- A premium midtail cargo electric bike made in two frame sizes with adjustable angle stem to dial in fit and body position. Made to order, built in Germany, 8 to 10 week lead time, tons of customization options and custom accessories. High quality fenders with break-away safety feature, premium Magura hydraulic disc brakes 180/203 rotors.
- Bosch Performance Line CX or Speed motor offers shift detection, high RPM pedal support, and up to 85 newton meters of torque for hauling and climbing. High capacity Bosch PowerPack 750 supports "touring" distance riding and fills fast with 4 amp charger. Mounting points for two bottle cages or other accessories.
- Bright integrated lights with optimal positioning, additional plastic reflectors on the fork lowers, and reflective tire stripes greatly improve safety. Adjustable air suspension fork, suspension seat post, ergonomic grips, and swept-back handlebar deliver great comfort. Wide 11 to 50 tooth drivetrain with Shimano Deore XT derailleur performs great on or off-road.
- Included racks provide high load capacity, up to 140lbs on the rear rack. Optional passenger seat and handlebar, child surround, pannier bags, and running boards that can haul a second bike. Fairly heavy at 71.3lbs for the large frame, notoriously expensive because it's considered one of the best brands. Lock, charging port, and kickstand position are imperfect. Potential for incompatibility with other Bosch ebike chargers and apps if you go with the new Smart System option.
This review was provided for free using a demo bike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Riese & Müller products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Riese & Müller electric bike forums.
- The Multicharger is a multi-purpose ebike platform developed by the coveted Riese & Müller brand from Germany. You can get it in two frame sizes, two colors (though the racks are the only color that really changes), and nine configurations! You can choose the Class 1 Bosch CX motor (as shown in this particular review), or the Class 3 Bosch Speed motor. It can be setup with the new Bosch Smart System motor, battery, and display (as shown)… or you can stick with prior generation hardware such as the PowerTube 625 and optional second PowerPack 500 pack. The older systems use a different smartphone app and are cross compatible with a range of displays. They also share the same charger.
- The bike is beautiful, all of the hardware matches, and the little details are done right. Notice the reinforcement eyelets on the rims, the sturdy tubing design with gusset where the top tube meets the seat tube, three bottle cage mounts, magnetic charge port cover, and custom battery cover that’s bolted to the frame vs. independent.
- The bike comes in two color schemes (it’s just the racks that switch from black to curry), and there are two frame sizes in the high step. R&M also make a Multicharger Mixte in mid-step with lower stand-over height but it doesn’t have as much space for additional bottle cage bosses and second battery packs.
- Safety is a big consideration for me, whether I’m riding farther and touring, or choosing to go faster with the Speed motor option. R&M did a great job with the bright integrated lights, the rear light has two LEDs here but the speed version actually has brake light activation. There are additional reflectors on the suspension fork lowers, pedals, and the tires have reflective stripes too.
- It’s neat that you can select knobby tires for this ebike, but they still have the reflective stripe and puncture protection. This platform is capable off-road, and I especially liked the narrow wide chainring and chainring guard that will reduce chain drops. The Shimano Deore XT derailleur is excellent, and has a clutch system to reduce bounce. It was nice to see a rugged slap guard to protect paint too.
- All of the touch points felt great. The customized VP pedals with sandpaper grip performed well during the rain on my ride, the locking Ergon grips and gel saddle were nice, and the air suspension fork and suspension seatpost softened the blow of bumpy sections when I took it off road.
- Both of the racks are sturdy and capable. The rear rack can support 65kg 140lbs of weight, which could be a child or small adult passenger! There are plenty of mounting options, and the running board upgrade could be used to haul a second bike. Between the padded seats, child surround bar, and custom bags, the bike offers so many possibilities… if you are willing to spend the money.
- The fenders are extra wide to handle the larger tires offered with this bike. They don’t rattle around a lot, despite being plastic, because they have additional support struts and connection points to the frame and rear rack. The front fender has breakaway points that are designed to keep things safe if a rock or stick gets kicked up.
- The front rack is mounted to the frame vs. the fork or handlebar. It doesn’t turn as you steer the bike, but it’s a lot more sturdy and won’t impact steering. You can mount the headlight to the rack or the stem/handlebar, which is great. Note that there are two front rack options and a custom bag for the rack!
- The included ABUS cafe lock uses the same key as the battery pack, and you can get additional folding locks to match as well. There’s even a chain lock that can interface with the cafe lock and it comes with a saddle bag that has a magnetic clasp… very cool high-quality setup.
- The adjustable angle stem requires six bolts (on the left side and front) to be undone to change position. This is almost overkill, but way better than the cheaper stems with just one or two bolts which can easily strip and become unsafe. I was surprised that they are using a 25.4mm handlebar, but the stem is so wide, I guess it’s already very sturdy.
