- One of the most affordable Haibikes in the line, available in four frame sizes, relatively lightweight, large 29er tires provide float and momentum at speed for cross country riding
- Very capable mid-drive system (the same motor and battery as some higher-priced Haibike models), zero cadence assist feels responsive from starts and climbing
- Powerful 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes for handling the increased weight, capable 100 mm suspension fork with compression adjust lockout, Shimano Acera 9-Speed derailleur
- The charger is bulky and heavy but offers faster 4 Amp power flow, Fixed display offers fewer readouts but is actually very capable (battery percentage, range, etc.)
The HardNine 4.0 is one of a few entry level price point electric bikes from Haibike. With some scaled down mechanical components, and even a slightly scaled down electric system, this bike offer an excellent value in total. At $2,599 for a brand name production mid drive by Yamaha, warranty and all, it can be pretty tough to pass up for a budget minded cyclist looking to experiment with road or off-road pedelec riding. The HardNine 4.0 is a great bike anyway, offering a lot of bike (electronics aside) that doesn’t make any safety compromises. Brakes, shifters, frame, fork, tires; all up to par for most uses. While this is a lower-end Haibike, it shouldn’t be confused with a lower end bike from other companies. The HardNine 4.0 already has a much higher component grade than where other bike companies cap out.
Despite the lower entry price for the bike, the 4.0 still includes the same 250 watt Yamaha PW motor that all the other SDURO bikes use. Personally I really enjoy this motor on the road, as the 20 mph cut-off isn’t harsh. On the trails, it really hold its own against competing e-bike systems. The motor is cased with a protective plate that prevents impact from off-road obstacles, which is pretty nice for heavy use. Another great feature of the Yamaha motor is the ability to add multiple cogs to the front chainring. This particular bike only has one chain ring up front, but in other 5.0 models this feature is utilized. Although the motor is rated for 250 watts, the power output can easily keep up with, if not slightly out-do other 350 watt motors in the same category. The peak output of this motor can reach up to 500 watts and it offers 80 Newton meters of torque which is what I consider to be one of the most important considerations for climbing. I find it to be less noisy myself, but it’s hard to objectively measure how much motor noise the rider will experience. It’s going to increase as you raise the power level and peddling RPM.
With little exception, it’s pretty easy to recommend this bike to someone who has looked it over and is still considering it. You get a lot of bike for the money. With most Haibikes, the sky is the limit and the rider may not utilize the higher component level. With the HardNine 4.0, the rider can easily see where the line is between performance and price. This is very nice for the budget conscience who don’t want to spend money on something they won’t use. My only gripes are the display, and the pedals. The plastic pedals will last for awhile, but may eventually break. Depending on use or behavior I’ve seen pedals like this brake from 300 to 5,000 miles. I didn’t mention this earlier, but the RPM limit on the Yamaha PW motor is 100 vs. 120 RPM on some of the newer motors or Bosch Performance Line. In practice, this means you will have to shift through gears more actively to achieve the full range of speed up to 20 mph. The display is impressive for being so basic, if you need the extra stats, that’s another area worth upgrading for. If you’re the kind of person who either doesn’t need to know those details, or you already have a cycling computer or app to track it, then the display functionally powers the system and you’ll likely love saving that money. Overall, I think that the Haibike HardNine 4.0 is a great bike for casual off-road, or even regular commuting. This review was performed by Mikey Geurts from Blue Monkey Bicycle in Utah in conjunction with Electric Bike Review and was paid for by EBR but was not sponsored or connected to Haibike in any way.