A Haibike ride
Sometimes love at first sight happens – sometimes the reality does not match that first sight.
Well I experienced something today that brought such things to mind.
I`d gone, with a Dorset Energized colleague (Keith Wheaton-Green) to visit the Dorset Ebike Centre. Keith has been getting Ebike curious and wanted to try one and learn more & also we wanted to talk to the Ebike Centre owner Peter Claxton about him bringing along some Ebikes to a charity cycle ride day in Hazelbury Bryan on the 1st of June (more on that soon).
So I arrived at the Ebike Centre thinking mostly about helping Keith get to grips with the Ebike experience – and then as we walked into the showroom I saw it:
Peter saw me looking at the bike, and broke off from talking to Keith to say it had just arrived and what a dream it was to ride. Brand new, just out of the box, I didn`t dare ask if I could sit on it leave alone take it for a proper ride – but Peter said do you want to take it for a spin. There was no chance I would say no – so I didn`t.
After a bit more chatting, with Keith learning some more about Ebikes, me and him went of for a ride – me on the Haibike Xduro FS and Keith on a Riese & Muller Ebike. Let`s put it this way – it was love at first sight (with the Haibike) confirmed in the first few minutes of the ride. I was meant to be advising Keith – but my answers to his (sensible) questions were from someone a little distracted by the sheer joy of riding that bike. Yes it has an electric motor (I`m used to that) – but it doesn`t ride like an Ebike at all. Once you`re moving it was as if I was riding a top end Mountain Bike and had the strength and fitness to make the most of such a bike (which I don`t – but the Bosch motor makes up the difference). With no discernible lag in the power supply from the motor and with no evidence, once underway, of this bike weighing more than a non electric bike, it was as if I was floating along the road. But of course this is a fully equipped mountain bike – quality suspension front and rear, high end gears, the whole shebang – so temptation overruled caution and at the first sight of a bridleway, well it had to be done, we went off road (I just hoped Peter wouldn`t mind – and phew he didn`t, it turned out).
I`ve ridden a lot of bridleways on bicycles, mostly on my own ebikes – and they cope quite well with the rougher surface, the motor providing the power to keep you going in the tricky bits. But this Haibike was doing more than coping – it was thriving, this was its element. Love blossomed further. Eventually we had to turn around and return to the showroom – though another detour was called for, just to extend the fun. But back we got – and I have to admit, I gushed rather, virtues of the Haibike, extolling (it had to be done, truly). Keith – returning to why we`d gone to the Dorset Ebike Centre – was rather impressed as well. He`s thinking of joining his son`s charity ride to Southern Spain and has been wondering about using an Ebike for the ride – and it might well happen. The Riese and Muller he was trying will soon be Vince Adam`s and if Keith can persuade him to lend it – well it could be on the way to Spain (carrying the Dorset Energized message). That bike, with it`s rack and practical mudguards and Nuvinci hub gear – well it would make an excellent long distance tourer, panniers on the rack and you`re away.
The Haibike though – well it probably wouldn`t be much good touring, no rack (and with full suspension, difficult to fit one), no mudguards, full nobblies for tyres – really not a tourer. But, most definitely a wonderful (and proper) Mountain Bike.
And hey – this Xduro FS is at the cheap end of the Haibike range (£2,850 I think Peter is selling them at) but unless you are a real expert mountain biker, then I cannot see why you would need (or be able to get the best out of), anything even more highly equipped.
If I had the money I`d buy it – for sure! If you want to, it`s here – Dorset Ebike Centre