- The bike uses wider Boost hub spacing in the rear, which provides a sturdier spoke bracing angle and extra room for the 11-speed cassette. I was surprised to not see Boost on the fork, but that’s probably fine for the smaller 26″ wheels.
- Very high quality hydraulic disc brakes from Magura. The MT4 and MT5 levers actuate very smoothly, and have adjustable reach levers. If you get the Speed motor, the levers also activate the rear light like a brake light. Large 180mm front rotor and huge 203mm rear rotor provide a good mechanical advantage and cooling properties. The calipers are also great, with larger contact pads.
- Whichever display you choose, the Bosch ecosystem is reliable and intuitive. There are some trade-offs with the new Smart System, but I love how it shows battery percentage and works with a mobile app. The LED Remote is my favorite part of the Smart System because it seems durable, is easy to navigate without looking, and has colors to help communicate which assist level is selected.
- I love how responsive the Bosch motors are, the controller measures pedal speed, pedal torque, and rear wheel speed over 1,000 per second to deliver instant power… but it’s also gentle if you don’t push hard. The system is even smart enough to reduce power when it senses you are shifting gears, which protects the drivetrain.
- The speed sensor magnet is now mounted to the rear wheel hub vs. a spoke, so it’s less likely to get bumped out of position and will not create imbalance on the rear wheel.
- I really like the GT setup with the chain and cassette, because it shifts quickly, is very efficient, and weighs less than the belt drive options. It’s nice to have options, and I hear many people loving the reliable and clean belts… but I just wanted to express the benefits of this particular setup, it would be my personal choice :)
- Riese & Müller have been building bicycles since 1992, their products come with a great warranty, and tend to be sold through only the best shops. I trust them, and feel that they look cool but are also some of the best engineered and most reliable products on the market.
- The bike is expensive, and their accessories are all very pricey as well. That said, the quality is excellent and you have a lot of choice. The racks, bags, different motors, drivetrains, and passenger options are very unique and well done.
- While you could find a Riese & Müller electric bicycle pre-built in the exact size and configuration you want at your local ebike dealer… many people will probably have to wait eight to ten weeks after placing a custom order. The bikes are assembled in Germany, and have to be shipped internationally.
- I like Thudbuster suspension seat post products well enough, but they aren’t as adjustable as some SR Suntour, Redshift Sports, and Kinekt options I’ve seen in recent years. I was kind of surprised that R&M chose this post, but maybe I’m missing one of its unique benefits :)
- The suspension seat post adds a few inches to the minimum saddle height, and you’ll have to raise it higher in order to use the passenger handlebar. Keep this in mind if you have a shorter inseam. Consider the smaller frame size or the mixte mid-step Multicharger that can be easier to stand over.
- The bike is very heavy at 71.3lbs (for the large that I covered for this review). Some of this weight has to do with the slightly longer frame, reinforcement gussets and rectangular tubing that add strength, multiple included aluminum alloy racks, wide fenders, and integrated lights. Consider removing the battery to save ~9lbs before lifting the bike and transporting it on a car rack.
- Whether your build includes the double leg kickstand or the single-side like my review unit, the position creates pedal lock. This can happen when backing the bike up with the kickstand deployed, or if the cranks get spun backwards while it’s parked. Minor complaint, but it can be annoying since the bike is fairly heavy.
- The battery locking core and charge port are both low on the frame, which requires some reaching and possibly bending down. The lock is actually positioned directly in the path of the left crank arm, so it can get blocked or bumped during unlocking.
- As nice as the PowerTube batteries look, they weigh a lot more than the plastic PowerPacks and you have to twist the key while inserting the battery to get it back on the bike. Thankfully, it can be charged while in the frame… I’d probably leave it there. The space below the downtube is fairly limited due to the fender on the front wheel and the plastic battery cover that is now bolted to the frame vs. fully removable.
- If you opt for the 750 watt hour battery Bosch Smart System configuration, none of the hardware is backwards compatible. The older displays, chargers, batteries, and smartphone apps will not work with it. The new Bosch eBike Flow app has some limitations, including no GPS directions. The new Bosch LED remote has a USB-C port on it, but it’s not active. In some ways, it feels like there are missed or “still developing” opportunities for the newest ecosystem to be better.
- While they have gotten better over the years, the 4th generation of Bosch Performance Line motors still tend to produce a noticeable whining noise at high power and high RPM, you can hear it clearly in the video review above. It also uses power more quickly, but that’s a worthwhile trade-off for me given the outstanding performance.
- The Kiox 300 display panel is beautifully integrated into the adjustable angle stem, but cannot be angled very much on its own to reduce glare very easily. Also, the included flick bell is pretty basic, and you don’t get the side mirror or brake light activation unless you get the Class 3 speed pedelec version of the bike… which isn’t available in some countries.