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This Haibike Lyke CF 10 is one of those new fangled mid-power e-MTBs. 140mm travel at both ends. Full 29er. 60Nm of torque provided by the Fazua Ride 60 system. 430Wh battery (piggyback-able with an 210Wh range extender if desired). 65° head angle. 77.3° seat angle. 18kg on the scales.
- Brand: Haibike
- Product: Lyke CF 10
- From: haibike.com
- Price: £5,899
- Tested: by Benji
Haibike are one of the oldest marques in electric bikes. It has been doing ’em for donkeys years. But this Lyke is its first ever light(er)weight offering. Haibike describes the Lyke as the “sharpest Haibike in history”. Now, I’m a big fan of Haibike’s full-on full-power eMTBs – the Haibike Nduro 7 is my standout ebike of the year pretty much – so I was hugely excited to have a go on this Lyke.
This Haibike Lyke CF 10 is the cheapest model in a three model range of Lyke CFs. So it has Select-level suspension from RockShox and a smattering of own-brand and no-name finishing kit. Ultimately though it’s the frame and motor that is what we’re interested in. The frame is carbon fibre throughout and – let’s be honest about it – doesn’t look a great deal like other Haibikes. Sure, there’s the semi-signature top tube hump but other than that, it’s very much a new vibe for the German brand.
There are bottle bosses in a normal place and can accept proper capacity water bottles. Below the bosses, nearer the seat tube junction, is the charging port which was great. Easy and positive to use and impressively water ressitant. The chainstay protection is nicely designed and adhered. The thru-headset cabling is a shame. When will this disappear into the history bin of bad bike ideas?
The rear shock is a lengthy-of-stroke 200×57.5mm affair that is actuated by an ostensibly trad 4-bar Horst Link rear frame suspension design. There are not flip-chips anywhere by the way. The Lyke is not mullet-able nor angle adjusty. Which is fine by me.
The motors and battery gubbins are impressively discreet. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it looks like a regular mountain bike but it should certainly offend the eyes of MTB purists a lot less than heftier Haibikes.
The control is the frankly flimsy-feeling ‘Ring Control’ remote near the left hand grip. And the display, such that it has one, is built into the top tube and solely displays what mode you’re in (via colour coding) and what battery life you have remaining (in five LEDs).
Some people may like this minimalist approach. Personally I’d like to have a more informative battery-remaining display (10 LEDs? LEDs that change colour once 10%-used-up à la Bosch?) And I’d like a simple two-button remote. The ‘Ring’ just isn’t very good. It’s wobbly. It lacks positive action. It’s worryingly thin-plasticky. It occasionally gets stuck in the up position. I did manage to make it feel more consistent by placing it in a minutely different place/rotation on the handlebar, which just shows how temperamental the whole design is.
In terms of what the Ring Control offers, it switches between three power modes called Breeze (green LEDs), River (blue LEDs and Rocket (pink LEDs). Or you can switch it all the way down to unassisted. You can also press-and-hold the Ring COontrol in the up position to be rewarded with 12-seconds of Boost (the LEDs blink while this is occurring).
Whilst the idea of this on-demand Boost is fine, the actuality of it is less so. I personally found it pretty much impossible to time (or, more accurately, predict) when I needed to press-and-hold the Ring Control to get the Boost to occur at a helpful time. And, to be frank, the Boost wasn’t really very Boosty if I was on steep terrain. It was fine (and entertaining) on milder gradients but I guess a 60Nm motor can only do so much. What Boost mode certainly did do was empty the battery quicker. So yeah. Boost mode. Take it with a pinch of salt. It’s no substitute for More Actual Power when in genuinely demanding terrain.
In terms of geometry, here’s the vital stats in one handy chart…
The geometry in general is pretty sound. In an ideal world I’d like a couple of cm hacked off the seat tube and a degree of two slashed form the head angle but on-the-trail the bike was decently adept. Whilst I did resort the trad journo quasi-hack of running more effective/dynamic sag at the rear and less at the fork, to mimic a slacker head-angle, I did actually end up with the suspension feeling really nicely balanced in such a set-up.
Even with healthy sag at the back, the Lyke is a failry punchy and supportive suspension bike. Running the Lyrik Select fork with relatively normal (20% ish) amount of sag, and dialling in plenty of compression damping, had the bike feeling great. Not cushy or supple by any means. It felt really… muscley. Kinda like an offroad BMX. Both damper O-rings confirmed the frequent usage of full-travel but it was certainly a sporty rally-car alike ride as opposed to a magic carpet mattress thang.
