e-Bike Cycle Tourists’ Haibike xDuro RX Trekking Electric Bike Review

Very excited Rachel collecting her bike!
Collecting our Haibike xDuro Trekking RX Electric Bikes from the e-bikeshop.co.uk just 7 months ago.

At approximately the half way mark of the e-Bike Cycle Tourists world e-bike long distance record ride, the time has come for us to review our Haibike xDuro RX Trekking Electric Bikes as supplied by sponsor  e-bikeshop.co.uk

In the lead-up to setting out on our record-breaking ride, which has now seen us cycle more than 12,000 kilometres through 11 countries over seven months, the number one priority was to source an e-bike that ticked all of the boxes needed to successfully complete a self-contained long distance cycle tour of more than 20,000kms while towing a fully laden trailer.

Haibike Chain
The Bosch power drive system provides effortless power no matter what the terrain.

At the top of the list of requirements was a bike that provided a full range of gear options, long battery life, a mid-mounted geared motor and frame-mounted battery, a relatively upright sitting position suitable for long days of comfortable cycling, hydraulic brakes for reliable stopping, front suspension, an overall suitability for long distance touring, 700mm wheels for low rolling resistance and, most importantly, a sturdy frame capable of withstanding punishing long distance riding both on and off-road.

The Bosch Performance Crank Drive Motor

After an exhaustive search of e-bikes models manufactured by companies from throughout the world, in the end it seemed that all roads, no matter what specifications were taken into account, pointed to just one e-bike – the Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bike in combination with the Bosch Performance crank drive motor and 400wh battery system.

On paper it appeared the perfect vehicle to not only break the existing world e-bike record of 16,047kms, but to smash it. However specifications on paper are one thing; the big question was whether our unisex Haibikes would live up to their hype where it mattered most – on the roads and off-road trails of the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe? (We chose the unisex model due to the lower height of the crossbar – an important consideration when you are getting on and off your bike dozens of times every day).

With the Bosch crank drive motor offering up to anything from 50% assistance in ‘eco’ mode through to 275% assistance in ‘turbo’ mode, after seven months of cycling on a daily basis our Haibike RX Trekking e-bikes haven’t just met our expectations, they have surpassed them is so many ways. So far there has not been one hill – and there have been many, many extremely steep climbs tackled while towing our fully laden Tout Terrain trailers – that have defeated us.

Such is our newfound confidence in our Haibikes and the electrical assistance available when needed, that we have now adopted a “we can climb any hill” attitude to our cycle touring. This is a huge statement indeed for someone who prior to setting out on the current e-bike world record attempt had been forced to walk up many, many big hills while cycling an estimated 30,000-plus kilometres on a standard non-electric touring bike.

Haibike Bosch Motor
Bosch Performance Crank Motor

Given the sturdy build of our Haibikes, over the course of the past few months there has only been one occasion where either of our bikes has broken down – and that was in France when a Sram hub disintegrated, resulting in a five day wait while a new hub was sourced and fitted.

Over 12,000-plus Kilometres the Haibike/Bosch Combination has not Missed a Beat

Other than that there has been a long list of parts such as brake disc pads, brake rotors, rear wheels, chains, rear tyres, pedals and an entire rear hydraulic back brake system that have had to be replaced, but over 12,000-plus kilometres of cycling in temperatures from below freezing to above 40 degrees the Haibike/Bosch combination has not missed a beat – testament indeed to the quality of the product.

A feature of the Haibike Trekking e-bikes that we have both liked is the backlit Bosch display unit. The unit is easily read – even by someone who requires reading glasses – and clearly shows speed, distance travelled, assistance levels, maximum and minimum speeds, average speed, battery range and the time.

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Battery charging stations are starting to become a feature of many cycle trails in Europe.

With battery preservation of utmost importance on a long distance ride – we have always been acutely aware that the e-bikes are just heavy bicycles without the aid of electrical assistance – the display unit accurately allows you to monitor battery usage on an ongoing basis, therefore preventing any costly miscalculations as to how far you have to go until the batteries run out.

