The XDURO Trekking line from Haibike offers a sporty but comfortable platform to commute or tour with. Both the Pro and RX models for 2015 come stock with full length fenders, a solid rear rack and integrated LED lights but the Pro offers nicer suspension, an upgraded chain, pedals and brakes. It also foregoes the dynamo hub in favor of powering lights directly off the main battery. With seven frame sizes to choose from (four mid-step “diamond” and three low-step) most people will be able to dial in their fit and that’s a big deal for a bike that might be traveling 50+ miles per ride. These are some of my favorite “all purpose” electric bikes at the higher end of the market and I’ve become a fan of the very responsive drive system and balanced weight distribution offered by the Bosch Gen 2 motor and Powerpack 400. My only real complaints here are the lack of quick release for the rear wheel (seems handy for those road-side flats), lack of bottle cage mounting points (seems like there could have been room on the diamond frame) and the decision to drop the dynamo hub on the Pro model (possibly for weight savings?). I love the idea of having lights no matter the charge state of your battery. If I could change anything about this electric bike I think I’d consider making it a speed pedelec, capable of higher ~28 mph top speeds to reduce travel time for those who truly go the distance.
The centerdrive system on the Haibike XDURO Trekking Pro consists of a 350 watt geared centerdrive motor developed by Bosch. This is one of the best motors around in my opinion and is quite capable of climbing even the steepest terrain while still achieving impressive range. It can only be activated through pedaling but is super smart, measuring your rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque at ~1,000 times per second! Instead of turning one of the bicycle wheels directly, as a hub motor would, the Bosch Centerdrive spins a small sprocket that pulls the chain and leverages gears in the rear cassette for improved climbing ability or top speed. This system works especially well for ebikes with a large number of gears which is the case here. The Trekking Pro offers 27 speeds total with nine external cogs using a derailleur and three internal gears using the SRAM Dual Drive system. Most of the Bosch powered electric bikes I’ve tried only offer 9 to 11 speeds but with more increments to choose from here, rider pedal cadence can fit the terrain more comfortably.
Note that the smaller front sprocket on the Bosch system does not require the rider to pedal faster, it’s actually geared to rotate ~2 times for every pedal stroke. It doesn’t introduce significant drag to the system and can be used even in non electric mode, pedaling as you would with a traditional unpowered bicycle. The only drawback to this system (and most electric bikes) is increased frame weight, comprised mostly of the motor and battery but also reinforced frame elements to deal with higher speeds and power output. 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 (as shown in the video) and this reduces mashing. I’ve tested other Haibikes more thoroughly than the Trekking Pro and even had the chance to take them on trails in Colorado. What I found was that I used the motor to climb but shut it off on the way down and even on some flat sections. For some trips, I left the motor on constantly but rode in the lowest “Eco” mode and the range and performance was very impressive with 60+ miles per charge. Given the low rolling resistance of the hybrid tires on the Trekking, you should expect this kind of range or higher if you’re at or below 170 pounds and are riding on smooth hard terrain without many hills.
Powering the motor and headlights here is a Bosch Powerpack 400 battery (that actually delivers 396 watt hours of juice). It’s a beautiful looking pack 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 it’s on or off the ebike. I recommend charging the pack after at least one bar has been used or before storing for long periods of time. It’s wise to top it off ever three months if you haven’t used it and the best way to store is in a cool dry place (avoid extreme heat and cold). The batteries inside the Powerpack are 18650 size and contain a Lithium Manganese chemistry that’s valued for being light weight and durable. These are the same cells used in electric cars like the Tesla Roadster or Model S and of similar high quality. The one complaint I do have with regard to the battery is that it’s not completely integrated into the downtube like the Specialized Turbo or Stromer 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. With the XDURO Trekking Pro there are no bosses for mounting a water bottle cage and that means you’ll probably want a CamelBak or similar hydration system. One upside here however is that the battery pack is less expensive to replace, being interchangeable with any other Bosch Gen 2 powered ebike. It should last for 1,000+ charge cycles if cared for and even comes with a two year warranty which is one of the longest I’m aware of in the ebike space. If you do need a replacement (or decide to get a second pack) Currie Technologies offers them for ~$600. In the US, Haibike is supported through Currie and Bosch is supported through Magura.
