HAIBIKE XDURO ALLMTN 9.0
£5,399 A capable climber, but hampered in the rough
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 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.
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.
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