Haibike Xduro All Mtn 7.0

THE HAIBIKE XDURO ALL MTN 7.0

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - PHO­TOG­RA­PHER: LACHLAN RYAN TESTER: MATT NAUTHE

INI­TIAL IM­PRES­SIONS

Though still quite new in Oz, Ger­man com­pany Haibike have been around for well over a 20 years de­vel­op­ing and per­fect­ing their eMTBs for the past eight. Whilst most think that these bikes just sprung on the scene in the last cou­ple of years it is com­pa­nies like Haibike that have pi­o­neered these tech­nolo­gies to get us to where we are to­day. The Xduro All MTN 7.0 is a burly all-moun­tain bike that is ready to go and hit some pretty se­ri­ous ter­rain. The over­sized alu­minium hy­dro-formed tub­ing pro­tect­ing the bat­tery which is hid­den within the down­tube. The paint­work and de­cals are unashamedly euro, bold graph­ics leav­ing no doubt as to what brand the bike is. The blue and grey colour scheme with yel­low high­lights works well to­gether and grew on me through­out the test. Sport­ing 150mm of travel front and rear with plus-size tyres this is big bike. Think­ing back to other bikes of this size I have tested the ad­di­tion of pedal as­sist sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Why shut­tle when you can ride up? Com­ing in at cool $8995 this does put it at the higher end of the spec­trum when com­pared to other bikes on the mar­ket, es­pe­cially the Shimano STEPS pow­ered Merida E160-900. On the Haibike you get a re­li­able level of spec­c­ing es­pe­cially on the sus­pen­sion side of things which is a pretty ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion with the ad­di­tional weight and forces be­ing gen­er­ated by the bike. The Rock­Shox Yari RC forks have 35mm stan­chions to stiffen up the steer­ing and the Rock­Shox Deluxe R out back rounds out the pack­age. TRP G-spec Slate T4 are 4-pot brakes de­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with Aaron Gwin to give ul­ti­mate brak­ing power with 203/180mm ro­tors. This is a bike that is made to go fast. Which means you need the brakes to reel it in as well. Wheels are 27.5+ rolling out on the tried and true Maxxis Min­ions. They are an in-house wheel set with Boost spac­ing on DT Swiss spokes, and a sweet 40mm wide rim. Lots has been writ­ten about the technology be­hind the bat­tery/ mo­tor sys­tems. Suf­fice to say that Bosch is one of the lead­ers in the in­dus­try pro­vid­ing sys­tems for many of the ma­jor bike com­pa­nies. One of the big stretches for eMTBs has been how to give it a more nat­u­ral feel­ing, with many com­plain­ing of a jerky feel­ing when putting the foot down that feels a bit un­con­trol­lable when in tighter trails and you are try­ing to thread the nee­dle. Bosch in­tro­duced the E-MTB set­ting about 12 months ago, and this adds a mid power op­tion with mod­u­la­tion that has been lack­ing in pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tions. Early re­ports from test­ing are dub­bing it a “Goldilocks” set­ting. If you pedal harder, it gives you more as­sis­tance. When you soft pedal, it backs off. It is also said to be the most ef­fi­cient use of bat­tery life. With so much hype around the these up­grades it is go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing test.

ON THE TRAILS

The ar­rival of this bike was quite serendip­i­tous. Com­ing off a knee in­jury that has had me side­lined off the bike for a few weeks the Haibike

was a present from above, giv­ing me a chance to blast around on the trails and have some fun while not blow­ing up my knee in the process. Start­ing out with some easy trails to test the water the old knee ache wasn’t any­where to be felt. That was as much of a green light as I needed, let the test­ing be­gin! On the trails the 25kg of bike is sur­pris­ingly nim­ble es­pe­cially when you keep your ca­dence high. Hav­ing not spent any sig­nif­i­cant time on an eMTB prior to this test it took a good few rides to get my head into the game to fig­ure out the strengths and lim­i­ta­tions of the Haibike. Keep those legs turn­ing and the Haibike re­wards with good, even power. Smooth pedal strokes out of a cor­ner are re­warded with a boost that pops you about in a play­ful man­ner. Us­ing all the power set­tings, the E-MTB set­ting felt spot on in tighter trails where turns come in quick suc­ces­sion needing a few pedal strokes to keep the flow go­ing. Try­ing the same in the TURBO set­ting whilst doable does feel like you are try­ing to tame a wild bronco. When the trail opens out the eMTB re­ally shines, the more pres­sure you push through the ped­als the more the bike obliges. Chas­ing your mates down or the trail you be­come like a dog chas­ing down a rab­bit. Fi­nally I could hit out with our XC whip­pet Edi­tor. I could hold his pace and even give him a taste of his own medicine. The best bit of it was that we both got full value from the ride. Like any eMTB sold it’s lim­ited to about 25kmh, so as­sis­tance cuts out be­yond that speed.. But on

