New research originally commissioned by British Cycling and undertaken by Edinburgh University has shown the continued rise in the popularity of the best electric mountain bikes.
The study aimed to answer the question as to why are e-MTBs so popular? and has looked to highlight the need for any improvements to e-bike-specific infrastructure in forests and bike parks, and develop policies that can enable more people to enjoy the benefits of the e-MTB and countryside.
In the past decade, we’ve seen an explosion of electric transportation. Electric cars have surged in popularity and continue to grow as companies like Tesla go stratospheric. Although electric cars are still way too expensive for most people, the 'electric explosion' has seen people turn to and look at other forms of e-powered transport that includes the humble bicycle. Leading the charge has been the e-MTB with riders stating that being able to ride further, faster, and get easier access to the countryside and mountain areas as some of their main reasons for buying an e-MTB.
British Cycling's Ben Creed said, "Cycling participation in e-MTB has skyrocketed in recent years and is becoming increasingly accessible to the wider population. The results from this research are incredibly useful for us and will support our work to capitalize on the opportunities and prepare us for challenges that we may encounter. The volume of e-MTBs is already significant and growing fast. We know that they support many riders to be more active, as well as being a lifeline for those who might not otherwise be able to ride. We are already working towards creating sustainable growth through widening participation, trail infrastructure, and responsible access."
Forestry England’s National Cycle Manager, Dan Cook, also added, "This study has produced some incredibly useful insight, it's clear that the ever-increasing proportion of e-MTBers will be a crucial part of the future growth of mountain biking. I am pleased that this study guides how we can create the best offering to electric MTB riders in Britain’s forests. We know that riders love the forest environment and this study will influence our decision-making on existing and new trail developments and infrastructure."
Here at Bike Perfect we have been lucky to ride some of the best e-MTBs around and they definitively unlock huge potential and can enhance the mountain bike experience. Models with quality components and well matched suspension are a total blast to ride. We delve a little deeper to bring you a few top benefits to owning an electric mountain bike.
Uphill is fun
Most people don't enjoy climbing but it goes with the territory in mountain biking, as you have to go up to go down. With an e-MTB, climbs now become a enjoyable part of the ride, allowing you to arrive at the top of the mountain without being a sweaty mess. Powering up climbs over obstacles like roots is also great fun and you will also free up space at bike park uplifts by riding up to the trailhead, making you popular with your non-electric friends.
You take on important tasks
As an e-MTB rider in a group of "normal" bikers you may be frowned upon but with the power of the e-MTB you suddenly will become useful, becoming the carrier of spares, tools and and in an emergency, unless Greg Minnaar is in the group, you’ll be faster with an e-bike in getting help.
It also means it's easier to take the camera equipment into the mountains and deliver the Insta bangers for the group, as a photographer something that's not so easy on a non-powered bike.
There are cheaply made products of almost everything, and electric mountain bikes are no exception to this rule. However, generally electric mountain bikes have reliable build quality. With the added weight of an electric motor and battery, they are built strong to support this extra weight. The frame also has to be capable of protecting both of those if you hit anything and suspension must be equally high quality, as the motor and electrical parts need to be able to withstand the rigors of the trails. They are at times more expensive than a non-powered mountain bike but you will have a quality bike for your money.
An e-MTB is a commuting weapon
While you might assume that e-MTBs are just for mountain biking, they don’t have to be. They make for an excellent commuter bike allowing you to power along and to arrive at your office without needing to grab a shower. With the majority of e-MTB's having quality suspension and the number of potholes in the roads at record highs, they will eat up bumps in the road, that some other bikes won't, making for a safer commuter option.
Ultimately, mountain biking is about having fun regardless of what bike you ride. It’s about getting outside, and exercising your body and mind, an e-MTB has the potential to enhance this experience for many or to open it up completely to those limited by time or health or who’ve previously found the idea of riding up a mountain daunting.