Haibike offers a wide range of performance oriented electric bikes including the Fullseven RX here which is a full suspension 27.5″ model… see where they got that name from? It used to be called the FS RX or FS 27.5″ in 2014 and aside from the name, most of the bike remains unchanged (which isn’t a bad thing). It’s one of my favorite models in the line because it keeps price relatively low while offering a high end Shimano XT drivetrain, hydraulic M615 disc brakes and RockShox Recon Gold air suspension (with remote lockout). It’s impressively light at just ~48 lbs and comes in three frame sizes for a performance fit. Note that the FSRX was available in four frame sizes and you can still get that model in the smallest 40 cm as a substitute for the Fullseven in the US (they had extras in that size). The top tube is angled for comfortable stand over and most of the electronic wires, shifting cables and brake lines are internally routed. This is an electric bike that’s responsive, powerful and sturdy with 10 cogs for climbing or blasting down hills. It’s got an integrated sprocket equalizing system with narrow-wide tooth configuration to reduce chain slip, a chain guide plate on the front sprocket to reduce snags and drops and a sturdy plastic casing to protect the drive unit from rocks, sticks and other trail debris. There’s not a lot to complain about here but the price did rise a bit when they changed the name and upgraded a few components. This is a German engineered mountain bike with electric assist… you don’t get a throttle, the tires won’t spin out and the top speed is 20 mph in America. Power fades smoothly as you reach this mark and I’ve rarely topped it with pedal power on flat trails due to the weight, knobby tires and suspension. For downhill sections it’s easy to reach 30+ and there’s no drag thanks to a freewheeling system on the motor. Other quick highlights include a tapered head tube for handling strength, four bar linkage system on the rear swing arm with motor and battery weight factored into the design, light weight hydroformed tubing and oversized 203 mm front and 180 mm rear disc brake rotors for excellent stopping power.
Driving this bike is a 350 watt geared centerdrive motor from Bosch. It offers 60 newton meters of torque and responds to the rear wheel speed, your pedal cadence and pedal torque to switch on and off smoothly and quickly. It also has shift detection built in so you’ll experience less wear on the chain and sprocket teeth over time. While many other mid-drive electric bikes use traditional sized chainrings, Bosch systems use smaller sprockets up front that rotate about 2.5x for every pedal stroke. This allows the motor to operate at a higher RPM and gain a mechanical advantage while pulling the chain. I think it also allows for faster chain stop as the motor disengages. These front sprockets come in three sizes but the manufacturer identifies and produces the optimal configuration for each application. The Fullseven RX uses one of the smallest sizes, it’s a 16 tooth sprocket to improve climbing power and they’ve designed in the bash plate and SES equalizing system mentioned earlier to reduce kickback on rough terrain. As shown in the video, at higher RPMs there is a distinct whining noise produced by the motor but that is somewhat masked by the sound of your tires rolling over dirt, sticks and rocks off-road. This is especially true with the very bumpy Nobby Nic tires on this bike vs. some other models in the Haibike lineup. Note that I was in the highest level of assist for most of my ride tests in order to accentuate motor noise and illustrate the speed with which the Bosch system starts and stops. The outer casing on the motor is purely aesthetic and designed to protect the metal-encased drive unit inside which bolts directly to the motor plate (joining the downtube, seat tube and chain stays).
Powering the XDURO Fullseven is a Bosch Powerpack 400 battery that mounts just above the motor, along the downtube. It’s positioned well for both weight distribution and protection in the event of a crash and it’s removable for transporting and charging off of the frame. You get 36 volts of power and 11 amp hours of capacity here which is a touch above average in terms of size but the way this power is used and the quality of the cells inside is well above average. Inside the pack are 18650 cells made by Samsung, they use an energy dense Lithium-ion chemistry designed to be light weight and long lasting. The pack only weighs ~5.5 lbs so you could conceivably buy a spare and toss it into a backpack for extremely long rides… the charger only weighs ~1.5 lbs and is fairly small as well so brining it along would be lighter if you’ve got a place to plugin. Reaching ~80% takes just one hour but completely filling the pack is closer to three due to cell balancing. I like that the pack itself has an LED readout on the side for showing your charge status (handy if you’ve got the pack inside and can’t remember if it has already been charged) and that it includes an ABUS locking core for security. The pack also has a sort of built in handle that makes it convenient to carry around, dropping it could crack the case and potentially damage the connections inside so this little touch is actually a big deal in my opinion. To really care for this pack and help it reach 1,000+ charge cycles I recommend storing in a cool, dry environment and maintaining a 20% to 80% fill at all times. If you haven’t used the bike for several months time, top off the battery. As mentioned in the video, you can charge the pack on or off the frame using the same unique connector plug. It would be difficult to accidentally use the wrong charger with this ebike and the plug locks in securely which feels good to me… there’s no risk of bending pins or creating a loose connection.
