Help Rize RX and the Holy Grail of Problems!? (6ish Month Reveiw)

Cam2444

New Member
Region
USA
Rize Community,

I wanna give you a little background before we jump into this reveiw experience. Im a 27yo 160lb 5'8 inner city los angeles ebike commuter. I dont drive and live about 2 miles from where I work. I use my ebike as my primary form of transportation to replace getting a car.

This my fourth ebike, before purchasing the Rize RX in late Sept 2020 I built 2 conversion ebikes the first being a 48v front hub 1000w kit- that one was stolen while i was at work - after that I built a similar 48v 1000w rear hub kit- that bike was hit by a car resulting in a few days stay in the ICU and a totalled bike. Thankfully the insurance from the crash was enough for my medical bills and a new bike- I knew I didn't want to build another bike myself and just too air on the extra safe side I wanted someone else "a professional" to build my next bike. My third bike was 750w rear hub fat tire bike made by Los Angeles company The Thunder Bike "thunderbikes" and I used that bike everday for a year or so with almost weekly FLAT TIRES but that bike it was stolen from my apartment building. So once again I was in search of another quality 1000w ebike to get me around. I knew I wanted to avoid the every week flat tires so I set my sights on a mid drive system under $2500 and that's how I found rize rx. (Now you're up to speed)



RIZE RX REVIEW & EXPERIENCE
When I first picked up the bike in its box I brought it right to my lbs to have them build and set it up- right away litterally day one" I experienced what I thought were "regual mid-drive drive chain issues" popping & skipping over gears on the rear cassette-

I wanted this delt with asap and took the rx to a 3 different LA local bike shops and to an ebike specialist in Long Beach to diagnose the issue it took a couole months but ultimately the shops did lots of adjusting, added an extra chain link and, replaced the rear cassette stopping the chain from skipping. ($250+ labor and transportation)


I used the bike with minimal issues out side of regular expexted maintenance for about 450-500 miles after the initial issues were resolved and I was fairly happy with the bike until the issue cropped up again a couple months later but worse. (3 weeks ago)


While riding back from running errands (luckily only about a mile from home) I look down hear the worst sound coming from my bike- I pull over to the side of the road and see that the chain had fallen off of the bike and jammed itself in between the front cassette and motor.

I tried everything to get it out myself but the chain was jammed in so I brought it to my lbs, they pried it out and re greased the chain and sent me out again. I got a few blocks away and the chain slipped off again so I'm back to the bike shop- this happens a couple more times over 2 days and the issue is ultimately "resolved" by purchasing and implementing a chain guide onto the frame and drive train but with the chain gard I cant use the bike in its smallest or largest gears 9 or 8 or 1 & 2. Honestly thats not the biggest deal for me and how I ride but it still a bummer for someone who wants the most performance and durability out of their ebike investment ($150+labor and transportation)

I hoped that this was the end of my mid drive issues and that now my bike would just run. And for a couple weeks it looked like that was gonna be the case but I won't know for sure at least not for a while now...

Let me explain in the final installment of my rx journey just yesterday I biked over a curb "nothing crazy" and not a super hard hit but it flatted the rear tire. I had to take it back to the bike shop to for a new tube- I packed it into the uber and dropped the bike off at the bike shop I pulled the battery pack off the bike to transport the bike and the delivered it to the bike shop- they asked for the keys and I left the bike to have it fixed-

I came back a couple hours later and they had fixed the flat but they said "the battery won't fit" I smiled seeing my bike all spruced up and ready to go I smiled and at first I thought it was kind of funny they didn't know how to put the battery back in since its usually pretty straight forward- but I tried it myself and sure enough- it wouldn't go back in we tried together for a while and couldn't get it back in place. I thought maybe they dropped it at the shop but I asked the manager & repair team and they said no and were pretty offended. Eventually frustrated and legitimately powerless "pardon the pun," I pedaled home.

I fiddled with the battery on the ride home finally fitting/forcing it back in place. I noticed it maybe could be an issue with the bottom of the battery case that isn't fitting onto the bike (that would make the most sense if it was dropped) but there isnt much of a noticeable difference in how the battery looks cosmetically. However once the battery was back on the bike the bike wouldn't power on!!! - I checked the indicator lights on the battery and they didn't power on either.

I know the battery was charged because I charged it to 100% just before leaving for flat tire repair. I know the bike works because it worked on the way home with the flattening tire.


