R&M Charger 3 or Delite - decision to make

Francois145

New Member
Hello there,

I followed all the discussions on this forum since few months. Thanks a lot for all the tips - it's very interesting and it was very helpful when talking to people in the shops. I am planning to buy a R&M, mainly due to back and knee injuries (recommended by my kine) but I also really like their e-bikes and the fact that you can basically customised it according to your needs.

My main use = 25 to 30 kms per day (100% road in good condition) on a 4 days basis - plus more offroad with my dog on the week-ends.

Choice 1 = Normal speed or High Speed. The regulation is more flexible in Belgium than in other countries. I was very suprised that the difference in terms of price is only 400€ (i was expecting something like 1,000€). I do not want to regret it in 1 year time, so that's why I am opting for the HS version. I got confirmation, that the 2021 model Bosch Performance line speed is upgraded with the torque at 85NM, but apparently it's not retrofittted to previous models, including the 2020 version.


Choice 2 = Transmission Vario or Rohloff? I have the NuVinci N380 installed on my Bike43. I get used to it and really enjoy it, very simple and no issue until now, after 2 years and more than 5,000 kms. However, the reseller is telling me to choose only the Rohloff version on the Delite as it is FS (for Charger 3, no problem, I can go for the 2 options). They do not sell anymore Delite or SD with Vario, only Rohloff, due to some issues with the cables and bad experience from riders complaining about the lack of reactivity when "changing gears".
Something unclear to me is about the Enviolo. It says "Enviolo custom by R&M". I searched but could not find what that means? Did R&M change something to the usual Enviolo system? When I am asking for it in the shops, nobody knows.

I like both of them, enviolo is very simple, but with Rohloff I would lose less money if I want to sell it in 5 years time.


Choice 3 = Frame size. I am in between 2 sizes (I did not manage to test the 2 sizes to make my personal opinion). My question is whether it's better to choose the smallest or the biggest, when you have this choice. I got diverging messages from resellers... Is it true that comfort is better on the smallest size and efficiency is better on the biggest one?


Choice 4 = Range (625WH or more). I tested many of them (Charger 3, Supercharger 2, Delite and SuperDelite). For my day to day business (25-30kms), I do not think I will need more than 625WH, it's lightweight and I found Supercharger and SD very massive (even thouh both of them are excellent bikes!). That's why I restricted my search on these 2 models, Charger 3 and Delite.
I watched the video from the test made by EBR on the Delite GT Rohloff. He gave me a brilliant idea, which is to buy an extra battery. My idea is to switch the battery every 2 months so that I do not let one of the battery uncharged for a too long period. Like that, I would have 1,250WH if I really need it for very long trip, which may happen only few times a year. I found one battery in Germany at 600€, plus 100€ for an extra charger.
Is that a good option in your opinion?


Considering all of that, my budget would allow me to either choose the Charger 3 with Vario/Rohloff, or the Delite with Vario (+GX option), plus an extra battery and Kiosx (it was confirmed to me that the Nyon display will only be available as from February 2021). The RX connect being available in Belgium, i would also consider it.


What I found pretty cool on the Delite is the FS, especially on bicycle paths or offroad. I also like the GX option on the Delite which I found very cool although I may ask to switch the Rock Razor tyres with the Super Moto X, which are more appropriate for my use (the reseller told me that the updgrade of the suspension at 140mm is only made in the front, whereas I thought it was also applicable to the rear? R&M website is not that clear I must say).

If I am reasonable, I would pick the Charger 3 or if I follow my heart, I would pick the Delite. Difficult choice I have to make in the next days... The reseller has the 2 of them in stock, brand new 2021 model, and they sell them using the 2020 prices. The update of the price will take place on the 1st of September (expected at 200-300 € more).

Thanks a lot for your help!

{It seems that i accidently delete my previous thread}
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I am the moderator of the Riese & Muller owners page on Facebook. Please consider joining us.


This is my best advice, given how you describe your health, where you live and how you intend to ride.

