Is this the most capable off-road e-bike out there?
We have already tried four high quality offerings from Riese & Müller; the New Charger, the Nevo, the Homage GT Nuvinci and the Packster 40 Nuvinci.
Whilst these bikes were all taken off-road to a greater or lesser degree they were not full-on mountain bikes.
By contrast Riese & Müller’s Delite Mountain Rohloff is not only a full-suspension e-mtb but it packs many features that other e-mtbs don’t, including a 1,000Wh dual battery system, Rohloff’s incredibly tough 14 hub gear system (with electronic shifting to boot), powerful LED lights and the option of a chunky rear pannier rack.
It’s totally unique and certainly on paper looks like a candidate for the title of Most Capable Off-road Bike in Serial Production Today.
Does it live up to this label?
What to Expect from the Delite Mountain Rohloff
Here is a video overview to give you a closer look at the Delite Mountain Rohloff:
We have written quite a lot before about one of the most powerful mid-drive’s out there – the top of the line crank motor, Bosch’s Performance Line CX.
Essentially it delivers 300% extra power on top of your own pedal effort
In its top ‘Turbo’ power level, the bike offers a significant increase in power, giving you 300% more force than your own pedaling.
Claims 75 Nm of torque
It boasts an impressive 75 Nm (Newton metres) of torque, providing a substantial amount of rotational force.
Various options available
Our test bike was the 250W / 15.5mph (Euro spec) model, but there are other options to choose from. These include a 350W / 20mph (US spec) version, as well as a high-speed pedelec option with a top speed of 45km/h. However, it’s important to note that the high-speed option is not available for the Delite Mountain Rohloff model.
Distinctive frame design
Riese & Müller is known for its unique and eye-catching frame designs, and the Delite is no exception. Based on a popular non-electric bike frame design, it features all the signature characteristics of R&M’s robust construction and exceptional full suspension performance.
Impressive frame build and components
In addition to its remarkable frame, the Delite Mountain Rohloff is equipped with high-quality components. It comes with ‘plus’ width mtb Nobby Nics, which have a 2.8-inch width and large volume, allowing them to be run at low pressure for excellent grip. The bike also features the longest travel suspension in R&M’s range, with a Fox Float front suspension offering 120mm of travel and a Fox shock suspension providing 100mm of travel.
Optimized for long-distance off-road riding
During my test, the bike was specifically configured for long-distance off-road adventures. It was equipped with DualBattery technology, which draws power alternately from two 500Wh frame-mounted batteries. This smart system ensures that both batteries are utilized evenly, preventing one from being drained before the other.
The power of the Rohloff E-14 Speedhub
The Delite Mountain Rohloff integrates the Rohloff E-14 Speedhub, a gearbox designed to seamlessly work with the Bosch motor system. This innovative hub claims to offer the fastest electronic shifting available, with lightning-fast shifts taking only 180 ms.
Robust and versatile
With its rugged construction and wide gear range of over 500%, the Rohloff E-14 Speedhub is perfect for those seeking a bike that can handle demanding off-road terrains mile after mile. It delivers smooth and reliable shifts, consistently meeting the demands of adventurous riders.
The Intuiva and Nyon Displays
Both the Intuiva and Nyon displays, with the latter being the one I had, synchronize seamlessly with the Rohloff E-14. They provide a clear indication of the current gear selection and offer convenient push-button controls on the handlebars. By simply keeping the button pressed down, you can smoothly change one gear at a time or quickly leapfrog three gears at a time. It’s worth noting that the number of gears that can be leapfrogged can be adjusted according to your preference.
The Bike Features
In addition to these impressive display capabilities, the bike boasts powerful LED lighting and comes with an optional rack. My bike also came equipped with dual bottle mounts on either side of the frame head tube. These features, combined with its overall design, make the bike perfect for tackling mountain ranges and exploring off the beaten track.
