R&M 2020 bikes

Ddewsbury

Member
I assume Chris Nolte has a new superdelite by now. I would love to see your review on it, even though I have mine. Perhaps you can do a gx HS rohloff. Would love to see your take.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member

Chris' reviews are about as detailed as Court's IMO...
Courts reviews in addition to the video portion, include a detailed discussion of each bike's innovative features, key components and general purpose as well as detailed component specifications as well as in depth pros and cons. While Chris's video reviews are excellent, your statement that they are as detailed as Court's is plainly not accurate, unless you are referring to the video portion only. Also Court's reviews at times include suggestions and critiques of manufacturer;s choices of components and designs, something not present and most dealer reviews which are understandably reluctant to critique manufacturers they represent. It appears that several bike makers, like Riese & Muller, Trek and others are not opting in to the new system of charging for reviews, necessitating dealers to create reviews of bikes no longer being reviewed on EBR.
 

Ddewsbury

Member
Courts reviews in addition to the video portion, include a detailed discussion of each bike's innovative features, key components and general purpose as well as detailed component specifications as well as in depth pros and cons. While Chris's video reviews are excellent, your statement that they are as detailed as Court's is plainly not accurate, unless you are referring to the video portion only. Also Court's reviews at times include suggestions and critiques of manufacturer;s choices of components and designs, something not present and most dealer reviews which are understandably reluctant to critique manufacturers they represent. It appears that several bike makers, like Riese & Muller, Trek and others are not opting in to the new system of charging for reviews, necessitating dealers to create reviews of bikes no longer being reviewed on EBR.
I agree 100%, Court's reviews are not for marketing/sales purposes. However, he does work with Chris alot, and should easily have access to the bike in question.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I agree 100%, Court's reviews are not for marketing/sales purposes. However, he does work with Chris alot, and should easily have access to the bike in question.
Why don’t you do a review? More user reviews are needed, anyway.

One idea is to ask Court if he’s interested in setting up a Patreon-like system if bike users would like him specifically to review a particular model or brand. His fees are for his time/costs/travel and pretty reasonable.
 

Ddewsbury

Member
Why don’t you do a review? More user reviews are needed, anyway.

One idea is to ask Court if he’s interested in setting up a Patreon-like system if bike users would like him specifically to review a particular model or brand. His fees are for his time/costs/travel and pretty reasonable.
Thanks, but I think my idea/request was most reasonable. I dont have the tech to do what court does. I appreciate everyone's two cents, but isnt the name of the thread ask Court?
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi @Ddewsbury, thanks for this request and all of the great comments! Yeah, I really wanted to continue working with Chris on reviews ongoing, but he hired a videographer and has been doing them on his own now so he can control the message and branding. It made me really sad, I've worked hard to be authentic and cover lots of companies and taught Chris what I knew about YouTube and filming. Chris has done a great job scheduling and connecting me to companies because of his status as a dealer. Frankly, the way I run EBR can get overwhelming and I haven't been monetizing it as aggressively or doing affiliate programs because I've wanted to remain objective. Now that I'm growing my team, I've needed to figure out more of a business model, and that is still in progress. I like the Patreon idea from @dblhelix and had actually created a "donate" button with PayPal here in the forums a while back, but the dollar value ended up being less than $150 total after a year or so of testing.

Right now, I make money from some YouTube ads, but try to keep those minimal too, the local listing tool is great but requires a lot of engineering and support costs, and the category promotions are good, but have been under priced so I could get the best bikes to be promoters. Even those ads can impact my objectivity a bit... but I really try to be authentic and true when I do my reviews. Earlier this year, Mikey, Tyson, and Brent all helped to film some reviews, because I needed to focus on some programming tasks... but as great as some of the content has been, they just don't know the library of reviews to add overlays and references the same way, and don't have the historical perspective I do, so I often feel uncomfortable with the results. In Brents case, I was getting some negative feedback from companies who felt that he got some specs wrong... and this became a distraction and additional discomfort for me. So, I paid him out for the remaining reviews and he kept the camera equipment I had given him, and now he does his own thing and sort of competes with me. I wish him luck, but felt sad about that one too.

