- A full suspension electric mountain bike with 120 mm Fox air suspension, specced for cross country and light trail use with plus sized tires and boost hub spacing, optional dual-battery setup for extra power on longer rides
- Comes stock with quality integrated lights from Busch & Müller and Supernova so you can stay visible on your way to the trail, reliable Shimano Deore XT 11-speed drivetrain with clutch and 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes
- Large Bosch Intuvia display has a Micro-USB port for charging portable electronics on the go, two bottle mounts near the head tube for use with Fabric bottles, nicer saddle, dropper seat post, and unique optional frame bag
- Low single-pivot rear suspension doesn't isolate travel and reduce bob as well as some other designs but CTD compression clicker on the rear shock helps, priced relatively high and built to order with longer lead times
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The Riese & Müller Delite Mountain is a full suspension electric bike with medium-travel 120 mm air shocks that would be ideal for comfortable cross country and light trail use. It’s one of the first dual-battery compatible full suspension models I have seen with a Bosch drivetrain, and would make a wonderful platform for touring across varied terrain. R&M do sell a sturdy rear rack that could be added here, it’s a sprung design that would keep your gear from rattling around. And, I could imagine myself bikepacking on thing, getting way back into the wilderness without struggling on climbs. As someone with a sensitive knee from skiing injuries and some back and neck whiplash from car accidents over the years, I loved the comfort, power, and efficiency of this product. And, while I’m used to most R&M ebikes weighing more, the medium-sized Delite Mountain with one battery came in around 55 lbs, which isn’t bad at all. That weight includes the seat post dropper, integrated LED lights, plus sized tires on wider 40 mm Alexrims, and optional frame bag. For those who want to double their range, the optional second Bosch Powerpack 500 battery costs $767 at time of purchase or something like $900 after. For those who might be parking occasionally and want to secure the bike, an optional ABUS Bordo Plus folding lock can be had with matching key, to reduce clutter. It’s always fun to accessorize bicycles, outfit them for your commute or adventure rides, but I love it when the manufacturer guides you and offers custom parts like this… They tend to fit properly and look good. Still, Riese & Müller charge what feels like a premium for their parts and the bike itself isn’t cheap at $6.4k for the base model. You can choose from three frame sizes and three colors to make it your own, and go with the lighter, faster 11-speed Shimano Deore XT cassette + derailleur or pay an additional ~$1.3k more for the Rholoff 14-speed internally geared hub. That option will stay cleaner and be more durable because it keeps the chain at a fixed length. It’s one of the nicest IGH products on the market and would be ideal for long distance trekking. Whatever options you select, Riese & Müller will build the bike just for you, with brand new hardware and a fresh battery, but you’ll have to wait a month or more to get it (in the USA). And, unlike many of the other models from R&M, the Delite Mountain is only available with the Bosch CX Class 1 motor. That means you’ll be limited to 20 mph (or 25 km/h in Europe) but allowed on more trails and treated as a bicycle vs. Class 3 which sometimes requires licensing.
The Bosch Performance Line CX motor offers high torque and power, designed specifically for off-road use. It’s one of my favorite mid-drive systems because it’s so responsive, even starting from zero. I have a sensitive knee that can really benefit from this sort of help, and that support continues as I move towards faster but gentler pedal strokes to achieve higher top speeds. With the Bosch Performance Line motors, you get noticeable assistance up to 120 RPM compared to just 100 RPM or a slight fade nearing 120. This is not to say that you have to pedal fast, just that the motor won’t fade out on you, and this allows for a wider range of speeds with each gear, so you don’t have to shift as frequently if you don’t want to. In a cross country or trail setting, this means you can transition from climbing to descending seamlessly. This motor also cuts quickly as you stop pedaling, and I have never felt destabilized or carried away by it. There are a few compromises and trade-offs made to achieve this sort of performance, the primary being increased weight and noise. You can hear the high pitched electronic whir in the video review above (though it is somewhat amplified by the frame-camera shots). When you’re riding off-road, the sound of the larger tires going over dirt, stones, and leaves tends to obscure it somewhat. Another drawback is that the reduction gearing which allows for a smaller sprocket creates some friction when pedaling with the motor off or trying to exceed the top assisted speed. All of the other mainstream mid-motors use traditionally sized sprockets and promote uninhibited pedaling, but Bosch has such a great reputation with dealers for being reliable and this motor is so satisfying to use that I have found this light-friction drawback to be worth it. This is a motor that seems perfectly matched to the Delite Mountain bike and offers one more delighter, called eMTB mode. Instead of offering four steps in power like the rest of the Bosch lineup, the CX motor has replaced the third highest (called Sport) with eMTB, which allows for a wide range of power output based primarily on torque. Just like the wider RPM range that is supported, eMTB mode offers a wider power band so you can focus on pedaling, shifting, and steering vs. clicking up and down for more or less power. In my experience, it works surprisingly well and feels natural vs. tiring or unpredictable. I was told that Bosch worked closely with professional mountain bike riders to fine tune this setting and it still listens for wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque… it just provides more power for climbing as your torque gets higher vs. capping it (the range is 120% to 300% output).