Given your back problems, a full suspension bike will keep you more comfortable and riding more miles. The tires I really like on my Delight are Schwalbe Hurricanes. they are new for 2020 and are a hybrid tire with a smooth center tread on the sides and knobby shoulders. https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/schwalbes-new-for-2020-hurricane-tires-a-review.31666/

Most people who buy ebikes, especially top tier bikes like Riese & Muller, end up riding more often and further than they thought they would. Having the extra range that a second battery provides makes that option available to you when you discover how far you like to ride on your new bike. Frankly the 625 is very heavy. If you only buy one battery, get the 625. If you get two, I would go for two 500s. Make sure to get a dummy cover from R&M so you can leave off one battery and cover the hole when you know you will not need the second battery on a shorter ride.

if you can possibly afford it, get the best equipped bike you can. You will pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. However he pain of paying out some more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you will endure long into the future every time you saddle up.

 

Law

Active Member
I would recommend getting the larger frame size, to Stabilize and control the weight of these german bikes.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Given the cost of R&M bikes it would be very wise to test ride different sizes once you decide which bike is best. It is so important to get the correct size. You will be spending lots of time on the bike. You want to make sure you get the right size frame for your size and physique.
 

Francois145

New Member
Thanks for all the info! Given the current situation with COVID, it is actually difficult to find stores with test bikes available, and even more complex to find test bikes in different sizes! I visited like 10-12 stores, and each time only limited number of test bikes (not the best time, change of year model). I tested the Delite in 51cms and the Charger 3 in 49 cms - both are the intermediate size - and 2021 model with 625WH battery...
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Francois, yes these covid times make everything more difficult and complicated.

You want to pay attention to reach. How far do you have to reach forward to keep your hands on the handlebars and stay in a position that is comfortable for your back. If you have to reach to far, you will be putting more weight on your hands and more strain on your back. When you are too upright, you offer greater wind resistance and have to pedal harder to sustain speed. This something that can be adjusted with an adjustable angle stem. Some bikes come with that while others need to be retrofitted with one.

Of course the other prime factor in frame fit is distance from saddle to pedal. You want your knee to be slightly bent with your foot on the pedal at the bottom of you stroke (in the 6 0'clock position). If you buy a supercharger, you should assure enough room in the seat post to install a suspension seat post for comfort on your posterior. They take up about 4 inches of seat post range.

On the Delight, you should consider adding a dropper seat post that will allow you to drop the saddle 100mm or more making it easier to get on and off the bike. Dropper posts were developed for mountain bikes but people with mobility or flexibility issues are finding them very helpful.

Having ridden the medium you should be able to tell if that is right or you need larger or smaller.
 

Mark Mark

New Member
Alaskan,
I’ve read many of your posts and learned a lot. You have long time experiences on R-M bikes. Does R-M increase price on Sept 1 every year for next year model? I’m planning to buy a SD HS Rohloff. Is it better to order it before Sept 1 to avoid increase in the price? The reason I haven’t ordered is that I’d like to wait for 2021 Homage to see whether it will change to Bosch gen4 and offer Fox suspension upgrade. I like low step through. Thanks!
 
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Jay Kay

Active Member
Alaskan, I’ve read many of your posts and learned a lot. You have long time experiences on R-M bikes. Does R-M increase price on Sept 1 every year for next year model? I’m planning to buy a SD HS Rohloff. Is it better to order it before Sept 1 to avoid increase in the price? The reason I haven’t ordered is that I’d like to wait for 2021 Homage to see whether it will change to Bosch gen4 and offer Fox suspension upgrade. I like low step through. Thanks!
[/QUOTE]
@Mark Mark The Homage getting Gen 4 motor has been informally confirmed from a few different sources, as has dropper post and side by side dual batteries. I havent heard anything so far about the Homage getting Fox upgrades too - if they do my wife will be in quicker than the proverbial robber’s dog to upgrade her current Homage - she isnt fussed by, and doesn’t need the Gen 4 motor or the dropper post.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Alaskan,
I’ve read many of your posts and learned a lot. You have long time experiences on R-M bikes. Does R-M increase price on Sept 1 every year for next year model? I’m planning to buy a SD HS Rohloff. Is it better to order it before Sept 1 to avoid increase in the price? The reason I haven’t ordered is that I’d like to wait for 2021 Homage to see whether it will change to Bosch gen4 and offer Fox suspension upgrade. I like low step through. Thanks!
R&M like just about every company, uses minor model year upgrades and major ones, to bump the price of their bikes in an ever upwards direction. You need to decide whether the particular upgrades will be worth the price increase for yourself. This will depend on how, where, how often and how far you ride.

