Haibike Lyke SE first ride review – capable and playful trail e-MTB

The Lyke is Haibike lightest e-MTB and a new direction for the German e-bike giant

Haibike Lyke SE review
(Image: © Haibike)

Early Verdict

The Lyke is a lively trail e-MTB that feels great on jumpy and flowy trails.

Pros

  • +

    Maintains rolling speed very well

  • +

    Easy to pedal

  • +

    Well behaved suspension

  • +

    Agile cornering ability

Cons

  • -

    Dissector tires best suited to dry weather riding

  • -

    Vertical motor position limits seatpost length

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Haibike can be accredited as one of the e-MTB pioneers although they weren’t first to the line with the recent burgeoning lightweight e-MTB category. The German e-Goliath wasn’t going to be left out releasing the Lyke 140mm trail e-MTB and proclaiming it to be the “beginning of a new era”.

Although Haibike has been almost omnipresent in the e-MTB scene, the brand has struggled to solidify its position amongst the best electric mountain bikes. They look to change this with the Lyke which is the lightest and ‘sharpest’ bike they have produced. I got invited out to the Haibike HQ in Schweinfurt, Germany, and took the Lyke out for a spin on their local trails to get a taste of what's in store for this new era. 

Haibike Lyke SE pictured against a shipping container

The Lyke is the lightest e-MTB Haibike has produced (Image credit: Haibike)

Design and geometry

The design cues and shapes of the Lyke’s carbon front triangle and alloy rear end are distinctly Haibike, however, the Lyke looks significantly sleeker and sportier than their longer travel bikes such as the Haibike AllMtn CF SE. The angular headtube feeds into the Haibike trademark chamfered top tube under which the shock is positioned in a new horizontal position, rather than the vertical layout used across Haibike’s other bikes. It's not just a new shock position, Haibike has also redesigned the suspension kinematics from the ground up too. 

Haibike has specced a Fazua Ride60 motor which is neatly mounted vertically in the frame and extends up into the overside lower sea tube section. This unusual positioning was chosen for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the Fazua Energy 430 battery to be positioned lower in the bike for a better center of gravity, but also allows easy removal of the battery whilst still having a completely enclosed, more structurally sturdy downtube.

The motor itself delivers 60Nm of torque with a max power output of 450 watts and has three unusually named settings (Breeze, River, and Rocket) which are selected using a neat ring controller. There's also a Boost mode that is activated by holding the ring shifter down for two seconds to give the full 450 watts support in a short 12-second burst.

Haibike Lyke SE shock detail

Haibike has given the Lyke a new shock position and kinematic (Image credit: Haibike)

Haibike aren’t pushing any radical boundaries on the geometry front, instead it's a trail-appropriate 65-degree head angle, 77.3-degree seat angle, and a 479mm reach (size large). The longer 450mm chainstay length is shared across all frame sizes, as is the 25mm of bottom bracket drop. At 470mm, the seatube is on the long size as its depth is limited by the motor position, this wasn’t an issue for me although it may result in dropper limitations for shorter riders. Haibike has four Lyke frame sizes spread between small to XL frame sizes. 

Haibike proudly states that the Lyke is the lightest bike they have made. I didn't have any scales on hand to weigh the bike myself, however, Haibike stated that a large tips the scales at 18.3kg. That means it's a similar weight to the equally priced Trek Fuel EXe 9.8 XT.

Haibike Lyke SE Fox fork detail

Being the top of the range model, our test bike had a great spec from Fox, SRAM, and Shimano (Image credit: Haibike)

Components and build

I rode the Lyke CF SE spec bike which comes decked out with Fox kit, 140mm 36 Float Factory fork paired with a Float X Factory at the rear and finished with a Transfer Factory dropper post. The bike was rolling a set of 30mm wide Mavic Crossmax XL R Carbon trail 29in wheels and fitted with Maxxis Dissectors 2.4in tires front and rear. 

