Riese & Müller Delite GT NuVinci HS Review

Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Electric Bike Review
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bosch Performance Speed Motor
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Double Bosch Powerpack 500 Battery Setup
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bosch Intuvia Ergon Gp1 Grips
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Sr Suntour Aion Lo Ro Air Suspension Fork 100 Mm
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Lumotec Iq X
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs 180 Mm Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bm Toplight Mini Led
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Gates Carbon Cdx Belt Drive
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Pletscher Comp 40 Flex Kickstand
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Suspended Rack Abus Folding Lock
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bosch Charger
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Electric Bike Review
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bosch Performance Speed Motor
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Double Bosch Powerpack 500 Battery Setup
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bosch Intuvia Ergon Gp1 Grips
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Sr Suntour Aion Lo Ro Air Suspension Fork 100 Mm
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Lumotec Iq X
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs 180 Mm Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bm Toplight Mini Led
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Gates Carbon Cdx Belt Drive
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Pletscher Comp 40 Flex Kickstand
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Suspended Rack Abus Folding Lock
Riese And Muller Delite Gt Nuvinci Hs Bosch Charger

Summary

  • A premium full suspension speed-pedelec that's built to order in Germany then delivered internationally, solid but heavy frame with dual-battery option for increased range
  • Integrated fenders that don't rattle, suspended rear rack and wired-in headlight and tail light offer enormous utility, included Abus folding lock is key-matched to battery lock cores
  • Available in three frame sizes and three unique colors, wires are internally routed, decent kickstand and bell are included, 15 mm thru-axle and tapered head tube reduce frame flex
  • This is an expensive electric bike and it weighs a lot (even with just the one included battery), additional battery is cheaper than purchased on its own but still not cheap

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Riese & Müller

Model:

Delite GT NuVinci HS

Price:

$6,229

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, 5 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

66.3 lbs (30.07 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.7 lbs (2.58 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

19.5 in (49.53 cm)21.5 in (54.61 cm)22 in (55.88 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

21.25" Seat Tube, 23" Reach, 31.5" Stand Over Height, 75.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Oyster White, Solar Orange Metallic, Urban Grey Metallic

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour Aion LO-R Air, 100 mm Travel, Lockout, Rebound Adjust, 100 / 15 mm Thru Axle with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

X-Fusion O2 Pro Air, 100 mm Travel, Rebound Adjust, 135 / 10 mm Threaded Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 Speed 1x∞ NuVinci N380 CVT with 380% Ratio Range, 28T Cog

Shifter Details:

NuVinci C8 Grip Twist on Right

Cranks:

Riese & Müller Branded FSA Alloy 170 mm Crank Arms, 26T Cog for Gates CDX Belt Drive

Pedals:

VP-191 Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Headset:

Acros AZX-220 with BlockLock, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Stem:

Humpert Ergotec Charisma, Alloy, 90 mm Length, 20° Rise

Handlebar:

Humpert Ergotec Ergo XXL, Low-Rise, Alloy, 31.8 mm Diameter, 26" Length

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Shimano Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Ergon GP1 Ergonomic, Rubber, Locking

Saddle:

Ergon SMC4-L, Sport Gel

Seat Post:

Satori, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

400 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

34.9 mm

Rims:

Alexrims MD40, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 32 Hole Front, 36 Hole Rear, 40 mm Width

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black with Silver Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Super Moto-X Reflex, 27.5" x 2.40" (62-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe, 30 to 55 PSI, Performance GreenGuard

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Flick Bell on Left, ABUS Bordo 6000 Folding Lock Keyed to Match Battery (90 cm Length, 2.4 lbs), SKS Plastic Fenders (65 mm Width), Riese & Müller Alloy Suspended Rear Rack with two Bibia Adjustable Rubber Straps and Child Seat Approved (44 lb Max Weight), Pletscher ESGE Comp 40 Flex Adjustable Kickstand, Rubberized Slap Guard, Two Fabric 600 ml Water Bottles (Head Tube Mounted), Busch & Müller Lumotec IQ-X Headlight (100 Lux), Busch & Müller Toplight Mini LED, Optional Second Bosch Powerpack 500 Battery ($759)

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.7 lb 4 Amp Charger, Compatible with Optional Second Battery by Default

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Performance Line Speed

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

63 Newton meters

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

13.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

482.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

100 miles (161 km)

