Electric Bike Action Bike Test: Haibike AllMtn 7 Trail Bike
AllMtn 7 Trail Bike
By Alex Boyce
Way back in 2012, pioneering e-bike brand Haibike produced one of the first full-suspension, Bosch-equipped mountain bikes on the market. It was so popular that it was hard to find one at a dealer and virtually impossible to get one to test. In the days since, owing to company’s growth and popularity, the Haibike name has gone on to become synonymous with electric bikes.
The release of the 2021 All Mountain 7 is another defining moment. First, it has a Yamaha motor, which is still a bit of a rarity among the bigger bike brands. Second, it has a full-carbon frame and a price that will make other bike companies sweat.
The carbon AllMtn off-road electric bike has 160mm of front and rear travel and is distinguished by its use of a 29-inch front wheel and smaller 27.5-inch rear wheel.
“We found ourselves thinking, ‘Is this a race bike?’”
The designers were insistent that they did not compromise on anything. Their time was spent refining and working on the frame, including upgrading the carbon layups to meet higher specifications, as the rear frame parts were not exactly what they wanted back in October 2019 on the prototypes.
The frame build is high quality, everything is integrated smartly, including the air cooling for the power system and a nice battery cover. The Fox 38 suspension is class-leading and absolutely appreciated. It’s stiff and supportive on descents. The Syntace wheelset is smart-looking and well-built. The weight is competitive and comparable to other carbon-framed bikes. The bike we tested was assembled in Europe.
Over the years Haibike has pushed their geometry forward significantly. Increasing the seat tube angle to 76.3 degrees will give greater uphill climbing comfort. They also lengthened the reach to 461mm (large), which means stability and space on fast descents. The bike feels very modern, and gone are the conservative geometry numbers of the past. This is a modern bike that will make the competition look old fashioned.
The frame retains the design language of Haibike, including the angled frame and rear triangle layout, which also includes space and mounting points for their special light system. The head angle is open at 65 degrees. This bike means business on the trails.
Sitting on the bike, it feels big and stable, and the geometry gives plenty of options for riding styles and various rider adjustments. The four-bar-link rear suspension is well-tuned and very active. We can’t fault what they have done, but it still comes as a surprise from what has traditionally been a conservative design team.
The component specifications are the big starting point with the HaiBike—Fox Kashima DPX2 shock rear suspension with a 38 Factory Kashima fork, a Shimano XT drivetrain and XT four-piston brakes, Selle Royal saddle and an Acros Lock headset. It seems fairly normal, then you look at the price available from a normal shop. This almost seems impossible at this spec level.
The Yamaha PW-X2 is a headline-grabbing, 80 N/m, 250-watt system. Yamaha’s market penetration has been small until now, but having a major brand use the Yamaha system introduces a significant competitive threat to the rest of the market.
With up to 360 percent of support from the top of five different power modes, the PW-X2 is a serious motor. Haibike says, based on their previous experience of Yamaha motors, this is the most reliable system on the market. It uses a 600-Wh Yamaha-integrated battery, and during our testing the performance has been flawless.
The display is an easy-to-read and -operate, bar-mounted display with basic information, including battery level, speed and support level. It’s a little bigger than we would like and a bit too shiny and plastic for off-road use in our opinion, but it works. Ergonomics are still a weakness for off-the-shelf power controllers on all motor-brand systems. We are still unsure why it seems so difficult for all the motor makers to truly develop a “perfect” power controller, but maybe for 2022? Only custom units on custom motors have met our high expectations for truly well-designed power switches.
Using the power modes was a bit of an experiment at first, as we looked for the right setting according to how steep our climb was. In the end, we found the standard mid-power setting to cover most of our needs. If there were steep sections, we used the top power mode a few times, but overall we were impressed with the power options.
Power consumption was in line with other motors we have used from the latest generation of systems. We felt that the motor, even on steep climbs, was efficient, and we did not experience any range anxiety with the 600-Wh battery. We liked the 10-step power counter. On a normal two-hour ride, we expect to return to base with about 10–20 percent left in the battery. This proved to be correct, even after a day of climbing. Honestly, we were very impressed with the Yamaha system. It is also apparently ultra reliable, with a very low-fault report level. Yamaha has a new USA/European tech-support network that is now ready and waiting to help, hoping to never be needed.
For the ultra-tech geeks out there, there is neither any Bluetooth connectivity nor an app. This was a point that we were split on. For some, simplicity is the best solution for mountain bike adventures, but obviously there are those who totally disagree and prefer the convenience of being connected.
WHO IT’S MADE FOR
The AllMtn 7 has a wide usage range. It can be used as a relaxed trail cruiser or an aggressive all-mountain machine. It has a clean, simple integrated look with a very reliable motor. It will appeal to progressive/aggressive riders, as well as the Haibike base. If you want good-value carbon-frame technology, then this is an important bike to consider.
The new geometry gives the rider one of the most comfortable riding positions we have tried to date. Bike stability is one of the best we’ve found on steep, loose climbs. The Yamaha motor has a lot of power, with immediate support from zero cadence in high-power modes. The bike is agile in uphill corners, with low cadences still having continued power. The motor noise is a little quieter than a Bosch system.
On flat trails, passing the speed limit is easy with little resistance. The bike flows really well, and it’s very smooth. The motor adapts well to gradient changes, and the bike feels fun. We could float the bike around the trail very easily just playing whenever we wanted. The bike really stays planted and in contact with the trail, giving lots of grip at all times.
When it came to rough, rocky descents, the bike felt stable, and the suspension supports the rider with lots of mid-travel support. The big Fox 38 fork is very smooth, and the extra stiffness is appreciated when impacting rock-laden holes. Combined with a 29/27.5 setup, sharp corners were easy to navigate at speed.
The Shimano XT brakes worked well, and always with enough power when you need it. The Maxxis tire choice was optimal, and had lots of grip and control in rocky sections. We could not fault the component offering.
When compared to the competition—ride quality versus price versus specification versus motor power—the Haibike has the best specifications for the price that we’ve found so far on the market.
The Haibike AllMtn is a good example of the trickle-down of high-end features down to somewhat lower price levels. The bike rides really well and establishes a wider market appeal for Haibike, moving away from their traditional client base without alienating them. The Haibike All MTN 7.0 is currently available in Europe only.
2021 HAIBIKE ALLMTN 7
Motor: Yamaha PW-X2
Battery: Yamaha 600Wh
Charge time: 4A; 3–4 hours
Top speed: 20 mph (Class 1)
Range: 30–50 miles
Drive: Shimano XT
Brakes: Shimano XT 4 piston
Fork: Fox 38 Factory Kashima 160mm
Rear shock: DPX2 Kashima 160mm
Frame: Haibike full carbon
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 29” (front) and 27.5” DHR II (rear)
Weight: 23.3 kilograms (46 pounds)
Colors: Coffee Black Blue, Black Titan Matte Glossy
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.