IMBA Updates e-MTB Position – E-bikes on singletrack


Should Class 1 e-MTBs be allowed on singletrack?

The topic of electric mountain bike (e-MTB) access to non-motorized trails is increasingly dominating the conversations of mountain bikers, land managers, trail users, the bicycle industry and others. IMBA recognizes this as a complex issue encompassing mountain biking culture, the access landscape and the passions and experiences of different trail users. All sides have valid, logical and emotional arguments to make, and IMBA is listening. IMBA has wrestled with the e-MTB issue at considerable length and will continue to do so as the landscape evolves. For the past three decades, IMBA has worked tirelessly for mountain biking and access to trails and this has not changed.

IMBA’s Board of Directors updated its 2015 position on e-MTBs to now read:

IMBA is supportive of Class 1 e-MTB access to non-motorized trails when the responsible land management agency, in consultation with local mountain bikers, deem such e-MTB access is appropriate and will not cause any loss of access to non-motorized bikes. IMBA recognizes that changes in design, technology and the numbers of e-MTB users is evolving, and believes these bikes can be managed in a sustainable way for both the environment and other trail users.

“First and foremost, we advocate for access for traditional, non-motorized mountain bikes. IMBA does not advocate for access for e-MTBs. But, IMBA and mountain bikers need to be at the table for all conversations that discuss access for e-MTBs to non-motorized trails that are open to bikes,” said Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director.

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