Display Type:

Bosch Intuvia, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Grayscale, Backlit LCD, (Hold Reset and i for Settings Menu)

Readouts:

Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Shift Assist Recommendation

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Feedback on Left, 5 Volt 500 mA Micro-USB Port on Display

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 55% 40 Nm, Tour 120% 50 Nm, Sport 190% 55 Nm, Turbo 275% 63 Nm)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)

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Written Review

Riese & Müller is a special company… germinated in the late 80’s by a pair of mechanical engineering students in Germany studying at Darmstadt, these guys just wanted to keep their ears warm (inventing a pair of helmet-compatible ear muffs called Hot Ears). Soon after, in 1992 they developed a full suspension folding bicycle called the Birdy that folded along the same lines as the suspension pivots. And here we are today with a full suspension, high-speed electric bicycle designed to take on the world! And I’m not joking, there are 11 variations of the Delite that can do everything from comfort commuting to trekking to dual-sport off-road bikepacking to full off-road mountain / trail riding. It follows in the footsteps of their first model which won a Hesse Innovation Prize in 1993 and inspired the cushioned cycling slogan that is present throughout their line. I got to meet the cofounder, Heiko Müller, at Interbike in 2016 and have been excited to spend more time with their products ever since… because I love suspension and appreciate quality design. On the one hand, this seems like a small, nimble company doing wild and exciting things… but on the other hand, they function like a big serious company with a reputation for quality and long history of success.

The Delite is a premium ebike with high-end components and lots of options, the first non-electric version dates way back to 1998. I’m not sure I’ll get to review all of the new electric Delite skew versions but the GT NuVinci HS model offers a wonderful combination of performance and utility at a middle price point so it’s a great place to start. The NuVinci continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) allows you to change “gears” at standstill and doesn’t have any cliffs or jumps between cadence options like the 11 speed Shimano Deore or 14 speed Rohloff Speedhub. With the NuVinci, you twist a half-grip shifter on the right portion of the handlebar and an info-graphic shows a cyclist heading up a steep hill or cruising on flats. At the back of the bike, inside a silver cylindrical hub, is a plane interfacing with a metal ball that sort of tips to smoothly change gears. The short of all this technical explanation is that shifting feels liquid smooth and can be done fast or slow at any time. Braking is also a positive experience, you get 180 mm Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable reach levers and the entire front end of the bike feels sturdy and stiff. Sometimes, especially with heavier electric bikes and those with front and rear suspension, there’s a sense of flex and slopw when riding. You want the comfort of suspension but not a lot of wobble and that’s not usually possible without reinforcements like the tapered head tube, 15 mm thru-axle and a diamond high-step frame used here, I did not experience speed wobble on this bike. Perhaps the low, mid-mounted motor and battery help with this and indeed, if you ride fully-loaded with bags on the rear rack there may be some speed wobble so take care and experiment thoughtfully. My experience on the Delite was comfortable enough to ride down a set of four steps without fear. I easily achieved the 28 mph top assisted speed riding on surface streets in Brooklyn New York and enjoyed the comfortable ergonomic grips and gel saddle from Ergon. Actually, the saddle is quite active and a bit hard but the design is not uncomfortable.

Driving the bike is a 350 watt nominally rated centerdrive from Bosch. It’s their Performance Speed edition rated to 45 km/h (28 mph). While not as compact in appearance as some of the CX drives I’m seeing on Haibike and Bulls models lately, the motor blends nicely with the black accents of the frame and has a plastic outer to keep it safe on rough terrain. Measuring rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque 1,000 times per second, this is a serious system that matches you closely. Notice how fast it starts and stops in the video review above… and notice how pronounced the noice is. To me, this seemed like one of the loudest Bosch powered electric bikes I have tested and perhaps this is due to the near silent operation of the slick tires, reinforced fenders and Carbon belt drive. Maybe the higher speed design of the Bosch motor just makes more noise? In any case, the lower levels of assist are quieter and will get you further. Anytime you choose to ride above ~20 mph, wind resistance is going to cut into your efficiency and range significantly. It can be well worth the sacrifice if you enjoy the thrill or have a tight agenda but this is where the battery options really shine.

