BikePark Wales is now charging £7 more for a day pass entry for e-bikes. Standard mountain bike prices have also been raised from £7 to £8, and e-bikes are now paying £15 for a day pass.
BikePark Wales claims that E-bikes can do up to 12 runs in a day, whereas standard bikes will only manage four or five. Here is what it had to say:
“Riders enjoying the park on e-bikes will inevitably ride more laps of the park (roughly double) than those riding under their own steam and as such will create more wear on the trails. Our model invests every penny the business raises through ride passes plus a percentage of profits back into the trails each year both for maintenance and building new trails. As e-bikes cause more damage to the trails through increased usage we have chosen to charge a higher day fee, all of which will be re-invested in the trails.”
However, Dave Atkinson, editor of ebiketips, said "It's pretty fanciful to suggest that you can do 12 laps of BikePark Wales on an e-MTB. I've taken a range of bikes out to the park and the most full laps I've ever managed to get out of a battery is five; six is a possibility if you only ride on Eco, use the fire road climb each time and put in plenty of effort yourself. Also, riding the downhill trails takes as much out of you on an e-MTB as it does on a regular bike; more even, because the heavier bike needs wrestling about more. I don't think I'd be able to do 12 laps safely even if the battery did last that long, and I'm sure most e-MTB riders would be in the same boat"
"If BikePark Wales are intending to charge more for e-MTBs then I'd like to see them at the very least provide on-site charging facilities for batteries so that e-MTB riders can top up over lunch. Investing in a stock of spare batteries would also be a great idea, to allow riders to swap out a battery half way through the day. I'm sure there's lots of riders that would happily pay for those services but just doubling the price of an e-bike entry seems ridiculous. Will there be refunds if riders only do 4 or 5 laps?"
This decision has not been met with a positive reaction online, and people did not agree with BikePark Wales' claims. Here are some of the disgruntled Youtube comments left on BikePark Wales' video announcing these price changes:
Michael Davies said "Interesting move. Predicted loss of income due to less uplift passes being sold?"
Phil Wood said "As a disabled rider, I see this as disability discrimination. You want to charge a disabled rider more than an able bodied rider. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Rushy3001 said "No way is the average rider doing 4 or 5 laps. Just start charging by the lap if it's all about trail wear."
Nick Dunn said "Where is the evidence that ebikes cause more damage? Poor riding techniques cause far more trail damage than anything else."
And STiGZ18 said "I want one of them ebikes that can do 12 laps! Mine don't do half that."
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.