R&M SuperDelite vs Homage, Fox suspension upgrade ?

HariSeldon

New Member
As a brief intro, myself (61) and my wife (54) are looking to get back into cycling with an Electric Bike, we live in Dorset, UK and are fortunate that we will be shortly living within 9 miles of all our regular travel destinations and the New Forest, an area full of off road trails.

Dissatisfaction with the levels of traffic, a need for more fitness, better bike infrastructure and some green tendencies, suggest that cycling is the way to go and an Electric Bike will make this all more practicable to go further, carry shopping and remove some of the disincentives…plus it’s fun!



A day’s hire of an ebike in the New Forest, a Cube step thru hybrid with a mid motor Bosch and 1.6” Schwalbe Range Cruiser tyres, was very successful, coping with roads and seeming fine on the gravel and forest trails, we were convinced! Given a fair few hills and very strong winds on the day, the bike coped well, ( riding at 15mph into a strong headwind, I turned the motor off and saw my speed drop to about 8mph despite peddling quite hard, I was impressed by the motor).



Being in the UK we are looking at the 25kmh restricted version of motors ( HS models are possible but number plates, motorcycle helmets, insurance, not being able to use cycle paths and trails make this a self defeating option) I did find with the CUBE hire bike I was getting to about 30mph ( 48 kmh) downhill with ease and averaging 15 to 20 mph ( 25 to 32 km/h) on the flat road sections.



The temptation is to buy a couple of bikes at this sort of price point £2,000 to £3,000) , I know that inevitably that we would end up replacing them in a couple of years, as I am fairly certain with being retired we have the time to make full use of bikes for longer day trips and are thinking about bike holidays in the Uk and Europe already. It makes more sense to skip the entry bike and Buy Right, Buy Once. Research and a visit to a couple of bike shops and test rides is leading me to Riese and Muller, very impressed with quality and the full suspension setup . ( The cost is high but we will significantly extend the life of our 5 year old, 40,000 mile Hybrid Toyota before replacement is considered)



I believe twin batteries, internal hub and belt drive plus full suspension are required features, and I am leaning to the Homage GX Rohloff E14 or the Superdelite GX Rohloff E14, the step thru frame of the Homage is tempting… but with an extra battery the step thru space is limited …. The bike rides great ( I tested the Vario), I am inclined towards the Superdelite 2020, the appearance, integrated batteries, the new 2020 CX motor, (a LBS was upbeat about the new motor, having seen a fair few bearing failures, but praising the excellent Bosch service).



The Homage was appealing too, less expensive, easier access, my wife at 5’5” (165cm) is just about ok with the 49cm frame but the 2020 motor improvements lead me to favour the Superdelite, where the smaller 47cm frame, with dropper seat post, might be a better fit for my wife ( probably for myself too, whilst I am 5’10” my inside leg measurement is very close to my wife at around 31”)



I am inclined towards the GX option, Bar ends, wider pedals and with the Dropper post with the Superdelite make sense. Regarding the tyres, we will be living next to an area of heath with potentially muddy trails and the Rock Razor tyres might be a plus here, with not too much downside on the road.



Thoughts and opinions are very welcome, the final question is with the Superdelite is whether to go with the Fox Suspension upgrade, by this point having potentially spent so much, I am not too worried about the extra cost, if it is of benefit. I suspect that we will ride a reasonable amount off road but are not going to be pushing the boundaries too much !



In summary, Superdite, with or without Fox suspension upgrade ? Are my concerns about the older CX model bearing issues overblown and the improvements of the 2020 model overweighted ?
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Lots of questions here.

I'm 69 and ride 2 R&M bikes, a 2019 Dual Battery Homage Rohloff High Speed with Fox suspension upgrade and a 2018 Delight Mountain with the cargo rack, Shimano Diore XT 11 speed, a Bosch CX and the Fox suspension upgrade. My wife rides a 2018 Homage Rohloff HS. All three bikes have dual batteries. Nancy does one or two rides a week with me. I ride five or six days per week, weather permitting, putting 1000-2000 km per month on my bikes, with over 20,000 km ridden in the last 20 months. I ride the Delight when I want a faster, sportier ride mostly group rides with athletic road bikers where I do lots of motor pacing at 40 km or faster (I put a Bikepspeed RS speed delimiting dongle on this bike with a three tooth larger chain ring and a 11-46 tooth cassette) I ride the Homage for around town commuting, running errands and overnight tours. As I really don't ride the Delight Mountain on muddy trails, I changed out the tires to more road worthy Super Moto X Schwalbe added fenders.

The Fox upgrades are very much worth it. The Suntour/X-Fusion are good not great while the Fox is much easier to tune for an amazingly smooth ride, plus the Fox has a lockout on the rear shock. IN 2019 the Homage did not have a Fox upgrade available. As Nancy rides so much less than I do and weighs much less as well, I swapped out the suspension parts so that the 2019 Homage now has the Fox bits from the 2018 and vice versa.

Living just 50 miles south of Vancouver, this is a rainy part of the world, much like the Great Britain, I imagine. I mostly avoid riding in the rain though. I also ride mostly on roads or developed gravel trails. I have had not problems with bearings I think that most of the bearing problems experienced in the UK and elsewhere occur on hard ridden mountain bikes with lots of mud and water exposure.

I definitely recommend using a dropper post on the Delight. The step through with the extra battery does have less space for passing the right foot through but with practice it still works just fine.

While the belt drive is definitely to be preferred, the chain driven 2018 homage works just fine and lasts a long time. It uses a 8 speed chain but as there is not chain changes with shifting so the chain line remains constant, the chain lasts quite a long time compared to a derailleur equipped bike,

Every day I ride a R&M bike I am thankful I spent the extra $$ up front for these top shelf bikes. They really are several cuts above the pack.

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HariSeldon

New Member
Thank you Alaskan for such an informative and detailed reply, very useful, particularly as you have examples of the bikes I am most interested in and clearly use them for significant mileages.

It only needed a little push to opt for the Fox upgrade.....:) Our dealer is expecting in the 2020 Superdelite bikes any day and we will be off for a test ride asap !

The HS option sounds good but is not really practicable here legally and the consequences of being detected with a dongle here could be unpleasant ( albeit unlikely) and the nature of roads locally that where you could use that speed, are not pleasant with the volume of traffic and the 25kmh limit will be ok , the US limit of 32kmh would have been ideal.

The Vancouver weather is pretty similar in many respects as we have good friends who lived for many years in Vancouver and its on our travel list !
 

HariSeldon

New Member
An update, we had a chance to test an Homage , a 2020 Delite mountain, both with conventional gearing and a 2020 Delite with Rohloff, thanks to Dan from Edemo, a great R&M dealer from Nailsworth Gloucestershire uk, who brought the bikes down to the New Forest, where we had an ample opportunity to ride them on a great mix of terrain. The Delite Mountain was a lot of fun and the Rohloff was very good, the gearshift was very smooth and the motor does pause, just enough, that it seemed more than happy for a change to occur when you are pedalling, the integration with the motor was very good.

The Fox suspension on the Delite Mountain was really excellent and we finally settled on two Superdelites, Kiox, front carrier, Rohloff, GX option with the Fox upgrade, we went for the 47cm frame as opposed to the 51cm, we happily rode this size on the test ride but I can see the smaller frame being a better fit. We'll be counting the days until we get the bikes now !

The comments from Alaskan were very helpful.)(
 

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