Mark's Story - Haibike Sduro FullSeven LT 4.0
This story starts in Halfords when I was buying something else. I was eves-dropping a conversation between a customer and sales staff over a Carrera X over an electric bike and was impressed by the range and the way you could adjust the amount of assist given. Further info was gleaned from the interweb and there seemed to be an issue with it cutting out sometimes so really dismissed this bike.
Further investigation into E-MTB soon revealed that better brands had drive to the bottom bracket rather than the motor being built into the wheel hub. I must admit that the some of the prices made my eyes water, one I noticed was £10k, when I bought my car (new) 8 years ago that was only £5k more.
I soon found Electric Bikes Sussex and rang them up and spoke to Lucy who arranged for me to come down from Surrey the next day for a meeting with Graham.
Being near the end of the year all the new bikes would soon be for sale but I had my eye on some 2018 bikes and they also had the new 2019 Haibike AllMtn 3.0 on display which is very nice but a bit more than my spending limit I had set. But they did have the one that first took my eye, the Haibike Sduro Fullseven LT 4.0.
So keeping my sensible head on I went ahead and purchased the bike and headed home. I didn’t get a chance to ride it until the next day. So I popped into the car and drove to an area I knew that had some trails.
I started off with the power off to get used to the bike and after about five minutes popped it into ECO setting pedalled a bit harder and Wow! The bike seemed to take off. I don’t know what I was expecting really but the assist was great. I should add at this point that I am 56, a few stone over weight but reasonably fit due to my job. I used to ride a lot but not done anything off road for around 12 years and have decided to make a real effort to lose the excess weight.
I rode for just over 10 miles and only used the max power setting to try it out really. I managed to go up a hill around 150 meters long and around 1in8/9 in ECO mode and didn’t have to get out of the saddle and only pleasantly out of breath at the top, don’t let anyone tell you E-MTBs are cheating because you can still turn the assist down or even off.
After the ten miles I still had 91% in the battery. If the going was level I turned the assist of completely and didn’t really come out of ECO mode much a lot of it when needed was spent in ECO+, the lowest setting.
So I would like to thank Graham and his team for their advice and time. I was made to feel welcome and there certainly was no ‘hard sell’ and certainly recommend them.
- Graham Rowe
Matt's Story - Haibike AllMtn 6.0
Many years ago, I used to do a lot of motorcross, petrol ran through my veins, I moved to Wales to pursue my weekend hobby of green laning and enduro riding across the Black mountains, the Ridgeway, Peak district and anywhere I could.
I fell off and snapped my neck, paralyzed my left arm and took 6 months to regain use, I then banned myself from riding motorbikes...
About 3 months ago I was sitting in a car near Beachy Head and said to my friend how nice it would be to ride across the seven sisters and beyond, he said why don't I, and I explained you can't with the noise and legal side. He said how about electric!
That's what re-opened the world of off road to me again, I looked, studied and researched, I trawled through Ebay daily until a 250w electric bike came up on Ebay, used but as new for £500. I bought it, did some miles, the Cuckoo trail, Seaford beach and a little off road on paths and tracks, however it was a mountain bike with a pedal assist motor and nothing more other than a big weight to carry over a stile at about 28kg. Thin tyres made ruts tricky, even though it had full suspension it wasn't designed to really go off road, small bumps and gravel were it's limit.
I then re-considered my options, 1. go outside the law and get a Bultaco Brinco, 2000w of throttled power with pedals, Stealth E-Bikes, same thing but also an accident waiting to happen, both are heavy, fast and also not legal. Being caught in a public place on an illegal bike would probably lead to the bike being confiscated, me being charged the same as riding a dirt bike on public land and even worse, what if some dog walker got hurt.
With 250w as the only option to stay legal, especially with the amount of Police interest in the growing market of electric bikes, I researched again, youtube and more youtube.
