Haibike unleashes mid-motored carbon fiber and electric-suspension e-bikes
Eurobike 2014 gets underway this week in Germany, and the country's own Haibike is showing two innovative electric bikes. The brand-new Haibike Xduro FullCarbon rolls the "carbon fiber construction" and "mid-engine layout" familiar in supercar design into a high-tech e-bike. Equally high-tech, the Sduro AllMtn Pro uses its Yamaha electric motor system to control an intelligently adjustable suspension system.
The latest addition to Haibike's Xduro line, the Xduro FullCarbon has a carbon fiber build that extends not just to the frame, but also to components like the wheels, seat post and cranks. Mounted at its bottom bracket is a Bosch Performance pedelec drive unit electrified by a 400-Wh lithium-ion battery pack on the down tube.
We're not positive if Haibike is accurate in calling its new bike the "world's first" carbon fiber, mid-motor full suspension e-bike, but we do know that the red-trimmed, black-out bike and its six-spoke Bike Ahead Biturbo S wheels exude carbon fiber design like no other e-bike we've laid eyes on. The bike benefits from carbon's renowned combination of low weight and superior stiffness.
The Xduro FullCarbon has a RockShox fork and rear shock, Shimano XTR Di2 11-speed drivetrain components, and the all-new, Red Dot-awarded Nyon computer from Bosch. The Nyon computer, which is soon to launch on Bosch Performance-driven electric bikes from a dozen manufacturers, combines e-bike information, navigation and fitness-monitoring into a 4.3-in display unit. The computer can pair wirelessly with a smartphone, connecting to Bosch's online portal. It can also push SMS messages from the phone for reading on the bicycle (only when stationary).
Haibike will launch the Xduro FullCarbon in three different model levels next year. We don't have price information just yet, but we don't think anyone's going to be calling it "cheap."
Usually, launching something like the "world's first central motor full suspension carbon e-bike" would be enough for one trade show, but Haibike has another first up its sleeve for Eurobike. It calls the new Sduro AllMtn Pro with e:i shock the "first e-bike with a fully automated suspension system."
Like the Xduro, the aluminum-framed Sduro is powered by mid-mounted electric drive, however, the logo changes to that of Yamaha. The 250-watt Yamaha unit puts out up to 70 Nm (51.6 lb-ft) of torque with power from a 400-Wh lithium-ion battery. It includes a zero cadence support feature that applies power in slow, difficult terrain, helping cyclists to gain or keep momentum.
The 2015 Sduro is a multi-bike lineup, but the real highlight is the Sduro AllMtn Pro and its e:i suspension system. In 2012, Haibike, together with sister companies Lapierre and Ghost and partners RockShox and Trelock, revealed a mountain bike version of the e:i automatic suspension-adjustment system. The mountain bike version uses fork, stem and bottom bracket sensors to assess conditions relating to the terrain, acceleration and cadence. The onboard computer crunches that information in a tenth of a second, then adjusts the suspension damping by way of a servo motor mounted on the rear shock.
The e:i system finds its first e-bike use on the Sduro AllMtn Pro. It derives its power and sensor data from the Yamaha e-drive system, adjusting the damping of the Rock Shox Monarch rear shock as necessary to maintain a smooth ride. It appears that the the crank and stem sensors have been rolled into the greater e-drive system and the fork sensor left intact on the e-bike version, but it's not 100 percent clear from Haibike's brief description.
The e:i design allows the rear suspension to automatically fine-tune itself around the current ride and terrain conditions, eating up bumps and ensuring smooth, slip-free pedaling. In this way, it can open up full travel for fast, bumpy downhills and completely stiffen for smooth climbs, in which drive-wheel suspension is more of a hindrance than a help. Other systems require the user to make such adjustments, either via a handlebar-mounted remote or on the shock itself.
For now, the e:i system only extends to the rear suspension. When it revealed the technology in 2012, Haibike's head of product management Felix Puello alluded to the possibility of incorporating the suspension fork into the system, suggesting it was a "challenge for the future."
Beyond its Yamaha motor and intelligent suspension, the Sduro AllMtn Pro has a solid component set that includes a Shimano XT drivetrain, Rock Shox Pike RC fork, and DT Swiss wheels rolled up in Schwalbe tires.
We will update with further spec and price information on both bikes if it makes its way out of Eurobike.
The Lapierre video below provides a closer look at the updated 2015 e:i tech as it pertains to a non-electric mountain bike.