For someone who is an avid bike rider and racer, riding an E bike brings forth a surprising array of emotions and thoughts to work through. First, I never realized just how much I actually enjoy hurting from time to time. Sure flowy singletrack and downhills are a blast, but putting forth a good hard effort with a little burn brings a major sense of accomplishment. Not to mention the joy of inflicting pain on your buddies. I suppose it’s like a brawl at an Irish pub with beers afterwards.
When I first cranked the pedals in turbo mode (the only mode I use) it did put a smile on my face. On my first rides with Mary Piper and Jeff Sona I zoomed ahead on all the ups. This was fun at first but then a surprising sense of guilt set in. Twelve years of Catholic schooling and one gets a good sense of guilt. 8~) I also realized for the first time just how large a part of the cycling experience is tied to the physical challenge of self propulsion. When Jeff would catch up to me breathing like a freight train, I felt a little jealous. It is clear to me that a very fit bike racer like myself a year ago would have no reason to buy a bike like this.
After just a handful of rides, I think that I may have caught a glimpse into the mental transformations that dopers in the Tour de France go through. The guilt goes away!!! I actually start to feel like this is me. I am totally BAD ASS! And then the battery runs out.
Now, as for the bike. Full suspension E bikes are tanks! It weighs in at 40 plus pounds. I usually accept help getting it off the back of my car. If you had to pedal this in the off, or “busted” mode, you will not like it. On the positive side, with the motor and on wide open trail, it does not feel heavy at all. Very well balanced, turns nicely, very cush and tracks very nicely. This is the first time I have ridden 750 B + wheel size with Chupacabra tires.
This bike is long. It almost hangs off the back end of my Kuat Envy rack. It is too long to work on Mary’s Kuat Sherpa. This bike likes to cruise at decent speed. I found it a blast on Roller Coaster in Castlewood. On really slow, tough stuff like going up the rock ledges on Zombie or going up tight switchbacks, it is not good.
All in all, I am impressed as it rode and handled better than I expected. I think that it was a very good thing that I raced dirt bike motorcycles many years ago. The skill set to ride this is about halfway between mountain biking and dirt biking.
This bike has, for now, put me back in the fun and fray of racing mountain bikes around in the woods with my friends and fiance.