Haibike AllMtn kept coming up, local dealership was in Brighton Marina, very handy for help, spares and warranty concerns. I popped in and the two chaps were very helpful, I was shown the features and the benefits, it was obvious this is what I needed to conquer mountains, albeit whilst trying to loose weight, get fitter and live longer.
My Doctor put me on heart pills 6 months ago, I am 46, 15 stone and a long time smoker, he said do some exercise but don't over do it.
£3200 was the price tag, I thought and then decided yes, I could not afford it, but on the other side, could my health afford me not too, if I didn't buy it now would I buy it next year? or the year after...so I jumped in.
I bought a Haibike AllMtn 6.0, about 4 weeks ago, it was big, built to do the job, a tool for covering large areas, fields, tracks and steep paths I wouldn't normally consider walking down.
Initially my arse hurt for 2-4 days, then my knees ached for about a week, then my left leg sciatic nerve got really painful for 3-4 days on week 3 and I thought I wouldn't be able to keep doing this, having finally come through the pain of adjusting my body to it's new routine, I am loving it, I have fallen off, I have cut myself, I have bled...I have sweat and I have also found myself on top of a mountain with the most amazing views.
190+ Miles of adventure over 4 weeks, Firle Beacon, the South downs, The seven sisters, Mount Caburn, I have been everywhere and with a smile on my face, absolutely loving it.
I get about 25 miles of off road, hill and track riding from 1 charge, more if I turn down the assistance and push myself harder, it doesn't do the work for you but it makes an adventure out of what I would do on a normal bike, I might go from Newhaven to Seaford and back on a mountain bike, now I will go to Seaford, over the golf course, view Alfriston from above, follow round to Firle Beacon, wizz down the hill and over to Piddinghoe, back up on the top of the downs, through into Telscombe, follow the coastal path to Newhaven fort and return home muddy and happy and having had a great 4 hours of exercise whilst witnessing all manner of things I couldn't have imagined.
I am just about to leave right now to ride from Newhaven to Beachy head and back over the Seven sisters.
The Bike is a tool for the job, for sure.
- Lucy Rowe
Alison's Story - Raleigh MotusWhich Electric Bike did you purchase?
Why did you purchase this Electric Bike?
My previous e-bike, that I had bought in Switzerland when I was living there 5 years previously, was stolen, so I needed a replacement. I wanted a city/touring bike and having tested a couple of bikes, this one was the best in terms of usability (ease of gear/motor use) and feel, i.e. balance, sturdiness, comfort.
How does this Electric Bike ride?
On the whole the bike rides really well and I feel an e-bike is essential for riding around hilly Brighton! The condition of the roads in central Brighton is diabolical (try Western Road, or North Laine, or London Road) and the bike copes well as long as the tyres are fully pumped up. If not, balance is affected and the tyres slip. Otherwise it is a very comfortable ride. It doesn’t feel as stable as my old bike, but it is so much easier to charge and range is way better, the technology has advanced since I bought my first in 2011.
At my first service I was pleased to discover that I don’t use Turbo (top) mode as much as most other e-bike users! I most often use touring or sport and only switch to turbo for the steepest hills, and there are a few of those around Brighton. I recently rode all the way up Ditchling Road for a festival event, everyone was super impressed! I always switch down to Eco when going downhill or if I have the wind behind me on the flat and I hope this saves the battery a bit. Riding without any assistance is like riding through treacle, but it is easier on this bike than my old one. I only do that by accident anyway, if I’ve forgotten to switch it on!
Do you think your Electric Bike has helped your Health?
Since having an e-bike, I go out on it every day (I don’t have a car), which means I get more fresh air and my leg muscles are in good shape. With the improved range on the Motus, I regularly cycle over to visit family in Worthing. Before I had an e-bike I would avoid using my bike for long, uphill or shopping trips, and the e-bike has even made riding in poor weather bearable. I won’t go back to a normal bike now, it’s just too much fun.
Have you ridden your Electric Bike more or less than you expected? Why?
I used the new bike less than the old one, simply because I was living in North Laine and walking everywhere was easier than hauling the heavy bike out of the house. Now I have moved to Hove and can keep it securely outside, I will use it much more often.
