The TV show Ellen gave away a Haibike. Ellen DeGeneres also encouraged her huge viewer base to consider one too, saying that she personally rides one, and loves it.
When was it?
On April 10th, 2017 (season 14, episode 132) the Ellen show gave away a Haibike. It’s right at the beginning of the episode, during a game called “What’s in the box?” at roughly the 5:00 mark. Ellen acts like its a contest, but when a studio audience member is selected?…the “contest” gets easier and easier until everyone wins something good.
“I’m going to give you an opportunity, ’cause it’s still sitting there, you have no choice to make, I’m just going to give you whatever is behind that curtain, OK? OK, what is behind that curtain?…It’s electric bike, it’s a Haibike! How ’bout that?
But no, it’s not just a bike, Portia and I have these bikes, Haibikes are really cool, you can pedal, and it’s got an electric motor, so…it’s, it’s fantastic. Congratulations!”
I thought I would need to use my Google Kung Fu skills to find out which model of Haibike that was promoted on the Ellen show that day, but if you go to the Ellen website, they already posted which one it was, in case any viewers wanted to get the same one.
Why is this news?
The Ellen show is very popular. The demographic for electricbike.com is mostly male, but even if you don’t watch Ellen, literally millions do. This is relevant because…I still run into people that don’t know that electric bikes even exist, much less which one might better than another.
Without any further suspense, the model featured was the Haibike Sduro Trekking 5.0 “low step” model.
The mid drive motor used in this model is the Yamaha, which allows two chainrings for those buyers who want a wider range of gear selections (as opposed to the common single chainring). It takes the modest input watts and converts them to an impressive 80Nm (Newton meters) or wheel-torque.
I very much approve of the aluminum frame, and the Shimano Deore dual hydraulic disc brakes (180mm disc in front, and 160mm in rear).
Because it does use a front disc brake, I am also pleased to report that it uses a “quick release” front axle, so if you ever need to mount the bike on a car travel rack, the disc brake and QR axle combination means the front wheel is very easy to remove and then eventually re-install…all with no tools needed.
The 36V / 500WH battery is more than adequate as far as it’s performance is concerned, when used in its intended application. The extremely high reduction inside the drive means the high-RPM motor converts the modest 350W input into a surprising amount of wheel-torque. It does this very efficiently, so the small and light battery last for an adequate amount of range.
There is no hand-throttle option, so any power that is added is a result of the rider pedaling, and the torque-sensing crank provides an instant response in a smooth and seamless assist to the rider.
Ellen joins the ranks of other celebrities that have been seen on electric bikes, such as Jay Leno, Miley Cyrus, William Shatner, Ed Begley Jr, Darryl Hannah, Leonardo DiCaprio, Prince Charles, Kelsey Grammer, and others…
I was disappointed that Haibike is not selling a 500W model here, since several large countries allow that (Canada, Austria, Switzerland, etc) so 500W models already exist, and of course it might be too much to ask for a USA-legal 750W model. I understand that sales in the US are much lower than in Europe, so we are still a small market to them (Haibike is based in Germany).
I also noticed that there was no option to upgrade the battery to a larger size. I am not suggesting that the base model discontinue the 500WH size, because it keeps the weight and price as low as possible. However, it would be nice if customers had the option for a larger battery, because…even if it was only a small increase, every little bit helps range and also battery life.
I hope that didn’t sound too negative, because I have ridden the Haibikes Sduro at the Interbike convention, and the performance was so peppy that I would have guessed it had more power than the rated 350W.
This is a wonderful amount of publicity for electric bikes of all types. And if thousands of Ellen fans rush out to buy a Haibike, this single incident will likely provide a milestone in USA customer-awareness of ebikes. I would be sad if this highly visible ebike promotion was for a very weak ebike, but I am certain that the Haibike Sduro will impress a wide range of riders who try it.
It is not a hot rod, but…it is a very well-made product that has a smooth and sophisticated level of performance. It is made to a high level of quality, and should prove to be very reliable. That is good news for all of us.
Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, April 2017