- An extremely well balanced, light weight, high speed electric road bike - one of the only ebikes with drop bars that I've seen
- Efficient centerdrive from Bosch can reach speeds of 28 mph and distance in excess of 65 miles in optimal conditions
- Complete with streamlined front and rear LED lights, self retracting kickstand from Pletscher and two sets of brake levers (forward and drop) with sturdy mechanical disc brakes
- Aerodynamic deep dish wheelset looks awesome, front and rear wheels offer quick release, 11 speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain
The Haibike XDURO Race is an efficient, fast and beautiful electric bike. This thing is a race car with deep dish aero rims, drop bars, an 11 speed cassette and streamlined integrated lights… Lights? Kickstand?! Yeah, it comes with these extras that you might not be used to seeing on traditional road style bicycles because it’s capable of reaching 28 miles per hour in the highest level of pedal assist (Turbo) vs. just 20 mph for most other ebikes. As a result, in Europe these bikes are required to have a few extras for safety and in this case they’ve made their way over to the US as well. Weighing in at ~40 pounds (depending on which frame size you get) the Race is relatively light in the world of ebikes. Because it’s all aluminum, it can feel jarring at higher speeds if you roll over a crack or bump (much like a traditional road bike) but I feel like they could have reduced this feeling with the addition of carbon fiber parts or vibration dampening inserts on the fork, handlebar and seat post. Aside from this complaint I also feel like they should have included at least one way to mount a bottle cage, ideally on the downtube. To complete this bike I’d suggest adding an aftermarket adapter to the seat tube, post or saddle rails.
The centerdrive system on the Race consists of a 350 watt geared motor developed by Bosch. It can only be activated by pedaling but it’s super smart, measuring your rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque ~1,000 times per second. Since it pulls the same chain that you do, it benefits from mechanical advantages when climbing or cruising at higher speeds (depending on which gear you’re in). One possible downside to mid-drive motors like this is that they can increase the strain and wear on your chain and cassette but the Bosch system minimizes this because it has shift detection built in. It automatically lets up when it senses that you’re shifting gears and this reduces mashing. I’ve ridden this same second generation Bosch Centerdrive on probably 15+ other ebikes and it performs phenomenally for around town trips, light trail riding and even heavy off-road climbing. To the point where the motor will keep going but you cannot maintain traction any longer on steep dusty paths. The point I’m trying to make is that it will squash any road based hill you throw at it. Don’t be fooled by the 350 watt motor vs. the 500 watt hubs on the Specialized Turbo or Stromer ST2 (which are also road style speed pedelecs). Each of these electric bikes offers a different advantage but the Bosch system used on the Haibike Race delivers as much or more torque at 60 Newton meters, and more efficiency for distance riding than the others. One downside here however is the increased whirring noise that you can hear in the video but a big upside is the perfectly centered super-low weight placement of the ~5.5 pound motor.
Following from the motor placement, the battery pack is also centrally mounted on the frame. It’s a beautiful looking design that’s easy to charge on or off the bike and the locking core (made by ABUS) is sturdy with each key being securely unique (it’s a routed in-cut key like many cars now use). The battery pack itself has a set of five LEDs built in so you can quickly determine the charge level whether the pack is on or off the ebike. I recommend charging the pack after at least one bar has been used or before storing it for long periods. It’s wise to top it off ever three months if you haven’t used it and storing it in an environment that doesn’t get too hot or cold will also help it last longer. The batteries inside the pack are 18650 size and contain a Lithium Manganese chemistry that’s valued for being light weight and durable. It’s the same cells used in electric cars like the Tesla Roadster or Model S. The one complaint I have with regard to the battery is that it is not completely integrated into the downtube like the Turbo and ST2… This puts weight higher up, doesn’t look as clean and takes up valuable space on the downtube that might otherwise be used for a bottle cage mounting point. As mentioned earlier… there are not bosses for mounting a water bottle cage on this electric bike, and it’s a road bike! It should have at least one in my opinion. One upside here however is that the pack is less expensive to replace, being interchangeable with any other Bosch Gen 2 powered ebike. It should should last for 1,000+ charge cycles if cared for and even comes with a two year warranty. If you do need a replacement (or decide to get a second pack) Currie Technologies offers one for ~$600.