an up­hill and on trails that is plenty fast and when head­ing down – you don’t need it any­way. The E-TOUR set­ting felt like the low­est fun set­ting on the bike, that is I can live with it to ex­tend a ride to link up more good trail with­out feel­ing like I am drag­ging the chain a lit­tle bit. ECO I con­sider in moun­tain bike terms to be a back up plan if you to­tally mis­cal­cu­late the length of your ride with only a slight ad­van­tage to what would just be rid­ing a re­ally heavy bike. Ob­vi­ously all the set­tings drain the bat­tery at dif­fer­ent rates and there is a bat­tery life tool avail­able on the Bosch web­site to see how much the dif­fer­ent set­tings im­pact bat­tery life as well as fac­tors like ca­dence, speed etc. This is worth a play for those who like to geek out a bit. The on­board com­puter does give you an idea of range, and how far you have rid­den, and of course bat­tery life. It’s worth be­ing mind­ful of your set­tings if you plan a big day on the trails. Charg­ing is as sim­ple as plug­ging the bike into the wall. The LCD dis­play giv­ing an in­di­ca­tion of state of charg­ing. Power aside the Haibike is the full and con­sid­ered pack­age. Frame de­sign and higher mo­tor po­si­tion has al­lowed ex­tra ground clear­ance and also short­ens the chain­stays to 465mm. Low bot­tom brack­ets and overly long stays can plague other eMTBs on the mar­ket. All an­gles mir­ror that of a per­for­mance trail bike, the head an­gle comes in at a re­spectable 67 de­grees. The solid sus­pen­sion re­ally ex­hibits how ca­pa­ble this bike is. The Rock­Shox Yari was stiff enough to push into cor­ners with con­fi­dence that even 25kg of bike couldn’t shake. Cou­pled with the Deluxe R out the back the sus­pen­sion felt bal­anced and ramped up flaw­lessly, the Mo­tion Con­trol damp­en­ing was on point, with all the travel on of­fer was used up but not once was there a harsh bot­tom out. More than once I found my­self com­ing into sections over­cooked, a re­sults of faster ac­cel­er­a­tion and in­er­tia that a large bike gen­er­ates. The TRP brakes per­formed solidly through­out the test sav­ing my ba­con on al­most all oc­ca­sions, some­times things just go re­ally pear shaped. The 4-pot de­sign cou­pled with the large ro­tors were su­per con­sis­tent and no brake fade was en­coun­tered even on long steep fire­trail de­scents. I was very im­pressed with these brakes. The XLC drop­per post worked a treat with a sim­ple de­sign and light lever ac­tion. SRAM NX 11 speed gave plenty of range and the shift­ing was solid. It is a mid-level group set but the shifts were con­sis­tent and it never missed a beat. As ex­pected the Maxxis tyres proved why the are

“WHEN THE TRAIL OPENS OUT THE EMTB REALL Y SHINES, THE MORE PRES­SURE Y OU PUSH THROUGH THE PED­ALS THE MORE THE BIKE OBLIGES.”

so pop­u­lar pro­vid­ing pre­dictable trac­tion and the side­walls were burly enough to run tubes for the en­tire test with­out a sin­gle flat. Switch to tube­less for even more ben­e­fit.

OUR TAKE

This is a bike that can be a lot of things to a lot of peo­ple. The setup is such that ad­vanced rid­ers will feel a por­tal to another facet of rid­ing. It is like another skill to learn and per­fect. To rip through un­du­lat­ing sin­gle­track ef­fi­ciently takes time to fig­ure the strengths and lim­i­ta­tions of the setup. You will get more rid­ing in, more kilo­me­tres and be­cause of this your up­per body gets a full on work­out – you ride more trails and have a big bike to throw through the turns. The Turbo set­ting in the sin­gle­track is def­i­nitely some­thing that needs a deft touch. The E-TOUR set­ting is per­fect for those just start­ing out off-road the pedal as­sist giv­ing even trac­tion through looser ter­rain with­out the white knuckle mo­ments that the higher set­tings can in­duce. It can­not be over­stated that an eMTB does not make up a lack of tech­ni­cal abil­ity, a be­gin­ner will not mag­i­cally be able to flaw­lessly shred sin­gle­track. The Haibike gives oo­dles of sta­bil­ity and con­fi­dence to rid­ers learn­ing to push their bound­aries as they be­come more pro­fi­cient.

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