Haibike Xduro HardSeven 6.0 eBike Review

natrat

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Haibike is a German manufacturer, (despite their Chinese sounding name) that started out making non-E MTBs but they have progressed heavily into eBikes. AFAIK, they currently run either Bosch or Yamaha systems, no Shimano or others. Prior to 2018, an "Sduro" indicated Yamaha, and an "Xduro" indicated Bosch, but for 2018 they got away from that and confusingly started naming less aggressive bikes "Sduro" and more aggressive bikes "Xduro", regardless of motor system.

I got a killer deal from a local shop on a 2016 Xduro (Bosch) HardNine (29'er) 5.0 hardtail and have ridden it for about nine months. I use the stock 29" wheels with some 700x40 cyclocross tires for commutes, and I added a set of 27.5x2.6" wheels for MTB use. I love the bike, and my wife does as well. We decided to get another eBike so we can E together.

I found a 2017 Xduro (Bosch) HardSeven 6.0 at Random Bike Parts for a great price. This is a native 27.5"x3.0 bike, as opposed to the 27.5 conversion I did on the HardNine. Advantages include a proper BB height and since this is a 27.5 "Plus" bike, clearance for bigger tires.

The 2017 HardSeven 6.0 is a 27.5x3.0" Boost hardtail MTB, with a Bosch Performance CX system (Intuvia display), 500WH battery, RockShox Yari fork with 120mm of travel, SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain with an 11-42 cassette and the Bosch 18T chainring, Magura MT4 brakes, *nice* wheels with Haibike branded (Formula, I think) hubs, Alex MT40 rims (27.5x40mm), and Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x3.0 tires. The rest of the spec is Haibike house-branded cockpit (works great, saddle is extremely comfortable), and some worthless shit pedals.

After assembling the bike, which came in the most enormous bike box I have ever seen (shipping weight= 80lb!), pumping up the tires (20lb since there are tubes) and shock, and putting some actual pedals on, I went for a ride.

Bosch systems have five power modes: Off, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo, each with progressively more power output. The HardSeven was upgraded by Random before shipping to the latest firmware from Bosch, so "Sport" mode is "eMTB" mode. Check out the Bosch website for information about eMTB, but the bottom line is that it makes the power delivery completely intuitive based on the amount of force the rider puts into the crank. It allows a rider on trails to "set it and forget it". Rather than just multiplying the power input, it senses crank speed, bike speed, power input, and gearing to make the feel as close to "normal" as possible. It especially makes a difference at low speeds, where the rider is approaching an obstacle to wheelie over, or when a rider is attempting to start from a dead stop on a steep uphill grade. The Intuvia display is theoretically the top of the Bosch line, but it sits on a perch on top of the stem. It provides a lot of information, including trip time, trip distance, speed, average speed, power remaining, power settings, overall distance, and time of day. It has a really nice "progress bar" showing the exact amount of power currently being provided by the motor battery system as well. Controls are conveniently located at the rider's left thumb, as well as on the display itself. With that said, I *hate* the display. It is huge, obtrusive, and in a very vulnerable position. You might as well resign yourself to killing this thing in a crash someday. It also prevents you from turning the bike upside down and resting it on the handlebars and saddle. I never do this with my "normal" bikes, but once you have attempted to remove a wheel from a 50 lb eBike one time, you will see the value in flipping the behemoth over and working on it upside down. The display is easliy removed, but you have to remember to do that, or you will scratch the hell out of the screen. The easy removeability also means you should remove it every time you stop at a coffee shop or whatever, or someone will swipe it. Bosch offers the "Purion" display that has fewer features but which sits next to the grip on the left side, and that would be a better option for actual off road use. It can be swapped in place of the Intuvia, and runs about $120. It also can't be easily removed, which might make you feel better about leaving it in a bike rack at the local Starb**ks.