While pedaling home from the bike shop with the battery in place I could get the bike to power on sporadically but any kind of bump or movement would kill all power to the bike. This made me think it could be a wiring thing inside of the battery pack? But once I got it home I plugged the battery in for just a few moments to see if the charger would react but the indicator light on the charger that usually turns red to start charging just stayed green- I also smelled the battery and it definitely smells kind of electrical smokey so that makes me wonder about the health/safety of keeping the battery cells themself.


WHATS NEXT!?
i dont want to throw the battery pack away if there is any chance of replacing or salvging it but I'm not sure if I should keep the battery pack in my appartment???

I'm aware that rize hasn't been super helpful/responsive to the repair community here on EBR so I've been hesitant to reach out but maybe it's time to give them a call? Would it even be worth or possible to ship back to them? Any tips thoughts, similar experiences or advice would be very welcome!!!



1 Battery Pack
-Safe too keep?
-Could the pack be expanding due cell issues and if so what does that look like?
-Are there 3rd party 52v replacements



2. Drivetrain & Chain (skipping/slapping & Slipping)
-has anyone else had to add a chain guide?
-has anyone else had any majorly compromising drive train issues (Slipping off of gear skipping)


3. Durability Tips
-I am on the road with my bike everday and don't want to keep making every every week or bi weekly trips to the bike shop any tips or brands for long term durability.


-------
So it was all bad wit the Rize RX? 7/10

Short answer: No, there's lots too love about the rize rx and when it's running it's a work horsre it's generally pretty quick swift and efficient. I feel like the ebike market is still relatively so new until the market matures quite a bit more its going to change and grown but so far its been my experience that unless you're spending upward of a boat load durability and motor/battery parts repairablilty locally are just not gonna be your friends!


It would be nice to see a sleeker design with a little less branding, a 12 hour clock, brighter lights, rear suspension, smartphone app integration to take advantage of all the sensors that are already on the bike and maybe even a belt drive to avoid all these drive train issues.

Let's just be clear though, i don't think these are the things that rize is focused on for their company's future but I think a company that could deliver this kind of a rx package in a sub $3000 or even better sub $2500 price point might just take the whole ebike market by storm.
 

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ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
1) are you throttling or pedaling the bike
2) are you using the gears,always starting in low gear
3) what speed are you riding at that you get blowout going up a curb?
i cant see or smell the battery so i cant make that call but your LBS clearly jacked something up while installing your battery so i would start there!
i own one of these Bikes and never had any of these issues, not even one. no need for any type of chain guide and im 70lbs heavier
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
If the tire let go on a curb, there's about a 99% chance it was under inflated. As you had chronic flat issues when riding the fatty's as well, I'd suggest you look into something like Slime.

I am literally twice your weight (315) and have not had any issues in the several months I've had my RX Pro. This, from where I am sitting, would point to the fact the problems you are having are unique to your bike - not all of the Rize RX bikes.

I would not be real keen on any type of product that would not allow the use of 4 of my 9 available gears.

I think that maybe locating a different bike shop might be a good plan.

Sorry to hear about all the problems your having for sure!
 
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Bubba zanetti

Active Member
Region
Canada
City
Trail, BC
Give this a look. It’s very informative about adjusting your indexed shifters. Follow precisely and it works great for fine tuning. Just did my wife’s Tern and it shifts great. I think learning some maintenance skills is essential to having a tuned bike.

There are dozens of videos for all issues.
 

Bubba zanetti

Active Member
Region
Canada
City
Trail, BC
As far as the battery. My technique is this ... place bottom of battery in its placement, ensure it is aligned to the figment notche. Then firmly slide the battery top into place. It goes in more sideways than vertically. It makes a distinct clicking sound when engaged. It is not intuitive but makes sense after you try it several times.

I would call Rize, not email ... you are on warranty so give them a chance to satisfy your concerns. Work on your relationship with the company not what others claim to have experienced. My dealings with them have been minimal, but they responded well.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
OP is far to kind, if my battery was working when i dropped my bike off then the LBS ask for the battery key and all of a sudden my battery no longer locks when i get the bike back? oh no! LBS has some explaining to do!
 

