TRAILGRAMS – MOOR-EEE-BIKES

ELECTRIC FENCE CONTINUED

I am 60 years old. I’m the head coach of a NorCal high school MTB team and ride a lot. I still race three to four times a year, but managing kids cuts into both my personal riding and racing.

At Sea Otter this year I was camping with a guy who had a brand-new Turbo Levo, and I borrowed it for a while—ear-to-ear grin. For me, it was like taking a pill that transformed me into a 30-year-old. Another thing that a lot of coaches talk about these days is using these bikes to keep up with A and B squad riders on practice rides, etc. But for me, I envision the ability to go out and cover some of my old 35-mile routes again without blowing a gasket. I love a simple, light hardtail bike, and I love my trailbike, but I see a huge advantage in e-bikes to keep oldies doing what they love to do longer and safer. So, that brings me to the last point, and that is that something like a Turbo Levo should not be restricted from currently available trails, because most of my reasons for getting one would become totally irrelevant. I understand the user-group friction very well. Here in NorCal, it’s ground zero. So, perhaps, as we move into a new era, we should be thinking about motor-wattage limits rather than wholesale restrictions, but that’s my thought. Believe me, when you are my age, even if you are very active, it’s not the same as being 30. Don’t take my word for it; ask your dad!

Michael E. Karp
Head Coach Alameda Hornets MTB team

FAIR AND BALANCED

Loved your balanced and objective column on e-bikes. After trying one, they undoubtedly have a place in mountain biking. After all, it’s all about getting people into mountain bikes and allowing them to keep riding as long as possible. If injury or age dictates, I will buy one in a heartbeat to keep riding.

Here in the UK, the haters are definitely reducing now that a few high-profile riders have endorsed e-bikes as another form of mountain biking. The alleged trail “wear and tear” has yet to be proven. It’s mentioned over here, but bike parks will probably cope with increased use of e-bikes, as they have to build and maintain to cope with heavy non-e-bike use anyway. Our magazines have e-bike features, which are enlightening, and I feel have helped mini- mize the haters. I would keep buying MBA if you included e-bike features. After all, they are still mountain bikes.

Nigel Randtoul
Somewhere in the UK

DIFFERENT VEHICLE, DIFFERENT MAG

I think the electric bike thing is interesting and a great opportunity to get more people out of cars and commuting via a low-emission vehicle, but electric bikes are not exactly bicycles, and they don’t belong on mountain bike trails anymore than the mopeds of olden days (the ’70s and ’80s).

As you said, electric bikes are different vehicles, and mountain bike trails are for mountain bikes, which are powered by pedaling and nothing more (except gravity or the occasional pushing). Similarly, Mountain Bike Action magazine is for mountain bikes, which are powered by pedaling, not by motors.

Electric Bike Action sounds like a fine spin-off to me. In time, I am confident there will be a strong-enough interest to generate a substantial readership for such a rag. But for now, let’s confine Mountain Bike Action to mountain bikes.

C. Blake Burgher, J.D.

PEEVE OF THE MONTH

I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but the trails I ride on in Union County, New Jersey, are overrun with dog walkers who don’t pick up after themselves. They treat the trails as doggy toilets, and my knobbies have to be scrubbed thoroughly after every ride!

J. Hoops, via email


“Trailgrams” tip of the month: If you’re still riding 26-inch wheels, be sure to stock up on tires sooner rather than later. We’ve heard from several readers that they are becoming more and more difficult to find, especially in high-performance treads and compounds.


THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION

Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun. Start a subscription by clicking here or calling (800) 767-0345.

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