FIM And UCI Lock Horns Over E-Bike Racing

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is sure upset that the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has started to sanction e-bike racing. You see, the European-based UCI is the giant bureaucracy that controls bicycle racing and the FIM is the European-based, giant bureaucracy that controls motorcycle racing. The UCI recognizes e-bikes as bicycles (except when motors have been secretly installed to cheat in non-motorized bicycle races) and the FIM looks at e-bikes as a kind of stepping stone for young riders into motorcycle racing. You would think that there are enough…

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…