Now… I think we need to start a review of the Riese & Müller Multicharger by first saying that it isn’t going to be a bike that suits everyone’s needs; if you’re looking for a sporty, lightweight, touring electric bike, then you’re probably reading the wrong review.
But what the Multicharger does offer is a huge amount of carrying capacity at the rear of the bike while still being a really good bike to ride unladen.
You could perhaps call the Multicharger the ‘Ultimate Hybrid’. It’s part mountain bike, part town bike and part cargo bike and to be perfectly honest, it does all three of these jobs pretty well.
The longer wheelbase will mean that the handling isn’t as sharp as the standard Charger 4 from the same brand, but it does mean that it will be more comfortable to ride.
Multicharger: Specification and accessories
The Multicharger comes in two different sizes and two different frame shapes. The size of the smaller frame fits people from 5’2” to 5’9” and the larger size 5’7” to 6’7”. The frame comes in a standard more horizontal top tube, and also a sloping or dropped top tube called a Mixte.
The latter frame shape is much easier to mount and dismount if you’re using the safety bar kit or carrying children on the back, as swinging your leg over the back is not possible with kids in tow.
The bikes are available with two drive systems on the new Bosch ‘smart system’. You can choose between the Enviolo hub (very low maintenance thanks to its Gates Carbon belt drive) or a chain and cassette option (lighter and gives you a larger range of gears, but will require more maintenance).
Alternatively, you can still get the E-14 Rohloff hub, but this is only available on the older Bosch system.
The Multicharger is excellent for longer rides and bigger hills. It’s also incredibly durable but we should note that due to the older Bosch system, you can only get the 625Wh battery and not the new 750Wh battery that comes with the ‘smart system’.
The gearing choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and your willingness to do some maintenance, or not.
The wheel size on the Multicharger is 26”, which is the old mountain bike standard size wheel, so unlike some small wheeled touring bikes this bike rides well, particularly off-road. Riese and Muller offer a GX option, which gives you Schwalbe’s excellent Smart Sam Plus tyres, with plenty of grip and good puncture resistance.
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Multicharger passenger options
You can add a passenger kit, which basically comprises a seatpad, stoker bar, spoke guard and bipod kickstand. Another option is the safety bar kit, which comprises a metal outer bar and soft inner bar as well as ‘sideloader’ footplates for kids to put their feet on or tow a small bike behind, when they are tired of riding with you.
You can fit two children on the back of the bike or one older child plus a child seat with a younger child age 1 and up. The maximum age of child is suggested at 9 but this would depend on the size and weight of the individual.
How much can the Multicharger carry?
There are cargo pannier bags available with a massive 33 litre capacity for each bag, plus you can add a front cargo rack, which can take a 10kg bag. The total weight rating of the rear pannier rack is 65kgs!
So for loaded touring on a regular looking bike, it’s hard to beat the carrying capacity, making it ideal for short camping trips or long loaded touring rides with multiple nights away from home.
How does the Multicharger ride?
Fully loaded, as you’d expect, the bike is not at all lightweight, but it does manage to feel pretty nimble once you remove all the shopping you are carrying or kids you’re commuting with.
I’ve taken the bike off-road and, whilst it’s not as capable as a full suspension mountain bike, it does remarkably well for something that has no rear suspension and is capable of transporting such a large payload. Being honest, the ride quality, cornering and stiffness is not a million miles away from R&M’s Charger 4.
It has a Bosch Performance Line CX Gen 4 motor, which produces plenty of power at 85Nm or torque and excellent Magura brakes, that will stop you pretty quickly with their 180mm brake rotors.
Riese & Müller Multicharger: Is it worth it?
I said at the beginning of the review that the Multicharger would not be everyone’s cup of tea and there are undoubtedly some compromises such as slightly smaller wheels and a longer wheelbase, which might rule it out for some mountain bike enthusiasts.
But – if you want a bike that can do a bit of everything, still beat the traffic and the hills and get your kids to school on-time, so you can do the shopping then this may be the bike for you.
It’s frustrating that (at the time of writing) you cannot get the Rohloff and the larger 750Wh battery, but hopefully these issues with software integration will soon be resolved.
But this aside, the Multicharger is a good halfway house for someone who needs a cargo bike AND a bike for leisure rides and weekends away who doesn’t have the space for a front loading cargo or the budget for two different bikes.
We have several used Multichargers in stock. Head to EDEMO's Off The Shelf to buy now.