Mountain biking is one of my favorite sports. But when you're biking at high altitude, out of shape or just not feeling it that day, it can be downright brutal. Pedaling thousands of feet of vertical has a way of beating the living tar out of your lungs and muscles.
On the other hand, coming back down those thousands of feet only affects a few muscles: the ones in the massive smile on your face. Unfortunately, while you can access limited terrain via ski lift or shuttle, most rides run by the tenet that you don't go down without going up.
The new Ego-Kits E-Powered Downhill Bike Kit flips that rule on its head and expands your mechanically-assisted downhill biking options multi-fold. Kind of like a retrofit electric bike, the kit includes a 1200 W electric motor and battery pack along with the other hardware needed to fit to your bike. Once attached, the kit turns your bike into an electric-driven ride capable of motoring you uphill. So you can enjoy the climbs as much as the descents. According to the company, it fits about 70 percent of downhill mountain bikes.
It's not entirely clear what the mile range on the motor is or how effective it would be on steep climbs, but it's definitely an intriguing idea. While I'll always be an old-school, earn-your-descent-type of biker, I've had enough long, grueling climbs to know that something like this could be a blessing.
The kit won an ISPO Brand New award and is on display at the German sports and fitness show this week. There's no pricing on this German creation, but something tells me it will probably cost way too much to justify taking all the exercise out of mountain biking. Take a look below and decide what price you'd be willing to pay for that kind of assistance on the epic trail.