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What is the impact of the surge in the popularity of e-bikes?

A key part of the Scottish Mountain Bike Strategy is for Scotland to have a world class trail network by 2025. The strategy is clear that we needed to formulate a robust approach to maximise the opportunities and minimise any negative impacts of e-bikes.

This is why we are delighted to have been able to help drive forward a new piece of research on e-bikes which will be led by British Cycling with our friends at Edinburgh Napier University / Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland successfully winning the tender to carry out the research.

We will be working with British Cycling, Welsh Cycling, Scottish Forestry, NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland, Forestry England and Natural Resources Wales and a working group in Scotland to support this project. We are also really keen to share updates and engage the mountain bike community in the research as it progresses.

Please read the full press release from British Cycling for further details.

MAJOR NEW RESEARCH PROJECT LAUNCHED INTO E-MOUNTAIN BIKE USE IN BRITAIN

British Cycling has joined forces with other cycling organisations and Britain’s biggest recreational land managers to support a new, long-term research project to be undertaken by Edinburgh Napier University into the use of off-road e-bikes, including electric mountain bikes.

The research will focus on current and future trends as well as the opportunities and challenges presented by the exciting surge in the growth of the E-MTB market over recent years. It is being supported by British Cycling, Welsh Cycling, Scottish Cycling (through Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland), Scottish Forestry, NatureScot, Forestry England and Natural Resources Wales, and will help them to better understand user habits and technical developments and support decision-making.

Dan Cook, Leadership and Off-Road Technical Lead at British Cycling, said:

“We’re incredibly excited by the potential impact of E-MTB on cycling participation and outdoor access more widely, and this timely new research will enable us both to capitalise on those opportunities and prepare us for any challenges we may encounter along the way.

“The volume of e-bike and E-MTB riders is significant and growing fast, and they are a real lifeline for those who might not be able to ride otherwise. Like our partners we are keen to understand how we can use this appeal to engage an even wider audience, including those who are currently inactive.

“We will look to use the outcomes of this study as a platform for sustainable growth, better supporting E-MTB riders in terms of trail infrastructure, responsible access and understanding the legalities of motor modifications. We hope that by working together to manage increasing levels of access we can help to mitigate the impacts on fragile environments and rider safety.”

Professor Geraint Florida-James, from Edinburgh Napier University and Lead Academic at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, said:

“We are hugely excited to be working with British Cycling and their partners on such an important area of research. We are seeing unprecedented growth figures in e-bike sales, with some estimates predicting as much as an eight-fold increase in e-bike sales by 2030.”

“This research will look at the potential impact that the expansion in e-bike sales and use will have on the collective MTB industry and community, while the implications for future planning to accommodate these increased numbers and the potential to harness this technology in creating positive health outcomes will also be explored.”

Further updates on the project, along with surveys of the off-road and mountain bike community, will be shared over the coming months.

If you have any questions about the study, email mtbleadership@britishcycling.org.uk.

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