E-BIKING IN VERBIER | ALPINEROOTS MTB
E-Biking is growing here in Verbier and all across Europe. Whether it be for fun or for health, more and more people are liking the idea of electric powered mountain bikes.
The E-Bikes are becoming lighter and more affordable. Most mountain bike shops across the Alps have stock and are now renting them out.
3 Reasons Why
- This new technology enables more of the population to enjoy the mountains. People that wouldn’t normally be able to get up the mountain with pedal power now can with an E-Mountain bike.
- E-Mountain bikes can be used if you haven’t got much time but still want to enjoy the mountains. In a lot of Alpine resorts people still have a reasonable amount of time for their lunch break. Unfortunatley not enough time for a full ride, when most climbs take an hour just to go up. Hence with an E-Mountain Bike you can get a decent ride, just in your lunch hour and still have enough time to actually eat something.
- You can ride with a friend who isn’t as physically fit as you are. E-Biking allows people who wouldn’t normally ride together to do exactly that.
Mountain Air kindly offered us 3 of their Scott E-Mountain Bikes to demo for the day. The Bikes were in excellent condition and were all fully charged ready for us to take out. The bikes we used were the Scott E-Genius 730 Plus Mountain Bikes, equiped with the latest Fox shocks, Shimano gears, dropper post and Bosch power unit. After a small amount of setting up suspension and saddle heights, we were happily on our way.
The E-Bike Route Around Verbier
We started at Mountain Air, where we collected the E-Mountain Bikes. The route we took included road, gravel and loose single tracks both up and down. The E-Bikes were also tested down tight single track sections and even in the Verbier Bike Park. We travelled just over 20km and climbed a total height of 1104m. The ride took us around 2 hours, but most of the time was spent taking photos and discussing the endless possibilities of these bikes.
Along the Verbier E-Bike test route
While out riding the Scott E-Bikes in Verbier we challenged their performance and came to many conclusions along the way.
The first thing that shocked us all was how light the bikes were. Obviously they were heavier than regular mountain bikes, but they were a lot lighter than we had imagined coming in at around 22.9kg.
E-Bike Turbo Mode
When climbing up or on flat terrain in turbo mode, you could do the maximum battery powered speed (25km/hr) with virtually zero effort. Even in sport mode, peddaling was easy on the uphill sections and was a little better over the more technical bumpy sections.
Tested over roots and rocks and even up the Verbier Bike Park this E-bike performed well.
“After riding this same section up and down multiple times, it became clear that this E-Bike can do a lot more than I thought was possible on any mountain bike.” Matt Spragg
E-Bike Plus Size Tyres
The E-Bike has Plus sized tyres, which were very much needed. A plus size tyre is larger than a normal mountain bike tyre but smaller than a Fat Bike tyre, roughly around 2.8 inches in width. These tyres were great at gripping on the way up and reduced the amount of skidding on the way down.
“I was able to ride down a steep loose terrain that normally I would have had to walk.” Molly Goodens.
E-Bike Disc Brakes
E-Bike brakes are normally another issue with this type of bike. These bikes were kitted out with Shimano’s hydraulic brakes but with large disc rotors for extra stopping power. With the added weight of the battery and motor, small brakes would just fade with the heat, but these performed excellently all day long.
The only negative point that we could think of was the fact the E-Bike had too much torque in the turbo mode. On loose gravel climbs the rear wheel would skid and wheel spin if our weight was in the wrong place on the bike. Also it was very difficult when starting on a hill, especially on a loose steep surface. The simple remedy for this is to switch to a lower setting by the easy click of a button and these small problems just go away.
Verbier is known for its endless single tracks and tight switchbacks. The E-Bike was comfortable and more agile on descents than expected. In fact, the plus sized tyres made the whole bike quite playful and exciting. Corners were no problem and even the tight turns were a pleasure.
“It’s inspired me to do more mountain biking outside of lift opening hours.” Graeme Gibson.
These bikes enable anyone to ride virtually anything. The gears are easy to operate and the added power given allows you to enjoy uphill trails.
They give confidence to any rider and make the enjoyment of mountain biking possible for the masses.
It’s great fun all over the mountain, riding everything, with everyone.