2017 Riese & Müller Homage NuVinci HS Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



Homage NuVinci HS


Class 3


Full Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



482.4 Wh

482.4 Wh

62.7 lbs / 28.47 kgs



Frame Details



Full Suspension


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

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

Mach1 650, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 32 Hole Front, 36 Hole Rear, Reinforcement Eyelets | Spokes: Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Schwalbe Big Ben Plus, 28" x 2.0" (50-622), Reflective Sidewall Stripe, 35 to 70 PSI, Performance Line GreenGuard


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

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

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

Ergon GP1 Ergonomic, Rubber, Locking

Satori Trident, Aluminum Alloy


Selle Royale Lookin, Gel

VP-191 Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Hydraulic Disc

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

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

Riese & Müller have a long and interesting history designing bicycles and electric bikes. Their first model, the Birdy, was a full suspension folding bike that inspired a full line of suspended models and eventually lead to a philosophy of “Control Technology” meant to keep your wheels on the ground, providing traction. Nowhere is that philosophy more important than bumpy urban environments at high speed… especially if the streets are wet and you have a child on board. The Homage is their full suspension step-thru model, available in two frame sizes, that is meant to be approachable but sturdy and capable. The frame is heavier than most competing models I have reviewed but it delivers utility and maneuverability that others cannot. With its suspended rear rack, that has pannier blockers on the sides, a quick-secure rubber strap system, and child compatible cross bars, you can accomplish more with your bike. And the long-range Bosch Powerpack 500 offers 25% more capacity than the original 400 but is backward compatible so you could bring a spare along for a big day of commuting or some ebike touring. Power and speed are one thing, and the Bosch Performance Line mid-motor delivers on both, but handling and stopping power are also important. I was glad to see 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. The levers have adjustable reach so you can bring them close if you’ve got smaller hands. You can lock out the suspension fork with a clicker mounted at the top right side of the crown and if you want to get really fancy, R&M sell an upgrade with remote lockout. One of the things that makes this and other products from Riese & Müller so cool is that they are built to order. You get to choose the color, size and options. The specific model I tested for this review had a NuVinci continuously variable transmission and speed motor capable of 28 mph top assisted speeds… but you could change those two systems for a Bosch CX high-torque motor with 20 mph top speed and a Rohloff 14 speed internally geared hub drivetrain. As someone who commutes and appreciates a higher speed (especially when riding with cars) I love the setup we had, but it’s great to have options. What isn’t so great is the high price and slower deliver time associated with such a premium “made to order” product. It’s just a reality, unless you want to buy one of the default models that are in store already, expect to be a little patient.

As mentioned earlier, this model (and all Riese & Müller ebikes at the time of this review) are powered by Bosch Performance Line motors. The speed model offers a bit less torque, peaking at 63 Newton meters, while the CX can hit 73 Nm. It is generally reserved for mountain bikes but can be right at home on a heavier bike that’s loaded up with gear. I would expect to get slightly better range with the CX because air resistance can really suck up battery power when you ride above 20 mph, the dropoff in efficiency is exponential. Both motors measure the rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque 1,000x per second. They are incredibly responsive and turn a smaller chainring which grabs the chain and is able to start and stop faster than a full sized piece of hardware. This chainring spins 2.5 times for ever crank arm revolution and is fully covered and protected on the Homage here, by a plastic cover. You should have issues with your pant leg or skirt getting dirty and snagged on this bike. Note that the chain cover is fairly short here in order to allow the chain to move up and down as the rear swing arm activates. The motor is fully sealed against water but it’s nice to see fenders with mudguards to reduce splash. It’s mounted low and center and it pulls the same chain you do as a rider which allows you to maximize efficiency by shifting gears or sliding the CVT NuVinci hub. I prefer the NuVinci to the Rohloff even though it’s probably not as tough or lightweight. It’s just easier to shift and tends to be quieter (especially at first when the Rohloff is in the break-in period).

Powering the bike, the backlit LCD display, any accessories you plug into the Micro-USB port on the display, and the front and rear LED lights is a 500 watt hour battery pack from Bosch. This thing offers above-average capacity, yet is compact and light at just 5.7 lbs. It has an integrated heandle loop at the top so you can easily lift and carry it (be careful never to drop it) and the left side has an LED charge level indicator to help you assess capacity even when it’s not on the bike. To mount the pack, you set the base into the clip and then push and angle down the top where the handle is. Sometimes these batteries can fit tight, requiring extra pressure to get it to click. All of the Riese & Müller batteries clipped in just fine and once they are on, they are very secure thanks to the ABUS locking core near the top left. The key used on this lock is the same one used for the included folding bike lock! Who wants extra keys floating around, right? The included folding lock is a nice touch because there aren’t any bottle cage bosses on the frame to mount your own aftermarket lock. The only gripe here is that it raises the rack area which could limit how low the saddle can go down. For very short people, or those who like to be able to stand when sitting on the saddle, this could be an issue and require you to take the lock off and put it into a backpack or rack bags. Thankfully, the rack is angled down a bit so the saddle can go fairly low if you take those steps. Final thoughts on the battery, it’s nice that you can charge it on or off the bike and that the charger is a high-speed 4 Amp design vs. the standard 2 Amp I see on a lot of other e-bike products.

