Cheaper, Faster, Off-Road E-Bikes Threaten Multi-User Trail Networks

I lamented that the Suru Scrambler represented everything wrong with allowing electric-motorized bicycles on multi-user, natural-surface trails. Less than a year later, the E-bikes headed down the trail make the Suru look quaint in comparison. The E-Cell Super Monarch AWD 1000 is a perfect example of an E-bike that is blurring the line between E-bikes and motorcycles. The E-Cell Super Monarch AWD 1000 (AWD stands for All Wheel Drive) was recently reviewed by the website Electrek. Their test states, “While the bike does come factory limited to 20 mph, it’s…

Antagonizing Motorists Does Not Improve Rider Safety

I’ve noticed a number of well-meaning experts touting the use of pool noodles by cyclists to keep motorists from passing too closely. I believe this is bad advice that may be counter productive and potentially dangerous. Here’s why. Years ago I was given a jersey that read “3 Feet To Pass” and had graphics of a big arrow and an automobile passing a cyclist. I thought it was pretty cool. My first ride in it dampened that enthusiasm. It seemed like an inordinate number of vehicles passed dangerously close (by…

The Major Flaw in Brigham Young University’s E-Bike Paper Revealed

A flood of headlines last week appeared to be clickbait because of their preposterous claims. The articles from Outside, The Verge, Men’s Health, KSL.com and Electrek referenced a study from Brigham Young University claiming that riding an E-bike requires close to the same amount of energy as riding a bicycle. Anyone who has had the pleasure of riding an E-bike knows the main attraction of electric-motorized bikes is how much they reduce the energy needed to ride. These media outlets were claiming the study proved this perception wrong. They interpreted…

How Much Trail Do You Use In An Hour? (A Trail User Speed Comparison)

Four major user groups share unpaved recreation trails designated for non-motorized use; hikers, trail runners, equestrians and mountain bikers. A change in California law (that other states may adopt) has permitted electric-motorized bikes access to these same trails, thus adding a new user group into the mix. While these five different user groups share the same trail, how do their speeds and amount of trail used in a specific amount of time compare? Anecdotal answers abound, but finding quantitative data on the question is difficult. My solution was to conduct…

Buyer Beware: You Can’t Get This Electric Motorcycle For $99

Please don’t fall for this scam. The ad is posted to my Facebook feed and it shows what appears to be a $3900 Luna Sur Ron X Bike for $99. How can they do it? They can’t. Hitting the ad’s link took me to a Tigerfitness order form for a “2019 Hot Trend Super Fast Bike.” That Chinglish should be warning enough but there are more clues. Inspecting the bike’s photo reveals a Luna watermark near the front wheel. This scammer simply lifted the bike’s image off the Luna website.…

The E-bike Battle Is Now Between Bicycle And Motorcycle Companies

It seems like every month another motorcycle company jumps into a crowded field of bicycle companies offering electric-motorized bicycles. Italy’s Ducati Motorcycles, who offered a single E-bike model in 2019, expands their 2020 selection to three models including the E-Scambler (on the far right) that appears to be intended for on-road use. Ducati joins Bultaco, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and KTM in a head-to-head assault on a market that has been serviced by E-bike-only companies (like Pedego, Sondors and Juiced) and established bicycle brands (like Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant) who offer…

Why Communities Can’t Trust Micromobility Rental Businesses

Spokane’s KREM2 reports that a Lime charging facility caught fire in Spokane Valley on October 7th. The report explains that the fire’s cause was unknown, but a Spokane Valley Fire Department spokesperson believed it was likely an electrical problem. Anyone with the most basic understanding of battery charging (and the dangers associated with battery charging) would immediately pick up on two glaring red flags in the KREM2 report. First, the report says that “no one was in the warehouse at the time” of the fire. Rule one for avoiding a…

Dutch Insurers And Firefighters Worry About Increase Of E-bike Fires

The Dutch, already ranked first in the world for per-capita-bicycle ridership, have adopted electric-motorized bicycles in record numbers. It is reported that e-bike sales have already surpassed the sales of human-powered bicycles (excluding children and racing bikes) in the Netherlands. With this increase in e-bike usage comes a not-so-surprising increase in fires linked to e-bike battery charging disasters. The NL Times is reporting that Dutch fire agencies and insurers are troubled by the increase in fires caused by battery charging. The article reports that e-bike fires in 2017 surpassed fires…

Cycling Without Age Offers Safe and Sane Cycling To The Elderly

Here is the feel-good story of the month. Writer Tom Hallberg of the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports on the activity of Cycling Without Age in Jackson, Wyoming. Cycling Without Age pairs pilots (who volunteer their time and leg muscles) with older residents (sometimes shut-ins) for trishaw rides around their community. These folks may not have felt the wind rushing through their hair since, well, since they had hair. Seniors jumping back on a bike find that their balance, coordination and dexterity may no longer be up to the…

The Interior Secretary Wants To Sell More E-Bikes, But At What Cost?

The one-page document from Interior Secretary David Bernhardt (Order Number 3376) did far more than redefine non-motorized recreation. The Order revealed a seismic shift in how the Department of The Interior views its responsibility in overseeing public lands. Conservation and stewardship are replaced with a new mandate to exploit public lands to the fullest. And maybe that’s what the majority of Americans want? The Interior Secretary also showed a lack of understanding by adopting the language crafted by the e-bike industry, whose objective is to sell more e-bikes. Trying to…