Powering the motor, the large backlit display panel, and both lights, is a high-capacity Bosch Powerpack 500 battery. It clicks into place and locks securely on the downtube, keeping weight low and center on the frame to improve balance. The plastic casing is identical to the older Bosch Powerpack 400, with a nice secure opening at the top to us as a handle, and a five-LED power readout on the left side. Since these packs are moulded the same and use the same charging port, you can actually use them interchangeably and go for back-to-back rides if you already own one. This concept extends to traveling and rental situations as well; imagine shipping your bike to another state or country and then being able to easily find a useable battery pack on location. Since larger Lithium-ion batteries are not usually allowed on commercial flights, this is a cool feature that isn’t as applicable to custom ebike batteries. And of course, there’s the optional second Powerpack 500 that can be used with Delite models, which mounts beneath the top tube. This is where things get really exciting, because it means you can double your range without needing a rack or backpack to carry a second pack. If you do get this upgrade, you’ll have access to nearly one kilowatt-hour of capacity, which can deliver 60 to 120+ miles per charge (depending on assist settings, your weight, the terrain, and other environmental factors. And I love that with two batteries mounted, the Bosch control system automatically balances energy from both packs as you ride, so one isn’t constantly being discharged and worn out more quickly than the other. Wether you have one or two packs, the 4-Amp Bosch charger plugs into a single location on the left side of the frame (high up and out of the way of the cranks and pedals) and it can charge both batteries simultaneously. Of course, if you take the batteries off, you’ll have to plug them each in separately. The big reasons to do so would be if you’re parking the bike itself in an extremely cold or hot location (which can degrade battery cells). I also tend to take batteries off to reduce weight when transporting bikes and tend to store them off-bike for longer periods. I was told that storing rechargeable batteries around 50% for long periods is easier on the chemistry. All things considered, even though the Powerpack design is external and a bit more noticeable on the frame here, I think the convenience of use and universal availability are both strong benefits. A single pack 482.4 watt hours at 36 volts / 13.4 amp hours, which I would call average going into 2018… but is very lightweight at ~5.8 lbs.
Activating and operating the Riese & Müller Delite Mountain is easy and satisfying because the controls are simple and well within reach. Once you have mounted the battery or batteries (make sure they click and double check that they are secured before starting), you just press the power button at the lower left corner of the Bosch Intuivia display panel. The LCD blinks to life quickly and shows your battery charge level at the top, current speed in the middle, and a power chart and assist level indicator on the right. These are your main indicators… but just below the chart is a light icon and further down is a dynamic area that shows trip stats like distance, odometer, average speed, max speed, a timer, and range estimate. You can cycle through these menus by pressing the i button at the top right of the display or at the center of the control pad, which is mounted near the left grip. This control pad is comfortable to reach and click, with very consistent buttons. There’s + at the top, – at the bottom, and a convex rubberized button with the i in between. There’s also a walk-mode button at the top of this pad, which can be useful if you get a flat tire, have to push the bike up a difficult section of trail, or are cutting through a crowded area where it’s not appropriate to ride. Other things I like about the Intuvia display system is that it can be angled forward and back to reduce glare, it can be removed for safe keeping, and it has a Micro-USB port built into the right side for powering portable electronics. For someone like me, with limited vision, it’s also great that the display is large, centered, and high! I don’t want to be distracted by squinting or craning my neck while riding. But frankly, once you get the hang of this thing, you can simply click without looking down and know what assist level you’re in based on how the motor is performing. I sometimes click several times all the way up to Turbo and then back one just to know I’m in eMTB. It doesn’t go around, so you can keep clicking up or down and get to the highest or off modes intuitively.
