Legal trails?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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parajared   10 kW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by parajared » Jul 11 2018 3:17pm

If it's okay with you guys I would prefer to visualize mountainbiker24 as a bike hating curmudgeon who harbors deep disdain for the outdoors, fun, and the MTB community. Thank you.

Hello ya salty old fist shaker you!
To answer your question, I enjoy single-track here in the mountains and while its legal to e-bike on forest land it's an issue of noise. Around here wattage requirements get quite high for hub motors, motors pushing an excess of 3 kilowatts all too, and surprisingly often. Therefore if you don't want 30 pounds of hub motor on the wheel and 20lbs of battery on your back you are going to want to go mid-drive and granny gear your way around.

Some mid drives come as high rpm/big reduction types and they are whiney and obnoxious little buggers; hard to share a nice peaceful hiking trail with other patrons. It's totally legal to e-bike on forest land but I recommend you either do it with a quiet mid-drive on the shared trails or stick to motorcycle/quad only trails if you do it on a noisy bike.

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wturber   100 kW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by wturber » Jul 11 2018 7:16pm

parajared wrote:
Jul 11 2018 3:17pm

Some mid drives come as high rpm/big reduction types and they are whiney and obnoxious little buggers; hard to share a nice peaceful hiking trail with other patrons. It's totally legal to e-bike on forest land but I recommend you either do it with a quiet mid-drive on the shared trails or stick to motorcycle/quad only trails if you do it on a noisy bike.
My experiences is that mountain bikers are a generally noisy group. They frequently ride in pairs and groups and they frequently yammer as their knobby tires grind away at the trail they are riding. In the still morning desert air I can usually hear their conversations plainly from hundreds of yards away. So I don't see how a bit of noisy motor would hurt things much. It might make conversation more difficult - which would be a plus for me and they might come and go faster - which would also be a plus. I guess nice and peaceful are in the ears of the beholder. :^)
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"Commuter - DC Booster"
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markz   100 GW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by markz » Jul 11 2018 10:58pm

2old wrote:
Jul 11 2018 9:19am
This individual is interested in stirring up crap, nothing else. Best to stop feeding his frenzy, letting the thread die and getting back to positive concerns.
Hey 2old - You are right on that one.
It was baiting. No geographic area was the primary clue that caught my attention instantly. Plus the title and the content of the first post. Fishing and probably a tree huggin' hippie but who really knows anyways right. Just ride your electric bike and be happy. Dont worry be happy.

2old   10 kW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by 2old » Jul 12 2018 1:02am

markz wrote:
Jul 11 2018 10:58pm
2old wrote:
Jul 11 2018 9:19am
This individual is interested in stirring up crap, nothing else. Best to stop feeding his frenzy, letting the thread die and getting back to positive concerns.
Hey 2old - You are right on that one.
It was baiting. No geographic area was the primary clue that caught my attention instantly. Plus the title and the content of the first post. Fishing and probably a tree huggin' hippie but who really knows anyways right. Just ride your electric bike and be happy. Dont worry be happy.
markz, I wasn't smart enough to get the drift initially and responded to the trolling; glad you caught it the first time.

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parajared   10 kW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by parajared » Jul 12 2018 9:57am

My experiences is that mountain bikers are a generally noisy group. They frequently ride in pairs and groups and they frequently yammer as their knobby tires grind away at the trail they are riding. In the still morning desert air I can usually hear their conversations plainly from hundreds of yards away. So I don't see how a bit of noisy motor would hurt things much. It might make conversation more difficult - which would be a plus for me and they might come and go faster - which would also be a plus. I guess nice and peaceful are in the ears of the beholder. :^)
I guess I was specifically thinking of my GNG chain-driven mid-drive and my adventures down Prescott's trail system. I couldn't help but feel a bit... obnoxious with that thing. I have since moved on to a mid-mounted hub which has improved the whole affair significantly.

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wturber   100 kW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by wturber » Jul 12 2018 11:54am

I'm not sure the noises we hear while riding are heard as loudly by others who are relatively stationary and not on bikes.

Of course, when in doubt I think erring on the side of being quieter is better. But I'd probably have have someone else give me their opinion on what they hear when I ride by before knocking myself out.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by dogman dan » Jul 14 2018 7:39am

Assuming the OP is a troll, many others will read this and still want the same info. Not hard to dope out where I ride, but here is the gist of it.

Since day one on an e bike, in 2008, I've ridden on trails more or less illegally depending on what the sign says. All city multi use trails are posted no motors period. Yet I've stopped and chatted with bicycle cops on these trails, and had no mention of my bike being motorized. On the blm trails, they are posted no motor vehicles, yet again, I have never had a bad encounter with the local MTB riders. On the blm trail, my lower power trail e bike is still a motor vehicle in my state. It would not be a motor vehicle in other states.

HOW THE HECK DO I DO THIS? Really quite simple, I don't ride like a dick, and with a long white ponytail, don't fit the jackass teenage e bike rider profile at all. I do ride higher powered bikes at times, but NEVER haul ass on the multi use trail, or use enough power to tear up the MTB trail. So am I a poacher? Yes, I am, but I dont endanger anybody or cause excess wear on the mtb trails. And so I am tolerated, even welcomed.

Now, if only we could get horse riders to stay of the mtb only singletrack....


Anyplace illegal to ride motors will be posted. But some places say no motor vehicles, other say no motorized vehicles. If it says no motor vehicles and your vehicle is defined by state law as a bike, you can ride it there. And you might get ticketed by a cop that doesn't under stand the law too. :roll: Local rules always, there is no such thing as a national law on where you can ride e bikes. Only national definitions of what can be sold, as a " Bike" .


Local rules and how they get enforced get a lot more strict, the higher the use of the trail. Don't go to Sedona, and try to ride your e bike on the trails, for one example.

Surfingjeff   10 W

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by Surfingjeff » Jul 20 2018 6:13am

I live on a San Diego county owned trail that allows e bikes and now Mammoth mountain just started allowing e bikes. So things are finally loosening up in California . Yes my bike goes well over the allowed 20 miles a hour but I ride respectful of others . I have even ridden my electric scooter but I know I could be ticketed . But at 40 mph capable hard to get caught . But also good way to crash with tiny 12” wheels off-road .

PRW   10 kW

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Re: Legal trails?

Post by PRW » Jul 20 2018 1:08pm

I found this website https://www.trailforks.com/, which states "Trailforks is your guide to more than 111,000 trails around the world. This free app includes a search function highlighting eMTB-legal trails. When you open the app, the map will appear. Click on the ⓘ in the upper left corner of the map. Swipe the menu to the left, where a filter called “Ebikes Allowed” will appear. Change that from “All” to “Yes”, and you’ll see all the legal eMTB trails in your area."

I have downloaded the app to my phone - seems to work well, at least for California

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