GARX

New Member
Region
USA
City
Georgia
In my opinion, you did everything right from the start, having a bike shop set up the RX. To me, they are the root cause of all of your problems. Any rookie mechanic knows how to adjust a derailleur. It's hard to believe that four shops also could not get the bike to shift properly. Having built two ebikes already, you clearly know more than most about ebike mechanics. Given your age, neighborhood, and experience, I would suggest buying a cheap department store cruiser to get the two miles to work. A used one would be even better given the average life of your past purchases. The RX to go two miles to work is overkill. Save it for longer recreational rides, use the cheapo to run errands in the city. Lastly, I appreciate your writing skills. You deserve far better than the treatment you've received from your local bike shops. I agree with all the replies above.
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
I can only give you my 2 cents based on having a Rize RX Pro (Fat tire), and my other general bike experience.

1. Tires popping - what kind of failure was it? Always examine the tube and see how it failed. one or two little pin holes on the outside edges means snake-bite (pinch flats - underinflation). Pin holes on the inside (rim side) can mean dirt or debris in the rim strip (or the strip is missing altogether), or maybe just too thin a rim strip. Longer tears in the tube can just be bad luck and/or old tubes. Always feel the entire inside of the tire and sidewall/bead before remounting to see if there are any rough surfaces or sharp wires protruding. If you are getting debris punctures (outside perimeter/bottom of the tube), use some Slime/Bike-on, or add some tube armour if you are really hard on it.

2. Locks - The battery locks can be stubborn and sticky, and it's not uncommon for them to not close without the key being inserted and turned. You can lube the keyway and latching mechanism for some noticeable improvement,

3. Connections - Check the battery contacts closely on both the frame and battery side to ensure they are all still smooth, clean, and equally level. Chunks of dirt getting in there there force the contacts out of shape or prevent alignment. Intermittent contact can be improved with the careful use of a drop or two of conducting grease. If the shop forced it too hard, they may have bent a contact slightly out of alignment when it finally slammed shut.

4. Drivetrain - The rize mid-drives don't have a high-end drivetrain, so they need really close alignment and regular maintenance. I found my cables slowly stretched for several months on my first bike, and didn't stabilize until I put maybe 500-750kms on, The second new bike is definitely still stretching after 250kms. I align the derailleur by adjusting the cable slightly weekly (at the rear derailleur input fitting), and every now and then I make sure there is still some adjustment room in the front cable fitting (where it enters the shifter) so i can roll on a little more tension as I ride. I find every few rides i need to add a quarter turn or so (when I notice a skip) until it all settles in, and I lube all the derailleur pivot points twice a month and it makes a difference. Some folks have commented that they saw a dramatic reduction in the chain skipping when they swapped in a new front ring and better chain. I plan to try a wide-narrow chain and ring on mine after I wear the original one down some more.

On my bike, the electronic shift disconnect kicks in when I up-shift under throttle (with the big lever), reducing wear, but it doesn't kick in when I down shift (with the mini bi-directional lever). That just takes some practice to make sure you aren't shifting under throttle, as that will wear things out very fast with a 1000W drive and a lower-end cassette. If your bike is one of the original ones without the shift disconnect sensor, you really need to practice unloading the throttle (by pausing your pedaling for at least 1-2 seconds - or until you feel the power cut off), or rolling off the thumb throttle until the shift has fully completed.

It's the nature of lower end bikes, that they require a wee bit more driver attention in all things, but that is just the cost of cost-savings...
 

Cam2444

New Member
Region
USA
1) are you throttling or pedaling the bike
2) are you using the gears,always starting in low gear
3) what speed are you riding at that you get blowout going up a curb?
i cant see or smell the battery so i cant make that call but your LBS clearly jacked something up while installing your battery so i would start there!
i own one of these Bikes and never had any of these issues, not even one. no need for any type of chain guide and im 70lbs heavier
1. I'm usually throttling the bike pretty heavily
2 I do keep the bike at gear 5 sometimes 6 but am almost always pedaling when I start the bike
3 Speedwise I'm on the street so I'm often between 22-32 mph. - when I hit the curb a was on the sidewalk avoiding a car very close to home probably at 8 or 12 mph

As for the battery I took it off the bike again today and with a little shaking, I got the green battery power indicator lights to turn show for a few seconds but then nothing- This makes me think maybe it's an electrical issue inside the battery? but I'm thinking I'll give Rize a call on Monday.
 

Cam2444

New Member
Region
USA
If the tire let go on a curb, there's about a 99% chance it was under inflated. As you had chronic flat issues when riding the fatty's as well, I'd suggest you look into something like Slime.

I am literally twice your weight (315) and have not had any issues in the several months I've had my RX Pro. This, from where I am sitting, would point to the fact the problems you are having are unique to your bike - not all of the Rize RX bikes.

