Riese & Müller supercharger GX rohloff-high speed review

My daily ride – Riese & Müller

Take a deep breath and relax because yes… this is not a vintage race bike. Nevertheless, I would like to show what I ride to work every day (46km/day). The Riese & Müller supercharger Rohloff HS. Unlike most reviews I found online, I will give you a thorough breakdown of this bike.

Handling

Handling, often underestimated but an extremely important aspect of why the Riese & Müller bikes are so great to ride, This bike offers the perfect mix of power, handling and comfort.

Comfort

  1. Front suspension

Suntour air supsension with thru axle.

Le cycleur top tip; keep the o-rings and dust scrapers on the fork legs as clean as possible to get the longest life span out of your front forks.

When riding along the port of antwerp and it’s beautifull but awfully maintained cycle roads, the fork helds up exceedingly well. However, do not expect it to ride as smooth as your citroën DS. You can still feel the road and the smaller bumps do not really get leveled out. This problem can be solved by lowering the air pressure but by doing so you increase the chance of hitting the bottom which is not healthy for the bike (at all).

I would have appreciated a remote lockout. Altough it is not that hard to reach down and turn the lockout while riding, the handlebars are low enough to do so.

  1. Seatpost

Most seatposts like “post modern” have a more conventional setup but with so little travel and not enough weight there is a lot of bang needed to overcome the fricton in the tube to make it actually do its work, with this cane creek seatpost it happends almost friction less and with a pivot system which makes it even easier to absorb shocks when riding at high speed, taking a speedbump becomes a satisfaction on how terribly smooth it goes on this bike.

Small note: My seatpost was squeeking like hell but a bit of grease on every contact point fixed it in no time. The seatpost has a simple design and the bearings have some sort of dark red anti friction coating, which is cool but it squeeks a lot.

  1. Seat

The original seat looked great at first but it did not suit my buttocks at all. For that reason I switched it with my beloved brooks B17 which I have been riding for over 5 years now (after my professional got stolen with a bike attached to it…). The brooks saddle combined with the geo, the tires and the seatpost make one hell of a smooth ride. And no saddle pain at all! Even after 70km. And that knowing that I normally have a problem after 15 km (with the B17 on a race bike).

  1. Handlebars

The FSA handlebar combo is rather wide so my wrists had to get used to them. Now that I am used to them, other handlebars feel childlike. Appariantly these handlebars are not cheap either.

  1. Geo

I am not an expert in geo, it was something I had never experienced before. It is not so stable to get out of the starting blocks. An akward start in which you struggle with your fully loaded 7000 euro bike including bags and helmet. You almost look like a fool that cannot ride his own expensive bike. (Luckily) Once you exceed 10km/h it runs and turns like a dream, stable but responsive.

  1. Wheelbase

The wheelbase is relatively long and it provides good stablity altough it might be a bit tricky to do a “track stand” at a red light.

  1. Wheels and tires

The bicycle has a set of nice and chunky tires, a new trend amongst e-bikes, These large tires provide more comfort and better stability at high speed.

Gears and Tears, GT vs. GX

Before my new job as an electrical designer, I worked at a bike shop for six months. During my time there Is learned a lot about bosch motors, batteries and e-bike systems.

Preceding my purchase I took advantage of my job in the bike shop to test almost every bike they had. I also tested the tree available models in the super charger range (you can adapt these findings to the “new charger” model aswell).

Fun fact; a Giant TCR advanced is the bike with the best handling I have ever ridden so far, altough it has no soul like the vintage masterpieces we love so much.

Nuvinci:

Pro:

  • Super enjoyable shifting experience
  • Shifting under load without a problem
  • Good usable range
  • No maintenance (the oil in the hub is usable untill your hub is fully worn out)

Con:

  • Some people think that while going 40-45km/hour the cadence is a little bit too high. If so: ask your dealer to swap the front gear for a bigger one and there you go, problem solved.
  • Due to friction loss the range and torque is a bit lower than on the models with derailleur and rohloff.

Derailleur:

Pro:

  • Most sporty feel out of the tree options
  • Wide range (stock)
  • Easy to swap the shifting range with other casettes
  • Your bike gets checked more often when replacing the casette and chain (admit it, we all forget to bring that part in for service)

Con:

  • Chains and gears wear out easely on speed pedelecs (aprox 3-7500km depending on the terrain and maintenance and cleaning of the bike)
  • Unpleasant loud noise when shifting under load (feels like something is going to snap everytime you do it
  • Hard to replace a tire or innertube
  • Higher chance of breaking spokes due to uneven tension
  • Tears of spending a 140 euro every time you have to change the chain and casette + service hours (unless you get free service the first two years like most shops provide these days)

Rohloff

Pro:

  • Best of both worlds, same range as with the derailleur and almost as low maintenance as the Nuvinci
  • Easy to maintain
  • Very wide range
  • Fun to use for mountainbiking altough the manifacturer does not recommend to go downhilling or extreme riding with the Super Charger GX
  • Perfect weight distribution on the spokes => less chance of breaking spokes

Con:

  • The lubrication kit isn’t cheap
  • Nowhere is an option for other oil to use (personally i do some service on cars and we have a gallon of gearbox oil but nobody knows if that would be suitable for a rohloff speedhub so for now I will stick to the standard kit
  • expensive? a rohloff stand alone kit costs about 1100 euro, sounds a lot but… there isn’t anything else that i know of that lasts longer ( I tought about putting the rohloff in my tandem when this bike has had his best time

POWEEEERRRRR!!

