Words by EWS Racer, and Norco athlete, Caro Gerhrig
No other bike has polarized so much in recent years than the development of the e-mountain bike. More power for more descents, or just for the lazy riders, well that’s personal opinion and I let you guess from which side I was coming...
Shortly before lockdowns became a topic globally I received my brand sparkling new Sight VLT, my first ever e-bike! My first and honest opinion I was like, ‘well I’m sure I’m gonna visit the nearby lake a bit more often or go grocery shopping by bike instead of car.’ Which in my opinion was already a win and good use of an e-bike. I mean as a professional athlete you don’t want become too lazy and the decents should be earned properly, right?
I had to revise my opinion after the first ride on the trails. I never rode an e-bike on a trail before and man I was loving it! I never expected the e-bike to be so nimble, plush and playful on the descents. That was actually what I was the most skeptic about. I mean yes, I want to ride more trails but I also want the maximum fun that’s possible ripping down the trails. Now that I know how much fun it is and that’s it’s also very easy to adapt from one bike to the other I’m especially grateful to have this bike as a training tool.
As it’s quite hard to get an uplift these days, but I have been enjoying lapping the local trails a lot. Some of the rides include local gems I haven’t ridden in years but now spending a lot of time at home I’m searching for the less ridden trails. Riding up singletrack can be a brutal challenge in the alpine around home. With the e-bike I can challenge myself riding up trails that I never could on a normal bike.
I already recognize that these extra climbing challenges have helped me quite a bit with technical climbs on my other bikes. I’m getting more used to climbing up technical stuff and realize that if I can clear a section with the e-bike, I might actually be able to make it with my normal bike too. The new, learned skills on the e-bike transfer really well over to my normal Sight which I find is really cool and helpful.
My flatmate Nathalie Schneitter, none other than the first E-Bike World Champ, is pushing me and showing me the ropes of e-bikes and the learning curve has been quite steep. The hype and the adrenaline you can experience of a quick and dirty ride, putting the bike in full boost mode, is something that we have been enjoying loads together. It’s hard not to smile if you can climb up a steep mountain at double the speed than usual but still getting a workout.
The E-Bike is a good toy for everyone that needs some extra help to make it up a moutain, enjoy a chill ride in the forest or a workout tool to mix up training for the experienced rider. It definitely opened the world of biking to a lot more people than any other bike before and that’s what I’m grateful for. In the end it’s about opening up our playground – the outdoors – to as many people as possible and if the e-bike gives them access to our world it’s a huge step forward for the whole bike community.
You can follow along with Caro's biking journeys on Instagram @Caro_Gehrig
All photos courtesy Balz Weber.
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