M55 Riviera Review

M55 Riviera Electric Bike Review 1
M55 Riviera
M55 Riviera 250 Watt Hub Motor
M55 Riviera Lithium Bionx Battery
M55 Riviera Bionx Control Panel
M55 Riviera Saddle Bag By Brooks
M55 Riviera 203mm Brake Rotor
M55 Riviera Carbon Drive Belt
M55 Riviera Schlumpf Gear
M55 Riviera Rear 180mm Rotor
M55 Riviera Electric Bike Review 1
M55 Riviera
M55 Riviera 250 Watt Hub Motor
M55 Riviera Lithium Bionx Battery
M55 Riviera Bionx Control Panel
M55 Riviera Saddle Bag By Brooks
M55 Riviera 203mm Brake Rotor
M55 Riviera Carbon Drive Belt
M55 Riviera Schlumpf Gear
M55 Riviera Rear 180mm Rotor

Summary

  • Light weight titanium frame paired with belt drive for instant acceleration and fluid ride quality
  • Proven BionX PL 250 drive system offers four levels of responsive pedal assist and regen modes
  • Beautiful minimalist aesthetic, quality Brookes leather accents on saddle, grips, seat bag, battery cover and motor cable ties
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

M55

Model:

Riviera

Price:

$16,000 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Availability:

United States, Europe, Singapore, Japan

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

37 lbs (16.78 kg)

Frame Material:

Titanium Alloy, PVD Coated to Prevent Scratching

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gold, Silver

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Titanium

Gearing Details:

2 Speed 2x1 Planetary Geared Schlumpf Bottom Bracket, SG-HSD

Shifter Details:

Heel Tap Button on Bottom Bracket

Pedals:

Hand Made, Matching Gold or Silver Alloy Platform by Sögreni

Headset:

Chris King headset 1 to 1/8, Matching Gold or Silver

Stem:

Titanium

Handlebar:

Titanium Low Rise

Brake Details:

Italian Formula T1 Hydraulic Disc with 203 mm Front Rotor and 180 mm Rear Rotor, Right Lever Activates Regenerative Braking

Grips:

Brooks England Plump Leather (Available in Black or Brown)

Saddle:

Brooks England B17 Narrow (Available in Black or Brown)

Seat Post:

Titanium

Rims:

Mavic

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Kojak Crazy Bob, 26" x 2.35"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Brooks England Challenge Tour Bag (Available in Black or Brown), Leather Battery Cover (Available in Black or Brown), Side Kickstand

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

BionX (PL High Torque HT)

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

15 ah (XL Battery)

Battery Watt Hours:

540 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Removable Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Capacity, Assist Level (4 Regen Modes, 4 Assist Modes)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

This is the kind of ebike that the CEO’s of electric bike companies would enjoy riding. It’s sleek, refined, quiet and classy… The Riviera delivers a minimalist feel that uses raw materials like titanium and leather for performance and endurance that’s almost timeless. I failed to mention in the video review that it acutally has two speeds and uses a heel activated Schlumpf gear that’s located in the bottom bracket. I’ve seen this system in use on other bikes including the Outrider 422 Alpha and it provides versatility when a rear cassette isn’t an option. While the frame and many components are hand picked or custom made, the drive system in use on the Riviera comes straight from BionX and offers four levels of assist and four regen modes in addition to regenerative braking.

Driving this bike is a high torque 250 watt direct drive (gearless) hub motor located in the rear. While 250 may not sound like a lot, in my experience during the test rides it was plenty to get up to speed and climb (in part because the bike is limited to pedal assist). So there’s no throttle here but that works out pretty well given the active forward-leaning body position and narrow saddle. It’s part of what enables this electric bike to reach up to 60 miles per charge. The motor is a bit heavier (because it relies on large magnets for the high torque) and this is embellished by the relatively light 37 pound footprint of the bike. When I lifted it up the rear end felt so heavy… but again, the bike is light compared to most others.

The battery pack in use here relies on Lithium-ion cells configured to deliver high power output and range. You get 36 volts of power and 15 amp hours of capacity and the pack is removable for charging on or off the frame. This is one way to lighten the bike if you’re transporting it. Keep in mind, with this and other Lithium-ion batteries it’s best to charge after use, top off ever couple of months if you haven’t used them and store away from extreme hot and cold temperatures. What’s really unique about this battery vs. all of the other BionX packs is that it comes with a hand crafted leather cover designed to match the Brooks saddle, seat bag, grips and cable ties on the left chain stay. Very nice…

Controlling the battery and motor is a slim, easy to use computer interface located on the right handle bar, just within reach of the right grip. To turn it on you hold a button for a couple of seconds and from there you use the plus or minus buttons to choose from four levels of assist and four levels of regen. Super simple, though I would have liked it if the panel could be removed for safe storage. This is a gripe I have with all BionX Gen 2 displays. Ultimately, it works well and matches the bike.

There are so many cool accessories on this bike, despite how clean and simple it appears at first glance. The frame, seat post, handlebars and fork are all polished Titanium that’s light, absorbs vibration and very resistant to scratching. The hydraulic disc brakes are top of their class with a 203mm rotor in the front and a 180mm rotor in the rear. The Schwalbe Kojak tires are smooth, grippy and soft thanks to their larger balloon size. The combination of stiff solid frame with soft padded tires creates a comfortable ride that’s efficient and controlled. I really enjoyed riding this bike and appreciate the quality design, materials and artistic nature it delivers. At $16K it’s a bit out of my range but it’s easy to recommend for those who can ;)

Pros:

  • Beautiful titanium frame, seat post, handlebar and fork provide stiffness but dampen vibration and keep the bike light weight
  • Battery pack is extra large for extended rides and is removable for convenient charging
  • Brooks saddle, seat bag, grips and cable ties match and feel great, the custom battery cover by M55 also matches
  • 250 watt high torque direct drive motor is nearly silent but very responsive
  • The drive system has four levels of pedal assist, four levels of regen and regenerative braking
  • Hydraulic disc brakes feel great and the 203mm front rotor and 180mm rear rotor stop on a dime
  • Good choice on the kickstand, it works well but stays out of the way and matches the bike
  • Pedals are custom designed to match the silver or gold edition and keep the bike looking clean
  • Schwalbe Kojak tires are smooth, fast and cushy for a nice feel going over bumps and cracks
  • This bike really blends in, you can hardly tell it’s electric by the look and the lack of noise

Cons:

  • Extremely pricy… the titanium frame, custom components and limited edition run add up
  • Water bottle mounting points are blocked by the BionX battery pack mounted to the downtube
  • Can be a challenge to find a shop that carries this ebike for a test ride

Resources:

More M55 Reviews

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