eBike Opinions: Professional Cycle Athletes Part 2

In Part 2, here are a couple more Professional Cycle Athlete interviews.  This week we hear from Martin Maes (Factory GT Enduro racer) and Tracy Moseley (T-Mo Racing).
(If you missed Part 1, click here to see words from Josch Bryceland, Same Dale and Grant Ferguson)

Part 2
Tracy Moseley – T-Mo Racing and generally regarded as one of the greatest female mountain bikers of all time
Martin Maes – GT Bicycles Factory Enduro racer and occasional DH World Cup podium chaser

Tracy Moseley

Tracy Moseley – semi retired professional Mountain bike racer and ambassador! 4 times DH World Champion. Now working for my sponsors as a brand ambassador racing, attending events and product testing. I also run T-Mo racing grassroots MTB team and coach for British Cycling. www.tracymoseley.com

  1. What discipline/events do you compete in?
    MTB enduro mainly these days but I’ll have a go at anything off road! DH, CX, Snow bike!!
  2. A pretty open ended question – what do you think of eBikes?
    I think they have an important place in the world of bicycles. They have so much potential to empower so many people to be active, be outside and see more of the word around them and be healthy.
  3. What’s your experience of eBikes?  Have you ridden them much?
    I have ridden a Trek Powerfly full suspension 130mm travel  for a few months now.
  4. Would you ever consider racing an eBike if there were categories alongside the ‘normal’ bike categories?
    Yeah I think I would as long as you weren’t riding the same trail at the same time as normal bikes, as that’s just not right….  I think on its own race they could be fun!
  5. What do you think about eBike coverage in the press/media?
    I think they have received some mixed press, but i can understand that, as they need to be ridden with respect and for the right reasons and I think managing this will be hard as the sport and the bikes evolve.
  6. What’s your opinion on dongles (de-restricted eBikes)?
    I think this could open up the potential for them to be ridden out of control and could be dangerous. To me its more important that they are ridden in a safe and respectful manner rather than worrying too much about their speed… I think people need to be safe controlling them and considerate of the trail impact they are making..
  7. What do you think about the future of eBikes in MTB and also a wider sense?
    I think they have a huge future across many applications. I think racing is just a small area of their use. I think the opportunities they create for people to have access to cycling and riding with other people or on journeys that may not have made before is where its exciting and where they can bring so many new people to the sport of cycling and where it can take you..

Martin Maes

[Tristan here – please note that Martin is Belgian, so some comments are slightly altered where you see italics, to make things clear]

I’m Martin Maes, 19 years old and I do the full EWS season with the GT Factory racing team. I also race a few downhill World Cups to mix it up and have fun!

  1. What discipline/events do you compete in?
    The EWS (Enduro World Series) as well as a couple of downhill World Cups when I get the chance. I also do every year the famous Sea Otter classic dual Slalom in California where I won twice in a row in 2015-2016.
  2. A pretty open ended question – what do you think of eBikes?
    I truly believe it’s a great thing. It can be a real work tool as we see more and more eBike at the EWS for the journalists and organisers. I know people living in my area who restarted riding a bike because of the new generation of eBikes or who simply go to work everyday with their bike instead of taking their car. It’s great!
  3. What’s your experience of eBikes?  Have you ridden them much?
    I’ve done it once. My neighbours had bought one and I borrowed it for a spin. This thing amazed me. I was so impressed by the performance and had a lots of fun…
    I just made the promise to never take it again as I have to train…
  4. Would you ever consider racing an eBike if there were categories alongside the ‘normal’ bike categories?
    Of course I would. It would just be as hard to see them climbing so easily but I guess we wouldn’t ride with them so it’s fine. It would actually be very interesting to see what they do in terms of performance.
  5. What do you think about eBike coverage in the press/media?
    It’s hard to say. I guess some people are not interested about eBike and some are very interested. So I guess magazines/medias would have to be “specialist” on eBikes or not.  For me it remains two different things, two different philosophies but the same passion…
    For example I know people that for some reasons don’t like eBikes so they wouldn’t buy a magazine with an eBike on the cover.
  6. What’s your opinion on dongles (de-restricted eBikes)?
    I’ve tried a 45km/h limited eBike and I felt more on my motorbike than on a pushbike.  It becomes a bike to do not sell to anybody [edit – not entirely sure what you meant here bud, so I’ve left it as written]
  7. What do you think about the future of eBikes in MTB and also a wider sense?
    I think it’s gonna get (even) bigger than what it is now. It’s great ’cause some bike industries are a bit struggling at the moment and if the eBike can push them back up it’s all benefit. I’d be very interested to see them at the races. And maybe see “the come back” of legend like Nico Voullioz, Fabien Barel and many others at the EWS and other races. It can only be good for the industry!


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eBikes at The Bike Place trade show, Silverstone

I thought I’d have a break from interviews this week and talk about The Bike Place trade show I attended this weekend just gone.
In the past The Bike Place has always been held on the same weekend as Core Bike Show, which is very close by, enabling bicycle dealers to visit the 2 shows on the same weekend, or even the same day.  This year that changed and they were held on consecutive weekends.  Whether this was a good thing, is debatable and although there did seem to be less people in the shows, it could be argued that it was more quality time as people were certainly less rushed.  Who knows….

I definitely expected to see more eBikes at The Bike Place though.  At earlier shows in the year like the Birmingham NEC Cycle Show and Eurobike, eBikes were definitely centre stage on the majority of display stands.  Maybe it’s due to the time of year and exhibitors haven’t got their new eBikes ready yet?  Or more to do with the lack of large bicycle brand exhibitors in attendance?  As well as the large US bicycle brands, other notable absentees were Cube, KTM, Raleigh and Haibike – all prolific eBike manufacturers.

That said, there were still some eBikes around and these are the 3 products that stood out to me:

1.  Orange Bikes, Halifax.
Orange was the only manufacturer there that chose to launch a new product at the show – that being an eBike built around the Orange Alpine Six (previously the Alpine 160) and a Shimano E8000 Di2 drive unit, although it should be pointed out that this eBike is not yet a production bike, simply a prototype from Orange’s “Strange” skunkworks department.  I have little doubt that this, or at least something similar from Orange, probably will make it to production at some stage, although one would hope in a tidier form as this one did little to hide it’s rather “prototype” jagged edges.  I’m sure it will.  My guess for the retail bike (of similar spec to this prototype) would be around £6-7,000

2.  Pendix add-on eBike drive system
Not all that new, but the first time I’d seen a working version of this.  Obviously there is a huge plethora of home eBike retro fit (read “bodge”) kits available, plus quite a few people have just entirely made their own, often ludicrously powerful (and illegal) bodges, but this is one of very few that I think is quite neat and has a realistic chance of selling wide-spread as an after market add-on kit for a normal bicycle.  Quoted power is the legislated 250 watts nominal and a max torque of 50Nm – ie perfectly legal.  The battery is 300Watt/hours.
Pendix claim that their kit can be retro-fitted to pretty much any bicycle, hence using a Brompton folding bike to demonstrate this.  The bike even remained completely fold-able.  That said, I think it’s still mostly aimed at the road/commute/hybrid end of the bicycle market.  RRP is £1600 for the kit (plus bike obviously!) so still relatively expensive.

3.  Focus eMTB
There isn’t really anything revolutionary about this eBike, I just think it’s one of currently very few that have achieved an eBike that looks very similar to a standard bike and yet isn’t really ugly.  Kind of like Specialized’s Levo.  To me, very few other eBikes look this sleek although I know other brands are finally making serious efforts into designing eMTB’s that don’t look quite so home-made.