Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Yes, for some outdoor enthusiasts, E bikes are the devil. But for others, they are a saving grace especially for weekend warriors or those that don’t have a lot of time. No matter which side you’re on, they are here to stay. In regards to this new piece of cycling technology, a big question that’s brought up in our clinics is “what trails can an E Bike Access?”
When In Doubt – OHV Is The Route
One of the quickest ways to know if a trail allows E Bike access is to stick to marked OHV trails. OHV stands for Off Highway Vehicles, so if a motocross bike can ride it, then you can grip it and rip it on an E bike as well.
What’s The Big Deal?
The issue right now is the BLM and US Forest Service agencies responsible for access are having trouble keeping up. When people hear the term “e Bike”, the first thing that comes to mind are the new pedal assist motorized mountain bikes. Unfortunately, there are three types of E Bikes. The murkiness comes in the grouping of the other two classes of “e Bikes.”
BRRRAPPP Versus Superman
Class 3, also known as speed pedelecs, can accelerate up to 28 miles per hour with the help of a pedal assist. While not as powerful as a gas-powered motocross ride, it does offer a lot. Class 2 offers you a throttle but doesn’t require you to pedal. And the last is the Class 1 E Bike. This is the pedal assist motorized version that gives you enough power to make you have the legs of a Tour de France cyclist.
Research Ahead Of Time To Find E Bike Friendly Trails
Luckily, these agencies are starting to understand the differences and things are becoming more normalized. The first and most important point to understand is knowing what type of eBike you own. This will help figure out which trails you have access to. A good place to find E bike access information is by heading to People for Bikes National Map, Trail Forks, or MTB Project. Be aware that all of these are crowd-source driven with no regulatory control. We recommend at the end of your research to still contact the local parks/open space agency and ask them as well.
Ultimately, like anyone enjoying the outdoors, respect private property, wildlife, and other forest visitors. That E Bike may make it easier to climb and travel greater distances but give respect to those that want to still earn it the old fashioned way.