Riese and Muller Charger GX Rohloff

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
My Riese and Muller Charger GX Rohloff has done more than 600 miles now so time for a review.

I bought the bike direct from the importer Amps, and dealt with the managing director David Miall.

David enjoys a good reputation on the forum, and is a pleasure to deal with.

He is also properly keen to sell a bike, so a discount on the admittedly high price of the Charger sweetened the pill a little bit.

I specced mine with the twin battery, partly to obtain a discount on the second battery which I need for longer rides.

Lots going on with the bike, so may as well start with the dual battery system.

It works well, supporting single lead on-bike charging, and in use it sips power from each battery alternately,

Typically Bosch, it’s locked down, there’s no user control, but such control is not needed.

Charging on the bike means there’s no need to handle the batteries in the house, or take the key on rides.

The Bosch Performance/CX motor does its usual seamless job.

It is a bit pokier than the standard one, but also uses a bit more power.

The extra poke means lowest Eco setting takes care of moderate speed riding and most gradients - assuming you are content to ride it like a bicycle and change down for hills.

Range, as always, is heavily dependent on hills, rider input, speed, rider weight, wind, tyres, riding surface and the like.

All I would say is the generally higher power consumption of the Performance motor means I’m not getting much further with a 500wh battery than I did with a 400wh battery on my previous Bosch Classic motored bike.

That’s a slight disappointment to me, but the bike runs so well I am probably going a mph or two faster without really trying to.

The Rohloff hub - a bit more drag than a derailer - is rightly regarded as the best of its type.

Wider range and evenly spaced gears make it nicer to use than Shimano hubs.

It’s also easier to disconnect the shifting cables in the event of a puncture.

The hub has a quick release, so no need to carry a ring spanner to remove the wheel.

Which brings me onto the tyres.

The bike is supplied with lightweight Schwalbe Rock Razor knobbly tyres, which I think is an odd choice for a trekking bike.

The Super Moto X tyres I’ve fitted fit my use better, have less rolling resistance, and better puncture protection.

Changing tyres could be simpler due to the wide, tubeless ready rims.

Problem is the bead of the tyre grips the rim, so it can take some manhandling to release it - standing on the sidewall of the tyre is the best method.

In a way, tubeless ready rims with tubes - which the bike has - is the worst of both worlds.

However, the tight bead seal indicates a tubeless installation would work well.

The suspension fork on the bike is a high-end Suntour, which as the manager of my local bike shop said, is better than what would be a budget RockShox for the same money.

Comfort is another thing that is individual, but I like the Brooks Aged saddle/Thudbuster seat post combination.

I’ve done consecutive full day rides with no adverse reaction.

The bike is well fitted for touring, having a long, wide, steel rear carrier, which is set back to give good heel clearance even with large panniers.

The front carrier might be a bit butcher’s bike, but is handy to securely mount a bar bag.

Both lights are excellent, being bright, but also proper road spec which means the front throws a well defined beam pattern.

It’s also easy to adjust while riding.

Ergon cork grips with bar ends are about as comfortable as it’a possible to get on a flat bar bike.

Build quality of the frame and components is first class as you would expect, which in turn instills confidence on the road.

Everything was right when I got the bike, nothing has broken or come loose since, and nor do I expect it to.

Overall, the bike is excellent in nearly every respect.

It may be a lot of money to buy, but the enjoyment of riding it will still be there long after the price has been forgotten.

P1000432.JPG
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
11,762
4,832
only the performance motor is sclass tho cant see as peddle in the way lol
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
A Charger with s Rohloff hub is a gentleman's touring bicycle.

Anyone simply wanting speed would be better advised to spend their money elsewhere.
 
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Reactions: Wisper Bikes

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,098
1,349
North Staffs
Good choice Rob, welcome to the club.

You need to update your signature to reflect the fleet.
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
Good choice Rob, welcome to the club.

You need to update your signature to reflect the fleet.
Thanks.

If I get as many trouble free miles out of mine as you have from yours, I will be happy enough.
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
16,400
14,108
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
The suspension fork on the bike is a high-end Suntour, which as the manager of my local bike shop said, is better than what would be a budget RockShox for the same money.
I am pleased to see R&M choosing the Suntour Aion LO-R for front suspension fork. A vote of confidence like this from R&M engineers is a godsend gift for Suntour.
I will certainly try to put this fork in my next touring bike.
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,098
1,349
North Staffs
I clicked on the AMPS advert at the top of the page hoping to get the R&M bikes to look at new range. Only the Wisper bikes are shown and the local dealer finder is still not showing one local to me as it should by now.