The drivetrain is SRAM NX 11-speed. While this is the lowest tier of 11-speed shifting in the SRAM sport MTB lineup, the performance is amazing. Honestly, the torture I have put the older HardNine through should have broken *something*, but is just keeps ticking. The HardSeven has the same drivetrain, and it again proves that if you don't mind a few ounces of weight, the NX group is simply amazing. The Bosch motor system does not allow for a dual chainring setup on the front, and the only complaint is that the 42 tooth low combined with the Bosch/Haibike 18T chainring is simply not low enough for some situations, even with assist. The Bosch system has a 2.5:1 gear reduction, making the 18T operate essentially like a 45T "normal" chainring. 45x42 is simply not low enough. There are smaller chainrings available, and since the NX is not available with a larger cog than 42, a smaller chainring is an upgrade that riders in mountainous areas will want to consider. Unfortunately, swapping the chainring requires a somewhat pricey special Bosch tool, so you might want to leave that task to your dealer. The other downside to the Bosch gear reduction is the slight whine you constantly hear, even when pedaling with power off. Obviously, there must be a small amount of drag as well. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs.


The 27.5x3.0 wheels on the HardSeven 6.0 transform the riding experience. Seemingly bottomless float and traction are available. The HardNine I converted to 27.5 for trail use has great traction and "float" over obstacles, but even with low 18lb pressures, has some kick and roughness over the steep, rocky trails here in Colorado. The 27.5x3.0 sized wheel/tires seem to soak up trail gnar while allowing insane cornering and braking traction, even with the tubes and 20lb of pressure I am running out of the box. The wheels are stout and probably really heavy, but ebikes are heavy beasts, so there. A tubeless upgrade allowing 15lb pressures would improve the ride even more, I'll be doing that. The combination of rubber, weight, and geometry work together to provide extreme confidence. Since this is a hardtail, you still get some "hit" on drops, and there is a little soft bobbing on the flats and on climbs where you are cranking 80+RPM, but the very, very large tires (thanks POTUS), and the structurally stiff, relatively soft riding RockShox Yari fork soak up anything short of large air. The Yari "only" provides 120mm of relatively soft travel, but once you figure out the compression and rebound settings along with proper air pressure in the fork, you do not feel held back by the somewhat short travel. On the downside here, Haibike did not include a shock pump, but I think this is the way all manufacturers have gone.
 
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natrat

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The Haibike frame is a marvel of aluminum engineering, with every tube being custom drawn and shaped for the specific model and size of frame. The welds are large, but they look solid. The HardSeven is a "boost" bike, sporting 148x12 rear through axles, and the fork is 110x15. Since the Bosch drive by default has a large "Q" factor (space between the crankarms), the Boost spacing works perfectly. The paint is top notch, a kind of very durable powder coat. This particular bike is a nice silver with throwback 80's neon green accents on the graphics, skidplate, and saddle rails. Haibike does a great job in general with their aesthetics, and this bike is no exception.

They jury is out on the Magura MT4 brakes, since I have not yet had a chance to roast them on a multiple-mile downhill, but they feel great, with a firm pull but plenty of power, at least *after* they were bedded in. Honestly, when new, they were scary in their lack of power. They scared me so much, I actually read the Magura Owner's Manual, and found Magura recommends 20-30 hard stops from 20+MPH as a break-in procedure. Well, OK then. After actually following the Magura Owner's Manual, the brakes transformed. The front is a 200mm rotor, rear is 185mm. Plenty of power after the break-in, and nice modulation as well. The rotors looked a little golden brown after the break-in, but whatever. Hopefully they'll perform well under our Colorado-length abuse, and if they don't, I'll post up later.

The Bosch 500WH battery clips into the downtube. It has a key lock, and install/removal are easy. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of room and there are no water bottle cages on the bike. Based on our other Bosch Haibike, range should be amazing. I get ridiculous range performance out of the Bosch system with the same battery on the 2016 HardNine. I have ridden very tough three hour rides with 3000ft of elevation gain and finished with 40% of the battery left. If anything is different with the 2017 I'll post later. One downside is that the default charger shipped by Haibike is huge. It is the size and weight of a house brick, so carrying it to work in a backpack (in case you have a 40 mile commute or just like to use the heck out of the motor) would be a pain. Bosch makes a smaller charger that takes longer to charge the battery, I guess it is up to the end user to decide whether speed of charging of the large brick is worth the weight penalty. The smaller charger is over $100, so maybe sucking it up and hauling the big one is not so bad. BTW, the Bosch 500WH battery is $900, so don't abuse or lose it!

