From ST5 to Supercharger 2

Since I gave up on owning a Stromer ST5, I had considered several options that I could try at a local LBS:

- Trek Alliant+ 9.9S at Helen's Cycles
- Specialized Vadoo 5 at Cynergy Cycles

I noticed that both bikes have the same derailleur as the Stromer ST2: Shimano Deore XT.
However, unlike the ST2, both bikes shift with a noticeable klunk -- as if someone is hitting the bike.

At Cynergy, the salesman told me that one can learn how to shift smoothly by releasing the pressure on the pedals before shifting.
Although I understand the physics of it, I've grown leery of getting into a situation where the motor power goes through a chain & cassette drivetrain.
So, I decided to look for an ebike with an internal hub.

There are several that I considered; many have unique and attractive features:

- Wattwagons
- Calamus
- Cheetah E-Bike City

The first two feature the powerful Bafang motor; however, the lack of synchronization between the motor and the shifting turned me off.
The Cheetah can be configured w/ a Pinion hub; although the Neodrive Z20 250W is clearly not as powerful as the ST5's 850W motor,
it is hard to make an evaluation without experiencing the bike firsthand.

The problem with these 3 bikes is that there is no LBS nearby. Given that I'm not signing up for servicing my bike, I looked for other options.

And last but not least, I looked at R&M. Since it is clear that Chris Nolte is a big fan of R&M, I visited him at his shop
and really like the advice that I received there regarding the different R&M models. For my needs, I chose the Supercharger2 GT Rohloff HS.
I've had the bike for a few days and tomorrow will be my 1st commute. Already, I'm really glad that I chose the combination of the Bosch motor
with the E-14 Rohloff -- it's really nice to know that the system will optimally shift the Rohloff and decrease motor power.
This is by far the most important feature from the ST5 that I wanted to have on my new bike.
Although the Bosch Performance Line Gen4 with E-14 Rohloff is clearly not as powerful as the ST5 w/ Shimano DI2 drivetrain,
I think that after a while, I'll master pedaling at a high cadence and shifting like a Rohloff ninja.

There is only one accessory missing on the R&M that I purchased separately: a loud horn.
The ST5 horn was nice in that it was integrated but it was not very loud.
I haven't received the Loud Mini horn yet but I like the fact that it was designed with a theft-proof option.
Theft-proofing the bike is another factor that I really like about Chris.

So far, I'm happy to have switched from ST5 to the Supercharger 2 GT Rohloff HS.
The air suspension fork is really nice too! I look forward to riding this bike safely without maintenance worries.

- Nicolas.
 

wallrich525

New Member
Since I gave up on owning a Stromer ST5, I had considered several options that I could try at a local LBS:

- Trek Alliant+ 9.9S at Helen's Cycles
- Specialized Vadoo 5 at Cynergy Cycles

I noticed that both bikes have the same derailleur as the Stromer ST2: Shimano Deore XT.
However, unlike the ST2, both bikes shift with a noticeable klunk -- as if someone is hitting the bike.

At Cynergy, the salesman told me that one can learn how to shift smoothly by releasing the pressure on the pedals before shifting.
Although I understand the physics of it, I've grown leery of getting into a situation where the motor power goes through a chain & cassette drivetrain.
So, I decided to look for an ebike with an internal hub.

There are several that I considered; many have unique and attractive features:

- Wattwagons
- Calamus
- Cheetah E-Bike City

The first two feature the powerful Bafang motor; however, the lack of synchronization between the motor and the shifting turned me off.
The Cheetah can be configured w/ a Pinion hub; although the Neodrive Z20 250W is clearly not as powerful as the ST5's 850W motor,
it is hard to make an evaluation without experiencing the bike firsthand.

The problem with these 3 bikes is that there is no LBS nearby. Given that I'm not signing up for servicing my bike, I looked for other options.

And last but not least, I looked at R&M. Since it is clear that Chris Nolte is a big fan of R&M, I visited him at his shop
and really like the advice that I received there regarding the different R&M models. For my needs, I chose the Supercharger2 GT Rohloff HS.
I've had the bike for a few days and tomorrow will be my 1st commute. Already, I'm really glad that I chose the combination of the Bosch motor
with the E-14 Rohloff -- it's really nice to know that the system will optimally shift the Rohloff and decrease motor power.
This is by far the most important feature from the ST5 that I wanted to have on my new bike.
Although the Bosch Performance Line Gen4 with E-14 Rohloff is clearly not as powerful as the ST5 w/ Shimano DI2 drivetrain,
I think that after a while, I'll master pedaling at a high cadence and shifting like a Rohloff ninja.

