Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 2018 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The German company HaiBike exclusively produces e-bikes, and the XDURO AllMtn 8.0 falls roughly in the middle of their XDURO AllMtn trail bike range. The HaiBike was undoubtedly fun to ride, all of our testers agree on that, but over the course of our head to head testing, we exposed many weaknesses that caused it to lose ground to its competitors. While the bike did deliver strong power output that our testers enjoyed, we found the bike to be lacking in many other aspects of its performance that kept it from being anyone's favorite. Overall, it felt like the bike just didn't come together as well, lacking the refinement of the Commencal, Bulls, and Specialized models we tested. The bike's massive and chunky Schwalbe Magic Mary tires were a component spec highlight, providing incredible amounts of traction while climbing and descending, but after that, we were a bit confused by many of the other parts on this bike. The use of a 2x drivetrain seems unnecessary on a pedal assist bike and proved to be a low point for all of our testers, with the front shifter causing the handlebar to be especially cluttered. Other issues like a rattling battery, while not a deal breaker, was annoying and unnerving on the descents.
The Yamaha PW-X motor and system has a relatively good e-bike control setup. The system employs a two button electronic shifter on the left side of the handlebar near the front shifter. The two buttons shift up or down through the motor's five support settings and are located conveniently within thumbs reach. The shifter also has a walk assist button that provides a little power in the event you are pushing your bike up the hill. This shifter system was a little large for our taste, but it worked well and shifting through the different settings was easy and intuitive, although it lacks the ergonomics of the Shimano Steps shifter found on the Commencal Meta Power Race 650 B+.
Here we question the use of the 2x drivetrain on the HaiBike. The presence of a front shifter causes the left side of the handlebar to be cluttered with it and the e-bike controls, forcing the dropper post remote over onto the right side of the handlebar. People accustomed to the dropper remote located by the left hand, as all of our testers are, had a hard time getting used to this positioning on the HaiBike. This was especially frustrating since we rarely, if ever, shifted the front derailleur out of the big ring. We all felt that it seemed unnecessary to have this many gears on a bike with pedal assist and would have been much happier with a 1x drivetrain and a less cluttered handlebar.
The Yamaha PW-X system on the HaiBike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 features the Yamaha LCD-X display which is attached to the handlebar near the stem. The digital display shows the support setting, battery charge, remaining distance range, and current speed. The display also has an LED light at the top that has specific colors to differentiate between the output settings at a glance. While we liked the presence of a digital display, testers felt that it was a little larger than they would like and is susceptible to contact with the knee or other potential damage. Testers also found that there was so much information on the display that it was more difficult to read than that on the Commencal or on the Bulls, but it was definitely better than no digital display like the Specialized Turbo Levo.
The connection port for charging the battery is in an easy to reach location on the side of the battery body, unlike that of the Specialized which is tucked down low by the bottom bracket. The provided charging cord is nice and long and provides plenty of length to reach a far away outlet. One of our testers felt the connection end of the charging cord seemed flimsy when he accidentally stepped on it and thought it was broken, but thankfully it survived.
During the course of our testing, one of our testers flatted the rear tire on the HaiBike and installed a tube as a fix, standard solution for a standard problem. Unbeknownst to the tester, the sensor that is attached to the rear wheel was shifted out of position during the flat tire incident. Once the flat was fixed, the tester realized something was amiss when the digital display was giving him speed readings that were all over the place with the drive motor refusing to function properly due to the incorrect speed readings. Shortly thereafter, he realized that the sensor could be the cause of the problem and adjusted it back into the correct position, returning the system to normal functionality. While the sensor is typically an element of the e-bike controls that you don't really have to deal with, it is still an important part of the equation as evidenced by this situation.
The HaiBike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 performed admirably on the descents, although nimble was not an adjective thrown around by any of our testers to describe its downhill performance. Though it weighed roughly the same at the other models tested, this bike had the heaviest feel and felt more at home at speed than tackling anything slow and technical. The highlight for our testers was the spec of the wide and super knobby Schwalbe Magic Mary tires, an excellent choice that gave this bike unbeatable traction in all situations.
The bike has modern trail bike geometry with our measurements showing a slack 65.5-degree head tube angle and a steep 75.3-degree seat tube. Testers found the reach to feel a bit short on this bike, at 427mm on the size medium frame that we tested, 19mm shorter than the Commencal Meta Power Race 650B+, but just 8 mm shorter than the Specialized Turbo Levo or the Bulls E-Stream EVO.
The 150mm Fox Float Performance 34 fork matched well with the Fox Float DPS Performance EVOL shock in the rear. The suspension felt stout and predictable and there were no complaints about its performance. The HaiBike also comes spec'd with a HaiBike XLC AllMtn dropper seat post that worked well throughout the course of our testing. The XDURO AllMtn comes with Magura MT5 brakes front and rear with a 203mm rotor in the front and a 180mm rotor in the rear to handle the duties of slowing down and stopping this heavy machine. Testers weren't wild about the feel and interesting braking noise of the Magura brakes, but they performed their job relatively well regardless. A nice wide 780mm handlebar and a short stout stem handled the steering duties of this weighty rig.
All of our testers found the battery on the HaiBike to rattle when the going got rough on descents, and while this didn't seem to affect performance we all agreed that it's distracting and certainly not confidence inspiring. This issue was not experienced on the other bikes in our test and is a problem that we'd not expect to find on a production model e-bike. The position of the battery and motor on the frame is also slightly higher than the competition, consequently, the weight and center of gravity feels like it sits higher on the frame and could possibly explain why this bike feels heavier and less comfortable than its competitors in slower, tighter, more technical riding.
Our testers found the HaiBike to perform quite well while climbing, largely due to the consistent and powerful output of the Yamaha PW-X motor. You could feel the power the instant you put any pressure on the pedals, almost as if the bike was itching to get moving, even while stopped if you even weighted the pedal with your foot you could feel the motor twitching and just raring to go. The instant power from the motor was complimented nicely by the predictable and steady output while pedaling and smooth transitions between output settings. Testers enjoyed the fact that the HaiBike's power continued for a fraction of a second after they stopped pedaling, not as long as the Commencal, but long enough to make a difference while climbing and much better than the Specialized's more abrupt power cutoff feel. Even this short moment of continued power made a big difference when climbing through technical sections where we found ourselves pausing our pedal strokes to avoid rocks and the like, and helped to keep us from bogging down under the weight of the bike. The climbing feel of the HaiBike was far from nimble, but it uses power and momentum to its advantage.
The incredible power of the HaiBike does make riding uphill a bit different than on a non-pedal assist bike. Instead of finessing your way up hill, climbing on the HaiBike is more aggressive, sort of point the bike the way you want to go and monster truck your way up it. It's really quite fun.
Uphill performance was enhanced by the big and beefy Schwalbe Magic Mary tires that offered seemingly endless traction throughout the course of our testing.
The bike's steep seat tube angle put the rider in a nice upright position with weight centered nicely on the bike, testers did complain, however, about feeling somewhat cramped on this bike due to the reach feeling a little short. The rear suspension on the XDURO AllMtn 8.0 has dampening settings for use when climbing, but our testers opted to leave it in the open position since climbing efficiency is significantly less of a concern on a pedal assisted bike. Testers also found that keeping the rear suspension more active increased traction and made flying uphill on the HaiBike more comfortable and fun.
While we generally disliked the 2x10 drivetrain spec'd on the HaiBike, it did have more than enough range to tackle just about any situation. Interestingly, testers rarely shifted out of the big ring in the front, but there were plenty more gears if we needed them. Should the battery ever die while out on a ride, having those extra gears might come in handy should you need to pedal this 50 lb beast back to the trailhead without the assistance of the motor.
The HaiBike scored well in the power output rating metric with all of our testers in agreement that the Yamaha PW-X motor had the most torque-y feeling in the group. The power output was the one rating where praise was given readily to the HaiBike, one tester even said, "It had the feel of a naturally aspirated engine with a smooth, consistent power band." The power of the Yamaha PW-X motor was apparent from the moment you touched the pedals, the bike had a twitchy and almost jumpy feel to it, like an anxious racehorse ready to blast out of the starting gate. Once pedaling, the power was delivered strongly and consistently with no hiccups, and shifting between the 5 output settings was impressively smooth.
We found the five different output settings, +Eco, Eco, STD, High, and Expw, to offer more than enough range, with the top end proving to be the fastest in the bunch with a speed of 20 mph. The HaiBike website claims maximum torque of 80Nm, 10Nm more than the Commencal Meta Power, but 10Nm less than the Bulls. Interestingly, the HaiBike feels the zippiest, perhaps because the Bulls motor accelerates more smoothly. The top end of the motor was a highlight, but the other output settings offered a great amount of choice for the rider.
The only thing we didn't really love about the Yamaha PW-X motor was the noise that it made, it was the loudest of the bikes in our test selection. It wasn't unbearable by any means, but it definitely reminded you and announced to the world that you're riding an e-bike. The Commencal had a slightly quieter motor noise, and the Specialized and Bulls were by far the quietest of the bunch.
All the models in our test selection, with the exception of the Bulls, had a similar storage capacity, the HaiBike and Specialized at 500Wh, and the Commencal at 504Wh. Battery storage doesn't directly compute into distance range, so we did some head to head testing to find out which bike could go the farthest on a full charge.
In our distance range testing, we found the HaiBike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 to finish in a respectable third place compared to the bikes with comparable battery storage. In the end, the HaiBike went 17.8 miles and 3,200 vertical feet, 4% farther than the Commencal Meta Power Race 650B+ at 17.1 miles and 3,100 vertical feet, but less than the Trek Powerfly at 18.6 miles and 3,200 vertical feet, and 15% less than the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie which traveled 20.6 miles and 3,455 vertical feet. Clearly, it wasn't the best, but we feel that this is respectable.
The Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 4 has a 650Wh battery, so it makes sense that it was able to travel significantly farther than all of the competitors with smaller batteries.
The HaiBike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 is built around their 6061 Aluminum Gravity Cast frame that features 150mm of rear wheel travel. The frame has Yamaha's PW-X motor integrated into the bottom bracket area, with a Yamaha 500Wh Lithium Ion battery attached to the downtube. Suspension duties were given to a Fox 34 Float Performance fork with 150mm of travel, and a Fox Float DPS Performance EVOL shock in the rear. The Performance level Fox suspension works quite well, and it felt relatively well-balanced front and rear. HaiBike spec'd their own XLC AllMtn dropper seat post, which lacks bling factor, but worked reliably during our testing.
HaiBike broke the mold with the drivetrain on the XDURO AllMtn 8.0 and it is spec'd with a 2x10 Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain. With the current crop of 1x drivetrains on the market plus the added benefit of pedal-assisted power, our testers thought this was quite odd. This drivetrain choice also clutters the handlebar with a front shifter and a whole lot of cables, which causes the dropper post remote to be in an odd location on the right side of the bar. Our testers were not big fans of this setup, but the Shimano shifting worked flawlessly for us during testing as expected.
The task of slowing and stopping this heavyweight machine was placed on Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes with a 203mm rotor in the front and a 180mm rotor in the rear. Our testers weren't wild about the feel or the interesting braking noise of the Magura stoppers, but they seemed to work adequately during the course of our testing. Those brakes were attached to set of HaiBike branded hubs laced to super wide Alexrims MD40 rims. These wheels felt stout and are nice and wide to handle the 27.5"x2.8" Schwalbe Magic Mary tires that are mounted to them. The Magic Mary's are very knobby and provide incredible amounts of traction, definitely one of the highlights of this build for our testers. The build is rounded out by a short and stout HaiBike branded stem and a 780mm HaiBike Gravity handlebar.
Overall, the HaiBike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 has a pretty nice build, but our testers thoroughly disliked the 2x drivetrain and cluttered handlebar.