Is there anything you have changed or would change about it?
I bought some relatively cheap waterproof panniers online - the rack on the back isn’t much use for transporting stuff. I also want to get a basket for the back - when I hired one a few years ago I put a basket on the front and it badly affects balance. Also Brightonians have a habit of leaving beer cans in baskets it seems.
I love that the lights are on a dynamo unconnected to the battery. This means I can keep the lights switched on at all times for extra safety.
I have considered changing the tyres, to improve grip on our crummy roads, but the ones I have are for touring, were recommended by you and should cope. I’m concerned that going to heavier tyres will affect performance, so the jury’s still out on that one.
I love my bike!
In the last week alone I have had three people come up to me and ask about the bike. They say it looks great, and are really impressed when I tell them about the performance, and they agree it is good value for money. I do tell them where I bought it :-).
- Jake Rowe
Andy's Story - Haibike Xduro AllMtn RX
Which Electric Bike Did You Purchase?
Haibike Xduro AllMtn RX. This has the Bosch Motor, 400wh Battery and Nyon Display.
Why Did You Purchase This Electric Bike?
We weren't at the time intending to buy any electric bikes so didn't have any specification or particular requirements. We just happend to be passing Electric Bikes Sussex in the Marina and thought we would pop in and have a look. The owner (Graham) was very friendly/helpful and in no time, my wife was taking a bike out for a test ride. I was initially more sceptical of Electric Bikes but once my wife came back singing its praises, I decided I would also have a go. Within 5mins I could easily see the appeal and after you've tried a couple of hills, you soon realise how good these bikes are. Having that extra bit of assistance to get you up a hill can make all the difference to enjoying a ride, allowing you to go faster and further than a traditional bike.
How Does This Electric Bike Ride?
The Haibike Xduro goes anywhere my Giant Trance XO used to go. That includes any trails, bomb holes, down hill, up hill, jumps etc. Yes, it is heavier but it feels solid, comfortable and the Fox suspension works well. The Bosch system has 4 settings, Eco, Tour Sport and Turbo. I mainly use the Tour mode as this gives some assistance but will still last a good 25-30 miles over the Downs and you can always have a bit more assistance should a really steep hill appear. The excellant Bosch Nyon system allows you to set your own power curves for the Bosch motor. It also tells you how much energy your burning, how fast and hard your peddling, your battery range dependant on how your riding, speed, training effect, etc. etc. etc. It also has a Sat Nav which includes many of the Trails on the Sussex Downs. It will also charge your phone!! Its great to just go exploring off-road or follow the trails. It also works just as well on the road.
Do You Think Your Electric Bike Has Helped Your Health?
On average I would only do about 6-7 miles off road, per ride on my old Giant Mountain bike, whereas I now regulary do over 20 miles off road on the Haibike. My health has definitely benefitted and apparently I have lost a few pounds as well!! I use the Haibike Xduro much much more than my traditional mountain bike. It also allows me to keep up with my much younger and fitter son.
Is There Anything You Have Changed Or Would Change About It?
I've fitted mudguards, Shimano SPD’s and a small under saddle carrying case. Other than that, its all as standard. Ive have no plans to change anything else as it all works really well.
I should also say that in March this year, the bike had its first year service at Sussex Electric Bikes. Again, the staff were very knowledgable/helpful and the technician who carried out the service made the bike look and feel like new!!
If you are skeptical about Electric Bikes (as I was) I urge you to go and try one. My Haibike XDURO AllMtn RX is easily one of the best things I have purchased and having an electric bike will make you want to ride much more often. They don’t do it all for you, you still have to pedal and you can vary the amount of assistance you have although this will obviously effect the range. The more you put in, the more you'll get out. They’re not cheap but neither is a high end mountain bike and you’ll enjoy the electric bike more. Take one over the Sussex Downs and I guarantee you will return with a huge smile on your face.
- Jake Rowe