Powering the stock Riese & Müller Delite models is a Bosch Powerpack 500 battery. It offers 36 volts and 13.4 amp hours of capacity which is 25% more than the older Bosch Powerpack 400. And yet, it only weighs 0.3 lbs more and is fit into the exact same plastic pack design. I love how the top of this pack has an integrated handle. That it clicks into the mounting interface and locks automatically (without use of the key) and I appreciate that the key used for the battery also locks and unlocks the included Abus folding bike lock! The biggest win here is that the battery can be charged on or off the frame of the bike and that the Delite is setup to accommodate two batteries by default! You don’t have to pay extra for the option to use a second battery pack and if you opt to buy a second one at the time of bike purchase it’s $200 less than if you bought it on your own. Maybe you’re someone with an older Bosch pack and you could mix the 400 with the 500. While the second pack raises weight up higher on the already heavy 66.3 lb bike and can be trickier to mount (make sure it clicks in), it’s a very cool option. None of the current generation Bosch powered electric bikes look as stealth and integrated as the Stromer or Specialized models with integrated batteries but there’s a lot of convenience here and the packs are more widely available. You get an excellent two-year comprehensive warranty with this bike and that covers the motor and battery (within 1,000 cycles).

Operating the Delite is a one-step process after the battery, or batteries, are charged and mounted. By the way, there is only one charging port on the frame and it fills both packs! Once the display is on you’ll see battery charge level, indicated by a five bar graphic, your current speed and a little stack of assist readouts to the right along with a power meter. The bike starts without any assist and this is a good mode to pedal in before going out on a long ride… notice how heavy the bike is and remind yourself not to run out of juice. Now arrow up using the left mounted button pad from Eco to Turbo for an efficient or zippy-powerful experience. I mixed it up during my ride test and usually ride in Eco or Tour mode (the lower two levels) in real life just to maximize range and get a workout. Range is something the bike can calculate on the fly for you based on the last three miles of performance, remaining battery charge level and chosen assist level. Press the i button on either the display pad or left button pad several times to cycle through trip stats and end up on range. Note that the light bulb button at the lower right corner of the display panel did not work and the lights seem to be set as permanently on with this bike… unless you talk to your dealer. Apparently in the US they can be set to allow for user on/off control unless you have the Supernova light on the GX mountain models with the Rohloff hub. In short, the display is large and easy to read, lightly backlit, has an integrated Micro-USB port on the right side now offering 6 Volts at 1 Amp vs. the older 0.5 Amp which didn’t charge all phones effectively. I love that the display is removable and appreciate how easy it is to swivel up or down to reduce glare while riding. It’s an excellent setup except for how large it is compared with the new Purion. I prefer the Intuvia because it’s removable and easier to work with. For mostly urban riding, it makes sense and shouldn’t have the exposure to hard crashes that many mountain-specific ebikes have.

Not everyone can justify the $6k+ price of this ebike but I’m here to tell you that it really is something special. Even if it was priced the same as some other urban commuter models powered by Bosch, I’m still not sure I would pick it unless speed, cargo capacity and range were important. At lower speeds, full suspension isn’t quite as important and then a hardtail with a rack won’t weigh nearly as much. The weight is immediately noticeable and to me the Delite feels like a small motorcycle vs. a heavy bicycle. It’s using some of the most reliable drivetrain, motor, brake and lighting options on the market and it has been engineered to truly perform but you trade efficiency for utility and end up taking a second scoop of battery to make it all work for long-range riding. As someone who loves to hike, an analogy that came to mind while trying this ebike was one of backpacks. If you carry more stuff to go further you’ll probably want a larger pack… which requires a frame and more padding etc. but that adds weight and limits how far you can go. If you make some sacrifices for ultralight gear you can usually go pretty far without a fancy pack but you do have to sacrifice some utility and comfort. I’m very excited for the Riese & Muller electric bikes to be arriving in the US and found the Delite to be an exciting, well-executed product. It seems to offer the combination of systems and components that people dream about and ask me about when they want to make something of their own and it looks great doing it. Some systems cannot be combined easily aftermarket but this team of engineers has done it for you… and they are friendly cool guys. Big thanks to Riese and Müller for partnering with me for this post and Chris Nolte at Propel Bikes in Brooklyn, NY for going out to ride test with me!

