The short answer is no. But in those brief seconds where an individual sees you fly up a hill effortlessly, they immediately assume so. However that’s not the whole story.
We have recently taken delivery of a brand new Haibike All MTN 3.5, and I took this out for its first test ride just yesterday. Bearing in mind I have not been on a real ride since before Christmas, this really was going to be a real world test. I would estimate that on an un-assisted bike, the total distance I’d be able to cover whilst getting back into the swing of things would be around 15-20 miles of trails with substantial elevation gain. However the E-bike saw me complete a 45 mile loop with 3000 feet of elevation gain.
So is this a free ride?
I’m not going to sit here and say an e bike gives you a free ride, nor will you be panting for breath at the top of a hill, but what this new generation tech enables you to do is ride further, whilst still exercising happily. It is essentially a pedal assist, you have to put power in to get power back. As an example, I straight away set out into a very strong head wind along a local seafront. This would normally see me cursing and drain my energy way too quickly on this particular 7-8 mile stretch. Not with this e-bike, simply apply a little more assist to get you through and when I was out, it was back into eco mode which provides a lot less assist but enough to support slightly.
How much assistance will an E-Bike give?
The Haibike we are riding comes with the new Bosch Gen 4 motor delivering up to 340% of support. There are 4 functions on the control panel for you to choose. The more power you use, the less range you are going to see, that is a given. The lesser support mode is titled eco, which as it says on the tin, is going to provide little assistance, and maximise the range. At 60% assist, I felt that this was actually enough and my go to mode for the majority of riding. Above that is tour. Tour will provide 140%, then eMTB which is 140-340%. The eMTB mode has a varied assist which means, the more you put in, the more you’ll get back. At the very top of all the assist levels is Turbo. This mode is truly insane, with a constant 340% assist.
While out on the trails, it’s great to maximise time on them, so saving battery using eco mode was a great way to achieve this. It enabled me to complete a 45 mile single track loop. While at the same time using Turbo mode up the gradients, and for a stretch home after my energy levels and reduced. Those steep gradients deserved the luxury of using either the eMTB or Turbo mode to quickly get you up, and then on to continuing the adventures including the downhill fun. With all of the modes, it’s worth mentioning that the assist will cut out at 15mph due to regulations, however you’re not riding a motorbike right? Just remember that when you’re giggling away as you shoot past people on the accents.
Should you get one?
Both I and Sam have always been impressed with how people fly by on the trails with these bikes. Haibike as a brand have been the leaders of e-bike technology in our eyes and have seen the likes of Santa Cruz and Specialized branch out into the electric bike market. Will we be getting rid of our original mountain bikes? No way. We don’t want to become complacent with the assisted pedal power, but E-Bikes really do give you a chance to ride more, climb more and have way more fun. For us, they have been a game changer. We would both have to recommend getting one & the laughter has been never ending. This is now the future of riding and should your friends not have one, well why not toe them up with your own personal uplift. We will continue to share our journey with them and will be doing a full review very soon on the XDURO All MTN 3.5 from Haibike.
You can head over to Haibike and check out their range HERE