As an average sized person, measuring 5’9″ tall and weighing around 135 lbs, I really appreciate the sizing options and lighter weight of this ebike. It’s responsive and quiet, but also very comfortable because of the suspension and fatter tires with knobs. As we explored Brooklyn, NY for the video here and then cut into the park for some off-road tests… I always felt comfortable and stable. I was able to ride with no hands and went up and down curbs with no problem. Yes, it’s only available in a sportier high-step frame design which requires a bit of hip and knee flexibility to mount, but the top tube is somewhat sloped to lower standover height and the adjustable seat post is very convenient. As a Class 1 ebike, this thing will be allowed on the greatest number of bike paths and mountain bike trails because it doesn’t go super fast and doesn’t have a throttle. Still, it starts quickly and provides plenty of assist so that you can climb just about anything if you shift gears appropriately. I cannot comment too much on the optional 14-speed Rholoff but I have heard that it is one of the most durable internally geared hubs, and is now available with electronic shifting so you don’t have to strain your hand as much twisting the shifter (something I have experienced on mechanical IGH systems in the past). Apparently, the Rholoff offers 540 degrees of gearing range, even more than the 11 to 42 tooth cassette, and that could come in very handy for steep climbs. I’m used to hearing about 360 and 380 degree gearing range on the NuVinci continuously variable transmissions (offered on other R&M models) so while it is expensive, I can see the appeal of the Rholoff. I personally love the quick trigger shifters and traditional sprockets, because they are fast and can do multi-shifts. since the Shimano Deore XT derailleur is tucked in close and has the one-way clutch system, I feel that it is a great choice and will still be very durable. Riese & Müller is a company that has been around for over 25 years as of 2018 and only builds products around the Bosch drive system now. They do charge a premium, but their designs are reliable and smart. The single-pivot rear suspension on the Delite models isn’t as fancy as a four-bar or dual-pivot, so you might lose some efficiency to bobbing, but it is strong and durable. It’s part of what allows for the dual battery setup in the main triangle, and I didn’t notice any kickback or chain slip during my test rides off-road. Since both shocks are air vs. spring, you can sag them to match your body weight, and they weigh less overall. There’s just a ton of adjustability here, from rebound to compression. I felt safe riding this bike in traffic, in part because it had a white frame which would stand out better in the headlights of automobiles. There’s even a basic flick bell to sound a friendly alert to pedestrians… but this bike did not have a kickstand, so I had to lean it against the wall when taking photos. If and when you decide to park the bike in a spot that does not have a wall, I suggest laying it on the left side to reduce exposure to the derailleur on the right. Just be careful not to bend the disc brake rotors. One final highlight for me was the BlockLock headset, which prevents oversteer and any resulting frame scratches. Big thanks to the Riese & Müller team for their help coordinating bikes to review with Chris at Propel in New York, it was awesome to see this thing next to the premium Signature 25 Edition (which has the fender and racks installed). I’ll do my best to respond to questions and comments below and invite you to connect with others in the Riese & Müller forums.