I've been justifying the extra help by saying (rather have an extra bike that's a bit less thorough than no extra bike at all!) but I'm starting to re-think that. This is why it's so nice to get user reviews and comments here. I've built this space to be ad-limited and welcome critical feedback, videos, photos that communicate truth, but I don't sell any bikes and have more limited ways to make profit than someone like Chris. I'm holding on as best I can to that authenticity ;) I actually begged Chris to keep working with me, and offered to let him post his own videos on the site here so we'd have the stats and comparison tool in tact, but it was going to be awkward with his branding and we just couldn't come to an agreement. A couple of the companies that had scheduled reviews with me this year ended up getting the bike to Chris first, and then skipped me completely. Chris and other shops will do the review for free, and can then sell bikes to make up for it. Other companies like Electrek will review new players and cheaper bikes that have affiliate programs, and I've even seen them link one companies bikes to another companies affiliate program for Black Friday (they did this for Rad bikes and linked to Juiced affiliate pages. This type of thing feels uncomfortable to me, so I'm just trodding along and trying my best to adjust my model and be thankful for what I have... definitely planning some more Trek, hopefully R&M, Specialized, and other reviews... just in a transitional phase right now. I'll keep an eye out for the Superdelite, and Chris has offered to still review with me if I'm in the area, so hoping that works out. I like to review with many different shops to get a variety of perspectives, so we could see someone from Seattle or elsewhere. Thanks again for your encouragement! My goal is to bring truth in the ebike space and to be constructive and professional about how that's done.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
...While Chris's video reviews are excellent, your statement that they are as detailed as Court's is plainly not accurate, unless you are referring to the video portion only. Also Court's reviews at times include suggestions and critiques of manufacturer;s choices of components and designs, something not present and most dealer reviews which are understandably reluctant to critique manufacturers they represent...
Good points about dealer perspective vs independent. I stand duly and deservedly chastised.
 

Akrotiri

New Member
Hi @Ddewsbury, thanks for this request and all of the great comments! Yeah, I really wanted to continue working with Chris on reviews ongoing, but he hired a videographer and has been doing them on his own now so he can control the message and branding. It made me really sad, I've worked hard to be authentic and cover lots of companies and taught Chris what I knew about YouTube and filming. Chris has done a great job scheduling and connecting me to companies because of his status as a dealer. Frankly, the way I run EBR can get overwhelming and I haven't been monetizing it as aggressively or doing affiliate programs because I've wanted to remain objective. Now that I'm growing my team, I've needed to figure out more of a business model, and that is still in progress. I like the Patreon idea from @dblhelix and had actually created a "donate" button with PayPal here in the forums a while back, but the dollar value ended up being less than $150 total after a year or so of testing.

Right now, I make money from some YouTube ads, but try to keep those minimal too, the local listing tool is great but requires a lot of engineering and support costs, and the category promotions are good, but have been under priced so I could get the best bikes to be promoters. Even those ads can impact my objectivity a bit... but I really try to be authentic and true when I do my reviews. Earlier this year, Mikey, Tyson, and Brent all helped to film some reviews, because I needed to focus on some programming tasks... but as great as some of the content has been, they just don't know the library of reviews to add overlays and references the same way, and don't have the historical perspective I do, so I often feel uncomfortable with the results. In Brents case, I was getting some negative feedback from companies who felt that he got some specs wrong... and this became a distraction and additional discomfort for me. So, I paid him out for the remaining reviews and he kept the camera equipment I had given him, and now he does his own thing and sort of competes with me. I wish him luck, but felt sad about that one too.

I've been justifying the extra help by saying (rather have an extra bike that's a bit less thorough than no extra bike at all!) but I'm starting to re-think that. This is why it's so nice to get user reviews and comments here. I've built this space to be ad-limited and welcome critical feedback, videos, photos that communicate truth, but I don't sell any bikes and have more limited ways to make profit than someone like Chris. I'm holding on as best I can to that authenticity ;) I actually begged Chris to keep working with me, and offered to let him post his own videos on the site here so we'd have the stats and comparison tool in tact, but it was going to be awkward with his branding and we just couldn't come to an agreement. A couple of the companies that had scheduled reviews with me this year ended up getting the bike to Chris first, and then skipped me completely. Chris and other shops will do the review for free, and can then sell bikes to make up for it. Other companies like Electrek will review new players and cheaper bikes that have affiliate programs, and I've even seen them link one companies bikes to another companies affiliate program for Black Friday (they did this for Rad bikes and linked to Juiced affiliate pages. This type of thing feels uncomfortable to me, so I'm just trodding along and trying my best to adjust my model and be thankful for what I have... definitely planning some more Trek, hopefully R&M, Specialized, and other reviews... just in a transitional phase right now. I'll keep an eye out for the Superdelite, and Chris has offered to still review with me if I'm in the area, so hoping that works out. I like to review with many different shops to get a variety of perspectives, so we could see someone from Seattle or elsewhere. Thanks again for your encouragement! My goal is to bring truth in the ebike space and to be constructive and professional about how that's done.
Well color me not surprised about Chris and his skullduggery. He was on a reddit thread a few weeks ago and had the audacity to claim R&M components are made in Germany when we all know more than half of the components are made in China then shipped to Deutschland for final assembly, smh.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ebikes/comments/dk3lc1
 