A quick note about the tyres. Wicked Wills are fast. Until they’re a liability. At which point they become slow because you’re on the brakes all the time, scared. I swapped the Wills out for a pair of our stock Maxxis DHR II rubbers and ditched the fear.
The Haibike Lyke CF 10 was a nice place to be during climbs. It may not have the uppermost power of a full eMTB but the geometry puts you in a really capable and balanced stance for getting up all sorts of ascents, mad tech scrabbles or sat down chatalongers. Steep seat angles and not-short chainstays are great.
On traverses and descents there was much more traction on offer than I expected with the stiff suspension setup I ended up dialling in. This was no doubt due to the suspension stiffness though; pushing down dug the tyres into the dirt, it didn’t just compress the suspension. The tyres were constantly asked to do a lot, which they did. DHR II FTW.
As I’ve banged on about before, it is simply the weight of mid-powr eMTBs that is in itself a Really Great Thing. Mountain bikes that weigh 18-20kg just handle amazingly well. Everywhere. With a motor to (more than) offset the weight gain compared to a regular trail or enduro MTB, mid-power eMTBs handle beautifully. It’s the just-so weight that is the best thing about them.
In terms of the Fazua Ride 60 then. Is it any good? Yeah, it’s ace. Compared to systems like the TQ50 or the Specialized SL, the battery life is more impressive. On the Fazua Ride 60, I didn’t find myself permanently eyeing up the battery-remaining. Even when living life in the pink (ie. using highest-power ‘Rocket’ mode) I wasn’t always worrying about being to far from home.
I didn’t try the Haibike Lyke with a range extender piggyback battery, but it’s nice to know one is theoretically available. I say theoretically but I’ve yet to see one in the flesh, or indeed listed as ‘in stock’ in any online retailer. Let me know if you see one!
I would say that the new Specialized SL systems feel a bit more powerful but only when back-to-back comparing them. if you just ride the Fazua, it feels plenty powerful. And to my legs, the Fazua is noticeably more powerful than the TQ50, even more so than the on-paper 10Nm torque difference would suggest.
The power from the Fazua comes on nicely too. Not too overly ‘natural’-pretendy (and thus underwhelming) but defintely not stabby or surgey either. It feels really good. And when you’re over the assist cut-off speed (or have the motor turned off because you’re a weirdo) there’s negligible drag in the system. It pedals when unassisted like a regular bike.
As I’ve bleated about already, it’s the display and the remote that are the disappointing aspects of Fazue Ride 60. They wouldn’t stop me from choosing a Fazua Ride 60-equipped eMTB though. For me, Fazua Ride 60 is the best mid-power setup I’ve yet experienced.
If you feel that I was overly harsh on the Haibike Lyke CF 10 in the first half of this review, you are correct. The thing is, I didn’t just want to come out and gush all over the place, as it were. This bike is easily one of the best bikes – of any type- that I’ve had to total pleasure of riding this year. It’s a sporty little dirt ragger that I only ever really sat in the saddle on during gradual climbs. Everywhere else it was a red-mist rally bike. Sure, the Ring Control is a weird fly in the ointment but the ointment itself is medical mountain biking marvel. Er. That makes no sense. Who cares? All you need to know is Haibike remains at the top of the ebike pile for me.
Haibike Lake CF 10 specification
- Frame // Carbon, 140mm
- Fork // RockShox Lyrik Select, 140mm
- Shock // RockShox Deluxe Select+
- Wheels // WTB ST i30 TCS rims on Alu hubs
- Front tyre // Schwalbe Wicked Will Evo Super Ground 29×2.4in
- Rear tyre // Schwalbe Wicked Will Evo Super Ground 29×2.4in
- Chainset // Rotor E-Kapic, 32T
- Drivetrain // SRAM SX Eagle, 11-50T
- Brakes // Shimano M6120, 203/180mm
- Stem // XLC FlowBy, 31.8mm
- Bars // XLC FlowBy, 780mm, 31.8mm
- Grips // Haibike MTB
- Seatpost //Dropper Alu, 31.6mm, 170mm
- Saddle // Selle Italia Model X
- Bottom Bracket // Fazua/Rotor
- Motor // Fazua Ride 60, 60Nm
- Battery // Fazua Energy InTube, 430 Wh
- Sizes available // S, M, L, XL
- Weight // 18.1kg