Pros:

  • Sooooo many options with the Delite ebike, I’m reviewing the GT NuVinci HS but you can get it with an 11 speed Shimano cassette or Rohloff 14 speed internally geared hub and they all come in three frame sizes and three colors, even a Mountain model without fenders or a rack
  • The suspended rear rack is extremely well done, it has pannier blockers, an integrated backlight and adjustable rubber straps on top, decent cargo capacity rated at ~44 lbls
  • Despite being a heavier full suspension bike, the frame didn’t suffer from a lot of flex and I didn’t feel concerned about speed wobble the way I have on other electric bikes that can go 28 mph, the center-mounted motor and battery help a lot but also the heavy duty swing arm joint, tapered head tube, limited 100 mm travel and thru-axle on the front fork
  • This is one of the only full suspension ebikes I have ever seen that can be fitted with a belt drive… belts tend to be quiet and clean but require a cut-away frame and in this case, a little pulley wheel to keep it clear of the swing arm pivot
  • You get a key-matched folding lock from Abus as well as two plastic water bottles from Fabric that fit onto plastic nubs near the head tube, this is great considering there are no bottle cage bosses for adding accessories
  • The fenders felt very solid, were wide enough to cover the 2.4″ diameter tires but did not rattle during my ride tests… even at high speed and going off curbs for fun, the rear fender has a nice reflector built in to increase visibility
  • Integrated Busch and Müller LED lights keep you seen and help you see the way, the headlight is designed to not blind oncoming traffic (it sort of cuts off at the top) and the tires have reflective sidewall stripes to increase your visual footprint
  • The Bosch Performance Speed motor is very responsive so you don’t have to push for very long before it kicks in to help but it also stops when you stop pedaling, it offers shift sensing which reduces drivetrain wear on the 11 speed and Rohloff speed hub but doesn’t do anything on the NuVinci version since there are no big steps when shifting
  • Despite offering ~25% more capacity than the previous model, the Bosch Powerpack 500 battery only weighs about 0.3 lbs more, it is easy to carry with a plastic handle loop at the top and can be charged on or off the bike
  • The Bosch battery charger is compact, light weight but impressively fast, offering 4 Amps of output vs. just 2 Amps on most standard chargers
  • The Bosch Intuvia display panel is large, easy to read and removable! on the right edge there’s a Micro-USB port that puts out 6 Volts 1 Amp of power so it can charge portable electronics (or get software updates from the shop)
  • Premium grips from Ergon with lockers and a half-grip for the right end of the handlebar if you get the NuVinci with twist shifter, I also thought the Ergon saddle upgrade was nice though it felt a little hard
  • Normally, a Bosch Powerpack 500 battery is $962 but if you get the second pack at the time of purchase with this bike it only costs $759 and running two batteries can extend life because the control system balances them and you might not draw down to empty as frequently
  • The rear rack works with some child seats and is rated to ~44 lbs, this is a much more comfortable bike to take kids on since it’s full suspension, they won’t get bounced around as much

Cons:

  • This is one of the heavier electric bikes I’ve tested at 66.3 lbs with a single battery… and that jumps up to 72 lbs if you add a second pack for increased range
  • The pedals that come stock are pretty disappointing, I hope the mountain model and GX have larger grippier platforms because the basic alloy with rubber tread doesn’t offer the surface area or grip I’d want for off-road, even for the city models wet conditions could have you slipping and the weight of the bike calls for more foot traction and pressure when pedaling
  • At the time of this review there were limited Riese & Müller dealers in the US and it sounds like most orders are built to spec which means one month wait times (or you can pay $200 for air shipping and cut it down to a couple weeks)
  • Only available in a high-step design, I love that they sell multiple sizes but the frame may be too large and high for some riders and their smaller “Homage” step-thru model won’t work with dual battery setup
  • The rear rack looks great and feels solid but uses a thicker gauge tubing for the top bars which may not be compatible with some of the clip-on side hanging bags (they tend to need smaller tubes)
  • This bike feels substantial, the front wheel wants to turn to the side when it parks and there’s more weight to work with in general which might overwhelm some cyclists… make sure to adjust the kickstand so it doesn’t lean too far over but also not too straight-up
  • This is one of the only electric bicycles I have seen and tested that comes setup for a second battery and they include a plug to keep the ports clean if you leave it empty, both batteries charge from a single plug location on the left side of the frame
  • You really have to push on the battery packs to get them to click into place… they don’t rattle and this click is a nice indication that it’s locked on, just be extra careful with the upside-down battery that mounts on the top-tube so you don’t drop it thinking it is clicked in but not
  • The lights are set to always be on even though there’s a light button on the Intuvia display panel, apparently shops can allow you to turn the lights off for most light packages except for the Supernova M99 Pro on the GX models… or if you’re in Europe where it’s a requirement to stay on since it’s a Class 3 speed pedelec
  • The top tube and optional second battery are wider than a standard tube and I felt my knee brush against it while riding, be careful not to bonk your knees if you have narrower hips

Resources:

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Comments (32) YouTube Comments

Tommi Stough
2 years ago

Wait/delivery time for over engineered e-bikes.

I’ve ordered the R&M Charger GX Touring in Curry. Last word from dealer is I have to wait up to six friggin’ weeks to get it. And I only live a few KMs from Darmstadt. “Just in time” manufacturing my aging *Hintern*! (That’s German for rear-end.) I guess I wouldn’t be so upset with having to wait so long if the engineers over engineering these bikes would at least polish my friggin’ shoes while I wait… But enough about all that before I get into living (as an American) in Germany for too long. The joke is, I’ve actually ordered a second Charger Mixte for my wife. She’s getting the one with the Nuvinci hub–which, btw, I don’t like. By-the-by, I decided against the Rohloff (spelling?) because 1) too expensive and 2) didn’t like the feeling of all those gears churning and chewing on each other like little girls in spring-time (that’s a pun on an SNL skit with Dieter–google it!). Since I’m riding more than my wife, I thought it would be OK to get her a R&M, too, and thereby I can use her battery when I’m on long, lone rides. We’ll see how that works out. The dealer did tell me that I can eventually add a second battery to my Charger GX. Again. We’ll see how that goes. All in all, so far, I’m pleased with my order but this review of the Delight does make me think once or thrice.

Ride safe.

-t

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Tommi! I do my best to go deep and get a balanced perspective on each bike and I hope this helped you. Despite some frustration around wait time I hope you enjoy the Delite and welcome further comments once it arrives and you’ve had a chance to ride. Hope you and your wife have a blast living in Germany!

  Reply
Chris@Propel
2 years ago

I think you made good choices and you’re going to enjoy those bikes for many years to come. Quick point I would mention to your dealer. I had been previously advised from Riese & Müller as well as Bosch that the dual battery harness is not retro-fittable. I’d check with them. It’s actually different firmware, in theory it should be possible, but the dealer doesn’t have the ability to load new firmware. This might have changed or be changing, but I figured I would mention it. I’ll double check with my sources as well. Let us know what you find out.

  Reply
Journeyman
2 years ago

Another fantastic write up and review of a very very interesting ebike. I am extremely glad that you are so passionate about these electric powered bicycles. The part of this bike that I really like the most, is the way the two batteries are both within the triangle independently. It got me to thinking of, in the future, being able to house three of these batteries in a custom made frame triangle, and having them function like my two gas tanks on my old pickup truck (each battery being able to be taken out at any time, like this one you reviewed). Only now, when one battery is going low during your ride, you could quickly press a button on your led screen and switch to the next battery and so on. Anyways, thanks again and take care.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Yeah! I owned a moped as a kid and my Grandfather helped me fix it up. It had a little switch where I could change from the main tank to a reserve like you’re saying and it was pretty cool. Good ideas, glad you enjoyed the review and thanks for your positive feedback :)

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Cool idea! You reminded me of a moped I got and fixed up with my Grandpa as a kid. He got it running and there was a little lever for the gas line that could be turned to reserve (presumably if you ran out of the main tank). Neat to see these things offering more options for range :)

  Reply
Kevin
2 years ago

Nice to see the Load there in the background – is a Packster review coming too?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Yep, just shot that one today but I won’t be able to publish it for a bit (traveling and a family reunion/funeral)

  Reply
John
2 years ago

I’ve been waiting for you to review R&M all spring, and this did not disappoint! Can we expect a Charger review soon? I did a quick test ride at Propel but I’m holding off on purchase until your review. Thanks!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi John, I’ve filmed a few more Riese & Müller models recently but won’t be in a position to edit and publish for at least a week. The Charger may be on the list, thanks for the positive feedback and encouragement!

  Reply
Shaggy
2 years ago

I like the tech, but-

  1. is rubber belt truly better than a chain? The motor may whine so loudly that it negates the belt’s low-noise feature.
  2. battery is not integrated into the frame which I would expect given the high design of the bike.
  3. how does the nu vinci compare to Sram’s 8-speed ex-1 or the 11-speed cassette designs?
  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Great points Shaggy, I’ll do my best to address each one for you based on my experience and feedback from dealers and owners I have met. Belt drives like this are made from Carbon as well as rubber and offer the same or better response than chains which can slop forward and back. Some mountain bike models use narrow-wide teeth on their chainrings and cogs to reduce this slop and avoid chain drops. This belt technology is the same used on automobiles for timing chains… they are very durable! Reduced noise is one benefit but there are others as well. Belts tend to stay very clean, not needing lubrication. They last longer than chains and hold up better against water and salt water. As for the battery design, I agree that in-frame looks nicer but this also compromises frame strength so often times the bike will be made to weigh more in order to gain back strength. In-frame batteries tend to be more expensive because they are so custom (at least at this time they are) and can cost more to replace. The final consideration is ease of removal and size. By choosing one standard battery pack design, Bosch has made it in high volume and kept it cheaper meaning you can find replacements and have something that is easy to swap between models. And finally, the NuVinci is much smoother and can truly be shifted while pedaling or stopped instantly vs. the small delay that most internally geared hubs produce. They usually cannot shift under heavy load and are “stepped” vs. feeling smooth and dynamic. I prefer the NuVinci but acknowledge that it is more expensive and heavy. The SRAM drivetrains you mentioned sound like standard cassette which means they will be lighter than NuVinci or IGHs and cost less but might suffer from chain, sprocket and derailleur wear as the forces of the motor and imperfect shifting are applied over time. You cannot shift those at standstill which means (on a heavier ebike like this) you need to plan and shift down as you coast to a stop or you’ll be struggling when you start again (or just start very slowly). I hope this helps, there is nothing wrong with cassettes and I prefer them for most high-end mountain bike applications due to the weight trade-off and tight snappy shifting but internally geared hubs and CVTs are quiet interesting and durable for a bike like this Delite model from R&M :)

  Reply
TBR
2 years ago

I have been riding an earlier R&M Charger HS with beltdrive and the Nuvinci 360 for about 1.5 years and 4000km.

This is my second S-Pedelec, the first was on of the very first Bosch equipped S-Pedelecs to be delivered, a Kalkhoff Pro Connect BS10 (with the “classic” Bosch HS motor). On that one the smalles to rear sprockets (thankfully a separate unit) did last about 1200km, the chain around twice that. This meant roughly 250 Euro of cost per year just due to wear.

With the Beltdrive I am still on the first belt etc., there was no noticeable wear at all! For a S-Pedelec I consider beltdrive a must.

The only thing to make some problems was the Nuvinci 360 which needs some shop attention every 2000km or so. Hope the 380SE is better in that regard. But the Rohloff would not be an alternative since it does not allow for the beltdrive.

Last remark: be sure to change out the brake pads when needed, on an S-Pedelec you will brake a lot.

Rene Schlegel
2 years ago

Hi. Tks for the comprehensive review. Just to be sure: the range you indicate are with one battery, right?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Rene, I did a wide range estimate here with a two-battery setup in mind. I’d say one battery would offer 20 to 50 miles with two offering 40 to 100. There are a lot of factors to consider but the weight of the bike and rider, drivetrain choice and average speed ridden all make a material difference. Hope this helps and feel free to ask others in the forums or comments :)

  Reply
Lynn
2 years ago

Love your reviews (you kept me sane during the 2016 election), and the best are when you learn something. This time I learned that belt drives and rear suspensions don’t mix unless the belt can be properly tensioned. Just cannot make my mind up between a Charger or the Delite. So looking forward to more reviews.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Sheesh… I know, it has been difficult to stay focused and positive with so many scandals and negative speech. I’m sorry we have to go through this but appreciate your positive comment and am trying to do something positive here myself :)

Yeah, I’ll have two charger reviews coming out (high-step and the step-thru model with different drivetrains, the HS had the Rohloff). I’ll be pushing hard in the coming weeks to publish a lot. Made me smile, hang in there!!

  Reply
Gnosisdog
2 years ago

The Sram EX-1 drive train is E-bike specific and uses a heavier 8- speed cassette and chain to deal with the increased torque of a mid-drive motor. Expect it to last far longer than a conventional system like XT. You also shift it less because the ratios go in 30% increments as opposed to 15%. Compared to Nuvinci or Rohloff it will be far lighter and also more efficient.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Very good comment Gnosisdog, thank you for filling in the details that I am still learning and coming to appreciate. I’ll keep this in mind for future reviews and am sure other readers will appreciate your expert knowledge :)

  Reply
Bradley L Coley
2 years ago

Thanks Court. I’m just trying to stay ahead of the curve here in the relatively early days of DS urban E-Bikes. I test rode several versions of the Delite and came within a whisker of plunking down $6K on a GT HS. Once you ride a dual suspension street bike on anything but smooth pavement you will NEVER be happy without it.

The thing that stopped me was the drivetrain options. The Nuvinci is nice but its quiet belt is wasted on the Bosch. The Nuvinci is also heavy and this bike is already heavy enough. It also loses the most in terms of efficiency which was an issue for me as I was going to get the HS. 60 Nm is not going to pull this much bike up the steep hills of San Francisco where I commute to work. In a flatter, place no issue. The Nuvinci version of the CX did okay uphill but felt only a little stronger than the HS with the XT drivetrain. And I’d never get a bike with this much chassis capability that didn’t go 28 mph.

I love the build quality of this bike so I understand its weight. But in a perfect world, I’d want it to weigh 5 lbs less and come with a 75 Nm version of the motor that went 28 mph. Hacking the CX is, of course, an option but it voids the warranty. Hopefully, Bosch will realize there’s a market for such a motor in the US alone to bring it to market next year. And R&M will mate it to the Sram EX-1 drivetrain. Sold!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Well said Bradley, I agree with your perspectives and hope you find a bike that can satisfy them all. Did you visit the New Wheel to test ride these? You mentioned SF… I used to live there and am in love with the Bay Area in general. Feel free to post an update on whatever you decide, I’m sure you’re not alone in this search :)

  Reply
Bradley Coley
2 years ago

It was the New Wheel. Great shop. Brett and Karin are amazing as is their entire crew. I’ve bought an Xtracycle and a Benno Boost there recently and had a great experience. I’ll update as soon as I pull the trigger on a DS city bike. A little curious as to what the big bike companies might bring to the table. Specialized and Trek have DS Mtn bikes that show a lot of potential. Haibike could also create a street version of theirs. But currently the only direct competition for the Delite is Moustache’s Samedi Asphalt. A nice bike but not well supported here in the US. TBC…!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Cool, thanks for the details Bradley. I’m with you, wondering who will bring a full suspension speed commuter next :)

  Reply
Alan_in_Pgh
2 years ago

Court;

I know this review was a while ago, but wanted to let you know how valuable I found it in deciding on my first e-bike.

Placed my order for a Delite with Chris @ Propel late this week. The review really helped he understand not only the product, but whether I was really ready for this type of a product.

I would not have found Riese & Muller, Delite, Propel, Chris without your review, and having found them, got all my many questions answered.

Looking forward to taking delivery, and some slightly warmer weather.

Now I just drive the back way and try to decide if the road is wide enough for the ebike and me to share the road with the cars.

Again, thanks for the review – just what I needed.

Alan

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Wow, thanks Alan! You made my day… I’m in a hotel room in California right now, just working on more ebike reviews. I’m so glad that Chris was able to take care of you (I feel like he does a great job), and I’m excited for you to enjoy riding! Have fun out there, be safe, thanks again :)

  Reply
James A Lawson
1 year ago

Not sure anyone reads comments on a review that is a year old, but this review had special meaning for me, so I thought it important to share some results. I am 66 years old. Two years ago, I could barely walk and required a knee replacement. I have been methodically working my way back to reasonable health since then. In my younger days, I did a lot of road bike miles. Living here in western PA, the hills are scenic, but pretty brutal for anyone whose fitness level is below par.

I went through Court’s reviews for quite a while looking for just the right e-bike. This review was the one… Belt Drive, Bosch Engineering, reliability and power, NuVinci sealed and maintenance free gearing, full suspension, Reise & Muller solid and robust design. Dual batteries so that range was unlikely to ever be an issue. Chris Nolte and Propel Bikes impressed me in the video, a practical and non-nonsense advisors – not at all “salesy”

After about 100 questions to Chris at Propel Bikes – he was both patient and very informative – I made my purchase in March. It was still snowing the week the bike was delivered.