The Ride Experience
To put the bike through a rigorous test, I took it out for a ride around the Tame and Chew valleys on the western edge of the North Pennines. This was an ideal location as it presented a challenging terrain with numerous smaller valleys and steeply sided slopes, all connected by a network of off-road tracks and minor roads.
I was impressed by how smoothly the bike handled rocky tracks, thanks to its Fox suspension units and plus-sized knobblies. They provided exceptional performance, ensuring a comfortable and controlled ride.
As a lighter rider, I felt confident running the tires at the minimum recommended pressure of 17psi. This allowed me to maximize traction, a crucial factor in conquering the dusty and loose surfaces of the steepest climbs I encountered.
With the Bosch Performance Line CX motor delivering ample power, I primarily utilized the Eco and Tour settings during my ride. For the most challenging climbs, I switched to Emtb mode, which intelligently adjusts assistance levels between 120% and 300% based on my riding style. I only tapped into Turbo mode when I needed an extra boost on particularly steep hills, although I must admit that I was thoroughly enjoying the ride and rarely relied on it.
However, it’s worth mentioning that Turbo mode would have been a lifesaver if I needed to rapidly return home, as it would have propelled me up the steepest hills at maximum assisted speed.
A Full Day of Adventure
Around 30 miles later, I had the pleasure of exploring the peaceful hills and conquering one steep climb after another. Escaping the bustling valley bottoms, where the majority of people flock to the main roads and railways, was truly refreshing.
A Taste of Freedom
Using only about a quarter to half of the 1000Wh battery capacity, it became evident that with my body weight, riding style, and cautious approach, I could easily venture into the wilderness for at least one night without the need for an electric power source. Perhaps a night of wild camping awaits me.
Exploring the Valley
Navigating through the ancient tracks and narrow roads that crisscross the valley’s slopes, I found myself instinctively utilizing the lockout controls for the front forks and rear suspension. However, one must exercise caution when engaging the lockout control for the rear shock, as it is positioned quite low and beneath the rider.
The Fun of Nyon Display
Playing around with the Nyon display was an enjoyable experience. The navigation screen, in particular, could prove to be valuable if I have preloaded routes on the software. However, since I was familiar with the area, I predominantly relied on the ‘Ride’ screen, which provides essential information such as trip distance and a crucial range estimation based on the remaining battery capacity.
More Than Meets the Eye
These features are also accessible on the more basic Intuvia display. Additionally, the Nyon boasts a fitness screen, a real-time height profile, and smartphone connectivity, making it a versatile companion on any e-biking adventure.
Rohloff Hub Gears and Efficiency
Undoubtedly, the combination of the Rohloff hub gears and chain drive, compared to the Nuvinci and belt drive combo found in other Riese and Müller models I’ve tried, significantly enhances the battery range, thanks to its inherent efficiency.
Conquering the Steepest Off-Road Slopes
The low bottom gear of the Rohloff, coupled with a small 15-tooth front chainring, empowers riders with high torque and efficient hill-climbing abilities, even on the most challenging off-road gradients.
Impressive Gearing Technology
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of the Rohloff hub gearing system, especially its smooth and reliable e-shifting component. While it is still important to ease chain tension during gear shifts, as shifting under heavy load can cause a slight “grunch” noise, the “hub sync with motor power and pedal stroke” feature undoubtedly ensures seamless gear changes.
Gears and Noise
In gears that are not direct drive, you may still experience some noise and resistance from the gear pinions in the hub. However, many Rohloff enthusiasts claim that this diminishes over time as the gears settle in.
Motor and Battery Power
Regardless, the availability of motor power and an ample supply of battery power greatly reduces the impact of these issues.
Durable Hub for All Conditions
I would expect this hub to be reliable for several thousand miles, enduring the daily grind of riding in any weather and tackling various off-road trails. If it does not meet your preferences, there is an 11-speed derailleur option available.