Operating the Fullseven e-bike is very intuitive and comfortable, even while riding, because there’s a large adjustable LCD display panel mounted the center of the handlebar as well as an independent button pad mounted near the left grip. These two interfaces put you in full control of the drive systems and offer multiple ways to do the same standard things. Once the battery is charged and connected to the frame you simply press the power button at the lower left corner of the Intuivia display panel and it comes to life. The LCD offers backlighting for use at dusk or dawn (you can activate it by pressing the bulb switch at the lower right corner of the display) and you can even wire in lights to run off of the same system (might check with your local ebike shop for help with this one). The Intuvia display is removable for storage and protection off of the bike… just make sure the set-screw isn’t installed (this optional screw is designed for security to make the display more permanent). All of the plastic buttons on the display and button pad produce a light “click” when activated which provides a bit of confirmation while riding (if you can’t look down at the display) and they have tested well for me in wet conditions. Near the top right corner of the display there’s a micro USB port (under a rubber flap) that is used for firmware updates and off-bike charging. This port may also be used while the display is mounted to the frame for powering your portable electronics (like an MP3 player or smart phone) but it does have limited voltage (five volts, 500 ma). Once the bike is powered on you can use the up/down keys to navigate through four levels of assist. The highest level offers the most power for climbing and speed but uses significantly more power. I find myself using the two lowest levels of assist most frequently and have been able to reach 50+ miles per charge on relatively flat, smooth terrain even with knobby tires and suspension bob. In addition to pedal assist, there is also a “zero” mode which lets the bike ride without power while still keeping the display on like a traditional cycle computer. The display is full of other readouts and you can explore them by using the little “i” icon (on the display or button pad). These readouts include trip distance, max speed and range (among others). I like range because it actually calculates your “estimated range” on the fly using the remaining battery level and your current assist setting as input.
The Fullseven is a sweet bike even without the electronic drive systems. It has an iconic frame design, application specific rear swing arm build and intricate drivetrain features. Even compared with other electric mountain bikes, it stands out in my mind and although it went up in price slightly from 2014 it’s still a good bargain and you do get that improved fork. The warranty is very solid with five years on the frame and two on the motor and battery and with Bosch you know you’re getting a solid product. I love that the frame comes in three sizes for improved fit and that the wheels offer quick release (for easy transport and maintenance) with 15 mm thru-axles for stiff and rugged operation. My only real complaint is the lack of a water bottle cage mounting point which is common on many full suspension bicycles and especially ebikes. Consider a CamelBak so you don’t get too thirsty out there. This is the most affordable full suspension electric bike from Haibike (one of the most affordable Bosch powered e-bikes from any manufacturer in the US) but it still hangs tough and is excellent for cross country and lighter mountain riding. For a more downhill oriented bike check out the Nduro RX or Nduro Pro. Worth noting here, the FS RX won ebike of the year at Interbike in 2014 and since the Full Seven is basically the newest version of that bike (with upgraded drivetrain and suspension fork) I think it’s worth calling out.
- High quality air suspension by RockShox and Fox that are light and rugged with great adjustability (climb, trail, descend CTD on rear)
- Proprietary Sprocket Equalizing System (SES) reduces chain kickback, keeps the chain from slapping the rear stay when riding on rough terrain and reduces drops, the SES chainring has teeth that alternate from narrow to wide which helps reduce slipping
- The hydraulic disc brake rotors are enormous with 203 mm in the front and 180 in the rear for improved leverage, stiffer thru-axle design keeps brakes and wheel aligned under pressure and when going on/off for maintenance
- Quick release on front and rear wheel makes the bike easier to break down when transporting it in your car and comes in handy for trail maintenance, also makes the bike less intimidating to work on
- Excellent range thanks to the efficient centerdrive motor that leverages the rear cassette and high performance Lithium-ion 396 watt hour battery
- Great torque output, this bike can climb very well in Turbo mode when you’re pedaling with a lower gear
- Battery pack locks to the frame for security and uses a quality ABUS core with in-cut routed key, the pack can be charged on or off the frame for convenience or to reduce weight if you’d like to ride unpowered, the pack also includes an LED charge level indicator
- Intuitive display panel is large, easy to read and removable – the stand alone button pad is easy to reach without taking your hand off the left grip and “clicks” when pressed for tactile feedback (you don’t have to look down when riding)
- Stiff cranks, peformance wheelset, decent aluminum alloy XLC platform pedals, rigid frame for good power transfer when riding, tapered head tube for strength
- Great customer support and warranty from Currie Technologies in the US (part of Accell Group which owns Haibike)
- Three frame sizes offer better fit for a wider range of riders (45cm, 50cm, 52cm), you can still get the smaller 40 cm frame in the older FS RX model with the downgraded fork
- Shift detection helps reduce wear on the chain and sprockets, the bike experiences less mashing and is easier to ride as a result
- Nice paint and decals, all cables and wires are routed through the frame which reduces the potential for snags when riding or hauling this bike
- Good weight distribution (motor and battery centered and low on the frame) much less unsprung weight on this bike than a model that uses a hub motor – improved rear suspension performance
- The battery pack takes up the space where a water bottle cage might otherwise mount and there isn’t one on the seat tube due to the rear suspension setup, consider and aftermarket accessory for the saddle rails or grab a CamelBak
- No throttle mode, this bike only offers pedal assist (like all Bosch powered systems) but will get a better range than if it did, top speed is limited to 20 mph but cuts out smoothly
- The brake levers do not include a motor inhibitor but the drive system is more responsive than others I’ve tested so it hasn’t been an issue