Is is now July – I have over 400 miles on the bike – I am riding about 50-60 miles a week. Recently started a once a week commute from home to downtown Pittsburgh that is 40 miles round trip. The commute has about 900 feet of climbing so it is definitely a commute I would not attempt without my ebike. Average speed is 14.5 mph.

I added a few things

  • Shimano “clipless” pedals – my old road bike days came back – I just really prefer the positive connection to the bike.
  • Extra flashing lights on the rear of the bike – no big drama with traffic, but still want to be very sure I am seen.
  • a professional “bike fitting”, which was worth every penny – really made me feel like I was part of the bike rather than just sitting on top of it.

Very pleased to be back into the bike community on a nearly daily basis – could not have done it without a good e-bike, Court’s great reviews, and Chris/Propel’s guidance through and beyond the purchase.

Alan in Pittsburgh

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Alan! You made my day, thanks for taking the time to sound off about your experience with Chris and filling us in on the accessory additions and custom fitting. I’m so glad to hear that the bike is working well for you and hope that continues. Thanks again for your positive remarks about EBR :)

  Reply
John Stenglein
11 months ago

Court, Just found the time to let you know that your review of the Reise and Muller Delite GT Nuvinci HS with Chris Nolte was outstanding. I’d been researching ebikes back in August and it was just by chance that I happened upon your review on Youtube. That’s where I found out about the EBR website and read your expansive review of this bike. Incredibly, the week before seeing your review, I was ready to purchase what I thought was the ebike for me. Well, thank goodness I waited. I purchased my R&M Delite from Propel Bikes in Brooklyn in September and have never looked back. I began riding the Delite on September 9. As of Friday October 19 I have ridden 712 miles on this incredibly engineered bicycle. Mind you, I am 70 years young, been riding road bikes and recumbent bikes for a long time and am enjoying long rides again for the first time in years. Clipped -in pedaling had reduced my rides to 12 miles or less due to pain in the ball of the foot. Forget hill climbs with standing and full weight on the pedals. Well, that’s all changed since purchasing the Reise and Muller. I use a large, plain, flat bed pedal with pins that accommodates my size 15 street shoe. I ride in complete comfort being able to shift my foot around on the pedal. On hills, I remain seated upright using the fantastic Bosch assist to revisit climbs I hadn’t attempted in years. On the flats, I cruise and pass up roadies slunk over the drops like myself in years past. Startled looks and surprise as I go by at 24-28 mph. With no assist, I’ve topped out thus far at 44.82 mph dropping like a stone on steep hill with 20% gradient. I had just conquered this gradient going up so I just wanted to see how the Delite would handle at speed. No surprises! Held the road and at at no time was I fearful of losing control. Quite unlike similar drops on 700×23 tires affixed to a 19 pound carbon bike. The Schwalbe 2.4 tires can’t be beat. This bicycle has been a life changer for me. Thanks so much for providing reviews with insight and valuable information to consumers like myself who are seeking out ebike information. Regards, John

  Reply
Court
11 months ago

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing this testimonial, John. I’m so glad you waited and found the perfect bike… and I’m sure that Propel will take good care of you. Feel free to share updates over time, as the bike gets more use or you consider upgrades and accessories. Just awesome, thanks again!

  Reply
John Stenglein
11 months ago

Court, I had spoken with Propel personnel back in October about logging over 500 miles in the first month of Delite riding. They agreed to extending the first checkup to 1000 miles since I was piling on the miles. Well, it is now October 31 and with today’s ride the odometer is reading 876 miles. By November 9, the second month of owning the Delite, I should be at 1000 miles. These are impressive miles for me that never would have been achieved without the R&M Delite. This bike is so enjoyable to ride that even when you’ve gone 25 miles you just want to keep going. I’ve had only two rides under 30 miles and one extended 45 miler. And with the coming of Fall and the changing colors of leaves what better time to be out on the roads viewing the scenery at a bicycle pace. This bike is safe and stable on straightaways, leaning into and rounding corners, or taking evasive action from wayward squirrels. The wide balloon tires and weight of this bike give you a solid feeling of control unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Wow, Reise and Muller have really dialed this bike in for riders like me. Needless to say I am one very happy ebike owner, regards, John

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