- Available in three frame sizes and three colorways, so you can dial in fit and make it your own, Riese & Müller electric bikes are built to order so you’re always getting the latest parts and fresh batteries
- I really love the bottle mount design, you can attach two Fabric brand water bottles near the head tube, to the black plating, for easy access when riding, this design frees up the inner frame triangle for suspension, battery packs, and the optional battery bag (which looks like a battery but has a zipper on the side to store tools and other gear on the go
- The combination of highly-adjustable air Fox shocks front and rear with the fatter 2.8″ plus sized provides comfort on almost any terrain, the thru-axles and reinforced rear swing arm feel stiff and responsive
- Schwalbe makes excellent tires and these Knobby Nics should be more durable if you stray into a thorn patch, they come tubeless ready so you can reduce weight and run with lower PSI for soft terrain
- Wide-range 11 to 42 tooth cassette pairs nicely with the smaller 15 tooth sprocket (38 tooth equivalent) to let you climb steep sections easily and empower the motor, the Deore XT derailleur has a one-way clutch to let you tighten the spring and reduce chain bounce (just click the little grey lever into the up position)
- Bosch produces some of the best motor controllers and sensors in the ebike space right now and offers shift detection here, which basically reduces power when you’re shifting gears to reduce mashing and wear on the chain, sprockets, and derailleur
- This motor offers high torque 75 Nm support and is one of the most responsive I have tested, as you pedal along it is measuring rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque 1,000+ times per second and feels very predictable
- I like the simple, strong, colors and designs that R&M uses for their entire range of bikes, notice here how the the upper portion of the frame is colored while the lower is all black, which blends in with the battery packs and motor casing
- With good sized 180 mm rotors and upgraded Shimano Deore XT parts, the Delite Mountain stops reliably and I appreciate the tool-free adjustable reach of the brake levers to fit people with smaller hands or those wearing gloves
- Excellent light hardware here, the Supernova E3 (3-LED) rear light is positioned out of the way but still shines brightly in all directions and the Busch & Müller Lumotec headlight is kept high, sprung, and has side-vent cutouts, it actually lights the trail with 100 Lux but is visible from the side as well
- The Ergon saddle and grips felt good to me and I like the seat post dropper because it makes mounting easier and allows for seamless transitions from hard pack to bumpy downhill
- The Bosch Intuvia display panel is one of my favorites in the entire ebike space because it’s large and easy to read, offers tool-free adjustable angle to reduce glare (as long as you don’t over tighten the mount), features an active Micro-USB port for maintaining a phone or other device on the go, and pairs with a button pad that is easy to reach and consistent to press
- Upgraded 40 mm wide Alexrims are tough and well-suited to plus sized tires, so they can spread out the tread and increase surface patch, this is one of the many hardware improvements that are easy to miss
- The Mountain model works with the electronically shifted Rholoff 14-speed internally geared hub, so you could get that and explore a bunch of different setups through the season, such as hybrid tires, fenders, and a rear rack for on-road use
- For people who know that they want to use their phone for GPS, calls, music, etc. Bosch recently acquired COBI and has a special interface that will work with your smartphone directly, it replaces the Intuvia but uses the same button pad and allows you to control assist levels and get bike feedback while charging
- The sturdy alloy chainring guard should keep your right pant leg clear and clean, it will also prevent the chain from bouncing off track, note the large rubberized slap guard on the right chainstay to keep the frame from getting nicked up
- If you do opt for the second battery pack at the time of purchase, it only costs $767 vs. $900 on its own and both packs can be charged simultaneously on the frame, I appreciate the faster 4-Amp Bosch charger as it is relatively compact and lightweight
- Weighing in at nearly 55 lbs, this one of the heavier full suspension ebikes I have tested that uses more premium parts such as air Shock from Fox (and that weight is only with one battery pack), I believe the sturdy rear swing arm and plus sized tires are contributors
- Occasionally you can buy a pre-built R&M bike at your local dealer, but they usually submit orders for custom building which can take over a month to fulfill to US cusomters
- Priced at nearly $6,400 with a single battery pack and no upgrades, this and other Riese & Müller products are known for being expensive… however, they do offer excellent quality, a solid warranty, and great shop support
- Very minor gripe here, the plastic motor casing is a bit large compared to some of the newer Haibike and Bulls designs I have seen, however, I think it blends in well enough and offers good protection
- Because the motor uses a reduction gearing system with the smaller 15 tooth chainring here (which spins 2.5 times for each crank revolution), you end up with some friction if the motor isn’t assisting, this adds just a touch of work but the upside is that the smaller sprocket grabs the chain well and offers a mechanical advantage to the motor
- The Bosch CX motor is responsive and powerful but also draws energy faster, produces more noise, and weighs a bit more than competing products like the Shimano STePs E8000 or Yamaha PW and PWX mid-drives