So long as I have a good bike to ride while waiting, I have rarely regretted waiting for a better bike or paying a little more for it. In one case though, the 2019 Homage Rohloff upgrade to dual battery, I had regrets. I think there were design weaknesses in that model that I am sure will be addressed in the 2021 model with the gen 4 and dual side by side power tube design. @David Berry has detailed some of those issues quite well on this forum.

Due to abysmal service issues in North America, I have gone from a fan of Rohloff to a preference for a good 12 speed derailleur system. I am now willing to trade the need for cleaning, lubricating and replacing wear parts to have a bike that I can easily service, get parts for or have worked on. I will not again tolerate months of parking an expensive bike, waiting to get it fixed.
 

Mark Mark

New Member
R&M like just about every company, uses minor model year upgrades and major ones, to bump the price of their bikes in an ever upwards direction. You need to decide whether the particular upgrades will be worth the price increase for yourself. This will depend on how, where, how often and how far you ride.

So long as I have a good bike to ride while waiting, I have rarely regretted waiting for a better bike or paying a little more for it. In one case though, the 2019 Homage Rohloff upgrade to dual battery, I had regrets. I think there were design weaknesses in that model that I am sure will be addressed in the 2021 model with the gen 4 and dual side by side power tube design. @David Berry has detailed some of those issues quite well on this forum.

Due to abysmal service issues in North America, I have gone from a fan of Rohloff to a preference for a good 12 speed derailleur system. I am now willing to trade the need for cleaning, lubricating and replacing wear parts to have a bike that I can easily service, get parts for or have worked on. I will not again tolerate months of parking an expensive bike, waiting to get it fixed.
Yes. I read your post on another thread about how you dealt with leaking of Rohloff, which makes me hesitate to buy Rohloff. I read a statement from Rohloff company, which said it’s not uncommon and not a big deal. I have still not decided which one I should take. Comparing with Rohloff, what’s the disadvantage of riding experience except maintenance? Also, is Vario a good alternative choice? Thanks for your kindly and valuable advises!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Yes. I read your post on another thread about how you dealt with leaking of Rohloff, which makes me hesitate to buy Rohloff. I read a statement from Rohloff company, which said it’s not uncommon and not a big deal. I have still not decided which one I should take. Comparing with Rohloff, what’s the disadvantage of riding experience except maintenance? Also, is Vario a good alternative choice? Thanks for your kindly and valuable advises!
I had a Nevo Nuvinci (old name for Vario or Enviolo) It was the perfect transmission/shifter arrangement for in town driving with lots of starts and stops. I could pedal away from a stop gradually turning up the gear ratio, smoothly while gaining speed. The shortcomings for my riding circumstances that lead me to Rohloff was that I live in a hilly place and live up on a hill with the last two blocks leading here being a 16% grade. The other is that with a solid R&M bike under me I got faster and faster and found the Nivinci limiting on the upper end of the gear ratios.

The Rohloff with its wider ratio range 520 versus 380 gave me the better climbing gears and a much faster upper end at a comfortable and sustainable cadence. Rohloff hubs do have a valve and seal system that allows them to equalize internal and external pressure, compensation for weather and altitude changes. This allows them to exhale a little oily film. That is normal. My Rohoff started leaking into the central passage for the axle spindle, eventually leaking oil all over the E14 mech and getting onto my brake rotor. Getting oil on you brake rotor is about as big a deal as you will find on a bike as it essentially disables a brake.

