impunity and organize to ban ALL ebikes from trails, you will be able to claim much of the credit.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby flat tire » Tue May 23, 2017 7:42 pm

craneplaneguy wrote:Having said that though, you should be made aware, or reminded, that anti ebikers love trolling this site, and will gleefully post on other sites, anti ebike sites, about you.

Wasn't aware this was a thing. I have PM'd you to discuss.

WoodlandHills wrote:And if you decide that the rules do not apply to you

I cannot ever recommend blindly following the law, but instead recommend using your good judgement.
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby slacker » Tue May 23, 2017 7:48 pm

flat tire wrote
I cannot ever recommend blindly following the law, but instead recommend using your good judgement.
You still do not get it?
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Re: Hitting the MTB trails

Postby markz » Tue May 23, 2017 11:47 pm

The law ha what a joke.
In BC the pigs are looking the other way with the "outlet weed clubs"
Its all legal until you get pinched.
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