Why e-MTB? We Ask Sofia Wiedenroth

The WES e-Bike Series aims to promote e-MTB to every type of rider. Through its XC and Enduro races, its e-Village exhibition areas and Ride WES public ride days, the series is exciting for everyone.

WES athletes are diverse, too. They come from different backgrounds, countries and riding groups, but one thing they all have in common is a passion for e-mountain biking.

Here we catch up with Cube Action Team’s Sofia Wiedenroth, who aims to compete in the Women’s Enduro races at every Round on the 2019 WES calendar. Think e-MTBs are an easy way out? Think riding one is anything but exhilarating? Think again. Sofia will inspire you to give e-biking a go.

Sofia Wiedenroth preparing for the WES e-Bike Series.

WES: What is your riding and racing background?

Sofia Wiedenroth: I started racing when I was eight years old. From 2010 to 2017 I was on the German national team for Cross-Country, and I switched to Enduro racing [in 2018]. Due to an injury in 2017, I came to e-MTB and did my first e-MTB race at the Bikefestival in Willingen, Germany [in 2018], where I took the win.

WES: Where do you live and train?

SW: I live in the south of Germany and Austria, on Lake Constance. When the snow is gone, I really love to train there.

WES: Do you think most people be surprised when they get on an e-bike or e-MTB for the first time?

SW: Yes, definitely, because most people think e-biking is something for older or lazy people. But e-biking, especially e-MTB is actually not that easy to ride. It’s more like riding a faster trail bike. It’s a completely different style of bike riding. With an e-MTB you can ride very technical and challenging tracks, so you can choose complete different routes. If I had three words to describe e-bike riding they would be: speed, action and power.

WES: How can an e-bike help someone’s riding, whether an amateur or expert rider?

SW: Due to the higher speed on trails, you learn to decide a little bit quicker which line could be the best.

WES: What is it like to ride an e-bike uphill?

SW: It’s so fun being able to ride up the trails you usually come down, but it’s also quite challenging and it needs good handling skills.

WES: What about riding an e-bike downhill?

SW: To be honest, it feels like sitting in a Formula 1 car. Due to the increased weight of the engine and battery in the lower frame, the bike has such good traction and you can corner a lot faster.

WES: How physical is e-mountain biking? Does it take different fitness and training to regular cycling?

SW: E-mountain biking is very physical. You need a little bit more upper body strength to handle the greater weight of the bike.

Sofia Wiedenroth will be racing in the WES Women’s Enduro.

WES: Who should try e-biking and e-MTB?

SW: Everyone who loves speed should try e-biking.

WES: What is exciting about e-bike racing?

SW: The tracks are definitely exciting because you can race in such a big circuit. Also, all the new bike technology is something to talk about.

WES: What do you think the general public perception of e-biking is like?

SW: I think right now the general public see e-bikes more as a substitute to a normal bike or as a way to go to work. But they don’t see it as a high-performance sport, [which it is].

WES: Are there any common misconceptions, in your opinion, about e-biking?

SW: Yes, it’s definitely not as easy as people often think.

WES: What sort of riding do you usually take your e-bike on?

SW: I really love to explore new mountain bike tracks with the e-bike. With the support of the engine you can ride so many kilometres in less time, which brings you to new places.

WES: Are there particular places/terrains that e-MTBs excel, or are they great everywhere a regular MTB can be ridden?

SW: Yes, I would say they are great everywhere.

WES: What events and disciplines will you race in the WES calendar?

SW: Right now, the plan is to compete in the whole series in the WES Women’s Enduro category.

WES: What bike will you be on for the WES? What are its strengths?

SW: I will race the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team EMTB, which is developed by the experience of world-class enduro racing and built with the best e-bike engine by Bosch. It is made for every mountain terrain and can handle tough conditions easily.

WES: Why should people come to a WES event to spectate and participate in Sunday’s Ride WES day?

SW: I’m sure it will be a great show and people can finally see what is possible with an e-MTB.

WES: How will WES help to spread the word about e-biking to a broader public?

SW: I think it could help that people see e-biking as a high-performance sport.

WES: What are you hoping to achieve at the WES events you will be attending?

SW: In the women’s field, there are a lot of world-class mountain bikers, so it will be very tight racing. I hope I can achieve some top-five spots.

WES: What is attracting pro riders to this new form of two-wheeled racing?

SW: As a lot of pro riders already train with e-MTBs, it was only a question of time until we would race against each other and push each other to the next level.

Thank you, Sofia, for taking the time to speak to us, and good luck at WES 2019!