My issue was not with Rohloff directly but rather with Cycle Monkey their designated distribution and service center for North America. I have heard that Peter White Cycles in New Hampshire, who have a good reputation, is being added to the roster of Rohloff service providers. However if the USA is being divided east and west and the west still has to deal with Cycle Monkey, I am out. The do not answer any phone calls or emails from retail customers and are not much better about doing this for their dealers. It is a pity as Rohloff makes a brilliant bit of kit but for me it is no better than the company I have to deal with to service it. Those guys cost me almost three months of use in the first year of owning a $9,000 bike.

My new Trek Allant +9.9s with its 10-51 tooth cassette producing a 510% gear range gives me nearly the same range as a Rohloff, the same or perhaps a little better efficiency (wattage loss due to friction) and has the virtue of being easy for me to service and fix, ready parts availability and the ability to get it fixed at just about any LBS. Having to clean and lube the chain is a small price to pay for the peace of mind gained from knowing that I will not be without this bike for long, regardless of what happens.

I have a 2018 R&M Delite Mountain with Shimano 11 speed 11-46 tooth manual shifter. I was considering retrofitting it with a Rohloff. Not now. If I can upgrade the drive train to the derailleur setup I have on the Allant, it will take that bike to the next level for me and not leave me depending on an undependable service provider.

Long answer to your question, but yes the Enviolo will do you just fine if you don't live in a hilly area and are not much of a speed demon. Otherwise, I would go for the touring model with derailleur and put the extra money into the Fox suspension upgrade and second battery where available.
 

Mark Mark

New Member
I had a Nevo Nuvinci (old name for Vario or Enviolo) It was the perfect transmission/shifter arrangement for in town driving with lots of starts and stops. I could pedal away from a stop gradually turning up the gear ratio, smoothly while gaining speed. The shortcomings for my riding circumstances that lead me to Rohloff was that I live in a hilly place and live up on a hill with the last two blocks leading here being a 16% grade. The other is that with a solid R&M bike under me I got faster and faster and found the Nivinci limiting on the upper end of the gear ratios.

The Rohloff with its wider ratio range 520 versus 380 gave me the better climbing gears and a much faster upper end at a comfortable and sustainable cadence. Rohloff hubs do have a valve and seal system that allows them to equalize internal and external pressure, compensation for weather and altitude changes. This allows them to exhale a little oily film. That is normal. My Rohoff started leaking into the central passage for the axle spindle, eventually leaking oil all over the E14 mech and getting onto my brake rotor. Getting oil on you brake rotor is about as big a deal as you will find on a bike as it essentially disables a brake.

My issue was not with Rohloff directly but rather with Cycle Monkey their designated distribution and service center for North America. I have heard that Peter White Cycles in New Hampshire, who have a good reputation, is being added to the roster of Rohloff service providers. However if the USA is being divided east and west and the west still has to deal with Cycle Monkey, I am out. The do not answer any phone calls or emails from retail customers and are not much better about doing this for their dealers. It is a pity as Rohloff makes a brilliant bit of kit but for me it is no better than the company I have to deal with to service it. Those guys cost me almost three months of use in the first year of owning a $9,000 bike.

My new Trek Allant +9.9s with its 10-51 tooth cassette producing a 510% gear range gives me nearly the same range as a Rohloff, the same or perhaps a little better efficiency (wattage loss due to friction) and has the virtue of being easy for me to service and fix, ready parts availability and the ability to get it fixed at just about any LBS. Having to clean and lube the chain is a small price to pay for the peace of mind gained from knowing that I will not be without this bike for long, regardless of what happens.

I have a 2018 R&M Delite Mountain with Shimano 11 speed 11-46 tooth manual shifter. I was considering retrofitting it with a Rohloff. Not now. If I can upgrade the drive train to the derailleur setup I have on the Allant, it will take that bike to the next level for me and not leave me depending on an undependable service provider.