Another important requirement for any long distance cycle tourist is the availability of a wide range of gears capable of tackling any situation – something our Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bikes do remarkably well.

With the Sram three speed dual drive internal rear hub/nine speed cassette combination providing a choice of 27 gears in addition to the assistance provided from either ‘eco’, ‘tour’, ‘sport’ or ‘turbo’ electric modes, there is always a suitable gear available no matter what terrain you are cycling over.

What is fantastic about the mid-drive construction of the Haibike is that rear wheel maintenance and the changing of flat tyres is the same non-fuss arrangement as on a normal non-electric bike – something we can vouch for after 11 flat tyres so far!

Also, the positioning of the mid-drive motor low on the frame means that you have a low centre of gravity, another important consideration for any cycle tourist carrying heavy panniers or towing a heavy cycle trailer.

e-bike cycle tourists
Despite towing a fully loaded trailer our Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bikes perform well over all types of terrain.

Certainly there has been no occasion when we have felt that we have been out of control or unbalanced while cycling – and that has been up to speeds of 63kph with a full load down some seriously steep hills.

Changes Recommended to the Haibike Trekking Model for Long Distance Cycle Touring

From experience we would only recommend a few minor changes to the Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bike setup as delivered from the factory for anyone contemplating a long distance cycle tour.

First and foremost get rid of the standard bike stand that is supplied and upgrade it to a stronger and sturdier stand, exchange the standard 32 spoke rear wheels for 36 spoke wheels to provide more strength, get rid of the standard bike seat as supplied and fit your own well-worn seat, consider fitting, as we have, seat suspension posts for even greater comfort and fit handlebar risers that allow you to ride in a much more upright position when needed – an important consideration when you on the road for anything up to nine hours per day!

With the Haibike battery pack taking up the space where a water bottle holder is usually fitted on a regular non-electric bike, it is also necessary to fit an aftermarket water bottle holder on the bike. With limited positioning options available, we opted to fit bottle holders on the bikes’ handlebars and – on Rachel’s bike at least – another twin holder bolted to the frame of her saddle.

It is also important for anyone considering using the Haibike Trekking model for a long distance tour to consider purchasing a second spare battery for each bike – as we did. While the batteries are far from cheap, without a backup battery it is impossible to cycle the daily distances required – and to have peace of mind that you will get to your destination – on a long distance tour.

So far we have averaged 75 kms per day over more than 160 days of cycling, with our best daily total 137.8 kms. With each battery – depending on the terrain being cycled achieving anything from 40 to 90 or so kilometres – it is patently obvious that more than one battery per bike per day is required.

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There is no difference between changing a flat tyre on a Haibike Trekking e-bike and a traditional bicycle.

Pros:
• Strong, sturdy construction suitable for all riding situations.
• The availability of 27 gear options in combination with 4 electrical assist modes.
• Sturdy rear pannier rack
• The Bosch Performance crank drive motor and 400wh battery system – it is faultless.
• Well balanced mid-drive electrical motor.
• The easy-to-read backlit Bosch display unit.
• Ease of use for anyone of any age or riding ability.
• As far as electric bikes go it is a head turner – something we know only too well.

Cons:
• No braze on points provided for a water bottle holder.
• Wheels are only 32 spoke – for cycle touring they need to be 36 spoke.
• The bike stand as supplied is not strong enough
• Size and weight of batteries

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The Bosch display clearly details all of your trip information.
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11 thoughts on “e-Bike Cycle Tourists’ Haibike xDuro RX Trekking Electric Bike Review

  1. Hi Congratulations on you World Record! If i could ask some questions – Are you using the same batteries you started with? And do you run them flat everyday? Also did you use thorn resistant tyres and liners in the tyres as well as the gungky stuff in the tubes? Thank You and well done again!

