I started looking at the idea of electrically assisted bikes a few years ago, and the thing that always put me off was they were too road-centric.
What I wanted?
I really wanted to start riding the trails and downhills I did when I was younger. I used to compete, back in the days hard-tails were the only option and front suspension forks were new to the market. Life moved on and now older and wiser, I wanted to come back to the sport. Fortunately technology has moved on too! Time constraints and old age meant I was not as fit as I wanted to be. I thought that having the option of some assistance to help me up the steeper hills meant I could have more time enjoying the sport, and less time cursing the hills.
After doing lots of research I looked at all the manufacturers out there and decided that Haibike seemed to me to be the truest/purest bike. I looked at all the shops and online options and decided to start speaking to the e-bike shop. I sent an initial enquiry to Martin, which was answered promptly, and fully in plain English. Many more questions over many months followed, each answered with the same verve and enthusiasm, with never any pressure on trying to “close the deal”. It was clear that this was more than a job but a real passion.
What bike did I choose?
Having settled on a bike (the xDuro All Mtn Pro
), the difficult bit came with parting with so much money. The Bike arrived the next day, and suffice to say I have not been disappointed in either the bike or the post sales support, any query I have had since delivery has been answered straight away, sometimes when I am on the trail and I have had to pick up the phone.
So how's the bike?
In terms of the bike itself, it is a revelation, the flexibility for different types of riding from bombing downhill to technical trail sections all seem to be dealt with easily. The Fox suspension is phenomenal, I have ridden it hard and I have never had to adjust it off of the trail setting. I am sure this is partially due to the expert set up of Martin and his team. Unclimbable hills are know no harder than a flat stretch of tarmac. The level of assistance is easy to change, and it is rare I need to rack it up to Turbo. I come back from my rides exhilarated but not exhausted.
The Nyon head unit
displays all I need at any moment and again it is easy to switch screens. As The tuning dongle, was the only addition to the standard bike I made, as the majority of my riding is off public highways I tend to leave this on and adjust the assistance levels. To me the dongle is a great piece of kit, it stops the assistance cutting out when the fun is about to begin. I have not yet explored the customisable assistance levels, as the standard ones work thus far.
So to conclude?
This sport should not just be about fitness (although since owning the bike this has improved drastically), it should be about technical skills and enjoyment, and not dread. I could write more superlatives but the bike is calling to me now.. time to hit the trails once more! I look forward to reporting back on future adventures with this bike as I explore further afield. With thanks to Jamie for this excellent review of our Haibike All Mountain PRO.