The control interface on the Haibike Xduro Race is the same as all other Bosch systems for this generation. It shows speed, distance traveled, battery capacity remaining, timer and range estimation for each assist level. It’s really neat to see (on the fly) just how far the range estimator thinks you can go because it empowers you to plan accordingly and pop the battery off for a quick charge at the office or a friends house if needed. You can usually get the pack to ~80% capacity in just an hour and a half… In addition to the removable backlit LCD screen (which has four buttons surrounding it including power, reset, information and lights) there is also an independent button pad that lets you go up or down in assist modes. This remote button pad is usually mounted to the left handle bar but that was not possible with the Race due to the unique drop bars and two sets of brake levers. As a result, it is positioned on top of the stem, just in front of the main display. This makes it more difficult to reach while riding but is still usable. I like the tactile clicking feedback it gives as you navigate through four levels of assist (or zero which leaves the main display on to manage lights and function as a traditional cycle computer). It’s worth reiterating here, this is the only ebike I’ve seen in America with a drop bar setup! The main brake levers have shifters built in just like a standard road bike and the feeling of accelerating to 28 mph without straining your knees or becoming overly winded is just awesome.
Given the limited aerodynamics properties of a human body riding a bicycle, it’s great to see a product that actually caters to high speed by enabling racing body posture. With five frame sizes to choose from, a proven drive system that is both powerful and extra fast in this case and quality accessories like the 11 speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain the Haibike XDURO Race is a winner in my book. Yes, it’s very expensive at $6,700 but I’ve seen non-electric bikes for just as much and quite a bit more. They were lighter, more comfortable due to carbon fiber construction and they had bottle cages! But the Race is hard to beat for long distance weekend trips, tackling hills and keeping up with friends who might have developed a better cardiovascular fitness level. Considering the smog that surrounds some cities and the wind and hills that can take the fun out of riding I’m a big fan of this kind of technology. Why not get a little help making it to the hills just outside of town… you can always shut the motor off once you’re above the smog or you can go much further and enjoy the views that might have otherwise eluded you after work as the sun goes down. If you’re not a fan of the drop bars, consider the Haibike Superrace which also offers 11 speeds and uses the Bosch system but offers a more traditional flat handlebar. I’ve created a more in depth look at the LCD display panel from Bosch called the Intuvia, you can watch this short video overview and check out the official manual there.
- One of the only ebikes I’ve seen to offer drop bars! I like the choice of using the drop portion for aerodynamics and speed, being up in the hoods for braking and resting or using the inner flat section like a traditional bike like the Superrace. These different hand positions make riding feel more exciting and offers a nice ergonomic break when riding long distances
- Light weight frame and components is just ~40 pounds depending on the size you choose, well balanced drive system (motor and battery pack are mounted low and center)
- Includes integrated front and rear LED lights powered by the main battery pack, they can be operated with the main display, the lights themselves are beautiful and unique (the headlight turns as you turn the bike, the rear light is extra tall and visible from three sides vs. just the back)
- The Bosch Centerdrive system is efficient, smooth and powerful – it can climb very effectively with ~60 Nm of torque and can reach 65+ miles per charge in optimal conditions
- Battery pack locks to frame for security using a quality ABUS core, it can be charged on or off the frame for convenience or to reduce weight if you’d like to ride this as a normal bicycle or are transporting it on a car rack (easier to lift, less weight on your rack, weighs ~31.2 lbs without battery)
- Stiff cranks, decent aluminum alloy platform pedals (that will likely be replaced with clipless), rigid frame for good power transfer when riding, tapered head tube for strength
- Impressive 11 speed cassette with quality Shimano Ultegra components offers a comfortable cadence at many speeds, may seem limited given the 28 mph top speed but very few mid-drive ebikes offer more than 10 speeds
- Great customer support and warranty from Currie Technologies in the US (part of Accell Group which owns Haibike)
- Five frame sizes so the bike will fit and feel great for a range of riders (50cm, 53cm, 56cm, 59cm, 62cm)
- Nice little aluminum alloy chain guide keeps the chain from dropping on the front sprocket at higher speeds if you hit rough terrain
- Self-retracting Pletscher kickstand is mounted far back so you won’t hit it with your heel, it’s light weight but capable of holding the bike (kickstands are a legal requirement for speed pedelecs in Europe)
- The deep dish aerodynamic rims reduce the drag that this wheelset produces, they look cool and they may stand out more to cars and other cyclists when riding in crowded areas (helping you avoid collisions from the side)
- The battery pack takes up the space where a water bottle cage might otherwise mount and there isn’t one on the seat tube, consider and aftermarket accessory for the tube, post or saddle rails
- Narrow tires, stiff frame and performance saddle can feel stiff and jarring at higher speeds if terrain is not smooth, this is a true road bicycle
- Very expensive but you get top of the line components from Shimano, Bosch and Tektro that are designed to keep the bike light, fast and durable
- 6061 aluminum alloy frame is sturdy and extremely well made but doesn’t dampen vibration the way a carbon frame might, would be nice if the Race came with a carbon fiber fork
- No throttle mode, this bike only offers pedal assist (like all Bosch powered systems) but is capable of higher top speeds