Compared to the length of time that the bicycle has been in existence, e-bikes are still infants (very fast, motorized infants). Their popularity is gaining ground though. E-bikes have been fully-embraced in Europe, but in the United States, the transportation tech has encountered much more resistance. The tide is beginning to shift though; California’s Mammoth Mountain recently opened up a large chunk of its mountain bike park to e-mountain bikes, and New York City is easing its e-bike laws after a recent effort to crack down on riders.
The trend is clear: e-bikes are here to stay. Cycling companies have known this all along, and they’ve been ramping up the manufacturing of battery-equipped bikes in an attempt to offer the same breadth of variety that’s available in the regular, human-powered machines. E-bikes designed for urban living make up the majority of the category — commuter bikes, apartment-friendly folding bikes, cargo bikes. E-mountain bikes are also becoming highly-favored.
BMC, a Swiss bike company established in 1994, is placing a bet on e-bikes with its new Alpenchallenge AMP Cross. As part of a full line of Alpenchallenge AMP e-bikes, the Cross is geared for adventure riding on gravel and unpaved terrain. BMC built the line on a full-carbon frame and fork to keep it light (many e-bikes weigh roughly 50-60 pounds, the Cross is about 20 pounds lighter than that). There’s also 10 millimeters of integrated suspension to help handle the bumps and of course, a battery-powered pedal assist system that can make a long distance ride more leisurely.
Gravel riding, touring, adventure riding, bikepacking — whatever you want to call it — is not a new concept in cycling, but it’s certainly one that’s gaining in popularity. With this new bike, BMC seems to be angling to capitalize on two trends at once.
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