There’s a first time for everything, and this time it was my first Ebike experience courtesy of Bournemouth Cycle works. The bike I had the luxury of testing was the Haibike Sduro ALLMtn SL. Unfortunately I missed Bournemouth Cycle works demo day at Moors Valley, but they were kind enough to let me test in an evening before Raleigh UK wanted it back.
The Sduro ALLMtn is a mid range, 27.5″ wheel, long travel, enduro Ebike, weighing in at 22.3kg, and costing £2700. So what that means is that its essentially the same level kit you would get on a circa £1500 long travel full bouncer but with the addition of a motorised assist worked into the frame.
Having not ridden an Ebike before, or a fully sprung bike for a long time, I was expecting the bike to be a heavy ride that needed a lot of work to manoeuvre. I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong it’s a heavy piece of kit but on the rebound I had it airborne a couple of times! The motors assist takes you to 16mph and makes pedalling to maintain this a cinch, you can go flat out like this for miles. The assist works on the amount of effort you out in, press harder it gives a stronger assist. I found that no matter what came at me, heath, bog, hills, ruts, or streams, if you could balance and pedal you could get through it. Almost like the bicycle equivalent of a panzer tank!
The ten speed Shimano Slx rear mech matched to Deore shifter setup worked faultlessly as expected from Japans finest, with a perfect range to compliment the motor. Cockpit room felt good and even with a relatively slack front head angle the steering was positive, and not even slightly barge like. The Suntour shocks, although oil damped, were a little springy but I think I can put that down to not being tuned to my weight. The forks had a lockout operated by a remote bar mounted lever, and the rear shock was locked by a lever on the body itself meaning you had to lean down to operate. Despite the Sduros weight the Tektro brakes stood up well and had plenty of modulation, and I didn’t have to yank them hard to stop. Battery life was impressive, I covered 24 miles with the assist set on maximum and only ran it down half way.
As a completely different experience to the norm for me, I loved it. I can now really see the appeal of this kind of bike. Its a awesome toy for those who have the money and are fit, but it could be a godsend for those who aren’t as fit or have restrictions on their ability to exercise. When this technology advances it will be truly game changing, and even though this model is relatively low in the Haibike range it was great fun and very capable. Because most people don’t live in the forest, the only immediate upgrade I think the SDuro would benefit from would be a remote dropper seat post as with the motor assist and shock lockouts it makes it easy to ride on the road.
If you get the opportunity to try an Ebike, go for it! I think you may just change your opinions….
Go see Marc and team at Bournemouth Cycleworks to chat Haibike.