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But is there a need for all this ELECTRONICS in MTB?

Automatic gearbox, ABS brakes, connection with APP for engine mapping: but is it the right direction?

sram eagle motor (5)
A test phase of the Sram Eagle Powertrain, the new drive unit for e-bikes

Ok, I already know the answer of many but the objective is to lead to reasoning that goes beyond the simple bicycle. And, as we often do at 365mountainbike, we try to do it objectively without filters (which you may or may not like). It all started with the latest releases on recent e-bike models: taking the e-mtb to enjoy the outdoors, after a day at the PC, and then finding myself in front of the smartphone to adjust the settings of the e-bike during the ride. came out, it raised some questions for me.


Electronics in vehicles are bringing a (real) green concept which, however, risks being abused: ok, we all agree that an electric vehicle is better than using fossil carbon, but if we start producing any type of object, which often solves unnecessary problems, thanks to the help of electronics, we are moving towards an abuse of this green concept. With the release of the latest models, but soon they will all offer the same identical wireless technologies, it set off an alarm bell in me about the future of mountain biking: how social media have changed society (negatively or positively, I'll let you decide to you), now mountain biking risks taking a direction that is not inclined to the environment in which it is practiced, namely the open air, and the intrinsic concept of freedom of the medium.



The bike is freedom, the joy of living in the open air: but lately, and I realize this during the tests of these models, I find myself spending more time in front of my smartphone than on my bike. Ok, this is a test and therefore necessarily you have to try every single setting, but is there really a need to have different mappings, assistance levels that can be modified via the app, automatic gearbox and so on and so forth?

bosch3 Kiox

Thinking of going out on my bike to get away from the PC and then finding myself in front of the smartphone to adjust the settings of the e-bike gives me shivers. Ok, I'm exaggerating, it may be my advancing age, but I feel this aspect of freedom less and less: if you then add the prohibitions in the mountains (see this thing that happened this summer), we have to work a lot on ourselves so as not to get swallowed up by this whirlwind of news and innovations that often divert us from the pure fun we have to experience on the bike.

In recent times I have rediscovered the pleasure of cycling with the Front: but with a telescopic seat post (not wireless) 🙂


For those who have been following us for a long time, he knows my love for browbands 🙂 Here I often find the true pleasure of MTB: ok, it certainly requires technique and it is not easy to have fun safely with this means, but the joy I feel in getting on and off, with a bike that gives you everything back without filters, has no equal. And if the bike bounces like a pinball there's no problem, that's how it is, and I don't have to stand there and recheck the shock sag (because it isn't there) or check the bike's mapping because it's consuming more battery than 2 weeks ago.

Marco Aurelio Fontana FRW Axon 2008
Fontana with his FRW Axon in Beijing 2008: Marco has also always been an admirer of the Frontine

Most users are not interested in having all these adjustments on their mountain bikes, also because these will certainly lead to additional problems (who has never had error codes appear on the monitors of modern e-bikes?). What isn't there doesn't break, it's a mantra for racing bikers, but it's not easy to follow this trend because technology advances. These changes are bringing improvements, but in the face of increasingly complex means that move away from the concept of freedom of the bike: the only problem with going out on a bike should be the puncture which, with a simple inner tube placed on the frame , resolves itself in almost all situations.

Porsche e-bikes are coming: the automotive world will surely exploit the technologies acquired over the years, applying them to the world of bicycles – Photo Bike Europe

Is it useful to accustom people not to shifting, not to adjust braking, and soon not to pedal given the torque of modern engines? Isn't it better to invest in knowledge of the vehicle, the context in which you find yourself and the driving technique? Otherwise, in a while we will see the birth of telescopic wheels that come out of the vehicle when the user is falling in the square outside the house because he has forgotten that he has to take his feet off the pedals to avoid falling from a standstill (I hope I haven't given an idea to some brands).

e-bikes (2)

Marketing does its job, that is, producing new innovations to sell: but this article of mine is not intended to be a no-global article, an article that goes against the bike world (of course since I love, and love madly, MTB) , but that's exactly why I'm writing without filters. It seems to me that there is an exaggeration in implementing all this technology on a vehicle which, in the hands of novice users, will do an average of 20km/h if that's a lot. You can continue to sell without following this path which will only bring problems to users: everything is fine as long as it's in the catalog and then curses at the first problem. But this process, and I say this reluctantly, will not stop: the direction has now been taken.



If you have read this article I hope it has broadened your vision. I don't like to think that MTB will transform into a purely commercial sport where we will spend more time in front of the smartphone than on the bike. This is because, in addition to the e-bike data, you will also need to post on social media and on Strava: otherwise it's like not having gone out on your bike (cit).

Oh yeah, The life of a biker is hard work!

PS: And what do you think? If you feel like it, post your thoughts at this link.

Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').


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