Myths about ebikes....The basics about an eMTB
An eMTB is a mountain bike with an integrated motor that assists the rider. The motor only kicks in when the rider is pedalling and the amount of support can be adjusted in different modes. In the highest mode, some motors are able to quadruple the rider’s power. The motor cuts off at 25 km/h. Above that, you’ll have to pedal without the assistance of the motor.
Electric mountain bikes are excellent on climbs and even better on descents, e-mtb are just so much fun!
What type of motor are you using?
In the early days of eMTB development, some models were fitted with a hub motor on the rear wheel. However, since these tend to quickly overheat on climbs and also make for a very uneven distribution of weight, this option has almost disappeared from the market. The only place you’ll still see hub motors being used is on some very low-end models. High-quality eMTBs are all based on mid-motor designs. However, there are major differences in terms of power, size and weight.
At emtb-crete we use only mid-motor designs from both Bosch and Shimano.
What is the range of the battery?
The range of bikes is heavily dependent on battery capacity (we do use mainly 500w batteries), the selected mode (eco mode is the best), rider weight and more or less the elevation profile of the route.
It’s impossible to make a blanket statement about range. It can vary between 20 km (with a full load, in the highest mode and only going uphill) and over 100 km (in eco-mode).
Due to the very steep terrain of Crete, it is extremely unlikely if you manage to hit that 100km in one charge.
I’ve managed to do in a single charge 82km nearly all in eco mode with about 1700 meters of elevation to give you a rough idea thus the myth about having just a few km of autonomy isn’t truth. You can read more about batteries & more specific about charging your ebike on this link.
How many gears does an ebike need?
There is no need any more for 27-30 gears as it used to be on classic mountain bikes. That is in the past.
Modern bikes with and without electrical support only have one chainring upfront and rely on drivetrains with 8 to 12 gears, which cover a similar gear range, while shifting better and more reliably.
Is an electric bike cheating?
With the assistance of an eBike’s motor, longtime bike riders have been able to continue their favourite pastime as they get older without trouble. That little bit of help can also get someone that isn’t as comfortable with their riding skills up to speed with a seasoned trail rider, allowing them to bond and explore nature together. An electric bike isn’t cheating because it’s not a competition.
You still need to pedal. The fittest riders will still go fastest and furthest on an E-MTB just like on a standard MTB. This means that strong legs and a well developed aerobic system will enhance your riding, no matter what type you do.
Regarding short sharp climbs which used to be a 30-minute climb is now a 10-minute climb, except you, are doing it two or three times instead of once, and with descents in between. This means that the demands of your sport have changed and that you need to be better at shorter, sharper efforts instead of the longer grinds of a normal bike.
Last but not least there is an interesting article/research from the Brigham Young University in the UK who suggests eMTBs offer nearly the same workout as non-motorized MTBs and that attitudes towards eMTBs change after riding.