Electric Mountain Bikes
What is an electric mountain bike?
Electric bicycles have been rapidly gaining popularity in Jackson and around the country. With a pedal assist mountain bike, the rider can get exercise while going further and faster. Electric bicycles give the rider more freedom. The new technology in electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) allows the bike to climb quickly and efficiently, handle like a regular mountain bike and descend confidently. Because of the motor, electric bicycles are not allowed everywhere non-electric bicycles are. However, there are a lot of great places to eMTB especially if you are willing to travel.
At Hoback Sports we have a variety of electric mountain bikes from Specialized and Santa Cruz.
Is an eMTB right for me?
It’s you, only stronger. No matter who you are, the benefits of an electric bike cannot be ignored. When riding uphill or on flat ground, an eMTB will let you travel at higher speeds while putting out less energy than you would on a traditional mountain bike. This allows a casual rider to talk to others more easily during the ride, or level the playing field when you are riding with someone faster than you. Stronger riders will find themselves attacking uphill with more confidence, traveling further in the same amount of time, getting to the top faster, and having more fun. Even the most steadfast skeptic of electric bicycles will become a convert after their first ride.
Where to bike?
The most important thing to remember when buying an eMTB is where these bikes are allowed. Because they have a motor, eMTBs are not allowed everywhere regular mountain bikes are ridden. According to United States Federal regulations, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service categorize eMTBs as motorized vehicles. Federal natural-surface trails designated for motorized and non-motorized use are open to eMTBs. This includes Off Highway Vehicle trails for dirt bikes and ATVs. State and local regulations vary depending on where you are. It is important to educate yourself on the local laws in your area. In Wyoming, all classes of electric bicycles are allowed on bike pathways. There are options for riding eMTBs on single track in Teton County. Munger Mountain, Mosquito Creek, parts of the Gros Ventre, and most recently, the Jackson Hole Mountain resort has opened some of their mountain bike trails to eMTBs. There are even more options on the other side of the Tetons in Idaho. Recently we took a trip to Idaho to check out one electric mountain bike friendly destination. Be sure to check local regulations and educate yourself on where eMTBs are allowed.
The 7N ranch bike park
Just outside of the town of Ririe, Idaho at the base of the Heise Hills is the 7N Ranch. There are a lot of activities on site at this guest ranch. Check out their web site for the entire list of activities. One of these activities that caught our attention is the 7N bike park. According to their web site, the terrain at the 7N bike park “ranges from beginner to abusive.” Intrigued, we took a trip to the 7N Ranch and brought along our electric mountain bikes. The 7N bike park caters to all types of mountain bikers from dirt jumps and wood ramps to cross country bike trails. Earlier this Pat rode the 7N bike park on his non-electric mountain bike. “I took four or five laps before I started to get tired.” Pat said. There are eleven trails at 7N and on our eMTBs we rode all of them at least once, riding each black diamond trail twice. It took about two and a half hours. “The level of pedal assist you add controls the level of workout you want to accomplish.” Said Matt. “Less boost equals a harder workout if that’s what you are looking for. I was looking for the bigger smile, so I ran my bike at full boost the whole time!” While riding we met Mike, the 70 something year old trail builder at 7N. Mike is so passionate about the park, he waited for us at the bottom of the trail network to discuss what we thought of each trail. Like most bike parks, many of the trails here require multiple rides to get the proper speed for jumps and other features. Since there are no chair lifts, an eMTB is the perfect tool to enjoy the 7N ranch bike park to the fullest. “With the eMTB I had more energy at the top of each lap and was more alert and ready for the descent. The power the Specialized Levo Brose motor provides is impeccable. You can clean climbs you never thought possible.”