This is a review of the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0, the most affordable ebike in Haibike’s lineup of premium electric bikes. This is a rugged, good looking ebike, suitable for all kinds of terrains. We bought it mainly for off-road cycling, where it excels, but it also runs well on paved roads. It is best classified as a mountain ebike (eMTB), although Haibike calls it a Sport Hardtail.
Finding an Electric Bike for Off-Road Cycling
We recently started doing a lot more off-road cycling, mainly trails. We quickly realized that Maggie needed a good off-road ebike. The cute Cube Elly Ride 400 Hybrid Electric Bike (reviewed here) that she used for office commuting was totally unsuitable for off-road riding. Of course, I did tons of research, trying to decide which ebike would be best. Finally, I came across the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0, and quickly decided that it seemed to be unbeatable in terms of price and quality. This opinion was influenced by my four years of riding a much more expensive Haibike, my Haibike Xduro Trekking Pro (reviewed here). While my ebike was expensive, it is undoubtedly the best ebike I have ever owned. Four years on, and it still looks like new and rides like new, despite heavy use. Plus, I love its performance, its geometry, and its rugged good looks. So basically, I am sold on Haibikes, and I was keen to see how they have done with their budget version.
An Affordable Haibike
With the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0, Haibike has created a much cheaper Haibike, opening up their line to people who don’t want to break the bank for a quality ebike. Of course, they have achieved that by incorporating cheaper components. But it’s still a Haibike, so I was more than willing to take a chance on the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0. Here’s how that worked out for us, a couple of months and many adventurous rides later.
Performance of the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0
We both love riding this ebike. We kept the stock tires (see specs at the end of this post), and found that they have great traction on gravel and trails. We feel very secure, and can zoom along at very high speeds without fear of wiping out and breaking bones. Although the bike has only three levels of assistance, a 250 Watt Yamaha motor, and nine gears, it still offers the rider a lot of assistance. Of course, it is a pedelec, so you have to do your share of the work, but we have both found it does what we expect from an ebike – helps us to get up hills we could not possibly manage on a regular bike. Plus, of course, go for long, adventurous rides!
Also, we find the relatively low-level Suntour shocks with 120 mm of travel do a surprisingly good job of soaking up the bumps. (They even have a lock-out, so you can have a rigid front fork when you prefer, such as on pavement.) Soaking up the bumps is helped by the chunky 27.5” tires. All in all, this ebike offers a comfy ride, even on very rough terrain. And the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer enough precise stopping power to inspire confidence on the steepest of hills.
Below is a video that I originally made to demonstrate a bike trail, but I have included it here because it shows Maggie in action on her Haibike (wearing the black top and green skort). Notice how she keeps disappearing into the distance! Even on steep uphills, Maggie zooms on her Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0. And there was me, often trailing behind on my much more expensive Haibike Xduro Trekking Pro! (I have 27 gears, a 250 Watt Bosch motor, and four levels of assistance on my Haibike Xduro). She also had a better time of it on the rough parts of the trail, as her bike is more of a mountain bike, while mine is more of a hybrid, and has thinner tires. In one part of this video I overtake her on a very steep hill – only to have her power past me a couple of minutes later! (at minute 2:41).
Given that Maggie is 60 years old, the video above shows that this ebike has a lot of power, even on hills. On a different ride, along another roller-coaster-like service road, we went down a hill that was way too steep – and then of course, we had to come back up it!
You can see the grade of that ride in the graphic below (from my Strava recording). I have outlined in red the very steep hill in the middle of that ride. Maggie actually made it up that steep hill!
I have to admit that I walked up some of that steep hill. My excuse is that I stopped at some point to avoid having a heart attack (hey, men are way more prone to heart attacks, so we have to be more careful) … and then I could not pull off again on such a steep grade. However, Maggie made it all the way up with her Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0.
If you are new to ebikes, you may be wondering why I thought about having a heart attack on that hill. Well, our Haibikes are pedelec electric bikes, which require you to pedal before the power kicks in. When you are on a flat road or a minor hill, pedaling is close to effortless. However, when the hill is really steep, and the rider is fairly heavy, a LOT of pedaling is required if you have a fairly small motor.
The Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0 has a 250 Watt motor, which is certainly on the small side. However, it’s a high quality Yamaha motor, paired with a great battery, plus the ace German geometry and build of a Haibike, so it packs a whole lot of assistance in a fairly discreet package. Plus of course you have nine rapid-fire Shimano Altus M2000 gears to help you get the most out of your motor.
The Haibike Skid Plate
The geometry of most Haibikes has the motor situated low down, close to the ground.
This is standard in crank-drive electric bikes, and makes for a low center of gravity, a natural cycling feel, and plenty of stability. (See my post on crank-drive vs. hub-drive electric bikes.) However, the downside is that if you are using your Haibike to ride on trails, there is always a danger of flying rocks hitting the motor and damaging it. Or, if you happen to have a crash, the motor could sustain possibly catastrophic damage by sliding over rock. In response to this threat to the motor – the most expensive part of the bike – Haibike came up with the concept of the skid plate. See picture below.
The skid plate is made of plastic, and is not intended to last forever. Instead, it functions like a bike helmet. In the event of a crash, the plastic will absorb the damage and protect your expensive motor. If it is destroyed by the impact, it is cheap enough to replace – unlike the motor.
Of course, the skid plate is not made of just any old plastic. The Haibike skid plate is made of a highly shock-resistant plastic that is designed to absorb destructive forces so great that they pretty much destroy it, while still retaining its shape well enough to protect your motor. In short, it is a cleverly designed sacrifice part. And for smaller bumps and scrapes, it will keep your bike looking newer for longer. Here is the skid plate on Maggie’s bike.
How Haibikes Hold Up Over Time
I have had my Haibike Xduro Trekking Pro for four years and put thousands of miles on it, over all kinds of terrain. And although I take good loving care of my bikes, I am not gentle with them. Yet, it still does not have a single scratch on it. This is one of the things I love about Haibikes – they are made from hydroformed aluminum that does not scratch. We have had other ebikes, such as the Cube Elly Rides, which scratch very quickly.
While the Cube has a solid construction, it is topped off with a vulnerable paint job that scratches. This is very definitely not the case with Haibike, with the result that when it is clean, my four-year-old Haibike looks practically new. After a couple of months with this much cheaper Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0, I can see that it has the same ability to avoid scratches and keep looking great. In the photos it may appear dusty, as we have been riding it hard off-road, but that is superficial dirt. Underneath it is a gleaming, untouched frame.
The Motor in the Haibike sDuro HardSeven 1.0
The Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0 is powered by the Yamaha PW-SE Drive Unit, a respected and proven motor. It kicks in from the first turn of the pedals, for immediate power, which I like. Many ebikes have a delayed start on the motor. This is done for safety, but it can be annoying, especially on hill pull-offs. I am an experienced ebike rider, so it is not a problem for me.
However, if this is your first ebike, it might take a little getting used to. A good option is to start with the lowest level of electrical assistance, until you are accustomed to having super powers! For all its power, the motor is very quiet (barely noticeable unless you are especially listening for it), has a high maximum torque of up to 70 Nm, and is really quite small and discreet. I don’t think anyone is going to miss the fact that this is an electric bike, but it looks more like a rugged mountain bike than any kind of motorized vehicle. Coupled with a quality lithium ion Yamaha battery with 400 watt hours, we feel we can go anywhere on this ebike.
Yamaha LED Display on the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0
One of the places where Haibike has cut costs on this ebike is the LED Display, which you use to control the motor and monitor the battery level. It also shows your speed and your mileage. This Yamaha LED Display is small and minimal, and cannot be removed from the bike. Which of course makes it more vulnerable to theft or vandalism. However, although the price point is low for a quality ebike, this bike is still way too expensive for us to leave it parked anywhere unsafe. We often ride this bike down to the lake, because it is such fun on the trails – but it is never out of our sight. If you do need to leave this ebike parked in public, you can of course remove the battery and take that with you.
