Haibike Cross SL wider tires for trail use


New member
Local time
3:16 AM
Jul 28, 2020
After getting my Haibike Hybrid style bike, I found myself in this first 500 miles of use doing 90 % street riding but 10% trail. The tires that come with the bike, Schwalbe "Smart Sam" 700 x 40c are pretty narrow at 40mm or 1.57 inches. The knobs on this tire are also very small little rectangles without much depth, and it really seems like a townie tire with a few knobs for mild non pavement conditions. These definitely have trouble when you get into sand on the trail.

I've just switched these out for the currently on 50% off sale, Panaracer Fire Cross 700 x 45c tire. (There was no problem with the new tire fitting the fork or rear section of this bike.) It's 45mm equates to 1.77" width. This tire has much larger and deeper knobs than the Smart Sam. Riding feels much more mountain bikish. They're definitely a bit slower on the street due to increased contact and all those knobs, and you notice some hum you don't hear with the Smart Sams, but turns are more stable with the rounder shape to lean on. Dirt riding is better. Of course not as good as a 2.3" width tire, but still much better than the 1.57". Conclusions so far,, although you can't change a hybrid e-bike into a full on mountain bike, this wider and knobbier tire will fit and will make you feel more comfortable on the trails. You will lose the fast, efficient, road bike feel of the Smart Sams however when you're on the streets. :cool:
Last edited by a moderator:
If you want to put on even wider tires, you could swap to 27.5 wheels. You might lose a little ground clearance, but most 29/700c bikes can fit wider 27.5 tires than 29/700c. Fork clearance between the sliders could be an issue, depends on the fork. YMMV.
You don't mention what psi you are using which to me is of utmost importance for tire performance, especially in regards to traction and ride quality. Each person and rim/tire will have a different low psi threshold and it is important to take a bit of time and find out what your works best for you. The days of thinking that running high psi is the way towards performance are thankfully behind us.

As far as width and tread goes if you look at the plethora of "gravel" tires out these days most of them have very little tread and are in the 35-45c range width wise. If run at your optimum lowest psi even a low tread tire can have pretty good traction and low rolling resistance. Not to mention the resulting compliance acts as passive suspension which is also beneficial.

As mentioned you can go to what is called "Road+" and get 650b rims and run wider type tires but my time spent over the last few months trying out this concept was not all that satisfying. I run pretty low psi, in the mid 30's, and the higher profile of the 650b tire was too squirmy at that psi and when run higher not as compliant as the lower profile 700c 40 and 45c tires I had run previously.
Interesting,,, just trail tested these Panaracers with a 7 mile off road ride and was very impressed. Used 50lb pressure & I'm 145 lb wt. Would have preferred 35 lb pressure, but was concerned about pinch flats due to very rocky terrain. Perfect through lots of old creek beds with many stones, and competent through all types of fire road and single track surfaces. Limitation seen on some rocky steeps related to my bike type only (not having a full suspension) but the tires were fine. I would highly recommend the switch from the Smart Sams to a nobbier and wider tire for the Haibike Cross SL if you do much off road terrain at all.

Last edited by a moderator: