- A high-performance electric mountain bike available in four frame sizes, stiff carbon frame for improved power transfer and handling, carbon accents include seat post, saddle, handlebar, wheelset and more
- Eleven speed Shimano Deore XTR drivetrain with Di2 electronic shifting for faster, more precise gear changes and reduced chain wear, the Bosch motor controller is also designed to reduce mashing
- Beautifully integrated motor and battery pack, the weight is kept low and center, shielding is minimalist but effective, unique Sprocket Equalizing System raises the chain and reduces kickback
- Prohibitively expensive at ~$16k, the weight is low compared to most other ebikes I have reviewed but it wasn't as light as I expected at ~42.5 lbs, the wheelset may only accommodate up to ~209 lbs riders
Haibike is a high-end German electric bike manufacturer that was one of the first to integrate with Bosch drive systems and enter the US market. What you see on the XDURO FullSeven Carbon Ultimate is a third generation Bosch Performance Line CX motor that is capable, fast, and fluid. It blends into the frame, and so does the battery pack, because of the custom molded carbon and dark matching colors. This is a stealthy, well balanced, electric bike with impressive power transfer and one of the lightest footprints of any full sized, full suspension, models I have ever tested. But it is a little loud… The carbon rattles and has that plasticky sound that carbon is known for, and the rear hub buzzes because it has more pawls, allowing for faster pickup. The motor produces the same whining noise that all Bosch centerdrives do, but that is mostly covered by the tires hitting the trail and the three-point sprocket system and chain guide clicking along. Considering just how custom this e-bike is, with carbon accents everywhere, I was amazed and impressed that it’s being produced in four different frame sizes. That ensures a much better fit for a wide range of riders. For roughly $17k, you could pick this electric bike up and enjoy top-end performance riding trail, all-mountain, or enduro. And you’d probably attract a lot of atention, but mostly because of the wheelset. The bike delivers 120 mm travel front and rear with custom tuned air suspension from Fox. The shifting is crisp and fast with Shimano XTR Di2 electronic buttons and derailleur that unfortunately are not running off the main battery pack. Note also, that the stem is custom because it requires a wire from the Di2 shifter pad down into the steering tube where the separate battery is housed. I did some research into electronic shifting benefits and found that some road bikes have multiple shifting buttons (in the hoods, drops, and flat portions of the handle bar) but you only get one shifting point here. It works well enough and allows for multiple gear shifts. I found the bike slightly more enjoyable to ride than the standard Aluminum alloy Haibikes shown in all of the other reviews because I could toss it around more easily. I’m not a heavy or particularly strong person (weighing in at ~135 lbs) and prefer non-electric bikes for jumping and playing. For the first time, I felt a similar sensation on an ebike and it got me excited for the future. My guess and hope is that the molds for the FullSeven Carbon frame will be used to produce other, less expensive, carbon models in the future. In fact, this review is for the 2016 model which has been renamed to Haibike XDURO FullSeven Carbon 10.0 for 2017. The products are very similar in terms of specs but unfortunately, quite difficult to come by for reviews… the primary difference being battery capacity. For 2017 the Carbon 10.0 got an upgrade to the new Bosch Powerpack 500 battery which offers 25% greater capacity. Thankfully, you can purchase this pack aftermarekt on your own for ~$900 and it will still interface properly with the older model like the FullSeven Carbon Ultimate here. As someone with limited funds and an eye for bargains, the 2016 Ultimate would be easier to find at a discount and polish up. Because it uses the Bosch Performance Line CX motor, you could even have your local Haibike shop upgrade the software to enable the new eMTB mode which enhances Sport mode. The bike has five drive modes: Off, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo. Each step up delivers more power… but now with eMTB mode, the Sport level behaves more like an all-in-one mode. You can pedal gently and get an efficient, low level of assist, or you can pedal hard and get 100% power just like Turbo mode. It makes doing wheelies much easier! I really like how it behaves, more like a pure torque sensor, and appreciate not having to think about arrowing up or down on the button pad in addition to shifting.
There are so many things to say about carbon fiber frames but I think Chris and I demonstrated the aesthetics and base performance well in the video. In some ways it’s more delicate than aluminum but in other ways it is just as strong or perhaps moreso, they did not use cheap or weak carbon to construct this electric bicycle. Regardless, I felt a little sensitive riding something so beautiful and expensive. The wheels alone are a sight to behold. Rather than use spoked rims, Haibike opted for bladed carbon with a custom magnet inset for their rear wheel speed sensor. I did some research and found some references to a 209 lb weight limit for these wheels while Haibike says the bike is rated for ~250 lbs. It’s probably not something that lighter riders will need to worry about unless they are really pushing the bike hard. I did notice the faster power transfer, the quickness of the bike, and I came to appreciate how much thought went into how they could cut grams. In a world where more and more super high-end ebikes have integrated batteries, the Bosch Powerpack 400 stands out a little bit, but it’s also forward compatible and much easier to remove and replace if necessary. This is a premium ebike that you can keep going and is for more than just show. I’m not a pro mountain biker but I did take this bike through the woods and on some dirt paths in Brooklyn, New York, and felt that it performed well. The 27.5″ wheel size is quick and nimble, not being plus sized, and rolls efficiently over bumpy terrain. It’s becoming my favorite wheel size compared to 26″ and 29″ and I actually like the narrower 2.35″ diameter vs. 2.6″ or 2.8″ on the tires here because they turn quickly and can fit through narrow sections vs. rolling over everything. This whole bike felt more like a precision surgical instrument… it was tight, fast, and very light. You get quick release wheels with thru-axles, a removable battery pack and display panel, and a hard carbon saddle. The saddle wasn’t as comfortable as traditional rubber/leather options but the thing I noticed more was the missing dropper seat post. I’ve become a real fan of this technology but I can see how it would add weight and why they skipped it.
At the end of the day, I’m not a racer. This is an ebike that’s fun to ride and ogle but I would probably add weight immediately by swapping the seat post and saddle… and possibly other parts. Given the 42.5 lb weight vs. ~46 lbs on similar full suspension products, like the Felt DUALe shown in the video, I couldn’t justify the expense. It’s a privilege to get to ride something like this and share back here with video and bullet points. There’s a lot of lower level stuff that I didn’t cover here that you can find in other Haibike reviews on the site, like the Micro-USB charging port on the display, the way the motor senses wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque ~1,000 times per second, the Sprocket Equalizing System to reduce kickback and the narrow wide tooth pattern on the chainring to reduce slip. This bike takes all of the amazing design work from lower models and shaves off as much weight as possible. It’s a super-model. If you’re fortunate enough to get one, I’m sure you will have a blast, but you might also ride it less frequently (if you’re just a hobbyist) because it isn’t as rugged or durable as an aluminum frame. This thing was really built to race and show off… like in a shop window (but watch out for direct sunlight as I’ve heard that can degrade carbon fiber). The demo unit we filmed for this video actually had some cracks running along the top tube that may be the result of flex? I’m open to feedback and input, my understanding is that paint flexes differently than frame materials and that this wasn’t necessarily a structural issue. The bike had been ridden by a number of other reporters and passed around at demo events. Another question mark, the top assisted speed is limited to 20 mph which is a little disappointing now that Bosch has a Performance Speed motor and this is such a sporty product, but there are aftermarket dongles that can change this (and void your warranty, so beware). I had no problem zipping up to speed and even pedaling beyond 20 mph on leg power alone. Once again, this thing represents the culmination of material engineering and drive system optimization. It’s sleek, beautiful, more useful, and long lasting than a lot of other ultrabikes, and for that I give it a big thumbs up.
- The Fox suspension fork is ebike specific and was tuned for enduro use, the official website says that the chassis has also received special attention with additional material in critical areas
- Apparently the carbon wheelset is usually only available in Germany, it looks awesome, reduces weight, and has been custom cast to fit the tracking magnet for the Bosch wheel speed sensor
- Since carbon fiber can be custom molded, the frame is very smooth, I especially like the motor interface and battery mount interface which has some cupping to help the pack blend into the frame, the fork is not carbon but the brake levers, handlebar, risers, seat post, saddle, frame, and wheelset are
- Carbon fiber, being stiffer than aluminum and steel, provides excellent power transfer, both you and the motor are going to be able to start faster
- The motor and battery are positioned low and center, their black cases blend perfectly with the dark carbon accents and I love how smooth the protective shield is below the motor and how the cables are all internally routed… you get excellent balance and a stealthier look all at once
- I was impressed to see that the spoke protector shield was also made from carbon and used velcro to attach to the wheelset, this shield will protect the wheels from overshifting, there’s also a little fender protector thing on the stanchion of the rear shock
- The battery pack can be charged on or off the frame and has a minimalist cover to protect the plug interface from dust and water, you can make the bike lighter during transport by taking the battery off
- The display panel can also be removed which reduces sun damage or scratches during transport, I like that the Bosch Intuvia has a Micro-USB port on the top right edge for charging a phone or other portable device while riding
- You get the most powerful Bosch motor on this ebike, the CX offers up to 75 Newton meters of torque output and has firmware which can now be updated to eMTB Mode which allows for low to full output on Sport mode so you don’t have to arrow up or down while riding, it’s more like a pure torque sensor
- Both wheels attach to the frame using thru-axles vs. 9 mm skewers, these offer increased stiffness and strength for high speed riding over rough terrain, both have quick release as well for easier maintenance and transport
- You get Magura’s highest level hydraulic brakes, the MT8 uses a dual piston caliper which is large and sturdy but lighter than the quad piston, the carbon brake levers offer adjustable reach and are very smooth with large 203/180 mm rotors
- Haibike opted for a narrow-wide chainring to increase grab and has pioneered a “sprocket equalizing system”
which is a pulley that basically lifts the chain to reduce kickback as the rear swing arm travels, this pulley has a chain guide built in so you shouldn’t have any drops
- Electronic shifting is fast, precise, and may reduce wear on the chains compared with manual shifting… with the Bosch centerdrive motor you get shift-detection which is designed to ease off motor power when shifting occurs
- Because the Bosch Performance Line motor controller measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque,
it feels very natural and smooth vs. jerky or overpowering
- This is one of the lightest weight full sized, full suspension, electric bikes I have ever tested, at just over 42 pounds, it’s impressive… but I was surprised that the Felt FULLe which is an aluminum full suspension ebike, was only 46 lbs, I thought the weight difference would be a bigger
- Haibike uses these plastic adapters that allow for larger entry and exit points on the frame with internal cable routing which makes it easier to service, once the wires are in place, the plastic porthole pieces are installed and the wires look clean
- The carbon hardware might chatter a bit at high speed compared to Aluminum or Titanium, it’s a strong, stiff,
lightweight material but it can also be sensitive to direct sunlight
- Aluminum will dent and deform but carbon will crack under high impact which can make it unrideable, this bike is almost a showpiece or a race-only platform
- Unfortunately, the Di2 electronic shifter and display readout must be charged separately from the Bosch Powerpack 400 battery, the Di2 battery is located inside the steering tube
- It costs a lot more to build a carbon fiber bike than an aluminum alloy or steel bike right now, because you have to make special molds… so this ebike is super expensive, I was amazed that they offer it in four frame sizes because that means four different molds!
- I understand why they didn’t include rack bosses but a bottle cage mounting point would be nice, there’s no kickstand (not surprising) but be careful not to let the bike tip as it might be more vulnerable than aluminum
- I missed having a dropper seatpost, perhaps it would add too much weight for reacing but it makes mounting and transitioning from climbs to drops much easier
- Because the Bosch Performance Line motors use a smaller sprocket that rotates 2.5 times as fast as your own pedal cadence, I feel like it’s fast and responsive but also noisier than Brose and some other systems, you get this distinct humming noise as demonstrated in the video review above, the freewheel is also pretty noisy because it has more pawls to produce faster pickup