Long answer to your question, but yes the Enviolo will do you just fine if you don't live in a hilly area and are not much of a speed demon. Otherwise, I would go for the touring model with derailleur and put the extra money into the Fox suspension upgrade and second battery where available.
Thank you so much for your valuable information from your first hand experience! I’ll ride on most flat road without steep hills. I like speedy, but 28 mph is good enough to me. Based on these situation, a Vario should be ok? Is vario reliable? In case something goes wrong with it, can a regular local shop in US fix it?
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I have never heard of a vario going bad but when it does, I doubt you will ever find someone local to deal with it. You don't even do periodic oil changes on them. I suspect when one does go bad it is just replaced, either under warranty or at the owner's expense.

If you are getting a speed motor, I would not recommend one anyway. Unless they have changed quite a bit in the last two years, it just did not provide a high enough gear range to pedal at a comfortable cadence when going any faster than 20-22 mph. Personally I would go with a derailleur rather than a Rohloff, if you want to be able to ride in the mid 20s. A Rohloff will do it just fine as well. I just have my own issues with them as stated earlier.
 

Mark Mark

New Member
I have never heard of a vario going bad but when it does, I doubt you will ever find someone local to deal with it. You don't even do periodic oil changes on them. I suspect when one does go bad it is just replaced, either under warranty or at the owner's expense.

If you are getting a speed motor, I would not recommend one anyway. Unless they have changed quite a bit in the last two years, it just did not provide a high enough gear range to pedal at a comfortable cadence when going any faster than 20-22 mph. Personally I would go with a derailleur rather than a Rohloff, if you want to be able to ride in the mid 20s. A Rohloff will do it just fine as well. I just have my own issues with them as stated earlier.
I hope Rohloff is OK generally. Any product won’t be perfect. You are just unlucky and get a problem one. However, no matter how low the problem rate is, you’ll have 100% of problem if you happen to get it. It’s very hard to make this decision, especially considering the bad services with Rohloff. Could you please tell us your feelings about efficiency differences between Rohloff and derailleur? If both have similar efficacy I can go with derailleur. I’m a relative handyman and can do some minor maintenance work. A local bike shop should have no problem to serve it in case some big problems happen, I guess. Also, I read from somewhere that almost all professional cyclists use derailleur bikes. Is it true?
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I hope Rohloff is OK generally. Any product won’t be perfect. You are just unlucky and get a problem one. However, no matter how low the problem rate is, you’ll have 100% of problem if you happen to get it. It’s very hard to make this decision, especially considering the bad services with Rohloff.

Rohloff is an excellent product that is time tested and proven.
Reputation for an expensive item doesn't happen overnight. If you read this post by @David Berry , he explains some of the issues of the bike but it has nothing to do with Rohloff breaking down.
If the overall system is not integrated well, then the safety measures within the Bosch eco system will stop.


I have had numerous conversation with Rohloff folks and actually own a R-M Delite with Rohloff. Never had a problem in over 2500 miles. They have always been prompt in communication and I have never felt that they let their customers to the wolves.

The issue with Cycle Monkey is that, Rohloff sells products through distributors like Cycle Monkey and others and if there is an issue, they will service it.
R-M brought in bikes into the US market thru some dealers and I don't think they have any service contracts with Cycle Monkey or anyone for that matter.

Alaskan bought his E-bike from a store in California but he lives in Bellingham. Servicing Rohloff can be tricky but if he had purchased a bike from nearby store like G&O Family Cyclery or some other dealer, I am sure his experience would be different.

While R-M make excellent products (I have owned a few of their bikes), they don't have a US warehouse or a parts inventory for their customers here. So, make sure to get your bike through a vetted dealer who is reachable.
 

Mark Mark

New Member
Rohloff is an excellent product that is time tested and proven.
Reputation for an expensive item doesn't happen overnight. If you read this post by @David Berry , he explains some of the issues of the bike but it has nothing to do with Rohloff breaking down.
If the overall system is not integrated well, then the safety measures within the Bosch eco system will stop.


I have had numerous conversation with Rohloff folks and actually own a R-M Delite with Rohloff. Never had a problem in over 2500 miles. They have always been prompt in communication and I have never felt that they let their customers to the wolves.