There is only one accessory missing on the R&M that I purchased separately: a loud horn.
The ST5 horn was nice in that it was integrated but it was not very loud.
I haven't received the Loud Mini horn yet but I like the fact that it was designed with a theft-proof option.
Theft-proofing the bike is another factor that I really like about Chris.

So far, I'm happy to have switched from ST5 to the Supercharger 2 GT Rohloff HS.
The air suspension fork is really nice too! I look forward to riding this bike safely without maintenance worries.

- Nicolas.
Congrats! I just ordered my SC2 GX HS Touring yesterday. Curious if you tried and disliked the derailleur if you were ok with shifting. It's an expensive upgrade to Rohloff.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Note that for Bafang mid-drive bikes, you can add a Gear Sensor (available from Luna here: https://lunacycle.com/gearsensor-for-bafang-mid-drives/ ) which will automatically pause the motor when you shift. My Luna Apollo came with this, and it works pretty well. For some reason I find the motor pausing on the Apollo to be less annoying than when I test rode an R&M Delite with Rohloff.
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
The only thing missing on the R&M Bosch bikes is a thumb-throttle. I so want to try a Mid-Motor with the Rohloff and belt drive.

Regardless of what the sales people told you, it is still recommended to switch the Rohloff at the low-torque moment on the crank.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Congrats on your new bike. May it serve will. I have a Deore XT with the Bosch generation 2 CX motor on my 2018 R+M Charger and it alway shifts beautifully with no clunking, but it does wear out chains quickly. I have tried several types of chains from Shimano and Kmc so far with no discernable difference. The last chain stretched after 1,000 km. The next chain I try will be the SRAM XX1. The only reason I personally would switch to a Rohloff with a belt drive is to save on worn chains and chainrings , as well as cleaning maintenance. Oh and if you want LOUD, check out the Air Z horn https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-164/Air-Zound-II-Cycling-Horn
 
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wallrich525

New Member
Congrats on your new bike. May it serve will. I have a Deore XT with the Bosch generation 2 CX motor on my 2018 R+M Charger and it alway shifts beautifully with no clunking, but it does wear out chains quickly. I have tried several types of chains from Shimano and Kmc so far with no discernable difference. The last chain stretched after 1,000 km. The next chain I try will be the SRAM XX1. The only reason I personally would switch to a Rohloff with a belt drive is to save on worn chains and chainrings , as well as cleaning maintenance. Oh and if you want LOUD, check out the Air Z horn https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-164/Air-Zound-II-Cycling-Horn

well the horn on the SC2 is mighty loud. It sounds like a car horn.
 

T.S.

New Member
A similar thing happened to me. I got a Stromer ST1X and had issues day one. I returned to REI and ordered a SuperCharger 2. I am waiting for it.

I got the loud bicycle horn a few years ago, and I returned 2 of them. They couldn't handle Texas Heavy rain. I live in Oregon, so I think this kind of drizzle in Portland will be ok.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I just ordered my SC2 GX HS Touring yesterday. Curious if you tried and disliked the derailleur if you were ok with shifting.
Hi @wallrich525, did you inspect the shifter, the derailleur and the cassette in your new Supercharger 2? According to R&M specs, it should be Deore XT for the derailleur but SLX for the shifter and the cassette. I have got the same in my Vado 5 and the shifting system behaves perfectly. Your own experience?
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
The only thing missing on the R&M Bosch bikes is a thumb-throttle. I so want to try a Mid-Motor with the Rohloff and belt drive.

Regardless of what the sales people told you, it is still recommended to switch the Rohloff at the low-torque moment on the crank.
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Note that for Bafang mid-drive bikes, you can add a Gear Sensor (available from Luna here: https://lunacycle.com/gearsensor-for-bafang-mid-drives/ ) which will automatically pause the motor when you shift. My Luna Apollo came with this, and it works pretty well. For some reason I find the motor pausing on the Apollo to be less annoying than when I test rode an R&M Delite with Rohloff.
Was that a manual shift Rohloff or E14? I think it's possible to have smoother (but not always guaranteed smooth) shifts on a manual Rohloff.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Was that a manual shift Rohloff or E14? I think it's possible to have smoother (but not always guaranteed smooth) shifts on a manual Rohloff.

It was an E-14 Rohloff.

I did also get to ride a friend's bike with a manual Rohloff, which it didn't have any automatic pausing. The owner stressed with me the need to ease off on the pedals when shifting. Yes, I think the Rohloff has some thing where it won't shift if there's too much pressure when you try to shift. I've read it can even go into neutral.

That said, my wife's bike has a NuVinci. Gear range isn't as good, and it's not as efficient, but it doesn't seem to be able to shift at almost any time.
 

wallrich525

New Member
Hi @wallrich525, did you inspect the shifter, the derailleur and the cassette in your new Supercharger 2? According to R&M specs, it should be Deore XT for the derailleur but SLX for the shifter and the cassette. I have got the same in my Vado 5 and the shifting system behaves perfectly. Your own experience?

