I've been doubtful regarding how the electronic bikes could work for hunting. I can see how they get you from the truck to the tree... or close to the tree. Is the idea that you would then ride back, and hike back to drag a deer out, or is it possible to cram a deer onto that tag along trailer and "ride" them out?
I use it for running errands and for misc trips that I normally would drive to before my eAssist bike.
I have been training all summer with over 100lbs in the panniers ( 6 gallon water jug on each side).
It certainly changes the balance while riding, even on pavement and deffinate learning curve on trails!
For way under $2k with lot's of extra goodies, I think it is a great option/alternative for many uses.
Good luck, Robb
For hunting purposes here are my complaints. 1. The bike is 70lb, and from what I've read most e-bikes are in this weight range. This is horrible and makes it near impossible to haul on a car roof rack like any other bike I own. Maybe fine if you have a ramp to get it up into the back of your truck. If you aren't careful it is also easy to dump the bike when simply standing with it due to the overall weight. Good luck pedaling a long distance if the battery dies, weight of the bike makes pedal power alone quite miserable. 2. Power is very good, goes up hills easily, almost zero effort to get the assist to engage. 3. Battery life on longer trips is a big concern for me, you would have to plan out how you will charge it if not staying at a place with a regular 120v power source. 4. I could not personally justify the price tag considering my age and fitness level makes it perfectly fine to use my normal mountain bike to cover distance on logging roads. Mountain hunts out west are the one place I was seriously considering an e-bike vs ATV costs, but power charging becomes a big problem that I have not found a good solution to overcome.
And that right there is my #1 issue with e-bikes - the potential for Abuse.
I’m pretty certain that Pat is well aware of this, but Wilderness Areas are OFF LIMITS TO BIKES. Not just “e-bikes”, unless “e” is just short for “Every known variety”. And the fact that they have a power output less than some specified number does not change the fact that anyone who has one can (very quietly) explore beyond those gates which have been erected for the express purpose of excluding MOTORIZED vehicles from a particular area.
Nor does having a very small, quiet motor make it any more ethically tolerable to “hunt” by cruising an area on a motor vehicle. Rather, it’s all the worse, simply because of the greater stealth of the electric motor and the almost unlimited off-road accessibility. Road Hunting by any other name.
On private property, hey - Fine. Whatever. But if the states don't jump right onto shutting these down to where they are bound by the same restrictions as anything else which is not 100% human-powered, I think it’s going to be a Zoo out there.
Would limiting use of e-bikes to the same applications as quads be “unfair” to older or physically handicapped hunters? JMO, no, it would not. No different than existing limitations on ATVs by any other name.
The mere fact that Technology has created a way to exploit a loophole does not bestow a Divine Right to go ahead and use it.
Like the Garmin GPS watch I want, I think I'll wait a few years and see how the tech improves. . . . Battery life, weight, and power will surely just get better year after year.
And also a sarcastic "Thanks a lot Pat"... now I want one. Added to the list.
Can you you have them repaired at the local bike shop, or if it shits the bed first week of November are you out of commission for weeks?
Public land, these things present an interesting dilemma, for sure. If I had a lot of private land to hunt, seems like a really cool option.
A USFS Regional Trails Supervisor told me he is all for them on trails open to other regular bikes, which is consistent with CO (and some other states) law for Class 1 and 2 assist bikes. He also said the policy on USFS will change but the "wheels turn slowly in DC".
My GF and I ride these mostly on private land or legal trails and roads in NF where ATVs can't go because of beetle kill deadfall. I carry a lightweight 40V lithium chainsaw on the rear rack for higher logs that are a PIA to lift them over. Her RAD Rover and my Rambo 750 each weigh about 50 lbs. They are a great workout because we only use low level of assist (or none) except on hills where only a pro mountain biker could ride. They hop over and around rocks with the fat low pressure tires. They are great tools, "green", quiet, and the biggest problems with them are disdain from conventional bike snobs and a general misunderstanding of them.
Earlier this year we decided to try to test the USFS TMR rule about closed logging roads, after the Regional Supervisor I spoke with told me they weren't enforcing it. We've encountered 8 different USFS folks back in there so far and none had a problem, one even rode with us on his conventional MTB for awhile and said he needed to get one. Another suggested other closed roads we should ride.
I have yet to meet a hiker or conventional MTB rider who has had a conflict with them. The imagined controversy is much ado about nothing. They are great for older folks, people with joint problems, people who dont want to own or maintain horses, and compared to ATVs, they are an environmental dream.
On my wife's Rad Power bike, the majority of the components are standard mountain bike parts that I believe could be swapped out easily by anyone with a little bit of mechanical intuition. There is a lot of good reading material online for maintaining bikes. The only special parts are really the battery/motor assembly and wiring, which have to go back to the manufacturer to repair/replace. I was told to expect 3-4 years on the battery that came with my wife's bike. I do not expect any other serious issues considering her bike is for commuting, but if I was riding in the mountains I would want better quality components.
In the past I had read many accounts of guys upgrading battery and gearing ratios to get longer charge times and more power in the mountains out of their ebikes. Battery being the most expensive part to swap.
Solar charging options exist, as I saw mentioned already. I've seen some home-brew ideas on the internet. Expect to have to charge for quite a while on solar, and obviously requires good weather. I think it might be fine though for areas you ride into and then just park the bike all day while hunting on foot. Depends how many miles you went though and how much charge is needed to top off the battery.
