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  • Writer's picturetonygowland

Electric bikes in competition

There are plenty of pedal bike competitions, from road events, through downhill mountain biking to endurance type events like 10 under the Ben held today in Fort William, where riders try to do as many circuits as possible in 10 hours on a mountain bike track in the foothills of Ben Nevis.

Very few electric bikes are allowed to participate generally in any of the national events, although I have known exceptions if the rider is disabled ( see our earlier blogs on modifying a trike for a disabled rider ) and wants to participate and has an electric bike. I am not saying that they should be allowed as direct competition to non powered bikes but as a separate group it may work. It is not just a doddle on an electric bike especially on a demanding route, there is some skill in riding an electric bike to get the best out of it.

For instance, in an endurance race it is no good just hurtling off on max power as you may soon start running out of power on hills, the skill would be analysing the circuit to find out where the best use of power will be needed, trying to eek out the battery life for as long as possible.

However, for general fairness and level competition there is the complication of standardising on motor power and battery capacity and perhaps a consideration of rider+bike weight which would end up in a complicated handicap system. So it would soon get complicated and open to cheating as it would not really be feasible to check motor power and battery capacity for every competitor.

So it would have to be a fun event really rather than serious competition and there's nothing wrong with that as it's great fun riding electric bikes.

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