Drive and stopping power is a mix of Shimano and SRAM, using the new SRAM XX Eagle AXS T-Type transmission with a Rotor crankset fitted to the Fazua motor. Everything is brought to a halt with a set of four-piston Shimano XTR brakes grabbing a 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors.

Raceface takes care of the cockpit providing a Raceface Next Carbon 760mm handlebar, Raceface Turbine SL 35 mm stem, and some Raceface Half Nelson grips. The other touch point is a Fizik Terra Aidon X1-145 Carbon saddle.

Haibike Lyke SE drivetrain detail

The Lyke was equipped with SRAM's T-Type transmission (Image credit: Haibike)

Ride and performance

I tested the Lyke SE at Haibike’s local trails in Schweinfurt, Germany which feature lots of flowing singletrack and a few rocky pinball sections through gullies.

What immediately stood out to me was how well the Lyke pedals with the motor off. Zero resistance from the motor, fast-rolling tires, and low weight means it’s more than happy to get up to speed and cruise along without any motor assistance. Out on the trails, the Fazua Ride60 motor had enough thrust to power me up all the short sharp climbs that I faced with ease and the 12-second Boost mode offers a noticeable extra kick to get through any properly steep inclines, although it's a little tricky to initiate the Boost mode when on the move. With the trails being undulating rather than unrelenting, my test ride didn't clock up much climbing, I still had around three bars of battery after our 32km and 960m ride where I was being somewhat liberal with the Rocket mode. 

Haibike Lyke SE handlebar detail

The motor control is tidy and shifts through the motor modes, including a two second hold to activate the Boost mode (Image credit: Haibike)

Handling felt twitchy as we rolled out to the trails, but once pointed down the trail it started to make more sense. The ride is lively rather than stable but when engaged the Lyke cornered well whether I was railing berms and carving through flat corners. The precise handling also means it's got enough agility to pick and switch lines and hold off-camber sections too.

The rear suspension had a lovely deeper-than-expected feeling as the Lyke is very efficient when dishing out its 140mm of travel. Small bump plushness is generously offered up helping with tracking in the corners, yet it still felt like there was plenty in reserve when you started hitting features harder. While the Schweinfurt singletrack was a good test of the Lyke’s trail etiquette I would be interested in seeing how the suspension copes with faster and steeper terrain.

Haibike Lyke SE pictured from behind

The motor layout means limits the amount of drop you can run on the dropper (Image credit: Haibike)

Verdict

Fast, light, and playful, the Lyke is an all-around trail shredder with a naturally energetic ride feel. An enthusiastic pedaling personality help give the Fazua Ride60 motor a surprisingly efficient punch too. Its low weight doesn’t seem to limit its capability either and the Lyke uses its 140mm travel very efficiently giving it the feeling of a longer travel bike. The trails local to Haibike HQ are shorter and flowier than my local testing grounds so hopefully I will be able to get my hands on a Lyke for some proper elevation and technical descending testing.

Test conditions

  • Temperature: 77 to 86 degrees F / 25 to 30 degrees C
  • Conditions: Dry, dusty, and rocky
  • Trails: Flowy singletrack with some technical sections and jumps

Tech specs: Haibike Lyke SE

  • Frame: Haibike Lyke, 140mm
  • Motor: Fazua Ride60, 250W, 60Nm
  • Battery: Fazua Energy InTube, 430Wh
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory, 140mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X Factory
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX Eagle T-Type
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR 4-pot 203mm/180mm
  • Wheelset: Mavic Crossmax XL R Carbon
  • Tires: Maxxis Dissector MaxxTerra, EXO+, 2.4in
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X1-145 Carbon
  • Bar: Race Face Next Carbon 860mm
  • Stem: Race Face Turbine SL 35mm
  • Sizes available: S-L
  • Reach: 479mm (size large)
  • Head angle: 65 degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 77.3 degrees
  • BB drop: 25mm
  • Price: $N/A / £9,999 / €12,499
  • Weight: 18.3kg (size large, claimed)
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road, based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.


Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg