2023 SuperLight R&M: Fantasy thread

Mike Owen

Member
Heft. Tank. Handful. SUV. I hear those words time and again in R&M conversations.

Yeah, but. All those kilos translate into a comfortable, solid and assured ride: great!

Great if your terrain is smooth asphalt, flat or rolling. Great if you’re relatively active, relatively not ancient, relatively macho. Not so great if you’re outside that demographic. Also eBikes have a big appeal to folk outside that slightly macho male grouping.

As we eagerly anticipate the 2021 range in a few weeks, how about a fantasy look forward to what Markus, Heiko and the gang might reveal to us salivating eBikers in a few years time.

I’d argue that a few R&M models which go off in an ultimate Super Lightweight direction would be a good thing. Nimble to ride (nimble is fun), easy to man-handle in every scenario, increased range, appealing to a wider demographic. And in time that race for lightness might rub off across the whole R&M range.

I used to love my Desktop. Then I loved my Laptop. Now I love my iPad Air. Weight matters.

A few thoughts to break the heft mould:

1. Modular batteries. Pack just the right amount of energy you need that day. <300Wh... >1000Wh
2. Lighter (weaker!) motor. But perhaps Bosch already approaching a sweet spot.
3. Featherweight component materials. Titanium or composites. Swing arm, rear and front racks etc.
4. Electronic security instead of heavy metal.

How would you like the weight thing to develop? Go the Specialized SL route? Echo the Titanium Brompton? Or maybe you’re super happy to pedal SUVs for ever and a day!
 
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Squaxor

Active Member
I'd love to have the range of the Superdelite, but weigh a lot less the 32.5K. I'm sure the frame could be made lighter, but no doubt it would cost a lot more money. Doesn't it always. Maybe R&M should release a bicycle that is the equivalent to the Honda Goldwing? Have a built-in microwave, heater, fridge.... ?
 

Mike Owen

Member
I have a feeling Specialized will get to lightweight faster than R&M unfortunately.
Already there! I completely agree. My brother’s 2020 Specialized Turbo Levo SL is an awesome bike. Compared to my 2020 Delite Rohloff GX:
  1. both full sus aluminium frames, tick.
  2. same Fox Float suspension, tick.
  3. similar energy capacity, 320Wh + 160Wh bottle cage extender = 480Wh usable... versus 450Wh usable from the Delite 500Wh Powertube (500 - 10% for Rohloff/Lights reserve), tick Levo SL.
  4. same dropper post, tick.
  5. Torque 35Nm v 85Nm, tick Delite (but it really needs it with all that heft).
  6. 20.4kg Levo SL (incl 160Wh extender), 28.8kg Delite E14 (plus front rack ? kg).
Okay, okay, Delite is equipped trekking bike, Levo SL stripped eMTB. But do lights, gear hub, mudguards, rear carrier really have to add so much extra weight?

Levo SL is a really nimble, fun machine and feels completely like a non assisted bike with the wind behind you. And has flexibility to go 1kg lighter without range extender.

That extra Delite weight isn’t all down to the Rohloff either. R&M website stats:
Delite Mountain Rohloff 25.8kg
Delite Mountain derailleur 25.3kg

(480Wh Levo SL derailleur 20.4kg, just sayin’)


Sounds like I’m moaning about my R&M. I most definitely aren’t. It’s a wonderful ride. I love it.

R&M are real innovators, leaders in eBikes. I just hope they continue to innovate in weight saving. Otherwise @Squaxor is right, may as well throw in the microwave. Heavens, that’s the way the dumb car industry has gone: bigger batteries, bigger SUVs... ridiculous.
 

Jay Kay

Active Member
The Levo is a really nice bike - unfortunately it has no belt option so it is a pass from me. I will strip my carrier/mud guards/kickstand off In the meantime and I will ride a bit further, more often and loose 5kg and kill 2 birds with one stone 😎
 

Mike Owen

Member
The Levo is a really nice bike - unfortunately it has no belt option so it is a pass from me. I will strip my carrier/mud guards/kickstand off In the meantime and I will ride a bit further, more often and loose 5kg and kill 2 birds with one stone 😎
Jay, I think, for many the belt is a massive draw to R&M. Plus the suspension. Completely agree with you.

Innovation marches on and hopefully more belt + suspension bikes appear. The Tern GSD for 2021 launched this week... with a belt, Rohloff and full suspension!

All it would take is a major player to intro a belt/suspension range and I really think stuff would get shaken up.
 

Jay Kay

Active Member
I hope so Mike. Major players in this space would speed innovation up for sure, and increase adoption. I feel however that, except for ‘proper’ mountain bikes where weight makes a difference to the ride, innovation is going to focus on motor, gearing and battery efficiency, with reduction in weight further down the list.

Great the Tern has belt + Bosch but I see it weighs in at 37kg!

There must be some magical formula for weight:power ratio, where lighter bikes mean they can have smaller batteries and still go the same distance.

A 20kg Superdelight would be my dream bike, so lets hope weight reduction does become one of the R&M‘s innovation pillars.
 

Law

Active Member
If RM goes light, its going CF, and it will be a lot more $$. CF has its own vibration and sound issues as well.

All manufacturers are bleeding us on the battery tech. Where is tesla on this matter?

I say answer is we all just lose 6 kilos.....
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
There are various rumblings of "light metal" or "dual-phased steel" bike frames that will be much lighter than existing aluminum frames, be easier to form into the shapes you need for an e-bike (square "tubes"), and have the excellent flex and vibration-damping properties of steel.


 

webcurl

Active Member
I remember hearing/reading somewhere that R&M really don't like the idea of seeing any of their bikes/frames in rubbish tips/piles so they make them a bit more heavy duty to last longer. There's a trade-off when trying to design for weight.
Mind you i live very close to the sea and the paintwork on mine worries me a little in regards to corrosion :)
 

hkat

New Member
R&M is pretty tied to the Bosch system, so if you want R&M to provide something lightweight look to Bosch and see what they are going to annouce in the future and if they will have lighter motors, lighter and smaller batteries. Bosch components can however be used by many manufacturers so if they ever get there other brands will also start offering something similar and lightweight. R&M will probably just position themselves to be the nicest one in that bunch but nothing they do will be particularly exclusive, just nicer. So long as they are tied to Bosch look to Bosch to see what they are announcing in the next few years and extrapolate from there for R&M.
 
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