Last edited:

Papa G

New Member
Hi @Ddewsbury, thanks for this request and all of the great comments! Yeah, I really wanted to continue working with Chris on reviews ongoing, but he hired a videographer and has been doing them on his own now so he can control the message and branding. It made me really sad, I've worked hard to be authentic and cover lots of companies and taught Chris what I knew about YouTube and filming. Chris has done a great job scheduling and connecting me to companies because of his status as a dealer. Frankly, the way I run EBR can get overwhelming and I haven't been monetizing it as aggressively or doing affiliate programs because I've wanted to remain objective. Now that I'm growing my team, I've needed to figure out more of a business model, and that is still in progress. I like the Patreon idea from @dblhelix and had actually created a "donate" button with PayPal here in the forums a while back, but the dollar value ended up being less than $150 total after a year or so of testing.

Right now, I make money from some YouTube ads, but try to keep those minimal too, the local listing tool is great but requires a lot of engineering and support costs, and the category promotions are good, but have been under priced so I could get the best bikes to be promoters. Even those ads can impact my objectivity a bit... but I really try to be authentic and true when I do my reviews. Earlier this year, Mikey, Tyson, and Brent all helped to film some reviews, because I needed to focus on some programming tasks... but as great as some of the content has been, they just don't know the library of reviews to add overlays and references the same way, and don't have the historical perspective I do, so I often feel uncomfortable with the results. In Brents case, I was getting some negative feedback from companies who felt that he got some specs wrong... and this became a distraction and additional discomfort for me. So, I paid him out for the remaining reviews and he kept the camera equipment I had given him, and now he does his own thing and sort of competes with me. I wish him luck, but felt sad about that one too.

I've been justifying the extra help by saying (rather have an extra bike that's a bit less thorough than no extra bike at all!) but I'm starting to re-think that. This is why it's so nice to get user reviews and comments here. I've built this space to be ad-limited and welcome critical feedback, videos, photos that communicate truth, but I don't sell any bikes and have more limited ways to make profit than someone like Chris. I'm holding on as best I can to that authenticity ;) I actually begged Chris to keep working with me, and offered to let him post his own videos on the site here so we'd have the stats and comparison tool in tact, but it was going to be awkward with his branding and we just couldn't come to an agreement. A couple of the companies that had scheduled reviews with me this year ended up getting the bike to Chris first, and then skipped me completely. Chris and other shops will do the review for free, and can then sell bikes to make up for it. Other companies like Electrek will review new players and cheaper bikes that have affiliate programs, and I've even seen them link one companies bikes to another companies affiliate program for Black Friday (they did this for Rad bikes and linked to Juiced affiliate pages. This type of thing feels uncomfortable to me, so I'm just trodding along and trying my best to adjust my model and be thankful for what I have... definitely planning some more Trek, hopefully R&M, Specialized, and other reviews... just in a transitional phase right now. I'll keep an eye out for the Superdelite, and Chris has offered to still review with me if I'm in the area, so hoping that works out. I like to review with many different shops to get a variety of perspectives, so we could see someone from Seattle or elsewhere. Thanks again for your encouragement! My goal is to bring truth in the ebike space and to be constructive and professional about how that's done.
Court: I've watched plenty of reviews of ebikes online, and can honestly say, none that I have seen are as objective and informative as yours are. I don't own a R&M ebike, I own a 2018 Trek SC7 and would love to see a review of the Trek 2020 Allant+ line, or at least a couple of their models by you, to contrast the improvements over the previous generation. I am in sales myself and can tell when I am getting an independent assessment vs. a pitch. If the manufacturers have confidence in their products (quality and pricing) they should want to be on your most comprehensive site, and should be willing to compensate you for it. I would venture a guess that you have done more for R&M and Propel than anyone, and without even knowing your compensation arrangement, I am sure the benefit to both dealers and manufacturers far outweighs the costs of what they are paying you! By the way, Ive been a member on your site since July of 2018, is there a point where a "New Member" becomes a "Member" ? Thanks, please hang in there and keep up the excellent work!
 