Bottom Line on the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0
Despite the cheaper price point, Haibike has not made any unacceptable compromises on quality with this ebike. The bike does not come with lights, but as Maggie is not planning to use it at night, that is not a problem. You could of course add lights, but on this budget ebike, you don’t get the luxury of integrated lights. It also does not have mounts for a water bottle, but this is common on ebikes, as there is often nowhere to fit a water bottle. I explain how to get around this in my post on how to carry a water bottle on your electric bike.
I think Haibike has nailed it with their Haibike sDuro HardSeven 1.0 – without a doubt the best bang-for-your-buck electric mountain bike I have ridden. The only regret I have is that it is Maggie’s, not mine! (I confess that since she bought it, I have ridden it more than she has.)
If you are in the market for an electric bike that is well suited for off-road riding, definitely consider this ebike. Bottom line is, it’s a Haibike. If I was just starting off in the world of ebikes and had a tight budget, I would get this bike and gradually upgrade the components over time. But even in its stock state, it offers a great ride. The only things we upgraded right off the bat were the grips, which we replaced with ergonomic grips (Maggie gets numb wrists unless she has great grips). And we added a kick stand. And a bell – very much needed to alert bears as Maggie zooms along deserted service roads!
|SHIFT LEVERS||Shimano Altus M2000, rapid-fire|
|CASSETTE||Shimano HG200, 11-36 teeth|
|CRANKSET||steel, FSA, 38|
|REAR DERAILLEUR||Altus M2000, rapid-fire|
|FRONT HUB||Haibike Components The Hub +|
|REAR HUB||Haibike Components The Hub +|
|RIMS||Alex rims MD21, aluminum|
|FRONT TIRE||XLC MountainX, 57-584|
|WHEEL SIZE||Tektro M285, 180mm|
|SADDLE||Selle Italia X-Base|
|SEATPOST||Haibike Components The seat post ++, patent, 31.6mm, aluminum|
|HANDLEBARS||Haibike Components The Bar + 720mm|
|STEM||Haibike Components The Stem +, A-head, Bar bore: 31.8mm, 7°|
|GRIPS||XLC lock on grips Sport|
|PEDALS||MTB Platform pedal aluminum|
|FRONT BRAKE||Tektro M285, 180mm|
|REAR BRAKE||XLC MountainX, 57-584|
|FORK||SR Suntour XCM DS, steel spring, Travel: 120 mm, steel steerer tube 1 1/8", quick release|
|FRAME||Aluminum 6061, quick-release 5 x 135mm, disc brake Post Mount|
|RIDING MODES||4 modes (+ECO/50, ECO/100, STD/190, HIGH/280)|
|BATTERY||Yamaha Lithium Ion, 400 Wh|
|CHARGER||Yamaha quick charger 4A|
|MOTOR||Yamaha PW-SE System, 250 W|
|WIRING HARNESS||Custom Haibike wiring harness|
Above information is from the Haibike website
|Geometry of the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0|
|FRAME SIZE||35 XS||40 S||45 M||50 L||55 XL|
|FRAME HEIGHT||350 mm||400 mm||450 mm||500 mm||550 mm|
|SEAT TUBE ANGLE||73°||73°||73°||73°||73°|
|HEAD TUBE LENGTH||115 mm||120 mm||125 mm||130 mm||630 mm|
|HEAD TUBE ANGLE||68°||68°||68°||68°||68°|
|TOP TUBE LENGTH (HORIZONTAL)||550 mm||570 mm||590 mm||610 mm||135 mm|
|CHAINSTAY LENGTH||460 mm||460 mm||460 mm||460 mm||460 mm|
|BB DROP||-40 mm||-40 mm||-40 mm||-40 mm||-40 mm|
|STACK||612 mm||617 mm||621 mm||626 mm||631 mm|
|REACH||375 mm||394 mm||413 mm||431 mm||450 mm|
Above information is from the Haibike website
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