I thought it shifted seamlessly with total control of cadence and speed. As I mentioned elsewhere, the fancy CVT or Rohloff felt like having to relearn everything I know.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I had a manual shift Rohloff with chain on my 2018 Homage that my wife rides now. It has been upgraded to an E14 shifter. I wish I could update to a belt drive. I ride a 2019 Homage with a belt driven Rohloff E14 I was accustomed to shifting manually with a momentary pause when the pedals were at 12 & 6 in order to execute a smooth shift. At first I was surprised to hear the clunk of the E14 when I shifted and then remebered that the e14 eases off on the motor for 160 milliesconds but I was keep full power on with my legs. Once I resumed my prior good habits with the manual shift in conjunction with the E14 it's "like butter" No problem shifting down or up, even on the steepest grades. It really takes less than a second to do, once you get the rhythm and then it becomes muscle memory. I have never had a throttle so I don't miss it. Having ridden a throttle enabled rear hub bike, I really do prefer the more seamless/bionic feel of the Bosch mid drive. I never get the feeling of being pushed along. Enjoy your new ride...lots of miles and lots of smiles.
 
Congrats! I just ordered my SC2 GX HS Touring yesterday. Curious if you tried and disliked the derailleur if you were ok with shifting. It's an expensive upgrade to Rohloff.

Since I'm not a DIY person, I really didn't want the hassle of maintaining a conventional drivetrain.
I wasn't familiar with the difference between a conventional Rohloff vs. the E-Rohloff integration w/ the Bosch system.
Now, I'm really glad for that integration. The bike can automatically reset to a known gear when the bike has stopped.
This makes it easier to start pedaling at the right gear to optimize the acceleration profile of the bike + rider.
In my view, this is really a very useful feature.

It helps that the integration also optimizes the time when to shift gears as well as reducing the motor torque.
This will help increase the longevity of the Rohloff and therefore improve the return on investment.

- Nicolas.
 
Note that for Bafang mid-drive bikes, you can add a Gear Sensor (available from Luna here: https://lunacycle.com/gearsensor-for-bafang-mid-drives/ ) which will automatically pause the motor when you shift. My Luna Apollo came with this, and it works pretty well. For some reason I find the motor pausing on the Apollo to be less annoying than when I test rode an R&M Delite with Rohloff.

Interesting. I wasn't aware of this possibility. I hope that the Bafang + Hub ebike vendors use this feature to protect the hub.

Personally, throttles kind of scare me. A colleague of mine nearly got into unintended acceleration from his Pedego ebike when we were chatting at a red light.
He managed to stop the bike right away but the experience startled both of us. Personally, I prefer avoid a throttle altogether.
I understand that the Bafang can be operated with the throttle disconnected; nonetheless, it's something that I really don't want to have to worry at all.
So, I'm OK with a pedal assist bike. In fact, given that the Bosch is substantially less powerful than the Stromer ST5 motor, I find that I end up getting more of a cardio workout on the R&M than I did w/ the ST5. So, there's a health incentive to PAS & R&M that is very appealing to me.

- Nicolas.
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
Not sure what your thought or point is. I want a throttle, it's not an either/or thing. The dealer sells a lot of R&M, no doubt nice bikes, makes them a lot of money too. Listen to what the 84 yr old has to say about R&M, he has it right in my opinion. Sad I can't buy an R&M as they are great designs, but are limited by silly laws and as of yet, will not adjust to laws outside of Europe. However, others are catching up so it won't always be sad, and one can just go ride and forget all about it for now.
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Not sure what your thought or point is. I want a throttle, it's not an either/or thing. The dealer sells a lot of R&M, no doubt nice bikes, makes them a lot of money too. Listen to what the 84 yr old has to say about R&M, he has it right in my opinion. Sad I can't buy an R&M as they are great designs, but are limited by silly laws and as of yet, will not adjust to laws outside of Europe. However, others are catching up so it won't always be sad, and one can just go ride and forget all about it for now.
He talks about people thinking they want a throttle but not necessarily needing one, if you've tried both and are still sure you need one then so be it.
I can't see R&M moving away from Bosch in a hurry, this is a R&M forum and Bosch don't have throttle's. Not sure which 84 yr old you're talking about.
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
He talks about people thinking they want a throttle but not necessarily needing one, if you've tried both and are still sure you need one then so be it.
I can't see R&M moving away from Bosch in a hurry, this is a R&M forum and Bosch don't have throttle's. Not sure which 84 yr old you're talking about.
OK if that's your opinion then you should have just stated that. Thanks.