Powering this bike on is a cinch. Once the battery is charged and mounted correctly, and the display is clicked onto its mount (if you had taken it off), just press the power button near the lower left corner. The Bosch Intuvia display is one of the fastest, easiest to read and navigate, displays I have used. I like the size and position, front and center, and appreciate how easy it is to click through without taking your hands off the grips. Near the left grip, there’s a remote button pad with up, down, and i buttons. The i button cycles through trip stats like average speed, clock, distance etc. and includes a menu called range. Depending on how you’ve been riding for the last mile, how full the battery is, and what level of assist you have chosen, this range stat dynamically updates to help you plan your ride! It’s a great system and really lets you explore the four levels of assist real-time by clicking up or down while on the range menu. I tend to ride in Eco and Tour the most (these are the lowest two levels). I occasionally arrow up to Sport and Turbo mode to hit a higher speed if I’m in a hurry, but as mentioned earlier, this really eats into your range. By default, if you get the high-speed version of the bike, the display automatically activates the front and rear lights whenever the bike is powered on. This is a safety feature leftover from Europe which has stricter standards. I was told that your shop can help you de-activate this setting, but the lights really don’t use much electricity so it might be worth keeping for safety. I love that the bike comes in white for the most visibility during nighttime conditions, and deeply appreciate the upgraded tires which have puncture protection built in as well as reflective sidewall stripes! More safety :)

There’s just a ton to say about this electric bike and the company that produces it, Riese & Müller. If you want to improve the comfort of your child and are planning to use a rear rack, this would be the bike to do it. You could also explore the Load and Packster if you have multiple kids and don’t mind the cargo bike look. The Homage is the easier-to-mount version of the Delite which is one of the most popular bikes that the company makes. That model can accommodate two batteries but otherwise, offers a similar albiet stiffer experience. As someone who has banged his legs into racks, accidentally tipped over when mounting, and struggled to stand over high frames before, I appreciate the lower step-thru design of the Homage and feel that the black or white color option would look great for a man, woman, or other-sex rider. The battery is a little bit exposed at the step-thru area and could get kicked and potentially dirtied or scraped… but it’s easily replaced and durable enough that I don’t see this being an issue. The mounting bracket is sturdier than a standard bottle cage as used by some cheaper electric bikes. When you get a bike with Bosch equipment, you’re getting a two year comprehensive warranty and the sense that there will be replacement parts and even upgrades for years to come. Remember, the older Powerpack 400 is forward compatible with the Powerpack 500 mount. Big thanks to Riese & Müller for partnering with me on this and other reviews so I could ride back to back. And of course, Chris Nolte, who helped to convince R&M to enter the US market and has generously allowed me to test ride his own inventory and demo models! His shop, Propel Bikes, is located in Brooklyn, NY which is the perfect environment for a premium urban bike like this with fenders and lights. We had a great time filming the video above and it ws neat to hear him talk about how the Navy Yard area has turned into an incubator for startup companies.


