Innovation or Cheating? Tech Disruption Hits Mountain Biking

Dave Morin, a tech executive and venture capitalist, posted his time for a recent mountain bike ride to the social networking app Strava and thought little about it. Until, that is, he bumped into a friend, Colin Brumelle, a former Twitter engineering manager and amateur racer who’d seen the Strava posting. “You’re cheating!” cried Mr. Brumelle.

Mr. Morin had beaten Mr. Brumelle’s time up the slopes of nearby Mt. Tamalpais. But to anyone on Strava, it was obvious how Mr. Morin had done it. His bike, as noted in Strava, was a Turbo Levo, a new, $7,500 offering from California-based Specialized. It is equipped with a computerized, electronic motor, which offers a subtle assist with each pedal stroke.

No subscription? You’re missing out.
Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information’s original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 1279 words of this article.
What’s included in a subscription?
Read The Information’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis
Receive as-they-happen articles via email
Talk with award-winning reporters in subscriber-only conference calls
Join the conversation on our subscriber-only Slack channel
Attend intimate, high-powered events with leaders in tech and business
Subscribe to The Information

After the race, his hard-line stance against e-bikes softened a bit. The event reminded him of mountain bike races he did in the 1980s, when the sport was new and racers were “frontiersmen” who were “just there to push the limits and everybody is friends at the end because it’s for fun,” he said. Mr. Decker doesn’t want one and doesn't think e-bikes will catch on in the U.S. until they weigh and cost the same as regular ones, but he won’t stand in the way. “Maybe we should stop being so full of ourselves and let the future happen,” he said.

3 total comments
Josh Elman, Tod Francis and 1 other commented on this article.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Tina Sharkey
Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Athletic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
“We’re in America. You have choices. This is just a choice.”