1.) Just as riders Rich and Richard Taylor have chosen a different line for this climb,
Bosch and Yamaha have approached e-assist in unique ways. 2.) For now, the Bosch
CX also uses a 400-watt-hour battery with the same case and mount as previous Bosch
frame-mounted batteries. A 500-watt-hour battery will be available late in 2016.
3.) Bosch’s Intuvia display and multi-function handlebar control switch are a little larger
than those on the Yamaha, and they are easier to manipulate with gloves on.
4.) Bosch’s new CX assist unit is slim and compact with a purposeful look to it. It is a
marked step up in performance from the normal Bosch Gen 2. 5.) Haibike expects the
Yamaha/Sduro-line bikes like the HardNine RS will appeal to the youth market, while the
generally more expensive Bosch/Xduro bikes like the HardNine RX will appeal to mature
riders. 6.) Just as Yamaha has a unique assist unit, it also delivers a complete system
that includes its own 400-watt-hour battery, battery case and battery mount system. 7.)
Yamaha’s display is also easy to read, with all pertinent information readily at hand. The
multifunction handlebar switch is compact and tough, but harder to use with gloves. 8.)
Having the option of two front chainrings on the Yamaha proved to be a wise choice for
Yamaha. Having the smaller front chainring proved critical for steep climbing.
often build speed and almost coast up
short pitches. There is no doubt the CX
climbs well. Our bike had a 42-tooth
rear sprocket as the lowest gear (the
Yamaha had a 36-tooth rear), so it will
handle extended and steep climbs well.
Until the climbing gets truly steep, the
CX climbs more quickly and with better
response than the Yamaha. But with
the aid of a lower first gear, and if you
can just keep those legs moving with
even minimal pressure on the pedals,
the Yamaha just keeps climbing.
With both bikes coming from the
same company, you might think that
the frames would be similar, and, aside
from the motor mounts, that is the case.
The Bosch-assisted Xduro HardNine
RX is the only 2016 29er hardtail on
the Bosch side, and it has a first-rate
spec for a hardtail with a Fox 32mm
Performance fork with 100mm of travel,
Shimano SLX brakes with large 203mm
front/180mm rear rotors, and the wide-range 1X11 rear cassette with the
42-tooth low gear shifted by a Shimano
Deore XT Shadow Plus derailleur.
The Yamaha-powered Sduro
HardNine RC uses Tektro Gemini brakes
with 180mm rotors front and rear and
a Rock Shox Recon Silver Solo air fork
with 100mm travel. The 2x10 drivetrain
is shifted by a Shimano SLX M675
Shadow Plus derailleur. The difference in
chassis spec is apparent. With the RX,
the combination of the excellent fork
action and the large front rotor supplies
a smooth ride with outstanding braking.
The brakes on the Sduro RC work fine
but without the initial bite and smooth
progression of the Shimano caliper and
203mm disc. The ride is not as plush
under braking or in the rough.
Both bikes handle extremely well.
Haibike keeps the assist unit low,
so the bike changes direction with
minimal effort. Both models handle
switchbacks amazingly well, and that
means traveling up or down through
the turns. Naturally, we missed the rear
suspension at times, but the 29-inch
rear wheels do roll over the bumps
quite well, so the ride is smoother than
a hardtail with smaller wheel sizes.