The Intuvia control interface on the Haibike XDURO Trekking Pro electric bike 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 of four assist levels. 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 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. I like the tactile clicking feedback it produces as you navigate because once you get used to it, you really don’t have to take your eyes off the road to navigate and control the bike. The display can be swiveled forward and back to reduce glare and is completely removable for parking in public spaces or simply reducing wear and weight. It even has a micro USB port on the right side which could be useful for powering some small portable electronic devices. If you’re someone who does a lot of night riding, this display offers back lighting and the on/off switch for this also activates the integrated LED lights. I especially like the headlight because it turns with the handle bars as you steer.
While the remote air fork lockout is neat and I can appreciate the upgraded components on the Pro, the drivetrain is basically the same (motor, battery and even gears) as the RX version which is $200 less. I noticed that the RX also comes with a cafe lock to immobilize the rear wheel during quick stops and errands which the Pro does not (the demo model had it but it does not appear in stock imagery of the Pro). Both models lack the rear quick release and this may be due to the SRAM Dual Drive but frankly, I wish they had it because ebikes tend to get more flats if they are used over long distances and carrying wrenches adds weight and hassle. This is a beautiful, unique electric bike that really excels in performance and I’m digging deep to identify ways that it could be further improved. Compared to some other electric bikes that were built for commuting or touring it feels comfortable and balanced but you could further smooth out the ride with a Thudbuster or Suntour NXC suspension seat post. I like the bell they added, the cockpit is clean and the kickstand is very stable. I feel like they could have gone with just one frame style here because there isn’t much difference between the high and low step (why not just go with low step and reduce unit costs, perhaps it is less rigid?) but I love that they offer choice and wide range of frame sizes is excellent. This is a solid ebike from a reputable German company with premium parts and it really shows when you dig into the details and take it for a test ride.
- Available in two frame styles (mid-step and low-step) and seven frame sizes Diamond (48cm, 52cm, 56cm, 60cm) Step-Thru (44cm, 48cm, 52cm) for a comfortable fit and easy mounting/standover
- Efficient operation given the 700c wheel diameter and hybrid/slick tires while maintaining a comfortable ride with the RockShox Paragon suspension fork
- Many high-quality accessories that are very handy for commuting or trekking/touring regardless of terrain or weather (fenders, rack, lights, kickstand)
- Excellent gear range (27 speeds) even though there is only one sprocket at the bottom bracket, the SRAM Dual Drive is a unique solution for providing a wide range of pedaling speeds
- 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 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
- Stiff cranks, peformance wheelset, decent aluminum alloy 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)
- Shift detection helps reduce wear on the chain and sprockets, the bike experiences less mashing and is more intuitive to ride as a result
- Sturdy rear rack that mounts at two places near the rear dropouts and at two points on the seat stays, it uses standard gauge tubing for maximum compatibility with quick-release panniers and includes a spring latch for securing minor items
- Smooth, powerful braking with hydraulic levers and 180/160 mm rotors, they are easy to actuate with just a finger or two which can reduce strain when riding over long distances and they are powerful enough to stop a heavier load if you’re hauling gear
- Only offers quick release for the front wheel, considering this is a mid-drive ebike it seems like the rear wheel should also have it (you could replace this after-market with a quick release skewer)
- It would be great to see a dynamo hub on the front wheel to power the lights in the event that the battery has been completely drained
- For the high-step “diamond” frame it seems like there’s room to add a bottle cage and I’d love to have this option for commuting and touring when water storage and access is important, consider after market accessories like saddle rail bottle mounts, grab a CamelBak or add panniers and a bag that can hold bottles
- 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 and it would be neat to see a speed-pedelec version of this bike offered with up to 28 mph top speeds for covering long distances (especially given that this is the Pro version of the Trekking model)