Electric mountain Bicycles
Troy Lee, the charismatic CEO and founder of Troy Lee Designs (TLD), takes the cake for our favorite email signature: Peace and Wheelies. How could you argue with that? If anyone is qualified to sign off with that message it’s Lee—he’s been having fun on two wheels for more than 30 years. TLD is known for customizing helmets, apparel and protective gear for off-road motorcycling and bicycling, but lately you won’t find Lee on his motorcycle or a mountain bike. Instead you'll see him out on an electric mountain bike (eMTB), his current favorite for popping wheelies. PeopleForBikes sat down with Lee to learn more about how he became a fan of eMTBs, his favorites places to ride them and more.
PeopleForBikes : When did you first ride an eMTB?
Troy Lee: I got a Specialized Levo last April, and before that I had a Turbo for a year or two. I had shattered my hip at the motocross track about three years ago—the recovery was intense and long, and I was off my bicycle and moto for half a year. Mountain biking has been a love of mine for decades, and I missed it but could only ride 30 minutes or so before my hips started getting sore. So, those first few e-bike rides for me were life changing, really. I went from riding a couple times a month to a couple times a week. And I was riding longer, exploring more and sometimes doing two rides in one day.
PFB: What did you think about eMTBs before you rode one? How did riding one affect your understanding of them?
TL: Oh, I was always intrigued once I learned there were going to be bikes that were STILL mountain bike but just with a little assist. I had no interest in a bike that was full throttle, I ride those already at the motocross track! But I was interested in something where I could still get the MTB experience, while taking the edge off of the climbs, and I love how you can tune the motors to your liking while on the ride. If I’m feeling good that day, I turn down the power and get a little extra work-out. Once I rode it I was even more impressed with the capabilities of these things and how they open up more doors without causing any trail damage or trouble.