Haibike Xduro Superace Mid-Drive Road Bike

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When it comes to styling, even the most ardent e-bike enthusiasts would agree that in the land of electric bikes, there hasn’t been much to get excited about. Since their inception, electric bikes have traditionally relied on a truly utilitarian creed of substance over style. Of course, that all changed last year when Specialized entered the fray with their sensational-looking Turbo. This was the first large-scale production bike that happily borrowed its styling cues from the world of hot rods and superbikes. In short, the Specialized Turbo was the first e-bike to land in America that made people sit up and say, “Wow!”

The Bosch Intuvia display is nicely designed and offers up all the pertinent ride info with the touch of a finger.
The Bosch Intuvia display is nicely designed and offers up all the pertinent ride info with the touch of a finger.

Well, thanks to Germany’s Haibike, the Turbo is about to have some company. Although Haibike has been in the bike business since 1996, they’ve only been a player in the e-bike category since 2010. However, no other company that we can think of has embraced the pedal-assist market as aggressively and enthusiastically. Haibike has dedicated their entire e-bike family to using Bosch mid-mount motors, and with 27 e-bikes in their catalog, Haibike expects to be a player when the words “battery” and “bicycle” conjoin.

THE SUPERRACE

super-racer-1Haibike actually makes two different versions of the Xduro Superrace—one with drop bars (Xduro Race) and one with a flat handlebar—and it is the latter option that will be landing in America in early spring. Haibike is renowned for being the first company to flip the Bosch motor, so that instead of it hanging down below the pedals, it is instead cradled inside the frame. It may just be an entirely subjective, visual detail, but the difference is striking—it’s like the difference of the national anthem being sung by Roseanne Barr or Taylor Swift. You be the judge.

Like the Specialized Turbo, the Superrace is based on a red aluminum frame and is built out with a lip-smacking list of high-end components. Where the Euro-spec Race model uses a Shimano 11-speed drivetrain to complement the drop bars, the Superrace runs with a 10-speed SRAM drivetrain with X0 trigger shifters pushing the chain over a single chainring up front and an 11-36 cog in back.

Not all disc brakes are created equal, and hydraulic discs, while adding plenty of cost to a bike, are night-and-day better than the lower-cost mechanical (cable-pull) disc brakes. The Haibike runs with Magura hydraulic stoppers with 180mm rotors.
Not all disc brakes are created equal, and hydraulic discs, while adding plenty of cost to a bike, are night-and-day better than the lower-cost mechanical (cable-pull) disc brakes. The Haibike runs with Magura hydraulic stoppers with 180mm rotors.

If you happen to be looking at the Superrace and still wondering why the retail price is so high, well, the wheels are one source of the cost. While cheap, open-mold carbon rims can now be off-loaded like any catch of tuna from a Boston-based trawler, these are not just any janky, no-name carbon wheels. Yes, Reynolds Attack wheels are Asian-made, but they are proven wheels of high pedigree, and they’re wrapped with equally proven Schwalbe tires.

Ah, but what about the powerplant? Again, don’t be fooled by the motor’s location. It is the same 36-volt, 350-watt Bosch motor found on many other bikes; it’s just flipped upside down. Charging the motor is a 36-volt lithium-ion battery, and running the system is a Bosch Intuvia multifunctional display mounted on the handlebars.

Unfortunately, just as this issue was going to press, due to high demand they encountered at the fall trade shows, Bosch announced a production delay for bikes using their motors. What that means to you and us is that our planned test of the Superrace will be put off for now. But stay tuned, because as soon as we get the chance, we plan to put the Haibike through its paces.