  • One of the only full suspension step-thru electric bikes I have ever see, and it’s designed for urban use vs.
    off-road mountain biking
  • The suspension really improves comfort when riding above 20 mph, so it’s very relevant for the HS speed model shown here, the riser stacks, angled stem, gel saddle, and ergonomic grips also help to reduce fatigue and keep the body upright
  • If you opt for the NuVinci drivetrain, it weighs a bit more but offers smooth “unlimited” shifting that can be done at standstill or while pedaling, the infographic (a little guy on a hill) makes it intuitive for non-cyclists
  • Riese & Müller really limited the unsprung weight on this bike, the motor, battery pack, and rear rack are all suspended! I love that the rear rack comes with rubber straps and has pannier side blockers to keep your gear from brushing against the rear wheel
  • Great included accessories for maximum utility such as the plastic SKS fenders with mud flaps, flick bell, Hebie adjustable length kickstand, and ABUS folding lock
  • Available in three fun colors including white, which would keep you more visible in dark riding conditions, I love that the bike also comes with integrated high-end Supernova and B&M lights and has reflective tires, the headlight aims where you steer and the backlight is tucked under the rack so bags won’t obstruct it
  • Both suspension elements are air vs. coil which offers more adjustability (air pressure settings) and tends to weigh less, this is good suspension not just “checking the box” type of hardware
  • On so many Bosch powered electric bikes I just see a little chainring bash guard or tiny plastic circle but Riese & Müller opted for a full chainring cover that will keep your pants or dress from snagging
  • The display panel and battery can be removed quickly and easily for safe storage or off-bike charging, this is great for people who commute to work and want to fill up at their desk
  • The motor and battery weight are kept low and center on the frame for improved stability and handling while riding
  • In my experience, the NuVinci drivetrain is quieter than the Rohloff, at least at first, I like how smoothly it shifts and that it works while pedaling vs. holding for a drop in pressure as the Rohloff does
  • You shouldn’t have to worry about dropping the chain or having to get regular maintenance done on the drivetrain, the single sprocket setup and chain tensioner keep the chain on track even in bumpy conditions
  • The rear rack is child seat compatible so you won’t need additional accessories or adapters in most cases, the official max weight is ~44 lbs which seemed a bit low to me, perhaps that’s just them staying on the safe side? Most aftermarket racks are rated up to 55 lbs, I like that a child would benefit from suspension and not be bounced all around like with most bikes
  • Powerful hydraulic disc brakes with large 180 mm rotors help you handle the heavier frame and any extra cargo you might be carrying, they pull easily and have adjustable reach levers so you don’t have to stretch if your hands are small
  • The battery pack mount is backward compatible with the Powerpack 400 so you could use any older packs you might already have to extend your ride, this could be a great platform for long distance riding or touring given the comfort
  • The fenders don’t rattle because they have multiple support arms in addition to the direct frame mounting points, the rear fender appeared to have five connection points! The front has three because it isn’t as long
  • I love that the included lock is keyed to match the battery lock so you don’t end up with all of these extra keys weighing you down and getting confusing
  • The tires are a bit fatter with two inch diameter which improves stability and traction while also smoothing out the feel of the bike, I like that they have puncture protection built-in so you might not get as many flat tires, they offer a wide pressure range of 35 to 70 PSI which allows you to optimize comfort or efficiency
  • As much as I appreciate the white and red for visibility, the black frame looks beautiful because the battery,
    motor, geared hub, rack straps, and cables all blend in. Also, the cables and wires are mostly internally routed to stay out of the way
  • Riese & Müller have this philosophy called “Control Technology” which is referring to the suspension and frame stiffness that can handle higher speeds and give you better handling ability, the wheels are designed to stay in contact with the ground vs. bouncing around and losing traction
  • If you like to use your phone for GPS or plan on attaching other accessories to the handlebar, you can charge them using the Micro-USB port on the side of the Bosch Intuvia display! It puts out 5 volts at 500 milliamps
  • Given the high capacity ~500 watt hour battery pack, it’s great that the Bosch charger is faster than most at 4 Amps vs. just 2 Amps, you won’t have to wait as long between rides
  • Interacting with the display is intuitive and simple enough that you really don’t have to look down that often, and if you get the Bosch CX motor (which tops out at 20 mph vs. 28 mph) you can use the new eMTB mode which turns Sport into a full range output more like a torque sensor so you don’t have to think about which level to use


  • Shifting becomes difficult if you’re pedaling hard and the motor is providing assist, it does work… and is better than mashing gears, but it takes more effort, so I usually ease back my pedaling power when shifting
  • The step-thru design is quite good but the battery box does cut into your standover space a bit and could get kicked more easily in this position, I’m not sure of a solution here and the battery is fairly durable… it’s just a minor trade off
  • At nearly 63 lbs, this is one of the heaviest non-fat electric bikes I have tested, but the frame is stiff and you get a thru-axle on the front wheel as well as reinforcement eyelets on the rims so it handles well and can take the weight, many other step-thrus suffer from frame flex (especially if they have rear racks) and have basic rims
  • To fully lower the saddle you may have to remove the ABUS folding lock (this is relevant for petite riders) I like that it comes in two frame sizes to give you a great starting place regardless of seat height
  • All of the Riese & Müller electric bicycles tend to be priced high, they use premium parts and are built to order, so they also take longer to arrive at the shop (a month or more in the USA)
  • With the low-step wave design that the Homage uses, there wasn’t room for bottle cage bosses… the Delite has some bottle adapters near the head tube but I didn’t see them on this bike, consider a saddle rail adapter or trunk bag with bottle holster like this
  • The pedals are pretty basic, they don’t offer as much traction or surface area but that might not be a big deal if you don’t ride in wet conditions or maybe you have small feet? I tend to use the Wellgo alloy platform ones like this but they can really scrape your shin if you slip off
  • As quiet as the bike is with those reinforced fenders, welded-on frame-built rack, and single sprocket setup, there is some whining noise produced by the motor, especially at higher RPM (this is true of most Bosch powered ebikes that use a Performance Line motor
  • If you plan on hanging this bike from a car or bus rack, you may need to purchase a crossbar adapter and definitely tighten the seat post clamp and take the battery off to reduce weight, I usually opt for a platform rack instead because you don’t have to lift the bike as high and some even have ramps to make loading easier
  • The high speed HS model has the lights activated by default at all times, I was told that your shop can disable this and give you control of the lights again using the button on the Intuvia display panel, the LCD itself is also backlit and this cannot be turned off

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