Bosch performance line speed

a very frequently asked question is: how fast does it go? in truth, the harder you pedal the harder it goes but…

bosch performance line cx

unfortunately only avalable up to 25km/h BUT WHY!? it has the most torque, perfect for mtb but i would definately opt for the speed engine for commuting

Battery pack(s)

probably the absolute best feature about this bike is the fact that you can fit 2! bosch powertubes in the frame

advantages of the powertube vs conventional batteries

As told above here, after working 6 months with e-bikes you get to see most of the problems, these lead exactly to why i bought the super charger, the weak spot on any e-bike is the battery, more specific the connector between the motor and the battery, when riding the bike vibrates, with wear and tear the battery gets out of his seat and vibrates even more, this results in the contacts of the battery and connector to wear out and cause burned contacts and worn out contacts, resulting in the worst nightmare of any bike mechanic, “code 503” which is a power loss between the battery and motor or a short circuit

bosch has been learning and listning to feedback from customers and adapted his desing to illiminate these vibrations on the battery and connectors, the powertube impliments anti vibraton pads in the connector and powertube seats.

Brakes

all that power and handling would be worth nothing without good brakes, the bikes is equipped with magura mt5 brakes, single piston and with brakelights, altough the double piston magura brakes look a bit cooler and obviously brake harder these are just perfect, i’ve tried locking up the front wheel (under controlled curcimstanses, my genitals arn’t that big and i havn’t succeded in dry weather

Extra features

Belt drive

the bike uses a Gates CDX belt, a center track belt reanforced with carbon strings and coated in a blue anti fricton layer (however that layer dissapears for a large part after the 500km i’ve been told that it is completely normal)

if you regulary wash your bike, use a degeraser and toothbrush to clean it, removing the dust and aluminium particles from the belt so it wears out slower than normm, according to Gates your belt should last 30-40 000 km, if this goes for a high speed e-bike aswell i don’t know. i’ll post an update as soon as i shred it to peaces

Clever water bottle

steering angle lock

the title says itself, clever feature to prevent the toptube from damage but be sure that it is fixed properly, if it comes lose or shifts while riding it can cause a sirious crash as you won’t be able to move the handlebars anymore (or only to one side)

nyon

biggest question for everyone, is it worth it? yes the gps works really well and the fitness function is fun and it is so much more than the standard bosch display but reviewing this “gadget” is a whole new topic so all you have to know is…. buy it (especially if you go on holiday with your bike a lot)

one downside, I can’t find a screenprotector for it (yet) when putting the display in your bag all the time to store your bike at work or anywhere else it can get scratched up a bit.

Horn

loud as fuck, saves lives

now this wouldn’t be a review without some cons

the locks can be frustrating, the one on the rack rattles a bit sometimes and turning the key sometimes doesn’t work, there are a number of pivoting rings int he mechanism, if you don’t plug in the key deep enough they don’t all turn and the lock won’t open. you are probably thinking, dude what? i know it is a small thing but it can be frustrating when you are fiddling around with your lock on your bike and people start to look at you like you are stealing a 7.3k euro bike

the battery charger becomes very hot after a couple of minutes, kinda scares me but seems to be normal

is there something even better?

yes there is, the super charger with dual suspension, but at a cost of almost 1000 euro extra and more parts that could break down / costly to replace and me still having a young butt to take a beating from our belgian roads i wasn’t up to spend 8k on a bike knowing that a new dacia logan (a cheaper renault car made in eastern europe for those who don’t know it) costs 6999 euro, i ride a bicycle that is more expensive than a car, yes, crazy (be sure to get insurance against theft for your bike, well worth it!) the dual suspension is like nothing else, should you buy it? if you can yes, do you have back problems and still want to ride a bike? definately the best option, it features the best Fox suspension components with kashimax coating, nearly no friction when actuating which makes it the most smoothly avalable suspension kit on the market, good sales pitch right? well it’s true I tested it but wasn’t made for me (yet)

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2 Comments

  1. Geert
    September 1, 2018
    Reply

    Nice review Bart ! Thanks a lot.
    What made you decide for the R&M supercharger in the end, after riding all those bikes?

    By the way, I ride same (in grey) and am absolutely super happy with it!

    • Bart Suykerbuyk
      September 2, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks! Well, not beceause it’s cheap but well worth it, due to the kilometer compensation at my work i ride basically for free on this bike as a car would cost me 400eur per month +purchase this one brings +-200 euro extra on the paycheck, that’s about what it costs me to pay the “green loan” so it was just within budget. Most of all the durability (bosch, rohloff, belt,internal bateries, magura) and control. It’s at moments when you need your brakes and manouverabilty the most when you are happy to ride an R&M, I appriciate overengineering and really well tought trough products and this one has it all. Oh and it looks hella cool as well. If I wanted speed I would have gone for something else, this bike is the BMW m3 of its class in my opinion

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