E-biking French Alps

Hi Trainerroad fam!

I have been busy enjoying my endurance workouts as I am planning a trip to the French alps hopefully later this year. Planning on taking my girlfriend with and putting her on an eMTB with a 500wh/625wh battery. She is a casual cyclist that cycles ~40-60km a week and I am guessing she has an FTP ~120-130.

We will be based in Bourg d’Oisans and Annecy and planning to do the following routes on different days:

  1. Glandon + col de la croix de fer return (75km)
  2. Alpe d’Huez + col de sarenne loop (75km)
  3. Le Semnoz loop (75km)

The bike she will have is the Scott Strike eRide with 625wh in Bourg and the Scott e scale MTB with 500wh battery in Annecy.

  1. Do you think this bike will have sufficient range to do these loops? I was going to ride these climbs at approx 200w (2.5-3w/kg) so she should be able to keep up by say putting in 100w and then using 80w from the motor (and then she wouldnt use motor downhill)

  2. Am I otherwise crazy for proposing this?


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I think it’s a great idea. Have ridden all those roads with cycling friends and they’re stunning, hoping at some point that e-bikes would allow me to ride them with my wife and maybe children. Not got any hands on experience with an e-bike I’m afraid, but friends who are more knowledgeable than me say the battery life/range is pretty accurate, so as long as you’re hiring from a decent company who looks after their bikes you should be fine.

Only other thought is whether an e- roadbike would be better than MTB for those roads? Lighter and better rolling bike would conserve battery life going up and put her more on a par with you for the flatter and downhill sections. Guess the downside is if she’s a casual cyclist and not used to a road bike she might find the skinny tyres a bit scary.

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I used this calculator;

And it was very close. It’s specifically for Bosch which is what my wife’s Cannondale Synapse has. But I suspect you can get close to a decent guess on battery life once you adjust the parameters in their tool.

I’m still training my wife to slow down on climbs, to allow me to keep up and to conserve battery.

Our local HC rated climb to the top of the ski resort can take about 90-125 minutes depending and my wife uses about 75% of her fully charged battery. She’s not bashful about using the higher levels of assist. If we were to do more climbing we’d need an extra battery. For reference the total ride is about 35 miles, over 4,000 feet and can take over 3 hours counting stops and sight seeing at the top. The climb segment we ride is 13.9 miles and 3,900 feet of climbing.

Sounds like an amazing trip, enjoy!

My wife’s e-bike;

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Thanks - did toss up with the e road bike but most of them are 250wh batteries and i thought overall the mtb with 500wh battery would be better despite the increased weight.