If you've always wanted to be a monster truck driver, then this might be the choice for you. The combination of a torque heavy motor, big beefy tires, and somewhat sluggish handling make this bike best suited for picking a line and powering through it.
At $5,000 it's hard to say that this bike represents a good value. The XDURO AllMtn 8.0 is fun to ride, but until the total package is more refined it would be hard to recommend this bike over the others in this review which are offered at a similar price point. Simple changes like a 1x drivetrain and a rattle-free battery would make a big difference in our eyes and help make this bike a contender.
We would never say that HaiBike's XDURO AllMtn 8.0 isn't fun to ride, because that just wouldn't be true. As much as we enjoyed riding this powerful e-bike, we all agreed that the Bulls, Commencal, and the Specialized offered a more refined package that came together better out on the trail. The Yamaha PW-X pedal assist motor provides impressive power output and certainly impressed us all, but on the trail the bike's handling and demeanor never really knocked our socks off. In most situations the HaiBike felt a bit like a monster truck, not nimble or easy to turn, but ready to smash over obstacles in a straight line at speed whether climbing or descending. Some simple changes to this bike's component spec would also make it more appealing, especially a 1x drivetrain which would help to clear up some real estate on the handlebar and make the cockpit setup more ergonomic. The rattling battery and louder motor noise were also universally disliked, and another aspect that we feel could be improved to create a more pleasant riding experience. That being said, if you're looking for a powerful e-bike with monster truck handling, then this might be the e-mtb for you.
Other Versions and Accessories
HaiBike makes a full line of e-bikes for every type of riding. They offer six models in their XDURO AllMtn range of trail e-MTBs including the AllMtn 8.0 reviewed here which falls roughly in the middle of their range. All of the XDURO AllMtn models are based on the same frame design and some have the same Yamaha PW-X pedal assist motor and battery, while three of the models use the Bosch Performance CX drive unit. Their top of the line model, the XDURO AllMtn 10.0, retails for $6,400. The 10.0 model has several component upgrades, including a Fox 34 Float Factory fork, Fox DPX2 Float Factory rear shock, DT Swiss HX 1501 wheelset, Magura MT7 brakes, and a KS LEV-DX dropper post.
The 9.0 model is the one of two bikes in their XDURO AllMtn line that uses a different battery and drive system, the Bosch Performance CX drive unit and a Bosch Powertube battery that is integrated into the downtube of the frame. Otherwise the XDURO AllMtn 9.0, which retails for $6,200, has a similar build to the 8.0 model we tested, but with Fox Elite level suspension and a Mavic E-XA Elite wheelset. The next model down the line in price is the XDURO AllMtn 9.5 with a retail price of $6,000. The 9.5 model uses the Bosch Performance CX drive unit, and the Bosch Powerpack 500Wh battery to power it, otherwise it has the same build as the 9.0 model. The 9.0, 9.5, and 7.5 models all feature a unique drive system that goes along with their Bosch Performance CX drive units, the HaiBike S.E.S system, that doesn't use traditional front chairing, but they claim to free the suspension from influences of the motor.
The XDURO AllMtn 7.5 retails for only $300 less than the 8.0 model we tested, at $4,700, but it comes with the Bosch Performance CX drive unit and Bosch Powerpack battery. The component spec features a Rock Shox Yari RC fork and Monarch RT3 rear shock, SRAM NX 11 speed drivetrain, TRP Slate G-Spec brakes, and a wheelset with Alexrims rims built around HaiBike brand hubs.
Haibike's least expensive model, the XDURO AllMtn 6.0, retails for $4,200. This model has a Suntour Aion 35 RC fork, Rock ShoxDeluxe RT rear shock, Shimano Deore M6000 2x10 drivetrain, Magura MT32 brakes, and an Alexrims/HaiBike hubs wheelset.Of all the models mentioned above, the 9.0 seems the most interesting with the downtube integrated battery that will hopefully address the battery rattling issue we experienced on the 8.0 model we tested.
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