Last edited:

Over50

Well-Known Member
I feel chris will do anything to stay on top. I suggest you reach out to Ike at San Diego fly rides to review R&M if you are in the area. However, they also produce their own videos. I hope you can hang in there!
I've purchased two bikes from Chris and dealt with him directly on both (and met him in person). I've found him to be honest, open and genuinely concerned about my satisfaction as a customer. I look forward to doing business with him and Propel in the future. I think it is a smart move on his part, IMO, to hire a videographer. You'll note he is producing a lot of content apart from bike reviews. Unfortunately, the post of @Court seems to have painted Chris in a negative light, at least as interpreted by a couple of folks (who likely don't even know Chris). I'm hoping that @Court can step in an clarify anything that might have led to this misinterpretation and to such negative comments.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Well color me not surprised about Chris and his skullduggery. He was on a reddit thread a few weeks ago and had the audacity to claim R&M components are made in Germany when we all know more than half of the components are made in China then shipped to Deutschland for final assembly, smh.
Because you posted that video with your assertion, you imply that Chris states in the video that R&M components are made in Germany. I re-watched the video you linked to see if I could catch any reference to country of origin of the components. He mentioned a JIT inventory system, that the frames are shipped to the assembly facility from partner facilities (likely Asia since most frames are made in Asia however the video doesn't specify) and that R&M uses custom-built hardware and software to manage the order, assembly and shipping process. I did not catch, at any point in the video, where Chris says anything about the country of origin of the R&M components. We know that many of the major component manufacturers are multi-nationals some with Asian origin (Shimano...). We also know that R&M uses components from German companies (Rohloff, Bosch, Supernova I think...) and perhaps from the US (Nuvinci was Fallbrook from Texas but after the BK, I'm not sure where they originate from). And I think the EU probably has some domestic or EU content requirements although I won't claim to know this for sure. My point is that I don't think your post is accurate and it smells more of an intent to disparage someone rather than to spread accurate information. If you can provide sources to back your claims it would be very helpful: claim 1). more than 50% of the R&M components come from China and claim 2). Chris said somewhere that R&M components are made in Germany (he never says this in the video you linked).
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I've purchased two bikes from Chris and dealt with him directly on both (and met him in person). I've found him to be honest, open and genuinely concerned about my satisfaction as a customer. I look forward to doing business with him and Propel in the future. I think it is a smart move on his part, IMO, to hire a videographer. You'll note he is producing a lot of content apart from bike reviews. Unfortunately, the post of @Court seems to have painted Chris in a negative light, at least as interpreted by a couple of folks (who likely don't even know Chris). I'm hoping that @Court can step in an clarify anything that might have led to this misinterpretation and to such negative comments.
Business interferes with friendships all of the time. EBR is a business, even if it pains Court to think about his labor of love this way. In the long run, he may have to charge the dealers for featuring their content. He’s a smart guy, and I am sure he’ll figure out a way to be fair.

Like you, I’m a Propel customer and just communicated with the Brooklyn shop this morning over a bike concern. A great group of people, and I see this situation as that inevitable clash between personal and business interests. I’m just an accidental bystander. I hope it gets sorted, and I hope Chris doesn’t get upset that I think dealers paying more for exposure is an option. I do think that it’s unfair for Court to carry the load and then not benefit. He built something nice here.
 

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
I consider both Court and Chris titans in electric bicycle communications. They both seem dedicated to not just the promotion of e-bikes, but also to pertinent social and environment concerns. They, of course, come from differing industries; Court is a publisher of an online magazine and Chris is in retail.



This is now a question to Court:

Why are you limiting advertising revenue? Do your feel it compromises your journalistic content? I think you should reconsider that decision. Paid advertising on your website would not bother me as a reader. In print publishing days, magazines’ income was ad based, with set rules and separation relating to editorial and promotional content. With your present pay-to-play content reviews I have found them to be less objective. I would much prefer a mid video ad for a bike related item, like an Ortlieb pannier, than a compromised product review. If you consider yourself a journalist, write what is important to you, if your readers and advertisers don’t agree, you’ll know. But I don’t see that happening, your passion for electric bikes, how they’re regulated, and the environment is greatly admired by this reader. I would like to read more articles and see more videos about what you advocate, although your title is Electric Bike Reviews and can address so much more.



Although I have never meet either Court or Chris, I consider them trusted friends; Court through this website, and Chris as the supplier of my e-bikes. My experiences with Propel, in both Brooklyn and Long Beach, have been flawless even though I am miles away from both locations. I knew absolutely nothing about e-bikes two and a half years ago, other than the fact I was not capable of climbing 15% grade roads on a traditional bike. Chris, like I’m sure he has done countless times, showed patience in answering what now seem like ridiculously naive questions.



His venture into video production was welcomed. I now have two trusted sources for what has become my passion. Yes, I’m curious about the latest R&M dream machine but also curious about the network of diverse riders, the ebike laws, the safety issues and the feel good stories on how certain groups and communities are trying to better the environment. When they both were together in front of the camera, their passion and friendship was evident as they pursued their career goals.



