Every once in a great while a great ebike video will hit YouTube. Audi Ebike was one, Specialized Turbo was another. Now Haibike has released an outstanding video of their bike climbing a steep ski jump. The setting is outstanding and climbing this ski jump is no small feat. This video (if it is not staged) effectively demonstrates the extreme uphill performance of the Haibike Xduro (an also why we love non-hubs as the future of E-bikes).
This driver and his Xduro had to overcome a massive ascent of an 78 percent grade. A 100% grade is a 45-degree angle, and the steepest part of the ski-jump is 38-degrees. They did this without any external support, and were secured with only a safety rope.
Here is the video:
Here is a 5 minute video describing the making of the above short video. You can see more details of the bike climbing in this one:
In the videos you can see the Haibike Ebike climbing at a low rate of speed. This is because the bike is a mid drive (Bosch mid drive) and its set in a granny gear and both the rider and the motor are chugging away. There are no hub motor bikes that could climb such a grade because the hub motor lacks gearing and would therefore need to climb the steep slope fast which is not possible.
Once a hub-motor is forced to slow down enough that the motors RPM’s are below its efficiency range, more of the batteries watts are converted into heat instead of work, and if that situation lasts long enough, the motor and controller can be permanently damaged.
What is most amazing is that the Haibike has only 250 watts of continuous power (500 watts peak) on its Bosch drive. It uses its modest power efficiently, and is a very effective and reliable hill climber at very low speeds. Obviously this accomplishment is a combination of both man and machine. Having a professional athlete on the bike was a necessity to make such a climb.
The bikes speed range can be easily and cheaply changed by swapping-in a different gear cluster (for those of you with only mild hills and want a little extra top-speed). If you like to hop large rocks and logs off-road, we also like how the Haibikes frame fully protects the motor and chainring.
The Haibike was on display at the 2012 Interbike convention in Las Vegas and I did get to test ride it. I thought it was the best riding ebike at the show. The Haibike is scheduled to be offered in 2014 by Currie Technologies to the north American market and is currently available in Europe. Hopefully the North American version will allow for the higher USA federal limit of 750W (500W in Canada), because that’s a product that we can see a lot of potential buyers liking.