That’s not the question, Pat. The question is: How is cruising on an e-bike any better/different than cruising in a pick-up truck?
You're looking at it as “what happens when an individual uses it legally and responsibly”, when (as a matter of public policy) the question really ought to be posed as “even assuming that EVERYONE uses this technology legally and responsibly, would it still be good for Hunting if EVERYBODY were using it?”
And I’d say No.
Let’s say that Jaq uses one so that he can continue to access those areas that he has come to know & love over the past 50 years (I’m using Lou as my example because I like him, I trust him to do the right thing, and I’d love to hunt with him sometime; in other words, he’s the best case scenario).
But you see where he mentioned carrying a chainsaw to help get past downed logs, which eases access for the next e- biker coming through. And if the e-bike allows an older, creakier Hunter to continue to access those rough, out of the way places that he’s been willing and able to get to for the past 50 years, they also allow younger, softer, lazier hunters and wannabes to access areas that used to be off-limits to all but the hardest of fit, young men.
Which means that the younger guys will never know the quiet and solitude that Jaq enjoyed for all those years when he was ready & wiling to bust his hump to get to it, because the technology has now lowered the bar for entry. Once you fill up those Empty Places with people, they’re not just different.. they’re GONE.
It’s bad enough to see how much more crowded an area can become simply because the cow-only tags now allow people to bowhunt an area without having to put all of their eggs in the Archery basket; you get guys who will now pitch camp for the year and are now in the area for both bow AND a rifle season - increasing their annual presence (days in the field) by double, triple or more, and that doesn’t even consider the impact of a camp full of man-stink being left in place for a month solid. Multiply that by the number of guys who think they can slam-dunk a shot at 60 or 80 or 100 or whatever the new figure is, and the places that used to be left to those who were willing to bet the farm on a 30-yard shot are suddenly looking like Good Sam’s Family Campground.
It comes down to the reality that not everything that’s good for Me is good for Everybody once everybody starts doing it. And that’s what Ethics is all about: are we ALL better off when we ALL act in a certain way, or not?
Some would say that we are all better off with increased access to areas that used to be what I like to call God-Help-You country - wonderful, wild country to hunt, but God Help You if you go and kill something. Personally, I think we’re all better off leaving those places as Refuge areas where the Elk (deer, whatever) can go to escape the pressure down low where the lard-asses go. A day will come when I can no longer get to those places, but at least they’ll still be there for the younger guys to come to know, love, and protect for their kids.
First thought that came to mind reading this review is running and gunning for turkeys. Can cover much more ground on some of the state land roads by calling, going 50-100yards, calling again, etc. I have done this before on a regular mountain bike, but it would be nice with pedal assist on the extreme uphill's. Price of the bike for me would prevent me from getting one at this point. Maybe as I get older that would change.
I see mainly that it would be easier to transport the bike and I am sure you can get the bike into more rugged areas.
On the other hand the golf cart can carry more, it would be more likely to keep you out of the mud and water. I also think it is a lot less likely to do a face plant on a golf cart.
I like the stealth aspect of both and have been contemplating them for a little while.
On another ebike thread one individual mentioned that "elk hunting is supposed to be hard". It is, on all bn public land. We are talking about access to get to where the hunt starts. But that same individual has a very expensive high-tech 4WD truck to access difficult places, and has no problem hiring people to pack him in on horseback and pack him out when the hunt is over. I guarantee riding a backpack camp in on a rough trail on an assist bike is a hell of a lot "harder" than riding a horse with a couple loaded pack horses trailing behind.
Lets talk about technology. Modern backpack hunting technology makes it easier than ever to go deep into the roadless backcountry carrying a pack that weighs 40 pounds, where my old similar gear weighed 60. GPS, InReach, mapping apps, Sat phones, high tech clothes and boots (Goretex, anyone?). Lets not even discuss compound bows and the other technological advancements in bowhunting. How many people would be hunting Alaska and Canada without Cubs and DeHaviland Beavers and Otters? Lets make everyone park and walk into the tundra on foot.
Those wild places will still be there and have nothing to do with assist bikes. They will never be allowed in wilderness areas. But take away all the other technology I mentioned above, make everyone shoot trad bows and revert back to 1960s backcountry gear, and we would all be way better off. At least, those of us willing to eschew technology and do it "the hard way" like when I started backpacking and mountain hunting around 1970.
But for the aging population of hunters and outdoor people, an assist bike lets them continue to do what they've always done while still using their own muscle power, with virtually no impact on the environment. Both the USFS Regional Supervisor and the Colorado State trails manager I spoke with mentioned that aspect, and said thats why they are all in favor of assist bikes so long as they are true "assist" bikes and not high powered true electric bicycles like Class 3.
BTW, this skinny "lard ass" hunts down low because the five wilderness areas around my territory are so crowded with entire battalions of Sitka Warriors that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone. Last weekend every trailhead I passed was overflowing with hunters and backpackers seeking "solitude in wild places", LOL!
Tally ho! ;-)
Good luck filling your tags !
eBike John's Link
eBike John's Link
That said, bikes do cause erosion, specifically by people who go downhill on stuff beyond their skill level and ride their rear break. But it's not nearly the same erosion that normal annual rain/snow do to a trail. The answer is not exclusion, but rather better recourse allocation for trail maintenance.
It costs so little and adds so much. If only we could get the hikers and mountain bikers to pay their fair share for conservation.
Back on topic, I am continuing my research on these bikes. I currently mtn bike but definitely see a time when I will be owning one.