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…

Department Of The Interior Redefines Electric-Motorized Bikes As Human-Powered Bikes

The United States’ Secretary of the Interior on August 29th signed Order Number 3376 titled “Increasing Recreational Opportunities through the use of Electric Bikes,” that instructs Federal land management agencies to view electric-motorized bicycles the same as a human-powered bicycle. Dennis Byrd, Outdoor Recreational Planner-Travel and Transportation Mgt, explained to Jimmy Mac On Two Wheels that “This newly penned Secretarial Order gives new guidance on how to manage e-bikes on BLM (and other DOI agency) managed lands. E-bikes, as defined in 15 U.S.C. 2085. will be allowed where all bicycles…

Opening Trails To Class-1 E-Bikes Opens Trails To All E-Bikes

E-bike designations (Class 1, 2 and 3) were written by a trade organization to do three things: (1) open previously non-motorized trails to motorized vehicles, (2) evade enforcement, and (3) sell more e-bikes. This class definition is being adopted by state and local legislators who don’t understand that opening a non-motorized trail to any class of e-bike, virtually opens the trail to all e-bikes. Here’s why. THE CLASS DISTINCTION Class-1 and Class-2 electric bicycles have less than 750 watts and cease to provide power when the bike exceeds 20 miles…

Battery Fires Create Concerns For Every Electric Bike Owner – Updated 10/17/2019

Bike Europe, a publication claimed to be the “leading trade journal for the bicycle, e-bike market” recently published a courageous story on the dangers of Lithium-Ion batteries used in the majority of electric bikes (e-bikes). The publication had a fire safety engineer and battery safety professional examine the aftermath of a fire ignited by an unattended charging battery in a bicycle shop (click here to watch the ignition and blast-off). His observations are frightening. The expert is quoted as saying that Lithium-Ion batteries are, “rather unreliable, rather explosive. You are…

Luna’s X-1 Enduro Blows All Other E-Bikes (And Hikers) Off The Trail

Earlier this week I wrote about how the Nicolai’s D1 EBOXX marked the first skirmish in the e-bike power wars. I certainly didn’t expect that the return fire would come so quickly or with such velocity. The recently announced X-1 Enduro from Luna, an electric-motorized bike company out of El Segundo, California, buries the Nicolia with a claimed 2000-watts and then drives nails into the Nicolia coffin with an introductory price of $3550. You could buy almost three Lunas for the cost of one D1 EBOXX e-bike. Luna seems to…

Escalation Of E-Bike Wars Destine To Alter All Other Trail Users’ Experiences

The problem I’ve always had with allowing electric-motorized bicycles on multi-user, natural-surface trails is that they are motorized. While a hiker or mountain biker may experience incremental gains in the amount of trail used in an hour by improving their physical condition and technique, the operator of a motorized bicycle can record substantial speed improvements by upgrading equipment. Case in point, the $10,300 Nicolai G1 EBOXX mountain bike. Nicolai explains the bike uses a Bosch motor that was “tested for months in secret.” This months-long testing (that doesn’t seem like…

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…

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…