HAIBIKE XDURO ALLMTN 9.0

£5,399 A ca­pa­ble climber, but ham­pered in the rough

Mountain Biking UK - - WRECKED & RATED -

There’s a lot to like about the Haibike, but we have a long list of com­po­nent gripes, which hold it back on tough ter­rain.

The frame

The XDURO AllMtn uses a Horst link sus­pen­sion set-up (a four-bar link­age with a pivot on the chain­stay), but with a twist. An idler wheel brings the chain up from the chain­ring and over the main pivot. This al­lows Haibike to po­si­tion the pivot so that it gives a more rear­ward axle path (good for swal­low­ing square-edged bumps), with­out suf­fer­ing the pedal kick­back that would oth­er­wise re­sult from this. There’s 150mm of rear wheel travel, con­trolled by a Fox DPX2 air shock. A Bosch Pow­erTube bat­tery is in­te­grated sleekly into the down tube, and the Per­for­mance Line CX mo­tor is the same as on two other bikes here. We don’t like the way the rear mech and brake ca­bles are routed from the top tube to the seat­stays, as it means they bow out­wards when the sus­pen­sion com­presses.

The kit

Haibike have gone for 11-speed Shi­mano XT gear­ing, with a wide-range 11-46t cas­sette. Spec high­lights in­clude the Mavic E-XA Elite wheels, which have been pur­pose-de­signed for e-bike use, and the soft-com­pound 2.8in Sch­walbe tyres. The drop­per post has an ex­ter­nal cable, which sent us on a bit of a nos­tal­gia trip but works fine. Un­for­tu­nately, the brakes, sad­dle, stem and fork let the 9.0 down.

The ride

In many sit­u­a­tions, this is the best climb­ing bike here. The steep seat an­gle (75 de­grees) lets you at­tack up­hill sec­tions with ease, while the 70mm stem cre­ates a comfy rider-for­ward as­cend­ing po­si­tion. Add the wide-range cas­sette and the Haibike is sim­ply eas­ier to ride when things get steep. The idler pul­ley helps when things get rough, al­low­ing the sus­pen­sion to move up and over ob­sta­cles unim­peded by the ten­sion of the chain. Com­bined with the grip of the Magic Mary tyres, this makes rooty sin­gle­track climbs a breeze.

On flat­ter trails we were less im­pressed. The idler is noisy, es­pe­cially in the lower gears. And the drag from the pul­ley, com­bined with the re­sis­tance from the Bosch mo­tor, makes ped­alling above the 25kmh as­sis­tance limit fu­tile. It’s hard work with the mo­tor off too. On un­du­lat­ing trails, we had fre­quent pedal strikes, which we put down to the bike’s low bot­tom bracket (335mm), long crank arms (175mm) and the way its rear end squats into its travel un­der power. Firm­ing up the shock un­til we had just 25 per cent (seated)

sag helped, but we would still have pre­ferred shorter cranks.

The rear sus­pen­sion per­forms beau­ti­fully in the rough, es­pe­cially with the com­pres­sion damp­ing left open. There’s min­i­mal feed­back through your feet and it barely hangs up on larger bumps. Un­for­tu­nately, this is un­der­mined by the Fox 34 fork, which feels out of its depth on a heavy e-bike. The sam­ple on our bike flexed so much that it would bind and be­come harsh in the rough.

De­scend­ing con­fi­dence is fur­ther un­der­mined by the long stem, which makes it dif­fi­cult to throw your weight around on steep tech­ni­cal ter­rain, and harder to man­ual or bun­ny­hop (the 467mm chain­stays don’t help here ei­ther). It also slows the steer­ing re­sponse, cre­at­ing an awk­ward, up­right feel when cor­ner­ing hard. We didn’t get on with the hard-edged sad­dle ei­ther, which dug into our thighs when de­scend­ing. The flexy levers of the Magura MT5 brakes take a bit of get­ting used to too, and ours lacked power at the start of each ride. We also found the over-bar drop­per re­mote, mounted on the right side of the han­dle­bar, a lit­tle awk­ward to use.

Ul­ti­mately, the frame has po­ten­tial – the rear sus­pen­sion works well and the ge­om­e­try isn’t bad – but the spec lets it down. If we were spend­ing this much, we’d want a stiffer fork, shorter stem, shorter cranks and a dif­fer­ent sad­dle, post and brakes. The cheaper AllMtn 7.0 of­fers at least two of th­ese – a Rock­Shox Yari fork and TRP Slate brakes – for £1,000 less, but does with­out the Mavic wheels.

THE IDLER PUL­LEY HELPS WHEN THINGS GET ROUGH, AL­LOW­ING THE SUS­PEN­SION TO MOVE UP AND OVER OB­STA­CLES UNIM­PEDED BY THE TEN­SION OF THE CHAIN

Im­pres­sive rear sus­pen­sion, but let down on tech­ni­cal ter­rain by lack­lus­tre com­po­nents

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