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16 January 2018

E-MTB Interview with Hans Rey

We interview mountain bike legend Hans Rey and find out his thoughts on the evolution of the E-MTB in the bike world.

Hans Rey, multiple Trials National and World Champion, is one of the pioneers of Trials and Extreme Mountain Biking. Hans has been in the forefront through several evolutions of the sport, making him name for himself around the world. Recently, Hans has embraced the E-MTB, seeing it as an additional way to enjoy cycling, riding his new GT E-Verb equipped with SHIMANO STEPS E8000. Check out our interview with the mountain bike legend and find out his thoughts on the evolution of the E-MTB in the bike world.  

Shimano Ebike Press Launch


What was your first impression after riding the new GT eVerb?

I have been interested in e-bikes for over 10 years, but that doesn’t mean I will stop riding regular bikes, they both have their place and time. I’m very happy with the way the eVerb turned out. I’ve been trying many different e-bike models and makes over the past years, GT came up with a very good design and geometry. The Shimano STEPS E8000 drive-unit has a lot of advantages over other systems. The support feels very natural, not like a motor, and I love how the Di2 can be integrated into the controls and shifting.  



What has been your most memorable 
E-MTB ride so far?

I have recently done a semi urban adventure, TransAngeles, a 5 stage ride across Los Angeles from Mount Wilson to Avalon. Some stages were on mountain bikes and some others on e-bikes, like the day we took a private yacht to Two Harbors on Catalina Island and traversed the entire island for 25 miles to Avalon on our e-MTB. That was a great ride and huge contrast to the hectic pace of Los Angeles. We even saw some wild Bison. 

Shimano Ebike Press Launch


Are there any differences - component or set-up wise - in your eVerb compared to your other full suspension mountain bikes?

My eVerb has a slightly different spec than the production bikes, but I run the same Shimano STEPS E8000 motor. I am also running big 3.0 Vittoria tires and e-optimized Fox forks and Stans Baron wheels with wider rims. The rest of the components are similar to my regular Trail bikes. 

Shimano Ebike Press Launch


Do you have any big e-MTB rides/races/etc planned in the near future?

The e-bike opens the door to new challenges, variations and possibilities. I want to do more of these so called semi urban adventures, to explore cool cities and its surrounding nature, remote neighborhoods, parks as well as famous sights. Maybe Hong Kong or Rome next. 



Why do you enjoy riding an e-MTB? 
What is your favorite aspect 
from riding an e-MTB?

I like everything with two wheels, the e-bike opens up new opportunities. As much as I like riding uphills and getting hard workouts on traditional mountain bikes, it’s nice to discover the more fun and playful side of things again. I often have the feeling on a e-bike that I had when I was a little boy riding my bike all afternoon, then coming in for dinner and couldn’t wait to go out again for another hour afterwards before it got dark. One can also ride further and with different riding partners who would otherwise not be able to keep up. 



E-Bikes have drawn some criticism from the mountain biking community, what do you have to say to those who don’t believe they belong on the trails?

It always takes adjustment periods to integrate new trail users, it wasn’t different when mountain bikes started and had to get the blessing from the hiking community. E-Bikers need to be responsible, it takes a certain etiquette that has to be thought to the people who ride and sell e-bikes. I believe e-bikes should always give other trail users the right of way, no matter if up or down. Riders should also know their limits and some trails should be left to other trail users only. I have followed this subject closely and I understand the arguments from both sides, but the one thing I have learned is that the biggest critics often have never even tried a e-bike and once they do, 99% of them can not resist a grin on their face. When it’s all said and done, a e-bikers have much more in common with a cyclist than a motorist. Last but not least, riding an e-bike is not cheating, only if you use it to break the KOM records.