The issue with Cycle Monkey is that, Rohloff sells products through distributors like Cycle Monkey and others and if there is an issue, they will service it.
R-M brought in bikes into the US market thru some dealers and I don't think they have any service contracts with Cycle Monkey or anyone for that matter.

Alaskan bought his E-bike from a store in California but he lives in Bellingham. Servicing Rohloff can be tricky but if he had purchased a bike from nearby store like G&O Family Cyclery or some other dealer, I am sure his experience would be different.

While R-M make excellent products (I have owned a few of their bikes), they don't have a US warehouse or a parts inventory for their customers here. So, make sure to get your bike through a vetted dealer who is reachable.
Ravi, thank you very much for your encouraging post, which makes me desire back to Rohloff 😜😜. But I live in Iowa. The closest store selling R-M is 200 miles away in Madison, WI, that is not a very big store. I wonder whether they can handle Rohloff well.
 

Francois145

New Member
I was told that you can extend the warrantly (initial 2 years) for up to 5 years if you register the Rohloff system on their website. That's another good point for the sustainability. And if you want to sell the bike, tha't's a big advantage compared to Enviolo (max 2 years). Of course it is easier for us living in Europe. Seems of less interest in the US if it takes so long...

Speed bike and a derailleur... I am a bit sceptic. They made a simulation comparing derailleur and Rohloff system (price difference is 1,500€). The amortization of the Rohloff will take more or less 3 to 4 years (taking into account inflation for the maintenance costs) with +/- 3,000 kms per year for my use (of course that depends if you are handy man or not - I am not!! this scenario is built on a very little maintenance by the user... probably need to add 1 or 2 years more if you have time to maintain it correctly). The fact that it comes with a belt is also a good point.
Unfortunately, in the 10-12 stores I visited, none of them had a test bike with a normal derailleur. They had test bikes either equipped with Rohloff or Vario/Enviolo. Impossible to make my own opinion...

Enviolo is quite a good option if you do not have any issue with the cables (NB weight is +/- 1 kg extra compared to Rohloff - not significant). In case it's broken, they can replace the cables, not the entire system. Count +/- 300-350€ for this operation (again price in Europe). If they have to replace it fully, it would cost like 600-700€ minimum. In all the stores I visited, they confirmed cases of cables being broken when using Enviolo (but not the system itself). Some of them (but not all of them) do not recommend the Envio with a FS bike due to a lack of reactivity.

That really depends if you ride smoothly or not. I agree with Alaskan, for a smooth rider, it seems that Enviolo has the best quality/price ratio for an urban use.

Having tested the Delite with Rohloff yesterday, I have to admit that I enjoyed it, even if I am a big fan of Enviolo which I use on my current e-bike. I tested it with the performance CX, and I manage to easily ride above 20mph. So I am now considering this version instead of a speed bike, which has some constraints (I learned that you are not allowed to ride in public park/forest on a speed bike - it could become very expensive with the fines!!...)
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
The issue with Cycle Monkey is that, Rohloff sells products through distributors like Cycle Monkey and others and if there is an issue, they will service it.
R-M brought in bikes into the US market thru some dealers and I don't think they have any service contracts with Cycle Monkey or anyone for that matter.

Alaskan bought his E-bike from a store in California but he lives in Bellingham. Servicing Rohloff can be tricky but if he had purchased a bike from nearby store like G&O Family Cyclery or some other dealer, I am sure his experience would be different.

While R-M make excellent products (I have owned a few of their bikes), they don't have a US warehouse or a parts inventory for their customers here. So, make sure to get your bike through a vetted dealer who is reachable.

Ravi, this is just not an accurate portrayal of the relationship between Riese & Muller, their dealers and Rohloff.

All warranty service for Rohloff equipped R&M bikes purchased from a dealer in the USA was supposed to be done by Cycle Monkey, not the dealer. The dealer is supposed to pull the wheel and ship in in tact, tire-on for protection, to Rohloff's designated service center. Up till earlier this year that meant Cycle Monkey and no one else. Routine or simple maintenance can be done by the dealer or other experienced Rohloff mechanics at any LBS.