Not that I feel the need to move the Delite on.
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
Just under 2,000 miles now and all trouble free.

However, when I went to ride the bike this morning the thumb switch wouldn't adjust the assistance levels.

Amps, where I bought the bike, no longer deal with Riese and Muller, and in any case they are a long way away.

I enjoy a good relationship with my local bike shop, so me and the owner did a bit of trial and error component swapping with one of his stock Bosch bikes.

Long story short, changing the thumb switch has cured the problem.

For simplicty, the bike shop owner let me buy the switch that works, and he will send mine back to Bosch.

In the happy event Bosch agree the part as a warranty claim, I will get my £37 back.

So what could have been a nuisance to sort has been sorted fairly easily.

I'm a bit disappointed the component has failed so soon, it's made in China which rather supports my view of Chinese electrics giving niggly problems.

I did do a soaking wet ride on Saturday, but I also did a much drier one on Sunday, on both rides the switch performed correctly.

In other respects, the bike continues to perform as it should.

It has been much admired, even by roadies, who appreciate the quality components even if they don't fully approve of ebikes.

One of my fellow riders on Saturday commented the motor was 'quiet', which I was surprised about as low noise level is not the strongest feature of the Performance motor.

I continue to be slightly underwhelmed by the power consumption.

Tour setting is quite perky and I can do most rides on it, but the range per battery is about 40 miles, which is not brilliant from a 500wh pack.

On t'other hand, the twin battery set-up means I can do nearly all my rides without the need to change batteries, and charging both batteries on the bike is very convenient - I don't use the battery key from one month to the next.

So despite the breakdown, I remain very pleased with the bike.
 
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Robbieg

Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2016
188
71
63
Burton on trent
Just under 2,000 miles now and all trouble free.

However, when I went to ride the bike this morning the thumb switch wouldn't adjust the assistance levels.

Amps, where I bought the bike, no longer deal with Riese and Muller, and in any case they are a long way away.

I enjoy a good relationship with my local bike shop, so me and the owner did a bit of trial and error component swapping with one of his stock Bosch bikes.

Long story short, changing the thumb switch has cured the problem.

For simplicty, the bike shop owner let me buy the switch that works, and he will send mine back to Bosch.

In the happy event Bosch agree the part as a warranty claim, I will get my £37 back.

So what could have been a nuisance to sort has been sorted fairly easily.

I'm a bit disappointed the component has failed so soon, it's made in China which rather supports my view of Chinese electrics giving niggly problems.

I did do a soaking wet ride on Saturday, but I also did a much drier one on Sunday, on both rides the switch performed correctly.

In other respects, the bike continues to perform as it should.

It has been much admired, even by roadies, who appreciate the quality components even if they don't fully approve of ebikes.

One of my fellow riders on Saturday commented the motor was 'quiet', which I was surprised about as low noise level is not the strongest feature of the Performance motor.

I continue to be slightly underwhelmed by the power consumption.

Tour setting is quite perky and I can do most rides on it, but the range per battery is about 40 miles, which is not brilliant from a 500wh pack.

On t'other hand, the twin battery set-up means I can do nearly all my rides without the need to change batteries, and charging both batteries on the bike is very convenient - I don't use the battery key from one month to the next.

So despite the breakdown, I remain very pleased with the bike.
Just under 2,000 miles now and all trouble free.

However, when I went to ride the bike this morning the thumb switch wouldn't adjust the assistance levels.

Amps, where I bought the bike, no longer deal with Riese and Muller, and in any case they are a long way away.

I enjoy a good relationship with my local bike shop, so me and the owner did a bit of trial and error component swapping with one of his stock Bosch bikes.

Long story short, changing the thumb switch has cured the problem.

For simplicty, the bike shop owner let me buy the switch that works, and he will send mine back to Bosch.

In the happy event Bosch agree the part as a warranty claim, I will get my £37 back.

So what could have been a nuisance to sort has been sorted fairly easily.

I'm a bit disappointed the component has failed so soon, it's made in China which rather supports my view of Chinese electrics giving niggly problems.

