Like I mentioned earlier, EMTBs have come of age in the last few years allowing us to settle in on the Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL. The biggest advancement? Batteries and the Lithium Polymer (li po). But they are pricey! How pricey? About $800.00 for a battery pack. They have some clear advantages and disadvantages. First, the weight – much lighter. Higher capacity allowing them to hold more power combined with a higher discharge rate. Everything has trade offs. In this case a shorter lifespan. They sometimes catch fire and do require some care. A hobby guy has a full write up.
The next big advancement? incorporation of the motor into the frame design and a Mid-motor set up. This is not afterthought stuff. This is full blown, engineered from the start, dedicated stuff. There are two big players in the EMTB motor market. Bosch and Yamaha. Both good, and both solid names. Yamaha was the first with the pedelec concept. Looks like a heated battle between two big corporate giants. For a complete comparison, this is an interesting read. So how did we choose the Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL? Well, the company that made that big leap on the frame / motor design? Haibike.
Haibike also came up with a few other clever ideas. Like what? Well, in 2010 they did a casting frame interface. In 2013 they did the integrated skid plate. In 2015 the rotated the motor, made a true mid motor design, and the rest will be EMTB history. Pretty big in Europe, not so big in the US.
Now, since I have been away from bikes, things have changed. Wheels grew, then shrunk. Twenty-nines (29”) came into play as opposed to the standard twenty-six (26”) wheels. Twenty-nine inch tires roll better, go over obstacles better, but they are less responsive to turn in and have more mass. So, somewhere they split a 26 and a 29 and came up with a 27.5”. Consensus seems to be the bees knees. The Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL comes that way. (That is the “seven” in hard seven, “hard” is solid rear frame) Haibike makes a lot of models. 26”, 29” 27.5” 24” various frames, various components, standard tires, plus tires, fat tires. Full suspension or just front. Lots of models, lots of options. Too many. The worst part? They change their model names. The 2016 Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL is now the 2017 SDURO HardSeven 4.0. I swear learning the models, and variations on the models was half the challenge.
Typically you can find reviews of the Haibike SDURO HardSeven SM but not the Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL. The difference? Minimal, but noteworthy. The SL rear derailleur is Shimano Deore M 610, 10-Speed whereas the SM Rear derailleur is a Sram X4, 9-Speed. The other is the control unit for the motor / user interface.
The Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL comes with Yamaha’s LCD multi function Drive Controller it includes:
- Drive control: 4 select-able assist modes
- Battery capacity indicator: 10 scale bar Digital display (in %)
- Assist power meter
- Cycle computer
- Range meter
- Cadence meter
- Removable display
- USB connector is added:
5V electric power can be supplied to connected device.
Parameter writing tool can be connected.
The Haibike SDURO HardSeven SM comes with a LED 3-way digital display main switch which includes:
- Drive control: 3 select-able assist modes
- Battery capacity indicator: Digital display (in %)
- Range meter
Yamaha has some more information on their site. The rest of it is pretty standard mid-level or above Mountain bike stuff. Aluminum frame, aluminum this that and the other, disc brakes, yada yada yada. A good all-around bike with solid components. Seemed pretty simple to settle in on the Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL
So, where to buy? Well, these are scarce as hen’s teeth in the states. I suspect they will catch on. In our neck of the woods, one dealer in Vegas, one in Phoenix. While in Vegas for work, we stopped by and made some friends at Lectric Cycles in Las Vegas . The 2016 models were on sale.
Best price ever advertised on the web? Nope. Fair price. Yes. Good people and I understand they need to make money. It was a great experience. They also do other ebikes and mid motor conversions. If you are in the market in the southwest, pay them a visit.
We did and picked up two Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL models. Thanks Lectric Cycle guys.