I have heard the Peter White in New Hampshire is now set up by Rohloff as a second authorized warranty service center. They have a good reputation. I am not sure if the USA has been divided into two regions, east and west and that we on the west coast are still bound to use cycle monkey. I certainly hope not,

LA Fly RIdes was the dealer from whom I bought my bikes (when I bought my first one there were no Seattle R&M dealers). They were tireless advocates for me with Cycle Monkey but got no response, endless delays and piss poor communication. Eventually they prevailed upon Riese & Muller to contact Rohloff in Germany to intercede on my behalf. The problem was ultimately solved when Rohloff instructed Cycle Monkey to ship my wheel, that they had sat on for almost three months, directly to LA Fly Rides. At the same time Rohloff shipped all new internals directly to LA Fly RIdes from Germany and Fly Rides did the actual repair with guidance from Rohloff directly from Germany.

The solution was hard to arrive at as the various German Manufacturers involved are rigid in their adherence to what they consider who their customer is. I am not a Riese & Muller customer as I have never sent them any of my money, LA Fly Rides is their customer. LA Fly Rides is not a Rohloff customer as it was Riese & Muller who bought all the hubs from Rohloff. It's like a rigid military chain of command. You can't skip a step and communicate directly with the manufacturer unless you are their direct customer. Correction, you can communicate with them but don't expect to hear back from them.

I realize a problem like mine on a Rohloff hub is quite rare and that they have a well deserved reputation for long term reliability. However the way they have set things up, at least here in the USA, makes getting that rare failure, like the one I experienced, a freaking nightmare to get fixed when their chosen warranty service provider does not care.
 
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marcparnes

Member
Ravi, this is just not an accurate portrayal of the relationship between Riese & Muller, their dealers and Rohloff.

All warranty service for Rohloff equipped R&M bikes purchased from a dealer in the USA was supposed to be done by Cycle Monkey, not the dealer. The dealer is supposed to pull the wheel and ship in in tact, tire-on for protection, to Rohloff's designated service center. Up till earlier this year that meant Cycle Monkey and no one else. Routine or simple maintenance can be done by the dealer or other experienced Rohloff mechanics at any LBS.

I have heard the Peter White in New Hampshire is now set up by Rohloff as a second authorized warranty service center. They have a good reputation. I am not sure if the USA has been divided into two regions, east and west and that we on the west coast are still bound to use cycle monkey. I certainly hope not,

LA Fly RIdes was the dealer from whom I bought my bikes (when I bought my first one there were no Seattle R&M dealers). They were tireless advocates for me with Cycle Monkey but got no response, endless delays and piss poor communication. Eventually they prevailed upon Riese & Muller to contact Rohloff in Germany to intercede on my behalf. The problem was ultimately solved when Rohloff instructed Cycle Monkey to ship my wheel, that they had sat on for almost three months, directly to LA Fly Rides. At the same time Rohloff shipped all new internals directly to LA Fly RIdes from Germany and Fly Rides did the actual repair with guidance from Rohloff directly from Germany.

The solution was hard to arrive at as the various German Manufacturers involved are rigid in their adherence to what they consider who their customer is. I am not a Riese & Muller customer as I have never sent them any of my money, LA Fly Rides is their customer. LA Fly Rides is not a Rohloff customer as it was Riese & Muller who bought all the hubs from Rohloff. It's like a rigid military chain of command. You can't skip a step and communicate directly with the manufacturer unless you are their direct customer. Correction, you can communicate with them but don't expect to hear back from them.

I realize a problem like mine on a Rohloff hub is quite rare and that they have a well deserved reputation for long term reliability. However the way they have set things up, at least here in the USA, makes getting that rare failure, like the one I experienced, a freaking nightmare to get fixed when their chosen warranty service provider does not care.
Reading this makes me realize how lucky I was to happen to have bought my bike from Chris Nolte at Propel. I think this is one of those cases where it is super critical who you buy from and the influence they wield on the manufacturer. I never researched it beforehand and just happened to visit Propel since they were the closest. Lesson learned.

Marc