I would not be real keen on any type of product that would not allow the use of 4 of my 9 available gears.

I think that maybe locating a different bike shop might be a good plan.

Sorry to hear about all the problems your having for sure!

Thanks for reading, it is definitely disappointing having to deal with all the issues and not being able to use all the gears but, I feel like at this point I bought the bike and I'd just like it to work.

I will definitely have to check out "Slime" I had previously looked into tubeless solutions for my 26x4 fat tire bike before it was stolen but because it was a hub motor and the motor was built into the rim- I didn't have as much freedom as I might with this bike!

I religiously kept the fat tire bike at 20 PSI but because I hadn't had too many tire issues with the RX I wouldn't be surprised if I was closer to 20-15 or below when I hit the curb. If I can get it running again I will definitely get tire pressure adjusted weekly to 30PSI.

I also won't be returning to Just Ride LA bike shop but it is always a bummer having to go further away and keep moving from shop to shop I like to build good relationships with the shops I go to because I'm usually there a lot- the whole situation makes me feel like I have a fancy imported car (but maybe one like a Fiat - fix it again Tony).
 

Cam2444

New Member
Region
USA
As far as the battery. My technique is this ... place bottom of battery in its placement, ensure it is aligned to the figment notche. Then firmly slide the battery top into place. It goes in more sideways than vertically. It makes a distinct clicking sound when engaged. It is not intuitive but makes sense after you try it several times.

I would call Rize, not email ... you are on warranty so give them a chance to satisfy your concerns. Work on your relationship with the company not what others claim to have experienced. My dealings with them have been minimal, but they responded well.
Same usually, my battery slides right into the bottom groves and just clicks/locks into place but something is off- I will definitely give Rize a call on Monday and update this forum again then!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The Slime will seal the tube, and pretty much eliminate the need for weekly pressure checks. A Slimmed tube should go a month easily! Try it. It's not expensive, and it works!
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
1. I'm usually throttling the bike pretty heavily
2 I do keep the bike at gear 5 sometimes 6 but am almost always pedaling when I start the bike
3 Speedwise I'm on the street so I'm often between 22-32 mph. - when I hit the curb a was on the sidewalk avoiding a car very close to home probably at 8 or 12 mph

As for the battery I took it off the bike again today and with a little shaking, I got the green battery power indicator lights to turn show for a few seconds but then nothing- This makes me think maybe it's an electrical issue inside the battery? but I'm thinking I'll give Rize a call on Monday.
i still really feel like that LBS somehow damaged your battery when handleing it, if there was no prior issue they had to do something, there are so many LBSs with zero E-Bike experience its shocking! i would try to find a LBS who sells a variety of E-Bikes! as for the drive train issues, get your derailleur adjusted by someone else or do it your self with youtube vids! after its adjusted just get into the habit of downshift when coming to a stop, try starting in second or third and you should be ok, you wont get it every stop because often stops are fast or unexpected but if you down shift and start in the low gears most of the time you should be just fine, if not your derailleur will go back out of tune from stress, this is the biggest weakness of a Middrive bike for Hubbike riders, you cant just rip from a start in any gear with a Highpower Middrive motor, the derailleur just cant handle it and it will flex and move, in a low gear its fine!
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
You seem to be an intelligent grounded young man and the only thing that I would add to the above is that you take the time and teach yourself some basic bike maintenance. Receiving a new bike and finishing assembly and break_in are an excellent place to start. Now a days between youtube and communities such as this, one can easily learn to do just about all that needs to be done on a bike. Though it may seem intimidating at first, you'll soon realize none of this is rocket science and most adjustments, maintenance and repairs can be done in less than an hour if not in just a few minutes.
Doing things yourself has many advantages....
You'll be less likely to be stuck out on the road.
When somethings needs to be done you'll have your bike bike in minutes /hours instead of hours/days/weeks.
You'll keep a few more of those fun tickets in your pocket instead of giving it to some inept bike shop that as you've seen fix one issue and cause another all while scratching the bike and wasting your time. Now of course there are excellent bike shops, but even those have a hard time finding good help and issues can still be had.
Meccanico di Biciclette
And lastly.. it's a nice feeling to stop and help someone else stranded on the road once you've built up your knowledge base/skill set.

Anywho... Other than from me, you've gotten some good advice here 🙃
Good luck and I hope things roll smoother going forward.
 
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