Riese & Muller Supercharger Electric Bike Review
Riese & Muller is back with Bosch Intube bikes! We will be breaking down some of these gorgeous looking bikes for you over the next few blog posts, but wanted to start with the ultra-sexy, fully-integrated look of the Riese & Muller Supercharger line. These bikes keep the color scheme simple so that the focus can be on the excellent integration and high end specs. But do these bikes ride as good as they look? We will answer that question and more as we break into our Riese & Muller Supercharger electric bike review. Let’s check out the full lineup.
What is the Riese & Muller Supercharger?
Great question. Glad you asked. The Riese & Muller Supercharger is the evolution of Riese & Muller’s Charger lineup of bikes that offers hardtail options for bike commuting, bike touring, and trail riding that is a bit more affordable than the full-suspension, decked-out Delite line. You are still getting the benefit of Riese & Muller’s hand-welded frames, stable geometry, and customizable features, but you are always going to save money on hardtail in comparison to full-suspension bikes.
So what are some of the customizable features? Probably the most popular and well-known of Riese & Muller’s upgrades are the different drivetrains available. You can choose between a traditional drivetrain on the Touring model or a Nuvinci or Rohloff hub. The touring drivetrain (available on the Riese & Muller Supercharger GT Touring and the Riese & Muller Supercharger GT Touring HS) is an 11-speed Shimano Deore XT derailleur on a Shimano SLX cassette with 11-42 teeth. This provides a great gear ratio and smooth shifting for those who like the feel of a traditional derailleur.
If you’re more of a tech person, the low maintenance and wide gear ratio offered by the Nuvinci or Rohloff hubs might interest you. Riese & Muller offers the Nuvinici hub on the Supercharger GT Nuvinci HS and the Supercharger GH Nuvinci. If you treat this hub kindly, there is literally no maintenance on it. It also offers riders the ability to shift even when they are at a complete stop. It is a continuous hub, which means there are no gears. You just set the hub where it feels right from moment to moment. The specific model is a Nuvinci N380SE, and it offers a 380% gear ratio.
The highest tech model is definitively the Rohloff hub. With 14-speeds and a 526% gear ratio, you could almost take on a 90 degree angle with this hub (which is, of course, hyperbole). But for those who want to spend the extra cash, this is another option that will last you a lifetime. Riese & Muller offers this hub on their GX trail models the Riese & Muller Supercharger GX Rohloff and the Riese & Muller Supercharger GX Rohloff HS.
Oh, and all internally geared hubs come with the clean and nearly indestructible Gates drive belt CDX.
The Bosch dual battery offering from Riese & Muller is still another thing that sets them miles apart from the competition. Shimano Steps is now offering dual battery options as well, but as far as I’ve seen, that is only up to around 750 watt hours. On the Riese & Muller Supercharger bikes, you still have the option to spring for up to 1000 watt hours of battery life. This will easily get you 60 miles at the highest level of assistance even on a high speed motor. If you are conservative, Bosch estimates at least 120 miles.
Can you get the bike with just one battery? Sure. The only question that I have not received an answer on is whether you can later add a second battery. We have elected only to spring for the dual battery options. Plus, all of Riese & Muller’s marketing shows only the dual battery option. My perspective would be that if you are going to get a single battery, save a little money and weight on the bike and go for the New Charger.
As I mentioned above, all of these Supercharger bikes come with hand-welded frames. The geometry is comfortable but allows you to get in aerodynamic positions ideal for gaining speed. Your seat tube angle is 74 degrees and your head tube angle is 69 degrees. Riese & Muller has the bikes weighing in at right around 65 pounds.
You’ll get Schwalbe Moto-X 2.4″ tires on 27.5 inch wheels on the GT and GH models and Rock Razor 2.4″ tires on the GX models. Your fork is a Suntour Aion with 100mm of travel. Brakes are hydraulic disc from Shimano Deore XT on all models except the GH Nuvinci which comes with Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes. You get a Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost to ease any bumps in the road that you might encounter. And the motor, as usual, is Bosch’s Performance CX or Performance Speed line which offer 75nm or 63nm of torque respectively along with 350 watts of power. The Bosch Intube batteries are remarkably small. They’ve packed in the same amount of power as in their traditional power pack into this new device. It feels a bit lighter to me as well.
How it rides and who it’s good for.
My test rides have been on the Riese & Muller Supercharger GT Nuvinci HS and the Riese & Muller Supercharger GX Rohloff. Riese & Muller continues to impress with their tradition of bikes that feel sturdy yet nimble. The extra weight disappears into how well the bike handles (of course the Bosch motor helps). I’m torn between the Nuvinci hub and Rohloff hub. You can definitely notice a power difference between the two as the Nuvinci does reduce some torque on the motor, but Bosch motors are so powerful that I don’t really think it matters. I love how clean the Nuvinci hub feels. You can never even hear it working. Sometimes the Rohloff can be a bit clunky, but it’s mostly when you first start getting used to the hub. There is really no comparison when it comes to the gear ratio offered on the Rohloff.
My most intense climbs are on about 17% grades and they were a breeze on both bikes. I’m always a bigger fan of 28 mph bikes when it comes to touring and commuting bikes, but it was nice to not feel bad about taking the GX Rohloff off-road as I’m not a fan of Class 3 e-bikes on trails. The Rock Razor tires did fine on the fire roads and gravel trails I take.
The rear loading rack fits my Ortleib panniers, which was an initial concern considering the thickness of the rails. I liked having the integrated lights, especially the Lumotec headlight, but I would still recommend getting a taillight that blinks. In spite of its weight, I didn’t have any trouble loading the bike onto my tray rack.
I’d recommend this bike to anybody who has long distance commutes, can’t easily recharge during the day, bike campers and tourists, and those who like a low profile look. The Riese & Muller bikes do run large, so make sure to take their height recommendations seriously. I’m 5’6″ with a 29″ inseam and fit the 46cm frame fine, but anybody shorter than me might want to consider the New Charger Mixte series. Overall, an incredible electric bike and well worth the wait!