How useful are e-bikes?

My knees having more or less packed-up in terms of yomping up and down hills and mountains, my thoughts turned to e-bikes. I’ve looked at some of my local Sotas and there seems to be a mix of bridleways and footpaths to get to summits. Sadly cycling isn’t a permitted activity on Access Land so PROWS are the only option. I’m reluctant to invest in an e-bike if it isn’t going to be usable on lots of summits. I would value the thoughts of those who have already taken the plunge. Thanks.

E bikes are heavy especially MTB eBikes , more often than not car bike racks would need upgrading , most of the G-NP sotas local to me are not really accessible by bike either to difficult or simply not allowed , I’ve some very good accomplished MTB friends who have EBikes and they all say the same they can ride longer and further on them and that’s about the only real advantage


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I can’t speak for your specific area John; but, I have used a non E bike on a few activations in GM/SS, G/NP & G/SB to cover some of the approach (usually along forest tracks). The bike was then abandoned somewhere (hopefully) safe for the final climb on foot. An e bike would be even easier (but perhaps more attractive to thieves if found).
I have also been passed on several SOTA summits throughout G by riders on e MTBs. I think there will come a time when I replace my hybrid with an e MTB of some type and would then intend using it more for SOTA. So in summary I think it’s perfectly feasible.

Good point about the bike rack loading, I must check.

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I’ve started using my eMTB on activations but there aren’t many with bridleways all the way to the summit. Mine weights 27kg so is difficult to move around unless you’re cycling it.

I’ve managed to activate Cross Fell and High Street from home. But I’m just on my way back from Austria where I used it to access 4 summits. Only 1 summit could I ride all the way up. The other three I had to lock my bike up and make the final ascent on foot.

We also had to upgrade our normal towbar bike rack to one which would take 60kg worth of bikes.


I’m beginning to feel that an e-MTB might be a lot of effort with limited opportunities. Thanks for you thought.

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I’ve tried a few times to use a bike for Sota and it can help with long walk-ins. My main walking problem is descending. I’m thinking it might be worth hiring one for a weekend before buying one.

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Yes - spend £30 and hire one for half a day to help you decide. I did and bought a e-hybrid, 3 years ago before the prices went a bit silly.

PS Only used on a few activations as it doesn’t pay to use a bike on most summits I get to.


Thanks Phil. I’m getting the impression that they might have a rather limited use.

Descending is the best bit about riding a bike so that might work out well for you :smile:

I thought there was a list somewhere on the SOTA reflector of G and GW AZs legally accessible by bike Some that spring to mind are:
GW/NW-001, although the NPA seem to be making this difficult, as do the crowds






Summits where you can bike part way then hike include:
GW/NW-012 (1.5 km hike from Bwlch Maen Gwynedd)



Summits where riding up is tolerated:
GW/NW-034 (short walk from the track to the summit)




That’s a very useful list. Thank you. As I’m not doing proper mountain biking I’m thinking that I might get away with a gravel bike. The lighter the better.


Like radios, it’s not ‘or’ it’s ‘and’.

I suggest an eMTB for the likes of GW/NW-001 and GW/NW-012 (the route from the east), an e-road bike for the summits next to roads such as G/WB-021, G/WB-023 and GW/SW-028 and a electric gravel bike for the others.
That way you’re covered for all eventualities :wink:


Thought I would reuse a thread!

In terms of the initial question, I would say, very useful!

Just enjoyed a 10 mile circular up and down G/WB-005! After 14 years of being involved with SOTA, it has spurred me on to see how many other hills can be completed via the E-Bike

I cycled up from the National Trust Car Park at the start of the Cardingmill Valley, heading up Dr Motts Bridleway, how anyone would cycle this without an E-Bike is beyond me?

Headed along the plateau to Shooting Box, got about 15m from the Summit and walked the rest.

Rig was the Yaesu VX170 with upgraded Li-ion battery back, 5 watts and the Diamond RH770, managing 6 in the log with the best DX into Rochdale.

The ride back to the car took me to the Northern end of the Long Mynd and down the track called Jinyle, before heading to Church Stretton Golf Club and making the final descent into the NT carpark.

It was nice to combine Radio with Mountain Biking. I need a better bike mounted bag for the rig though, will get a triangle bag to go within the main frame.

This is the route as plotted on Strava

Next time, I will ride up the same way, but will descend via Minton Batch, this track is meant to be one of the best single trail mountain bike tracks in the country.

73 all and thanks for the chasers

Matt G8XYJ (Slowly getting back into SOTA)


Nice to see your pictures Matt and good circular route. Glad to get you in the log too, you chose a good day for it.

I have an E bike Turbo Levo 29er done 17K km on it, been cycling 38 years. Only tried 1 summit climb with it and found it quite difficult with all the extra weight carrying my back pack as well. The terrain was quite rocky and bushy with no real track to the summit. I ended up saving a way point on my gps and parking the bike in the bush and walking the rest of the way to the top. If you were to take any bike I would recommend having a panier or bag on the bike not your body so you can distribute the extra weight better. That’s my 1 by 11’s worth.
Ian vk5cz …


I also have an ebike, not a flash one like Ian’s, but I 've used it on several activations now with success. It works well when the road turns rough 4WD and maybe there’s a tree over the road. The biggest concern has been how do I secure it when it comes time to walk the last part. I have to carry a small squiddy and keep the weight down on my pack and also factor in some spanners, puncture repair kit etc. A panier would be a good idea, but so far I’ve just had everything in a 25 litre back pack that has straps on side for the little squiddy.
Glenn VK3YY.


Here’s my eMTB Turbo-Levo on top of Mynydd Mawr in North Wales GW/NW/026 and I’ve also activated Moel Eilio GW/NW/022 using the bike.

You can see my yellow (30ish litre) rucksack that carries my clothes, drink, tools as well as the ft-817 with antenna for 145MHz FM. It’s very stable and easy to forget its being worn.

It’s a great way to travel but it’s worth being familiar with the bike climbing steep & rough terrain. Pushing is a bit nightmarish even with walk assist.

Unfortunately it’s not getting used much this year, a minor health problem awaiting a small op means I’m confined to the valley bottom :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Back when I had decent legs :smiley:

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Here in Northern California I use a bike on quite a few activations. Many peaks though, a bike is a burden, either due to terrain or bush that one needs to push through. If there is a fire road or paved road they are useful. I usually plan on having to hide the bike along the route, assuming I will encounter some type of hinderance getting to the actual summit… Peak overlooking San Francisco Bay with a good trail to the top:

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