Best of fortunes in 2020 for both Court and Chris and the larger E-bike community.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I consider both Court and Chris titans in electric bicycle communications. They both seem dedicated to not just the promotion of e-bikes, but also to pertinent social and environment concerns. They, of course, come from differing industries; Court is a publisher of an online magazine and Chris is in retail.



This is now a question to Court:

Why are you limiting advertising revenue? Do your feel it compromises your journalistic content? I think you should reconsider that decision. Paid advertising on your website would not bother me as a reader. In print publishing days, magazines’ income was ad based, with set rules and separation relating to editorial and promotional content. With your present pay-to-play content reviews I have found them to be less objective. I would much prefer a mid video ad for a bike related item, like an Ortlieb pannier, than a compromised product review. If you consider yourself a journalist, write what is important to you, if your readers and advertisers don’t agree, you’ll know. But I don’t see that happening, your passion for electric bikes, how they’re regulated, and the environment is greatly admired by this reader. I would like to read more articles and see more videos about what you advocate, although your title is Electric Bike Reviews and can address so much more.



Although I have never meet either Court or Chris, I consider them trusted friends; Court through this website, and Chris as the supplier of my e-bikes. My experiences with Propel, in both Brooklyn and Long Beach, have been flawless even though I am miles away from both locations. I knew absolutely nothing about e-bikes two and a half years ago, other than the fact I was not capable of climbing 15% grade roads on a traditional bike. Chris, like I’m sure he has done countless times, showed patience in answering what now seem like ridiculously naive questions.



His venture into video production was welcomed. I now have two trusted sources for what has become my passion. Yes, I’m curious about the latest R&M dream machine but also curious about the network of diverse riders, the ebike laws, the safety issues and the feel good stories on how certain groups and communities are trying to better the environment. When they both were together in front of the camera, their passion and friendship was evident as they pursued their career goals.



Best of fortunes in 2020 for both Court and Chris and the larger E-bike community.
Excellent summary of the issues, players, roles and good suggestions about the path forward. Court has earned through his hard work and honesty a well compensated roll in the ebike industry. I hope he finds a smooth path to that. Chris seems to be not only a savvy entrepreneur but also a man with a mission, a formidable combination. He has earned his success through hard work and smart business decisions.

Ike and his crew at San Diego Fly Rides (probably Propel's prime competitor) deserve mention here. Fly Rides also is creating valuable video reviews and other informative content. They have a great vision for the future of ebikes and have assembled a diverse, enthusiastic and capable team.

This industry/hobby/sport is lucky to have such visionary people as thought and business leaders. We are all better informed and served through the leadership of Court, Ike, Chris and others.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I've purchased two bikes from Chris and dealt with him directly on both (and met him in person). I've found him to be honest, open and genuinely concerned about my satisfaction as a customer. I look forward to doing business with him and Propel in the future. I think it is a smart move on his part, IMO, to hire a videographer. You'll note he is producing a lot of content apart from bike reviews. Unfortunately, the post of @Court seems to have painted Chris in a negative light, at least as interpreted by a couple of folks (who likely don't even know Chris). I'm hoping that @Court can step in an clarify anything that might have led to this misinterpretation and to such negative comments.
Hey! My intention was to express why I might not be covering as much R&M (Chris is doing it well) and then share a bit of my emotions with what I consider to be a group of friends. I was sad that Chris and I couldn't just keep reviewing all of the bikes together like the old days! We actually did a joint video where we were announcing that he'd be contributing more to the channel, and I dug deeply to consider the ramifications this might have with my relationship to other dealers... but I do like him a lot, and I trust him. It's part of why I have done so much with him and offered him one of two spots as a trusted dealer on the website and forums. I can understand why he has hired a videographer (which he had done when we were planning to work together) and I can understand why he's investing heavily in his own site. He used to help schedule reviews with companies, invite me to visit, go to shows together. I mostly just miss working with my good friend... but we did talk a week ago and he's still game to film with me if I'm in town. It's difficult running a whole business like both of us do for many years in a row. It can be lonely at times, and spending time with him and doing fun videos has been one of the big highlights in my life these past six or so years after we met in Long Island at his original shop :)
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I agree 100%, Court's reviews are not for marketing/sales purposes. However, he does work with Chris alot, and should easily have access to the bike in question.
Hey! I spoke with Chris a week ago and do plan to visit his shop again in 2020 to cover some of the bikes, I'll keep an eye out for the Superdelite, sorry it won't happen as quickly as we'd like! I appreciate your question and appreciation of our work :D