When buying a Riese & Müller bike it’s essential that you choose the right gears for the type of riding you’ll be doing. All of the R&M bikes all use pedal-assisted, mid-mount motors so using the correct gear and cadence will make riding your bike far more enjoyable.
There are three options available when it comes to gears for your Riese & Müller bike:
- Touring (10, 11 or 12 speed derailleur gearing)
- Enviolo (continuously variable gearing)
- Rohloff E-14
Cost is of course also an issue to many customers; the Touring option is the cheapest of the three and the Rohloff the most expensive, but you must be careful to factor in the additional costs and longevity of owning these different types of gearing.
This is what Riese and Müller call the ‘chain and cassette’ option. This is the highest maintenance option available; however it does offer the lowest levels of resistance for an e-bike, while still giving you a decent range of gears for riding up and down hills. Maintenance on a chain and cassette gearing setup has vastly improved in recent years with much better cleaning and lubrication available.
Here at EDEMO we recommend using Tru Tension e-bike Tungsten all-weather lube on your chain. This is a wax-based lubricant containing tungsten particles which prolongs chain life while offering protection from corrosion in bad weather conditions. Once applied to a clean and dry chain, it doesn’t need to be cleaned as the dirt flakes off with the wax. Just re-apply at regular intervals and ride on happily into the sunset…
Of course, chains do wear and we would recommend checking your chain regularly with a chain checking device, these only cost about £10 but will save you a lot of money in the long run. Replacing your chain at the 0.75 wear mark on your chain checker will mean that you should get three chains to one cassette before that needs changing as well. Your chainring on the crank will also last longer and should easily last at least 10,000 miles.
Derailleur gears are great for people who want a good range of gears and low drag but don’t mind the additional maintenance that goes along with it.
Enviolo is a continuously variable gearing system, so the first thing you notice is that there are no individual gears like on a standard hub gear. The system works by tilting large ball bearings at different angles inside the hub to create different gear ratios.
The hub gear creates a wide enough spread of gears for most trips, but may not be enough for some riders on very steep slopes or those on loaded touring trips. There is also a higher amount of drag on the system than you would experience with a regular derailleur gear as above.
From our experience at EDEMO the hubs are very durable, although the manual shift units and grip shifters will need replacing occasionally and cables will wear out eventually as well. There is an Automatiq gear shift unit available, but only on a very limited range of bikes. These units maintain a steady cadence for the rider by changing gear automatically; definitely something to consider.
Enviolo hubs are not serviceable unlike the Rohloff, but you can expect many years of use with very little maintenance. All of the Riese and Müller bikes come with Gates carbon belts on these hubs, meaning that you haven’t got a chain to clean, measure and replace.
The Enviolo system is brilliant for commuters and less demanding riders who don’t take on super long trips or extremely difficult terrain.
Rohloff E-14 gears
The Rohloff hub is a very smart piece of kit; it is a planetary hub gear system which manages to cram 14 gears into a single hub shell. It has a wider range of gears than the Enviolo and less drag as well. The gears are also stepped evenly so you should be able to find the right gear and cadence for all terrains.
The Rohloff hub is super durable and only requires a simple oil change every 12 months or 3000 miles, which can be done at home or at your local retailer in about half an hour. This makes Rohloff hubs less expensive to maintain than derailleur gears, and some users have achieved truly amazing mileages on the Rohloff hubs before they need any kind of service.
The hubs can be serviced and maintained by Rohloff themselves, who have recently set up service agents around the UK to make this process easier for customers.
What makes the Rohloff so good for e-bikes is the integrated electronic shifting, Gates carbon belt and long service life. The weight of the system is not really penalty on an e-bike equipped with a Bosch motor as you have more than enough power to overcome the weight and drag.
The Rohloff is best for demanding riders who want to always be in the right gear, want reliability and take on long trips over multiple days and difficult terrain.