The rest of the bike is yada-yada. The handlebars handlebar, the stem stems, the grips grip, and the seatpost is way too long at 400mm and you might need to cut it to get a proper saddle height, since the seat tube has a curve in it. The HardSeven is a Medium and I am 5'9" on a good day, and If I were 5'7" I think the seatpost would need to be trimmed. On the bright side, I think I could lend the bike to someone 6'4" and they would be able to get a proper saddle height, and the bike has a quick release seat binder, so that would be easy. A dropper is definitely in the cards for this bike, and internal routing is possible according to a few internet posts I have been able to ferret out. I will again mention that the Haibike saddle is some kind of magic as long as you are not concerned with weight. The HardNine and the HardSeven both appear to have the same, somewhat wide saddle, and it is completley awesome. Great synthetic cover, just the right amount of padding (not too much), and a shape that just fits my late-middle aged butt. I am tempted to buy one for my "normal" MTB, it is that good.

Bottom line on the 2017 Haibike HardSeven 6.0: The 27.5 x3.0 wheels are an eBike sweet spot, and I am in love. Haibike engineers the heck out of their bikes, and it shows in the frame quality and component selection. The Bosch system with eMTB mode makes you feel like a stud uphill and on the flats, and doesn't get in the way too much when cruising at low/no power. Battery life is astounding. The Bosch system reeks of quality.

What I would change:

- Purion display instead of vulnerable Intuvia
- A dropper seatpost
- A water bottle cage *somewhere* on the bike
- Lower gearing
- Give us the smaller charger

There you go. I am 2 for 2 on Haibikes. They make good rigs. Bosch makes a great motor/battery system, and even if eBikes never progressed technologically from here, I am a happy guy. I have over 100 miles of eBike-legal singletrack within an hour of my house, including 50 miles I can ride to/from my driveway. In addition, I have easy access to hundreds of miles of steep, gnarly 4WD road that make for great eMTB riding, even though they *suck* on a normal MTB. Something about riding 3000 rocky vertical feet at 9000-12000 feet of elevation makes riding a "normal" MTB a sufferfest, but on the eMTB, the world is my oyster, or something like that. Life is good.
 

Butch

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Good review. Glad you are enjoying your purchase. I also enjoy ripping my ebikes.
 

MikeTowpathTraveler

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Great and thorough review, Honkinunit. As an owner of a Yamaha drive Haibike FullFat Six, I concur on everything you state about the quality of this brand, right out of the box.
 

howardv

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Thanks for the in depth review. Haibike was (is?) having a closeout sale of all their 2017 bikes at substantial discount. If anyone was looking for an e-bike, this was a no-brainer a the clearance prices. Absolutely the best value for the money.

I purchased 2 e-bikes from them. A Trekking Sduro 4.0 initially so I could go places without sweating (meet friends for dinner, get a haircut, go to dentist, etc...). I loved it so much that I went back a couple of months later and bought their Full9 6.5 mountain bike. The Full9 has full suspension (fox shocks and forks), a Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes, Yamaha motor, and 29" wheels. All for $3K. It's a friggin steal!
 

levity

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*** You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to honkinunit again. ***

Nice review, honkinunit! (y) (y)

If you want lower gearing you could replace the rear cassette with one having a wider range. IIRC, the NX cassette mounts on a standard Shimano type free-hub, so you can swap in something like a Sunrace 11-46 or SLX/XT 11-46 to get almost a 10% lower gear. The 46 cog on the SLX/XT is a bail out (jumping from a 37) but the Sunrace has closer ratios in the low gear range (--36-40-46).
 

honkinunit

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I thought about putting an 11-46 on, but I'm not sure how well the NX derailleur would handle the 46 cog. It shifts so well right now I'd rather go with a smaller chainring. Losing some top end won't matter since this bike will be ridden 95% on trails. If I wanted to use it as a crossover commuter, losing the top end gearing would be an issue.

For anyone thinking of swapping Bosch chainrings, this is a really, really well done how-to video from "Scooteretti":

 

ruthabagah

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Nice review! I love my all mntn 5.0! And I agree that a dropper post is a must have for haibikes since they are usually pretty tall bikes.

I own 2 levo and one haibike and even if it's considered the "ugly duck" of the pack compared to the specialized, it never let me down and has been a great companion for fast trails. rock garden and tight descents are not the ideal use for this type of geometry.
 
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