When someone says electric bike to you, you probably aren’t going to make the mental image of the Haibike XDuro FatSix RC, or any other fat bike for that matter. But maybe you should. Afterall, as even fat bike aficionados will admit, in standard pedal powered form they’re not exactly easy rolling with their four-inch tyres. Fun? Yes. Quick off the mark? Less so. That is until Haibike made the XDuro FatSixRC for powered fat bike frolicks.
Haibike did the sensible thing to their 6061 hydroformed alloy FatSix frame and added a 250w Bosch CX-Line high performance motor linked to a 500Wh 36v battery. This mid-mounted motor is pretty much the cream of the e-bicycle crop in 2016, with bags of torque and grin inducing power through the range up to the legal limit of 15.5 mph. Now you get the best of both worlds, the ride at/up/over anything capability of a fat bike with enough pedal assist grunt to let you steamroller or bulldozer your way through the toughest trail conditions or up the steepest climbs.
Haibike XDuro FatSix RC - threequarter.jpg, by admin
The bike uses the Bosch Intuvia mounted LED display for your data and we think it’s one of the clearest to understand of all the major dash units. Just select the power mode you’re after and start pedalling. Let the shift indicator arrows guide you towards optimum gear shifting. The motor figures out how hard you’re pressing the pedals and how fast you’re turning the pedals and lobs in an appropriate level of electric power.
The CX battery is designed to sit into the downtube - a fairly standard design move among e-bike brands, partly to hide the battery hump in the frame and partly to keep the weight low. The Bosch CX Performance battery will deliver between 30 and 140 miles depending on your power mode usage and the terrain you’re covering. You’ll average much closer to the first number than the second!
Justin says: The XDuro FatSix made us laugh, a lot. Fat bikes do that anyway, but when you’ve got the Jack Russell of e-bike motors between the cranks, the fun quotient goes through the roof. I opted not to mess about with Eco or tour modes, but toggled between the highest output Sport and Turbo modes instead. These give the bike an impressive level of instant torque and up to 300 per cent assistance the moment you place pressure on the pedals. In fact, the 75Nm of torque kick can take you by surprise if you’re not careful.
The transmission is faultless Shimano Deore XT, confidently snicking shifts all day, every day.. Up front is the RockShox Bluto suspension fork, a fatbike specific model, with a crown wide enough to allow up to five inch wide tyres. With 100mm of buttery smooth travel (as if the three inch deep Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tyres aren’t insulation enough), you’ll be able to cruise headlong through the singletrack without worry.
When you’ve got this much mass moving fat, you need brakes that are man enough for the job and the Shimano hydraulic Deore XT disc brakes with 203/180mm rotors are just that. Light and strong and with plenty of modulation.
The bike isn’t exactly nimble, fat bikes aren’t, even without the weight penalty of the motor, but we had it navigating standard UK spec singletrack with no worries. It’s tricky to argue the case for and against an electric fat bike as they’re just so off the wall as experiences go, but safe to say we like this one.
Dave says: Assuming you don’t live in the frozen tundra or at the end of a five-mile-long beach, it’s hard to make a case for needing a fat bike. But they’re fun to ride, and mountain biking’s about having fun, right? This Haibike amplifies the fun by taking out some of the slog of getting to where the fun starts. The motor system is hugely capable and climbing on the enormous tyres, dragging the weight of this giant bike, is really not a problem at all.
Fat bikes don’t stand or fall on their weight or lack of it. The extra weight of the battery and motor isn’t that noticeable here when you point the bike downhill. On racier trail tyres hardtail e-bikes sometimes feel like they’re slamming into every root and rock. That’s kind of what you do with a fat bike anyway, trusting the massive air chambers of the tyres to get you out of jail. Which they invariably do. The front fork adds even more margin for error.
It’s safe to say I had fun riding this one. It’s not a bike I’d buy myself, but if you’re looking for a fun, go-anywhere e-bike then it deserves to be on the list.