I did do a soaking wet ride on Saturday, but I also did a much drier one on Sunday, on both rides the switch performed correctly.

In other respects, the bike continues to perform as it should.

It has been much admired, even by roadies, who appreciate the quality components even if they don't fully approve of ebikes.

One of my fellow riders on Saturday commented the motor was 'quiet', which I was surprised about as low noise level is not the strongest feature of the Performance motor.

I continue to be slightly underwhelmed by the power consumption.

Tour setting is quite perky and I can do most rides on it, but the range per battery is about 40 miles, which is not brilliant from a 500wh pack.

On t'other hand, the twin battery set-up means I can do nearly all my rides without the need to change batteries, and charging both batteries on the bike is very convenient - I don't use the battery key from one month to the next.

So despite the breakdown, I remain very pleased with the bike.
Nice bike Rob, definitely a gentleman's touring bike with nice hub gear! Shame about the thumb shifter failing though so soon on such an expensive bike, and 40 miles per battery on tour mode doesn't seem alot ? What's the average range in eco mode you've achieved so far?
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
Nice bike Rob, definitely a gentleman's touring bike with nice hub gear! Shame about the thumb shifter failing though so soon on such an expensive bike, and 40 miles per battery on tour mode doesn't seem alot ? What's the average range in eco mode you've achieved so far?
I've only done the odd 15/20 mile stretch in eco, although I reckon the bike would do 60+ miles per battery.

Hub gears - even Rohloff - reduce range, and the podgy 2.4" tyres will take a bit of shoving along.

The Performance/CX motor is a bit more power hungry than the Classic, although it is noticeably pokier.
 

Robbieg

Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2016
188
71
63
Burton on trent
I've only done the odd 15/20 mile stretch in eco, although I reckon the bike would do 60+ miles per battery.

Hub gears - even Rohloff - reduce range, and the podgy 2.4" tyres will take a bit of shoving along.

The Performance/CX motor is a bit more power hungry than the Classic, although it is noticeably pokier.
Yes during my short test ride at the cycle show I immediately thought that narrower tyres would make for a more responsive ride but maybe that would have an adverse effect on the bikes off road capability. There's no getting round it though, the R and M is definitely a quality machine and coupled with a Rholloff should last for years and go anywhere. It's quite an investment though, almost twice the cost of my Haibike Trekking which I really love riding.
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
About 3,000 miles now and the bike continues to perform as it should.

I motivated myself to perform the first oil change on the Rohloff hub.

It's a bit more of a faff than Shimano hubs because you suck the oil out, put in some runny cleaning oil, do a few miles, suck that out, then refill with slightly thicker oil.

My view is the first oil change from new is the most important - the stuff I sucked out was black and grainy, indicating some running in had taken place.

I probably will do the next change, but it won't matter if I exceed the mileage interval a bit.

Rohloff, in their many technical documents, point out the hub will run fine with 'no oil' - meaning it's not possible to suck out the oil coating the internals.

The numbers on the twist shifter have worn away, which is common, but a bit disappointing on such an expensive item.

A couple of blobs of car paint give me all the indication I need, and in any case you can't see the numbers in the dark.

Puncture resistance on the Schwalbe Moto X balloon tyres has been less than impressive.

Particularly on the front, where I've had a series of slow punctures in different parts of the tube, the cause of which has been hard to pin down.

All I can think is the inside of the tyre - which doesn't look too well finished to me - is abrading the tube.

I've decided to bite the bullet and go tubeless, the rims are tubeless ready, and as I remarked in the OP. the bead seal is tight, so a tubeless installation shou;d work well.

The job is being done by the manager of my local bike shop.

He tells me the latest enduro sealant works better than some of the earlier preparations, so hopefully it's a good time to go tubeless.

I'm told the installation should hold pressure at least as well as an inner tube, if not better.

Only downside is the goo needs topping up about once a year.

The tubeless valves have removable cores, so that can be done without breaking the bead on the tyre.

Snag with that is you will have no idea how much liquid is in the tyre already.

Apparently, some users suck it all out first to find out, which is more faff.

Probably as easy to break the bead seal to have a look.

The manager of the bike shop said to look at it as having one puncture a year, but at a convenient time and place.

If that's how going tubeless works for me I shall be happy enough.
 
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