Why Do Cyclists Hate E-bikes? Everything to Know

For all their popularity and demand, electric bikes are still on the path to gaining acceptance and are a relatively new phenomenon. You know how you always read or hear about e-bikes changing the game for everyone and revolutionizing cycling, you will be surprised to know that there are so many people that downright reject the mere idea of electric bikes.

On one side you have the endless electric bike advantages, versatility, and ease of usage but on the flip side, there are cyclists that absolutely despite e-bikes and e-bike riders.


Sounds unreal? Let us tell you, it’s actually true. When you dive into the world of electric bikes you will find out that cyclists have a certain hatred for e-bikes.

All of this is to the point that while researching anything about electric bikes you will come across discussions that state that electric bikes are unethical and so on. So why do regular bike riders detest electric bikes?

Well, purist cyclists believe that anybody who rides an electric bike is cheating and it goes against everything they believe in. Moreover, they also think that e-bikes destroy the trails and cycle paths while giving everyone a chance to ride around freely.

Today let’s shed light on the reasons why cyclists feel so strongly against e-bikes. Please note that our purpose is not to take sides or declare one party superior over the other but just to state facts and how certain people believe e-bikes are bad.

Cyclists and E-bikes

Well it is kind of self-explanatory, right? The reason behind the hate for electric bikes can stem from the simple idea that for years cyclists had to perfect their art on regular bikes. They would practice and enforce their physical strength building up more and more stamina every day. Suddenly out of nowhere, e-bikes come in and make cycling the easiest and most relaxed thing in the world.

Think about all those cycling competitions where the participants have to ride for miles and miles on mountain bikes and tough terrains, the manual activity that would exhaust an untrained person in no time.

e-bikes and cyclist

So they are bound to feel angry and consider e-bikes pretty much detestable. However if you would look at things this way, if cyclists could for even a second set aside their scorn against e-bikes they will find them much more pleasurable able and easier to ride than the regular bike.

In fact, there are so many health benefits of riding an e-bike every day and that is why it is even recommended for the elderly for it takes apparently less effort to ride.

Nonetheless, it is all about beliefs and opinions and what one party thinks about the other as per their own beliefs.

Reasons For E-bike Hate

Now let’s talk about all the reasons cyclists hate electric bikes and claim that there are things that make e-bikes a big no for them and why they prefer manual-powered bikes.

A Bit of a …. Competition?

The world sees cycling as an exercise form and that originates from the idea that one exerts their muscles and puts in their physical energy while mountain biking or riding a regular bike on tough trails to work on their fitness.

So what is the problem with e-bikes? This is one of the areas where cyclists claim e-bikes and their idea of an electric motor is offensive to them. So, do cyclists hate e-bikes? You bet they do. Because e-bikes come with pedal assist and they don’t let a person strain their muscles and put all their force in, for purist cyclists, that’s already something degrading.

Is riding an e-bike cheating?

Again it is all about how people view something. For many people riding an electric bike has opened doors for outdoor freedom and easy commute. So it does not make too much sense to hate on them. Not everyone can ride an e-bike and put all their physical strength into powering it manually.


People have physical limitations and other hindrances that may make simple things like riding a bicycle difficult for them. Many older people have gotten the freedom to step out and ride easily and safely enabling cycling regularly and improving their health.

However, cyclists think that riding e-bikes is cheating as it takes away the core concept behind riding a cycle: physical fitness and manual activity. Furthermore, it ruins biking for them and an e-bike is constantly replacing manual bikes.

A Different Take

Sure when it comes to bicycling competitions, this is one aspect where everyone can agree with cyclists that using an electric bike in a competition would be absolutely cheating.

Using an electric motor in a fair competition is definitely something to frown at however it seems rather ridiculous to take offense if someone passes you by speedily on a bike path, bike lanes, or if you get cut off during a daily commute.

In that aspect, it is a bit of an exaggeration to label riding an e-bike as cheating if it is not enabling a more strenuous exercise.

Do e-bikes make cycling easier?

This is another thing acting as a thorn in the side of a pure cyclist because yes e-bikes make cycling very, very easy. They instantly eliminate the need for manual application and physical powering and they allow you the freedom of pedal assist. You can have top speeds while enjoying cycling and control speed without any exertion in bike lanes.

So it is safe to say that this ease of usage and cycling relief does bother cyclists because there are used to employing so much strength to manually power their traditional bikes.

The Mountain Trails Honor

On the tough and rough mountain trails, conquering all that route is much like a great badge for many cyclists. Because it takes thrice the effort to dominate such a trail on a mountain bike and one needs to put in loads of work and effort.


But when some riders all of a sudden clear those tricky and challenging trails without even breaking a sweat and being out of shape then you can see how e-bike riding can evoke feelings of resentment and anger. You know you would be beyond angry if it took you weeks to build stamina and someone did it in no time without any training ruining mountain biking.

Therefore, many mountain biking buffs are not very excited at the prospect of electric bikes in lieu of a mountain bike for no muscle power is required in the former.

Nonetheless please let us mention that it is all about choosing what you want to do and what works best for you. Nothing can be gained by getting angry at someone whose bike has an electric motor and yours doesn’t.

E-bikes and Non-Motorized Trails

Here is another reason that really miffs other cyclists. Land agencies place rather a strict ban on using powered bicycles on their national land such as forests.

We can state that while this is for environmental safety and preservation, cyclists believe that since an e-bike gives more power than mountain bikes, this can lead to unfortunate soil erosion among other forest damages.

No Respect for Rules

Therefore when cyclists on their traditional bikes have to regularly come across e-bike riders that disregard this and take motorized bikes on the bike paths, then you can understand how it may cause prejudice, anger, or even hatred for the e-bike riders and their lack of respect. Because if one person is taking their e-bike for a ride in the forest then others will follow suit soon.

Moreover, some e-bike riders act recklessly and without any remorse and may not pay attention to rules and do as they want on bike routes. So, such an attitude can be also very off-putting for people who take cycling as a passion and have much respect for it.

Some E-Bike Riders Have Bad Attitude

Well, we understand it is a touchy topic but it’s true that there are many electric bike folks out there that have really bad road manners and can act rather snobbish and rude.

The idea stems from the belief that having an e-bike somehow makes them better than people with traditional and boring bikes. You will often find this behavioral pattern one of the major causes of complaints by cyclists. They think that e-bike riders act as if they own the bike paths and trails.

While this does not define all e-bike riders, it definitely is a trait among many.

Hogging Bike Paths

It is not just about speeding on electric bikes or not being cautious enough while riding them. Many cyclists complain that electric bike riders have a tendency to take over the bike lanes and make it difficult for others cyclists to ride peacefully. They don’t give way or ride so carelessly that they endanger pedestrians and other riders around them.

Moreover, on roads where all the traffic shares one spot and there are no specific bike lanes, some e-bike riders tend to be really rash and incautious. Many riders even break the red light by quickly gaining speed and getting towards the intersection as they keep going when they see the coast is clear.

Another dangerous trait is how riders switch quickly between the roadside and footpath because the electric motor makes it really quick to do this. This can catch the car drivers by surprise and lead to a collision.

No Safety Concern

Sometimes it can be as simple as some e-bike riders not paying attention to their safety which gives everyone a bad repute. While it is safe to ride e-bikes and they don’t require licensing, never be the person that goes rogue and does not pay heed when it comes to safety.

Get your full cycling gear head so you can ride securely. Never ever take the e-bike out without the proper helmet.

Cyclists in general are very respectful of the rules and are always prioritizing their safety and those around them. So you can see how some prejudice can seep in when some folks don’t care much for rules and speed as they like wherever they like.


So with all said and done, you can see how cyclists may believe they could be justified in their anger and dislike towards e-bike riders. However, it is not about using a traditional bike or an e-bike, it is all about opinions and beliefs. There is no doubt that e-bikes have changed the game yet many people are still not ready to switch to them. You are free to ride whatever your heart desires irrespective of how others feel.

However, the main aim is to be very mindful of others around you and pay extra attention to safety and precautions.


I am Aman Dwivedi. I am a self-proclaimed e-bike enthusiast. I love nothing more than spending my days researching, testing, and writing about all things electric bike related. From the latest e-bike models to the best accessories and conversion kits, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to get people riding electric bikes. Whether it's helping people find the perfect e-bike for their needs or sharing my latest electric bike adventures, I am passionate about getting more people riding electric bikes and loving it!

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