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The electric mountain bike, whose purchase cost is very variable, is seeing its practice explode in Limousin

In the mountains of Ambazac, those of Blond, around the lake of Saint-Pardoux, on the plateau of Millevaches or along the Vienne, their noise is more and more insistent. It bothers some. Irritates others. But this soft roar is gaining ground year after year.

The electric mountain bike is trendy. In tune with the times, especially since the first confinement and the health crisis. Between 2020 and 2021, according to the Union sport et cycle (the union of companies in the sports, leisure, cycle and active mobility sector), the sale of electric mountain bikes has increased by 46%.

A very wide range of users

“It’s crazy how, since 2018, sales have been on the rise, explains Vincent, cycle specialist salesman at Intersport Limoges. For mountain biking, at more than 1,000 euros, we are at 95% of sales in electric. »

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But stretching your legs with electric assistance has a cost. “‘For what use?’ is the first question I ask customers, plant Olivier Peyrat, manager of Cycling Culture in Limoges. Electric mountain bikes adapt to many people, but practices necessarily guide the purchase price. We go from simple occasional leisure to competition. »

“The panel is very wide, but younger than for hybrid bikes or city bikes, adds Thomas Duprat, cycle technician advisor at Concept 87 Bike, based in Limoges and Bessines-sur-Gartempe. We find former mountain bikers who want to continue to have fun, regulars who want to continue to go on long outings with friends. »

How much does an electric mountain bike cost? Answer, element by element.

From 1,000 to more than 7,000 euros

Electricity is a new philosophy which is essential everywhere and for which customers are ready to provide the means. The reasons ? No constraints, a “simpler” practice and optimal comfort.

“We start at 1,000 euros up to 2,000 euros for a motorization in the rear wheel, for the occasional, for walks in the forest or paths not too demanding”, advises Vincent, specialist for Intersport.

For Thomas Duprat, the average price today is “between 2,500 and 7,500 euros. A very wide fork, but where everything depends on the overall equipment of the MTB”. Shock absorbers, aluminum (heavier and cheaper) or carbon, brakes, battery, motor, each element is correlated to the total price of the bike (see infographic above).

From 3,500 euros, customers switch to full suspension mountain bikes for better quality. And we quickly rise to 4,500 euros.

“For the battery, for example, the differences can be significant. Some have a range of 50 km, others 110 km. We must not reason only by the kilometers, but especially by the time of saddle, the unevenness of the courses which we borrow. For these specialists, the difference comes from the transition from hardtail mountain bikes to full-suspension e-MTBs, with higher engine torque, greater travel, i.e. the distance that can be damped by the fork, and a higher quality of materials and equipment.

“From 3,500 euros, customers switch to full suspension mountain bikes for better quality. And we quickly go up to 4,500 euros, ”adds Olivier Peyrat.

Beyond, come more prestigious models, which are aimed at former mountain bikers, certain club competitors. “But we try to advise as best we can, and the first purchases for a mountain bike are between 2,500 and 3,000 euros”, concludes Thomas Duprat.

Rational purchase or crush, the world of electrically assisted mountain biking is vast. That’s progress.

In Corrèze, mountain biking is coming soon

In Corrèze, near Brive, the Causse-Saillant mountain bike base offers around twenty routes of different levels. It was labeled in 2018 by the French cycling federation.

A godsend for the brand new Brive agglo cycling club, created at the start of the year. “It’s the perfect tool, the ideal spot,” enthuses its president, Sylvie Mercier. The courses are already ready and there is something for all levels. »

The club, which claims around sixty licensees, the youngest of whom is five years old, has made the Causse lake its “anchor point”. And even if the place is known for its steep drops, it is all the more accessible since the appearance of the electric mountain bike, judge Sylvie Mercier. “Well, I wouldn’t advise a beginner to tackle the Chartrier-Ferrières hills on the first outing! »

For the president of Brive agglo cycling, the practice of mountain biking is a serious asset for the department. “There is a real market, which the electric bike is expanding again. But the Corrèze can in my opinion still greatly develop its offer, especially north of Brive where there is not much. Our territory has real potential that is just waiting to be exploited. »

The Brive club will soon offer mountain bike rides, open to all. “The idea is to organize supervised walks around the Causse lake, without any spirit of competition. »

The department offers other mountain biking bases, in Neuvic, Meyssac, Chamberet and of course Ussel where the upper Corrèze mountain biking area, with more than 1,000 kilometers of marked trails from seventeen municipalities, is the largest certified network. FFCT of France.

A real “interest” in cycle tourism

The growing practice of electric mountain biking is pushing institutions even more to seize opportunities for cycle tourism in New Aquitaine.

“Electric, we take it into account, it’s another clientele, a somewhat different way of thinking about tourism. It opens other doors. Marina Darriet, in charge of the ecotourism and soft roaming sector at the New Aquitaine regional tourism committee (CRT), is lucid about the additional activity that the practice of electric bikes brings to the region.

Two years ago, the community adopted a regional cycle route plan for the period 2020-2030. The goal? “The creation of 7,000 km of cycle paths on the territory and a balanced network of cycle routes”, replies Marina Darriet. Today, the plan is 63% complete. “We still need to develop and promote more complicated and less accessible areas,” adds the sector manager.

Acclaimed slow-tourism

In Limousin, roaming is already marked by Véloroute 56 (V56), which passes through Saint-Pardoux-le-Lac, Bessines-sur-Gartempe or even Bersac-sur-Rivalier.

But the Region and the CRT are currently working on another major structuring route: the V87, which notably passes through Creuse and Corrèze. “It will soon be put into tourism (taking into account economic constraints and risks, natural constraints and choice of target customers with public actors), assures the sector manager at the CRT. We must promote these routes and adapt them to different clienteles and new uses, including electric mountain biking. »

Slow tourism – which favors meetings with locals while taking the time to travel and which aims to be a low CO2 emitter – and “more sustainable” practices, this is the workhorse of the CRT to respond to the increase in attendance. observed (but not yet quantified because studies are in progress) of bicycle routes in the region.

Thibaut Dailler (with Tanguy Olivier)


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