Electric mountain bikes are gaining traction
When we think about e-bikes our minds generally focus on electric road bikes or conversion kit e-bikes. There is a reason for this. While driving or cycling or riding our own e-bikes, we are seeing more and more e-bikes on the road. But the road isn't the only place for e-bikes. Electric mountain bikes, just like e-bikes, are gaining traction and growing in popularity and use around the world. While there are some hindrances, reports indicate E-mountain bikes are the next big thing.
The most noteworthy indication of the rise of e-mountain bikes is the brand new Yamaha YDX MORO electric mountain bike line. These things are awesome. They feature a mid-drive e-bike motor and a full-suspension frame. The frame itself is a marvel, splitting down the middle to make room for the battery and rear shocks, while serving as a cage to protect both. It's a new look for e-mountain bikes, but more importantly it's setting a high bar for future models. It's not going to be a cheap bike, that's for sure, but it's a nice one that speaks to the growing interest in e-mountain biking.
So why would I want an e-mountain bike anyway?
For the same reasons you'd want a regular e-bike. You want battery assisted power, except instead of the reasoning being longer distance travel or commuting, for an e-mountain bike you are looking for something that will enhance your ride on rough terrain and hills. This is about adventure. An e-mountain bike is not something that you'll be cruising on in the bike lane, this is a bike that screams both danger and fun while kicking up the dirt.
If you are already used to tearing up the trail down the side of a mountain, then an e-mountain bike will give you a completely different experience. You'll have more weight to deal with, which changes the entire ride. You'll have more speed as well, which brings a bit more adrenaline to a downhill. For uphill racing, you've got the assist of the battery so that you can save some energy for keeping your balance on the other side. The point is, an e-mountain bike isn't like riding a regular mountain bike no more than a road e-bike is like regular cycling.
The weight of an e-mountain bike, while changing the semantics of your ride, does offer a bit more stability because of the lower center of gravity. Most of the motors are in the bottom bracket with batteries in the downtube. This does create a more centrally located weight distribution, hence the change in center of gravity and stability. This is good for novice riders especially, as it helps with overall balance.
If you've ever been mountain biking you know that it's just not about some crazy downhill action. You have to get up that hill too. You have to walk to the spot sometimes and walk back. With an e-mountain bike, assuming the path isn't too treacherous to not have to traverse on foot, you can ride instead of walk, face those uphills seated instead of lugging your bike on your shoulder. All those muscles that will be strained keeping your balance on the downhill will be that much fresher thanks to the battery.
The versatility of an e-mountain bike is why e-mountain bikes are becoming more popular. Riding one results in more time on the bike, more time on trails and more time ripping shreds in the dirt. Sure, an e-mountain bike is more of a leisure time activity (for regular folk, not for professionals) than an e-bike for commuting, but we all could use a bit of that right now don't you think? Tearing down a hill, dirt and wind in your face, extra power pushing you to your personal extreme... what's not to like?
Written by @alex on September 7, 2020