Exploring the E-Bike Experience: A Blend of Mountain Biking and Dirt Biking

Exploring the E-Bike Experience: A Blend of Mountain Biking and Dirt Biking

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In a recent adventure with my buddies, I found myself in need of an Ebike for our mountain biking trip. To my surprise, I met my friend`s Rattan Sequoia, and electric mountain bikes (e-bikes). Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to give it a fair shot. Little did I know that this experience would challenge my preconceived notions about e-bikes and blur the line between mountain biking and dirt biking.

Effortless Climbing:

Contrary to popular belief, the pedal assist on an e-bike is not a subtle boost—it's more like a motor. Even in the eco mode, the pedaling motion felt like operating a throttle. There was minimal resistance at the cranks, and the bike effortlessly surged forward and uphill. Our group unanimously agreed that you could ride all day without breaking a sweat. With the eco setting, we were promised 4.5 hours of assistance, and after three hours of riding, I still had around 30% battery left. Engaging the "Normal" mode, we easily achieved speeds of 20mph+ on climbs. The assistance was so robust that gear shifting became almost unnecessary. You could leave it in easy gear and let the bike do all the work, resembling the experience of riding a dirt bike. Although it's still possible to elevate your heart rate if you push yourself, the assistance is so dominant that it's unlike riding a traditional bicycle. After more than 30 miles of climbing, I felt like I could conquer another 100. The bike reacted instantly to the slightest pedal input, providing a dirt bike-like feel, even when maneuvering over rocks and roots.

Downhill Surprises:

Contrary to the misconception that e-bike assistance is limited to climbs, I was pleasantly surprised by its performance on descents. Just for fun, I took it down a basic blue trail with the turbo mode engaged. I was flying through switchbacks and effortlessly tackling features that would typically sap momentum. The assist is not restricted to uphill sections; it also proves valuable on downhill stretches where pedaling is required.

DH Performance and Fun Factor:

From a downhill perspective, the e-bike performed adequately. It felt like a large, heavy trail bike—a far cry from the nimbleness and enjoyment I experience on a regular mountain bike. At the end of the day, I felt a sense of "boredom" that I rarely encounter with traditional cycling. The effortless climbing and sluggish downhill performance muted some of the elation I usually associate with mountain biking. Undoubtedly, it was a unique and entertaining experience, driven primarily by the novelty factor.

Future Considerations:

Would I ride an e-bike again? Perhaps. It proved advantageous for our trip, effectively converting a riding day into a recovery day. However, I wouldn't choose an e-bike for quality singletrack unless I anticipated an excessive amount of climbing. I do believe there is a genuine use case for "touring" style riding, where e-bikes can excel.


My encounter with e-bikes left me astounded by the extent of the assistance they provide. While some claim that the e-bike experience is comparable to traditional mountain biking in terms of workout and enjoyment, I beg to differ. These electric vehicles are distinct from human-powered bicycles and bear a closer resemblance to motorcycles. In truth, they offer a wholly different riding experience—a quiet motorcycle controlled by your feet, masquerading as a mountain bike. Anyone who rides an e-bike and suggests otherwise may have an ulterior motive. In conclusion, the e-bike riding experience leans more towards dirt biking than traditional mountain biking, and it's fair to consider them as a separate type of riding and rider. However, it's important to acknowledge their place in big mountain rides and recognize their potential for touring-style adventures.