If you were to list the cycling disciplines where you benefit from using an e-bike, downhill mountain biking might not immediately spring to mind. British racer Laurie Greenland, however, sings the praises of his e-bike, revealing that he uses one, “all winter long.”
Downhill mountain biking is one of the more intense sports around with riders subjected to huge G-force on bends and taking on jumps of up to 12m.
A run typically lasts under five minutes, during which riders will top 40mph. As you’d imagine, gravity does a lot of the work, but there’s a fair bit of sprinting involved too.
It doesn’t really seem like a sport where competitors would necessarily be big e-bike advocates, but Greenland says his has become a crucial tool in his training.
“I use my e-bike all winter long,” he told Red Bull. “It really gets you through that winter bog and that coldness – it gets you out of the house even on the worst days.
“The amount of riding you do just skyrockets. It's such a fun way of getting good riding in, too. You don't have to organise or pay for an uplift or have everything super in place; you can just leave your house, do loads of hassle-free riding, and have fun. Keeping it fun is super important to me.”
Greenland says that while his e-bike obviously makes riding easier, this is actually beneficial for his training in that it allows him to be more measured and consistent in his efforts.
“A lot of the climbs at home are so steep that you can only ride them in the easy gears on a non-e-bike in order not to hurt your back,” he said. “Last winter, I did a lot of training on an e-bike on those sorts of climbs, pushing the harder gears. When spring came around, I rode my enduro bike a lot more and was really surprised at how much more power I had as a result.”