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E-Mountain biking

E-Mountain biking (Electrical Assisted Mountain biking) is fast becoming the way to mountain bike due to being able to ride for longer and ride more challenging terrain uphill. It also makes mountain biking an even playing field as you can choose the desired amount of assisted power you use and you don’t have to be in peak physical condition to ride with those that are. However, you still have to pedal! It remains a physical activity as you have to keep a basic pedaling frequency and if/when the terrain gets steep and technical, you’ll be getting a whole body work-out to climb up and over rocks and roots.


Always included in our holidays

Full mountain biking equipment

Accommodation

Instruction or guiding

All meals

Friendly & social atmosphere

Lift pass (if needed)

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UCPA offers emtb in a number of resorts, some resorts offer a ‘taster session’ as part of a multi-sport activity week and others are for experienced mountain bikers who would like to get their miles in on some awesome trails. Check out the UCPA courses in Chamonix, Argentiere and Serre Chevalier to see where you would like to explore by e-bike.

If you are e-biking as part of a multi-activity week, you’ll be issued with an e-bike with a 400wh - 500wh battery which will be suitable for the terrain that you are riding on.

If you are on a specific emtb course, you’ll be riding an enduro e-bike with a 500wh (or more) battery. UCPA uses Haibike, or an equivalent good quality bike. They are kept in very good condition throughout the season.

It really depends on the brand of bike you get, but there are usually at least 3 motor settings: Eco, Tour and Turbo. In terms of percentage Eco usually gives you 40% additional power, Tour 100% and Turbo 225%. So you really will feel a difference in power on each of the settings.

The electric motor can make a small ‘whining’ sound, but you’ll soon get used to it and you’ll not hear it at all when you are rattling over rocky, rooty terrain!

The short answer, no! However, we would say that in terms of efficiency and energy conservation it is best to ride in ‘eco’ mode as e-bikes are much heavier than normal mountain bikes so you will have to put in a lot of effort to ride them without any power on. Having said this though, a lot of people do turn off their motors for flatter, easier terrain sections to conserve battery life so it is not a bad idea sometimes!

E-bikes make terrain accessible uphill that is just not rideable (or not enjoyable) on a non-e-bike. You can ride steeper hills (there are lots of those in the Alpine resorts!) and the length of time spent riding uphill vs downhill is a lot more even. You’ll be surprised at the technical terrain (roots & rocks) that you can ride up with a little motor assistance.

They are definitely heavier than standard mountain bikes and if you are an experienced mountain biker you may notice a few differences that may take a trail or two to get used to (e.g. needing to brake a little earlier on steep terrain). However, they are surprisingly manoeuvrable and due to the low weight you’ll notice they are really ‘planted’ and the smooth ride over rocks and roots.

Even with a motor, riding up to 1400m of elevation in the mountains at altitude is not easy! But it is a lot more enjoyable than without a motor. You’ll need to conserve your battery for the long ascents so you’ll definitely need to put some effort in and therefore a reasonable level of fitness is required.
And it’s definitely not as easy as taking the chairlift to the top of the mountain!

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