Mountain bike pioneer Gary Fisher sees e-bikes as the next big thing
Electric bikes offer a number of advantages to occasional and wannabe cyclists, including "uphill flow."
Although the use of e-bikes on trails and singletrack is a divisive topic, one of the fathers of mountain biking, Gary Fisher, sees electric bikes as the next big thing, especially when it comes to increasing the fun while decreasing the hurt.
In a video interview with Bosch eBike Systems, Gary Fisher (accompanied by his masterful mustache) shares his view on electric bikes from his perspective as an old-school cyclist who sees "tremendous potential" for this new breed of bikes.
"eMountain biking is just really fun. It takes away the strenuous part, the five-kilometre journey to the mountain, the super-steep climb. These elements are now simply gone, leaving only the fun part." - Fisher
Bosch eBike Systems, as part of its promotion for its products, has been using the term "uphill flow" to describe the new options available to cyclists when using an electric bike. While 'downhill flow' was fairly easy to achieve, thanks to the force of gravity effortlessly pulling you onward to the bottom of the mountain, getting into the groove while grinding it out going uphill wasn't something that many cyclists could enjoy, But with electric pedal-assist helping riders get up the steep inclines without getting totally burned out, this feeling of "uphill flow" could really change the game for those who might otherwise be confined to flat sections of trail, or who would transport their bike by other means to the top of the trail because of the grueling uphill sections.
In regard to the state of e-bikes in the United States, Fisher says:
"There's some catching up that needs to be done in terms of eBikes here [in the US] at the moment. I see the people who are already using eBikes, see how proudly they sit on their bikes, how much fun they're having. They're realizing that these bikes are super efficient and cost effective for getting around the city. It's like it used to be with mountain biking. There are early adopters, those who really believe in the success of eBikes and in their influence on the future." - Fisher
Although the focus of the interview with Fisher was electric mountain biking, he also dropped some hints about the serious potential that e-bikes have in cleaning up our transport systems, along with improving the health of more people. One argument against e-bikes is that some opponents say it takes all of the physical effort out of cycling, which isn't exactly true, unless you're riding a throttle-controlled e-bike and you never pedal, but even then it's still more of an active transportation mode than just sitting on your butt inside a vehicle. And because of the lower emissions and increased health benefits of bike commuting, Fisher says "eBikes are perfect for the task" of getting more people on bikes.
"A change of clothes and other working equipment can be carried to work much more easily with an eBike. The weight is simply less relevant. In the US, every car is used to transport 1.3 people on average. In relation to cities and their transport system, this situation is simply not tenable. eBikes would soon solve the problem. And I'm already seeing lots of people using eBikes. Their numbers will keep growing and will solve this problem." - Fisher
Read more from other "uphill flow" enthusiasts at Bosch e-Bike Systems.