Review submitted on previous model: Expectations exceeded! This might be the 'entry level' Haibike, but its hugely impressive; 900km miles in I absolutely love riding it.... so much fun!
Having extensively and obsessively researched e-bikes and gone back and forth between Bosch, Brose, Steps and Yamaha systems across models between £2000 and £3500, I eventually came back to this bike, not least because I liked the way the HardSeven Haibike looked, but also as it seemed everything I need for my commuting and weekend leisure use. I wanted something more robust and comfortable than the hybrid / cross models, but something suitable for road use too.
It can be a different bike each day - sometimes I commute in with High motor assist with ease and don't break a sweat, then ride home with the motor assistance turned off to get some exercise. Other times I use Eco+ on the way in so I have to do a little work, then use Normal on the way home, but really push to do it as fast as I can, using the assist to get me up to speed, but then do all the work above 25km to keep the speed up. With the system turned off, its definitely not an easy commute, bit heavy off the line, but still nice to ride. With the power on its simply effortless, and the way it pulls you up muddy slopes with set on high is unbelievable.
The bike rolls really well on road with the Schwalbe Smart Sam's, though they have shocking grip on wet tarmac and will be upgraded soon. The 9 speed cassette seems plenty, more than needed in fact - I double shift a lot. With the Yamaha motor working, it feels very lively indeed. Its initially quiet, but can get noisy on longer rides if holding a steady speed with motor assist. I initially had to learn to be a bit more forgiving with shifting as it sounds a bit harsh on the chain if you don't back off when changing, but its second nature now. Range is tricky as I switch modes, but I've done one charge to almost empty running on normal and achieved 70km, most charges have lasted well in excess of 100km, so very impressive.
The guys at e-bikeshop responded to my enquiry very quickly and were very helpful from start to finish of the order - I don't live local to them, so the bike had to be shipped, the bike arrived really well packed and just required 20 mins unpacking and fitting of pedals / securing of handlebars to start riding. Highly recommend both e-bikeshop and GreenCommuteInitiative. I don't think there is a bad choice for a bike when you're spending this much money, but with this particular model I believe I got very good value and am sure you will not be disappointed either. If you're not sold on the whole e-bike thing yet - think of it this way, it can still be a normal bike - Eco + has it as close to no assistance as it feels like my old Mountain bike to ride, but on those days where its raining or there is a head wind, it really takes the sting out of it. LCD upgrade was very worthwhile (immobilises when removed and adds extra info over LED control), I put XLC ergo grips, nuke proof pedals and Moon Nebula lights on mine, all of which I would also highly recommend