Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Pedal as an Alternative to Electric?


I am posting this to both @fatbikeanglers and @fatbikehunter on Facebook, as well as on my blog, to promote friendly discussion, not get in arguments, because there really isn’t any right or wrong answer.
E-bikes versus human-powered fat-bikes: I’m 67 years old, have a bum left knee, ankle, and foot from various incidents since 7th grade forwards. Around 1993, I discovered mountain bikes and my outdoor world changed. I could go places faster, farther, deeper into the backcountry than my already damaged leg would previously allow. Then came the fat-bike. I’ve never been into motorized, just the way I came up in the wilds. The fat-bike was my ATV. I had a Pugsley, then QBP introduced the Cogburn, and it was love at first ride. Sadly, it was a short ride. Driven by whatever marketing factors do so, the Cogburn vanished from Q’s lineup after only three years.
Comes the e-bike, and I admit that I’m intrigued, but I’m a backcountry angler, and most of the backcountry I fish is the National Forests of MN and WI, and the US Forest Service still doesn’t allow e-bikes off established roadways. The Cogburn can go where its electric cousins can’t. It weighs half as much, doesn’t require charging the battery, and a decent one can be purchased for about $1000. But, and here’s my point: The majority of bikes of both kinds are made in China and are facing shortages due to the pandemic. Pedal-powered bikes are, however, more available than e-bikes. I’m seeing backorders of popular e-bikes models of up to a year, where most local bike shops have fat bikes in stock. Would you consider a non-electric bike as an alternative to an e-bike? Why or why not?