Battery Fires Create Concerns For Every Electric Bike Owner – Updated 2/3/2019

UPDATE 2/3/19: Forbes reports that it is “unusual for electric bikes to catch fire” in their report on Stella, a Dutch E-bike company that suffered three fires in seven months. While supposedly a rare occurrence, if a charging battery explodes in your garage are you supposed to feel like a lottery winner? Please take the time to read this story that includes steps to reduce (but not eliminate) the chance of burning your house down. Bike Europe, a publication claimed to be the “leading trade journal for the bicycle, e-bike…

Christian Bagg Designs An Off-Road Electric-Motorized Trike Par Excellence

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an English proverb that Christian Bagg proved correct. Christian was an avid outdoorsman when a 1996 accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. His desire to get back into the outdoors and his talent as a machinist/fabricator/mad scientist lead him (after more than one failed prototype) to a three-wheeled, electric-motorized all-terrain vehicle that accomplished his dreams. PBS Newshour Weekend has an in-depth report on the amazing Mr. Bagg. You can watch it by clicking here. The website Engineering.com also has a story…

Harley-Davidson’s Two Concept Vehicles Are Not E-Bikes

Harley-Davidson made headlines recently by announcing their $29,799 LiveWire electric motorcycle. In addition to the LiveWire, Harley-Davidson showed two electric-powered concept vehicles. While some news sources have identified the concepts as e-bikes, neither bike fits that definition. E-bikes, even the e-bikes that use a twist-grip throttle or thumb-push throttle to apply their power (rather than power up as soon as pedaling begins), have operational pedals connected to a crank that turns a chain (or belt) connected to the rear wheel. To the relief of everyone from the high-end Specialized Bikes…

The One E-Bike That Represents Everything Wrong With E-Bike Use

Electric-motorized bicycles can help reduce traffic congestion, parking issues and maybe pollution. Plus, they are a lot of fun to operate. While they have obvious community benefits, I’ve never believed they belong on natural-surface trails shared by hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians. Electric-motorized bikes are way too fast compared to others using these trails. If owners want an off-road experience, they belong in areas designated for Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV). The new Suru Scrambler represents everything I see wrong with allowing electric-motorized bicycles on non-OHV trails. The Suro Scrambler, using…

UPDATE: E-Bikes Not Only Electric Vehicle To Poise Fire Hazards – The Finger Pointing Begins

November 3, 2018: Gizmodo is reporting that Segway, the supplier of the Lime Bikes scooters that have caught fire or overheated, fired off a response today that, while not mentioning Lime Bikes directly, points the finger at the scooter rider as the real source of the overheating problem. The response says: “We have observed that operational hazards do rise from extreme abuse and vandalism of the vehicles in the scooter-sharing market. Considering the fact that the management and maintenance of shared scooters and the identification of damaged vehicles highly rely…

Connecticut E-Bike Regulations Protect Unsuspecting Consumers

California was the first state to address e-bike usage by modifying its vehicle code with Assembly Bill 1096. The modified vehicle code is a big victory for companies and retailers who sell (or rent) electric-motorized bicycles in the state, but the legislation puts consumers at a marked disadvantage. The e-bike regulations recently adopted by Connecticut corrects California’s goof and results in legislation far more fair to consumers. APPROPRIATE TRAIL ACCESS The California law allows all but the most powerful e-bikes to be operated on equestrian, hiking and recreational trails. The…

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park Opens To E-Bikes (UPDATED)

If there was ever a mountain bike park that needed to be approved for e-bike use, it is the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. Why? Mammoth is notoriously one of the toughest places to ride a conventional mountain bike. The park’s altitude assures your lungs will feel like an elephant is sitting on them. The trail surface is soft, spongy, dusty, momentum-killing pumice that can break the spirit of the strongest riders (think kitty litter). There is not a rider who has ridden the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park trails and not…

IMBA Declares War On Class-2 E-Bikes

A new battle has emerged pitting the e-bike industry against itself. Gear Junkie’s article detailing the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) softening stance on e-bike use is nothing new. IMBA has been encouraging, and I feel “promoting” e-bike use on non-motorized, multi-user recreational trails for years. What the Gear Junkie article reveals for the first time is a civil war started by IMBA between pedal-actuated e-bikes and throttle-actuated e-bikes. Class warfare The Gear Junkie article states that IMBA now supports “Class-1” electric-motorized bike access to non-motorized trails. What the article incorrectly…

E-Bike Racing Keeps Them Off The Trails

I’ve been asked my opinion on electric-motorized mountain bike racing many times and my response surprises a lot of people. I think it is great. These events are held on closed-circuit, off-road courses specifically designed for e-bikes. In some cases, like at the Sea Otter Classic, the e-bike racecourse is surrounded by miles of singletrack where e-bikes are not permitted. These events separate electric-motorized bikes from human-powered mountain bikes (and hikers and equestrians), and that is a good thing. The recent Boogaloo event at the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park (another…

California State Parks Tighten Noose On E-Bike Use

Craig Sap, the District Superintendent of the Angeles District California State Parks, signed an order on September 13, 2017 that closes all State Park trails within the Angeles District to electric-motorized bicycles. The ban on electric-motorized bicycles (also called e-bikes, eMTBs or electric-assisted bikes) took effect on October 1, 2017. The parks closed to electric-motorized bicycles include popular hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails including Cheseboro, Ahmanson Ranch and Sycamore Canyon. The order explains that electric-motorized bicycles are “impacting the unique trail and backcountry experiences afforded by the District and…