    1. Thanks for your support. Yes, we usually run two batteries flat every day, with the other two used to get us to our final destination. So far we have always had enough electrical power, but that said it has been a close call on a few occasions. Our bikes have Schwalbe Marathon-Plus tyres that are supposed to be puncture proof, but that still hasn’t stopped us suffering 12 flats in total. We always carry plenty of spare tubes and always replace the damaged tubes with a new one. As such we haven’t worried about the spray tube gunk.

      1. Gary and Rachel,
        Congratulations on your record setting ebike tour. The question I have is are the electrical connections on your ebikes waterproof. What do you do when caught in an extended rainstorm while riding? When camping, while the battery pack is being charged, must the ebike be covered to protect against dew or rain getting into the electrical connections? Safe Travels, David

        1. Hi David. Thanks for your congratulations. After more than one year of riding our Haibike Trekking RX xDuro e-bikes in all sorts of weather we have never had to worry about anything to do with the electrical connections when riding in the rain – and believe me we have been in some torrential downpours!! As far as charging the batteries, we always take the batteries off our bikes and charge them under the cover of our tent or another suitable structure to ensure there is no chance of water getting into the main electricity connections. We do not worry about protecting the e-bike electrical connections while the batteries are off the bike – it is simply not an issue. Happy e-biking.

  2. Hi. I recently purchased a Haibike Xduro RX Trekking bike. I found your site and I am really glad I did. I’m a 65 y.o. man and about 5’10”. I got the bike to get more exercise and I have been extending my distances. One of the things you said in your review resonated with me: “fit handlebar risers that allow you to ride in a much more upright position.” As I spend more time in the saddle and extend my distances, I often feel that I am in a more aggressive position than I want to be. Can you tell me how much you raised your handlebars with risers? Did it help you on your long rides? Did you have to replace your cables when you raised the handlebars? Were there any other adjustments you made to improve your position on the bike? BTW, I agree on getting a seat suspension post. Big increase in comfort! Thanks for your help and for a very interesting site.

    Kim

    1. Hi Kim. Glad you found our website. The handlebar raisers are about 5 – 6″ high and have been invaluable while riding for anything from 4 to 8 hour daily. They allow you to sit in a much more upright position and also provide much needed variety in regard to sitting positions. No, we didn’t have to extend any cables because the raisers are additions to the end of the handlebars and do not impact on the actual height of the handlebars (have a close look at any of the pics on the website of our bikes). Happy e-biking. Cheers Gary and Rachel.

  3. Cogratulations on this great and challanging achievement. I am planning a trip next year with 3 other friends, who are all turning 60 yrs next year. We are planning a trekking trip in Europe, for a charity cause, crossing approximately 1250km in ten days. I can use all the help I can get. I am used to doing 40 to 50 km a day on a Bergmont ebike. However, we are all planning to get Haibikes, and not yet sure which one to choose for the trip.

    1. Your planned trip sounds fantastic. Given that we e-biked 27,800kms over 16 months on our Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bikes without any major problems we highly recommend you use the same bikes. All the best with your planning.

  4. Hi Gary and Rachel,

    Congratulations on your inspiring journey! I’d love to do a bicycle tour some day. I’m considering getting this e-bike. I also had a question about the handlebars. It seems like you have replaced the standard stem with an adjustable stem. Is that true? Would you mind sharing which stem you got? Also curious about the brand of the handlebar raisers.

    Thank you! Jay

    1. Hi Jay. The 2015 model Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bike came standard fitted with an adjustable stem which we believe is a MUST have accessory for anyone contemplating long distance cycle touring. They allow a more upright sitting position which helps prevent aching lower back muscles after 8 or more hours cycling day in day out.Sorry not sure of the brand of th stem as we no longer have the bikes – Haibike kept them to include in their Hall of Fame. As for the handlebar raisers, I have had them for 10 or more years and just keep putting them on each on my new bikes. Once again not sure of the brand. Cheers Gary

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