Haibike's futuristic AllMtn CF 12 is a real head turner.
Haibike has been producing contenders for the best e-bike award longer than most. And by only producing e-bikes it’s not tied to building electric versions of existing analogue bikes in order to make sense in the marketplace. It can also concentrate its resources on developing assisted models, rather than being pulled in two directions. Which should give the brand a unique advantage over traditional manufacturers. That’s the theory, but does this work in reality?
Need to know
- Full-carbon e-bike with 160mm travel front and rear
- Yamaha PW-X2 motor with 600wh removable battery
- RockShox Zeb Charger R fork and Super Deluxe Select shock and full Shimano XT groupset are no nonsense performers
- Mullet-sized DT Swiss wheels shod with quality Maxxis Assegai/DHR II tyres
While it might not have any regular analogue bikes in its range, what Haibike does have is a bewildering choice of electric bikes – from trekking bikes to hardtails and a myriad of “e-Fullys”, ranging from the lightweight Lyke with its Fazua motor, through to the AllTrail and AllMtn ranges. At the burliest end of the spectrum are the big-hit Nduro models, some of which equipped with triple-clamp forks for a true ‘self uplift’ experience.
Somewhere in the middle of this expansive offering can be found this, the AllMtn CF 12, a full-carbon enduro bike sporting 160mm travel front and rear, a mullet wheel set-up with meaty 2.5in/2.8in Maxxis tyres, a rock-solid RockShox Zeb fork up front and a workhorse Shimano XT groupset. It’s all powered by a Yamaha PW-X2 motor, punching out 80Nm torque, wired to a 600wh removable battery. For the money, I think this represents pretty good value, and it sits in a sector of Haibike’s range where choice is aplenty – for example, the same money could also get you the AllMtn10 for example, which foregos the carbon frame but gains the more powerful PW-X3 motor (with 5Nm more torque) and 750wh battery, alongside top-drawer components like Mavic Deemax wheels and Fox Factory suspension. Which, considering most carbon frames only save around 500g, would probably be the smart choice if you’re after the ultimate on-trail performance.
But back to the CF 12, and the deep gloss Ferrari-red paint makes this a striking looking bike. The distinctive humpy top-tube is aesthetically divisive and does nothing for standover clearance, but the clean, swooping, sculpted lines and neat details – like the gridded vent holes in the head tube – are appealing. It’s chunky as hell and every tube looks ready to take a beating, so much so that one friend noted that it’s about the only bike that makes a Zeb fork look anorexic.
That big down tube houses the Yamaha In-Tube battery (removable via the supplied key – don’t lose it!), hidden behind a removable plastic flap that snaps into place. This panel needs to be removed for charging, even if you leave the battery in the bike, as the charge port is hidden behind it. With only a pop stud to hold it in place, I’d be concerned that frequent removal could wear the connection and make it liable to fall off. In fact, during his long-term test of the AllMtn 6 back in 2021, tester PB had to bodge his in place with a strap.
Rated at 600wh the battery is about as low-capacity as is acceptable in these days of 750-900wh units, but with plenty of assistance-adjustability offered via the clunky Side-Switch control unit, it’s easy to eke out the range on longer rides.
The Rockshox Zeb Charger R fork up front is reliably stiff, plush and adjustable, and unusually features a travel adjuster knob that lowers the fork by 30mm, the idea being that the lower front end helps on steep climbs and reduces the amount that the front end wanders. This is paired with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select shock at the back.
This no-nonsense specification continues with the Shimano XT groupset, complete with four-piston brakes and sizable 203mm rotors front and rear – perfect for getting this 23.5kg behemoth slowed down. DT Swiss wheels are another quality choice, as are the Maxxis tyres that they’re shod with. The 2.5in Assegai front/2.8in DHR2 rear is a tried and tested combo that offers tonnes of grip, and both come with decent reinforced EXO+ casings.
Haibike has also added an Acros BlockLock headset to limit the steering lock and avoid the bars striking that top tube in the event of a crash. Aside from the minimal ProLogo saddle, the rest of the finishing kit comes from Haibike’s own catalogue, and includes a 50mm stem, 780mm alloy handlebar and a 150mm dropper-post.
How it rides
The small-ish capacity battery isn’t the only part of this bike that looks a little dated, with a 64.3° head angle (slacker than the 65° claimed) and stubby 458mm reach on this size large bike, the geometry isn’t what you would call progressive. It does make the bike slightly more agile and responsive than it might otherwise be, and with all that weight, any help is welcome.
This isn’t to say that it’s not stable though; the 1,265mm wheelbase and that weight see to that. But, considering this is a mullet bike, the 460mm chainstays feel out of place and temper the ability to throw it around. With 160mm suspension travel at both ends it’s pretty balanced, feels plush and effective, but still retains some pop to keep it fun on tighter trails. A shame then that the tall-ish seat tube and short 150mm dropper post make it harder to get the saddle out of the way for full-confidence on steeper trails.
The Yamaha motor feels pretty powerful, powering through to the speed limiter with decent grunt, even at the top end. It’s not the quietest motor – accelerating through the gears had me playing out motocross fantasies inside my head – and there is a little bit of a rattle from the motor when coasting. The Side-Switch control unit is clear and easy to use, but sitting above the bar makes it vulnerable to crash damage.
Aside from the motor, it’s a pretty quiet bike; the cables don’t rattle and the chainstay protector is pretty effective. Those big tyres are super grippy and the EXO+ casings were tough enough for the Forest of Dean, where I tested it. But given how hard you can charge on this bike, the extra security of a Double Down casing on the rear would make sense. It’s not like you’d really notice the extra weight.
The CF 12 isn’t without it’s quirks – the grips are rock hard, the bar is a bit of an odd shape and it’s complicated to fit a bottle cage – but despite all that it’s a fun bike with a strong motor and a decent spec that can more than hold its own against e-bikes from traditional brands.