The Delite Mountain Rohloff
The Delite Mountain Rohloff exemplifies the finest qualities of Riese & Müller bicycles. It combines exceptional build quality and durability with meticulous attention to detail, creating a bike that riders will thoroughly enjoy. Whether you prefer a comfortable and effortless ride or a challenging adventure, this bike accommodates your desires.
Suspension and Versatility
While some e-mountain bikes boast greater suspension travel than the Delite Mountain Rohloff’s 120/100mm front and rear combo, it is important to consider if the jumps and extreme drop-offs showcased in marketing videos truly align with the desires of most riders on an e-mountain bike.
The inclusion of LED lighting and a sturdy rack are uncommon features that set the Delite Mountain Rohloff apart from its competitors in the touring e-mountain bike category.
Price and Capability
As you can see, this bike falls on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, few others can match its overall capabilities and versatility.
Hub Gears for Long Tours
For riders like myself who embark on long tours, the utilization of the latest gear technology from Rohloff proves to be advantageous. Hub gears eliminate the worry of damaging a derailleur in the middle of nowhere.
A Joyful and Challenging Ride
The Mountain Delite Rohloff provided pure joy as I navigated through the most demanding terrains, offering the perfect workout.
Other R&M Variants and Models
We have previously discussed the R&M acronym system, but it is worth revisiting it once again.
GT – This category is designed for relatively light off-road use only (GT stands for Gran Turismo). However, we have put these bikes through some challenging terrains, and they have come out with flying colors.
GX – With slightly narrower tires than the GT, the GX models also feature an off-road tread. If you are looking for a similar option to the Delite Mountain Rohloff but don’t require the widest knobby tires and extra suspension travel, the Delite GX Rohloff is a great choice. For those seeking a derailleur-equipped Mountain model, the Supercharger Mountain is worth considering.
‘Mountain’ labeled bikes come with wider knobby tires, as expected, and offer more suspension travel. GH is a super strong rating, with an impressive gross weight capacity of 160kg.
Riese & Müller Delite Mountain Rohloff Specifications
Frame: The bike features an aluminum frame with rear suspension that includes the Fox Float DPS Performance shock.
Fork: The front fork is the Foxfloat 34 Performance Boost, Air, with a travel of 120mm.
Motor: Powered by the Bosch Performance Line CX motor.
Display: Equipped with the Intuiva display, which is upgradeable to Nyon for enhanced functionality.
Battery: The bike comes with a 500Wh battery, and there is also an option for a dual battery with 1000Wh capacity. Recharging takes approximately 2 hours for a 50% charge and 4.5 hours for a full charge for each battery.
Shifting: The Delite Mountain Rohloff features Rohloff E-14 hub gears with electronic shifting.
Brakes: The bike is equipped with Shimano Deore XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes for reliable stopping power.
Tires: The Delite Mountain Rohloff is fitted with 27.5” Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires.
Weight: With both batteries included, the total weight of the bike is 67.7 pounds or 30.7 kg. Without the battery, the weight is 56 pounds or 25.4 kg.
Frame sizes: The bike is available in three frame sizes – 49cm, 54cm, and 56cm.
Lighting: The lighting system consists of Busch & Müller Lumotec IQ-X E headlights and a Supernova E3 taillight.
Price: The derailleur option (Delite Mountain) is priced at $6,879 or £4949. The Delite Mountain Rohloff, with its advanced hub gears, is priced at $8,399 or £6119.
– Dual Battery: Available for an additional $823 or £630.
– Abus Bordo Lock: Enhance your bike’s security with this optional lock for $118 or £90.
– Rear Carrier: Add a rear carrier to increase the bike’s utility for $236 or £180.
– Nyon Display: This display option is priced at £270 and is not available in the US.
For a complete list of UK dealers, click here.
For a complete list of US dealers, click here.
Visit the manufacturer’s website at r-m.de/en-gb/ for more information.
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews. Keep riding!